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UAE@52: People At The Heart

People of the UAE are central to our efforts to progress: UAE President

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has affirmed that the UAE remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering international cooperation, dialogue, and peace in the face of global challenges, and will extend its support to countries and communities in need by continuing to strengthen international engagement and build partnerships around the world.

In a statement marking the UAE’s 52nd Union Day, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed said, “The people of the UAE are central to our efforts to progress. It is through devotion and selflessness towards the nation that true accomplishments are realised. Above all, unity and loyalty are the firm foundations laid by the late Sheikh Zayed and his brothers for our nation that underpin our achievements and will continue to do so in the coming decades, God willing.”

The UAE President noted that this year’s Union Day comes as the UAE hosts the largest international event on environment and climate, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), with high-level global participation.

“The UAE’s hosting of COP28 underscores its credibility both regionally and globally, as well as the prominent role our nation plays in global issues—especially climate change mitigation—and its longstanding support for sustainability initiatives,” His Highness explained.

Below is the statement in full:

“To the people of the UAE,

The second of December is one of the most beloved days for us in the UAE, as it is the day on which hearts united in building our nation. It is the day when shared ambitions came together and when the country’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his brothers, the Rulers of the Emirates—may their souls rest in peace—penned the first line in the UAE’s story.

On Union Day, we foster a spirit of ambition in our country’s youth so they may leave their mark on our nation, just as their predecessors did with their rich legacy. Union Day is a time for newer generations to understand that our successes are the result of our resolve, and that we share a responsibility in building upon these achievements.

We have achieved significant accomplishments over the years, and with God’s blessing, we are heading towards a future that is brighter, more hopeful, and more prosperous.

While we advance, we honour all those who contribute to the UAE’s continued journey of development, and we take pride in all of the residents who live alongside us with dignity and honour.

As we enter a new year of the UAE’s history, let us reflect on the lessons of our past: that challenges can be overcome with determination, perseverance, and hard work. The people of the UAE are central to our efforts to progress. It is through devotion and selflessness towards the nation that true accomplishments are realised. Above all, unity and loyalty are the firm foundations laid by the late Sheikh Zayed and his brothers for our nation that underpin our achievements and will continue to do so in the coming decades, God willing.

In 2023, the UAE witnessed a historic milestone that added to its notable record in advancing scientific progress through the longest Arab space mission by astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi.

Through this accomplishment, we reaffirmed that our people are at the heart of shaping a better future. The UAE is a nation that never stops moving forward in all areas of development, as we believe that stagnation will only lead to regression.

This year’s Union Day comes as the UAE hosts the largest international event on environment and climate, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), with high-level global participation. The UAE’s hosting of COP28 underscores its credibility both regionally and globally, as well as the prominent role our nation plays in global issues—especially climate change mitigation—and its longstanding support for sustainability initiatives.

It is our sincere hope that COP28 will forever be remembered as one of the most impactful global climate conferences. The UAE, in cooperation with its partners, will continue to work towards outcomes that benefit all people.

In this vein, the UAE remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering international cooperation, dialogue, and peace in the face of global challenges. By continuing to strengthen international engagement and build partnerships around the world, we will extend our support to countries and communities in need.

Our membership of the United Nations Security Council for the 2022-2023 term proved important in this regard. The UAE played a key role in the adoption by the Security Council in June of its historic resolution on tolerance, peace, and international security. This pivotal milestone, a world first, recognised hate speech and extremism as sources of instability and increasing conflict around the world.

The UAE’s joining of the BRICS group, starting in 2024, further underscores our focus on international collective action to strengthen development and help ensure prosperity for people around the world.

President H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed along with world leaders at a COP28 event in Dubai.

Brothers and sisters,

Today, I am pleased to announce the Union aspirations for 2024 and call on every facet of our society, including government, the private sector, and civil society, to adopt this guidance in their projects, programmes, and initiatives throughout the coming year.

The first aspiration relates to Emirati values, which are a fundamental pillar of our society, reflecting not only our people, but also our nation and its reputation.

I call upon everyone to promote this Emirati spirit both locally and globally, so the world can see the pride we take in our own identity and our openness to other cultures. Our society’s deep-rooted values should remain a constant guiding light for our unity, solidarity, respect for others, and support passed down from generation to generation.

In the workplace, strong work ethics, including dedication, hard work, integrity, and efficiency, should come to be seen as a distinctive Emirati trait.

Second, the UAE is a nation that pursues innovation, with its people at the forefront of progress. Lifelong learning is the fuel that propels our nation forward.

It does not stop at a certain level or age, nor is it confined to schools and universities. Rather, it is a continual endeavour throughout life, whether in the majlis, workplace, or home.

Lifelong learning leads to further success and self-improvement and contributes to the progress of society and humanity. The success of the people of the UAE contributes to the success of our nation as a whole.

I call upon everyone, including individuals, government entities, and the private sector, to make lifelong learning a core principle of our society so that the UAE becomes a hub of learning and future skills development that can unlock new opportunities for progress.

H.H. Sheikh Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Third, sustainability is not a new pursuit for the UAE; it is deeply rooted in our society due to the challenging conditions faced by our ancestors. The late Sheikh Zayed was a patron of sustainability, which became ingrained in all of the UAE’s endeavours.

While the Year of Sustainability in the UAE concludes at the end of 2023, sustainability remains embedded in our culture, practices, and many aspects of our daily life, and I invite everyone to continue supporting initiatives related to sustainability in the future.

The UAE is determined to honour the legacy of our Founding Father, and we ask the community to continue adopting sustainable practices. Globally, the UAE will continue its role in mobilising international efforts to support environmental action, protect life, and preserve resources for future generations.

Lastly, the world is evolving ever faster, and nations are racing towards development. In this race, education will be our mainstay in the pursuit of progress. Our place in the future will be determined by education, our status among nations will be shaped by education, and reaping the rewards of development and progress will be made possibly solely by education. I therefore urge everyone in this sector to continue working together to further enhance the quality of education available to the people of the UAE.

We aim to advance our nation’s education, to innovate and go beyond traditional methods, and to create abundant opportunities for our youth to grow. Educational entities should place teachers at the heart of their strategic planning, unifying and coordinating efforts to ensure education leads to success in the race towards progress.

Today, I extend my blessings to the Rulers of the Emirates, Crown Princes, Deputy Rulers, and the loyal people of the UAE. I pray to God to preserve and protect our nation, and I wish you, its people, all the very best for the future.

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you.”

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Abu Dhabi Unveils Mega Housing Project for Emiratis

Part of the “Emirati Neighbourhood Initiative”, the project has been developed “with the highest international standards”…reports Asian Lite News

As part of a government initiative to offer high-quality residences to citizens, Abu Dhabi has revealed a massive housing development, delivering over 300 new homes to Emiratis.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has inaugurated the emirate’s Al Wathba housing project, which features 347 homes built at a cost of AED1.1 billion ($299 million).

Part of the “Emirati Neighbourhood Initiative”, the project has been developed “with the highest international standards” and it features sustainable designs that seek to improve the citizens’ overall wellbeing and quality of life, according to a statement.

Since its establishment, the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority has provided more than 39,000 residential plots and more than 16,000 new homes to beneficiaries. So far, the total value of housing benefits delivered has reached AED141 billion ($38.4 billion).

The latest housing allocation is spread across 875,000 square metres and includes various community facilities, such as four commercial complexes and 64 shops. The development also has 15 parks and four mosques that can accommodate 1,725 people.

“The Al Wathba housing project signifies the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority’s commitment to delivering the leadership’s directives,” said Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Housing Authority.

“This initiative stands as a cornerstone in guaranteeing citizens’ access to quality housing.”

Since its establishment, the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority has approved more than 44,000 housing loans and facilitated housing loan exemptions for 4,000 beneficiaries.

During the third quarter of the year, Abu Dhabi’s real estate market saw the delivery of 1,000 residential units spread across several communities, according to Asteco.

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Abu Dhabi Opens World’s Largest Single-Site Solar Plant

A solar plant, situated 35 kilometers from Abu Dhabi city, was constructed in a single phase. This landmark facility produces sufficient electricity to power nearly 200,000 homes, resulting in the displacement of 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually….reports Asian Lite News

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), and its partners Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), EDF Renewables and JinkoPower, together with procurer Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), have inaugurated the world’s largest single-site solar power plant ahead of the UAE hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28).

The 2 GigaWatt Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic Independent Power Project was inaugurated by H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and in the presence of H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

H.H. Sheikh Hazza reaffirmed that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is proceeding with its strategic plans to enhance its energy security by implementing a diverse range of flexible energy generation that is contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions, while also advancing the economy.

He said, “As the UAE prepares to host COP28, this pioneering project reflects the country’s ongoing commitment to raising its share of clean energy, reducing its carbon emissions and supporting the global efforts on climate action. We are witnessing, day after day, project after project, that the UAE is at the global forefront of developing and adopting innovative clean energy solutions. We are achieving energy security, while also contributing to building a bright future for future generations to come.”

Located 35 kilometres from Abu Dhabi city, the landmark solar plant was built in a single phase and generates enough electricity to power almost 200,000 homes, displacing 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Al Dhafra Solar PV spans more than 20 square kilometres of desert and created 4,500 jobs during the peak of the construction phase. It uses almost 4 million solar panels which deploy innovative bi-facial technology, ensuring sunlight is captured on both sides of the panels to maximise yield.

In less than fifteen years, the UAE has become a global leader in solar energy. In 2009, Masdar switched on the country’s first solar project at 10MW – today, Al Dhafra Solar PV represents a plant that is 200 times that size. As the countdown to COP28 in the UAE begins, this mega project initially achieved the world’s lowest tariff at financial close, and demonstrates the country’s long-standing commitment to decarbonisation, at home and around the world.

The UAE is also a world leader in solar energy use, according to the latest data from The Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy, ranking second globally in terms of per capital solar energy consumption. In under a decade, the country has surpassed leading nations by installing solar energy, as part of the country’s energy diversification.

H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed listened to a detailed explanation from Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Chairman of Masdar and COP28 President-Designate, and a number of Masdar employees about the project, its strategic importance, and its role in enhancing national energy security.

D. Al Jaber said, “Al Dhafra is part of a long and proud history of energy innovation, made possible thanks to the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. This world-leading solar project demonstrates remarkable progress in solar power efficiency, innovation and cost competitiveness – setting a new record-low tariff. To create Al Dhafra, Masdar brought together three partners from around the world: TAQA, EDF of France and JinkoPower of China. With just days to go before the start of COP28, I will be asking the world to unite and deliver the energy transition by tripling renewables capacity and doubling energy efficiency by 2030. Al Dhafra is an example of the scale of the ambition needed around the world.”

The delivery of the project was made possible after global energy leaders formed a strategic partnership and harnessed their combined expertise. Al Dhafra Solar PV, planned and procured by EWEC, has broken records in terms of cost for utility-scale solar projects. Initially the project led to one of the most competitive tariffs for solar power set at AED 4.97 fils/kWh (USD 1.35 cents/kWh), which upon financial close, was further improved to AED 4.85 fils/kWh (US$ 1.32 cents/kWh).

The ceremony was attended by Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, UAE Minister of Investment and Deputy Chairman of Masdar; Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of Mubadala; Engineer Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi; Jabr Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Minister of State; Zhang Yiming, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the UAE; Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director; Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC; Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar; Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables; and Charles Bai, President of Jinko Power International Business.

Engineer Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi, affirmed that the inauguration of Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic marks a new and strategic step that enhances the UAE’s and Abu Dhabi’s position in the clean and renewable energy sector. It also underscores their active role in driving global growth in this sector, aligning with the wise leadership’s commitment to promoting clean technologies and renewable energy solutions on a broad scale, as well as strengthening global efforts in climate action and advancing the implementation of the UAE Net Zero 2050.

Al Marar added, “The project contributes to creating opportunities for sustainable economic and social growth, while simultaneously achieving a balance between sustainable development and mitigating the impacts of climate change. It will also promote the creation of a knowledge-based economy, harness clean technology, and create a diversified mix of energy sources.

“The announcement of the Plant’s inauguration is of special significance as it coincides with the country’s preparations to host the global climate event, the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28). This further strengthens the national efforts aimed at producing photovoltaic solar energy at a competitive cost, providing substantial support for Abu Dhabi’s commitment to diversify clean and renewable energy sources, as well as the strategies and policies of the Department of Energy in this regard.”

Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, stated, “TAQA is very proud to have played a central role with our partners in delivering the world’s largest single-site solar PV plant, our second major solar plant in the UAE. With COP28 fast approaching, the 2GW Al Dhafra PV project shows the world what can be achieved through a commitment to partnership and technological progress. With a portfolio including two of the world’s largest solar projects and as provider of the grid connections, TAQA is at the heart of driving the transformation to a cleaner and more sustainable power sector. As a global integrated utility company championing low-carbon power and water, we are focused on working with partners to deliver affordable, secure and sustainable energy and water to communities across the UAE and beyond.”

Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, commented, “EWEC is the leading entity in the region transitioning energy production to renewable and clean energy sources, and today’s inauguration of Al Dhafra Solar PV, the new world’s largest single-site solar power plant, is a key step on this important journey. Alongside Noor Abu Dhabi, Al Dhafra Solar PV raises EWEC’s solar energy production capacity while also significantly decreasing carbon emissions associated with electricity production. We have also recently commissioned the development of two additional solar power projects of the same size and scale as Al Dhafra Solar PV, which will proudly make Abu Dhabi home to four of the largest solar power plants in the world. Furthermore, we expect to commission the development of an additional 1GW of new solar power energy projects in Abu Dhabi every year for the next 10 years as part of our strategic plan to rapidly accelerate the decarbonisation of energy production, ensuring the UAE is a global leader in solar power and advancing the nation’s economic development and diversification towards its net-zero goal.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, noted, “Today’s inauguration is a proud moment for Masdar, the UAE and our strategic partners, who have been instrumental in our shared success. Developing the world’s largest single-site solar power plant is a milestone achievement that required vision, partnership and a pioneering spirit. For over 17 years, Masdar has been spearheading renewable energy projects in the UAE and around the world. As the UAE’s clean energy powerhouse, we are active in countries all around the world. We have ambitions to grow to 100GW by 2030. As the world looks for ways to accelerate the energy transition, Al Dhafra Solar PV stands as a world-class example of how we can work together to build a greener, cleaner future.”

Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables, stressed, “We are very honored that this unique large-scale solar power plant is inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This key milestone would not have been possible without the full support provided by the UAE government and authorities, the Department of Energy, and in particular our client EWEC, and without the outstanding commitment shown by the project team, partners, and contractors. At the forefront of the COP28, EDF is proud to support the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative. EDF is convinced that to build a carbon-neutral future while preserving economic development and social prosperity the world needs to, progressively but faster, develop towards a mix of low CO2 emissions solutions. This mix of solutions should include renewable energies of course but also energy efficiency, nuclear energy, carbon capture and storage as well as clean H2. This way we will combine the need of energy producers and energy consumers, of richer and poorer countries, of economy and ecology.”

Charles Bai, President of Jinko Power International Business, emphasised, “Today manifests a critical milestone achieved for the world’s largest single site and single phase solar power plant. We are grateful to the Government of Emirate Abu Dhabi, Ministry of Energy, EWEC and our partners as well as other stakeholders in their incredible support and commitment that makes today a day of long memory and a record of world’s renewable energy history. Jinko Power is proud of delivering another world’s record-breaking solar power project to the Emirate after our successful delivery of Noor Abu Dhabi project despite tremendous challenging circumstances arising from global pandemic. The inauguration today demonstrates once again the robust auction programmes designed and executed by the Government of Abu Dhabi. We remain fully committed to continue our contribution to the goal of carbon neutrality to Abu Dhabi and the world.”

TAQA owns 40 percent of the project, Masdar owns 20 percent while the remaining partners, EDF Renewables and Jinko Power, own a 20 percent stake each. The plant will supply power to the procurer EWEC – following the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed in 2020 – and will raise Abu Dhabi’s solar power production capacity to 3.2 GigaWatt.

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Abu Dhabi Hosts Climate Experts in Net Zero Push

The Abu Dhabi event focused its discussion on the accelerants and barriers to achieving Net Zero….reports Asian Lite News

The second in a series of eight national Majlis sessions being held in the run-up to COP28 was hosted today at The Louvre in Abu Dhabi. The Majlis brought together climate leaders, experts, and government representatives to discuss how Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE is rising to meet the goal of achieving Net Zero by 2050. The session was organised by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

The Majlis follows yesterday’s launch of the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Strategy. The Strategy provides a tangible nationwide roadmap for achieving emission reduction targets and cements the UAE’s ambition to be one of nations at the forefront in making efforts to address climate change.

The Abu Dhabi event focused its discussion on the accelerants and barriers to achieving Net Zero. Attendees considered answers to questions about partnerships between the UAE government and the private sector; local initiatives to address the energy transition and how to amplify them; what legislative, policy or innovation barriers are limiting full advancement towards a sustainable future; and what collaborations between the group present could advance Net Zero by 2050 today, in the lead up to COP28 and into the future.

The Majlis was chaired by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy.

The Majlis was attended by Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (ENEC) and several leaders from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, namely H.E. Mohammed Saeed Al Nuaimi, Acting Undersecretary, Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, Assistant Undersecretary for Biodiversity and Marine Life Sector, Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Green Development and Climate Change sector, and Shaikha Ahmed Salem Al Ali, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Regions Sector.

Almheiri asserted, “The UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Strategy is a major step forward in addressing climate issues. This comprehensive, new strategy aligns with the Paris Agreement, which calls on countries to address the global impacts of climate change and act to limit the rise in global temperature by 2030.

Almheiri outlined to the audience the Strategy and its main pillars, covering six sectors: energy, waste, construction, transportation, agriculture, and industry. The Strategy’s goals also include the establishment of more than 25 government programs that include several initiatives and projects to reduce carbon emissions. The Strategy will also contribute to sustainable economic development by creating more than 200,000 jobs and enhancing exports, which will increase gross domestic income by 3%.

The Minister went on to emphasise that the Strategy was the result of joint work at federal and local levels, and it was carried out in consultation with the private sector and society. To formalise the Strategy, more than 100 meetings were held, and more than 800 comments and opinions were discussed. Almheiri stressed that this collaborative approach will continue as the Strategy is implemented in various sectors across the UAE.

The attendees welcomed the new Strategy and discussed how all sectors and industries can embrace the sustainable agenda to drive economic growth and enhance climate action in the UAE. The climate leaders reflected on what has been achieved so far in the UAE’s journey towards Net Zero, including the UAE’s climate action and leadership as well as investments in sustainability projects domestically and internationally.

Industry and business are at the forefront of the nation’s efforts to mitigate climate change and create a sustainable future. It is through investments in innovation, advancements in technology and collective action that solutions are found. With COP28 now just 21 days away, the event explored current and future innovative climate action and outcomes in the UAE.

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment concluded: “This Majlis is another step forward in achieving UAE’s Net Zero Strategy. The thoughts, ideas, and discussions I have heard today give me great hope that we are on the right path towards a Net Zero future. The time for action is now. With COP28 only 21 days away, we must come together and be ambitious in finding clear and actionable solutions to achieve Net Zero.”

Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, praised the COP28 UAE Changemaker Majlis. The initiative that aims to bring together various sectors of the local community to promote climate change and sustainable growth discussions.

He said: “We thank our wise leadership for prioritising initiatives in the UAE to bolster positive change. We have to make the change that paves the way for the next generations.”

He added: We are following the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s vision in consolidating the concept of sustainability and preserving the environment and natural resources, as his efforts led to the expansion of forests, which today cover extensive areas of the country.”

Regarding the country’s efforts to enhance climate action, Al Marar, explained: “The UAE is the first country in the MENA to announce the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, which is part of the ten principles under UAE’s Next 50, and it will provide new opportunities for sustainable and economic growth. The value of clean and renewable energy investments will reach AED 600 billion over the next three decades.”

Al Marar concluded his speech with a special message from The UN Secretary-General António Guterres, describing the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative as a beacon of hope.

Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi stressed the importance of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant and its contribution to increasing the share of clean energy in the country’s energy mix, which will help achieve the Net Zero by 2050 goals. He said that once the Barakah plant is fully operated, they will contribute to reducing 22 million tons of emissions annually, which is equivalent to removing the emissions of 4.8 million cars. He said it is important for all members of society to know their carbon footprint arising from their consumption of energy, water and food because this is the right way to achieve climate and environmental goals.

Interactive discussions

During the Majlis, the attendees, including representatives of the private sector, scientific and academic bodies, and community representatives, reviewed the key experiences and solutions to advance the UAE’s efforts towards achieving Net Zero by 2050. Many strategies and ideas that support this trend were also reviewed, most notably the importance of employing regulations and laws to drive sustainable projects and ambitious climate and environmental ideas and facilitating their operation.

The discussions also reviewed the importance of scientific and academic research and its financing to contribute to the efforts of the government and the private sector in applying advanced technologies and evaluating them scientifically, especially with regard to removing and storing carbon and reducing the carbon footprint of many facilities.

The discussions emphasized the importance of a stronger will by the private sector to set larger goals to reduce their carbon footprint, and also enabling small and medium-sized companies to pursue sustainability goals. The participants also highlighted that workers and technicians must be trained on new sustainable systems. They also highlighted the need to focus on training Emirati youth to keep up with the job market and its requirements, as the UAE transitions to Net zero.

The meeting highlighted the importance of raising society’s awareness to modify its behaviour, rationalize consumption, and accept new systems that will be implemented, which will influence daily life, such as modern transportation systems, electricity and water consumption, stopping food waste, and other behaviours.

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UAE Celebrates Flag Day

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed raised the UAE flag at Qasr Al Hosn, a location that was central to the early growth of the nation and remains a cultural and historic landmark today.

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has hailed the UAE’s enduring unity and the loyalty of it people at a ceremony to mark Flag Day in Abu Dhabi.

His Highness raised the UAE flag at Qasr Al Hosn, a location that was central to the early growth of the nation and remains a cultural and historic landmark today.

The UAE President was joined at the ceremony by astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, who earlier this year completed a pioneering six-month mission aboard the International Space Station, during which he became the first Arab to perform a spacewalk. Al Neyadi’s participation was symbolic of the nation’s journey of progress, the ongoing ambition of its people, and the UAE’s growing role in the science, technology and space exploration sectors.

The ceremony at Qasr Al Hosn included a guard of honour who greeted His Highness upon his arrival, and a performance of the UAE national anthem after the flag had been raised.

His Highness and Al Neyadi engaged in conversation, with the UAE President reaffirming the pride shared by the people of the nation and their steadfast unity and loyalty to the flag and all that it represents.

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FATF Onsite Visit to UAE Before February 2024

The UAE said it looks forward to welcoming the FATF assessment team to the UAE, and further demonstrating the enhanced and sustained effectiveness of our AML/ CFT framework.

The fourth Plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) under the Presidency of T. Raja Kumar of Singapore concluded in Paris, France. During the Plenary, FATF confirmed an on-site visit to the UAE will take place before February 2024.

Commenting on the FATF announcement, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State, said: “We welcome the FATF announcement that the UAE has officially been granted an on-site visit to verify the completion of its ICRG Action Plan. The UAE looks forward to welcoming the FATF assessment team to the UAE, and further demonstrating the enhanced and sustained effectiveness of our AML/ CFT framework. Cooperation with strategic international partners is critical to contributing to the global effort to detect and disrupt all forms of financial crime.”

Khaled Mohammed Balama, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and Chairman of the UAE National Anti Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations Committee, stated:

“The UAE takes its role in protecting the integrity of the global financial system extremely seriously. The increased resources and expertise we have put in place underpin the UAE’s continued commitment to combatting economic crime and disrupting illicit networks, both at home and abroad.”

Hamid AlZaabi, Director General of Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing, added: “The FATF announcement today recognizes the efforts made by various UAE authorities to satisfy the Action Plan. We will continue to work with our partners and stakeholders to fulfil our long-term sustainable AML/CFT plan.”

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COP28 Hosts Global Dialogue on Energy Transition in Abu Dhabi

The Global Dialogue, held in Abu Dhabi Global Market from 15-17 October, is the largest UNFCCC mandated event held in the emirate to date…reports Asian Lite News

The COP28 Presidency has co-hosted the second Global Dialogue series with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Abu Dhabi, gathering policymakers, representatives, and experts from 140 governments, as well as participants from the private sector.

The Global Dialogue, held in Abu Dhabi Global Market from 15-17 October, is the largest UNFCCC mandated event held in the emirate to date, and focused on accelerating the energy transition and decarbonization of the transportation sector.

Those attending, including COP28 Chief Executive Officer Adnan Z Amin, drove technical alignment and produced a report that will help jumpstart upcoming discussions at Pre-COP from 30-31 October, where up to 100 ministers will discuss key priorities in Abu Dhabi for COP28.

Attendees agreed that decarbonizing the transportation system will make a significant contribution to a just and equitable energy transition, and will boost economic diversification by creating green jobs and invigorating industries in developing countries.

Solutions discussed for decarbonizing transportation included the deployment and shift to collective and non-motorized transportation models, energy and resource efficiency in the transportation sector, vehicle electrification, and the adoption of low- or zero-carbon fuels.

A sustainable transport sector is central to our shared success in keeping 1.5°C within reach,” Mr. Amin said at the event. According to the IPCC’s sixth assessment report, the transport sector emits 8.7Gt per year, representing roughly 23 percent of global emissions, he said, so “transport would need an accelerated electrification and associated deployment of charging infrastructure in the coming decades.”

By 2050 electric vehicles would have to account for “80 percent of all road transport activity,” he added.

The report produced from the Dialogue details Parties’ and expert views on effective pathways to decarbonize the transportation sector in line with efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. Negotiators will now take forward the report to inform COP28 outcomes on mitigation.

The Global Dialogue is a series of discussions under the Sharm El-Sheik Mitigation Ambition and Implementation Work Program and a pivotal gathering to accelerate the implementation of climate change mitigation efforts.

The event also coincided with the World Investment Forum, taking place in Abu Dhabi from 16-20 October. Hosted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), the biennial gathering of more than 6,000 investment stakeholders from 160 countries aims to devise strategies and solutions for global investment and development challenges.

‘Fixing climate finance’ is one of four key pillars of the COP28 Presidency’s Action Agenda. The Presidency is asking governments, international financial organizations, and the private sector to deliver tangible solutions on climate finance, including delivering the $100 billion a year pledge, the GCF replenishment and Early Loss and Damage pledges.

The COP28 Presidency continues to work to rally the world behind an ambitious and comprehensive climate agenda to provide a robust response to the Global Stocktake and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

The pillars of the COP28 Action Agenda are: fast tracking a just, orderly, and well-managed energy transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on people, lives and livelihoods, and underscoring everything with full inclusivity.

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Sheikh Theyab Visits Gaza Campaign Centre in Abu Dhabi

The campaign attracted a large number of volunteers from the people of the UAE…reports Asian Lite News

H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has visited the Tarahum – for Gaza campaign centre in Abu Dhabi.

His Highness Sheikh Theyab, accompanied by Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for ‎International Cooperation, Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of Community ‎Development, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State, and a number of officials, toured the first collection centre at Abu Dhabi Ports Hall in ‎Mina Zayed, which was opened on Sunday 15 October. Other centres will also be opened across the ‎UAE at later dates.

During his tour, His Highness met with volunteers at the centre and commended the efforts of community members in donating humanitarian relief packages to provide urgent assistance to the Palestinian people impacted by the war in Gaza.

Tarahum – for Gaza is part of the UAE’s efforts to mitigate the humanitarian crisis for the Palestinian people affected by conflict. The aid aligns with the UAE’s policy to provide urgent relief and assistance to those in need in times of crisis, and as an embodiment of the established humanitarian values of the leadership and people of the UAE. The UAE is at the forefront of countries that have placed the needs of the brotherly Palestinian people among the priorities of its foreign aid, out of its belief in the importance of providing support and relief to alleviate suffering, especially for children and women.

The campaign is being supervised by the Emirates Red Crescent in cooperation with the World Food Programme, and in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Community Development.

The campaign attracted a large number of volunteers from the people of the UAE, who participated in preparing the relief packages. More than 4,500 volunteers took part in preparing 13,000 relief packages, which included food baskets and packages for children, mothers and women, with the assistance of more than 20 relief and humanitarian institutions.

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GEMS Wellington Academy Hosts Thrilling Power Hour Workout Session

Numerous health benefits are associated with exercising in the morning, and this is especially true for students as we’ve found that it really leaves a positive impact on them during the school day…reports Asian Lite News

In an extraordinary showcase of unity and empowerment, GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail recently hosted a thrilling Power Hour workout session that brought together a diverse group of female students, parents, and teachers. This event, organised by Dubai Women’s Run, drew over 120 enthusiastic participants from three renowned Wellington schools: GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, and GEMS Wellington International School.

The Power Hour session, a high-energy cardio and Zumba fusion, was designed to cater to participants of all fitness levels. Students in attendance were aged 11-16, and included some of the school’s promising athletes. A heart-pumping, calorie-burning experience left everyone sweating, smiling, and feeling invigorated.

Joanne Hearty, the Wellington Director of Sports at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, said: “It was wonderful to see over 120 students, teachers, and parents come together in a completely inclusive environment. Numerous health benefits are associated with exercising in the morning, and this is especially true for students as we’ve found that it really leaves a positive impact on them during the school day.”

She continued: “For GEMS, bringing our parent community to participate in events alongside students is one of the ways we strengthen family bonds, which plays a huge role in a child’s life. For the girls, having their mums work out with them is so important – they can see that their mums, sisters, and friends are so invested in exercise and it’s something they can bond over and it’s really important for that mother-daughter time.”

Maren Carlier, a 13-year-old, Year 9 student at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, shared her experience, saying: “It was great working out with mum; she has to work a lot, and I have schoolwork so doing this together was fun. She was taking pictures, and we were high fiving each other, so it was really encouraging. Thanks to this event, we can walk into class and say, ‘I did something great today!'”

Noha Abbas, a parent of two students at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, commented, “It was a lovely event, and I think every school should have such an energising session monthly. It is such good motivation for the kids to come and work out with their parents. Just five minutes of working out can help the kids to stay active and fresh in the morning, which would also improve concentration in class.”

The Power Hour session, held on September 22, 2023 will also help women get ready for the Dubai Women’s Run on 5 November. 

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Wizz Air Abu Dhabi Launches Inaugural Flight from Abu Dhabi to Erbil

Affordable Travel Options Open Up for Tourists and Residents Across the UAE and Iraq…reports Asian Lite News

Abu Dhabi, UAE – Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the prominent ultra-low-fare national airline in the UAE and the second largest carrier in Abu Dhabi by seat capacity, is celebrating a momentous occasion as it inaugurates its first flight from Abu Dhabi to Erbil. This newly established route signifies a significant stride in offering affordable, hassle-free, point-to-point travel solutions for tourists and residents throughout the UAE, Iraq, and the wider region. Tickets are now available for purchase on the airline’s official website,, and the user-friendly mobile app, with fares starting as low as AED 269*.

The flights from Abu Dhabi to Erbil will operate on a convenient schedule, providing travel options on Mondays and Fridays. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the national airline, currently connects travelers to more than 40 captivating destinations from Abu Dhabi.

Erbil, a bustling modern metropolis, is adorned with a rich historical tapestry, warm hospitality, and breathtaking landscapes. Enthusiastic travelers can immerse themselves in a vibrant culture and explore incredible historical sites, including the renowned ancient Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the must-visit historical and natural attractions in Erbil encompass the Sami Abdul Rahman Park, Jalil Khayat Mosque, and the Kurdish textile museum. Memorable and enriching travel experiences await in this captivating destination.

In the UAE’s year-round sunshine, Abu Dhabi stands as a globally acclaimed, family-friendly destination offering a wealth of art, culture, tradition, and hospitality experiences. Blessed with stunning beach resorts and a plethora of cultural offerings and exciting attractions, Abu Dhabi extends a warm welcome to visitors. The city boasts an enriching historical narrative and a bustling culture to explore, along with a wide range of relaxation and adventure options suitable for travelers of all ages.

Johan Eidhagen, the Managing Director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, expressed his excitement, stating, “We are thrilled to mark the inauguration of our inaugural flight to Erbil, a city distinguished by its spectacular historical beauty. This launch underscores our commitment to expanding our ever-growing network across the region. With the recent addition of our 11th aircraft to our fleet, we are further reinforcing our ambitious expansion plans, ready to unlock more low-fare and exciting travel opportunities to must-see destinations. We eagerly anticipate sharing our passion for travel and welcoming you aboard our aircraft in the near future.”

Passengers booking with Wizz Air Abu Dhabi can travel with confidence, thanks to the airline’s WIZZ Flex offering. With WIZZ Flex, passengers have the flexibility to cancel their flights up to three hours before departure without incurring any fees, and they receive an immediate reimbursement of 100% of the fare in airline credit.

Strategically situated in the UAE, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi offers cost-effective and efficient travel options to a wide array of destinations, including Alexandria (Egypt), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Amman (Jordan), Ankara (Turkey), Aqaba (Jordan), Athens (Greece), Baku (Azerbaijan), Belgrade (Serbia), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Cairo (Egypt), and Dammam (Saudi Arabia). The airline also offers routes to Erbil (Iraq), Kuwait City (Kuwait), Kutaisi (Georgia), Larnaca (Cyprus), Manama (Bahrain), Male (Maldives), Madinah (Saudi Arabia), Muscat (Oman), Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan), Salalah (Oman), Santorini (Greece), Samarkand (Uzbekistan), Sarajevo (Bosnia), Sohag (Egypt), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Tel-Aviv (Israel), Tirana (Albania), and Yerevan (Armenia), among others.

This milestone underscores Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s unwavering commitment to enhancing connectivity and providing travelers with cost-effective and seamless journeys across the region and beyond.

(Note: All prices mentioned are subject to availability and may vary.)

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