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Minister of Climate Change and Environment: UAE to Pass Federal Law on Climate to Mainstream Adaptation, Resilience across Sectors

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On the sidelines of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York,His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, announced that the UAE will pass a federal law on climate that sets out an inclusive framework for climate action.

The law will require authorities to assess and mitigate climate risks prior to proceeding with projects, thus effectively mainstreaming climate adaptation and resilience across sectors.

He made the announcement at a session of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), hosted by His Excellency Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, together with the Commission’s co-chairs, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General, Her Excellency Kristalina Georgieva, and Bill Gates.

In his speech, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi announced the UAE’s decision to join GCA that aspires to advance climate adaptation solutions.

He said: “We are delighted to join GCA and bring our perspective as a climate-vulnerable Middle Eastern country and a global donor. In this context, we have begun to mainstream resilience into UAE foreign aid. Our US$50 million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund has seen power plants built to Category 5 hurricane standards and relocated out of vulnerable zones. The Fund also ‘builds back better’. A prime example is the newly announced green, resilient power system for Barbuda in the wake of Hurricane Irma that is planned under an innovative partnership between Antigua and Barbuda, the UAE, New Zealand, and the CARICOM Development Fund.”

He added: “We propose to partner with GCA during the world’s largest event championing sustainable development – Expo 2020 in Dubai. With 25 million expected visitors and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its heart, Expo 2020 will provide a powerful platform to promote GCA and its recommendations.”

Moreover, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi participated in a World Economic Forum-led session on ‘Scaling Solutions for Circular Plastics’ that brought together key players across value chains to identify practical solutions to global plastic pollution as part of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74).

The Minister noted that the UAE government is implementing integrated waste management projects and initiatives across the country. A prime example is the refuse-derived fuel (RDF) facility that is currently in the works and is projected to treat an average of 1,200 tons of municipal solid waste daily.

The UAE government was also the first signatory to the World Economic Forum’s SCALE 360 initiative that aims to drive the transition towards a more circular economy while using less natural resources and reducing pollution to tackle climate change. The initiative advocates the adoption of a circular economy model that leverages Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to keep resources in use for as long as possible.

His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi highlighted some of the most prominent plastic recyclers in the UAE. These included Industrium Group, a pioneer manufacturer of plastic packaging for food products, Tadweer Waste Treatment, the first environmental company in the Middle East that offers integrated waste management solutions, CONSENT Plastic, a premier manufacturer of polyester straps and PET flakes with the largest production capacity in the Middle East, and Emirates Environmental Technology, one of the leading providers of high-tech environmental services for the waste management industry.

He also shared plans for the first high-impact post-consumer recycling facility for PET plastics in the country, to be established by Alliances for Global Sustainability (AGS) in Abu Dhabi and set to become fully operational by 2021. In its first phase, the facility will have the capacity to recycle approximately 19,000 metric tons of post-consumer PET bottles and food containers into food-grade PET pellets.

 

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Samana Developers Wins Best Sustainable Residential Project Award

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News Highlights:

  1. The 2019 edition of the Construction Innovation Awards saw an increased interest and entries from the UAE real estate developers.
  2. Key features that propelled the Samana Greens project to the top were Environmental-Friendly, Energy-Efficient and use of Green Appliances.
  3. Samana Greens’ introduction of air purifying systems in the common areas will help the air quality and the healthy community living.
  4. The property is green on wallet as well. A 9.25% return on investment is being promised for its investors.
  5. Developer revealed that it is currently designing more distinctive concepts that will make the life of its residents’ more enjoyable, luxurious yet affordable.

The Samana Developers, the real estate arm of Dubai-based Samana Group of companies, has won the Best Sustainable Residential Project Award due to its compelling Environmental-Friendly, Energy-Efficient and Green Appliances features. The award category is part of the annual Construction Innovation Awards that are conceptualized and organized by the BNC Publishing, one of the leading publishing houses in Dubai.

Among 200 entries and 8 sustainable category competitors, the key features that propelled the Samana Greens project to the top were the Environmental-Friendly, Energy-Efficient and use of Green Appliances. Compliant with green building regulations, the property will use recycled grey water to irrigate the green spaces and landscaping at the property. Air purification systems in the common areas will help improve air quality and overall enhance the environment. The developer will use green appliances to ensure the building meets Dubai’s vision of becoming a sustainable city, as green appliances consume less energy, are more efficient and durable.

The 2019 edition of the Construction Innovation Awards saw increased interest and entries from the UAE-based real estate developers, contractors and companies from the related industries. The specialised Sustainable Residential Project of the Year Award category received 8 entries and Samana Greens competed to the finals and won annual award. The Project’s distinctive features reflected Samana Developers commitment to be a responsible developer, which judges say made an important contribution to its surroundings, demonstrated construction best practice, and showed how construction techniques and technology have contributed to its success.

To enhance energy performance the common areas for the entire building including corridors, reception, and gymnasium, all have motion sensors installed to ensure the lighting and cooling systems optimise operational efficiencies. In addition to which low voltage light features and energy saving appliances are being used throughout the property.

Alan James, General Manager at Samana Developers, said: “We are delighted that Samana Developers through its debut project Samana Greens has established its mark on Dubai’s real estate landscape as a responsible developer. It is a great honor and we are committed to the care of the environment as well as ensuring we optimise savings for our residents. Today, we have achieved a milestone, which puts us among the leading developers in Dubai.

“As developers, we have a responsibility to the local community and humanity in general to ensure everything possible is done to reduce emissions and we play our part in saving the planet for generations to come for a sustainable future. Samana Greens’ introduction of air purifying systems in the common areas will help the air quality and the healthy community living”, said Alan.

Samana Greens’ touristic destination also plays a major role in its popularity. The self-financed freehold project – Samana Greens – housing 116 residential units ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments is located near the Miracle Gardens in Arjan. Samana Greens sits on a total built-up area of 13,000m². To meet the daily shopping needs of its residents, the project has a dedicated space for six retail units, as well as a sauna, a gym, a children’s play area, shaded parking, landscaped areas and the leisure deck.

Samana Greens project is also green on the wallet offering 9.25% returns on investment, a particularly attractive proposition for investors. While 98% of the property has been sold, Samana Developers said it is determined to complete and handover the Samana Greens on schedule in line with its commitment to its customers.

Alan revealed that Samana Developers is currently working on designing more distinctive projects that will make its residents’ life more enjoyable, luxurious yet affordable whilst continuing its commitment to sustainability. ”

Wissam Younane, CEO of BNC Publishing, commented: “This season we’re overwhelmed by the volume and quality of entries that we received. It was a testing task for the judging panel to review and give their scores. Samana Greens project by Samana Developers had outstanding features beneficial for both environment as well as the residents.”

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Minister of Climate Change and Environment to Present UAE’s Climate Action Model at UN Climate Action Summit in New York

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His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, arrived today in New York to participate in the UN Climate Action Summit, set to run in parallel with the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74).

His Excellency António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, will convene the gathering on September 23 under the theme ‘A Race We Can Win: A Race We Must Win’. The event seeks to mobilize leaders to enhance their countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by 2020 in line with reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent over the next decade, and to net zero by 2050.

At the much-anticipated summit, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi will present the UAE’s climate action model and urge the international community to step up the scale and pace of its efforts to match the increase in the intensity and frequency of adverse weather events due to climate change. In addition, he will announce upgradess to the country’s NDCs and higher commitments on various fronts to fast-track climate action and help build a more sustainable future for the next generations.

Furthermore, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi will attend the Youth Climate Summit – the first UN climate summit for youth that aims to provide a platform for young leaders to share their solutions with the world and meaningfully engage with decision-makers.

He will also participate in a panel discussion on ‘Advancing Buildings and Sustainable Urban Infrastructure’ as part of the Local Action Track ‘Partnerships for Ambition: Unlocking the Full Potential of Local Climate Action’, organized by the Infrastructure Cities and Local Action (ICLA) Coalition.

Other items on his agenda include the meetings of the 11th High Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, as well as the Global Commission on Adaptation, and a reception themed ‘Securing our Future: People, Food and Nature Solving the Planetary Emergency’.

As part of UNGA 74, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi will participate in a World Economic Forum-led session on ‘Scaling Solutions for Circular Plastics’, set to bring together key players across value chains to identify practical solutions to global plastic pollution.

He will also serve as a panelist at a breakout session on ‘How Climate Change Is Reshaping Agriculture’ at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum.

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UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment Highlights Country’s Approach to Enhancing Agricultural Resilience to Climate Change at Bloomberg Global Business Forum 2019

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On the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74) in New York, His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, participated in a breakout session on agriculture and land use, climate change, and sustainable solutions.

The panel discussion was part of the Bloomberg Global Business Forum 2019 that convened leaders from the public and private sectors worldwide to explore the threats to economic prosperity posed by climate change and identify viable solutions.

In his role as a panelist, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi emphasized that the globalized nature of the food supply chain means no country, region, or continent can afford to ignore food insecurity. He explained that this challenge transcends national borders and is felt acutely in the Middle East, where growing populations in arid regions are placing pressure on the capacity of nations to feed their citizens.

The Minister said: “The UAE follows a systematic approach to ensuring the climate resilience of its agricultural sector. We rely heavily on innovation and state-of-the-art agricultural technologies to enhance food diversity and security in the face of environmental challenges, such as scarce freshwater resources and arable land, that are amplified by climate change. Modern farming solutions such as optimized greenhouse design, hydroponics, vertical agriculture, netting systems, and closed-system greenhouses significantly improve crop productivity and quality while reducing the environmental footprint.”

He added: “Diversification is the key to food security, therefore we have developed a food diversification strategy with technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that focuses on the sustainable use of our precious natural resources, such as groundwater.”

Speaking on the country’s drive to boost local agricultural production through supporting farmers, he said: “We are implementing programs to encourage subsistence-level farmers to adopt commercial agriculture and embrace modern cultivation practices in order to increase their contributions to the local food supply. This is crucial to ensuring the long-term food security of the UAE.

“We offer farmers highly subsidized agricultural inputs at half the market price. These include high-quality crop seeds that are specially adapted to tolerate heat and consume less water while providing high yields. We also promote the sales of locally produced food commodities in both the domestic and international markets.”

Noting the vital role of R&D in ensuring food sustainability for any country, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “The UAE aims to make agriculture and food a priority for academic and research programs, and channel available funds into food-relevant R&D to develop solutions that are applicable to the local environment and conditions.”

Furthermore, he reiterated the UAE’s commitment to strengthening international cooperation to fuel concerted action on environmental issues. He cited the agreements signed between the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine as prime examples of synergies that facilitate the sharing of best practices in climate-smart agriculture.

The Minister visited the head office of New York University that has a satellite campus in Abu Dhabi, and Stevens Institute of Technology, a private research university with a mission ​to inspire, nurture and educate leaders in tomorrow’s technology-centric world.

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Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Launches Green Barjeel Project to Cultivate Indigenous Algae

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The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) today announced the launch of the Green Barjeel research project that aims to leverage innovative methods to grow microalgae biomass with a high lipid content in tower-shaped structures.

Run in cooperation with American University of Sharjah (AUS) and Khalifa University (KU), the project involves collecting algae from the UAE’s desert ponds and cultivating them. The process offers a host of benefits, including sequestering CO2 and removing dust particles from the ambient air to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. In addition, the structures can serve as passive cooling systems for use in public spaces.

The research project also seeks to examine and classify the diverse indigenous algal strains and test the potential of using them to produce biofuel and biofertilizers. Furthermore, the scope includes an experimental study on the safe and sustainable removal of Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and Sulfur oxides (SOx) from the atmosphere.

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “In line with the steadfast efforts of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to encourage disruptive innovation across all sectors as the means to ensure a better future for current and next generations, we support environmental R & D and integrate the latest innovations to help achieve ecological sustainability and boost climate action.”

He added: “The Green Barjeel project aims to explore the prospects for using algal strains that have adapted to the UAE’s climate to provide an alternative source of energy and nutrients that enhance agricultural production. The participating scientists will capture the outcomes of the project in scientific literature that can be incorporated into educational curricula or built on in developing further innovations.”

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Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Issues New Decree Regulating Catching of Pelagic Fish Using Encircling Nets

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Permitted fishing season from November 1 till April 30 of the following year

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) issued Ministerial Resolution No. 468 of 2019 regulating the catching of pelagic fish using encircling nets to preserve and ensure the sustainability of fish stocks.

The decree allows fishermen registered with the Ministry and running speed boats (Tarad) to use encircling nets that meet its specifications to harvest pelagic fish between November 1 and April 30 of the following year.

Per the decree, permitted fishing nets must have a length of up to 1,100 meters and a width of 20 meters in the western coast and 28 meters in the east coast, so they do not touch the seabed.

The fishing net must have one end tied to the boat and the other end attached to a light. Floaters must be two meters apart and showing the number of the fishing boat and emirate code once every ten meters.

Halima Essa Al Jasmi, Head of Fisheries Section at MOCCAE, said: “Giving fish time to replenish their stocks during their spawning season and grow to sizes that maximize their market value is critical to sustain the nation’s fisheries as well as fishermen’s livelihoods.”

The decree also prohibits fishermen from dumping damaged nets and dead fish at sea or on the shore, obliging them to dispose of them appropriately in the designated sites.

Moreover, the resolution permanently bans fishing using encircling nets in natural and man-made marine reserves, inland water bodies, such as natural and artificial lakes, waters within a 500-meter radius from petroleum fields safety zones, and all fishing waters of Abu Dhabi. The permanent fishing ban also applies in areas that fall within three nautical miles from military areas, islands, and critical coastal facilities, such as power stations and desalination plants.

The resolution stipulates that fishermen must pass through the checkpoints of the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA) as they head out on and return from their fishing trips. They also need to inform the CICPA centers of the fishing port they are registered under and notify them in case of changing their ports.

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Tadweer Hosts Workshop to Achieve Zero Waste, Promote Sustainable Practices in Food Waste Management

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As part of its efforts to achieve the goal of zero waste and promote sustainable practices in food waste management, Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center (Tadweer) hosted a workshop on food waste on October 16, which is marked internationally as World Food Day.

Drawing the participation of several experts from government, civil society, private sector, restaurant chain operators and NGOs, the workshop discussed various issues, challenges and opportunities to prevent food waste practices.

Topics under the scanner included identifying key sources of food waste, measures to reduce food waste, existing practices in food waste management, effective ways to avoid food waste and promote recycling, challenges facing food waste reduction, and recommendation for sustainable food waste management in Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Dr Salim Al Kaabi, Director General of Tadweer, said: “This workshop is aligned with Tadweer’s strategy to improve the quality of services provided to society as well as to develop sustainable and integrated systems that achieve a sustainable future for Abu Dhabi. Through close collaboration and active engagement with various stakeholders and experts from both public and private sectors, Tadweer aims to prevent food waste at source, which is one of our top priorities to achieve effective and sustainable food waste management in Abu Dhabi.”

He added: “The workshop demonstrates Tadweer’s efforts to reduce food waste in systematic manner due to its serious environmental, economic, and social consequences. The lessons, ideas and best practices highlighted at the workshop will help us develop an actionable strategy that will not only reduce food waste, but also ensure the optimal utilization of our natural resources and protect them for future generations.”

The packed agenda of the session featured several presentations that highlighted food waste management experience from facility management, hospitality (food and beverages) and events management sectors and labour camps. The workshop also included presentations on food recycling technology and Emirates Red Crescent Authority alongside two round table discussions.

At the session, Tadweer highlighted its D.R.I.VE. Certification for A Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, the center’s first certification rating to promote and engage smart and sustainable built environment practices among all stakeholders involved in all the sectors of food supply chain.

Tadweer is the first governmental entity in the Middle East to develop and implement a certification rating based on the three components of sustainability: economic growth, social progress and environmental protection. The certification includes a set of rating systems that target all stakeholders to be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.

The certification is aligned with the UAE’s commitment to meeting the global target to cut food losses and waste by 50% by 2030 in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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Four Emirati entrepreneurs win at this year’s edition of Pitch@Palace UAE  

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  • Winning entries announced in awarding ceremony held in the presence of H.E Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York
  • Winners to represent the UAE in coming Pitch@Palace GCC in Bahrain this November

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) has announced four innovative Emirati entrepreneurs as the top winners of this year’s edition of Pitch@Palace UAE during an awarding ceremony recently held at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. H.E Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and His Royal Highness (H.R.H.) Prince Andrew, the Duke of York were present to award the four winners who bested this year’s batch of 12 entrepreneurs that pitched their unique and highly creative business ideas across a distinct panel of judges.

‘Aryam’ project, which offers cooling suits to help workers contend with high weather temperatures to be able to work effectively; the ‘Arabee’ project, which provides children with a comprehensive Arabic language learning program that encompasses songs, games, flash cards, worksheets and storybooks; ‘Doctorsae.com,’ a web-based platform for all health entities in the UAE where patients can easily search for doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies; the ‘Rafeeq’ application, which is a platform that links home owners with licensed maintenance and decoration service providers in the UAE, were judged as the top four entries for this year’s competition and will now advance to represent the UAE at the coming Pitch@Palace GCC 2.0, which will be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain on November 27, 2019. The four winning entries will also compete and represent the UAE at Pitch@Palace Global to be held at St. James Palace in London in December 2019.

12 years of excellence and leadership

H.E.Hussain Jassim Al Nowais, Chairman, KFED, said, “Over the last three years, Pitch@Palace UAE has received strong response and remarkable success, proving itself as a strategic platform in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the UAE. The competition has also helped in providing Emirati entrepreneurs with the opportunity to highlight their projects across a global audience of influential figures that can help them transform their creative ideas into a thriving and sustainable reality.”

“We first launched this competition in 2016 as part of KFED’s strategy to promote entrepreneurship across the country, bolster and promote the culture of freelancing and amplify the work of entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. We also aim at providing them with the opportunity to meet industry experts and receive support, mentoring, financing solutions and the opportunity to connect with local and global stakeholders and hear from industry experts to promote a self-employment environment within the country,” he added.

H.E. shared that Pitch@Palace UAE affirms Abu Dhabi’s leading position as an international hub for innovation. He expressed the KFED’s continuing commitment to provide needed mentoring and support to innovative entrepreneurs so they can effectively develop and validate a scalable business model. The fund’s vision is centered on providing a nurturing environment for youngsters to create and foster competitive business in Abu Dhabi and all over UAE.

“The previous editions of Pitch@Palace UAE has successfully helped Emirati entrepreneurs in providing them with the opportunity to pitch before a global audience of elite entrepreneurs,” said Al Nowais.

H.E. stressed on the KFED’s commitment to fulfill its mission to enhance the efficiency of Emirati entrepreneurs and SMEs by empowerment and provision of financing solutions. He stated that the KFED has placed top priority in giving entrepreneurs with the opportunity to meet people and stakeholders that help them along with early-stage businesses, including CEOs, influencers, mentors and business partners.

Al Nowais thanked the support of H.R.H. Prince Andrew in helping make Pitch@Palace UAE a success, which was created to guide Emirati entrepreneurs and impart entrepreneurial skills to increase self-efficacy of the entrepreneurs leading to the achievement of economic diversification and growth. He also acknowledged local and strategic partners of this year’s competition, who have widely contributed to the success of the event. H.E. further praised this edition’s batch of creative and innovative projects, saying that all ideas sought to utilize technology in serving mankind and improve standards of living.

H.R.H. Prince Andrew stated: “It’s great pleasure to welcome you to Pitch@Palace UAE 3.0, and to be able to showcase the incredible innovation going on in the UAE. Please remember that this organization is about collaboration and working together as a team. We’re not here to pick winners, we’re here to help the businesses grow. All of us can make an enormous difference to these businesses by the things we can do for them.”

Technology serving humans

Pitch@Palace UAE encourages participating entrepreneurs to leverage the technological potential of ICT, robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide smart solutions necessary in the move to enhance the quality of life in societies and communities. This year’s competition was held under the theme, ‘Technology serving Humans.’ Projects of the participants were presented from a scientific and technical perspective where competitors explored the potential impact of technology on people’s daily lives. The competition aims to support the national intentions to promote SMEs in the UAE, which falls in line with the efforts of the UAE’s wise leadership to support innovation among youngsters in compliance with UAE Vision 2021 to achieve economic diversification within the country.

Abu Dhabi: The lighthouse for innovation

During the awarding ceremony, a special video was previewed showcasing key moments of this year’s competition, from its initial stages to the recently held bootcamp and final rounds. The 12 finalists presented their pitches across a panel of judges, followed by the voting and the announcement of the top four winners.

The KFED also organized an exhibition entitled, ‘Khalifa Fund Innovation Oasis,’ which was held on the sidelines of the event. The exhibition featured some of the fund’s and its strategic partners’ innovative projects, including the ‘Khalifa Innovation Center’ initiative, which was developed in partnership with Khalifa University, Sandooq Al Watan, Tawazun, and Mubadala, to offer a range of innovative solutions to support emerging technology entrepreneurs and help them develop their business through training programs, business incubators and investment accelerators.

The exhibition also highlighted the important innovations and projects of the ‘Emirati Innovator’ program, which was launched in collaboration with the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) and Sandooq Al Watan to support entrepreneurial students and emerging entrepreneurs in their move to establish their own projects in a sustainable and highly competitive manner. It also reviewed the projects of ‘Ibtikari’ program, which is designed in collaboration between Khalifa Fund and startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). The program serves to become an integrated business incubator for UAE technology and smart intelligence start-ups to develop their innovative projects by providing the right environment and the necessary services of training, mentoring, communication and investment.

The third edition of the competition represents a collaboration between KFED and its local and strategic partners, including Dubai SME; Sandooq Al Watan; the Khalifa Innovation Center; the Abu Dhabi Global Market; the Higher Colleges of Technology; StartAD; the Takamul Programme; the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises and Projects; Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa); Sia Partners; the Global Innovation Institute; and Krypto Labs.

Khalifa Fund launched Pitch@Palace UAE in November 2016 in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York. The UAE version of the competition is recognized as the first to use the Pitch@Palace model in the Middle East, which aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and providing them with the best opportunities to connect with various businessmen, experts and CEOs around the world.

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EFS Facilities Services Group wins over AED 170 Million worth contracts in 2019

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Flagship projects and employee engagement boosts EFS’ business accolades whilst retaining contract backlog over USD 1 billion

EFS Facilities Services Group, a regional leader in delivering integrated facilities management (IFM) solutions in Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Turkey announces its business accolades for the year 2019.  EFS Facilities Services Group is listed amongst the top fifty private companies in UAE by Forbes Middle East and is well-acclaimed by Taqdeer Awards for showcasing industry best practices in worker welfare.

This year, EFS marks accomplishments of flagship projects from large government entities in UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Company has maintained spectacular performance in its global operations with further expansion into Bangladesh for providing FM services to multinational banking projects concluding a total award of over AED 170 million in contracts year-to-date.

EFS has a proven track record of delivering state-of-art FM services to some of the prominent local and multinational clients in the region for the last 19 years with highest-ever contract retention of near 100 per cent and at par technology integration, cost optimization, service innovation, client engagement and operational excellence.

Additionally, the Annual Employee Engagement Survey conducted by EFS recorded an overall global engagement score of 90%, strengthening the employer-workforce relationship through engaging practices of great places to work.

Commenting on business and people dynamics of the Company, Tariq Chauhan, Group CEO, stated, “EFS continues to build a sustainable institution with a focus on satisfied customers and happy employees.’’

EFS will continue to hallmark its reputation by working in close collaboration with its clients and people while demonstrating results through Quality, Integrity and Partnership.

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ADDA forges new strategic partnership with Orange Business Services to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s digital government model

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The Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Orange Business Services, a global integrator of communications products and services, to accelerate the digital transformation of the Abu Dhabi government.

According to the agreement, Orange Business Services will work in close coordination with ADDA in the development of a co-innovation program to explore new value-added services for the authority, with the company serving as lead integrator for con-innovated customized solutions.

The agreement demonstrates both parties’ aim to create an effective working partnership that will help translate the joint commitments into tangible actions and outcomes that contribute to the goals of Abu Dhabi’s digital transformation agenda. In line with this, Orange Business Services has affirmed its commitment towards working collaboratively with ADDA in providing enhanced digital services and further increase synergies between government agencies with the use of innovative technologies.

The MoU was signed by H.E. Dr. Rauda Al Saadi, Director General, ADDA and Richard Van Wageningen, Senior Vice President of Indirect, MEA and Russia, on behalf of Orange Business Services, during ADDA’s participation at the 39th edition of GITEX Technology Week, the biggest tech show in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA), which runs until October 10, 2019 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

H.E. Dr. Rauda Al Saadi, Director General, ADDA said, “The new strategic partnership that we have forged with Orange Business Services has given us the necessary support in creating and offering key government services that continue to raise the bar in terms of implementing effective technologies. Data is the oil of the present and future generations and leveraging its power will positively impact the happiness of society, build future wealth and ensure further development. ADDA remains steadfast in its effort to be at pace with today’s emerging technologies by creating key partnerships with leading international technology companies, which will result in value added products and services that can further empower Abu Dhabi Government entities in their move to securely benefit from the effective use and sharing of valuable data.”

Sahem Azzam, Vice President for Middle East and Africa, Orange Business Services, said, “We are excited at the potential of this strategic new partnership with ADDA. We will be working closely with them in developing a series of ‘proof of concepts,’ an innovation forum, and joint ‘ideation’ sessions to produce practical and viable solutions that enhance the quality of life and experiences for citizens, residents and visitors of the UAE, Abu Dhabi in particular. This new partnership represents an opportunity for Orange Business Services to bring all our global innovation resources and capabilities in these areas as part of our commitment to the Abu Dhabi government.”

ADDA plays a central role in further developing the emirate’s digital potential and strengthen its position as an innovation hub for services and technology. The authority aims to ensure the security of data, systems and IT networks of all government departments and work to enhance its adoption and implementation, including the digital services being provided by each department across Abu Dhabi.

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