Dubai Events

Dubai’s tourism volumes surge to over 12 million

DUBAI: surge in arrivals over the summer months accelerated Dubai’s tourism momentum, as the city welcomed 12.08 million international overnight visitors in the first nine months of 2019, according to the latest visitation figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

The strong 4.3 per cent increase in volume growth compared to the same period last year was supported by highly participatory contributions from both traditional and emerging markets, that has continued to capture strong shares of the tourist wallet, further stimulating Dubai’s GDP impact, and the city’s remarkable consistency in transforming itself to respond to global competition.

The positive performance, which drew over 1.23 million visitors to the city in September, an above market average increase of 7.3 per cent over the same month in 2018, coincided with Dubai being ranked the fourth most visited city in the world for the fifth year in a row in Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index 2019, a clear indication that Dubai is continuously renewing its attractiveness to remain a leading global destination.

India retained its position as Dubai’s leading source market, with over 1.39 million visitors during the first nine months of 2019. This reaped dividends as evidenced in the increase in travel share of Indian families with children by a substantial 13 percentage points from 32 to 45 per cent during the nine month period in 2019 over the same period last year.

As the highest traffic volume generator for the GCC, Saudi Arabia registered a two per cent year-on-year growth for over 1.25 million visitors, largely driven by the Saudi National Day holiday on September 23, which saw Saudi arrivals registering a massive 36+ per cent growth compared to the same holiday period in 2018.

Despite the devaluation of the pound against the dollar, and continued Brexit uncertainty, UK remained Dubai’s third largest source market with 851,000 visitors. The emirate retained high demand from families with children, one of the focus segments of the tourism strategy in the UK, accounting for 25 per cent of the share during the first nine months of 2019, up by five percentage points compared to the same period in 2018.

Oman stayed the course as one of the key drivers within the top performing markets, delivering 778,000 visitors for a 28 per cent increase year-on-year, making it the fourth highest traffic generator.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 24, 2019 at 1:06 am

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Mohammed bin Rashid inspects preparations for Dubai Airshow 2019

DUBAI, 16th November, 2019 (WAM) — His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, today made an onsite tour of the Dubai Airshow 2019 to inspect the preparations for the big event that is set to kick off tomorrow at its purpose-built venue at Dubai World Central (DWC).

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was accompanied on his tour by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, and Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Dubai Airshow; Major General Abdullah Al Hashmi, Assistant Undersecretary for Support Services at the UAE Ministry of Defence; Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police; Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai’s Protocol Department; members of the Dubai Airshow Organising Committee; and other officials.

During the tour, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum listened to a briefing presented by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Major General Abdullah Al Hashmi on the preparations for the event including the facilities for exhibitors.

The 2019 show will build on the overwhelming success of the last event, where more than 160 official delegations and 1,300 governmental and private companies from the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa are participating in the event that has become one of the top three airshows in the world.

Concluding his tour, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the UAE welcomes its guests and wished the airshow success in its latest edition.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 17, 2019 at 6:42 am

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Spectrum of the Seas anchors into Port Rashid

Dubai recently welcomed the innovative cruise ship ‘Spectrum of the Seas’ into Port Rashid, marking its debut into the Arabian Gulf.

A traditional ‘Plaques and Keys Exchange’ ceremony was hosted on board in the presence of the ship’s captain and key industry stakeholders from Dubai Cruise Committee. Reaffirming Dubai’s position as the ‘cruise hub of the region’, Spectrum of the Seas arrived in port bringing almost 4,000 tourists to the emirate in a single day.

Weighing 168,666 gross tonnes, Royal Caribbean’s new Spectrum of the Seas will be the largest and most advanced cruise ship to port in Dubai. The cruise brand revealed several new innovations and features on board the ship, displaying ‘first-at-sea’ activities such as the Sky Pad, a virtual reality bungee trampoline, RipCord by iFly sky diving simulator and North Star observation pod that offers guests astonishing panoramic views more than 300 feet above sea level. In addition, the ship’s interiors offer a music hall and SeaPlex; the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex with bumper cars, roller skating and basketball.

Mohamed Abdul Aziz Al Mannai, CEO of P&O Marina and CEO of Port Rashid at DP World, said: “The cruise ship terminal at Port Rashid has recorded significant achievements over the past few years, including the development of marine, commercial and tourism infrastructure. This strengthens the emirate’s global position as a hub for trade and cruise tourism and supports the tourism sector in Dubai and its efforts to establish the emirate among the best cities in the world.”

Al Mannai also outlined that the shipyard at Port Rashid welcomes close to half a million visitors annually and expects 725,000 visitors during the 2018-2019 cruise season, as a result of Dubai’s ongoing efforts to attract tourists and investors to the emirate.

Jamal Alfalasi, director of Dubai Cruise Tourism, said: “It is with great honour that we welcome the guests of Spectrum of the Seas, one of the largest and most revolutionary ships to the emirate. This visit strengthens Dubai’s position as the established cruise hub of the region; a key component of our strategic development. Over the past few years, we have seen an increasing number of reputable cruise liners visiting the emirate and our ongoing partnership with key stakeholders is testament to delivering top-class cruise facilities and providing distinctive services to enhance the tourists’ experience, marking Dubai as a significant destination for cruise tourists worldwide.”

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 9, 2019 at 4:37 am

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What is Islamic or Hijri New Year

Dubai: The UAE has declared Thursday, September 21, as a public and private sector holiday to celebrate the Islamic New Year, known as the Hijri Year in Arabic.

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent congratulatory cables to Arab leaders on the advent of the new Hijri year. He wished more progress and prosperity to Arab and Muslim countries.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, dispatched similar cables to presidents, kings and princes of the Arab and Muslim countries on the occasion.

The occasion marks 1,439 years since the migration of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and his companions from Makkah to Madinah, Islam’s holiest cities in Saudi Arabia. The first year in the Islamic calendar, Hijri 1, corresponds to the year 622AD.

Hijri is derived from Arabic word Hijrah, which means migration. In the religious context, it specifically refers to the migration of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) more than 14 centuries ago.

Why does the Islamic calendar start with Hijrah; what is the significance of this event?
Khaleeq Ahmad Mufti, an Ajman-based Islamic scholar and author, who also hosts an Islamic show on Sharjah TV, said Hijrah was the “definitive turning point” in the history of Islam.

“In Makkah, before Hijrah, the Muslims were weak, persecuted for their religion. After Hijrah to Madinah, Muslims became strong and successful. This development marked a definitive turning point,” Mufti added.

He explained that Hijrah was not just a historical event, but continues to be an opportunity for introspection.
“Every year, as a new Hijri year begins, we Muslims should ask ourselves, ‘why did Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and his companions migrate, leaving everything behind — their homes, their property, and their loved ones?’

“The answer is because they chose to sacrifice worldly gains and comforts for the perseverance of their religion, Islam, which was then in danger in Makkah. This is a message that inspires us to follow Islamic teachings, such as honesty in trading and other traits, above all.”

The Hijri calendar is based on the lunar year, in which months are 29 or 30 days, depending on when the waxing crescent moon is sighted after the new moon. As a result, the Hijri year is shorter than the Gregorian solar year, arriving around 11 days “earlier” after each full cycle.
Last year, the UAE had declared October 2 as a holiday to celebrate Hijri year 1438.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 20, 2017 at 10:00 pm

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Dubai Crown Prince’s falcon Ghaith makes winning start in Falconry Tilwah Championship

DUBAI, 9th January, 2017 The falcon called Ghaith, owned by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, made a spectacular entry in Tilwah Falconry Championship in Dubai on 9th January.

The event was organised by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre, HHC.

Fazza falcon Ghaith was hailed as a phenomenon after it obliterated the field in the Hurr Wahish Farkh category by clocking 19.353 seconds over 400m in idyllic conditions on the eighth morning of the competition at the dedicated site for Fazza Championship for Falconry in Ruwayyah area.

Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, welcomed the arrival of the phenomenal Ghaith whose performance raised the spirits of other contestants.

“We are happy that H.H. Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, made an entry today, which has boosted the morale of Emirati falconers competing in Tilwah championship,” she said.

Spurred by the dedicated falconers of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, falcon Ghaith soared to victory as all other contestants fell by the wayside in the Hurr Wahish Farkh category for the UAE nationals.

None of the other falcons managed to go under 20 seconds in this event with the second best time being a distant 20.571 seconds, 0.117 seconds off the pace.

The third fastest falcon clocked 20.727 seconds, 0.374 seconds slower than Ghaith. The eighth day of the competition continued with Hurr Wahish Jernas (UAE) category, followed by Hurr Wahish Farkh and Jernas for GCC nationals.

The largest and most popular among the series of falconry championships, the Fazza Championship for Falconry – Tilwah, will continue till 12th January at the dedicated site in Ruwayyah area (Exit 55 off Emirates Road) as elite contenders continue to take part in various categories and groups.

The official sponsors of heritage events, organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Centre, are Al Tayer Motors, Land Rover, Dubai Airports, AW Rostamani (Arabian Automobiles), Dubai World Trade Centre, Global Village and Al Oula Radio.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 11, 2017 at 9:50 pm

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Sixth Annual Dubai Women’s Run set for Friday, 4th November

DUBAI, 18th October, 2016 (WAM) — The UAE Athletics Federation is geared up for the 6th Annual Dubai Women’s Run under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the UAE National Olympics Committee, which this year is taking place along a new route, starting off and finishing up at SKY DIVE Dubai on November 4th.


The race starts at 7:00 a.m. and will host both 5K and 10K runs, showcasing some of the nation’s most talented and well-known female distance runners.

This year’s race will also kick-off the Sun and Sand Sport Fitness Fest, which had a record number of over 4,500 entrants last year, and more than 5,000 are expected for the 2016 run. A day that can be enjoyed by the whole family, the race area will have music and activities for children with food and beverages served. There will also be activities and sampling focusing on Health and Fitness throughout the day.

All participants will be able to collect their numbers, chips and running packets, consisting of their bib, official shirt from Air France KLM and gift items, on the 2nd and 3rd November at Dubai’s Meydan Hotel from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 20, 2016 at 11:18 pm

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Hundreds attend Telugu flower festival in Dubai

Dubai: The Indian Consulate auditorium in Dubai reverberated with songs and rhythmic dance moves around floral arrangements by Telugu expatriates as part of Navratri celebrations.


More than 400 Telugu-speaking expatriates attended the event on Saturday evening. It was a feast for the eyes to see women in their traditional silk saris and dresses gather around Bathukammas — seasonal flowers of myriad colours and fragrances arranged concentrically in a conical shape of various heights. The ritual involves circling the flower decorations, singing songs dedicated to the valour of women and to Hindu mythological characters while clapping rhythmically. These songs are handed down over generations.

Later, the flower arrangements were immersed in make-shift tanks as per the tradition imploring Bathukamma to return next year.
This floral festival that is symbolic of the cultural identity of Telangana is celebrated by women of the south Indian state. But in UAE, women from both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been participating in this activity proving they are one overseas.


“The cultural spirit of Telangana was captivating thanks to the Indian Consulate and the Government of Telangana for arranging this festival of flowers,” said Krishnaveni a resident of Sharjah who joined the festivity along with her friends. “The rhythm of clapping by women adorned with colourful bangles coupled with the beats of dappu (a percussion instrument) showcased the happiness of friends,” she added.

Sudha Sandadi, a resident of Dubai, said: “Bathukamma festival brings back my childhood memories, Dassera holidays and grandparents’ home. I live in Dubai, a home away from home, and these special events make me feel that I am not far away from my motherland.”

flower-festivalLast week, a similar event was held at the Indian Association Hall in Umm Al Quwain, where Telangana Member of Parliament Kavitha participated as the chief guest. The diaspora in Abu Dhabi held it on Friday. The festival has been gaining popularity especially after the formation of Telangana state and is now being celebrated all over the world wherever the Telugu community has a strong presence.

Display of dolls

While, Bathukamma is indigenous to Telangana, the people from Andhra Pradesh celebrate Navratri with a display of dolls and miniature figurines called Bommala Koluvu. Lakshmi Panyala, a Sharjah resident, who has been involved in this activity every year, has chosen a traditional Telugu wedding as the theme this time. The display is simply awesome and the visitors and invitees are left amazed by the meticulous arrangements, with attention paid to the minutest detail.

All aspects of a Telugu wedding, right from when a man and woman meet to their engagement and the mehendi rituals to the wedding, reception and the newly-weds’ departure for honeymoon, were tastefully done. We get vignettes of Dubai including Dubai airport, desert safari, Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah and The Atlantis, which is supposed to be the couple’s destination for their honeymoon.
“Arranging Bommala Koluvu and inviting my friends gives me great pleasure during Navrati festival. This year I chose the wedding theme because I have a collection of several dolls and figurines that gave me the idea to do something differently,” Panyala said. “Most children staying away from India miss out on such events. So, I thought this will give them glimpses of a traditional Telugu marriage,” she said.
Panyala, a housewife with one daughter, said she is grateful to her friends who helped her in putting up such a splendid display.

What is Bathukamma?

The word Bathukamma is a conjugation of Bathuku (aliveness) and Amma (mother). And celebrating it with flowers is a tribute to nature, which gives us sustenance. This festival follows the monsoon when seasonal flowers are in full bloom such as cock’s comb (gunuga puvvu in Telugu), marigold, chrysanthemum and gulmohar, which form the major part of the flowers in making a Bathukamma.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 11, 2016 at 1:36 pm

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Saudi Prince Meshaal meets UAE Balloon Team

uae-balloonSHARJAH: Saudi Prince Mishaal bin Abdulaziz, Head of Pledge-Allegiance Commission met the UAE Balloon Team here today. He was briefed by the UAE Balloon Team, led by Captain Abdul Aziz Nasser Al Mansouri, to take part in this year’s edition of the Al Janadriyah, an annual cultural festival held in the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Chairman of the Higher Committee of the 7th UAE International Balloon Festival and Cup, Sheikh Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mualla, also briefed Prince Meshaal on preparations to launch the King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Balloon at this year’s festival in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The event to be held in December this year will also see the launch of the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Balloon Cup, the “Faris Al-Arab” (Arabic for the Arab Knight) Balloon Cup, the Spirit of the Union Balloon and the Gharbia Balloon will be launched at the same event.

In remarks at the meeting, Prince Meshaal hailed the achievements of the UAE in different spheres to advance prosperity and success in society. He also praised the achievements of the UAE Balloon Team in international competitions.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

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SIKKA 2013 launches in Dubai to promote intercultural dialogue

DUBAI: H.H. Sheikh Majed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), officially inaugurated SIKKA 2013, the Authority’s contemporary artist-led fair in Dubai.

The fair was held in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, which seved as centre of the city in the past. 24th March, SIKKA 2013 features works from 70+ Emirati artists, and 14 multi-disciplinary initiatives and collectives, an array of special projects, workshops, panel discussions, live music and entertainment, film screenings, performances and a children’s educational programme, in addition to guided and self-led tours.

The SIKKA will last 11 days, visitors can discover over 45 new works on display and experience a diverse selection of interactive projects and hands-on workshops, shedding light on Dubai’s alternative arts and cultural scene.

H.H Sheikh Majed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Dubai’s cultural scene is witnessing incredible growth and the city has evolved as one of the world’s leading hubs for fine arts today. SIKKA stands apart in the arts sector of Dubai with its focus on promoting Emiratis and UAE-based artists. Over the past three years, the contemporary art fair has served as a platform to highlight the rich talent in our country. With the largest showcase of works, performances, and community-centric initiatives to date, SIKKA will continue to build on Dubai’s rich artistic identity and promote intercultural dialogue.” With numerous acts scheduled each day, SIKKA’s commissioned musicians will take the stage with their most recent creations. These include: As per Casper; Beatbox Ray; Fables of Cantt; Gayathri; Harrison Rice; Jabbar; Layla Lacole; Liminal Roots; Nada Dada; Regal Beats; Sach Holden; Shay; Swerte; THEM;’ and Valentin Spasov, in addition to performances from Imagyne, Paul D, and Star TOO.

Works by up-and-coming filmmakers include Amal Agroobi’s 90% Psyche; Anushka Anand’s Lonely @ Night; Camille Mallat’s SIKKA Photo Booth; Hania Ansari’s My Heart My Fellow Traveler; Mohammed Al Marzouqi’s Travelling Through Time; and Salma El-Shami’s Shiddi ?eilek.

Over 45 commissioned visual artists will showcase a diverse breath of mediums including installations, photography, graphic design, sculpture, painting, drawing, video art, and mixed media, among others.

Visual artists working on site and context specific work and installations include: Aaesha Al Ahmed; Abdul Azim Al Ghussein; Ahmed Bouholaigah; Amal Al Khaja; Amartey Cousland-Golding; Arwa Jundi; Cristiano Luchetti; Caravan + Studio 7; Darwin Guevera; Gilda Jabbari; Hamdan Buti Al Shamsi; Karee Dahl; Khawla Darwish; Mia O; Mohammed Jumairi; Mouza Al Matrooshi; Nadine Nour El Din Ezzat; Noor Al Suwaidi; Nouf Aljahdhami; Nourhan Darwish; Rabi Georges; Rami Farook; Rashid Al Mulla; Reem Abdulwahid; Saba Qizilbash; Sara Al Hadad; Shaikha Al Mazrou; Shamma Al Amri; The Good News Team; Vikram Divecha; Walid Wawi; and Zahra Jewangjee ‘&’ Simon Coates.

This showcase is rich with photographic and video works and installations from Alia Hussain Lootah; Cristiana De Marchi; Farah Al Qasimi; Hazem Mahdy; Mark Pilkington; pointCOUNTERpoint; Rania Jishi; Sinisa Vlajkovic; and Zara Mahmood.

This year will also have a special house dedicated to design, comprising young designers exploring the medium beyond the commercial context. These include: Khalid Mezaina; Layan Attari; M?bius Design Studio; Nada AlYafaei; Talin Hazbar; and Tulip Hazbar.

All visits and activities at SIKKA 2013 are open to the public. Participation is free of charge; however registration is required for workshops due to limited seating.

SIKKA 2013 will be held concurrently with Art Week, Dubai’s premier umbrella arts initiative encompassing of Art Dubai and Design Days Dubai.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 5:46 pm

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UAE to mark Arab Water Day Today

Dubai, 2nd March 2013 — The UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is mobilising Arab, regional and international energies to develop and conserve water resources, Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, said today.

In remarks on the eve of the Arab Water Day, Bin Fahad the UAE hosted in January the International Water Summit which brought together policymakers, scientists and business leaders to tackle the urgent water and wastewater challenges facing arid regions.

The Arab Water Ministerial Council organises the Arab Water Day on 3rd March every year to urge Arab countries for more work towards achieving water security in the Arab Countries in the way towards sustainable development in the region.

”Acknowledging its water reality and scarce water resources for irrigation, drinking and development purposes, the UAE has made tremendous efforts to make water available for these goals including improving legislative and institutional frameworks that aim to conserve water resources in consistence with principles of integrated water management, conducting research on water resources development, managing and mitigating risks and challenges facing the water sector in terms of increasing demand and consumption, and analyzing the climate change negative impact on sectors like agriculture, water and the environment,” he added.

”The UAE is currently undertaking a national strategy for improving water resources management, replenishing strategic water reserves, developing legislative, economic and technical standards, building local capacities on integrated water resources management and sustainable development of natural resources.” In regards to water projects, the minister added that 116 dams were built with a total capacity of 11 million cubic metres to sustain natural water resources.

It has also utilized the non-conventional water resources with increased use of desalinated water as a key source for fresh water.

”For the moment, the Ministry is crafting along with its stakeholder a national bill for rationalizing fresh water consumption, he said.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

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VP, Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Princes and Sheikhs celebrate Qasr Al Hosn Festival

Abu Dhabi, Feb 28th, 2013 (WAM)–The UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and H. H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, today afternoon graced the national procession, which started from Qasr Al Manhal to Qasr Al Hosn to mark the 250th anniversary of building of Qasr Al Hosn by the late Sheikh Dhyiab bin Eisa Al Nahyan.

The procession, which symbolised the journey of Al Nahyan family from Liwa in the Western Region to Abu Dhabi, was also attended by a number of other Sheikhs, citizens and tribal dignitaries.

At the celebration centre at Qasr Al Hosn, the UAE Vice President and the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince performed the traditional dances amid presence of huge crowd.

Among others present were H. H. Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, H. H. Sheikh Rashid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Crown Prince of Umm al-Qaiwain, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras al-Khaimah, H. H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, H. H. Sheikh Surour bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, H. H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, H. H. Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler`s Representative, H. H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, H. H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, H. H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, H. H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Adviser to the UAE President, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Lt. General Musbeh Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the Office of the UAE Vice President, a and a number of other guests.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm

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World record hopes for Emirati women’s giant mat

Seven Emirati housewives worked to preserve UAE culture and heritage

Dubai: Seven Emirati housewives got together and made a giant traditional mat from date palm tree leaves, as part of their efforts to keep this symbol of the UAE’s culture alive.
The seven women, who are all members of the women committee of Dibba Al Fujairah’s Culture, Theatre and Arts Centre, said it took them around six months to complete the project as they worked on it whenever they got some spare time out of their busy daily routines.
The mat is made of date palm tree fronds and is 24m and 30cm long. Its width is 74cm.

The traditional mat, known in the UAE as a ‘Haseer’, was widely used to furnish floors of houses, mosques and roof tops in the past. They are still used today, but mostly for outings, especially in the desert. The giant mat will be on display at the first Liwa/Ajman Date Festival which begins tomorrow and will continue until Friday, July 29.

Saif Al Dahmani, Head of Al Nakheel Foundation for Heritage and Handcrafts, is the one who suggested the idea of making the giant mat and is now working on promoting it. He is even trying to find a sponsor for the project to help get the mat registered with the Guinness World Records (GWR).

“We already exhibited the mat at the Liwa Date Festival which ended last week and we got a good response from visitors who were amazed at seeing the mat and appreciated the hard work that went into it,” he told Gulf News.

Common people

Al Dahmani said he chose the traditional mat because it is part of the country’s heritage and something that was used widely in the past, especially by common people. “I am basically coordinating with the women committee, as I am exhibiting this mat at various exhibitions,” he said. “I also promote the handmade products by these women on various occasions,” he added.
Mariam Juma, the general supervisor, who oversaw the project, said she feels proud of the women who dedicated time out of their busy lives to this project. She said the seven women spent six months first, weaving and then sewing the mat. “When we suggested to them the idea, we did not set a timeframe because we knew it is difficult for them to dedicated certain hours to this because of their other commitments.
“This is the first time the women committee of Dibba Al Fujairah has taken up such a project and we are happy it has seen the light,” she said.

Aisha Hamdan, one of the seven women who worked on the mat, told Gulf News they all took part in the project because they wanted to do something that represented the culture and heritage of the UAE as a country.
“This mat does not only represent us women from Fujairah, but the entire UAE,” she said.
Sindiyah Al Rahma, a 50-year-old housewife and mother of nine, said she spent her time working on the mat whenever she was free from her house responsibilities.
“I used to spend around one to two hours whenever I had some time on hand because I also take care of my house and children,” she said.
Fatima Hassan, a mother of six, said weaving and sewing has always been her passion.
“I learned it when I was a child and still love doing it. So the idea of making a giant mat putting our experience into it was very exciting to me,” she said.
Art of weaving
Halima Ali, another 50-year-old housewife and mother of nine, said she learned the art of weaving and sewing from her grandmother and mother and she still does it. She is also now passing on the skills she learned to her daughters.
“We have to pass on the experience of making these traditional handcrafts to the younger generations because they are part of our identity and we have to preserve it in a way or the other,” she said.

At a glance

Work on the giant mat started on December 1, 2010 and was completed on May 27, 2011.
The giant mat will be on display at the first Liwa/Ajman Date Festival, which starts tomorrow and runs until Friday, at Ajman Festival City, near Ajman City Centre.
For details on the festival contact: 050-3006888

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 26, 2011 at 12:51 am

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The largest mosque in Dubai opens on July 29

Come the last Friday before holy month Ramadan, another landmark would be added to Dubai’s celebrated landscape matching the city’s ambition.

Though it has already made its presence felt physically, Al Farooq Omar bin Khattab Mosque and Islamic Centre will host its first congregation with a Friday prayer on July 29.

A replica of Istanbul’s fabled Blue Mosque, the Al Farooq Centre is designed to play a similar role that the historic Blue Mosque played with its extended community centre, a public kitchen, a hospital, a bazaar and a madrassa.

While Dubai’s Blue Mosque complex won’t have a hospital or a public kitchen, it houses a madrassa that will facilitate learning of the Holy Quran and Islamic courses, a library with a collection of some 4,000 Islamic and other religious titles to help advance learning, and a lecture hall that will be host to inter-faith dialogue to forge better religious understanding.

The complex also has the customary residences for the Imam (prayer leader) and Muezzin (the caller for prayers).

“Our idea is to pass on the message of Al Farooq (the title of Omar bin Khattab, Islam’s second caliph and a beloved companion of Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him), who as a ruler extended his arm of benevolence to people from all walks of life. We want to spread the larger good of Islam rather than just being a player of worship. The centre and mosque would be open for people of all faith,” said Abdul Malek, who is the manager of the centre.

This means the mosque will be one of the three in the country and second in Dubai to open its doors for non-Muslims, the other two being the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and Jumeirah Grand Mosque in Dubai.

“Omar bin Khattab gave generally amnesty to the Christian and Jewish population of Jerusalem after it was peacefully occupied by Muslim troops, and we want to continue his legacy of peace and brotherhood,” he added.

As part of the legacy, the centre will host regular inter-faith dialogues and also host talks by non-Muslim scholars to dispel misconceptions about different religions.

To begin the noble mission, the first prayer congregation in the mosque would be led by Kuwait’s renowned scholar and imam Shaikh Masharey bin Rashid Afasy and is expected to be attended by who’s who of the country’s elite and diplomatic circle.

“We have sent invitations to the Rulers and shaikhs of all emirates, including His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We have also invited many ambassadors and consul-generals, irrespective of their faith, and we hope a very good turnout on that auspicious day,” said Abdul Malek, as he guided us through the complex.

The building’s Ramadan opening is considered auspicious and the centre has planned a month-long festival to mark the occasion.

As many as eight beautiful reciters of the Holy Quran would be flown in from different parts of the world for the special Tarawih prayers offered in Ramadan, special iftar majlis would be held for public every day of the holy month and night lectures by famous scholars would be held for the benefit of the community.

Already taking on the role of spreading the umbrella of peace, the centre looks to be the soul of the quaint neighbourhood of Al Safa where it is located, as passersby — both on foot and cars — get drawn as if by a magnetic pull to the magnificent structure.

“The complex is not yet officially open and finishing works are still on, but we already have dozens of visitors everyday. They are drawn towards the complex as moths are drawn to light,” said Abdul Malek, with his eyes swelled by tears of joy and pride.

The tranquil, almost sleepy surroundings of the mosques seem to be a reflection of the hallowed place of worship, a world far removed from the fast-paced and noisy city of Dubai.

The peace and serenity it brings is not unlike any similar worship houses of God, but what is unique is its design, which is a tribute to two splendid Islamic civilisations. A coherent mixture of Ottoman and Andalusian architectural styles, the structure is based on Turkish mosques of the Ottoman era — more precisely the legendary Blue mosque — though in the much smaller scale, the internal decorations, designs, calligraphy, inscriptions and patterns are taken after the Moorish style of Islamic Spain.

Held by a central dome that is 30 metres high and supported by 21 other half and full domes, resembling the Turkish style of building, the mosque has four 70-metre-tall minarets — the second tallest in the UAE after the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque minarets — that are visible from kilometres afar.

The 2,000 capacity worship hall is 4,200 square metres in size, while the entire mosque site is 8,700 square metres, making it the biggest in Dubai leaving behind the Rashidiya Grand Mosque by a long way.

Handmade by the specially flown Moroccan craftsmen, who are still the guardians of Andalusian science of building, the intricate geometric designs and glazed tile patterns coupled with a mesmeric mix of calligraphy, Quranic inscriptions and 124 stained glass windows combine to form the most soothing symphony for a connoisseur’s eyes.

The grandeur and splendour of the interior take one back to the realms of the Mughals, the Ottomans and the Moors. Not that there aren’t similar structures around (how can one deny the mesmeric effects of Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque?) it’s just that like the person it is named after, Al Farooq stands out tall and high.

Dubai Islamic Culture Tour | Ramadan in Dubai Cultural tour

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 15, 2011 at 11:26 pm

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Dubai Outlet Mall announces new promotions for Dubai Summer Surprises 2011

“As a strategic partner of DEPE, Dubai Outlet Mall will be a part of DSS 2011. DSS is an important event in Dubai calendar and we look forward for a very successful and an entertaining period,” said Vishal Mahajan, Director of Dubai Outlet Mall.

1st to 31st July 2011, Outlet Mall will run a “Amazing Thailand” festival showcasing Thailand’s unique attractions. The mall is decorated with DSS theme combined with Thai style beautiful and vivid ornaments and lanterns and visitors will get to experience Thai culture, entertainment, cuisine and handicrafts with lots of exhibitors offering unique stuff to purchase. There is a wonderful entertainment lined up including Thai dance and performance, craft demonstrations, Thai massages, the Pink Garden show, Roaming stilt fashion shows, Garden Gnomes and lots more to amuse everyone.

Spend win promotion

With major discounts and attractive bargains customers can participate in a spend and win promotion during the one month festival at Outlet Mall. Buying from any retailer outlet at Dubai Outlet Mall will give customers a chance to win daily shopping vouchers worth thousands of Dirhams plus a chance to win an exclusive trip for 4 – family or friends – to Bangkok every weekend. Shoppers can double their chances by spending with their Emirates NBD credit or debit cards.

Vishal Mahajan said, “This DSS in order to add more value to customers’ visit, we are not only offering them the best shopping experience with our signature value offerings, amazing bargains on variety of big brands with great prices and everyday prizes but we also present them with a unique opportunity to experience Thailand in Dubai and enjoy both destinations at the same time.”

He added, “We believe that this festival, held during Dubai Summer Surprises celebrations, with the offerings of extravaganza of promotions, bargains and entertainment, all of which contribute to Dubai being one of the most sought after cities for tourists and shoppers, will be a great success.”

Dubai Outlet Mall is the ultimate value shopping destination of choice for tourists, visitors and residents of Dubai which offers world premium brands such as Burberry, Massimo Dutti, Sacoor Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Missoni, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Cesare Paciotti, Cole Haan and many more at incredible prices with upto 90% discount every day. Customers will get amazing offers on over 1,200 brands in fashion, accessories, furniture, homewares, leather goods and jewellery in 240 stores at Outlet Mall.

The ‘Amazing Thailand Festival 2011’ will be held at the Dubai Outlet Mall daily throughout the month of July between the times of 10:00 to 22:00 Sundays to Wednesday, and from 10:00 to 24:00 Thrusday to Saturday.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 22, 2011 at 9:27 am

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Sheikh Mohammed launches Ferry Dubai

Shaikh Mohammed officially launched ‘Ferry Dubai’, the latest water transport service offered by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA).

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Friday visited the Dubai International Boat Show 2011 at the Jumeirah Beach in Dubai.

Accompanied by Dubai Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Mohammed toured the show’s main tent in which, all boat, yacht and marine sport equipment and items are on display.

Shaikh Mohammed officially launched ‘Ferry Dubai’, the latest water transport service offered by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA). He was briefed by RTA Chairman Matar Mohammed Al Tayer about the ferry which, in the first stage, will serve Dubai Creek and the coastal line stretching along Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Marina and the waterfront developments.

The 32-metre-long ferry, which can travel at a maximum speed of 24 knots/hour, can carry 100 passengers and is fitted with modern entertainment facilities.

Al Tayer said the first stage will see two ferries serving a number of lines. They will be increased in later stages to 10 ferries.

Shaikh Mohammed said he was pleased with the achievements of the RTA and its efforts to provide quality services and infrastructure to the citizens, residents and visitors of Dubai.

He also praised the success of the boat show and the growing interest among local, regional and international players to take part in such an important event.

Present were Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and President of the Emirates airline, other Shaikhs and senior officials.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm

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