Kazakhstan to implement softer second lockdown to curb COVID-19 spread

NUR-SULTAN, 2nd July, 2020 (WAM) — Kazakhstan will close some non-essential businesses, limit travel between provinces, cut public transit hours of operation and ban public gatherings for two weeks starting from 5th July, Reuters quoted the government as saying on Thursday.
The measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus in the Central Asian country may be tightened or extended later, the cabinet said in a statement.

UAE Foreign Minister, North Macedonian counterpart discuss COVID-19 countermeasures

ABU DHABI, 2nd July, 2020 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, held a video call with Nikola Dimitrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs for North Macedonia, in which they discussed a number of issues of common concern, including new avenues for cooperation and efforts to contain COVID-19.
The ministers noted the friendly ties their countries enjoy and explored prospects of cooperation in a number of fields, including in the economic, commercial and food security sectors.
They also addressed the latest coronavirus developments, and expressed the efforts being made by their respective countries to curb its repercussions.
The two sides agreed it was necessary to unite the experiences of research centres in both countries by exchanging findings and sharing the latest in advanced testing and virus detection.
They also expressed condolences for the victims the disease has claimed, and affirmed their keenness to intensify joint efforts and enhance international action to contain its spread.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah expressed his wishes for North Macedonia further progress and prosperity, commending the preventive and precautionary measures taken by the country to curb the virus.
Dimitrov, in turn, hailed the distinctive relations between the two countries and their determination to broaden their cooperation. He also wished the UAE further progress, development, and success during its hosting of the Expo 2020 Dubai, which will be held next year.
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of the Expo 2020 Dubai Office, also took part in the call.

Security Council adopts resolution calling for global ceasefire to combat COVID-19

NEW YORK, 2nd July, 2020 (WAM) — The Security Council on Wednesday echoed the Secretary-General’s call for a worldwide ceasefire, to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has already claimed more than half a million lives. The UN chief welcomed the long-awaited move, calling for countries to “redouble their efforts for peace”.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2532 (2020) on Wednesday, the 15-member peace and security body demanded “a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations, on its agenda.”

It also voiced its support for efforts by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres – who first appealed for a global ceasefire on 23rd March – towards that goal.

The unprecedented extent of the novel coronavirus pandemic “is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security”, it said, adding that it could also set back peacebuilding and development gains in countries emerging from conflict.

The two-page resolution – drafted by France and Tunisia – was adopted 111 days after the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic.

Through the resolution, the Council called upon all parties to armed conflicts to immediately engage in a “durable humanitarian pause” of at least 90 days, to enable the safe, unhindered and sustained delivery of lifesaving aid.

It affirmed, however, that no ceasefire would apply for ongoing military operations against the extremist groups Daesh, Al Qaeda, the Al Nusra Front and other Council-designated terrorist groups.

It requested the Secretary-General to instruct the United Nations’ 13 peacekeeping missions to support host country efforts to contain the coronavirus, and to provide updates on UN efforts to address the pandemic in conflict zones and humanitarian crisis areas.


India’s tally of coronavirus infections crosses 600,000

MUMBAI, 2nd July, 2020 (WAM) — India’s coronavirus infections surpassed 600,000 on Thursday, with 17,834 deaths, as authorities battled to contain the pandemic while easing lockdown rules, officials and the health ministry said.
According to Reuters, the increase presents a severe challenge for India’s strained medical capacity and overburdened health system.
An easing phase called “Unlock 2” was announced on Monday, allowing more economic activities to resume even as some densely populated containment zones stay under lockdown, the agency added.

Brazil COVID-19 death toll passes 60,000

RIO DE JANEIRO, 2nd July, 2020 (WAM) — Brazil surpassed 60,000 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health said, citing a recent wave of contamination in Southern and Midwestern areas of the country, Reuters reported.
A total of 1,038 additional deaths were registered in the past 24 hours, taking the overall number of fatalities to 60,632, the ministry said, updating the 60,610 tally disclosed earlier on Wednesday to add data from Rio Grande do Sul state.
Total confirmed cases were revised to 1,448,753 from 1,447,523, marking a daily rise of 46,712 from Tuesday and making Brazil the country with the second worst outbreak in the world behind the United States.
“There is an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in almost all states in both the Midwest and the South that, until two or three weeks ago, had a small number of cases,” Eduardo Marques Macario, a senior health official, told journalists in a press conference.

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 10.7 million, death toll at 515,141

LONDON, 2nd July, 2020 (WAM) — More than 10.7 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 515,141​ have died, according to a Reuters tally published on Thursday.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.


Saudi Arabia Supports UAE’s candidacy for non-permanent membership of Security Council for 2022-2023

NEW YORK, 1st July, 2020 (WAM) — Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Dr. Khalid bin Muhammad Manzalawi has affirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supports the United Arab Emirates in its candidacy for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the period 2022-2023, urging countries to support its candidacy.

In his speech during the Asia-Pacific Group, APG, meeting which was held virtually yesterday and headed by the delegation of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations, Dr. Manzalawi said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shares the United Arab Emirates its moderate vision that spares no effort to bring about peace and security in the world.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, He indicated that the UAE has succeeded in addressing major issues closely related to international cooperation, peace, security and sustainable development, adding that it has a leading humanitarian action, represented through its close cooperation with the United Nations and international partners to reach the common goal of achieving lasting peace in the Middle East and around the entire world.

He pointed out that the UAE always seeks to promote the message of peace, spread a culture of tolerance, in addition to its work in supporting diplomatic efforts aimed at settling disputes by peaceful means through dialogue and confidence-building.

In conclusion, Dr. Manzalawi noted that the UAE has always affirmed its commitment to collective action, adherence to the United Nations Charter as well as its promotion of multilateral diplomacy.


Zaki Nusseibeh, Farouk El-Baz to discuss Hope Probe mission

ABU DHABI,1st July 2020 (WAM) – The imminent Hope Probe mission to Mars will be the subject under discussion on Saturday 11 July 2020 19:30 GST with Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State and Dr. Farouk El-Baz, NASA space scientist and geologist.
The session will be moderated by Salem AlMarri, Assistant Director General for Science and Technology Sector, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).
The speakers will assess what space exploration has taught mankind, and what life-changing advancement we can expect from the project, which is placing the UAE at the forefront of scientific discovery.
Zaki Nusseibeh said that the Hope Probe mission is a real leap forward in space exploration. ‘Almost every sector of human progress has benefited from sending people into space, from the development of portable computers, camera phones and Nike Air trainers to CAT scans and research into our health.
“This mission places UAE as one of the world leaders in space exploration, which will be a wonderful inspiration to the young men and women of the UAE when considering their roles in the future. It should provide a major incentive for young Arab scientists to embark on a career in space engineering,” he added.

Dubai Police warns of cybercriminals and scammers

DUBAI, 1st July 2020 (WAM) – The Dubai Police General HQ has called upon members of the public to remain vigilant when using social media platforms and not to fall prey to online cybercriminals and scammers.
These remarks were made by Expert Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs at Dubai Police, as he revealed the details of Operation “Shadow” which led to the arrest of 20 African gangs for committing blackmailing and cyber extortion crimes as well as fraudulent activities against social media users. He also said the force has recently arrested a married couple who deceived social media users by posing as a recruitment agency for domestic helpers.
Al Mansouri attributed the success of both operations to the efforts and professionalism of the General Department of Criminal Investigations (CID) who utilised the latest technologies at the Criminal Data Analysis Centre of Dubai Police. He further reiterated the force’s readiness to shield the community against all forms of harmful and criminal activities.
Al Mansouri confirmed that search and investigation teams at Dubai CID are qualified and trained to the highest levels. They are also ready to tackle emerging crime and unprecedented security challenges.
“Our officers keep abreast of the latest crime prevention methods including harnessing the artificial intelligence capabilities of the Criminal Data Analysis Centre of Dubai Police to track down criminals and foil their bids to harm our society,” he said.
According to Al Mansouri, since it’s inauguration by Dubai Police’s chief Lt. General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, the Centre has helped the force identifying hotspots of interest and conducting comprehensive crime prediction studies to develop solutions and improve early intervention methods.
Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf, Director of CID at Dubai Police, revealed that they had received a reliable tip-off about some African gangs who lured men by posting and sharing photos of girls on social media platforms and via e-mails.
“When the victim arrives at the specified address, he would find a different girl than the one he had chatted with online” Al Jallaf said.
“The gang would threaten victims and take their belongings including mobile phones and credit cards after they take pictures of the men in indecent positions and threaten to post their videos online and share it with the victims’ contacts if they report the matter to the authorities. The victims would end up sharing their mobile phone passcodes and credit card security pins, and paying huge amounts to avoid being defamed online and among their family members”, he added.
Lt. Col. Abdullah Mohammed, head of Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police, said a team was formed immediately upon receiving the tip-off, and a thorough plan was set up to apprehend the 47 African suspects; ten women and 37 men. He confirmed that comprehensive investigations have led to the arrest of suspects in Dubai and in a nearby emirate, and they that had been renting flats under fake IDs so they won’t get caught.
Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf revealed another fraud case involving a married couple, of an Arab nationality, who claimed that they could bring domestic helpers into the country despite the shutdown of airports imposed by the recently completed National Sterlisaition Programme. He noted that 46 people had fallen victims to the online fraudsters who lured victims with expedited procedures for only AED 3,000 in recruitment fees.
“During the National Sterilisation Programme, the Smart Police Station (SPS) received several reports against anonymous for defrauding victims and posing as representatives of a labour recruitment agency promising victims with domestic helpers,” the director of CID explained.
“Task teams were formed to investigate the reports and track down the suspects with the aid of available digital forensics tools,” “Soon after, our investigation teams gathered the necessary information and pinned down the married fraudsters,” Brig. Al Jallaf continued.
“The couple confessed to their crimes and revealed that they had been scamming families across the emirates by exploiting the suspension of labour recruitment during the National Sterilization Programme and taking advantage of people’s need of help during the quarantine period,” he concluded.
Captain Abdullah Al Shehhi, Deputy Director of the cybercrime department at the General Department of Criminal Investigation, warned members of the public not to fall prey into the trap of online conversations with strangers, and not to drift behind services they provide and not to respond to suspicious e-mails.
He further warned the public against drifting behind the hyperlinks sent to smartphones, especially via WhatsApp, indicating the necessity of activating two-step verification feature that prevents criminals from stealing data.
Al Shehhi urged members of the public to report suspicious accounts and online extortion to the “” platform by Dubai Police, noting that received reports remain confidential.

Brooge Energy reports record revenue of $44 million

NEW YORK,1st July 2020 (WAM) — Brooge Energy Limited, today announced its financial results for the full year ended December 31, 2019.
Revenue for the full year 2019 increased 23% to $44 million, compared to $36 million in the full year 2018. Gross profit for the full year 2019 was $34 million, resulting in gross margin of 77%, compared to $26 million for the full year 2018.
“We are pleased to report record financial results for the full year 2019,” said Nicolaas L. Paardenkooper, Chief Executive Officer of Brooge Energy.
“Our impressive 23% revenue growth for 2019 was driven by our multi-year agreement with an offtake customer for our Phase I terminals, which operated at full capacity throughout the whole year. Furthermore, we have secured a multi-year contract for 100% of our Phase II storage facility with the same customer. Phase II is expected to be operational and in a position to start generating significant revenues starting in the second half of 2020. The launch of our Phase II operations will also expand our storage capabilities to now include crude oil, as well as adding more capacity for fuel oil and clean products.
“The disruption to oil markets caused by COVID-19 showed the high strategic value of having well-located storage assets, and we are pleased that our Phase I facilities remain fully operational at this time, having experienced limited impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to advance our strategy to build out the largest oil storage facility in the Port of Fujairah and have made meaningful progress toward this goal in recent weeks, including signing an agreement to commence a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study and advancing negotiations with a potential customer for the Phase III capacity. Once Phase III is complete, which is anticipated to be in late 2022, we will have storage capacity for approximately 4.5 million m3,” he added,

Hope Probe a source of pride in country’s history: Reem Al Hashemy

ABU DHABI, 1st July 2020 (WAM) — Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of the Expo 2020 Dubai Office, said that the UAE’s ongoing achievements have proven to the world that the culture of possibilities promoted by the country’s leadership is an advantage of the Emirati people, noting that the Hope Probe is one of these achievements and a source of pride in the history of the UAE and its citizens.
She added that the probe’s mission reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as it crowns the rapid growth achieved by the UAE since its establishment some 50 years ago, and is a clear example of what the country has achieved.
She then highlighted the importance of promoting cooperation in achieving prosperity and development for mankind, stating, “The UAE has cooperated with 15 countries and universities in the Hope Probe project, and it is cooperating with over 200 participants of the Expo 2020 Dubai to achieve further progress.”
“The 15th of July will be a historic day for the UAE and the Arab region. All of us in the UAE must work hard to reinforce our international position, become role models for future generations and examples for other countries. We should increase our efforts to accomplish further achievements for our precious country in all areas,” Al Hashemy said in conclusion.

Etihad Airways supports UAE’s humanitarian aid missions

ABU DHABI, 1st June 2020 (WAM) – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has transported humanitarian aid from the government of the United Arab Emirates to 54 destinations.

To date, Etihad Airways operated 106 UAE humanitarian aid charters to 54 destinations and played a key role in transporting medical and food aid to help fight coronavirus around the world.

Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Senior Vice President Government, International and Communications, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “It is a moment of pride for the Etihad family to stand alongside the government of the United Arab Emirates to support humanitarian medical missions in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. It is an honour to have played our part in this achievement and a testimony to the wise values of tolerance and giving taught to us by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

“Etihad Airways has operated more than half of the UAE’s humanitarian flights, and we would like to thank all entities that have supported and facilitated this special project.”

Etihad Airways continues to transfer aid from the UAE, and is working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to obtain relevant aviation permits using Etihad’s extensive experience and vast network of connections with relevant authorities across the world.



Mohamed bin Zayed, President of Costa Rica review bilateral relations, global fight against COVID-19

ABU DHABI, 1st July 2020 (WAM) – His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has received a telephone call from President Carlos Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica on the prestigious strategic relations binding the two friendly nations, as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

President Quesada extended thanks to Sheikh Mohamed for the support provided by the UAE to his country in order to strengthen its medical capabilities to fight the coronavirus pandemic and for repatriating Costa Rican citizens from Abu Dhabi.

He also lauded the UAE’s efforts in the medical innovation and its global contributions in this field.

The call touched on the importance of sustaining global food security and enhancing cooperation in investment and commercial domains.

Sheikh Mohamed emphasised the importance of cooperation and solidarity among various countries of the world to overcome common challenges.



SEHA opens National Screening Centres on Fridays and Saturdays, extends operating hours

ABU DHABI, 1st July 2020 (WAM) – Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS), a SEHA healthcare Facility, has announced that the National Screening Centres will now operate on Fridays and Saturdays and operating hours will be expanded to be from 10 AM to 8 PM, in order to increase testing capacity.
This comes in response to the recent announcement by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee for the COVID-19 Pandemic, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Police, stating that entering the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is permitted for all those who have received negative test results within the previous 48 hours.
The extended operating hours are applicable to all eight National Screening Centres which include City Walk, Mina Rashed and Al Khawaneej in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Rask Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
Commenting on the announcement, Mohamed Hawas Al Sadid, Chief Executive Officer at AHS, said “In response to the recent announcement regarding entry to Abu Dhabi, and in line with our continuous efforts to provide easy access to screening services for citizens and residents, we have extended the National Screening Centers operating hours, which doubles our screening capacity in the centres outside Abu Dhabi.”
Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Chief Operations Officer at AHS, added “Citizens and residents above the age of 12 wishing to enter Abu Dhabi must undergo the screening test at one of the National Screening Centres in the Northern Emirates, as such, we have extended the center screening capacities to ensure the availability of same-day appointments. We advise anyone wishing to undergo the screening test, to book an appointment through the SEHA app or call Istijaba on 8001717. When booking through Istijaba, people will have the option to pay by card at any of the screening centres.”
The test is available across the National Screening Centers for free the first time for beneficiaries as per the directive given by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Forces.
The beneficiaries include UAE citizens, domestic workers of UAE citizens, all People of Determination, pregnant women, and senior residents (aged over 50 years), in addition to, people with coronavirus symptoms, as well as individuals who have come into contact with coronavirus patients. For repeat testing or those not covered in the directive, the test costs AED 370. Once the results are ready they will appear in the Hosn app, SEHA app, and will be sent via SMS.

DoH employs mathematical model to address foreseeable COVID-19 demands

ABU DHABI, 1st July 2020 (WAM) – In line with guidance from Advanced Technology Reserch Council, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) has collaborated with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), to develop a new computer-based mathematical model designed to analyse the predicted spread of COVID-19, in addition to providing insight into its foreseeable development in the short and long term.

The information produced by this model will contribute to developing pre-emptive plans to tackle the virus and implementing imperative initiatives that will contribute to protecting the health and well-being of the community.

The new mathematical model is distinguished from other models by its algorithms that monitor and track the virus in the emirate. This method works by monitoring the available data on the movement of individuals across the city. Using these details, the model creates a map that identifies the central regions contributing to the acceleration of the virus and the extent to which these areas are partially or entirely closed. This also contributes to forecasting the number of hospital beds and intensive care units required.

Furthermore, other functions of the new mathematical model include monitoring and tracking the pace of the virus spread in the emirate. This innovative source for information also accurately highlights future requirements for the community through the information it provides and its unique features. These features take into consideration the different segments of society including their locations, ages, and illnesses they have previously or currently suffer from.

Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al-Kaabi, Acting Undersecretary of DoH, said: “Through this unprecedented pandemic that the globe is facing, we have demonstrated that no obstacle is too challenging for our society as we move towards maintaining the health and well-being of our community. Despite the current circumstances, we continue our approach based on scientific research, and the implemention of modern technologies to ensure high quality healthcare treatment is accessible to all residents in Abu Dhabi. This also demonstrates DoH’s targeted prevention approach based on enhancing prevention and protection against the virus. This represents the cornerstone of our vision, and will continue along the same path, determined to contain and control COVID-19.”

“We are delighted to work with UAEU to develop this innovative mathematical tool, equipped with the latest features that enable us to stay ahead of the curve and provide society with the essential healthcare services needed in advance. The system is able to anticipate the necessary resources and numbers of daily casualties in the short term with an accuracy rate of more than 90%”, added Al-Kaabi.

Professor Ghaleb Ali Al-Buraiki, Deputy Director for Academic Affairs, and Acting Director of UAEU, stressed the importance of joining efforts in the current circumstances. He emphasised that this unique research collaboration includes a dedicated team of experts and researchers from UAEU and the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi from various specialisations such as epidemiology, public health, data science, mathematical modeling, Artificial Intelligence (AI), engineering sciences, transportation analysis, among others. He added that this will also contribute to comprehensive research work and innovation to formulate highly effective models and algorithms to predict the dynamics of the virus spread and methods of containing it.

With this tool, decisions based on scientific evidence, analysis, and reading of big data have been adopted, with several initiatives implemented on the ground to ensure the sustainability of the emirate’s health sector infrastructure under the current circumstances. It also focuses in particular on ensuring the readiness of the workforce and forecasting the health resources required at all times during this pandemic, as well as adopting a targeted prevention approach based on enhancing prevention and protection against the virus among certain groups of society, and access to treatment.



Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed visits TAQA following completion of transaction

ABU DHABI, 1st July, 2020 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, has visited TAQA’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi to follow up on the transaction between Abu Dhabi National Energy Company ‘TAQA’ and Abu Dhabi Power Corporation “ADPower”, that will enable TAQA to play an active role in the transformation of the utilities industry, contribute to economic diversification in Abu Dhabi, and provide opportunities to grow its business at a regional and global level.
During his visit, Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed met with Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, Chairman of TAQA’s board of directors, and Jasim Husain Thabet, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of TAQA. While there, he was presented with the company’s future strategy.
It was explained that TAQA’s future will be closely linked to the ongoing diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy and the transformation of the energy sector, moving towards clean and sustainable generation of power and water. The company’s ambition is to achieve a balance of roles between asset owner and investor, operator and developer.
TAQA’s immediate priority is to increase efficiencies across its portfolio, strengthen implementation and leverage proven digital solutions that will further enhance its business.
Future growth will be largely focused on the UAE, driven by the country’s strategies for economic diversification and a transition to clean energy. The company will also selectively pursue opportunities in international markets where TAQA can add value, and when projects are aligned with its strategy and risk-return metrics

HH praised the transaction, which will enhance the role of the UAE in the utilities sector, and will pave the way for further expansion and development in the generation of water and power through the combined efforts and capabilities of the new company, and enhance the competitiveness of these sectors.
His Highness also emphasised that TAQA’s capcity for high productivity in water and electricity, and its talented workforce and expertise, will lay solid foundations for a period of strong, sustainable growth.
During his visit, HH also witnessed the launch of TAQA’s new brand. Following the transaction, TAQA becomes one of the largest utilities companies in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, and the third largest publicly traded company in the UAE by market capitalisation, with total regulated assets of AED 200bn.


UAE-Canada Business Council discusses ‘Energy issues in the post-COVID-19 world’

ABU DHABI, 1st July, 2020 (WAM) — A webinar dialogue session was recently hosted by the UAE-Canada Business Council to discuss the ‘Energy issues in the post-COVID-19 world’ in the presence of Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, and Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta, Canada.
The Canada-UAE Business Council has helped in facilitating long-term relationships and strategic initiatives among industry stakeholders.
Addressing the meeting, Al Mazrouei said, “The UAE has a plan to diversify our energy sources to more greener forms of energy, up to 50% by the year 2050. What happened showed that at difficult times we can work together and manage this storm. I think all countries post-COVID are revisiting their plans, looking at how we will benefit from the learnings of this pandemic that flipped the whole economy upside down, and made us worried about things that we did not worry about before – such as food security and healthcare security.”
“Adaptability is something we’ll learn, and I think we will capitalize on that in the future,” he added.
On OPEC’s DoC decisions: the minister said, “We were walking in a new land where we didn’t know what could be enough (in terms of production adjustments).To get OPEC+ to so quickly agree to such a big adjustment never happened in the world.
“Nobody could predict that the market could so quickly rebound to where we are today. Some thought (OPEC+ adjustments) were not enough. We were confident if we saw it through it would calm the chaos. Our worry was not the price, but saving the whole industry, saving millions of jobs and investment. If we didn’t do it, we would have another shock down the road.”
For his part, Barkindo expressed his appreciation to Canada for its support in encouraging the energy dialogue, notably the recently held bilateral meeting with HE Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy for Alberta, to discuss oil developments against the backdrop of recent OPEC and non-OPEC meetings.
The Secretary General underscored the vital role of dialogue and cooperation in achieving sustainable stability in the oil market. He cited the impact and positive outcome of the OPEC and non-OPEC Declaration of Cooperation on the oil market as a stabilising mechanism for the global energy industry.
“In these dire times of chaos and disaster, OPEC has managed to offer something that is a rare commodity today hope”, said OPEC Secretary General.
Alberta Premier, Jason Kenney, said that being landlocked made Alberta’s oil industry particularly vulnerable when COVID-19 hit. “Thanks to OPEC for reaching out to us. We were able to open lines of communication, also with our neighbours to the south.”
Kenney said Alberta has a greater capacity to act because it produces 85% of Canada’s oil and has a mechanism already in place to curtail production, which has already been used since 2019 to shut-in 400,000 b/d due to transportation restrictions.
Kenney said particularly European investors are misinformed about Canada’s production. He said great technological progress has been made in reducing the carbon intensity of the industry, so that it has a lower footprint than other world producers of heavy crude.

Al Owais: Relationship between the government and FNC hits new milestone

ABU DHABI, 1st July, 2020 (WAM) — Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, has said that the relationship between the UAE Government and the Federal National Council, FNC, has hit a new milestone, witnessing further collaboration and integration of roles to serve the Emirati people.

“The two entities have integrated their efforts to develop new innovative tools and procedures to ensure the happiness of the community, as well as continuity of operations to meet people’s requirements and find solutions for the problems they face at any time and under any circumstance,” he added.

FNC is committed to fulfilling its role and continued to hold its sessions remotely despite the precautionary measures implemented to limit the spread of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19. For their part, government representatives also made sure to take part in these sessions, held via videoconferencing technology, which is in line with the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership to embrace advanced technologies and utilise them to ensure continuity and further develop the UAE’s legislative infrastructure.

“This advanced level of coordination to upgrade parliamentary procedures is in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces,” Al Owais explained.

“The sessions of the current term showcased this collaboration, where draft laws and general topics were discussed, all the while exploring ways to join efforts to empower the Emirati people.”

He applauded the major role Saqr Ghobash, FNC Speaker, plays in directing FNC sessions and the steering the discussions that take place in the Council. Moreover, he thanked the Ministers and members of the Cabinet for their dedication to attending FNC sessions and answer queries from Council members.

Al Owais also lauded FNC members for the tremendous efforts they’ve been undertaking despite the extraordinary circumstances in recent months to continue to address citizens’ needs and requirements and discuss them with decision makers.

He went on to praise the teams at the General Secretariat of the Federal National Council and the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs for their efforts to develop new procedures for enhancing coordination and monitoring to upgrade parliamentary operations to meet the highest standards in light of the unprecedented circumstances all sectors are going through in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Al Owais thanked MFNCA Undersecretary Tariq Hilal Lootah, and Dr Omar Abdul Rahman Salem Al Nuaimi, Secretary-General of the Federal National Council.

This first Term of Ordinary Sessions consisted of 13 sessions, seven of which were held remotely via videoconferencing technology. The Government was well represented in the FNC sessions, with several Ministers attending. The first Term saw the Council discuss 15 draft federal laws and one general topic, in addition to looking into 19 Decree Laws and three Federal Decrees, in addition to 62 international conventions and agreements. Furthermore, attending members of the Cabinet showed great interest in interacting with FNC members and their questions, answering as many as 44 queries.

The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs is tasked with coordinating between the government and the FNC, and with directing parliamentary efforts to fulfil the needs and interests of the UAE and its people. The Ministry sets scenarios for strengthening the relationship with the Council and keeps track of Cabinet decisions regarding recommendations made by FNC members.

The MFNCA also monitors draft laws issued, proposes general topics for the Cabinet to discuss with the Federal National Council, and makes all necessary arrangements for Cabinet members to participate in FNC sessions. The Ministry also supports the Council and its committees, facilitating their access to data from various government entities.

Esraa Ismail


Flying flag for Siemens Energy at Masdar City

ABU DHABI, 1st July, 2020 (WAM) — A flag-raising ceremony at Masdar City this morning marked the brand launch of Siemens Energy in the region.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, attended the ceremony hosted by Dietmar Siersdorfer, Chief Executive Officer of Siemens Energy Middle East and UAE.

Siemens Energy is a pure-play energy-focused company, committed to making sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy possible. The new brand’s regional office will operate from Siemens’ Middle East headquarters at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban community.

“Raising the new Siemens Energy flag at our regional headquarters at Masdar City is testament to our unwavering commitment to the UAE and the Middle East and emblematic of our long partnership with Masdar,” said Siemens Energy’s Dietmar Siersdorfer. “We at Siemens Energy are committed to providing solutions to meet rising energy demand and improve energy access. We are contributing to making sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy possible. We are energising society.”

“Witnessing this important milestone in Siemens’ history in the region today was a proud moment,” said Mohamed Al Ramahi of Masdar. “Not only has Siemens been a longstanding partner of Masdar on our renewable energy journey in the Middle East and internationally, they have also been one of our anchor tenants at Masdar City, our home in Abu Dhabi. We share their deep commitment to advancing renewable energy and sustainability technologies for the region and the world, and congratulate the whole team on the launch of Siemens Energy.”



Non-Arabs account for 31 pct of total trading volume in UAE equity markets

ABU DHABI, 1st July, 2020 (WAM) — Non-Arab foreigners traded to the tune of AED6.3 bn of shares in June, or 30 percent of the total volume of transactions conducted across the Abu Dhabi and Dubai financial markets, according to figures released by the two bourses.

The total trades in the two markets hit AED20.3 bn in June, AED12.47 bn of which in Dubai Financial Market, and AED7.83 bn in Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

The statistics confirm more tendency among non-Arab investors to purchase at DFM, while in Abu Dhabi, they tended more to sell shares.

In more detail, their purchases in ADX in June valued about AED1.5 bn while sales stood at around AED1.8 bn In Dubai, they purchased around AED1.6 bn in shares while their sales stood at AED1.41 bn, therefore accounting for 24.1 percent of the total transactions conducted there last month.