Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A pink-backed pelican? Seriously?

SHARJAH -- Two endangered pink-backed pelican chicks recently hatched at the Wasit Wetland Reserve in Sharjah. The first-of-its-kind phenomenon served as proof of the successful efforts made by the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah, EPAA, to protect endangered species and ensure biological equilibrium in the ecosystem.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah, said, "H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, pays special attention to the environment and natural life. With his support, we are committed to adopting the best standards and services which meet the needs of organisms and birds in the local ecosystem and to provide the necessary equipment and facilities to scientific research, such as classrooms and laboratories. These facilities help support the efforts made by the Wasit Wetland Reserve to preserve at-risk species."
Al Suwaidi added, "The Wasit Wetland Reserve provides a safe haven for migratory birds that cross the emirate of Sharjah en-route from the cold north to the warmer south for the winter. The new Wasit Wetland Centre is an important addition in protecting rare animals and birds and in giving scientists and researchers the opportunity to study the life and breeding of birds and learn how to protect them from extinction.
The rare pink-backed pelican is a resident of the Arabian Peninsula, and rests during the breeding season for nesting before completing its migration to Africa. An endangered species of bird because of difficulties in breeding, pink-backed pelicans are provided with an ideal habitat similar to their natural environment by the Wasit Nature Reserve, in order to help them survive.
The Wasit Wetland Reserve, which was established in 2007, alongside the recently inaugurated Bird Centre, is a promising investment for environment conservation and a significant step forward in protecting the ecosystem and endangered species. It is also a perfect natural destination for the surrounding residents one that offers educational and research facilities to serve biodiversity and natural life.

Photo by: www.thenational.ae

This is where roads lead to safety

DUBAI -- The Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, is set to launch a project for eliminating faults in heavy vehicles, in line with the national strategy aimed at improving road safety and security and curbing accidents triggered by heavy vehicles. The project will curtail the negative impacts of faults sustained by heavy vehicles, and fend off the erratic driving attitudes of some drivers.
"RTA is in constant pursuit of advanced solutions to improve the traffic awareness and road safety levels involving the exploration of smart projects and systems. In this regard, we have embarked on developing an integrated system and technological applications enabling us to monitor and analyse data pertaining to faults sustained by heavy vehicles. The procedure is in line with the assessment of risks of vehicles, drivers and operators at world-class standards, and the project we launched this year for eliminating faults of heavy vehicles," said Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA’s Licensing Agency.
"The Vehicle Defect Clearing System (VDCS) is a service intended to improve the monitoring of heavy vehicles in Dubai through fitting them with mandatory Telematics in order to track their defects and monitor driver attitudes. RTA is in the final stages of setting up a smart monitoring center fitted with display monitors and sophisticated technological systems linked with the monitoring devices fixed on heavy vehicles, enabling the concerned parties in the centre to communicate with RTA’s road patrols to identify violating vehicles.
"The aim of the project is to curb accidents of heavy vehicles, and strengthen the infrastructure of the Dubai emirate in particular, and the UAE in general, which in turn would minimise the financial, human and environmental impacts caused by heavy trucks. It also classifies the risks of drivers, vehicles, and operators through a process for calculating the risk of a driver, vehicle or operator failing to comply with RTA’s standards," explained Bahrozyan.
"RTA implements Operators and Vehicles Risks Rating mechanism aimed at alleviating the burden on operators and drivers who are compliant with policies, and applying a rigorous monitoring of non-compliant drivers and operators through calculating vehicles risks rating using the data provided by the road technical inspections, remote detection of faults and the annual technical inspection. Whenever a vehicle is inspected with no faults detected, it would be treated as compliant with the safety standards and awarded a rating of zero in every inspection where no faults are detected. Each inspection carried out to the vehicle would be considered as a single inspection and a point would be assigned in respect of each fault or offence, based on the gravity and detected faults. All points would be listed, a final rating out of ten would be assigned, and colour coding would be made: Green, Yellow and Red," he noted.

Photo by: www.dubai-bus.com

Banned in the Emirates

ABU DHABI -- The State Security Division of the Federal Supreme Court today issued sentences in a case involving a number of people accused of involvement with the terrorist organisation, Daesh.
The court, presided over by Judge Mohammed al-Jarrah Al Tunaiji, awarded a death sentence in absentia to four people, sentenced another three to 10 years' imprisonment, two others were handed down prison sentence of five years, one will be jailed for three years, while one was found not guilty.
The defendants, nationals of the UAE, GCC, and Arab countries, were charged with travelling to join the terrorist organisation after entering the territory of an Arab country and taking part in various activities of the organisation, including promoting the group at a public place, providing funds, managing a website to promote the organisation's ideas, and damaging the state's reputation and prestige and insulting the state's symbols.
The court ordered the closure of the website indefinitely, confiscation of seized items and deportation of two of the convicts after they complete their sentences.
The court also ruled in the case of six Arab defendants, one of whom is a GCC national, for providing the terrorist group Al Houthi in Yemen, with communication devices, equipment, chemical materials and other means of communication.
The court imposed a 10 year prison sentence on three of the accused followed with deportation. One of the defendants, who owns a company in the UAE, was fined AED1 million, and his company's headquarters was ordered to be shut down and its monies were ordered to be confiscated.
The company was founded in one of the emirates with the knowledge that the funds belonged to a terrorist organisation. The other four defendants were acquitted.

Photo by: www.emirates247.com/

Monday, February 15, 2016

Fake invades Dubai

13th February, 2016 (WAM) -- Dubai Customs has firmly stood against infringements of intellectual property rights in order to protect society and the economy from the harm of counterfeit goods, and to support a competitive investment environment in Dubai by enabling producers to avoid losses arising from imitation of their brands

Consequently, the number of seizures of IPR-infringing items carried out by Dubai Customs in 2015 was about 135 seizures, worth up to AED 16.8 million

The Dubai Customs drive goes along with the UAE Innovation Year, which was declared by the Cabinet under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Innovation Year was also crowned by the leading initiatives to stimulate creativity and innovation launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

The seized goods included electronics, watches, glasses, clothing, fabrics, perfumes and cosmetics, medicines and medical equipment, tires, auto spare parts, telephones and accessories, computers and other imports.

Saeed Ahmed Al Tayer, Executive Director of Policies and Legislation Division at Dubai Customs said: "Intellectual property rights protection gains double importance in the evolution course of our national economy at the current stage, particularly that the UAE has an orientation to focus on unleashing the spirit of creativity and innovation in government work and in society at large." 

"Accordingly, we put the protection of intellectual property rights on top of our priorities at Dubai Customs, and are working to improve the level of our performance in dealing with counterfeit goods, by providing the best levels of training for staff and inspectors in the circuit, to enable them to detect counterfeiting and piracy efficiently, backed by the best innovations and technologies in the control and inspection field."

Al Tayer also stated: "Dubai Customs efforts in the area of protection of intellectual property rights is not limited to addressing the smuggling of counterfeit goods through Customs ports, but also includes parallel awareness-raising efforts for DC staff and staff of local, federal, and GCC government agencies, as well as many community groups to publicize the importance of intellectual property rights and the risks resulting from the consumption of counterfeit materials on health, the economy and society

"In this context, we sustained our efforts in 2015 to work on spreading the culture of protection of intellectual property in the community to promote public engagement in addressing counterfeit goods. We have organized lectures to all segments of society on IPR protection and the dangers of counterfeit goods. Hence, the number of awareness-raising events organized by the department for different groups in the last year reached 31 events, with 10181 beneficiaries

"During 2015the department has also organized, in cooperation with our partners in the private sector and owners of international brands in the world's major companies, five workshops to train staff and inspectors to detect counterfeit goods; attended by 184 participants from Customs agencies, ministries and government institutions in the UAE and friendly nations in the GCC."

He pointed out that in 2015 Dubai Customs honored Lt. General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, who is also honorary chairman of Emirates Intellectual Property Association for his outstanding efforts and major role in spreading the culture of the fight against counterfeiting and piracy in the community

Yousef Ozair Mubarak, director of the IPR Department at Dubai Customs, said, that Dubai Customs attaches great importance to the dissemination of intellectual property rights culture among the new generations. In this regard, the Department has launched, since 2007, the Intellectual Property Award for Schools and Universities, to inform and educate students about intellectual property rights

Since its inception and until the session of the school year 2014- 2015, the number of schools and universities that participated in the Dubai Customs IPR Awards five categories has increased to more than 110 schools and 13 universities. The ninth session of the Award for the academic year 2015 – 2016 has been launched, focusing on linking the protection of intellectual property rights with stimulating creativity and innovation, to keep pace with the UAE wise leadership initiatives to spread the culture of innovation in the community.

photo by: www.elghad.co

Look who excels in sports

13th February, 2016 (WAM) -- The 3rd Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST 2016) concluded yesterday with another gold medal for the Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC) who won gold after defeating the Jordanian Orthodox Club in the final basketball match 66-42, while the Egyptian Sporting Club finished third and clinched the bronze medal for basketball after beating the Algerian Olympic team 67-43.

The tournament saw the participation of 58 clubs from 18 countries competing in eight sports, including basketball and volleyball in group competitions and table tennis, fencing, archery, shooting, athletics in individual games, as well as show jumping, which was added to the tournament this year. It was held under the generous patronage of 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, from February 2nd -12th

The Algerian Youth Club scored the highest number of medals, 17 in total, including nine gold, five silver and three bronze, while the Bahraini Al Hala Club came second with 15 medals, including nine gold and three silver and three bronze.

Sharjah Ladies Club came third after it increased its portfolio of medals to 25, including three gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze, while Al Bahrain Club finished fourth with 13 medals, including three gold, four silver and six bronze

Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Head of AWSTs Supreme Organising Committee, praised the performances of clubs and congratulated Sharjah Ladies Club on an excellent overall performance. He said, "The tournament was wonderfully well organised and a huge success thanks to the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi and the hard work of the organising committee. All the participating Arab delegations have lauded the exceptional organization of the tournament." 

Sheikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, Board Member of the Bahrain Olympic Committee Management, Chairperson of the Bahrain Women and Sport Committee and Head of AWSTs Supervisory and follow-up Committee, said, "The tournament is designed to contribute to the development of Arab womens sport and we also seek to encourage every girl, woman and mother to exercise and make physical activities part of their lifestyle. We look forward to seeing more Arab female athletes compete globally as a result of AWST particularly because this is the only exclusively Arab womens sports tournament held on this scale."

Nada Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of AWST's Supreme Organising Committee, Head of the Executive Committee and Tournament Manager, congratulated H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi on the major success of the 3rd Arab Women Sports Tournament. Al Naqbi revealed that the Supreme Organising Committee will start planning for AWST 2018 immediately and said there will be major developments. Al Naqbi thanked the Arab media and sponsors for their support saying they have been instrumental to its success and highlighted the role played by the companies and sponsors which contributed greatly to the tournament's success.

"I also thank the UAEs wise leadership, especially the care and support extended by the Mother of the UAE, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairperson of the General Women's Union and Chairwoman of Motherhood and Childhood Supreme Council," said Al Al Naqbi.

The first ever Female Sports Journalist Forum was held alongside AWST under the slogan, "Its Your Turn", which aimed to highlight challenges facing female sports journalists and to advance the status of female sports journalists across the Arab world.

The forum concluded with five recommendations, which included helping more women in to sports media which includes finding solutions for support and more sponsors. Secondly there is a need to work on increasing the role of women in sports journalism and have more workshops that relate to sports journalism. Cooperation between media organisations needs to increase to enable womens sports more broadcasting time. Another recommendation is to prepare and plan a strategy to develop the skills of players and administrators in the various sports federations. The final recommendation is to give more attention to award-winners promoting them as models for next generations

photo by: www.thenational.ae

Buildings here are under intense scrutiny

ABU DHABI, 13th February, 2016 (WAM) -- The Abu Dhabi City Municipality (Al Wathba Municipal Centre) has carried out a sweeping campaign targeting buildings within the confines of Al Wathba Municipal Centre, to verify their 
compliance with the specifications of buildings as well health and safety 
stipulations in place.

A site survey was conducted to identify targeted buildings, and a procedure was then developed to monitor them as part of the strategy of the Municipal System aimed at protecting the community, promoting health and safety standards, and intensifying monitoring to rectify faults and offences reported in residential buildings.

The Municipality called on building owners to comply with the applicable rules, specifications and standards introduced by the government to ensure a modern, healthy and proper accommodation for all community members. It particularly urged them to avoid tampering with the engineering specifications of buildings, or constructing artificial partitioning walls

The campaign conducted by the Inspection and Monitoring Division in coordination with the Technical Administration of Al Wathab Municipal Centre, covered the inspection of 167 buildings at Al Wathba and areas within its geographical domain to verify their compliance with the health and safety conditions.

The campaign resulted in serving 89 warnings, and reporting 39 offences. 24 buildings were found compliant with the applicable rules and have carried out the required maintenance works to comply with the standards of health and safety of occupants

The campaign highlighted the importance of maintaining the civilised appearance and harmony of buildings, and ensuring safety standards in air-conditioning and chimneys. The relevant teams had inspected the cables and electrical extensions to verify their soundness and compliance with safety requirements. They had also spotted casual engineering changes made in buildings without obtaining official permits from the competent authorities, which would undermine safety of occupants as they fall short of the required specifications of buildings.

The Abu Dhabi City Municipality reminds landlords and property investors of the mandatory compliance with the applicable laws, and building codes governing the occupancy of residential units and constructing annexures, appurtenances in various properties in Abu Dhabi. It also urges landlords to obtain permits from the competent authorities before making any additions, partitions, walls, construction works or other amendments in order to ensure the safety of the occupants and maintain public health, besides performing periodic maintenance to the components of the buildings.

The Municipality confirmed that it would continue this series of inspection campaigns on various commercial and residential buildings, and accelerate work tempo, besides utilizing the great potentials to monitor and follow up buildings that fall short of the applicable standards. If violators found unresponsive and fail to redress these issues, the Municipality will refer the case to the competent authorities to take necessary actions according to the laws applicable in Abu Dhabi Emirate in this regard

The Municipality calls upon all residents to adhere to the stipulations, regulations and laws in force in Abu Dhabi Emirate, report any violations through the official communication channels and contact Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Which tour board is tops?

DUBAI --- Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing was awarded 'Best Tourist Board' at the Travel Weekly Globe Awards in London earlier this month. The Awards are voted for by UK travel agents and industry experts, and with previous winners including the likes of BrandUSA and VisitEngland, the win is testament to the continued hard work and dedication of Dubai Tourism’s London office in promoting Dubai.
By focusing on and promoting the expansion and diversification of Dubai’s hotel portfolio, the increase in the emirate’s connectivity and accessibility, as well as the continued growth of its destination offering, much progress has been made over the past year in raising the profile of Dubai’s tourism and commercial offering in the UK. This is reflected in the 11% year-on-year increase in UK visitors to the emirate recorded during the first 12 months of 2015. With Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020 targeting 20 million visitors per year by 2020, this prestigious award indicates that the emirate is moving in the right direction, reflecting the commitment of Dubai Tourism to achieving this goal.
Commenting on the award, Issam Kazim, CEO - Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: "This significant win recognizes the work and passion that goes into the promotion of Dubai on a global scale. The UK has long been one of our best performing markets, featuring among the top three source markets for inbound tourism for more than ten years in a row, and we will continue to invest in the region to ensure continued growth. Our goal is to welcome more than two million visitors per year from the UK by the start of the next decade, and while this is an ambitious target, it is ultimately an achievable one thanks to the support we continue to receive from the UK travel industry and its close partnership with key Dubai stakeholders."
With Dubai having welcomed an unprecedented number of visitors from the UK over the 2015 summer period, it is clear the emirate presents a great value summer destination, with UK travellers expected to again make the most of the deals on offer at hotels, resorts and attractions across the city this summer. Annual seasonal events such as Dubai Summer Surprises are also expected to continue to drive international interest during this period.
Looking ahead, Dubai Tourism’s London office is committed to building on the solid foundations laid in 2015 and accelerating the pace of growth over the next 12 months, ultimately ensuring that Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020 is realized.

Where's the busiest airport in the world?

Dubai: Dubai International saw through over 78 million passengers in 2015, more than enough to retain its title of the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, operator Dubai Airports said on Monday.
A total of 78,014,838 passengers passed through the airport in the 12 months to December 31, 2015, a 10.7 per cent increase on the 70,473,893 passengers that used the airport a year earlier.
Dubai International’s closest rival, London’s Heathrow, handled 69.8 million international passengers and a total of 74,959,000 passengers including domestic in 2015.
Dubai Airports Chief Executive Paul Griffiths said 2015 was “another banner year” for the airport, according to Monday’s statement.
Griffiths also said the $1.2 billion Concourse D, part of Terminal 1, will open this quarter.
India, UK strongest markets
India was once again Dubai’s strongest market in 2015 with 10,391,376 passengers, up 17 per cent compared to 2014, travelling on routes between the country and emirate.
The United Kingdom was the second largest market for passengers travelling through Dubai International with 5,682,307 passengers, up 6 per cent, and closely followed by Saudi Arabia with 5,466,358 passengers, up 12 per cent.
Doha retained its top spot as the most popular city destination served from Dubai International with 2,782,600 passengers, up 18 per cent, followed by London with 2,659,602 passengers, up 1 per cent, and Mumbai up 14 per cent with 2,214,221 passengers.
In terms of percentage growth, Dubai Airports said Emirates network expansion and launching of additional routes to North America saw the region grow by 25 per cent year-on-year for passengers, followed by the Gulf Cooperation Council states, up 15 per cent, and Asia growing by 12 per cent.
Full-year passenger numbers were helped by a strong December when the airport handled 7,053,243 passengers, an increase of 8.5 per cent compared to the same month in 2014.
December was the second time in 2015 when passenger traffic exceeded 7 million.
August was the other month. The solid December figures also saw the average monthly passenger traffic hit a record high for the airport of 6.5 million.
Cargo volumes at Dubai International continued to grow in 2015, despite all dedicated freighter services moving to the emirates second airport Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) in 2014, Dubai Airports said.
Dubai International handled 2,506,092 tonnes of air freight, up 3.4 per cent. December freighter volumes rose 5 per cent to 214,408 tonnes.
In 2015, Dubai International saw new airlines start flying to the airport including Air Canada launching flights from Toronto, Eurowings from Cologne and China Southern from Wuhan.
The airport was also connected to 12 new passengers destination, which Dubai Airports attributed to the growth of home carriers Emirates and flydubai.

What should be done when the oil runs out?

DUBAI --- The UAE Cabinet retreat on post-oil phase concluded today. Federal and local government officials took part in the retreat and discussed ideas and initiatives that will contribute in diversifying the UAE’s economy and ensuring its sustainability.
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, took part in the second day of the Cabinet retreat along with H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: "The development of human capital is the global currency of the 21st century economies, and the only way to achieve sustainable development and promote the UAE’s journey towards further progress and prosperity. We, in the UAE, have the expertise and the resources, the will and the determination, and most importantly, the vision and the wise leadership to ensure our economy are sustainable."
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid added: "The UAE is ready and has been always pioneering, it has the innovative solutions and creative ideas to address challenges. Our goal is leading by example and conveying a historic image of the UAE’s achievements to the world."
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid gave directives at the end of the Cabinet retreat to launch the UAE Post-Oil Strategy in the coming weeks.
The strategy will include ideas and initiatives concluded in the retreat. It will work to strengthen the competitiveness of the current economic sectors as well as gradually introduce new sectors, which will achieve a quantum leap in the UAE’s economy, boost competitiveness and ensure its sustainability in accordance with the highest international standards.
In turn, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said: "We strive to make the UAE a model of a nation succeeded to transform its economy from depending on natural resources to depend on skills and its human capital and they are our bet for a prosperous future. "
"The post-oil transformation is a turning point in our history as UAE nationals. The success in making this transformation is our only option and it will be realized. The vision of the UAE President will be always the first reason to pursue excellence and success."
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also added: "We will continue shaping the future and plan for it. We will launch effective national initiatives and adopt unconventional methods to realize a comprehensive development process towards more achievement and ensure a leading position of the UAE globally. We want a scientifically advanced UAE, we aim to have an Emirati robust economy depending on advanced industries and scientific research, and we want Emirati innovations that change the lives of our future generations"
On its second day, the Cabinet retreat was interactive and witnessed a lot of discussions and proposed solutions.
The results of the first day of the retreat were presented in four pillars where H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, headed a working group on human capital that aims to develop, attract and retain talents, while H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, chaired a working group on the economy pillar to discuss building a robust knowledge economy based on technology and innovation.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minister of Finance, chaired a working group on the government policies pillar that aims to ensure government financial sustainability and utilize government resources to contribute to the UAE’s post-oil economy.
Another working group on community was chaired by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss ways of ensuring the sustainability of social welfare for Emirati families and diversify sources of income.
A representative from each group presented initiatives proposed in each pillar. These initiatives will be put to further discussion and consideration before they are included in the strategy that will be soon announced.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Visit this "Museum with no walls"

Dubai: Dubai has become an open canvas for authorities and real estate developers, who expect to start as early as March to transform the city into an open-air museum.
The concept of Dubai’s open-air museum is to ultimately reshape the way people view the city — not one that has skyscrapers and development projects but one that instills a sense of culture and values.
Speaking to Gulf News, Saeed Mohammad Al Nabouda, Acting Director General at Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, explained that the concept of an open-air museum does not limit the city to any particular zone or area, as it will spread across communities as the city continues to expand.
“It is an ongoing campaign so, as Dubai grows, the project will grow as well, and will be activated accordingly,” he said.
The campaign, launched at the end of 2014, was part of the inaugural project of the Government of Dubai Media Office’s initiative Brand Dubai, tasked with the responsibility of making public spaces an open air gallery — street art, installations, photography or sculpture. Officials from Dubai Media Office confirmed that one of the first installations residents will see this year will be part of Dubai Canvas, an annual festival with varying artistic themes each year, which is expected to be launched in March.
Having recently signed an agreement with Wasl Properties, Brand Dubai — the creative arm of Dubai Media Office – is currently supporting the real estate developer in creating public art projects across Dubai. According to reports, the flagship initiative consists of an art project at the Samari Retail community, in which a wall painting that combines traditional Emirati art with modern creative styles will be displayed.
“Every city in the world has museums, but with the concept of an open-air museum, the space is not limited and we want the people to decide what they want to see. It will be an interactive experience with illustrations, and the city will be an open canvas [for artists],” he said.
He pointed out that there will also be an educational aspect to the visual art projects.
While Al Nabouda was keen to point out that “something big will be launched soon,” smaller projects have been launched recently in line with Brand Dubai’s vision of providing art in outdoor venues, such as the launch of the Art at City Walk project in January, a weekend art market dedicated to unique and unusual art.
“Each real estate developer will have different installations that will help in raising awareness about the emirate’s history, and will contribute to residents learning about the artists behind the art,” he said.
Such an initiative will also cater to the growing number of tourists visiting the city, which has so far attracted over 14.2 million in 2015, up 7.5 per cent over 2014, according to Dubai Tourism. The growth in visitor numbers is double the United Nations World Travel Organization’s (UNWTO) projected 3-4 per cent global travel growth for the same period.
“We want to raise the quality of life through the medium of art, and to do that, we have already started working with different entities to help them infuse art in spaces,” said Al Nabouda.
“It shows Dubai is not just about business and trade, but also art and culture,” he said.