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

Abu Dhabi Airports Company says e-registration now compulsory for all passengers at Abu Dhabi airport

posted on 28/06/2016

Abu Dhabi Airports Company yesterday said that registration of passports for electronic use to improve passenger flow at Abu Dhabi International Airport is now compulsory.

Smart Travel was launched in March to reduce by up to 70 per cent the time it takes for a passenger to clear the airport's security checks.

Travellers with registered passports will be able to use bag drops and proceed through automated airport e-gates, Abu Dhabi Airports said in a press release.

E-registration counters in the check-in areas have been set up for travellers to register their travel documents as they wait.

The announcement came as about 85,000 people were expected to depart from the airport during the Eid Al Fitr holiday, which starts next Sunday.

Abu Dhabi Airports urged passengers to reach the airport three hours before their flight during the busy season.

The company said tens of thousands of travellers were expected this week as school holidays start.

July 6, 10 and 11 were forecast to be the airport's busiest days. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE travellers get ready for the great Eid getaway

posted on 28/06/2016

Holidaymakers who have waited until the last minute to book flights for the Eid break will probably pay more and join long queues at the airport, experts warn.

But travel agents say there are still bargains to be found.

Travel agents are bracing for a flood of late bookings after the announcement that government workers will have the week between July 3 and 10 off to celebrate Eid Al Fitr. And they warn the cheaper tickets are quickly being snapped up.

"The coincidence this year of Eid and school holidays means many people had booked their flights well in advance to take advantage of cheaper fares," said Premjit Bangara, general manager for Sharaf Travel.

"But now many in the public sector know how much leave they have for Eid, we are expecting it to get very busy this week."

Mr Bangara said ticket prices were structured with a certain numbers of seats set at lower prices. "There is a misconception among the public that the airlines hike up prices for events like Eid.

"Once the cheaper seats have been bought, passengers will be offered the next cheapest fares and so on."

Mr Bangara advised anyone thinking of travelling to look at a range of airlines, and at destinations that are served by several carriers to get the best price.

Myriam Najm, 31, from Lebanon, said she was surprised by how expensive flights home were over Eid.

"I'm flying to Beirut with FlyDubai, which is supposed to be a cheap fare airline, and it still cost Dh1,900 even though I booked it two months in advance," Ms Najm said.

"I still think it was too much but other airlines were selling tickets for Dh2,500 and more."

The cost is compounded by the fact that the industry is now approaching its peak period.

"Prices at this time of year are higher in general compared with less busy periods, so that adds to the cost," said Conrad Caeiro, operations manager at Omeir Holidays in Abu Dhabi.

"Since the announcement of the Eid holidays we have seen an increase in people calling to ask about flights. The vast majority have booked well in advance so the cheaper seats are probably gone.

"There are still some bargains around but people need to book as soon as possible."

Popular destinations for last-minute customers are Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Far East, the UK, Germany and the US.

"We are seeing more Emiratis opt for the West Coast of the US to places like Los Angeles and San Francisco," said Mr Caeiro. "People are booking two to three weeks off and really spending a lot of time there."

Airlines are urging passengers to make sure they leave plenty of time to arrive at an airport and check in because of high demand.

About two million passengers are expected to use the Dubai airport over the weekends starting this Friday and on July 8, while Abu Dhabi Airport said 85,000 people would fly out over Eid.

"The traditional school vacation demand starting from the third week in June is around the corner, and we continue to see heavy demand on these flights," said Etihad.

With Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha falling in the summer peak season, the airline expected a significant increase in traffic. – The National -


Infrastructure works for Expo 2020 Dubai site to begin this summer

posted on 28/06/2016

Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy yesterday confirmed that infrastructure works on the Expo site are set to begin shortly.

She added that Expo 2020 aims to complete major construction on the site around a year ahead of the Expo's Opening Ceremony, on 20th October 2020.

Al Hashimy was speaking at a ‘Meet the CEO' event organised by the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) yesterday. ‘Meet the CEO' is a regular series of press events organised by GDMO for leaders of prominent Dubai organisations. Both local and international media attended the event.

The Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau explained that while the site will be completed a year ahead of the inauguration, many participating countries will build their own, which will be finished at least four months ahead of the opening.

Al Hashimy told the media attending the ‘Meet the CEO' event that with 1,575 days until the event – which will be the most visited mega event of 2020, hosting some 25 million visitors - the Expo project is progressing on schedule.

The Expo 2020 site will be part of a new city with its own unique infrastructure, facilities and services, the Minister said. Al Hashimy expects the private sector to play a major role in the Expo 2020 project. In the last two months, Expo 2020 Dubai has signed up three Premier Partners, Emirates Airline, Etisalat and DP World in a series of deals worth hundreds of millions of US Dollars. She said that the media is also a key partner in the UAE's development and in the development of the Expo project.

Al Hashimy talked briefly about the standards being put in place for Expo 2020. She said that the project will have specific standards in areas like sustainability and environmental protection, including a public commitment to using 50% renewable energy on the Expo site over the period of operation.

She spoke about the legacy benefits that the Expo will bring to both the UAE and the region. Events and programmes – like Youth Connect which brought together almost 1,000 young people from across the UAE last October – and the plans for the Expo 2020 site are being designed with can bring sustainable benefits to the region as part of a lasting legacy.

Speaking about Expo 2020's impact on economic growth, Al Hashimy said that past Expo events have provided significant stimulus to the trade sectors of host countries, spurring growth of between 20 – 25 percent.

The Minister said that the Expo is not an exhibition but a global platform for the UAE to showcase its hopes and aspirations for the region and to the world. The UAE seeks to highlight the positive aspects of the region and challenge misconceptions, she added.

Al Hashimy said that Expo 2020 Dubai will seek to facilitate major opportunities for the young and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Earlier this month, Expo 2020 Dubai signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dubai SME, and Tejari to help broaden access for thousands of SMEs in the emirate to tender for opportunities offered by the mega event. Expo 2020 Dubai is also cooperating with the Ministry of Economy to support SMEs.

She highlighted the major role that volunteers will play in the success of Expo 2020 Dubai. Many volunteers will be drawn from across the UAE and will reflect the vast diversity of the community.

Speaking about the recently launched logo of Expo 2020 Dubai, Al Hashimy said that the theme of the event ‘Connecting Minds Creating the Future' upholds the spirit and achievements of Dubai's forefathers who lived in the area thousands of years ago. The emirate's trading heritage, revealed at the architectural site of Saroug Al Hadeed, is testimony to Dubai's ancient role as a land that connected civilisations and trade routes.

She said that the Ministry of International Cooperation works with international organisations to share best practice. Al Hashimy said the UAE is keen to spread its expertise in various sectors like airports, ports renewable energy and tourism to support developing countries in their economic growth. Through events like the Expo, Dubai will continue to play its role as a meeting point for the world.

The Minister said that Expo 2020 Dubai plans to host over 180 nations, from Africa, Asia, Europe, Australasia and the Americas, as part of a global festival of innovation and imagination. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


MBRSC and AUS announce readiness of Nayif-1 satellite for launch

posted on 28/06/2016

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, MBRSC, and the American University of Sharjah, AUS, have announced the completion of the design and building of the communication Nanosatellite, Nayif-1.

The satellite has also successfully passed all stages and tests, and is now ready for launch into space aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket.

The UAE's first Nanosatellite was developed by Emirati engineering students from AUS under the supervision of a team of engineers and specialists from MBRSC within the framework of a partnership between the two entities, aiming to provide hands-on experience to engineering students on satellite manufacturing.

Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of MBRSC, said, "This achievement reflects the determination and commitment of MBRSC to develop Emirati talent specialised in satellite manufacturing and space science.

Sustainable development deliverables and the post-oil phase requires building specialised human capabilities, where entities and institutions have to launch programmes specialised in the science and technology sectors to achieve educational goals in line with the UAE's plans and strategies."

Al Shaibani praised the efforts of the students who participated in the project, saying: "There is no doubt that the field of satellite design and manufacturing is a new industry to UAE universities and students. However, the high spirit and qualifications of the team and the support of the AUS academic staff and MBRSC engineers, enabled them to apply the engineering skills acquired at University to this project.

"This is a great achievement and a source of pride for all of us," said Dr. Bjorn Kjerfve, Chancellor of AUS. "Satellite technologies are destined to become an important part of the future of the country and we are pleased to see our students and faculty play their due role in making it happen. Together with partners such as MBRSC, I am sure our future endeavours in this field will go from strength to strength," he added.

Dr. Mohamed El-Tarhuni, Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering at the American University of Sharjah, said: "We are very proud of AUS students' achievements in building and testing the first UAE CubeSat. It has been a very exciting and fruitful experience for the students working on a real-world project, gaining new knowledge and applying their skills through their interaction with dedicated MBRSC engineers and partners.

We look forward to engage more students in the post launch phase of the project to promote satellite and space education."

Ibrahim Al Qasim, Project Manager of Nayif-1 at MBRSC, said, "Nayif-1 went through several stages. As is typical in most satellite projects, we started out with the initial design phases and we then moved into further verification of these designs by assembling and testing some of the components, once our designs were finalised and verified we moved into the Assembly, integration and testing of the satellite flight model and readiness for launch."

Regarding the tests Nayif-1 went through, Al Qasim said: "The flight model of Nayif-1 successfully completed all testing necessary to ensure that the main components of the satellite were working properly. This included tests on all subsystems such as the power subsystem, control subsystem, the satellite antenna and communication subsystem.

"These stages were followed by the control system calibration and environmental tests, including thermal and vibration tests, in addition to the final tests for the satellite systems, and measuring its final weight and size."

Al Qasim confirmed: "The installation of the ground station was completed at AUS, which will operate and control the satellite throughout its journey in space. Nayif-1 is ready for launch now and it's scheduled to be launched in the fourth quarter of the year. However, the launch date depends on the launching provider, bearing in mind that Nayif-1 is considered a non-primary payload, being a nanosatellite."

"Nayif-1 is characterised by a number of advanced features, most notably that it's programmed to transfer messages in Arabic. It also contains an active control system – usually satellites with a unit size of 10x10x10 cm which are known as 1U Nanosatellites use a passive control system due to their limited size. The control system works accurately to determine the satellite's position and direction in space in order to maintain its balance attitude during operations," he concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Masdar wins bid to implement third phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

posted on 28/06/2016

A group led by Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company Masdar has won a bid to build an 800 megawatt solar power plant in Dubai.

It forms the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, and expected to become operational by 2020.

The AED 50 billion project is the largest, single-site solar park in the world, with a planned capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030. Its first phase launched operations in 2013, while the second phase is scheduled to begin next year.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced yesterday the selected bidder for the 800 megawatt (MW) third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which will be constructed based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, were present. The selected bidder for the project is a Masdar-led consortium including the Spanish companies FRV (Fotowatio Renewable Ventures) and Gransolar Group. The consortium bid a Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE), of US$ $2.99 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h).

The announcement was made at a press conference at the Armani hotel in Dubai, which was attended by Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Executive Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents from DEWA, senior management from Masdar, and local and international media.

The consortium was selected following a significant competition and an evaluation of numerous offers. DEWA has received 95 Expressions of Interest (EOI) from international energy companies, in response to its tender request over 8-29 September 2015.

DEWA requested that companies submit their requests for qualification before November 2015. This was followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP), to qualified bidders on 28 December 2015. DEWA received 5 bids from international organisations. The lowest recorded bid at the opening of the envelopes was US$ $2.99 cents per kW/h. In preparation for the next phase, DEWA will develop shareholder and power-purchase agreements that will be signed in Q4 of 2016.

"The selection of the Masdar-led consortium is a testament to the vision of the UAE leadership, the foresight of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, and the commitment of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority to realise ambitious renewable energy projects. It also reflects the technical expertise and proven track record that Masdar has built over the last ten years," said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.

"The UAE firmly believes that meeting the world's growing energy demand requires a mix of energy sources, where we build on our existing assets of conventional energy, complementing them with alternative sources. By using multiple sources of energy such as natural gas, nuclear and solar, we are delivering both baseload generating capacity and the ability to meet peak energy demand efficiently and cost effectively."

"Phase three of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park is a clear signal that solar power is a reliable and commercially-viable technology, and a key part of the UAE's well-diversified energy strategy," Al Jaber added.

"Today's important meeting supports the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council," said Al Tayer.

"Today, we take another step forward for solar energy by announcing the selected bidder for the 800 megawatt (MW) third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. We have a roadmap to achieve this, which includes ambitious initiatives and development projects to provide excellent government services based on world-class standards, to achieve everyone's happiness. This is a new phase of our economy that is based on environmental sustainability and clean energy to make Dubai the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world."

"DEWA has received a globally-competitive price of US$ 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h) for the park's third phase, which will use photovoltaic technology and will be operational by 2020. This is based on the IPP model, thanks to the Masdar-led consortium including the Spanish companies FRV (Fotowatio Renewable Ventures) and Gransolar Group. The importance of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park lies in two points: it is the first of its kind in the region, and in its capacity. It is the first of several promising projects to use renewable energy to generate electricity in Dubai," added Al Tayer.

"Since the announcement of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park, the project has attracted huge interest from the business and energy sectors. DEWA received several offers from international solar energy companies, reflecting the trust and interest from investors in large projects by Dubai Government. This has been encouraged by favourable current regulations and legislation in Dubai that permit private sector partnerships in power-production projects in the Emirate."

"We are very proud of the UAE's achievements. We have accomplished significant success in photovoltaic energy. We strive to implement the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to diversify the energy mix so clean energy will generate 25% of Dubai's total power output by 2030 and 75% by 2050. This strategy relies on innovation, and Research and Development (R&D) as the basis for the future of energy, preparing the plans and initiatives to make developments in science and technology."

"Earlier this month, and in adherence with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we launched the largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the world, using the IPP model, with an expected capacity of 1,000 MW by 2030, at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar park in the world with a planned capacity of 5,000MW by 2030 with a total investment of AED 50 billion," said Al Tayer.

"DEWA has released a tender for leading international CSP consultants to submit their proposals for advisory services for the 200MW first project of the CSP plant. It will be operational by April 2021. DEWA will generate 1,000MW using this technology by 2030 at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park. The solar park's 13MW first phase became operational in October 2013. The 200MW second phase will be operational in April 2017. When it's completed, the project will achieve a reduction of approximately 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually."

"Energy is an integral part of the social and economic development of all countries, and the transformation towards clean energy has positive environmental, social, and economic effects, making conventional energy less competitive and attractive for further investments. Clean energy is a great opportunity for the future as demand keeps rising around the world. Oil prices and improved technology have helped increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix. This makes technology a key factor in the transformation towards clean energy. At DEWA, we encourage research and development in solar energy, to enhance energy security and sustainability."

"Our wise leadership has a vision to make the UAE the most sustainable country in the world by launching projects in clean and renewable energy, ensuring the Emirate's continuous growth, while at the same time protecting its natural resources, and shaping the future of energy in the region as a whole, to achieve sustainable development and promote the welfare of citizens, residents, and visitors, to ensure a sustainable future, for generations to come," concluded Al Tayer.

"The selection of the Masdar consortium to develop phase three of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park is a historical achievement for our company as we mark ten years of operations," said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.

"The Masdar consortium will devote all of its experience and expertise to realising this world-class project. It is thanks to the technical clarity and transparency provided by DEWA that we have been able to deliver such a highly-competitive bid."

"Masdar is committed to accelerating the adoption of clean technologies and renewable energy, building on our decade-long experience and supporting the UAE's strategy to increase the share of clean energy in its energy mix," Al Ramahi added. "We stand ready to develop new opportunities in the UAE and elsewhere in the GCC, including new markets such as Saudi Arabia." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Masdar Institute partners with Borouge to help UAE lead the international plastics industry

posted on 28/06/2016

Researchers at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have worked on a technology in an attempt to improve the ability of certain plastics to delay oxidation – the natural process that causes food to spoil.

The research supports the UAE's position as a regional leader in the international plastics industry.

Masdar Institute Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering Dr. Kumar Shanmugam led the research project in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) – a petrochemical company that provides innovative, value creating plastics solutions and a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Austria's Borealis. The resulting plastic provides a better barrier for the preservation, safety and transportation of food, while also being aesthetically pleasing and offering a wide range of uses due to its transparency.

"With the right combination of nano-materials, dosing levels and process parameters, a significant improvement in oxygen barrier performance can be achieved. Therefore, this study is a step toward the development of a commercially viable solution," said Wim Roels, Chief Executive Officer of Borouge Pte Ltd.

"Partnering with regional industry leaders like Borouge to address their technology challenges is critically important to Masdar Institute's mission of positioning Abu Dhabi as a knowledge hub and engine for socio-economic growth," said Dr. Steve Griffiths, Vice President for Research, Masdar Institute.

"The research by Masdar Institute scientists has been aimed at strengthening the UAE's petrochemical industry, and in turn, boosting the UAE industrial sector's share of GDP from the current 10% to the targeted 25% by 2025."

Dr. Kumar's research enhances the ability of packaging polymers to prevent oxygen diffusion – when oxygen seeps into sealed food containers and speeds up the food spoilage process – in addition to creating high-quality food containers that retain the freshness of foods for longer.

Borouge provided the polyethylene and polypropylene resins, while the blending materials were fabricated in the labs of Masdar Institute. Permeation tests to measure oxygen barrier resistance took place at Borouge's facilities.

"We developed different nano-composite blends for polymers made out of three different materials – silicate nano-clays, carbon nanotubes and graphene," Dr. Kumar explained.

The silicate nano-clays, graphene and carbon nanotubes essentially create an obstacle for the oxygen, making it difficult to pass through. Without such a special design, oxygen would permeate straight through the plastic.

With this new solution, oxygen's path is obstructed, making the diffusion path more difficult, which significantly reduces the amount of oxygen that passes through the plastic. The research, which recently came to a close, is explained in a paper published in the journal Carbon, co-authored by Dr. Kumar, Masdar Institute's Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Dr. Yanbin Cui, and Dr. Shailesh Kundalwal, Banting Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Toronto.

"Each material increased the plastic's barrier performance, with nanoclay reducing oxygen diffusion by 15%, graphene by 25%, and carbon nanotubes by 40%," Dr. Kumar added.

Not only do these coatings make it more difficult for oxygen to pass through the plastic and spoil food, they also increase the plastic's longevity by preventing the plastic layers from splitting apart. Thus, the nano-coatings could help to produce long-lasting containers, which would in turn reduce the number of containers that end up in dust bins and landfills, resulting in both financial and environmental savings.

While graphene and carbon nanotubes have a higher barrier performance, they made the plastic less transparent and dark. Nanoparticles offered the best of both worlds – transparency and improved barrier performance.

Dr. Kumar believes that graphene- and carbon nanotube composite polymers could be very well suited in other applications, where oxygen diffusion is undesirable and transparency is not required, such as in underground pipes, including oil and gas pipelines.

Masdar Institute's research and development efforts to enhance the plastics produced by local petrochemical manufactures such as Borouge ultimately are intended to give the country a significant competitive advantage in the plastics market. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


DWTC events contributes AED 12 billion in Dubai’s economy during 2015

posted on 28/06/2016

The latest Economic Impact Assessment report released by Dubai World Trade Centre, DWTC, has revealed that the spending associated with large-scale exhibitions, trade events, conventions and conferences hosted at DWTC in 2015, contributed AED 12 billion to retained value towards Dubai's economy, equivalent to 3.1 percent of the emirate's Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

The 2015 annual report also focused on the cross-sectoral impact of MICE events driving incremental value across tourism, travel, hospitality and entertainment industries, collectively supporting over 80,400 jobs as an immediate effect of hosting these events at DWTC.

Estimating the total economic output at over AED 20.9 billion for the 2015 period, the study further makes the case that nearly 57% of all the layers of spend generated by these events has been retained within the domestic economy, reflecting the strength of the MICE Sector value chain in Dubai.

The whitepaper commissioned in 2015 provides a comprehensive research-backed assessment of the value being created as a result of spending associated with trade and business events – which extrapolates the trickle down impact of every one dirham of spend across various interrelated sectors.

This econometric analysis covers key metrics such as total and retained contribution, cross-industry benefits, employment impact etc. – all with a view to provide further insight into the critical role that DWTC's event calendar plays, not just in Dubai's brand positioning as a regional business hub, but also very tangibly in its value creation for the economy.

DWTC led the region's MICE Sector activity in 2015, hosting 104 "large-scale" events that attracted a total of 2.6 million attendees through the year, of which 1.19 million were from overseas resulting in nearly 46% international participation at these events. The data represents a significant growth across both parameters when compared to the first economic impact report published by DWTC in 2011, which reported just over 30% international participation of a total of 1.3 million visitors to events at the venue that year.

Defined as events hosting more than 2,000 attendees, large-scale events that form the focus of this study emphasise the importance of both, scale growth and the ability to attract a global audience, as being critical pillars to driving economic value. Another key take-away is the ancillary benefit of each unit of MICE Sector linked spending to sectors within the broader value chain that ultimately drive a significant 5-fold multiplier effect. In other words, every AED 1 spent at a DWTC event created AED 5 in value for the wider Dubai economy in 2015.

As a business that has been committed to delivering the most integrated commerce networking platform for the international community to trade with the wider region, DWTC has throughout its 37 years as the leading MICE player, built on the city's geographic advantage to further Dubai's position as a global business hub for trade within the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, MENASA, region. Assessing the MICE business contribution to the emirate and sustainably growing it are hence, a core part of DWTC's strategic mandate.

"DWTC is committed to Dubai's economic diversification strategy firmly aligned to the Dubai Plan 2021, and is working towards contributing business visitors to the tourism target of 20 million visitors by 2020. The value being created by attracting and hosting business events in Dubai is unmistakably impactful for our domestic economy. As evidenced by the high growth across all key MICE Sector metrics from the number of mega-events, to the overseas participation and the larger spend per attendee that we are able to drive across related sectors within Dubai, DWTC has delivered a very strong CAGR on contribution to GDP over the past 3-4 years. With our ongoing capacity investments, we expect to continue to keep the momentum going on driving both, optimal scale and quality of content across our show calendar to ultimately allow business tourism to become an even greater economic engine for Dubai," said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

The 2015 study estimated that DWTC events generated AED 20.9 billion in total sales from event participation related spends, not including any commercial deals closed at, or resulting from the events, or the value of business partnerships established during the events. AED 14.9 billion of this value was directly driven by event participants with the MICE and adjacent sectors relating to travel, tourism, hospitality and entertainment. In fact, for every dirham spent within the MICE Sector, nearly 2-5 dirhams were consumed across related sectors, reflecting the high interdependence and value co-creation opportunity at an aggregate level. An incremental 41% sales output was generated as a ripple effect of these direct spends, and referenced as indirect (production linked) and induced (consumption linked) economic impacts.

DWTC's 2015 economic impact report the MICE Sector's ability to generate critical stimulus across the UAE's tourism, aviation, hospitality and transport industries as a direct and consequential result of the expenditure of event organisers, exhibitors, sponsors, and participants. The report further assessed the key factors to enhance MICE Sector contribution – international attendance and scale. During 2015, it was observed that international attendees to business events at DWTC stayed on average six (6) days and spent nearly AED 8,268 during their visit, which is nine times the average spend of UAE based attendees.

"Every overseas participant at our venue is ultimately a visitor to Dubai and will benefit the wider tourism ecosystem from airlines and hotels, to retail and attractions across the city. Naturally, the massive multiplier effect of having international traffic drives much greater value to our GDP. Hence one of the priorities for DWTC is to ensure that our portfolio of events has the right content and quality across the sectors that are most appealing to source markets for visitors from the region as well as to attract the thought-leading exhibitors from around the globe. The fact that we have systematically doubled our international visitation figures in the last 4 years alone is evidence of the success of our efforts in this area, and is testament to Dubai's recognised global position as the region's business hub on the back of our incredibly sophisticated infrastructure and flight connectivity," explained Helal Saeed Almarri.

Scale of events was the other key strategic lever referenced by the report as critical to GDP value creation. Mega-events are reported to create four times more impact compared to smaller scale events where event scale is based on a threshold number of attendees – over 30,000 fall under the ‘mega' category. DWTC hosted 23 mega-events (22% of the total events) that delivered nearly 54% international attendance compared to the 31 smaller events that had around 43% foreign traffic. The close correlation between event size and its propensity to deliver higher volumes of overseas attendance makes it a critical consideration as DWTC continues to work with its event organisers to drive growth or co-locate related events to achieve the same effect.

The DWTC report based its findings on a rigorous economic impact analysis using an econometric model that measures the direct, indirect and induced effects generated by the incremental spending (demand) of individuals participating in DWTC's events within Dubai and the resulting production (supply) driven effects to cater for higher demand in the local economy. The model was developed on an extensive data set covering statistics for 104 large scale events hosted at DWTC during 2015 (including duration, type, scale, sector profile, financial data etc.), and face-to-face field surveys of a broad cross-section of nearly 18,000 participants (spanning attendees, exhibitors and organisers) to achieve a 99 per cent confidence level in its estimations.

The DWTC report highlighted the ability of the MICE Sector to sustainably generate wider value for Dubai's GDP and particularly the ability of DWTC to attract high-profile global events that have successfully fuelled a significantly larger contribution to the emirate's economy. DWTC will continue to invest in world-class facilities and services to secure events that are most relevant in the global context and sustain the value it generates for Dubai, the UAE and the region.

Helal Saeed Almarri summarised, "DWTC has been a key facilitator to building Dubai's profile as a global business destination, leveraging the emirate's heritage as a regional trading hub, continually enabling fortune-1000 companies and millions of their customers to connect each year at our venue, conduct business, forge partnerships and explore investment opportunities. This report combines in-depth understanding of business tourism and raises awareness of the far-reaching impact that DWTC as the platform for such interactions has, not just for Dubai, but also for the wider MENASA region. DWTC is committed to ensuring that business tourism remains integral to the economic success of the UAE and, indeed, the wider region." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi Global Market and Etihad Airways become global strategic Partners

posted on 28/06/2016

Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) have signed a landmark agreement that sees the airline become the Official Airline Partner of ADGM.

The agreement harnesses the roles of both entities as ambassadors of Abu Dhabi and key players in delivering on Abu Dhabi's vision as a world-leading business, tourism, and cultural destination.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman of ADGM, by the Chief Executive Officer of ADGM's Registration Authority, Dhaher M Bin Dhaher Almheiri, and Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, Peter Baumgartner.

The partnership establishes in-depth cooperation in commercial development and destination marketing that will drive business for both organisations, as well as providing ADGM members with privileged access to Etihad Airways and its partner airlines, including unique benefits across the combined network.

Peter Baumgartner, said, "It's an honour to be the official airline partner of Abu Dhabi Global Market, a key pillar of Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030. We are proud to be associated with an organisation that is a major catalyst for the growth of the financial services sector and international commerce in Abu Dhabi and across the UAE.

"With our global network, ADGM's members can access the financial centres of the world directly from Abu Dhabi – enjoying world class travel experiences and our renowned hospitality. Our travel companies, Hala Travel Management (HTM) and Hala Abu Dhabi will also be key players in the partnership, providing professional travel management services to ADGM's growing business community as well as promoting the Emirate and all it has to offer. Our partnership with ADGM will help to achieve even greater success for Abu Dhabi as an international financial centre, business hub and tourism destination."

Dhaher M. Bin Dhaher Almheiri, said, "At ADGM, we strive to work closely with all stakeholders to provide our member institutions with best-in-class service. Etihad Airways, our national airline, complements these efforts with their offerings and service excellence. This strategic global partnership attests to how local entities can leverage each other's natural synergies to support Abu Dhabi's broader vision and commitment for the economy."

He added, "As an international financial centre, ADGM provides a dynamic business and entertainment destination that includes world class infrastructure, lifestyle and residential facilities in a business friendly and vibrant environment. With Etihad Airways as our strategic partner, ADGM members and businesses on Al Maryah Island can enjoy the advantages of international connectivity with direct access into Abu Dhabi and from Abu Dhabi to the region." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


DP World Group Chairman and CEO rings market opening bell to celebrate listing of US$ 1.2 billion Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai

posted on 28/06/2016

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of global trade enabler DP World, rang the market-opening bell yesterday to celebrate the listing on Nasdaq Dubai of US$1.2 billion dollar Sukuk.

The listing by DP World reinforces Dubai's status as the global leader for Islamic bond listings, with a total nominal value of US$44.56 billion.

The bell-ringing ceremony was held in the presence of Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC, Secretary General of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, DIEDC, and Chairman of Dubai Financial Market, DFM; Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, Chairman of Nasdaq Dubai; and Hamed Ali, Chief Executive of Nasdaq Dubai.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said, "As the international financial exchange serving the Middle East, Nasdaq Dubai is an excellent listing venue to support the global visibility of our Sukuk. Our issuance received strong investor demand from around the world, including the US and Europe as well as our own region, underlining the market's confidence in our continuing development and growth as a leading trade enabler connecting marine and inland terminals, free zones and logistics for the benefit of economies around the world."

"Our Sukuk listing fits with the vision of our leaders to position Dubai as the capital of the Islamic Economy globally. The demand for it illustrates the positive outlook on our strategic growth and confidence in the strength of our global network across six continents."

Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, Secretary General of DIEDC and Chairman of DFM, said: "DP World's decision to choose Nasdaq Dubai for its listing highlights the growth of the Sukuk sector in the Emirate, accelerating the expansion of Dubai as the global Capital of Islamic economy under the initiative launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Dubai provides unrivalled expertise across all aspects of Sukuk activity."

DP World's Sukuk listed on Nasdaq Dubai on June 1, 2016. It is the company's fourth debt listing on the exchange.

Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, Chairman of Nasdaq Dubai, said, "Our Islamic capital markets framework is purpose built to support leading companies such as DP World that require a high profile platform for their securities, within a robust regulatory environment. We look forward to welcoming many more UAE, regional and international Sukuk issuers as the sector continues to expand as an attractive tool for enterprises to raise capital."

Hamed Ali, Chief Executive of Nasdaq Dubai, said, "This listing by one of Dubai's most prominent international enterprises reflects the Emirate's continuing expansion as a hub for attracting investors from around the world. Nasdaq Dubai will further enhance its listing infrastructure and procedures, to ensure streamlined access to the exchange for issuers of diverse asset classes and continuing support for them after listing." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE tourists spent Dh2.45 billion in Britain

posted on 28/06/2016

The number of tourists from the UAE, who travelled to Britain in 2015, has gone up by 33.77 per cent reaching 347,190 people compared to 259,541 tourists in 2014, according to data released by the British Tourism Authority "VisitBritain".

The data showed a growth in the visitors' spending rate by 11.64 per cent in 2015 with a total of Dh2.45billion having been spent, which is equal to 487.4million Sterling Pound, compared to Dh2.19billion spent in 2014.

The average spending per one visit arrived at Dh7,000, the data revealed.

Emirati tourists last year spent about 4.11million nights at hotels in Britain, compared to 2.57 million nights in 2014. – Khaleej Times -


Abu Dhabi Crown Prince attends lecture on digitisation

posted on 28/06/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, yesterday attended a lecture on digitisation, delivered by Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties.

Al Abbar's lecture "Digitisation: Where Do We Stand?" is the sixth in a series of lectures hosted by the Majlis of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed during Ramadan.

The lecturer stressed that Arabs should change to become producers and not just consumers of digitised content which, he argued, is now is now in control of our reality, from home delivery and investment in the hotel industry to large-scale projects.

"The UAE has made huge progress in this field and is way ahead of other Arab countries, thanks to the wise policy pursued by the wise leaders" Al Abbar said.

He noted that an e-commerce, banking and logistics corporation will be launched by the end of this year in the UAE.

Prerequisites for catching up with the digital age include to taking great interest in the development and quality of education, legislation and infrastructure, he said.

He noted that the UAE was among the first Arab countries to fulfil these prerequisites.

The audience at the lecture included H.H. Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman; Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC); H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council; H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, and H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


FNC's first session of 16th legislative chapter concludes

posted on 28/06/2016

Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, has said that discussions during the first session of the 16th legislative chapter of the FNC highlighted the unique relationship between the Council and the government in finding effective solutions to the needs of the citizens in line with the vision of the UAE leadership.

Al Kaabi said the Council sessions reflected the success of the political empowerment programme launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a framework for parliamentary experience and a development platform to better serve society in all major areas.

"The cooperation of representatives of the Federal government in meeting the requirements and recommendations of the members of the Council brings to light the maturity of parliamentary experience in the UAE. It also highlights the role played by the Federal National Council in raising political awareness and supporting the government in its initiatives. The Council represents the practical application of the leadership's directive to activate the partnership between the executive and supervisory authorities to take forward the development march of the UAE," Al Kaabi said.

The Minister of State praised the role of Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the Federal National Council, in managing the sessions of the Council. The minister also thanked the Council members for their contributions during the first session, saying that they highlighted the deep understanding of the role of the Council in meeting the needs of UAE citizens in various fields.

Al Kaabi also commended the efforts of the General Secretariat of the Federal National Council, led by Dr. Mohammed Salem Al Mazroui, Secretary-General of the Federal National Council, and the rest of the team at the Secretariat.

Expressing gratitude to the ministers and members of the government for their keen participation in the sessions, Al Kaabi said the government's representation at the Federal National Council sessions achieved high attendance rates from the ministers, During the first session, the Council discussed 17 federal laws, as well as three major topics, including a policy of the General Authority for Regulating the Telecommunications Sector, a policy on protecting society from drugs, and a Ministry of Health policy on preventive healthcare. Discussions on these topics led to 34 recommendations.

Noura Al Kaabi said that members of the federal government displayed significant interaction and responded to the questions submitted by Federal National Council members. Answers were given orally to 26 questions while answers to seven questions were given in writing. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Federal Supreme Court issues ruling on Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood case

posted on 28/06/2016

The State Security Department of the Federal Supreme Court on Monday sentenced two Arab nationals to three years and six months in prison for running an international group affiliated with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE, without a license from the government, and for cooperating with the secret organisation before it was dissolved.

In four other cases, the court ordered that three Emiratis are to be referred to an advisory council, put under probation and banned from travel for six months on a count of posing a terrorist threat.

Defendant M.M. was acquitted of the same count.

The court also heard a number of state security cases.

A number of the relatives of the defendants and representatives of the media were in attendance. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


KF launches campaign to distribute food parcels to families in Gaza Strip

posted on 28/06/2016

GAZA: The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, KF, yesterday launched a campaign to distribute food parcels to the underprivileged in governorates in Gaza Strip.

The gesture is in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and the follow up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Foundation.

A KF official source said that the campaign, launched in Khan Yunis Governorate, will include all Gaza Strip governorates during the coming days. About 15,000 families in Gaza will benefit from the campaign.

He also added that the distribution process, in co-operation with Palestinian Centre For Human Perseverance, has achieved huge successes in terms of organisation and the selection of beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries praised the Emirati humanitarian gesture, especially KF, which expresses the support of the UAE people and wise leadership for the Palestinian people. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Majeed wins Sheikh Zayed Cup, Norway’s Storen tops in Ladies Race in The Netherlands

posted on 28/06/2016

DUINDIGT, THE NETHERLANDS:Qatar's Majeed, under Gaetan Faucon, won the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Group 3) race in a thrilling finish while Ziyadd, owned by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, emerged as the new European Triple Crown winner.

In one of the most hotly-contested races held under the umbrella of the H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Majeed prevailed in a close finish over Sir Bani Yas under Julien Auger at the Duindigt race course in The Netherlands yesterday.

The two grey Arabians battled stride for stride in the final 50 metres before Majeed forged ahead to win the 1900m. race and carry away a major slice of the 35,000 Euros on offer in the Group 3 contest.

Lightning Bolt under Richard Mullen finished third, despite the jockey filing a protest for intervention by the winner, but the Stewards ruled the race was fair and Majeed and Sir Bani Yas stayed first and second.

Meanwhile, Ziyadd, under Pierantonio Convertino, seemed to have left it late but did well to finish in the top half and collect the 5-points which helped the 4-year-old to emerge as the new European Triple Crown champion.

Trained by Antoine Watrigant for owner H.H. Sheikh Mansour, Ziyadd had won the previous leg in Rome and had also finished fourth to Muraaqib in the first leg in Toulouse to finish with 18 points, while Sir Bani Yas and Lightning Bolt ended up with 13 points each.

The H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship race over 1800m. was also run on Sunday, and Norway's Silja Storen, on L'Eau du Tigre, showed her class in the final stages to finished ahead of Fajr Qardabiyah under Carol Bartley from Great Britain, while Janine Smith from Canada on Raya C ran into third place.

Storen has now qualified to race in the H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship finale on November 6th and the Norwegian from Oslo said she was delighted with the win. "Thanks to H.H. Sheikh Mansour and the Festival for providing us with these opportunities to race," she said.

Praising her horse, L'Eau du Tigre, Storen said, "What an amazing horse. Got a super race on the inside, going third. When I got an opening on the inside I told her to go and she cruised home. I had to look back several times to ensure I was safe. Loveliest ride."

Apart from the two premier races of the Festival, the Wathba Stud Farm Cup II, which caters for the grassroots level, was also held on Sunday. James D.A, ridden by Belgian Anna van den Troost, won the 1800m. race with Rodin, under Anthony Deau, and Saqlawia, under Julien Auger, finishing second and third respectively.

Saeed Ali Al Nowais, UAE Ambassador to the Netherlands, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Ms. Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies and Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and Margreet de Ruiter of Dutch Arabian Racing gave away the trophies to the winners of the three races.

Also in attendance were Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Abohaimed, Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the Hague, from Palestine Dr. Nabil Abuznaid, from Egypt Taher Farhat, from Libya Breik A. B. Swessi, from Morocco, Abdul Wahab Bluki, from Jordan, Ahmed Mufleh, from Pakistan, Mazen Ahmed Khan and from India, J.S Mukul.

Saeed Ali Al Nowais and Ms. Sawaya thanked all the envoys from friendly countries who attended the races and also congratulated H.H. Sheikh Mansour on his horse Ziyadd winning the European Triple Crown.

"I was in Rome for the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference organised by the Festival and it was a great experience. The UAE and H.H. Sheikh Mansour are doing a great job of not only promoting Arabian horse racing, but also keeping alive a UAE tradition," Al Nowais said.

"Today's race meeting was of the highest quality, and both The Netherlands and the UAE share a common goal in Arabian horse racing," he said.

Ms. Sawaya said, "The last four years, the European Triple Crown in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan series was won by one horse, Ameretto. Now we have a new champion in the 4-year-old Ziyadd. The European Triple Crown in Europe and the Triple Jewel in the US are two great race series' in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, and have gained in quality and popularity."

"We also remember and thank the late Mr. Wieger de Ruiter, who was Head of Arabian Racing and a friend of the Festival and helped in promoting our races here in The Netherlands, including the WAHRC in The Hague," Ms. Sawaya said.

"The Festival is growing in stature and we will be announcing a major partner towards the end of the year," she added.

The VIP guests later visited a Photo Exhibition organised by Morhaf El Asaf, who displayed his pictures capturing various aspects of the H.H. Sheikh Mansour Festival.

The H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, IPIC as Strategic Partner, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates Airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare.

It is sponsored by Al Aweer Stables, Ayadii LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travel, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE General Women's Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2016, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites - Abu Dhabi by Jannah, and Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Karting: Sisters Amna and Hamda Al Qubaisi do father Khaled proud with Portugal showing

posted on 28/06/2016

Sisters Amna and Hamda Al Qubaisi put their karting skills up against some of the best in their class in Portugal, and each qualified for the final day in their respective divisions.

The daughters of Khaled Al Qubaisi — who last week took third place at 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing — took part in the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy competition in Portimao, Portugal over the weekend.

Hamda advanced to the second round in the Academy Class while Amna advanced to the final in the OK Class. For Hamda, it was her first experience on the 1.531km circuit. She previously took part in the Circuit International d'Aunay Les Bois in France in April.

In a press release, Khaled Al Qubaisi discussed the valuable experience his daughters gained.

"Both Amna and Hamda now know that girls can compete and take pole position and win the heats in a mixed cluster," he said. – The Naitonal -