Monday, June 29, 2009

Malabar Gold opens 28th outlet in Lulu Hypermarket, Qusais

Dubai, UAE; June 29, 2009: Malabar Gold, India’s leading jewellery group with a significant presence in India and the Middle East, has opened its 28th global outlet in the UAE at Lulu Hypermarket in Qusais, Dubai.

Padma Shri Yusuff Ali M.A, Managing Director, EMKE Group, inaugurated the elegant showroom in the presence of several dignitaries and senior managers of Malabar Gold.
The opening of the new outlet follows the recent unveiling by Malabar Gold of two designer jewellery brands – Ethnix and ERA. Padma Shri Mohanlal, leading Indian actor and brand ambassador of Malabar Gold, had launched the two elegant collections, which are on display at the new outlet.
The outlet sports an elegant décor that is typical of all Malabar Gold showrooms, and is managed by experienced sales professionals. It showcases a wide range of exquisite jewellery designs in gold, diamond, platinum and precious stones with designs from Italy, Singapore, Bahrain and India.

Mr Yusuf Ali and Dr Azad Moopen, founder, Dr Moopen’s Group, presented the first gold sale to Mr Kunjahamad Haji Panoor. Mr Zakariya Seekan handed over the first diamond sale to Mrs Ajitha Rajive; and the first precious stone jewellery sale was handed over by Mr Yousaff Haj Al Kayam and Mr Karim Venkidangu to Mr Vinod.

Mr. M. P. Shamlal Ahamed, Managing Director – International Operations; Director Mr K. P. Abdulsalam; and MIL Directors Mr K.K. Basheer and Mr. N.M. Noushad were present at the opening.

Mr. M. P. Shamlal Ahamed said: “The Al Ghusais outlet is the fifth showroom of Malabar Gold in the Middle East and is part of a strategic expansion plan for the region in collaboration with EMKE Group. We will open our sixth showroom in the UAE in Al Ain at the Lulu Hypermarket followed by new outlets at the Al Nada Lulu Hypermarket in August.”

Malabar Gold has an ambitious AED300 million expansion plan for the Middle East region and plans to open a new showroom in Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi; Al Khail Mall in Al Quoz and in select locations in Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Emirates Aviation College Holds Graduation Ceremony

Over 225 graduates now ready to support the global travel and tourism industry
DUBAI, U.A.E., 29th June 2009 – Helping to develop future business leaders, the Emirates Aviation College – Aerospace and Academic Studies has held their 17th graduation ceremony under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates airline and Group.

Over 225 students were awarded their graduation certificates at a glittering ceremony, whilst their proud families looked on from the audience. The students, who have completed their studies across a wide range of disciplines, are now ready to take hold of opportunities to put their newly developed skills into practice.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “Each student honoured here today has worked incredibly hard to fulfill their potential and realize their dreams and we are very pleased to congratulate and applaud their achievements. The Emirates Aviation College is equipped with some of the world’s best training practices and is renowned for providing superior training across a multitude of courses. The Aviation College – Aerospace and Academic studies is the first important step for these students in reaching their full career potential.”

The ceremony, attended by VIPs and Emirates’ senior management including Gary Chapman, President Group Services and Dnata and Dr. Ahmad Al Ali, Vice President Academic Wing, Emirates Aviation College, marked the graduation of students who had successfully completed studies in Aeronautical Engineering, Air Transport Management, Aerospace Engineering, Aerospace Technology Electronics Engineering, Electronics and Computer, Business Management and Tourism Management.

Dr. Ahmad Al Ali said: “I am proud to say we have had a very successful academic year, due to the immense amount of hard work and dedication provided by the college staff to educate this year's graduates. Having completed their courses, a world of opportunities is now open to the students with the aviation and hospitality industry continuing to expand rapidly across the globe.

“Here, at the Emirates Aviation College, we are passionate about building the futures of today’s youth so that they may inspire and develop the world of tomorrow.”

The perfect platform to launch a career in aviation, the college has been awarded the Best Aviation Training Academy award in the Middle East for two consecutive years; 2007 and 2008.

The Emirates Aviation College – Aerospace and Academic Studies offers a wide range of aviation-related and specialised academic, vocational and training programmes. The programmes include a suite of MBA programmes - Aviation Management, Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Information Technology Management as well as degree and diploma programmes in aeronautical and aerospace engineering, air transport management, tourism management, electronics and computer engineering. There are also specialised training courses in air traffic control, flight dispatching, aviation, English and air transport pilot.

DM Assets Management Dept organizes blood donation drive


The Assets Management Department of Dubai Municipality organized a blood donation campaign in collaboration with Al Wasl Hospital Blood Bank at its premises in Abu Hail. The campaign, held during the official working hours, saw tremendous response from the employees from various departments of the Municipality.

Khalifa Hareb, Director of Assets Management Department said that the organization of the campaign was a reiteration of the importance of its contribution in the service of society.

He said it was also part of the keenness of the officials from Dubai Municipality to support the humanitarian principles, helping the needy, and assisting efforts of the country’s blood banks to provide blood in emergency and for saving lives.
Hareb explained that blood donation contributes to many health benefits such as revitalizing bone marrow to form new blood cells, stimulating the heart muscle and blood circulation and thus reduce the incidence of heart disease and stroke among donors.

"It also helps the reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol, and is also a cure for the high proportion of blood in smokers accompanied by headache and dizziness," he said.
"In addition to the health benefits there are great humanitarian benefits that contribute to filling the need for blood for Thalassemia patients every three to four weeks, and many cases of diseases such as bleeding and heart open, and others," Hareb added.
The doctors say there are the conditions and advices for donating blood. The donor's age should be between 18 and 65 years, should be in good health, should not be taking any medicines by mouth or needles, the weight of the donor should be at least 50 kg for women and 60 kg for men, and the proportion of haemoglobin should be less than 13.5 grams for men and less than 12 grams for women.
The donor should not have suffered from any disease such as pulmonary diseases, tuberculosis, malaria and hepatitis during the last six months and, finally, must not have donated blood during the past three months, and for women that are not in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or lactation.

DMCC highlights Dubai’s growing importance to global rice trade


Dubai, June 29, 2009: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) highlighted to an audience of high-level industry executives the current opportunities for Dubai as a hub for the global rice trade. In DMCC's presentation at the Middle East-Africa-Asia Rice Summit 2009 in Dubai, it was pointed out that Dubai’s proximity to major rice producers, excellent shipping infrastructure, storage facilities, and access to finance through DMCC’s Global Multi-Commodity Receipt (GMR) provides competitive advantages to rice traders intending to expand in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

In recent years, sustained population growth and dietary preferences have led to an increased demand for rice in the MENA region. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have emerged as an important market for rice, as the GCC imports nearly two-third of its requirements. Rice import growth in the region is expected to be driven by strong consumption growth.

Growth in the regional rice trade is especially pronounced in Dubai: in 2008, 1.72 million tonnes of rice was traded through the emirate, up by 36.5 per cent compared to 1.26 million tonnes in 2007.

Highlighting the role played by Dubai and DMCC in enhancing the rice trade in the region, Dr. David Rutledge, Chief Executive Officer, DMCC said: “Dubai is ideally situated in a region that has very limited rice production, and has witnessed a sharp rise in demand in the past few years. Additionally, the emirate is strategically located close to China, India and Pakistan, the world’s leading rice producers. With a huge demand for rice, excellent infrastructure and ease of doing business, Dubai and DMCC present an ideal opportunity for rice traders.”

According to reports by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the GCC states will import 60 percent of their food by 2010. The GCC food market is worth more than US$12 billion a year, and the member states are exploring agricultural investments in Africa and Asia to meet rising demand. According to statistics from US Department of Agriculture, the global rice trade is expected to touch 37.4 million tonnes by 2017-2018, growing between 2.2 per cent to 2.5 per cent per year till 2018.

Held from June 28-29, 2009 in Dubai, the Middle East, Africa & Asia Rice Summit 2009 focused on current and important trade issues, policies and crop outlook that have significant impact on the region’s rice trade. The conference saw attendance of industry players including rice producers, exporters, and importers, representatives from government and trade, as well as business leaders from across the rice supply chain, and allied industries.

Dnata Contact Centre scoops two prestigious industry awards

Dubai, U.A.E., 29th June, 2009 – for the second consecutive year, Dnata’s Dubai-based Contact Centre has been recognised for its service excellence, taking the winner’s title in two separate categories in the recent 2009 Middle East Call Centre Awards.

The INSIGHTS Middle East awards ceremony, now in its fourth year, is regarded as the most prestigious event in the contact centre calendar by those in the region’s fast growing industry.

Dnata Contact Centres picked up both Best Large Call Centre 2009 and Call Centre Manager of the Year 2009, which they firmly believe demonstrates their on-going commitment to raising the standards bar and providing their customers with the ‘Dnata experience’, differentiating them from their competitors in the travel and leisure markets.

Steve Davies, Dnata’s Head of CRM and Regional Contact Centres said “We are proud to receive the award for Best Large Call Centre in recognition of our continued work over the past year to consistently improve customer service levels, introduce innovation and lead best practice in the Middle East. We have demonstrated a strong pedigree in customer management, both in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer sectors.”

The Dnata Contact Centre is the largest facility dedicated to travel in Dubai, operating 24-hours a day, and 365 days a year. Professional travel experts transact business in 18 languages, backed by Dnata’s state-of-the-art travel systems. Its innovative management and best practices were used to bring expertise and knowledge to Dnata contact centre operations subsequently established here in Dubai as well as in KSA, Kuwait, Oman and Abu Dhabi.

INSIGHTS’ President Dominick Keenaghan commended them on their win: "Awards '09 saw Dnata Contact Centres retaining their crown in the category they first won in 2008. This year, Dnata had stronger competition than last but once again proved to be some way ahead in terms of operational excellence. Ongoing performance improvement is clearly a hallmark of the Dnata Contact Centre".

In the category of Call Centre Manager of the Year, Dnata’s Nicola Lott was named joint winner. Since joining the Dnata team in 2007, Nicola has worked tirelessly to examine and improve every facet of the call centre environment, from staff training and motivation to operational excellence and quality assurance.

INSIGHTS’ Dominick Keenaghan explained: "With twice as many call centres entering this year, competition for the top accolades was extremely intense. In this category INSIGHTS received outstanding submissions from both Dnata’s Nicola Lott and Humaira Majid of CTS. The judges were unable to determine an outright winner, so for the first time in the competition's four-year history, decided to declare a tie!”

Dnata now aims to build still further over the next 12 months on their successes, building on their current South-African-based Mindpearl outsourced provisions and the credible track record already established in the airline sector. These established business models are transferable to other market sectors, where Dnata can offer their proven expertise and in-depth knowledge to other companies. Their sales teams are already talking to potential new customers in the fields of aviation, Government, financial services and utilities, where they can provide the full range of business needs – the location, trained staff and business technology to provide a fully managed contact centre operation.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dubai Central Laboratory organizes Customer Meet

Dubai Central Laboratory Department organized a meeting with its customers recently at Le Meridian Hotel, Airport road. The meeting, attended by more than 200 customers, was organized as part of Dubai Municipality’s efforts to satisfy the customers and create awareness about the different activities of Dubai Central Laboratory. The meeting helped to have an open and transparent discussion with the customers.

Eng. Salem Bin Mesmar, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for Health, Safety and Environment Monitoring Sector was also present on the occasion.

Eng. Hawa Abdulla Bastaki, Director of Dubai Central Laboratory Department delivered the welcome speech a the gathering, which was followed by a presentation about Dubai Municipality and DCL vision and mission as well as the present activities, new services, future plans, research work, achievements, contributions and credibility of Dubai Central Laboratory. Dubai central Laboratory is actively involved in the Dubai Green Building concept. The testing facility for some green materials including fire testing is available.

During the meeting an open discussion with the customers was conducted by Eng. Ali Ahmed Elian, Head of Engineering Materials Section. Many customers expressed their views and ideas. Some customers made suggestions for improvement and new services which they are looking from the DCL. Bastaki promised that all the valid ideas, views and comments will be considered.

Mr. Mesmar also honoured selected consultants and contractors and distributed certificates to the customers.

Aramex signs cargo services agreement with Air Arabia


Dubai, June 28, 2009:, Aramex, the global logistics solutions provider, today announced a regional cargo agreement with Air Arabia, the regions leading low cost carrier (LCC) covering the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent, and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Under the terms of the agreement, Aramex will have access to Air Arabia’s cargo facility in Sharjah International airport to operate a sorting hub for express shipments.

As part of the agreement, Aramex will also enjoy an expedited recovery of courier shipments from flights. Air Arabia’s extensive network and cargo expertise also gives Aramex greater flexibility and enhanced operational efficiency in providing its customers with reliable express services.

"The agreement with Air Arabia and the opening of our new hub in Sharjah is in line with Aramex’s strategic focus on enriching its service offering to customers by mobilising express consignments in the most competitive transit time and at reduced costs,” said Osama Fattaleh, Aramex Chief Operating Officer. “Our recently launched Value Express service is a testament to our continued commitment in this regard. Through this agreement, Aramex will be able to provide its express customers across key emerging markets outstanding interregional connectivity and reliability by utilizing the extensive network and cost-efficiency of the economic carrier."

AK Nizar, Head of Commercial at Air Arabia said: “The new partnership with Aramex is in-line with Air Arabia’s efforts to grow its cargo operations and ancillary revenues. This agreement is a validation of Air Arabia’s exceptional connectivity and our steadfast service in handling and delivering express cargo. As one of the global leaders in express delivery solutions, Aramex represents a strategic partner for us in further strengthening our presence in the cargo service segment. Through this agreement, we expect to provide enhanced quality and reliability to Aramex’s express customers.”

AVG Technologies Receives Yet Another Virus Bulletin 100 Certification

Dubai, June 28, 2009 - AVG Technologies, a leading developer of Internet security software, announced today that AVG Internet Security Network Edition received VB100 certification from UK based Virus Bulletin.

AVG Internet Security Network Edition (version 8.5) was tested. “AVG proved very stable and reliable, and achieved excellent detection rates across the board. A superb performance which comfortably earned a VB100 award,” stated Virus Bulletin Test Team Director John Hawes. Certification testing for products running on the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003 took place during April and May. AVG Internet Security was one of only four products to achieve a Retroactive Protection percentage exceeding 80%.

AVG recently announced its partnership with Pluto, one of the region’s leading distributors of home entertainment and consumer technology, granting them official distribution rights for the Middle East and North Africa regions. With the access to Pluto’s extensive network across the region, AVG is fortifying its global strategy for officially entering the region.

VB100 Test Procedures
The VB100 (virus) award is granted to any product that passes the test criteria under test conditions in the VB lab as part of the formal VB comparative review process. Basic requirements are that the product delivers in its default settings:
100% detection of malware listed as 'In the Wild' by the WildList Organization at the time of the review
No false positives when scanning Virus Bulletin’s collection of known-clean files

“We are pleased to receive the latest VB100 certification from Virus Bulletin,” stated Karel Obluk, Chief Technology Officer for AVG Technologies. “Valid testing and certification by qualified organizations benefits both vendors and customers. It holds us to a higher performance standard in developing solutions. It gives customers knowledgeable 3rd party validation of the products they are evaluating for use on specific platforms.”

Other recent comparative tests in the last year where AVG Technologies obtained VB100 certification were for Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista x64, and Windows XP Professional platforms. AVG has received VB100 certifications in every test it has entered over the past year.
AVG Anti-Virus Network Edition provides antivirus, antispyware, and anti-rootkit protection for workstations and file servers. The combination of LinkScanner®, its real-time scanner, comprehensive web shield, and high-speed automatic updates ensures that customers are protected around the clock. Centralized installation and configuration delivers easy implementation.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

DUBAI PARTCIPATES IN ASIA LUXURY TRAVEL MARKET (ALTM) IN SHANGHAI


Dubai’s expanding tourism industry has a strong presence under the umbrella of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) at the third edition of Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM) held in Shanghai from June 15 to 18.

The 138-square-metre Dubai Stand at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre was shared by 24 co-participants, including hotels and hotel apartments, tour operators and Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD).

The DTCM had 17 co-participants in the debut edition of ALTM in 2007 wherein Dubai had 72 square metres Stand.

Mr. Saleh Al Geziry, DTCM Director Overseas Promotions, who led the delegation, said the enhanced participation in ALTM-2009 was part of the department’s enhanced efforts to promote and market the emirate as the leading business and leisure destination, especially in China where DTCM operates three representative offices.

The co-participants were 1001 Events, Akkad Tours, Al Bustan Residence Hotel Apartments, Al Fanar Tourism And Cargo, Alpha Tours, Arabian Connections Tourism, Arabian Explorers, Arabianlink Tours, Chelsea Group Of Hotels And Hotel Apartments, Dhow Palace Hotel, Emirates Concord Hotel & Residence, Emirates Oasis Tourism, Gulf Circle Tours, Jebel Ali International Hotels, Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Oasis Beach Tower, Al Sahra Desert Resort, Bateaux Dubai, Hatta Fort Hotel, Majestic Hotel Tower Dubai, Net Group of Companies, Planet Travel, Tours & Cargo, Rotana Hotels, Sakura Holidays, The Address Hotels And Resorts, Travco Travel, White Sands Tours & Travel, Yasi Tours, and Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD).

The biggest event of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, ALTM brings together the world's most-sought after destinations, ultra-luxurious accommodation, elite transportation and unique travel experiences showcased for the most-discerning Asian luxury travel buyer.

The UAE and China signed Approved Destination Status (ADS) agreement in 2007 that will facilitate more flow of tourists out of the world’s most populous country. The number of Chinese guests in Dubai hotel establishments recorded a four per cent growth in 2008 compared with the previous year

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mohanlal launches Ethnix and ERA jewellery brands for Malabar Gold; Group to open 28th outlet at Dubai; Part of AE3005 million expansion plan in the r

Dubai, UAE; June 24, 2009: Malabar Gold, India’s leading jewellery group with a significant presence in India and the Middle East, has unveiled two new designer brands of jewellery Ethnix, and Era at a glittering ceremony held at Atlantis, The Palm Dubai. Malabar Gold also announced opening of their 28th retail outlet to be opened at Lulu Shopping Mall, Qussais, Dubai, as a part of its ambitious AED300 million expansion plans for the Middle East region.

Padma Shri Mohanlal, India’s leading actor and the brand ambassador of Malabar Gold, unveiled the two timeless designer collections – Ethnix and ERA.

Mr. Mohanlal said: “Malabar Gold upholds a unique commitment to customers – Beauty and Quality. The two new designer brands, Ethnix and ERA, underscore this brand philosophy and give customers an unparalleled jewellery experience. At the core of Ethnix and ERA, like all Malabar Gold jewellery, is unmatched craftsmanship, purity and design excellence.”

He also announced that the new retail outlet of Malabar Group will be inaugurated by Padma Shri Yusuf Ali MA, Managing Director, EMKE Group, on June 28, 2009 at 5 pm at Lulu Hypermarket in Al Ghusais

Ethnix is handcrafted designer jewellery that draws on the ethnic influences from India’s rich cultural heritage. These design influences are given new interpretations in 22 k gold necklaces, ear-rings and bangles.

ERA is a fusion of ageless Indian jewellery styles with modern trends. Exquisitely crafted in 22 K, the ERA jewel pieces are studded with uncut diamonds and precious stones offering a truly resplendent appeal to jewellery lovers.

Mr. Rajesh Nair, Brand consultant to Malabar Gold ensures the customers a value for money through these brands.



.


Highlighting Malabar Gold’s commitment to the Middle East region, Mr. M. P. Shamlal Ahmed, Managing Director – International Operations, said: “The Middle East is one of our key growth markets, and we have ambitious growth plans for the region. With our AED300 million expansion plans, we target a turnover of over AED 750 Million from the Middle East Operation .”

He added: “According to recent reports, UAE is leading the region in consumer confidence and in retail development. By drawing on this robust growth environment for gold and jewellery retail, Malabar Gold will strengthen our presence in the region. We are further building on our brand with the launch of Ethnix and ERA, which will appeal to all cross-sections of buyers.”

All outlets of Malabar Gold, including the new showroom in Al Ghusais will showcase the two new trendy brands that celebrate timeless elegance. The new showroom is the fifth Malabar Gold outlet in the Middle East, a growth achieved in less than one year since the company’s foray into the region.

Malabar Gold will open their sixth showroom in the UAE in Al Ain in Lulu Hypermarket followed by new outlets at the Al Nada Lulu Hypermarket in August and another Malabar Gold showroom in Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi. In September, the company will mark its presence in the Al Khail Mall in Al Quoz. Malabar Gold also has strong growth plans for Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The Al Ghusais outlet of Malabar Gold will sport an elegant décor and will be managed by experienced sales professionals. It will feature a wide range of exquisite jewellery designs in gold, diamond, platinum and precious stones with designs from Italy, Singapore, Bahrain and India.

On the activities of the Group in India, Mr K. P. Abdul Salam, Director Malabar Group announced their plan to open ten new Jewellery show rooms in India, which will power the Group’s turnover target of US$ 850 Million

DTCM TO LAUNCH ‘KIDS GO FREE’ PROMOTION TO BOOST DUBAI TOURISM INDUSTRY



The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has announced the launch of a new promotion –Kids Go Free- from July 1 to September 20 as part of its efforts to consolidate Dubai’s strength as a leading global tourism destination and boost the number of visitors to the emirate.

This was announced by the DTCM Director General, Mr. Khalid A bin Sulayem, at the Professional Group Joint Meeting held at the InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City on Wednesday, June 24, 2009.

Also present were senior DTCM officials and representatives from the Dubai Shopping Festival/Dubai Summer Surprises Office, Emaar Malls Group, Dubai Health Authority, Department of Naturalisation and Residency, Hotel and Hotel Apartment Group and Travel and Tourism Group.

Mr. bin Sulayem said the new promotion has the support of more than 70 hotels and hotel apartments and was open to visitors from all countries.

A comprehensive media campaign for the new promotion would be taken up, especially in Dubai’s strong source markets of the UK, Germany, India, Russia, China, Japan and GCC states.

He said the new promotion is a continuation of the efforts that has helped boost up hotel occupancy levels in the first quarter of 2009 and continues to play a major role in attracting more visitors to Dubai since the start of this year. Dubai hotels reported a five per cent increase in guests’ numbers in the first quarter of 2009.

The major highlights of the new promotion are three nights free accommodation for one child under 16 years age accompanied by two paying parents, complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner for one child under 16 years age at selected outlets, free entry one child under 16 years age for every two paying parents to Sega Republic, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Dubai Ice Rink at Dubai Mall and Montogomerie Golf Club.

Also included is a Dubai Mall 10 per cent discount voucher booklet.

At the Atlantis The Palm, a free entry for one child under 16 years age along with one paying adult to Aqua Venture, Lost Chamber and Dolphin Bay. Upon presenting the entrance ticket, one child can eat free in any of Atlantis restaurants when dining with adult.

Mr. bin Sulayem thanked the government and private sector organizations for extending their support and cooperation to the department in promoting and marketing Dubai to shore up business for the emirate’s expanding tourism industry.

The department, he said, has taken up several promotional and marketing initiatives to boost tourism industry in the emirate against the backdrop of an economically-challenging environment in many parts of the world.

At the meeting, representatives of Emaar Malls Group gave a presentation on its projects, while Dubai Health Authority (DHA) utilized the opportunity to reach out the gathering with information about its initiatives on Swine Flu management in the UAE.

DSS representatives offered insights into the progress of the summer shopping and entertainment extravaganza currently underway in the emirate. DNRD team highlighted about the Iris scanning at the Dubai International Airport.

DTCM officials briefed the meeting about the aims and activities of the One Stop Information Centre, especially the advantages and benefits it offers to the tourism industry.

Paris gets Eiffel of Emirates' A380

DUBAI, U.A.E., 24th June 2009 - An Emirates' A380 super-jumbo is to serve Paris from February 1st, 2010.

The French capital is the latest destination to be added to the growing list of gateways served by Emirates' popular double-decker.

Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, said: “This is really great news for us to bring the A380 to Paris and is a result of such encouraging sales in and out of Paris Charles de Gaulle. Our plans to introduce this exceptional aircraft have been accelerated by almost a year which, in the current economic climate, is a major achievement."

The superjumbo will replace the morning service out of Dubai. EK 073 leaves Dubai at 0800hrs and arrives in Paris at 1225hrs.

The Emirates’ A380, much of it built in France, has been the talk of the industry for nearly a year now, since its introduction to the fleet in July 2008. It represents the latest innovation and technology from a company recognised internationally for its in-flight amenities and services.

The First Class cabin features the now famous Onboard Shower Spas – equipped with leather seating and Timeless Spa signature products.

Emirates' A380 ground-breaking in-flight product also features an Onboard Lounge for First and Business class passengers, with a wide range of beverages and canapés, as well as an exclusive space to socialise or simply relax. This is designed to make passengers feel like they are in their own executive club. A further Social Area, incorporating a water feature, is located at the front of First Class.

Passengers will also notice a difference in the Economy Class cabin, most notably the straight walls which give the impression of increased spaciousness and a 32” seat pitch, which is one of the most generous on the market.

A380 passengers enjoy an elaborate menu, created by top international chefs and complemented by the finest beverages. Emirates’ award-winning ‘ice’ (information, communication, entertainment) in-flight entertainment system offers more than 1000 channels of on-demand entertainment, the most extensive programming currently available in the skies.

Each cabin is equipped with an advanced mood lighting system, complete with a starlit sky, which adjusts throughout the flight to reflect the time at the destination and to help combat the effects of jet lag.

Emirates operates a double daily service to Paris, which is currently served by a combination of Boeing 777 aircraft. In addition to the morning flight, EK 075 departs Dubai at 1500hrs and touches down in Paris at 1935hrs. First and Business Class passengers can enjoy the luxurious facilities provided by the airline's dedicated lounges in Paris and Dubai's Terminal 3, one of the finest airport facilities ever built.

Emirates boasts the world's largest order of Airbus A380s with five in its fleet and a further 53 double-deckers to be delivered. They currently serve Toronto, London Heathrow, Bangkok, Sydney and Auckland.

The highly decorated Dubai-based carrier operates services to destinations across six continents in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Asia-Pacific.

Picture caption 1 - Paris-bound - The Emirates' A380 is to serve the French capital from February 1st next year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Children's City organizes summer activities


The Children's City has lined up an array of activities for children and visitors to the emirate of Dubai during the summer holidays. The activities, which will be conducted during 28 June to 20 August, include summer camp for children of different age groups and a variety of edutainment programmes.

Under the theme, "Special Summer," the summer activities are being conducted with the cooperation of Wyeth, Al Mutanabbi Bookshop and Malik Burger.

Naila Al Mansouri, Head of Children's City said the activities are arranged to be conducted during the Dubai Summer Surprises 2009. "Dubai Municipality is keen to provide programmes beneficial for children during this period so that they can utilize their holidays usefully in an excellent recreational, cultural and informational environment, managed by supervisors with high calibre and competency," she said.

Al Mansouri said the programmes charted out by the Children's City are quite different from other summer programmes as the families can leave their children at the Children's City without any worries.

Among the activities are the Group Birthday parties for children in the age group of 3-12 years, whose birthdays fall between July 28 and August 20, 2009. The parties, organized in coordination with Wyeth, will include many enjoyable activities such as contests and games. Children will be given surprise gifts and birthday cakes and the birthday child will be given free entrance to the Children's City.

There will be face painting every day except Thursdays and Fridays between 5pm-7pm. Make and Learn art and craft workshops will be held everyday except Thursdays and Fridays from 5.30pm-7pm. Both these activities will be held in the multi-purpose area.

Other activities include "Play with us" competition, which will be held at the theatre on Thursdays from 5pm-7pm and "Story Telling" on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5.30pm-6.15pm, which will be held in the Resource Centre. The Summer Camp held from 28 June to 20 August from 8.15am to 1.45pm from Sunday to Thursday for children in the age group of 3-12 years. The camp also include outdoor recreational trips to different places, film shows, painting sessions, computer games, contests and live shows.
Other programmes during summer include "My Little Library," which will be held at the Resources Centre on Saturdays and Tuesdays from 5.30pm-7pm, "Hag El Lailah," a traditional event, which will be held on Wednesday, 5 August and "Talents Day," which will be held on Friday, 7 August. In addition to that the planetarium shows will be held every day from 10am to 1pm and from 5pm to 7pm.
For more information on programmes and registration public can access the Children's City website, http://www.childrencity.ae/ or email at childcity@dm.gov.ae or call 04-3340808.

IHG Awarded Management of Al Badia Golf Club InterContinental Dubai Festival City


Dubai, UAE, 23 June 2009: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced that InterContinental Dubai Festival City has been awarded the management contract by Al-Futtaim for Al Badia Golf Club at Dubai Festival City.

Commenting on the new venture, John Bamsey, Chief Operating Officer, InterContinental Hotels Group Middle East and Africa said, “We are proud that InterContinental has been selected to manage the prestigious Al Badia Golf Club. This is testament to the excellent relationship that has been fostered with Al-Futtaim and recognises the strength and global consistency of the InterContinental brand.”

Brett Schafer, Senior Managing Director, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate (AFGRE) master developers and managers of Dubai Festival City, commented “The selection of IHG to manage and operate the 7,303 yard Robert Trent Jones II designed Al Badia golf course and clubhouse is consistent with Al-Futtaim’s strategic relationship with IHG. Presently IHG manage key hospitality properties in Dubai Festival City and have a commitment to maximising long-term asset value.”
IHG manages the InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City and InterContinental Residence Suites, the addition of the Al Badia Golf Club by InterContinental Dubai Festival City will bring unique opportunities to the group to further promote Dubai Festival City as both a business and leisure destination
"We are extremely glad to expand our strong relationship with InterContinental Hotels Group. The marriage of the well known Al Badia brand with IHG’s globally acknowledged management expertise promises to further enhance Dubai Festival City’s international image as an outstanding business and lifestyle destination with great hospitality and leisure offerings," Schafer concluded.
IHG will take over management of Al Badia Golf Club InterContinental Dubai Festival City effective from 1st July 2009.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Let ‘The Adventure’ begin!; EAIFL issues call for entry to 2010 Students’ Writing Competition


22nd June 2009, Dubai, UAE: Organisers of the Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature (EAIFL) today called upon students across the UAE to put pen to paper over the summer holidays for the 2010 Students’ Writing Competition. The theme of this year’s competition is ‘The Adventure’.
‘’The Students’ Writing Competition is a very important part of EAIFL. One of the Festival’s key aims is to encourage people living in the UAE to pick up a pen or sit down at a computer and start writing for pleasure, said Isobel Abulhoul, Festival Director. ‘‘I can’t think of a better way to help realise this goal than a competition that encourages thousands of students across the UAE to write a short story and share it with others.’’
The 2010 Students’ Writing Competition will have four age categories; ‘ages 11 and under’, ‘ages 12 to 14’, ‘ages 15 to 18’ and a new age category for undergraduates in full-time education over 18 years of age. The maximum word count for children in the category ‘ages 11 and under’ will be 500 words. The maximum word count for children in the category ‘ages 12 to 14’ will be 1000 words. Students in the category ‘ages 15 to 18’ and undergraduates in full-time education over 18 years of age, will have a maximum word count of 1500 words.
Students are invited to submit their stories in either Arabic or English before the closing date which is 5th November 2009.
All the winning entries will be published by Jerboa Books in a dual language book of short stories entitled ‘The Adventure’. Each winner will receive a copy of the book signed by one or more of the famous writers who will be appearing at EAIFL 2010 and a selection of books. The winners will also be invited to an official ceremony at EAIFL 2010 where their co-authored book will be launched.
‘‘Last year’s competition had an excellent response from budding writers from all over the UAE, and this year we are hoping to be overwhelmed!’’, said Jane Hodges, Publications Coordinator at Jerboa Books.
The 2009 Children’s Writing Competition saw 22 winners selected from several thousand entries. The winners received their prizes from the bestselling author Anthony Horowitz. The winning short stories were published into an anthology entitled The Sea. In a short space of time nearly 800 copies of The Sea have already been sold and a second print run has been commissioned to meet demand for this unique book.
Full information, where to send entries and terms and conditions for the EAIFL 2010 Student’s Writing Competition are available on the EAIFL website. http://www.eaifl.com/writingcompetition

Wraps come off 2010 Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature; Thirty three remarkable international authors to be among the central char


22nd June 2009, Dubai, UAE: The first collection of central characters in the eagerly anticipated sequel to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (EAIFL) was announced today. Thirty three international authors have already confirmed their participation in the Middle East’s largest annual literary festival, guaranteeing EAIFL 2010 will be another captivating bestseller. The Festival will be held under the patronage of the HH Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture, from 10th to 13th March 2010.
‘’The setting is stunning, with an inspired plot and thirty three remarkable characters already on the scene - EAIFL 2010 promises to be a literary masterpiece. EAIFL will provide an unmissable weekend of debates, storytelling and poetry reading so make sure you mark 10th – 13th March 2010 on your calendars today,’’ said Isobel Abulhoul, Festival Director. ‘’We’ve incorporated a lot of feedback from attendees of EAIFL 2009 and we are bringing together a diverse and balanced line-up of authors that represent the interests of the different communities living in Dubai.’’
Some of the leading lights of international fiction have already signed up to participate in the 2010 Festival, including Martin Amis, Mark Billingham, Tim Butcher, Christopher Cleave, Isabel Fonseca, James Meek and Alexander McCall Smith. Non-fiction stars include cookery writer and broadcaster Anjum Anand, historian William Dalrymple, best-selling author of ‘33 Strategies of War’, Robert Greene, historian Robert Lacey, one of the leading experts on history and international relations, Margaret MacMillan and biographer DJ Taylor.
Arabic literature will be represented by some of the foremost contemporary Arabic authors including Sudanese writer Leila Abouleila, celebrated Libyan poet Khaled Mattawa, distinguished author Adhaf Souief, Palestinian writer and winner of the 2008 Orwell prize, Raja Shehadeh, Arabic Booker prize-winning author, Bahaa Taher and Winner of the 2009 Arabic Booker prize, Professor Yossef Ziedan.

Maurice Flanagan, Executive Vice Chairman, Emirates Airline and Group, said: "Continuing on the tremendous success of last year's inaugural festival, Emirates is proud to continue its sponsorship of this pioneering event. Emirates is a dedicated supporter of the arts and culture, both locally and internationally. Through EAIFL, we work to continue to support literature and the growth of this creative industry. As a multi-award winning airline, we value creativity and innovation and recognise this in masters of the written word."

Children and young adults set for treat as ‘superstar’ authors sign up for EAIFL 2010
In response to demand from visitors to EAIFL 2009, the 2010 programme will showcase even more children’s authors and writers for young adults. The line-up of children’s authors will include Caroline Lawrence, best known for ‘’The Roman Mysteries’’ series of historical novels for children and Michelle Paver, author of the very popular ‘’Chronicles of Ancient Darkness’’ series. Young children will be delighted to hear that the Sunday Times bestselling children’s author Gervase Phinn as well as Ian Whybrow, author of ‘’Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs’’ series will be in attendance.
EAIFL 2010 has secured some of biggest names in the young adults genre including the best-selling author Conn Iggulden and Darren Shan, author of the vampire series ‘’Saga’’ and the demon series "The Demonata’’. Adult fiction writer Mark Billingham also writes novels for young adults under the pseudonym of Will Peterson and he will be on hand to talk about his popular trilogy of paranormal thrillers for older children.
A number of popular authors from EAIFL 2009 will be returning to Dubai for EAIFL 2010. On the English language side these include author and broadcaster Kate Adie, author and translator Denys Johnson Davies and biographer Alexander Maitland. Returning Arabic authors include Iraqi poet Fadhil al-Azzawi, Emirati poet and film-director Nujoom al Ghanem, Emirati writer HE Mohamed Al Murr and Iraqi author Samuel Shimon.
There will be an increased emphasis on education and learning at EAIFL 2010. Last year’s creative writing workshops will be back by popular demand alongside new subject areas such as drama and translation.

European Commission commends Emirates' websites

Dubai, UAE, 22nd June 2009 - The European Commission’s Director General for ‘Health and Consumers’ (DG SANCO), has confirmed that Emirates airline’s websites are fully compliant with all the requirements laid down in EU consumer legislation, and it further commended the airline for its commitment to consumer transparency.

In a statement, Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said: "I am delighted to confirm that contrary to some earlier reported indications, Emirates airline is fully in compliance with all the requirements laid down in EU consumer legislation that were monitored in the recent 'health check' in relation to air ticket selling websites and therefore belongs to those companies that can serve as an example to be followed by others. I commend Emirates airline as a non-EU carrier for the observance of Community law and for the commitment to maintain these standards and to consumer protection in general demonstrated at a meeting held in Brussels on 17 June".
DG SANCO's ‘health check’ investigation and report on airline websites published in May listed Emirates as being non-compliant. Subsequent discussions between the airline and DG SANCO confirmed that this was inaccurate.
Richard Vaughan, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide, said: “We have had a number of open and productive conversations with DG SANCO over the past weeks. Although we were disappointed with how the original investigations were conducted, we are pleased that this is now resolved, and that consumers can be absolutely satisfied that Emirates’ websites not only fully comply with EU regulations, but also demonstrate leadership in terms of transparency and inclusive pricing.

“As a responsible global airline, our commercial operations are guided by fair business practices and transparency for our customers. All Emirates' fares include taxes and surcharges and no service fees apply when bookings are made and paid for online. We also provide a breakdown of the fare components both online and with Global Distribution Systems (GDS).”

Mr Vaughan added: "Emirates wants to see high, universal standards across our industry to ensure a level playing field for those airlines, like Emirates, who adhere to transparency and the highest possible standards versus some who continue to practice more opaque pricing and other less consumer-friendly techniques".

Aramex launches Value Express

Dubai, June 22, 2009: As part of its continued commitment to enrich its value proposition to customers, Aramex, the global logistics and transportation solutions provider, today announced the launch of its Value Express service for express shipments within the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia regions.

Aramex Value Express offers customers the option to transport less urgent parcels at economical rates. This solution, which was developed to support the region’s commercial sector in achieving greater cost efficiencies in the current economic climate, includes time-definite delivery, door-to-door transport, customs clearance and track-and-trace online tools.

“We believe there is a growing demand for a service that effectively integrates the benefits of our current express and premium freight services at competitive pricing. The Value Express service meets that need without any compromise on service quality, while further expanding the range of express and delivery options offered by Aramex to its customers in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia regions,” explained Osama Fattaleh, Chief Operating Officer.
He added that the new service will benefit, among others, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) looking for reliable and cost-efficient solutions. In the GCC alone, SMEs represent over 75 per cent of the aggregate number of operating companies

AXA Insurance Gulf launches its online services

AXA Insurance Gulf, the region’s number one international non-life insurer has launched its online service allowing customers to buy and renew their motor insurance policies online.

The service which can be accessed via its website www.axa-gulf.com provides a quote in less than 1 minute and rewards those who buy a new policy online with a 5% discount on their premium. Customers need to fill in the necessary details like car make and driving history in a simple 2 step process and pay via their credit card. The policy documents are delivered to a location of their choice within the UAE by courier.

Alexis de Beauregard, Chief Officer Marketing and Retail Product Offering said, “Through customer insight we found out that our customers wanted a simple and easy way to buy their policies without the inconvenience of battling traffic and trudging all the way to their insurer to buy a policy. If you fill in all your information correctly and provide the right documents you can get your insurance with the click of a button without moving farther than your laptop. To renew a policy is now even easier.”

51% percent of internet users in the UAE reported purchasing products and services online. E-commerce users in the UAE are estimated to exceed 1.16 million consumers and the UAE’s penetration of e-commerce consumers stood at 25.1%, markedly higher than its neighbours in the GCC region.*

“We expect a significant number of our direct customers to use this unique service and as many as 70% of our customers confirmed that they would be happy to renew their policies online if AXA offered such a service” continued Alexis.

Jean-Louis Laurent Josi, CEO AXA Insurance Gulf, commented, “The UAE is seeing a healthy increase in the number of internet users and is one of the fastest broadband markets with a multiplying population of young tech savvy people. We seek to become as accessible to our customers as possible and this facility was created to save time and money for our clients through technology. By providing a multi-access solution for its products, AXA Gulf is now ahead in this market: we provide to customers based on their needs, they can now choose to buy motor insurance through a broker, our call center, our walk-in offices or, now, via the Internet.”

The company plans to provide all its personal lines products online in the near future enabling customers to buy total insurance solutions via the internet. The online service is just another proof of how AXA Insurance is striving hard to differentiate itself from its competitors to become a preferred insurer and provide better service to its customers.

Mercator draws international cargo players to Dubai for first e-freight summit


Dubai, U.A.E., 22nd June 2009 – Mercator, the Dubai-based business technology provider, has recently held its first ever cargo event to showcase their latest cargo industry product innovation SkyChain.
Organisers were delighted to welcome over ninety delegates to Dubai, representing more than thirty airlines from across all continents. The conference was made up of speeches, panel discussions, a tour of Emirates Sky Cargo's Mega Terminal and SkyChain product demonstrations. At the heart of the conference were discussions on the benefits of implementing IATA's e-freight initiative. Dubai is currently the only e-freight compliant cargo hub in the Middle East.
Duncan Alexander, Vice President Mercator said: “We were all pleased and surprised to welcome delegates from so many airlines to Dubai for this first conference. The response clearly shows there is a great deal of interest in Mercator and our cargo offering and that the industry is eager to know more about IATA’s e-freight initiative. We were able to demonstrate how replacing paper processes within outdated systems in the cargo supply chain with SkyChain’s integrated software make cargo processes more efficient and therefore help reduce cost – a critical factor in these challenging economic times”.
Mercator's SkyChain product is currently live at Emirates SkyCargo and Swiss Cargo facilities and is currently being implemented at Virgin, Sri Lankan and TACA. This new platform removes paper from all areas of cargo operations whilst enabling true visibility of cargo profits from shipments.

Steve Smith, IATA's Director, E-Freight, joined Stan Wright from Dubai Customs in a key panel debate which highlighted that e-freight is not just about being efficient but gaining a competitive edge in the international marketplace.
At the Cargo Forum gala dinner Mercator made a presentation of their own award “The Mercator Cargo Airline of the Year” which was awarded to Swiss WorldCargo. They were selected for this in recognition of their contribution to further enhance the SkyChain system.
Further conference speakers included Ram Menen and Niranjan Navaratnarajah from Emirates SkyCargo, Mark Anthony Bondonno from Danzas, Erkka Suvbikumpu from Finnair Cargo and Ricardo Samayoa from TACA.

DM Umm Suqeim Centre to offer Planning Dept Services


The Dubai Municipality Umm Suqeim Centre will offer a new range of services of the Planning Department as part of the Municipality's keenness to provide the best services to the customers. The Centre will be receiving requests from customers throughout the official working hours from 7:30am to 2:30pm.

"In the context of our desire to simplify the procedures the Centre has started providing customers new services of the Planning Department through single window system. The services include request for addition of plots, request for division of plots as per approved plan specifications and request for changing the use of villa for service activity only in authorized areas and according to the standards and service activities approved for these areas.

Eng. Dawood Al Hajiri, Director of Planning Department said that the purpose of the transfer of these services is to adopt the principle of decentralization of work and to facilitate the Municipality customers with the provision of multiple channels to offer services through them.

Instead of receiving those services in the main building of the municipality customers can now approach the Umm Suqeim Centre during the official working hours from 7:30am to 2:30pm. For more information public can call 04-3233276 or at the DM Call Centre's toll-free number 800900.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

DM launches environmental "sustainability" initiative

Dubai Municipality has announced the launch of a new initiative called, "sustainability," which comes to coincide with the World Environment Day. The move also comes out of Dubai Municipality's keenness to consolidate the concept of sustainable development in all its work and its various departments.

The Municipality also believes that it has vital a role in the development, which will give positive results and impacts on the operation of the civic body, which in turn is reflected on the whole emirate.

This was stated by Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, who said that the "sustainability" initiative is aimed to provide the civic body with new ideas in dealing with environmental issues and environmental sustainability in order to enhance the opportunities to achieve the goals and dimensions of environmental, societal and economic sustainability, through the application of programs, plans and practices.

He added that the launching of the activities is in line with the directives of the Dubai Municipality to adopt initiatives that contribute to the achievement of excellence, leadership and accomplishment of the Municipality's strategic objectives in the relevant areas of work.

"This initiative shows the keenness of the municipality in applying the concept of sustainable development at the organizational level to protect the environment effectively, the rational use of natural resources, community participation to achieve the needs of everyone, and participation in achieving high and stable levels of economic growth of the Emirate," said Lootah.

He pointed out that the model of sustainability includes the three basic components which are formulated through the close interdependence of each with an integrated model of the concept of sustainability, and these components are the environmental dimension, the social dimension and the economic dimension.

"The inputs that are linked with the basic components, which must be focused on in any plans or programs of action, explain the application of the concept of sustainable development. It is comes into view through an interactive format which interferes with the elements necessary for the protection of the environment, with community participation aimed at improving the quality of life, as well as ensuring the promotion of economic benefit in order to achieve sustainable development in a practical way," said Lootah.

"This is an excellent initiative as it can be applied in various areas of work in the Municipality. The concepts of sustainable development can be applied in various organizational units for their different functions, terms of reference, various operations, whether in the field or in the office, and for the various services provided to customers," he said.

"In case the initiative is adopted in real terms continuously, adhering to applying the standards and practices included in the concept of sustainable development in various areas of work and at all levels, starting from the planning level to minute details of operational and implementation level, it will give positive and good results. This initiative will be an umbrella for various initiatives, practices and projects that will be achieving the commitments of the Municipality towards the issues of environment and sustainable urban development," said Lootah.

The initiative aims to enhance the opportunities to protect and improve the quality of the environment through an emphasis on sound environmental management concepts of operations, services and facilities by the various organizational units of the Municipality, the rational use of natural resources, pollution control with regard to the challenges faced by the air environment, water, soil and adoption of best practices and techniques in the world to protect and improve the quality of the environment. The municipality will contribute to the promotion of opportunities for protecting and improving the quality of the environment in the emirate.

The initiative also aims to achieve economic returns by working hand in hand in activating joint efforts between the stakeholders within the Municipality to push to increase profitability, reduce cost and ensure the implementation of profitable projects that could contribute to raising the economic level of the community of the Emirate by stimulating balanced growth and to encourage investment without compromising the efforts to preserve a sound, sustainable and healthy environment.

It also aims to raise the standard of life by working with community partners to secure a sound society with the highest potential of living, through the adoption of community partnership concepts, improving various aspects of life through initiatives to secure the necessary support in this area, contribute to the promotion of employment opportunities available to members of the community equally, provision of effective services focused on the needs of the community at reasonable costs are far from abstract concepts of profitability. This can be achieved through high levels of satisfaction of the beneficiaries of these services.

The Municipality will work in a systematic method to achieve the objectives of the initiative and establish awareness of the issues associated with sustainability all over the Emirate of Dubai by spreading and reaching good practices and working together with the various categories of customers to enhance the chances of success of such trends.

Dubai Municipality will also work on the development of social and economic agenda, including enhancing the chances of protecting and improving the environment. The civic body will ensure that each employee of the Municipality undertakes the responsibility to act honestly towards the environment in the emirate in a way it enhances opportunities for the preservation of the heritage and environment of the emirate for future generations.

Dubai Municipality will take all the positive steps necessary to preserve the environment in the emirate, particularly with regard to the management of resources, the natural and urban environment, waste management and pollution control. It will form action teams from the departments of the Municipality and develop strategic objectives and action plan and will work to raise awareness, education and promotion of the initiative through media campaigns before launching and implementing it.

Eng. Hamdan Al Shaer, Director of Environment Department said the initiative for institutional sustainability is developed and adopted as it represents a vision targeted to achieve urban sustainability for the city of Dubai.

"Adoption of this initiative will strengthen the capacity of departments to devise and contribute towards the development of strategies related to the corporate plan, and the promotion of economic growth and social and sustainable environmental development in the Emirate of Dubai. It will also help towards strengthening the capacity to make comparisons and determine the level of progress made in the performance of its commitment towards sustainable development. It is also possible to highlight the efforts of all departments to adopt these guidelines so that it reflects the level of the Municipality's commitment in this regard and to contribute to the development of these trends at the emirate level and will make the benefits of becoming a pioneer in the region," he said.

Al Shaer added that in the area of energy conservation, the Municipality has developed a set of objectives that serve to achieve sustainability, through reduced electricity consumption, reduced consumption of fuel in vehicles, use of clean fuels and energy, verifying the use of energy to find potential opportunities and the use of renewable energy sources. In the area water conservation, the civic body has developed a plan to reduce water consumption and reduce the amount of wastewater that is discharged through reusing that and development of water use management plans and initiatives associated with it. In reducing the consumption of resources, the Municipality has developed a plan for reduction of paper consumption and increase the amount of paper re-use and the use of environment-friendly furniture. In reducing the rate of waste production the Municipality has developed a goal to reduce the amount of electronic waste, and reduce the amount of waste generated through recycling and waste re-production line. In the area of environmental protection and biological diversity and the Municipality has developed a goal for the initiatives on climate change and environmental protection and the protection of biodiversity.

In addition to other applications of sustainability, it promotes environment-friendly vehicles, clean fuels, sustainable management of the transport sector, environmental footprint, health and safety awareness and education.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

DM organizes symposium on using mortar in green buildings


Dubai Municipality- Dubai Central Lab Department has recently organized a scientific symposium on using mortar in green buildings. Many officials from the Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, other municipalities of the country, trainees from General Secretariat of Municipalities and representatives of manufacturers and suppliers attended the symposium.

Eng. Hawa Abdullah Bastaki Director of Dubai Laboratory Department said that the Dubai Government endeavors to implement all environmental methods and standards in the light of the directive of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to implement the green building specifications as of January 2008. The civic authority has also established a modern lab to conduct necessary related tests in line with the approved international standard specifications.

According to Bastaki, some significant tests on green materials and materials from recycling the old concretes were exhibited in the symposium. These materials were intentionally manufactured to mitigate power consumption, protect natural materials, reduce the operational costs, strengthen the building performance and create a healthy environment for work and residence. "A quality mark system will be applied on the green building products" she pointed out.

The advanced technical facilities in the lab will qualify it to perform as the first lab for green materials in the civic body and Dubai city. The laboratory will also conduct tests in the sites in addition to a lot of other tests such as physical, mechanical and thermal tests.

Jumeirah Primary School students rewarded for excellence in sports



Dubai; UAE, June 18, 2009: 14 talented Year 6 students from Jumeirah Primary School (JPS) received awards for displaying excellence in Football, Rugby, Netball, Girls Football, Cricket, Athletics and Swimming, at a sport awards ceremony held at the school. 12 students from Year 4, 5 and 6, also received awards for ‘Outstanding Achievement’ and ‘Outstanding Effort’ in Physical Education and Sports’ for their hard work and effort.

The awards, which are designed to celebrate the excellence of children in Physical Education, were presented by Rob McCaffrey, a prominent TV host who covers the English Premier League on Showsports.

Bede Higgins, Head of Physical Education at Jumeirah Primary School said: “The atmosphere was indeed electric with the students very excited about winning and meeting Rob McCafferty, a celebrity sports figure whom they admire. The ceremony marked the move from primary into secondary school for these students. I congratulate all the winners who have displayed talent, discipline and sportsmanship to reach their full potential in sports.”

JPS Sports Award ceremony is an annual event that honours students who show consistent sports merit. As part of GEMS ethos, students are encouraged to take up extracurricular activities to help them perform better academically and socially.

British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Security and Counter-Terrorism Visits Emirates Group Security


DUBAI, UAE, 18th June 2009 – British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Security and Counter-Terrorism, Admiral The Lord West of Spithead, accompanied by the HM Consul General Guy Warrington, visited Emirates Group Security headquarters in recognition of the close cooperation and assistance in border enforcement and aviation security.

The visitors were also briefed on Transguard Group and its roles in the support of Group Security’s mission. They toured the purpose-built headquarters for Emirates Group Security and its Transguard business divisions – a one-stop centre designed to efficiently and securely handle valuables for commercial and international shipping. Special focus was placed on strengthening the barriers in aviation security through Emirates’ in-house security education programme.

The British Embassy in the UAE said of the visit, “The Minister was impressed by the professionalism of both Emirates Security and Transguard and was particularly impressed with the use of life-long learning and vocational education as the basis for career advancement and job development.”

Dr Abdulla Al Hashimi, Divisional Senior Vice President Emirates Group Security, said, “The role played by airlines in border control and aviation security is increasingly important and the visit by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Security and Counter-Terrorism reflects this.

“The development of a strong relationship between industry and states allow for airlines to develop a greater integrated approach to border control and aviation security which facilitates passengers better. ”

UAE celebrates 30 years of actor Mohanlal in cinema


Dubai, June 18, 2009: The UAE is all set to celebrate the life and work of Mohanlal, the renowned actor who has won millions of hearts with his brilliant acting, unique style and versatility Executivebachelors.com, an innovative event management and online media solutions company, in association with City Vision Advertising and Dubai Studio City, celebrate a week-long festival marking 30 years of Mohanlal in Indian cinema. Beginning June 21, 2009 to June 27, 2009, the UAE will witness unique expressions of the life and work of the distinguished actor. The celebration is an official event of the Dubai Summer Surprises 2009.

Commenting on the week’s events, Mr. Satyan Nair, Director, City Vision Advertising, said, “Mohanlal is one of the most illustrious actors in the Indian film industry. It is an honour for us to bring him to the UAE and pay tribute with the week-long activities culminating in the poignant show ‘Lal Salaam’. This is our attempt to honour the noted actor in a small way and express our admiration of him. Our aim was to create an opportunity where his numerous fans in the UAE could get to know the man personally. We thank our key partners Dubai Studio City and Dubai Summer Surprises for their support in celebrating Mohanlal.”

Commenting on the celebrations, Mr. Mohammad Abdullah, Executive Director, Dubai Media City said, “Dubai Studio City offers cutting edge infrastructure and facilities that cater to the unique needs of the global entertainment industry. We are happy to support an event commemorating the achievements of one of the leading lights of Indian Cinema - Mohanlal. We hope that this event offers considerable entertainment value to Malayalees in Dubai, who form part of Dubai’s vibrant expatriate community. Dubai Studio City’s Location Approval Services has facilitated the shooting of a number of Malayalam movies and as part of our global focus we look forward to working with more Malayalam film makers and the Indian Film industry in general.”

The week’s activities will include an exclusive exhibition-cum-sale of caricatures and some rare photographs of Mohanlal to be displayed at The Dubai Mall. The celebrations will also include the launch of a limited edition coffee table book -- a biographic account of the actor’s life and career. The celebrations will culminate in a specially conceptualized musical show called ‘Lal Salaam’, which will showcase Mohanlal’s extraordinary journey in the Indian film industry.
Directed by renowned director T. K. Rajeev Kumar and produced by M.B. Sanil Kumar, ‘Lal Salaam’ commemorates Mohanlal’s journey in a unique rendition of monologue, visual clips, live dance and music. The show will be a treat to the innumerable fans of Mohanlal.

Being hosted by Mohanlal himself, through ‘Lal Salaam’, the actor will take his loving fans down the memory lane, re-living some of his most outstanding roles and moments in Indian cinema. The show will witness a live performance by the actor of a unique monologue musical to exclusive screenings of some of his best performances during the 30 years of his career. Singers Sujatha, Madhu Balakrishnan, Vijay Yesudas and Swetha, dancer-actors Lakshmi Gopalswami and Vineeth will join Mohanlal in reliving his most memorable moments in cinema.

The UAE is the launch pad for this mesmerizing show, which will continue touring the world – USA, Europe and the Far East.

The show will be held in Dubai at the Sheikh Rashid Hall, Dubai World Trade Center, on June 25, 2009 and at the National Theater in Abu Dhabi on June 26, 2009.

The exhibition will be held at The Dubai Mall for a week starting June 21, 2009. Caricature artist Suresh Babu has attempted to capture the essence of Mohanlal in his art, displaying 200 of the actor’s most vivid character roles over 30 years. The exhibition will also showcase an exclusive collection of photographs of Mohanlal by well-known photographer R. Gopalakrishnan. Part of the proceedings of the event is being contributed towards a charity for the welfare of people stranded in the UAE due to lack of funds.

Mohanlal was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2001. Elected the most popular actor in the state of Kerala several times by different organisations, Mohanlal is known for his versatility as an actor and his unique style. Recognized and loved for his acting skill, he has won innumerable awards including the National Awards, Filmfare Awards, International Indian Film Academy Awards and the Kerala State Film Award among many others.
Over 30 years of his acting career, Mohanlal has delivered outstanding performances some of which include his unforgettable roles in Chithram, Kireedam, Bharatham, Devasuram, Iruvar, Vanaprastham Kala Paani, Company and Spadikam.
For more information on ticket sales, please contact +971 50 9555095

Damas and UAE Billiards & Snooker Association Honour UAE champions


Dubai, UAE: June 18, 2009: Damas joined the UAE Billiards and Snooker Association in honouring the UAE Snooker and Billiards national teams who triumphed at the Arab Snooker Championship and Fifth Gulf Championship, respectively.

At a glittering ceremony held in Dubai, Damas honoured the snooker players for winning the gold medal in the Arabian Championship and the billiards players who won the silver at the fifth Gulf Championship.

Damas also congratulated Mohammed Moustafa Shehab for being the only Arab player to be chosen for the Snooker World Championship.

The UAE national snooker team took part in the Arab Snooker Championship held in Cairo, from June 4 to 12, 2009. The team comprising Mohammad Al Joker, Mohammad Shehab, Eisa Saeed, Khalid Kamali and Salim Ali Salim defended the title which UAE won in Qatar last year. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen and Oman were the other participating teams in the 2009 competition.

The General Secretary of the UAE Billiards and Snooker Association, Sultan Al Joker, said: “We are proud of the UAE team for the dedication and commitment they have shown in defending the title and bringing back the trophy. The team performed very well. Snooker is gaining attention and the recent win will generate a fresh interest in the game.“

Mr. Tamjid Abdullah, Vice President of the UAE Billiards & Snooker Association and Deputy Managing Director of Damas, said: “The national Snooker and Billiards teams have done the country proud by winning the gold at the Arab Championship and the silver at the fifth Gulf Championship respectively. Billiards and snooker are growing in importance and winnings like these help to create more awareness of the sports.”

UAE Billiards and Snooker Association was established in 1998 and in 1990 the association joined the Asian Confederation, followed by membership of International Confederation of Billiards and Snooker Association in 1991 and Arab Association in 2000. It is committed to the growth and development of Billiards and Snooker in the UAE.

Etisalat hosts Telecom trends forum for SMB customers


Dubai, June 18,2009 : Etisalat today hosted an exclusive event for SMB (Small & medium businesses) to showcase the latest telecom trends & solutions and how ICT (Information & Communication technologies) can deliver the impetus to create lasting business value and remain more competitive in a challenging economic environment .

Speaking at the event, Abdulla Al Mana, GM, Dubai, Etisalat said,” For our SMB customers , reducing the complexity and risk of technology investments is a critical issue and this is where Etisalat has emerged as valued business partner by providing solutions that can reduce capital expenditure and increase efficiency in the current challenging economic environment. Etisalat today is uniquely positioned to help our SMB customers with our partnership based approach to offer them a one stop solution for their varied ICT needs.”

According to Mustafa Mohd Al –Sharif,VP Sales-Consumer/SMB, Dubai, Etisalat,“The constant need to stay connected anytime anywhere is a essential requirement for our SMB customers and Etisalat is meeting this need with a innovative solutions approach in association with a variety of partners. Whether a SMB customer is looking for a relevant mobility solution or a Unified Communications edge, Etisalat is ready to meet their specific needs.”

With cost reduction becoming the top priority for SMB companies, Etisalat presented its perspective on how outsourcing could be a relevant solution for the sector allowing them the liberty of maintaining the core business with themselves and staying in control while allowing an outsourcing partner to run and maintain the service they choose to outsource.

Etisalat provides solutions across four business solution platforms namely Mobility solutions, Business Connectivity, Managed Services and eBusiness solutions.






Attendees at the forum heard from Etisalat‘s partner Avaya about how Avaya's Unified Communications for Small Business provides employees with communications tools that let them communicate anytime, anywhere. Avaya demonstrated communication capabilities needed to keep mobile employees productive at all times while maintaining maximum operational efficiency.

Mobilizing corporate email with ease with the Nokia Mail for Exchange solution through Etisalat was also a featured topic at the forum from Nokia. SMB customers using the Microsoft Exchange Server can set up Nokia Mail for Exchange for free on the Nokia devices without paying for additional integration fees, using the email set-up plug-in on the mobile home screen. Once the application is set up, users get real-time access to their office email, calendar, contacts, tasks and company directory over a secure connection. The service can be accessed through Etisalat with a monthly subscription at 195 AED per month for unlimited email and Internet access with a fair cap of 1GB.

In terms of Business mobility, participants at the forum also heard from Research in Motion, about the value of business mobility, and how it can help small and medium companies differentiate themselves by being more reachable, and efficient in their communications by enabling both personal and business information to be accessible whenever andwherever it is needed, as well as allow the user to take control of whenand how they use and respond to that information.

For SMB customers, Etisalat also provides a B2B Solution which is a customized online interface between Etisalat & its customers allowing them to carry out all transactions with Etisalat online. The solution allows customers to apply for services online and saves time & effort in checking, auditing and paying for the services.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

DM launches Safe & Healthy Summer Campaign


Dubai Municipality on Wednesday launched a public awareness campaign to prevent heat related hazards this summer. The Safe and Healthy Summer campaign, which is being organized for the second consecutive year, will last until 4th July.

Inaugurating the activities of the campaign at the Dubai Municipality staff club Eng. Salem Bin Mesmar, Assistant Director General of the Municipality for Health, Safety and Environment Monitoring said the campaign aims at creating awareness among all sections of the society, especially workers, beach goers and visitors to the open areas about the heat exhaustion during summer period.

"The campaign will also promote cooperation between the public and private sectors to achieve the worker safety and health. It will also create awareness of the importance of adhering to the rules and regulations of the municipality with respect to the safety of workers," he said.

Redha Hassan Salman, Director of Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, said the campaign, undertaken in co-operation with Bagason Middle East LLC, representative of HYDRALYTE Electrolyte replacement drink, USA, Al Ain Mineral Water and Western Union Financial Services will raise the worker awareness about the dangers of heat exhaustion as well as create awareness among the vulnerable sections of the society about the risk of heat exhaustion, in addition to encourage the adoption of best practices in work places during summer.

"We will advise the public on first aid measures to be taken if somebody collapses due to heat exhaustion, like taking the person to a cool shaded area, fanning and providing cool electrolyte drinks," he said.

The activities of the campaign will include lectures, seminars, film shows, safety and supervisors training in labour camps, work sites, shopping malls, bus stations and other public places, in addition to the Municipality offices.

"There is awareness about safety but a lack of awareness about health problems in construction and industrial companies. Most of the workers are not aware of their huge sweat loss, so don’t know by how much to replace it," said Rajendra Herwani, Managing Director, Bagason Middle East LLC, representative of HYDRALYTE Electrolyte replacement drink, USA.

"If temperature exceeds 40 degrees & humidity increases above 60%, a worker can lose up to 1.5 to 2 liter per hour. Huge sweat loss makes them severely dehydrated as a result heat related illnesses occur. They must drink 2 cups of water every half an hour and at least 2-3 times a day an electrolytes replacement drink (Low sodium) to maintain hydration. Higher sodium solution should be taken under medical supervision as regular intake can have side effects," he said.

"We have come together with this campaign to create health awareness amongst industries and construction workers. We have planned many activities for this 18- day campaign like safety seminars, training videos on work sites and labour camps and distributing educational heat stress posters and leaflets in various public places to create heat stress awareness," Herwani said.

“We are very happy to support ‘Safe and Healthy Summer’ initiative by Dubai Municipality, especially given Al Ain Mineral Water’s position that in extreme climates - like in the UAE - there is a very strong need to continually rehydrate with a minimum of 8 glasses per day to insure a healthy body,” said Fasahat Beg, General Manager, Al Ain Mineral Water.

"Western Union Money Transfer is delighted to continue its association with Dubai Municipality, in its new initiative of Safe & Healthy Summer. This initiative to educate residents of Dubai, especially the blue collared workers, on how to combat the dangers of extreme heat is consistent with Western Union's philosophy of being part of the everyday life of its customers. We welcome the initiative and wish it every success, "said Marc Aubry, Marketing Director (MEPA), Western Union Financial Services.
The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Obaid Bin Essa Bin Ahmed, Assistant Secretary General, Secretariat of UAE Municipalities. Eng. Raed Al Marzouqi, Head of Occupational Health and Safety Section gave a presentation on Heat Stress Perceptions (Rules and Regulations), Dr. Mohammed Mutawally, Occupational Health Doctor at Dubai Municipality Clinic talked about Heat Stress (Diagnosing-Prevention-Cure), while Clive Spencer, Safety Manager, Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises gave a lecture about working safely in hot environment, Rajendra Herwani, Managing Director, Bagason Middle East LLC, representative of HYDRALYTE Electrolyte replacement drink, USA talked about maintaining hydration