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AL QEMZI TIGHTENS GRIP ON F2 TITLE RACE

It’s still step by step for Team Abu Dhabi driver after extending his championship lead in Norway

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi has put himself in a powerful position to claim the UIM F2 World Championship for the second time in three years after a composed performance as some of his rivals faltered in the Grand Prix of Norway.

While Germany’s Stefan Hagin took the honours with his first F2 victory, the major outcome from a dramatic Tønsberg race weekend is that Al Qemzi has increased his championship lead from five to 14 points and carries great momentum forward to Italy later this month.

The third round of the series in Brindisi on August 24-25 is followed by the Grand Prix of Portugal in Ribadouro on September 14-15, and on current form Al Qemzi could have the F2 world title wrapped up before the final round on home waters in Abu Dhabi on December 6-7.

There will be no diversion, however, from Team Abu Dhabi’s methodical approach to Grand Prix competition, which is not only to take races one at a time but also to focus step by step on all the elements making up each individual championship weekend.

“The team works hard and prepares hard for every race,” said Al Qemzi. “When we arrived in Norway our aim was to be at the highest level in everything we did, and it’s the same with every Grand Prix. We work as a team to get the best results one step at a time.”

Al Qemzi’s championship position was strengthened in Tønsberg by the disqualification of two of his main rivals, Sweden’s Daniel Segenmark and Norway’s Tobias Munthe-Kaas, for infringements after missing turn marks.

Team Abu Dhabi initially had both drivers on the podium in Tønsberg after Rashed Al Tayer, who had qualified in seventh place, rose to third at the finish.

This followed his strong performance in winning the traditional Speed Run which launched race activities in Tønsberg, but disappointingly Al Tayer later dropped to fifth after being penalised for a lane infringement at the start.

Al Qemzi, the first round winner in Lithuania, secured his second successive pole position in impressive style but then had his own problems at the start of the Grand Prix as his engine spluttered, briefly dropping him behind most of the other 17 boats. But by the end of the first lap he had climbed to second position and over the next 44 laps made sure Hagin had to fight all the way to secure his maiden victory.

Grand Prix of Norway leading positions

  1. Stefan Hagin (GER) 00:36:27:43
  2. Rashed Al Qemzi (UAE) 00:36:28:74
  3. Duarte Benavente (POR) 00:37:00:33
  4. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NL) 00:37:09:71
  5. Rashed Al Tayer (UAE) 00:36:57:99
  6. Héctor Sanz (SPA) 00:36:37:61

UIM F2 World Championship standings

  1. Rashed Al Qemzi (UAE) 35pts
  2. Ferdinand Zandbergen (NL)            21pts
  3. Stefan Hagin (GER)                        20pts
  4. Duarte Benavente (POR)            16pts
  5. Daniel Segenmark (SWE)                        15pts
  6. Brent Dillard (USA) 9pts
  7. Owen Jelf (GB)                         8pts
  8. Rashed Al Tayer (UAE)                         7pts
  9. Ola Pettersson (SWE)                        7pts
  10. Héctor Sanz (SPA) 5pts
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Sports

TEAM ABU DHABI’S AL QEMZI  EXTENDS LEAD IN F2 WORLD TITLE RACE

Hagin wins Grand Prix of Norway but second place boosts Emirati’s championship bid as team-mate Al Tayer joins him on podium

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qemzi extended his lead in the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship with a second place finish in today’s Grand Prix of Norway which brought a first series victory for German Stefan Hagin.

The result gives Al Qemzi a 13-point advantage in the race for the F2 title which he won in 2017, and he was joined on the podium by Abu Dhabi team-mate Rashed Al Tayer thanks to a battling performance to finish third in Tønsberg.

After his opening round victory in Lithuania and his second successive pole position, Al Qemzi had high hopes of another win, although he will be content to have grown his lead from
Sweden’s Daniel Segenmark who finished fifth in Norway.

Al Qemzi’s victory hopes might have been over even before a lap had been completed as an apparent mechanical issue left him struggling to leave the start, with the majority of the other 17 boats surging away from him.

But the Emirati driver made a superb recovery, rapidly climbing to second behind Hagin on the first lap and he was piling the pressure on the German when American Brent Dillard crashed to bring a yellow flag on lap 14.

Dillard’s exit saw Al Tayer, who had started in seventh place, move into third, and after the restart, despite Al Qemzi’s efforts to catch Hagin, the top three remain unchanged all the way to the finish.

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Fenergo Appoints HSBC Veteran to the Board of Directors as Vice Chairman

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Fenergo, the industry standard for Client Lifecycle Management software solutions for investment, private and corporate banks has today announced that Spencer G. Lake, a former Vice Chairman of HSBC Global Banking and Markets, has joined its Board of Directors in the capacity of Vice Chairman.

“I am delighted to welcome Spencer to Fenergo’s Board,” said Marc Murphy, Fenergo CEO. “Spencer brings a huge amount of experience having built a successful career in investment banking over the last 29 years. Spencer will help steer Fenergo through our next stage of growth and I know that Fenergo will benefit greatly from his deep industry experience.”

Most recently, Spencer was Vice Chairman of HSBC Global Banking & Markets. During his decade-long tenure with HSBC, Spencer held several global senior roles in HSBC in areas such as running Debt Capital Markets and Acquisition Finance for four years; Global Markets (including FICC, equities and research) for three years; and Capital Financing (structured and unstructured lending, financing and investment banking products) for three years. Prior to HSBC, Spencer spent 17 years in Merrill Lynch in senior roles spanning real estate finance, investment banking, and debt capital markets across New York, Hong Kong and London. Before Merrill Lynch, Spencer worked for two years at JP Morgan in real estate investment banking.

In addition to Fenergo Spencer currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the International Capital Market Association, having been a member since 2011, and is helping a few other small companies in their growth strategies.

Spencer holds a B.A. in International Finance and Marketing from Suffolk University, Massachusetts and an M.B.A. from New York University‘s Stern School of Business.

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Huawei shares its vision for future cities in Qatar

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  • ICT ROADS to play major role in tomorrow’s cities

In line with the Qatari government’s National Vision Strategy 2030, Global ICT leader Huawei shared its vision for future cities during the Arab Future Cities Summit Qatar that was held in Doha on April 11 – 12, 2017.

Held under the theme ‘Advanced Technology Transforming Qatar’s Future’, the Summit highlighted the impact of technology on tomorrow’s urban developments, with a particular focus on Qatar. The two-day event saw the participation of global and regional industry leaders, including Huawei, who discussed the various aspects of future cities such as connected transport, smart stadiums, cyber security, airport technology, security, government technology and smart economic zones.
“Cities around the world are evolving when it comes to providing services and safety to ever-growing populations,” said Zong Yan, CEO of Huawei Qatar.  “Huawei continues to invest heavily in innovation for these future cities, spending annually on research and development to a tune of USD 11 billion in 2016. Huawei believes in having an agile and innovative ICT platform that relies on ROADS (Real Time, On Demand, Always Online, DIY, Social) in order to provide all stakeholders with solutions needed in establishing Safe and Smart City capability under one umbrella.”

“Smart City development extends over 3 mega waves, which are technology trends, service portfolio and digital ROADS,” said Safder Nazir, VP of Huawei Digital Industries Middle East, during his keynote speech. “The role of government is to build an open and smart platform to enable massive innovation to enrich the quality of citizen life. To deploy and maintain a comprehensive ecosystem, governments need to aggregate the diversified strengths of its ICT vendors which is critical to future city success, while overcoming the main challenge in of ensuring integration.”

Huawei also showcased its next-generation technologies during the event including Smart City Platform, Safe City (Intelligent Operation Center), Intelligent Video Surveillance and Intelligent Transportation (Fleet Management, NBI and OceanConnect), which illustrated Huawei’s expertise in defining a complete Smart City framework, as well as its on ground implementation based on Qatar’s unique smart city requirements.

Huawei’s extensive smart and safe city expertise is critical to the public safety and protection of over 400 million people in more than 100 cities across 30 countries. Huawei will demonstrate its leadership in safety prevention and response across four key areas, which include social security and unrest, accident disaster, public health and natural disaster.

Huawei is set to host its Global Safe City Summit in the UAE later this month, with participation by over 400 public safety and law enforcement agencies, telecom providers and ICT experts. The two-day event will serve as a platform for insights and best practices on safe city solutions that are empowering governments around the world.

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NAMA Expands its Jeel Entrepreneurship Initiative to more Communities in Sharjah

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  • Women advancement establishment extends programme aimed at creating female entrepreneurs

NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) – an organisation dedicated to developing opportunities for women in the economic, professional and social spheres – has announced that it is expanding its Jeel initiative across Sharjah.

The launch of ‘Jeel 2017’ extends NAMA’s programme that is focused on creating a generation of female entrepreneurs in the emirate, so more Emirati women can benefit from the free tuition and mentoring designed to improve their business skills. Jeel was created to turn one of NAMA’s philosophies – that women are an important and indispensable human resource for development – to reality.

Jeel 2017 follows on from the success of the first Jeel programme, which targeted female entrepreneurs in Sharjah’s Dibba Al Hisn community, and was launched in December 2015 by Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) – a body that works in conjunction with NAMA. Recent restructuring to the organisations has meant that the extension to the initiative will come solely under the auspices of NAMA.

Both Jeel 2016 and Jeel 2017 programme are conducted in collaboration with Education For Employment – Global (EFE-Global), a regional organisation that works to create job opportunities for unemployed youth in the Middle East and North Africa by providing world-class professional and technical training.

As a first step in initiating Jeel in 2017, the Jeel project team is hosting open houses in five locations where Jeel is expanding to. The open houses are scheduled to take place from 17th till 25th of this month in Kalba, Khorfakkan, Dibba Al Hisn and Al Dhaid.

Schedule of the open houses:

April 17 | Kalba
10:00am – 11:30am | University of Sharjah

12:00pm – 01:30pm | Kalba Cultural Centre

April 18 | Khorfakkan

10:00am – 11:30am | Chamber of Commerce & Industry

12:00pm – 01:30pm | University of Sharjah

April 19 | Dibba Al Hisn
12:00pm – 01:30pm | Cultural Centre

April 20 | Dibba Al Hisn
12:30pm – 02:00pm | University of Sharjah

April 25 | Al Dhaid
12:00pm – 01:30pm | University of Sharjah

“We are delighted to announce that we are extending the Jeel programme to even more communities in Sharjah. Jeel was established to build the capacity of women entrepreneurs by converting their business ideas into fully functional operating enterprises, and to equip women who are passionate about starting their own businesses with the requisite skills to do so. Jeel is ideal for women looking to transform their ambitions into viable business plans, with the successful ventures that result being vital for the UAE’s small business sector and assisting its economic growth,” said Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA.

Jasmine Nahhas di Florio, Senior Vice President of EFE-Global, said “We are honoured to be able to further the Jeel initiative in partnership with NAMA Women Advancement Establishment. Building on the successful first year of our joint efforts in Dibba Al Hisn, we are keen to extend our collaboration with Jeel across Sharjah and in the process, prepare more young women to become entrepreneurs who can build economically vibrant communities.”

The Jeel programme was launched in December 2015 under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, to build the capacity of women in remote areas of Sharjah to convert their ideas to viable businesses. Jeel aims to enhance women’s leadership in business and to contribute to the creation of a generation of professional women capable of innovating, managing and developing businesses professionally. It equips them with the necessary tools to start their ventures and provides a community-based support network to help women with their entrepreneurial aspirations. It also creates awareness that self-employment is a career option.

Participants in the first Jeel programme have undergone three phases of training and mentorship in business skills; including participation in workshops that tested their business acumen and strategy seminars that taught them how to create workable business plans.

Jeel is a competitive programme, as only 14 of the initial 72 entrants to the Jeel programme in 2016 have made it through to the fourth phase of the programme, which is due to start shortly.

This final stage involves a personalised mentoring and coaching programme for the budding entrepreneurs, with their progress followed up each month as they work towards achieving their pre-determined goals.

NAMA was launched in 2015 under an Emiri Decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of and is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness. The organisation goes beyond the remit of supporting gender equity to ensure that women are presented with every opportunity to climb the ladder of success and thereby become influential members of society.

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2017 Audi Innovation Award Registrations are now open

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  • Second Audi Innovation Award for the Middle East announced; registrations are open at https://audiinnovationaward.com/
  • 2017 Audi Innovation Award theme is ‘Autonomy’
  • Winner to be announced at Dubai Design Week in November 2017

The competition for the second Audi Innovation Award is now open. The competition, led by Audi Middle East in partnership with Dubai Design Week, aims to empower regional designers while archiving intellectual progress in the region.

Designers in the Middle East region are invited to submit entries in response to the brief via https://audiinnovationaward.com/ to be in line for a once in a lifetime opportunity of mentoring, publicity and investment in the winning concept.

The 2017 theme is ‘Autonomy’ which is aimed at exploring proposed design solutions capable of regulating themselves according to changing environmental circumstances and different user specifications, with minimal human intervention.

The winner of the inaugural Audi Innovation Award was Jordanian designer Sahar Madanat, who perfectly demonstrated the theme of 2016 ‘Alternative’ by interpreting a seemingly resolved everyday object and redefining it for a new use. Her innovative multi-function tableware set enables one-handed users to cut food and navigate between courses while concealing the limitations imposed by their disability and she is now developing the design into market research and testing for use not only locally but internationally.

Enrico Atanasio, Brand Director of Audi Middle East, commented “We are excited to see what the second year of the Audi Innovation will bring in terms of talented creativity in the region. I hope that after seeing the success of our first winner, we have inspired a new generation of designers to take part in 2017. Audi has always represented progressiveness and stylish design so this award fits perfectly with our brand”.

 

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Abu Dhabi villa prices fall 9% as economic uncertainty continues

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  • Sluggish job market and a shrinkage in the oil and gas sector continue to place pressure on the Abu Dhabi real estate market;
  • Apartment sales prices down 1% and villas down 9%; apartment and villa rents down 3%

Average apartment sales prices in Abu Dhabi fell by 1% in Q1 2017 while villa prices dropped by 9% amid  public and private sector downsizing, a byproduct of the static oil and gas sector, according to the Abu Dhabi Residential Market Q1 2017 report from leading international property agency Chestertons MENA.

“Sales prices are expected to further decline due to redundancies attributed to the shrinkage of the oil and gas sector. We believe the trend of downsizing or moving to more affordable areas will continue until 2018, when an expected increase in government spending could improve market sentiment,” said Robin Teh, UAE Country Manager/Director Valuations & Advisory UAE, Chestertons MENA.

On average, villa sales prices fell by 9% in the first three months of the year. Al Ghadeer, Al Reef and Khalifa City witnessed the largest percentage drop resulting in prices falling to AED915/sqft, AED897/sqft and AED747/sqft respectively. Al Raha Gardens also witnessed a sales decrease, although less severe, of just under 6% to AED931/sqft.

Apartment sales prices, on average, declined by 1% in the first quarter of the year. Areas bucking the trend included Al Reef Downtown, which saw an increase of 1% to AED948/sqft, Al Reem Island remained flat at AED1,362/sqft. Al Gadeer witnessed a 3% decrease to AED1,009/sqft, while Al Raha Beach fared slightly better with a decline of just under 1% to AED1,601/sqft.

Ivana Gazivoda Vucinic, Head of Advisory & Research, Chestertons MENA, said: “Sales figures, particularly in the villa market, have been sliding gradually since Q4 2014 further underscoring the quiet sales market in Abu Dhabi. Housing benefit packages have been impacted by cost cutting moves in many companies which may have had a knock-on effect on the villa market.

“Sales prices are likely to continue to ease throughout the remainder of 2017 and into 2018, however we do expect the market to rebound with reinvigorated activity.

Apartment rents declined by an average of 3% in Q1 compared to the previous quarter, Al Raha Beach witnessed no change, while Al Ghadeer fell on average by 1%. Al Reef Downtown fell by an average of 6% and Al Reem by 4.5%.

“Apartment rents have declined across the board as the trend for more affordable accommodation continues. A two-bedroom apartment in Al Raha Beach is now available for AED155,000 annually; while in Al Reef Downtown and Al Reem Island prices for a two-bedroom start at AED92,000 and AED125,000 respectively,” added Gazivoda Vucinic.

Similar to the apartment rental market, Villas also witnessed softening across the board by 3%. Villas in Al Reef, Al Raha Gardens and Khalifa City saw rental decreases of between 1% and 7%.

According to Gazivoda Vucinic new supply will hinder the market further. “An additional 4,000 apartments and villas by the end of 2017 will add further pressure to the much-maligned rental market in Abu Dhabi.”

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Doha Bank Re-ignites Qatar’s Property Market with New Loan Offer at 3.99% with 12 Months Payment Holiday

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Doha Bank announced the launch of its new retail home loan offer which now features an interest rate of 3.99% for the first year. What makes this offer so irresistible is also the 12 months payment holiday offered to customers with a an option to get up to QAR 20,000 to offset the early settlement fees whenever you are transferring your home loan from another bank to Doha Bank.

With this limited time offer you will also get a free fire insurance for the first year, free management and mortgage fees, free mortgage saver account which pays you 1.25% p.a. interest rate up to QAR 2 million and free for life VISA Infinite or Platinum credit card. The bank will provide loans of up to 70% of property value for Qataris and Expats, with mortgage repayment periods of up to 20 years.

Now is the time to get your Housing Loan from Doha Bank. The updated home loan offering features 4 product variants for discerning individuals and families. Qatari customers can obtain housing loans for ‘ready to sell properties’ or houses and villas under construction, while expatriates and Qataris can benefit from leasehold and freehold property purchases.

Dr. R. Seetharaman Doha Bank group CEO said: “Our customers’ needs are paramount and we believe in launching products best suited and geared towards their expectations. Doha Bank recognizes that the property market is an important element of the Qatar economy. There has been overall stabilization of the real estate market this year, particularly in retail mortgage properties, and much of this can be attributed to current and future spending on infrastructure works, and reinvigorated real estate development in Qatar.”

Doha Bank Head of Retail Gul Khan added: “Doha Bank’s housing loan is the financing solution that anyone needs to buy the property that they have always dreamed off, to call it home. The process for applying is easy and fast and is expedient for anyone searching equally for a great offer and a great service offered by all our housing loan agents.”

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Sage to discuss how introduction of VAT will affect GCC businesses at advisory workshop

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  • Industrial Revolution 4.0 and business innovation a part of agenda

Sage, the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, will hold a Sage Advice Roadshow luncheon discussion on the introduction of VAT in the GCC region and its technology implications for business builders.

As the date for the introduction of VAT draws nearer for Bahrain and countries in the GCC, Sage will showcase how Sage solutions can assist and manage the changes. The event takes place on 12 April 2017 from 8:30AM—1:00PM at the Al Murjan Ballroom, Movenpick Hotel Bahrain.

The discussion will also delve into the technologies driving Industrial Revolution 4.0, specifically on the SMAC technologies and their role in business innovation. SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) also known as the third-platform, sees people everywhere become more connected through cloud computing, the Internet of Things, mobile technology and social media, and emphasizes simpler, more agile, and modular software platforms to support organizational growth.

“With the implementation of VAT around the corner, many organizations are scrambling to get ready. At the event, we will show how Sage solutions can assist with the changes. We’ll also talk about how the fourth Industrial Revolution is redefining the way in which we work and how SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) affects business innovation in the Middle East,” commented Mr. Reggie Fernandes, Regional Director—Sage Middle East.

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HONEYWELL TO HELP SPARK ‘LIFT OFF’ FOR UAE STEM EDUCATION AT THINK SCIENCE FAIR 2017

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  • Global leader in space technology to collaborate with Emirates Foundation to inspire next generation of engineers and scientists in the UAE
  • Four UAE-based teachers to experience the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy (HESA) program at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) in Alabama, USA

Honeywell (NYSE: HON), a global software-industrial company developing innovative solutions for space for more than 50 years, has announced it will partner with Emirates Foundation at the Think Science Fair 2017 (April 18-20) for the second year in a row, as part of efforts to help inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

As a Think Science sponsor with involvement in most major space missions and satellite projects since the beginning of the space age, Honeywell will honor four UAE-based teachers at the event during a special ‘Flight Suit Ceremony’ ahead of their participation in the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy (HESA) professional development program to be held at a NASA training facility in June 2017.

Honeywell sending four UAE-based teachers to Space Camp

The four UAE-based teachers will join hundreds of others from around the world who underwent a rigorous, global, competitive application process to secure a seat at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) in Alabama, USA, for an all-expense paid, weeklong program that aims to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The objective of the unique program is to enable teachers to inspire their classrooms with ideas, lessons and other materials to create an unforgettable learning experience for youth in the UAE and around the world.

The teachers will experience 45 hours of classroom, laboratory and field-training activities that include simulated astronaut training exercises, high-performance jet simulations, scenario-based space missions and flying programs.

The four UAE-based teachers participating in the 2017 HESA program were encouraged to apply by Emirates Foundation, after participating at the 2016 Think Science Competition as supervisors and mentors of youth projects.

The Think Science Fair 2017, to be held at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC), is a national program that strives to empower Emiratis to consider careers in STEM related fields. Its aim, much like that of HESA, is to nurture a culture of scientific thinking whilst helping to grow the next generation of technology pioneers in the country. The fair will provide the opportunity for hundreds of youth participating in the Think Science Competition to showcase their innovations to thousands of visitors, parents, investors, and stakeholders.

Honeywell is committed to supporting the UAE government in its quest to stimulate innovation and achieve a high-tech future for the country as part of its seven-year National Innovation Strategy plan. Within the strategy, ‘space’ is highlighted as a key pillar of importance. It also comes as part of a wider UAE movement towards developing a knowledge-based economy and improving capabilities and skills.

Maytha Al Habsi, Deputy CEO of Emirates Foundation, said: “We are pleased that Honeywell is supporting our ongoing efforts to develop a talent pool of future engineers and scientists, as part of our growing network of public and private partners who are committed to the socio-economic development of the UAE. We hope Honeywell’s vast expertise in technology and engineering will help inspire and encourage talented individuals to pursue their passion for science and technology.”

Norm Gilsdorf, president, Honeywell High Growth Regions, Middle East, Russia, Turkey and Central Asia, added: “Our collaboration with Emirates Foundation for the 2017 Think Science Fair comes as part of our commitment to the region and our global efforts to inspire students and teachers while empowering the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

“We strongly believe that inspiring the next generation will accelerate the UAE’s technology ambitions, and will position the country as a high-tech leader and innovator in years to come,” Gilsdorf said.

Honeywell’s involvement with Think Science is supported by Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s corporate citizenship initiative, which has helped inspire more than two million students at all grade levels worldwide to embrace STEM education. Introduced in 2004, the HESA program has taught more than 2,500 teachers from 56 countries, and has offered creative strategies for engaging students in STEM education.

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Schneider Electric Showcases Experiential Smart City at Innovation Summit

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  • Company exhibits EcoStruxure energy management solution at Innovation Hub
  • Egypt ICT Minister, DEWA & du CEOs among attendees at flagship event
  • Summit welcomes over 2,500 MEA industry professionals

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, today inaugurated its annual Innovation Summit, an IoT-powered event demonstrating innovations and technologies that cater to the future of energy management, industrial efficiency and environmental sustainability. As an interesting highlight, the energy leader also showcased its revolutionary concept of an experiential smart city at the two-day summit.

Over 2,500 attendees were welcomed from the MEA region at the two-day event that runs from 11 to 12 April at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. Esteemed regional speakers included His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), His Excellency Eng. Yasser El Kadi, Minister of Communications and Information Technology –  Egypt, Mamdouh Raslan, Chairman and CEO, Water and Waste Water Egyptian Holding Company, Osman Sultan, CEO of du, and Dr Badr Al Badr, CEO of Dur Hospitality.

His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said: “I take this opportunity to thank the organisers of the summit, which has become an important platform for the exchange of best practices, experience and updates in innovation. As an innovative strategy-focused organisation, DEWA has developed short-, medium- and long-term plans to enable its transformation into a world-class sustainable and innovative utility company while helping implement Dubai’s vision of a government of the future.”

He added: “DEWA strives to achieve a sustainable future for generations to come. We are the first government organisation to adopt sustainability as part of our vision. We work to achieve the goals of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 that aims to establish the city as an international hub for clean energy and green economy. To diversify energy resources and enhance dependence on clean and renewable energy, we launched a strategic project to build a hydroelectric power station that will take advantage of the water reservoir in the mountains at the Hattawi Dam. The first project of its kind in the region is scheduled for completion in five years. Our initiatives reflect our commitment to the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 – preparing for a sustainable future and achieving economic growth while preserving the environment.”

During the plenary, Frédéric Abbal, Executive Vice President of Energy Business at Schneider Electric, spoke on co-creating a new decarbonised, decentralised, digitised and more electric world with innovation at every level. He highlighted the benefits of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure™ architecture and platform that delivers IoT-enabled solutions at scale for building, grid, industry and datacentre customers.

Welcoming the attendees, Caspar Herzberg, said: “The UAE leadership’s vision to transform the country’s industries, invest heavily in renewables and diversify away from oil is one of the most impressive examples of adaptability – a critical attribute if we are to not only survive but thrive in a new economic age. While we consume energy at an unprecedented rate, we have a new task ahead of us – cutting our CO2 emissions by half. At this challenging juncture, we must remember that our economic potential to improve energy efficiency remains largely untapped. Technology is key to unlocking this potential. With the support of our partners in the public and private sectors, we can apply innovation in creating cities you can be proud of – with homes that are safer, and businesses that are highly digitised, sustainable and forward-looking.”

Under four parallel theme tracks – Datacentres, Buildings, and Industry & Utilities, the Innovation Summit features a series of insightful panel discussions. Topics include ‘Internet of Things – Beyond the Hype, Mapping the Value and Case for Action’, ‘Efficient Buildings for a Cooler Planet’, ‘Datacentre: In the Cloud, at the Edge’, ‘Intuitive Industries’, and ‘Power Distribution Redefined’.

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Financial Results For The Three Months Ended 31 March 2017

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QNB Group, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, announced its results for the three months ended 31 March 2017.

For the three months ended 31 March 2017, Net Profit reached QAR3.2 billion (USD0.9 billion), up by 12% compared to previous year, delivering a consistently high profitability.

Total assets increased by 35% from March 2016 to reach QAR743 billion (USD204 billion). This was driven by a growth rate of 33% in loans and advances to reach QAR536 billion (USD147 billion). QNB Group was successful in attracting new customer deposits to comply with the cap on loans to deposit ratio of 100% set by QCB, which is effective from the end of 2017. These deposit mobilisation efforts resulted in increased customer funding by 34% to reach QAR541 billion (USD149 billion) from March 2016. This led to the Group’s loan to deposit ratio reaching 99%.

The Group’s prudent cost control policy and strong revenue generating capability allowed it to maintain an efficiency ratio (cost to income ratio) of 28.9%, which is considered one of the best ratios among financial institutions in the region.

QNB Group was able to maintain the ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans at 1.8% and coverage ratio at 114% as at 31 March 2017, a level considered one of the best amongst financial institutions in the MEA region, reflecting the high quality of the Group’s loan book and the effective management of credit risk.

Total Equity increased by 17% from March 2016 to reach QAR71 billion (USD20 billion) as at 31 March 2017. Earnings per Share reached QAR3.5 (USD 1.0), compared to QAR3.1 (USD 0.9) in March 2016.

Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) calculated as per the QCB and Basel III requirements stood at 15.7% as at 31 March 2017, higher than the regulatory minimum requirements of the Qatar Central Bank and Basel Committee. The Group is keen to maintain a strong capitalisation in order to support future strategic plans.

In March 2017, QNB launched its operations in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. This branch is a significant milestone in QNB Group’s strategy of international expansion.

Based on the Group’s continuous stellar performance and its diversified international presence, QNB is now the most valuable banking brand in the MEA region, with  the value of its brand increased to USD3.8 billion to rise to the 60th place globally, in addition to attaining the highest rating of AA+ in brand strength.

QNB Group is present, through its subsidiaries and associate companies, in more than 30 countries and 3 continents providing a comprehensive range of products and services. The total number of staff for the Group is more than 28,000 operating from 1,250 locations and 4,300 ATMs serving more than 21 million customers.

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