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50 years of achievements: Abu Dhabi poised for brighter future

posted on 25/10/2016

The Government of Abu Dhabi is constantly seeking to elevate performance standards and to achieve excellence in providing quality services, said H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region.

In a statement made yesterday on the 50th anniversary of the Abu Dhabi Government, Sheikh Hamdan congratulated President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on the occasion.

Thanks to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the emirate was making solid progress in realising its goals of diversifying economy by minimising dependence on oil and gas, maintaining a confident society and a robust, open and competitive economy, he added.

Sheikh Hamdan paid tribute to the UAE's founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who, when he became the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966, made it very clear that the real asset of any nation is its people.

Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC), said the Government of Abu Dhabi has achieved numerous milestones in political, economic, industrial, social, educational, cultural and sports fields.

"The Government of Abu Dhabi adopted a future path through its Vision 2030 to transform into knowledge-based economy, to promote non-oil sectors and to increase non-oil trade," she said.

H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region, said the directives given by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, have left spectacular hallmarks on the evolution and development of the government structure.

"Being the first chairman of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was keen to improve public services, enact regulatory laws and legislations and harness available resources to leverage services to the highest standards for the benefit of the citizens and expatriate residents,' he added.

Ha also added that the close follow up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, he noted, had been very instrumental in advancing the development process of the government body in the emirate.

in his statement, H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council said that five decades after its first formation, the Government of Abu Dhabi had been able to withstand all challenges and to evolve into a modern government that pursue the welfare of the citizens and resident alike.

He also hailed President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who stood by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan when he formed the government and kept his legacy alive when he led the emirate's Planning Council, which was changed into the Executive Council in 1974.

"The government carried so many names, but had one goal- progress, development to provide prosperity and happiness for the people," he added.

H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court said that since its inception 50 years ago, the Government of Abu Dhabi adopted planning as the way forward.

"The Government of Abu Dhabi has embedded principles and standards for public administration, including development of human resources and utilising all energies to contribute to the march of progress," he noted.

The Government of Abu Dhabi is today one of the best in the region thanks to strategic plans and policies, up-to-date legislations, human resources and organisational development, and good governance, said H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions and Benefits Fund.

'The long journey of achievements of the Government of Abu Dhabi over the past 50 years was driven by the vision of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Many milestones have allied together to position Abu Dhabi in a prominent international place with a good reputation and sharp competitive edge,' Sheikh Mohammed said in remarks on the 50th anniversary of the government of Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council said the governance system founded by the late Sheikh Zayed in 1966, marked a new era for its progress as it helped shift the focus on key sectors, such as healthcare, education, housing and transport.

"The capital of the UAE is confidently determined to continue the march of progress and development," he added.

For the past 50 years, the Government of Abu Dhabi has always relied on principles of integration, progress and transparency, while striding towards a brighter future, said Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs.

Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazroui, Secretary-General of the Executive Council, extended greetings to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council on the occasion.

He said the strong foundations laid by the late Sheikh Zayed, enabled Abu Dhabi to become a global example for progress and development.

The scarce resources back in 1966, were no obstacles to the ambitions of the late Sheikh Zayed to bring about comprehensive development in all walks of life, said Saeed Eid Al Ghafli, Chairman of the Executive Office.

"The progress of nations is measured by the efficiency of governments. Thanks to the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Government of Abu Dhabi is among the leading governments in the world," he added.

Dr. Fahad Matar Al Neyadi, Acting Director-General of the General Secretariat of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, said the Government of Abu Dhabi managed to bring about comprehensive and sustainable development due to its carefully planned strategies for development.

The Government of Abu Dhabi was among the first in the region to develop a long- term vision for the future, based on a coherent and secure society, and a resilient and competitive economy, he said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Government capable of fulfilling commitments despite challenges, says Mohamed bin Zayed

posted on 25/10/2016

Promising ambitious development, rapid demographic and social transformations, and economic shifts driven by fluctuations in world oil prices have placed a huge responsibility before the government of Abu Dhabi, said His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

'However, we are confident that the government is capable of fulfilling its commitments and requirements for the years to come as it laid down the foundation for development fifty years ago,' HH Sheikh Mohamed said during a meeting with the first generation of leaders of the Government of Abu Dhabi as well as incumbent leaders at Al Bahr Palace on Monday on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the establishment of the government in Abu Dhabi.

HH Sheikh Mohamed, also Chairman of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, affirmed that the UAE had employed its organisational and administrative bodies to serve one goal - the UAE citizen, who he said, is the goal and end of plans and strategies, essence of development and key pillar for progress and development.

'On this occasion, we recall the achievements of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who introduced the contemporary principles of good governance and management and laid down - through his farsighted vision - the building blocks of the government organisational structure and its objectives and functions which made the emirate of Abu Dhabi a symbol of originality, modernisation and tradition,' HH said.

That government structure, HH noted, established Abu Dhabi as a role model for sustainable, comprehensive development that invests in human being, qualifies him with modern education and instils in him positive values and spirit of loyalty to his nation. This vision, HH stressed, is now cherished and pursued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

'Today, we are reaping the fruits of that prudent vision in form of remarkable achievements and successive successes,' HH added.

The development achievements accomplished by Abu Dhabi over the last fifty years were the work of a vibrant, viable government administrative and organisational body which succeeded in transforming strategies and ideas into tangible reality, HH noted.

'Over the past fifty years, the executive authority turned the development and strategy vision into true tangible achievements. This always confirms that the emirate's development aspiration rests on well-studied plans and seamless implementation. It makes us proud to see Abu Dhabi setting an example for development projects and future plans whose aspiration knows no boundaries under the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 which seeks to transform the emirate into a knowledge-driven economy,' HH further added.

According to him, development is a continuing, holistic process which always needs a renewed vision that is capable of overcoming challenges. The country is keen to see the executive authority as a trendsetter for government excellence through sustained improvement of the government systems so as to keep abreast of latest trends in future governments and respond to development requirements properly.

On the occasion, Sheikh Mohamed praised the first generation of government employees for the great services and contributions they offered to the nation amid difficult conditions. They set an example and role model in integrity, honesty, hard work and sincere will in their efforts towards the development of Abu Dhabi in particular and the UAE in general.

'We are confident the incumbent generation of government employees will stay on the course of their predecessors to achieve further development driven by enthusiasm and motivation to be among makers of the future who will elevate the standing of Abu Dhabi and the UAE,' HH said.

Sheikh Mohamed urged the employees to put the happiness of citizens as a top priority in their work and deal with them through good treatment, positivity and prompt performance.

'We are always keen to draw advanced plans and programmes so as to provide high quality, quick, easy and excellent services to both citizens and expatriate residents as part of continuous improvement of quality of life in the country," he said in conclusion.

H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler`s Representative in the Eastern Region, and H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, H.H. Sheikh Isa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, H.H. Sheikh Dhiyab bin Zayed Al Nahyan, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Adviser to the UAE President, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and a number of Sheikhs, attended the meeting. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE seeks stronger energy relations with Tajikistan: Minister

posted on 25/10/2016

DUSHANBE: The UAE takes a keen interest in promoting co-operation with Tajikistan in all spheres and supports the Tajik government's efforts in improving the country's infrastructure, UAE Minister of Energy, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj, has said while heading a high-level business and government delegation to the central Asian republic.

"Falling oil prices pose a challenge to oil producing countries but have not affected the UAE economy, thanks to a strategy being pursued to achieve economic diversification," the minister said.

President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, who received the UAE minister and delegation, expressed the hope that the visit would contribute towards stronger relations in all spheres.

While noting that it is important to increase trade with the UAE, the president said there was a need to set up a joint Emirati-Tajik investment fund, a joint business council as well as a representative office for Emirati banks in his country.

He confirmed Tajikistan's participation at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE.

Minister Al Mazrouei conveyed the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

President Rahmon requested Al Mazrouei to convey his greetings to the UAE leadership.

The minister also met with a number of Tajik officials including Minister of Economic Development and Trade Nematullo Hikmatullozoda; Minister of Finance Abdusalom Qurbonov; Minister of Industry and New Technologies Shavkat Bobozoda; Chairman of the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management Kodiri Kosim, and Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Jamshed Shoimzoda.

The meetings were held to discuss ways of promoting relations between the two countries in several sectors including hydropower, aviation, logistics, infrastructure, food security.

The officials also discussed the participation of Tajikistan in Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2017, which will coincide with the 15th meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue.

During the visit, a joint UAE-Tajik economic forum was held to enable representatives from several sectors to discuss the investment potential and opportunities in both countries.

The UAE and Tajikistan established diplomatic relations in 1995, and Tajikistan opened its consulate-general in Dubai in 2007 and its embassy in Abu Dhabi in 2011.

Volume of non-oil trade between the UAE and Tajikistan stood at US$25 million.

Emirati national carrier flydubai currently operates three weekly flights to Dushanbe City. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Moral education to be introduced in schools from 2017-2018 academic year: Ministry

posted on 25/10/2016

The subject of moral education will become officially a part of school curricula from the 2017-2018 academic year after the Ministry of Education gave its approval on Monday.

As a test case, the textbooks will be initially introduced in selected schools as early as January 2016, and the ministry will invite feedback in the lead up to the official start, the ministry said in a statement.

This move was in response to an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, announced by him in July.

Sixteen public and private schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and another seven in other emirates were selected for the experimental phase, Sheikha Kholoud Al Qasimi, the Assistant Under-Secretary for Oversight at the Ministry of Education, noted.

The Ministry of Education has co-ordinated all phases of planning for the move with the Court of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and other relevant educational and other bodies, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said.

The initiative is the first of its kind in the region and aims to promote ethics, values of tolerance, respect, national loyalty and personal and community growth, culture and heritage, sustainability, civic education, and rights and responsibilities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Luxembourg confirms participation in Expo 2020 Dubai

posted on 25/10/2016

Expo 2020 Dubai announced on Monday Luxembourg as one of the first countries to formally confirm its participation, raising to 70 the national commitments received from countries from all around the world.

The agreement was made at a meeting with H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, during a visit by Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr. Etienne Schneider. This followed meetings on Sunday at the Expo 2020 Dubai site with Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau.

This confirmation signifies the latest milestone in the longstanding relationship between Luxembourg and the UAE, and is the product of considerable discussion and engagement between the Expo 2020 and Luxembourg teams on participation.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed welcomed Luxembourg. "Dubai is a place of connections – a point where the world meets. I warmly welcome Luxembourg which today has become the latest nation to formally commit to take part. It now joins us in creating this global platform for collaboration. I look forward to strengthening our bilateral relations, as we work together on our preparations to host Expo 2020."

"I am deeply impressed by the remarkable progress achieved on the exciting journey towards Expo 2020 Dubai. Luxembourg is fully committed to contributing its humble part to making this remarkable event a resounding success, said Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr. Etienne Schneider.

Reem Al Hashimy warmly welcome the appointment of Maggy Nagel, the former minister of culture and housing, as the Commissioner-General of Luxembourg to the Expo.

'The UAE looks forward to working closely with all stakeholders in Luxembourg on our journey to 2020 and to building a programme of engagement that will not only strengthen our bilateral relations but also, will serve as a platform for Luxembourg to promote its national priorities to a global audience," said Al Hashimy.

"To date, we have received 70 national commitments from countries from all around the world and we look forward to welcoming more participants in the coming months ahead. We are very excited about the positive receptivity that our Expo has had and we will continue to work diligently to secure not only a confirmed presence, but also a high quality exposition," she added.

In addition to economic and diplomatic ties, the partnership is a reflection of Luxembourg's commitment towards ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,' the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai. Luxembourg's national priorities closely align with the theme, as it is committed to being an open, and dynamic country that seeks to foster and support international cooperation, much like the UAE.

Luxembourg's main themes for participation will be centered on generating economic growth in a manner which is sustainable and respectful, both on earth and in space. Luxembourg's strong history in telecommunications and satellite operations reflects Expo 2020 Dubai's sub-theme of ‘Mobility', which will examine the creation of smarter and more productive connections, physically and virtually.

Luxembourg and the UAE enjoy strong bilateral relations and a number of memoranda of understanding and cooperative agreements have been entered into between both countries in the areas of space exploration, financial services and non-oil trade. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation launched

posted on 25/10/2016

The Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, DIDI, was launched on Monday by Dubai Holding and Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, as part of government's efforts to develop design talent.

'The launch of DIDI supports the government's efforts to develop design talent in the region and the vision of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai a model for sustainable economic development based on innovation and productivity as outlined in the ‘Dubai 2021 Plan, said Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

"Dubai seeks to constantly enhance its capacity for sustainable development by driving innovation and creativity, and creating an environment for skilled graduates across sectors to acquire the skills that will enable them to meet the challenges of the job market. Today, we are launching a new platform that will support the development of creative talent not only in the UAE but also the region. This initiative will have a positive impact on sustainable economic growth both locally and regionally," Sheikh Hamdan added.

HH also said that DIDI serves to diversify higher education opportunities at a time when the fields of design and innovation are attracting more talent. Given the importance of innovation as a key driver of development across sectors, Dubai is taking the lead in establishing educational institutions that help students meet the requirements of the job market, thereby raising its profile as a hub for both talent and enterprises specialised in creativity and design.

Considered a new milestone in the UAE's efforts towards driving innovation by building regionally developed graduate design talent, plans for the development of DIDI in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Parsons were announced yesterday at an event hosted in the Dubai Design District (d3).

Driven by the ambitious goals the UAE has set for its economic and knowledge development, the institute is developing a first-of-its-kind curriculum aimed to empower students to design their own four-year educational journey, culminating in the region's first Bachelor of Design degree with cross concentrations in Product Design, Strategic Design Management, Media, Visual Art and Fashion Design.

The MENA Design Education Outlook study released by Dubai Design and Fashion Council in collaboration with d3 in May 2016, highlighted the need for at least 30,000 design graduates by 2019. The findings of this report led to the establishment of DIDI to support the sustainable growth of the regional design sector.

'Dubai Holding is constantly working to support Dubai's strategic development through various initiatives and creative clusters built on a foundation of innovation and creativity. We have been focused on building a knowledge based economy which contributes to Dubai's economic diversification, through the establishment of innovative clusters and specialised organisations that are capable of building capacities and developing the skills required to enhance various sectors, led by innovation. Today, almost 25,000 students from across the world are educated at institutes and universities located within our creative clusters,' said Fadel Al Ali, Chairman of the board, DIDI and CEO of Dubai Holding.

"The establishment of DIDI is a natural next step following the launch of d3, which is now a regional hub for innovation and a preferred destination for the world's leading fashion designers and artists. Students will be able to benefit from this unique location at the heart of the Creative Community at d3, which will provide them with the inspiration they need to innovate and create," Al Ali added.

Commenting on the milestone announcement, Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Chairperson, DDFC and CEO of TECOM Group said, "Developing talented youth and creativity are essential to achieving the goals outlined by His Highness to establish a sustainable economy, and innovation is key to his vision for Dubai to become the smartest city in the world, with creative industries, manufacturing and production sectors capable of competing with some of the most advanced counties across the globe."

"We constantly work to empower youth to take ownership of the journey towards a sustainable economy and a future led by innovation. DIDI will be a strategically critical platform for providing youth with the tools they need to drive the UAE's future development. By harnessing the expertise of world-class institutions such as MIT and Parsons and incubating students within the Creative Community at d3, DIDI students have the unique opportunity of getting a practical education from interacting directly with designers within the industry, and benefiting from their experience," she added.

Hashim Sarkis, Dean, MIT School of Architecture and Planning, added, "The announcement of DIDI affirms the growing importance of design as a means to improve the relationship between human beings and their environment, both in the UAE and globally. We could not be more enthusiastic about working with Dubai to nurture design talent and to promote design and design thinking as powerful tools for building a better world."

Joel Towers, Executive Dean, Parsons School of Design, said, "Design plays a key role in today's global economy, and it's exciting to see the burgeoning talent of design students in the Middle East. International collaboration strengthens the future of design and leads to creative and innovative ideas. We are pleased to be working with Dubai to develop DIDI as a way to inspire students and cultivate new approaches to design."

The first intake of students at DIDI is planned for Fall 2018. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Algerian boy wins Arab Reading Challenge

posted on 25/10/2016

Seven-year-old Mohammad Djeloud from Algeria emerged as the champion of the Arab Reading Challenge, the Middle East's largest initiative that encourages reading, and walked away with a prize of US$150,000.

Eighteen champions who represented their countries in the competition and the ten winners from each Arab country that took part in the challenge were also honoured.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday honoured Djeloud and the other winners of the first Arab Reading Challenge.

Talaih Al Amal High School in Palestine bagged the $1-million prize for the school with the best reading initiatives in the region.

Sheikh Mohammed presented the awards to the winners during a glittering closing ceremony held at Dubai Opera House and graced by more than 1,500 attendees, including Sheikhs, ministers, senior officials, dignitaries, delegates from 21 countries, representatives from the diplomatic missions accredited to the UAE in addition to parents of the winner students, organisers, headmasters of the winner schools and a host of local and international media.

Sheikh Mohammad launched the Arab Reading Challenge in September 2015, with the aim to encourage a million students in the Arab world to read 50 million books.

The challenge's 2015-2016 edition attracted 3.59 million students from 54 nationalities, representing 30,000 schools in 21 countries.

The total prize money for all the different categories was AED11 million. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE non-oil trade reached AED553.4 bn in first half of 2016

posted on 25/10/2016

The non-oil direct trade of the UAE increased by 3 percent to AED17.7 billion in the first half of the current year, reaching AED553.4 billion, well above the AED535.7 billion achieved during the same period last year.

Asia, Australia, and the Pacific regions retained top trading partners with a share of AED211.3 billion accounting for 39 percent of the total non-oil trade. Europe ranked second, with a share of AED139.9 billion (26 percent), and the Middle East and North Africa region came next with a share of AED92.9 billion (17 percent ).

America and the Caribbean with a share of AED55.1 billion (10 percent), while East and South Africa came last with a share of AED16.8 billion (3 percent), according to the latest figures of the Federal Customs Authority, FCA.

Saudi Arabia was the UAE top GCC non-oil trade partner with a share of AED18.4 billion, representing 36 percent of the UAE non-oil trade with GCC countries. Oman came next with a share of AED14.2 billion (27 percent), Qatar with a share of AED7.6 billion (15 percent), Kuwait with a share of AED6.1 billion (12 percent), and Bahrain with a share of AED5.3 billion (10 percent) of the UAE-GCC non-oil trade.

The UAE continues to reinforce its outstanding ranking on world trade map, and boost its role in facilitating trade exchange among countries during the first half of 2016. This is driven by the increasing activity rates in all economic sectors along with the advance of the state's competitiveness on many global indicators, Commissioner Ali Al Kaabi, FCA Chairman, said.

He added that the rates of trade exchange between the UAE and countries around the world grew during the first half of the current year despite global slowdown and the declining prospects for global trade growth; which underlines the effectiveness of the economic diversification policy adopted by the prudent leadership to diversify the sources of income and production, it also highlights the high competitiveness of the national products.

He also confirmed the keenness of the UAE to facilitate global trade and remove tariff and non-tariff barriers impeding trade with countries of the world.

The UAE's total direct non-oil foreign trade, in terms of weight, hit nearly 98.6 million tonnes during the first half of 2016, of which imports accounted for 38.8 million tonnes, exports 55.3 million tonnes, and re-exports 4.5 million tonnes.

The statistics show that raw gold and golden works ranked top in imported goods with a share of 16 percent which accounts for AED55.6 billion of total imports. Unmounted diamond came second with a share of AED24 billion (7 percent), then came car imports with a share of AED21.8 billion (6 percent), telephone handsets with AED17.3 billion (5 percent), and precious stones jewellery with a share of AED13.7 billion (4 percent) of total imports.

The UAE non-oil exports data also showed that raw gold and golden works ranked first with a share of AED28.1 billion accounting for 13 percent of the total exports, raw aluminium came next with a share of AED11.2 billion (13 percent), then precious stones jewellery AED9.5 billion (11 percent), polymers of ethylene in primary forms with a share of AED6.8 billion (8 percent), and publications with a share of AED2.3 billion (3 percent) of UAE total non-oil exports during the first half of 2016.

Unmounted diamonds ranked top among re-exports in the first half of 2016 with a share of AED25.1 billion (22 percent of re-exports). With a share of AED15.9 billion (14 percent), precious stone jewellery ranked second. Next came cars with a share of AED9.3 billion (8 percent), telephone handsets with a share of AED8 billion (7 percent), and aircraft parts with a share of AED3 billion (3 percent) of total re-exports.

Direct non-oil trade with GCC countries throughout the first half of 2016 accounted for 9 percent of the UAE's total world trade, according to the FCA. The trade value with the GCC countries during that period amounted to AED51.6 billion.

The FCA data showed that the total UAE non-oil trade with Arab countries during the first half of 2016 accounted for 17 percent of the UAE non-oil world trade, with an estimated value of AED95 billion. The UAE imports from Arab countries reached AED35.4 billion, while re-exports were AED13.3 billion worth. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Al Majaz Waterfront to complete its new extension by year-end

posted on 25/10/2016

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, has announced that it will finalise the new extension of Al Majaz Waterfront, a tourist destination in Sharjah, by the end of this year, at a total cost of AED 35 million.

The phase two extension project, that is currently 90 percent complete, will add 53,000 square feet to the total area, taking it to 284,000 square feet.

"Since its inauguration in 2012, the 231,000 square feet Al Majaz Waterfront has established itself as one of Sharjah's leading family and tourist destinations and one of the most popular attractions in the UAE. The park has witnessed increasing growth in its number of visitors and draws hundreds of thousands of UAE residents and tourists from across the globe. This underlines the importance of diversifying the tourism product in Sharjah and in providing world-class projects that cater to all family members visiting from across the emirates and internationally," said Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, COO of Shurooq.

"With the rising number of visitors each year, it was necessary for us to proceed with implementing the second phase of the project, which includes adding more world-class amenities that will further facilitate the park's growth. By the end of this phase, we will have ensured that the destination provides services that meet the highest international standards in hospitality, tourism, leisure and family-based activities. These additions will meet the needs and expectations of visitors and enable us to elevate the aesthetic and cultural scene of Sharjah and the UAE," he added.

Mohammed Fadhil Al Mazroui, Manager of Al Majaz Waterfront, said, "The new expansion adds to a number of key facilities, most notably a range of cafes and restaurants. We are carefully selecting these to ensure that they will provide the same level of unique services that Al Majaz Waterfront has become renowned for and to provide even more options for our visitors." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


New Ras al-Khaimah Port Free Zone area begins operations

posted on 25/10/2016

Ras al-Khaimah Port, one of the emirate's five port facilities, has now established a new free zone area that comes under the licence jurisdiction of RAK Maritime City Freezone Authority.

Commenting on the new facility, Captain Clifford Brand, CEO of Ras al-Khaimah Ports, said, "We believe that introducing a free zone alternative within RAK Port will prove popular with tenants looking for a location that is within the city and also directly connected to the port facility itself. Importantly, we have ensured that accessibility is not an issue for tenants and their customers, something that can be problematic given the high security levels that are naturally associated with ports. To accomplish this, new security access points have been established which will enable easier entrance, while still adhering to the established customs and free zone protocols. The objective is to enable our tenants and their clients to conduct their business as efficiently and rapidly as they would want to."

Justin Wardle, RAK Port's Operations Director, said, "We have purpose built warehousing ready of 1,512 and 1,944 square meters, and open land of up to 50,000 square meters. We believe that our affordable pricing structure is one that potential tenants will be interested in. The free zone areas have direct access to our Port Zone and its quays. The smaller warehousing site can be split into two 756 square meter options if required."

He explained that in addition to the free zone options, the Port Zone itself has a 1,944 square meter warehouse, and a further non-free zone area contains another 1,944 square meter warehouse and 2,000 square meters of open storage.

Mr. Wardle also confirmed that the existing services that the port provides will also continue. These include marine layby, afloat repair, logistics, import and export, crew and vessel services, warehousing, cold store warehousing and open land storage. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Noura Al Kaabi: Happiness and positivity in the workplace are the cornerstone to achieving strategic objectives

posted on 25/10/2016

The Ministry of Federal National Council Affairs has organised a workshop themed, "Corporate Happiness and Happy Employees", as part of its efforts to promote the concept of corporate happiness and positivity among employees.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, said, "Happiness and positivity in the workplace are the cornerstone of the Ministry's strategy and a catalyst for it to achieve its objectives. These goals require teamwork and innovation to come up with ideas and initiatives that enable the Ministry to carry out its responsibilities that stand to benefit all citizens, as well as society as a whole."

She went on to explain that the ministry is implementing the directives of the wise leadership of the UAE to develop the skillsets of the national workforce and provide them with the necessary resources to excel in the workplace, adding that happiness is a key factor in motivating employees to utilise their energy and creativity to play a part in turning the UAE into a global role model in terms of government work.

The workshop was also attended by Dr. Saeed Mohammad Al Ghafli, Assistant Under-Secretary for Federal National Council Affairs in the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Sami bin Adi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Support Services Sector as well as heads of departments and employees from the Ministry. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Masdar Institute to highlight academic offerings and scholarship opportunities at NAJAH 2016

posted on 25/10/2016

The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology will highlight innovative research projects and academic offerings of relevance to the UAE and region at the upcoming NAJAH Education and Career Fair 2016, beginning tomorrow at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The three-day fair is organised under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and is supported by the Abu Dhabi Education Council and the UAE Ministry of Education. It will gather stakeholders and key government organisations and educational institutions.

Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute, said, "Our participation will showcase the options for scientific research and learning as well as scholarship opportunities available at Masdar Institute for students, who would like to explore future energy and advanced technologies areas. For those interested in developing themselves into future leaders in science and technology, we offer the most appropriate platform for higher learning. We hope the event will offer visiting students an opportunity to explore our overall offerings for charting their future career."

Masdar Institute will be providing details about its world-class academic, research and outreach offerings at the fair, which holds its 10th edition this year. Students will also be on hand to share their on-campus experience with visitors, while faculty will give details about the Institute's academic and research offerings.

A dedicated outreach section at the stand will showcase the Young Future Energy Leaders, YFEL, programme, an outreach initiative by Masdar Institute. The programme focuses on raising the awareness of students and young professionals in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -