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Barwa Bank announces the May draw winners of its Thara’a savings account prize

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Barwa Bank, Qatar’s most innovative Shariah compliant bank, announced the names of the most recent round of draw winners for Thara’a, its Shariah compliant savings account, at the Bank’s headquarters.

As the draw results showed, Almayasa Mohamad Al-Anqar and Noora Ebrahim Al-Abdulghani each won a cash prize of 10,000 Qatari Riyals. Also, a cash prize worth 5,000 Qatari Riyals was awarded to the following bank clients: Morad Onaceur , Abdulrahman Ali Al-Yafei, Faisal Ali Al-Anssari, Musab Ahmed Ahmed, Mohammadali Abrahim Sayedali, Sana Al-Rashed, Joyce Maria Dsouza, Melvin Nitura, Azeez Mohammed Mohammed, Reem Eisa Al-Kawari, Nouraldain  Abualrub, Mohamed Ali Saheb, Ahmed Yasin Yacoub, Mohd Alawi Al-Yafei, Faisal Ali Al-Anssari, Nelo Mandayo Ferry, Jasir Salahudheen, Ahmed Saad Al-Kuwari, Essam Mohamed Abdelhafiz, Dhabia Saad Al-Mohannadi, Rashid Mohammed Al-Naimi, Azizullah Rahim Khan, Abdulla Abdullattif Al-Muhannadi, Barakah Majid Al-Reshidi, Abdulhalim  Kolko, Rashid Hamad Al-Adbah, Sajad Ahmad Radoo, Mohamed Sadhath Hameedu, Asif Mohammed Nazir, Hussain Saleh Saeed, Abdulla Ajlan Al-Kaabi, Mohammed Abdulla Al-Malki, Parvaneh Alireza Amani, Hamyan Mohamad Al-Naimi, Mohammed Ali Al-Kubaisi, Elasyed Mahmoud Salem, Noora Abdulla Al-Nuaimi, Najla Jassim Al-Mulla, Salma Mubarak Al-Abdulla and Yousuf Hassan Al-Mannai.

The draw was conducted under the supervision of a representative of the qualitative license and market control department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Thara’a offers account holders the chance to win monthly cash rewards that sum up to more than 2,000,000 Qatari Riyals, and a grand prize of 1,000,000 Qatar Riyals, a first for Shariah compliant banks in Qatar. Based on several criteria, Thara’a account holders are eligible for a number of periodic draws for cash prizes. Totalling 3,290,000 Qatari Riyals, Thara’a cash rewards are distributed on both a monthly, quarterly and annual basis to customers holding a minimum balance of 10,000 Qatari Riyals.

On a monthly basis, there are 42 winners per draw for the cash prize of 5,000 Qatari Riyals each, as well as 2 winners per draw for the cash prize of 10,000 Qatari Riyals. Additionally, quarterly there are 2 winners per draw for the cash prize of 25,000 Qatari Riyals each, 2 winners per draw for the cash prize of 50,000 Qatari Riyals each, and yearly there are 1 winner of the grand prize of 1,000,000 Qatari Riyals. Rewarding 365 winners in total with cash prizes up to 3,290,000 Qatari Riyals.

Coupled with cash prizes and a reward scheme, Thara’a is a product full of value-added benefits and services. Thara’a offers account holders access to Barwa Bank’s innovative banking channels, with benefits including unlimited withdrawals and deposits, as well as free fund transfers across their accounts and through all Barwa Bank channels.

Barwa Bank offers an extensive variety of personal banking products and investments, as well as seven strategically located branches and a broad network of ATMs located across Qatar. Customers can access their accounts from the convenience of their office or home through the state-of–the-art online banking, or via the 24/7 Contact Centre.

Customers may learn about the many benefits of Thara’a savings account by visiting Barwa Bank’s website, www.barwabank.com, or by calling the Contact Centre on 800 8555.

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BALDININI REVEALS EXCLUSIVE SANDALS FOR MEN AND WOMEN THIS RAMADAN

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Baldinini, the Italian luxury footwear and accessories brand, operating under Mario Bologna Trading (LLC) in UAE, is presenting to its contemporary clientele this Ramadan, an exquisite collection of handcrafted Arabic sandals for men, and chic wedges, ballerinas and handbags for women, conveying the oriental style and rich heritage of this region and reflecting the savoir faire and artistic knowhow of the leather craftsmanship at Baldinini.

Inspired by CEO Gimmy Baldinini’s vision who said: “My creations are timeless, a bridge between the past and the future. Accessories built with a maniacal attention for detail, a weather between handicraft and manuality to realize dreams to wear”, this Ramadan and Eid collection has been meticulously designed for the Middle Eastern men and women, to fulfill this vision and to complement your elegant and stunning outfits and get you to set the trend during this auspicious season.

A canvas of refined leathers, embellishing materials, unusual textures, rich palettes of colors and exclusive details have all been orchestrated to create stunning sandals for men characterized by masculinity, determination, modernity and casual Italian style, and a sublime collection for women, characterized by intensity, modernity, femininity and uniqueness.

Discover the exquisite Baldinini Ramadan and Eid collection at Baldinini boutiques in Dubai Mall, Wafi Mall, Burjuman – Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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HP Leads Digital Manufacturing Forward with Powerful New 3D Printing Solution, Industrial Alliances, and Global Production Network

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  • New HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution unleashes manufacturing predictability, breakthrough economics, and new applications; Industry leaders BASF, Jaguar Land Rover, Materialise, Siemens, and Vestas lean in with HP;
  • New HP Digital Manufacturing Network for high-quality parts at scale

News highlights:

  • New HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing platform delivers improved economics, performance, and part quality; new TPU material enables new classes of applications
  • HP expands alliances with BASF, Materialise, and Siemens; industry leaders Jaguar Land Rover, Vestas and more embrace new HP 3D printing solution
  • New global HP network of digital manufacturers to deliver high-quality parts at scale for production jobs

HP Inc. unveiled a series of innovations and partnerships helping its customers accelerate their digital manufacturing journey.  HP is expanding its industry-leading 3D printing portfolio with the new Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution, an industrial 3D printing system bringing new levels of manufacturing predictability, efficiency, repeatability, and quality to customers scaling to full production.  To further enable customers digitally transforming their manufacturing, HP is also expanding its strategic alliances with industrial leaders BASF, Materialise, and Siemens, and launching the HP Digital Manufacturing Network, a new global community of proven, large-scale 3D printed parts providers.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is one of the most transformative forces in our lifetime. New technology innovations will be required, new partnership models will emerge, and new modes of doing business will unfold,” said Christoph Schell, President of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing at HP Inc.  “HP is committed to helping customers with diverse manufacturing needs turn change into opportunity by delivering the most innovative solutions portfolio and comprehensive ecosystem of industry-leading partners.  The broadening of our portfolio with the new Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing system, coupled with expanded industrial alliances and our new Digital Manufacturing network, are important accelerators of our digital manufacturing journey.”

HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D Printing Solution: Breakthrough Economics, Productivity, and Applications
The new HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution brings together new systems, data intelligence, software, services, and materials innovations enabling customers to scale their 3D production and target business growth. Leveraging these innovations, the new solution expands manufacturing predictability with high-quality and optimal-yield of parts at industrial levels of efficiency, accuracy, and repeatability; delivers best-in-class economics and productivity for production environments; and provides the increased flexibility, improved uptime, streamlined workflows, and simplified fleet management required for factory production settings.  New data intelligence, software, and services capabilities, including the HP 3D Process Control and HP 3D Center software offerings and the HP 3D Parts Assessment service, enable customers to achieve new heights of operational efficiency and repeatability, and identify and optimize production of new 3D applications.

HP also introduced a new certified thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), ULTRASINT™ developed by BASF, to expand the breadth of final-parts applications for customers on the new Jet Fusion 5200 Series systems. The new TPU is ideal for flexible and elastic parts and complements HP High Reusability PA-12, PA-12 Glass Beads, and PA-11 materials, with more coming in the future.

Numerous companies across the automotive, industrial, consumer goods, and manufacturing sectors are exploring new applications for the new Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution, including Avid Product Development, BASF, Jaguar Land Rover, Kupol, Materialise, Sculpteo, Prodartis, and Vestas.

“Innovation and advanced technology are at the core of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to deliver outstanding customer experiences.  The transition to an autonomous, connected electric and shared future and the journey to Industry 4.0 are central to our future strategy,” said Ben Wilson, Additive Manufacturing Manager, Jaguar Land Rover. “Our work with HP to advance our knowledge and in-house capability in 3D printing has been an important step towards production of quality parts to support current and aftermarket customers. The continuation of this collaboration through the early use of the new HP Jet Fusion 5200 3D printing platform will help us to better understand opportunities to unlock new application areas whilst supporting investigations to advance the productivity, efficiency and reliability of the technology.”

“As the largest provider of wind turbines in the world, Vestas is looking to innovators like HP to help us speed new product development for a more sustainable future,” said Jeremy D. Haight, Senior Principal Engineer of Emerging Technologies, Vestas VBIC.  “The combination of new 3D printing materials and technology breakthroughs is a significant step toward unlocking new design possibilities, streamlining our manufacturing, and improving environmental sustainability.”
The new Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution is available today.  Full solution information can be found at www.hp.com/go/3DPrinter5200.

HP Deepens Industrial Alliances to Drive the Future of Digital Manufacturing 

Today HP also unveiled expanded alliances with a number of industrial leaders to help customers on their journey to digital manufacturing.

Siemens, an innovation leader in automation and digitalization, and HP are expanding their alliance to deliver an end-to-end additive manufacturing solution integrating HP’s 3D printing and data intelligence platform, including the new HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D solution, with Siemens’ Digital Enterprise software portfolio.  HP and Siemens are bringing together the power of both companies to expand the market and help customers create unique product designs, bring high-quality 3D parts to market faster, and set up digital factory environments that unleash the full potential of additive manufacturing.
“We are excited to expand our collaboration with HP. Innovative partnerships and cutting-edge technologies such as additive manufacturing are essential for the digital transformation of companies across industries. Siemens and HP are thinking ahead to the future and are bringing together the best from both companies in a complete, industry-specific solution that will accelerate the adoption of industrial additive manufacturing and help our customers to increase flexibility, efficiency, and speed of digital manufacturing,” said Klaus Helmrich, CEO of Siemens Digital Industries and member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. 

BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, and HP are expanding their alliance to deliver innovative BASF materials certified for HP’s new 3D printing solutions.  The two companies will also partner to grow the market and help customers design and develop new applications with this unique combination of materials science and 3D printing capabilities. Already, BASF and HP are already working with Vestas, the world’s largest provider of wind turbines, and Sculpteo, a provider of 3D design and production services, on new applications produced with BASF’s ULTRASINT™ TPU on HP Jet Fusion 3D printing systems.

“Collaborative innovation among key players in the industry will help customers unlock the full potential of 3D printing,” said Dr. Markus Kamieth, Member of the Board of Executive Directors at BASF. “The introduction of the new TPU is a significant milestone in the cooperation between BASF and HP, aligned with our common objective to accelerate the industrialization of additive manufacturing.“
Materialise, a 3D printing services and software leader, and HP are extending their partnership to integrate the new HP Jet Fusion 5200 and HP Jet Fusion 500/300 3D printing solutions with Materialise’s Build Processor and Materialise Magics 3D Print Suite. As an early customer of the new Jet Fusion 5200 3D printing solution, Materialise is also identifying and developing new innovative applications for customers using the new BASF TPU and other available HP 3D printing materials.  Materialise is also an initial partner of the new HP Digital Manufacturing Network, leveraging HP 3D printing technologies to deliver parts at scale for the European market.

“The market is clearly embracing 3D printing for production and, as a long-standing HP partner, we are proud to expand our collaboration to new areas,” said Fried Vancraen, Founder and CEO of Materialise.   “Our customers are excited by our tighter integration with HP, our joint work on new applications and materials, and our commitment to scale high-quality part production.  Together we are helping our customers win in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

HP Launches Digital Manufacturing Network: Proven Part Production at Scale
Many companies look to digital manufacturing service providers to help speed development of new products, shorten time to market, create leaner supply chains, and reduce their carbon footprint.  To meet those needs, today HP introduced the new HP Digital Manufacturing Network, a global community of HP production partners to help design, produce, and deliver both plastic and metal parts at scale leveraging HP 3D printing solutions.  Members of the HP Digital Manufacturing Network possess high levels of advanced additive manufacturing expertise, robust quality management and end-to-end manufacturing processes, and a proven capability for volume job production.

The HP Digital Manufacturing Network initially includes partners in the United States, Asia, and Europe.  Digital Manufacturing Network production partners who have met HP’s stringent program qualifications include Forecast 3D, GKN Powder MetallurgyGoProtoJabilMaterialiseParmatech, and ZiggZagg NV.  HP will further expand the network into other target markets with additional qualified partners in the coming months.

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Schneider Electric’s Cutting-Edge Technology for Gas Grid Management Goes Live at Gasunie

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  • Gasunie manages its high-grade gas grid using innovative Schneider Electric’s Advanced Gas Management System (AGMS) software
  • The AGMS software serves as a modern, sophisticated and smart SCADA + Grid Management platform for natural gas grid management
  • It is built with the joint effort of Gasunie and Schneider Electric and relies on EcoStruxture ADMS proven foundations in the power utility industry
  • Using AGMS technology, Gasunie reduces its operational transport cost while maintaining the highest standards for safe and secure operations

Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, and Gasunie, the leading European gas infrastructure company, have successfully completed a four-year-long natural gas grid management software replacement project. The transport of gases (natural gas, green gas, hydrogen in the future) through this high-grade transmission grid of the Netherlands is now managed by a new digital solution based on AGMS (Advanced Gas Management System) software built jointly by Gasunie and Schneider Electric.

AGMS software – modern, sophisticated and smart gas SCADA platform

The AGMS software, an essential component of Gasunie’s gas transport management system, serves as a modern, sophisticated and smart SCADA + Grid Management software platform for monitoring and control of the large and complex gas grids. The AGMS software was developed by Schneider Electric’s Smart Grid IT business unit while the overall implementation was managed by Gasunie and Accenture, a leading global professional services company. Schneider Electric’s role in the implementation was to ensure the integrated gas transport management solution maximizes the benefits of underlying AGMS technology and meets the performance and quality requirements set for the project.

AGMS software relies on Microsoft technologies (.NET framework, SQL Server, etc.). It is designed to support different deployment system architectures in a modular and scalable way while providing a high level of operational security and enabling compliance to the latest software security recommendations for the industry. The approach for developing the AGMS is based on EcoStruxture ADMS (Advanced Distribution Management System), a proven foundation in the electricity industry built by the knowledge and experience from many years of ADMS research and development. The AGMS is the first comprehensive operational platform for managing the natural gas grid, joining all users and applications on one common network model and one user interface. It enables an operator easy access to all relevant gas grid, asset, status, calculated, historical, forecasted and simulated data at one place in near-real time providing high-end situational awareness and improving the efficiency in operational decision-making.

Benefits of Schneider Electric AGMS Software

  • The single user interface enables easier and less error-prone usage of AGMS applications. The AGMS’s user interface is the most innovative on the market supporting network visualization using schematic views and geographic view with landbase layers, empowered with user-friendly network navigation of network assets by a variety of criteria, decluttering and visibility profiles.
  • Built-in network model, real-time topological analysis, and integration to simulation packages allow new and innovative features like validation and simulation of all operations. Topology processing provides flow direction indication, closed-in area detection, and topological tracing, as well as dynamic coloring based on gas type or Wobbe index, and visual tracking of the concentration of gas compounds.
  • A single data model reduces the cost of grid data management and reduces inconsistency from the operational point of view. The AGMS contains powerful network model management tools for efficient network data editing, including import from external sources (GIS), configurable workflows for model promotion and powerful tools for support to calculated points.
  • Gas quality tracking provides real-time tracking of off-spec gas from external production locations and supports operators in decision making on how to deal with off-spec gas.
  • Linepack and balance calculations and demand forecast enable efficient natural gas grid operation planning.
  • High-end situational awareness is empowered by advanced alarm management supporting multiple data sources, and operator’s entries of important network management information, by time travel feature enabling slide to near-past and near-future situations in network views, etc.
  • Fully digitalized business processes improve operation efficiency and reduce paperwork.
  • The single software platform reduces the cost and effort of control room IT administration.
  • A single point of integration to external systems reduces the number of integration nodes in the enterprise.
  • Configurable operational security and system security based on Microsoft technology; also lower IT costs due to standard Microsoft technology stack.
  • High level of performance, scalability, redundancy and system high availability.

The AGMS software developed by Schneider Electric combines many years of experience in electrical grid operations with state-of-the-art technology. This enables Gasunie to reduce operational transport costs while maintaining the highest standards for safe and secure operations of the Dutch gas grid,” said Jeroen Zanting, Manager Gas transport of Gasunie Transport Services B.V.

“We are proud that our EcoStruxture ADMS technology is recognized by Gasunie as the best starting point for building AGMS as a breakthrough technology for the gas industry,” said Prof Dragan Popović, VP of Smart Grid IT business in Schneider Electric Energy. Schneider Electric will continue to develop new features and functionalities in AGMS software for changing market and gas supply technology requirements and for efficient and optimal operation not only for gas transmission system operators but for gas distribution utilities as well.

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Synology® Unveils DiskStation Manager 6.2.2 – A Solid Platform for Data Management

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The field-proven reliable system for enterprise IT transformation

Synology Inc. today released the latest update of DiskStation Manager (DSM) 6.2.2, featuring a series of new functionalities that not only optimize user navigation but also enhance system performance.

“DSM 6.2 has demonstrated field-proven reliability with over 3.4 million Synology NAS running it. Tailor-made for your IT infrastructure and ready to fit into any environment, DSM 6.2.2 now comes with more granular options that help IT administrators gain better control over the whole system,” said Hewitt Lee, Director of Product Management Group at Synology. “This facilitates business data management with services that more accurately suits your needs.”

Key features include:

System optimization: Granular configurations ensuring consistent performance in production environments are now available in Snapshot Replication, iSCSI Manager, and Synology High Availability. Visit the Release Note to learn more.

Smart Update: Designed to minimize system interruptions, Smart Update detects whether the system would benefit from an update and decide to install or skip the update based on the system’s running services to achieve the highest system uptime.

Contextual guidance to provide quick resolutions: More information and troubleshooting tips are added to Storage Manager to reduce confusion and human errors as well as guiding users to resolve potential issues, supporting them across different aspects of storage management with a better user experience.

Migration Assistant Beta: The new package allows you to complete whole-system migration including volumes, LUNs, and configurations with ease, minimizing disruptions to existing services and users during a hardware upgrade.

DSM 6.2 and a list of packages for backup, file management and syncing, high availability, video surveillance, central management, and more will receive security updates and important fixes until June 2023. The long-term support ensures that businesses can maintain a stable production environment over a long period of time and be able to plan for the deployment of the next major version in a suitable time frame.

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Future Network Awards 2019 Awards Schneider Electric and NPCC under the category ‘Networking Project of the Year – Public’

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Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation and National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), UAE’s largest engineering, procurement, and construction companies were awarded by the Future Network Awards 2019 as the ‘Networking Project of the Year – Public’. This recognition came in the light of the successful digital transformation of NPCC’s production and operation facilities for monitoring their energy consumption with the help of Schneider’s EcoStruxure Power architecture, and the Power Monitoring Expert system, and smart meters. By implementing Schneider’s EcoStruxure Power Monitoring Expert (PME), NPCC has the advantage of gaining real-time operational insights, with immediate alerts on disturbances enabling them to fully understand their energy consumption patterns, identify the problem areas and take necessary measures to optimize energy consumption. This digital transformation will support NPCC in achieving their 5-year plan that aims to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent.

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Tenable Research Discovered a Download Hijack Vulnerability in Slack

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Slack issues update but bad actors could have leveraged the flaw for corporate espionage or file manipulation

 Tenable®, Inc., the Cyber Exposure company, announced that its research team discovered a vulnerability in the Slack Desktop Application for Windows that could have allowed an attacker to alter where a victim’s files are stored when the documents are downloaded within Slack.

Slack has become a critical tool for many organizations looking to keep their employees connected. The vulnerability, which was found in Slack Desktop Application for Windows version 3.3.7 and has since been patched in version 3.4.0, could have allowed an attacker to send a crafted hyperlink via a Slack message that, once clicked, changes the document download location path to an attacker-owned file share. By exploiting the flaw, an attacker can not only steal future documents downloaded within Slack, but they can also manipulate them, such as injecting malicious code that would compromise the victim’s machine once opened.

“The digital economy and global distributed workforce have brought new technologies to market with the ultimate goal of seamless connectivity,” said Renaud Deraison, co-founder and chief technology officer, Tenable. “But it’s critical that organizations realize this emerging technology is potentially vulnerable and part of their expanding attack surface. Tenable Research continues to work with vendors such as Slack to disclose our discoveries to ensure consumers and organizations are secure.”

Slack has released version 3.4.0 to address this vulnerability. Users are urged to confirm that their Slack for Windows is updated to this latest version.

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FANR commemorates International Internal Audit Awareness month

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  • FANR’s Internal Audit Department hosts knowledge sharing session led by Khalid Hamid, Executive Director of the State Audit Institution of the UAE
  • FANR’s Corporate Governance is built upon transparency, accountability and fairness

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, is commemorating International Internal Audit Awareness month by holding special knowledge sharing sessions and highlighting the significant contribution of its Internal Audit Department in improving the effectiveness of FANR’s risk management, internal controls and governance processes.

Advocated by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), International Internal Audit Awareness month takes place globally every year during May. With the support of the FANR’s Board of Management and Senior Management, Kicking-off this year’s activities, FANR’s Internal Audit Department organized a knowledge sharing session on governance open to FANR’s Management. The session was led by Khaled Hamid, Executive Director of the State Audit Institution of the UAE, who shared lessons learned during his 30 years of experience working at various audit institutions.

FANR’s governance model is built upon the pillars of transparency, accountability and fairness, and has been designed to nurture a culture of excellence and efficiency across all levels of the organization. The model is based on international best practices and incorporates elements from other regulatory authorities as well as criteria from the State Audit Institution of the UAE and the European Corporate Government Institute.

Amna Faridoon, Chief Audit Executive at FANR, said: “We are pleased to commemorate International Internal Audit Awareness month and will be organizing a series of workshops and sessions across FANR to highlight the importance of role of Internal Audit and importance of effective internal controls to enhance the  Governance Framework at FANR. The effective implementation of our governance framework, based upon transparency, accountability and fairness, is essential to the achievement of our mission and vision.”

“Independent internal audits support FANR in accomplishing its objectives by ensuring a systematic and disciplined approached is applied to the evaluation of its risk management, control and governance processes. Our audit department regularly provides recommendations on how to improve our operations and holds special sessions for employees throughout the year to create an effective culture that supports governance. We are delighted to have the opportunity to recognize the contribution of our Internal Audit Department during the month of May, and look forward to the many informative discussions and sessions ahead,” added Faridoon.

International Internal Audit Awareness month is celebrated each May with events and activities around the world. The month-long event is advocated by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) to raise awareness of the Internal Audit Profession and its value. Established in 1941, the IIA is the internal audit profession’s global voice, recognized authority, acknowledged leader, chief advocate, and principal educator.

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Thuraya’s X5-Touch, the world’s smartest satellite phone, lands ‘Top Mobility User Experience Solution’ award at MSUA 2019

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  • The Mobile Satellite Innovation award by Mobile Satellite Users Association (MSUA) recognizes the device’s unparalleled functionality and flexibility
  • The Thuraya X5-Touch launched in November 2018 as the world’s first Android based satellite and GSM phone
  • The 2019 MSUA award is the third award for Thuraya from the association

Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a subsidiary of Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), has  won the Top Mobility User Experience Solution at this year’s Mobile Satellite Innovation award organized by Mobile Satellite Users Association (MSUA). The accolade was won by the Thuraya’s X5-Touch device – the world’s smartest and most innovative satellite phone. The announcement was made during the company’s participation at the Satellite 2019 Conference in Washington DC, US.

The Top Mobility User Experience Solution award recognizes the X5-Touch’s superior usability, as well as its market-leading status, which is underpinned by a series of category-firsts. The X5-Touch is the first satellite phone to run on the Android operating system – a fundamental pillar of its award-winning flexibility and user experience.

The operating system provides users with a multitude of apps on purchase, while developers gain the freedom to develop and customize bespoke apps to meet the unique needs of device users. This complements the ‘bring your own application’ (BYOA) concept, where customers can download any app of their choice.

An unrivalled 5.2-inch HD touchscreen protected by a rugged Gorilla® glass display, front and rear camera, and high-capacity battery bring everyday smartphone functionality to the remote environments of satellite communication. Meanwhile, the X5-Touch’s omni-directional satellite antenna ensures uninterrupted communications in more than 160 countries, including a number across Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. In addition, full dual-mode and dual-SIM capabilities provide the flexibility to effortlessly switch between satellite and terrestrial networks.

A host of crucial safety features such as advanced navigation and tracking functions, alongside a built-in SOS button, reinforce the X5-Touch’s credentials as a device built for the most remote and testing environments.

“Congratulations to all at Thuraya for securing today’s award, which is testament to the inventive mindset we encourage at every level of our organization,” commented Ali Al Hashemi, Thuraya CEO. “Our customers rely on dependable communications to do their job and, in many cases, remain safely connected in remote environments. With this award, the X5-Touch continues to reinforce its credentials for the most demanding of users.”

The MSUA accolade isn’t the first to be awarded by the association to Thuraya. In 2017 the company’s XT-PRO DUAL device won the Top Land Mobility Satcom Innovation Award for a second year, after landing the same title in 2014. Also in 2014, Thuraya’s SatSleeve product – which converts a smartphone into a satellite phone – received MSUA’s Innovator Award.

“Through the design and functionality of the X5-Touch, we set out to create a device that felt as natural and effortless to use as our personal smartphones, but with added ruggedness,” commented Shawkat Ahmed, Thuraya’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Usability is in many ways more important in remote and testing environments than it is elsewhere, and as this award demonstrates, the X5-Touch provides fast, simple and trusted connectivity wherever users venture.”

The Thuraya X5-Touch launched in November 2018 with a high-profile promotional campaign that included digital display advertising in Times Square, New York City. Just four months earlier, Thuraya and Yahsat announced an agreement that saw Yahsat acquire a majority and controlling stake in Thuraya. The agreement enabled Thuraya to significantly expand Yahsat’s satellite solutions portfolio on both commercial and government fronts, while creating a strong platform to capture the growing opportunity around IoT and M2M applications across both sectors.

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Audi networks with traffic lights in Europe

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  • Audi Traffic Light Information begins this year in Ingolstadt
  • Andre Hainzlmaier, head of Smart City Development: “Audi customers will feel more relaxed. Traffic will flow better”
  • GLOSA speed recommendation increases the probability of a “green wave”

Audi is introducing the vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) service “Traffic Light Information” to Europe. From July Audi will network new models with the traffic lights in Ingolstadt/Germany; further European cities will follow from 2020 onwards. Then cars will be more likely to catch a “green wave” in the city: Audi drivers will see in the cockpit what speed is required to reach the next traffic light on green. If that is not possible within the permitted speed limit, there will be a countdown to the next green phase. Driving in cities will thus become more relaxed and efficient. In the USA, Audi customers have already been using this service since late 2016. Audi is the first manufacturer worldwide to network its series-production models with traffic lights in cities.

“Stop-and-go traffic in cities is annoying. By contrast, we are pleased when we have a “green wave” – but we catch them far too seldom, unfortunately. With the Traffic Light Information function, drivers are more in control. They drive more efficiently and are more relaxed because they know 250 meters ahead of a traffic light whether they will catch it on green,” says Andre Hainzlmaier, head of Development of Apps, Connected Services and Smart City at Audi. “In the future, anonymized data from our cars can help to switch traffic lights in cities to better phases and to optimize the traffic flow.”

In the USA, Audi customers have been using the “Time-to-Green” function for two years: if the driver will reach the lights on red, a countdown in the Audi virtual cockpit or head-up display counts the seconds to the next green phase. This service is now available at more than 5,000 intersections in the USA, for example in cities including Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland and Washington D.C. In the US capital alone, about 1,000 intersections are linked to the Traffic Light Information function.

Since February Audi has offered a further function in North America. The purpose of this is especially to enable driving on the “green wave”.  “Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory” (GLOSA) indicates the ideal speed to the driver for reaching the next traffic light on green.”

Both Time-to-Green and GLOSA will be activated for the start of operation in Ingolstadt in selected Audi models. These include all Audi e-tron models and the A4, A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q7 and Q8 to be produced from mid-July (“model year 2020”). The prerequisite is the “Audi connect Navigation & Infotainment” package and the optional “camera-based traffic sign recognition”.

Why is this function becoming available in Europe two years later than in the USA?

“The challenges for the serial introduction of the service are much greater here than, for example, in the USA, where urban traffic light systems were planned over a large area and uniformly. In Europe, by contrast, the traffic infrastructure has developed more locally and decentrally – with a great variety of traffic technology,” explains Hainzlmaier. “How quickly other cities are connected to this technology depends above all on whether data standards and interfaces get established and cities digitalize their traffic lights.”

On this project, Audi is working with Traffic Technology Services (TTS). TTS prepares the raw data from city traffic management centers and transmits them to the Audi servers. From here, the information reaches the car via a fast Internet connection.

Audi is working to offer Traffic Light Information in further cities in Germany, Europe, Canada and the USA in the coming years. In the large east Chinese city of Wuxi, Audi and partners are testing networks between cars and traffic light systems in the context of a development project.

In future, Audi customers may be able to benefit from additional functions, for example when “green waves” are incorporated into the ideal route planning. It is also conceivable that Audi e-tron models, when cruising up to a red traffic light, will make increased used of braking energy in order to charge their batteries. Coupled with predictive adaptive cruise control (pACC), the cars could even brake automatically at red lights.

In the long term, urban traffic will benefit. When cars send anonymized data to the city, for example, traffic signals could operate more flexibly. Every driver knows the following situation: in the evening you wait at a red light – while no other car is to be seen far and wide. Networked traffic lights would then react according to demand. Drivers of other automotive brands will also profit from the development work that Audi is carrying out with Traffic Light Information – good news for cities, which are dependent on the anonymized data of large fleets to achieve the most efficient traffic management.

In future, V2I technologies like Traffic Light Information will facilitate automated driving. “A city is one of the most complex environments for an autonomous car. Nevertheless, the vehicle has to be able to handle the situation, even in rain and snow. Data exchange with the traffic infrastructure can be highly relevant here,” says Hainzlmaier.

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