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UK for UNHCR launches “Born Connected” Ramadan campaign

Emma Cherniavsky, CEO of UK for UNHCR said: “At this time of deep reflection and generosity, it’s important to remember the forcibly displaced families who are struggling to afford basic essentials…reports Asian Lite News

This Ramadan, UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s charity partner in the UK, launches its new campaign Born Connected which aims to strengthen connections between Muslims living in the UK and displaced families across the world whilst raising vital funds to help refugees. 

Millions of displaced families are observing the month of Ramadan away from their homes and loved ones, whilst struggling to make ends meet. In Lebanon, for example, nine out of ten Syrian refugees currently live in extreme poverty, and 67 per cent are moderately or severely food insecure, meaning they have had to reduce the amount of food they eat and are borrowing money just to survive.  

Following the recent Türkiye–Syria devastating earthquakes, this Ramadan will also present significant new challenges for millions of refugees and displaced families who are already facing difficulties such as poverty, food and shelter insecurity, and limited access to education and employment.     

Support from UNHCR can be a lifeline for families struggling with the increasing cost of living and limited resources. Funds raised through this campaign will help reach those in greatest need, providing vital cash assistance so that families can pay for basic essentials such as food, water, shelter and medicine. Last year, 100,000 families received aid from donations during Ramadan, but this year the need is even greater.   

This Ramadan, Muslims are able to donate their Zakat or Sadaqah to UK for UNHCR to reconnect with the wider community and extend a helping hand to those in need. Donations will help displaced people like Abou Salim, a Syrian refugee living in Lebanon who was separated from his children and struggling due to the ongoing economic crisis.  

“We buy only what’s essential. We use part of the cash assistance we receive from UNHCR to buy our daily needs and part of it for rent,” said Abou Salim.  

Muslims can send support and compassion to those in need by donating their Zakat or Sadaqah to UK for UNHCR and 100% of donations will go directly to displaced families in need. They can also work out how much Zakat to pay with UK for UNHCR’s simple online Zakat Calculator.    

Emma Cherniavsky, CEO of UK for UNHCR said: “At this time of deep reflection and generosity, it’s important to remember the forcibly displaced families who are struggling to afford basic essentials. 

“Millions of displaced families across the world are falling deeper into hunger and lack access to clean water and hygiene as a consequence of conflict, climate shocks and COVID-19, combined with spiraling costs of food and fuel. Refugees are in urgent need of assistance, especially in regions where UNHCR is not able to meet the rapidly growing humanitarian needs. In Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen, for example, UNHCR will have to provide less in cash assistance, affecting 1.7 million displaced people.” 

“Your donations can offer dignity and choice to families who have lost everything.” 

As part of their Born Connected campaign, UK for UNHCR will be hosting its first Iftar in a joint event with One Family Global at The Savoy during the month of Ramadan. 

People can find out more about the campaign at:  

ALSO READ-Harsh winter awaits displaced families in Afghanistan: UNHCR

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COP28: Al Jaber urges ‘transformational progress’

Dr. Al Jaber reminded ministers and climate leaders of the approaching Global Stocktake at COP28 and urged them to take action across a range of key areas to bring 1.5C within reach….reports Asian Lite News

At the conclusion of the Copenhagen Climate Ministerial, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-Designate, urged global climate ministers to unite behind “transformational progress” for a COP of Action and a COP for All.

Dr. Al Jaber joined Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, COP27 President and Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt, to co-chair the Copenhagen Climate Ministerial in Denmark – the first official meeting of climate leaders and ministers from around the world since COP27.

The event, which was hosted by the Danish government, also saw Dr. Al Jaber hold a series of one-to-one meetings with climate leaders, where he drove forward his agenda to secure commitment to an inclusive COP of Action and urged leaders to deliver “transformational progress” to keep 1.5 degrees alive.

The meeting was attended by climate ministers and senior government representatives from developed and developing countries including France, Japan, the Maldives, Samoa, the UK and USA. The Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Simon Stiell and Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Action and Just Transition, Selwin Hart, were also in attendance.

During the two-day event, Dr. Al Jaber worked with Sameh Shoukry and Dan Jørgensen, Danish Minister of Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, to lead efforts to deliver on the meeting’s aim of securing the implementation of the results of COP27 while also setting the course ahead towards COP28 in the UAE later this year.

In his remarks, Dr. Al Jaber reminded ministers and climate leaders of the approaching Global Stocktake at COP28 and urged them to take action across a range of key areas to bring 1.5C within reach.

He said, ” Yesterday’s IPCC report highlighted the significant challenges ahead and the urgent need to course correct if we are to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. But more importantly, the report identifies the opportunities and solutions that are available to reduce emissions and enhance resilience.”

Dr. Al Jaber emphasised the need to accelerate pathways to net zero by rapidly adopting renewable and zero carbon energies, decarbonizing the current energy system and investing in proven and new mitigation technologies. He said: “We have a short window of opportunity to deliver a system-wide transformation. But if we make the right investments, we can create a pathway for sustainable growth, where climate and economic progress go hand-in-hand.”

He also spoke about finance being the critical success factor across all pillars, saying, “We need to double adaptation finance by 2025 and we need a strong outcome on loss and damage this year, with clear recommendations from the transitional committee on the fund and funding arrangement.” Dr. Sultan in his closing remarks underscored the need to explore all networks to ensure the fund is fully operationalized by COP28.

While at the Copenhagen Climate Ministerial, Dr. Al Jaber played a key role in leading and facilitating a series of high-level plenaries and discussions. He also met with a range of climate minsters and leaders as well as representatives from the climate sector including Zhao Yingmin, Vice Minister for China; Collins Nzovu, Minister of Zambia; Grace Fu, Minister of Environment for Singapore and Jennifer Morgan, State Secretary of Germany. Throughout all discussions, he emphasized the need for climate action and an ambitious COP28.

In concluding the visit, Dr Al. Jaber thanked ministers and climate leaders and welcomed their support for an accelerated energy transition, enabled by an inclusive approach that empowers private sector partners.

Ambassador Majid, Director-General of COP28, accompanied Dr. Al Jaber to Copenhagen, leading a roundtable with CEOs and business executives from Danish industry spanning renewable energy, heavy industry and transport, water systems, and energy innovation. In the meeting, Ambassador Majid linked COP28 to the real economy and discussed key components of the COP28 strategy, namely the Global Stocktake, the energy transition and partnership with the private sector in climate action.

Copenhagen was the latest destination in the COP28 Presidency’s global listening tour – a series of international visits to meet with, and hear the views of, a range of partners across government, civil society, youth, the private sector and representatives of international organizations and NGOs. To date, Dr. Al Jaber and members of the COP28 leadership team have visited India, the UK, Germany, France and the US. Additional meetings are scheduled for both developed and developing countries.

ALSO READ: UAE leaders share Ramadan greetings

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UAE, 3 others announce new climate, security pledges

The 15 pledges, which cover a range of Council functions, serve a shared goal among the countries for the Council…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE, Malta, Mozambique, and Switzerland today announced a series of pledges to advance a systemic, responsive, and evidence-based approach to Climate, Peace and Security on the United Nations Security Council.

The 15 pledges, which cover a range of Council functions, serve a shared goal among the countries for the Council to address the risks and adverse effects of climate change that are relevant to its mandate to maintain international peace and security.

“There is no doubt that climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. There is no true security without climate security. The world – and most importantly, the Security Council – cannot and must not look away,” said Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN.

“As incoming COP28 President, we are joining forces with our colleagues here today to advance on this agenda. We believe this is essential for the maintenance of international peace and security,” she added.

The pledges include commitments to convene at least one Security Council meeting addressing Climate, Peace and Security; highlight the importance of supporting comprehensive risk assessments and risk management strategies; invite and support the participation of people with Climate, Peace and Security expertise to brief the Council; strive to integrate language on Climate, Peace and Security in Council products; and encourage all UN peace operations to minimise their carbon footprint.

Recently, a top Irish minister said Ireland is looking forward to working with the UAE and prepare the highest possible ambition agreement at COP28, the UN Climate Conference to be held in Dubai in November.

“We have been encouraged by public commitment made by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate, to prioritise keeping alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. This will require a significant step-change by the international community,” Josepha Madigan, Irish Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

Ireland stands ready to support the UAE in its endeavours to make COP28 very successful, said the minister who was on an official visit to the UAE.

ALSO READ: UAE presents national report on nuclear safety

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UAE presents national report on nuclear safety

The purpose of the report is to describe the legislative, regulatory and administrative measures that the UAE has taken to fulfil its obligations as a Contracting Party to the Convention on Nuclear Safety…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE is presenting this week its national report at the Joint Eighth and Ninth Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) at the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria.

Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the IAEA, presented the report during the meeting. The report is a collective effort of various UAE stakeholders including the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) and other leading organisations.

The purpose of the report is to describe the legislative, regulatory and administrative measures that the UAE has taken to fulfil its obligations as a Contracting Party to the Convention on Nuclear Safety. The national report highlighted significant changes in the UAE’s nuclear energy programme since the last review meeting.

The report highlights the efforts made towards the licensing of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, where three units out of its four reactors are commercially operational and delivering electricity to the UAE’s national grid as well as FANR’s regulatory and inspection regime. The National report concludes that the UAE continues to meet its obligations under the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

“The UAE has become a role model for nuclear newcomers countries and the first country in the Arab region to operate a nuclear power plant. Nuclear Safety is of paramount importance for the UAE Nuclear Sector. The UAE demonstrated that through the successful progress and achievements the UAE made over the last few years and hence contributing to realising the vision of the UAE to diversify its energy mix,” said Ambassador Al Kaabi.

“The review process resulted in a wide recognition of the nuclear safety framework in the UAE, confirming we have met all international obligations and adopted best practices in the area of nuclear safety,” he added.

The UAE is a Contracting Party to the Convention since 2009. The Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) aims to commit Contracting Parties operating land-based civil nuclear power plants to maintain a high level of safety by establishing fundamental safety principles to which States would subscribe.

The Convention is based on the Parties’ common interest to achieve higher levels of safety that will be developed and promoted through regular meetings. It obliges Parties to submit reports on the implementation of their obligations for “peer review” at meetings that are normally held at IAEA Headquarters. This mechanism is the main innovative and dynamic element of the Convention.

ALSO READ: UAE leaders share Ramadan greetings

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UAE leaders share Ramadan greetings

President Sheikh Mohamed greeted for continued good health and well-being, and further progress and prosperity…reports Asian Lite News

President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent congratulatory messages to the Kings, Emirs and Presidents of Arab and Islamic nations on the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Sheikh Mohamed wished the leaders and their peoples continued good health and well-being, and further progress and prosperity for Arab and Islamic nations.

He also had phone calls with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain; King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of Jordan; Egyptian President Abdul Fatah el-Sisi; and President of Tunisia Kais Saied.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, sent similar messages to Arab and Muslim leaders and people on the occasion.

Rulers of Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm Al-Quwain have sent cables of congratulations to President Sheikh Mohamed.

They wished further welfare and progress for the UAE and good health for President Sheikh Mohamed, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, and the Supreme Council Members.

Ramadan pardons

Sheikh Mohammed has ordered the release of 971 prisoners of different nationalities from Dubai’s correctional and punitive establishments, ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Attorney General of Dubai Chancellor Essam Issa Al Humaidan said the pardon reflects Sheikh Mohammed’s keenness to reunite the pardoned individuals with their families during the Holy Month. The pardon gives the released prisoners an opportunity to get a fresh start in life and reintegrate into the community, he added.

Dubai Public Prosecution, in collaboration with Dubai Police, has already commenced the legal procedures to implement Sheikh Mohammed’s order, Al Humaidan said.

“As the holy month of Ramadan begins, I wish you all a blessed month of reflection and pray that God continues to grant peace and harmony to the people of the UAE and the world.”
—-Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed

Ajman Ruler Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi has issued an order for the release of 135 prisoners who have demonstrated good conduct during their incarceration in Ajman’s correctional and punitive facilities.

Sharjah Ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, has ordered the release of 399 prisoners.

RAK Ruler Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi has ordered the release of 338 prisoners and Fujairah Ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi released 151 prisoners. UAQ Ruler Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla also pardoned a number of prisoners.

Zero food waste during Ramadan

Under the directives of Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Food Bank has initiated a campaign to provide 3 million meals and food parcels to disadvantaged individuals and families both in the UAE and abroad during the holy month of Ramadan.

In collaboration with various partners, the UAE Food Bank, affiliated with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has announced its initiatives for the Holy Month of Ramadan. Besides distributing three million donated meals, these initiatives are aimed at managing food surplus, reducing wastage, and providing sustenance to those in need both within and beyond the UAE. The organisation also seeks to raise public awareness regarding the crucial goal of achieving zero food waste.

Dubai community initiatives

Reflecting the spirit of giving that marks the Holy Month of Ramadan, ENOC Group unveiled a series of community initiatives that aim to benefit more than 400,000 less privileged people across the Emirate of Dubai.

ENOC Group is expanding and strengthening the reach of its Ramadan Aman campaign this year by partnering with Al Ihsan Charity Association to distribute 200,000 Iftar meal boxes to ensure that people who are stuck at traffic signals can break their fast on time.

“Congratulations to the people of the Emirates and to all the Arab and Islamic peoples on the occasion of the blessed month of Ramadan. May God bring it back to us and you with goodness, mercy, security and faith.”
—-Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

On 10th April, apart from Dubai, ENOC’s employees will also distribute Iftar boxes across Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain.

Under the Ramadan Grocery Distribution initiative in collaboration with Zoom, 50,000 individuals in labour camps will receive a selection of essential grocery items for 14 days during Ramadan this year. ENOC volunteers will pack the grocery boxes which will be delivered from 23rd March to 5th April.

Through its long-standing partner, Beit Al Kheir, ENOC Group will distribute 10,000 Ramadan iftar meals during the last two weeks of the Holy Month to people in need in Dubai. ENOC employees will volunteer their services and help with daily distribution at labour camps in the emirate.

ALSO READ: Ramadan Mubarak

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Zakir Naik likely to be deported from Oman

Naik is accused of promoting hate, and disharmony, and his speeches are seen as objectionable as he has been extolling known terrorists promoting conversion and terrorism…reports Asian Lite News

Zakir Naik, an Indian born controversial Islamic preacher may face deportation from Oman following efforts by Indian intelligence agencies.

Naik, who has been residing in Malaysia since 2017, was invited by the Oman government to deliver two religious lectures in Muscat during Ramzan.

However, the Indian embassy has reportedly been in contact with authorities to detain Naik during his visit, with plans to deport him to India.

A legal team may also be dispatched by India for follow-up after detention. The matter has been raised with the Omani Ambassador by the MEA.

Naik fled to Malaysia in 2016, after his organisation Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was banned and just before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) started a probe against him.

Zakir Naik faces charges of money laundering and hate speeches in India. In March, last year the Home Ministry declared Naik-founded Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) an unlawful association and banned it for five years.

Naik is accused of promoting hate, and disharmony, and his speeches are seen as objectionable as he has been extolling known terrorists promoting conversion and terrorism.

In 2019, he was also banned from delivering public speeches in Malaysia. Besides India, his Peace TV network is also banned in Bangladesh, Canada, Sri Lanka, and the UK.

Mohammed Shariq, the main accused in the 2022 Mangaluru auto blast case, had said that he was influenced and radicalised by Naik’s videos, which he shared with other co-accused. 

Karnataka Police officials seized Shariq’s phone, which contained videos of Zakir Naik that he and his handlers shared via Telegram and other platforms such as Signal, Wire, Instagram, and Element.

The NIA had approached Interpol, an international organisation that facilitates worldwide police cooperation, thrice to issue Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Naik but he contested and the requests were rejected. Interpol had cited that there was lack of evidence and proof of wrongdoing by Naik. He was also booked by India’s federal financial investigative agency – Enforcement Directorate – in 2016 based on a FIR that was registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Enforcement Directorate alleged a total amount of Rs 193.06 crore has been identified as proceeds of crime.

Naik has been booked on charges of laundering criminal money under various sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and allegedly creating illegal real estate assets worth crores in India and abroad.

In 2020, UK’s media regulator OfCom slapped a fine of 300,000 pounds on Naik’s two television stations, Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu, for broadcasting hate speech and incitement. The UK has also started a probe into the charity he founded that funded the channels.

He was barred from the UK in 2010 but continued to operate the channels until 2019. UK’s Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) cited Naik’s channel as an example of Islamist extremism.

ALSO READ-UAE, Oman ink deal on environmental preservation

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Ramadan Mubarak

The UAE’s Moon-sighting Committee announced that today is the 30th day of Sha’ban and that Thursday will be the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan in the country….reports Asian Lite News

The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) has once again curated the ‘Ramadan in Dubai’ festivities, which will run from 23rd March to 21st April, to celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The event series will offer a range of unique cultural experiences, such as Iftars and Suhoors, Ramadan markets, festive citywide lighting, and attractive retail offers. Additionally, there will be family entertainment and hotel stays to make the occasion even more enjoyable.

Commenting on Ramadan in Dubai 2023, Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of DFRE, said, “This Ramadan in Dubai, everyone is welcome to our great city to enjoy cultural moments and experience the sense of togetherness that is felt throughout the Holy Month.”

“Working with our partners across the government and private sectors, we have created a programme of exciting events and activities, exquisite gastronomy, and world-class entertainment, that will make Ramadan in Dubai a month to remember. It will bring people together, celebrate our heritage and culture with friends and family, and provide opportunities for acts of charity and generosity.”

During Ramadan, Dubai will be transformed with beautiful lighting installations adorning the city’s landmarks, trees, roadsides, and shopping destinations. These include a daily ‘Imagine Ramadan Projection’ at Festival Bay in Dubai Festival City Mall, and a stunning ‘Ramadan in Dubai Reflections’ immersive building projection accompanied by lanterns lighting the way at Al Seef.

The ‘Ramadan Fireworks Nights’ displays will also light up the skies on 1st April at The Beach, Bluewaters and JBR, on 8th April at Al Seef, and on 15th April at Dubai Festival City Mall.

From 22nd March to 21st April, Oasis Mall will host the Ramadan at Oasis market (10:00-00:00). Visitors can enjoy daily dates and kahwa after Maghrib prayers and shop for items such as honey, dates, Arabic sweets, and decorative items.

For a relaxing break with family or even alone, the Hatta Hub will offer an inspiring ambience to sample international cuisines, browse retail outlets, and enjoy entertainment in the evenings (22nd March to 1st May). The Al Barsha Park Ramadan Market will take place at Al Barsha Pond Park from 22nd March to 1st May.

Dubai Opera will offer a buffet with Arabic and international cuisine, while Asateer in Atlantis the Palm will offer traditional Iftar and Suhoor. The Bulgari Ramadan experience will offer live food stations and live entertainment for Iftar and Suhoor, while the Habtoor Grand Resort Autograph Collection and City Walk’s Dana Tent will have outdoor Iftar and Suhoor options.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach will also provide Iftar and Suhoor options at several of its restaurants, while Carna by Dario Cecchini will offer a rooftop Iftar on the 74th floor of SLS Dubai.

Offering a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, the Ramadan Street Food Festival will take place from 31st March to 9th April. The vibrant streets of Sheikh Hamdan Colony, Al Karama, will offer an array of authentic and traditional foods during Iftar and Suhoor.

Expo City Dubai will also host a charitable initiative in the form of Hattan, a collection of clothing donation boxes that have been decorated by young artists from schools in Dubai with paintings inspired by the city’s culture and traditions. The boxes will be available for donations from 22nd March to 22nd April, offering an opportunity to give to those in need.

Dubai Festival City Mall will offer special rewards to shoppers, including tickets to Bounce X, access to Glowland, an Al-Futtaim gift card, besides the opportunity to win AED200,000 for users of its Blue App. Visitors to the mall can check out the Zehi Exhibition, which will feature local businesses offering a range of curated products such as abayas, perfumes, jewellery, and home accessories.

Families can take their children to AstroLab in Nakheel Mall, where they can participate in free space, science, and art workshops (24th March to 16th April). The Mad Scientist will also put on two 45-minute fun shows (17:00 and 20:30, 31st March to 2nd April).

From 24th March to 16th April, visitors to Nakheel Mall can view the work of Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi at the Nakheel Mall Gallery Exhibition. Some of the artworks on display will include The Abaya, Between the Dunes, and 7 Falcons. In addition, visitors can enjoy live traditional entertainment, including oud and qanun players and pianists, after Iftar every weekend between 24 March and 23 April.

Ramadan can be celebrated every weekend at Freej Al Khawaneej in Al Khawaneej Walk and Last Exit Al Khawaneej. Community members can enjoy traditional celebrations and a host of activities, such as live music, free kids activities, Hakawati storytelling, and Ramadan quizzes from 24th March to 16th April.

Mall of the Emirates will host the Ramadan market activation, Ramadaniyat Zeman Awwal, available both online and in-person (22nd March-25th April).

Ramadan Wonders at Global Village will offer the perfect place for a night out with family and loved ones. Visitors can enjoy the Ramadan Market, Majlis of the World, and a variety of delicious cuisines for Iftar and Suhoor.

ALSO READ: Stay energised during Ramadan

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SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to open on Yas Island in May

The next-generation Marine Life Theme Park will tell a captivating ‘One Ocean’ story that uncovers the interconnectivity between life on earth and our ocean…reports Asian Lite News

Miral, Abu Dhabi’s leading creator of immersive destinations and experiences, announced today that SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is set to open its doors to the public on 23rd May 2023.

The next-generation Marine Life Theme Park will tell a captivating ‘One Ocean’ story that uncovers the interconnectivity between life on earth and our ocean. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will deliver engaging, and immersive family-friendly experiences through eight of its uniquely themed realms, featuring up-close animal encounters, exciting rides, inspiring entertainment, as well as unmatched dining and shopping experiences.

A collaboration between Miral and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s eight realms can be explored across five indoor levels spanning an area of approximately 183,000m2 with the Endless Ocean realm set to be home to the world’s largest and most expansive multi-species aquarium. This innovatively designed aquarium will contain over 25 million litres of water and will be a dynamic habitat for more than 68,000 marine animals, including sharks, schools of fish, manta rays and sea turtles.

Located on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, in total there will be over 100,000 marine animals including 150 species of birds, fish, mammals and reptiles at the Marine Life Theme Park. Animal habitats in each realm of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi have been custom designed using state-of-the-art technology and the highest standards for animal welfare.

The Chairman of Miral, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, said, “We are delighted to announce the opening of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi this May, and proud of our partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment to bring the region’s next-generation Marine Life Theme Park to Abu Dhabi and to Yas Island. As part of our commitment to the Year of Sustainability, the marine life park will embed Sheikh Zayed’s legacy and profound respect for nature and all its beauty, as well as play a key role in promoting environmental awareness and protecting marine life in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider region.”

“Through its innovative programs and its state-of-the-art facilities, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi aims to inspire the next generation of conservationists and marine life scientists while fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s opening will mark an exciting new chapter in Yas Island and Abu Dhabi’s ongoing efforts to promote tourism, showcase the emirate’s truly unique offerings and position it as a top global destination.”

Designed according to standards set by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA) and American Humane, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s next-generation marine life habitats feature state-of-the art design and technology that will enable animals to live in dynamic habitats alongside other fish, birds, and animals as they would in nature. Other spaces have been designed to provide flexibility for animal welfare allowing the SeaWorld Abu Dhabi animal care team to recreate social seasonal patterns for animals such as the walrus.

Unique systems such as the Advanced Animal Lighting System (AALS) recreate night/day and seasonal light cycles while also providing the health benefits of full spectrum light and the Animal Life Support System (ALSS) that manages water quality to support the diverse array of fish and mammals living together in dynamic environments are some of the cutting-edge features at SeaWorld Abu Dhabi.

Adjacent to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, the park is home to Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the first-of-its-kind dedicated marine research, rescue, rehabilitation and return centre in the region, serving as an advanced marine science knowledge hub and a key contributor to marine life conservation in the UAE and wider region. Yas SeaWorld Research & Rescue opened in February 2023.

ALSO READ: UAE Vice President launches 1B Meals Endowment project

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Rashid Rover successfully enters lunar orbit

The insertion into lunar orbit is an important step toward the upcoming milestones of the Rashid Rover, beginning with the remaining 5 subsystem checks….reports Asian Lite News

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced the successful lunar orbit insertion by Rashid Rover, the first Emirati rover to land on the surface of the moon. The rover is now just one step away from making history.

The iSpace lander carrying the Rashid Rover performed its first lunar orbit insertion manoeuvre in accordance with the mission operation plan, at 5.24 AM UAE time on March 21, under the direction of lander engineers. After a controlled burn from the lander’s main propulsion system lasting several minutes, the manoeuvre was successfully completed.

The insertion into lunar orbit is an important step toward the upcoming milestones of the Rashid Rover, beginning with the remaining 5 subsystem checks.

The completion of all lunar orbital manoeuvres prior to the beginning of the landing sequence, which is scheduled to be announced around late April 2023. Specific information on the date and time of the landing will be announced in the upcoming few days.

Rashid Rover Milestones

Post the successful completion of the first milestone that is the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), and the second milestone the cruise phase, Rashid Rover is now on its way to complete the third milestone – the Arrival Phase (Entry, Descent, and Landing). This will be the most intense of all, as the lander will have to land on the lunar surface based on its system’s calculation to stay on course for a specific landing spot on the moon.

The next is the Deployment, Commissioning and Drive-off phase. Once the Lander has landed on the lunar surface, deployment, commissioning and drive-off command sessions will begin. Following completion of the post-landing checkout, instrument commissioning and initial data collection will begin.

Following that is the Nominal Surface Operations phase, which is the mission itself. For 10-12 days, the Rashid rover will conduct continuous surface research and image capture.

The final two phases after the lunar day are hibernation and last decommissioning. The rover prepares for the lunar night. When the secondary communication is activated, all information captured is downloaded and every effort is made to ensure that no information is missed, before the hibernation phase. The chances of the rover restarting are slim; however, if the rover is activated after the lunar night then the mission will be extended to operate throughout the second lunar night which will end by the decommissioning phase.

This ambitious mission undertaken by the UAE to study the surface of the moon is considered a gateway for future exploration of other planets.

The mission is funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE.

ALSO READ: UAE Vice President launches 1B Meals Endowment project

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UAE distributes 200 tons of dates to quake-hit Türkiye

The dates will be distributed to eligible groups based on their humanitarian and economic conditions…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE Joint Operations Command of the Ministry of Defence in cooperation with the “Chivalrous Knight / 2” operation began distributing 200 tons of dates to approximately 11 earthquake-affected areas in several Turkish villages and cities.

The initiative reflects the wise leadership’s keenness to provide assistance to affected families and alleviate their suffering ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The dates will be distributed to eligible groups based on their humanitarian and economic conditions.

The Joint Operations Command continues to implement the recovery and rehabilitation stage, following its success in achieving the rapid response phase within the “Chivalrous Knight / 2” operation.

School bags to Syrian children

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) distributed around 1,500 school bags and stationery to Syrian students in the Latakia Governorate, one of the areas affected by the recent earthquake that hit the country.

The aid is the first phase of an initiative to distribute more than 10,000 school bags and stationery to several Syrian governorates. It is part of the UAE’s ongoing humanitarian and relief efforts.

The distribution of aid included the students of the Martyr Shaaban Ali Ahmed School, part of the Latakia Education Department.

The students highlighted their happiness at receiving school bags and stationery and thanked the UAE’s leadership, government and people.

In her statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Rasha Abdullah Ahmed, Assistant Director for Education at the Latakia Education Department, commended the UAE’s leadership and people their support of Syrians through the current crisis.

Majd Mohammed Ali, Principal of the Martyr Shaaban Ali Ahmed School, said local education has returned to 55 percent capacity. He noted that students are now being rehabilitated following the recent earthquake that hit Syria. He also pointed out that the presence of the Emirati delegation has helped Syrian schools return to normalcy.

A Syrian Grade 8 student, Sarah, thanked the UAE, while a Syrian girl, Mariam Nidaa Saleh, wrote a poem, titled “Thank you”, dedicated to the Emirati delegation.

Dr. Mohammed Al Junaibi, ERC Representative in Syria, said that the ERC would continue supporting those affected by the recent earthquake in cooperation with Syria’s Ministry of Education.

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