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Construction to start at Aldar’s Shams Meera development

posted on 30/08/2016

Aldar Properties PJSC, Abu Dhabi's leading listed property development, investment and management company, announced on Monday that it has awarded the main contractor package, worth AED 258 million, to Fibrex LLC for its mid-market Shams Meera residential development in Shams Abu Dhabi on Reem Island.

The contract, which commences with immediate effect, comprises the construction of two 25-storey towers overlooking a landscaped park, the developer said in a press release. "The buildings, consisting of 400 apartments will share an underground basement car park, a garden area, swimming pools and a children's play area. The surrounding neighbourhood includes canal walks, parks, a public beach, community mosques, schools and hospitals, healthcare facilities, and retail outlets."

Chief Executive Officer at Aldar Properties, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, said, "From day one the response to Shams Meera has been really encouraging, showing us that there is significant demand for high quality mid-market homes in Abu Dhabi's prime destinations. Shams Meera, located adjacent to Abu Dhabi's thriving CBD will offer an enriched community living experience, and we look forward to the development's completion and the positive impact it will have on Shams Abu Dhabi and surrounding area."

Launched in June 2015, Shams Meera is a high quality residential offering in one of Abu Dhabi's most desirable destinations, Shams Abu Dhabi. The development benefits from a convenient central location, just a short walking distance away from the planned Shams Park, the Shams Marina and the East Shams public beach amenities, and in close proximity to The Gate & Arc Towers, and Sun and Sky Towers. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Masdar Institute hosts student orientation for 172 students

posted on 30/08/2016

Abu Dhabi-based Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focussed on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, has organised an orientation programme for 172 new local and international students for the fall 2016 semester.

The three-day programme, held from 22nd to 24th August 2016, provided the new students an opportunity to learn about the institute's academic and campus offerings, the institute said in a press release.

The UAE satellite operator Yahsat was also on hand to promote the institute's Master's Concentration in Advanced Space Systems and Technology. Yahsat is a sponsor of the concentration and provides expertise for its CubeSat miniature satellite development programme.

This year 172 new students – 118 UAE national and 54 international students representing 23 countries – have accepted the offer to attend the institute. This brings the institute's expected total enrolment to 468 students, increasing the expected percentage of UAE nationals attending the institute from 43 percent in 2015-2016 to approximately 50 percent in 2016-2017 Interim Provost, Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, welcomed the new students in the institute's nine master's and interdisciplinary doctoral programmes.

Acting Dean of Students and Dean of Library, Dr. Abdullah Al Hefeiti, addressed the new students at the event, and said, "By enrolling with the Masdar Institute you are contributing to not only your own bright future, but a brighter and more sustainable future for all. I urge you to make the most of your time with us through studies, research, and community activities."

Other institute senior management, including Vice President for Research and Interim Associate Provost Dr. Steve Griffiths, and Dean of Academic Programme Dr. Youssef Shatilla, gave the students an insight into the functions and services provided by their various offices.

The Student Affairs Office, which organised the event, discussed campus life, extracurricular activities, a newly-opened athletics office, and other aspects of student life. The Research Development Office and Technology Transfer Office also presented information on invention, innovation and development at the institute.

The Masdar Institute's orientation programme is held twice a year to welcome and inform new students about their new home and how best they can take advantage of their institute experience.

The three-day programme closed with placement examinations for the students, to determine their classes for the coming year.

The institute offers full scholarships to students who come with high academic credentials. The institution's academic programmes and research offerings respond to the needs of the UAE, the region and the wider global community. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UN official hails Sheikha Fatima's contributions in women empowerment

posted on 30/08/2016

A senior official of the United Nations has praised the efforts made by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, to empower women of the UAE.

This came in a letter sent to Sheikha Fatima by the UN Women Deputy Executive Director, Lakshmi Puri.

The letter was received by Noura Al Suwaidi, Director of the GWU, while meeting yesterday with Hind Al Owais, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Executive Director of the UN.

In her letter, Lakshmi Puri congratulated Sheikha Fatima on the Emirati Women's Day and commended her leading role and vision in enhancing gender equality and empowering the women of the UAE.

She added that the Emirati Women's Day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of H.H. Sheikha Fatima who pioneered, with the unlimited support of the UAE's wise leadership, a national strategy to empower women in cultural, social, political and economic fields.

She also referred to the successful partnership between the GWU and the UN Women, which will see the opening of the new UN Women Liaison Office for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Abu Dhabi in October. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi School Model will roll out this year, announces ADEC

posted on 30/08/2016

The Abu Dhabi School Model (ADSM) will be rolled out to Grade 9 public school students this year in line with the Abu Dhabi Education Council's (ADEC's) 10-year strategic plan to improve the quality of education in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and as part of the Cycle 3 restructuring model.

During a press conference held on Monday, Dr. Karima Almazroui, ADEC's acting P-12 Executive Director, spoke about some of the changes expected to take place in Cycle 3 public schools, as part of the ADSM plan.

"Since its initiation, the ADSM has helped pave the way for schools on how to deliver student-oriented methods as per 21st century teaching and learning skills. These hands-on applied methods of learning will not only help youth excel in their higher education subjects, but will also prepare them for future challenges and prosperous career paths," Dr. Almazroui said.

In an effort to develop bi-literacy and 21st Century skills, Grade 9 public schools will be teaching subjects such as Mathematics and Science in English for the first time. English Medium Teachers have been especially recruited for the task, whereas the curriculum and textbooks have been developed in alignment with ADSM's mission to foster a student-centred learning approach.

As part of the ADSM's pedagogical approach to incorporate technology and digital literacy into Cycle 3 coursework, Grade 9 students will also be introduced to "Digital Technology and Innovation" this year as a core subject.

Meanwhile, Grade 10 students will be placed on two levels in both Mathematics and Physics as part of the ADSM's new learning outcomes. Their placements will be based on previous performance standards as well as choices of students and parents.

Explaining the matter further Dr. Almazroui said, "ADEC honours the choices of students and their parents. We have two levels in Mathematics and Science for each subject, whatever the student and/or parent feels is more applicable for the individual student will be considered alongside the student's overall performance level in that particular subject. All learning outcomes are benchmarked against international standards."

Additionally, 29,000 students from Grades 10, 11 and 12 will be offered Career Guidance classes in efforts to further support them in selecting the right type of electives that will help shape their future.

"Psychology teachers have received special training on the career guidance curriculum and its related textbooks. Career Guidance is a core subject that is taught across Grades 10, 11 and 12 once a week. We hope to change the culture across schools, where students are given the responsibility alongside their counsellors to select the right career path for themselves."

Grades 11 and 12 students will also be receiving textbooks for the first time in Geo-Science. Teachers have received teacher guidebooks that will help structure the curriculum for them along the way.

"Geo-Science has been proven to be an intriguing subject for students to study, and is part of the electives students can choose in Grades 11 and 12," Dr. Almazroui explained. She further said that some of the topics studied includes important information related to the UAE and its effects on the nation.

The education expert emphasised that all supplemental subject curriculum material is now available online for more than 120,000 students across all grades. The education council, students, parents and teachers are granted access to online subscriptions in Mathematics, Literacy and Numeracy.

"These online subscriptions will provide school principals, teachers and parent's accurate and live data on how a particular student is performing in Mathematics, Literacy, and Numeracy. More than 120,000 students across all cycles will have access to the system. According to the latest educational research, if students spend as little as 30 minutes each week on these online interactive resources, their overall performance improves by two levels," the P-12 expert added.

Data helps provide a solid platform for school leaders and education experts in taking informed decisions about school improvement planning and progress monitoring, while identifying the initiatives that will raise a student's overall performance level.

"We wish all students, teachers, school leaders, parents and the community at large a wonderful, successful and happy new academic year in line with ADEC's slogan for the new academic year 'My School, My Happiness'. With any new challenges we are ready to take on new learnings and add to the existing model, which will continue to strive for quality results and improvements," Dr. Almazroui said in conclusion. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai SME sees major rise in demand for entrepreneurial development programmes

posted on 30/08/2016

The Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, DEA, the educational arm of Dubai SME, has seen a 57 percent increase in the enrolment of trainees in its various programmes during the first half, H1, of 2016, compared to the same period last year.

As many as 1,100 trainees were enrolled in 44 programmes being offered by the academy during the period, to support the strategic plan of Dubai.

"The entrepreneurs enrolled during the first six months of 2016, are equal to the total enrolments for 2015, which shows the growing profile of DEA among the SME community and entrepreneurs," said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.

"We inspect the market quarterly to evaluate the SME position and potential in various economic sectors as well as the supply and demand situation relating to training. We then design skill development programmes that support aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into feasible projects. Of them, 30 percent of the trainees have launched their own projects, which speaks of the success of our programmes," he added.

Ibtihal Al Naji, Director of the Enterprises Development Department at Dubai SME, said that the academy worked together with various partners including the Community Development Authority, Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, Public Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, to design and develop its programmes. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Expo Centre Sharjah releases performance report for H1, 2016

posted on 30/08/2016

The Expo Centre Sharjah has reported strong performance in H1 2016, registering an impressive rise in the number of events and an increase in visitor turnout.

The centre hosted 15 consumer and trade exhibitions and conferences, up from the nine events during the same period last year, giving a 65 percent increase, and attracted 320,000 visitors, registering a 20 percent rise.

"These figures are a clear indicator of a growing exhibitions industry in the Emirate of Sharjah, and a result of our effective promotion of local industries. What is remarkable about these figures is that the exhibitions industry has successfully withstood the after-effects of low oil prices and geo-political tensions," said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.

"The exhibitions hosted by ECS are characterised by their diversity and specialisation, which contributed to attracting more visitors. Our focus on external organisers has also helped in bringing more events to Sharjah. The growth is also a reflection of our superior infrastructure and technical capabilities and marketing prowess," he added.

Led by Mr Midfa, ECS took part in several global events, including the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry's Global CEO Summit in Munich in February, with the participation of 150 top executives from leading exhibition centres from around the world, and the Arab-German Business Forum and the Sharjah-Berlin Seminar in Berlin, as well as engaging with the World Trade Centres of Wuhan and Tianjin in China.

"Our presence at these conferences and tie-ups gave us an opportunity to promote Sharjah's unique business-friendly attributes and investment opportunities. With the UAE and Sharjah economy on a positive note despite prevailing uncertainties, Expo Centre is reaping rich benefits," Midfa said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Tadweer signs new contracts worth over AED1.2 billion in five zones

posted on 30/08/2016

Tadweer, the Centre of Waste Management, Abu Dhabi, has signed new contracts worth over AED1.2 billion with the Sharjah Environment Company (Bee'ah), Averda Waste Management, Lavajet Abu Dhabi and Nael and Bin Harmal Hydro-export Establishment joint venture, to provide waste collection and transportation, street sweeping and cleaning services.

Agreements were also signed with Eagle Environment Services and Pest Control, Akar Landscaping Services and Agriculture, and Prime Tech Diversified Contracting to provide public health pest control services.

The Bee'ah was awarded a contract to provide waste collection, transportation, in addition to street sweeping and cleaning services in Abu Dhabi City Zone 1. Averda received two similar contracts each in Abu Dhabi City Zone 2 and the Northern Zone of Al Ain, whereas Lavajet Abu Dhabi – Nael and Bin Harmal Hydroexport Establishment joint venture was awarded a contract for waste collection and transportation, streets sweeping and cleaning services in the Southern Zone of Al Ain. All waste collection, transportation, street sweeping and cleaning service contracts are worth over AED1.1 billion Contracts worth over AED140 million were also signed with Eagle Environment Services and Pest Control for Al Ain Southern Zone, Akar Landscaping Services and Agriculture for Al Ain Northern Zone and Prime Tech Diversified Contracting Specialists for work on Yas Island, Al Raha Gardens and the Mangroves Beach.

Eisa Saif Al Qubaisi, General Manager of Tadweer, said, "Signing these new contracts comes in line with Tadweer's vision of being recognised as a world leader in building sustainable integrated waste management and pest control systems by 2030. This also reflects our mission to build and implement integrated waste management and pest control systems according to the highest international standards by optimising asset investment, employing qualified specialists and world class technological solutions to convert all waste into valuable economic resources for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi."

The new projects support Abu Dhabi's vision 2030 of improving services provided to residents and citizens while achieving environmental sustainability by adopting advanced mechanisms in waste management including waste collection, transportation and streets sweeping and cleaning services, in order to keep up with the rapid growth and development of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and its residents' needs. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Khalifa Foundation provides aid to thousands of Sudanese families

posted on 30/08/2016

KASSALA, SUDAN: The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has distributed humanitarian and relief aid to 4,000 Sudanese families affected by the recent floods that hit parts of the state of Kassala in Sudan.

According to a Khalifa Foundation spokesperson, the foundation team arrived in the affected areas after a long and arduous journey in coordination with the UAE Embassy in Khartoum and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society.

The aid followed the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, 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 Khalifa Foundation.

The beneficiaries expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for providing them with assistance in efforts to alleviate their difficult circumstances. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC supports power generation sector in Hadramout

posted on 30/08/2016

AL MUKALLA: The Emirates Red Crescent Authority (ERC) has provided additional support to the power generation sector in the Yemeni province of Hadramout.

A cargo ship, carrying a shipment of spare parts and filters for power generators, arrived in Al Mukalla Port yesterday. The items will be used for maintenance of the main power plants in the province amid a growing need for power generation, following liberation of the province in April.

Recently, the ERC delivered three shipments of fuel to the General Electricity Corporation to run the power generators.

Mana Yaslem, General Manager of Hadramout Coast Electricity, thanked the UAE for the generous support, which would minimise consumption of fuel and guarantee continuous power supply during summer. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -