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Dubai Turns The Tables In War On Terror

If the travel & tourism industry has zero tolerance for terrorists and terrorism, there is no excuse for it turning a blind eye to state-sponsored assassinations and executions, especially when carried out in hotel rooms by killers carrying fraudulent passports.

The alleged involvement of the Israeli secret service Mossad and its dual passport-holding agents in the killing of a Hamas commander in Dubai last January 19 has converted the so-called “good guys” into “bad guys”. Described as an act of state terrorism, the assassination has flipped all the conventional arguments about “safety and security” on its head.

Many such Israeli dual passport-holders are working in the travel & tourism industry and travel visa-free through countries which in theory bar Israeli citizens, such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. This makes a mockery of the entire visa process.

The fact that many commentators in the West are trying to justify the killing puts them in the same category as terrorist-sympathisers. Indeed, a substantial body of commentary amongst the apologists is trying to smear the Dubai authorities for doing their job in seeking to track down these killers. There are clear suggestions that the Dubai police should just forget about the whole thing, and let the Israelis continue to kill at will.

At the same time, the travel & tourism industry is being forced to spend billions of dollars on security equipment, much of which is made and sold by companies with significant Israeli involvement. Is this equipment really designed to protect the travelling public? Or to provide clandestine information to Mossad?

The travel & tourism has long become a pawn in this deadly game. It has paid both the price and the costs, with millions of global travellers having to put up with insulting and offensive security checks, racial profiling, intrusive visa application processes and violation of privacy. There is no transparency, no checks and balances in the system. Anybody who protests is said to be “soft on terrorism.”

If travel & tourism industry leaders issue any more one-sided denunciations and condemnations of terrorism, without condemning state terrorism at the same time, they will stand accused of double standards and hypocrisy and deserve the unequivocal condemnation of the travelling public, whose safety and security they are supposed to be protecting, regardless of caste, colour, creed or political affiliation.

By attempting to level the playing field, Dubai is doing the travel & tourism industry a big favour. Accountability is a two-way street.

The time to say “Basta” is long overdue.

Commentary by Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire Travel Impact Newswire

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 4, 2010 at 11:04 am

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42 Million date palms planted in UAE to change the color of the desert landscape

4th-date-conferenceAl Ain, 3 March 2010 Under the towering leadership of H.H. The President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, there have been continued efforts to increase UAE dates productivity in order to make better use of the date palm industry and to produce an agricultural leap that has changed the face of the UAE desert. This will be point of special attention at the Fourth International Date Palm Conference which will illustrate the special attention and priority given by His Highness to this important economic sector.

The International Date Palm Conference is the fourth one in a series of international conferences organized by UAE during the last 11 years. The previous conferences were held in March 08 -10, 1998, & March 25 – 27, 2001, and 19 – 21 February 2006.

dates2Date palm scientists, experts, and senior official! s from around the world will be able to exchange their know-how and experiences. The Honorable Ministers of Agriculture of the GCC member states will be invited to attend the conference in order to disseminate the up-to-date knowledge and recommendations at the official level.

Nearly 300 participants from 40 countries and several international organizations have already confirmed their participation to the Fourth International Date Palm Conference. Interesting abstracts are being submitted by participants from the following countries: Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Canada, Costa Rica, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, K.S.A, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Spain, Sudan, Syria,, Tunisia, Turkey, U.A.E, U.K, U.S.A and Yemen.

The objective of the conference is to provide an opportunity for updating scientific information on different aspects of the date palm production chain from farm to consumers. It is also a forum to compare the recent experiences in the United Arab Emirates with those of other date growing countries. Above all it is to foster international technical cooperation on different aspects of date palm production chain.

The theme of the conference is to explore new dimensions and challenges for sustainable date palm production under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, President of UAE.

datesThe conference will be in the international limelight due to the renowned speakers who will be attending the conference from all over the world. Besides there will also be senior officials from different date growing countries. A wide range of scientific subjects related to all aspects of date palm production will be presented. What makes this event much awaited event in haloed circles is: the scientific input from many countries of the world; innovative approach to scientific sessions; informational exhibition; and tours to the various sites of technical or tourist interest around United Arab Emirates.

The Conference has been slated to start from 15th of March at the Emirates Palace Hotel, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi. The main subjects that will come under debate will be as follows: Current Status of Date Palm Cultivation in the World; UAE date palm cultivation experience; Impacts of date culture on the environment and desertification control; Date Palm Research and Development; Molecular and genetic engineering; Germplasm and propagation; Improved date palm cultural practices; Date palm protection – focus will be on the most important diseases, pests and major diseases of date palm; and physiological disorders.

With a view of enhancing the production and proliferation of date palm research in the UAE and rewarding those individuals and institutions that have contributed substantially to it – The Khalifa International Date Palm Award was set up.

abu-dhabi-date-canonThe Award mission is to encourage people involved in cultivation of date palms: researchers, growers, exporters, whether individuals or institutions, and to honor figures engaged in the date palm industry at the local, regional and international levels.

The conference and the award are some of the radical steps that the government has undertaken to make UAE’s landscape abundant in more ways than one by bringing the desert soil alive with the ever-increasing date palm development. Earning a Guinness Book Award for planting the most number of date palms was no surprise last year for UAE.

More Details about the 4th International Date Conference

Proposed Duration & Venue

Duration: Monday – Wednesday 15 – 17 March 2010.
Venue: The Conference will be held in Abu Dhabi City.

Content

• Current Status of Date Palm Cultivation in the World,
• Molecular and genetic engineering,
• Germplasm,
• Propagation,
• Cultural Practices,
• Pests and Diseases Management,
• Post Harvest and Processing Technologies,
• Nutrition and Health
• Economics and Marketing,
• N.B: Several round tables and brainstorming meetings will be organized.
VII. Who Should Attend

The Fourth International Date Palm Conference is open to all people interested in date palm industries. The conference provides a forum for updating on current issue importance to this industry as well as information on new products and services. Participants will be from the public and private sectors who deal with the aspects of the date palm from producer through consumers.

Examples of the participants are:
• Date Palm Growers
• Executive Management of Grower Organizations
• Market Managers and International Traders
• Scientists of all aspects of Dates and Date Palm Cultivation
• Government Agencies and Departments
• Specialized Research and Development Centers
• Processors and Agro-industrialists
• Suppliers of Packages, Transport Operators, Chemicals, Fertilizers, Planting Material, Farm Equipment and Requisites
• Nutrition and Health Specialists
• Biotechnologists, Regulators and Consumers.

Booths

The following booths will be organized during the Conference:

1. Date Palm photo gallery with pictures and photos of the organized International competition.
2. Date Products and by-products.
3. Date Palm Extension Program illustrating modern cultural practices.
4. Control of the Red Palm Weevil.
5. Date palm research program in various fields.
6. National handicrafts made from date palm leaves and other by-products.
7. Modern Agricultural Machinery dealing with Date Palm Cultivation.
8. Date Palm Tissue Culture Propagation.
9. Date Palms and Food Security.

Conference Committees

High Committee

Dr. Abdulla Al-Khanbashi, Vice Chancellor of UAEU, Conference’ Chair.
Prof. Ghaleb Ali Alhadrami, Dean College of Food and Agriculture (UAEU). Chair Scientific Committee.
Prof. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Chief Technical Advisor, Director, UNDP-UAE University, Chair, Organizing Committee.

Scientific Committee

Prof. Ghaleb Ali Alhadrami, Dean, CFA, UAEU, Chair.
Dr. Mohammed Abdul Muhsen Salem, CFA, UAEU.
Prof. Mahmoud Abdulrahman Alafifi, CFA, UAEU.
Dr. Mohamed Gheblawi, CFA, UAEU.
Dr. Wissam Ibrahim, CFA, UAEU.
Dr. Ibrahim Omer Mohamed, CFA, UAEU.
Dr. Shyam S. Kurup, CFA, UAEU.
Prof. H. Hughes, Colorado State University, USA.
Dr. E. Blumwald, University of California Davis, USA.
Dr. E. Arias, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Italy.

Organizing Committee

Prof. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Director, DPRDU-UAEU, Chair.
Eng. Mouza Nasser Al Shamisi, DPRDU-UAEU.
Dr. Salih Abdu Al Sharaby, CFA, UAEU.
Dr. Ibrahim E.H. Belal, CFA, UAEU.
Dr. Abdel Wahed Husni Al-Amouri, CFA, UAEU.
Eng. Ali Mohamed Ali Antali, CFA, UAEU.
Eng. Galaleldin A. Ibnaouf, CFA, UAEU.
Eng. Aisha Al Jabri, CFA, UAEU.
Mr. Fadil Mohamed Al Amri, Director, Community Relations Dept., UAEU.
Mr. Salem Al Kaabi – Director, General Service Department, UAEU.
Mr. Mohamed Dissawi, Office of the Finance Auditor, UAEU.
Mr. Jihad K. Jihad – Printing Department, UAEU.
Mr. Mamdouh Haikal – Centre for Educational Technology (CET), UAEU.
Mr. Faraj Kotb Faraj – Centre for Educational Technology (CET), UAEU.
Mr. Moamar Abdel Ilah, Purchasing Dept., UAEU.
Mr. Yaqoob Yousuf, Community Relations Dept., UAEU.
Mr. Ali Mohamed Fadil, Community Relations Dept., UAEU.

Language of the Conference

Arabic and English.

Post Conference Tours

• The Emirates Date Factory – Al Saad
• Al Ain Date Oasis
• UAE University and Date Palm Tissue Culture Laboratory
• Other important sites and historic places.
The participation in these post conference tours will be on a voluntary basis and will take a full day (Thursday 18 March, 2010).

Conference Sponsors

United Arab Emirates
UAE University
Khalifa International Date Palm Award
Arab Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.
Date Palm Friends Society
Date Palm Global Network
Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
United Nations Development Program
and other Organizations to be announced.

More details can be had from the following contact details.

Mr. Abdul Rasheed (Tel: +971 50 583 83 76 (mobile), +971 3 783 23 34 (Ext. 207) (office), Fax: +971 3 783 24 72, E-mail: rasheed.e@uaeu.ac.ae

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