The UAE will host Expo 2020!
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Supported by the UAE National Media Council

NMC approves design for UAE Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai

posted on 01/05/2016

The National Media Council, NMC, on Saturday said it has selected architect Santiago Calatrava's design for the UAE Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai.

The design was approved by a jury including representatives from the NMC, Expo 2020 Dubai team, Masdar and Emaar.

Spaniard Santiago Calatrava's proposal was formally selected following a seven-month design competition managed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company. The contest saw 9 of the world's most renowned architectural firms submit 11 concepts.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State (Chairman of the Board of Director of NMC), said: "The proposed design of the UAE Pavilion captures the story we want to tell the world about our nation.

"Our late founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan used falconry expeditions to forge connections between tribes and to create a distinct national identity which ultimately led to the founding of the United Arab Emirates.

"Now, the falcon design will symbolise how we are connecting the UAE to the minds of the world and how as a global community we can soar to new heights through partnership and cooperation."

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, added: "The pavilion will be one of the Expo's greatest icons. The design will evoke the pioneering spirit and power of connections that transformed the UAE from a collection of small, desert communities, into a global connection point. The UAE pavilion will become an important cornerstone in our site and will have a legacy plan that will reflect our hopes and ambitions for the many years to come."

Speaking of his appointment, Calatrava said he is "deeply honoured" to have been chosen. "I am confident that the final design will be a symbol of the bold and daring spirit of the UAE, reflected in what is poised to be the most inclusive and global Expo in history," he added.

Located facing the Al Wasl Plaza, which lies at the centre of the 200-hectare exhibition zone, the UAE Pavilion – whose design will be inspired by a falcon in flight – will represent the UAE to 25 million visitors and participants from over 180 nations who are expected to visit the Expo from October 2020 to April 2021.

The pavilion is expected to cover up to 15,000 square meters and will include numerous exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets and VIP lounges. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Mohamed bin Zayed discusses fraternal ties with King of Morocco

posted on 01/05/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, held talks yesterday on ways to enhance fraternal relations and bilateral cooperation, as well as current regional and international developments.

Present were HRH Moulay Rachid, 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.

At the beginning of the talks, Sheikh Mohamed welcomed the King of Morocco and his accompanying delegation and expressed pleasure over his visit to the UAE. He also wished further developments to the two countries' ties, under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and King Mohammed VI.

The two sides reviewed fraternal relations in political, economic and developmental fields and ways to strengthen them in a way that will serve their common interests and the aspirations of their peoples.

Sheikh Mohamed praised the UAE's relations with Morocco, the foundation of which was laid by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and King Al Hassan II, and the same path followed by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and King Mohammed VI.

He noted that such relations should act as an example of bilateral ties among the Arab countries to overcome challenges through cooperation, coordination, consultation and brotherly dialogue that takes into consideration joint interests, progress, security and stability.

King Mohammed VI said he was proud of his country's strong bonds with the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and referred to the mutual keenness to enhance these relations on the basis of cooperation and solidarity.

The meeting discussed issues of mutual interest and latest regional and international developments.

At the end of the talks, the two sides reiterated the deep-rooted ties between their leaderships' keenness to develop them. They also welcomed the outcome of the GCC and Morocco summit, which was held in Riyadh recently and the strong cooperation, which was evident in the GCC stand by Morocco in maintaining unity of its territories.

The UAE and Morocco also emphasised the importance to coordinate stances and to consolidate efforts within the Arab framework to confront challenges and to counter terrorism and violence that undermine the region's security and stability, and to perpetuate the values of peace, tolerance and peaceful co-existence.

Present from the UAE side were H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, other ministers and senior officials.

In attendance from the Moroccan side were Moulay Abdellah Alaoui, Moulay Youssef Alaoui, Fouad Ali El Himma, Advisor to the King, Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mounir Majidi, Office Manager of the King's Special Secretariat and Mohammed Alaloui, Chamberlain of the Royal Court. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE decries targeting of civilians in Syria, especially in Aleppo

posted on 01/05/2016

The UAE has expressed its deep concern at the upsurge in attacks on civilians in Syria, especially in the city of Aleppo.

It described as "immoral' the targeting by the government forces of hospitals and essential medical services meant for the population languishing under siege and facing extremely difficult inhumane conditions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed its fear in a statement, saying, "Unwarranted escalation against the civilian population could undermine the political process and the ceasefire, which contributed positively to the reduction of violence suffered by the Syrian people."

The UAE called on all the warring parties in Syria, especially the Syrian government, "to sincerely and honestly work for the success of the political process and to de-escalate the violence against civilians, and facilitate the delivery of emergency relief aid to the areas under siege."

It also urged the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities, especially in the implementation of Resolution number 2254 and the need to spare the lives of Syrian civilians who are being subjected to fierce attacks as a result of the continued fighting and the determination to resolve matters militarily.

The UAE also called on the UN Security Council to urge the Syrian government to abide by the ceasefire and facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid to the besieged areas.

It reiterated its full faith in the political solution to the crisis in Syria through international terms of reference and stressed the need to comply with this framework, away from escalation and violence. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Amal Al Qubaisi meets Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament

posted on 01/05/2016

BRUSSELS: Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC) has met with Manfred Weber, Chairman of the Group of the European People's Party (EPP Group) in the European Parliament, at the EU headquarters in Brussels.

Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Zaabi, Second Deputy Speaker of FNC, and FNC members attended the meeting.

Weber welcomed Al Qubaisi and her accompanying delegation, stressing the importance of bilateral meetings and exchange of views in the light of the current challenges faced by world and the Middle East region, and the importance of parliamentary diplomacy to play its role in bridging the communication gaps among peoples.

Chairman of the EPP Group extended greetings to Amal Al Qubaisi for her election as the FNC Speaker, the first female Speaker of the Parliament in the Arab and the Middle East.

Al Qubaisi reviewed the UAE's effective and responsible role towards the regional and international issues based on dialogue, positive participation and resolving disputes through peaceful means as well as to create an appropriate environment for international relations based on the principles of good neighbourliness, moderation, tolerance and rejection of violence and extremism.

She also highlighted the efforts made by the UAE to build bridges between faiths, stressing the importance of joint action in this context to enhance peace, tolerance and coexistence values. She added that the country is adopting a strategic vision to reduce the dependence on oil exports and build a knowledge-based economy.

Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi discussed with Weber the developments in the Gulf and Arab world, referring to the UAE's participation in the Saudi-led Arab Coalition in Yemen, which is aimed at fighting terrorism, restoring peace and protecting the region from the Iranian interventions.

She called on the European official to support UAE's just cause for regaining legitimacy on its three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, which are occupied by Iran, and to back its call to resolve the issue whether through direct negotiations or by referring to the International Court of Justice.

At the end of the meeting, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi extended an invitation to Pittella to visit the UAE. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE makes tremendous efforts to contain crises, hot spots : Maytha Shamsi tells CICA

posted on 01/05/2016

BEIJING: The United Arab Emirates has made tremendous efforts to contain crises and hot spots in many countries of the world and provide much needed humanitarian assistance to refugees in conflict zones through bilateral, regional and international co-operation, Dr. Maytha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, told the Fifth Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, CICA.

The ministers met in Beijing on 27th and 28th April 2016 to exchange views on major regional and international issues.

'The UAE is committed to core principles endorsed by international law, including our commitment to respect the UN Charter and other international charters and laws, establishing good relations with other countries of the world based on mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, settling international disputes through dialogue and peaceful means and championing causes of justice and rights as well as contributing effectively to efforts aimed at solidifying pillars of international stability and peace,' Al Shamsi said while delivering the UAE's statement before the meeting.

Al Shamsi, who led the UAE delegation to the two-day meeting, noted that CICA was being convened at a time when the world was experiencing rapid changes that require us all to strengthen confidence and consolidate pillars of security so as overcome the difficulties which pose real challenges to all states.

The conference, she said, is of special significance as it tries to find a common ground for inter-state constructive co-operation with the prime goal of achieving stability, security and development in the region, promote values of tolerance and mutual understanding by resolving disputes through dialogue, confidence-building measures and the attainment of peace. This, she confirmed, will increase regional co-operation in various fields, including counter-terrorism.

She said that the UAE's leadership in humanitarian work and delivery of official development assistance at both regional and international levels had drawn commendation and appreciation from the UN and its humanitarian and relief agencies which support the UAE as a centre for supporting humanitarian causes and directing relief operations to other parts of the world so as to alleviate human suffering and preserve human dignity while moving towards the noble goals of safeguarding international stability, peace and security.

On climate change, the minister explained that the UAE backs practical measures, efforts and initiatives being made by the international community to mitigate the impacts of climate change. In this context, she added, the UAE's contributions and participation include a set of integrated packages regarding measures, laws and legislation, and global investment in renewable energy, as well as support for international efforts to deal with the global phenomenon.

Addressing international peace and security, the minister stressed the need for more concerted regional and international co-operation to counter terrorism, piracy, people-trafficking and cross-border crimes.

She also reaffirmed the UAE's commitment to international conventions and treaties on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons, the right of states to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and to back collective efforts aimed at tackling international challenges in this regard.

Concluding her statement, the minister called for CICA participating states to expand economic, trade and investment co-operation and encourage partnerships among themselves.

In his opening address on Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping reviewed the development of the security situation in Asia and the challenges ahead. He also called for win-win cooperation that will benefit the whole of the continent.

"We have to stick to dialogue and negotiation, in accordance with international law, to resolve disputes peacefully. Use dialogue to add trust, solve disputes, and promote security. We need to stick to, and spread the traditions of the Asian way, where countries respect each other, negotiate and care about each other's interests."

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, praised CICA's role in promoting mutual trust and Asian peace. Wang said that Asian countries are still facing terrorism, poverty, territorial disputes, nuclear proliferation and other issues.

He said that China is willing to work with other countries to find solutions.

"All sides are committed to abiding by the Charter of the United Nations and the basic principles of international law, as well as the CICA's aims and principles, in pursuit of joint comprehensive cooperation and sustainable security, and commitment to establishing security. That's in the line with the member countries' wishes, on the basis of mutual trust, friendly neighbourhood relations, and mutual cooperation," said Wang.

A declaration of the Fifth Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia called for promoting peace, security, stability and sustainable development in Asia through dialogue.

"We recognise that Asia and the world are undergoing complex and profound changes and reaffirm our commitment to the UN Charter and the universally recognised norms and principles of international law, in particular those enshrined in the Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations Between the CICA Member States and the Almaty Act,' the Declaration read.

"We reaffirm that in a globalised world, security has become an all-encompassing concept and countries in the region are sharing common interests in building a sustainable environment of peace and security. We should seek common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; respect each other's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and pursue further development and progress based on the common understanding that has been reached so far, and build a security environment that fulfils the expectation of the Member States based on commitment to mutual trust, good neighbourliness and cooperation among Member States.

"We express deep concern on the security challenge in Asia and beyond caused by the growing terrorist threat and actions of terrorist organisations, and strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Terrorist acts not only pose serious challenge to countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also constitute threat to regional and international peace, security and stability.

'We reaffirm that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group. We undertake to further strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation and fight, resolutely, on the basis of international law, including the UN Charter, against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, namely suppressing the provision of funds, support, shelter, training and allowing travelling, or provision of equipment to terrorists. We also agree to put in place specific measures and take necessary actions to deny terrorists' access to material resources, to dismantle their sanctuaries and training facilities and to curtail their ability to recruit and train terrorists, including foreign terrorist fighters.' "We also reaffirm our commitment to enhancing cooperation to combat transnational challenges of mutual concern including, among others, organised crime, illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons and cybercrime.

"We believe that promotion of economic growth and prosperity and the elimination of poverty, ignorance, and illiteracy, respect for human rights as well as promotion of access to justice, are critical to addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and extremism – including, but not limited to, prolonged unresolved conflicts. We stress the need to further conduct regional and sub-regional dialogue, strengthen multilateral cooperation and adopt appropriate measures to promote sustainable development, economic cooperation and the well-being of our people.

"We reiterate our shared desire to carry forward cooperation and mutual assistance, to stay committed to respecting religious and cultural diversity throughout the region and conducting inter-cultural and inter-civilisational dialogue and cooperation at national, regional and international levels. Within the framework of international law, all parties have equal rights and duties.

"We support various multilateral and national initiatives on dialogue among civilisations that are important instruments to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, to eradicate intolerance and promote peaceful co-existence among people of different religions or cultures."

Launched in 1992, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia is an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. It is a forum based on the recognition that there is close link between peace, security and stability in Asia and the rest of the world. CICA has 26 member states and 12 observer states and international organisations. The UAE joined CICA in 2008 and became an active member state. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


ADNOC to source latest oil and gas technologies at OTC 2016

posted on 01/05/2016

A high level delegation, from ADNOC and its diverse group of 21 subsidiaries, will source the latest offshore oil and gas technologies, at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC 2016), which will take place in Houston, in the United States, from May 2-5.

In addition to gaining technical knowledge and meeting with energy industry experts from around the world, the ADNOC delegation will also promote the UAE and Abu Dhabi as a global hub for the oil and gas sectors. American companies taking part in OTC 2016 will be invited to participate in the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC 2016), scheduled to be held on November 7-10.

Taking part in OTC for the ninth year under the theme ‘Driving a Sustainable Future through People and Innovation', ADNOC will showcase its offshore projects, as well as its environmentally-friendly initiatives that include sustainable energy systems, carbon capture, green fuels, carbon footprint reduction, emission and flaring reduction.

As part of ADNOC's collaborations with the US-Arab Chamber of Commerce and the Houston Abu-Dhabi Sister City Association to promote partnerships in the US-UAE oil and gas sectors, ADNOC delegates will host a dinner reception for senior oil and gas sector executives government officials, and diplomats, as well as take part in a number of networking events on the side-lines of the conference.

During OTC 2016, ADNOC scholars, who are studying in Texas, will attend the event to get acquainted with the best practices adopted by international oil and gas companies in terms of technology, resources and operational excellence.

The OTC is organised to promote and further the advance of scientific and technical knowledge of offshore resources and environmental matters.

A fully integrated oil and gas company that ranks amongst the world's biggest 10 energy giants, ADNOC has 21 subsidiary companies, with operations covering all aspects of upstream and downstream processes in the energy industry. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE, U.S. discuss cooperation on waste management and hazardous materials

posted on 01/05/2016

The UAE delegation has discussed with the U.S. federal and local government officials, ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the field of waste management and hazardous materials.

This came during the recent visit of the UAE delegation headed by Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi to the United States in coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi to identify best practices in the management of hazardous substances and wastes through the stages of their life cycle from production to disposal.

The UAE delegation included representatives from the General Directorate of Customs in Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company "ADNOC" and the Centre for Waste Management - Abu Dhabi "Tadweer", the Abu Dhabi Police and the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport, Abu Dhabi Ports, the Public Authority for the security of ports, borders, free zones, the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and others.

Al Mubarak said the hazardous materials pose a significant threat to public health and the environment if control is not tightened on all stages, including the use, transfer and stockpiling of these materials.

She pointed out that the visit availed an opportunity to meet with the U.S. counterparts and acquainted the UAE delegation with the best management practices for handling the hazardous waste, and to find opportunities for joint cooperation, including research and information exchange. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Etihad Airways finds good fit with deal to sponsor world’s top fashion events

posted on 01/05/2016

Etihad Airways has signed a deal to become the official airline of some of the world's top fashion week events as the Abu Dhabi carrier seeks to focus its sponsorship on fashion, food and football.

In a tie-up with the entertainment and sports management company WME | IMG, Etihad will become the official airline of 17 fashion week events around the world including New York, London, Milan, Berlin, Sydney and Mumbai.

Etihad partner airlines Alitalia, Jet Airways, airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Niki and Etihad Regional will also be involved in the deal, ferrying top models, designers, photographers and stylists between events and participating in fashion-focused offers and promotions.

Currency fluctuations, a slowdown in the Chinese economy, and changing global travel patterns are forcing sponsors such as Etihad to focus their sponsorship cash in the areas they believe will generate the biggest returns.

Etihad's first fashion week endorsement will be at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, which runs from May 15 to 20 in Sydney.

Etihad said that the move was part of a new sponsorship strategy in which the airline would put additional focus on "three core lifestyle interests that drive competitive advantage from sponsorship: food, fashion and football".

It said that future sponsorship deals would be aimed at increased collaboration across the Etihad Airways group to bring "brand development opportunities and economies of scale to all partners".

"This is a landmark deal because it goes beyond traditional sponsorship and is a world-first agreement for an airline group," said James Hogan, Etihad Airways' president and chief ¬executive.

The news follows Etihad's announcement last month that it would tie up with WME | IMG to sponsor its 14 foodie-focused Taste Festivals taking place around the world in 2016, including Taste of London and Taste of Dubai.

Known around the world as the sponsor of Manchester City, Etihad sponsors more than 100 sports and cultural events around the world. The airline has extended its endorsements of football clubs around the world to include ¬Major League Soccer in the United States, Melbourne City Football Club and New York City Football Club as well as the UAE's Al Ain Football Club and Al Ittihad Football Club.

It also sponsors the For¬mula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Abu Dhabi Tour, Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship and Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Etihad also sponsors the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship as well as England national teams for men's, women's and disability cricket. – The National -


Dubai Parks and Resorts hotel to open by end of 2016

posted on 01/05/2016

Marriott International has announced its Lapita Hotel, nestled in the Dubai Parks and Resorts complex, will open by Q4 2016.

The hotel group is also set to open the first Renaissance hotel in the emirate later this year, taking its portfolio of new hotels to nine by 2018.

The Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai will be a 298-room hotel aimed at business and leisure travellers.

Details of the brand's UAE debut come as the travel company plans to open an additional four hotels in the country in 2016.

Amongst the 2016 openings is Abu Dhabi's first Marriott Hotel, the 315-room five-star Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, as well as the 64-suite Marriott Executive Apartments Downtown Abu Dhabi.

Scheduled 2016 openings also include the 86-room La Ville Hotel City Walk Dubai, the Autograph Collection, the 68-suite La Ville Apartments City Walk, the 500-room Lapita Hotel Autograph Collection, all of which are set to open by the fourth quarter of this year.

Speaking ahead of this week's Arabian Travel Market 2016 (ATM), Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa of Marriott International, said in a statement: "The Renaissance Downtown Hotel Dubai will be a truly unique offer within the UAE hospitality sector as it is a highly appealing lifestyle option for both business and leisure travellers.

"The debut, alongside the opening of our flagship Marriott Hotels brand and two other Autograph Collection properties make for a very attractive luxury lifestyle proposition in the UAE.”

Along with the new Renaissance Hotel, the UAE is also slated to bring two Autograph Collection hotels this year.

Lapita Hotel, Autograph Collection, will be a Polynesian-themed resort and located in the centre of Dubai Parks and Resorts.

The other property is a boutique style property at City Walk Dubai, La Ville Hotel and Apartments Citywalk, Autograph Collection.

These properties will join the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa – the region's first Autograph Collection hotel, which was added to Marriott International's portfolio in 2014.

Along with these openings, 2016 is also slated to see the opening of a Marriott Executive Apartments property in Abu Dhabi.

Diane Mayer, Vice President and Global Brand Manager - Residence Inn by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartments, said: "Across the region and within the UAE specifically, we are seeing demand rising for luxurious and long-term extended stay accommodation and we are perfectly positioned with the scheduled opening of the new Marriott Executive Apartments property, Abu Dhabi's first, in 2016.

"Today it's not only the executive traveller who seeks out an extended stay property, but also families who are looking for a home-like environments where they can still experience the comfort and convenience that they would benefit from in a hotel.”

The five property openings planned for this year will be amongst nine Marriott International properties, representing over 2,000 rooms, scheduled to open in the UAE by 2018.

Among the Marriott International openings will be the region's first Edition and Bulgari Hotels – both set to open in 2017.

At present, Marriott International operates nearly 150 properties across the Middle East and Africa region, representing nine brands in 19 countries.

By 2020 the hotel company will add a further 93 properties and approximately 19,000 rooms within the region for a total of 240 properties and 40,000 rooms. – Emirates 24│7 -


Shurooq promotes three women to senior leadership positions

posted on 01/05/2016

In a move to support and empower women, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), has issued an administrative resolution promoting three women leaders working at the authority.

The promotions are in line with the UAE's national strategy for the empowerment of Emirati women and with Shurooq's strategic vision to boost its human resources and enable outstanding female employees to assume positions of higher leadership.

The directive sees Marwa Obaid Al Shamsi promoted to Al Noor Island Manager, Hessah Sultan promoted to Director of the Department of Public Relations and Corporate Marketing at Shurooq and Reem Al Badran promoted to Director of Shurooq's Protocol and Hospitality.

"Emirati women enjoy the full support and attention of our wise leadership, which spares no effort in providing them with all forms of empowerment. Women are now routinely being given opportunities to reach senior positions and to realise their talents in a variety of top roles, with females now working as ministers, governmental members and high-profile directors," said Sheikha Bodour.

"This stems from the leadership's belief in the importance of the women's role in the development of society and the nation, which comes from ensuring that their career advancement is on an equal footing with their male counterparts. These efforts have awarded the UAE to be ranked first in the world for treating women with respect, according to the global Social Progress Index."

She added, "Since its inception in 2009, Shurooq has given women special importance and created a series of teams with outstanding female staff in keeping with the UAE's approach to empowering women. Our female personnel have accomplished numerous achievements in different sectors and have been a dedicated source for Shurooq's success. Through these new appointments we aim to give our women's team members greater opportunities and to inspire them to lead the company to even greater heights."

Commemorating the trio's remarkable achievements, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), said, "It pleases me to see how far we've grown not just from a business perspective, but from a perspective of empowerment and creating the most inspiring and aspiring female cadres in our workforce.."

He added that their achievements today reflect the depth of their dedication and leadership in taking on responsibilities and challenges which made Shurooq the leading development authority that it is today. Under the leadership of Sheikha Bodour "our objective for all our staff, male or female, is to create a sustainable work environment and solid platform that stems from equality, cooperation, support, leadership and innovation allowing them to create their own success stories through Shurooq."

Prior to her new appointment, Marwa Al Shamsi served as the Deputy Manager of Al Montazah Amusement and Water Park, a tourist destination run by Shurooq. She explained, "The best part from this experience was the level of support, training and attention Shurooq provided me with as part of its overall model to keep their staff involved in all its progresses and development. Shurooq played a big role in building my confidence and character during my 8-year career experience with them, an advantage which I am highly grateful for. I would like to also thank Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi for this honourable opportunity and for her symbolic role in creating a successful and empowering environment for women in the workforce."

Marwa concluded, "Shurooq's diversification in its tourism projects hold a library of knowledge, insights and experience, which I'm certain to learn a lot from. I'm looking forward to my new role as Al Noor Island Manager, which will definitely focus on managing and sustaining the project's image as one of Sharjah's leading tourism destination for authentic culture, heritage and natural experience." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


10, 000 workers observe International Workers' Day in 7 locations in Abu Dhabi

posted on 01/05/2016

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, has stressed that the ministry's celebration of the International Workers' Day, which falls on 1st of May each year, is a recognition of the role that labourers played in the comprehensive development being experienced by the UAE, led by its wise leadership.

He added that observing this event boosts the workers' status in the society, and further sheds light on their rights, which are protected by the government.

Sheikh Nahyan said the theme, "Emirates of Zayed Gathers Us," evokes values and legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, who had during his lifetime sponsored and supported the labourers, and hence became the international symbol of compassion and generosity.

He added that the UAE and its leadership are still on the track chalked out by Sheikh Zayed to support the workers to promote the communal cohesion advocated by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Sheikh Nahyan praised the role of partners of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development in sponsoring such a large event.

Sheikh Nahyan's remarks came as the ministry organised Labour Day activities at seven different locations in Abu Dhabi under the theme: "Emirates of Zayed Gathers Us." The sessions were attended by over 10, 000 workers.

He said, "We meet today as a mark of love for Emirates of philanthropic Zayed, which brings us together in the framework of unity, fraternity, solidarity and co-existence." He also expressed his satisfaction at being among the UAE workers who had come from different countries "to stay among us in the UAE. We are proud of their contribution to the nation building and progress."

The UAE minister paid rich tribute to the labourers, citing their loyalty and dedication towards building the UAE. He pledged his full support to this essential category of the society.

For his part, Mohan Jashanmal, Chairman of the Indian Professional Business Group, said the UAE passed through different stages, characterised by several kinds of success until it reached the knowledge economy stage, thanks to the shrewd vision of the late Sheikh Zayed and follow up by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Other dignitaries expressed their pride in the values of tolerance and co-existence that prevail in the UAE.

The workers who represent various nationalities expressed their satisfaction at participating in the events graced by four ministers and other senior officials.

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, Afra Al Saberi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, and a number of Arab and foreign ambassadors, senior local and federal officials and representatives of expatriate residents were present.

Sheikh Nahyan unveiled the memorial plaque presented to him by the workers in recognition of the UAE and its leadership.

The ceremony included cultural and assorted contests and offering of prizes to encourage participants to develop their knowledge and cultural abilities. There was a session to detect workers who have talents in singing, diction and acting. They were given a chance to present them on the stage. There were also health education programmes and medical and preventive check-ups, as well as cultural performances, including a film highlighting the UAE's past, present, and the various development phases it has witnessed.

The programmes also included presentation of popular and traditional dishes from various countries. Gifts were distributed to workers at their headquarters on Yas Island and seven locations in the industrial zones. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


‘Smart’ Jebel Ali police station officially inaugurated

posted on 01/05/2016

The environment-friendly Jebel Ali police station was officially opened on Thursday.

Dubai Police Chief Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina and Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant to the Dubai Police Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, and other police officials officially opened the building, which has been in operation for months.

The new building is fitted with the latest smart technologies, and follows green building standards.

Maj Gen Al Mazeina said moving the station from the old building near Jebel Ali Port to the new one on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road was approved after discussions and studies that took the Dubai's development into consideration.

Dubai will also be getting six such new police stations in the near future. Maj Gen Al Mazeina said two of them will be new stations — in Al Khawaneej and Al Aweer — and the other four will be replacements of existing stations in Bur Dubai, Al Faqa'a, Hatta and Lahbab. – Gulf News -


New street names represent UAE culture and values

posted on 01/05/2016

Some new street names in Abu Dhabi can be tongue-twisters for expatriates, but the woman in charge of the Onwani project says the names are of great cultural significance.

Street names such as Ghmaysah, Qarn 'Uwyan, Al Nashrah and Al Meel – all in areas off Muroor Road – may leave people scratching their heads, but Badriyah Al Shehhi said they were known among Emiratis and expatriates would get used to them.

The manager of the Department of Municipal Affairs' addressing division oversees Onwani, a project to name about 18,000 streets across Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain and the Western Region.

The division, which has to name 6,000 streets in the capital, has covered 1,000 of them.

"Locals love these names, as we are very much familiar with these names and it doesn't sound unusual to us," said Ms Al Shehhi, adding that people faced pronunciation difficulties anywhere in the world.

"These names belong to our local culture. We need other nationalities to get familiar with our culture, understand its meaning and its roots."

Ghmaysah is in Al Nadhra, in the Western Region, while Al Nashrah denotes flags hoisted on the rooftops of houses marking the return of the owner from Haj, or the arrival of an important guest or newborn.

Al Meel is a settlement in the Western Region that is home to an ancient castle of the same name, and Qarn 'Uwyan is a place in Masaken, in the Eastern Region.

Qarn is a sandy hill covered by protruding rocks and 'Uwyan is a bend or twist.

Emiratis said it was fitting that the emirate's street names should be given a local flavour.

"If you go to France you will find purely French names. I am not familiar with that and find it difficult to read but it represents their language, identity and culture, and we should respect that," said Saeed Janahi, an Abu Dhabi resident.

"It's just a matter of time. Gradually you start pronouncing these names as locals do.

"In fact, young generations forgot the old names and places that were related to their culture and identity, so these names will remind them and create curiosity to find its cultural significance."

The street names being adopted are generally the names of people, places and islands in remote regions of the emirate.

A team of researchers came up with the names to use in Onwani, examining each and cross-examining it with historical records to see if it should be used.

"Teams have reviewed all historical backgrounds and records of these names and worked on accurate pronunciation," Ms Al Shehhi said. "If you go to any country you find names you don't understand but that's their culture, and they are familiar with those names."

Another Emirati, Abdullah Al Shakeeli, said: "I love the Arabic names and it's easy to pronounce, as it's our own language.

"Those expatriates who don't know or understand, it's a good opportunity for them to try to learn our language and culture."

Anyone who wished to understand the historical significance and meaning of the new street names can scan the QR code on each signpost. – The National -


Mohammed bin Rashid attends English 2000 Guineas Classic at Newmarket racecourse

posted on 01/05/2016

Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, yesterday attended the 2000 English Guineas Classic at Newmarket racecourse.

He was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance.

Godolphin Team's Hawkbill, ridden by William Buick, won the New Market Stakes, and Folkswood galloped to win the Handicap Stakes race.

The event was attended by a number of Sheikhs, owners and fans. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Marwan bin Ghalita elected president of UAE Football federation

posted on 01/05/2016

Marwan bin Ghalita has been elected as president of the UAE Football Association for the new term 2016/ 2020.

bin Ghalita got 19 votes during the elections that took place this morning at the National Archives in Abu Dhabi. The other contender, Yousuf al-Serkal, received 15 votes.

Abdullah Nasser Al Junaibi and Saeed Obaid Al Teneiji were elected as vice-presidents of the UAE Football Association. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –