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Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week set to drive business opportunities as investment in renewables reaches record high

posted on 08/12/2016

The 2017 edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is on track to be the most important in the event's history for driving commercially focused action, said industry leaders at a press event on Wednesday.

Hosted by Masdar, the forthcoming ADSW theme is ‘Practical Steps Towards a Sustainable Future'. The week's anchor event, the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a strong focus on technology, innovation and finance. The rapidly falling cost of renewable energy has transformed the business case for the ‘green economy', unlocking an increasing number of investment opportunities.

Last year, global investment in renewables reached an all-time high of nearly US$300 billion. Competitive bids for solar energy projects in the UAE have twice broken records for the lowest price for solar power generation at less than 3 US cents per kilowatt-hour.

Renewable energy, including solar energy and wind, is now widely seen as having reached the critical mass needed to complement conventional energy sources in the global energy mix. Recent bids represent an enormous fall in price from around 8 to 9 cents per kilowatt-hour at the end of 2014, which is encouraging established energy companies to diversify and increase investment in renewable projects.

"I am honoured to say that ADSW has consistently delivered on motivating global action for a more sustainable future," said Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, host of the event. "This is reinforced by the strong momentum in the renewable energy sector, which has achieved commercial viability, and is now recognised as a mature, mainstream industry. This year's ADSW will continue to build on the event's unique ability to enable dialogue between policy makers, business and academia, bringing collaboration and shared actions across the interconnected dependencies of energy, water and waste."

First held in 2008, WFES is firmly established as the leading event for green energy investors, buyers and vendors across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as South Asia. The four-day event will host leading decision makers from major renewables markets including Saudi Arabia, India, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and the UAE – countries with more than 200 gigawatts worth of sustainable energy projects in the pipeline.

Bookings show the event is likely to host around 880 companies from 40 countries. More than 50 per cent of exhibitors at the event are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from leading clean tech nations including Germany, France, Japan, China, the USA and the UK, further illustrating the commercial dynamism and maturity of the sector.

Energy is the centrepiece of the UAE's expanding green economy. Renewable energy projects already announced or developed in the UAE will amount to 7 per cent of installed capacity by 2020. This in turn is pushing investment in new, energy efficient desalination methods to secure the nation's water supply. In addition, waste management targets aim to divert 75 per cent of waste from landfill by 2021.

ADSW 2017 will see the return of important co-located events that promote a complete cycle of sustainability, including the 5th International Water Summit, supported by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), and the 4th EcoWASTE exhibition and conference, held in partnership with Tadweer, The Center of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi (CWM).

"Our strategy is focused on renewables, and that needs to be the case with both of our core businesses: water and electricity," said Eng. Mohammed bin Jarsh, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company. "Our water supply relies on desalination, most of which is achieved through co-generation, using the waste heat from thermal power stations to evaporate seawater. Alongside our commitment to solar energy, our future investments in water desalination will therefore need to use new technologies, such as the latest advances in reverse osmosis, to meet growing demand and ensure a truly sustainable water supply."

The International Water Summit (IWS) is a global platform for promoting water sustainability in arid regions by bringing together world leaders, field experts, academics and business innovators to accelerate the development of new sustainable strategies and technologies.

EcoWASTE is an international platform for promoting sustainable waste management practices and recycling, and is the region's largest gathering for waste management and recycling professionals. Held under the slogan ‘From Waste to Resource', EcoWASTE aims to support the region's urgent waste disposal challenges in the quest for sustainable development and environmental protection.

"EcoWASTE is an ideal platform for knowledge and best practices exchange, along with launching new technologies and projects for waste management," said Eisa Saif Al Qubaisi, General Manager of Tadweer. "We strongly believe that the organisation of this exhibition enables the future strategic planning framework locally and regionally; EcoWASTE highlights the challenges and opportunities within the waste management industry, and helps us find the ideal options to transform waste into economic drivers."

ADSW 2017 exhibitions and conferences are expecting 38,000 attendees from 175 countries. That represents a threefold increase since its inaugural edition in 2008, and a strong indicator of the green economy's growth and the event's success in supporting businesses as the commercial environment matures.

"When we partnered with Masdar on the World Future Energy Summit in 2009, we understood that our role was to help create an active global market in Abu Dhabi for policy, science and business to forge partnerships and innovation in sustainable technology through our international network in over 50 countries, and we have consistently built on that purpose," said Ara Fernezian, Group Managing Director - Middle East, at Reed Exhibitions, the event organiser for WFES, IWS and EcoWASTE.

With the development of the industry and the launch of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week by Masdar, IWS was launched in 2013 in strategic partnership with ADWEA, and EcoWASTE was launched in 2014, in strategic partnership with Tadweer, to connect energy, water and waste management for a sustainable future.

"The events in 2017 will engage global industry partners and professionals, through a bespoke business matchmaking programme that brings buyers and sellers together to drive the industry's development," added Fernezian. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395304378634.html


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Etihad Museum opens doors to public in January 2017

posted on 08/12/2016

Etihad Museum will open its doors to the general public from 7th January 2017, the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) has announced.

This follows the recent official inauguration of the museum on 2nd December, on the eve of UAE's 45th National Day in the presence of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Members of the Federal Supreme Council.

The museum will welcome visitors all week long from 10am to 8pm, and will present educational exhibits and programmes that show the chronological events of the agreement signing and Union declaration in 1971.

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director-General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority said, "This landmark heritage initiative is an important manifestation of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to create an important national UAE cultural and tourist landmark. It will offer the public a valuable opportunity to discover year-round the events before, during and after the Union agreement's signing in 1971. In doing so, the museum will enhance visitor understanding of the rights, privileges and responsibilities bestowed upon the nation's citizens through the UAE constitution."

As part of Dubai Culture's wider role in establishing a regulatory framework for the Emirate's heritage sector, Etihad Museum will contribute to the realisation of the Dubai Plan 2021 objectives, to consolidate the Emirate's position as a home for creative individuals who are proud of their cultural identity.

Visitors will be able to enjoy reading books at the Dubai Public Library branch within the museum, which will hold three thousand different titles on the UAE's national and social history. Pictures, movies and documents from 1968 to 1974 will be on display to provide numerous points of interest throughout the nation building process of the nation, all of which is captured in the museum.

The Etihad Museum's new permanent pavilion is inspired by the shape of a manuscript, with seven columns which emulate the pens used to sign the 1971 Union agreement, while the museum's identity is inspired from the colours of the UAE flag, the Union's identity and the seven emirates. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395304367167.html


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du pledges AED1 million to Emirates Foundation for youth development initiatives

posted on 08/12/2016

du, the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, has pledged AED1 million over the next two years in support of the philanthropic initiatives of Emirates Foundation, the national foundation of the UAE established to facilitate public-private partnerships for empowering youth, as its Gold Partner.

The collaboration between the two entities will commence in January 2017, with an aim to invest in youth development initiatives in the UAE.

"In line with du's overall sustainability and business objectives to support the UAE community and to empower its youth, we are proud to sponsor an organisation that believes in the importance of the next generation," said Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, du. "Our support of Emirates Foundation through this partnership will help further their work and thus strengthen community development overall. By investing in the future of our country's youth, we are helping to cultivate a sustainable knowledge economy that will yield the leaders and innovators of tomorrow."

"At Emirates Foundation, we acknowledge that philanthropy cannot operate in a vacuum. Engaging Business partners such as du is essential to addressing youth development systemically and sustainably," Clare Woodcraft-Scott, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Foundation, said.

"Our broad spectrum of programmes – from leadership development, to volunteering, and promoting innovation and social enterprises in the UAE and GCC at large - are all invaluable ingredients for engaging the private sector to give back to the community and play an active role in youth development. We are looking forward to working with du and engaging their teams in our programmes and see a lot of benefits for both organizations, particularly in terms of introducing our youth to the telecommunications sector and providing them with essential relevant skills to explore careers on this front," she added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395304367760.html


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Dubai Travelers' Festival attracts 36 adventurers

posted on 08/12/2016

The Dubai Travelers' Festival, the largest gathering of adventurers and explores in the world, who meet annually to celebrate their experiences and stories from their journey's across oceans and continents, will return to the city from 14th to 17th December.

'In its 5th year, the Dubai Travelers Festival will be held at the Mush if Park and will be the largest in terms of participants as it will attract 36 adventurers, mostly from the UAE and Arab countries,' said Awad Mohammad Mojrin, Chairman of the Organising Committee.

Held under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Crown Prince of Dubai, the festival is also set to see a number of international travelers, many of who have made significant achievements during their travels across the world by car, boat, foot, horse, camel, bicycle and plane.

It is a stage where these seasoned adventurers can share their experiences with visitors and among one another through workshops, lectures, interviews and documentary screenings. Their stories of the lofty summits they've scaled, the oceans they've crossed, and the dangers of the jungles they've faced with wild-animals, and the lonely roads they've travelled will inspire you to discover more of the world around you, or to take a second look at the different ways that people live on this wonderful planet.

The event also will show photography exhibitions, workshops and seminars, contests and much more.

Dubai Travelers' Festival came to life in 2012 and has been held annually since in Dubai. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304386738.html


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Over 70 entries confirmed for the 2016 Dubai International Rally

posted on 08/12/2016

The 2016 Dubai International Rally, running for the first time under its new format as a Cross Country Baja Rally, will feature a bumper entry list of over 70 cars, buggies, motorcycles and Quads.

The 2016 Dubai International Rally is organised by the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), and is being staged as a candidate event for the 2017 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies. The event has already secured a place in the 2017 FIM Baja World Cup.

The event kicks off with a ceremonial start taking place at the Bab Al Shams Arena on Thursday 8th December 2016 at 19:30, with the competitive stages of over 220kms taking place in the desert south of Al Qudra all day on Friday 9th December 2016.

"We are delighted that so many competitors have come out to support our new initiative with the event, and it is a personal pleasure for me to see the Dubai International Rally return to the level that it deserves as the UAE's oldest motorsport event", said President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of ATCUAE, who won the event a record 15 times when it was a round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship.

"Such high numbers even for the candidate event fully justifies the decision we made to evolve the event into a Cross Country Baja Rally, which is the dominant discipline now in the Gulf".

The biggest name on the International Entry List for cars is Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, regular World Rally Championship competitor and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Racing, as he continues his steps into off-road rallying. It will truly be a family affair for Sheikh Khalid as his brother, Sheikh Abdulla Al Qassimi, and nephew, Sheikh Mohammed Al Qassimi, will both take part in the national portion of the event.

Sheikh Khalid will be using the event as final training prior to making his debut in the infamous Dakar Rally, which kicks off in a little over one months' time. Also on the entry list for both the Dubai International Rally and the Dakar Rally, and highlighting just what a popular destination the UAE now is for motorsport competitors, is two time FIA African Rally Champion Conrad Rautenbach from Zimbabwe, as well as Italian motorcyclist Manuel Luchese, who will compete in the ‘Malle Moto' class at Dakar, where riders compete with no support crew and minimal spare parts.

In total, there are 24 cars and buggies taking part in the international part of the event, with a further 10 cars and buggies running in the national section. A further 44 motorcycles and quads, including the leading riders from the region like Mohammed Al Balooshi, Mohammed Jaffar and Khalid Al Falasi, will also take part in the event for the first time. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/sports/1395304387140.html


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Jawaher Al Qasimi marks January 15th as official launch date for fifth edition of Sharjah Children Biennial

posted on 08/12/2016

Children from across the globe are being given the perfect opportunity to imagine, create and innovate with the launch of the fifth edition of the Sharjah Children Biennial (SCB). Set to commence on January 15th, 2017, the date of the fifth edition of SCB has been officially announced by H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA).

Organised by Sharjah Children Centres under the theme ‘A World as Big as Your Imagination,' SCB will be held over one month and will see the participation of a host of talented children from across the globe. The event's organisers say that the biennial offers children the ideal environment where they can discover their creative talents, explore new artistic mediums and interact with their peers from around the world.

"Sharjah is investing in the future by developing children's capabilities and leveraging their talents. Our aim is to create a generation full of life and love – one that is able to build a better and brighter future for itself and its community. SCB grants children the freedom to imagine, create and innovate within a fertile environment where they can explore their full potential. It allows children to imagine the future in which they would like to live and helps to protect them from negative influences," said Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi.

She stressed that children all over the world can benefit significantly from undertaking artistic activities, as these boost creativity and inventiveness. She emphasised that SCB encourages investment in the future through nurturing children's imagination, enabling them to draw their dreams and ambitions as well as exchange their thoughts and ideas with youngsters from other global communities.

The fifth edition of SCB aims to push children's imagination to the fore, encouraging them to overcome obstacles and borders through art and through expressing their ideas without restriction. As with its previous editions, the event will work on the principle that young dreams can transform into grand inventions. The forthcoming SCB aspires to motivate children to showcase their creative talents through its three competition categories; architecture design, environment, and fantasy and reality.

SCB represents the first-of-its-kind and most prominent artistic event for children in the UAE and the GCC. The first edition of SCB was held in 2008 and was a platform for children to unlock their potential across a variety of artistic genres. In the editions since its inception, the biennial has witnessed large local and international participation due to its growing prominence and the high standards it applies in the selection of artwork. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395304359391.html


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Young UAE artists contribute to ‘2nd December Street’ project

posted on 08/12/2016

Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office, has assigned a group of young UAE artists to work on the ‘2nd December Street' project in Dubai, the first phase of the Dubai Street Museum initiative. The project is being jointly implemented by Brand Dubai and Dubai Municipality.

Both local and international artists are participating in the project that is set to be completed over a period of five years. It aims to display the works of the artists on buildings along 2nd December Street, one of the busiest streets in Dubai. The project also offers a unique opportunity for Emirati artists to engage with major international mural artists.

Shaima Al Suwaidi, Project Manager of the Dubai Street Museum project, said that Brand Dubai ensures all its key projects feature UAE artists as part of its commitment to support their development. She also said that the UAE artists are making a unique contribution to the project. "Local artists have created distinctive murals for the ‘2nd December Street' project and displayed a high level of skills. The project has facilitated their engagement with famous international mural artists from diverse genres, which will help them enhance their ability to execute such large projects," Al Suwaidi said.

Maitha Al Mazroui, Senior Green Building Engineer at Dubai Municipality, said that the Municipality is keen to provide opportunities like these for young UAE artists to showcase their talent. She said that the Municipality is committed to supporting young talent as part of a strategic talent development plan. She also said that the Municipality has come up with a comprehensive plan to execute the project, designed to match Dubai's objectives and support the implementation of new creative ideas.

UAE artists participating in the project praised the organisers for the opportunity to take part in creative projects like the 2nd December Street project. They also expressed their keenness to participate in future phases of the project that will allow them to showcase their skills, and their happiness at being able to contribute to the creation of murals based on themes related to Dubai's history at a time when the nation was celebrating its 45th National Day.

Ahwaq Abdullah, a young UAE artist said that the project offered an opportunity for local artists to contribute to such mega projects. As part of the project, she created her version of a famous photograph of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum taken by UAE photographer, Noor Ali Rashid.

The young artist said that the mural is the biggest she has ever drawn, and that it was challenging to work on the mural in open spaces where artists cannot control all the conditions, including the weather and light. She said that she was able to overcome the challenges because of her passion for the theme. "I wasn't able to move easily and had to walk long distances to review the mural. Light was also an obstacle at times apart from the lack of a quiet environment. At the end, I managed to overcome all the challenges and meet the deadline," she said. The mural took 10 days to complete, she added.

Mayssoun Al Salah hailed the project which aims to showcase Dubai in a uniquely creative way by linking the present with its past and future. She said that her mural, which took 12 days to complete, was based on old postage stamps.

Hamdan Bati Al Shamsi said that he selected Al Ayal art as a topic for his artwork. He used new techniques to create his version of the style of art that is typically used for images displayed in official celebrations and weddings. He added that his mural was completed in seven days.

The Dubai Street Museum project seeks to highlight the UAE's unique history, heritage, achievements and aspirations through public artworks. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395304348752.html

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