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  • The former ICC U19 Cricket World Cup star attains joint-highest ranking among batsmen by a wicketkeeper from India and highest rating points by a gloveman from his country
  • Pujara, Harris, Markram and Asad among other batsmen to move up; Yadav, Lyon, Olivier and Shaheen also advance

Rishabh Pant has attained new highs for an India wicketkeeper in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after his superb century in the drawn final Test in Sydney.

The 21-year-old left-hander has gained 21 slots and reached 17th place, the joint-highest by a specialist India wicketkeeper along with Farokh Engineer, who did so in January 1973. Further, Pant’s aggregate of 673 rating points are the highest by an India wicketkeeper, with Dhoni having the next highest aggregate of 662 points and Engineer 619 points. Dhoni’s highest Test ranking was 19th.

Pant, a star at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 2016 when he scored an 18-ball half-century against Nepal, has moved into the top-20 after only his ninth Test match with an unbeaten 159. Pant had started the Australia tour in 59th place and made rapid progress, scoring 350 runs in a series that also saw him take 20 catches.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 521 runs to help beat Australia 2-1 and claim the player of the series award, is another batsman to gain in the latest rankings update, which also takes into account performances in the second Test between South Africa and Pakistan in Cape Town.

Pujara has gained one slot to reach third position while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (up six places to 57th) and rookie opener Mayank Agarwal (up five places to 62nd) are the others from his team to advance at the end of a historic series win.

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav has gained seven slots to reach a career-best 45th position after his figures of five for 99 in Australia’s first innings even as Jasprit Bumrah has held on to 16th position and Mohammed Shami has gained one place to take the 22nd slot. Jadeja has gained one place to reach fifth among bowlers and has also leapfrogged Windies captain Jason Holder into second place among all-rounders.

For Australia, opener Marcus Harris has advanced 21 places to take a career-best 69th position after a fine 79 in the first innings while off-spinner Nathan Lyon has inched up from 14th to 13th position.

South Africa’s Aiden Markram has moved back into the top 10 after his knock of 78 at Cape Town, gaining seven slots to reach 10th position. Temba Bavuma has moved into the top 30 for the first time (up five places to 26th) after his score of 75 while captain Faf du Plessis’s first-innings century has lifted him six places to 16th position.

Among their bowlers, Vernon Philander has gained one slot to reach third position while Duanne Olivier has continued his surge to move up to 32nd place from 36th.

For Pakistan, Asad Shafiq has benefitted by five places to reach 24th position after scores of 20 and 88 while Babar Azam is only one slot behind after gaining two places. Shan Masood has moved up 22 places to a career-best 65th while captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has moved up from 42nd to 37th place.

Among their bowlers, Shaheen Afridi has gained 13 slots to reach 60th place after taking four wickets in the match, which Pakistan lost by nine wickets to concede a decisive 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

There has been no change in position or points for India in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, while Australia have lost one point but remain in fifth position.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 8 January, after the Australia-India series):

RANK  TEAM              POINTS

  1. India                 116
  2. England            108
  3. New Zealand    107
  4. South Africa     106
  5. Australia           101
  6. Pakistan            92
  7. Sri Lanka           91
  8. West Indies       70
  9. Bangladesh       69
  10. Zimbabwe         13
  11. Afghanistan       00
  12. Ireland               00

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 8 January, after the Sydney and Cape Town Tests):

Batsmen (top 10)

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts       Avge   Highest Rating

1        ( – )       Virat Kohli         Ind       922      53.76   937 v Eng at Southampton 2018

2        ( – )       K. Williamson    NZ        897      51.44   915 v SL at Wellington 2018

3        (+1)      C. Pujara          Ind       881      51.18   888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

4        (-1)       Steve Smith      Aus      874      61.37   947 v SA at Durban 2018

5        ( – )       Joe Root           Eng      807      50.44   917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

6        ( – )       David Warner    Aus      772      48.20   880 v NZ at Perth 2015

7        ( – )       Henry Nicholls   NZ        763*!   43.54   763 v SL at Christchurch 2018

8        ( – )       Dean Elgar        SA        727       40.96   784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

9        ( – )       D. Karunaratne SL        715       37.08   754 v SA at Colombo (SSC) 2018

10       (+7)      Aiden Markram SA        698*    45.20   759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

Other selected rankings

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts      Avge    Highest Rating

11=     (+2)      A. Mathews       SL        687      44.79    877 v NZ at Christchurch 2014

16        (+6)      Faf du Plessis   SA        674      42.07    734 v Ind at Centurion 2018

17        (+21)    Rishabh Pant    Ind       673*!   49.71    673 v Aus at Sydney 2019

24        (+5)      Asad Shafiq      Pak      634      39.06    758 v Eng at Lord’s 2016

25        (+2)      Babar Azam      Pak      629*!   35.30    629 v SA at Cape Town 2019

26=     (-2)       Q. de Kock        SA        627      36.89    802 v NZ at Hamilton 2017

(+5)      T. Bavuma        SA        627!     35.41    627 v Pak at Cape Town 2019

57        (+6)      R. Jadeja          Ind       488      32.28    511 v Win at Rajkot 2018

69        (+21)    Marcus Harris   Aus      446*!   36.85    446 v Ind at Sydney 2019

Bowlers (top 10)

 Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts      Avge    Highest Rating

1        ( – )       K. Rabada         SA        893      21.35    902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018

2        ( – )       J. Anderson      Eng      874      26.98    903 v Ind at Lord’s 2018

3=     (+1)      V. Philander      SA        804      21.75    912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013

( – )       Pat Cummins    Aus      804*    24.51    836 v Ind at Melbourne 2018

5        (+1)      R. Jadeja          Ind       794      23.68    899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017

6        (-1)       M. Abbas          Pak      789*    17.90    838 v NZ at Abu Dhabi 2018

7        ( – )       Trent Boult        NZ        771      27.90    825 v Eng at Lord’s 2015

8        (+1)      Tim Southee     NZ        767      29.93    799 v Win at Jamaica 2014

9        (-1)       R. Ashwin         Ind       763      25.43    904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016

10       ( – )       Jason Holder     Win      751*    28.50    766 v Ind at Hyderabad 2018

 Other selected rankings

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts      Avge    Highest Rating

13       (+1)      Nathan Lyon     Aus      723      32.10    774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

14       (+1)      Neil Wagner      NZ        721      28.88    785 v Win at Wellington 2017

22       (+1)      M. Shami          Ind       660      29.54    703 v SA at Johannesburg 2018

32       (+4)      Duanne Olivier  SA        560*!   18.81    560 v Pak at Cape Town 2019

45       (+7)      Kuldeep Yadav  Ind       402*!   24.12   402 v Aus at Sydney 2019

60       (+13)    Shaheen Afridi  Pak      274*!   31.41   274 v SA at Cape Town 2019

All-rounders (top five)

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts      Highest Rating

1        ( – )       S. Al Hasan       Ban      415      489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

2        (+1)      R. Jadeja          Ind       387      438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017

3        (-1)       Jason Holder     Win      365/*   381 v Ind at Hyderabad 2018

4        ( – )       V. Philander      SA        353      378 v SL at Galle 2018

5        ( – )       Ben Stokes       Eng      342      396 v Win at Lord’s 2017

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Runs galore as Rebel WBBL|04 heats up

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The fourth edition of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League is on track for yet another record breaking summer as the competition reaches the business end of the season.

The WBBL|04 opening weekend kicked the season off at Melbourne’s CitiPower Centre with nearly 5,000 fans turning out to watch the world’s best players, including players from the newly crowned world champion Australian Women’s T20 team, battle it out.

Highlights included a brilliant century to the Melbourne Stars’ South African recruit Lizelle Lee and an impressed debut bowling performance of 4/22 from teammate Nicola Hancock, both against reigning champions the Sydney Sixers.

Sixers’ duo Alyssa Healy (112*) and Ellyse Perry (102* & 103*) have also gone on to pass the 100-mark, while the Brisbane Heat’s Grace Harris set a new league record for fastest century, scoring her ton off just 42 balls before Christmas. A total of five centuries have now been hit, with only four being scored in the competition’s history prior to this season.

With 537 runs to her name and three matches left in the season, Perry is on track to surpass the record for most runs scored in a season (560, set in WBBL|01 by Australia captain Meg Lanning.

More boundaries have also been hit compared to the same time last season, with 1,123 fours and 190 sixes being scored, compared to 1,022 fours and 138 sixes in WBBL|03.

The high standard of cricket on show from the world’s best players continues to attract strong interest, with almost 70,000 fans turning out so far, while the Hurricanes v Heat match on 30 December, broadcast on Seven and Fox Cricket, was the most-watched WBBL game ever, with a combined average audience of 433K viewers.

Head of Big Bash, Kim McConnie said the sky is the limit for the WBBL,with standalone finals looming first the first time in the tournament’s history.

“The Rebel WBBL continues to go from strength to strength this season and it’s a pleasure to see such impressive on-field performances as the competition quickly approaches it’s first ever standalone finals.

“As the popularity of women’s cricket keeps growing in Australia, we are excited to see more great performances from our players as they continue inspires young girls to understand that cricket is a game for girls too, and that they can make a career from the sport

“Fans can expect an exciting end to the season, to mark the moment we are donating all our ticket revenue from WBBL Finals to Dolly’s Dream so every person through the gates can help us stand up to bullying.”

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  • Stylish left-handed India opener also named ICC ODI Player of the Year for 2018
  • Australia’s wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy voted ICC T20I Player of the Year
  • England’s Sophie Ecclestone named ICC Emerging Player of the Year

India’s stylish left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana has won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and also been named as the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year, the International Cricket Council announced today.

The 22-year-old, who has also been named in the ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year and the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year, scored 669 runs at an average of 66.90 in 12 ODIs and 622 runs at a strike-rate of 130.67 in 25 T20Is during the voting period, which ran from 1 January to 31 December 2018.

Mandhana played a crucial role in India’s semi-final appearance at the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, scoring 178 runs in five matches at a strike-rate of 125.35. She is currently ranked fourth in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for ODI Batters and 10th in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for T20I Batters.

Mandhana, who was selected by a voting academy* which included respected members of the media and broadcasters, becomes only the second India woman player to win an ICC award after fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, who was named the ICC Women’s Player of the Year in 2007.

Reacting to the news, a delighted Mandhana said: “The awards are pretty special because as a player when you score runs, you want the team to win, and then when you get acknowledged for your performances through these awards, it motivates you to work harder and do well for your team.

“The century I scored in South Africa (in Kimberley) was quite satisfying and then I had good home series against Australia and England. A lot of people used to say I do not score that much in India, so I had a point to prove to myself. That was something which really made me better as a player. And then, of course, the first four matches of the ICC Women’s World T20 were quite memorable.”

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson congratulated Mandhana, saying: “Smriti is a worthy winner of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award and I congratulate her on behalf of the ICC. Smriti enthralled fans with some wonderful performances in what was a memorable year for women’s cricket, with the ICC Women’s World T20 helping build on the momentum of last year’s World Cup.

“I would also like to congratulate other winners of the ICC awards, which are a recognition of performances during a calendar year and something I am sure players will cherish for a long time.”

Australia’s opening batter and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, who came up with some superb performances and finished with 225 runs in six matches at the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 in the West Indies, has been named the ICC Women’s T20I Player of the Year.

Alyssa Healy said: “It’s obviously a huge honour. I enjoyed some form over the last couple of months, thoroughly enjoyed playing for the Aussie team in the T20I format. Winning the ICC Women’s World T20 final against England is something pretty special, especially after a disappointing couple of years in World Cups. That win against them, a dominant performance, was pretty special and one I will never forget.

“When I first started playing for Australia I never thought that I would achieve anything like this. It’s a huge honour and one that I will not take lightly.”

England’s 19-year-old left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone has been voted the ICC Women’s Emerging Player of the Year after grabbing 18 wickets in nine ODIs and 17 in 14 T20Is during the calendar year.

Sophie Ecclestone said: “I am really delighted to win this award. The most important thing is winning on the field but it’s nice to be recognised. I work really hard to try and improve my game and I’ve really enjoyed the last 12 months. It was my first full year as an England player after finishing my education so it’s amazing to get an award like this.

“There have been lots of great moments. As a team we’ve played some really good cricket and we did well to reach the final of the ICC Women’s World T20. We learned a lot in India at the beginning of the year and we took that into our summer against New Zealand and South Africa. We’ve never said we’re the perfect team but we’ll keep working hard to get better and that’s the same for me.”

The ICC Fans’ Moment of the Year award, which will be chosen by cricket fans around the world who will get a chance to vote for their favourite moment of 2018, will be announced next month. The voting window for this award will open soon and the winning moment will be announced along with the men’s ICC Awards in January 2019.

The nominees for the inaugural ICC Fans’ Moment of the Year are:

Moment 1: India winning the ICC U19 World Cup in New Zealand

Moment 2: Afghanistan’s miracle comeback to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Moment 3: Ireland and Afghanistan become first full ICC members to play inaugural Tests in almost 20 years

Moment 4: Australia clinch the ICC Women’s World T20 as tournament takes on a bold new World Cup identity

The men’s individual award winners for 2018, the teams of the year and the umpire of the year will be announced in January 2019.


Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year – Smriti Mandhana (India)

ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year – Smriti Mandhana (India)

ICC Women’s T20I Player of the Year – Alyssa Healy (Australia)

ICC Women’s Emerging Player of the Year – Sophie Ecclestone (England)

*The voting academy was: Melinda Farrell, Melanie Jones, Lisa Sthalekar (all Australia), Charlotte Edwards, Kalika Mehta (both England), Anjum Chopra, Snehal Pradhan (both India), Lesley Murdoch (New Zealand), Urooj Mumtaz (Pakistan), Natalie Germanos (South Africa), Alan Wilkins (Wales) Ian Bishop (West Indies).

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The Promenade welcomes The seafood lovers

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Dubai’s exclusive dining destination, The Promenade welcomes guests to dine this new season and enjoy the variety of exquisite culinary concepts on offer – five concepts, one destination.

Located on the shores of the Dubai Creek, the distinctive dining venues include Mediterranean inspired favourite, Brasserie du Park, serving irresistible dishes such as the Feta and watermelon, Hummus Kawarma, Multigrain Tabbouleh, Kimali Pide, and Beef Cheek. The airy interiors and alfresco seating of the venue, combined with a relaxed atmosphere create the desired chic waterfront ambience, allowing guests to unwind and relish each dish they tuck into.

Brasserie du Park

What: Fisherman’s catch

When: Every Tuesday

Time: 7:30pm to 11:45pm

Location: Brasserie du Park, The Promenade, Park Hyatt Dubai


  • AED225 per person inclusive of soft drinks
  • AED325 per person inclusive of soft beverage, grape, hops and house spirits

Mediterranean inspired restaurant overlooking the Dubai Creek, Brasserie du Park stuns guests with its latest offering. The Fisherman’s catch includes the freshest seafood leaving guests with a bountiful selection and stations to choose from. The raw seafood bar features oysters, mussels, scallops, Omani lobster, sashimi, razor clams, salmon and tuna tartare, salmon ceviche. The chefs at the live station are cooking up delights such as pan seared scallops and prawns, grilled lobster with lemon butter, salt crust salmon, grilled crab legs, oyster, fried calamari, and seafood pasta and paella. With additional options from the grill, salad bar and dessert selection, patrons are presented a dining experience like no other.

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First Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company in Dubai Science Park, Pharmax Pharmaceuticals FZ LLC, Opens AED125 Million Production FacilityFirst Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company in Dubai Science Park, Pharmax Pharmaceuticals FZ LLC, Opens AED125 Million Production Facility

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  • Pharmax Pharmaceuticals plant expected to reduce reliance on medical imports
  • Move marks first significant milestone for Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Taskforce

Dubai Science Park (DSP), a holistic science-focused business community dedicated to the development of the local healthcare sector, has welcomed the inauguration of its first pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, operated by Pharmax Pharmaceuticals (Pharmax), a pharmaceutical company that will produce a wide range of medications from the science-focused business community.

The opening ceremony drew the participation of His Excellency Dr Amin Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary of Public Health Policy & Licensing at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Dr Younis Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Healthcare Corporation, Malek Al Malek, Group CEO of TECOM Group, Ahmad Tabari, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Pharmax, Lamia Berrada, Chairman of the Managing Board at Bottu Pharmaceuticals and Ayman Cheikh-Lahlou, Chief Executive Officer at Cooper Pharma.

As the first advanced facility at the science-focused business community, the AED125 million (US$34 million) plant with an annual production capacity of over 200 million tablet and capsule dosage forms is dedicated to the manufacturing and commercialisation of pharmaceuticals that target chronic conditions prevalent in the Middle East. The factory is equipped with the latest European technology, meeting stringent global regulatory standards.

Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of Dubai Science Park and Chairing Member of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Taskforce of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, said: “Our region currently imports more than 80 per cent of pharmaceuticals from abroad. At the same time, technological advancements, an increase in R&D capacities and talent availability, state-of-the-art infrastructure, proximity to emerging markets, and a favourable policy framework present us with a unique opportunity to enhance our domestic manufacturing capabilities.”

He added: “We have worked closely with The Executive Council of Dubai and colleagues on the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Taskforce to achieve tangible results that support Dubai’s economic ambitions. The inauguration of the Pharmax manufacturing plant marks the first significant milestone in our efforts. We are delighted to welcome our business partner to our vibrant community of more than 350 companies and 3,600 industry professionals.”

Established in 2016, the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 has identified the pharmaceuticals and medical equipment sector as one of six strategically important sectors for Dubai’s economy. Positive forecasts predict that an increase in industrial capabilities will add AED160 billion (US$43.5 billion) to Dubai’s GDP, with the industrial sector growing by AED18 billion (US$4.9 billion). Furthermore, the plan is expected to significantly enhance the UAE’s R&D capacities while adding 27,000 specialised jobs and AED15.8 billion (US$4.3 billion) to the country’s export sheet.

Speaking about the new manufacturing facility, Madhukar Tanna, Chief Executive Officer of Pharmax, said: “We are proud to be part of DSP’s vibrant business community, and are confident that now is the perfect time to launch Pharmax in the region. Our company is fully aligned with the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 that, among other objectives, seeks to reduce the country’s reliance on imports of pharmaceutical products. The support the business has received from Dubai Science Park, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, and local health authorities has been vital in reaching today’s milestone – the official inauguration of the Pharmax factory.”

He added: “We are now able to locally produce medication for cardiovascular diseases, psychiatric and neurological disorders, gastroenterological diseases, metabolic disorders such as hyperlipidaemia and diabetes, central nervous system diseases, bacterial and viral infectious diseases, respiratory illnesses, asthma and allergies, bone and joint inflammation disorders, and urological diseases. This will significantly reduce the dependence on imports of related products from abroad.”

Pharmax Pharmaceuticals is already making a positive contribution to the local economy – directly through job creation, and indirectly through helping Dubai become less reliant on foreign imports and demonstrating to other pharmaceutical companies that the emirate is a profitable and strategic location for their plants.

Construction of the facility began in September 2015 as a joint venture between Al Ittihad Drug Store, a distributor of medicines in the UAE, and two of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Morocco – Cooper Pharma and Bottu Pharmaceuticals.


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Kuwait continues to achieve new milestones through the concerted efforts of all stakeholders

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Kuwait picked up the pace to accomplish further milestones to unleash its economic potential and sustainable growth by building on consolidating the national efforts to achieve the pillars of the National Vision 2035 for “New-Kuwait”, of which was the convening of the second edition of the Kuwait Investment Forum (KIF 2018).

Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Director General of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), said: “KIF 2018 sought to showcase the serious resolve of the government to streamline business environment and to ensure that Kuwait investment climate is sufficiently attractive to interested investors, through the concerted efforts of both public and private sectors to advance the promising sectors, and launch mega projects. This will duly fulfill the overall commitment to diversify the national economy and to foster the country’s real wealth its creative and talented youth.”

These efforts, following KIF 2018, included important steps taken to enhance Kuwait international positon, and build an extensive network of strategic relations with major countries. In this regard, Kuwait signed several agreements and MoUs during the state visit of HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to China in July 2018. These agreements cover a broad framework of activities including raise trade exchange, infrastructural projects, development of industrial and technologically advanced zones, as well as supporting Kuwait participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Furthermore, in September 2018, HH the Amir held a roundtable with leading American business top executives to further strengthen trade and economic relations between the two nations.

Adding to that, the mega projects showcased at KIF 2018 to boost infrastructure development are being implemented as per schedule. These include the construction of the new terminals at Kuwait International Airport, and the new Cargo City at Kuwait International airport (First phase). In the energy sector are projects such as Al-Shaqaya Renewable Energy Complex and the Clean Fuels Project, and in the industrial sector, particularly, is the Al Nayeem Industrial Smart City.

In other milestones, Kuwait has been included in the FTSE Russell Emerging Markets Index, which is set to catapult inflows into the capital market, driven by the ongoing reforms by the Capital Markets Authority to encourage establishment of a more transparent and credible investment system to facilitate the entry of foreign investors.  Also, Boursa Kuwait launched its OCT platform, the first in the Arabian Gulf, to trade shares of unlisted firms.

These developments helped to steadfast improvement direction in Kuwait’s position in international indices especially in its score in the ‘ease of doing business’ index based on recording reforms in starting a business, protecting minority investors, and dealing with construction permits. Kuwait has also improved its score in 47 out of 90 indicators of the Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 in 2018, and its overall rank reached 54th among 140 nations. These improvements resulted by advances witnessed in the legal and regulatory environment.

Dr. Meshaal added: “Our vision for KIF 2018 was to showcase achievements that were performed to facilitate starting a business and increase transparency in required procedures to boost investors’ confidence. We are witnessing solid results in forging more global partnerships, new agreements and further investments in strategic sectors. This is complemented by KDIPA launching the Kuwait Investment Outreach Roadshow series; the first was held in London in November 2017, the second was held on November 2018 in Silicon Valley, and the third one is scheduled to be held in Singapore in the March 2019, in partnership with Financial Times Live, and the fDi Magazine under the theme ‘Discover the opportunities in a transformed economy.”

KIF 2018 was held earlier this year under the patronage and presence of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, that followed by a remarkable increase in inward investments as well as all-round progress on infrastructure projects in line with the vision for New Kuwait 2035.

Government ministries, departments and all-related entities have ramped up their operations following KIF 2018, where His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah had underlined the focus of the government to promote economic diversification and to transform the nation as a major regional business hub that welcomes foreign investments.

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Jury Announced for Epson’s First Ever Win-A-Robot Competition in Europe, The Middle East and Russia

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  • Robotics experts from industry, academia and politics revealed as competition enters its final month

Epson are proud to announce the jury of the 2018 win-a-robot contest, as five experts representing the fields of industry, academia and politics join from around Europe to review applications from the first ever competition open across Europe, the Middle East and Russia to win Epson T-series robots. The competition is placing the latest technology in the hands of the future: universities, tertiary education establishments and research institutions are all busy uncovering ideas that support the growth, development and competitiveness of the robotics industry and automation.

The jury will begin the task of judging the competition in January after shortlisting all submissions received. Shortlisted contestants will be invited to present their applications to the jury during a live judging session. Closing date for submissions is 15 December 2018.

The five jury members are:

  • Eva Kaili, Member of the European Parliament, Head of the Greek SD Delegation (Pasok/Elia), Chair of the Science and Technology Options Assessment body (STOA) European Parliament
  • Patrick Schwarzkopf, Managing Director of VDMA Robotics + Automation
  • Professor Darwin Caldwell, Research Director, Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, Italy and visiting professor in the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, Sheffield University
  • Dr Imre Paniti, MTA-SZTAKI, Institute for Computer Science and Control, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Yoshifumi Yoshida, Epson Executive Officer, previously COO, Robotics Solutions Operations Division

Volker Spanier, Head of Robotics Solutions for Epson Europe revealed the jury members commenting: “It is fantastic to have such a wide range of experience, expertise and geographic representation on the board of jury members for this first edition of Epson’s win-a-robot competition. The jury will consider the value of the shortlisted projects with all aspects of automation Epson® is a registered trademark of Seiko Epson® Corporation. All other product names and other company names used herein are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Errors and omissions excepted, all specifications are subject to change without notice. Press Release development in mind and will select a winning project that demonstrates real innovation in robotics”.

He added: “The interest that this contest has already received from across EMEAR has been inspiring and demonstrates the real and pressing desire from the next generation to better understand and develop robotics and automation solutions. Being able to support the provision of hands-on experience to students and research bodies alike, developing digital skills and understanding is something that Epson as a company is fundamentally committed to.”

Epson is a leading robotics manufacturer and strives to make robotics more accessible across industries, to companies large and small with a truly scalable and flexible robotics line-up, including everything from the latest dual-arm technology with the WorkSense W-01 to the more affordable T3, T6 and VT6 models, offering “Just Enough Robot”.

More information on the competition, including how to enter, is available here Epson will also publish interviews with jury members on the competition site in the coming weeks.

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Have a merry festive season at Grand Millennium Business Bay

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  • Enjoy delightful offerings to celebrate the most joyful season of the year

Grand Millennium Business Bay, a 5-star property of Millennium Hotels & Resorts with an enviable location along Marasi Drive and offering stunning views of the Dubai Canal waterfront, invites guests and residents to celebrate the holiday season with an array of exciting offers.

Christmas decorations will be on display throughout the interior of the hotel, exuding a warm and inviting feeling while the hotel’s dining outlets are the perfect venue to get together with your family and friends and create those indelible holiday memories.

Christmas Tree Lighting

Capture the spectacle of Christmas and feel the festive spirit from the first lighting of the hotel’s Christmas tree at the grandiose lobby on December 6, 2018. Listen to traditional Christmas carols while enjoying flavoured drinks and canapes with your nearest and dearest throughout the function.

Have your Turkey To Go

Let the culinary team at Grand Millennium Business Bay take care of the feast while you entertain your guests during the most festive season of the year. The 6kg traditional roasted turkey is served with traditional trimmings including Grandma’s home style Roasted Chunky Root Vegetables with Rosemary Butter, Beef Chipolata wrapped Turkey Bacon, Roasted Brussels Sprout with Chestnut and Bacon, Turkey gravy and Cranberry Chutney for only AED499, available from 1 to 31 December, 2018.

Christmas Themed Brunch at Beau Rivage Bistro –  December 25

Usher Christmas with family and friends at Beau Rivage Bistro, the newest hang out spot along the Dubai Canal waterfront. Chef Mohamad and his team will be presenting a festive seasonal menu featuring international and traditional dishes, perfect for sharing with friends and family. Live entertainment will get everyone in the holiday spirit while feeling the cool weather at the expansive outdoor seating.

Christmas Brunch at The Podium – December 25

Celebrate Christmas Day with your loved ones at The Podium. A luxury spread featuring traditional Christmas fare alongside international favourites will make this day one to remember. The Podium creates a home dining experience with flavourful starters, succulent mains and delightful desserts paired with the most refreshing drinks. Entertainment will be provided for kids and young at hearts, and Santa Claus might be dropping by to spread the joy of the season. The Christmas Day Brunch is priced at AED299 per person.

New Year’s Eve at Beau Rivage Bistro – December 31

If you want to ring the New Year in style, Beau Rivage Bistro has prepared a splendid set menu and drinks for AED 699 per person. With an outdoor seating area that offers a fascinating view of the Dubai canal, you and your loved one will cherish special moments while welcoming the year 2019 in style!

New Year’s Eve at the 19th Floor – December 31

Welcome the year 2019 on the 19th floor, with free flow bubbles and canapes at AED 2019 per couple. Indulge yourself with an extravagant spread while catching the mesmerizing fireworks over Burj Khalifa at the stroke of midnight. The New Year’s Eve buffet includes an extensive selection of luxury plates like Foie Gras (Liver of Goose) with strawberry Jelly and Lobster Pie and many more with premium beverages and free flow gourmet canapes, oysters and bubbles from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am.

Book early and receive 15% discount. For more information or reservations, please call +971 4 873 3334 or contact us at

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The Epic Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical Set for Dubai Opera Premiere

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“Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical”, directed by Feroz Abbas Khan and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji is set for its Dubai Opera premiere in January 2019.  The musical will be showcased at the Dubai Opera with five shows from January 10 to 12, 2019.

K Asif’s classic Mughal-e-Azam has been adapted as a Broadway-style musical and is touted as the biggest theatrical production from India. Mughal-e-Azam-The musical involves live singing with dance sequences.

The essence of the evergreen movie has been captured in the musical through larger than life set designs, intricate costumes and elaborate choreography

The renowned Indian playwright Feroz Abbas Khan, known for plays like Mahatma vs. Gandhi, Tumhari Amrita, Saalgirah and Dinner with Friends amongst others, brings classic movie Mughal-e-Azam to stage as a Broadway-style musical. He has also directed Gandhi – My Father and won several honours for the movie.

The epic love story has been beautifully told on celluloid and is the hallmark of Indian cinema today. The stage production has all the dramatic elements one wants from a musical — thunderous dialogues, melodious songs and mesmerizing dance sequences.

This is a world class theatrical production from India and has been proclaimed as the first Broadway-style musical. The play has swept the Broadway World Awards, bagging awards in seven categories including Best Play and Best Director.

It is a homage to K. Asif’s classic movie, Mughal-e-Azam, whose dialogues, music and songs are part of the cultural memories of many generations and the director has weaved together a rich, colourful tapestry of ideas that touches upon class-wars and love in the face of rebellion.

The production design has been undertaken by an expert team from Broadway.

Manish Malhotra has lent his costume design expertise by designing 550 costumes that reflect the regality and opulence of the Mughal era. Dance sequences have been choreographed by Mayuri Upadhya.

Mughal-e-Azam-The Musical brings the dramatic extravaganza to life and creates a connection with the audience of today. It brings the richness of the Mughal era to movie and theater lovers.

Speaking about the musical, Feroz Abbas Khan, Director Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical said, “The musical gives life to so many characters, music and sets, making it an extravagant experience. K Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam is an eternal work of art and the musical is extremely befitting to this masterpiece. It is a wonderful experience sharing the greatness of the film with today’s generation.”

Deepesh Salgia, Creative and Strategic Vision, Mughal-e-Azam, said, “The phenomenal success of the show recently in Kuala Lumpur and in Singapore has confirmed the pan-Asia appeal of the show.  With over 160 houseful performances, the show’s popularity is growing with every new venue.”

Jasper Hope, Chief Executive, Dubai Opera, said, “The Dubai Opera stage is no stranger to tragic love stories and I am delighted that we’re able to host this spectacular production of Mughal-e-Azam in January.  I was fortunate enough to see the show during its run in Mumbai last year and it’s a great night out, a wonderful Bollywood love story brought to life, which Dubai audiences will be able to enjoy as a real treat for the start of the year.”

The love story has all the elements of a nail-biting drama. Emperor Akbar’s wife Jodha gives birth to Salim, who grows up to be a spoilt and disrespectful teen. Consequently, his father sends him to the battlefield and war to teach him courage and discipline.  Fourteen years later, he returns home as a distinguished soldier.  Salim, now a young man, falls in love with Anarkali, a lowly courtesan. And so, the story goes.

Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical brings back the Mughal era for today’s generation to witness its grandeur. It pits an uncompromising father at loggerheads with his beloved son in a regal setting and amidst beautiful dance numbers.

Mughal-e-Azam is an event that will be promoted by Dubai Shopping Festival and is part of the Dubai Calendar.

Ticket sales are now open. Tickets are now available for purchase on the Dubai Opera website ( and on Q-Tickets (


Jan 10, 2019: 8 pm

Jan 11, 2019: 3.30 pm and 8 pm

Jan 12, 2019 3.30 pm and 8 pm

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US 26b the value of marine insurance market in the GCC

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Dubai Marine Insurance Conference forecasts the sector’s geopolitical variables

Marine insurance experts call for a regional insurance alliance

  • Khamis Buamim: Marine insurance protects $ 35 trillion in international exports and imports annually.
  • Khalid Meftah: National insurers account for 71 per cent of the local marine insurance market
  • Gamal Fekry: US 26b the value of marine insurance market in the GCC

The conference witnessed an announcement of partnership between International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS), UAE branch celebrating its 10th anniversary in November 2019, and Maritime sky that specializes in Marketing and media strategy, to support the (IIMS) 6th biennial conference in Dubai, that brings attention to the UAE as a leading maritime hub.

The Dubai Marine Insurance Conference, the region’s unique event focusing on the regional and global maritime insurance sector has concluded its activities on Wednesday, with a call for establishing a GCC or even a Gulf-Asian insurance group that specializes in insurance and reinsurance operations in the maritime sector, including ships, vessels, cargo operations, transport of goods, oil and petrochemicals to and from the region.

The call comes within efforts to reinforce stability in the levels of insurance prices and to retain the largest share of insurance premiums locally or in the Gulf regionally.

The conference, which kicked off on Tuesday, and led by Khamis Buamim, CEO of Gulf Navigation Holding, and organized by Anchor Marine – one of the region’s leading providers of shipping services – the conference focuses on factors affecting maritime trade security, Marine and equipment, cargo shipping and risk management insurance, and marine electronic risk management and insurance.
H.E. Khamees Buamim stated that: “we are so delighted that Dubai Marine Insurance Conference, succeeded in attracting this kind attention & appreciation exhibited in the great number of participation from marine industry experts & stakeholders, which I consider a great success of the conference in its first term.

He added: “To gather 440 marine business experts & marine insurance experts, participating in the 2 days one of its kind event focusing on the marine sector issues & on the latest regulations of Marine Insurance is an unprecedented achievement.

He continued: “As a critical engine for the national economy, the marine insurance sector needs to be addressed more frequently to make sure that it adapts with the rapid developments of the marine industry, the objective that has been achieved successfully by Dubai Marine Insurance Conference”.

During his keynote speech, H.E. Khamees Buamim pointed out that: “more than 90% of marine insurance operations are carried out outside the region through non-local insurers, which means a significant loss of premiums, moreover the situation does not reflect the strength and reality of the national economy and active trading movement.

He also pointed out to the importance of the existence of insurance institutions or a group capable of carrying out large insurance operations to provide the national economy with insurance premiums commensurate with the size of the UAE’s strong economy, which is characterized by a stable investment environment, economic and political and can continue to grow.

The conference witnessed an announcement of partnership between International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS), UAE branch which celebrates its 10th anniversary in November 2019, and Maritime sky that specializes in Marketing and media strategy, to support the (IIMS) 6th biennial conference in Dubai, that brings attention to the UAE as a leading maritime hub.

Speakers list at the conference that took place onboard of Queen Elizabeth || in Dubai, included Captain Abdullah Darwish Al Hayas, General Manager of Maritime Transport Affairs at the Federal Authority for Land and Marine Transport, Khaled Miftah, Business Development Manager, Dubai Maritime Authority, Oscar Lavender, Rolls Royce Marine Vice President, Walid Al Tamimi, General Manager, Executive Assistant to the Vice President of the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Center, and representatives of the companies operating in the insurance and maritime transport sector from the countries of the region and the world.

Khamis Buamim, said: “Marine insurance premiums have witnessed a decline of 13% due to the decline in commodity prices and the global economic recession.” Maritime sector.

He added that the cost of marine insurance has increased in the past as a result of piracy. Some insurance companies have raised premiums due to regional conditions. Others have proven prices as they are because the risks in the region are not high. The Gulf region is stable and the risks they are talking about are tense relations to some international countries with Iran is illogical.

Khaled Meftah, director of business development at the Dubai Maritime City Authority disclosed that the total marine insurance premium in the UAE insurance market rose to a whopping AED 1.1 billion in 2017, higher by 10 per cent over the previous year. It also represented a 3.5 per cent increase in the total property and liability insurance premiums during the same period.

He added that the market share of the national insurance companies accounts for a remarkable 71 per cent of the local marine insurance market against 29 per cent for foreign companies, providing once again its importance in the progress of both the domestic maritime industry and the country’s entire national economy.

Capt. Gamal Fekry, the managing director  of MC ship management in Dubai said the maritime insurance landscape witnesses a lot of changes, as more and more shipping and oil vessels companies are focusing on a proactive actions to reduce the high cost of marine insurance, by adopting risk management systems that would minimize the faults that could cause risks in earlier stages, while some other giant companies have developed self-insured schemes as there are no big enough insurance companies that can handle the volume of business.

He added that the volume of marine insurance in the Gulf region accounts for US 26b annually.

IIMS is a non-governmental 27year old professional institution that has its membership base in over 92 countries, which makes it one of the most diverse global institute of its kind.

The Dubai Marine Insurance Conference represented an ideal opportunity for industry leaders from leading marine insurance experts, marine safety and security experts, port authorities, shipowners, ship shippers, ship manufacturers, exporters, importers and agency owners. The sector, especially the marine insurance sector, plays a crucial role in protecting global trade, especially with the transfer of up to 90% of the world’s trade. Lost between nations across the sea.


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