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WAM: Constructive Trading newest member of MBRIF Guarantee Scheme programme

DUBAI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund, MBRIF, has announced Constructive Trading as the newest member of its Guarantee Scheme programme.

As a member of the Guarantee Scheme, Constructive Trading joins other innovative companies and SMEs who receive assistance from the MBRIF – an initiative launched by the Ministry of Finance to promote and foster innovation in the UAE – in accessing affordable debt funding to accelerate the growth of their business.

The company developed a software, under the name ‘SteelpacRebar’, which provides supply chain solutions that increases the efficiency of the reinforcenment steel (rebar) supply chain and minimises material supply and deployment costs.

According to Cronstructive Trading, the technology improves workshop drawings’ productivity by 30 percent, enhancing the traceability for rebar shipments off and on-site.

It also prevents misuse of an average of three to five percent of total rebar on-site, and optimises the efficiency of the rebar supply chain, resulting in significant cost savings and minimising waste of steel, the company noted. Wastage savings of an estimated AED2 millions can be achieved, Constructive Trading notes, adding that thousands of hours of abortive time across a project duration can also be avoided.

Commenting on the announcement, Fatima Alnaqbi, Chief Innovation Officer MBRIF and Representative of the Ministry of Finance, said, “The MBRIF launched the Guarantee Scheme to provide government guarantees and help members in small funding in the beginning, to then enable the owners of these innovative projects to benefit from Emirates Development Bank, and apply to the accelerator programme, which allows additional funding.”

Alnaqbi added, “Constructive Trading has created a ground-breaking innovative solution to reduce waste and increase efficiency for its clients in the construction industry, to be a prime example of the type of businesses we look for to include in the Guarantee Scheme. We look forward to working with many more innovative businesses and SMEs in the future.”

For his part, Andrew James Woolnough, Founder of Constructive Trading, said, “The UAE provides a great environment for companies like us to grow and operate in, particularly with initiatives such as the MBRIF, which enables business growth and provides financing options that will help us scale up operations.

“Being accepted into the MBRIF Guarantee Scheme will play an essential part in our team being able to further develop our software, with the potential to extend our reach further than ever before,” he added.

In addition to Construction Trading, members of the MBRIF Guarantee Scheme programme include Oliv, a technology-enabled innovative job portal; Pure Harvest, a technology-enabled agribusiness, and Lamsa, an award-winning Arabic edutainment mobile app that offers free access for children.

The MBRIF Guarantee Scheme works with innovative companies and banks to create easier access to funding for innovators and entrepreneurs whose businesses contribute to the UAE’s economic development and diversification.

Eligible Guarantee Scheme applicants are UAE-based individuals or companies, or those willing to be based in the UAE in the near future, particularly those with a strong contribution towards innovation, commercialisation and industry parameters.

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WAM: Mohamed bin Zayed, Pope Francis discuss developments in spread of coronavirus

Mohamed bin Zayed, Pope Franci

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — During a telephone call, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, today discussed their friendship, cooperation and developments related to the spread of the coronavirus, as well as the importance of promoting solidarity and global cooperation in confronting the pandemic.

They also discussed ways of adopting the principles of the Human Fraternity Document signed in Abu Dhabi last year.

During the phone call, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed wished Pope Francis good health and conveyed the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his wishes for continued good health and safety.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed also expressed his hope that Italy and the Vatican will overcome the ordeal caused by the coronavirus epidemic as soon as possible, stressing the support of the UAE during these difficult times the entire world is going through.

He further highlighted the role of major religious institutions from around the world, particularly the Vatican, in calling for international solidarity during the current circumstances, and expressed appreciation for the efforts of Pope Francis in calling for global unity.

He also stressed that the UAE is continuing to coordinate and support the global efforts to confront the virus and extend a helping hand to those in need, expressing his hope of overcoming the virus through unity and cooperation.

Pope Francis thanked His Highness Sheikh Mohamed and praised the UAE’s humanitarian initiatives and stances during this dangerous stage witnessed by the entire world, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Both sides stressed that the world is going through difficult circumstances and is in urgent need of cooperation and human solidarity to unite the efforts of the international community to confront the pandemic and save humanity. They also highlighted the need to uphold human values in dealing with this common global challenge with the spirit of brotherhood, harmony and initiative, to extend a helping hand and assist individuals, societies and countries.

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WAM: Dubai Municipality reassures public on safety of products used in sterilisation operations

Dubai Municipality

DUBAI, 29th March 2020 (WAM) – As Dubai Municipality continues its operations to sterilise public areas and buildings in the emirate as part of the ongoing national sterilisation programme, it has reassured the public that products being used in the disinfection procedures do not pose any risks and meet the highest standards for safety and effectiveness.

The civic body confirmed that the sterilisation products used in the campaign do not contain active substances except for hydrogen peroxide, which is used in safe ways by specialised personnel after proportionately diluting the chemical according to mandatory safety requirements. The Municipality clarified that all disinfection and sterilisation products contain chemical ingredients but varies in the concentration of active substances.

Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General, Dubai Municipality, said the city-wide sterilisation follows globally benchmarked safety guidelines in the method of use, dilution, and mixing ratios. Disinfection procedures are carried out by a special team of experts with a strong focus on public safety.

He added that all sanitation products used in the campaign contain active ingredients approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Antimicrobial Chemicals Center (CBC) and recommended for sterilisation by the World Health Organization. They are also evaluated by Dubai Municipality to verify their effectiveness and registered in the ‘Montaji’ smart app approved by the World Health Organization, Al Hajri said.

Al Hajri stressed on the need for the public to stay at home during the disinfection operations and urged them not gather at sites where the operation is being conducted in order to ensure a smooth operation and avoid delays.

The Dubai Municipality campaign, which began last Thursday, has so far completed sterilization operations in 226 areas and public facilities in the emirate with the support of 186 specialised personnel. Implemented in cooperation with its strategic partners, the campaign is being conducted within the framework of preventive efforts aimed at ensuring the health and safety of all members of society. The programme forms part of efforts undertaken by institutions and bodies in the country to ensure the highest levels of protection and prevention in the community.

The sterilisation operations feature advanced devices and technologies in accordance with international best practices. Dubai Municipality is also using drones in conducting the procedures, which enhance the speed and efficiency of the sterilisation operations.

Specialised teams have deployed advanced vehicles and equipment for spraying and disinfection, including spraying devices on vehicles that compress disinfection fluid into small particles, portable sprays that operate with hydraulic retail power, and spray and fumigation machines. All sanitation products used were approved by the Municipality. They were evaluated to verify their effectiveness and registered in the ‘Montaji’ smart app approved by the World Health Organization.

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WAM: Foreign Ministry supports UAE artists by purchasing their fine artwork

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy has in the past two weeks acquired pieces worth more than AED1.5 million created by emerging and established Emirati artists.

The next phase of the project will involve the Ministry procuring artwork by long-time residents. “We want to lend our support to everyone who is part of the country’s rich artistic ecosystem,” Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh said.

Nusseibeh pointed out that, with so many galleries and museums closed, now is a good time for those who can support the arts to do so.

“With the cancellation of the many art events that were scheduled to take place this season, we wanted to send a message of solidarity to our artists,” Nusseibeh said, adding that the artwork will also play an important part in the UAE’s cultural diplomacy abroad.

While the works of art will find a home at UAE embassies and missions across the world, they will first be put on display at Alserkal Avenue within the next month in an online exhibition.

“In its initial phase, the Ministry has procured artwork for 10 embassies,” Nusseibeh said. “But we will continue until the majority of UAE embassies exhibit Emirati artwork.”

The initiative, which has been given the informal title Artists in Embassies, was launched under the directive of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.

“With the recent pandemic, we wanted to realise and announce this project,” Nusseibeh, who is overseeing the initiative, explained. “It is a message that demonstrates our deep appreciation and support for the local arts and acknowledges that they are a critical part of the national identity.”

The initiative is a help to many local artists and galleries during a time of uncertainty, though the idea of populating UAE embassies with local artwork has been in the works since 2018.

“We set up a committee with historians, curators and art experts to get a varied take on which artwork to procure,” Nusseibeh says, adding that the committee sought to amass a set of works that best represented the diverse artistic traditions of the Emirates.

“We also consulted with diplomats to get a better understanding of every country’s artistic landscape and their respective sensibilities to know which embassy was best for each artwork.”

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WAM: UAE presents its food security agenda at G20 Riyadh Summit

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The UAE’s participation in the Group of Twenty, G20, Summit was an opportunity to showcase the UAE’s soft power and its ability to support global solidarity in dealing with global crises.

The event served as a global platform for UAE to present its food security agenda, and approach toward a sustainable global food balance.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, described the UAE’s participation in the summit, which was chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and King of Saudi Arabia, as characterised by the spirit of global solidarity in facing an unprecedented joint challenge, at a time the peoples of the world are relying on the summit to adopt effective decisions to promote a collective response to the current crisis.

The global media coverage of the summit highlighted food security as one of the world’s major economic and humanitarian challenges, and noted that the UAE achieved a 10-place leap on the Global Food Security Index, moving from 31st rank in 2018 to 21st rank in 2019, which made the UAE among the ten leading countries in the index.

The UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 was launched in November 2018 and aimed to achieve zero hunger by ensuring access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.

The strategy aims to make the UAE the world’s best in the Global Food Security Index by 2051 and among the top 10 countries by 2021; develop a comprehensive national system based on enabling sustainable food production through the use of modern technologies; enhance local production; develop international partnerships to diversify food sources; activate legislation and policies that contribute to improving nutrition; and activate legislation and policies to reduce waste.

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WAM: UAE stocks gain AED12.5 bn in market cap

Financial Markets stock

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The UAE stocks continue to respond favourably to the country-level fiscal incentives and stimulus packages being launched, and gained AED12.5 billion in market cap by the end of Sunday’s session.

Capitalising on the improving sentiments, Abu Dhabi’s Main Index rallied 2.87 percent and closed at 3,878 points, with DFM following suit, rising 1.28 pct to 1832.

A total of 4862 transactions were conducted today worth AED350 million over 211 million shares.

Blue chips like Etisalat was the best performer in Dubai, rising to AED14.18, while FAB continued its upward movement and closed at AED10.4.

In Dubai, Emaar led the race and edged up to AED2.43, followed by Emaar Malls which ended the session at AED1.13 and Emaar Development at AED2.33.

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WAM: ERC to launch initiatives to contain spread of COVID-19

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan,

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Under the directives of the H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, the ERC is planning to launch a set of initiatives over the coming period in support of “The Fund of the United Arab Emirates: Homeland of Humanity”, which has recently been launched in coordination with the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) and other humanitarian and charity organisations and societies in the country.

Dr. Mohammad Ateeq Al Falahi, ERC’s Secretary-General, said the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan come as the UAE steps up precautionary measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and stem its impact on the country.

“H.H. Sheikh Hamdan is determined to accelerate efforts and reach out to more donors to contribute to the efforts being made to protect the society from the virus and its repercussions,” he added.

The ERC’s initiatives cover various vital sectors, including health, education, food security, and logistics in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Food Security.

“The ERC provides health parcels, and contributes to the National Disinfection Programme launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Prevention. In the field of education, the ERC supports the distance education programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Education by providing laptops and other related technological devices, while providing volunteers from the authority to deliver additional tutorials via the Ministry’s website,” he added.

The ERC also provides food and water parcels to a select of segments of society at their residences and contributes to sanitising ATMs and retail food outlets nationwide, he continued, explaining that “these activities cover senior citizens, people of determination, orphans, prisoners’ households and indigent families.”

The UAE recently launched a fund for unifying national efforts to combat the COVID-19, pandemic.

Dubbed “The Fund of the United Arab Emirates: Homeland of Humanity”, the fund has been launched in coordination with NCEMA, the ERC, and other humanitarian and charity organisations and societies in the country.

The Fund will receive financial and in-kind donations by individuals and organisations in addition to other contributions, including facilities, essential utilities, vehicles, and different types of supply chain management tools through the offices of the ERC and other charities across the nation. A mechanism to regulate these donations has been established to unify all anti-COVID-19 efforts.

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WAM: Letters of guarantee surge to AED4.533 trillion in February

The Central Bank of the UAE

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The total cumulative balance of letters of guarantee and other credit facilities provided by banks and other business entities in the UAE significantly grew to AED4.533 trillion in February, 2020, an increase of AED186 billion, or 4.3 percent approximately, from AED4.347 trillion in January, statistics by the Central bank of the United Arab Emirates have shown.

This significant increase in credit facilities is reflective of the continued business momentum maintained by various economic sectors in the UAE with overseas partners despite the global slowdown witnessed worldwide.

A letter of guarantee is a type of contract issued by a bank on behalf of a customer who has entered a contract to purchase goods from a supplier. It lets the supplier know that they will be paid, even if the customer of the bank defaults.

The apex bank’s figures show that the balance of foreign currency derivatives soared to AED797.2 billion in February 2020, against AED766.3 in January of the same year. The balance of interest returns on foreign exchange derivatives likewise increased from AED2.763 trillion in January to circa AED2.928 trillion in February. The value of letters of liability provided by banks stood at AED238.6 in the reference period.

The total balance of letters of guarantee at the end of February valued about AED382.7 billion while the balance of letters of credit amounted to AED103.8 billion.

 

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WAM: Emirates National Accreditation System provides remote evaluation services

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Emirates National Accreditation System, ENAS, is providing accreditation services and carrying out emergency evaluations as of mid-March, in line with the country’s precautionary measures to ensure the safety of institutional experts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Rehab Al-Ameri, Director of the National Accreditation Department, confirmed that the administration has begun implementing the policy within three axes, including the desk evaluation of documents and quality manuals, the conversion of the field assessment to a remote evaluation, and, if necessary, the rescheduling of assessments to the authorities, according to the risk report prepared by the administration on those sides.

This is in addition to preparing training programmes for experts and evaluators to train staff in carrying out assessments and how to use technical tools and programmes in a manner that ensures the accuracy of the output of the evaluation process.

The National Accreditation Department has adopted several pioneering methodologies in this field through the use of multiple techniques for remote evaluation, including live interviews with conformity assessment bodies and the monitoring of testing processes via video, in addition to beginning to harness technological innovations to facilitate the evaluation process, such as the use of robots or reality simulation systems.

These initiatives were prepared within the future plans of the UAE national accreditation system in order to preserve the health and safety of the parties concerned and the sustainability of service provision, without prejudice to the integrity of the accreditation process in accordance with international requirements, and to support business sustainability and the national economy in the current circumstances.

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WAM: EPAA foils attempt to smuggle 146 endangered animals and birds

SHARJAH, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Environment and Protected Areas Authority, EPAA, foiled an attempt by GCC nationals to smuggle 146 CITES-listed animals and birds of four species into the country without health certificates or import permits.

CITES is an international treaty that prohibits the trade of endangered animals. In cooperation with the Sharjah Police General Directorate and Al Madam Police Station, the operation took place close to the Sharjah border where the smugglers were apprehended.

Commenting on the operation’s outcomes, Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, EPAA Chairperson, said, “In cooperation with the Sharjah Police General Directorate, the EPAA’s teams were able to foil the attempted smuggling of 146 animals and birds. This shows the extent of care and commitment observed by the teams, while working to preserve and protect endangered species and provide them with the best living conditions.”

She added that 379 prohibited, predatory and dangerous animals were seized last year.

Al Suwaidi explained that the EPAA’s 27,000m2 shelter for predators at Desert Park is the first of its kind in the GCC. An important addition to Sharjah’s environmental efforts, it was designed to house predators and dangerous animals, in accordance with international standards.

The EPAA has a variety of plans, initiatives and strategies related to preserving the environment and conserving biodiversity, in line with the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, she noted.

Al Suwaidi went on to highlight the importance of preserving and protecting wilderness areas, mountain ranges, marine areas and beaches, as well as protecting endangered animals and birds to ensure a sustainable environment for current and future generations.

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WAM: MoHAP issues, renews health cards through e-services

DUBAI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Twenty-three health facilities in six emirates, including ten hospitals are providing the health card issuance and renewal services, according to the Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP.

“Emirati, GCC citizens and residents are entitled to get this service, which is also available via MoHAP e-services or typing centres,” the ministry added.

The service provided by Health Registration Department, enables health cardholders to obtain medical services at any of MoHAP’s health facilities. “People of Determination are also entitled to obtain this service free of charge through health registration outlets in medical areas after attaching the necessary documents including a medical report issued and approved by a government hospital, a valid passport, ID and a residence permit,” it went on to say.

The issuance of a health card is linked to a valid ID which may replace the health card, the Ministry noted, adding that the card validity for Emiratis and GCC citizens is four years and one-year renewable for non-citizens.

MoHAP explained that activating such services come as part of the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the country to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. “We are in the process of further promoting our electronic channels to have easy access to our services after the temporary closure of some of customer happiness centres,” the Ministry concluded.

[Image Credit: MoHAP]

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WAM: Sharjah extends suspension of all activities until end of April

sharjah city

SHARJAH, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Sharjah Executive Council announced on Sunday that it will extend the suspension of all social and sporting events and celebrations in wedding halls, event halls, hotels, and government and community facilities, until the end of April.

The decision comes as part of preventive and precautionary measures taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus, in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of Sharjah Executive Council.

The provisions of the decision shall be implemented as of 1st April 2020, and up until the end of April 2020, and extendable if needed.

 

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WAM: RAKEZ launches ‘Spring Packages’ with online set-up process

RAS AL KHAIMAH, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, RAKEZ, said that it is launching its ‘Spring Packages’ online, allowing investors for hassle-free business registration Alongside the remote-friendly feature, the packages are designed to fully support SMEs, industrialists and investors at their stage of development without putting a high cost, a RAKEZ press release said Sunday.

With RAKEZ’s recently-launched Portal 360, investors can easily set up their business by only completing the online registration form, uploading the necessary documents, e-signing the Memorandum of Association, and the licence will be issued electronically.

Entrepreneurs, SMEs and startups keen to explore the market can take advantage of the economic zone’s Office Spring Packages, which provide a choice for a shared workstation, serviced office, private office or customisable office situated in RAKEZ’s premier business zones.

The Office, Storage Warehouse and Industrial Warehouse Spring Packages can all be availed in multiple years and include a free UAE Investor Visa, instalment plans, free zone and non-free zone formation options.

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WAM: Dubai saves 178 MW in electricity consumption during Earth Hour 2020

Dubai saves 178 MW in electricity consumption during Earth Hour 2020

DUBAI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, has recorded savings of 178 megawatts, in electricity consumption in the emirate, equivalent to a reduction of 74 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, during Earth Hour 2020.

People in Dubai joined millions of people around the world in expressing their solidarity with efforts to address the threats posed by global warming and climate change, by turning off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances during Earth Hour, which the world observed from 20:30-21:30 on Saturday, 28th March.

With the theme ‘Raise Your Voice For Nature’, Dubai’s landmarks and government and private buildings also took part in the event by turning off their lights for an hour.

“DEWA has been organising Earth Hour since 2008, in accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council,” Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, said.

Earth Hour, he said, aims to raise awareness in society and underline the importance of the sensible use of resources. It goes beyond just turning off unnecessary lights and electric appliances for 60 minutes. “Earth Hour aims to make conservation of electricity and water a daily practice to cut carbon emissions and combat environmental challenges such as climate change, global warming, and the unprecedented reduction in biodiversity,” Al Tayer added.

The DEWA CEO commended the results achieved during Earth Hour in Dubai every year and the commitment of all society segments, and government and private organisations in Dubai who took part in it.

The conservation programmes and initiatives launched by DEWA between 2009 and 2019 have achieved cumulative savings of 2.2 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity and 7.8 billion gallons of water. This is equivalent to saving AED1.3 billion. Those savings are equal to the consumption of 327,000 apartments in electricity and 250,000 apartments in water annually.

These savings contributed to reducing 1.137 million tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to planting 1.3 million trees and consuming 134 million LED bulbs. The water savings are also enough to fill 14,000 Olympic swimming pools.

 

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WAM: Dubai Economy urges residents to shop responsibly, avoid hoarding

Dubai Economy urges residents to shop responsibly, avoid hoarding

DUBAI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Dubai Economy reassured residents on Sunday that there is no need for panic or anxiety regarding the availability of hygiene essentials.

In a statement, Dubai Economy affirmed that there are “adequate” stocks of face masks, gloves and sanitisers at leading supermarkets across the country. It also reminded residents to shop responsibly and avoid hoarding of essentials.

It noted Lulu supermarkets’ efforts to source a daily average of 1.6 million face masks across their 75 branches in the UAE.

Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, CEO of the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection, CCCP, sector in Dubai Economy, said, “We express our sincere appreciation for the Lulu Group for their keenness to support the precautionary measures being adopted by the UAE authorities against the COVID-19 pandemic. The prompt action by Lulu Group to provide adequate supplies of hygiene essentials will enhance confidence among the public and help them comply with the prevention guidelines against the pandemic.”

“Retailers in Dubai, especially those supplying basic needs of people, have risen to the occasion and ensured that residents do not face any shortage during this critical time,” he added.

“Dubai Economy calls on all commercial outlets to continue to co-operate with the authorities and reaffirm their commitment to consumer rights as well as public health and safety, which has played a major role in establishing Dubai a competitive business hub and a preferred place to live,” Lootah affirmed.

V. Nandakumar, Chief Communications Officer of Lulu Group, said, “From the time of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, we have been flying-in these essentials so that we have uninterrupted availability and sustained supply of such goods throughout all our stores. We are sourcing these hygiene products from the top manufacturers who fully comply with international best practices and health standards.”

Nandakumar also confirmed that the hygiene essentials are being made available at the most affordable prices across Lulu outlets.

A box of 18 masks costs AED29.00 while the price of a set of 100 gloves starts at AED26.00, he explained.

Dubai Economy urged consumers to raise any concern regarding unavailability of essentials or price manipulation via its call centre number 600 54 5555, the ‘Dubai Consumer’ app, or the Consumer Rights website.

 

[Image Credit: Arabian Business] 

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WAM: Sharjah Chamber launches COVID-19 online course to raise awareness within business community

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SCCI

SHARJAH, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SCCI, has launched an online course on coronavirus to spread awareness among the emirate’s business community and curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Chamber, the training course targets Sharjah’s business community, corporate officials, and the private sector, as part of the SCCI’s preventive measures to ensure the safety of Emirati society.

Held by the Sharjah Training and Development Centre, STDC, the key thematic areas of the course are the pathogenic microorganisms and the chain of infection, factors leading to the risk of infectious diseases, control, hygiene and health measures, personal hygiene, safe waste treatment, environmental pollution, and health legislation. It also includes the responsibilities of employers and employees towards preventing infectious diseases.

Maryam Saif Al Shamsi, SCCI’s Assistant General-Director of the Support Services Sector, emphasised the chamber’s keenness to work together with the concerned authorities to create awareness-raising programmes on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among business owners and employees to provide a safe and healthy workplace.

Al Shamsi noted that the training course is provided in collaboration with Highfield Qualifications, a UK-based compliance, work-based learning and apprenticeship qualifications organisation. “All you need to register for the course is to visit the STDC website and go to the learning management system to join the course from your home or your workplace,” she explained.

“The course also includes a practical application, via 3D simulation, and rich media content suitable for all cultures. Upon the successful completion of the course, the trainees will be able to download a certificate of e-learning completion from Highfield,” Al Shamsi noted.

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WAM: Sharjah Chamber provides online attestation services for all transactions

SHARJAH, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce, SCCI, has announced the activation of online attestation services for all transactions through the chamber’s website or the smart application instead of coming in person to the customer happiness centres.

The move comes as part of the precautionary measures adopted by the SCCI to combat the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19, and to ensure the health and safety of customers while maintaining business with the same level of efficiency.

The SCCI explained that the online transactions include ratifying the signature, individual sponsorship, minors permission, a certified true copy, guardian approval, and external transactions, in addition to the possibility of online payment via credit card or prepaid from the account of the registered company.

Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al-Awadi, SCCI’s Director-General, said, “The SCCI is committed to finding solutions to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 and enhancing the competitiveness of the business environment in the emirate, as well as maintaining the health of community members while ensuring business continuity and efficiency.”

He explained that such continuity is achieved through the provision of smart online services covering all the needs and requirements of the business community and allowing investors to complete their transactions remotely.

Al-Awadi shed light on the precautionary measures taken by the SCCI to curb the spread of COVID-19, including remote working systems. He noted that all of the Chamber’s services – certificates or origin, attestations, and memberships, among others – are available online for customers.

 

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WAM: Kuwait confirms recovery of three COVID-19 patients

Kuwait flag

KUWAIT, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Kuwait’s Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Sabah on Sunday announced the recovery of three individuals from the new coronavirus, COVID-19, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 67.

Necessary lab tests and analyses have shown the recovery of the three new infections with COVID-19, the minister told the state news agency, KUNA.

The treated cases will be admitted to a rehabilitation ward before discharging them from hospital within a couple of days’ time, the minister added.

WAM/Nour Salman/MOHD AAMIR
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Local News

WAM: Experts discuss latest developments in rain enhancement research in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Leading global scientists and experts in rain enhancement and atmospheric research convened in the UAE capital to address the pressing water and sustainability issues and discuss the latest developments in rain enhancement research.

The gathering was part of the 4th International Rain Enhancement Forum, IREF, organised by the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, UAEREP, under the supervision of the National Centre of Meteorology, NCM.

IREF’s busy schedule included a Town Hall Meeting centred on the theme, ‘Determining Future Directions for Rain Enhancement Research’, the outcomes of which provided important input for discussions towards shaping the new UAEREP solicitation and research proposal calls.

In addition to reviewing the programme’s achievements and highlighting the latest developments in rain enhancement research globally, the participants discussed a variety of topics including the current and future research priorities in rain enhancement. They also examined ways to coordinate their efforts to ensure the alignment of research interests with emerging water security issues.

Commenting on the session, Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of WMO, said, “The town hall meeting provided us with an ideal opportunity to review the progress made in rain enhancement research and discuss further measures in our continuous quest for reliable water resources. With new technologies advancing our capabilities to increase precipitation through cloud seeding, the session served as an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine the future of this fast-growing research area, while identifying knowledge gaps and opportunities. This will enable UAEREP to continue to make immense contributions to the development of rain enhancement research.”

For her part, Alya Al Mazroui, UAREP Director, said, “UAEREP hosted this town hall meeting as part of its efforts to encourage constructive dialogue on issues related to water security and sustainability. In working closely with the scientific community and leveraging our complementary strengths, the program seeks to enhance the existing knowledge base and increase our focus on building new capabilities to strengthen our water ecosystems. This will allow us to direct scientific research towards optimising and accelerating the development of solutions to address the most pressing water resource management challenges in the 21st Century.”

Providing an open forum for discussion by all workshop attendees, the session drew the participation of leading experts including Dr. Roelof Burger, a senior lecturer at North-West University, Dr. Deon Terblanche, Weather and Climate Consultant at World Bank and former Director of Research at the World Meteorological Organisation, WMO, Dr. Duncan Axisa, Director of Science Programmes at Droplet Measurement Technologies, Prof. Olivier Pauluis, Professor of Mathematics at New York University, and Dr. Roelof Bruintjes, a senior scientist at National Centre for Atmospheric Research, NCAR.

After the group discussions, the results were presented by group members and summarised in written reports. The written reports include specific recommendations on future directions for UAEREP.

WAM/MOHD AAMIR/Nour Salman
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Local News

WAM: UAE Press: Compassion should underpin efforts to fight COVID-19

UAE Press

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — In an editorial on Sunday, Gulf News said that the coronavirus that is raging around the world is a great leveller.

“The global pandemic is indiscriminately spreading, cutting across social-economic barriers, ethnic, religious and geographical divides. Unlike Ebola that was confined to the poorer nations of Africa, COVID-19 is a serious threat to humankind. It has killed around 28,000 people worldwide, and there is no sign of the disease slowing down,” it added.

“The poor of the world are the most vulnerable. The urban poor living in congested cities, sharing rooms and toilets, travelling in crowded trains and sleeping in bunk beds are at a higher risk of being infected. The middle class and the rich can keep themselves secure indoors in their comfortable apartments and villas. But the poor have no such luxury.

“As the world shuts down businesses and factories, the poor will face another scourge – hunger and poverty – due to widespread job losses. The global war against COVID-19 will fail if governments are not compassionate towards the poor,” the Dubai-based daily continued.

It went on to note that trillions of dollars have been committed to fighting this war.

“Governments of all countries must ensure that the money reaches the last man in the queue and the poorest of the poor. The poor should have access to food and essentials while nations impose lockdowns. This war cannot be won while the poor are hungry and without jobs.

“For example, in India, tens of thousands of migrant workers began walking towards villages after soon Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown. Images of these men, women and children trudging through highways make for a disturbing sight and are a loud warning to the governments that lockdowns without planning can be disastrous. This massive flow of people from urban centres to villages can derail efforts to contain the virus.

“While India has announced a US$26 billion stimulus, the government must make sure that this money reaches targeted beneficiaries on time,” the newspaper highlighted.

“Similarly in the United States, around 25 percent of people are without health insurance and millions of illegal immigrants have no access to healthcare. President Donald Trump’s $2.2 trillion stimulus approved last week must include the poor and undocumented immigrants. A compassionate approach is required and governments must understand that people living in their territories the poor, refugees and illegals are their responsibility.

“In the UAE, the government has taken a host of measures to help residents and citizens. While injecting liquidity into the financial system, the country’s private and public sectors have taken steps to help small and medium businesses. The government has also reduced fees and eased visa renewal procedures for workers. This compassion is absolutely essential,” the English language daily concluded.

 

WAM/Nour Salman
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