Etihad Rail concludes knowledge transfer programme with Deutsche Bahn

Etihad Rail has concluded, ahead of schedule, the knowledge transfer programme with Deutsche Bahn (DB), Europe’s largest railway operator and infrastructure owner. The partnership between the two organisations, oversaw the establishment of the joint venture Etihad Rail DB in 2013, where the exchange of knowledge in railway operations, operations control centres (OCCs), maintenance of rolling stock, and development of the operating rules and regulations, was integral for subsequent operations.


This took place during InnoTrans 2022, the leading international trade fair for transport technology, which was held in Berlin, Germany from 20-23 September 2022.


These areas of support and experience shared by Deutsche Bahn led to the achievement of critical milestones, enabling Etihad Rail to establish a vital national industry through the creation of the UAE’s first railway network.


Supplementary to knowledge transfer, Deutsche Bahn provided Etihad Rail with guidance on the Health, Safety, Environment, & Quality (HSEQ) requirements and the development of the Operational Safety Case, which ultimately resulted in Etihad Rail DB’s accreditation as the UAE’s first heavy rail operator.


Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer at Etihad Rail, said, “We conclude our knowledge transfer programme with our partner of almost a decade; Deutsche Bahn, ahead of schedule and in line with international best practices. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Deutsche Bahn, who shared valuable knowledge and expertise, aiding us in our goals to become one of the leading entities in the railway industry globally. We look forward to future opportunities, to work together again and achieve further successes.”


Niko Warbanoff, CEO DB E.C.O. Group, said, “We are proud of our successful and long-standing partnership with Etihad Rail. Together we have achieved the highest customer satisfaction with ADNOC, made a significant contribution to climate protection by saving a large amount of CO2 emissions, and kept our promise to provide a sustainable knowledge transfer to our partner Etihad Rail and the Emirati people.”


The joint venture Etihad Rail DB has been responsible for the operations of Stage One of the UAE National Rail Network since 2016, building a reputation of the highest levels of quality, safety, punctuality, and customer satisfaction, bringing together major benefits for its customer, and the United Arab Emirates.


Since operations began for Stage One of the UAE National Rail Network, Deutsche Bahn has supported Etihad Rail in transporting over 44 million tonnes of Sulphur across 4,400 trains, whilst boasting an immaculate safety record of zero LTIs and delivering exceptional punctuality rates, to ensure a reliable service. Consequently, Etihad Rail has reduced over 370,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, and 2.68 million truck trips, supporting the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative.


Year-to-date, Etihad Rail DB has run 382 trains, and transported 3,685,000 tonnes of Sulphur, with a punctuality rate of 98.4 percent, which reflects the high level of customer satisfaction achieved.




Source: Emirates News Agency

53 shortlisted entries from 600 global submissions for 9th Sharjah Government Communication awards

The International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), a subsidiary of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), has announced 53 nominees in 19 categories of the 9th edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA).


This year, the international award registered the highest number of submissions since its debut edition in 2013, with 600 applications from 80 entities locally and internationally. Totally, 250 submissions were accepted for the ninth edition after clearing the award’s requirements and regulations.


The nominee shortlist includes candidates from 13 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Belgium, Spain, France, Australia, and the UAE.


The coveted Sharjah award’s jury includes Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM); Ali Jaber, Director-General of the MBC Group and Dean of Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communication at American University of Dubai (AUD); Sami Al Reyami, Editor-in-Chief of Emarat Al Youm newspaper; Hassan Yaqoub Al Mansouri, Secretary-General of Sharjah Media Council; Shihab Alhammadi, Director of Sharjah Media City (Shams); Dr. Ali Salem Al Lawati, Adviser at the Diwan of Royal Court, Sultanate of Oman; Dr. Yasar Jarrar, bestselling author of The Sheikh CEO; and Fadila Al Muaini, Vice Chairperson of the UAE Journalists Association; and Mona El Shazly, Egyptian media figure.


The nominees for the “Best Public Communication by a Government Agency – Emirate of Sharjah” award include the Department of Planning and Survey, the Sharjah Digital Office, and the Sharjah International Airport Authority.


Nominees for the “Government Communication Model Employee – United Arab Emirates” award include Fatima Al-Sharqi from the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund; Khawla Al-Mujaini, Sharjah Book Authority, and Saif Matar Al Hajri, from Dubai Police General Command.


The Emirates Red Crescent Authority, the Sharjah Housing Programme, and Sharjah Police General Directorate have been shortlisted for the “Best Crisis Response – United Arab Emirates” award.


As for the “Best Government Communication Systems” award, the category comprises four subcategory awards, “A System for Persons with Disabilities”, “Training and Education”, “A System for the Elderly” and “Practices”.


The nominees for subcategory award include the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, Saudi Arabia, and NAMA Women Advancement (NAMA), UAE; Emirates Health Services, Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, and Sharjah Media City (Shams); the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services and Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters Sharjah Social Services Department.


Nominees for the “Best Government Communication in Digital Media” award include the UAE Ministry of Interior; the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department; and the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund.


Entities for the “Best Environmental Policies and Practices” award include the Department of Public Services in Ras Al Khaimah; Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), and the Department of Municipality and Planning in Ajman.


The “Best Youth-targeted Government Communication” category comprises two subcategory awards. The finalists for the “Best Youth Initiative in Government Communication” category include Maram Al Abadi, Saudi Arabia; Al Anoud Al Hashimi, UAE; Yassin Bin Talib, Jordan, and Basil Al Madani, Syria.


The “Best Initiative for Influencing Future Generations” category includes the Badir initiative by Bahrain’s Sports Affairs Ministry; the Royal Academy of Management – National Youth Programme for Skills Development, Oman.


Nominees for the “Programme with the Greatest Influence on Social Responsibility” award include the GCC Health Council initiative “Ma Yensaket Anha”; The Big Heart Foundation’s “Who am I?” campaign, and Egypt’s presidential initiative for the early detection of breast cancer, affiliated with the Ministry of Health and Population.


The “Best Photo in Government Communication” category have shortlisted the following: Abdullah Al Sheikh, Saudi Arabia; Sami Alramyan, Kuwait; Ola, UAE, and Giles Clark, USA.


The “Best Innovations in Government Communication – Global” category, and for the first time in the Middle East, comes in partnership with 01Gov and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is split into two awards, “Best Innovation in Government Communication”, which shortlisted Catalonia’s CatVers initiative of CBCat, Spain; CitizenLab, Belgium; Opendatasoft, France; and Vloggi, Australia. As for the “Best Challenge for the Future in Government Communication” award, the winning team will be selected by jurors during IGCF 2022.


The “Best Social Media Influencer” award, which honours a leading influencer from across the Arab world in recognition of their contribution and support to concepts, ideas and productive experiences that are based on the principles of government communication benefitting the individual and society. The nominees for this category are Egypt’s Rahma Khaled, from Egypt, and Ihssane Benalluch from Morocco.


The Exceptional Employee Prize award comprises two subcategories. The “Best university initiative to qualify future employees in government communication” award comes in collaboration with the UAE University. It will honour the winning team in the University Challenge organised in the pre-IGCF 2022 activities.


The nominees in the second subcategory, “The Best Government Communication Initiative that Empowers Women” include the “Hama” initiative, to enhance the readiness of female soldiers for the future, in partnership with the National and Reserve Service Authority, the Government Development and the Future Office (UAE), and the National Platform for Saudi Women Leaders (Qiyadyat).


The judges nominated a group of files in the categories of the “Best Media Content”, and the “Best Dramatic Work – Arab Word”.


Tariq Saeed Allay, Director-General of SGMB, said, “I would like to thank everyone who participated in SGCA 2022. I also extend my gratitude to the distinguished jury and organisers for their dedicated efforts in shortlisting the contending entries from amongst 600 applicants. I congratulate the entire SCGA shortlist for pursuing excellence in their chosen field of government communication.”


He added, “The award is important not only in fulfilling its role of honouring successful experiences in government communications but is equally significant in providing continuous incentives to be creative and keep pace with rapid changes in various cultural, economic and development sectors, in addition to humanities disciplines, including communication which is the most influenced by developments and change.”


He noted that SGCA is adaptable and can be further developed, including the addition of new categories as it gains more momentum locally, regionally and internationally. He said the award forecasts more applications in the 12th edition after breaking submission records in the current edition. He called on individuals and entities locally and internationally to participate in the award to shine light on their accomplishments at a global level.




Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE participates in IFA Working Group meeting within G20 Finance Track for 2022

The UAE recently participated in the fifth International Financial Architecture (IFA) Working Group meeting within the G20 Finance Track for 2022, which was held in a hybrid format on 22nd and 23rd September 2022.


The meeting, which was held under the G20 Indonesian Presidency, discussed issues related to global financial development and stability with highlights on the global financial resilience, capital flows and global financial safety net. It also sought to deliberate key financial issues related to global financial risks and opportunities.


Asma Al Zarooni, Head of Exchange of Tax Information Section at the Ministry of Finance, and Khalifa Al Faheem, Director Monetary Operations at Central Bank of the UAE, participated in the meeting, along with G20 members, invited countries, representatives from international organisations including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


During the meeting, the UAE team reviewed the country’s key financial stability components and developments. The team also stressed on the need to work on a comprehensive regulatory framework for central digital currencies that would facilitate, accelerate, and reduce the cost of cross-border monetary operations, in addition to previewing the UAE’s experience in the “mBridge” project for building multi central bank digital currencies (CBDC).


The UAE team also spotlighted the key role played by the issuance of local currency bonds (T-bonds) in light of the continued rise in global debt and the need to enhance the monetary sustainability of low-income countries.


The meeting previewed the latest updates on global development finance and sovereign debt related issues. The attendees discussed central bank digital currencies for cross-border payment and implication on the international monetary system and capital flows. They also deliberated the expected benefits of local currency bond markets and the multicurrency settlements in international trade and finance agreements.


Additionally, they explored potential cooperation opportunities among international organisations regarding capital flows, as well as ways to improve debt transparency and information sharing including the current stock-taking exercise on debt transparency shared with the IMF and the World Bank. The newly developed capital adequacy framework assessment and next steps to achieve tangible progress were also deliberated during the meeting.


At the end of the meeting, the members and representatives from international organisations agreed to present the group’s contribution during the upcoming G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in October 2022. They also agreed to continue the discussion based on the latest global financial developments, in preparation for India’s forthcoming G20 Presidency in 2023.




Source: Emirates News Agency

Dubai Future Foundation, PwC sign strategic partnership for Dubai Metaverse Assembly

Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) today announced a new partnership with PwC Middle East that will see the international professional services consultancy join the Dubai Metaverse Assembly, organised by DFF, next week.


PwC Middle East will become the first and exclusive knowledge partner of the inaugural event, which is expected to bring 300 delegates, and more than 30 speakers from leaders, experts and decision-makers, in addition to more than 40 global companies together on 28-29 September.


It will contribute to discussions around how Dubai can shape the future of the metaverse and drive transformative change across business, communication, education, entertainment, gaming, travel, real estate, and other vital industries.


To that, Guy Parsonage, PwC’s Metaverse Lead, said, “At PwC, we believe that the metaverse is an evolution, not a revolution. And it’s one that business leaders should not ignore. For businesses, the implications of an immersive, persistent and decentralised digital world could be enormous. Our insights indicate that many consumers and businesses are willing to embrace and engage with the metaverse. And while not every company needs to become a metaverse leader today, it’s important for firms to take note of its evolution as it will profoundly change how consumers interact with products and services.”


He added, “The Dubai Metaverse Assembly is a key platform that will help both the private and public sectors to understand how and where these changes will take place. As the forum’s knowledge partner, we look forward to sharing our data-driven insights, and hands-on experience in developing a broad range of metaverse use cases from strategy through execution which will support the assembly’s objective of identifying the challenges and opportunities around the metaverse.”


A joint report co-authored by the Dubai Future Foundation and PwC Middle East will be published after the conclusion of the Dubai Metaverse Assembly. It will summarise the key trends and highlights from the conference, exploring how advanced technologies can be deployed to create a better future and quality of life for humanity.


The strategic partnership is part of DFF’s ongoing efforts to foster international cooperation and build global synergies to imagine, design and build a better future. It also underscores an ongoing ability to bring some of the world’s leading organisations together to share knowledge and expertise.


The Dubai Metaverse Assembly takes place at the Museum of the Future and AREA 2071, Emirates Towers. It is the first event of its kind since H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, approved the Dubai Metaverse Strategy in July. The strategy aims to add $4 billion to Dubai’s GDP, support 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030, and attract 1,000 companies specialising in blockchain and metaverse technologies to turn Dubai into one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies.




Source: Emirates News Agency

Masdar, RWE Renewables partner to tap into key global offshore wind markets

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and Germany’s RWE Renewables, two of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, announced today the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore collaboration on developing offshore wind projects in a range of key markets.


Under the terms of the MoU, Masdar and RWE Renewables will explore the development of offshore wind projects in a number of countries and explore further project opportunities that are identified by both parties.


Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said, “This agreement will strengthen our existing relationship with RWE, who have been a long-standing partner with us on the London Array offshore wind farm, one of the largest in the world, while also representing an opportunity to expand our capabilities in offshore wind, a market which we see as having key strategic importance. By leveraging our two companies’ extensive expertise in this sector, we can help other nations to meet their offshore wind targets, transition to clean energy sources, and meet their net-zero objectives.”


Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE AG, said, “The acceleration of the energy transition remains key to tackling both the current energy crisis and the climate crisis. This is what we are doing at RWE with massive investments in renewable energy projects – on our own and together with partners. I am very pleased that we will join forces with Masdar, a known and reliable partner to RWE for years in our London Array offshore wind farm. Together we will explore the potential for widening the scope of our partnership in offshore wind to further projects.”


Masdar and RWE are shareholders in the London Array project, which has been operational since 2012. The wind farm has an operating capacity of 630 megawatts, powering more than half a million homes, while displacing almost 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.


Masdar, one of the fastest-growing renewable energy companies in the world, is increasingly targeting offshore wind projects as it aims to reach 100 GW total capacity by 2030. As well as the London Array, Masdar’s existing offshore projects the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, also in the United Kingdom, and Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, which became operational in October 2017.


RWE is one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies. With an extensive investment and growth programme of €50 billion gross, the company will expand its green portfolio to 50 gigawatts by 2030, including offshore and onshore wind, solar and battery storage.




Source: Emirates News Agency

Globalisation remains limited to trade, technology without human exchanges: Think-tank official

Globalisation has effectively integrated trade and technology exchanges but failed to facilitate and encourage human exchanges, according to a prominent South Korean think-tank official.


“Globalisation has been successful, maybe in economic and technological spheres, but not in terms of human exchange,” Intaek Han, Chairman of Jeju Peace Institute in South Korea, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).


Many societies, even in the advanced countries, are still not “globalised” as they are not willing to accept coexistence, especially with foreigners, Han said in an exclusive interview with WAM on the sidelines of Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, recently held in South Korea.


From coexistence to increased nationalism


There are countries that have decided on coexistence as a prerequisite of their national identity, which helps full-scale globalisation and the accepting of each other, Han pointed out. Some Arab-Muslim societies that coexist with their Christian population and Sunni, Shia sects are an example. However, such good examples have been shaken now [due to extremist ideologies propagating intolerance], the official noted.


“That was the case [good examples of coexistence] in the past. But these days we may be becoming more nationalistic. We should go back to the past or back to the future [to revive good examples],” he suggested.


The chairman of the peace institute said Jeju Forum was part of the institute’s efforts for global peace, which may yield results in the future.


The annual event was launched in 2001 as a platform for dialogue to share visions for peace in the Korean Peninsula, East Asia, and the world, and seek creative solutions through international cooperation.


Sanctions do not help peace


The organisers invited a select group of journalists from prominent foreign media outlets, including Emirates News Agency (WAM), to cover the Forum. Speaking to the invited foreign journalists in a luncheon, Han said the experience of Korean peninsula has proved that economic sanctions and military force were not helpful in achieving peace.


“Military force and sanctions have been the main tools to maintain peace and stability in this region. But I don’t think these military forces and sanctions are the best desirable means to achieve peace. They are very dangerous, too. They are costly and eventually not that useful,” he pointed out.


The chairman further explained, “I mean, we had all the military power, and we applied all those things, including economic sanctions, on North Korea but they didn’t change, and it is now a nuclear power.”


Therefore, he suggested that in addition to conventional ways of maintaining peace and stability, “we need to try or develop alternative ways. When traditional ways to keep peace fail, then, maybe, we can rely on dialogue and cooperation.”


Past example of Europe, Southeast Asia


He pointed out that such means were successful in Europe and Southeast Asia. “Not right now, but before, European and in Southeast Asian countries were able to work towards peace through dialogue and cooperation.”


He cited the end of cold war between the U.S. and former Soviet Union and unification of two Germanys as examples. “That did not happen through military means or sanctions. Those changes took place through dialogue and consultation and cooperation,” he emphasised while talking about the importance of Jeju Forum.


Hosted by Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, International Peace Foundation, and the East Asia Foundation, and sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and the Jeju Free International City Development Centre, Jeju Forum has served as an international public forum for the past two decades.




Source: Emirates News Agency