Archive for October, 2009

New luxury resort to showcase Emirati culture

qasr-al-sarab-viewA major UAE tourism developer has announced the opening of its luxury desert resort project in the Emirates’ Western region.

Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) said the Qasr Al Sarab Arabian desert retreat was set to open on Sunday and will give visitors an authentic taste of Emirati culture.

The resort is set among the towering dunes of the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) – the world’s largest uninterrupted desert, an area made famous by British explorer Wilfred Thesiger who crossed it in the 1940s recording his experiences of the Bedouin camps.

emarati-cultureThe Anantara Resort and Spa Qasr Al Sarab has been designed in the style of the ancient forts which defended the tribes who inhabited Abu Dhabi’s remote western region.

Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of TDIC, said: “We are extremely proud of Qasr Al Sarab and the inspirational story behind its conception. This is more than just an extraordinary luxury resort; this is a symbol of our highly admired and respected Arabian hospitality and deep-rooted culture.”

The getaway features a five-star hotel with 154 guestrooms, 10 Royal Pavilion villas and 42 additional villas, traditional hammam spa, a conference centre and a children’s playground.

A private 1,000 metre air strip and runway is being developed to fly visitors to the destination.

Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, MD of TDIC, added: “Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry is continuously growing and the launch of this unique development will ensure that visitors to our nation will have the opportunity to experience the true culture and rich history that the UAE has to offer.

“The experience we have created is a unique balance of Emirati culture, breathtaking views and the best standards of international hospitality. Every element of Qasr Al Sarab, right down to the finest detail, has remained faithful to Arab culture while embracing the rich history and heritage of the UAE.”

Tourist chiefs in Abu Dhabi say they are aiming to attract 2.7 million hotel guest arrivals by 2012 with a targeted hotel room inventory of around 27,000.

In 2008 Abu Dhabi attracted 1.5 million guest arrivals, 4.7 million guest nights and AED4.3 billion in hotel revenue and a room bank of 13,000, they said.

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E-books set to gain critical mass among public

E-book manufacturer Boeye Technology sees rapidly growing mainstream appeal for its products and is looking to collaborate with media and education companies in the region.

The China-based company is aiming for a commercial launch of its affordable, super-slim e-reader E510 in November this year, Deputy General Manager Forrest Zhang tells GITEX Times.

“The hardware is ready, but we are still adjusting the software. The software now is not the perfect version,” he says.

Only 7.5 mm thick, the new model will be one of the slimmest e-readers in the world, but still boasts a 5-inch display based on electronic paper which has 800×600 pixels of resolution.

Like with most other e-readers, the screen is made of electronic ink, also known as E-ink. The material’s low power consumption means that the batteries last around two weeks, only using energy when the book’s pages are turned.

The E510 will launch commercially in November and the price will be around $180, but may be adjusted according to response from consumers and vendors.

Ebook Prices could fall further if there was more competition between the screen manufacturers, Zhang says, with only two companies in the sector.

“There are only two screen suppliers for E ink. The cost of the screen is more than 50% of the entire cost,” he says.

Boeye is currently looking to collaborate with media companies and other institutions with an interest in lowering printing costs.

“We want to collaborate with media companies, such as newspapers and magazines,” he says.

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Sharjah Plane Crash Brave pilot saved lives on ground

sharjah-plane-crash2Eyewitnesses at the scene of a devastating plane crash in Sharjah have described what they viewed as a heroic effort by the pilot to avoid populated areas on the ground.

The dead pilot was named as captain Mohammad Ali, a Sudanese resident of Sharjah.

sharjah-plane-crash4Ramsey Yaseen, another pilot who flies commercial aircraft out of Sharjah Airport was pl
aying golf close the scene of the crash. The experienced officer described to UAE newspaper Gulf News how he saw the plane struggling to take off.

“I noticed it and thought that he was not going to make it,” said Yaseen. “I see this all the time with cargo planes. If they are heavy, it often takes the pilot a while to lift the nose of the plane to climb,” he told the paper.

The Sudan Airways Boeing 700 managed to take off, but the nose would not lift, he said. According to Yaseen, the pilot appeared to pick his spot on the ground, pulling off a series of drastic manoeuvres before crashing into a quiet road.

sharjah-plane-crash3“I’m almost positive that the pilot decided to take the plane down there because he knew he was not going to make it. He wanted to prevent the plane from crashing into a populated area so he nosedived onto a quiet road,” he told Gulf News.

A second eye witness, Ahmad Yaseen, 28, from Pakistan, told Gulf News the plane appeared to be deliberately steered away from built up areas.

“The plane took off in front of us but was not balanced in air. I don’t think it was the pilot’s fault, the plane was probably overloaded. However, I did notice that the pilot tried to save the warehouses which it could have crashed into, and veered it to the barren land on its right,” he told the paper.

 

Investigations into the cause of the crash continue. An official told Arabian Business on Thursday that it was unclear how long it would be before the cause of the crash was known.

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JW Marriott Special October offer

jw-marriott-dubaiJW Marriott Dubai has announced a very attractive offer for OCTOBER 2009.

The offer details are given below the rates mentioned are

Valid from 1st October – 17th October 2009 AED 926.00 or US$ 253.00 Per room per night
(for stays of 3 nights or more) Contact us to book Now

Valid from 18th October – 31st October 2009 AED 1133.00 or US$ 309.00 Per room per night
(for stays of 3 nights or more) Contact us to book Now

Rates Include all taxes and service charges

Terms & Conditions:

 The above rates are quoted in UAE Dirhams per night.
 The above rates are commissionable for Travel Agents.
 One night no show charge is applicable.
 Rates are based upon availability at the time of booking.

Contact us to book Now | Dubai Hotels | Dubai Desert Safari

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InterContinental Abu Dhabi Receives 5 Star Rating

Abu Dhabi, 7 Oct. 2009 (WAM) – InterContinental Abu Dhabi received the official hotel 5 star classification ratings from Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.

Simon Stamper – Area General Manager of InterContinental Abu Dhabi and Al Ain said: “Everyone at InterContinental Abu Dhabi is delighted and honored to receive the offical rating from Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.

 This will gurantee to our guests that they will receive the highest service level they expect from us.” “InterContinental Abu Dhabi has been a landmark property in the UAE for over a quarter of a century and has played a major role in the development of the country’s capital. The stunning renovation has taken the hotel’s facilities to a new level which befits such a prestigious property and will ensure its place in the future of Abu Dhabi as a world-leading travel and business destination.

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Abu Dhabi to launch third session of Camel Festival

Mazayina-Dhafra-Camel-FestivalAbu Dhabi, 5th Oct. 2009  The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) will launch the third session of Mazayina Dhafra Camel Festival on January 30 until February 8, 2010, in Zayed City in Al Gharbia (the Western Region).

The Festival is held under the patronage of HH Gen. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Director General of ADACH, and Chairman of the Organizing Committee, said the culture-reviving Festival will include many important traditional events, such as the traditional market, competitions on poetry, dates and photography, in addition to many surprises that will be announced later.

Members of the Organizing Committee of the third session of the Festival include: Hamoud Hamid Al Mansouri, Nasser Al Awadhi Al Menhali, Abdullah Mubarak Al Muhairi, Hamad bin Kardous Al Ameri, Saeed Bin Mohammed Al Mansouri, and Paul Warren.

Mazrouei noted that the main event at the Festival – Mazayina Dhafra – aims to preserve the purebred local Asayel and Majahim camels.

The Festival also seeks to highlight Bedouin culture, activate heritage tourism, and promote the name of Al Dhafra in Al Gharbia tourism map, in addition to activating the economic movement in the region.

More than 24,000 camels belonging to 2000 camel owners in the Gulf region participated in the last session for prizes worth Dh 40 million(approximately 11 million US dollars).

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World’s largest sweetshop opens in Dubai

candylicious-dubaiCandylicious, a 10,000 sq ft sweetshop has launched yesterday at the Dubai Mall. Some of the elaborate features at the store include “visually mesmerizing” pillars embedded with candy, a 10-metre chocolate tree covered with lollipops and a Candylicious Airplane “taking off” above visitors’ heads. 


The store’s products will also feature Hershey’s Kisses and chocolate bars, novelty M&M’s, Garrett Popcorn from America, freshly baked brownies from Hot Blondies Bakery, a soda fountain, every flavour of Jelly Belly beans and lollipops “in all shapes and sizes”. The store will also home the largest ‘Pick and Mix’ wall in the world. 
Sunaina Gill, director of parent company Retail Is Detail LLC, said: “’At Candylicious, our mission is simple; eat happy.

We are absolutely thrilled to be the largest candy store in the world. Our goal was to create an entire confectionary experience for the customer.

Candylicious is about buying things never seen anywhere else and you can indulge in a royal offering of mouth-watering confectionaries from all over the globe. At Candylicious, we take the time to remind people how simple pleasures are always the best and the best simple pleasure in life is candy!”

Call : +971 4 330 8700
Fax : +971 4 330 8702
Email : marcom@retailisdetailllc.com
Visit Us : www.candyliciousshop.com

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UAE Agrees Open Sky Air Services Agreement with Zambia

WAM Dubai, 1st Oct, 2009 The United Arab Emirates has agreed for an “Open Sky” Air service agreement with Zambia.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Chitalu Kabalika, Director General of Civil Aviation of Zambia signed the agreement.

Representatives from Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Air Arabia, attended the negotiations.

The two sides agreed that any number of designated airlines of both parties will have the right to perform scheduled air services. The UAE Delegation designated Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, RAK Airways, Air Arabia and FlyDubai as UAE national airlines under the Agreement.

The Zambian Delegation will designate its airlines under the agreement in due course of time.

The agreement allows unrestricted frequencies, capacity and types of aircraft, whether owned or leased, to be operated by the Designated Airlines of each country in any type of service (passenger or cargo) on the routes between Zambia and the UAE.

The agreement also includes, in addition to the third and fourth freedoms, the practice of full fifth freedom traffic rights on all points of their choice without any restriction while operating any type of services (passenger and/or cargo, separately or in combination).

In addition, both Parties agreed to allow unrestricted non-scheduled operations between the two countries and to recommend to their authorities to conclude an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation on revenues arising from their airlines’ activities and income earned by their employees when stationed in the territory of the other party.

Zambia Delegation has also informed their support to the candidature of the UAE to the Council of ICAO at the elections to be held in 2010 during the coming ICAO General Assembly.

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12 elements of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding UNESCO

arabian-falconryABU DHABI, Oct. 1st, 2009: 12 elements of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding in eight countries were identified by UNESCO’s Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage during its current 4th session in Abu Dhabi.

3 elements were nominated by China alone. These are Qiang New Year festival, Traditional design and practices for building Chinese wooden arch bridges and Traditional Li textile techniques: spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidering. China yesterday had 22 nominations approved for UNESCO’s other Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. 13 additions to the same list came from Japan. These were among a total of 76 cultural treasures given protection status by UNESCO on Wednesday.

The inscription of the said cultural practices in need of urgent safeguarding in Belarus, China, France, Kenya, Latvia, Mali, Mongolia and Viet Nam, which were examined by independent experts, inaugurate UNESCO’s List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

The Committee, which was chaired by UAE’s Awadh Ali Saleh Al Musabi, considered that the viability of these cultural elements is endangered, despite the efforts of the communities or groups concerned. Following the inscription, States concerned will implement specific safeguarding plans, as indicated in their nomination files. Intangible cultural elements in need of urgent safeguarding will be eligible for financial assistance from the Fund established to this end.

christmas-tsarsFollowing is a detailed list of the 12 newly inscribed elements: Belarus / Rite of the Kalyady Tsars (Christmas Tsars) The Kalyady Tsars (Christmas Tsars) is a ritual and festive event celebrated in the village of Semezhava in the Minsk region of Belarus. Typical Belarusian New Year celebrations take place according to the old’ Julian style calendar and are combined with distinctive local performing arts. About 500 men participate annually in the event, of which seven are chosen to play the roles of �Kalyady Tsars’ in the national historical-religious drama �Tsar Maximilian’. Additional comic characters of the dzed (old man) and baba (old lady), played by a young girl and boy respectively, interact with the audience. During the drama, �tsars’ visit the local houses of unmarried girls to give comic performances and receive good wishes and awards. The procession continues into the night, lit by torchlight. The incorporation of dramatic allusions to aspects of modern life as well as to ethnic communities, groups and individuals has established the drama as a vivid example of cultural diversity. At present, the ceremony, although popular with older residents, is diminishing in popularity with the younger generation. This may result in a gap in transmission of knowledge regarding the production of costumes, instruments, interior decorations and particular dishes associated with the event – intangible heritage that may not outlast the present generation of residents.

China / Qiang New Year festival The Qiang New Year Festival, held on the first day of the tenth lunar month, is an occasion for the Qiang people of China’s Sichuan Province to offer thanks and worship to heaven for prosperity, reaffirm their harmonious and respectful relationship with nature, and promote social and family harmony. The solemn ritual sacrifice of a goat to the mountain is performed by villagers clad in their finest ceremonial dress, under the careful direction of a shibi (priest). This is followed by the communal sheepskin-drum and salang dances, led by the shibi. The ensuing festivities combine merrymaking with the chanting of traditional Qiang epics by the shibi, singing and the drinking of wine. At the end of the day the heads of families preside over family worship during which sacrifices and offerings are made. Through the festival, Qiang traditions distilling history and cultural information are renewed and diffused, and social behaviours are reinforced, the community expressing respect and worship towards all creatures, the motherland and their ancestors. Participation in the festival has declined in recent years due to migration, declining interest in Qiang heritage among the young and the impact of outside cultures, but the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake that destroyed many of the Qiang villages and devastated the region put the New Year festival at grave risk.

chinese-wood-arch-bridgeChina / Traditional design and practices for building Chinese wooden arch bridges Wooden arch bridges are found in Fujian Province and Zhejiang Province, along China’s south-east coast. The traditional design and practices for building these bridges combine the use of wood, traditional architectural tools, craftsmanship, the core technologies of �beam-weaving’ and mortise and tenon joints, and an experienced woodworker’s understanding of different environments and the necessary structural mechanics. The carpentry is directed by a woodworking master and implemented by other woodworkers.

The craftsmanship is passed on orally and through personal demonstration, or from one generation to another by masters teaching apprentices or relatives within a clan, in accordance with strict procedures. These clans play an irreplaceable role in building, maintaining and protecting the bridges. As carriers of traditional craftsmanship the arch bridges function as both communication tools and venues.

They are important gathering places for local residents to exchange information, entertain, worship and deepen relationships and cultural identity. The cultural space created by traditional Chinese arch bridges has provided an environment for encouraging communication, understanding and respect among human beings. The tradition has declined however in recent years due to rapid urbanization, scarcity of timber and lack of available construction space, all of which combine to threaten its transmission and survival.

China / Traditional Li textile techniques: spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidering The traditional Li textile techniques of spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidering are employed by women of the Li ethnic group of Hainan Province, China, to make cotton, hemp and other fibres into clothing and other daily necessities. The techniques involved, including warp ikat, double-face embroidery, and single-face jacquard weaving, are passed down from mothers to daughters from early childhood through verbal instruction and personal demonstration. Li women design the textile patterns using only their imagination and knowledge of traditional styles. In the absence of a written language, these patterns record the history and legends of Li culture as well as aspects of worship, taboos, beliefs, traditions and folkways. The patterns also distinguish the five major spoken dialects of Hainan Island. The textiles form an indispensable part of important social and cultural occasions such as religious rituals and festivals, and in particular weddings, for which Li women design their own dresses. As carriers of Li culture, traditional Li textile techniques are an indispensable part of the cultural heritage of the Li ethnic group. However, in recent decades the numbers of women with the weaving and embroidery skills at their command has severely declined to the extent that traditional Li textile techniques are exposed to the risk of extinction and are in urgent need of protection.

France / The Cantu in paghjella: a secular and liturgical oral tradition of Corsica The paghjella is a male Corsican singing tradition. It combines three vocal registers that always enter the song in the same order: segonda, which begins, give the pitch and carries the main melody; bassu, which follows, accompanies and supports it, and finally terza, the highest placed, which enriches the song. Paghjella makes substantial use of echo and is sung a capella in a variety of languages including Corsican, Sardinian, Latin and Greek. As both a secular and liturgical oral tradition, it is performed on festive, social and religious occasions: in the bar or village square, as part of liturgical masses and processions and during agricultural fairs. The principle mode of transmission is oral, largely through observation and listening, imitation and immersion, commencing first as part of young boys’ daily liturgical offices and then later at adolescence through the local Church choir. Despite the efforts of its practitioners to revitalize its repertoires, Cantu in paghjella has gradually diminished in vitality, due a sharp decline in intergenerational transmission caused by emigration of the younger generation and the consequent impoverishment of its repertoire. Unless action is taken, Cantu in paghjella will cease to exist in its current form, surviving only as a tourist product devoid of the community links that give it real meaning.

Kenya / Traditions and practices associated to the Kayas in the sacred forests of the Mijikenda The Mijikenda include nine Bantu-speaking ethnic groups in the Kaya forests of coastal Kenya. The identity of the Mijikenda is expressed through oral traditions and performing arts related to the sacred forests, which are also sources of valuable medicinal plants. These traditions and practices constitute their codes of ethics and governance systems, and include prayers, oath-taking, burial rites and charms, naming of the newly born, initiations, reconciliations, marriages and coronations. Kayas are fortified settlements whose cultural spaces are indispensable for the enactment of living traditions that underscore the identity, continuity and cohesion of the Mijikenda communities. The use of natural resources within the Kayas is regulated by traditional knowledge and practices that have contributed to the conservation of their biodiversity. The Kambi (Councils of Elders) acts as the custodians of these Kayas and the related cultural expressions. Today, Mijikenda communities are gradually abandoning the Kayas in favour of informal urban settlements. Due to pressure on land resources, urbanization and social transformations, the traditions and cultural practices associated to the Kaya settlements are fast diminishing, posing great danger to the social fabric and cohesiveness of the Mijikenda communities who venerate and celebrate them as their identity and symbol of continuity.

Latvia / Suiti cultural space The Suiti are a small Catholic community in the Protestant (Lutheran) western part of Latvia. The Suiti cultural space is characterized by a number of distinct features, including vocal drone singing performed by Suiti women, wedding traditions, colourful traditional costumes, the Suiti language, local cuisine, religious traditions, celebrations of the annual cycle, and a remarkable number of folk songs, dances and melodies recorded in this community. Older forms of extended family structures are still common here, and such families, where the transfer of skills from generation to generation takes place, are important bastions of Suiti cultural heritage. The synthesis of pre-Christian traditions and religious rituals has created a unique blend of intangible cultural heritage in the Suiti community. The pillar of Suiti identity – the Catholic Church – successfully recovered following the Soviet period and as a result, the Suiti cultural space has experienced a gradual renaissance. However, today only a few, mostly old people, have a good knowledge of Suiti cultural heritage, and thus there is an urgent need to disseminate this knowledge and to involve more people in its preservation by recovering elements preserved only in written documents, film archives and museum depositaries.

Mali / The Sank mon: collective fishing rite of the Sank The Sank mon collective fishing rite takes place in San in the S gou region of Mali every second Thursday of the seventh lunar month to commemorate the founding of the town. The rite begins with the sacrifice of roosters, goats and offerings made by village residents to the water spirits of the Sank pond. The collective fishing then takes place over fifteen hours, using large and small mesh fishing nets. It is immediately followed by a masked dance on the public square featuring Buwa dancers from San and neighbouring villages who wear traditional costumes and hats decorated with cowry shells and feathers and perform specific choreography to the rhythms of a variety of drums. Traditionally, the Sank mon rite marks the beginning of the rainy season. It is also an expression of local culture through arts and crafts, knowledge and know-how in the fields of fisheries and water resources. It reinforces collective values of social cohesion, solidarity and peace among local communities. In recent years, the rite has seen a decrease in popularity that threatens its existence, contributory factors including ignorance of the event’s history and importance, a gradual decrease in attendance, occasional accidents during the event itself and the degradation of the Sank pond due to poor rainfall and the effects of urban development.

Mongolia / Mongol Biyelgee: Mongolian traditional folk dance The Mongol Biyelgee: Mongolian Traditional Folk Dance is performed by dancers from different ethnic groups in the Khovd and Uvs provinces of Mongolia. Regarded as the original forebear of Mongolian national dances, Biyelgee dances embody and originate from the nomadic way of life. Biyelgee dances are typically confined to the small space inside the ger (nomadic dwelling) and are performed while half sitting or cross-legged. Hand, shoulder and leg movements express aspects of Mongol lifestyle including household labour, customs and traditions, as well as spiritual characteristics tied to different ethnic groups. Biyelgee dancers wear clothing and accessories featuring colour combinations, artistic patterns, embroidery, knitting, quilting and leather techniques, and gold and silver jewellery specific to their ethnic group and community. The dances play a significant role in family and community events such as feasts, celebrations, weddings and labour-related practices, simultaneously expressing distinct ethnic identities and promoting family unity and mutual understanding among different Mongolian ethnic groups. Traditionally, Mongol Biyelgee is transmitted to younger generations through apprenticeships or home-tutoring within the family, clan or neighbourhood. Today, the majority of transmitters of Biyelgee dance are elderly, and their numbers are decreasing. The inherent diversity of Mongol Biyelgee is also under threat as there remain very few representatives of the distinct forms of Biyelgee from different ethnic groups.

Mongolia / Mongol Tuuli: Mongolian epic The Mongolian Tuuli is an oral tradition comprising heroic epics that run from hundreds to thousands of verses and combine benedictions, eulogies, spells, idiomatic phrases, fairy tales, myths and folk songs. They are regarded as a living encyclopaedia of Mongolian oral traditions and immortalize the heroic history of the Mongolian people. Epic singers are distinguished by their prodigious memory and performance skills, combining singing, vocal improvisation and musical composition coupled with theatrical elements. Epic lyrics are performed to musical accompaniment on instruments such as the morin khuur (horse-head fiddle) and tovshuur (lute). Epics are performed during many social and public events, including state affairs, weddings, a child’s first haircut, the naadam – a wrestling, archery and horseracing festival – and the worship of sacred sites. Epics evolved over many centuries, and reflect nomadic lifestyles, social behaviours, religion, mentalities and imagination. Performing artists cultivate epic traditions from generation to generation, learning, performing and transmitting techniques within kinship circles, from fathers to sons. Through the epics, Mongolians transmit their historical knowledge and values to younger generations, strengthening awareness of national identity, pride and unity. Today, the number of epic trainers and learners is decreasing. With the gradual disappearance of the Mongol epic, the system of transmitting historic and cultural knowledge is degrading.

Mongolia / Traditional music of the Tsuur Tsuur music is based on a combination of instrumental and vocal performance – a blending of sounds created simultaneously by both the musical instrument and the human throat. Tsuur music has an inseparable connection to the Uriankhai Mongolians of the Altai Region, and remains an integral part of their daily life. Its origins lie in an ancient practice of worshipping nature and its guardian spirits by emulating natural sounds. The Tsuur is a vertical pipe-shaped wooden wind instrument with three finger holes. Simultaneously touching the mouthpiece of the pipe with one’s front teeth and applying one’s throat produces a unique timbre comprising a clear and gentle whistling sound and a drone. The Tsuur is traditionally played to ensure success for hunts, for benign weather, as a benediction for safe journeys or for weddings and other festivities. The music reflects one’s inner feelings when travelling alone, connects a human to nature, and serves as a performing art. The Tsuur tradition has faded over recent decades as a consequence of negligence and disrespect of folk customs and religious faith, leaving many locales with no Tsuur performer and no families possessing a Tsuur. The forty known pieces preserved among the Uriankhai Mongolians are transmitted exclusively through the memory of successive generations – a feature making this art highly vulnerable to the risk of disappearing.

Viet Nam / Ca tr singing Ca tr is a complex form of sung poetry found in the north of Viet Nam using lyrics written in traditional Vietnamese poetic forms. Ca tr groups comprise three performers: a female singer who uses breathing techniques and vibrato to create unique ornamented vocal sounds, while playing the clappers or striking a wooden box, and two instrumentalists who produce the deep tone of a three-stringed lute and the strong sounds of a praise drum. Some Ca tr performances also include dance. The varied forms of Ca tr fulfil different social purposes, including worship singing, singing for entertainment, singing in royal palaces and competitive singing. Ca tr has fifty-six different musical forms or melodies, each of which is called th? c?ch. Folk artists transmit the music and poems that comprise Ca tr pieces by oral and technical transmission, formerly, within their family line, but now to any who wish to learn. Ongoing wars and insufficient awareness caused Ca tr to fall into disuse during the twentieth century. Although the artists have made great efforts to transmit the old repertoire to younger generations, Ca tr is still under threat due to the diminishing number and increasing age of practitioners.

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Burj Dubai’s exterior complete

burj-dubai-exteriorDubai, 1 October, 2009 Exterior cladding for worlds tallest building, Burj Dubai is now complete. The tower has accomplished a world record for the highest installation of an aluminium and glass fade. The total weight of aluminium used on Burj Dubai is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft and the total length of stainless steel bull nose fins is 293 times the height of Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The last cladding panel numbered 24,348, weighing 750 kg and 1160mm x 6400mm in height was placed at a height of over 662 metres (2172 ft), thus accomplishing the mammoth task of cladding the world’s tallest building. Arabian Aluminium Company in association with Hong Kong based Far East Aluminium began exterior cladding of Burj Dubai in May 2007, and the vast project has involved more than 380 skilled engineers and on-site technicians.

A mixed-use tower featuring residences, corporate suites, and the world’s first Armani Hotel and Armani Residences, Burj Dubai is on course to be completed later this year with work on interiors progressing simultaneously.

With a total of 24,348 cladding panels over a total curtain wall area of 132,190 sq m, Burj Dubai’s shimmering exterior minimises heat transmission and saves energy. The total 103,000 sq m of glass used in the cladding panels can cover 14 standard football pitches and the 15,500 sq m of embossed stainless steel used can cover 34 National Basketball Association specified basketball courts. The total length of gaskets – 2,050,000 linear metres – if laid end to end is about the distance from Dubai to Damascus in Syria (2,052 km).

The cladding materials were specially made using advanced engineering techniques and include high-performance reflective glazing, aluminium mullions and textured steel spandrels with vertical stainless steel tubular fins. The cladding accentuates Burj Dubai’s height while lending it a shimmering slenderness. Panels of more than 18 different strength specifications and over 200 sizes have been used for Burj Dubai, all of them double-glazed and factory-sealed.

The world record for the highest aluminium fa ade installation was achieved by Burj Dubai earlier in the year at a height of 512 metres, less than one year after work started.

mohammed-alabbar-emaarMohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, said that the completion of cladding work at Burj Dubai was a milestone both for Burj Dubai and the science of high-rise engineering.

“Burj Dubai’s construction and engineering techniques are unprecedented, and they are our contribution to the science of high-rise development. The cladding work has involved considerable innovation – vast amounts of research and simulation have pioneered advanced materials and installation techniques.” Alabbar added: “One of the key considerations when designing the cladding was maximizing resistance against heat transmission from the sun and improving energy efficiency within the tower. The materials used, as well as withstanding the harsh summer temperatures keep heat out of the building, allowing for a significant reduction in the amount of air-conditioning required. Burj Dubai’s exterior is a model for high-rise developers creating sustainable buildings of the future.” The cladding work for Burj Dubai is the largest project of its kind undertaken by Arabian Aluminium Company, (Aluminium Division of Al Ghurair Construction).

Bashar Kayali, General Manager, Arabian Aluminium Company, said that under the joint venture with Far East Aluminium, Arabian Aluminium undertook cladding work on an accelerated pace right from the design stage where the cladding of the tower was divided into multiple zones. At the initial stage of installation, Arabian Aluminium was progressing at the rate of about 20 to 30 panels per day and eventually it achieved as many as 175 panels per day.

The high wind speeds were a major challenge. At the highest altitudes engineering teams had to work in tightly controlled shifts to install panels safely and efficiently. To minimise the risks involved in working at such towering heights, curtain-walling for the spire was pre-installed on the ground and then lifted to the summit to be secured.

“The precise engineering of the custom-made design meant that the 24,348 cladding units used on the tower are of the highest quality and consistency,” said Kayali.

The panels used on Burj Dubai have varying thicknesses, each featuring two glass pieces of about 8 mm to 12 mm thickness, buttressed by a 12 mm spacer for strength and resilience. The length and thickness of each panel was decided based on the heights and locations at which the panel was to be installed. Panels used at the highest altitudes were further strengthened with stainless steel in addition to aluminium.

Keeping the tower fa ade clean will be the next engineering challenge. To guarantee that every corner of Burj Dubai sparkles, 18 window-washing units are built into the tower including nine track-mounted telescopic cradles, each with an extendable jib arm for cleaning that reaches more than 20 metres.

Currently standing at over 800 metres, Burj Dubai is at the centre of Downtown Burj Dubai, a 500-acre mega project described as the new heart of the city of Dubai. The final height of the tower will be revealed when Burj Dubai opens later this year.

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Emirates leads the world in the growth of the Internet

Geneva, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva, Dr Hamadoun Toure has said that United Arab Emirates is in the forefront of the world after having achieved a record rate of internet usage which has increased the of internet facilities in the country up to 200 per cent.

Toure said that the Arab market has achieved the fastest growth rates in this sector where the growth rate upto 30 percent.

This came on the occasion of preparing for the International Telecommunication Exhibition which will be held in Geneva in the period from the fifth to the ninth month of October

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