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Egypt confirms its fifth participation in Arab Women Sports Tournament

Four clubs will be competing in four sporting categories at AWST

Sports lovers from Egypt residing in the UAE and across the region have reason to celebrate as talented sportswomen and female athletes representing four renowned clubs in Egypt will be competing in the upcoming edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) 2020 – the largest women’s sporting event in the Arab world, February 2 – 12, in Sharjah.

This is Egypt’s fifth participation in the event since the tournament’s inception in 2012. The country will be competing in four AWST competition disciplines, namely, basketball, volleyball, fencing and karate.

Egypt plays a leading role in the Arab world in supporting and promoting women’s sports, and is one of the region’s first countries to establish sports clubs for females. The representation of Egyptian sportswomen in AWST has always been outstanding, who have won 28 medals competing in AWST’s previous editions. In the 2018 edition, six Egyptian clubs participated taking home 13 medals.

HE Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of AWST’s Supreme Organising Committee, Head of its Executive Committee, and Director General of SWS, said: “Egypt has always been superb in sports. It has a long history of brilliance and innovation in all sports, including women’s sports. The country’s dedication to enhancing the capabilities of women in sports is reflected in the nation’s unrivalled representation at AWST who play with utmost professionalism to defend their titles, inspiring their peers from other countries. We look forward to Egypt bringing a high level of excellence and sporting spirit to AWST 2020.”

The fifth edition of AWST 2020 will see the participation of 16 Arab countries who will compete across nine sports: shooting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, athletics, show jumping, fencing, archery and karate.

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The International Cricket Council today announced the umpire and match referee appointments for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020, which will be staged in South Africa from 17 January to 9 February.

Experienced umpires Wayne Knights and Ravindra Wimalasiri will take charge of the opening match of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup after the officials for South Africa 2020 were confirmed.

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The Emirate of Sharjah has announced a budget with total expenses of AED29.1 billion for 2020, a 2 percent increase in comparison to its 2019 budget

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H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, announced a budget with total expenses of AED29.1 billion for 2020, a 2 percent increase in comparison to its 2019 budget.

The approved budget will see an increase in expenses across several sectors including infrastructure, social programs, economic activities, culture and education among others.

Investing in the Emirate’s infrastructure will be the primary goal this year, besides also focusing on Sharjah’s strategic objectives in the economic, social, scientific and cultural sectors. Provision of social support to ensure that the needs of all citizens are adequately met, will also be an essential area of focus during this year.

Approximately 33% of the general budget is allocated to infrastructure development in the emirate, a growth of 10% over the 2019 budget. Around 36% of the general budget is set aside for economic development, with an increased focused on spurring economic growth.

About 24% of the general budget is earmarked for social development, a 1% increase over the 2019 budget. This budget is dedicated for the support of scientific, cultural and heritage services in order to stimulate creativity, innovation and R&D, to ensure an ideal healthy environment.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Saud Al Qasimi said: “The general budget for this year is considered the largest in the history of the emirate. Stimulating economic growth lies at the heart of this year’s budget as a strategic priority to enhance Sharjah’s economic appeal regionally and globally. The aim is to ensure financial stability and improve the emirate’s competitiveness by providing a business-friendly environment for local and international investors, and help in the growth of the tourism sector across various fields, including cultural, historical, therapeutic, and recreational tourism. This is coupled with unrelenting efforts to keep macroeconomic performance indicators in line with international standards, including control of inflation rates and rationalizing government spending.”

H.E. Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of Sharjah Finance Department said that the 2020 budget provides a practical framework for implementing the directives and priorities of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and translating the vision and strategy of the Sharjah government from a modern perspective. The budget has, therefore, been linked with the emirate’s economic and social indicators in a way that ensures spurring economic growth and provides social support, and adequate housing opportunities for families to enjoy social stability, security and solidarity. This vision aligns with the directives of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah of providing a decent life and lasting prosperity for citizens and residents living in Sharjah.”

Capital projects accounted for 23% of the total budget with a view of strengthening infrastructure, including the development and improvement of road network, tunnels, and other primary facilities. The general budget will create 500 jobs for Emiratis to ensure social stability and sustainable income sources for UAE citizens. The revenues of independent entities are set to grow by 1% in 2020 compared to 2019. Social assistance accounts for 13 % of the 2020 general budget, which reflects the determination of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah to ensure welfare and social justice.

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Samana Developers Launches Game-Changer 50% Property Financing to Buyers

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Samana Developers is UAE’s first developer giving such a massive facility.

The UAE Central Bank’s existing rule allows local banks of lending up to 20% of financing.

In addition, guarantee of 24% rental returns by Samana Developers makes its projects highly attractive for end-users and investors alike.

Samana Developers, a Dubai-based boutique real estate developer and a part of Samana Group of Companies, has announced Dubai’s first of a kind game-changer facility of 50% financing for its investors for its soon to be launched resort-style design award winning Samana Golf Avenue project located in Dubai Studio City and near Dubai Sports City.

Samana Developers move comes at a time when the Central Bank of UAE, country’s banking regulator, discussed relaxing the existing ceiling of 20% financing by UAE lenders for real estate sector.

Samana Developers is UAE’s first developer who is offering such a massive offer, while making investors’ life risk-free and easier with ultimate satisfaction.

Samana Developers is offering the 50% finance facility for its resort-themed Samana Golf Avenue project, located in Dubai Studio City. The project won the Innovation in Design Award by BNC Publishing, Dubai. The project includes 233 luxury studios, one and two-bedroom apartments some with private pools and a world class leisure deck featuring a golf putting green.

Samana Developers, under the partnership with leading banks, will be providing the most attractive terms for end users financing for both residents as well as non-residents. Financing will be available for up to 10 years tenure on Samana Golf Project for up to 50% of the unit value.

Alan James Gammon, General Manager of Samana Developers, said: ““50% financing is a generousmove by Samana Developers, which reflects our rent-to-own approach for homebuyers. Our partnership with the local financial institutions reflects our mandate to create solutions that meet the changing needs of homebuyers in the UAE. Considering the huge interest for the Samana Golf Avenue project in both the local and international market especially China. We perceive an exceptionally strong demand for high-quality, affordable properties in carefully master-planned, and well located residential communities from homebuyers, ranging from young professionals to larger families.”

Beside 50% financing, the competitive guarantee of 24% rental returns makes Samana Golf Avenue project an attractive proposition for end-users and investors alike, and is the developers’ rent-to-own approach . The 10% down-payment and over 90 months installment scheme makes it easier and simple for the investor to pay and earn rental yields.

In addition, investors are particularly interested in the 8% net return that is given by the developer once the unit is fully paid. The higher than bank return makes Samana Golf Avenue a highly lucrative proposition for investors at a much sought-after location of Dubai Studio City in the city of Dubai.

“We have a buyer-focused business model, with a win-win approach. Our 24% guaranteed rental return is hard to compete with in the Dubai’s real estate market which only a mature and sustainable developer can offer. Our sustainable business approach reflects our commitment to our customers and to the Dubai’s real estate market in general”, said Alan James.

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Saud Al Mazrouei: 2020 budget highlights Sharjah’s commitment to growth, development and progress

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The Emirate of Sharjah is experiencing strong economic growth and moving strongly towards further development and progress, said HE Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF ZONE).

Al Mazrouei made his remarks on the occasion of approving the Emirate’s largest ever general budget on Sunday by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

The director affirmed that Sharjah is progressing towards greater economic improvements thanks to the wise vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, adding that the 2020 budget, which comes in line with the government spending plans and infrastructure projects, will give an additional boost to local and foreign investments and projects.

National Priorities

“This year’s budget has focused on key sectors. This reflects how much attention is given to national priorities by H.H Dr Sheikh Sultan. It took at its core the interests of Sharjah’s citizens and was developed to make them feel reassured about the future of Sharjah and its coming generation. The budget will definitely support Sharjah’s leading position in the region and will enhance its competitive edge globally” he underlined.

“It does mirror the Emirate’s capability to steadily enhance and build on its economic achievements made over the years. Sharjah now is an example for building a state-of-the-art economy based on solid foundations,” Al Mazrouei further said.

Striking Balance

“The budget also highlights the Emirate’s firm determination to strike a balance between improving the economy and achieving the prosperity of its people as evidenced by allocating 36% of it to the economic development sector, which shows the extent of the government’s commitment to securing the requirements of sustainable development.

There is no doubt the budget will reinforce the Emirate’s leadership and competitiveness. It will help provide the best and finest services to investors and the business sector, and will add a further momentum to the national economy. It will also stimulate foreign direct investment to invest in various projects,” he added.

Additionally, our wise government has allotted 24% of the budget to the social development sector, which demonstrates its great interests in ensuring the happiness and welfare of Sharjah’s people and its sustained support to scientific, cultural and heritage services, creativity, innovation and scientific research.

Al Mazrouei concluded by saying: “The budget does indeed reflect the comprehensive vision of Dr Sheikh Sultan, which was tailored to realize the highest levels of financial sustainability and efficiency in managing the available resources, and supporting the capabilities of government agencies,”.


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Second Ihsaan School Opens in Doha

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Quality education and learning prioritized for children and youth from Arabic speaking nationalities living in Qatar

Continuing its legacy and efforts to ensure every child has access to a quality primary education, the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, held a ceremony today to celebrate the opening of the Second Ihsaan School in Doha. This new school, established in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and funded by Qatar Charity and Afif Charity will address the needs of Arab students who have never been to school, with lessons taught in Arabic using the Qatar National Curriculum. The school population currently includes students from 15 different nationalities.

The school will provide quality education to children and youth who have been unable to access formal education due to a number of barriers, including poverty and displacement. On this occasion HE Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohammed bin Abdul Wahed Al Hammadi expressed his pleasure at the opening of the school, which reflects Qatari institutes’ keenness to fulfill their social responsibilities to provide free education opportunities, noting that “Ihsan II” is one of a series of schools, one of which was opened last year for Asian communities.

HE the Minister clarified that EAA plays a great role in communicating its educational mission all over the world, especially for those residing in the State of Qatar, whose countries suffer from different conditions, so that no child in Qatar is outside the education system.

He pointed out that the Ministry has provided the building and many services such as maintenance, security and academic supervision for this school, noting that the school board of trustees is concerned with appointing the teaching staff, school administration and other operational matters.

The First Ihsaan School was established in June 2019 to serve the education needs of non-Arab students in Qatar, and plans are set to establish three more Ihsaan schools to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education is provided for all children and youth in Qatar. The Second Ihsaan School will serve 518 students in grades 1-12 in two shifts. There are 23 teachers and 10 administrative staff members in the morning shift, with plans to hire 13 teachers and four administrative staff for the second shift. The school has 15 classrooms and features a variety of excellent facilities including a library, computer lab, school canteen and a mosque.

With more than 59 million children out of school across the globe, the need for creative and inclusive access to education continues to be a priority for the State of Qatar. In a statement after a recent visit, Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, congratulated Qatar on its visionary and open approach to education, and the resources it is investing in. She encouraged the State of Qatar to “invest even more in the public education system and provide access to it for all, free of charge”.

EAA, through its Together program, aims to assist parents and families in Qatar who are faced with barriers that keep them from having their children attend school and thereby, ensure that all children and youth in Qatar have access to quality education.

Representatives from additional partners, AFIF Charity, Carrefour and the Qatar National Library, also joined the effort to launch the school.

“We are very grateful for the commitment shown by our partners. Our success is made possible with the support of partners across all sectors of Qatar, including the government, NGOs and the corporate community. As we look to the future and anticipate the needs of the children and families in Qatar, we are excited about our plans to grow our network of partners and expand the reach of the Ihsaan Schools said Maryam AL Mannai, Projects Officer at  Education Above All. “This second school, along with the first and the others to come in the future, will unlock the potential of children and youth to be productive, responsible, contributing residents of Qatar.”

The admissions criteria of the Ihsaan schools states that all potential students should not be enrolled in any other school (private, government or home) at the time of admission. Students shall be legal residents of Qatar (hold valid QID), with exemptions for Syrians and Yemenis, who only need to have a valid visa. Families must also meet the financial eligibility criteria developed by EAA and the partners.

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16th SteelFab opens at Expo Centre Sharjah

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From new tech to welding contest, 4-day show to be a key industry event

 Presenting the region’s largest showcase of machinery, equipment, tools and accessories for the metal working and forming industry, the 16th SteelFab 2020 has got under way at Expo Centre Sharjah on Monday (Jan 13).

Serving as a one-stop sourcing and reference point for the entire spectrum of products and services relating to welding and cutting technology, machine tools, fasteners and allied industries, SteelFab was inaugurated by Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Seaports and Customs. The event will run until January 16.

More than 300 manufacturers, distributors and 700 brands from 35 countries from across the world are displaying products and solutions ranging from the requirements of the smallest of the fabrication works to everything that a large project would require. Every international brand worth its name is available at the stalls that are spread across nearly 20,000 sq m.

The opening ceremony  was attended by H.E. Abdalla Sultan Mohamed Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry & Expo Centre Sharjah.,  HE Mohammed Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, SCCI’s Director General,  HE Saif Mohammad Al Midfa, CEO of Expo Centre Sharjah, HE Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF ZONE), and Sultan Shattaf, Sales and Marketing Director, Expo Centre Sharjah and as well as other board members from SCCI and Expo Centre.

Also present were members of diplomatic corps, dignitaries and representatives of the manufacturing sector, as well as a large crowd of businessmen and investors.

After cutting the ribbon, which marked the official opening of the show, Sheikh Khalid toured the show, and was briefed by exhibiters about their latest their latest products, technologies and innovative solutions in the metal working industry.

Sheikh Khalid affirmed that SteelFab offers something new every edition, which explains the growing number of participants and its increasing importance for local, regional and international companies looking forward to expanding their business and enhancing their presence in the UAE’s and region’s markets.

“It is especially important as it gives a unique access to the latest innovations, advanced techniques and high-end products in the steel and metal industry. This event does indeed reflect Sharjah’s great interest in promoting its reputation, competitive edge and status being a leading hub for business and investments,” he further said.

Sheikh Khalid added: “Thanks to the wise vision of H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Sharjah has become a top regional destination for investors interested in the advanced steel and metal industry,”.

A number of officials from participating companies praised Expo Centre’s support and well organization of the event, stressing their keenness to attend such an annual event, which is one of the most important trade gatherings for the steel and metal industry in the region.

“SteelFab has been the flagbearer of the manufacturing industry for the past one and a half decades. Underpinned by bold reforms and stimulus measures, the manufacturing industry in the country has been expanding fast, and has become the base for the push to diversify the UAE economy. With every key regional player set to take advantage of the show, I am sure that SteelFab will continue to play a key role in strengthening the industrial base of the country,” said H.E. Al Owais

The presence of a large number of prominent local and international companies and brands who are leaders in their fields of expertise would also help establish crucial connections in supply chain across various segments of the manufacturing industry in the country, added Al Owais.

The regional manufacturing industry has always been on the leading edge of technology and innovation, and as the world moves into the fourth industrial revolution, the industry, of which metal fabrication is an integral part, is changing fast.

“The push is for faster machines, but the focus is also on connectivity and automation. And, new trends, including additive manufacturing, tube laser technology and artificial intelligence, will be the focus across the stalls at SteelFab, its special focus areas, national pavilions, live displays, and technical seminars,” said H.E. Al Midfa.

From fibre laser cutting machine to magnetic drilling and robotic assembling lines to abrasives, visitors can find everything, including machines, laser, automation, and software & services, from a single or multiple sources.

Since SteelFab is the largest showcase of welding and cutting in the region, and welding and cutting products account for nearly one-third of all the exhibits, a competition aiming to promote excellence in workmanship has been launched during the 16th SteelFab 2020. The Best Welder competition, held in association with Lincoln Electric and Middle East Industrial Training Institute, will be held during the show and winners awarded a slew of prizes, including a portable welding machine and full Lincoln Electric safety gear.

National Pavilions are a regular feature at SteelFab and this year exhibitors who represent Italy, China, India and Turkey have put up an impressive display. The 5th Fasteners World Middle East, held concurrently with SteelFab, is featuring companies such as SJS, Bolt Master, Petrofast, Technical Metal etc, providing visitors with fastener and fixing systems and related products and services.

Besides being a supportive partner to the event, the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) is also participating in SteelFab with a full-fledged pavilion. The authority is showcasing its unique services and investment opportunities as well as the advantages of setting up businesses at Hamriyah Free Zone.

The pavilion has also been dedicated to promote HFZA’s position, being an ideal hub for steel fabrication and metal companies and to attract major regional and international companies operating in this field through highlighting its unparalleled services, which were carefully developed to meet the needs of all investors, add value to their business and enhance their efficiency. Currently, more than 180 regional and international steel fabrication and metal companies are now operating at HFZA

Scores of industry executives and professionals have already signed up for technical seminars that will be organised in multiple sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and will take up topics like material handling, welding, grinding and metal cutting by industry leaders.

The show will be open from 10 am to 7 pm daily only for trade and professional visitors. Entry and parking are free.

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Kia Motors Corporation MEA appoints Memac Ogilvy for PR partnership in MEA region

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Kia Motors Corporation MEA has appointed Memac Ogilvy to lead its public relations in a multi-market partnership across Middle East and Africa — a new partnership for the automotive giant.

The account will be handled by Memac Ogilvy’s hub office in Dubai, UAE, and service major markets in the region, including Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, KSA, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, and South Africa.

Yaser Shabsogh, Chief Operating Officer, Regional HQs, Middle East & Africa, Kia, said: “As we continue to witness a rapid change in the auto industry, we are determined to enhance Kia’s brand power and reputation. We believe in synergy and are positioned to respond to the opportunities the changing era brings with the help of Ogilvy and their modern and creative approach to PR. This partnership will also allow us to better support our distributors across the region through a single point of contact and a unified message. We believe that together with Memac Ogilvy, we can effectively communicate how the Kia brand will continue to surprise while moving beyond simply providing a means of transportation.”

“This kind of partnership was tailor-made for Memac Ogilvy, and the wider Ogilvy network,” said Saada Hammad, Regional Director of PR & Influence, Memac Ogilvy.

“Kia is a globally adored brand, with an exciting and unique story to tell. We bring years of knowledge and experience within the automotive and mobility sector to the table, as well as a fully integrated network of professionals. Together, we have the opportunity to tell stories that surprise, and further drive the love of Kia and its fleet to the region.”

Kia, ranked fourth car brand in the region, is one of the most trusted and loved automotive brands in the world, and is the latest addition to Memac Ogilvy’s exciting portfolio of global and local brands within its PR & Influence capability in the MEA region.

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Egypt confirms its fifth participation in Arab Women Sports Tournament

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Four clubs will be competing in four sporting categories at AWST

Sports lovers from Egypt residing in the UAE and across the region have reason to celebrate as talented sportswomen and female athletes representing four renowned clubs in Egypt will be competing in the upcoming edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) 2020 – the largest women’s sporting event in the Arab world, February 2 – 12, in Sharjah.

This is Egypt’s fifth participation in the event since the tournament’s inception in 2012. The country will be competing in four AWST competition disciplines, namely, basketball, volleyball, fencing and karate.

Egypt plays a leading role in the Arab world in supporting and promoting women’s sports, and is one of the region’s first countries to establish sports clubs for females. The representation of Egyptian sportswomen in AWST has always been outstanding, who have won 28 medals competing in AWST’s previous editions. In the 2018 edition, six Egyptian clubs participated taking home 13 medals.

HE Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of AWST’s Supreme Organising Committee, Head of its Executive Committee, and Director General of SWS, said: “Egypt has always been superb in sports. It has a long history of brilliance and innovation in all sports, including women’s sports. The country’s dedication to enhancing the capabilities of women in sports is reflected in the nation’s unrivalled representation at AWST who play with utmost professionalism to defend their titles, inspiring their peers from other countries. We look forward to Egypt bringing a high level of excellence and sporting spirit to AWST 2020.”

The fifth edition of AWST 2020 will see the participation of 16 Arab countries who will compete across nine sports: shooting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, athletics, show jumping, fencing, archery and karate.

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Etihad and Miral sign agreement naming Etihad Arena, the new entertainment venue on Yas Island

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  • Etihad secures exclusive naming rights for new iconic venue Yas Bay Arena to be Etihad Arena
  • The Etihad Arena will host world-class concerts, sporting spectacles, family entertainment and private events year-round

Miral, Abu Dhabi’s creator of destinations, today finalised a partnership with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, to secure exclusive naming rights of Yas Bay Arena. As part of the agreement, Abu Dhabi’s first-of-its-kind multi-purpose, indoor entertainment venue will officially be named Etihad Arena.

With Etihad Airways’ track record for connecting Abu Dhabi to the world and promoting the UAE as a vibrant and growing hub for culture, business and tourism, the airline is the perfect partner to help further raise the profile of this unique venue and Yas Island as a destination. With both companies playing a key role in the Emirate’s economic diversification and development strategy, the new partnership will help position the Etihad Arena as one of the leading entertainment venues in the region and an important addition to Yas Island and Abu Dhabi’s entertainment and tourism offering.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group commented: “It’s an honour to partner with an Abu Dhabi institution such as Miral on this joint venture, that will further promote Abu Dhabi and Yas Island as a hub for entertainment, tourism and culture. Etihad Arena complements our global presence at a number of sporting and entertainment venues, most notably Etihad Stadium in Manchester, home of Manchester City Football Club. This new arena will bring an abundance of talent to our capital, providing a diverse range of entertainment options for guests visiting our beautiful city, or for those who call the UAE home.”

Commenting on the agreement, Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, said: “As our national airline with international reach, Etihad Airways is the ideal partner to help position the newly named Etihad Arena competitively on the local and regional map of live entertainment destinations. The new venue will be a significant addition to the unique offerings on Yas Island and in Abu Dhabi, creating unforgettable experiences, and helping us deliver on our vision to position Yas Island as a top global destination for entertainment, leisure and business.  This is a testament to our commitment to grow the tourism industry and achieve our leadership’s vision of economic diversification.”

The Etihad Arena, which will be operated by Flash Entertainment, has been designed to accommodate large-scale and private events, offering unique flexibility with a capacity ranging from 200 to 18,000 people. Once open, the venue will host an eclectic variety of events including sporting competitions, corporate events, cultural performances, concerts, and many other appealing activities throughout the year.

Etihad Arena is part of Yas Bay, an iconic mixed-use development located on the southern end of Yas Island. Yas Bay encompasses three distinct but integrated areas: Yas Bay Waterfront, the Residences at Yas Bay and twofour54. The Etihad Arena will be an integral and iconic part of the Yas Bay Waterfront, which will also include the Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, a beach club as well as a pier that boasts 12 licensed cafes and restaurants, and 19 retail outlets.

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Health Promotion Department announces a package of Initiatives for 2020 in implementation to Sheikha Jawaher vision

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The Health Promotion Department, HPD, at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, SCFA, and its health-promoting associations have announced a package of new programs and initiatives that will be organized throughout 2020.

The new activities were formulated to support the government endeavors in 2020, which was announced to be the year of preparations for the next 50 (2020: towards the next 50).  The initiatives aim to strengthen the adoption of healthy lifestyles among the community members and improving the public health in the Emirate of Sharjah, pursuant to the visions and directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah.

This was stated during a press conference held today (Wednesday) at the SCFA headquarters, in the presence of HE Iman Rashid Saif, Director of the Health Promotion Department, heads of health-promoting associations, representatives of HPD’s strategic partners, a number of volunteers at the Department, and a big crowd of media representatives.

The to-be launched initiatives includes an initiative to complete work on the “Healthy Schools Program”, “Wazen Program”, as well as other initiatives and programmes for health-promoting associations, which focus on enhancing the Emirate’s efforts in terms of raising awareness on ways to prevent various diseases, and encourage members of society to follow healthy lifestyles and exercise healthy habits that maintain health and safety.

A Roadmap for Our Initiatives

HE Iman Rashid Saif said: “The theme ‘2020: Towards the next 50’ announced by the wise leadership at the beginning of this year was the base of our strategic plans for this year and constitutes a roadmap for the Department’s initiatives and programs. This year’s activities are relying on new and innovative awareness methods to reach all society segments and all age groups.”

This includes conducting more field visits and fostering our participation inside and outside the Emirate’s major fairs, festivals, and events to continue our fundamental and growing role in maintaining public health, preventing and reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases, Saif further said.

“The department is doing its best to maintain Sharjah’s reputation as an oasis of healthy life and a role model in caring for the health and safety of its citizens and residents”, she added

Various Initiatives

Following a short film about the Health Promotion Department and the related health promotion associations, Amna Al Naqbi, Director of the Division of the Health Information of the Health Education Department of the SCFA outlined the Department’s initiatives for 2020. They include Ramadan’s initiative under the slogan “Hilal Al-Seha”, “Health & Tourism Initiative” which will be focusing on nutrition in association with some restaurants and cafes, “Sohbti Program” (My Companions) which is organized annually in cooperation with Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah, and organizing “My Health Conference” the largest event of its kind.

Organizing the 8th Annual Marathon

HE Waheeda Abdul Aziz, Head of the Friends of Arthritis Patients Society, shed light on the Association’s agenda, including “It’s Time to Exercise” and the 8th annual marathon with ambitious plans to attract over 8000 people, with the aim of drawing the attention of the community to arthritis patients and supporting them financially and morally.

Other events include a “walking hour” initiative, launching a short health and awareness film competition, organizing a health conference, and a “steps towards hope” forum to reveal the latest research in the field of joint and bone diseases, and raise awareness of the hazards of osteoporosis.

Heba Mohammed Zaqqout, Executive Secretary, Friends of Breastfeeding Association, highlighted the programs and initiatives of the Breastfeeding Friends Association, where it is intending to carry out more than 20 initiatives and programs including the Mabrouk Ma Yak Initiative, Breastfeeding Girl Guides Program as well as a specialized training course on the breastfeeding-related and infant nutrition topics.

Other activities of the year also include the annual ceremony for honoring nursing mothers to encourage them to continue breastfeeding, in addition to organizing activities marking the World Breastfeeding Week and the National Breastfeeding Week.

The Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP)

Amal Al-Mazmi, Head of the Organizational Excellence Department at the FOCP, gave a presentation on the Association’s agenda, which includes the launch of the 3rd non-communicable diseases forum. A workshop will also be organized for the record of cancer tumors.

Additionally, the FOCP will be taking part, for the fifth consecutive year, in the Gulf Campaign to raise cancer awareness, besides launching the Pink Caravan Journey in its tenth edition, as well as organizing the “I Deserve Life” campaign in its eighth edition during the holy month of Ramadan, and participating in the Sharjah Book Fair and Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival.

Raising Diabetes Awareness among School Students

Amna Ahmed Al Shamsi, Executive Secretary, the Friends of Diabetes Association, said: “The Association’s agenda for this year focuses on enhancing the public awareness on diabetes and promoting ways of prevention, as well as on how to provide appropriate health care for diabetic patients. Our agenda will be implemented through three big campaigns to be organized by the associations, including the “Blue Circle” initiative, “The Super Hero” and the “Prevention and Coexistence” campaigns.

“Also, our activities will be focusing on raising diabetes awareness among school students in Sharjah, by providing free consultations and organization of awareness-raising workshops and various recreational events and other activities” Al Shamsi added.

Kidney Health for All Everywhere

While Aisha Al Ali, a representative of the Friends of Kidney Patients Association, explained the association’s most important initiative, most importantly the International Kidney Day Initiative, entitled “Kidney Health for All Everywhere”, which includes a number of activities, such as launching a contest through social networking sites, producing educational film, organizing a “mural” exhibition and a patient visits program.

This is in addition to the “My Health in Ramadan” initiative to educate employees on how to maintain normal levels of sugar and blood pressure and the “Water Campaign” initiative to raise awareness of the importance of water and sports for kidney health.

The Health Education Department and health-supporting associations will also strive to launch several initiatives to mark international health days throughout the year, in addition to raising awareness through social media and media outlets, as well as developing studies that serve the health and social aspects whether in the Emirate of Sharjah or nationwide.

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DIHAD Hosts Humanitarian Week in Dubai This March

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Sending a call for help and assisting the less fortunate in Africa

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and the supervision and support of Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, representatives and Senior Board Members and distinguished Members of the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, Supporting Entities and INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding, announced the details of the ‘Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development – DIHAD Humanitarian Week’, during a press conference held today at Emirates Towers in Dubai. Running under the theme ‘Aid, a focus on Africa’, the ‘DIHAD Humanitarian Week’ which includes, DIHAD World Children Marathon & International Humanitarian Hackathon 2020, will be taking place from the 6th to the 12th of March, 2020, focusing on the most critical humanitarian challenges, exploring innovative ways to help the needy and making a real difference in the lives of people in Africa.

The press conference witnessed the attendance of a high-level delegation from Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid including Moosa Khoory, Member of Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, Sara Al Sayegh, Director of Communications and Marketing Department at Dubai Sports Council, Dr. Manal Omran Taryam, CEO and Board Member – Noor Dubai Foundation, Mohammed Abdullah Al Zarooni, Director of the Emirates Red Crescent in Dubai, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding, Executive Chairman of DIHAD and DISAB and Goodwill Ambassador of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) and other esteemed members of the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid among other senior officials and media executives.

During the press conference, it was revealed that the DIHAD World Children Marathon, is aimed at raising awareness about the humanitarian challenges facing the aid workers and people in Africa and it will be held on the 6th of March, 2020 from 6 AM to 10 AM, at the Happiness Street in Dubai. Moreover, the 4-kilometer run is expected to attract the presence of over 10,000 people from over 202 nationalities, as well as the active participation of a number of schools, universities, government entities, private sectors and general public including teachers, students, parents, public figures, civil society members and others, who aim to contribute for the brighter future of children in Africa.

While speaking about the launch of International Humanitarian Hackathon on the sidelines of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development DIHAD Conference and Exhibition, the high-level delegation mentioned that the 2-day hackathon event focuses on the ‘Humanitarian challenges in Africa’ and will be held on the 10th and 11th of March, 2020, the first and second day of DIHAD conference and exhibition.

It was further mentioned that the International Humanitarian Hackathon, will be held under 3 separate tracks namely, Technology, Humanitarian Used Devices (HUD’s) and Innovative Ideas/Concepts and is specifically designed to create solutions to humanitarian challenges in Africa and the rest of the world. The hackathon features the participation of over 200 students and more than 1,000 visitors including top international organizations, incubators, tech companies, startups, academics and talented students, who will come together to generate new ideas, build prototypes and launch new projects for the people in humanitarian crisis.

From his side, H.E. Saeed Al Eter, Chairman of the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid and the Assistant Secretary General of Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, said, “DIHAD has become one of the most pivotal humanitarian platforms where the best minds gather under one roof to offer their valuable insights and experiences in the field of humanitarian work as well as set practical strategies and develop robust approaches to overcome the most significant humanitarian challenges. This is largely done by developing relief mechanisms that can be applied on a wider scale, fostering highest levels of efficiency, synergy and competitiveness and facilitating the transfer of humanitarian aid to concerned target groups.”

H.E. Al Eter added, “Since its establishment in 2004, DIHAD was successful in establishing an innovative platform dedicated to sustainable humanitarian aid and relief work while also ensuring that it lays the groundwork for the exchange of best international experiences in this highly evolving field. Moreover, the forum seeks to address the most pressing humanitarian issues that hinder the empowerment of disadvantaged and vulnerable social groups across the globe while also meet the basic requirements of people that guarantees improvement in their quality of life.”

He further stated, “The participation of the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid in ‘DIHAD Humanitarian Week’ reflects the vision and the goals of the council which aims to invest and harness advanced technologies for developing the field of humanitarian work and build viable partnerships with global bodies and organizations as well as implement innovative solutions to overcome the major challenges facing humanity including various crises and calamities.”

H.E. Al Etar stressed, “The Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid supports the launch of International Humanitarian Hackathon, which is being held under the theme ‘Humanitarian challenges in Africa’ as well as the DIHAD World Children Marathon aimed at highlighting the suffering of the afflicted and disadvantaged communities in Africa. These initiatives also intend to raise awareness among the children and the youth in the UAE who represent 202 nationalities inspiring them to realize that the cultural diversity they represent does not contradict the fundamental principles and values of humanity and that it is a necessity to unite all efforts, ideas and initiatives in order to build a better world.”

While quoting a recent report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – UNOCHA, on the challenges faced by aid workers during relief efforts, His Excellency stated, “By 2020, 168 million people or 1 in 45 people globally will be in dire need of humanitarian aid owing to a number of crises and disasters facing more than 50 countries and this calls for urgent action and the need to join hands, unifying efforts, strategies and solutions in the field of humanitarian work.”

From her side, Dr. Manal Taryam, CEO of Primary Health Care Sector, Dubai Health Authority, said, “Under the umbrella of the Dubai Future council for humanitarian work, the Dubai Humanitarian Hackathon will challenge participants to collaborate and innovate solutions and ideas to enhance humanitarian initiatives globally.”

Dr. Manal added, “With an emphasis on Africa, the participants will be provided challenges from the field of humanitarian work targeting multiple aspects ranging from education, accessibility to health care, climate changes, water supply and disaster response. The winners will be supported by the Dubai future Foundation and partners to develop a prototype of the innovative idea which is expected to be put to use before the next DIHAD in 2021.”

She further stated, “Technology partners, academics and innovators are invited to mentor the students and young programmers and guide them through the 3 days hackathon. The judging panel will help study the proposed innovative ideas and choose a winner based on criteria such as: business value, creativity, realistic capabilities and level of innovation.”

Commenting on the launch of DIHAD World Children Marathon and International Humanitarian Hackathon in Dubai, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding, Executive Chairman of DIHAD and DISAB and Goodwill Ambassador of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), said, “At DIHAD, we have always been extremely keen to be at the forefront of supporters and sponsors in the field of humanitarian and volunteer work in all its various forms and dimensions, whenever and wherever it is deemed necessary. Ever since its inception in 2004, the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition – DIHAD has clearly established itself as a global beacon for charitable and humanitarian work as well as a seminal guide for all the humanitarian organizations, charitable institutions and entities around the globe. Over the years, DIHAD has been highly successful in providing support to thousands of needy individuals and communities by bringing together over 640 Participating Non-Governmental Associations, Companies, Suppliers and International Brands from across the world.”

He added, “From the outset, DIHAD has organized a significant number of humanitarian activities and initiatives to highlight the challenges faced by those who suffer from calamities as well as the supporting entities and organizations. Therefore, we have decided this year to launch the DIHAD Humanitarian Week from the very heart of Dubai, the city that offered help and support to millions of people around the world. For the 17th edition of DIHAD Conference and Exhibition, we chose the theme “Aid: a focus on Africa” where we intend to highlight the most important challenges facing this continent, seek the support of the local and global entities and organizations and discuss the best humanitarian practices and viable solutions to the current crises in Africa, which calls for urgent global concerted action.”

He also stated, “The DIHAD Humanitarian Week, being held from the 6th to the 12th of March, 2020, will feature a number of charitable and awareness-raising activities and events that focus on the importance of giving and helping the people in need in Africa. The DIHAD Humanitarian Week includes “DIHAD World Children Marathon”, an activity that will bring together children and individuals from the various nationalities residing in the United Arab Emirates to achieve one goal: to help the Children in Africa. Furthermore, DIHAD will also witness the launch of the “International Humanitarian Hackathon” which will feature the participation of a number of students from the UAE and abroad to generate new ideas, projects, and innovative solutions for the problems faced by the people in need in Africa. The Hackathon also aims to introduce the humanitarian organizations to the pressing humanitarian challenges faced by the individuals on the ground in that continent. Additionally, DIHAD will also witness a number of pre-conference workshops that will discuss a number of topics like, food crisis, climate change, the impact of humanitarian crises on women and children, and the role of coordination in crises and emergencies, among others.”

For his part, Mohammed Abdullah Al Zarooni, Director of the Emirates Red Crescent in Dubai, said, “We are delighted to participate in the DIHAD Conference and Exhibition as strategic partners for the 17th consecutive year, as it is an important humanitarian platform attracting more than 600 companies involved in the relief and rehabilitation efforts of the needy and the impacted.  This year, as part of DIHAD Humanitarian Week, we are witnessing the launch of DIHAD World Children Marathon, which will start on the 6th of March, 2020 and we are expected to attract a number of people from different nationalities residing in Dubai.”

He added, “The Emirates Red Crescent is currently present in 18 locations around the world, where it provides impactful humanitarian services, including the Emirati -Jordanian camp ‘Mrajeeb Al Fhood’, in Jordan, which provides medical, therapeutic and educational services to over 10,000 Syrian refugees in addition to operating the largest field hospital in Mafraq city, which offers medical services to thousands of people. This comes as, Emirates Red Crescent is widely renowned as the first to reach the disaster areas in the region and the 3rd globally, helping victims in times of great need.”

Sara Al Sayegh, Director of Communications and Marketing at the Dubai Sports Council, said: “The Dubai Sports Council is keen on extending a helping hand to those in need around the world, in order to translate the direction of our wise leadership, by launching initiatives and organizing sporting events that contribute towards supporting charitable work, and the functioning of the Dubai Sports Council. We recommend all concerned entities to be part of DIHAD 2020, the largest humanitarian event of its kind in Dubai, as the Council is keen to support any sporting activity aimed at developing humanitarian initiatives locally and globally. “

“The Council has previously participated in the Dubai Giving campaign, which aimed to provide education to one million children around the world, especially in poor countries in Asia and Africa, through the organization of a charity auction, during which a range of valuable and rare donations were launched from sports, local and international institutions. The Council has launched several humanitarian initiatives aimed at spreading a culture of giving in the sports community and encouraging its members to do charitable work, including the “Sports Footprint Award” in collaboration with the National Foundation. The UAE based individuals and institutions who have generously provided community initiatives that achieve the humanitarian and community objectives of sport are honored to have a positive impact on the sports sector and we aim to promote positive values in society by spreading a culture of humanitarian work in the sector. The Sports Council of Dubai has also launched the “Give a Smile” initiative launched by the Council to promote the idea of giving in the sports community by donating sports clothing and equipment and delivering it to those in need.”

“The Council is keen to ensure that charities are present at all sporting events, where a large proportion of the enrolment proceeds are allocated to these events for charity, such as Triathlon Dubai Ladies, Hatta Women’s Kayak Challenge, Vertical Race, and Unity Run and many other events.”

From his side, Moosa Khoory, Member of Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, said: “Humanitarian work today requires more creative ideas and innovative approaches to maximize the benefit and come out with better results, and this is what we seek through the International Humanitarian Hackathon and the DIHAD World Children Marathon.”

Meanwhile, DIHAD 2020 will feature the presence of a Pre-Conference Workshop program, which will address many important topics related to humanitarian aid in Africa, including a number of discussions under a session titled ‘Overview of Humanitarian Aid in Africa: ‘A Complex Context’, where experts will offer their insights on ‘Overview of Current Protracted Crises and Emergencies in Africa’ and ‘Role of Coordination in Crises and Emergencies’.

Additionally, more important discussions on the humanitarian challenges in Africa will be held under the session ‘Major Challenges Facing Humanitarian Aid in Africa’ such as ‘Climate Change and Armed Conflicts’, and the ‘Impact of Humanitarian Crises on Children and Women’.

Furthermore, an additional session will be held on ‘Future of Humanitarian Aid in Africa’, where experts will share their experiences on ‘Climate-Driven Food Crisis in Africa’ and the ‘Humanitarian Development Nexus; The New Way of Working’.

The 17th DIHAD Conference and Exhibition, which is the largest humanitarian event of its kind in the region, will be held from 10th to the 12th of March, 2020 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, under the theme ‘Aid, a focus on Africa’. The 3-day humanitarian gathering aims to focus its efforts on addressing the most pressing global needs of people living in poverty, oppression and conflict in various countries and continents.

Running parallel to the Conference, the DIHAD Exhibition brings together the biggest humanitarian aid organizations, leading global institutions, world leaders, profit and non-profit organizations and key industry professionals, providing them an opportunity to showcase their latest products and services, breakthrough innovations and technology while also giving them a chance to engage in productive collaborations and expand their businesses in the region.

DIHAD is annually organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding and the 2020 edition is supported by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, International Humanitarian City, Dubai Cares, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Noor Dubai Foundation.

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