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Milrem intends to bring production unit in UAE

posted on 23/02/2017

Milrem, an Estonian military technology solutions provider, has expressed its intention to build a production unit to develop and arm unmanned ground vehicles, UGV, in the UAE.

"We, as a company believe in cooperation, and if the UAE Armed Forces start using these vehicles, we will produce these systems in the UAE," Kuldar Vaarsi, Chairman of the Board of Milrem, said. "We are not keen to do production in Estonia, but with local partners, our intention is to bring the production here in the UAE, depending on the volumes of the sales of this vehicle."

In an exclusive interview with WAM at IDEX 2017, Vaarsi said that the UAE Armed Forces have a very good understanding of how to use the vehicle, and the company is concentrating on cooperation on how to adapt to using robotic or unmanned units. "This is where we see the cooperation, and at the government-to-government level there can be very good collaborations between Estonia and the UAE."

The International Golden Group, IGG, announced on Tuesday its intensions to cooperate with Milrem to develop and arm unmanned ground vehicles, along with ASELSAN, the largest Turkish defence electronics company. The prototype of this product has been on display at IDEX 2017 under the umbrella of IGG.

Mr. Vaarsi said that is the first time the company has introduced this weaponised system. "We have two other systems this year at IDEX, one is on the Saudi stand with simple cargo transportation and other at the Estonian National Pavilion."

He said that a Letter of Intent, LOI, has been signed with the IGG group as a first step towards long term collaboration. "We will be testing this system with the UAE Armed Forces, and will analyse how these kinds of systems can be used to enhance the capability of armed forces."

Answering a question about testing the vehicle, he said, "We have carried out tests for the vehicle, including live firing with ASELSAN. We have carried out different testing in both sand and ice, and the Estonian Armed Forces have used this system during exercises. The US Army is due to start testing soon."

Regarding technical issues with the system, Vaarsi said that temperatures will be a challenge, however, the company has a very strong engineering team who have already prepared programmes on how to solve potential issues concerning the temperatures, especially in the Middle East. He said that it is very reliable and robust vehicle, because it is especially designed to be a military vehicle."

Vaarsi concluded by saying that the Middle East is the ideal market for these kinds of system, referring to IDEX 2017 as "an excellent show with very high interest in unmanned systems."

Milrem's two main lines of business cover the research and development of unmanned vehicles, and the repair and maintenance of heavy-duty military vehicles. Milrem is a member of the Estonian Defence Industry Association.


IDEX: International Golden Group announces 6 defence contracts and agreements

posted on 23/02/2017

The International Golden Group, IGG, the Abu Dhabi-based supplier of high-end defence and security systems, yesterday announced six agreements for joint cooperation in the supply of defence systems with global companies Thales Optronique, Fraser Optics, Comtech, CZECHOSLOVAK GROUP, Digital Bit and Denel Vehicle Systems at the 13th International Defence Exhibition, IDEX 2017, being held in Abu Dhabi.

IGG is one of the primary Emirati organisations that operates in the defence and security sector in the UAE, GCC and all around the world.

Specialising in providing high-end defence and security solutions, IGG is a partner of the UAE's Armed Forces, Ministry of the Interior and other national security authorities and has been providing specialised defence and security solutions and its expertise in systems integration and military product development for more than 15 years. IGG offers a wide range of tactical solutions to weapons and communications equipment and soldiers.

The second agreement signed by IGG with the French company Thales Optronique provides for supplying the latest binocular products that calculate and determine long-term positions. The binoculars are very light and small, making them convenient for users to store easily.

IGG has also signed an exclusive agreement with Fraser Optics to distribute defence products in the UAE and the Gulf region. The company will provide its expertise in designing and developing endoscopes and fixed optics as well as sensors used for national defence and homeland security.

IGG struck a deal with Comtech, based in China, one of the largest suppliers of hardware and software solutions.

IGG has also signed an exclusive contract with defence and civil industrial company DMD-CZECHOSLOVAK GROUP, to distribute defence products in the UAE and the Gulf region. The company specialises in designing and developing modern land-based weapons, specialised military vehicles and ammunition, and logistics and machinery products for the automotive and aerospace industry.

IGG also partnered with Denel Vehicle Systems, a South African company dedicated to manufacturing and carrying out maintenance on vehicles and military vehicles.


UAE Navy awards Marte anti-ship missile contract to MBDA

posted on 23/02/2017

MBDA, a world leader in missile systems, has been awarded a contract by the UAE Navy to supply additional Marte MK2/N anti-ship missiles, the company announced last night at the International Defence Exhibition, IDEX 2017.

This is a follow on from an initial contract signed in February 2009 for the supply of Marte missiles. Available with a variety of launcher configurations, Marte MK 2/N are able to strike targets at ranges in excess of 30 km, flying a fire-and-forget sea-skimming profile using mid-course inertial guidance and active radar homing, said MBDA, which is owned jointly by Airbus Group, BAE Systems and Leonardo.

"MBDA is one of the country's leading defence suppliers and will continue to show our long-standing commitment and support for the UAE Armed Forces", said Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA, in a press statement.

"This new contract reaffirms MBDA pre-eminence in the anti-ship sector and is clear proof of the technology leadership of the Marte missile family that, over the years, has continued to be competitive and able to respond to increasing customer requirements, thanks to its modular design," said Pasquale Di Bartolomeo, MBDA's Executive Group Director Strategy and Managing Director of MBDA Italia.

With a significant presence in five European countries and the USA, in 2015, MBDA achieved a turnover of 2.9 billion Euros with an order book of 15.1 billion Euros.

With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces of land, sea and air.

In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasure products already in operational service and more than 15 others are currently in development.


ADNEC, ADASI sign strategic partnership agreement

posted on 23/02/2017

Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) signed on Wednesday a partnership agreement with Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI), the region's first reliable one-stop solutions provider within the autonomous systems industry.

The agreement mandates the participation of ADASI as a strategic partner in the 2018 editions of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference (UMEX) and Simulation Exhibition and Conference (SimTEX), set to run at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 25 to 27 February, 2018.

The partnership agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 13th edition of International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX 2017) between Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO of ADNEC and Ali Al Yafei, CEO of ADASI. Her Excellency Noura Mohammed Hilal Al Kaabi, the UAE Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairwoman of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) and Homaid Al Shemmari, Chairman of ADASI, also attended the ceremony.

Noura Mohammed Hilal Al Kaabi, the UAE Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairwoman of ADNEC, said: "ADNEC is keen to build strategic partnerships with leading national companies to ensure the success of these landmark exhibitions. The agreement signed with ADASI today supports our ongoing efforts to attract major local and international players in the unmanned systems sector to participate in UMEX 2018 and SimTEX 2018. We are confident such synergies will further enhance Abu Dhabi's leading status as the venue of choice for hosting specialised international events of the calibre of IDEX and UMEX."

Homaid Al Shemmari, Chairman of ADASI, said, "Our partnership agreement with ADNEC articulates our commitment to supporting specialised events that promote the UAE's defence industry – especially the unmanned systems sector. Our participation in UMEX will enable us to showcase the latest technologies and innovations in the unmanned systems sector and help us build partnerships and explore new business opportunities. We are confident that events such as UMEX will significantly enhance the competitiveness of our defence industry and help boost ADASI's capabilities in the unmanned systems sector."

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO of ADNEC, said: "We are delighted to enter this partnership agreement with one of the leading specialised, next generation technology companies in the defence industry. Such partnerships drive our efforts to achieve further growth in the number of international and local companies participating in the 2018 edition of UMEX and SimTEX".

Al Dhaheri added, "UMEX and SimTEX offer a unique platform to bring together the world's prominent players in the unmanned systems sector under one roof to demonstrate their prowess in this niche industry. These technologies play a crucial role in ensuring the stability and prosperity of nations through acting as a catalyst for further development."

Ali Al Yafei, CEO of ADASI, said, "ADASI prioritises participating in specialised defence events such as UMEX that offer an important platform to showcase our cutting-edge technologies and solutions in this niche industry. We look forward to the upcoming editions of UMEX and SimTEX where we hope to sign important business deals and forge productive partnerships."

Organised by ADNEC in collaboration with the UAE Armed Forces, UMEX 2018 will highlight new, advanced unmanned technologies and demonstrate how they can be utilised by militaries across the GCC region, in addition to exploring their potential civilian uses.

UMEX and SimTEX attract international delegations and decision-makers from within the defence and aerospace industry, as well as senior officials from key government and private sectors.


Aqdar, Watani Al Emarat signs MoU for national charter for students

posted on 23/02/2017

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, yesterday attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Khalifa Student Empowerment Programme (Aqdar) and the Watani Al Emarat Foundation, which would strengthen their communication and promote partnerships to raise national awareness.

The MoU was signed by Ahmed Mohamed Al Maraan on behalf of the Supreme Committee of Aqdar, and Dherar Belhoul Al Falasi, Director-General of the Watani Al Emarat Foundation.

Under the terms of the MoU, Aqdar will provide the Watani Al Emarat Foundation with a comprehensive curriculum during the school year, train its co-ordinators and officers and introduce them to the programme's goals and structure, and co-operate in designing educational content for the programme's implementation.

Watani Al Emarat Foundation is committed to adopting the national awareness component as stated in the National Charter for Students, the main reference for unifying the preventive and awareness message for students. It also provides Aqdar with the annual working plan for their joint programmes.

Colonel Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Dabal, General Co-ordinator of Aqdar, stated that both sides will work to promote loyalty, national belonging, citizenship values and the strengthening of community values, and co-operate to promote creativity and partnerships in the volunteering field, as well as encourage volunteers to actively participate in community service and humanitarian work. They will also hold workshops, seminars and cultural and awareness programmes.

Dherar Belhoul Al Falasi, Director-General of the Watani Al Emarat Foundation, praised the co-ordination and co-operation with Aqdar, noting that the MoU is an actual implementation of directives from the UAE leadership to unify national institutional efforts for students awareness.


Expo 2020 Dubai to serve world a taste of UAE

posted on 23/02/2017

Expo 2020 Dubai yesterday launched a search for producers of authentic Emirati and regional products including dates, Arabian coffee and sweets, chocolate and spices, which will form part of a warm, mouth-watering welcome offered to Expo's millions of visitors from around the world.

This is the second of up to 40 licensed product categories put out to tender by Expo following last month's campaign in search of souvenir manufacturers. Licensed food products will be sold at selected outlets across the UAE, including dedicated Expo retail stores that are expected to open in 2018, as well as the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

With the Dubai Food Festival kicking off later this week, Najeeb Al-Ali, Executive Director of Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai, said that he hopes the UAE-based food producers will be inspired to compete for the chance to benefit from Expo's reach. "We want to work with producers to create a range of products that authentically reflect our heritage and the multinational diversity of the modern UAE. We have an incredible, vibrant food scene that combines traditional Arabian products like qahwa, dates and spices, with international influences, and we want to share that with Expo 2020 Dubai visitors," he said.

"Our ambition is for the Expo opportunity to support the development of home-grown food brands. I hope that UAE-based SMEs and food-producers will harness their creativity and innovation to serve up high quality traditional and home-made treats that will appeal to the millions who visit both before and during the World Expo. We hope there will be something to appeal to the taste buds of everyone," Mr. Al-Ali added.

The tendering process to become a licensed-food producer at Expo 2020 is fully online and open to businesses of any size from anywhere in the world. The initial stage for companies to register their interest closes on 9th March 2017. A team from Expo 2020 Dubai will also be present at Gulfoods 2017, which kicks off on 26th February.

Anita Chandler, Director of Licensing and Merchandising at Expo 2020 Dubai, said that she relished working with licensees to develop innovative food concepts highlighting the skills of local producers, adding, "I'm really looking forward to finding high quality products and distinctive flavours of the UAE and the region. We're going to be welcoming millions of people from across the world in 2020, and I want them all to be able to take home something different, that leaves them with a lasting taste of the UAE."


DMC, DPC launch e-book edition for Arab Media Outlook report

posted on 23/02/2017

Dubai Media City, DMC, and Dubai Press Club, DPC, announced on Wednesday the launch of the e-book edition of the "Arab Media Outlook, 2016-2018: Youth..Content..Digital" report.

Available in an interactive digital format that conforms with the digital transformation era, the report reflects Dubai's strategy and approach to becoming amongst the world's smartest cities. The e-book is meant to reach a broader audience across the region, and is targeted at the Arab world's media professionals, academics, and students, as well as those looking to expand their knowledge of the media ecosystem.

The launch of the e-book comes at a time of rapid industry transformation that witnesses the growing impact of media and the adoption of social media platforms. The report also highlights key issues that require more effort, research and investment in the coming years as the media landscape evolves, covering key trends, changes and developments of the Arab media landscape in 14 Arab countries.

Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and Dubai Production City, said, "The media landscape across our region is rapidly evolving, with Dubai playing a leading role in the industry's transformation. The Arab Media Report brings to the fore credible insights and an outlook for the industry with the emergence of new channels, tools and platforms for media professionals."

"The efforts in developing this report is commendable, and makes this a definitive guide for entrepreneurs and established businesses who are looking to achieve growth in a new era for media. This report underlines our partnership with the Dubai Press Club, to drive industry-wide progress as the ways we create and consume content is changing," he added.

Director of the Dubai Press Club, Alia Al Theeb, said the publishing of the e-book edition of the report comes in line with Dubai's smart strategy, and the emirate's smart transformation. "Digital publishing serves as an efficient means to build bridges of communication with different cultures and civilisations. The Arab region's media industry has an important role to play in this."

Al Theeb confirmed that the fifth version of the report provides a clear insight into the media landscape for the coming era and the changes and developments it will witness.

She added, "These kind of reports are very important because they present in-depth information and key outcomes that should be addressed in research and analysis to identify the optimal ways to pursue the media development journey in accordance with the latest dynamics and changes imposed by the new media era."

Al Theeb continued, "The report serves as an important reference that offers reliable data to understand and analyse the changes in the media landscape in 14 Arab countries, in addition to future outlooks and trends, and represents a helpful and supportive tool for decision-making and policy development for the media sector.

The report provides media sector professionals with a detailed map with great deal of important data on continuously growing media sectors and how best to leverage them, as well as identifying best channels of communication with the content consumer.

It conducts an in-depth research and quantitative study including social media users in various areas of the Arab world, in addition to discussion groups of social media influencers. Social networking platforms were researched thoroughly including Snapchat, Periscope, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, YouTube, Google, and LinkedIn focusing on outlooks for social media channels and the expected updates and improvements in terms of use, content type, and preference.

The overall regional media market is expected to grow to US$12.4 billion by 2018. The key dynamic changing the region's media industry is youth engagement on digital platforms, with an increasing young population aged under 24 compromising almost 50 percent of the region, which is double that of many developed countries including the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

The report provides figures and numbers that help in understanding the social and economic impacts of social media in the Arab world from the viewpoint of social media users, economists, media and communication experts, and government officials, by highlighting use patterns of social media in the Arab world, in addition to measuring user impressions on the various channels.

The report showcases ways to keep up with this growing trend by exploring appropriate solutions and alternatives that ensure that the Arab media sector stay competitive. In addition, the report highlights the importance of finding ways to ensure the successful combination of digital platforms on one hand, and press, television, and radio, on the other hand, and using these platforms to support media in its conventional form to grow and maintain its position.


Female students at UAE University develop multi-task, multi-purpose "Smart Submarine"

posted on 23/02/2017

Students Amira Sulaiman, Shamsa Al Mansouri and Sarah Al Amri, under the supervision of Dr. Khawla Al Kaabi, Head of the Geography Department and Executive President for Innovation at UAE University, developed a multi-task and multi-purpose "Smart Submarine" for maritime navigation.

According to the students, the submarine is a modern technological equipment that utilises the latest developments in maritime navigation. It is equipped with sensors that measure the water temperature and the levels of salt and alkalinity, and provide accurate readings for the environment.

The submarine can provide a rich data source for maritime navigation and the environment on the sea floor, which will enable explorers and specialists to deal appropriately with the sea's environment, contributing to the production of accurate and beneficial data for serving navigation, they added.

The "Smart Submarine" is a new innovation and a new step in the race for challenge and creativity, which UAE University students have taken on as part of their educational journey, Dr. Al Kaabi said.

The submarine also serves the country's plans for advancing maritime navigation, and provides accurate data and statistics that can benefit specialists in the field, she added.

The submarine collects accurate data through a sonar that draws systemised and high-quality geographical maps of the sea floor, measures the degree of salt and alkaline in the water, and provides co-ordinates for different routes through the bottom of the sea, contributing to advances in maritime navigation, she further added.

According to Dr. Al Kaabi, the submarine can follow the activities of underwater teams, observe the work of maritime piracy, defeat the plans of pirates and detect petroleum leaks on the sea floor, as well as study and determine types of seaweeds, generate electricity from sea salt and search for missing bodies.

She added that the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2017) is an international platform to attract creative talent, and stated that UAE University is home to creative minds that can keep up with international changes and developments in all areas. The "Smart Submarine" was the starting innovation that suits the local environment, and was developed for military use, she further added.


Ministerial Development Council appoints Mohammed Jalal Al Raisi Executive Director of WAM

posted on 23/02/2017

The Ministerial Development Council has appointed Mohammed Jalal Al Raisi Executive Director of Emirates New Agency ( WAM ) with the grade of Assistant Under-Secretary at the National Media Council ( NMC ).


ERC sends more aid to population in Hadramaut

posted on 23/02/2017

HADRAMAUT: The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has sent urgent relief convoy to some areas in the Governorate of Hadramaut due to dire conditions endured by the population there.

The aid convoy is a continuation of the ERC's humanitarian aid programme and part of a number of campaigns carried out in all Hadramaut and other remote areas.

Beneficiaries expressed their happiness at the arrival of the convoy and stressed that it came at the right time to alleviate their suffering as result of the deterioration of the economic situation and disruption of the sources of income.