Saturday, November 28, 2015

Stable bilateral ties

''I would like to express my profound gratitude and appreciation for the fifth meetings of the committee that have been very successful. The UAE-Russia ties are strategic. Russia is a strategic partner of the UAE and we are looking forward for broader bilateral cooperation in diverse areas,'' Sheikh Abdullah stated after the signing of legal documents.

H.H. reiterated the UAE's condemnation of the series of terrorist acts that struck many countries recently, mainly the Russian plane that crashed over Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and the recent shooting down of the Russian military plane in Syria.

He said, ''The two countries maintain close partnership that grew over the recent years and we believe that these bonds deserve even more effort to boost and diversify them.'' He noted the increasing attention being paid to the flow of investment between the two countries. ''We believe that what Mubadala Development Co. and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) are doing is yet another proof of the strong trust and cooperation between the two countries. Definitely, the conclusion of the MoUs on cooperation in sports and intellectual property demonstrates the diversity of ties, not only in political, military and investment domains but also in sports and other economic aspects related to the protection of intellectual property rights.

''We think these aspects will further boost the investment climate as well as the economic cooperation and exchange and the people-to-people bonds."

Expressing his thanks to the Russian minister for his efforts in advancing the bilateral ties, Sheikh Abdullah said, ''Your desire and keenness have played a vital and strong role in solidifying these ties. No doubt, the directives of Emirati and Russian leaderships aim to expand cooperation in all spheres.'' The Russian minister thanked Sheikh Abdullah for hosting the fifth meeting of the committee, noting that bilateral ties were based on direct cooperation between the leaders.

He said, ''In addition to our keenness to bolster these ties, we are also interested in building tripartite cooperation, particularly in our joint projects in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, including Cuba, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Egypt. We hope such cooperation would generate opportunities and potentials for furthering our ties and increasing the flow of investments and trade exchange between us.'' He expressed the hope for maintaining the current dynamism for further consolidating these ties in all fields, including economy, trade, investment and culture, referring to the two MoUs signed today, along with a recent one in the area of judicial cooperation.

He thanked Sheikh Abdullah for his efforts to enhance bilateral diplomatic ties and for his sincere desire to develop economic cooperation, wishing success for the projects aimed at expanding the joint cooperation as discussed by the committee.

Earlier, Sheikh Abdullah and the Russian minister discussed bilateral friendly relations in areas of economy, trade and industry. They also exchanged views about a host of latest developments in the region that were of mutual concern.
Khaled Ghanem Al Ghaith, Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs and International Cooperation, and Omar Saif Gobash, UAE Ambassador to Russia, attended both meetings.

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You can drive a taxi even if you don't speak the language

DUBAI - The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai has announced the endorsement of seven additional languages in the theory knowledge driving test (the knowledge test needed to obtain vehicle driving license).

The service, which enables examinees to select the option of running the text in their mother tongues, is part of RTA's continuous endeavors to achieve its third strategic goal of making people happier.

"The seven languages added are Hindi, Persian, Russian, Chinese, Bengali, Tamil, and Malayalam. The test material is run in a voice-over translation accompanying the text written in the language of the examinee. This brings the total number of languages available in the Knowledge Test to 11 languages. Thus the applicant can now avail the chance of selecting the preferred test language; which translates into a better and clearer understanding of driving & traffic rules in a way securing the safety of road users as well as the examinee, after clearing the tests and obtaining the driver license," Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA Licensing Agency, said.

With the introduction of this step, he noted, all permits issued in respect of employees who were previously entitled to translate the test material have been terminated; which is an important procedure towards ensuring the transparency and neutrality of the test in respect of all examinees.

Meanwhile, the written Arabic language test has been amplified with the voice-over service to enhance the audio understanding of traffic rules and offer equitable chances to all applicants, he added

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Did Corrie use our photo

AMMAN - The UAE-Jordan Economic Forum concluded today on a high note, following six discussion panels which discussed topics related to economic cooperation, investment and business climates, SMEs, as well as best practices.

The UAE delegation, headed by Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, included officials from the country's chambers of commerce and industry and representative from the public and private sectors.

The forum was also attended by Bilal Rabee Al Bodour, UAE Ambassador to Jordan, Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehi, Under-secretary of the Economy Ministry and other officials.

A panel dedicated to the investment climate in the UAE, was moderated by Marwan Al Serkal, Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), who said the UAE offers an ideal environment to investors, characterised by stability, modern infrastructure, flexible legislations and over 35 free zones providing huge facilities such as a 100 percent ownership of business.

He added that the attractive investment climate enabled the UAE to feature among the world's top 22 countries in the 2015's 'Ease of Doing Business' report, with Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs') crossing the US$ 13 billion mark and total foreign investment accounting for more than US$ 100 billion. 

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Focus on advanced energy and sustainable technologies

Abu Dhabi – The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced the launch of its new Masdar Institute Solar Platform (MISP), a concentrating solar power (CSP) research facility in Masdar City designed to advance innovative and cutting-edge CSP technologies and play a central role in the recently launched Masdar Solar Hub.

The inauguration of the MISP was attended by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, Chairman of Masdar, and Chairman of the Masdar Institute Board of Trustees Executive Committee. Jens Eikaas, Norwegian Ambassador to the UAE, delivered opening remarks on the importance of UAE-Norwegian research and development collaborations.
In a keynote speech, Masdar Institute’s Dr. Steve Griffiths, Vice President for Research, highlighted the Institute’s efforts to establish partnerships in public and private sectors to enhance research and development of critical technology-based innovations in key UAE industries.
The launch of the facility featured an announcement by EnergyNest, a Norwegian thermal storage technology developer, that it has validated at the facility its thermal energy storage (TES) pilot that stores thermal energy up to 400 C, making it the first high-temperature thermal energy storage system in the Middle East. This innovative new technology, which uses a special concrete as storage media and a smart modular configuration, has the potential to drop the costs of TES systems in CSP facilities significantly.
The launch also featured an in-depth panel session, which explored the opportunities and potential of the MISP and the Masdar Solar Hub to accelerate the UAE’s growth in the solar energy markets.
Dr. Behjat AlYousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute, said: "We are pleased to announce the official launch of the Masdar Institute Solar Platform, which will provide pioneering solar power companies, universities and our own faculty and students a place to research, develop and test concentrating solar and thermal energy technologies. The Masdar Institute Solar Platform will help to validate CSP and thermal energy technologies at the pre-commercial level by providing the tools and expertise required to test these systems at Masdar Institute’s unique solar beam-down tower, which is the critical link required to translate next-generation CSP systems into commercially viable products. The MISP will help to position the UAE as a global hub for CSP technologies and a leader in the evolving energy market."
Guests at the MISP launch enjoyed tours of the platform, where a wide range of innovations are currently being tested on-site, including new silicon mirrors that can better handle the UAE’s harsh desert conditions and the storage of thermal energy for the production of power using a novel single-tank storage system.
Using Masdar Institute’s one-of-a-kind 100 kW beam-down CSP facility, the aim of the Solar Platform is to build a high-performance CSP research and demonstration infrastructure in the region. This will provide the foundation for new product development, cooperation with local and international companies and academic organizations, and the creation of human capital highly trained in CSP and thermal energy storage (TES) systems in Abu Dhabi -- efforts which directly support Abu Dhabi’s initiative to provide 7% of its power generation capacity from renewable energy technologies by 2020.
Dr. Christian Thiel, CEO, EnergyNest, said: "The platform at Masdar Institute allows for a truly unique storage technology to be demonstrated and showcased to the world. We are extremely excited over the prospects of our new thermal storage technology for the region - and we look forward to continuing research efforts and expanding our collaboration activities with Masdar"
Dr. Nicolas Calvet, Chair of MISP and Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Masdar Institute said: "The MISP takes Masdar Institute’s novel beam-down CSP pilot plant and transforms it into a unique research tool for development of TES systems and CSP components."
The main purpose of the MISP is to develop and leverage both human capital and solar resources to increase the implementation and utilization of CSP in the UAE, which is considered a promising source of solar power for large scale power generation.
"Right now, there is a big focus on PV since costs have come down thanks to investment in research. CSP coupled with TES is an alternative to PV that is capable of producing constant power 24 hours a day, making it well suited for system integration and overcoming the storage challenges that PV currently faces," said Dr. Calvet.
The innovative R&D outcomes produced by the MISP intend to lead to the creation of next-generation CSP and TES technologies that are more affordable and efficient, making thermal solar energy a more viable option for solar power generation in the UAE and around the world, helping the UAE reach its innovative renewable energy ambitions.

'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future'

PARIS - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) today officially received the flag as the host of the next world's largest expo in Dubai in 2020 during a grand ceremony in French capital of Paris.

President and Director of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos, presented the baton for Expo 2020 Dubai to H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirates Group, and Chairman of the Supreme National Committee for Expo 2020 Dubai.
Expo 2020 Dubai, themed 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,' has identified three sub-themes around which the global community will gather to sign new collaborations, in order to find solutions to essential matters and to leave a mark of a strong social and economic collaboration around the world.
Milano hosted expo 2015 for six months from May 1 to October 31, 2015.
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State delivered a speech which she started by condemning the act of terror which took place recently in Paris.
Below is a full text of Reem Al Hashemi's speech: Fellow delegates and members of the Bureau Internationale des Expositions.
Before I speak about Expo 2020 and its’ place in my nation’s heart, I would like to take a simple moment to add my voice to billions of others, around the world, in condemnation of the terror that so recently visited the streets and the people of this great city of light.
Hatred, bigotry and fascism affects us all, because it attacks us all. Wisdom, decency, common purpose and love must be our way of neutralizing barbarism.
But, surely, that is what this great institution is all about: to present and reflect our abilities to bring about only the very best our civilization can offer. To bring hope, and light and life onto the streets and into our hearts that is our opportunity. The opportunity you have given to us.
Ladies and Gentleman, on behalf of the Expo 2020 Organizing Committee and the people of the United Arab Emirates, I want to formally thank you for the vote of trust you have bestowed upon our nation.
All of us in the team are deeply conscious of the honor this represents, not least because Expo 2020 will be the first World Expo held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region and specifically hosted by an Arab Nation.
You have brought about a truly historic occasion. And we are more than aware of the extra burden of responsibility this places on our young nation.
I assure you now, that going forward we will work with the same meticulous care and diligence that I hope you feel we have shown to date.
Our aim is both very simple and truly ambitious: to ensure that Expo 2020 Dubai more than repays your faith with an event that we intend will enthrall and amaze our visitors.
But before I say more about that, I want to reflect on what it actually means to host a World Expo.
Looking back, the utterly memorable and genuinely significant Expos have almost always managed to accomplish at least three things, simultaneously: 1. They have captured and enshrined both the heart of the host city and the pulse of the nation.
2. Absorbed the prevailing temperament of the world, celebrating the positive aspects and demonstrating the opportunities that lie ahead.
3. And most have also gazed into the future to predict the coming trends in technology, industry, innovation and across society at large.
With your generous support, we are now undertaking our own Expo, wholly aware that we have some pretty tough acts to follow.
Not least because all our nations stand balanced right on the edge of so many global tipping points: political, technological, economic, social and environmental.
So crafting a theme that has relevance to the times and to the temper of the world was essential in choosing the right path to follow.
In finding a proposition that was persuasive, distinctive and clear; that reflected the identity and spirit of the UAE, yet was wholly relevant to today’s global needs, we realized the vital importance of connections.
That only working together can we hope to solve some of the towering challenges that lie ahead. Your votes signified that you felt the same way too.
Connecting Minds, Creating the Future recognizes that by our very nature we are social creatures whose most basic drives lead us to bond together in communities to find collaborative solutions to common challenges.
We know that we need to blend the thoughtful with the thought-provoking, the hopeful with the hospitable.
Celebrating humanity’s combined brilliance and ensuring our guests enjoy the celebration.
This is where the sub-themes are needed to concentrate our efforts, to be a catalyst, provide focus and lead on to progress.
The sub-themes identify and underscore the drivers of progress.
Realizing Opportunity means we must be more inclusive with greater outreach to the citizenry of the world.
Mobility spans every mechanism from physical logistics and transport, to the built environment and its supporting infrastructure, to real and virtual communications, taking our message and our methodologies beyond our borders.
And Sustainability is there both in word as in deed. We intend to make this the first expo where sustainability has been built in from the word go. Also built in from the earliest moments, our Expo legacy encompasses the economic effects on tourism and business, the reputation legacies in national pride and international impression.
Then there are the Physical legacies: structures and infrastructures with cultural, educational and commercial benefits including research institutes, business and residential spaces.
Make no mistake, our site will transform into a very special area, clustering together science and industry hubs that play to Dubai’s strengths in logistics, air transport and education, providing a further boost to our growing knowledge economy, embedding science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics into the curriculum, helping to prepare our young for the jobs market of the future.
There is, of course, a higher, non-commercial legacy too: Our determination to create a meeting of minds, real and virtual, to encourage and foster empathy between us all, and across the globe, but especially in our region where confidence and belief in our self-worth will,we hope, lead to better understanding of our place alongside every other citizen of the world.
And, in so doing we hope to foster genuine empathy, in its true meaning, and with it, tolerance. Even before we open our gates the work has started with initiatives like Expo Live and the Challenge Fund: championing and rewarding innovative solutions to collective global issues. And with outreach programmes across the spectrum, such as YouthConnect.
Just recently, we had the privilege of hosting almost 700 young people at the first of these annual events. They helped design the agenda and choose the speakers and presenters. They told us clearly what they expect for the future and from their Expo we listened hard and we learned a lot.
They want and need opportunity, they want hope, they want to contribute to a fairer, more decent global civilization.They want Expo to accept and reflect all these things and then offer them back to the world.
Simultaneously, we are engaging with young entrepreneurs for their support and participation, and talking repeatedly to SME’s across the region, to ensure they understand the vital role they have to play.
Similarly, we are constantly meeting with business leaders from many of your own countries through the forum of the international Business Councils.
Events like this are just the beginning: there will be many, many, more over the coming five years extending the conversation from business out into education and beyond, to arts and culture, entertainment and sport.
Above all, out onto the streets and homes; not least our own.
And to help us get the measure of this, to monitor the global pulse, understand the latest thinking and enabling technology, just a few days ago, my team and I sat with three dozen global thought leaders in Dubai.
Over 48 hours, each of our guests presented the very best they could bring from areas as diverse as architecture and artificial intelligence, climatology and culture.
The thinking was wholly positive, utterly forward looking, perilously profound above all it was fresh and new. We listened, we learned, we debated and we discussed. In so many ways it was a connection of minds, that came together aimed at creating the future.
Friends and fellow participants, the clock is ticking; the countdown has begun to Dubai 2020.
We have hit the ground running, determined not to waste a single minute in doing all we can, with your involvement and support, to make this Expo one that is seen as genuinely meaningful, impact and enjoyable.
We’ve already up’d the pace, working to a comprehensive Master Plan that brings all the different threads into a coherent programme that we look forward to telling you more about at next year’s June Assembly.
We’re excited about the process of delivery. It’s a huge and challenging undertaking but, as you have seen, the UAE strives to be a dynamic and highly ambitious nation with a record of getting things done on time and in budget.
And just as you have all collectively come together to award this milestone Expo. So, I hope, you can see your place alongside us as official participants in 2020.
We recognise that this will be easier for some countries than for others, where resources are more constrained.
To that end, we are constructing a calendar of one-to-one meetings with each participant to ensure that every country has the opportunity and funding to tell their own distinctive, national story.
In doing so, the UAE will break new ground by offering all member nations their own individual pavilion, their own unique narrative.
The last time we addressed this assembly we were delighted to tell you that we were on time and on track, that Expo 2020 Dubai had the whole-hearted and unconditional support at every level of Government.
Today, it is my distinct pleasure to tell you that nothing has changed. Except for the better.
The desire to help, to get involved grows stronger by the day.
This time it is my honor to add that we are registered and ready for the journey ahead.
Friends and colleagues, we started this journey together as members of the BIE It is our most fervent wish that we should continue together with universal effort and participation. Not just by providing the bricks and mortar, or rather the concrete and glass, for the pavilions but also by continuing to give us your enthusiasm, engagement, support and backing with messages, ideas, content and legacy. A legacy that will have a meaningful impact for years and decades to come.
I thank you all for your kind attention today, your belief in what we are doing and, of course, for your boundless backing enthusiasm and encouragement.

22 were killed in the cowardly terrorist act

ABU DHABI -- The United Arab Emirates has condemned the terrorist bombing which targeted a presidential guard bus in Tunis yesterday, killing 22 of the security personnel.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement issued today, expressed its denunciation of this cowardly terrorist act and reiterated rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The path vs terrorism

ABU DHABI – The Sawab Centre, a joint UAE-United States initiative to counter the extremism of Daesh (ISIL) terrorist organization on the Internet, has launched the campaign to expose terrorist crimes against women and the deviant organization’s method of exploiting them to achieve its despicable goals.
The word Sawab in Arabic means "doing the right thing" or being on the "right path."
The Centre said in a statement today that the campaign will continue for five days to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, being organized annually by United Nations each year on 25th November.
It said that the campaign would shed light on organized crimes and inhuman exercises meted out to women, and added that the campaign comes in line with the framework of the Centre's activities to expose the propaganda of Daesh and its malicious methods to deceive youth.
The Centre noted that women are strategic targets for terrorists, especially those from the Daesh organization, who launch organized campaigns to lure them. It added that the terrorist organization has succeeded in the beginning to recruit a number of women and girls who later proved they had been deceived. Some of them had managed to escape and miraculously survived, while others succumbed to the torture and sexual exploitation.
It noted that Daesh deliberately employed women in several different roles, with an objective to serve its interests, adding that the terrorist organization set up slavery markets that attracted a number of vulnerable young people. The Daesh's impulsive discourse achieved in the beginnings some success by recruiting some young people, whose dreams subsequently collided with the rocks of death and destruction.
The Centre said that in the beginning the terrorist organization showed women as commodities to entertain its mercenaries. It also exploited the captive girls as a source of financial revenue through establishing public auctions in which women, girls and children were sold.
The campaign is working to provide a number of illustrations, creative designs and visual expressive sections that aim to clarify the Daesh practices that do not comply with the principles and teachings of Islam, especially those related to the brutal treatment of women. It will also publish info graphic cartoons and images that illustrate the work mechanism of the organization regarding the attraction of new recruits, patterns of recruitment and stages, which end up with disastrous consequences for the new recruits.
The Centre called for solidarity among Arab and Muslim youth to counter the terrorist organization online, calling on activists against the extremism to republish the message of the Centre to fight the terrorist under the theme: 'United Against Extremism.' Launched in July to create a forum for the silent majority, the Centre's viewers have so far exceeded 150 million. It is an interactive, credible and transparent platform that brings together intellectual and moderate voices.
The Sawab Centre in Abu Dhabi aims to counter online messages, propaganda and recruitment by Daesh. The centre is a joint online engagement initiative, in support of the Global Coalition Against Daesh. It seeks to give a voice to the millions of Muslim and others around the world that stands united against the terrorism and falsehood propagated by Daesh.
To do so, the Sawab Centre will use online communication and social media tools to put things in the right perspective and to amplify those moderate voices that regularly get drowned out by the noise of the extremists. Through its online engagement, the Sawab Centre will counter the false claims and religious misinterpretations that are being propagated by Daesh and will seek to engage with those vulnerable online communities that are an easy prey for Daesh recruiters.
The Sawab Centre will also work with religious leaders, organizations, businesses, and youth in order to amplify their voices, challenge Daesh's doctrine of hate and intolerance, and to highlight and demonstrate the true values and diversity of Islam.
The Centre builds on and links the various other Counter-Extremism initiatives that have been initiated in the UAE in recent years, including the Hedayah Centre to Counter Violent Extremism and the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies. These initiatives demonstrate the UAE's strong and enduring commitment to a moderate and tolerant society that is deeply rooted in the UAE's history and traditions, where extremism has no place and no future.

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Grief on another martyrdom

ABU DHABI – The General Command of the UAE Armed Forces today announced the martyrdom of Emirati serviceman, Nasser Hassan Mohammed Al Balooshi, who this morning, succumbed to the injuries he sustained while participating in the Saudi-led Arab coalition's ‘Operation Restoring Hope’ in Yemen.
Al Balooshi, who was being treated at a hospital in Germany, was injured during the fight to liberate the historical city of Marib.
The General Command of the UAE Armed Forces extended its sincere condolences to the martyr’s family, asking Allah Almighty to bless his soul and to bestow patience and solace upon his family.

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When it's business, see who leads the way

DUBAI - The sixth annual edition of the Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) Series will be held on Sunday Nov 29, 2015, under the patronage and presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, UAE, who has said, "The work of the ABLF celebrates regional and international dialogue and co-operation to promote growth and create a better future for the region." The event rolls out under the theme of ‘Technology and Disruptive Innovation in 21st Century Asia’ with an important showcase on Women’s Empowerment at the Forum in honor of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood "Mother of the Nation".
The ABLF 2015, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Chamber brings leaders and business giants from across Asia together to support the investments into UAE and promote the UAE as the new global business epicenter. H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO and Chairman of Emirates Airline and Group has said "I support the ABLF’s effort and initiative to celebrate the achievements of Asia in a common forum and its commitment to showcase excellence, sustainability and development."
While enabling UAE’s economic engagement with other Asian nations, through joint ventures and investments, the ABLF also promotes sustainable development that drives the Asian century towards a more equitable and responsible future.
Over the years, the ABLF outreach in Asia has engaged with over 27,000 top-level business leaders and organizations; manifested over 23 well-attended forums for Business, International Relations, Trade, Governance and Policy in 14 countries across Asia, with over 68 global leaders felicitated at the spectacular ABLF Award Ceremonies in the UAE. It is a place for top-level business leaders, to network with private and public enterprise, policy makers, economists, investors, entrepreneurs and knowledge agencies, who are jointly committed to leveraging business opportunities and socio-economic growth with sustainable benefits for all.
"I am glad about the diversity of subjects being discussed, which provides young people with insights into the businesses around them and how they tackle some of their biggest issues", opines the Minister of Energy, UAE, Suhail Mohammed Faraj Al Mazrouei.
With a global attendee profile, the ABLF 2015 will feature confirmed presence of leaders such as Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Mohamed Thani Murshed Ghannam Al Rumaithi, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Chamber; Mohamed Helal Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Chamber; Kamal Nath, Former Union Cabinet Minister, Government of India; Amr Abdulla Al-Dabbagh, CEO, Al-Dabbagh Group; P. Chidambaram, Former Finance Minister, Government of India; Dr Shashi Tharoor, MP, Government of India; Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai FDI; Ms Umran Beba, Senior Vice President and Chief HR Officer, PepsiCo AMEA; Yusuffali M.A., Managing Director, Emke Group, UAE; Dr Hayat bint Sulaiman bin Hassan Sindi, Member, Shura Council, KSA; Khalid Kalban, CEO, Dubai Investments PJSC, UAE; Mohi-Din Bin Hendi, President & Chairman of the Board, Bin Hendi Enterprises LLC; Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, UAE; Abdul Aziz Al-Hosni, Chairman of Qurum Group, Oman amongst others.
Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State and Managing Director, Dubai Expo 2020, has said, "The ABLF Series has a prominent history in the UAE, and we do our best to support it."
The ABLForum will address the social impact of women in leadership and their influence on economic growth and development through a key showcase, which has the support of Dr Maitha Salem Alshamsi, Minister of State, UAE and Mariam Mohamed Al Rumaithi, Chairperson, Abu Dhabi Businesswomen's Council, along with support and participation from the 17 Chapters of the EBWC across the UAE will be at the event. The ABLF Series 2015 will also receive representation from the leaders of the prestigious Government Summit from the UAE Prime Minister’s Office.
Also, in celebration of the UAE’s year of innovation, the Forum will discuss how technology and innovation is changing the way the world does business. From the leaders, who have shaped the mainstream industrial forces that govern the growth of Asia, come important leadership lessons, discussions on intra-Asia growth and regional and international methods and ideas for sustainable development and long-term growth.
"It is impressive to see leading businessmen from Africa, Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, in Dubai, discuss important issues that are facing the wider region today and how Dubai can play a role in leading it in the future." commented Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, UAE, when he spoke at the ABLF.
The forum sessions will culminate into the ABLF Grand Awards Ceremony that showcases exceptional leaders of UAE and Asia. It recognizes excellence, innovation, good governance and best business practices in the region, whose achievements and initiatives have ensured that this century truly belongs to Asia.
"The ABLF Series’ 2014 agenda brought together the very best people from Asia. As a host to outstanding events such as this, the UAE has become a productive, exciting, peaceful and prosperous country that welcomes a wide variety of people, cultures and ethnic groups", says Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri Minister of Economy, UAE.
The ABLF Series 2015 is a ‘watch this space’ moment as Asia consolidates its strengths and UAE prepares to receive the best of business spirit this November.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Don't insult state figures

ABU DHABI – The State Security Division of the Federal Supreme Court today sentenced in absentia GCC national M.F.D to five years in jail for insulting the state figures and for spreading false news and rumors in a televised interview.
In another case, the court convicted Emirati national KH.T.R to ten years in prison for joining Al Nusra Front terrorist group, an affiliate of al Qaeda terror organization.

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Seawater made drinkable

Abu Dhabi - Today marks the start of the operational stage of Masdar’s pilot programme in Ghantoot, Abu Dhabi, which will see 1,500 m3/day of potable water produced over the next 15 months using four unique technologies that will demonstrate commercially-viable and energy efficient solutions for renewable-powered desalination.
After launching the programme in 2013, Masdar partnered with four global industry leaders - Abengoa, Suez, Sidem (Veolia) and Trevi Systems – to implement the most advanced and innovative technologies in desalination as a key step to achieving water security and reducing energy consumption in the sector.
"Recognizing the critical link between water and energy, Abu Dhabi, through Masdar, is investing in advancing cutting-edge, technologies to improve the efficiency and to reduce the environmental impact of desalination processes in the UAE, and ultimately across the globe. With a rapidly growing population and economy, the UAE leadership recognizes that water is a precious and crucial resource in ensuring our sustained economic and social growth. Developing innovative technologies that can sustainably source clean water is vital, not only for the UAE, but for the Gulf and many other regions of the world. With this program, the UAE is actively and responsibly addressing the challenges of water conservation, management and security," said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar.
Masdar is facilitating real market opportunities for clean-tech solutions that are commercially viable, energy efficient and cost effective via the innovations being tested in this unique programme. Desalination is the major source of potable water in this region but traditional desalination techniques are energy intensive, costly and not sustainable in the long-term.
"It is especially fitting for us to launch this programme during Innovation Week. Masdar is currently advancing development in five of the seven sectors identified in the National Innovation Strategy, and in this project, directly addressing two critical issues – water and energy. This programme exemplifies the whole mandate of this strategy and it is on-the-ground, tangible innovation that will lead to commercial solutions that can be rolled out locally, regionally and globally. It really has the potential to be a game changer for the desalination industry," highlighted Dr Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar. "The project also demonstrates how multi-stakeholder partnerships combining government and public institutions, R&D, academia and corporations can drive innovations to solve critical global challenges. At Masdar, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of technology – to improve existing methods or find new solutions that will be more effective, more efficient and more affordable."
In the UAE, seawater desalination requires ten times more energy than surface fresh water production and demand for fresh water is projected to grow by 30% in the UAE by 2030. Outside of the UAE, the issues of global water scarcity, droughts and water pollution have become acute risks in many regions of the world. The technologies developed through these projects have the potential to be scaled up and exported to address sustainable access to water around the world. The project goes beyond traditional R&D and is considered RDT – Research and Development Transformation – allowing new technologies to be developed faster leading to accelerated adoption and implementation by utility service providers.
The projects are targeted to dramatically reduce – by up to 40 per cent – the energy intensity of desalination. Due to this low energy consumption, an estimated annual cost savings of US$94 million is expected from 2020 onwards, if 15% of Abu Dhabi’s newly built desalination capacity is met by the implementation of the demonstrated energy efficient technologies.
Masdar is rapidly extending its water leadership by partnering with the key players in the global desalination industry, as well as entrepreneurial newcomers. These partners were chosen in a competitive process launched in 2013. Each partner designed, engineered, constructed and began operating a separate desalination plant. This first stage of the operational portion of the programme concentrates on demonstrating energy-efficient systems on a small scale for at least 18 months. The technologies used in the programme have passed research, lab testing, modeling and prototyping but have not been used on a utility scale anywhere else in the world.
The four plants have been constructed on the site of a decommissioned desalination plant in Ghantoot, Abu Dhabi Emirate. The Ghantoot site was chosen because of its accessibility to deep seawater. Two categories of seawater desalination technologies are included in the programme: advanced seawater desalination technologies – based on commercially proven systems that are being adapted to lower specific energy consumption; and innovative seawater desalination technologies – new-to-market concepts.
Carlos Cosin, Chief Executive Officer of Abengoa’s water division, attending the inauguration stated, "We are committed to solving water scarcity problems in the Middle East and for this reason we are mobilizing our efforts in the direction of developing innovative technologies so that the earth’s inhabitants have access to quality water."
John Webley, CEO of Trevi Systems, also attending the event noted, "This installation marks an important milestone in the development and deployment of Forward Osmosis technology, which will enable renewable desalination to be deployed in the Gulf and elsewhere. Without the steadfast and financial support of Masdar it would not have been possible for a small company such as Trevi to gain acceptance of our technology."
Although unable to attend the event, Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO of SUEZ said, "SUEZ is proud to play an active role in the Masdar Seawater Desalination Programme and to contribute to Masdar's ambitious initiatives for renewable energy. By doing so, SUEZ demonstrates its commitment to identify and develop global solutions for the sustainable management of resources, a key issue, especially in the region."
The pilot projects expect to lower energy consumption to less than 3.6kWh/m3 of energy for reverse osmosis plants, at a seawater salinity of 42,000 milligrams per liter. Energy consumption is proportional to the salinity of the water, and the salinity in the gulf region is extremely high.
During this first ‘reliability test’ phase (about 9 months) of stage one, the four plants will operate on a continuous basis in order to demonstrate continuous high-efficiency and reliable performance of these new technologies. The second phase of the programme, the optimization phase, (about 6 months) has a more experimental character, and the partners can adapt and improve the plants to further innovate on their technology.
Partnership is also increasing knowledge transfer among project participants. R&D projects being coordinated with Masdar Institute are also enabling hands-on engagement of the students with the international partners for studies in such areas as membrane distillation, capacitive de-ionization and cutting-edge forward osmosis.
"Masdar Institute is pleased to have leveraged its expertise in sustainable technologies towards the inauguration of this landmark project. The water and energy nexus is at the core of our research agenda, and by working to make the UAE’s production of fresh water more sustainable, we are pursuing contributing to the long-term welfare and sustainability of the UAE," said Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost at the Masdar Institute.
Through the pilot programme, Masdar is bridging the gap between advanced R&D, providing commercially viable solutions that can be implemented globally. The second stage of the programme envisages large-scale deployment and implementation of one or more of these energy-efficient desalination technologies in the UAE and potentially across the MENA region and in other global locations.
Masdar was pleased to host at the event: Suhail Al Mazroui, UAE Minister of Energy; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar; Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD); Faris Obaid Al Dhaheri, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority; The Ambassador of France to the UAE, Michel Miraillet; as well as CEOs and senior representatives of the partner companies, other distinguished guests and media.

Knowledge, not oil, will be the UAE's edge

ABU DHABI – The Emirates Science, Technology and Innovation Higher Policy, adopted by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in coincidence with the Innovation Week, signifies the depth and far-sighted vision of the UAE leadership for taking concrete steps towards a future in which the state does not depend on oil as a main source of revenue, according to H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Chairman of Emirates Identity Authority.
''To be fully ready for the depletion of the last drop of oil, as stated by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, places before all of us - institutions and individuals - a challenge for innovation which will drive the local economy in the years to come, preserve the nation's gains and add to them in order to serve interests of the UAE people,'' Sheikha Hazza said as he chaired the Authority's third meeting of the year.
Sheikh Hazza highlighted the Authority's participation in the Innovation Week and the projects it presents during the national initiative which seeks to solidify the UAE's prominent and leading position globally in areas of innovation, creativity and development of the Emirati citizen to be an active contributor to the progress and transformation of his country towards a knowledge-based economy.
''We hope the Authority will obtain a seven star score in the government star-rating system, and we are confident that will be achieved by efforts and minds of its staff,'' he said, emphasizing his full support any creative initiatives that develop and upgrade capacities and abilities of its staff.
During the meeting, Sheikh Hazza heard a report on the e-voting system the Authority has developed for the last Federal National Council election 2015 held last October and reviewed other topics on the agenda of the meeting.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lebanon: Land of love

ABU DHABI -- Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, has reiterated the UAE's stance in support of Lebanon against any attempts to destabilize life in the country and threaten its unity and cohesion, condemning all attacks that terrorize innocent people and spread violence.
In a speech during a ceremony organized by the Lebanese Embassy on the 72nd anniversary of Lebanon’s independence, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak expressed his confidence in the ability of Lebanese people to face challenges, coexist, and hope for a better future.
The ceremony, which was held on the campus of the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi on Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, was attended by Elias Bou Saab, Lebanese Minister of Education and Higher Education, Nihad Al-Mashnouq, Lebanese Minister of Interior, Hassan Yousef Saad, Lebanese Ambassador to the UAE, a number of senior state officials, and members of the Lebanese community living in the UAE.
During the speech, one minute's silence was observed in honor of UAE martyrs, and the Minister of Culture praised the ties of brotherhood and cooperation between the UAE and Lebanon, which, he said, reflects positively on the interests of both countries and their peoples and the Arab nation as a whole, especially in an era filled with political, economic and social challenges.
Sheikh Nahyan said, "We in the UAE are convinced that a strong Lebanon is fundamental for the progress of the whole Arab region. This conviction is part of the positive basic values and beliefs that guide the march of the UAE and confirms its pivotal role in the region and the world."
He went on to stress that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is keen to develop its relations with other countries and views that the prosperity and stability of all countries in the region is linked to the success of the entire Arab nation.
Sheikh Nahyan expressed his hope that Lebanon will continue to be strong with its people and rich history and heritage, noting the importance of preserving the noble values and ideals which characterizes Lebanon and its people, which has remained vivid and powerful over time.

Legit gov't is confident of victory

SAN'AA--Vice President of Yemen and Prime Minister, Khaled Bahah, has said that his government would continue to move in the governorates liberated by the legitimate government to establish its authority over them.
While chairing the meeting in Marib, he said today, "Soon we will be in Sana'a," hinting to the decisive battle to liberate Sana'a and retake it from the Houthi rebels and Saleh group.
He praised the sons of Marib in the resistance, in the army and in the authority, describing them as "the backbone of the resistance and steadfastness."
The Yemen's news agency quoted the official Yemeni government source as saying that the visit aims to assess the situation in the governorate and the needs of citizens, as well supervise the military preparations to cleanse the rest of the governorates from the Houthi militia and the Saleh group.

Innovate or stagnate

DUBAI-- Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has launched its Innovation Week and in collaboration with its partners, universities, entrepreneurs, and innovators water and power and participation of international spokespeople who specialize in energy, sustainability and water innovation.
This supports the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to host UAE Innovation Week from 22-28 November. Sheikh Mohammed said that, "Innovation is not an option or a culture but a lifestyle, and governments and companies that do not innovate risk losing their competitiveness and consequently will fall behind."
DEWA’s Innovation Week comprises several innovative activities and events, including a Government Innovation Lab in which real-life tools will be used to promote innovation. It also incorporates an ‘Innovation Exhibition’, through which DEWA’s employees, innovators and emerging companies will receive updates about the latest innovations to support DEWA’s work, and will have the opportunity to test these innovations.
The exhibition showcases services and products which are not yet on the market, and features the latest research and technical concepts. DEWA has also organized inspirational talks under the title ‘I Talk’, with the participation of innovative high-profile guest speakers, who will host talks for DEWA staff and attending members of the public. The objective is to spread a culture of innovation by sharing experiences about the application of innovation, so that attendees can learn about how innovation is best planned and executed.
DEWA has also organized a ‘Design Thinking Lab’ that comprises a series of workshops, spread over three days, to explore challenges faced by DEWA, and to discover innovative methods to overcome these challenges, using the ‘Better Today’ design thinking methods. DEWA will host an Innovation Conference, featuring international experts whose speeches focus on the roles that sustainability and renewable energy have played in some of the most important innovations worldwide. DEWA has also organized a Build-It-Yourself Robotics Kits competition for schoolchildren from the age of six, up to high-school age. The robotics kits are equipped with sustainable innovative gadgets, such as solar panels, sensors, chargeable batteries, and programmable microcontrollers.
The activities also include the launch of ‘My Innovation’ (Ibtikari in Arabic), to encourage innovators and designers from the UAE and abroad to offer innovations via a smart platform. This includes science and engineering competitions for university students and engineering specialists to identify scientific solutions and innovations in sustainability and water.
"To support the directives of our President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who stressed the importance of innovation to the UAE’s strategy, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, declared 2015 to be the Year of Innovation, and launched the UAE National Innovation Strategy. I am pleased to welcome you to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA’s) head office today. Together, we will observe a moment that will be remembered in history, as we experience the first day of the UAE’s annual Innovation Week, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum."
He added, "Today, DEWA ranks alongside some of the biggest companies in the world, thanks to the excellent standards of efficiency and reliability in management and technology it has achieved since its formation. This could never have happened without accurate planning, and the implementation of innovative projects and solutions, adopted and used by DEWA," said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, in his opening address."
"DEWA’s innovative projects have led it to become an international model of excellence in innovation of service development, management and technical efficiency. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the biggest single-site solar project in the world, based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. Working in cooperation with the private sector, we want the Solar Park to have a capacity of 3,000 megawatts by 2030."
"We are also advancing our smart grid project to connect over one million smart meters to a smart integrated electricity and water grid. Starting from the main production stations, all the way to the end consumer point, the smart grid will host a wide range of applications to manage consumption with the highest levels of efficiency. At DEWA, we are proud of the progress we have made with the Green Charger initiative, to establish an effective infrastructure for electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and to achieve the Emirate’s sustainability goals. The Shams Dubai initiative is another practical example of the success of our innovation strategy," added Al Tayer.