Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Construction officially begins on Memon Investments’ AED 150 million ‘Gardenia I & II’ in Jumeirah Village

Construction officially begins on Memon Investments’ AED 150 million ‘Gardenia I & II’ in Jumeirah Village

Developer awards AED 2.4 million shoring and excavation contract to International Foundation Group

March 31, 2009

Memon Investments, a leading Dubai-based property developer and part of the international business conglomerate, the Memon Group of Companies, has kicked off the initial construction works on the AED 150 million ‘Gardenia I & II’ project, located in Jumeirah Village. The groundbreaking ceremony follows the developer’s decision to award an AED 2.4 million shoring and excavation contract to the International Foundation Group (IFG). The developer also announced that it has awarded an AED 520,000 elevator contract to Shanghai & Arabian Electromechanical LLC (SAE). Present during the event were top company officials, including Ahmed Shaikhani, Managing Director, and Rizwan Shaikhani, Joint Managing Director from Memon Investments; and Dr. Khalil Charif, Managing Partner, International Foundation Group.

Under the terms of the contract, IFG will commence foundation works involving shoring and piling excavation using their high rated piling systems, concrete diaphragm walls, excavation support and earth retention systems. The company has appointed a team of industry professionals comprising site managers, project engineers and supervisors to ensure that the completion of the first phase will proceed in accordance with the schedule set by the developer. The success of the project’s recent unveiling and the positive response it generated from potential clients has influenced the decision to proceed with construction.

“The property sector is undergoing a tentative period due to uncertainties in regional and global economies. We are thus pleased with the warm response this project has received, which provides us with the motivation to fast-track development. The uniqueness and quality that we have designed into ‘Gardenia I & II’ will add to Jumeirah Village’s growing reputation as a highly desirable mixed-use destination. Our strategic partnership with International Foundation Group also affirms our commitment to maintaining the highest development standards for this project,” said Rizwan Shaikhani.

Located centrally within Jumeirah Village, near the Cultural Centre and the renowned Central Park, ‘Gardenia I & II’ is splendidly designed and meticulously crafted to offer residents a charming yet authentic Mediterranean experience. Incorporating a mixture of residential, commercial and retail spaces, the project features residential apartments including studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units and loft apartments, with retail units on the ground floor. The 5-storey residential development has been designed by Dimensions Engineering Consultants (DEC) and incorporates stuccoed walls, tiled roofs, rustic arches, solid wrought iron balcony grills, carved doors, ornamental spiral columns, marble flooring and thematic and floral designs to create a Mediterranean ambience.

“It is critical that the proper foundations are put in place during the initial phases of property construction, which is why we have been chosen to perform shoring and excavation for this major project. Our extensive technical expertise ensures the creation of an understructure that meets Memon’s strict quality and scheduling standards. We look forward to working on this high-profile property and are confident that we can easily meet Memon’s completion schedule,” said Dr. Khalil Charif.

An integrated master community spread across 811 hectares, Jumeirah Village is a mixed-use development that when complete will comprise of residential and business units, retail outlets, international schools, hospitals, shopping malls, connected parks and boulevards, sports fields, mosques, cafes and restaurants. Developed by Nakheel, one of the leading developers in Dubai, the project is 20 minutes from the Dubai International Airport, five minutes from JAFZA, and 50 minutes from the Abu Dhabi airport. The combination of strategic location and the conveniences of a luxury community project have attracted Memon Investments to choose Jumeirah Village as the home for its latest projects.

“The largest inland project in our portfolio, Jumeirah Village is a major part of Nakheel’s vision to transform the desert of Dubai into a series of vibrant communities. Memon Investments meets the high standards we demand from all of our partners across project delivery, quality and sustainability,” concluded Marwan Al Naqi, General Manager, Jumeirah Village.

Realty Capital nears completion of i-Rise project's podium structure with installation of fifth podium floor slab

Realty Capital nears completion of i-Rise project's podium structure with installation of fifth podium floor slab

March 31, 2009
Realty Capital has announced that it has recently completed the fifth podium floor slab of its centrepiece i-Rise business tower project, which remains on schedule for its announced mid-2010 completion date. Work is now underway for two more slabs to complete the podium structure, which consists of larger concrete and steel quantities. Mechanical and electrical works are likewise running on schedule in the ground and podium floors, while the interior design team has started reviewing the finishes and is working out on the best possible design to match i-Rise's magnificent façade.

With a total built-up area of over 1.8 million sq ft, i-Rise is being developed to be one of the largest office towers in the region.

“It is our utmost concern to keep the development on schedule and safeguard the interest of the project's stakeholders. Being one of the biggest office developments in the region, i-Rise has generated a lot of attention from investors and potential tenants. It is our intention to sustain the high level of interest by proceeding with the development without any delay and completing the project within the specified time frame," said Marwan Mansour, CEO, Realty Capital.

On completion, i-Rise will stand 37 storeys high and will feature a distinctive curvilinear design that will help make it a popular landmark in Dubai. Strategically situated in Technology, eCommerce and Media Free Zone (TECOM) Site-C, i-Rise offers investors a free zone location and freehold title in a highly visible location. i-Rise will also offer premium facilities such as 18 high-speed elevators, restaurants, coffee shops, retail space, a fitness centre, and an extensive multi-storey car park.

Dubai property developers adjusting pricing & payment schemes to fit market conditions & expectations

Dubai property developers adjusting pricing & payment schemes to fit market conditions & expectations

Sherwoods to adopt greater service flexibility to maintain industry leadership

March 31, 2009

Sherwoods Independent Property Consultants has announced that it will be providing more flexible services and packages to complement current industry initiatives in Dubai to adjust pricing and payment strategies to better reflect market expectations and conditions.

The property specialist expects Dubai buyers to enjoy greater leverage in negotiating prices and payments with developers mainly due to strong competition from the secondary market, which has resulted in a broader range of investment options. A February 2009 review of the Dubai property landscape predicts that market dynamics will continue to shift in favor of tenants as more stock is introduced within the year. This general outlook has substantially redirected the real estate sector’s focus from supply to demand factors.

“Current market conditions call for more attention to customer needs and expectations, which has become our primary concern as we enter into the rationalization phase following the start of the credit crunch. We have to be more flexible as Dubai streamlines its property business in anticipation of a steady industry rebound towards the end of the year. Times have changed, developers simply cannot prioritize the project over the client anymore,” said Iseeb Rehman, Managing Director, Sherwoods Independent Property Consultants.

Dubai’s real estate activities are expected to significantly rally sometime within the second half of 2009. Recent developments such as the introduction of a domestic rental index by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) are already creating greater market stability and optimism. Sherwoods expects other trends such as increased developer mergers and acquisitions and further reductions in construction costs to expedite market recovery in the last two quarters of the year.

Sherwoods intends to capitalize on the opportunities being opened up by the current transition period through several strategic operational initiatives as well as attractive offers for its clients. The company recently predicted that the market transparency promoted by the RERA index – a revised version of which will be released in April - as well as increasing project affordability would help restore balance throughout Dubai’s rent market in 2009.

Sherwoods was established in 1988 in the UK by Iseeb Rehman, and has since gone on to become one of the Gulf’s most dynamic real estate companies. Sherwoods maintains three branch offices across the UAE and regional offices in the UK and France, and is eyeing additional key locations around the world. Its diverse service portfolio includes search and acquisition of properties, offshore company information, selling of properties, mortgage services, valuation and appraisal, legal and tax services, and lettings and management.

AGRAme conference hears how Middle East agribusiness can help play a role in reducing global warming

'Save the planet,' farmers urged

AGRAme conference hears how Middle East agribusiness can help play a role in reducing global warming

Middle East farmers were today (Tuesday 31 March 2009) urged to play their part in helping solve the greatest problem faced by the world - climate change brought about by global warming.

By adopting biological methods farmers are capable of “singlehandedly saving the planet,” according to a world leader in sustainable agriculture taking part in a series of seminars at AGRA Middle East, the region’s leading agricultural exhibition at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Modern agriculture is responsible for 25% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, 60% of the methane gas and 80% of nitrous oxide – the “greenhouse gases” in the upper atmosphere blamed for increasing global warming – said Graeme Sait, CEO of Nutri-Tech Solutions, an Australian company which produces a range of biological products for farmers.

“Agriculture can provide half of the greenhouse gas reductions necessary to stabilise our climate,” he added. In the case of carbon dioxide, it could be achieved by including a carbon source with every fertiliser; reducing and modifying soil tillage techniques; nurturing and protecting soil life; and building organic matter levels in the soil.

“Organic matter levels are, on average, less than 30% of what they were 100 years ago. We’ve dropped from an average of 5% organic matter to an average of 1.5%. When 1% of organic matter per hectare is oxidised, due to improper tillage and overuse of carbon-free fertilisers, then 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare is released.

“It’s been estimated that a 1% increase in organic matter in US crop lands alone would take 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and return it to the soil.” Sait added: “Arguably, farmers are capable of singlehandedly saving the planet.”

New farming technologies and products are being outlined in a series of free seminars at AGRAme which closes on 1 April 2009. This year’s exhibition is complemented by Vet Middle East focusing on veterinary products and services. VETme brings together veterinary practitioners and public health officials with manufacturers and suppliers of products and services from pharmaceuticals to food supplements as well as the latest technological advances in veterinary healthcare.

Cityscape Abu Dhabi to showcase transparent debate on the regional and global challenge in troubled times

Real estate investment industry takes stock

Cityscape Abu Dhabi to showcase transparent debate on the regional and global challenge in troubled times

The impact of the global slowdown on real estate investment and development markets regionally and internationally comes under the microscope at the Real Estate Finance & Investment conference and summit next month that form part of the Cityscape Abu Dhabi event.

“Conscious of the new market dynamics, the Cityscape Abu Dhabi conferences and summits taking place over four days, have been designed to stimulate discussion and transparency on the key issues facing the industry. It will be an open forum, where every delegate is a potential speaker,” said Kosta Petrov, Conference Director of Cityscape Abu Dhabi for organisers IIR Middle East.

“The global financial crisis has cast a shadow over the real estate industry worldwide with investors cautious,” he added. “The Cityscape Abu Dhabi conferences provide a timely opportunity to assess where we stand right now as well as when and where investment opportunities lie in the changed and challenging climate.”

Taking place from 19-22 April at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre,
Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2009 will be bringing together international and regional investors, real estate developers, government authorities and key stakeholders to assess current market challenges and develop strategies for the future.

Day one of the conference will focus on Abu Dhabi looking at the opportunities and threats to investment; legal issues and ways of funding developments in the UAE capital. Luxury or budget hotel investment will also be discussed along with proposals for affordable housing in Abu Dhabi.

“One would expect Cityscape Abu Dhabi to reinforce consumer confidence in the property sector and hopefully provide an impetus to the revival of the real estate development sector,” said Abid Junaid, the Executive Director of ETA Star Property Developers, one of the conference participants.

Running in parallel will be discussions on the USA real estate market; where global investors should look in troubled times; as well as special sessions on European real estate, investing in Russia and Asia.

Day two will have special streams on financing issues for real estate and on sustainable development. On the financial side, debate will centre on the challenges of liquidity in the market and whether Islamic finance can provide a solution. “Bankers will be there to discuss their role, post credit crunch, and investment managers will tell us if we can expect to see private equity taking a greater role,” said Petrov.

“The second day will also debate how far the credit crunch has affected the crucial issue for this region of sustainable development,” Petrov added. “Is sustainability cost effective, is enough being done, what does the future hold? – these are just some of the questions we need answers to.”

Sougata Nandi, the Sustainability Director of Dubai’s Tecom, will be one of the members of the sustainability panel at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. “Sustainability makes business sense,” he said. “It helps you become more profitable, helps you protect the environment and helps you serve society – all at the same time.”

Day three will be a Middle East Summit on the regional real estate market featuring chairmen, managing directors and CEOs of leading players such as Emaar, Sorouh, Abdali, Siraj Capital, Akwaan Properties, Rikaz, Tamdeen, Tashyeed, First Qatar Real Estate, Tadmur, The Wave Muscat, Al Madina, ETA Star, Darrat Jordan, Mawared International and Madaen Al Nour, among others. Special focuses will be on Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Jordan.

“I expect to see some realism and developers and investors working together to create and offer sound, well thought out designs or redesigns which closely follow today’s markets,” said conference participant Nick Smith, the CEO of The Wave Muscat.

The fourth day, 22 April, will see the focus shift to retailing at a time of global financial crisis with overviews of the impact on regional markets along with lessons from elsewhere. Among leading participants will be Nakheel, MAF Properties, Alshaya and Colliers International.

Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2009 has received widespread backing from industry leaders. Headline sponsor is Mubadala Real Estate and Hospitality; Platinum sponsors are Aldar, Sorouh Real Estate, Al Qudra Real Estate, The Land Real Estate Investment and Development Company, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, and Burooj Properties; Investment sponsor is Abu Dhabi Investment House; Gold sponsors are Tameer and Al Maabar; Silver sponsors are Aqaba Development Corporation and HSBC. The sponsor of the Real Estate Finance & Investment conference is Brand Experience. International Broadcasting Partner is CNN International.

RTA Links Customer Service Centers Department to RTA Main Portal

RTA Links Customer Service Centers Department to RTA Main Portal

Dubai (United Arab Emirates): Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) posted an electronic link to Customer Service Centers Department at RTA main portal; a step intended to match the e-vision drive adopted by various organizations & departments at Dubai Government as well as the private sector.

“Through this link RTA is seeking to broaden the base of customers benefiting from RTA services, thus saving time and effort of the customer; who is the backbone of RTA business” said Laila bin Hareb, Director of Customer Service Centers Department at RTA Corporate Support Services Sector.

Laila added: “The link contains information related to the Main Customer Service Center, service directory, conditions & documents required for each service, time required to process the service, and procedures to be followed to process each transaction.

“The link also covers the subsidiary centers, including detailed mapping of their locations, roadmaps, types of services offered, business hours, as well as events & activities. It also provides necessary information, such as FAQs, to educate clients on the numerous services offered by the RTA. Launching this link was completed in cooperation with Marketing & Corporate Communication Dep’t and IT Dep’t at RTA Corporate Support Services Sector.

“The underlying objective of this link is to open up a new & direct communication channel with the public, serve customers as well as provide a data source for services, application procedures and requirements of each transaction. It can also save customer time & effort in interacting with RTA online, besides that it promotes RTA current and future services and highlights the strategic drive of the RTA. Moreover, the link introduces the public to the additional services and benefits rendered by the Main & Subsidiary Customer Service Centers, more importantly; it enlists all RTA branches and provides information about each of them” said Laila in a concluding remark.

For his part Abdulla Al Bastaki, Director of IT Dep’t said: “Upgrading of RTA website is an ongoing process and we are committed to this drive in compliance with the relevant standards set by the E-Government of Dubai oriented towards customer service.

Peyman Younes Parham, Director of Marketing & Corporate Communication Dep’t said: “This link comes in the context of a master plan to upgrade all RTA online services which is ultimately bound to ease the flow & accessibility of information. The process has to be implemented at the highest technological and e-quality standards to reflect the success made by the RTA in this front. We are constantly attending to upgrading RTA main portal through adding several links to RTA services & projects in association with various RTA Agencies & Departments”.

Ministry of Economy unveils high-profile anti-piracy awareness campaign

Ministry of Economy unveils high-profile anti-piracy awareness campaign

Director General Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Alshihhi affirms support for anti-piracy initiatives & development of research & innovation culture

March 31, 2009

The Ministry of Economy (MoE) has announced that it has launched an intensive anti-piracy campaign called “Using unlicensed software can shut down your business” to educate the public on the consequences of selling and using pirated software.

The campaign, which runs from March 22 to April 26, 2009, is part of a series of similar Gulf-wide dissemination efforts to combat software piracy and will tap the broad reach of print and broadcast media during its one-month duration. The Ministry is focusing on increasing public awareness on intellectual property rights laws and their enforcement, as well as the negative legal, investment, employment and moral effects of piracy.

Mohammed Ahmad Bin Abdulaziz Alshihhi, Director General, MoE, emphasized the UAE’s commitment to protecting intellectual property rights as reflected by initiatives against software piracy and other copyright violations. He explained that piracy rates in the UAE are considered one of the lowest in the Middle East, the result of strict laws and procedures enforced in this domain.

Alshihhi said: “The Ministry of Economy seeks to promote a culture of innovation, research and development in order to strengthen the implementation of intellectual property rules in the country. The Ministry will strive to free the local market from piracy, which would be in the best interest of the national economy and the UAE’s competitive business environment. Software piracy remains a serious problem because a majority of the general public and businesses remain insufficiently informed about the negative impact of piracy on the country. We shall use this campaign to develop a more unified approach to reducing piracy and further protecting the growing national IT sector.”

“Piracy compromises the United Arab Emirates’ emerging status as a regional and international IT hub. This latest government-backed initiative is thus a welcome addition to ongoing anti-piracy efforts throughout the United Arab Emirates; we commend the Ministry for taking a strong stand against copyright violations and showing concern for maintaining competitiveness among local businesses,” concluded Jawad Al Redha, Co-Chairman for the Gulf Region, Business Software Alliance.

Monday, March 30, 2009

At WETEX 2009 DEWA signs 4 contracts for thirteen 132/11 kV substations

At WETEX 2009 DEWA signs 4 contracts for thirteen 132/11 kV substations
For the total amount of Dhs. 1534 million

H.E Saeed Al Tayer signed various contracts on Monday, 30th March’09; the contracts were signed for 13 substations in total for the construction of important projects for the total amount of Dhs. 1.534 billion. This is a part of the extensive developments initiated by DEWA, these projects are awarded to provide, supply installation, testing and commissioning of substations and associated works. This is executed in conformity with the directives of the Government of Dubai to provide services for the rapid growth in the Emirate.

H.E Saeed Al Tayer said that the project stems from the strategic plan that DEWA has adopted as the basis for providing optimum services to the community. Its cornerstone is the Master Plan of Electricity Networks, which has been developed in order to support the Emirate’s ambitious development plans and meet its growing requirements for stable and continuous electricity and water supplies.

H. E Saeed Al Tayer explained that the First contract CE/448A/2007 comprising of 5 nos. of 132/11 kV Substations and 1 no. of 132/33 kV Substation, has been awarded to M/s Emirates Trading Agency (ETA) for the amount of Dhs 786 Million, the substations will be constructed at Al Wasel (Bada Area), New Hatta Area, Barsha Residential Area, Consulates AL-Hamrya Area, Al Jadaf Area, and New Lusaily Area 132/33 kV. The commencement date for Al Wasel, New Hatta, and Consulate & New Lisaily S/S is 20 months plus 60days reliability run, and the commencement date for Barsha residential & Al Jadaf 2 S/S is 21 months plus 60days reliability run.

He explained that the Second contract CE/448E/2007 comprising of 2 nos. 132/11kV Substation viz. Knowledge - International Media Production Zone Area and Najma 2 Area has been awarded to M/s Bahwan for the amount of Dhs 224 Million. The commencement date for Knowledge S/S is 22 month plus 60days reliability run, and the commencement date for Najma2 S/S is 21 month plus 60days reliability run.

The third contract CE/448D/2007 comprising of 2 nos. of 132/11kV Substation viz. Earth Station - Gardens Discovery Projects Area and International City-4 has been awarded to M/s Danway for the amount of Dhs 194 Million. The commencement date for Earth Station S/S is 21 month plus 60days reliability run, and the commencement date for International City-4 S/S is 21 month plus 60days reliability run.

Finally, the Fourth contract CE/448C/07 comprising of 3 nos. of 132/11kV Substations namely New Garhoud, JAFZA South-2, and Industrial City-4 has been awarded to M/s. Emirates Electrical Establishment (EEE) for the amount of Dhs 330 Million.

H.E Saeed Al Tayer congratulated the winners of these contracts, he stressed the importance of quality in our services and projects, and also asked the contractors to conceive this important factor as DEWA expects them to comply therewith at all project stages and to execute the project within the specified time. DEWA extended its full cooperation to the contractors to complete the project successfully in time while considering the quality, safety, and environment protection at all stages.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pyramids lighting expert to illuminate PALME

Pyramids lighting expert to illuminate PALME

International lighting expert to urge regional event organisers to ‘push boundaries’ at Mid East’s premier entertainment & event management show

The internationally renowned event lighting specialist, Matthieu Larivée, who has been honoured with international awards for his special event lighting designs at the Pyramids in Egypt, will deliver the keynote at the lighting solutions conference taking place at this year’s PALME Middle East expo.

PALME the region's largest dedicated trade show for professional audio, lighting, music, entertainment, audio visual and systems integration solutions, and takes place on the 26 - 28 April 2009 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.
During his presentation entitled, “Transforming One of the Seven Wonders of the World - Live at the Pyramids” Larivee will discuss the need to push the boundaries of lighting and audio visual technologies for events. Using his own creative work as an example, specifically he will examine future trends and review the latest technology available.
“Larivée has earned a solid reputation for his multi-dimensional artistic approach and global vision of a show,” said Alex Heuff, Exhibition Director, PALME.
In 2007, he claimed the prestigious Middle East Lighting Design Award for his work on Chantal Chamandy’s A Night at the Pyramids concert in Egypt. He has also played integral roles with lighting productions as diverse as the rock group REM to the Cirque du Soleil.
“I think it is fair to say that Larivee’s credentials are beyond reproach,” added Heuff.
Sustainability, aesthetics and safety are the other key topics that feature prominently on the lighting solutions conference agenda.
To address industry audio visual issues, PALME will host the Integrators Round Table Forum – the only gathering for the leading system integrators within the Middle East. The forum will examine the current economic constraints, the relationship between new technologies creating new trends and vice versa, with a special industry update from the Middle East Communications Industries Association (MECIA).
Yet another new aspect to PALME 2009 is the introduction of the Syn-Aud-Con Certified Seminars. The course leader, Pat Brown is highly respected across the industry and his ability to communicate complex technical topics effectively has drawn interest from engineers and professionals throughout the audio and acoustic industry at home and abroad.
Now in its seventh year, PALME has successfully evolved into three clearly defined vertical sectors; Install, MUSAC and Event 360. Combined they cover the entire spectrum of the entertainment industry, from cabling and lighting solutions to musical instruments and live acts.

Dubai eGovernment to highlight its eJob platform at Careers Show 2009 along with 13 government entities

Dubai eGovernment to highlight its eJob platform at Careers Show 2009 along with 13 government entities

March 29, 2009
Dubai eGovernment is currently showcasing its eJob search and recruitment system and other automated public services during the 9th annual Careers Show which runs from March 29 to 31, 2009 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Thirteen government entities are participating in the fair under the Dubai eGovernment umbrella. These include Dubai eGovernment, Dubai Statistics Centre; Dubai Center for Ambulance Services; Dubai Department of Economic Development; Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Leaders, Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation; Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Dubai Public Prosecution; Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Est.; Dubai Municipality; Dubai Financial Audit Department; and Dubai Judicial Institute.

“We are pleased to be joining the 2009 edition of the fair as a full-fledged government department, which provides us with greater flexibility to promote our electronic services. We want to emphasize our online employment search and recruitment offerings, which complements the regional efforts to rationalize and further boost the UAE’s job markets. We look forward to launching the careers of deserving candidates, especially UAE national jobseekers,” said H.E. Ahmed Mohammad Bin Humaidan, Director General, Dubai eGovernment.

eJob, is an updated version of the online recruitment portal of Dubai eGovernment’s centralized job search portal. The system provides an electronic platform for job seekers and recruiting departments to interact. Both full-time and part-time jobs are offered by the online service.

“Dubai eGovernment is a central component in the Emirate’s goal of becoming a digital society. It is very fitting that one of our initial activities as a new government department, is to assist in employment, which reflects our important role in both social and economic development. We invite the citizens of UAE to explore and take advantage of the various services we offer,” concluded H.E. Thani Abdullah Al Zafeen, CEO, Dubai eGovernment.

Dubai eGovernment was formally declared a full government department by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, under Law no 7 of 2009. Dubai eGovernment manages more than 2,000 services after starting with an initial set of 14, thus making Dubai one of the few governments in the world to provide fully integrated electronic services to its citizens, residents and businesses.

Dubai Municipality teaches Arabic to non-Arabic speaking employees

DM teaches Arabic to non-Arabic speaking employees

In implementation of the directives of the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on taking care of Arabic language, Dubai Municipality has begun to teach Arabic to non-Arabic speaking staff starting with a group of more than 20 employees from various departments.

This was stated by Ahmed Ibrahim Al Zarouni, Head of Training Section in the Human Resources Development, who added that the Municipality has initiated this program because it believes it is important to develop the capabilities of the employees and expand their knowledge.

Zarouni also pointed out that the Arabic teaching session will be held for a period of three hours each week for a period of six months during which the participants can learn the principles of Arabic in writing, speaking and reading, in addition to the language rules and other language skills. This session will be followed by other courses for the purpose of allowing a greater number of staff to learn the Arabic language, which will reflect positively on the performance of staff and facilitate communication with their departments and colleagues.

It is worth mention that this session will be lectured by one of the staff members of the Municipality who has considerable experience in the field of teaching Arabic language to the non-Arabic speakers as he taught at the University of Utah, United States of America and the University of Alberta Province, Canada, in addition to his work in the field of translation.

Bashir Hassan Yousef, Acting Head of Food Studies and Planning said he has got good response from the participants of the session, which makes it easy for the teaching process. Praising the initiative, he said it serves many purposes and underlines the Municipality's care in qualifying its staff and it will enable them interact each other and increase productivity.

He said he finds great pleasure in this work as it has a message with high meanings and will help in the spreading of the Arabic language, which must receive the full support of all parties involved.

It should be noted that the Council of Ministers had issued a law in 2007 requiring companies and establishments in the country that all the data on imported commodities and goods should be in Arabic, in addition to the directives of the Dubai Municipality based on the Executive Council directive that Arabic language should be the language for official correspondence within the Government.

Injazat announced as Patron of the first Data Centre Strategies Forum for the Middle East

Injazat announced as Patron of the first Data Centre Strategies Forum for the Middle East

Abu Dhabi and London, 29 March 2009 – Injazat Data Systems, the leading Information Technology and business process managed services provider in the UAE and the Middle East, has been announced as the Patron of the first Data Centre Strategies Forum taking place at Injazat’s Abu Dhabi headquarters from June 2 to 3, 2009.

The Forum will offer a timely focus on data centre strategies for operators, users and sector companies in the region. As sustained development and investment continues in the data centre sector, players are striving to differentiate their service offerings, create new digital hubs and exploit the emerging opportunities offered by cloud computing.

“As the owner of the first Tier IV data centre in the Middle East, we fully understand how today’s business environments require facilities that can rapidly respond and adopt to user needs. At the same time, an increasing emphasis on sustainability throughout the region means that we have to rethink the way we design these centres,” said Ibrahim Mohamed Lari, CEO Injazat.

“In hosting the first Data Centre Strategies Forum, we hope that we can help further accelerate the MENA region’s IT sector by sharing our experiences and expertise in data centres and managed services,” added Lari.

The Forum will provide insight into how data centres can innovate their efficiency to address the pressing issues of power and cooling, green energy, and virtualization.

“This new Forum brings timely recognition to the critical importance of defining strategies for data centres that will underpin the recovery and development of digital markets across the Gulf economies in the years ahead,” commented Philip Low, managing director of BroadGroup, the event organizer.

With an academy of international speakers, experts and delegates from enterprise user companies, operators and owners, technical specialists, investors, vendors and consultancies, Data Centre Strategies will ask vital questions about the latest issues and developments in the sector that impact the business, operation and planning for data centre businesses. The event is researched and organized by international consulting firm BroadGroup with partner Orient Consulting.
Injazat Data Systems is a joint venture between Mubadala Development Co. and EDS, an HP company with 46 years of global expertise in the IT managed services industry. Injazat holds more than 50 per cent of the UAE’s IT outsourcing market and will further raise the level of the Middle East’s managed IT services sector upon the launching of its Tier IV data centre, the first facility of its kind in the region and the only one outside of North America.

Middle East’s biggest agribusiness trade event opens today

AGRA Middle East 2009

Agriculture boost cannot ignore environment impact

Middle East’s biggest agribusiness trade event opens today

Farmers and agri-professionals should not boost agricultural and livestock production at the expense of long-term environmental impacts, say the organisers of the region’s biggest agribusiness trade event which opens today (Monday 30 March 2009).

“Farmers today just cannot increase output without taking into account the negative impact of such growth in areas with fragile or vulnerable soils, sloping land and limited water resources,” said Goutam Malhotra, IIR Exhibition Manager of AGRA Middle East which takes place at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre until 1 April 2009.

“With the population of North Africa and Middle East expected to exceed 300 million within two decades, agricultural professionals are being urged to maximise output or compete with other countries for global resources – but not at the expense of the environment.

“That’s why it’s so important to keep up- to-date with agricultural trends at events such as AGRAme. Much of the equipment and many of the solutions on display and the subjects of the seminar programme are geared to addressing these key issues.

“For example, while Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Yemen are said to be already drawing volumes of water that exceed their annual recharge, water resources are likely to become an acute problem in many places. Therefore, finding out what is available to minimise water use, yet maximise production, has become vital.”

For example, the latest technology on show at AGRAme can produce up to 700 kilos of high quality livestock cattle fodder per day from a 12 metre purpose-built container. Ordinarily it would take 20 hectares of fertile land to produce the same amount of cattle feed.

New farming technologies and products will also be outlined in a series of free seminars at AGRAme. The seminar sessions address the concerns of the region’s agribusiness and will be given by international CEOs, managing directors and technologists. Topics include opportunities in the Gulf for recirculation fishing farming; offshore fish farming; aqua feed of the future; optimal performance poultry feed; poultry house ventilation; mastering harsh climate farming; and saving water energy.

This year’s exhibition is being complemented by Vet Middle East focusing on veterinary products and services. VETme 2009 is the first of its kind in the region bringing together regional veterinary practitioners and public health officials with manufacturers and suppliers of products and services from pharmaceuticals to food supplements as well as the latest technological advances in veterinary healthcare.

“This event will not only be of interest to the agribusiness professionals keen to protect their livestock but will also be of interest to the region’s horse, camel, and falconry breeders and enthusiasts as well as veterinary professional,” said Malhotra.

The Vet Middle East 2009 Conference features a series of comprehensive multi-tracked seminars and workshops addressing current regional industry issues relating to the cattle, equestrian and falconry sectors. It will also highlight the region’s pioneering role in animal molecular biology, genetics and stem cell therapy.

Among other topics at VETme are recent developments in protection against foot and mouth; diagnosis for livestock diseases; radiation therapy; new antibiotics and drugs; animal import and export regulations and controls; with sessions on large animals such as horses and camels and small animals such birds and cats.

Dubai Maritime City Launches Innovative Training Programme

Dubai Maritime City Launches Innovative Training Programme

March 29, 2009
Dubai Maritime City (DMC) has announced the launch of a unique internal training programme for its employees. “Ta’aleem Mutabadal,” which translates into “shared learning,” is the first of its kind and aims at enhancing employees’ skills and knowledge by utilizing the company’s different internal experts. The programme features a variety of topics related to both the employees’ professional and personal knowledge.

Ali Al Daboos, Chief Operating Officer, Dubai Maritime City, spoke about the role creativity plays in the success of any programme by saying: “Many companies invest significant amounts of money on the training of their employees, with most of the sessions being conducted by external experts. At Dubai Maritime City, we have always put focus on employee development and that is clearly demonstrated with the launch of this innovative programme.”

He adds: “The ‘Ta’aleem Mutabadal’ programme also helps builds the knowledge base of participants as it gives them the opportunity to learn about different areas of expertise and various areas of business.”

The programme covers various maritime and business related topics, including, for example, “Invaders from the Sea” which was conducted by Mr. Jams Walsh – Director of Special Projects at Dubai Maritime City, who has an over than 30 years of experience in the global maritime sector. The seminar was about the affects of discharging grey water and ballast water. Moreover, Abdulla Galadari from the engineering department had another seminar discussing the economic situation with an explanation of how it influenced the global market. Another seminar, which was conducted by Nawfal Al-Jourani CMO – DMC named “Marketing in Recession,” which highlighted the impact the global economic situation is posing on businesses and the importance of maintaining a brand’s presence and communication with its audiences. According to the presenter, successful companies are those that sustain their presence within the market despite challenging times.

In addition, Ta’aleem Mutabadal also included seminars on topics that related to employees’ well-being, which included a session titled “Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle,” where the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles and abandoning any activities that might be the cause of stress in their life was highlighted.

Furthermore, employees’ feedback is taken into consideration at the end of each session with the aim of improving both content and quality of future sessions as well as adopting new ideas and topics that could be incorporated in the programme.

Dubai Municipality gets more ISO certificates

Dubai Municipality (DM) gets more ISO certificates

Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality said the Municipality is one of the leading departments in Dubai Government, which has always sought to achieve the best results and highest standards in all fields as it pursues a policy of taking well studied steps and work as a team to reach the best practices.

He was speaking when the Municipality and six of its organizational units were receiving certificates for quality systems in accordance with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 international standard.

The certificates were distributed in the presence of Mr. Trogger, Regional Director, Middle East of the Norway-based Det Norske Veritas (DNV), the international ISO certification body.

The certificates were received by Khaled Bin Zayed, Director of Municipality Centres Department, Abdullah Abdul Rahman, Director of Human Resources Department, Ahmed Abdul Karim, Director of Public Parks and Horticulture Department, Eng. Mohamed AbdulAziz Nujm, Director of Sewage Water Treatment Plant Department, Mohammed Al Zaffin, Director of GIS Department, Maryam Al Hammadi, Director of Corporate Excellence Department. Members of the working groups of all departments were also present on the occasion.

Lootah thanked the departments for their efforts and called them strive to obtain such certificates, which enhance the quality of services provided, and emphasize the systems corresponding to international standards for these certificates.

Lootah congratulated all employees on this achievement and encouraged them to continue the efforts towards more achievements in work, which contributes to the realization of the Municipality's vision creating an excellent city that provides the essence of success and comfort of living.

The Municipality's winning of these certificates comes on the basis of a clear plan of action by the Corporate Excellence Department for getting certificates of quality and excellence awards for all departments of the Municipality.

The Municipality is considered one of the pioneering Dubai government departments that keep pace with meeting the requirements of the new versions of ISO 9001:2008 certificates.
This is the second time Dubai Municipality is getting these awards. During the month of November 2008 seven departments obtained ISO 9001-2000 certificates in the presence of Henrik Madsen, CEO of DNV. They were the departments of Legal Affairs, Internal Audit, General Projects, Transportation, Planning, Corporate Marketing and Relations and Children's City.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Phase II of the Upper Deck of the Financial Center Road to Open Mid of April – RTA

Phase II of the Upper Deck of the Financial Center Road to Open Mid of April – RTA

60% of the 1st Interchange of Sheikh Zayed Road Completed

Roads & Transport Authority – Mohammed Al Munji:

H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), announced that Phase II of the Upper Deck of Financial Center Road Project; an elevated bridge considered the first of its kind in the region, would be opened for traffic coming from Al Khail Road and Business Bay Road in the second half of next April.

Al Tayer made these comments during a tour that covered the Upper Deck of the Financial Center Road and the 1st Interchange of Sheikh Zayed Road to inspect the work progress and ensure projects completion was on schedule.

“Motorists coming from the Business Bay Road and Al Khail Road can drive through the Upper Deck of the Financial Center Road, and from there they can go right towards Sheikh Zayed Road to the direction of Trade Center R/A, or continue to drive towards Jumeirah across Safa Road, and from there they can access Sheikh Zayed Road heading to Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi” said Al Tayer. He stated that the opening the Upper Deck of the Financial Center Road would improve the traffic flow on Sheikh Zayed Road, particularly in the approaches of the 1st Interchange of Sheikh Zayed Road, and would also ease the congestion at the Commercial Center R/A.

Al Tayer praised the performance of the Japanese Taisei Corp. undertaking construction of Upper Deck of the Financial Center Road Project; a key phase of Ras Al Khor Project. He directed to accelerate the opening of the underpass linking the traffic flow from Dubai World Trade Center with Burj Dubai area, as well as the underpass linking Zabeel with Burj Dubai and Dubai Holding projects.

“The Financial Center Road Project entails construction of a flyover across Doha Road, consisting of three lanes in the direction of Jumeirah and five lanes in the opposite direction, at a cost of Dh605 million. The project aims to enhance the efficiency of traffic flow of Doha Road, and accommodate the traffic volumes generated by the new property developments such as Burj Dubai, Dubai Mall, Business Bay, and Dubai International Financial Center. It is envisaged that the Project will inject an intake of more than 16,000 vehicles per hour in both directions of the existing road. It includes an elevated interchange enabling traffic flow in and out of the New Ras Al Khor hub. To supplement roads network in the area, two underpasses have been added to ensure seamless traffic flow on the eastern & western parallel roads at the intersection with Doha Road” added Al Tayer.

The Chairman of the RTA completed his site tour by inspecting the work progress in the 1st Interchange of Sheikh Zayed Road Project; one of the biggest flyovers undertaken by the RTA. This contract envisages construction of bridges extending more than 3 km and underpasses extending about 850 meters. The cost of the Project, which is constructed by the Italian Salini Co., is Dh617 dirham.

Al Tayer announced that completion rate in this project has exceeded 60%. The new interchanges allow for free traffic flow in all directions of the project which links Sheikh Zayed Road with the upper & lower decks of the Financial Center Road. It also includes construction of an underpass to link the road passing behind Mazaya Center with the road passing behind the towers overlooking Sheikh Zayed Road. Moreover, it covers widening of Al Safa Road, and improving interchanges thereon up to Al Wasl Road.

This Project completes the 6th and Final Phase of Ras Al Khor Contracts; spanning 14 km of roads starting from Beirut underpass in the north and terminating at the 1st Interchange of Sheikh Zayed Road.

Al Tayer directed the Contractor to add more efforts to complete construction works in the interchange such that it is synchronized with the completion of the main works in the Upper Deck of the Financial Center Road. He also directed to maintain the highest standards of occupational health in all work sites.

Al Tayer concluded to say: “These projects come in the context of RTA strategy to keep pace with the urbanization drive and meet the needs of the current and projected demographic growth and expansion of advanced roads and transport network. This will match the transitional phase witnessed by Dubai; which is shaping into a premier cosmopolitan city, an international hub for tourists, visitors and businessmen from all corners of the globe, and a key regional & international center for conventions, forums and expos. This in turn warrants sustained development and efforts to upkeep the profile of the city to live up to such high billing.

Sheikh Hasher to honour UAE's top 20 corporate performers

Sheikh Hasher to honour UAE's top 20 corporate performers

Newsweek Arabic Edition launches Award of Excellence Program to recognise top corporate contributors to national economy

March 28, 2009
Newsweek Arabic Edition, the No.1 weekly magazine in the Arab World, has announced that it will present awards to the UAE's 20 top corporate performers in 2008 during the pioneering Newsweek Award of Excellence Program to be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Dubai. The ceremony, which will honour top-performing UAE-based companies, institutions and organisations from the private and public sectors, will also mark the ninth anniversary of Newsweek Arabic Edition and will serve as the inaugural event of what will be an annual feature in the Newsweek calendar.

The awards ceremony will be graced by H.H. Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Director General of Dubai Department of Information, who will distribute the awards to the winners. Newsweek has conducted an extensive research and study through a team of Newsweek senior correspondents and writers and the Newsweek Editorial Board to identify the winners of the Award of Excellence Program. The winners come from different sectors that include finance, media, airline, education, hospitality, real estate and property, and general trading.

Mohamad Salman, Regional Manager, Newsweek Arabic Edition said: "Having extensively studied and researched on the business performance of different private sector companies and organisations in the UAE, we are pleased to finally come up with a list of honourees that have contributed meaningfully to their respective industries and to the national economy. We believe this initiative will serve as motivation for organisations to be more competitive and to push their limits to excel in their respective fields. Ultimately, by incorporating this in our calendar of events, it is our aim to promote excellence and quality among all business organisations in the UAE."

Sheikh Khalifa Al Sabah, Chairman of Dar Al Watan and Editor-in-Chief, Newsweek Arabic Edition, will be present during the awards ceremony. Winners are selected based strictly on merit, particularly their contributions to the business community, the nation and the economy.

The Newsweek Award of Excellence Program serves as a complementary initiative to the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who has urged companies to cultivate organisational excellence and high quality standards as a key tool to help sustain the economic progress of the UAE.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

RTA Offers Seasonal Parking Cards Service at Jumeirah Plaza Center

RTA Offers Seasonal Parking Cards Service at Jumeirah Plaza Center

Dubai (United Arab Emirates): Customer Service Centers Dep’t at Corporate Support Services Sector of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) offered the Seasonal Parking Cards service at RTA Subsidiary Customer Service Center at Jumeirah Plaza Center.

“It is the intention of the Dep’t to deliver any service that proves to be comfortable and saves the time & efforts of customers” said Laila Ali bin Hareb, Director of Customer Service Centers Dep’t. “The overall objective is to offer excellent customer services through adopting the best applicable methods to figure out suitable solutions capable of ensuring highest success rates of RTA customer service, in coordination with all RTA agencies & departments” she added.

Laila further said: “Offering the Seasonal Parking Cards issued by Parking Dep’t at RTA Traffic & Roads Agency for sale underscores the intention of Customer Service Centers Dep’t to stimulate this service as there is a growing public demand for this service. The Dep’t has therefore opted to provide this service at Jumeirah Plaza Subsidiary Customer Service Center to make it readily accessible to customers.

“A special desk at Jumeirah Plaza Center is being dedicated to offer the sale of Seasonal Parking Cards; thereby adding to the diversity of services offered to all customer segments and ensuring handy delivery of the new service. A dedicated staff is being deployed to sell these cards during the official working hours.

“Opening RTA Subsidiary Customer Service Centers all over the emirate of Dubai is intended to meet the need for the services launched by the RTA from time to time. Considering the immense & rising public demand for RTA services, these Centers are opened at various locations in the emirate of Dubai such as petrol stations, companies, and public transport stations such that they will be accessible to all”, said Laila in a concluding remark.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RTA Embarks on a Massive Metro Marketing Campaign

RTA Embarks on a Massive Metro Marketing Campaign

The campaign is set to run ahead of the planned project launch on 09/09/09 under the theme of “My Metro”

Dubai (United Arab Emirates): Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) is bracing for the biggest Dubai Metro Marketing Campaign ahead of the scheduled launch of the project on 09/09/09 in association with Saatchi & Saatchi Co.; which was recently awarded this job in a tender put out by the RTA.

Ramadan Abdulla Mohammed, Director of Operations Department at RTA Rail Agency, said: “The importance of the marketing campaign stems from its role in unveiling and showcasing Dubai Metro Project; the pioneer and longest driverless rail network completed in one phase worldwide, and its substantial contribution towards fulfilling the vision of the RTA in providing Safe & Smooth Transport for all. The Project is capable of transforming the behavioural pattern, lifestyle and thoughts of many people in Dubai. However, to materialize this transition, intensive marketing & awareness campaigns have to be launched.

“This Campaign comes in the context of the Strategic Plan spanning up to 2020 targeting to increase the share of metro use to 17% among Dubai residents. The AED 15b Dubai Metro Project ranks among the top and vital projects in the emirate. It has a 75 km-long track that encompasses an elevated sector, a sector at the grade and an underground sector. The project envisages 47 stations housing retail and commercial outlets that provide commuters with all means of entertainment, services and facilities such as newspapers, magazines, consumer items among others.

The Red Line of Dubai Metro is scheduled for opening on 9 September 2009 and the Green Line is set for launch in March 2010. Trains will commute about 23,000 passengers per direction per hour on the Red Line and 18,000 passengers per direction per hour in the Green Line” he added.

For his part Elias Ashqar, Regional Executive Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Co. Said: “The Co. is proud of teaming up with the RTA and we are looking forward for more joint cooperation in the long run as part of a long lasting partnership, in line with the strategic vision set and wisely pursued by the RTA. Saatchi & Saatchi ranks among the biggest advertising agencies worldwide. The Co., which was established in 1970 in London, has now more than 150 branches employing 6,000 employees in 86 countries. Customers portfolio incorporates more than 60 of the top 100 advertising agency in the globe. Over the last 5 years alone, Saatchi & Saatchi swept 3500 international awards.

Peyman Younes Parham, Director of RTA Marketing & Corporate Communication Dep’t said: “This marketing campaign runs for one year and comprises three phases to cover the project comprehensively. Phase I focuses on the project introduction in terms of launch timing, shape design and message selection i.e. (My Metro). Phase II is the basic stage comprising all information related to the metro operation, fare, public services, station services, multi-modal integration, and security & safety means. Phase III is the preparatory phase that sets the stage for the launch day on 09/09/2009; also incorporating a supplement to Phase II.

“The Campaign covers all media, promotional and marketing outlets of this pioneer project. Examples of these include television stations, radio channels, newspapers, and magazines, directional signboards on roads, bridges and tunnels across the GCC. It will be delivered in several languages to address all community segments.

“The objective of the Campaign is to introduce the public to the services & facilities rendered by Dubai Metro Project, which provides Dubai residents with the best and highly sophisticated transit system in the transportation industry. It is viewed as a new ring in the ongoing series of successes made by the RTA, and opens up more employment and investment opportunities.

“Through this Campaign, RTA is not targeting a specific age group or community segment, but focuses on the whole spectrums of the community. Various awareness messages will be directed to different community segments. Emphasis will be made towards making Dubai Metro one of the leading flagship projects in Dubai such as Burj Al Arab, Burj Dubai, The Palm, The World among others. The theme (My Metro) will be stressed such that all passengers will be proud of using this metro in their daily travels” added Peyman in a concluding remark.

Street Naming Committee discusses system application mechanism

Street Naming Committee discusses system application mechanism

The Dubai Streets Naming Committee held its fourth meeting chaired by Eng. Hussein Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality continuing its discussions to develop a mechanism for the application and implementation of the street naming system in Dubai.

During the meeting, which discussed the general classification plan of areas in Jumeirah sector, Mr. Lootah stressed on the need to determine the identity of each region to have implications to ensure clarity and accessibility of the location, so as to ensure establishing the locations and the names in these areas.

The meeting also reviewed the proposals of the team for the Industrial Area, Dubai Financial Centre, Sufooh-1, Sufooh-2 and Dubai Marina, and the identity of each area was determined.

The committee was keen to put simple and easy names appropriate to each area taking into account the historic nature of the emirate and the events associated with the areas as well as the names inherited from the old generations. It also took into consideration the names agreed upon by the people of a single area for their streets, in addition to coordinating the names of the streets and linking them with other streets connected with them.

The first phase of the project includes selection of appropriate names for all the streets of Dubai, taking into account the standards adopted by the committee, which emphasizes on traditional and old names that have been circulated for generations, and also the logical sequence of the names of the streets connected to the sea, land, types of fish, fishing gear, names of ships and names connected to different fields.

In the final phase, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and Industry and Chairman of Dubai Municipality Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum will be briefed on the list of names proposed for adoption based on the divisions of areas prepared for the streets of the emirate. The areas are divided into 12 such as the heritage and old Souq area, the coastal zone, mixed housing areas, areas parallel to Dubai Creek, the industrial areas, residential areas of nationals, special financial zones, palace and private housing areas, academic and cultural areas, rural areas, International Cities area and the free zones.

The committee members, who attended the meeting, include AbdulRahman Saif Al Ghurair, Butti Saeed Al Kindi, Bilal Al Budoor, Jamal Khalfan Bin Howairib, Saleh Saeed Lootah, Ibrahim Belselah, Abdullah Ghobash, Juma Khalifa Bin Thalith, Jamal Majid Al Ghurair and Eng. Dawood Al Hajiri, Director of Planning Department in the Municipality, who is the coordinator of the committee.

Diverse job opportunities, high-quality employment services minimizing UAE unemployment

Diverse job opportunities, high-quality employment services minimizing UAE unemployment
Manpower showcases to promote Emirati employment

Clarendon Parker Middle East (CPME), a subsidiary of leading employment services provider Manpower, has announced that it will campaign for a more active participation of UAE Nationals in the local workforce, as it prepares to participate in the 9th annual Careers UAE show to be held from March 29 to 31, 2009 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Manpower, which will be exhibiting at Hall 2, Stand 204, refers to the UAE’s diverse job market and significant improvements in employment services as major contributors to the country’s low 4 per cent unemployment rate. In its recent comprehensive study on regional and international female employment, Manpower affirms that demand for labour in Middle Eastern countries remains strong, pointing to the rapid growth of the services sector in particular as a key factor. The company adds that improvements in local employment services have also significantly enhanced employability and job-candidate matching.

“The UAE has certainly emerged as one of the more robust job markets in the Middle East, and Manpower is committed to encouraging more Nationals to join the country’s vibrant workforce. We regularly visit colleges and universities to speak to Emirati candidates about the world of work, the expectations and needs of employers, and how they can adapt their existing skills and talents to work effectively in the private sector. We have many companies looking for talented, motivated Emirati candidates; Careers UAE is an excellent opportunity to meet Emiratis and talk to them in detail about opportunities and options. It also helps us to raise awareness of what recruitment companies actually do and how we can help Emirati candidates find meaningful and rewarding work,” said Patrick Luby, Managing Director, Manpower Middle East.

During the event, Manpower will also introduce, an online focus group dedicated to gathering Emiratis and private sector companies in a virtual space to explore and resolve barriers to the employment of UAE nationals. The group’s interactive services include a live job board where sponsor members can post job openings and receive resumes direct from prospective Emirati employees; a calendar of events relevant to Emirati job seekers and promoting member events; and news updates on Emiratisation. Emiratisation,org sponsor companies can use the site to discuss their experiences, achievements and proposed Emiratisation strategies, sharing best practice and knowledge to further the aims of Emiratisation.

Manpower entered the Middle East market through the acquisition of Clarendon Parker Middle East, the region’s largest staffing solutions provider and a staunch supporter of Nationalisation in the UAE’s workforce. The company will be participating in Careers UAE for the seventh consecutive year, during which it will discuss important domestic and MENA labour market trends, employment prospects, and its industry-leading services with Nationals and employers.

Careers UAE is an annual event that aims to introduce Emiratis to various training, work and development opportunities. The exhibition provides a platform for UAE Nationals to obtain information on companies, opportunities within organizations, market trends, and training and education programmes. The event attracted more than 20,000 visitors to 14,030 sqm of exhibition space during its three-day run in 2008. The 2009 exhibition is being held in cooperation with Tanmia, the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority, Emirates Nationals Development Programme, Higher Colleges of Technology, Zayed University, and UAE University.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Hotel Show organisers urge $630 million regional spa industry to offer escape from stress of economic downturn

Relax away the crisis

The Hotel Show organisers urge $630 million regional spa industry to offer escape from stress of economic downturn

The Middle East’s $630 million resort and spa industry has been urged to offer customers an escape from the stress of the economic crisis.

“The Middle East has invested heavily in hotel development in recent years which means it is better placed than many other parts of the world to remain sound during the current challenging times,” said Maggie Moore, Exhibition Director of The Hotel Show.

The first Middle East Spa Summit will be part of this year’s show that takes place from May 24-26 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

“As part of their product offering, many hotels have spas which will help them emerge faster than other regions when there is an improvement in the world economy,” she added. “But many hotel based spas are under-utilised.”

Unlike in Europe, Asia or the United States, around 60% of spa revenue in the Middle East is generated through hotels with an estimated turnover in excess of $630 million annually in the Arabian Gulf. The United Arab Emirates alone makes up more than 40% of this figure.

“In today’s economic climate hotel operators cannot afford to have facilities that are not productive,” said Moore. “The Summit will help them by addressing the different types of spa and the reasons for choosing them; the benefits of managing a spa in-house or franchising; how to market a spa; and spa trends.

“In times of economic downturn, the hospitality industry has to try harder to maintain and grow profits. Now is the time to review business basics and become more competitive and that applies to spas as well as their core room and food and beverage businesses.

“Hotels in the Middle East are by no means immune to the global downturn but many continue to attract spa-goers from all over the world. Luxury properties will no doubt continue to benefit from their appeal to the super wealthy who are not necessarily as seriously affected. Generally, however, hotel spas will need to maintain a positive focus moving through the economic crisis.

“Hotels can use this opportunity to raise awareness of the wellness and healthful aspects of spa-going to a wider audience. If they do so at reasonable rates, they will benefit. After all, what better time could there to persuade customers to take care of themselves than during a stressful economic crisis?”

The Hotel Show showcases the latest products, services and technologies for all aspects of the hospitality and leisure sector. In 2008 the show featured 1,050 exhibitors from 46 countries.

This year the show will have four major product and service sectors:
- Interiors & Design for furniture, furnishings, accessories and design services;
- Operating Equipment & Supplies, with food and beverage, housekeeping and back of house products and equipment including the corporate catwalk;
- Security & Technology;
- The Resort Experience, covering all things outdoor (furniture, accessories and design) and including Hotel Spa will bring international spa, design and equipment companies to this region, many for the first time.
Alongside the Middle East Spa Summit is The Seven Star Conference, an established event running at The Hotel Show, will emphasise design trends, sustainability, future technologies and marketing for profitability.

For more information about all aspects of The Hotel Show, please visit

Sunday, March 22, 2009

APM Terminals Opens Dubai Office

APM Terminals Opens Dubai Office

– New regional headquarters for Africa, Middle East and India

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - APM Terminals has relocated its regional headquarters from Muscat, Oman to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The new location will be in Dubai Maritime City.

APM Terminals chose Dubai as its new regional headquarters based on its strategic location as a regional business hub and major airport. “We run 12 container terminals in the region and Dubai’s location allows us to be closer to customers in the markets of Africa, the Middle East and India. The city infrastructure and facilities support our regional growth goals as well”, commented Jorgen H. Madsen, Regional CEO of APM Terminals, based in Dubai.

Amer Ali, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Maritime City, stated: “APM Terminals is a strong addition to the list of major maritime businesses setting up within Dubai Maritime City. Our objective has always been to attract the world’s leading maritime businesses to the project, enabling the industry to have one comprehensive hub from which they can operate their businesses and interact with each other.”

About APM Terminals Africa, Middle East and India Region
APM Terminals in Africa, Middle East and India Region are involved in a large and diverse portfolio of container terminals:

Africa: Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Apapa, Nigeria; Onne, Nigeria; Douala, Cameroon; Luanda, Angola
Middle East: Aqaba, Jordan; Bahrain, Bahrain; Salalah, Oman
Indian Subcontinent: Pipavav, India; Nhava Sheva, India; Colombo, Sri Lanka

The terminals in Bahrain, Salalah and Pipavav also offer large and dedicated facilities catering for the bulk and general cargo markets.

About APM Terminals:
APM Terminals is one of the world’s leading container terminal owners and operators, with a geographically balanced Global Terminal Network of more than 50 terminals in 34 countries and five continents. With corporate headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, APM Terminals is an independent terminal development and operating company providing world-class service to over 60 container shipping lines in every major international trade lane.

About Dubai Maritime City:

Dubai Maritime City is a 227 hectare fully-equipped, iconic and multidimensional maritime centre providing a world-class infrastructure and environment for the global maritime industry and related sectors. Dubai Maritime City is driven by the needs of both local and international marine and maritime communities for a dedicated hub.

Dubai Maritime City capitalizes on the strengths of Dubai as a regional and international hub for trade and commerce, redefining the global maritime industry. It will provide a strategic location for the maritime industry sectors across the full spectrum of maritime business - maritime management, maritime services, maritime retail and recreation, maritime education and research, ship repair and maintenance, yacht repair and maintenance.

When completed, Dubai Maritime City will be a vibrant mixed use development for the maritime industry, comprising industrial, commercial, residential and leisure facilities housed on a man-made peninsula between Port Rashid and Dubai Dry Docks. As a peninsula development, Dubai Maritime City harnesses the benefits of open sea access for the industrial community, yet creates a mesmerizing living and working environment with breathtaking sea views in a vibrant commercial hub. By offering world-class infrastructure, services and regulations, Dubai Maritime City will create a unique specialized environment that promotes the networking and integration of leading maritime companies in one destination.

"Say Yes to a Clean Al Fahidi" campaign launched

"Say Yes to a Clean Al Fahidi" campaign launched

Dubai, 22 March 2009: Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, Jassim Darwish, Secretary General of UAE Municipalities, and senior officials of the municipality took to Al Fahidi street on Sunday to ceremoniously clean the street heralding the launch of an innovative environmental drive called "Say YES to a Clean Al Fahidi." They also distributed flyers to shop-owners and residents in the area explaining the significance of keeping their surroundings clean.

The month long campaign, which follows a similar campaign in Naif Area late last year, is aimed at restoring the past glory of a number of busy streets in the old Dubai.

Launching the campaign at a specially designated location in front of Astoria Hotel in Al Fahidi Street, Lootah said the clean-up drive aims at rooting out unhealthy practices that spoil the beautiful image of the city and transforming the busy area into a cleaner place that suits the name and fame of Dubai.

He said the campaign will create awareness among the residents about general cleanliness by asking them not to throw dirt, cigarette butts and other wastes on the roads and stop spitting in public places, in addition to discouraging the practice of hanging clothes on the balconies deforming the good image of the city.

Lootah, who appealed the public to support the drive by actively participating in the campaign, said similar campaigns would soon be taken up in such areas of the city as Al Ghubaibah, Al Sabkha, Al Karama, Al Qusais and Al Qouz.

The environment drive, which consists of several social activities, will be involving people of different categories in the society including residents and traders in the area.

The activities include road shows involving people who are present in the area at the time of the show and long-term social activities aimed at educating the public. The public awareness campaign also includes publishing and broadcasting advertisements in local newspapers and radio. The Municipality has already started publishing advertisements in newspapers in different languages and has put up outdoor advertisements in Al Fahidi street.

Furthermore, there will be a Clean Store Contest, which will run from 22 March to 21 April 2009. The winning store will be judged based on the general cleanliness in the store, avoiding eating, drinking and smoking inside it, the store owners' efforts in reducing the use of plastic bags, how do they limit displaying goods outside the stores, and their endeavours in rooting out litter on the pavement close to the store.

Printed materials on the significance of the campaign will be distributed to the public for three days before the start of the campaign and advertisements will be placed on buildings and main streets in Al Fahidi area.

The road shows that will be held from 22 March to 21 April will involve 12 people who will go round the streets wearing T-shirts printed with the campaign logo. In addition, there will be stilt walkers, stage shows and contests for choosing the cleanest building.

Palm District Cooling raises AED 519 million financing for future expansion

Palm District Cooling raises AED 519 million financing for future expansion

March 22, 2009

Palm District Cooling (PDC), a leading Dubai-based integrated provider of district cooling services, and a subsidiary of Palm Utilities, owned by Istithmar, a Dubai World group entity, has announced that it recently raised an AED 519 million bridge financing facility. This is in line with its growth strategy within the UAE.

Yousuf Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Palm Utilities, said, “This financing commitment comes at a time when the region is experiencing severe liquidity constraints. It clearly validates the strength of our business model and the key role that PDC plays in helping to develop infrastructure in the UAE.”

The financing will be utilised for capital expenditure requirements of the company and is part of a wider financing strategy that will include accessing the syndicated loan and capital markets in the future.

“Raising finance in the present environment was challenging, but with the support of all the parties involved, we were able to get it done,” said Murtaza Chevel, Chief Financial Officer, Palm Utilities.

PDC specialises in Build-Own-Operate model of development offering design, construction, operation & maintenance services in the district cooling space and has pioneered the concept of using treated sewage effluent for its district cooling operations. The company’s current capacity 450,000 TR is expected to increase to 1 million TR over the next few years. Some of the key clients it currently services include developments such as the Palm Jumeirah Island, Discovery Gardens, Jumeirah Lake Towers and Ibn Battuta Mall.

DEWA announces its new logo on its First Day of WETEX 2009

DEWA announces its new logo on its First Day of WETEX 2009

Water Technologies, Energy and Environment Exhibition (WETEX 2009) activities will be launched on 29th March, 2009, with distinguished regional and international participation

Outstanding conference alongside the exhibition, considered to be an ideal palette to exhibit Clean Energy, Green Buildings and Energy Rationalization techniques and concepts

In a press conference held this morning (Sunday, 22nd March, 2009), Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) announced its intention to sign a number of contracts for major projects in different fields during the activities of the Water Technologies, Energy and Environment Exhibition 2009 (WETEX 2009) in its 11th edition, which will be held during the period 29-31 March, 2009, at the Zabeel Hall, World Trade Centre, Dubai.

DEWA announced the completion of all the necessary preparations to launch the exhibition, as per the directions of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and the Defence Minister of UAE and the Chairman of DEWA.

The exhibition will focus on its commitment to adhere to the highest principles of preserving the environment, and will introduce them to a large number of participants and visitors of the exhibition, and will also give them an opportunity to discuss the latest developments in the power industry, with major regional and international companies participating in the conference to be held alongside the WETEX 2009.

H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, in his speech at the press conference, stated that, “WETEX 2009 has proved to be a distinguished terminal in the series of major exhibitions hosted by Dubai, under the directions of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and the Defence Minister of UAE and the Chairman of DEWA, and under the instructions of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Minister of Finance & Industry – sponsor of this exhibition, as this exhibition is considered a new edition to the commercial and economic activities, organized and adopted by Dubai. It also assures the endless distinction of Dubai, being a constantly growing and modernization center in this benchmarking area of the globe.”

The environmental impact of buildings has become a major priority in the Middle East, and it was necessary to seek sustainable and friendly solutions to its impact on the environment, such as green buildings. In this context, DEWA will be hosting the WETEX Conference, to assist top Management Executives in the water, energy and environment sectors, to meet experts of renewable industries to discuss the main issues, including green buildings and the technologies that are friendly to the environment and energy.

H.E. Al Tayer, added that “the vast contribution of Ministries, government departments and organizations, municipalities, national and international establishments, and public benefit associations, related to the issues of water, energy and environment preservation, has exceeded our expectations, as more than 400 participants from Arabic and international companies and establishments belonging to 23 countries from various continents have contributed to the WETEX ’09.

The exhibition also includes 6 international major stands from U.S.A., EU, Italy, China, Korea and Taiwan.

Mr. Al Tayer also stated that, “the huge participation in WETEX 2009, in the midst of the present international financial crisis, is an evidence that Dubai was, is and continues to be the best destination for economic and commercial activities, representing a distinguished business hub in the region.”

MD & CEO declared that on the occasion of the exhibition, DEWA will announce its new logo, which expresses the new strategy and identity adopted by DEWA since the beginning of this year, and likewise, DEWA will clarify its vision and directive plans which it intends to implement during 2009, after focusing on the results of its previous campaigns which achieved excellent results throughout Dubai.

Mr. Al Tayer further added, “after 50 glorious years, DEWA is still full of youth, aspiring to continuously renovate and develop its strategies, and to continue excelling and shine in its endeavors. Our new logo represents a new era, representing high determination, confidence and belief.”

DEWA is offering a free entry to the exhibition, aiming to attract and enhance public awareness to the significance and theme of the exhibition, which will offer concepts and technologies which will prove beneficial to the establishments and companies, and will also assist the public to achieve positive conclusions in the field of rationalization of electricity and water and preservation of the environmental resources of the Emirate.

Mr. Al Tayer went on to state that, “a number of seminars and lectures will be held consecutively for three days in the morning as well as in the afternoon, alongside the exhibition. Such lectures will be diversified and rich with their modern, scientific and technical themes and will constitute a significant source to the new developments of various subjects and issues also included in the exhibition, and will be of great benefit to the specialized bodies in the various fields of water, energy and environment.”

The exhibition is considered to be an international forum, which will bring together a number of manufacturers, decision-makers, executives and consumers under one roof, to avail of an ideal opportunity to set up new alliances and to strengthen existing relations. The seminars will specially target Specialized Engineers and Technicians in various sectors of the government and private departments in UAE and the GCC sectors, to be informed of the latest techniques and developments in this field. There are 8 main sponsors, and 8 sub-sponsors for the event, including international and local companies, and the total area of the exhibition area is 15000 sq.m.

The press conference was attended by high-level representatives from both the main sponsors like ETA (Power Project Division), Siemens, Gulf Eternit, Bahwan Engineering Co, Emirates Electrical Engineering, Gulf Jyoti, ABB and Riyadh Cables, and sub-sponsors like Sunten Electric Co., Tesar, Alstom, Gulf Petrochemcial Services, Mitsubishi Electric, Doosan, Getra SPA, and National Cables.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mohammed bin Rashid Reviews the AED1.4b Marine & Bus Stations Projects, Directs to Enhance Construction & Beautification

Mohammed bin Rashid Reviews the AED1.4b Marine & Bus Stations Projects, Directs to Enhance Construction & Beautification

Al Tayer: 8 Marine Transport Stations to be constructed & upgraded at Dubai Creek

Dubai Leads the World in the Number of Marine Mass Transit Users Compared to the Number of Population

Roads & Transport Authority – Mohammed Al Munji:

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, reviewed a number of vital projects carried out by Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) at a cost of about 1.4 billion dirham. Projects portfolio include construction & upgrading of 8 marine transport stations at Dubai Creek, public transport bus stations at Al Qouz, Satwa and Karama, in addition to Bus Depots at Al Aweer, Khuwaneej, Rawiyyah and Jebel Ali.

While reviewing the detailed project layouts, HH directed to speedup construction in accordance with the approved timetable, and to have much focus on the aesthetic appearance of the stations, such that they would be more compatible with the local environment and at the same time maintain the urban outlook of the emirate of Dubai.

“The marine transport project entails construction & upgrading of 8 stations at Dubai Creek to meet the current and projected needs of abras, water bus and the water taxi” said H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA. He added: “It is envisaged that more than 26 million passengers will be commuted upon completion of these stations next year. The project, which costs about AED100 million, includes construction of two new stations at Dubai Creek i.e. Bastakiya Station near the Ruler’s Court, and Shindagha Station near the Heritage Village, in addition to upgrading 6 existing stations; namely: Dubai Old Souq Station, Seef Station, Bur Dubai Station, Bani Yas Station, Sabkha Station, and Deira Souq Station. Two initial designs have been developed; the first one is modeled after the heritage architecture, and the other has a flavour of a modern design. The heritage design was adopted to fit well with the heritage neighbourhood and uphold the cultural identity of Dubai Creek. RTA was keen to ensure that all designs are compatible with the standards of green buildings, in implementation of the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to make Dubai a green city.

“Each station includes a two-storey building spanning an area of 450 square meters. The main station comprises service outlets, waiting area, customer service area, and retail outlet, with a direct exit to the marinas of the water bus and the water taxi. In abra marinas boarding and alighting traffic is being separated to ease passenger movement and provide higher levels of safety & security. Covered corridors extending 350 meters are being provided at each station; a key requirement suggested by the existing abra users.

“Marine Transport is one of the antique mass transit modes in the emirate of Dubai. Abras used to ply Dubai Creek for almost two centuries and thereby an integral part of the legacy of the emirate and a landmark of its civilization. Dubai has a premier position in marine transport worldwide. It ranks fifth, after Bangkok, Istanbul, New York and Venice. The number of passengers ferried by marine transport modes (abras and the water bus) in 2008 was in excess of 20 million passengers. Currently Dubai is the leading city worldwide in terms of the number of passengers using marine transport compared to the number of population.

Bus Passenger Stations
H.E. Mattar Al Tayer stated that public transport bus passenger stations at Al Qouz, Satwa and Karama, which cost about 292 million dirham, will enhance the beautiful appearance of Dubai. These stations have a unique layout combining creative & effective solutions side by side with engineering designs, and instill a new concept in mass transit modes replicating the dynamics of bus movement” he said.

Al Tayer added: “The role of these stations will not be restricted to providing passenger transport services, but will go beyond that to provide comprehensive services since the stations will look like mini commercial centers comprising several commercial & services outlets, restaurants, and offices to name a few. The external yard will be designated as bus stops and passenger loading and unloading area. The stations will be linked with footbridges and subways to ease passenger movement to various destinations.

“The capacity of Satwa Bus Station is estimated as 625 passengers per hour, and passenger loading & unloading area will accommodate 10 buses at a time. Taxi ranks can accommodate up to 12 vehicles plus 4 buses, and the area designated as parking will house about 307 vehicles, whereas the investment lot (offices and shops) spans an area of 5166 square meters.

“The capacity of Al Qouz Bus Station is estimated as 525 passengers per hour, and passenger loading & unloading area will accommodate 8 buses at a time. Taxi ranks can accommodate up to 12 vehicles plus 5 buses, and the area designated as parking will house about 208 vehicles, whereas the investment lot (offices and shops) spans an area of 3030 square meters.

“Karama Bus Station will be designated for Intercity Transport. The station has a capacity to accommodate 110 passengers per hour, and passenger loading & unloading area will accommodate 5 buses at a time. Taxi ranks can accommodate up to 9 vehicles plus 3 buses, and the area designated as parking will house about 57 vehicles, whereas the investment lot (offices and shops) spans an area of 6332 square meters” stated Al Tayer.

Bus Depots
Al Tayer said: “The bus depots; which cost about one billion dirham, have been positioned in a number of locations in the emirate to ensure accessing passenger service points in a short time. Al Aweer Bus Depot, which is being built at cost of 102 million dirham, comprises a 28-bay workshop fitted with the latest technical systems & tools needed for maintenance works as well as electrical and mechanical repairs. It also includes modern testing & inspecting systems along with warehouses for spare part and offices for employees & technicians. The Workshop is designed at a 9-meter height so as to accommodate double-deck buses and equipped with several jacks to lift articulated buses. It also includes an administrative building and drivers training center.

“Construction work at Rawiyya and Khawaneej Bus Depots, costing about AED690 million, is gathering momentum. More than 30% of design works and infrastructure have been completed. This covers roads network, parking, sewage systems, maintenance workshops, and bus cleaning areas. Each project includes construction of a bus yard capable of accommodating 295 buses (144 standard buses and 151 articulated buses). It also includes a maintenance workshop for electrical & mechanical works capable of accommodating 20 buses at a time. In addition to that it includes supply line to serve 12 buses, and a washing & cleaning bay with an intake of 20 buses at a time. Phase II includes construction of an administration office for about 40 employees in addition to Drivers Quarters with a capacity to house 444 drivers. These units contain rooms, toilets, wash basins, dining halls and recreational facilities. Also comes under this Phase is the construction of investment buildings spanning an area of 3005 square meters containing food courts, shops, and a mosque with a capacity of 250 prayers.

“RTA has completed Phase I of Jebel Ali Bus Depot Station, which costs about 229 million dirham. The Project includes construction of a boundary wall for the site, construction of local roads and public utility networks such as water, electricity, sewage and irrigation. The station has a capacity to accommodate about 300 buses (standard, articulated and double-deckers). It is fitted with 24 bays capable of housing 36 buses at a time for conducting various works such as washing, cleaning and refueling. The Station has an office complex to accommodate 50 employees as well as residential quarters for 1200 bus drivers.
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