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Mohammed bin Rashid opens world’s first 3D printed office

posted on 24/05/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, stated that the UAE has emerged as one of the major incubators of innovation and future technology in the world today, and its focused initiatives to shape the future have become global models that can be emulated in all sectors.

"We implement what we plan, and we pursue actions not theories. The rapidly changing world requires us to accelerate our pace of development, for history does not recognize our plans but our achievements," His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said while the opening of the ‘Office of the Future', the first 3D-printed office in the world. The unique building on the Emirates Towers premises will house the temporary office of the Dubai Future Foundation.

Present were H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation His Highness stated: "We announce today the opening of the first 3D-printed office in the world, after less than a month of launching Dubai 3D printing strategy which showcases a modern model of construction. This is an experience we present to the world on implementing future technology in our lives, and it represents a new milestone for the UAE as a global leader in strategic achievements."

He added: "We see this project as a case study that will benefit regulators as well as research and development centres at the regional and international levels on real application of 3-D printing technology. We are documenting this experience and building on it to take advantage of the most important lessons, which will serve as reference points to take this technology to new levels."

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed pointed out that the competitive advantages of 3-D printing in terms of lower costs and faster delivery will make the UAE one of the most important sustainable economic hubs, enabling the effective use of this technology to establish future cities in all sectors.

Universal innovative design and competitive cost: The first 3D-printed office building of its kind in the world prepared for actual use has taken into account the integration of a unique building design and 3D-printing technology to offer key services within the building, such as electricity, water, telecommunications and air-conditioning.

The office space covers up to 250 square metres, while the exterior design reflects the most innovative forms of future work place. The design has been conceived to achieve a shift from the traditional form of work environments and provide greater opportunities to stimulate innovation and communication between work place teams. It also offers the possibilities for joint work with experts and innovators from around the world, and a platform to inspire ideas and develop relations between employees by establishing new methods for brain storming sessions and creating a healthy and happy environment. The design also offers space for exhibitions and workshops as well as other events.

The 3D-printed office was constructed using a special mixture of cement and a set of building material designed and made in the UAE and the United States. These materials have undergone a range of tests in both China and the United Kingdom to ensure their reliability. An arc shape was adopted for the building for safety purposes and to ensure the stability of the building.

Innovative features have been adopted in the office building to reduce energy consumption such as window shades to offer protection from direct sunlight and keep the building cool. Latest technology has been used in the management of information systems within the building.

A 3D-printer measuring 20 feet high, 120 feet long and 40 feet wide was used to print the building. The printer features an automated robotic arm to implement printing process.

The labour involved in the printing process included one staff to monitor the function of the printer, in addition to a group of seven people to install the building components on site as well as a team of 10 electricians and specialists to take care of the mechanical and electrical engineering. As a result, the labour cost was cut by more than 50% compared to conventional buildings of similar size.

In order to manage the execution of the project, additional mobile printers were located at the construction site, in addition to the use of advanced computers to help ensure quality control, facilitate the printing processes, and form effective and productive basement for different projects requirements.

The full model took only 17 days to print after which the internal and external designs were adopted. The office was installed on site within two days, which is significantly faster than traditional construction methods involving A category office buildings in such an innovative project.

The initiative comes as part of Dubai 3-D Printing Strategy, which is a unique global initiative aimed to harness this promising technology for the service of humanity and promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a leading global centre of 3-D printing by 2030. The strategy focuses on three main sectors: construction, medical products, and consumer products.

The opening ceremony was attended by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, and a number of senior officials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE joins Convention on Migratory Species, reaffirms strong commitment to international raptor and dugong conservation

posted on 24/05/2016

The Convention on Migratory Species, CMS, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, and Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, EAD, have committed themselves to advancing their cooperation to conserve migratory species of wild animals, with the UAE's recent accession to CMS as its 123rd member state, and the extension of the long-standing financial and in-kind support of CMS Office - Abu Dhabi by EAD on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi Emirate The accession of UAE to CMS reinforces the already strong links between the country and the CMS family. The UAE has been a key partner in developing and supporting CMS agreements on migratory birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MoU) and dugongs (Dugong MoU). The country is also a signatory of specialised CMS agreements on migratory sharks and marine turtles. All four instruments have action plans that catalyse national-level conservation activities with the aim of coordinating these across the species' migratory paths through international cooperation. The UAE has long recognised the importance of international cooperation to conserve migratory species.

Welcoming UAE to the convention, Dr. Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of CMS, said, "The accession of UAE to CMS builds on the leadership it has already been demonstrating regionally with respect to migratory species conservation. We look forward to the UAE continuing to project its leadership at a global level."

"The UAE has a rich diversity of marine and avian fauna. The country's long coastline boasts an abundance of marine wildlife such dugongs, whales, dolphins, marine turtles and sharks, and provides resting and foraging grounds for migratory birds on the Eurasian and Central Asian flyways, with migratory falcons playing an integral part of our national cultural heritage," he said.

The UAE, being a contracting party to Ramsar, CITES and the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD, recognises the importance of developing synergies in its implementation of CMS and other treaties through the UAE National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, 2014 - 2020.

"We, and our future generations, are defined by the environments in which we live. The conservation of our environment at a time of growth and global climate change is the bedrock of a strong and prosperous economy and society while also providing an important link to our UAE heritage. That is why we see it as one of the highest priorities on our government's agenda and we will continue to play a key part within the international efforts on issues relating to biodiversity and wildlife. Today's important announcement is an important step in this work", said Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

Since 2009, significant financial and in-kind contributions from EAD on behalf of the Government of the UAE have supported the operation of CMS Office - Abu Dhabi, which provides secretariats coordinating the Raptors and Dugong MOUs. Extending the arrangement by which the office was established in Abu Dhabi, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of EAD, and Dr. Bradnee Chambers signed an agreement in Abu Dhabi and Bonn, respectively.

"The Gulf hosts the world's second largest dugong population, with the greatest numbers found in the waters off the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The UAE lies along the migratory pathway for 42 of the 93 species of African-Eurasian migratory birds of prey under the Raptors MoU, including the threatened Sooty Falcon, the endangered Saker Falcon and the Egyptian Vulture as well", Dr. Chambers said.

Al Mubarak added, "For many years we have been amassing technical expertise and data on the status of migratory and resident species populations in the UAE and using this information to develop appropriate protection and management strategies. Given the migratory nature of so many species, it is only fitting that we support other nations in the development of their conservation plans. By working together in a cohesive manner, we multiply our chances of success."

Al Mubarak continued, "The Raptors and Dugong MoUs support the conservation actions of Abu Dhabi and the entire UAE. They provide a platform for the nation to co-operate regionally with other countries that share these migratory animals as they pass through our country at different times of the year. Migratory species play an important role in the UAE's culture and heritage and are critical elements in maintaining environmental health and quality of life, while also contributing significantly to economic sectors such as fisheries and tourism."

EAD's support has enabled CMS Office - Abu Dhabi to undertake a wide range of carefully targeted activities. Major intergovernmental initiatives have included developing partnerships, holding meetings of MOU signatories, hosting expert group meetings, developing single and multi-species action plans, and leveraging multilateral finance for conservation projects in developing countries.

Lyle Glowka, Head of CMS Office - Abu Dhabi, noted that the office represents a unique collaboration between CMS and EAD to conserve migratory species for the benefit of present and future generations. "EAD and CMS share the same values. This, combined with EAD's significant investment, support and technical expertise, has been critical to our mission of promoting international cooperation across the vast range of the migratory animals we work on, and is one of the many ways the UAE has demonstrated its leadership on migratory species conservation," he said.

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, administered by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, is the only global biodiversity-related treaty specialising in the conservation and sustainable use of a wide array of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species, their habitats and migration routes. Contracting Parties to CMS work individually and cooperatively to ensure a favourable conservation status for migratory species across their range. At present, there are 123 Parties to the Convention. The CMS Secretariat's headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Five sea turtles released in Sharjah to mark World Turtle Day

posted on 24/05/2016

Five endangered turtles were released into the Arabian Gulf on World Turtle Day on Monday after being nursed back to health by marine biologists at Sharjah Aquarium.

The four adult hawksbill turtles and a green turtle were returned to the sea at Al Hamriya Beach in the emirate.

Despite international conventions prohibiting the hunting and trading of sea turtles, the global population of hawksbill turtles has plunged 80 per cent in three generations.

"Sometimes they get hit by a boat. Sometimes they try swallowing plastic thinking it's a jellyfish. The turtles are brought to us for different reasons and we try to nurse them back to health before releasing them," said Rashed Al Shamsi, Sharjah Aquarium's curator.

For the past six years the aquarium has been rehabilitating turtles and other marine animals with the aim of reintroducing them into the wild.

"One of the main things we do is to take care of all the environmental species. One of these tasks is to make sure that they are represented in the aquarium and that we give back to the environment," said Mr Al Shamsi.

However, preventing turtle populations from contracting would require international collaboration in conservation efforts, he said.

This week the Emirates Wildlife Society and World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF) launched a four-year programme for scientists to track turtles.

"Partnerships play a key role in our efforts to drive the course of conservation," said Marina Antonopoulou, a marine programme leader at EWS-WWF.

"We are actively looking for sponsors willing to support us in our efforts to conserve endangered marine species, such as marine turtles, and critical habitats in the UAE."

Sea turtles are being threatened by coastal development, climate change, harvesting of turtle eggs at nesting beaches, pollution and being accidentally caught in fisheries.

Manal Ataya, director general of Sharjah Museums Department, said it was the role of museums and aquariums to educate the public about the need to act as custodians of the environment.

"Sharjah Museums Department is reaching out to the community to spread awareness of the need to ensure a sustainable future for our precious marine resources," she said. – The National -


Climate change could lead to more dust storms in UAE, study shows

posted on 24/05/2016

More dust storms could be in store for the Arabian Peninsula, scientists warn.

Naturally occurring dust particles are among the major airborne pollutants in the region, affecting human health, solar panels and machinery.

As human populations grow and the impact of climate change becomes more pronounced, the danger is expected to increase.

Scientists in Saudi Arabia, Germany and Cyprus used satellite data to study aerosol optical depth – the ability of airborne particles to absorb or diffuse light – over the Arabian Peninsula from 2000 to 2015. It indicated the amount of dust particles and other pollutants in the air.

"During the past decade, from satellite observations, we know the amount of particles has increased dramatically," said Klaus Klingmuller, a co-author of the study and a post-doctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz.

"We were able to relate this increase to the increasingly dry conditions in the northern part of the Middle East – in areas of Iraq and Syria," he said.

The increase in dust particles occurred between 2001 and 2012, after which conditions eased, said Dr Klingmuller.

The scientists believed that as temperatures increased as a result of climate change, general drying would probably lead to more dust storms.

The research was published days after a paper which examined the link between climate change and rising temperatures. It warned that hotter summers might be in store for the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries.

However, there is evidence to suggest a strong link between rising levels of greenhouse gases and temperature increases, but the correlation between climate change and the rise in dust storms is not so clear, according to Dr Klingmuller.

"It is a bit difficult to give precise numbers," he said, when asked to project the number of dust storms in the future.

It is difficult to quantify how climate change will increase the occurrence of dust storms because there are other factors at play.

In Iraq and Syria, political turmoil had played a part in drying out agricultural lands, increasing the potential for the creation of dust, said Prof Georgiy Stenchikov, chairman of the Earth sciences and engineering programme at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

Unrest in both countries had also slowed down industrial activity, which had reduced the amount of man-made pollutants released into the atmosphere, he said.

Prof Stenchikov believed that man-made pollution – from car engines, petrochemical factories and other industrial facilities – and how they interacted with airborne dust was a key factor that had been overlooked.

The region's high temperatures could cause dust particles to react with man-made pollutants in ways that had not been observed in other places, he said.

That meant that observations made in cities in areas lying between 35 and 55 degrees north or south of the equator could differ from those in cities in the Gulf, he said.

"Dust provides surfaces for heterogeneous reactions, it can get compounds, dangerous compounds that we could not see in other places," said the professor.

"To protect buildings and to protect people, we have to know site distribution and chemical composition.

"We know that dust in some places affects machinery and in other places it doesn't, and this depends on the chemical composition of this dust and we do not have good databases that tell us about this."

"Dust is not always harmful, as deposition of dust into the sea provides nutrients for marine microorganisms.

"You cannot remove dust from the system, it plays its role. You have to understand it better."

The findings were published in a paper titled Aersol Optical Depth Trend over the Middle East in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. – The National -


Solar Impulse 2 due to take off for Pennsylvania

posted on 24/05/2016

Solar Impulse 2 is expected to take to the air again on Tuesday headed for Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.

The latest leg of the round-the-world attempt will see the experimental aircraft set off from Dayton, Ohio at about 2pm UAE time.

Pilots Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard have been alternating pilot duties on the mission, with Piccard due to take the controls on the upcoming leg.

"I will be flying #Si2 tomorrow to Lehigh Valley, #Pennsylvania with the #WrightBrothers in my thoughts," tweeted Piccard.

Dayton was the home of aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright, who, in 1903, invented the first powered aircraft.

After landing in Pennsylvania, Solar Impulse 2 will then fly to its final US stop in New York, before attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

The Masdar-sponsored project, which began in Abu Dhabi in March 2015 and is expected to end there, aims to be the first to fly around the world using only the power of the sun. – The National -


Hamdan bin Mohammed, Abdullah bin Zayed attend part Expo 2020 Dubai workshops

posted on 24/05/2016

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, yesterday attended part of the Expo 2020 Dubai workshops, which were launched yesterday at Emirates Towers, Dubai.

The two-day long workshops, are organised by Expo 2020 Dubai office in which representatives from more than 130 states, members of the general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) based in Paris, took part. H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee Chairman was also present.

On the first day, nine sessions were held. The first session was inaugurated by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, Director-General for Expo 2020 Dubai. She welcomed the guests whose countries will feature at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Al Hashimy explained the plans and strategies to make the event a success and an international cultural, tourist and economic phenomenon, reflecting the UAE's culture and other world cultures.

The Secretary-General of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, commended the plans and strategies of Dubai to host the world event expected to woo over 20 million visitors. He expressed his admiration about the site of the event, which is 50 km away from downtown Dubai, adding that the site will be accessible for transport for visitors and movement of logistics.

Sheikh Abdullah spoke during the sixth session about the importance of international relations in consolidating peace, stability and sustainable development. He said the UAE established its international relations to build global community based on understanding, dialogue, mutual respect and equality. Sheikh Abdullah said all these principles are enshrined in the heart of the UAE foreign policy.

He welcomed the countries participating at the Expo 2020 Dubai, adding that the UAE opens its arms for all peace-loving friendly and sisterly countries to ensure justice, equality and happiness for all peoples worldwide.

For his part, Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy stressed the strength of the UAE economy, impact of the Expo on the national economy and opportunities expected to be offered by the UAE and Expo Dubai.

The Crown Prince of Dubai welcomed the guests and expressed his satisfaction at this unprecedented gathering in Dubai city, which will be a focus of the world in the next few years. He praised the efforts of Expo 2020 Dubai and Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, whose preparations will be culminated with a huge global success, comes 2020. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


IRENA celebrates first five years, looks ahead to next five

posted on 24/05/2016

Yesterday, at its headquarters in Masdar City, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) gathered Member State representatives, international stakeholders and local leaders to celebrate its fifth year of operations. Since its first Assembly, 80 additional countries have joined the Agency bringing its total membership to 148, with 28 more countries in the process of joining.

"The five years since the establishment of IRENA as a fully-fledged intergovernmental organisation have seen unprecedented development in the deployment of renewable energy at a global scale," said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General. "Renewable energy has emerged from the margins of the global energy system and is increasingly seen as the solution to a myriad of challenges including climate change, air pollution, energy security, energy poverty and sustainable economic development."

"IRENA's presence at Masdar City has been a source of pride for us. As an international force behind implementing renewable energy solutions around the globe we believe that IRENA's mission is aligned with UAE's commitment towards diversifying its economy and expanding its renewable energy sector," said Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

"We are proud of what the agency has achieved in the past five years, and we feel that its strategic efforts has had an instrumental effect on advancing the renewable energy sector both locally and globally."

"Germany has supported IRENA from the very beginning and it is great to see the success of this truly global agency in such a short time," said Rainer Baake, State Secretary at the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. "Renewables have undergone an incredible development in the past five years. A change in our energy landscape is taking place and this trend must be accelerated in the coming years. IRENA can support this transition with sharp analysis and concrete advice on the ground. May IRENA's voice become even louder in the future."

The evening highlighted the successes of IRENA and of the renewable energy sector over the last five years. In addition to substantial development and growth in renewable energy capacity, investment, jobs and policies, a flourishing system for international cooperation on renewable energy has emerged. IRENA's engagement with more 175 countries is producing outcomes that are filling knowledge gaps, strengthening domestic capacities, informing policies, highlighting the business case and raising awareness about the many benefits of renewable energy.

"The growth of IRENA as an Agency is not just an IRENA success, but rather a testament to the strong commitment to renewable energy worldwide," said Amin. "IRENA was created to support and accelerate the ongoing global energy transition. Together with the strong support of our Members, we have made great strides in our first five years. We expect even greater achievements in the years to come."

To push forward the work of the Agency into its next five years, more than 300 high-level government representatives from 94 countries will gather for IRENA's 11th Council meeting tomorrow in Abu Dhabi. Composed of 21 IRENA Members, the Council meets twice annually to facilitate cooperation among Members, oversee implementation of the IRENA work programme and complete substantive preparations for the Agency's annual Assembly. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE jumps up infrastructure investment index

posted on 24/05/2016

The UAE jumped into the top 5 of Nabarro infrastructure index, which rates 25 countries across the world in terms of investment attractiveness. The latest index, presented by the international law firm in Dubai on Monday evening, follows the Infrastructure Index 2012, when the UAE was ranked in 12th place.

The new index rates the UAE as a more attractive investment location that European powerhouses France and Germany. Only the UK, Canada, US and Australia are more highly rated.

The index takes into account tax environment, the availability of credit and the country's economic stability, national stability, the ease of doing business, level of private participation, and sustainability and innovation.

The report notes, "The UAE owes its spot in the top five of the index due to its efforts to rebalance its economy. Its tax environment tied with Saudi Arabia for second place. Its credit and stability score tied with Australia.”

The report marked Dubai as "one to watch”, noting that Expo 2020 meant an additional $8.1 billion (Dh29.7 billion) of public investment into new infrastructure, including the 16-lane bridge over the $2 billion Dubai Water Canal.

However, it noted that the emirate now faced serious rivals as the regions financial hub.

Saudi Arabia lies in 13th place, with Qatar at 15, Kuwait at 16, Jordan at 23 and Egypt in 25th place.

The report suggested that although Saudi Arabia still hoped to spend $100b on transport projects over the next 10 years, it could cut investment by up to 10 per cent as a result of low oil prices, which were starting to have a serious impact on Middle East economies.

It said Saudi Arabia still needed better infrastructure to cope with the influx of people making pilgrimage to Makkah.

Nabarro Infrastructure Index 2016

Top 10 (index score)

1. UK (174)

2. Canada (161)

3. US (153)

4. Australia (152)

5. UAE (142)

6. Germany (128)

7. Singapore (121)

8. France (109)

9. Brazil (108)

10. Turkey (107). – Gulf News -


Mohamed bin Zayed receives Indian Defence Minister

posted on 24/05/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, yesterday received visiting Indian Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar.

Sheikh Mohamed and Minister Parrikar discussed bilateral relations between the UAE and India and ways to enhance them in the light of the distinguished bonds of friendship.

They also reviewed co-operation between the two countries in defence and military affairs as well as ways to boost co-ordination and exchange of expertise between the two sides.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and India's Defence Minister also tackled a number of issues of joint interest and exchanged views on the latest developments in the region and the world.

Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Crown Prince's Court of Abu Dhabi, Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, T.P Seetharam, Ambassador of India to the UAE, and a number of Indian officials were also present. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Somali President, UAE Ambassador lay foundation stone for second phase of Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Mogadishu

posted on 24/05/2016

MOGADISHU: President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and Mohammed Ahmed Al Othman, UAE Ambassador to Somalia, laid the foundation stone for the second phase of the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Mogadishu, on Saturday.

The ceremony was attended by heads of Arab and foreign diplomatic missions and ambassadors accredited to Somalia and a number of dignitaries and officials of the Somali government.

The UAE Ambassador to Somalia hailed the patronage of the Somali President at the ceremony, pointing out that the hospital currently receives more than 200 patients a day who are receiving free treatment at the hands of Emirati doctors, in cooperation with Somali cadres, to provide treatment to the Somali people.

The first phase of the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Mogadishu was opened in July 2015, and the second phase of the Sheikh Zayed Hospital includes four operation theatres and 11 wards for various medical specialties.

The construction and equipping of the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Mogadishu is part of the reconstruction and development project of the Republic of Somalia, which is being implemented by the UAE in various areas and regions of Somalia.

The Somali President said that the UAE is supporting Somalia in various fields, including in the fields of education, economy, reconstruction and other areas that support the process of the restoration of the country and help to promote security and stability in Somalia.

He expressed gratitude and appreciation for the UAE government and people and to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for their sincere and continuous support for Somalia to alleviate the suffering of its people. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE, ILO implement Innovations in Labour Market Governance programme

posted on 24/05/2016

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has announced the initiation of programme to support and develop the labour market governance mechanisms under the technical cooperation between the ministry and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

This came at a ceremony held today at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Abu Dhabi to announce the launch of "Innovations in Labour Market Governance" programme, in the presence of Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation and Dr. Ruba Jaradat, ILO Regional Director for Arab States at the ILO, and a number of officials from both sides.

Ghobash said the programme, which consists of three axes, will be implemented concurrently over two years. He added that the programme includes the development of information system, statistics of labour market, development of systems and policies of labour inspection, occupational safety and health as well as the development of mechanisms to anticipate and settle individual labour disputes.

The UAE minister said the programme meets the requirements of the UAE national agenda and vision 2021, adding that the ministry is keen to boost innovation with a view to streamline the labour market and increase its productivity. "The UAE labour market is strong, and improving of the labour market governance is extremely important," said Ghobash.

Kinan Bahnassi, chief technical adviser of the programme, said that the ministry's inspection team will start working closely with the ILO to implement new ways of inspecting work areas that take into account ILO's standards. He highlighted that the minister has been very welcoming to ILO's ideas and recommendations.

"This new project will equip the ministry with modern and state-of-the-art tools to govern the labour market, show the ministry's leadership role in ensuring decent work and set an example for other countries in the region to follow," said Dr. Ruba Jaradat, ILO Regional Director for Arab States.

"It is very important to stress here that such collaboration between the UAE and the ILO is a first of its kind in the GCC region and that other countries in the region have expressed interest in following suit," she added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Maytha Al Shamsi represents UAE at World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul

posted on 24/05/2016

ISTANBUL: The First World Humanitarian Summit began today afternoon in the Turkish city of Istanbul amid presence of heads of state and governments from more than 70 countries, and 6,000 officials of international humanitarian bodies.

The event is a platform to discuss problems, solutions and ways of co-ordination in the field of humanitarian aid in light of the rampant humanitarian crisis in the world, and the worsening refugee crisis.

It focusses on the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Palestine, Myanmar, and ways to deliver humanitarian aid to those affected in the conflict areas in these countries. The summit is also an opportunity to discuss ways to combat the Ebola epidemic.

The UAE, represented by Minister of State Dr. Maytha bint Salem Al Shamsi, told Sky News Arabia in an exclusive interview that the attendance at the summit "is part of the state's strategy to improve the level of humanitarian services."

She noted that the UAE is looking forward to more co-operation at the level of international organisations through setting up a plan of action for humanitarian work.

The UAE minister revealed activation of the "Humanitarian Impact Fund" in 2017, indicating that this fund will mobilise the private sector to finance the humanitarian action.

She stressed that the UAE will continue developing strategies and mechanisms of action to get the humanitarian work to a required level, which is part of deliberate and well-thought out plans and strategies.

The UAE minister commended the role of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the initiatives of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as the continuous efforts of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to advance the humanitarian action at a global level.

She referred to the establishment of a refugee centre in Greece for displaced Syrians as per the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the instructions of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

The summit is an initiative first proposed by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in January 2012 to ensure countries, organisations and relief workers come together to address global humanitarian crises.

The two-day event is the first of its kind, and aims to improve the distribution of aid, and how the world reacts to crises better. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Al Mansouri chairs UAE delegation at meeting of Executive Office of Arab Information Ministers' Council in Cairo

posted on 24/05/2016

Mansour Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Acting Director-General of the National Media Council (NMC), presided over the UAE's delegation taking part in the fifth Ordinary Meeting of the Executive Office of the Council of Arab Ministers of Information held today at the General Secretariat of the Arab League to prepare for 47th session of the Council on Wednesday.

The UAE delegation included Ibrahim Al Abed, Adviser to NMC, Saeed Abdullah Al Darmaki, Executive Director for Media Affairs at NMC, Deputy Executive Director of the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Mohammed Jalal Al Raisi, and Abdullah Al Junaibi, Adviser at NMC.

Al Mansouri said the Arab media the Arab media should at this stage promote the discourse that eschews violence, hatred and spreads culture of tolerance and moderation.

He stressed the need to strengthen aspects of awareness to protect communities from misguided ideas promoted by terrorist organisations.

Al Mansouri reiterated the importance of coordinating a unified discourse of Arab states through joint planning and strategies to highlight the tolerant message of Islam and its rejection of violence and extremism. He also referred to the UAE's efforts to fight terrorist ideas. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Abdullah bin Zayed joins blood donation drive at MoFAIC

posted on 24/05/2016

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, today attended the opening of the ministry's Healthcare Programme Week.

The MoFAIC Healthcare programme, which was launched in 2015, aims to provide the best healthcare services for its staff and make a qualitative leap in public health.

Sheikh Abdullah, accompanied by Dr. Abdul Rahim Al Awadhi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Legal Affairs, and Mohammed Mir Al Raesi, Under-Secretary of the ministry, and a number of staff members, donated blood to mark the opening of the Healthcare Programme Week, which is held in collaboration with the Mubadala healthcare, the National Health Insurance Company – Daman, and Zayed Military Hospital.

Al Raesi said this annual event is held in connection with the implementation of the UAE National Agenda in line with the UAE Vision 2021, which calls for a world class healthcare system, capable of minimising the risk of chronic diseases and leading the way for the UAE to become the world's best in healthcare quality.

He added that the ministry urged its staff this year to donate blood for the nation's guardians, in collaboration with the Zayed Military Hospital. He also underlined the ministry's efforts to provide the best healthcare programme for its employees within the UAE and abroad.

He also stressed the importance of the programme's preventive side through adopting a healthy lifestyle that can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart and artery diseases and encourages smokers to kick the habit.

The ministry has also implemented a health and physical fitness programme, in collaboration with its strategic partners, to encourage employees to undergo regular check-ups and to develop specific treatment plans for each staff member at Cleveland Clinic - Abu Dhabi, Health Point, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre and the health authorities across the country. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Mohamed bin Zayed receives members of Zayed Charity Marathon's organising committee

posted on 24/05/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Monday received at Qasr Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi members of the organising committee of the 12th Zayed Charity Marathon, which was held in New York recently.

Sheikh Mohamed welcomed the committee members and thanked them for their efforts in making this charitable event an international success.

"Organising such events reflect the approach of the UAE, under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in supporting humanitarian and charitable initiatives," he said.

Sheikh Mohamed underscored the importance of sport events in conveying the message of solidarity and co-operation among the community members towards humanitarian issues.

Lt. General (Retd.) Mohammed Hilal Al Kaabi, who heads the committee, extended thanks to Sheikh Mohamed for his patronage and continuous support to the Zayed Charity Marathon since its inception in 2005, the proceeds of which go entirely to one of the American institutions specialising in research for the treatment of kidney disease.

He said over 50,000 people took part in this year's marathon. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


President of Yemen praises UAE, Saudi Arabia's role in Arab Coalition efforts

posted on 24/05/2016

RIYADH: President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi of Yemen has said that his country emerged victorious in the 'battle of existence', thanks to the co-operation and support of the Arab Coalition countries, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Yemeni News Agency quoted President Hadi as saying during a meeting with dignitaries from Taiz that the rebellious forces have exclusionist and foreign agendas.

During the meeting with the delegation of Taiz, still under siege by the Houthi and the deposed Ali Abdullah Saleh's militias, President Hadi reviewed developments in Yemen and the progress of the peace talks, hosted by Kuwait and sponsored by the United Nations and the international community. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Three million people to benefit from ERC programmes during Ramadan

posted on 24/05/2016

Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has announced that three million people across the UAE and in 63 countries worldwide would benefit from its Ramadan programmes, including Iftar, Zakat, Eid clothing and Mir Ramadan.

This was announced at a press conference held today at the ERC headquarters in Abu Dhabi to launch the sessions for the Holy Month of Ramadan to mobilise support for the disadvantaged categories nationwide and abroad. It was attended by deputies of the ERC secretary-general, directors of ERC departments and heads of sections.

The ERC said this year's campaign will be more comprehensive to keep pace with expansion in humanitarian and development projects.

Rashid Mubarak Al Mansouri, ERC's deputy secretary-general for local affairs, said the Ramadan programmes this year, "aims at strengthening communication in the UAE community and boosting partnerships to support the ERC programmes locally and abroad."

He thanked the sponsors; Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Dubai Islamic Humanitarian Foundation, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and Lulu Hypermarket, for this year's campaign. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Charity Association to spend Dh20m in Ramadan

posted on 24/05/2016

Dubai Charity Association on Monday said it plans to spend Dh20 million on eligible beneficiaries this Ramadan.

The funds will support food packs for families, iftar meals in mosques, Eid clothes, and spending on orphans, among other projects. Last Ramadan, the charity spent Dh26.8 million on various projects for the benefit of 4,475 families, assisted by a Dh20 million donation from Dubai Islamic Bank. – Gulf News -