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US climate envoy hails holding COP28 in UAE

“The UAE Leadership has taken very smart steps because they know that what’s coming out of the ground is not forever, either physically or politically,” said John Kerry…reports Asian Lite News

John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, hailed the decision to hold next year’s 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in the UAE, stating that fossil fuel economies should be encouraged to lead the transition to clean energy.

“I think it’s very exciting that the UAE, an OPEC member, is going to host COP28, and it’s so important that you have an oil and gas producing nation step up and say we understand the challenge of the climate crisis,” Kerry told Reuters in an interview.

“The UAE Leadership has taken very smart steps because they know that what’s coming out of the ground is not forever, either physically or politically, and they’re looking at what the new world is going to look like. If there are going to be new forms of energy, they want to be among the providers of it, just as they are today.”

Kerry said this year’s COP27 conference, held last month in Egypt, moved the world a bit closer to the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C above pre-industrial times.

He also praised the announcement of 30 upgraded national climate plans along with the summit’s headline agreement on “loss and damage” to help vulnerable countries reeling from climate-driven extreme weather and rising seas.

ALSO READ: UAE launches initiative to shape future economy

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UAE attends first G20 Sherpa Meeting in India

As part of the UAE’s participation in the meeting and associated sideline discussions, Al Sayegh stressed the UAE’s commitment to contributing positively to the G20 process…reports Asian Lite News

As a Guest Country to the G20 process for the second year in a row, the UAE participated in the First G20 Sherpa Meeting under the Indian Presidency, held between 4th and 6th December 2022. The Meeting, which took place in Udaipur, India, was led by Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and the UAE Sherpa to the G20 process.

As part of the UAE’s participation in the meeting and associated sideline discussions, Al Sayegh stressed the UAE’s commitment to contributing positively to the G20 process, with particular emphasis on the Indian Presidency priorities.

He also emphasised the key role played by the UAE as the host country of the upcoming COP28, highlighting the importance of leveraging synergies between G20 and COP28 in 2023.

During the meeting that gathered official representatives from G20 member countries, invited countries as well as international organisations, India presented the overall theme and key priorities of its G20 Presidency in 2023. The selected theme for G20 2023 is “One Earth, One Family, One Future”, with key priorities including technological transformation, energy transition, sustainable development, and inclusivity.

Meanwhile, substantive conversations on key global issues of inclusive growth, multilateralism, and women-led development, as well as 3Fs (Food, Fuel, and Fertiliser), tourism, and culture, were the highlights of the third day of the first Sherpa Meeting of India’s G20 Presidency.

Tuesday marked the conclusion of all five substantive sessions of the Sherpa meeting in Udaipur. Initiating the discussions, Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa provided an overview of India’s G20 priorities on the above subjects, across six different Working Groups on Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Employment, Anti-Corruption, Tourism, and Culture, as well as ways to strengthen cooperative efforts therein.

He emphasised the need for transformational efforts in agriculture, trade, employment, and combating corruption and economic crimes.

During discussions on the global impediments to economic growth, delegates underscored the importance of attaining resilient growth through long-term solutions and meaningful partnerships.

Kant expressed appreciation for the support extended by the delegations on the wide range of priorities set out by India.

This was followed by Session 4 which focused on the need for multilateral reforms and building institutions that are better able to capture the needs and ambitions and reflect the priorities of all regions and countries across the globe, and address the challenges of the day.

Issues pertaining to addressing disruptions and promoting security of food, fuel, and fertiliser supplies were deliberated upon. Strengthening and enhancing the mandate and resources of Multilateral Development Banks, reforming the WTO, the importance of Green Hydrogen in achieving green energy transition including for hard-to-abate sectors, and reformed multilateralism for greater peace and harmony, were some of the major areas of discussion.

Given the contemporary global socio-economic and geopolitical concerns, it was highlighted that the discussion is timely, and of great significance.

With this, the five substantive sessions held over two days of the Sherpa Meeting came to a conclusion on Tuesday.

Rounding up the fruitful deliberations of the past three days, India’s G20 Sherpa highlighted focal areas of discussion and stressed the need to reinforce collective action of the G20 nations.

The overarching theme of India’s Presidency – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth. One Family. One Future – resonated throughout the proceedings.

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Dubai Ruler approves Dh205bn budget

In its 2023 budget, Dubai continues to focus on social services and the development of the health, education and culture sectors…reports Asian Lite News

In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has approved the Government of Dubai’s general budget for the fiscal cycle of 2023-2025, with total expenditures of AED205 billion.

The government’s total expenditures for the 2023 fiscal year are estimated at AED67.5 billion, which reflects the emirate’s economic recovery and boosts its ambitions to stimulate the macro-economy and support the objectives of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2030.

In its 2023 budget, Dubai continues to focus on social services and the development of the health, education and culture sectors. The budget also places high priority on the housing sector through Dubai’s Housing Programme as part of a plan for the next 20 years. The budget is also focused on developing the social benefits fund to support families, people of determination and people with limited income.

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Projected revenues in 2023

As a result of the emirate’s rapid recovery from the consequences of the global pandemic, the Dubai government expects to achieve estimated public revenues of AED69 billion, an increase of 20 percent over the fiscal year 2022. The UAE and Dubai are among the countries and cities that have recovered the fastest from the global health crisis, which is evident in the increase in the volume of tourism flows and the high rates of air traffic and economic activity in the emirate.

Oil revenues represent only about five per cent of the total expected revenues for the year 2023, which confirms the financial sustainability of the emirate.

Projected expenditures in 2023

Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director-General of the Department of Finance (DoF) for the Government of Dubai said, “Dubai’s growing profile as one of the world’s best cities to live and work and the best global tourism and investment destinations, vindicated by its top ranking in global indices, has led to a surge in population growth. This has led to a strong push to further expand infrastructure, raise the standard of living and enhance the wellbeing and happiness of citizens and residents, in line with the directives of His Highness the Ruler of Dubai.

“The budget clearly shows the business community that Dubai is adopting an expansionary fiscal policy, which inspires confidence in the emirate’s economy and contributes to attracting more direct investments,” he concluded.

Grants and social support expenditures account for 24 percent of the total budget expenditures in 2023. The general and administrative expenditures make up a similar percentage (24 percent), while the government has allocated seven per cent of total expenditures to construction projects. This sends a strong signal to the private sector about Dubai’s determination to continue developing its infrastructure and delivering more strategic development projects. This in turn strengthens Dubai’s ability to boost human development, extend greater support for citizens and residents and enhance infrastructure.

Dubai is also keen to hedge against any situation that may result from global crises by allocating a special reserve of five per cent of the total expected expenditures in the budget. To enable this, Dubai has maintained a debt service ratio that does not exceed six per cent of its total expenditures, as part of its disciplined financial policy.

Sectoral distribution of expenditures in 2023

A total of 34 percent of total government expenditures of the 2023 budget goes to the social development sector in the areas of health, education, scientific research, housing, care for needy families and women and children, reading, translation and programming initiatives, development of youth and sports, care for senior citizens and retirees, and care for people of determination. Expenditures in this area represent an increase of four per cent over the 2022 budget.

As part of efforts to transform Dubai into one of the world’s best cities to live, work and visit, the Dubai government has allocated 20 percent of total expenditures to the security, justice and safety sector.

Dubai’s continuous infrastructure development had a strong impact on the UAE’s global competitiveness. Spending on infrastructure, including roads, tunnels, bridges, transportation, sewage stations, parks, renewable energy sources and waste treatment facilities, accounted for 41 percent of total spending.

The budget also shows the government’s keenness to support small projects and entrepreneurship, and provide a nurturing environment for micro-enterprises.

The emirate has also placed high emphasis on supporting the public services sector, government excellence, creativity, innovation and scientific research by allocating five per cent of total government spending to develop performance and foster a culture of excellence, innovation and creativity.

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Rashid Rover set for Dec. 11 launch

The initial launch attempt was postponed, allowing SpaceX to perform additional pre-flight checks of the launch vehicle..reports Asian Lite News

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) confirmed the new date for the launch attempt of the Emirates Lunar Mission.

The inaugural launch of the Rashid Rover is now scheduled to take place on Sunday, 11th December, 2022, at 11:38 Gulf Standard Time (GST), or 02:38 Eastern US Time.

The initial launch attempt was postponed, allowing SpaceX to perform additional pre-flight checks of the launch vehicle.

Once launched, the integrated spacecraft will take a low-energy route to the moon rather than a direct approach, which means the landing will take about five months after launch, in April 2023.

The launch can be viewed on the MBRSC Livestream at www.mbrsc.ae/lunar

The Rashid Rover, once landed, will explore the characteristics of lunar soil, the petrography and geology of the Moon, dust movement, surface plasma conditions, and the Moon’s photoelectron sheath.

The novel discovery within the unexplored lunar site is one of the many reasons why the Emirates Lunar Mission is one of the most anticipated moon missions.

The mission’s primary goal is to study the Moon’s plasma and to provide answers about Moon dust, the lunar surface, mobility on the Moon’s surface, and how different surfaces interact with lunar particles.

The Emirates Lunar Mission (ELM) – the first Arab mission to the Moon and the fourth globally – includes the development and launch of the first Arab Rover to land on the lunar surface. It will capture photos and collect information and data from “Mare Frigoris”, particularly the “Atlas (crater)” area, which will be explored for the first time.

Rashid Rover will have the latest technologies and innovative devices and is distinguished by its ability to resist the lunar surface temperature, which drops to -173° Celsius.

ALSO READ: UAE Foreign Trade to Hit Dh2.2T in 2022

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Art Dubai unveils inclusive and extensive 2023 programme

Highlights of the 2023 programme include site-specific commissions and premieres by renowned international artists, presented in partnership with the region’s leading institutions….reports Asian Lite News

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Art Dubai has announced details of the programme and partnerships for its 16th edition.

The expanded 2023 programme features an ambitious and multi-strand conference, talks and education programme, reinforcing Dubai’s emergence as a hub for art and culture and a significant contributor to global conversations about contemporary art.

The 2023 edition of Art Dubai will be held at Madinat Jumeirah from 3rd to 5th March 2023, with previews on 1 and 2 March 2023.

Art Dubai’s expanded 2023 programme, developed in collaboration with local and international cultural partners, reaffirms the premier art fair’s role as the meeting point for the Global South’s creative industries and communities.

“Art Dubai has always tried to reframe what an art fair can be,” said Benedetta Ghione, Art Dubai’s Executive Director. “This year’s expanded programme fully reflects our role as a meeting point for the region’s commercial and not-for-profit creative industries.”

“As an innovative public-private partnership, we have been an incubator of talent, a catalyst for the creative economy here in Dubai, a convener of great minds, and an entry point to this vibrant ecosystem for the wider cultural sector.”

“We are thrilled that our long-term partnership with Julius Baer will continue into a second decade. Their continued support allows us to provide the next generation of the region’s artists and arts professionals with incredible opportunities.”

Highlights of the 2023 programme include site-specific commissions and premieres by renowned international artists, presented in partnership with the region’s leading institutions.

The expanded programme continues Art Dubai’s long-standing commitment to thought leadership and supporting the development of Dubai’s cultural infrastructure.

The Artist Commissions for 2023 are themed around food, community, celebration and hope, with artists selected from participating Art Dubai galleries and South Asia’s leading institutions.

Julius Baer has renewed its association with Art Dubai as its lead partner for another five years until 2027. The Swiss wealth management group will premiere a newly commissioned artwork by Refik Anadol, the new media artist and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence.

The commission will debut in Dubai as a part of Julius Baer’s new initiative, NEXT, which will encourage the interdisciplinary exploration of megatrends across the arts, science and technology.

Also debuting at the fair will be UAE First Immersion, a presentation of new artworks produced following the November 2022 visit to the UAE by some leading names in digital art.

The exhibit will be part of the expanded second edition of Art Dubai Digital, which will feature collaborations with various organisations pioneering new institutional models, including Lian Foundation and 6529’s Open Metaverse project.

Celebrating its 10th edition, Campus Art Dubai, Art Dubai’s flagship professional development initiative, will expand to incorporate placements with local partners, including Alserkal Avenue and Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai and 421, an Abu Dhabi-based emerging artists platform. With 421, the fair will present a new group exhibition curated by UAE-based artist and researcher Dania Al Tamimi.

The 16th edition of Art Dubai’s celebrated transdisciplinary conference Global Art Forum, commissioned by Shumon Basar, will explore the theme “Predicting the Present” and consider the central question: if it’s the end of history and the end of the future, what happens next?

The fair’s 2023 conference programme will expand to include the first Dubai edition of Christie’s Art+Tech summit.

The summit brings together regional and global leaders, innovators, artists, and visionaries to foster meaningful dialogues on the intersection of Art and Technology.

The sixth iteration of the summit—and the first in the region—will survey tech trends, hear from artists incorporating tech in their practices, and explore current and future challenges and opportunities.

Highlighting the role played by collectors and philanthropists in developing the region’s cultural infrastructure, Art Dubai 2023 will include a series of high-level Collector and Modern Talks, presented in partnership with Dubai Collection, the first institutional art collection in the city and for the city.

ALSO READ: UAE Foreign Trade to Hit Dh2.2T in 2022

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UAE Foreign Trade to Hit Dh2.2T in 2022

Vice President said that despite WTO predictions, the UAE achieved a growth of 19 percent in the first nine months of the year, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

The UAE’s foreign non-oil trade created another record in the first nine months of 2022, totalling over AED1.6 trillion, a rise of 19 percent compared to the same period in 2021.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said that despite the predictions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of a 3.5 percent decline in international trade this year, the UAE achieved a growth of 19 percent in the first nine months of the year.

He also expects the country’s foreign trade to grow to AED2.2 trillion by end of 2022.

“The UAE is an exception in global trade and economy, as well as in services, infrastructure and international relations,” he said, expressing optimism for a strong new year.

A report by the Ministry of Economy on the country’s non-oil foreign trade for the first nine months of this year showed that non-oil exports maintained their strong performance during this period, amounting to AED275 billion, an increase of nine percent compared to the same period in 2021, and an increase of 43 percent, 53 percent, 73 percent and 99 percent compared to the same period in 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said that the outcomes achieved by the country’s non-oil foreign trade confirm the success of the commercial and economic policies adopted by the UAE, guided by the forward-looking vision of its leadership.

He also noted that the economic developments that took place under the framework of the Projects of the 50 have strengthened the country’s foreign trade performance, due to accelerating the pace of signings of trade agreements and growing partnerships with global markets, adding that the strategic location of the UAE as a logistics gateway allows access to the region’s markets, which have also supported this process.

“Today, we are seeing a new achievement to be added to the country’s foreign trade sector, boosting its prominent stature on the world trade map,” Al Zeyoudi further added.

Emirati re-export, import indexes

Trade data for the first nine months of 2022 showed that the total value of re-exports was AED456 billion, an increase of 19 percent compared to the same period in 2021, and 54 percent compared to the same period in 2020 while imports exceeded AED906 billion, an increase of 22.2 percent compared to the same period in 2021.

The report also noted that the re-exportation of goods helped achieve positive results that strengthened the UAE’s stature on the world trade map, as it is one of the most important commercial centres that support the flow of goods to and from international markets.

The monthly performance of the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade sector is witnessing strong growth this year, and the country recorded a value of AED202.9 billion in March, and AED204.2 billion in September. The UAE’s non-oil trade could reach a value of AED2.2 trillion in 2022 and 2023.

Non-oil foreign trade achieved over AED583 billion during the third quarter of 2022, an increase of 11 percent compared to the second quarter of this year, and an increase of 23 percent compared to the third quarter of 2021.

In the third quarter of 2022, Emirati exports continued their positive performance to achieve nearly AED100 billion, an increase of 11 percent compared to the second quarter of this year, and a rise of 12 percent compared to the third quarter of 2021.

Re-exports in the UAE amounted to AED160 billion, an increase of six percent compared to the second quarter of 2022, and an increase of 17 percent compared to the third quarter of 2021.

The UAE’s imports amounted to AED326 billion, an increase of 13 percent compared to the second quarter of 2022, and an increase of 29 percent compared to the third quarter of 2021.

Trade partners

The report highlighted the fact that China is on top of the list of the UAE’s trading partners, followed by India, Saudi Arabia, the United States (US), Iraq, and Türkiye.

They were followed by Switzerland, Turkey, Hong Kong – China, and Oman as the top recipients of the UAE’s non-oil exports during the first nine months of 2022.

As for the UAE’s imports, China, India, the US, Japan, Türkiye, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia come at the top of this list.

The report pointed out that non-Arab Asian countries are the main and first partners in the non-oil trade of the UAE during the first nine months of 2022, which account for 39 percent of the country’s non-oil trade, 38 percent of its exports, 29 percent of re-exports, and 44.4 percent of the UAE non-oil imports.

While the European countries came in second place, they were followed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the non-Arab African countries, the other Arab countries, and the group of American countries.

FICCI, DIFC launches India –UAE Start-Up Corridor

UAE-India trade exchange under CEPA

As the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UAE and India came into force from May to September 2022, mutual trade exchange reached AED79 billion, an increase of 23 percent compared to the same period in 2021, an increase of 133 percent compared to 2020.

Non-oil exports to India amounted to about AED20 billion, an increase of 12 percent compared to the same period in 2021, and over 154 percent and 112 percent compared to the same period in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

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Emirati firm in talks to buy Telenor Pakistan

Citing the growing cost of doing business as the key reason behind the sale, the source said that the company had started suffering losses due to the swift appreciation of the US dollar…reports Asian Lite News

Ownership of Pakistan’s second-largest cellular service provider may soon change hands as Telenor Pakistan looks to exit the country amid growing cost of doing business and shrinking prospects, according to a media report.

As per those privy to the development, Telenor Pakistan is said to be in talks with an Emirates-based multinational telecom firm to sell its operations, Dawn reported.

Although a spokesperson for Telenor Pakistan declined to comment on the development, insiders told Dawn that talks between the Emirati firm, which already has a strong presence in Pakistan, and Telenor have reached an “advanced stage”.

“The Emirati company already has a sizable presence in Pakistan, in nearly all key areas of the telecom sector and it is interested in further consolidating its position,” the source said.

Citing the growing cost of doing business as the key reason behind the sale, the source said that the company had started suffering losses due to the swift appreciation of the US dollar, Dawn reported.

The company’s operational costs have touched $55 million, the source said, pointing out that the largest chunk of this was consumed by electricity prices documents show that in the outgoing financial year, the company paid around $17 million in power bills alone to keep its infrastructure running.

In view of this, experts say it is understandable that Telenor Pakistan would look to cut its losses and from the company’s perspective prefer to expand into a region where business prospects or rates of return are better than in Pakistan.

The company had reportedly set an asking price between $1 billion and $1.2bn, but the interested party is looking to spend $780-910 million on the acquisition.

Financial emergency

The consistent depreciation of the Pakistani rupee is deepening the economic crisis in the country, said the Pakistan Business Forum (PBF).

In a statement, PBF CEO Ahmad Jawad said: “Pakistan’s economy continues to slump despite resumption of the much-awaited International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Programme. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar must announce a clear policy on the rupee to ease the pain of traders and to save the industries.

“We still have foreign debt of $130 billion and $73 billion due in three years. Our deficit for next three years is a minimum of $20 to $30 billion. Additionally, super inflation is killing the poor. This is a financial emergency.”

He further said that “high inflation, unemployment and low profitability continue to plague the business community and despite that the government has withdrawn its electricity concession given to exporters and is projected to increase the levy on petrol and diesel to Rs50 per litre by January 2023”, reports The Express Tribune.

“Adding to their miseries, the government is also considering imposing GST — all negative indicators for the country’s economy,” he added.

“Even bond and currency markets, which had shown more confidence in Pakistan after the IMF deal, are pricing in high once again over concerns of the country defaulting on its foreign debt,” said Jawad.

“Since the end of August, the yields on some of the government’s international bonds have jumped by a third, while the currency is one of the worst performing in Asia.

“Is it not shameful for Pakistan that we rejoice in repaying the $1 billion Sukuk, but don’t take any steps to save the dollars we are wasting. Using daylight will save $3.5 billion,” claimed the PBF CEO.

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Russian, UAE presidents hold talks on bilateral ties

They noted the effective joint work within the OPEC+ mechanism to ensure the stability of the world oil market…reports Asian Lite News

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a phone conversation to discuss the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries.

The two leaders paid special attention to the promotion of trade and economic cooperation, including in the transport, logistics and energy sectors, the Kremlin said in a statement on Wednesday.

They noted the effective joint work within the OPEC+ mechanism to ensure the stability of the world oil market, the statement added as quoted by Xinhua news agency reported.

The presidents also touched upon the attempts by some Western countries to impose anti-market restrictions on the price of Russian crude oil, which goes against the principles of world trade, it said.

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T10 eyes global expansion with Olympics as final destination

The giant that is the T10 hopes to proactively attract various nations around the globe so as to further grow the cricketing family, and inspire youngsters to take up the sport…reports Asian Lite News

After the successful completion of the sixth season of Abu Dhabi T10, the fastest format in the game of cricket is looking to grow and leave its imprint globally, with continents like Asia and Africa earmarked as the next pit stops in what is set to be a storied journey.

The very exciting T10 which is the brainchild of TTen Global Sports’ Chairman Shaji Ul Mulk is taking serious steps in terms of expansion and have already announced a tournament in Sri Lanka while another in Zimbabwe, which hopes to bring together more than 30 nations from the continent, is also locked in and ready for roll out.

“This is a very unique time for African nations, and when we think of how we are going to be part of this, to grow the game, we are very excited. For us in Africa, the franchises coming here would open up the doorway for all of us to grow much better. In a few years, with the help of this partnership, we should be able to compete with the big guys. The most important thing is to give the youngsters a chance to play at the highest levels, with their icons,” said Kwame Asare, Chairman of the African Cricket Association.

“This is a new brand of cricket that is coming to the continent of Africa and the country of Zimbabwe. All the sportspersons and stakeholders, men and women have embraced this format and we want this movement to grow from here. And on the other side, qualification for the T20 World Cup after a while was a big thing for us too, it has captured the mood of the nation and the fans, especially after the win against Pakistan. The addition of T10 has just brought more excitement among the fans and the cricket family,” said Dr Tevengwa Mukuhlani, Chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket.

The giant that is the T10 hopes to proactively attract various nations around the globe so as to further grow the cricketing family, and inspire youngsters to take up the sport. While bringing more cricketers into the sport is one aspect of the movement, the T10 bandwagon is also keen on attracting more fans to the sport, especially the newer generation.

In Africa, the high-octane brand of cricket that is the T10 is not going to be restricted to only the men’s game but also in the works are plans for the women’s tournament. Over the last few years, franchise cricket and leagues in T20 and T10 have taken the world by storm, with cricketers and fans taking to it like a fish does to water.

Speaking about the rapid growth and expansion, Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman of the TTen Global Sports, said, “I think league and bilateral cricket are both very different and hold their own place in the hearts of the fans. Our objective, with the T10, is to draw a new crowd, attract more of the youth and also there are a lot of countries that don’t follow cricket as closely. With a 90-minute format, we hope to develop the sport in these countries.”

The first ever edition of this dynamic tournament was held in 2017 with the International Cricket Council officially giving their nod for the Abu Dhabi T10. The league has seen significant year-on-year growth in viewership and economic value, with the 2021-2022 edition of the tournament having reached 342 million viewers through television and digital streaming compared to roughly 37 million viewers in the 2017 edition. Furthermore, such has been the T10’s popularity that the sixth season of the tournament in Abu Dhabi was graced by two new franchises from the USA in the New York Strikers and the Morrisville SAMP Army, who finished second and third, respectively.

“The T10 is hoping to make its presence felt in at least five continents. While the Middle-East, Asia and Africa are already locked in, we also want to bring under our umbrella the Americas and Europe,” Shaji Ul Mulk added.

The T10 movement aims not only at bringing on board more countries who aren’t traditionally nations that play cricket but also has one eye on the Summer Olympics, the very pinnacle of sporting excellence.

“For cricket to be part of the Olympic family, it will only be a good thing. The whole thing is time-bound as the ICC can’t be there beyond a certain number of days. So, I believe, it is inevitable that, T10 is going to be the answer to this due to its shorter duration, especially because it is a 90-minute overall game,” said Cassim Suliman, CEO of the African Cricket Association.

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UAE launches initiative to shape future economy

The initiative will annually highlight the top 100 startups that will promote the UAE’s readiness for the future and the competitiveness of the future economic sector in the UAE…reports Asian Lite News

In line with World Futures Day, the Ministry of Economy and the Government Development and the Future Office launched the “Future 100” initiative, aiming to support 100 startups in new sectors that will shape the future economy of the UAE.

The initiative will annually highlight the top 100 startups that will promote the UAE’s readiness for the future and the competitiveness of the future economic sector in the UAE.

The “Future 100” initiative launch was attended by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and The Future; and 30 CEOs representing local and international companies, startups, as well as entrepreneurs in the UAE.

Al Marri stated that the UAE is keen to launch proactive initiatives whose impact extends over the Next 50 to support its new, futuristic economic model in line with emerging global economic trends. This translates the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership and reflects the principles of the 50 and the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071.

“The Ministry of Economy continues to support innovative future projects that promote the UAE’s global leading position on competitiveness indicators, and supports it as an attractive destination for future projects from all over the world.

It further enhances its position as a permanent hub for creativity and innovation, securing sustainable growth for the UAE’s national economy and creating new jobs, especially in sectors pertaining to the new economic fields, such as space, renewable energy, fintech, and AI,” he added.

Ohood Al Roumi stressed that enhancing future readiness is a key pillar in the methodology of the UAE government. She emphasised the partnership with the Ministry of Economy in launching the “Future 100” initiative that represents the first step in a series of initiatives that the Office is working on in partnership with government entities and leading private sector institutions to enhance the UAE’s readiness for the future in all fields.

She highlighted that the initiative embodies future directions of the UAE’s leadership, which were announced in the “We the UAE 2031” vision, focusing on boosting the UAE’s economy, increasing GDP, and driving the performance of new economic sectors.

It reflects the 10 principles of the Next 50 Doctrine, which aims to develop the best and most dynamic economy in the world. Al Roumi noted that the initiative comes within the UAE’s new economic agenda, which is based on supporting start-ups, youth and entrepreneurs, and motivating them to innovate in new economic sectors to enhance the UAE’s global competitiveness.

Supporting new economic sectors

The initiative aims to support new economic sectors that will shape future economy of the UAE, especially startups that contribute to the national economy, as one of the main goals on the UAE government agenda.

It also celebrates successes of the private sector as a pivotal partner in the development journey of the UAE, by annually celebrating the top 100 startups that contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of the UAE’s future economy.

In addition, it touches upon the UAE’s position as the leading land of opportunities, incubating distinguished global talents in varied future sectors. It also aims to boost the UAE’s position as a global hub for innovation, top-notch technologies and entrepreneurship, leveraging the UAE’s digital infrastructure, which is considered the best in the MENA region.

Within the initiative, the UAE presents various benefits and incentives to young entrepreneurs enabling them to establish futuristic startups and develop their companies into becoming international businesses.

The initiative further promotes the UAE’s leading ranking on global competitiveness indicators in the fields of innovation, entrepreneurship, attractiveness for investment, among others, aiming to enhance the role of the private sector and startups in supporting the UAE’s GDP, which achieved an 8.5 percent growth during the first half of 2022.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has marked the 2nd of December as the World Futures Day, to be celebrated parallel to the UAE’s National Day.

The initiative aims to improve long-term resilience through futures and anticipatory approaches, including strategic foresight, promoting future readiness and proactive policy-making to achieve sustainable development for future generations.

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