Category Archives: Govt

Bodour Al Qasimi and UNESCO Director-General Discuss ‘Sharjah World Book Capital 2019’ Plans

UNESCO Meeting 2 R

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Vice President of International Publishers Association (IPA), and Head of Advisory Committee of Sharjah World Book Capital (SWBC), said the prestigious UNESCO title is a global acknowledgement of Sharjah’s longstanding cultural achievements. It is also a reward for pursuing an approach of knowledge-based human development in Sharjah through the use of books, reading, and strong intercultural dialogue. Sheikha Bodour’s statement came during a meeting with Her Excellency Dr. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, at the UN agency’s headquarters in Paris.  She also met with other UN officials and shed light on the historical ties of friendship and cooperation shared by Sharjah and UNESCO. Sheikha Bodour introduced the programme of events set for SWBC, “Sharjah is rolling out a year-long programme based on six principals that reflect our vision of engaging all segments of the UAE community. Our aim is to ease access to books and education; in doing so, we believe that we can promote cross-cultural dialogue and harmony, as well as build a future generation that is capable of furthering our nation’s vision.” Dr Azoulay highlighted the ambitious programme prepared by Sharjah and its tremendous potential to grow further and to foster a culture of reading in the United Arab Emirates and beyond.  At the end of the meeting, Sheikha Bodour invited Dr Audrey Azoulay to attend the official inauguration of the SWBC 2019 cultural programme on April 23, 2019. Sharjah has been selected as World Book Capital City for the year 2019 and the programme (which runs from April 2019 until April 2020) has been created in collaboration with all committee members.    

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Philippine Tourism to host road shows in Kuwait and Riyadh


As summer approaches, more travellers from the Middle East will be on the look-out for new destinations to discover. This year Philippine tourism board representatives will host two road shows in Kuwait and Riyadh. The first road show will take place in Kuwait on March 24 at JW Marriott Hotel Kuwait from 6 to 10 pm and expects many leading agents to be there. The next road show will take place in Riyadh on March 26, 2019, at Faisalaih hotel from 6 to 10 pm.

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Abu Dhabi’s cultural landmark Qasr Al Watan opens doors to visitors

QasrAlWatan logo 6-2-19-01

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, recently led the opening ceremony of Qasr Al Watan — the nation’s newest cultural landmark housed within the Presidential Palace compound in Abu Dhabi. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid stressed that the United Arab Emirates’ cultural legacy is a precious asset that must be treasured by both present and future generations, and is driving the leadership’s aspirations for a nation built upon the values of tolerance and coexistence. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed reaffirmed the leadership’s dedication to preserving the nation’s cultural and intellectual legacy, underscoring its ability to empower and inspire future generations by instilling a deep sense of national pride. His Highness emphasised the importance of continuing the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who sought to preserve the heritage of the UAE while encouraging cultural dialogue and openness. Their Highnesses toured Qasr Al Watan and its iconic wings, and were introduced to exhibits that reflect the country’s governing values and traditions, in addition to highlighting Arab contributions to various fields of knowledge. The tour concluded with the ‘Palace in Motion’ – a remarkable light and sound show projected onto the façade of the iconic building.  

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Sharjah showcases tourism offerings at MITT to attract the Russian market

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Amid an ever-growing number of Russian visitors to Sharjah, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) is further boosting its presence in Russia’s tourism sector following the surge in tourist arrivals to the emirate which reached 392,691 in 2018. SCTDA is promoting the emirate’s leading attractions through its 20th year of participation at the Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (MITT) 2019, taking place from March 12 to 14, 2019 at Expo Centre Fairground. MITT 2019 marks the 26th anniversary of the event with 1,799 companies taking part in the exhibitions and the number of visitors from around the world expected to exceed 25,000. H E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said, “MITT will once again provide SCTDA with a global platform to showcase the emirate’s promotional plans to enhance its position as a leading family tourist destination and attract 10 million tourists by 2021 based on the objective of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021. We look forward to strengthening our relations with our Russian travel and tourism partners and agencies to enable us to gain wider access to the country and key European markets.” This year, SCTDA is focusing on eco-tourism products, outdoor activities and branded hotels operating in the emirate to promote Sharjah as an ideal regional and global family-friendly destination. Sharjah’s delegation at the exhibition includes Sharjah International Airport; Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA); Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA); Air Arabia; Sharjah Collection; Coral Beach Resort; Ramada Hotel & Suites Sharjah; Radisson Blu Resort; Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort; Copthorne Hotel Sharjah; Red Castle Hotel; Tulip Inn; Al Khalidiah Tourism LLC.

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Sharjah to unveil latest plans and strategies at ITB Berlin to attract the German market

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) will highlight its new milestones and achievements in promoting Sharjah’s tourism industry at ITB Berlin 2019 to be held from March 6-10. SCTDA oversaw unprecedented success in 2018, recording a growth of 23 per cent, and focused on the heritage and culture of Sharjah and the UAE as it welcomed 575,876 European guests throughout the year. SCTDA will strongly emphasise on promoting local culture and distinct leisure activities that the emirate has to offer at ITB Berlin 2019 as they aim to build on this figure. Commenting on the participation, H E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said, “Our latest participation in ITB Berlin represents a new opportunity for us to highlight the most elegant aspects of the Sharjah’s heritage, historic sites, adventures, architecture, culture and other offerings. We hope our focus on the emirate’s ecotourism, outdoor activities and branded hotels will attract more tourists and investors from Germany, a major source market, and other participating nations. The event will also enhance our efforts to meet our target of attracting 10 million visitors by 2021.” “Through our participation in the exhibition, we look forward to strengthen our cooperation with airlines, airports, hospitality and travel facilities. We anticipate new partnerships that will promote the growth of passenger and cargo traffic through Sharjah Airport, which has now become of the leading global networks for many countries. Our presence also seeks to introduce the latest and most important services, innovations and facilities provided by Sharjah Airport as well as present expansion projects currently underway and how they can contribute to tourism growth in the coming years,” he further said. Participating entities under the umbrella of SCTDA include Sharjah …

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Sharjah to host 50 countries at IWAS World Games 2019 from February 10-16

IWAS (6)

The Higher Organising Committee of IWAS World Games Sharjah 2019 confirmed that 1,462 participants from 50 countries are set to compete in the world’s largest wheelchair and amputee sports championship in Sharjah from February 10-16. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member Ruler of Sharjah, the IWAS World Games has returned to the emirate for the second time after its successful debut in the city in 2011. The eighth edition of the world championship brings together seven games including archery, athletics, badminton, swimming, shooting, table tennis and wheelchair fencing. New details of the upcoming biennial sports championship were revealed at a press conference held recently at Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa. Global athletes landing in Sharjah over the next few days are set to represent 50 competing nations confirmed by the Higher Organising Committee which include the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Algeria, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, India, Sweden, Ukraine, Thailand, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Kenya, Russia, China, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, Poland, Pakistan, Norway, Kenya, Latvia, Macau, Azerbaijan, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Serbia, France, Georgia, the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Greece, Czech Republic, Austria, Belarus and Comoros.

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Dubai Tourism in discussion with Alipay to create a cashless destination for Chinese tourists

Issam Kazim

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) is strengthening its bilateral ties with the China market by endorsing Alipay, a mobile payment and lifestyle platform, through a series of activations and promotions during the upcoming Chinese New Year. The inaugural campaign, launched to mark Dubai’s growing popularity among Chinese tourists and Alipay’s continuous efforts to connect them with overseas merchants, will take place annually across the city with the goal to transform the emirate into a cashless destination for Chinese travellers. As part of the ongoing partnership, Dubai Tourism will continue to amplify Alipay’s prominent role in the market to bring further awareness to the industry’s network of stakeholders, facilitating future collaborations with a wide range of retail partners. Underlining the remarkable growth and the importance of tourism from China to the emirate, the city welcomed 779,000 visitors between January and November 2018, representing a 12 per cent increase on the year before. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said, “Our ongoing partnership with Alipay is testament to our commitment to providing seamless payment and travel experiences to our guests, and is underpinned by the emirate’s China Readiness Strategy with the shared goal of further enhancing the visitor experience of Chinese tourists in Dubai.” Li Wang, Director, Alipay, said, “Chinese New Year is the most important holiday for the Chinese as well as the biggest campaign for Alipay. We are keen to work with Dubai Tourism to provide seamless payment and travel experiences to Chinese tourists. Together with our partners in Dubai, we are committed to create value for merchants and retailers in Dubai, better connecting them with Chinese tourists.”

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Culture and family take centre stage at 9th Sharjah Light Festival 2019

Sharjah light festival image

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has launched the ninth edition of Sharjah Light Festival from February 6-16, 2019 under the patronage of H H Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. The festival will present a line-up of renowned artists during its 11-day run, spread across 20 shows throughout the emirate, on the theme ‘Culture and Family.’ The theme of Sharjah Light Festival 2019 will illuminate 17 leading locations in the emirate of Sharjah including Sharjah University City Campus Avenue, Sharjah Police Academy, University City Hall, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah Book Authority, Sharjah City Municipality, Khalid Lagoon, Masjid Al Noor; Al Qasba (Internal Facades), Palm Oasis- Khalid Lagoon, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Directorate of Human Resources – Kalba, Municipality and Municipal Council – Al Hamriyah & Kalba; Municipality and Municipal Council – Khorfakkan, Directorate of Town Planning Department – Khorfakkan; and Masjid Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmad Al Qasimi – Dibba Al-Hisn will light up in motifs that encapsulate the significance of culture and family, as part of the festival. H E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said, “The festival has achieved great success over the past years, embodying the most important tourist attractions in Sharjah whilst reflecting the richness of the emirate’s culture. There will be a range of artistic performances and a showcase of historical architecture through modern lighting techniques such as laser mapping, which will be shown for the first time in Al Qasba and Khalid Lagoon.” The light shows will be accompanied by specially composed music by renowned artists from all over the world. The daily shows will run from 6:00 pm to 11:00 …

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RTA and CIPS MENA sign MoU to upgrade procurement and supply practices

ممثلو الطرفين أثناء توقيع الاتفاقية

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply in the Middle East & North Africa (CIPS MENA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance the professional skills of RTA’s personnel in procurement and supply. The move is a part of RTA’s strategy to boost the cooperation between public and private sectors guided by the directives of Dubai Government. Yousef Al Redha, CEO, RTA Corporate Administrative Support Services Sector and Malcolm Harrison, CEO, CIPS signed the MoU at the RTA’s Head Office. “The signing of the MoU renders RTA the first government entity to enhance the professional standards of delivering services. The move stems from RTA’s appreciation of the importance of procurement and supply within RTA, considering it a key contributor to protecting and sustaining the financial resources of RTA,” said Al Redha. “This MoU will boost RTA’s professional practices of procurement and supply through workshops held by the CIPS for RTA employees. It will thus contribute to realising RTA’s seventh Strategic Goal (RTA Excellence) and assist in turning Dubai into an excellent global hub in procurement & supply,” he added. Harrison was delighted for the signing of the MoU with RTA; one of the biggest government authorities in Dubai with an expansive procurement and supply system. “Under the MoU, we will apply all our abilities & expertise in holding events and workshops to step up the professional standards of RTA’s employees in this field.

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Dubai Tourism waives off 1000 AED fee for PRO card for tourism companies and hotels

Khalid Bin Touq, Executive Director, Tourism Activities and Classificati...

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has waived a mandatory requirement for hotel establishments, tourism companies and event organisers to obtain a Public Relations Officer (PRO) card prior to conducting industry transactions such as requests for permits and approvals for a range of tourism and travel-related activities and services. Following this deregulation measure, hotels and tourism companies including travel agents, tour operators and event management businesses can now submit requests and applications online via the Dubai Tourism portal, saving time and reducing operating costs. Previously, based on an Executive Council of Dubai Resolution of 2012, companies in the tourism industry were required to register their official representatives with Dubai Tourism and obtain a Public Relations Officer (PRO) card for all transactions. Tourism and travel service providers were charged AED 1,000 per PRO card which was subject to an annual renewal fee, with penalties imposed on companies that violated the provision. Commenting on the regulatory exemption, Khalid Bin Touq, Executive Director—Tourism Activities and Classifications Sector, Dubai Tourism, said, “The cancellation of this precondition for conducting official transactions is to transform Dubai into a fully-fledged smart city and the ‘Dubai Paperless Strategy’ launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. The latest deregulation steps taken by Dubai Tourism form part of the ongoing efforts to eliminate barriers to entry and growth for SMEs and start-ups, and reflects our commitment to bringing relief to small businesses and entrepreneurs by minimising red tape and introducing hassle-free processes. The enhancements will also help create stronger synergies with our network of stakeholders by providing them with yet …

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