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WAM: DAFZA contributes AED164 million to Dubai foreign trade economy

DAFZA contributes AED164 million to Dubai foreign trade economy

DUBAI, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — Dubai Airport Freezone Authority, DAFZA, has played a key role in boosting Dubai’s economic growth, with a 12 percent contribution to the emirate’s foreign trade in 2019, compared to 11.2 percent in 2018, out of a total trade value of AED1.37 trillion recorded last year.

This came as a direct result of the incentives and business facilitation services provided by DAFZA that have enhanced the attractiveness of the free zone to foreign investors.

DAFZA’s foreign trade exceeded AED164 billion in 2019, compared to AED146 billion in 2018, with a 12.6 percent growth. This was driven by more than 15.8 percent growth in imports worth AED72.4 billion. There was AED91.8 billion in total exports and re-exports with 10.2 percent growth, allowing DAFZA to achieve an AED19.4 billion trade surplus in 2019.

India was DAFZA’s biggest trade partner in 2019 with 18.3 percent valued at AED30 billion, followed by China with 17.3 percent at AED 28.4 billion. Switzerland was third with 16.3 percent at AED 26.8 billion. In terms of imports, India ranked first with 40.7 percent at AED29.4 billion, followed by China with 39.2 percent at AED28.4 billion. Switzerland ranked first in exports and re-exports and accounted for 27.4 percent at AED25.1 billion, followed by Iraq with 12.3 percent valued at AED11.3 billion.

In terms of goods, machinery and electrical and electronics equipment ranked first with 55 percent of the total foreign trade in 2019, with a value of AED37.4 billion for imports and AED53 billion for exports and re-exports. This was an increase of 14.3 percent or AED11.3 billion in DAFZA’s total trade. This was followed by precious stones and metals with 38 percent of the total import value at AED29.6 billion and AED32 billion in terms of exports and re-exports. This meant an increase of 10.4 percent worth AED5.8 billion. Both sectors represent 92.6 percent of DAFZA’s total trade.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DAFZA, said that the authority’s foreign trade results were a result of its leading position as a hub for international companies and investors, connecting key commercial hubs worldwide, and its vital role in accelerating access to global and regional markets, including Dubai’s market.

He went on to note that such results are positively reflected in Dubai’s economy as DAFZA has been actively contributing to its sustainable growth over the past twenty years.

His Highness explain that DAFZA’s integrated system is one of the main reasons for the great achievements accomplished so far.

“It has enhanced Dubai’s reputation as an attractive destination for global investors. DAFZA will continue working in line with these frameworks in order to build a flourishing future that is based on technology and innovation, concentrating on achieving its goals which include attracting more international investment,” he added.

DAFZA witnessed an impressive growth in operations of its hosted multinational companies, cementing its position as an attractive destination for companies, looking to benefit from DAFZA’s portfolio of exceptional services, incentives and business facilities.

In 2019, DAFZA’s total revenues of multinational companies increased by 36.6 percent compared to the same period in 2018. The total space occupied by multinational companies increased by more than 135 percent.

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WAM: Noura Al Kaabi heads Zayed University Council meeting

Noura Al Kaabi heads Zayed University Council meeting

DUBAI, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Zayed University Council recently held its first meeting in 2020, led by Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, President of Zayed University, at the university campus in Dubai.

At the meeting, Al Kaabi greeted all members and praised their sincere work to expand the progress across various academic, research, administrative, and societal levels, and acknowledged their continuous commitment to analyse the developments at the university.

She noted the joining of Hassan Al-Najjar as a member of the ZU Council. His entry followed the approval of the mandatory Cabinet Resolution for engaging 33 Emirati youth to become members of the boards of federal government companies.

University Vice-President Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf delivered a presentation highlighting the latest accomplishments of the current semester, strategic objectives for the next stage, and performance development plans at various levels. Dr. Behjat also reviewed the university’s operational budget and plans for the upcoming period.

The council also approved the academic programmes offered by the university to its undergraduate and master’s students.

The meeting was attended by Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Science, Vice-President of the Council, Nasser Ismaeil Al Blooshi, Acting Under-Secretary and Assistant Under-Secretary of Social Welfare at the Ministry of Community Development, and Abdulnasser Alshaali, Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Also present were Shatha Al Hashmi, Director of Innovation department Strategy, Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation; Humaid Matar Salim Al Dhaheri, Group Chief Executive Officer – Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company; Mariam Saeed Ghobash, Vice Chairperson of Abu Dhabi Investment Company; Saeed Sultan Rashed Al Dhaheri, Business Owner; Emeritus Professor Rob Whelan, Director – Whelan Consulting Pty Ltd, and Hassan Al Najjar, Entrepreneur – Member of the ZU council.

 

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WAM: In second e-briefing, MoFAIC updates ambassadors, consuls on precautionary measures to counter COVID-19

In second e-briefing, MoFAIC updates ambassadors, consuls on precautionary measures to counter COVID-19

ABU DHABI, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation yesterday held an e-briefing, during which ambassadors and consuls accredited to the country were briefed on the latest developments and precautionary measures implemented by the UAE in light of the outbreak of coronavirus, COVID-19M, around the world.

Khalid Abdullah Humaid Belhoul, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, and Dr. Khalid Ibrahim Abdullah Al Mazrouei, MoFAIC Assistant Under-Secretary briefed accredited diplomats on the latest developments, precautionary measures and procedures the UAE rolled out against the COVID-19.

The online briefing was broadcast directly from the Ministry’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi and came in conjunction with the UAE’s decision to temporarily suspend – effective 17th March – all visas to all foreigners, with the exception of diplomatic passport holders.

Accredited ambassadors and consuls were also informed of the UAE’s decision to suspend all inbound and outbound flights with Lebanon, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, with effect from 17th March, and until further notice.

Both moves are part of the proactive precautionary and preventive health measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and come as a response to the World Health Organisation’s declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, a development that reflects the high risks now associated with travel.

MoFAIC’s Under-Secretary asserted that all accredited ambassadors and consuls in the country will be kept informed of all developments via e-briefing, so they may, in turn, communicate the same to their nationals. He also added that these measures stem from the responsibility the UAE has for its citizens and residents and to preserve the safety of all and as part of efforts exerted to combat coronavirus around the world and in solidarity with other countries around the world, to overcome this crisis.

Questions and inquiries that were raised during the e-briefing were duly answered.

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WAM: Ma’an, Aldar sign AED2 million agreement to develop Social Impact Bonds projects

Ma'an, Aldar sign AED2 million agreement to develop Social Impact Bonds projects

ABU DHABI, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Authority of Social Contribution, Ma’an, and Aldar signed a strategic agreement that will see both organisations address priority social challenges through social contracting.

Aldar will invest AED2 million, a demonstration of their commitment to the programme. As part of the agreement, Aldar and Ma’an will work together to build a Social Impact Bond, with the aim of launching it later this year.

Social Impact Bonds are an internationally established and successful method to finance the delivery of public services, first introduced in the United Kingdom. They involve a government commissioner, a social service provider and a social investor, using multi-party partnerships to bring together organisations to solve social challenges.

Abu Dhabi is the first in the GCC to introduce this innovative funding method for social services.

Dr. Saif Alshaali, Ma’an Acting Executive Director for Social Incubator and Contracting, and Greg Fewer, Aldar Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer, signed the Memorandum of Understanding at a signing ceremony on 9th March 2020, in the presence of Salama Al Ameemi, Director-General of Ma’an, and Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar.

“It is part of our wider mission to encourage the third sector to flourish in Abu Dhabi and deliver solutions to social challenges, in partnership with the government, the private sector and civil society,” said Al Ameemi.

Social service providers have the freedom to innovate and come up with a solution that delivers assistance. Private investors, such as High Net Worth individuals or investment funds, will then invest in the Social Impact Bond, giving the service provider the capital upfront to deliver the social programme, and the government will pay back the investor, but only if the outcomes are achieved.

It allows investors to meet the increasing demand for using financing to generate social good, as well as supporting CSR efforts in a way that avoids dependence and increases capital, which can be recycled and reinvested in other projects for social good.

It also ensures that governments only pay for programmes that work and have a measurable social impact.

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WAM: Etihad Airways announces temporary changes to route network

eihad

ABU DHABI, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — Etihad Airways has announced temporary changes to its route network on Sunday.

In a statement, the UAE airline said, “Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and its continuing impact on air travel services globally, Etihad Airways continues to follow UAE and international government and regulatory authority directives and has implemented a series of consolidated network changes.”

It went on to say that the decision was also being carried out to ensure the “safety and convenience” of its customers and staff, and to “to minimise operational disruption during this period”.

The Etihad statement noted that all flights to Milan have been suspended until 30th April, while flights to Rome (EY85/86) were suspended until 30th April, and while its flights to the same city (EY83/84) were suspended until 30th June.

The airline noted that flights all flights for Istanbul, Beirut, Casablanca and Rabat will be suspended from 16th to 31st March.

All flights for Amman, Madrid and Barcelona are suspended from 17th March to 31st March, the national airline added.

It went on to note that flights to Jakarta will be reduced from double-daily to daily, with the suspension of flights EY472/471, from 18th March until 30th June.

As for flights for Seoul, flights will be reduced from daily to four flights per week – operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays – beginning from 30th March to 30th April.

All flights for Hong Kong have been suspended until 30th June, it continued.

Bangkok flights will be reduced from triple-daily to double-daily, with the suspension of flights EY406/405, from 21st March to 2nd May.

Etihad Airways went on to note that previously announced network changes remain in place. These include suspension of all flights for Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Medina, and Kuwait up until 31st March.

Bahrain and Muscat flights have been reduced from triple-daily to double-daily until 31st March. All Shanghai flights continue to be suspended until 28th March, while all Chengdu flights remain suspended until further notice.

Lastly, all Nagoya flights continued to be suspended until 30th June.

The airline noted that future changes to the route network may occur due to government directives in key markets.

“Etihad Airways is working closely with regulatory authorities in the UAE and overseas and is continuing to monitor this situation closely,” it added.

For passengers impacted by flight cancellations, procedures are in place for fare refunds or for flight changes when services resume, the airline continued.

Etihad Airways is urging guests whose flights are impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions to refrain from calling the airline’s customer service lines unless their flights are scheduled within the next 48 hours.

“Contact Centres are currently experiencing significant congestion and long waits. The immediate priority is to assist those guests with imminent travel,” it noted.

 

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WAM: Abu Dhabi, Dubai financial markets ban insider trading this Tuesday

 Financial Markets

ABU DHABI, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi and Dubai Financial Markets announced the prohibition period for insider trading at public shareholding companies listed in the UAE capital markets, which will take effect on Tuesday, 17th March 2020, in compliance with the applicable regulations and rules.

ADX and DFM called on listed shareholding companies and brokerage companies to implement the ban until the announcement of the financial statements for the first quarter (Q1) of 2020.

The move comes in line with to the provisions of the Securities and Commodities Authority’s Article 14 on the system, of trading, clearing, settlement and transfer of ownership and custody of securities.

According to Article 14, it shall not be permitted for a chairperson, members of the board of directors of a company, any of the employees who has access to insider information to trade, whether by themselves or through others in the securities of the same company or its parent company, subsidiary, affiliate or allied company if any of those companies were listed on the market, during a period of 15 days before disclosing the financial statements of the company and until they are disclosed.

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WAM: Emirati engineers due to launch Hope Probe this summer

Emirati engineers due to launch Hope Probe this summer

DUBAI, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — After making history last year by sending the first Emirati Astronaut, Hazaa Al Mansoori to the International Space Station, the United Arab Emirates Space programme is now fixing its focus on Mars with the Hope Mars Mission.

Omran Sharaf, Project Manager of Emirates Mars Mission and Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, spoke exclusively to Euronews, the first international media outlet to be allowed into the clean room, about the probe. Set to orbit the red planet later this year, the Hope Mars Mission aims to provide a better understanding about climate change, and increase human knowledge about the Martian atmosphere.

Sarah Al Amiri explained, “What the Emirates Mars mission will provide is actual data throughout an entire year, everywhere in Mars. Now why is that important? Climate change is one of the reasons that Mars has transformed and understanding better the weather dynamics and the atmospheric changes on Mars gives us one piece of the puzzle on what happened to Mars,why has it got into the state that it’s at today; and that will even allow us to better understand climate change on Earth, and what usually naturally happens when it comes to climate change.”

“So eventually, when we send humans to Mars this will provide us with a better understanding on what will be faced,” she added.

The probe will study the climate daily and through seasonal cycles, and weather in the lower atmosphere such as dust storms, as well as the weather on Mars’s different geographic areas. It will attempt to answer the scientific questions about Mars’ drastic climate changes, and in turn provide us with more knowledge and information about the climate change happening on earth.

Omran Sharaf said, “The UAE government wanted to see a big shift in the ecosystem that we have when it comes to building a creative, competitive and innovative knowledge-based economy. And it looked at space as a mean to do that and Emirates Mars mission is the catalyst for that big shift and change.”

“It’s about addressing our national challenges when it comes to water, food and energy resources. And it’s about generating knowledge that will serve humanity,” he continued.

The Hope Mission is being carried out by a team of Emirati engineers in collaboration with foreign research institutions. Scheduled to reach Mars in July 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates’ formation, reaching Mars will mean big changes for the UAE back on Earth.

Commenting on success of the mission, Al Amiri said, “That’s something unlike anything that we’ve ever dreamt or realised we can dream of working on. It’s the final countdown, we’re getting to launch in July. It’s the challenges of getting into Mars’ orbit and the exciting part is finding new findings, new science and new results.”

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WAM: Dubai Cares launches vocational training programme in Tajikistan

Dubai Cares launches vocational training programme in Tajikistan

DUBAI, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has expanded its geographical outreach with the launch of its first educational programme in broader Central Asia.

The AED5,510,250 (US$1.5 million) programme, being implemented in partnership with Mercy Corps, is set to tackle widespread youth unemployment in Tajikistan over a period of three years. The programme focuses on improving access to economic opportunities for 7,800 vulnerable young people in selected districts across the Khatlon Province and Districts of Republican Subordination, through Technical and Vocational Educational Training, TVET.

The programme titled “Making Youth Future Ready: Introducing New Vocational Educational Skills Training, INVEST, in Tajikistan”, is set to provide life and work readiness skills, vocational training as well as business development support. Moreover, it will engage the private sector, national government and non-government stakeholders in order to encourage local sustainable practices in the long term. 6,300 children, 1,500 young men and women, as well as 231 teachers and trainers are expected to directly benefit from this programme, while 45,000 community members are also set to benefit indirectly from it.

Highlighting the importance of the programme, Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, said, “We are excited to expand our presence in Central Asia with this programme in Tajikistan through a programme that will help create an environment that is conducive to economic development. Investing in Technical and Vocational Education Training is an essential component of sustainable development. Its value is clearly evident, as it is particularly adapted for out of school youth and adults and it is a flexible mechanism to provide the skills and knowledge required by employers. Through this programme, we are directly responding to priorities identified by the government of Tajikistan, to equip young people with relevant skills and knowledge to effectively participate in the social and economic progress of their nation.”

Elena Buryan, Mercy Corps Country Director, Tajikistan, said, “in Tajikistan, young people between 14 and 30-year-old make up over a third of the population, with 40,000 young Tajiks looking for jobs every year. Mercy Corps is working with thousands of young people in vulnerable communities to provide them with skills and employability training to prepare them for work. Together with the support of Dubai Cares, our efforts will help improve the prospects of young people who are essential to the future prosperity of their country.”

 

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WAM: Australia will impose self isolation on all international arrivals due to coronavirus

SYDNEY, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — Australia will impose a 14-day self isolation on all international passenger arrivals from midnight Sunday to contain the spread of coronavirus, Reuters has quoted Prime Minister Scott Morrison as saying.

Australia will also ban cruise ships from foreign ports for an initial 30 days, he said.

Australia has recorded more than 250 coronavirus cases and three deaths.

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WAM: Sharjah schools preparing SPEA holds Distance Professional Development Week

Sharjah schools preparing SPEA holds Distance Professional Development Week

SHARJAH, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — Sharjah Private Education Authority, SPEA, has announced the launch of the “Distance Professional Development Week”, which aims to apply the best educational practices to contribute towards the implementation of “Distance Learning” in all private schools in the Emirate of Sharjah.

Starting from the 15th to 19th of March, the training course will include three distance E-training courses dedicated to private schools’ principals, educational supervisors and teachers.

In line with the current circumstances, SPEA has announced its full readiness to deal with any unfortunate conditions or threats as a part of its Crisis Management system. The authority has taken several precautionary and preventive measures to enhance the safety of students and members of society by requiring all private schools to evaluate all school facilities during the first week of school break, as well as developing plans to implement the distance education and E-learning initiative.

SPEA has monitored all private schools’ readiness to implement the initiative, in addition to instructing the schools to assign a phone number to a “hotline” service to respond to any inquiries from students and parents.

The Authority has undertaken improvement and development plans in order to develop the skills of teachers by providing them with a number of distance workshops and programmes, and are supervised through SPEA’s technical operations centre, and will measure its impact during the application stage over the next two weeks.

The E-training course initiative entitled “How to become a Distance Learning Teacher in 24 hours” is presented by SPEA in cooperation with the Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University, with the aim of preparing teachers to be able to apply the best practices of distance education. The Authority has sent a circular to all private school administrations to encourage teachers to register and benefit from the course.

As for the training programmes, they were designed in cooperation with the University of Helsinki in Finland, as it is best known for its advanced “Distance Leaning” educational approaches globally. Focusing on the development of the skills of both teachers and students, the University of Helsinki has provided the E-training programme with the needed practical examples and methods of applying distance learning on a daily basis and without any technical difficulties.

In this regard, Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Private Education Authority SPEA, said, “Immediately after the decision to suspend classes in private schools in Sharjah, the Authority has formed a special committee to study the implementation of the distance learning initiative. In the meeting the Authority sat with the Board of Directors of Private Schools to discuss the challenges that school administrations and educational bodies may face, and how to activate the role of the student and measure the level of understatement and comprehension of lessons through Distance Learning.

Dr. Al Hashimi added, “The Authority has initiated the necessary support to private schools by organising this E-training course, to support all educational bodies, teachers and principals as it will be implemented by specialized experts to achieve best possible results and what best for our students”.

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WAM: SCFO announces upgrading of Sharjah Baby and Family Friendly Project

SCFO announces upgrading of Sharjah Baby and Family Friendly Project

SHARJAH, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Sharjah Child Friendly Office, SCFO, has announced the upgrading of its Sharjah Baby Friendly Project to the Sharjah Baby and Family Friendly, SBFF, Project, with a renewed focus to include parents, families, and other caregivers within its ambit in recognition of the important role they play in the promotion, protection and support of childhood development.

Over the years, the Sharjah Baby Friendly Project, which sought to encourage and support a culture of breastfeeding in the emirate, has succeeded in implementing four community centered initiatives and managed to increase the exclusive breastfeeding rate, EBR, in Sharjah from the then baseline of 18 percent in 2012 to at least 60 percent by 2019, exceeding the World Health Assembly’s, WHA, 2025 global target of 50 percent. The project was instrumental in Sharjah being named the world’s first ‘Baby Friendly City’ in 2015 by WHO and UNICEF.

The newly announced project will seek to address issues including health, cognitive and emotional development and nutrition, including bringing fathers within the ambit of the project to increase its scope and impact.

It will also tackle critical issues that affect child wellbeing, including the parent-child relationship, responsive and nurturing parenting, stimulating and safe home environment, prevention of child abuse and/neglect, and early detection of risk or vulnerability.

Studies indicate that an increasing number of children, including in high-income countries, begin life at a disadvantage because they do not receive the nurturing care necessary for their physical and psychological development, while research findings in neuroscience and developmental psychology point to the risks of adverse childhood experiences and the buffering effects of positive parenting.

Highlighting the objective of the decision to upgrade the project, Dr. Hessa Al Ghazal, Executive Director of SCFO, said, “SCFO has decided to scale up the project to strategically include and empower parents, families, and other caregivers to aid in promoting, protecting and supporting childhood development. In keeping with this, the SBFF project will be expanded to include effective interventions, with governance structures to ensure that children’s holistic needs are addressed appropriately,”

“Child development theories indicate that children need three fundamental support mechanisms in order to thrive as adults: appropriate nutrition; stable and responsive relationships with caregivers; and safe, nurturing environments. Lack of one or more of these supports can adversely affect a child’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development, resulting in the loss of opportunities that are every child’s birthright,” she added.

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WAM: Argentina bans entry to non-residents arriving from coronavirus-hit countries

BUENOS AIRES, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — Argentina banned entry to non-residents who have traveled to a country highly affected by coronavirus in the last 14 days, the government officially announced late on Saturday.

The ban was established for 30 days, according to the decree published in the official bulletin, Reuters has reported.

The bulletin did not specify which countries would be included in the ban, though Argentina already temporarily stopped issuing visas to travelers from the United States, China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Britain and many European countries.

Argentina now has 45 cases of coronavirus, the health ministry said, up from 21 on 12th March.

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WAM: Local Press: UAE’s stimulus package will keep growth on track

UAE Press

ABU DHABI, 15th March, 2020 (WAM) — While the world is gripped by a health crisis, where gloom pervades, and the dominant emotion is fear, there are pockets of hope and positivity that bode well for the future when COVID-19 is contained and defeated, a UAE newspaper has commented.

In an editorial on Sunday, Khaleej Times said, “Such a future involves improved cooperation between people and governments; more transparency and less complacency on the part of government machinery that was apparent early on during the outbreak when health systems didn’t realise what hit them.

“The coronavirus pandemic, while succeeding in pushing us away from each other physically – no handshakes, kisses, and hugs – has united people of different nationalities in spirit towards a common goal – to get rid of the disease while keeping the wheels of the global economy turning.

“The biggest pandemic in 100 years, COVID-19, is putting all that humans have built over a century in peril. The good news – the best medical minds in the business, and researchers are working together to find a cure for what is still a mystery disease.

“Never in recent human history have we traversed the unknown, unaware of what awaits us. Uncertainty is the seed of this fear. But what we fail to comprehend, or control, could also make us stronger, resilient, and watchful. Preparing for the next major global crisis will be the priority of governments once this is all over. Our lack of immunity against the germ, while revealing our physical vulnerabilities, is also feeding our insecurities. It is exposing out frailties and distrust of others. Communities and countries have been cut off – draconian but necessary in the throes of such a crisis.

“They have been reduced to ‘clusters’. The virus has made us segregate each other, for the larger safety of societies and countries we live in. We doubt our mortality in this situation, as the pathogen spreads relentlessly, beyond China to the other side of the world. If Wuhan and Hubei were mere lockdowns at the start of the outbreak, in the US and Italy, the new coronavirus has mutated into a pandemic and has become national emergencies.

“The conversion of our communities into clusters based on the intensity of the coronavirus’s impact could spark a debate about morality. But the pathogen is insensitive to such emotions on its long-distance travels that bring bad tidings. It shows no respect for the human state. Modern connectivity that we touted as the next big thing to time travel has put it on an expressway. While this realisation has dawned on us, it has also brought out the worst and best in humanity. We shall focus on the best and there’s no better place than to look closer home in the UAE and Dubai.

“Dubai’s stimulus package is more humane than emergency spending measures taken by other governments. What’s different about this package is that it focuses on the welfare of residents. What must be noted here is that ordinary households will benefit from these steps, not just businesses, whose concerns have also been addressed. A 10 percent cut in electricity bills over three months will benefit families and keep home budgets in check. This package is intended to take the sting out of the pandemic that is threatening livelihoods and is wreaking havoc on the economic order. Simply put, it will keep costs of living down during this phase of the crisis.

“Dubai’s AED1.5 billion package is for an initial period of three months. It will be reviewed based on the direction the pandemic takes. Countries like Bahrain, Britain, and Australia have also rolled out economic revival packages that go beyond surviving the current storm caused by this coronavirus strain. Boosting spending during such periods comes with risks but governments are showing remarkable courage to embark on people-centric measures that could benefit economies in the long term.

“Welfare of the masses should be on top of the agenda while ramping up health systems to deal with rising pandemic cases. Government efforts to support all businesses, particularly SMEs, will give people a measure of confidence in the system. It’s the balm people need before a drug or vaccine is found to ground COVID-19,” concluded the Dubai-based daily.

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WAM: One more COVID-19 case announced in UAE

health UAE

AJMAN, 14th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Ajman Department of Economic Development and Ajman Tourism Development Department have directed entertainment destinations in the emirate to temporarily suspend operations effective Sunday, March 15th, until the end of the month, as part of the precautionary measures taken nationwide to curb the proliferation of the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak.

In a joint circular issued today, the two departments said inspection campaigns will be carried out across movie theatres and videogame centres and lounges in the emirate to ensure compliance.

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WAM: Entertainment destinations temporarily closed in Ajman on coronavirus concerns

 Ajman Department of Economic Development

AJMAN, 14th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Ajman Department of Economic Development and Ajman Tourism Development Department have directed entertainment destinations in the emirate to temporarily suspend operations effective Sunday, March 15th, until the end of the month, as part of the precautionary measures taken nationwide to curb the proliferation of the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak.

In a joint circular issued today, the two departments said inspection campaigns will be carried out across movie theatres and videogame centres and lounges in the emirate to ensure compliance.

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WAM: UAE Football Association postpones U-19 competitions on coronavirus concerns

Football Association

ABU DHABI, 14th March, 2020 (WAM) — UAE Football Association has postponed U-19 competitions with immediate effect and until further notice on coronavirus concerns, while first-team and U-21 fixtures will continue as scheduled in coordination with the UAE Pro League.

In a statement today, UFA said the decision follows on that taken last Thursday on delaying the competitions of various age groups, including U-12, U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16, and U-17.

The UFA also suspended trainings for various age groups as well as women’s football, futsal and football academies’ activities.

Under the decision, first-team and U-21 competitions will continue in coordination with the UAE Pro League, with all precautionary measures and assessment of the situation to be conducted in coordination with the competent bodies in the country.

UFA urged all stakeholders to stick to the decisions taken to ensure safety of the society and its protection, noting that additional measures will be taken in this regard.

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WAM: Safe, stable environment well established in UAE to ensure integrated child development: Theyab bin Mohamed

H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

ABU DHABI, 14th March, 2020 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), said: “Allocating 15th of March of each year as the Emirati Children’s Day reflects our wise leadership’s keenness on securing good living conditions for the community members and providing comprehensive care and support to children. This is highlighted in the government’s efforts to create a safe and stable environment that fosters child’s integrated development, helps raising children according to the noble and positive values of the Emirati society, and instills values of citizenship and social responsibility in the child.”

The wise leadership is interested in enabling the child to be an active agent in his community, to contribute efficiently and positively to pushing forward the UAE’s sustainable development march towards more growth, progress and empowerment, added Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed.

Sheikh Theyab praised the great support of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the Mother of the UAE, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, to motherhood, childhood and family development sectors. He affirmed the importance of this support in advancing these sectors locally and globally.

Furthermore, he commended the UAE’s leading role in creating an environment encourages children to innovate, paving children’s way to the future, protecting them from risks and challenges, and providing them with the necessary care by developing integrated plans and launching innovative and creative initiatives.

Sheikh Theyab stressed that ECA derives its vision from the insightful vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who emphasized that the Emirati society, with its long-standing and inherited values derived from the noble Islamic teachings, is an interdependent society that shows compassion to the young, respects the elders, protects children’s rights, and preserves human dignity.

WAM/Hatem Mohamed
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WAM: Business Continuity Readiness Guidelines launched for UAE Organisations in event of COVID-19 outbreak

National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority

ABU DHABI, 14th March, 2020 (WAM) — The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, NCEMA, has launched the Business Continuity Readiness Guidelines for UAE Organisations in the event of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak, as part of efforts to boost the nation’s readiness and response for emergencies and transfer best international practices.

The purpose of this Guide is to demonstrate precautionary and preventive measures aiming to sustain business continuity for organisations across Preventive Measures; Preparing and Increasing of Readiness; and Response and Handling of Cases, while planning for business continuity during outbreaks features Leadership; Remote Work Strategy; Staff Distribution; Flexibility of Procedures; Monitoring and Evaluation of Suppliers; and Supply Chain Readiness.

”This Guide is a guiding document to increase the readiness of the organisations in the UAE and maintain the provision of the essential services and products, as well as to reinforce the importance of synergy and sustainable cooperation between all concerned organisations in the UAE,” NCEMA said.

According to NCEMA, the Guide explains ways to address the risks arising from the outbreak of epidemics in the organisations that may directly affect business continuity and community stability. In case the new COVID19- virus spreads among employees at the workplace, precautionary and preventive measures should be taken to ensure the general safety of the employees.

UAE organisations at federal, local and private levels shall adopt this approach by assessing risks, threats, weaknesses and consequences thereof, where the organisations concerned may adapt their approach to identifying risks according to nature of work. Scenarios, assumptions and considerations were developed in an integrated manner to guide the process of planning at all levels, as related to points of improvement and the potential impacts of risks and threats, it added..

Business impact analysis, it affirmed, is necessary to quantify the capabilities in terms of quantity and efficiency to perform the tasks. These capabilities should reflect in emergency and crisis plans, as well as in business continuity (in the short term for the emergency, crisis and disaster cycle) and in national preparedness strategies (in the long term).

Preparing for any event is the responsibility of all organisations and levels (federal, local and also the private sector) and it is also the key to success in managing any emergency or crisis case.

The Guide, which was developed by NCEMA in cooperation with its strategic partners, can be downloaded from NCEMA’s website
https://www.ncema.gov.ae

WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hatem Mohamed
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WAM: Entertainment destinations temporarily closed in Abu Dhabi on coronavirus concerns

bu Dhabi Department of Economic Development

ABU DHABI, 14th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development has directed entertainment destinations in the Emirate to temporarily suspend operations as part of the precautionary measures taken nationwide to curb the proliferation of the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak.

This came in two separate circulars, addressed to the owners of entertainment halls, including movie theatres and videogame centres and lounges, and the second to movie theatres in the UAE capital where the ADDED has asserted that the move is meant to ensure protection of society and its safety in collaboration with other competent authorities in the nation.

“The decision is reflective of the ADDED’s determination to safeguard all Emiratis and residents living in the Emirate in line with public safety and protocol measures,” said Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of ADDED.

Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, ADDED Undersecretary, said the decision to temporarily close these destinations is aimed to help people steer clear of crowded places.

“Those who will not abide by the decision will be punishable under Article 72 of ADDED’s Table of Fines which specifies a pecuniary penalty in the range of AED 3,000-AED10,00 and ultimately closing the facility in case of a repeat infraction,” Al Balooshi explained.

Inspection campaigns will be carried out to ensure compliance, he added, highlighting in this respect the recent decisions taken by the Department to ban Shisha across all cafes and restaurants across the emirate in order to curb the outbreak of the novel virus and ensure people’s safety and security.

The decision is applicable with immediate effect upon the time of issuance until further notice.

WAM/Hatem Mohamed/Tariq alfaham

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WAM: World’s second-largest pulses processor invests AED150 mn in Hamriyah Free Zone

SHARJAH, 14th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Hamriyah Free Zone Authority, HFZA, has announced that Arab & India Spices, the world’s second-largest pulses processor, will build 12 silos at the Sharjah Food Park with a total operating capacity of 52,000 metric tonnes of pulses at a time.

The 12 grain storage warehouses will be constructed over a total area of 300,000 square feet in the food park, a regional hub for the Middle East and North Africa’s multi-billion-dollar food industry, dedicated to food import, export, storage, manufacture and packaging.

This will be the Middle East and North Africa’s first of its kind facility with such a large organised storage capacity. It would cover the UAE’s consumption needs of beans and lentils for six months.

The Arab & India Spices’ joining of companies investing in the Food Park is concrete evidence of the growing attractiveness and importance of the Hamriyah Free Zone, being a springboard for expansion activities in the regional markets. This will reinforce Sharjah’s position as a leading destination for foreign direct investment.

The project was announced Thursday during a ceremony held at HFZA’s premises in the presence of Sheikh Khaled bin Abdullah bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of HFZA, Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of HFZA, Harish Kumarlal Tahiliani, owner of Arab India Spices, as well as senior officials from both sides.

Al Mazrouei stressed the joining of Arab & India Spices to the group of companies investing in the food park is a step in the right direction and will support Sharjah’s food industry in addition to enhancing its contribution to the Emirate’s diversification strategy.

“The global leader in the pulses and spice industry will definitely achieve significant gains thanks to HFZA’s competitive services and facilities, which will help it develop and augment its investments,” Al Mazrouei said.

For his part, Harish Kumarlal Tahiliani said, “The competitive services offered by Hamriyah Free Zone perfectly meet our expansion requirements, especially its shipping and logistical facilities, which match the highest international standards, facilitate and accelerate the doing of businesses.”

“The project’s launch is promising, once inaugurated, it will shoot up our investments in the UAE from AED350 million to AED500 million, a growth of 43 percent,” he said, adding that if more silos and warehouses are built, they will be used to store rice, wheat and grains.

He highlighted that the GCC markets account for about 60 percent of the company’s operations and activities and that the UAE is the first market targeted by the company followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

WAM/ /Tariq alfaham
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