Category Archives: Govt

Sharjah boosts regional economic ties with Saudi Arabia

At a time when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Plan is well underway to reduce the nation’s public-sector dependence by 2030, a delegation from Sharjah visited two major cities of the Kingdom — Jeddah and Mecca recently to explore prospects for new partnerships in non-oil sectors, which will drive regional growth. The Sharjah FDI office (Invest in Sharjah) led the delegation, taking them on a ‘Sharjah Roadshow in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’ through the two cities, and facilitated various networking meetings with leading Saudi businessmen, government representatives and industry experts. Through the two-day roadshow, Saudi Arabian players took a closer look at Sharjah’s rapidly diversifying and investor-friendly economy in major non-oil sectors including tourism, hospitality, real estate, trade, media, health, education, renewable energy and SMEs. They explored ways in which they can leverage these opportunities to promote and strengthen KSA’s private sector. The delegation comprised HE Aref Ali Al Tabour Al Nuaimi, Consul General of the UAE, Jeddah; HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Deputy Head — Industrial Investment, Sharjah Economic Development Department and Mohammed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO, Invest in Sharjah. The delegation also included Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Director — Government Relations, Sharjah Media City (Shams); Samer Bukamel, Vice President — Sales, ARADA and a number of officials and representatives from government and private bodies in Sharjah. Al Sarkal highlighted the strong bilateral relations the UAE and KSA share, especially in economic sectors. The UAE is the Kingdom’s biggest trade partner in the Gulf and greater Arab region. In 2017, the value of trade between the two countries was approximately $23 billion. He …

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Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi reopens its doors

As the United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrated the 47th National Day, His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “The early years will reflect on the reason for the important artistic and cultural role that this institution has played in the community. The Cultural Foundation was a gathering place, a home for exchange and debate and a beacon for intellectual inspiration. Many of our UAE artists had their firsts there – their first introduction to art, first exhibition, first sale of an artwork. With its reopening, the Cultural Foundation is now a modern heritage building that will once again celebrate all forms of culture and regain its status as the cultural heart of Abu Dhabi.” Expressing his happiness on the reopening of the Cultural Foundation, His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “We are incredibly excited that the Cultural Foundation is reopening its doors to once again become a platform for the UAE creative scene. With this inaugural exhibition, we celebrate this beloved institution that has launched many nascent careers. With the December 7 reopening, we are once again able to widen the horizons for cultural exchange, as the Cultural Foundation’s programmes, grants and public engagement will give voice to a new generation of artists and innovators.”

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UAE celebrates 47th National Day

The United Arab Emiates (UAE) celebrated the 47th National Day with fervour. To celebrate the occasion, a special commemorative three-dirham postage stamp was issued. Many government and private institutions came together to celebrate the occasion with various events for residents and tourists. The festivities brought together Emiratis and expat colleagues across numerous departments as they marked the occasion. Several locations hosted seminars and workshops, giving staff the opportunity to learn more about the UAE’s founding father in a fun and interactive way through games, quizzes and video content.

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RAK hosts AITO Annual Conference

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) recently hosted the UK’s “Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)” annual conference. The conference welcomed 120 of the UK’s top specialist travel companies to the UAE’s northern Emirate and introduced them to the destination with its diverse and spectacular offering. The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) is an umbrella organisation that represents Britain’s best independent tour operators. Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “The United Kingdom has held its position as one of the top four key source markets for Ras Al Khaimah Tourism over the past few years and continues to show huge potential for further growth. In the first ten months of 2018, Ras al Khaimah saw visitors from the UK increase by 11 per cent over the previous year. RAKTDA aims to increase the number of the UK visitors in 2019 by 20 per cent through increased marketing and trade partnerships.” Derek Moore, Chairman, AITO, commented, “We’re thrilled to have been invited by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourist Development Authority (RAKTDA). It has been particularly exciting for AITO members to visit such a fascinating destination that is on the cusp of change in terms of tourism.” Gemma Antrobus, Chair – AITO Specialist Travel Agents, commented, “This is a destination with enormous potential for AITO Specialist Travel Agents, who are always on the lookout for somewhere a little different from the mainstream. It offers the perfect balance of beach, activity, history and culture, providing the variety that many of our discerning clients seek and that AITO agents enjoy selling!”

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Dubai Maritime City Authority attends Middle East Yacht Conference 2018

The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has joined the Middle East Yacht Conference 2018 to explore the future of luxury yachts alongside the requirements of the 21st century. The DMCA representatives, together with a group of decision makers, regional and international experts, and industry leaders, looked into key emerging trends and future prospects for the luxury yacht industry at the local and regional levels. Apart from highlighting trends over the past decade, the 12th edition gave the attendees a platform to discuss ways to enhance confidence in the Middle East’s luxury yacht industry through  relevant marketing strategies. Hamed Hassan, Director – Registration and Licensing, DMCA, said, “The luxury yacht sector has proved to be a key contributor to Dubai’s achievements as one of the five most competitive and attractive maritime clusters in the world, thereby boosting the growth of the local maritime sector. The local maritime segment currently hosts more than 7,400 companies and at least 13,000 maritime and investment activities, contributing to the creation of over 76,000 jobs. Expectations are high that the sector’s share in the emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP) will reach 25 per cent over the next few years. Overall, the total value of the maritime sector in the UAE is expected to hit the USD 66-billion target by the end of 2018 and the value of the leisure boat industry will range between USD 1.3 billion and USD  1.5 billion. The UAE ranked ninth worldwide in the number of luxury yachts manufactured so far this year, solidifying further its leading position in the leisure maritime sector. To date, we have locally implemented 14 new luxury yacht projects with a combined length of 611 meters.”

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RAK hotels head for strong National Day occupancy

Ras Al Khaimah’s staycations are maintaining their popularity as the best way to celebrate the UAE National Day on December 2 – the nation’s 47th anniversary. According to Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority, focus on heritage and cultural activities is having strong appeal with visitors, saying they are expected to push occupancy rates at the emirate’s hotels and resorts for the long weekend to reach more than 90 per cent. He said, “We expect to continue seeing a rise in the occupancy rates of the emirate’s hotels during this long weekend, especially for those looking for exceptional value for money hotel stays and adrenaline-packed adventure activities. I encourage visitors to explore the unique tourist attractions in Ras Al Khaimah, its distinct hotels and get out and get closer to nature.” On December 1, the UAE’s top singers Hussein Al Jasmi and Aida Al Manhali will take to a giant stage in front of the signature Julphar Towers for a free-to-attend cultural musical performance, singing and enacting the history, heritage and culture of Emiratis. Attended by His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler, Ras Al Khaimah, the celebrations will start at 8pm and will be followed by a fireworks spectacular. Residents and visitors will also get the chance to witness a spectacular air show performed by Fursan Al Emarat, the aerobatics team of the UAE Air Force, on November 27, 2018 at the Old Corniche, Ras Al Khaimah.

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Sharjah Ruler inaugurates third edition of ‘Xposure’ International Photography Festival

His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler, Sharjah has inaugurated the third edition of ‘Xposure’ International Photography Festival 2018 in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler, Sharjah. Based on the theme ‘Inspiring Moments’, the region’s premier photo festival runs until November 24, and is organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB). Over ninety celebrated snappers from all seven continents have brought the cream of their works, and hundreds of them are on display at the exhibition space created by SGMB at Expo Centre Sharjah. His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah toured the indoor exhibitions, stopping at some to enjoy a closer look at the evocative photography brought in from around the world by emerging and internationally-recognised artists. He met several participating photographers and congratulated them for their brilliant contributions to the field. The Ruler also visited the photographic trade shows by leading brands and exhibitions by acclaimed professional institutions. At the opening ceremony, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed al Qasimi, Chairman, Sharjah Media Council (SMC), reiterated the importance of images in communicating messages in a language that the world understands, and their capacity to show us the truth, disseminate knowledge, give birth to new friendships and bring peace. Pointing to the theme of the festival, ‘Inspiring Moments’, he said that ‘Xposure’ 2018 has been dedicated to presenting moments of truth and inspiration undergone by some of the world’s most celebrated photographers. He emphasised the need for responsible and honest photography, simply due to the far-reaching impact of an image. “Photographs communicate critical messages and stimulate human conscience. They have a way …

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5th Sharjah Hospitality Forum to focus on new marketing strategies

Aimed at the vision of receiving 10 million tourists to the emirate of Sharjah, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority conducted its 5th Hospitality Forum under the patronage of His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). The day was a learning experience of best practices from various professionals from around the globe. Michel Julian from UNWTO shared the key note address on the impact of budget travellers and millenials on the tourism sector and economy.

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GCC Board of Directors Institute announces 6th Chairman Summit in Riyadh

The GCC Board of Directors Institute (GCC BDI) has announced the 6th Annual Chairman Summit in Riyadh on November 26, that is expected to draw the participation of influential chairmen, board directors and C-suite executives to debate on a wide range of topics. Titled ‘Digital Disruption and the Fourth Industrial Revolution – Are boards ready?’, the summit will look into board strategies on digital transformation and the skill sets required to fully embrace disruptive technologies, as well as cyber security advice, best-practices in IT governance and how Blockchain technology and AI will transform business processes. The summit will be opened by His Excellency Eng Abdullah Al-Swaha, Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Saudi Arabia, with welcome remarks given by Mohammed Al-Shroogi, Chairman, GCC BDI, as well as Dr Abdul-Rahman bin Saad Al-Jadhai, Chief Executive Officer, Elm. Other guest speakers will include renowned serial entrepreneur James Bilefield, Lino Cattaruzzi, Managing Director- MENA, Google; Ihab Foudeh, General Manager- Public Sector- MENA, Microsoft; Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, STV; Xavi Anglada, Managing Director and Digital Lead-MENA, Accenture; Phyllis Newhouse, Chief Executive Officer, Xtreme Solutions, Dr Hans-Martin Stockmeier, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, Evans Munyuki, Group Chief Digital Officer, Emirates NBD; Matthew White, Head, Digital Trust and Blockchain Lead, PwC; Omar Hashem, Head of Digital and Technology at NCB; Wael Fattouh, Cybersecurity and Technology Risk Partner, PwC; Zeyad Khoshaim, Managing Partner, Khoshaim & Associates and Vinay Chandran, Digital Partner, McKinsey & Company. Jane Valls, Executive Director, GCC BDI, said, “Technological advancements continue to shift the paradigms in the business world faster than ever before. This year’s Chairman Summit has been established to identify industry trends with the help of some of …

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Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority signs deal with GDRFA for smart governance

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai (GDRFA) to further facilitate the delivery of smart services to investors, entrepreneurs and startups, particularly homegrown entities, and help them develop their businesses in areas such as technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and smart city applications. Aligned with Dubai’s Smart Government strategy and the UAE Vision 2021, the agreement will ensure the protection of intellectual property and enhance creative thinking skills and applications, while boosting cooperation in the scientific, training and professional fields as well as the exchange of expertise in legal, technical and administrative matters. As part of the MoU, the GDRFA will set up an office in DSOA’s headquarters to provide government services directly to Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)-based entrepreneurs and investors. Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DSOA, signed the MoU with Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA, in the presence of senior officials from the two sides. Dr Mohammed Alzarooni said, “DSOA is committed to growing and developing its services according to the Smart Dubai initiative, which aims to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. We are pleased to sign this partnership agreement with a pioneering entity such as GDRFA that is known for its extremely effective and efficient smart government services and for achieving high levels of customer happiness. Notably, the agreement supports the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021 in shaping an attractive environment that empowers creative entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into successful projects that serve the national economy.” Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri said: “Our agreement is …

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