Abu Dhabi hosts workshop on falconry

falcon of Abu DHabiWAM Abu Dhabi, 10 June 2009 (WAM) – A workshop will take place on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi as part of Arab States preparation to submit a dossier for the registration of falconry in the list of intangible cultural heritage of the UNESCO.

The workshop will be held for two days with the participation of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Morocco and Syria.

“The workshop will discuss the requirements for registration of falconry in the intangible heritage list,” said Dr Nasser bin Ali Al Hamiari, Director of the Department of the Intangible Heritage of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH).

“After the preparation of the dossier; we will complete some of the international registration procedures as part of the coordination of work and exchange of experiences, especially since the United Arab Emirates has much expertise in this field,” he added.

The opening session will include addresses by Hamiari; Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Director General of ADACH; Majed Ali Al Mansouri, Director of the Emirates Falconers Club and Secretary General of the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi; Bilal bin Rabie Al Budour, Director Executive of the Ministry of Culture, Arts, Culture, Youth and Community Development; and Ali Awadh bin Saleh, President of the Intergovernmental Committee; in addition to other participating delegations.

The workshop, in its first day, will discuss the requirements of registration, list of surveys, and the participation of local community, presented by Dr. Ismail Ali Al Faheel. The registration form will be presented by Dr. Sulaiman Najem Khalaf.

The second day will be devoted to the preparation of the international dossier on falconry with the participation of all members. There will be a review of what has been completed regarding the international dossier

Dubai Falconry Tour : A tour that will take you close to the falcons and will teach you training, feeding and life aspects of falcons.

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital Tour: Tour Abu Dhabi highlighting Abu Dhabi Falcon hospital.

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Biomedical scientists find possible link between cleaning products and cancer

A team of biomedical scientists have revealed that exposure to certain cleaning products could put people at an increased risk of breast cancer.

The report, which was published in the open access BioMed Central’s journal Environmental Health, revealed that solid air fresheners and mould and mildew control products could be among the most likely to elevate the risk.

According to the researchers, some household cleaning and pesticide products could increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer because “many contain endocrine disrupting chemicals or mammary gland carcinogens”.

The study asked more than 1,500 women about their risk factors for breast cancer.

In addition, all the women were asked about their use of pesticides, with just over half also being asked about cleaning product usage.

One of the authors, Dr Julia Brody, explained to the Daily Telegraph that women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer may “more accurately recall their past product use or overestimate it”, which some commentators have claimed could affect the results of the study.

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Abu Dhabi Hotel guests numbers on rise May-To-May Comparison Up 14 per cent

Abu Dhabi, June 28th, 2010 — Abu Dhabi emirate recorded a 14 per cent increase on guest numbers across its 116 licensed hotels and hotel apartments last month compared to May 2009, says Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.
The newly released figures of the authority show that rising to 161,004, the May performance took the overall first five months of this year hotel guest total to 790,812 – a 16 per cent increase on the same period last year. The performance represents the seventh consecutive month of double-digit guest growth for the emirate.
“We are well on course to achieve our 2010 target of 1.65 million hotel guests,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.
“We are now focussed on keeping the momentum going. We have significantly expanded our Summer in Abu Dhabi family festival to take in Abu Dhabi city and, for the first time, Al Ain to help keep the momentum going and the industry has responded well with a wealth of one-for-one visitor stay incentives. With headline shows, in-mall entertainment and deals across attractions, shops and restaurants, we are looking to also encourage the average length of stay.
“With the planned opening of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi this October and the peak Grand Prix season yet to come, target attainment is well within our reach”, he added.
Guest nights in May this year rose 12 per cent on May 2009 and for the year-to-May showed an 11 per cent increase.
“Increased room inventory on last year has made the market much more competitive and impacted occupancy and revenue levels. The upside, of course, is that the destination as a whole now sits in a much more competitive position than it was a year ago which, in the long term, will be sustainable benefits,” said Al Muhairi. Abu Dhabi currently has around 17,500 hotel/hotel apartment rooms as compared with about 12,500 in May last year.
Occupancy levels were 61 per cent this May – a 17 per cent decline on May 2009 while revenue declined 9 per cent to AED 330 million though food and beverage revenue for the first five months of the year is showing a 14 per cent increase on 2009.
Domestic tourism again held its own growing by 18 per cent year-on-year to 67,808 hotel guests. The UK was again the emirate’s biggest individual international market growing by 12 per cent month-on-month to 10,031.
The GCC again proved its value with a 32 per cent month-on-month growth with Saudi Arabia being the top performing Gulf market notching up a 44 per cent growth to 2,915 and becoming Abu Dhabi’s 10th most important hotel guest source.

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Emirates airline online UAE visa application procidure

Emirates airline has launched a new online visa system for people from 56 countries, including India, Pakistan and the Philippines, visiting the UAE. here is a step-by-step guide to get your ticket and visa to Dubai online.

Step 1 After you book tickets click on “Manage a Booking” on www.emirates.com and follow on-screen instructions. One-way flights are not eligible. Pay $57 (Dh209) for a 30-day visa and $44 (Dh162) for a 96-hour visa (plus $17 (Dh62) service charge and sales taxes for both). Residents of some countries may have to pay deposit of Dh1,000.

Step 2 Upload copies of passport bio page, photograph and proof of residence for transfer to Dubai immigration.

Step 3Track status of visa application on “Manage a Booking” using visa application number

Step 4 Visa will be delivered electronically within four days. All payments are by credit card. Deposit will be reversed on credit card upon confirmation of exit from the UAE.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm

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Emirates A380 to serve Manchester from 1st September

DUBAI, March 30th, 2010: Manchester will become the most northerly point on the world’s A380 network after Emirates Airlines revealed its latest plans for the superjumbo. A 517-seat version of the giant aircraft will serve Manchester from 1st September – as the airline marks a double decade of service to the city.

The A380 will replace Boeing 777 aircraft on EK017 from Dubai and EK018 out of Manchester. At the same time, Manchester will become the world’s first regional airport to have a regular A380 service.

“Manchester has become one of the strongest performers in our growing network of regional gateways. Our customers value our commitment to a regional network at a time when other airlines are abandoning them. We are delighted to give our Manchester customers the very best available in the shape of the Emirates’ A380, which, without doubt, has revolutionised flying,” Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe ‘&’ Russian Federation, said.

Manchester Airport’s Managing Director, Andrew Cornish, said, “Emirates Airlines‘ decision to operate daily A380 services between Manchester and Dubai represents an historic moment for this airport and the region that we serve. We have invested close to ?10m (Dhs54.8m) in upgrading the airfield and terminal, both to accommodate the aircraft itself and to create a fitting environment for Emirates’ customers, whether it is at check-in, using the airline’s executive lounge or at the gate area.” Emirates is currently operating eight A380s. They serve London Heathrow, Toronto, Paris, Jeddah, Bangkok, Seoul, Sydney and Auckland

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 31, 2010 at 6:01 am

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Sharjah awarded “Best Arab World Exhibitor” at the ITB 2010

itb-berlinBerlin, 14th March 2010 (WAM) — The emirate of Sharjah was awarded the Best Arab World Exhibitor Award amidst heavy competition at the International Tourism Bourse in Berlin, Germany. The award is granted based on an evaluation by the Business School at the University of Cologne of the 11,000 participating stands concerning design, creativity, promotional materials and information provided to ITB visitors. The Sharjah stand complied with all the requirements, seeing more than 25,000 visitors flocking to its stand during the exhibition.

The awards ceremony was attended by President of the German Tourism Association, Klaus Lapple, Lord Mayor of Berlin, Fritz Schramma, Prof. Dr. Aad Van Mourik, Dean of the Cologne Business School and ITB Coordinator Peter Wolfgang Klose, who witnessed Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), receiving the award. H.E. Mohammed A. Al Noman, SCTDA Director General, and members of the Sharjah delegation were also in attendance.

Commenting on Sharjah’s accomplishment at the ITB, Al Qassimi stated that the award – the fourth consecutive award for Sharjah at ITB – reflects the hard work put in by the SCTDA to promote Sharjah by painting a bright picture of the emirate at various international events.

Added Al Qassimi: “The international award gained today, which will be added to the vast list of accomplishments of the SCTDA, adds more responsibility and commitment towards supporting Sharjah’s status on the international tourism map, which we are keen to maintain under the support and guidance of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

“The International Tourism Bourse is undoubtedly one of the most distinguished travel and tourism events in the world, and Sharjah, through 13 years of participation, was again able to achieve successful participation at this international event by winning the Best Arab World Exhibitor Award for the fourth consecutive time, which I’m sure will be a driving inspiration for further achievements in the future.” He added: “As in previous years, the SCTDA stand was beautifully designed to reflect the emirate’s tourism, cultural and historical identity over an area of 303 sq. meters, with accurate publications in both English and German distributed to ITB visitors. A major part of the stand was specified to present and promote Sharjah’s cultural features, and included activities such as Emirati folklore shows, Henna drawing and genuine Arab hospitality.” Spearheaded by Al Qassimi, the delegation representing Sharjah at the International Tourism Bourse included members from 16 establishments from both the government and private sectors.

The SCTDA’s participation in the exhibition is in line with Sharjah’s strategies to promote tourism around the world, to put Sharjah at the lead in terms of the global tourism scene, and to promote the tourism sector in the emirate, which attracts more and more tourists each year due to its distinguished tourism aspects.

The international Tourism Bourse is one the biggest exhibitions concerned with the tourism industry, gathering a host of tourism experts from all over the world, with more than 10000 participants each year. This year’s ITB edition covered an area of over 160,000 sq. meters, with 12,000 participants from around the world.

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UAE volunteers scale Mount Kilimanjaro summit to raise funds for anti-Malaria campaign

climb-kilimanjaroSHARJAH, March 14th, 2010: A group of volunteers from the UAE led by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al-Thani have reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, in support of an international campaign to fight Malaria and other contagious diseases.

The group pledged to raise awareness on the diseases by struggling their way up to the high summit.

Malaria is the leading cause of death for children in Tanzania. Worldwide, a child dies every 30 seconds. An estimated 20 per cent of the world’s population mostly those living in the world’s poorest countries is at risk of contracting malaria. Malaria causes more than three hundred million acute illnesses and kills at least one million people every year. Ninety per cent of deaths due to malaria occur in Africa, south of the Sahara, and most deaths occur in children under the age of five, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)

Climb Kilimanjaro

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Abu Dhabi ready to host Costa Deliziosa’s maiden call

mina-zayedAbu Dhabi, Feb 21st, 2010 Abu Dhabi is all set to welcome in Mina Zayed one of the most advanced cruise liners afloat – the 92,600 tonnes Costa Deliziosa – which is making her maiden call tomorrow in the UAE capital.

The luxury liner is due to berth in Abu Dhabi nine times this season as part of the company’s new Jewels of the Emirates tour.

Abu Dhabi Terminals is planning to welcome the liner, its 934 crew and 2,159 guests, two-thirds of whom are Italian, German, Austrian and French, with a water canon salute as she makes her stately maiden arrival in Mina Zayed as part of her Grand Inaugural Cruise.

Costa Cruises, Italy’s largest travel group and Europe’s leading cruise company, expects to make 28 calls in Abu Dhabi with 65,000 guests in transit this winter cruise season with the deployment in the Arabian Gulf of Costa Deliziosa, its sister ship Costa Luminosa and the liner Costa Europa – a 20% increase on last year. The company was the first to market regular cruises in the Arabian Gulf spurring Abu Dhabi’s and the UAE’s cruise potential.

Costa Deliziosa is the fourth major cruise liner to make a maiden sailing into Abu Dhabi within three months, following last December’s arrival of Costa Luminosa and last month’s arrival of both Costa Europa and Royal Caribbean’s �Brilliance of The Seas.’ “The inclusion of Abu Dhabi in the itineraries of these two cruise heavyweights is a major boost to our tourism prospects,” said Lawrence Franklin, Strategy ‘&’ Policy Director, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). “It allows us to touch base with a significant number of international visitors who we hope will enjoy their tours of the destination and be sufficiently impressed to return.” ADTA is laying on a number of heritage experiences for the passengers as they disembark from the liner – the 15th in the Costa Cruises fleet – including traditional Ayala dancing, rose water welcomes, henna experiences, falconry displays and calligraphy demonstrations.

Costa Deliziosa is calling at Abu Dhabi for the first time tomorrow, on her Grand Inaugural Cruise. The ship left Savona, Italy on February 5 for Dubai. Costa Deliziosa will be the first cruise ship to be named in an Arabian city, on 23 February in Dubai, at the end of the first part of her Grand Inaugural cruise voyage.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - February 22, 2010 at 1:41 am

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Sharjah Museums Department celebrates Arabic Language Day

sharjah-caligraphy-museumSharjah, 21st Feb. 2010 In line with USESCO’s International Mother Language day Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) celebrated the Arabic Language Day on Feb. 21 .The move was to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The initiative is part of SMD’s commitment to highlight the importance of the Arabic language in the community, and to maintain national heritage, history and identity.

In celebration of the Arabic Language Day, Sharjah Calligraphy Museum hosted artist Khalifa Al Sheimi who gave a lecture on the types of calligraphy and tools used. The museum also organized an exhibition called “Calligraphy as an art” where tools used in calligraphy were on display. Al Eslah School Museum also displayed some of the writing tools used in the past in the United Arab Emirates.

“Celebrating the Arabic Language Day confirms our commitment to respect and further promote our mother tongue, which is a symbol of national identity and belonging. The Arabic language with its distinguished linguistics holds the strength to promote nation-building and strengthening cultural ties,” said Manal Ataya, Director General, SMD. “Arabic is also the language of the Holy Qu’ran, the basis of our unity, and the mirror of our present and future,” she added.

“Calligraphy is part of the Arabic language. If language is the link between civilizations, calligraphy documented it and passed it down over the generations. It also paved the way for fair competition among artists to excel in their work as can be witnessed at the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum,” said Buthaina Al Rasasi, Curator, Sharjah Calligraphy Museum.

Al Eslah School Museum was established in 1935 as the first formal educational institute to be opened in Sharjah. The mission of the Al Eslah School Museum is to enable the generations of the past and of the present to meet and to maintain Emirati customs and traditions regarding the Arabic language, religion and Islamic education.

The Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, the only museum in the Arab world devoted entirely to calligraphy, aims to instill the art of calligraphy in the people and visitors of Sharjah and to set new standards both locally and internationally.

Created by local artists and well-known international calligraphers, significant works of art from the Arab world demonstrate the complexity of this vibrant art form and its historical and Islamic foundations. Arabic calligraphy seen on canvas, wood, paper and ceramics will inspire visitors with its positive and living energy.

The Sharjah Museums Department, established in 2006 by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, aims to promote the emirate’s rich legacy of arts, heritage and culture.

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Dubai is, and will continue to be, a strong and vibrant global financial center, Sheikh Ahmad

Sheikh-Ahmad-Bin-Saeed-Al-MaktoumDubai, Dec14th, 2009 — Sheikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee (SFC) reassured the investors, financial and trade creditors, employees, and citizens support of the government and has said that Dubai is, and will continue to be, a strong and vibrant global financial center.

“The Government of Dubai remains committed to its high standards and its obligations. We are confident in our economic model, and we are confident in the long-term health and outlook for our economy”, he said in a statement on Monday.

“The actions taken today are consistent with our market development, and we believe they are the actions that will best serve the interests of all stakeholders,” he added.

The Government of Dubai, acting through the Supreme Fiscal Committee (“SFC”), today announced a set of actions in relation to Dubai World.

Full text of Sheikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee statement: Like other global financial centers, Dubai has faced recent market challenges driven by global economic slowdown and severe real estate market correction.

Recently, Dubai World announced that it might not be able to commercially support its obligations. Since that time, the Government of Dubai has worked closely with the Abu Dhabi Government and the UAE Central Bank addressing and assessing the impact of Dubai World on the UAE economy, banking system and investor confidence.

The following provides comprehensive set of actions: First, the Government of Abu Dhabi and the UAE Central Bank have agreed to provide important support.

Specifically, the Government of Abu Dhabi has agreed to fund $10 billion to the Dubai Financial Support Fund that will be used to satisfy a series of upcoming obligations on Dubai World.

As a first action for the new fund, the Government of Dubai has authorized $4.1 billion to be used to pay the sukuk obligations that are due today. The remaining funds would also provide for interest expenses and company working capital through April 30, 2010 – conditioned on the company being successful in negotiating a standstill as previously announced.

In addition, the Government of Dubai is particularly focused on addressing the concerns of Dubai World trade creditors within the Emirate of Dubai. To help address these concerns, today the Government of Dubai is announcing that the remainder of the funds provided will be used for the satisfaction of obligations to existing trade creditors and contractors. Discussions with affected contractors will begin in short order.

Next, the central bank is also prepared to provide support to local UAE banks.

Finally, today the Government of Dubai will announce a comprehensive reorganization law, a framework that is based upon internationally accepted standards for transparency and creditor protection. This law will be available should Dubai World and its subsidiaries be unable to achieve an acceptable restructuring of its remaining obligations.

Today’s actions, taken together, demonstrate our strong commitment as a global financial leader to transparency, good governance, and market principles. There will certainly be challenges periodically, just as there are challenges in other major financial centers around the globe. We believe today’s actions will best serve the interests of all stakeholders.

We are here today to reassure investors, financial and trade creditors, employees, and our citizens that our government will act at all times in accordance with market principles and internationally accepted business practices. Dubai is, and will continue to be, a strong and vibrant global financial center. Our best days are yet to come.

The Government of Dubai remains committed to its high standards and its obligations. We are confident in our economic model, and we are confident in the long-term health and outlook for our economy.

The actions taken today are consistent with our market development, and we believe they are the actions that will best serve the interests of all stakeholders.”

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 14, 2009 at 10:06 am

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Quit bashing Dubai – Says Arab News Article!

burj-al-arab-dubaiIt is surprising to see how world reacts at one flaw of Dubai while there are others who make humangous blunders and no one talks as much. The western media is bashing Dubai from every corner they can find this show the jelousy and a bit of anger as well in the west against development in Dubai, Here is very good article Published in Saudi Newspaper Arabnews.com

Attacking Dubai has become fashionable in Western circles. British reporters and columnists, in particular, are sinking their teeth into the Emirate like dogs chomping on a juicy bone. The latest news that Dubai World seeks to restructure its debt involving a six-month payment delay has triggered a host of salivating media hounds baying for blood. A few days ago, hysterical headlines were predicting another global economic crash with banks worldwide falling like ninepins. Following the doom-laden onslaught, currencies have dipped and markets fallen.

Countries, companies and individuals restructure their debts all the time. There has been no suggestion that Dubai World is about to go under or that it will leave its creditors high and dry. The fact is Dubai is getting back on its feet. It’s true that it was more vulnerable to the global economic downturn than the rest of the Middle East but the crisis itself was not of its own doing.

Even the finest financial brains were unable to foresee the US subprime crisis that spurred the global meltdown. Yet, according to an article in the Sunday Times a few days ago titled “Dubai needs to stop the contagion fast”, “Dubai is a monument to the excesses that gave us this global financial crisis”. There’s just one problem with that. The crisis resulted from greedy US mortgage lenders, unscrupulous financial houses and dodgy credit ratings agencies.

Just in case my colleagues in the British media are too busy dreaming up new slanderous tidbits for their next bash-Dubai installment to think objectively, it’s worthwhile stressing that the emirate doesn’t stand alone.

It is an integral part of the United Arab Emirates, which, overall is doing very nicely. Just a day before the Dubai World announcement, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was impressed by “the quick recovery made by the UAE economy and the measures made by the leadership…”

There is absolutely no way that the federal government in Abu Dhabi would throw Dubai to the wolves, for if it did, the whole country would be dragged down with it; perhaps even the region. To prove the point, the country’s Central Bank has moved to guarantee Dubai’s debts while more liquidity is being pumped into Dubai banks. Some pundits are peering into their crystal balls to prophecy a quid pro quo situation whereby Dubai will end up having to hand its airline Emirates or other major Dubai-owned companies to Abu Dhabi.

That, too, is an unlikely scenario because the two emirates are linked by more than money. They have ties of blood and marriage as well as a shared history. Thirty-eight years ago, on Dec. 2, 1971, the UAE was founded. Cementing the seven emirates that make up the UAE was no easy task for its founders, but they did it against all odds. Western predictions that the fledgling country would collapse due to infighting came to naught, just like today’s gloomy forecasts will.

What Dubai’s rulers have achieved in less than four decades is nothing short of incredible. I know firsthand. My first visit there was in 1975 when it was mostly sand interspersed with a few roads, a hospital, some schools and souks around the Creek. Its only recognizable landmark was the Dubai Clocktower. Its only five-star hotel was the newly-built Intercontinental. At that time, few outsiders had even heard of the place, whereas, today, it fills miles of column inches each year. The fact that it has gained such prominence in such a short time is worth applauding, even if, over the past year or so much of it has been negative.

TAKE The Observer, for instance. During last Sunday alone, it has published a veritable slew of vitriolic articles centered on Dubai. In one day, there was “As Dubai crashes from wonder to blunder, who will go down with it?” “Dubai’s property bonanza just wasn’t built to last” and “Dubai: Bling City is dead but the desert dream lives on”.

What is it with these writers? Haven’t they got anywhere else to moan on about? If making their readers depressed is their thing, they could always tour some of Britain’s crime/drug/yob-ridden housing estates or mosey on over to America’s mushrooming tent cities. Why all this focus on Dubai?

In a word: Envy. Dubai’s tax-free, sunshine-filled, glamorous lifestyle is the stuff of dreams for British commuters slogging away struggling to pay their mortgages and bills with Saturday night out down the pub the highlight of their week.

Then there are those who cannot stomach the fact that an Arab country, a Muslim country, has created a Utopia in the desert, and, worse, set itself up as a benchmark of excellence. If it consisted of clusters of thatched-roof huts with a luxury tourist resort or two, they would be saying how wonderfully picturesque it was.

Then they could wander around, buy a few trinkets, throw a few coins to smiling kids and feel oh so superior. Dubai isn’t humble enough for them.

That’s my take and I’m sticking to it. Johann Hari of The Independent has gone so far as to call Dubai “a sinister mirage in the desert”. Oh please! He just cannot help envy seeping out of his every phrase. He is obviously offended at what he calls “bragging Emiratis” and Westerners who love Dubai because they have “domestic slaves to do all the hard work”. In all my 14 years living and working in Dubai, I never came across a single “slave” or the “chain gangs” he mentions.

The people I met there from all over the world chose to come to Dubai because they could earn money to send to their families and, once they had managed to save a nest egg, they often returned home. Would Hari dare refer to the Latino domestics in places like Florida or California as “slaves”?

Indeed, there are plenty of real slaves on his doorstep in the UK, where thousands of young women from Eastern Europe have been trafficked under the pretext of becoming au pairs or cleaners.

Once it gets over this minor financial setback Dubai will shine even brighter. And to those who get paid for wishing it ill at every opportunity there will be only one thing to say: “Get over it!” – sierra12th@yahoo.co.uk

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm

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Dubai World issues updated statement on debt obligations

dubai-world-logoDubai, Dec 1st, 2009 (WAM) — Dubai World (“Dubai World”) and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) would like to update their lenders on recent developments relating to their debt obligations.

Following a detailed review of the Group’s liquidity and capital structure, Dubai World has concluded that it should immediately consider alternatives in respect of the debt obligations of certain entities within the Group.

The proposed restructuring process will only relate to Dubai World and certain of its subsidiaries including; Nakheel World and Limitless World. The process will not include Infinity World Holding, Istithmar World and Ports ‘&’ Free Zone World (which includes DP World, Economic Zones World, P’&’O Ferries and Jebel Ali Free Zone), all of which are on a stable financial footing.

The total value of debt carried by the companies subject to the restructuring process amounts to approximately US$26 billion, of which approximately US$6 billion relates to the Nakheel sukuk.

It is envisaged the restructuring process will be carried out in an equitable way for the overall benefit of all stakeholders and will comprise several phases including: long term plans and commitment of stakeholders; determination of maintainable profit and cash generation; assessment of deleveraging options, including asset sales; assessment of funding requirements and the formulation of restructuring proposals to financial creditors and their implementation.

Initial discussions have commenced with the banks of Dubai World and are proceeding on a constructive basis. In light of the current operational challenges and the future obligations of the Group, it is anticipated that the process and any related actions to address strategic alternatives will be conducted on an expedited basis. As part of this overall process, Nakheel requests its sukuk holders to appoint an authorised representative with whom discussions can commence.

Moelis ‘&’ Company have been appointed to advise on the Dubai World restructuring with Rothschild, who will continue their ongoing role as financial advisor.

Dubai World intends to adopt a policy of regular communication and will provide further updates as this process develops.

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World ranked climbers to race against clock at Outdoor Adventure Dubai 2009

outdoor-dubai-adventure-2009Dubai, Nov 30th, 2009 (WAM) — Two of the best speed climbers in the world are set to thrill the crowds by racing against the clock in Dubai next month, as part of the first dedicated outdoor adventure and sporting event in the United Arab Emirates.

The men’s International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) world number three Makysym Stienkovyy, from Ukraine, and the women’s IFSC world number two Anna Stenkovaya, from Russia, will be wowing the crowds as they race each other to the top of a specially constructed climbing and abseiling wall during Outdoor Adventure Dubai 2009 from 17 – 19 December 2009.

With a natural synergy between those passionate about an outdoor lifestyle and those with a love of the motoring industry, visitors to Outdoor Adventure Dubai 2009 will also be able to take in the 10th anniversary Dubai International Motor Show which runs from 16-20 December 2009 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“By coming face-to-face with an international line-up of some of the best sports climbers and a world record holding rally driver, Outdoor Adventure Dubai 2009 will ignite a passion for an outdoor lifestyle among visitors to the show. The ‘try before you buy concept at the show will also allow visitors to use all of the products on show and get a taste for outdoor adventure during an action-packed three days,” said Trixee Loh, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre.

Intrepid rally driver Hesham Nessim, who recently smashed all records by driving his vehicle across the Egyptian western desert twice in an astonishing 13 hours and 33 minutes for a new Guinness World Record, will be interacting with visitors at Outdoor Adventure Dubai 2009. The challenge was sponsored by The Egyptian Tourism Authority to promote the desert’s natural beauty, archaeological wonders and Bedouin culture.

“Most visitors to Egypt stay in the cities or resorts, but not many venture out into the desert,” said Amr El Ezabi, Chairman, Egyptian Tourism Authority. “We want to tell people that you can have a totally different leisure experience away from the Pyramids and The Nile.” Visitors will also be able to emerge themselves in the latest snorkelling and dive gear in a special dive pool, compete against their friends to a shoot out at the Ultimate Paintball challenge and experience urban dance culture in the UAE with the first National BBoy breakdancing championships, organised by URS.

In addition, the traditional delights of Dubai can be rediscovered at a Heritage Village run by the Government of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the show’s official event partner, where there will exciting falconry displays, traditional houses brought back to life, local handicrafts and a wide range of other activities.

“The show is the first complete outdoor adventure and sporting event of its kind to be held in the UAE, featuring companies, agents and distributors representing some of the biggest international consumer brands. The show is being staged in a venue with dedicated features which will allow visitors to try out the newest sports and outdoor equipment,” added Loh.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 12:59 am

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The UAE’s First Dedicated Arthouse Cinema Opens At Reel Cinemas

dubai-art-house-cinemaThe Picturehouse, the first cinema in the UAE dedicated to arthouse, independent and award-winning classics opened recently at Reel Cinemas in The Dubai Mall. The Picturehouse has lined up five debate-rousing movies between now and the end of January.

The opening attraction is Paper Heart featuring Charlyne Yi, who embarks on a journey across America to make a documentary about the one subject she doesn’t fully understand – love. She joins the film’s director Nicholas Jasenovec as they talk to strangers, scientists, bikers, romance novelists and children in search of answers and advice. But it is when Charlyne meets Michael Cera, a boy after her own heart, that her pursuit to discover the nature of love takes on a fresh new urgency and she risks losing the person closest to her.

Other forthcoming attractions include In The Loop, a no-holds-barred political satire about two super-power presidents ready to go to war; Cold Souls, a soul-searching comedy featuring Paul Giamatti as himself agonizing over his role in a Chekov play; No One Knows About Persian Cats, the Iranian film directed by Bahman Ghobadi about Iran’s underground Rock scene; and The Shock Doctrine, an investigation of disaster capitalism. Each movie will run for between two and three weeks at a time at The Picturehouse.

Mr Gordon Kirk, General Manager, Reel Cinemas said: “The Picturehouse represents a new wave in cinema in the UAE. For serious movie lovers, it will bring a wide array of exciting classics, arthouse and independent films, which will spark debates amongst our patrons. The Picturehouse will also screen critically acclaimed films and movies from the Arab World, thus offering the first of its kind platform to promote local talent.”

Mr Suhaimi Rafdi, Chief Executive Officer, Cathay Organisation said: “The Picturehouse was Singapore’s first arthouse cinema. It has been showcasing cutting edge and critically acclaimed films since 1990 and has played an important role in Singapore’s cinematic history. When we were developing the Reel Cinemas brand, there was no doubt that we would introduce The Picturehouse as one of its key unique features in Dubai and we hope it will play an important role in the development of UAE cinemas. Boasting a multi-cultural population, Dubai is the perfect fit for an arthouse cinema with a wide audience of varied nationalities and cinematic sensibilities.”

As a special offer to celebrate the opening of The Picturehouse, Reel Cinemas has introduced The Picturehouse Passport, a booklet of tickets valid for the first five movies to show on The Picturehouse screen. This passport will be priced at just AED100, a discount of AED50 off the regular price.

The Picturehouse has its own unique identity which is epitomized in its logo designed in a 16:9 ratio that symbolizes the commonly used aspect ratio between the height and width of cinematic framing. The logo reflects a sense of independence and uniqueness which are often associated with movies and thereby creates an identity that epitomises the soul and essence of The Picturehouse.

The Picturehouse at Reel Cinemas seats just over 100 persons and has its own dedicated lounge which acts as an ideal venue for movie-goers to gather and discuss the film over light refreshments.

The aim of The Picturehouse is to entertain, inspire and engage its patrons and conjure up lively debates and discussion points from the content of the films it showcases. An ongoing calendar of events will be introduced to The Picturehouse such as discussion forums, membership schemes and themed sessions.

Developed by Reel Entertainment LLC, the joint venture of Emaar Retail and Singapore-based premier entertainment provider Cathay Organisation Holdings Ltd, Reel Cinemas at The Dubai Mall houses 22 screens and is the largest in Dubai.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 23, 2009 at 11:48 pm

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Abu Dhabi and Dubai are one family Full Texy of Sheikh Mohammed’s Speech

sheikh-mohammed-al-maktoomDubai, 9th Nov. 2009: Ruler of Dubai His Higness Sheikh Mohammad Al Maktoom has reafirmed that Dubai & Abu Dhabi are one family. Following is the full tex of his speech delivered to Investor Conference in Dubai.

Thank you for inviting me to address such a distinguished gathering today. Before I commence, I would like to welcome you all to your second country, UAE and second home Dubai.

I am not known as a man who wastes time. So I will get straight to the subject, which is – I am sure – of most interest to you: Dubai’s economy. I will not waste your time in telling the details of the global financial crisis because you are the experts in this field.

However, today I would like to share with you some of my thoughts related to the crisis which has an impact on the whole world from East to West and has become a universal economic concern of which the biggest economies in the world have been affected, not only emerging markets.

As a result of its consequences, we have a new economic situation globally. Nevertheless, it has less impact on open economies compared with the closed and the protected ones or those with lesser links and interaction with the international market.

Thus, Dubai had to take necessary measures to deal with the consequences of the crunch of the global economy and shrinking of markets throughout the world. Dubai initiatives are not isolated from the serious and significant steps that the UAE has taken in this regard. As you know, Dubai is inseparable part of the UAE Federation.

I will not narrate the steps we have taken to combat the crisis, as you are aware of them whether on the local or the federal level.

Today, I prefer to speak about the important facts and fundamentals which I will summarize in a brief sentence. The global economic crisis despite of its short impacts on the local economy will not deter Dubai’s ambitions of implementing its development plans and will not divert it from its leading position and will not distant it from playing its role in the arena of the international economy. It will not suppress the will and determination of its citizens in continuation the development march.

Though I agree with that words are easy to say but the real test would be the implementation, I have full confidence in our ability to act. The achievements that stand today in Dubai are the most effective testimony that our vision regarding is practical and we are saying words in vain or have a day light dream which can be translated into reality.

We in the UAE, under the leadership of my brother, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the President of the UAE continue the march started by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan and my father Sheikh Rashed bin Saeed, starting from the 70s of the past century. They both laid the corner stone of the UAE Federation which was the blessing birth of our nation.

When my father took a decision to expand the creek and ordered the construction of the Dubai International Airport and directed the development of the Jebel Ali Port in a chain of ambitious and giant projects in Dubai, those who were around didn’t hide their skepticism about the feasibility of such project at the time.

Dubai today is as being developed in the past and those are its sons who are known for their ambitious and visionary look for the future, to which they move in a steady steps with hard work being their motto and a great belief in the support of Almighty God, supported by self confidence and capabilities that is strong enough to tackle all the challenges that seem to others as an impossible mission.

Today we are harvesting what has been planted by our fathers; we have a diverse economy which is not based only on foreign investment that we will come any way to host in Dubai. We are proud to have a group of national companies that spread internationally with a great international reputation like the emirates airline, Dubai World, Jumaira Group, in addition to other companies that are functioning as the true shields of our economy in Dubai.

These achievements and others are the practical and real evidence through which we prove our ability to overcome the crisis of any nature and is our golden card to continue in exploring new horizons of growth and development.

We realized from the very beginning the importance of investments in establishing the foundation of our economy that enjoy the highest degree of credibility and reliability and cope with the latest achieved in the world in this regard.

Our strategic choice has been always to start from the point that others have achieved with emphasis on developing a private model that guarantees our abilities to face challenges in a flexible and efficient way with man as our priority.

Some may believe that Dubai could have acted faster in combating the impacts of the international financial crisis. However, we preferred to wait rather than rushing because we are keen to ensure strengthening our major enterprises and restructure it in a way that will have the momentum and the strength to cope with the realties in the new economy. This new economy has dictated on the great international economies slower growth rate, opening promising horizons for emerging markets like Inida and China which will play greater role in the future.

I am confident that the worst has passed, and that as the global economy stabilizes, Dubai today is well placed to exploit its inherent strength and its key strategic location to start new rounds in its march towards excellence; this race which has been witnessed by the whole world throughout the past 3 decades taken by our abilities of achievement and excellence.

I have a big confidence in Dubai’s ability to overcome the crisis not from vacuum, but based on true reality. I would like to share with you some of the characteristics of such realities which some of you might know but have forgotten when skeptical pre-judgments were made about Dubai capabilities to overcome the crisis which was forced on Dubai by international development that covered the whole world including Dubai.

It is a chain of elements that gathered in Dubai to make it – whether people like or dislike – the right option for international investments and enabled Dubai to host businesses that are capable of expanding in new markets with more than 2 billion people in an emerging region that is full with opportunities which are not available and specially in developing markets that become mature and saturated.

Here, I want to emphasize on important facts: the international economic crisis will not move Dubai from its distinguished location that placed in the heart of the world as a link between east and west. The infrastructure that is available in Dubai including air and sea lines with great efficiency that support our capabilities to penetrate to other markets in the region and enhance connectivity with other parties. Jebel Ali port is the 6th among the largest ports in the world and the largest in the Middle East. Dubai International Airport is the 6th among the largest ports in the world that provide services to 125 airlines that operate flight to 210 destinations in the world’s 6 continents.

When completed, Al Maktoum International Airport will be the largest in the world with a capacity of 160 million passengers and 12 million tons of good and freight to be handled through its because it will equipped to receive passengers and giant freight carriers. Upon the completion of the logistics of the infrastructure, we have emphasized upon developing legal framework and infrastructure that is meant to support our financial sectors which is one of the 4 major economic sectors in Dubai.

The world has witnessed the success of Dubai as a comprehensive financial market that is located in the middle of the international market from New York and London in the west to Hong Kong and Tokyo in the East to act as a central link based on regulatory structures including Dubai Financial Center that earned the respect and appreciation of the international financial community in the world.

We succeeded in Dubai in building a friendly environment for businesses that catered to the needs of investors through facilities including exemption from income and corporate taxes or through offering efficient technology infrastructure and real estate services in addition to vocational and professional facilities that cater to the needs of the investor and his/her family members. There are the Dubai Internet and Media City and Dubai studios in addition to the knowledge village and academic cities as well as the TCom and other quality projects that aimed at establishing platforms for knowledge economy on the land of Duabi which we are proud of with still more to come.

I am not going to spell out all the details that make as confident and sure about Dubai capabilities to overcome this passing crisis, but I want to mention that those who believe that the remarkable success of our real estate development projects was the sole driver of our development. No one could deny the great leap in real estate projects in the in past few years, but it would be unfair to summarize Dubai’s experience in those projects only regardless of their giant size, as Dubai success in its development story covers a wider range and more depth and varieties from a strategic point of view.

In addition to the above, Dubai is not alone. It is inseparable part of the UAE and this sold and strong federation which holds each other as a great strong structure.

So the success of Dubai is an extension of the success of Abu Dhabi and vice versa. It is also true for the rest of the seven emirates forming the federation. The success of the federation is the success of Sharjah, Ajman, UAQ, RAK and Fujairah which form an undefeatable union and a strong citadel that will not allow to fell in front of challenges. This union is the source of our strength and confidence.

Dear Guests, My optimism in ending the crisis and confidence in Dubai’s ability to restore its strong growth rate soon is based on ideological background and human heritage linked to my Bedouin roots which my nation and I are proud of. Bedouins are strong by nature with strong will in combating crisis. They only know determination to achieve the goal and walk towards that end.

Those who know me closely trust my statements and my belief that the second part of bonds program initiated by Dubai early this year would be highly received by subscriber and would be directed to settle Dubai financial obligations in the coming years.

Our development journey was and will be race towards excellence.. a race towards establishing Dubai as a leading business center and ensure its credibility as an unchallenged financial and trade capital in the Middle East.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the past 20 years, Dubai enjoyed healthy growth rates. A lot of individuals and business have benefited from such growth, but the economic slow down offered us an opportunity to sit and consider the world around us. I believe such space was important to catch our breath and work on reinforcing our competitive capabilities to resume the race.

We can deny that the international crisis has put us in a the middle of space of silence with great information vacuum that was a fertile space for rumors and propaganda. We should not allow this to happen again in the future as transparency and effective communication channels are basic elements in building mature and civilized nations.

We should not forget that the economic shrink is in its way to disappear similar to other economic downturn that faced the world in the past year. I listened with a great attention during the past year to a number of business leaders in Dubai, Emirates, Asia, Europe and the US as well as executive directors representing different economic sectors including airline, hotels and investors. I was listening to them and to their ambitions with a great attention. Today, I ensure all of them from this stage that we will continue our investments in infrastructure in all sectors to serve our national interest and ensure the success of our partners and investors from all over world in all sectors.

Dear Guest, Our celebration of inauguration of Dubai Metro was a practical testimony of our determination to strengthen Dubai as an international City having all pillars of excellence on the short and long run.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 10, 2009 at 5:39 pm

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