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INDEX Holding to Adopt the Dubai Font

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In line with the launch of Dubai Font by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, INDEX Holding, to be the first private Emirati company to adopt the Dubai font in all its electronic communications, as part of its commitment to promote Dubai as a leading city in the digital world.

Eng. Anas Al Madani, Vice Chairman and Group CEO of INDEX Holding said: “Following the directives of our wise leadership and as a leading national company, we at INDEX Holding have decided to adopt the Dubai font in all our official correspondence, boosting Dubai’s effectiveness in smart technology. Dubai has never failed to impress us in seeking the number 1 in all different fields that promote innovation, happiness, development, and transformation. We are proud that Dubai is the 1st city that has a font with its name as a tool for self-expression and communication in the region and the world.”

“This decision also goes in line with the launch of the UAE Soft Power Council by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as INDEX Holding aims to support this initiative and promote the culture and values of the UAE through its offices around the world and the events it organizes locally and internationally.” He added

Eng. Anas Al Madani concluded: “Media content today has become one of the strongest tools and an integral one in promoting values, transferring messages, and making a difference in an ever-changing world. Over the past 8 years, MYCONTENT, was a hub for media professionals, TV broadcasters, content producers, buyers, creative agencies, investors and licensors from the MENA region and the world. Through MYCONTENT, we are keen to promote the UAE and enforce the soft power strategy through supporting local content producers and focusing on content creation being the core of local cultural development and promotion, and it is worth mentioning that MYCONTENT conference and exhibition will be held this October at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre.”

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Etisalat Group Bids for Mobile License in Sultanate of Oman

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Etisalat Group today announced it has submitted a bid for the mobile license in the Sultanate of Oman.

The bid is in line with Etisalat Group’s expansion strategy considering the market potential and similarities, footprint proximity to its core market, and likely synergies.

The qualified bidders will be announced on 14 August, 2017 by Omani’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

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Dubai’s Sustainable City gets power from the sun through ABB

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  • ABB string inverters deliver power for the residents of Dubai’s first all-electric city.

Dubai’s first city to be powered completely by solar energy relies on ABB string inverters to harness the power of the sun for residents. Inverters convert the direct current (DC) output from the panels in to the alternating current (AC) needed in homes.

ABB has supplied 400 string inverters to harvest solar energy for 400 villas in the Sustainable City, the region’s first fully integrated sustainable community.

“ABB is excited to be part of Dubai’s first wholly sustainable city and help reliably harness the power of the sun. We share Dubai’s vision of building a world-class smart city and we firmly believe for this to happen, it also needs to be energy-efficient. We are sure that Dubai’s excellent initiatives coupled with innovative technologies from companies such as ABB will make this ambition a reality,” said Mostafa AlGuezeri, Managing Director, ABB in the Middle East.

The inverters were installed by City Solar, one of the leading companies specializing in solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation in the United Arab Emirates and Dubai. “We are one of the pioneering engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies that supply grid connected PV solutions to this growing regional market,” explains Anwar Abdel of City Solar. “This means we are responsible for procuring all equipment and materials necessary for the project and verify that it’s functioning perfectly.”

Conceived and built by Dubai based Diamond Developers, the Sustainable City will be home to some 2,000 people in an area of nearly 500,000 square meters. It will eventually generate 10 megawatt-peak (MWp) of power from solar panels on private and public buildings within the city.

As well as solar powered homes, the plan for the Sustainable City features solar powered chargers for electric cars, a hotel powered 100 percent by solar power and the Diamond Innovation Center, the first educational institute to use net zero energy over its lifetime.  

The Sustainable City provides a complete suite of amenities and environmental features. With the initial phase completed in December 2016, the city comprises five residential clusters, a buffer zone, a green ‘spine’, an equestrian club and a multipurpose development. The second stage, to be completed in 2018, will include the hotel, innovation center, school and country club.

Faris Saeed, engineer and CEO at Diamond Developers, says: “The Sustainable City is based on innovation, energy efficiency and a commitment to combat the effects of climate change. With its own commitment to innovative technology to make efficient use of renewable energy, ABB was the ideal partner to help us realize our vision of building the first net zero energy city in Dubai.”

Working closely with the developers to design the solar power system for the villas, ABB supplied a string inverter demonstration unit at the start of the project to prove it could cope with the high outdoor temperatures experienced in Dubai. Models supplied under the contract were the PVI 5000, PVI 12.5, TRIO 7.5 and TRIO 8.5.

As well as supplying the inverters, ABB provides training, ensuring the client’s own engineers can install and maintain the inverters. ABB is providing replacements in advance, delivering new inverters before collecting any faulty units.

ABB’s global sales and marketing manager, Alireza Mehrtash, says: “ABB’s innovation and wide ranging experience in solar power projects was clearly a major attraction to Diamond Developers when choosing a partner for the Sustainable City. We are glad to be involved with such a pioneering project that demonstrates how solar power solutions contribute to sustainably energy.

“The Sustainable City project is a benchmark and inspiration for other similar projects in the region.”

As well as the inverters for residential use in the Sustainable City, ABB also supplied inverters for a 1.4 megawatt (MW) parking lot solar roof project. This will charge the electric cars, which are the only powered vehicles allowed within the city limits.

ABB has one of the broadest portfolios of solar inverters in the industry, ranging from small single-phase and three-phase string inverters up to megawatt-sized central inverters. This extensive range of solar inverters is suitable for the smallest residential photovoltaic (PV) systems through to multi-megawatt PV power plants. ABB solutions are complemented by monitoring systems to ensure optimum performance of the PV installations, backed up by a global service network.

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Ericsson and Etisalat conduct 5G trial with outdoor mobility

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  • First 5G trial with outdoor mobility in the region
  • Latency less than half in comparison to 4G

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Etisalat successfully conducted a 5G trial with outdoor mobility today at Etisalat’s Head Office in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The trial demonstrated 5G capabilities in a real world environment over a live network, including tests on speed, latency and beam steering. The 5G trial system is using 800MHz of spectrum in the 15GHz band, demonstrating over 20 times greater performance than what is currently used in 4G networks. The trial achieved aggregate site throughput of greater than 24Gbps, with a latency less than half of what is seen currently in 4G networks.

Saeed Al Zarouni, SVP/Mobile Network, Etisalat says: “Today’s live demonstration provides a glimpse into the future and what mobile services will be like in the next few years. Today, we conducted the first live 5G trial with Ericsson and the first 5G trial with outdoor mobility in the region. 5G enhances existing services with additional capacity, higher speeds and lower latency, while supporting a large number of machine-type connections.”

Petter Järtby, Head of Etisalat Global Customer Unit at Ericsson Region Middle East says: “Today’s trial is a key milestone of the extensive collaborative efforts between Etisalat and Ericsson to ensure the UAE is ready for 5G. This next generation of technology will enable organizations to move into new markets and build new revenue streams with radically new business models and use cases, including Internet of Things (IoT) applications.”

Today’s trial was a part of the first Ericsson and Etisalat Technology Summit. The event also included workshops and discussions where Ericsson presented its latest technology trends and demonstrations. The event’s sessions and demos touched upon different areas covering 5G, IoT, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Cloud and digital transformation.

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Dubai International Financial CentreLaunches Spring Update of 2017 International Monetary Fund Regional Economic Outlook

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  • Non-oil growth rates in GCC region expected to strengthen
  • Overall growth for MENAP region projected at 2.6%  

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, today launched the Spring update of the 2017 Regional Economic Outlook (REO) for the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP) region, in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, introduced the special report at a launch event that drew the who’s who of the financial industry. Produced by IMF, the exclusive report uses internationally verified data to highlight emerging trends as well as recent economic developments, opportunities and challenges that set the tone for growth, trade and investment in the region.

The latest edition of the MENAP Regional Economic Outlook found that regional growth is expected to remain at 2.6 per cent for 2017, rising to 3.4 per cent in 2018, compared to estimated global growth of 3.5 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively. Higher commodity prices and stronger global trade will support economic activity, while higher interest rates will – to varying degrees – increase fiscal vulnerabilities across the region.

According to the report, growth in oil-exporting countries of the MENAP region will slow down in 2017 due to the oil production cuts approved under the terms of the recent OPEC+ agreement.

Mr. Amiri said: “The IMF Regional Economic Outlook is a trusted resource for business in the region and everyone involved in the financial sector. 2017 looks set to be defined regionally by a focus on economic diversification, privatisation and on the inclusion of emerging economies in the global financial system – trends which play to DIFC’s strengths and which we support through our enabling ecosystem, solid regulatory framework and strategic location at the heart of the South-South corridor. One of the strongest macroeconomic drivers, in fact, is the rise of emerging market economies. They are generating new investment opportunities and serve as an increasingly important source of capital”.

Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at IMF, said: “A more favorable global environment—including higher expected growth and some firming of commodity prices—is providing some breathing space for the MENAP region after what has been a difficult period. Non-oil growth for the MENAP oil exporters is expected to accelerate from 0.4 percent in 2016 to 2.9 percent in 2017, although the production cuts following the OPEC agreement are reducing headline growth. For the MENAP oil importers, headline growth is projected to increase from 3.7 percent in 2016 to 4 percent in 2017.”

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Etisalat Group Bids for Mobile License in Sultanate of Oman

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Etisalat Group today announced it has submitted a bid for the mobile license in the Sultanate of Oman.

The bid is in line with Etisalat Group’s expansion strategy considering the market potential and similarities, footprint proximity to its core market, and likely synergies.

The qualified bidders will be announced on 14 August, 2017 by Omani’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

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Huawei’s OpenLab Dubai officially starts operation

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  • Aims to accelerate Middle East digital transformation with global partners

Huawei, a leading global ICT solutions provider, today announced the launch of its OpenLab Dubai, its first to serve customers and partners in the Middle East, and an important part of Huawei’s Global OpenLab program. Huawei plans to add seven new OpenLabs across the world in 2017, and in the next three years will invest US$ 200 million and nearly 1,000 people globally, bringing the total number of OpenLabs to 20 by the year 2019. OpenLab Dubai is committed to providing innovative solutions for IoT, cloud computing, large data, intelligent analysis, eLTE, converged communications and other new technologies to build public safety, smart city, oil and gas solutions, and has attracted YITU, Zenith, Walkbase, 7G , IOmniscient, Nedap, Richfit and more than 20 other partners.

With the “Platform + Ecosystem, accelerate the Middle East digital transformation of the industry”, OpenLab Dubai brings together partners and customers from around the world to discuss the importance of collaboration in the development of a local digital ecosystem.

At the launch ceremony, Mr. Fan Siyong, President of Public Sector, Huawei, said, “The digital transformation is causing disruption across every industry. Huawei has established OpenLabs across the world with the theme “platform + ecosystem”, and is committed to working with global multi-specialty and industry partners to build customer-centric, innovative industry solutions to promote digital transformation and promote ecosystem development through the creation of an ‘open, flexible and safe’ platform that fully supports the ecosystem. Huawei is committed to helping governments and enterprises in the Middle East to rely on new ICT technology and applications to maintain steady growth, achieve excellence and enhance the competitiveness of the ICT industry in the region. Huawei’s OpenLab Dubai was built based on local market demands, talents, and technologies, and will focus on cooperation between enterprises, services, partners and customers in Middle East.

“The special climate, resources, culture and industry in the Middle East pose different challenges compared to other regions,” said Xijiang Lin, Director of Middle East Solution Development Center, Huawei EBG. “OpenLab Dubai will aggregate the world’s best resources to meet local digital transformation needs, and continuously enhance the ICT platform capabilities and development of local ecosystems. OpenLab Dubai is focused on building capabilities to easily apply technical solutions in the actual network environment; developing competitive, commercially viable and industry-oriented solutions; empowering innovation capabilities, rapid response to market demand; achieving industrial chain value aggregation and a customer/partner/vendor win-win-win situation. OpenLab Dubai has been jointly launched with more than 30 solutions and over 20 partners in Public Safety, Smart city and Digital Oil & Gas.

OpenLab Dubai gives customers a hands-on experience of public safety, smart city, oil and gas solutions:

Public safety sector: Based on Huawei’s strong infrastructure of, wireless network, eLTE-LiTRA, cloud computing, large data technology integration, Dubai OpenLab is working with YITU, Zenith and other partners, for face and license plate recognition, population density analysis, public opinion analysis solutions, working towards creating a harmonious and safe social environment

Smart City: Huawei combines low-power, wide-coverage NB-IoT / eLTE-IoT, Smart Gateway, cloud computing and large data, working with Honeywell, Nedap, Johnson Controls, and other partners. Huawei is also working with Esri in data management to jointly build intelligent parking, intelligent buildings, smart meters, intelligent lights and many other smart solutions.

Oil and Gas: Huawei will combine 4G wireless broadband network eLTE with Honeywell and Emerson’s various oilfield sensing devices to provide digital field-wide connection solutions to solve real-time communication problems in oil fields, help oilfield visualization production, improve oil recovery and reduce security risks.

As part of Huawei’s commitment to innovation, OpenLab Dubai will be connected to Huawei’s global OpenLab network, to promote new business models, market demand and technical solutions for the exchange.

At the opening ceremony, eSri, Zenith, Honeywell shared their solutions in public safety, smart city and oil and gas sectors, and their involvement with Huawei’s OpenLab Dubai aiming for a successful digital transformation trend.

At the opening, Huawei also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Zenith, Esri NeA and Smart IOT LLC. To establish long-term solutions partnerships, aimed at providing customers with industry-leading solutions.

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Vision 2030 “is already the Most Ambitious Financial Programme in the Region’s History” – The Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference

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  • In partnership with Ministry of Finance, Major Conference Brings Bankers and Speakers from Around the World to Analyse Impact of Kingdom’s Plan for Development  

One year on from its launch, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is already shaping up to be one of the most ambitious economic and social transformation programmes in the region’s history, according to experts attending the 12th Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference in Riyadh today.

More than 1,600 pre-registered delegates attended the first day of the conference, which saw major presentations and interviews with senior ministers from the Kingdom, including H.E. Mr Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, and CEOs and executives from some of the world’s largest banks.

In his opening comments, His Excellency Mohammed Al-Jadaan outlined the scale of the projects already in process as part of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 and Vision 2030 strategy, and the ambitious goals being pursued.

The Kingdom’s programme aims to raise the private sector’s contribution from 40 percent to 65 percent of GDP, elevate the nation into the top 10 countries on the Global Competitiveness Index, increase foreign direct investment from 3.8 percent of 5.7 percent of GDP, and increase women’s participation in the workforce to 30 percent.

His Excellency Mohammed Al-Jadaan said: “In support of Vision 2030, the Government’s fiscal policies are enhancing financial stability and promoting economic growth across Saudi Arabia. By undertaking structural reforms, the Ministry of Finance aims to strengthen the fiscal framework, diversify revenue sources, support non-oil sector growth and achieve the highest levels of transparency, as we aim to create a stronger and more stable economy.”

Senior executives from Saudi Arabia’s financial sector also took part in on-stage interviews, with H.E. Mr Mohamed El-Kuwaiz, Vice Chairman, Capital Market Authority and Khalid Abdullah Al Hussan, Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) both commenting on the impact of Vision 2030 to date, and the long-term plans in place to encourage greater national and international investment.

H.E. Dr Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, Governor, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, was interviewed on the Kingdom’s current monetary policy, and its long-term plans to deliver stability and support national goals.

Also representing the Kingdom on the first day of the Conference were Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, SABIC and Yasir Faisal Al-Sharif, Chief Executive Officer, Jabal Omar Development Company.

Providing international commentary were senior bankers, Daniel Pinto, Chief Executive Officer – Corporate and Investment Bank, J.P. Morgan and Matthieu Duncan, Chief Executive Officer, Natixis Asset Management.

Other sessions on the first day included panel discussions on the current position of the Saudi Economy, debt capital markets and financial technology sector.

Day Two of the Conference will see a special focus on the housing and real estate sector, opening with a keynote address by H.E. Mr Majed bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, Minister of Housing, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The largest financial conference of its kind in the Kingdom, The Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference continues to drive economic debate and essential insight for investors, banks and private equity groups around the world.

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Al-Futtaim Motors reiterates its environmental leadership in the UAE

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  • Sharjah Police tests Toyota’s zero-emission Fuel Cell technology and receives 127 new Toyota Vehicles

Al-Futtaim Motors, leader in sustainable mobility and exclusive distributor of Toyota in the UAE, has handed over 127 Toyota vehicles to Sharjah Police, cementing the long-term partnership between the two entities. Al-Futtaim Motors also supported Sharjah Police in their plans to drive the UAE Vision 2021’s sustainable environment initiatives, by test driving Toyota’s zero-emission Fuel Cell technology in the form of the hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Toyota Mirai.

Unlike battery-powered electric vehicles, Mirai, a hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Electric vehicle, is driven by an electric motor, but instead of being powered by a battery, it creates electricity through an onboard Fuel Cell stack, using oxygen from the air with the stored hydrogen to power the car, resulting in the release of water instead of CO2 as a byproduct.

The handover, which took place at the Sharjah Police Headquarters, was attended by Saud Abbasi, Managing Director of Toyota at Al-Futtaim Motors, Yousuf Al Raeesi, Director of Government Affairs &Health, Safety, Security and Environment at Al-Futtaim Motors, as well as Brigadier Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, General Commander of Sharjah Police, Brigadier Abdullah Mubarak bin Amer, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Sharjah Police, Brigadier Arif Mohammed Al Sharif, Director General of Human Resources and Support Services Department, Colonel Ali Rahma Al Owais, Director of Support Services Department among other senior officials from both bodies.

“Al-Futtaim Motors has long enjoyed an excellent business relationship with Sharjah Police and today we are happy that we’re extending our partnership with the addition of a host of 127 Toyota vehicles to the Sharjah Police fleet. As the leading automotive distributor in the UAE, we pride ourselves on delivering not just Quality, Durability and Reliability, but also premium after sales services to our government partners,” said Abbasi.

He detailed the many advantages of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) compared to battery-powered electric cars, mainly in relation to fuel economy and driving range, fueling time and environmental impact.

The 127 vehicles include the powerful Prado, the bold new Camry, the expectations challenging Corolla, the versatile Hiace and the rugged and dominant Land Cruiser Pickup.

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All-new 2017 F-150 Raptor Terrain Modes: Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

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The all-new Ford F-150 Raptor features six terrain modes designed to handle the most demanding terrains. From off-road rock crawling and desert running to on-road sport mode, Raptor is ready for any type of driving. Here’s a breakdown of each mode.

Normal For everyday on-road driving duties, normal mode is a perfect balance of excitement, comfort and convenience.
Sport Mountain passes are no longer just for Mustang, thanks to Raptor sport mode. For spirited on-road driving, sport mode increases throttle response and provides a sportier steering feel – along with quicker shifting. The transmission holds gears longer to keep you in the power band.
Weather When road conditions are less than ideal, weather mode inspires confidence without compromising driving pleasure. Weather mode automatically engages 4 Auto. AdvanceTrac, throttle response and the shift schedule are optimised for greater confidence in slippery conditions.
Mud/SandFor tackling trails and other off-road treks, the mud/sand setting is your best friend. 4 High and the electronic locking differential automatically engage for driving over loose or soft ground, and optimised AdvanceTrac settings help Raptor keep its footing. Steering is set to comfort, which makes it easier to navigate along tight trails and over obstacles.
BajaBaja mode is where Raptor eclipses the competition. Designed for high-speed desert running, Baja mode places the vehicle in 4 High, AdvanceTrac is programmed to the least intrusive settings, and the throttle map is adjusted for more linear power and improved engine response to give the hardcore off-road driver greater control. The transmission has quicker shifts and holds gears longer – keeping the vehicle in its power band.
Rock CrawlThis setting is for intense off-road driving and rock climbing at low speeds. Rock crawl prompts the driver to place the vehicle in 4 Low, the electronic locking differential is automatically engaged and AdvanceTrac is set to the least intrusive settings for optimum rock climbing ability. Throttle modulation and transmission response are optimised for greater control. Additionally, the front camera allows the driver to see what’s right in front of the truck, and it can be kept on at speeds up to 24 km/h.
Along with the individual AdvanceTrac settings tied to drive modes, Raptor continues the Ford Performance tradition of allowing the driver to programme the system’s settings to match conditions and skill level. The driver can reduce traction control but keep stability control on with a single press of the electronic stability control button; or, by holding the button for five seconds, the driver can turn AdvanceTrac settings off.

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