Official emblem of the National Day celebrations approved

official-emblem-of-uae-national-dayDubai, Oct 31st, 2009: The Higher Committee for the UAE’s National Day celebrations headed by HE Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Oweis, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development has approved the official emblem of the celebrations for 2009 and decided to circulate it as the symbol for all formal events across various emirates.

The Committee also affirmed the launch of the celebrations dedicated website and a call center by mid-November.

Al Oweis said that the choice of the logo for the 38th National Day celebrations was approved by consensus of the Higher Committee members and was chosen as the most expressive one from a group of five different entries.

The minister, who is also the chairman of the Higher Committee, said that the logo would be circulated to sub-committees to be adopted as the symbol of the events and official ceremonies.

He added that the logo is the true expression of the bond of love and patriotism cherished in the hearts of all citizens towards every part of their motherland. Among them are the people who lived the days of the formation of the UAE as well as the young generation who witnessed the renaissance.

The minister hailed the position the country has achieved under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of Emirates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 2, 2009 at 12:49 am

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Habtoor Announces Dinner up in the air in Dubai

habtood-dinner-in-airTravel is name of fine dining and some people travel far for a dining experiences with a great view and adventure. Dubai’s Habtoor Grand Resort has invented a new way to dine that is Dine up in the air.

Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa is bringing a ‘high’ dining experience a table suspended in the air 50 metres above the beach, loaded with food, 22 guests, the chef and waiter, combine to be ‘Dinner in the Sky.’ The concept that began two years ago in the Middle East is operated by Event Horizon and Mindset Media and will be launched on October 4.

Dinner, at a cost of Dh780 and lunch for Dh600 will last an hour and a half, during which you can leave the world behind. You can also take flight for some tea for Dh300, according to Thomas Kathmann, director of Food and Beverage at the hotel.

“You will need a bit of a head for heights, but almost all our guests end up really enjoying having their dinner floating high above the ground,” said Sean Keith, Partner at Event Horizon.

Exotic Dubai can organise a tour of the Dinner In the AIr and High Tea in the air. Please visit our Dubai Dinner in The Air page.

Check Dubai Desert Safari or our Partner site forDubai Full Length Tours

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Mohammed bin Rashid to open Dubai Metro on 09/09/09

dubai-metroDubai, 30th Aug. 2009: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will officially launch Dubai Metro on 09/09/2009.

The project will start with 10 key stations on the Red Line, namely: Rashidiya, Terminal 3 (Dubai International Airport), City Center, Al Rigga, Union, Khalid bin Al Waleed, Jafliah, Financial Center, Mall of the Emirates, and Nakheel Harbour ‘&’ Tower. The remaining stations on the Red Line will be opened in phases over the next few months.

The above announcement was made by H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board ‘&’ Executive Director of Roads ‘&’ Transport Authority (RTA), in a press conference held today at the RTA headquarters.

He said: “Launching Dubai Metro on September 9 is a true manifestation of the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to uplift the infrastructure of the emirate of Dubai. The RTA vision, which is based on the 3rd sector of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 (Infrastructure Sector), is now being realized. The Dubai Metro Project has been completed in a record-breaking period of less than 4 years since Sheikh Mohammed laid the foundation of the Project on March 21, 2006.

Al Tayer said: “Throughout the construction works of Dubai Metro project, RTA remained highly committed to the best global safety standards, and sought the services of international entities to assess metro safety throughout all phases of the project. RTA was also keen to use the latest technology in rail industry and provide all means of comfort and welfare to passengers.

” The RTA’s foremost interest is in the safety of Dubai Metro users. As such all focus and effort were put into getting the 10 stations ready in terms of infrastructure and operations. Extensive trial runs were done to make sure of this” he said.

Al Tayer continued: “Some stations are not operated, despite being fully ready long ago, as the property projects to be served by such stations have yet to be completed; which obviously means no passenger demand is foreseen for the time beingAn example of this is the Jebel Ali Station. Moreover, construction of some stations has not been completed due to the multiple systems of the metro itself”.

The RTA Chairman elaborated on Dubai Metro operations by saying: “During the holy month of Ramadan Dubai Metro service will run from Saturday to Thursday from 06.00 am up to 12.00 am (midnight), while on Friday the metro service will start from 02.00 pm to 12.00 am (midnight). After Ramadan the Metro service will run from Saturday to Thursday from 06.00 am up to 11.00 pm, while on Friday the metro service will start from 02.00 pm to 12.00 am (midnight).

“Dubai Metro service is set to run at 10 minutes headway at a rate of 6 trains per hour with an intake of 3858 passengers per hour per direction, and the volume of demand on the Red Line services is anticipated as 3500 passengers per hour per direction” he added.

Al Tayer went further to list the factors upon which the 10 stations have been selected for operation on 09/09/2009 and listed them as: “Population density in the area served by each station, availability of commercial activities in the vicinity of the station, availability of commercial government bodies in the nearby area, the link with multi-storey car parks, the link with other transport modes such as buses ‘&’ water transport, technical readiness of the station, and the number of anticipated passengers in each station.

Al Tayer elaborated on the reasons for opening each individual station and said: “Opening of Rashidiya Station is important because it is the starting point of the Red Line on the East side of the city, and because it houses a multi-storey car park for 2750 vehicles and serves several highly populated areas such as Rashidiya, Mirdif, Al Mizhar, Al Warqa and Nad Al Hummar. Terminal 3 Station at Dubai International Airport will serve passengers arriving and departing Dubai City, while City Center, Al Rigga and Khalid bin Al Waleed Stations serve highly populated areas and commercial centers, with high traffic flow. Union Station serves the Central Business District along with several key government entities, wile the station is also located nearby a major bus station and many marine transport stations at the Dubai Creek, which make it a multi-modal station.

“Jafliah Station serves Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department, Dubai Police Station, and the new Etisalat building. The opening of this station will reduce the pressure on roads and parking facilities for the large number of people who require these services regularly. The Financial Center Station will serve the business and financial district of Dubai, and also provide connection to several five-star hotels on Sheikh Zayed Road. Mall of the Emirates Station naturally serves one of the biggest malls in the emirate of Dubai, which is a destination for many residents and tourists, but also serves the Al Barsha area. Nakheel Harbour ‘&’ Tower Station includes the second multi-storey car park on the Red Line on the West side of the city, which can accommodate up to 3000 vehicles” he continued.

Finally, Al Tayer said that the fare strucrure of mass transport systems in Dubai was designed to be affordable and said: “The metro fare is among the cheapest worldwide. For instance the fare of the trip from Rashidiya up to Jebel Ali is DHS 5.80 only. More than 700 Feeder Buses have been deployed to serve these stations on well planned and coordinated routes. These buses will have route numbers beginning with the letter F, and will be visible to all passengers waiting to use them for connetion to the earest Dubai Metro staion.

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“Islam: Faith and Worship” Exhibtion inaugurated in Abu Dhabi

islam-faith-worship-exhibtionABU DHABI, July 22nd, 2009: Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) on Wednesday inaugurated The “Islam: Faith and Worship” exhibition at Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

161 rare Islamic artifacts including the sword of Muawiyah, the Umayyad Caliphate; an embroidered Kaaba curtain that has not been moved in centuries and a replica of the Prophet Mohammed’s footprint are being put on display at the “Islam: Faith and Worship” exhibition for the first time in Abu Dhabi and the first time outside Turkey. Most of the pieces are from the Topkapi Palace Museum and the Turkish and Islamic Arts museum, both in Istanbul.

The pieces were chosen through a committee of curators and followed not only the story of Prophet Mohammed but of many aspects of faith and worship in Islam.” “Islam: Faith and Worship” has been organized following an agreement signed between Turkey and Abu Dhabi last July to promote the sharing of cultural resources, particularly those concerning Islamic heritage.

Turkish State Minister Selma Aliye Kavaf, the Turkish Ambassador to the UAE Hakki Akil, Director General Directorate General for Cultural Heritage and Museums Ministry of Culture and Tourism Dr Orhan Duzgun, Director General of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), other senior Turkish officials and a host of diplomats and Islamic art enthusiasts.

The exhibition is an unprecedented approach to displaying the objects, presenting them as part of a storyline that encompassed many aspects of faith.

sheikh-sultan-bin-thanoonIn a speech at the inauguration ceremony, Sheikh Sultan said the UAE has made comprehensive civil achievements over the past decades, placing the country among the ranks of modern developed countries, thanks to the wisdom and patience of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, God bless his soul.

“As part of implementing the plan of our wise leadership and its sound vision, in setting a course and a strategy for comprehensive development in the country, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage today plays an essential role in building a comprehensive intellectual cultural awareness, opening up prospects for innovation, and working to promote cultural dialogue.

This is in parallel to the implementation of a strategy for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi, linked to the culture of our forefathers, their values, morals, faith and Arab identity,” he added.

A number of gold items are among a collection of Islamic artefacts that have gone on display at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

Running until October 10th, the Islam: Faith and Worship exhibition draws on a range of treasures spanning eight centuries. These items are normally only seen in museums in Istanbul and were chosen to depict the history and practice of Islam.

Among the gold objects on show are 16th century gold locks etched with holy texts and a gold finial from the top of a processional flagpole featuring a cutaway pattern, the National reports.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 22, 2009 at 10:52 pm

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JW Marriott Dubai offers STAY 2 and get 3rd night free

jw-marriott-dubaiDubai JW Marriott announces their very special package for this summer. Starting from now till 19th September you can STAY 2 NIGHTS AND GET THE 3RD NIGHT FREE ON EXECUTIVE ROOMS AND SUITES

Additionally The JW Marriott has announced special offer for families whereby all Kids will have exclusive access to the JW Kids Club including:

– VIK (Very Important Kids) Club Pack including Kidzania Fun Zone access card
– Kidzania Fun Zone Access located in the JW Town Square – games, entertainment and fun for all
– Complimentary meals for all kids under the age of 12 in Market Place and Bamboo Lagoon

 The above rates are quoted in UAE Dirhams per night.
 The above rates are commissionable.
 The above rates are subject to 10% service charge and 10% Municipality Fees.
 One night no show charge is applicable.
 Rates are based upon availability at the time of booking.
 Executive Rooms and Suites include FREE continental breakfast, access to Executive Lounge and FREE Airport Pick-up

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Dubai Muncipalty wins the architecture award

dubai-muncipaltyDubai Municipality won the World Architecture Award at its fourth cycle of 2009 in recognition for the restoration project on the House of Scholar Mohammad Sharif in the Bastakiya.

The Municipality won the award in the category of the Best Project that won the appreciation of the Honorary Committee.

Eng Rashad Bukhash, Director of Architectural Heritage Department said the restoration project of the House of Scholar Mohammad Sharif in the Bastakiya was a unique example in the restoration and preservation of historic buildings at the UAE level, which reflects the high sensitivity in dealing with such buildings while renovating.

This was one of the best examples of the few remaining houses in Bastakiya and surrounding areas with rich traditional architecture and engineering, which has become one of the most important symbols of local architecture in the UAE.

The Architectural Heritage Department had restored the house in 1997 to make the building its office.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 10, 2009 at 12:10 am

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UAE to become IRENA’s Headquarter

world-energy-sumitUAE has become the first developing country to host the office of a major international organisation with Abu Dhabi being the home to the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The Irena headquarters will be located in Masdar City Abu Dhabi, which is currently under construction. Masdar City will be the world’s first carbon-neutral, a city that will have zero waste, completely powered by renewable energy.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, congratulated President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the country.

Germany and Austria withdrew their bids after realising an overwhelming majority of nations was going to vote for the UAE.

shaikh-abdullah-bin-zayedShaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, thanked the countries that extended their support for the UAE. He particularly appreciated the stance of Germany and Austria, which supported the UAE’s quest to host the headquarters.

“The contest was strong, but it was fair and transparent,” he said.

The meetings are continuing on Tuesday to choose the agency’s director general. For this position, candidates from France, Spain, Denmark and Greece are competing.

While Irena’s headquarters will be in the UAE, the former West German capital Bonn will host the organisation’s “innovations branch” and Vienna will host Irena’s office for liaison with the UN and other international energy organisations, the German Ministry of Environment announced.

The agency – established in Bonn last January 26 – hopes to be the body that will oversee and help contribute to a global transition to what is seen as the next generation of energy.

Irena’s mandate will come from its 129 member countries, and it is expected to help industrialised and developing countries in improving their regulatory frameworks and build capacity for renewable energy.

Shaikh Abdullah said the UAE Government is committed to provide total support to the agency so Irena can carry out its mandate in offering support to all renewable energy applications to help states benefit from this effective development and the transfer and exchange of expertise, technology and knowledge.

Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said the UAE delegation met the executive committee of the headquarters and discussed the overwhelming number of votes they might be getting.

The UAE delegation suggested the competing states withdraw. The committee discussed the matter with Germany and Austria, which agreed to pull out.

With inputs from WAM and DPA

Global centre: new industry

A home for Irena in the UAE could lead the country to become the centre of a future renewable energy industry and expertise. If the work of Irena goes according to plan, new technologies and research in the field of renewable energy would be coming out of Abu Dhabi. When more states decide to make the transition away from fossil fuels and to renewable energy, Abu Dhabi could become the global centre for all issues related to the field. Irena could also bring to the UAE a new industry which will be accompanied by an influx of energy experts, students, supporting industries and jobs.

The agency’s presence in the UAE could also bring environmental awareness to the region, which has the world’s biggest per capita emissions of CO2. Expertise on renewable energy can be shared with neighbouring countries and lead to a possible reduction in pollution. The presence of Irena could also mean that the UAE would not lose its place as a major energy exporter when the fossil fuel era is over and replaced by a time of renewable energy reliance, as the country could eventually export renewable energy.


Reacting to the decision, Razan Al Mubarak, Managing Director of Emirates Wildlife Society, in association with the World Wide Find for Nature (EWS-WWF), said: “We are pleased to learn that Abu Dhabi was selected to host the Irena headquarters. The decision shows a clear recognition of the increasingly important role being played by emerging economies in the climate change and clean technology debate.”

Thom D. Bohlen, AIA, LEED AP, Chief Technical Officer, Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development, said that the win will make the UAE the hub of development for future renewable technologies. “This is a monumental feat for Abu Dhabi and the UAE. It is a watershed event for the Country to become the hub for the development of future renewable technologies and their implementation across the world in a concerted effort to mitigate the effects of climate change,” he said.

Gulf News readers were also ecstatic at the outcome in Sharm Al Shaikh. Saleh Hamed, an Emirati IT professional, said: “I am happy … but I don’t like the fact that there was so much competition… Having an international agency based here will stimulate research, development, increase employment and benefit us immensely.”

Asma Abu Baker, an Emirati student, said: “It is a step forward for the world. We need to include the rest of the world, including the Middle East, to help in solving global problems.”
Nazeer Kunchali, who sent an online comment, wrote: “It would be wonderful … Irena’s headquarters are going to be in the UAE.”

Irena’s home in Abu Dhabi would allow the UAE to become the centre of a future renewable energy industry and expertise. If the work of Irena goes according to plan, new technologies and research in the field of renewable energy would be coming out of Abu Dhabi. When more states decide to make the transition away from fossil fuels and to renewable energy, Abu Dhabi could become the global centre for all things related to the field.

Irena would also bring to the UAE a new industry which will be accompanied by an influx of energy experts, students, supporting industries and jobs. Renewal energy projects in Germany, for example, have brought 300,000 jobs since 2002, and started thriving industries.

The agency’s presence in the UAE would also bring environmental awareness in the region, which has the world’s biggest per capita emissions of CO2. Expertise on renewable energy will be shared with neighbouring countries and lead to a possible reduction in pollution.

The winning bid also means that the UAE will retain its place as a major energy exporter when the fossil fuel era is over and replaced by a time of renewable energy reliance, as the country could eventually export renewable energy.

United Arab Emirates: Quick facts

Area: Approximately 82,880 square kilometres
Population: 5,122,000 (as of March 2008)
Expatriate Population: 3,873,000 (2008 estimates)
Number of Nationalities: Approximately 200 nationalities in the UAE
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Emirates: There are seven (7) emirates namely – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah
GDP: Dh 729.73 billion (2007, current prices)


In 1968, United Kingdom announced its intention to withdraw from the Arabian Gulf by the end of 1971. After series of negotiations, agreement was reached between the six of the seven sheikhdoms in December 2, 1971, which formed the federation known as United Arab Emirates with Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the President. The seventh sheikhdom, Ras al Khaimah, joined the UAE in 1972

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm

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Mohammed Bin Rashid meets Queen Elizabeth II .

sh-mohammad-bin-rashid-al-matoom-with-queenWAM Berkshire, UK, Jun 18th, 2009 (WAM): Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was received as a guest of honour by HRH Queen Elizabeth II of England and Head of the Commonwealth during the opening ceremony of the Royal Ascot Festival in Berkshire today in the presence of an elite gathering of world’s renowned personalities, British officials, owners of race horses and seventy thousand spectators assembled at the racecourse.

Sheikh Mohammed occupied the traditional royal seat beside Queen Elizabeth II as the guard of honour started the drill lining up in the racecourse. They saluted the Queen and her guest, who received a warm welcome as an Arab and world personality with a great presence in the horserace festivals in Britain and other world countries.

Later Sheikh Mohammed and Queen Elizabeth II received the greetings from the spectators of the Britain’s major traditional international festival, which has secured the royal patronage since the last three hundred years.

Sheikh Mohammed then watched the first round of major races in the festival, in which horses from UAE and other world countries are participating.

Dubai Crown Prince HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and UAE Finance Minister HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority HH Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, HRH Prince Charles of Wales and other members of the Britain’s royal family also attended the meeting and races.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 19, 2009 at 4:07 am

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Sheikh Mohammed creates ‘Brand Dubai’ office

hh-sheikh-mohammad-bin-rashid-al-maktoumSheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, established on Friday the Dubai Media Affairs Office ‘Brand Dubai’ to coordinate Dubai’s strategic media affairs regionally and internationally, according to newswire WAM.

Sheikh Mohammed also appointed Mona Ghanem Al Marri as the new entity’s Chief Executive Officer.

The new office will work on preserving and enhancing Dubai’s image as an Arab city of international spirit and sensibility. The Dubai Media Affairs Office (DMAO) will encourage maximum exposure for Dubai’s continuing achievements on economic, cultural and social matters, the newswire reported.

Under the mandate given by Sheikh Mohammed, the new entity will work closely with Dubai government departments and authorities as well as non-government stakeholders. The DMAO will facilitate greater communication coordination among different organisations that are directly or non-directly responsible for Dubai’s image.

Among DMAO’s other objectives are enhancing the media’s accessibility to accurate information on various subjects related to Dubai, and facilitating greater interaction with Dubai government officials

 mona-al-marriabu-fadil-brand-dubai“Brand Dubai,” the office set up to coordinate all media affairs “will not act as a censor of news organizations in Dubai Media City,” said Mona Al Marri, its CEO, and, until recently, president of the Dubai Press Club.

Its brief is to encourage maximum exposure for Dubai’s achievements and the office will be given the task of liaising with regional and international media to spread the emirate’s key messages of sustainable economic growth and social progress, WAM added.

The office will work closely with regional and international media outlets to disseminate Dubai’s key messages of sustainable economic growth and social progress, WAM said.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 14, 2009 at 10:07 pm

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Dubai to build arts and fashion districts

mishaal-al-gerkawiDubai Culture and Arts Authority has said it was aiming to build a fashion and design district and change legislation to persuade foreign artists to take up residence in a new arts neighborhood in Dubai.

The plans are the latest move in a major attempt by Emirate if Dubai to put itself on the global arts map with prestigious museums, festivals and exhibits.

Mishaal al-Gergawi, projects and events department head at Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, told Reuters Global Luxury Summit in Dubai that the entity’s billion-dollar budget was dedicated to “developing the culture in the city … and infrastructures for artists.”

Dubai Culture plans to create a neighborhood dedicated to fashion, high-end design and gastronomy, he said, without giving more details. The authority is also developing legislation to allow foreign artists residency rights if they have only part-time or non-profit work, which is currently not possible.

The United Arab Emirates, the world’s third largest oil exporter, will set up an area of galleries and affordable housing for artists, similar to Spitalfields, an open market area in London featuring independent boutiques, selling fashion, music and jewelry.

Gergawi said Dubai will also build a Kunsthal museum with no permanent collection within the next 24 to 30 months to house temporary exhibits from around the world.

“We want to bring (works) from international museums who have universal collections of pre-historic times, contemporary, impressionist, antiquities, Islamic, and take them out of their comfortable space,” said Gergawi.

Agreements have been signed with the Dresden, Munich and Berlin state museums in Germany to provide exhibits, he said.

Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, is building a branch of the Paris Louvre museum and New York’s Guggenheim designed by world famous architects on Saadiyat Island, a luxury resort with marinas, shops and art centres.

Qatar, the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas, recently opened an Islamic art museum.

Dubai, one of seven emirates comprising the UAE, saw an economic boom spurred by high oil prices over the past six years, resulting in a large influx of tourists and expatriates arriving for year-round sunshine and modern living.

But as the emirate suffers from a property crash and liquidity squeeze, population growth has slowed.

Dubai’s tourism industry saw a setback in the first quarter with hotel guest nights falling 16 percent and revenues dropping 15 percent as the global recession hit the sector.

Dubai Culture did not have to reduce its budget due to the financial downturn, said Gergawi, but had to “reschedule” it.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 12, 2009 at 12:14 am

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