ArabBrains MENA Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:36:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ICC Banking Commission Global Survey highlights impact of trade finance gap on SMEs Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:36:44 +0000 .

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released the results from its 2015 Global Survey on trade finance – highlighting the impact of the trade finance gap on SMEs, the impact of regulation on correspondent banking, as well as positive trade finance trends, particularly with regards to export finance

Dubai, UAE: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are among the hardest-hit by the trade finance gap, reports the Global Survey on trade finance, released recently by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Banking Commission at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry .
The Survey received 482 responses from 112 countries around the world and showed that SMEs account for nearly 53% of all rejected trade finance transactions. By contrast, 79% of the trade finance transactions for larger corporates are accepted.

The trade finance gap is highlighted throughout the Survey – citing compliance as a chief barrier to trade finance. Nearly 46% of the

banks surveyed terminated correspondent relationships due to the cost or complexity of compliance, while 70% of respondents reported declining transactions due to AML/KYC requirements. Furthermore, the percentage of respondents citing anti-financial crimes compliance requirements as a significant impediment to trade finance has increased from 69% last year, to 80% in this year’s Survey. This trend is expected to continue, as nearly all (93%) of respondents expect compliance requirements to increase during 2015.

Omar Khan, Director, International Offices, Dubai Chamber said: “The Survey has provided a comprehensive and insightful analysis of the major trends influencing the past, current and future of the trade finance industry. These insights are relevant more than ever as we see the dynamics in global trade and finance change, with the EU facing some troubled time and the rise of economies of Asia and Africa.
“This Survey also looks into the realm of Islamic finance, which is important not only to this region, but to the rest of the world as well, with the value of assets in Islamic finance sector expected to increase by 80% to reach USD 3.24 trillion in 2020,” he said.

“The Global Survey works as a snapshot of market trends – allowing us to compare progress from previous years and gauge global expectations,” said Vincent O’Brien, Chair of the ICC Banking Commission Market Intelligence. “This year that snapshot has highlighted the severity of the trade finance gap – which continues to be impacted by regulation, despite the low-risk nature of trade finance – and particularly its impact on SMEs. This is crucial given SMEs constitute over 95% of all firms and account for approximately 60% of employment worldwide.”
The results from the Survey do also show some positive trends in trade finance. Around 63% of respondents reported an increase in overall trade finance activity, with 61% of banks stating they have increased their capacity to meet trade finance. What’s more, 25% of respondents to the Global Survey on trade finance consider trade instruments supporting trade as involving more than 75% less inherent risk than conventional lending.

The results from the Global Survey also reflected positively on export finance, with 79% of respondents in the industry claiming it remains a profitable business. The industry also observed a significant decrease in pricing, and even more so, fees in 2014.

“While the trade finance industry is certainly facing challenges, and the trade finance gap is a clear issue, the results from the Global Survey on trade finance show that it is not all doom and gloom,” added O’Brien. “The financial landscape is recognising the importance of trade and, in addition to banks stating they have increased capacity to meet trade finance, we have an array of alternative lenders – such as specialist financiers, export credit agencies, and multilateral development banks – stepping up to fill the trade finance gap.”

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Pressure to provide the best sees back-to-school spending increase for 74% of Egypt parents Fri, 02 Oct 2015 12:28:59 +0000 omar
YouGov’s Egypt managing director, Yasser Omar

The majority (61%) of school parents in Egypt claim to have spent 10% more on back-to-school purchases compared to last year, and 13% have increased their spend by 5%, according to new YouGov survey findings.

The research, conducted as thousands of parents prepared their children for the new academic year, indicates that parents in Egypt feel pressured to purchase new items. Respondents claim they face the highest pressure to purchase equally from their children and themselves because they want to provide the best for their children (both 46%).

The school uniform was the most important purchase for the new school year according to 45% of parents interviewed, followed by school stationary (21%). The least important purchase was school technology & gadgets (such as an iPad, Phone, Kindle, Laptop, iPod, Tablet) according to 40% of parents interviewed by YouGov.

Considering how parents find back-to-school purchases, just over a third say they don’t need to look because promotions are everywhere. Indeed 58% claim they took advantage of deals and sales in the run up to the new school year, (32% – a few and 26% – many). However, 23% claim they go to preferred stores that they are loyal to and only 5% go online to search and purchase.

Most parents in Egypt are brand loyal as long as the price is right, with 52% claiming they buy known-brands that are discounted or reasonably priced when making new school purchases, whilst a smaller proportion (34%) claim a brand name does not matter to them when buying.

Despite spending more overall, being resourceful with previous years’ back-to-school purchases is still prevalent amongst the majority of parents in Egypt with 66% claiming they re-use items from the previous year. Of those, 43% hand items down to their next child.

The study shows the majority of parents shop last minute, with 35% shopping 1-2 weeks in advance, and 34% shopping 2-4 weeks in advance of the new school year.

YouGov’s Egypt managing director, Yasser Omar, commented, “As inflation in Egypt continues to rise, so does the pressure on the wallets of Egyptian families and the back-to-school season is no exception. Higher school fees and increased pricing on school items are making it harder for parents to fulfill an important obligation to provide the best for their children by purchasing new items. However, despite the increase in spend, this study demonstrates parents’ resilience to the financial pressures by seeking out the best deals on new school purchases and being as resourceful as possible to stay within budget.”

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UAE Ministry of Health participates in inaugural MENA MedTEch Regulatory Symposium Fri, 02 Oct 2015 08:17:50 +0000 H.E. Dr. Al Amiri saidThe UAE Ministry of Health has participated at the first ever ‘MENA MedTEch Regulatory Symposium,’ which was conducted recently at the Radisson Royal Hotel in Dubai. H.E. Dr. Amin Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Ministry’s Public Health Policy and License, opened the inaugural event and delivered the keynote address during its opening. Organized by the Middle East Medical Devices & Diagnostics Trade Association (MECOMED) and its 24 member companies, the pioneering event offerd an ideal platform to MENA region’s regulatory affairs healthcare professionals to share their reports and experiences on key regulatory topics.

MENA MedTEch Regulatory Symposium enables the region’s MedTEch professionals to gain insight about regional and international regulations of medical devices and diagnostics from healthcare authorities. The participants had a chance to identify focus areas for continuing increasing patient access to safe and innovative therapies. Key regional healthcare leaders, included Hussam Mohammed Alaeq, Section Head of Scientific and Technical Review, Saudi Food & Drug Authority and Ph. Anan Saleh Abu Hassan, Director Assistant of Medical Devices Directorate and Head of Cosmetics Department, Jordan Food and Drugs administration, along with Dr. Miriam Boles Kostandy and Dr. Noha Osama Mohamed Abdel Monaem from the Egypt Ministry of Health , participated at the event.

H.E. Dr. Al Amiri said: “With continuing growth and advancement in the MedTech industry and innovative medical devices being introduced each day, it is highly critical to have stringent regulations in line with international standards to ensure compliance. It will also guarantee safe healthcare service to patients as well as ensure safety of healthcare workers and the community. It is important to ensure that regulators and MedTech professionals understand the roles and

processes to ensure patient receive timely access to high-quality and cost-effective life-saving therapies in compliance with regulations in each market. We congratulate MECOMED for organizing a ground-breaking conference that provides a pedestal for the industry to have an in-depth discussion about streamlining of communication channels and promoting mutual understanding between various healthcare entities.”

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CEO of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) bags the “Islamic Finance Personality of the Year” award in Manam Thu, 01 Oct 2015 07:40:38 +0000 .

At the 5th Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) 2015 held at the Gulf Convention Center, the CEO of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Mr Khaled Al-Aboodi, was awarded the prestigious “Islamic Finance Personality of the Year” for his outstanding contribution to the development of the Global Islamic finance industry.

Hailed as the most respectable market-led awards in Islamic banking and finance, the Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) aims to highlight the best practices in Islamic banking and finance, and honor the efforts and contributions of individuals and institutions in the Islamic finance industry. The award ceremony was attended by HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano, amongst other distinguished guests.

Previous award recipients of GIFA include notable leaders such as Tun Abdullah Badawi, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, HRH Sultan Nazrin, Sultan of State of Perak, Malaysia, HE Shaukat Aziz, former Prime Minister of Pakistan and HE Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan.

Upon receiving the award, Mr Khaled Al-Aboodi stated, “I am extremely honored and humbled to join the list of past recipients for this prestigious award. The GIFA is the perfect celebration for the commendable role that industry leaders and stakeholders play in order to drive Islamic finance growth in the global sphere.

I am always fascinated by their determination, innovation and the contributions they make to the industry. The individuals and firms honored today will no doubt play a crucial role in the furtherance of the Islamic finance industry. I can assure you that ICD remains dedicated in its pursuit for the adoption of Islamic Finance within the mainstream global financial system.”

“ICD remains on the forefront of all the new developments in Islamic banking and finance, and the man behind this success story is none other than Khaled Al-Aboodi,” said Professor Humayon Dar, founder and chairman of GIFA. He confirmed that the Awards Committee unanimously voted in favour of Khaled Al-Aboodi.

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QCC Launches Mobile Testing Laboratory in Abu Dhabi Thu, 01 Oct 2015 05:35:46 +0000 .

The Central Testing Lab (CTL) of the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), the entity responsible for developing quality infrastructure and raising awareness on quality standards in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, has launched a Mobile Testing Laboratory (MTL) to verify and enhance material testing capabilities and support the construction and infrastructure sectors in Abu Dhabi.

Comprising two units, one configured for concrete, cement and soil aggregates and the other for testing asphalt, steel and metal, the first-of-its-kind vehicular mobile lab in Abu Dhabi aims to support the Abu Dhabi government’s vision to offer specialised testing services on par with international standards. The pilot phase will cater to municipal and government projects especially in Al Ain and Western Region.

To work in dust, sand and off-road environments that are unique to the region, the lab uses a heavy truck equipped with state-of-the-art testing equipment that can be easily deployed to construction sites. Crewed by two technicians, the facility will ensure compliance of materials with health, safety, environment (HSE) and firefighting standards, as well as validate materials’ durability and performance under extreme temperature, humidity, and pressure.

Sultan Al Mehairi, Director of Information Service and Engagement at QCC, said: “MTL articulates QCC’s mandate to support the government, industry and commerce sectors with best-in-class testing, certification and inspection services as required by regulators in Abu Dhabi. The facility will help us meet the changing needs of the emirate’s booming construction and infrastructure sectors, while reducing the cost of transporting materials from construction sites to QCC’s dedicated labs.”

He added: “Serving Abu Dhabi’s broader industry needs, this world-class facility will support QCC’s mission to improve quality and ensure the applicability and durability of construction materials under the emirate’s severe weather conditions. As a technical reference in this area, the ability of the mobile lab to validate the testing on construction sites will pay dividends by ensuring the strict compliance of all involved in the construction sector to applicable standards and specifications.”

His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Muhairi, Acting Deputy Secretary General of Central Testing Lab, QCC, said: “The construction industry is of vital importance to Abu Dhabi having contributed 9.6% to the GDP in 2014 as per the Statistical Yearbook of Abu Dhabi 2015, published by Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD). A thriving construction industry reflects the high demand for advanced testing services in Abu Dhabi. At QCC, we are delighted to be the first in Abu Dhabi to take this step towards achieving safety and quality in the construction industry. Bringing this technology to Abu Dhabi will ensure innovative testing and inspection of equipment tailored to the nature of construction sites.”

The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council was established in 2009 to raise the quality of the emirate’s exports and locally traded products while protecting the interests of consumers and supporting the UAE’s competitive economy. QCC’s mission is facilitated by empowering regulators to establish and implement product safety, legal metrology and conformity schemes. QCC also sets guidelines and benchmarks to identify and verify that the products manufactured and traded in Abu Dhabi conform to the highest quality standards.

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17th Arab Investors and Businessmen Conference seeks to bridge gap between academics and actual market requirements in Arab World Thu, 01 Oct 2015 03:41:16 +0000 Saeed Al Mansoori
HE Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori

HE Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the 17th Arab Businessmen and Investors Conference.

The event will discuss challenges of labor market innovation and leadership on 16 and 17 November.

Under the theme ‘Investing in Entrepreneurship and Innovation’, the organisers of the 17th Arab Investors and Businessmen Conference (ABIC), which is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, will discuss the gap between the academic learning and the actual needs of the Arab job market, especially in innovation and leadership fields.

This year’s edition will conclude with recommendations to help activate innovation and leadership among new graduates, due to its positive impact on the Arab labor market in the future.

The event is organised jointly by the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for the Arab Countries (GUCCIAAC), the Arab League, UAE Ministry of Economy, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Arab Investment and Credit Export Guarantee, in cooperation with Strategic Marketing & Exhibitions.

“There is no doubt that human capital is the key to the success of private institutions around the world. This conference will offer new insights to help Arab countries strengthen cooperation in the areas of innovation and leadership, and develop a creative generation that is capable of innovation and leadership,” said HE Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the 17th Arab Businessmen and Investors Conference.

While technology brings new concepts to academic learning, international studies have confirmed that technology is still being used to support educational practices, regardless of its effectiveness. “In light with the rising expenditure on education in the Arab World, particularly the Gulf region, it is necessary to establish a common ground to meet the requirements of the marketplace, and groom manpower capable of coping with its variables. This means developing Arab workforce that can turn creativity into accomplishments,” added HE Al Mansouri.

The conference comes at a time when public and private organisations invest heavily on innovation, especially in the UAE, which was selected to host ABIC. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had earlier declared 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation’ in the UAE, which was later endorsed by the UAE Federal Cabinet of Ministers.

“The process of defining the imbalance between education and the requirements of the marketplace are the first steps towards bridging this gap,” said HE Abdullah Al Saleh Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, President of the 17th Arab Businessmen and Investors Conference Higher Committee. “The Arab World has abundant human recourses that can be invested to promote the economy. This year’s edition of ABIC is very important to all business owners and investors as it can help them make a difference.”

“ABIC has a vision to take the use of human resources into a new phase, considering that manpower in any country is an essential element of success, and deploying these capabilities will ensure sustainable growth of the labor market. We invite all investors and decision-makers as well as education policy makers to join ABIC over two days, and review international expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation,” commented HE Dr. Imad Shehab, Secretary General of the General Union of Arab Chambers.

“The labor market in the Arab region constantly needs new capacities. We will shed light on the challenges that employers face in finding skilled and qualified candidates. This conference is an integrated platform targeted at all Arab economic sectors, and it will also inspire youth to strengthen their capabilities in leadership and innovation,” added Dr. Shehab.

ABIC will be held on 16 and 17 November at Jumeirah Etihad Towers Hotel – Abu Dhabi. This conference represents an Arab economic and investment gathering aimed at attracting investment to various sectors and services across all Arab countries.

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Top 10 Achievements at University of Dubai in 2014/2015 Academic Year Wed, 30 Sep 2015 08:40:58 +0000 University of DubaiUniversity of Dubai raises quality of higher education in UAE.

•New disciplines and training programmes enable students to keep pace with labour market requirements.

The University of Dubai has achieved during the academic year 2014-15 a series of academic goals which have enabled the university to raise the quality of higher education in the country and provide international level training programmes to the students in all disciplines.

Dr. Eesa M. Bastaki, President of the University of Dubai , said: “The university is making consistent efforts to improve the level of higher education in the country and the world. Through its programmes and initiatives, the university has contributed to transforming the higher education environment in the UAE by providing more disciplines that meet the requirements of the labour market and enable the graduates to benefit from the job opportunities in several new areas.”

Here are the top 10 achievements of University of Dubai in 2014/15:

During the academic year, University of Dubai signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai Customs to offer a specialist four year BBA Supply Chain Logistics Management PLUS Customs Program e to the staff at Dubai Customs , and enhance their human resource capabilities.

The year also witnessed the graduation of 114 students of the faculties of Management and Information Technology and Law at the 13th graduation ceremony organised in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chief Executive of Emirates Group.

The university organised the 6th Annual Alumni Homecoming event under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Social Development. The Alumni Association has been successful in helping more than 100 students to identify appropriate undergraduate majors and has raised more than AED 1 million to support financially challenged students.

In a major initiative during the year, University of Dubai organized the annual ‘Job Fair 2015’ at the Dubai Chamber with the participation of more than 27 local and international companies from the public and private sectors. A panel discussion organised on the sidelines of the exhibition, with the participation of speakers from Emaar, LinkedIn, and, highlighted the major employment trends in the UAE.

During the year, the university in partnership with British Council hosted a symposium for school counsellors from MENA region. More than 75 school counsellors, advisors and education officials from eight countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region attended the professional development symposium. Led by experts from UK careers and higher education institutions, the symposium included sessions on educational and careers’ opportunities.

The university also joined hands with CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountant) to enable MBA students enrolling in the MBA programme at University of Dubai to automatically get certified by CIMA as a passed finalist upon their graduation, if they take the opportunity to sit for a maximum of 3 CIMA exams along with their MBA studies.

During the year, the University of Dubai ‘s continuing education arm, Center of Executive Development (CED), signed a memorandum of understanding with IDcentre, The Netherlands, to offer a comprehensive training that will enable participants to gain expertise in secured documents and enable them to tackle identity theft, identity abuse and money fraud.

In another initiative, the CED started a training programme for more than 15 women in Ajman as part of the Sougha Initiative. The community service initiative, launched by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and sponsored by Citi Group, is aimed at preserving the Emirati heritage by creating economic opportunities for Emirati artisans in the UAE.

The University of Dubai signed a memorandum of understanding with three private schools in the UAE as part of its initiative to provide up to 50 per cent discounts on educational fees for outstanding students. Through the initiative, the university aims to attract the best students in the UAE and enhance the academic level of students at the University of Dubai .

It also launched a unique portal capable of providing the public easy access to Dubai Smart Government services. The Dubai Smart View portal, as it is called, was developed by a team of undergraduate students majoring in Information Technology at the university as part of a Capstone project.

During the year, the CED also unveiled a Luxury Brand and Retail Management Programme in partnership with Institut Supérieur de Marketing du Luxe – Paris. It also partnered with the ROI Institute to host a professional workshop on ROI (Returns on Investment).

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Google to make it easier for Egyptian small businesses to run their business online Wed, 30 Sep 2015 06:50:58 +0000 .

Google Apps for Work are now 40% cheaper and more affordable for Egyptian businesses.

Google today announced Egyptian businesses will now be able to purchase Google Apps for Work at a reduced price. The online productivity suite will now cost Egyptian customers USD30 per person per year, down from USD50 per person per year. The 40% reduction in price is designed to help more small businesses experience the productivity and security benefits of working with online tools.

Google Apps for Work consists of professional email, online storage, shared calendars and video meeting tools including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs and Hangouts. To get started all users need is an internet-connected device. Companies can securely access all their work files and services from a mobile phone including Android, iOS, or BlackBerry platforms, which is good news for Egypt’s growing mobile internet user base.

With a 99.9% availability guarantee, zero scheduled downtime and 24/7 support, Google Apps for Work, offers businesses security and support, while removing the hassle of managing hardware, security updates or software patches. In addition to the productivity benefits of being able to work from anywhere at any time, small businesses that use online tools rather than on-premise technology, grow faster and build better customer engagement.

“With Google Apps, business owners get a professional email address, the flexibility to work from any device at any time, and the security and controls they need. By making Google Apps more affordable in Egypt, we want to make it easier for small businesses to use great online tools and help them focus on what they do best — running their business, not managing their IT” explained Abdel Bendaoua, Head of Google for Work sales in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Egypt is home to around 2.45 million[1] small to medium businesses, of which only 7% are online.[2] Making Google Apps for Work more affordable in Egypt is not the only initiative from Google to help Egyptian businesses make the most of the web. Earlier this year, Google launched the SMB Partner Academy, a dedicated effort to train and mentor partners on digital skills. Google also launched an effort with the Ministry of Communications and Technology to certify more than 1000 young ICT graduates in Android Fundamentals in the effort to grow entrepreneurship in mobile app development.

Egyptian businesses have the option to buy Google Apps for Work on an annual or monthly plan. The Annual Plan costs USD30 per user per year, while the Flexible Plan costs USD3 per user per month. Customers need to be based in Egypt and can pay with an Egyptian credit or debit card or contact one of Google’s partners such as CloudyPedia, Brams, Cloud11, SSBS, iSolutions amongst many others to arrange for other payment options.

Find out more about Google Apps for Work:

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Emirates Foundation and Etihad Airways Join Forces in Groundbreaking Agreement for Youth Development in the UAE Wed, 30 Sep 2015 03:39:14 +0000 emirates foundationEtihad Airways Pledges AED1.5 Million for Emirates Foundation Youth-Development Programs.

Emirates Foundation and Etihad Airways have announced today a groundbreaking agreement in support of UAE youth development in the UAE.

Under a three-year milestone agreement signed today by Clare Woodcraft-Scott, CEO of Emirates Foundation , and Hareb Al Muhairi, Senior Vice President of Corporate and International Affairs at Etihad Airways , the UAE national airline will support the Foundation’s programs, which aim to address Youth Development, a vital pillar of the country’s development agenda.

As part of the agreement, Etihad Airways will pledge AED1.5 million in support of the Foundation’s youth-focused programs. Joint teams will work together to identify areas of cooperation and the best means for Etihad Airways to engage in all of the Foundation’s different programs.

This multi-faceted agreement, which includes financial support and knowledge-sharing technical support, comes in line with the Foundation’s business model of taking a ‘business’ or ‘enterprise’ based approach to philanthropy with a view to increasing measurable impact. Partnering with successful corporations such as Etihad Airways supports Emirates Foundations’ drive to develop sustainable enterprise-based solutions to social issues, as well as motivating UAE youth to volunteer and become active participants in the socio-economic progress of the nation.

The Foundation’s CEO Clare Woodcraft-Scott said: “Our partnership with Etihad Airways is a critical part of our model of Venture Philanthropy which is about solving social problems systemically and at scale. This requires more than just funding. By partnering with the private sector we get access to technical input and also provide opportunities for employee engagement allowing us to connect our youth directly to the market. We look forward to working with Etihad Airways and engaging their teams in our programs – only collectively can we achieve our goal of creating a positive and permanent impact on the lives of young people in the UAE.”

“We see natural synergies between both our organizations notably given our program around science and technology and promoting local STEM talent – Think Science. Companies that are seeking STEM talent are perfect partners for the Foundation since they help us to show case the opportunity to Emirati youth while also providing us real time information on the skills market and the requirements of industry. We have worked very successfully with Etihad Airways in the past – this new agreement will provide us an invaluable platform for scaling up our activities,” she added.

Hareb Mubarak Al Muhairy, Etihad Airways ‘ Senior Vice President for Corporate and International Affairs, said: ” Etihad Airways is delighted to partner with Emirates Foundation in support of the Foundation’s vision to empower and guide the youth of the United Arab Emirates to ensure a sustainable future for the nation.

” Etihad Airways will continue motivating UAE youth to volunteer, participate and give back to society. The airline is also involved with several community and philanthropic organisations with the aim of encouraging employee engagement and supporting communities in which we operate.”

Mohanna Al Muhairi, Chief Operations Officer at the Emirates Foundation said: “Building long-term partnerships with the private sector is our main priority . These partnerships are playing a vital role in promoting the skills of our young people and unleashing their potential.”

” Etihad Airways is widely regarded as a leading innovator within the global airline industry, a reputation that extends beyond its world-class service offering, and into core areas such as sustainability. By working closely with Etihad, Emirates Foundation will acquire best international practices including business skills and operations that can be applied to all its projects,” he added.

With Emiratisation being a strategic initiative in Etihad Airways , this partnership will support directly in creating opportunities for qualified and capable young UAE nationals. “This strategy is very relevant and important to us,” explained Mr. Hareb Al Muhairi, “as it will allow us to directly contribute to the Foundations programs such as the Internship and mentorship platforms as well as the Kafaat program that all aim to train and empower local Emirati nationals to enter the work force and lead within the different sectors and industries,” he concluded.

The airline currently employs more than 2,300 UAE nationals across its global business. Emiratis remain the number one nationality group amongst total employees based in the UAE, and amongst employees at manager level, executive level and within Etihad Airways ‘ pilot community. Under plans to accelerate its employment of UAE nationals over the next five years, Etihad Airways is expected to recruit more than 6,000 UAE nationals by 2020.

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Latest global innovations in electric and hybrid vehicle technology to share UAE spotlight Tue, 29 Sep 2015 08:55:16 +0000 Abdulla Abdulqader Al MaeeniMore than 200 delegates expected for inaugural International Conference on Future Mobility 2015 in Dubai.

Dubai, UAE: The UAE will be the focal point of the latest global advancements in electric vehicle technology when the Middle East’s first international conference on innovations in electric and hybrid vehicles makes its November 2015 debut in Dubai.

The International Conference on Future Mobility 2015, organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East in partnership with the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), and supported by the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), will take place from 8-9 November at the Meydan Hotel.

The two-day conference, held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water and Chairman of ESMA, will present a unique platform for regulators, government authorities, key industry players and thought leaders to discuss the future opportunities, advances and innovations in electric and hybrid vehicles.

H.E. Abdulla Abdulqader Al Maeeni, the Director General of ESMA, the UAE government’s standardisation body, said ESMA’s official support comes after identifying the growing need to encourage the use of electric and hybrid vehicles in support of the Dubai Smart City Initiative and the UAE Vision 2021.

“Electric vehicles have come a long way and are now technically advanced to effectively compete with their conventional counterparts,” said Al Maeeni. “With the infrastructure and support system now shaping up, UAE Nationals and residents can seriously consider owning electric vehicles.

“Through encouraging the use of electric vehicles in the UAE, ESMA supports the Smart City Initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as well as the goals of the UAE Vision 2021. These initiatives aim to make Dubai a smart, integrated and connected city, sustainable with its resources and where environmental components are clean, healthy and sustainable,” Al Maeeni added.

Coinciding with the two-day International Conference on Future Mobility will be an exhibition showcasing the latest innovations in the field of electric vehicles and their supporting technology.

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Recent developments in electric vehicle technology, including improvements to the driving range of the vehicles, faster charging, and the ability of key components such as batteries to withstand extreme heat, has created enormous potential to significantly increase the use of electric vehicles in the UAE.”

“The International Conference on Future Mobility 2015 will draw attention to immense potential that exists for electric vehicle technology in the Middle East, attracting experts and delegates from the wider region and across the world.”

Electric cars require their own eco-system to operate at optimum capacity and plans are already in place in the UAE to achieve this. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has already announced the roll out of 100 charging stations by the end of this year.

Al Maeeni also added that ESMA is actively working towards drafting a federal law governing electric vehicles in the UAE, where it aims to strike the right balance between the expectations of the government, manufacturers, and ultimately the consumers.

The International Conference on Future Mobility 2015 will feature more than 200 delegates including government officials, key decision-makers and international experts in the manufacturing and trading sectors, as well as authorities responsible for developing standards and specifications of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Following the inauguration by HE Dr. Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad, the conference proper will begin with keynote addresses by Al Maeeni and Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE.

The various sessions will feature a range of presentations and interactive forums on Public Policies, Strategies and Best Practices; Infrastructure, Distribution and Delivery of Electric Vehicles; Market, Business and User Behaviour; and Electric Vehicle Technology, Research and Development. More information for The International Conference on Future Mobility 2015 is available at:

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