Velarray H800 lidar sensors will power EV FF 91 autonomous driving system

Velodyne Lidar, Inc. announced that it has been selected by Faraday Future (FF) as the exclusive provider of lidar technology for the all-electric vehicle (electric vehicle, EV) of Faraday's flagship FF 91. Velodyne's solid state Velarray H800 lidar sensors will power the FF 91's autonomous driving system that aims to deliver a comprehensive suite of highway, urban and parking autonomy features. The sensor's compact, embeddable form factor allows for the sensor to be seamlessly situated behind the vehicle's windshield for streamlined, flawless integration. 

Velarray H800 lidar sensors will power EV FF 91 autonomous driving system

The super smart and technologically advanced luxury vehicle FF 91 promises an unmatched electric mobility experience that combines maximum technological sophistication, optimal user experience and a holistic ecosystem. The ultimate-intelligent, tech-luxury Faraday Future FF 91 will deliver a unique electric mobility experience which combines extreme technology, ultimate user-experience and a holistic ecosystem.  

Extraordinary innovation in sports fueling - UCAN Edge

Athletes will alter the way they fuel for sport by using real-time data to understand the impact of nutrition on performance. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are being used by elite athletes and fitness enthusiasts to better understand the impact of blood sugar on performance. A recent study on blood sugar shows diet and exercise must be considered together to improve performance and health, and that chronic high blood sugar negates the impact of exercise.

Extraordinary innovation in sports fueling - UCAN Edge

CGMs are exposing the weaknesses of fast-acting sugary sports nutrition products, which can send an athlete's blood sugar soaring above, then crashing below, the ideal range. An athlete training for a marathon or triathlon typically consumes between 100-200g of sugar during a multi-hour training session when following product usage recommendations from popular sports nutrition companies. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 24g of added sugar per day for adult women and 36g of added sugar per day for adult men.

"We've always thought of energy as needing sugar rapidly, but that can actually disrupt your metabolism and your ability to burn fat," says Dr. Cathy Yeckel, human metabolism researcher at Yale University. "What you actually want is little bits of energy over time to keep blood sugar stable." 

"The bottom line is that traditional sports fuels are not the most effective way to enhance performance and promote health," says Dr. Jeff Volek, leading nutrition researcher and Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Ohio State University. "A more optimal carbohydrate would provide a slower release and use of carbohydrate as fuel while simultaneously permitting increased breakdown and utilization of fat."

There are many advantages in keeping blood sugar stable and avoiding excess glucose in the body including steady energy throughout the day, sustained exercise endurance, sharp focus and cognition, improved fat-burning ability and better body composition, better hunger control & reduced cravings and lowered risk for metabolic diseases.

The UCAN Company stands apart from traditional sports nutrition products with an extraordinary innovation in sports fueling with UCAN Edge, the first and only energy source designed to maintain stable blood sugar levels. SuperStarch®, the unique underlying ingredient in UCAN's products, was originally created to provide energy for a child with a rare condition that prohibits the body from producing its own blood sugar, resulting in frequent and dangerous episodes of hypoglycemia. Out of this need came a one-of-a-kind, slow-releasing complex carbohydrate that delivers steady, long-lasting energy without causing spikes and crashes in blood sugar.

Elite and recreational athletes alike have been taking their performances to the next level by fueling with UCAN, including the 2nd fastest women marathoner in U.S. history Sara Hall, Olympic triathlete Katie Zaferes, CrossFit star Scott Panchik, 4x Olympian Meb Keflezighi, top American pro triathlete Tim O'Donnell, Olympic water polo player Maggie Steffens, and hundreds of pro and college teams.

Emirates Global Aluminum announces Al Taweelah smelter expansion on target

Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA) announced the start-up of the first section of an expansion to the company’s Al Taweelah smelter. The 26 new reduction cells at potline 1 at Al Taweelah will now ramp-up to produce some 30,000 tonnes of aluminum per year, the company said in a statement. In total, EGA is building 66 new reduction cells to extend all three potlines at Al Taweelah. The project will increase production capacity at Al Taweelah by some 78,000 tonnes of hot metal per year. The start-up of the extension to potline 2 and then potline 3 will take place later this year. Overall project completion stands at 70 percent, on schedule despite the challenges of COVID-19.

Emirates Global Aluminum announces Al Taweelah smelter expansion on target

Abdulnasser bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said, "This project to expand our production at Al Taweelah is part of our ongoing de-bottlenecking of production and investment in high return growth opportunities. The world requires aluminum to build back better after COVID-19, and this expansion will enable us to supply even more of the metal we all need. Some 950 people are currently working on the Al Taweelah smelter expansion project, with over 2.1 million hours of work completed so far with a world-class safety performance. There have been zero injuries leading to time off work.

Like all EGA’s aluminum production lines, the extensions use EGA’s proprietary aluminum smelting technology developed in the UAE. The new reduction cells in potline 1 and 2 are EGA’s DX technology, whilst the new reduction cells in potline 3 are EGA’s DX+ Ultra technology. Both technologies are amongst the most energy efficient in the world. EGA has developed its own technology in the UAE for more than 25 years. In 2016 EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its core process technology internationally, exporting its DX+ Ultra technology to Aluminum Bahrain.

EGA has early stage agreements with companies in both Indonesia and Colombia that could lead to exports of EGA technology to build aluminum smelters. The start-up of the 26 new reduction cells takes EGA’s total number of reduction cells in both Jebel Ali to Al Taweelah to 2,803. EGA makes one-in-every 25 tonnes of aluminum produced worldwide, and is the largest premium aluminum producer.

Japan looks to attract more Middle East travelers with Dubai office opening

MENA Newswire: Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is establishing an office in Dubai this year, as part of its strategic efforts to achieve the Japanese government’s goal of welcoming 60 million international visitors by 2030. It is JNTO’s first office to open in the Middle East, and will be a focal point for the organization’s promotional efforts in showcasing Japan as a preferred travel destination for residents in the region.

Japan looks to attract more Middle East travelers with Dubai office opening

As part of its promotional efforts for 2021, JNTO will exhibit at the Middle East’s largest tourism exhibition; Arabian Travel Market Hybrid (ATM 2021). ATM will take place in Dubai from May 16-19, and then on a virtual platform from May 24-26. A key objective for JNTO at these events will be the generation of awareness amongst the Middle East region’s leading travel and media professionals. It will highlight Japan’s unique and diverse tourist attractions, that have been collectively assembled under the promotional banner of "Japan. Endless Discovery."

JNTO President Satoshi Seino said: "JNTO is proud to open an office in Dubai this year, which will be the first such office to open in the whole Middle East by JNTO. Japan is a country with a long history, abundant nature and a unique culture. We are internationally renowned for our delicious cuisine, beaches, skiing, pop culture, shopping, and historic wooden architecture such as shrines and temples. A trip to Japan will surely be an unforgettable and special experience. To all in the Middle East, we look forward to welcoming you in Japan."

Tomoko Kikuchi, Executive Director of JNTO Dubai Provisional Office also said: "We are delighted to be exhibiting at the Arabian Travel Market Hybrid, the largest travel trade fair in the Middle East. We are also very honored to be able to open the JNTO Dubai Office in the memorable year of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and EXPO 2020 in Dubai.

Italian finance minister visits Abu Dhabi to further strengthen trade ties

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received on Sunday Luigi Di Maio, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. During the meeting, held at the ministry's headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Abdullah and Di Maio discussed ties of friendship and cooperation between the UAE and Italy and ways to enhance them in all fields.

Italian finance minister visits Abu Dhabi to further strengthen trade ties

They reviewed Italy's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, while touching on regional and international issues of common interest. The two sides also discussed the latest COVID-19 developments and cooperation between the two countries to contain its repercussions.

UAE accounts for up to eight percent of Italy's trade surplus with the GCC countries and roughly seven percent of its overall surplus. In 2019 Italian exports to the UAE totaled 4.6 billion Euros, making it the country’s 21st most important market. In terms of the trade balance – the difference between the nation’s exports and imports - it is 3.7 billion Euros in favor of Italy, which is equal to about 80 percent of Italy’s trade surplus with the GCC countries and about seven percent of the country’s overall global surplus.

Helbiz to launch 400 e-bikes in Italy

Helbiz, a global leader in micro-mobility that is the business combination target of GreenVision Acquisition Corp., announced that it will launch its fleet of electric bikes in Cesena, Italy. Starting with 60 e-bikes, the fleet will gradually increase to 400 in the coming weeks, allowing citizens to move in a convenient, sustainable and safe way.

Micro-mobility leader Helbiz to launch E-bikes in Italy

"We are happy to see the continued interest from citizens towards our micro-mobility service across Cesena," said Luca Santambrogio, Country Manager of Helbiz. "Cesena, like other Italian cities in the last year, has undertaken an important change that will lead it to revolutionize its transportation options thanks to our efficient and sustainable means. The bikes complete our offering, making our service a full intermodal transportation solution."

These vehicles join the existing fleet of 200 e-scooters that have been on the ground since July 2020. Since the start of the scooter service, 90K rides have already been made, and a total of over 160K kilometers have been traveled, which corresponds to a CO2 savings of more than 282Kkg.

The operational area of bikes and scooters is 17 km2 and extends from the historic center to the districts of Sant'Egidio, Villa Chiaviche and Ponte Abbadesse. The rate for renting bikes is €0.25 for the initial unlock + €0.07 per minute for the ride. Users can also subscribe to Helbiz UNLIMITED at a cost of €29.99 per month, which offers an unlimited number of daily trips lasting 30 minutes (at least 20 minutes apart) and access to the service through Telepass Pay with 30 minutes of free trips.

Users can easily access e-bikes and e-scooters through the Helbiz mobile app on Android and iOS, by locating the nearest vehicle on a geo-referenced map and unlocking it by scanning a QR code located on the handlebars. Starting today, users within the Romagna municipality can easily choose the means of transport they prefer according to their travel needs.

Lebanese fruit and vegetable trade receives a jolt with Saudi Arabia ban

Saudi Arabia announced that it has officially banned all fruits and vegetables from Lebanon from entering the country after the customs authorities at Jeddah Port foiled an attempt to smuggle Captagon pills hidden in pomegranates that came from Lebanon. Lebanese fruit and vegetable imports will be banned from entering Saudi Arabia or transiting via the Kingdom as of 9 a.m. on Sunday April 25, 2021 in a bid to prevent drug trafficking.

Lebanese fruit and vegetable trade receives a jolt with Saudi Arabia ban

Customs officials at Jeddah Port seized more than 5.3 million Captagon pills that were hidden in a pomegranate consignment, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. “A consignment was seized upon its arrival from Lebanon and they managed to find 5,383,400 Captagon pills skillfully hidden inside pomegranates,” said Mohammed bin Ali Al-Nuaim, deputy for security affairs at the Saudi Customs Authority.

The entire consignment and the person who was supposed to receive it were caught in cooperation with the General Directorate of Narcotics Control. Al-Nuaim said that customs employees would continue their efforts to protect the country from drug smuggling.

The ban will stay in place until Lebanese authorities provide guarantees that they will take the necessary measures to stop such operations. Narcotic control teams, in cooperation with customs, also foiled an attempt to smuggle over 2,466,563 amphetamine pills. These came from Lebanon and were also hidden in pomegranates.

“Lebanese harvests are being used to smuggle drugs into the Kingdom’s territory, either through shipments intended for Saudi markets or those that transit through the Kingdom on their way to neighboring countries,” SPA reported, adding that the most common products used to smuggle drugs were fruits and vegetables.

Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif warned that the Kingdom’s security was “a red line.” According to Al-Arabiya English, Lebanese officials quickly pledged to do more to combat drug smuggling following the ban. The repercussions of this ban could be very serious for Lebanon because the issue was very serious, has negatively affected the image of Lebanon in the rest of the Gulf countries that could take similar or stringent measures.

Lebanon’s fruit and vegetable trade with Saudi Arabia was pegged at around $24 million per year. They are the smallest country in continental Asia and their financial woes and image are taking a battering globally. Lebanese economic growth has slowed consistently since 2011 following the Syrian conflict and internal political tensions. They have experienced a sharp decline in 2019 and 2020. Financial difficulties were compounded with a political catastrophe and led to dangerous social remonstrations. As the Lebanese economy was already severely destabilized, the civil unrest, together with the August explosion in Beirut's port and the Covid-19 outbreak, has created a profound and long-term impact on the country's socio-economic resilience.

According to the IMF's updated October 2020 forecast, GDP growth is projected at -25% in 2020. The traditional engines of growth in Lebanon (real estate, construction and tourism) have stalled and the banking sector, which until now has been praised for its resilience, has collapsed. In fact, on 9 March Lebanon failed to repay a $1.2 billion Eurobond, the first sovereign default in the country's history.

The country’s currency has collapsed to amongst the weakest in the world and the value is so low that nobody knows what Lebanon’s currency is worth anymore. Public debt was estimated at 171.7% in 2020, according to IMF figures updated in October 2020. Lebanon is the third most indebted country in the world, after Japan and Greece. The already high budget deficit has worsened to -12.8% of GDP in 2020. High public debt and a persistent overall deficit limited government action during economic downturns and following the Covid-19 crisis. The IMF estimates inflation at a record high of 85.5% in 2020.

Digitally-native truffle brand expands portfolio with third new product

TRUFF, the truffle brand known for reimagining and elevating pantry staples, is bringing its unifying ingredient front and center with the launch of TRUFF Black Truffle Oil. TRUFF originally gained notoriety as the first truffle infused hot sauce brand, challenging the culinary status quo with its ultra-unique mixture of real black truffle and spice. In the past year alone, the young brand has quickly expanded its product portfolio by developing more hot sauce flavor profiles, pasta sauces, and mayonnaise which all feature truffle as the star ingredient.

Digitally-native truffle brand expands portfolio with third new product

TRUFF Black Truffle Oil is a delicate blend of olive oil and real black winter truffle. The recipe includes a carefully selected neutral-flavored olive oil as a base to let the pure truffle goodness shine through. With just a couple of drops, the oil adds instant depth and dimension to any dish. TRUFF immediately propelled into social media and became viral with the release of its truffle hot sauce in 2017. 

With its distinctive flavor profile and pristine bottle, TRUFF Hot Sauce quickly became the best-selling hot sauce on Amazon and at Whole Foods Market. TRUFF's product portfolio had over 300% growth while amassing wait lists of over 10,000 customers for its new product expansions into pasta sauce and mayonnaise. TRUFF can now be found in more than 8,000 stores around the world. TRUFF Truffle Oil will be available nationally online  and will be distributed on AmazonWhole Foods Market, Shaw's, Giant, Sprouts and World Market throughout the next coming months.

Emirates to resume four-weekly flights to Mexico City from July

Emirates has announced it will resume four weekly services to Mexico City (MEX) via Barcelona (BCN) from 2nd July 2021, re-opening connectivity and boosting trade and tourism while providing customers worldwide with more connectivity, convenience and choice. The BCN-MEX route will be operated with a two-class Emirates Boeing 777-200LR which offers 38 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 264 seats in Economy Class. 

Emirates to resume four-weekly flights to Mexico City from July

Emirates flight EK255 will depart Dubai at 03:25hrs, arriving in Barcelona at 08:35hrs before departing again at 10:50hrs and arriving into Mexico City at 16:05 the same day. The return flight EK256 will depart Mexico City at 19:40 hrs, arriving in Barcelona at 13:45hrs the next day. EK256 will depart once again from Barcelona the same day at 15:30hrs bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 00:15 hrs the next day (all times are local).

The resumed service between Dubai-Barcelona-Mexico will serve Emirates’ customers in Mexico and offer more choice to travelers heading from Europe, India, South East Asia and the Middle East via Dubai or Barcelona. The service will also provide additional connectivity to global markets for Mexican exports such as avocados, berries, mangoes, automotive parts and medical supplies. Emirates SkyCargo has been flying freighters to/from Mexico City since 2014 already, marking seven years of operations to the country this month. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo continued its cargo connectivity to Mexico City on freighter and passenger freighter flights, bringing in much needed PPE and COVID-19 vaccines into the country while continuing to support Mexican exports.

Emirates has safely and gradually restarted operations across its network. Since it safely resumed tourism activity in July, Dubai remains one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations, especially during the winter season. The city is open for international business and leisure visitors. From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai offers a variety of world-class experiences. It was one of the world's first cities to obtain Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) - which endorses Dubai's comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety.

Dubai Business Women Council launches - She Leads 2.0 e-learning program

After the success of She Leads, Creative Zone and the Dubai Business Women Council have launched the second phase of their integrated accelerator program, She Leads 2.0. In the first phase of the accelerator, 100 women participated in the 12-week online learning program that helped them achieve possible solutions to the many barriers women face when starting and growing businesses. The online workshops trained women on getting financing for start-ups, knowing one's legal rights, acquiring customers, and providing relatable role models and mentors.

Dubai Business Women Council launches - She Leads 2.0 e-learning program

She Leads 2.0 will now take the next step by providing ten women-led start-ups with a whole week incubator program packed with coaching and training sessions that will prepare them for a successful launch. Out of the ten best companies, the two best businesses will be accelerated by receiving a free trade license by Creative Zone and a complete package of solutions such as Tax and Accounting support, Banking, Media and Marketing, access to funding, introductions to partners, Microsoft and Zoho products, mentorship for a year by industry leaders and successful entrepreneurs, amongst many other incentives.

She Leads 2.0 is open to women entrepreneurs at different stages of their business, pre-launch, early-stage or already established. What is required from the candidates is to have a strong product or service, a supporting business plan and a vision to grow. Creative Zone has previously gotten behind many promising start-ups, and DBWC is a part of Dubai Chambers of Commerce, offering women the platform and mentorship to succeed in their ventures.

First precious metals refinery enabled by blockchain to be set up in Dubai

DMCC, the world’s flagship Free Zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise, has announced the signing of a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with REIT Development to establish the largest precious metals refinery and storage facility across the GCC and the first to be completely enabled by blockchain in the GCC. As part of the agreement, REIT Development acquired industrial land strategically located in DMCC’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) vibrant business district.

First precious metals refinery enabled by blockchain to be set up in Dubai

DMCC has premium plots for sale across JLT, which are attracting significant interest from a diverse range of investors and developers, all in search of a dynamic destination to do business. The facility will refine and store precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium, which will be tokenized on the website.

Gold Exchange DMCC, a secured trading platform, will provide access to financial assets in the form of stablecoins namely GoldCoin, SilverCoin, PlatinumCoin, PalladiumCoin and RhodiumCoin. Each Ethereum-based token will represent the current value of one gram of each metal and can be traded on the exchange. The tokens will be physically backed by the precious metals at DMCC’s secure storage facility, meaning they can be traded with confidence.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DMCC, said, "The gold and precious metals industry is at a tipping point, but without a doubt there are boundless opportunities that lie beneath the uncertainty of a post pandemic world. Signing this agreement with REIT Development underscores the crucial role that DMCC plays in tapping the UAE and the emirate on the world map as a leader in the precious metals industry through the deployment of cutting-edge technology such as blockchain." He added that the gold and precious metals industry is expected to witness significant growth in the coming period and "through similar agreements, we can advance the industry as a whole."

The first-of-its-kind facility by REIT Development – an organization specialized in precious metals and blockchain technologies – will be completed in the last quarter of 2022. Mike De Vries, Chief Operation Officer of REIT Development, said, "Blockchain technology can enable more transparent and accurate tracking of precious metals, ensuring there is no ‘dirty gold’ in circulation and illicit trades. Our 100,000 sq ft precious metals refinery and storage will create a decentralized immutable record of all transactions, making it possible to track all precious metals that are refined in our refinery and eventually sold internationally to over 150 countries. Customers who buy our products or use our storage can verify all the information in the blockchain. We believe that by 2025 every precious metals refinery and storage facility will be in the blockchain, let us lead the way."

In February 2021, Bin Sulayem joined the advisory board of the Swiss Government-supported blockchain investment company CV VC following an earlier agreement between DMCC and CV VC and CV Labs. This partnership will bring a leading blockchain and cryptographic technologies ecosystem to Dubai. 

UAE launches first secure cloud technologies program to enhance data privacy

Technology Innovation Institute (TII), the applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), announced that its Cryptography Research Centre (CRC) has launched the UAE’s first secure cloud technologies program which will boost advanced technologies that enhance data privacy and cloud encryption schemes. TII said that its secure cloud technologies program aims to advance Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), including fully homomorphic encryption (FHE), a form of encryption that permits users to perform computations on encrypted data without first decrypting it, and secure multi-party computation (MPC), creating methods for parties to jointly compute a function over their inputs while keeping those inputs private.

UAE launches first secure cloud technologies program to enhance data privacy

This line of research will be coupled with the field of verifiable computation for Machine Learning, to cater for a proof of correctness for an Inference-as-a-Service use case when data privacy is not required. The research team in-charge is also joining efforts with the hardware cryptography team to develop FHE hardware accelerators to offload certain computing tasks onto specialized hardware components within the system, enabling greater efficiency.

Commenting on the announcement, Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary-General of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), said, "Cloud computing has undergone significant growth in the last decade which has raised security and privacy challenges. Traditional approaches still require data to be decrypted for processing and a cloud-centralized key management system, thus exposing both the data and the secret key to cloud providers. This underscores the importance of launching this program by our researchers at TII’s Cryptography Research Centre."

Cryptography Research Centre, one of seven initial dedicated research centers at Technology Innovation Institute, employs and collaborates with scientists in multiple cryptography fields such as post-quantum cryptography, hardware-based cryptography, lightweight cryptography, cryptanalysis, cryptographic protocols, and cloud encryption schemes, amongst others. The Centre is also among the few internationally that brings together theoretical and applied cryptographers in a research-oriented setting. The cryptographers collaborate on breakthrough research projects that lead to innovative outcomes.

Montres Etoile launch Islamic-Gregorian dual dial tri-retrograde watch

Swiss watchmaker Montres Etoile announced the launch of its first complication, an automatic, tri-retrograde, Islamic Lunar and Gregorian Dual - calendar timepiece with moon face. This complicated wristwatch based on an automatic Swiss made movement is completed by a complication module made by Agenhor in Geneva and is housed in a steel watchcase.  The watch is available through select retail partners across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman & Kuwait in time for the Eid gifting season as well as at boutiques and POS in Switzerland, Korea, China and Ukraine. Watch enthusiasts and collectors from other markets can contact the brand through their website.

The Islamic calendar began in 622 AD and is still used in most Islamic countries. To integrate the Islamic calendar together with the conventional Gregorian calendar on a mechanical wristwatch is a unique feature worldwide. The Etoile dual-calendar wristwatch is housed in an octangular shaped watchcase measuring 42mm in diameters indicating hours and minutes with two large hands in the center of the dial.

The date of the Gregorian calendar is indicated by a retrograde - hand starting from the left at 10 O'clock and ending at the right at 2 O'clock with the 31st day of the month. The date of the 30 days of the Islamic calendar are indicated at 6 O'clock with Arabic numerals. At 4 0'clock the retrograde hand starts indicating the first month of the Hijri calendar and ends at the left side of the dial at 8 O'clock with the last month.

Creatively inspired design and untiring technique have been the driving forces behind the legendary Stefan Hafner’s search for innovation in Etoile watches and jewelery since 1967. A collection in which there is play between volume and flexibility in a three dimensional game. Etoile launched its first watch and jewelery line in 1986.  It is the famous Swiss Italian creator, Stefan Hafner who designed and manufactured the watches and jewelery of this first collection.

At that time, most watches were very traditional in concept. Etoile longed to free its design from conventional restraints and imposed its very own style by creating sumptuously worked wrist watches, blending the erudite geometry of Islamic aesthetics with flowing Art Déco designs. Thanks to its audacious and daring designs, Etoile has been introduced successfully in Europe, the Middle and Far-East. That same passion and philosophy inspires the brand today to create new models. By blending aesthetics of sober and pure lines with top quality Swiss movements, Etoile watches, created now created by Fulvio Borel, allow the brand Etoile to reaffirm its unique style.

Mohamed Ramadan first Arab megastar to be a playable character in global game

Garena has unveiled the Free Fire in-game character of Arabic megastar Mohamed Ramadan on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa with players across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region able to play the character from Friday 16th April. A famous singer and actor in MENA, Egyptian star Mohamed Ramadan has been named Maro in Free Fire, becoming the game’s first playable Arab character.  To mark the occasion of the launch of the latest character and brand ambassador, Garena lit up the Burj Khalifa twice with an eye-catching video announcement which was watched by people around Dubai’s iconic landmark including Mohamed Ramadan.

Mohamed Ramadan first Arab megastar to be a playable character in global game

Garena hosted a special reception and Iftar at the Address Hotel in Downtown Dubai where distinguished guests viewed the projections on Burj Khalifa and interacted with Mohamed Ramadan during the evening. The collaboration with Mohamed Ramadan is part of Garena’s commitment to bring exciting content to Garena Free Fire fans and players in the MENA region by offering localized experiences. As one of the most significant tie-ups within the gaming, music and movie industries in the region, the partnership seeks to engage and inspire players across MENA.
Mohamed Ramadan said: “It is a privilege to be an official part of the Free Fire community with the launch of my very own character - Maro. Garena has done a tremendous job of creating such a wonderful iconic gaming character which I am really proud of and it was amazing to see it live for the first time on Burj Khalifa. I cannot wait to try it out for myself in Free Fire and win some exciting battles on the battlefield and I encourage all my fans to do the same as well.”

Egypt tourism to be present in full force at ATM to showcase resilience

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has announced that the final preparation of their 2021 edition annual showcase are underway, with the event set to take place in-person at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) on 16th May and conclude on 19th May, 2021. In addition to Reed Exhibitions’ Global COVID-19 ‘Safety Shows’ Health & Safety strategy, ATM is working closely with public sector authorities in Dubai to provide a safe, contact-free and seamless experience for all. In line with Dubai Government's health and safety guidelines, to ensure safety through a range of measures including an enhanced cleaning regime, improved air circulation and sanitizer stations.

Egypt tourism to be present in full force at ATM to showcase resilience

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME at ATM, said, "Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world to visit with a wide range of precautionary measures in place to ensure the safety of tourists at every stage and touchpoint of their travel journey, from arrival to departure. More than 9 million doses have already been administered in the UAE, which is also a major achievement. Indeed, Dubai’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of health and safety and its effective citywide management of the pandemic received a strong endorsement from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which gave the city a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp," she added.

Themed A new dawn for travel and tourism, this year’s show will focus on the latest COVID-19 news from around the world – vaccine rollouts, social and travel restrictions, as well as the current state and future of the industry. It will also look at the emerging trends and how innovation can drive the industry forward. The health of the travel and tourism industry is key to the region. Prior to the pandemic, the World Travel and Tourism Council predicted the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the Middle East’s GDP to reach USD $133.6 billion by 2028.

In-person on the show floor, main stand holders and sharers will represent the 62 participating countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Italy, Greece, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Maldives, Thailand, Mexico, the Philippines, USA and others. Features this year will include Travel Forward at ATM, featuring keynote speakers and world-class technology experts, who will offer industry-leading insights about the latest technologies and trends that will undoubtedly shape the industry's future.

The ATM 2021 conference program includes the Global Stage, which will comprise the Hotel Industry Summit and Buyer Forums dedicated to key source markets, such as Saudi Arabia, India and China. There is an International Tourism and Investment Conference, plus other focused events on Gulf-Israeli ties, an Aviation Panel and a special seminar aimed at encouraging women to take up careers in tourism and travel. Other co-located events will include the Digital Influencer Speed Networking event and Buyers’ Club. Also, for the first time, the agenda will include a virtual ATM running a week later. 

Italian gourmet chocolate that makes you swoon from La Lu

La Lu gourmet chocolates, delightfully delicious creations fashioned from the finest ingredients in Italy intended to satiate the most discerning of tastes, luxuriously smooth in finish and ultra-refined in texture, crafted into a fascinating array of products is now available in the Middle East in time for the holy month of Ramadan. The chocolates can be ordered online from the company’s website. A passion for all things chocolate is what drives the inspiration behind each of La Lu gourmet Foods’ products. Designed by the finest Italian master chocolatiers, to offer chocolate lovers and those with a yen for the finest confectioneries, true masterpieces that are set to blaze a trail with their distinctiveness and sets them apart in the Middle East market that is saturated with offerings from Swiss, Belgian and other international brands.

Italian gourmet chocolate that makes you swoon from La Lu

“What makes our products outstanding is our choice of ingredients selected from around the world and the skillful mastery of the craftsman in mixing ingredients to obtain a unique and perfect taste,” said Marialuisa Gavazzeni Trussardi founder of the brand. “From the texture of gianduja or dark chocolate, subtle but perceptible, to the crunchiness of Piedmont hazelnuts or Italian almonds in dragees is a supreme pleasure that appeals to those with a passion for good taste,” she added.

La Lu’s innovative range of products created from only the finest of ingredients from around the world are dedicated to satisfy the most discerning of palates. La Lu gourmet chocolates are now regarded as the finest in Italy and have created a great demand from across Europe and other parts of the world. The brand decided to launch an e-shop to cater in response to the strong demand from other markets and will now cater to the Middle East market that is known for its love and appreciation of the finest in luxury foods and chocolates.

The brand takes its name La Lu from the nickname given to its founder by her father who fondly referred to her as La Lu. Her father was a major influence in her life and her refined tastes have been influenced by her upbringing and exposure to the good things in life. Maria Luisa Gavazzeni is originally from Bergamo and has studied at the Liceo Scientifico University of Milan. Her career is divided between fashion and books, since she is also a university professor at Sapienza in Rome. She is part of the famous Italian family that created the Trussardi Maison. She was married to the late Nicola Trussardi, the legendary creative director of the famous Italian fashion house.

DCCI participates in Ethiopian Transport Investment Summit

A delegation from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently participated in the Ethiopian Transport Investment Summit, which recently took place in Addis Ababa. They explored prospects for expanding cooperation between the UAE and Ethiopia in the logistics and transport sectors. The Summit, organized by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Transport, aimed to promote the sector's untapped investment opportunities and create a networking platform for potential foreign and local investors.

DCCI participates in Ethiopian Transport Investment Summit

At the summit, Dagmawit Moges, Ethiopian Minister of Transport, expressed her government’s readiness to collaborate with the private sector to achieve the transport and logistics sector’s ten-year perspective plan and hence dedicated her effort to the preparation of the summit.

A panel session during the event, titled "Opportunities for Private Sector Engagement in the Ethiopian Transport Sector took place. During the discussion, the summit shed light on new opportunities in Ethiopia’s logistics and transport sectors, which offer tremendous potential for Dubai Chamber members, and companies specializing in IT companies, delivery and freight forwarding in particular.

The transport sector is vital and important to any country, and Ethiopia is witnessing many changes in terms of investment, trade and opening up opportunities for international companies and Ethiopia is expected to witness unprecedented economic transformation with the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement coming into play.

Since Dubai Chamber opened its first Africa office in Addis Ababa several years ago, Dubai’s non-oil trade with Africa has surged by nearly 42 percent over the 2014-2019 period, and the number of African companies registering with Dubai Chamber has grown to exceed 17,000 today.

Chechnya President honors Abu Dhabi crown prince with street named after him

Ramzan Kadyrov, President of Chechnya, inaugurated a major street in the Chechen capital, Grozny, named after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. During the inauguration, which was attended by Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Ambassador to Russia, President Kadyrov highlighted the distinguished ties between the UAE and Chechnya and the relations between their leaderships, stressing his appreciation for His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and lauding his personality and noble values.

Chechnya President honors Abu Dhabi crown prince with street named after him

Kadyrov then pointed out that the street was named after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed in recognition of his efforts to boost the ties between the two friendly countries, and as a token of gratitude for the development projects launched by the UAE to assist the Chechen people during the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Al Jaber thanked the Chechen leadership and lauded the gesture of President Kadyrov, stressing the appreciation of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed for the relations between the UAE, Chechnya and the Russian Federation. Grozny’s streets were decorated with Emirati, Russian and Chechen flags for the event.

New Swiss watch a technical tool for professional divers in the region

Oris’s professional diver’s watch, the AquisPro Date, is the latest watch to be equipped with Oris’s in-house Calibre 400 movement. Boasting elevated levels of anti-magnetism, superior accuracy compared to a chronometer, a five-day power reserve and a 10-year guarantee, Calibre 400 is the new standard in Swiss Made automatic mechanical movements. The AquisPro Date is a natural home for Oris’s high-performance Calibre 400. Designed to serve professional divers on saturation dives, it’s a highly technical tool watch chosen by divers who work on complex engineering projects in helium-enriched environments hundreds of meters below the water’s surface.

New Swiss watch a technical tool for professional divers in the region

Among its special features is Oris’s patented Rotation Safety System, known as RSS. This exclusive Oris device, commissioned by the professional diving community, enables the wearer to adjust and lock the uni-directional rotating bezel into place. This means that during a dive they can read off remaining dive time with absolute certainty. A chunky rubber grip makes it easy to operate, even when gloved, while a yellow and white minutes scale engraved into the scratch-resistant ceramic bezel insert delivers high levels of low-light legibility.

The new AquisPro Date Calibre 400’s spec list continues with a high-grade, lightweight titanium case plated in low-glare black DLC that makes its 49.50 mm case diameter extremely comfortable on the wrist. Titanium is also used for the rubber strap’s folding clasp, where you’ll find two more exclusive Oris innovations. The patented Oris Sliding Sledge Clasp can be adjusted to very fine tolerances without taking the watch off, so that when getting in or out of even the thickest wetsuit, you can loosen or tighten the strap hassle-free.

The rubber strap also features the Oris Safety Anchor, developed by Oris so that in the event the clasp is released unintentionally, two hooks grab the strap so the watch stays attached to the wearer’s wrist. Innovations such as these have made the AquisPro a long-standing favorite with professional divers. Oris’s independence creates the freedom to develop and engineer high-performance movements and devices such as those found on the AquisPro Date Calibre 400. The new watch becomes one of the highest spec Swiss Made mechanical diver's watches ever produced.

Oris Calibre 400 sets The New Standard in mechanical watchmaking. Conceived entirely in-house by the independent Swiss watch company’s skilled engineers, it has a five-day power reserve, elevated levels of anti-magnetism, and comes with a 10-year warranty and 10-year recommended service intervals. Here’s how it works. When a standard mechanical watch is laid down for a day or two, it will stop as the power reserve runs down. Calibre 400 has a five-day power reserve, so it’ll still be running if it’s not been worn between, say, Thursday and Tuesday. It delivers this longer period of use via twin barrels, both of which house an extended mainspring, each long enough to store two-and-a-half days of power.

One of Oris’s fundamental ambitions with Calibre 400 was to eliminate problems before they occur. Oris’s engineers identified that one of the most frequent issues with automatic mechanical movements concerns the ball-bearing system that allows the free-spinning oscillating weight (or rotor) to rotate. This is a critical element of an automatic watch – as the rotor spins, it generates power that’s stored in the mainspring, which is housed in the barrel. So we removed the ball bearing altogether and replaced it with a low-friction slide bearing system, in which a metal stud runs through a lubricated sleeve. This is much less complex, highly efficient, and involves far less wear and tear, making it less prone to breakdowns.

Oris is so confident in the performance of the advanced technologies integrated into Calibre 400 that we are offering a 10-year warranty on all Oris watches powered by the new movement once registered with MyOris. In addition, Oris is also proposing 10-year recommended service intervals on Calibre 400 watches. This means that barring accidental damage or water-resistance checks, a Calibre 400 watch won’t need servicing until 2030 at the earliest. This is The New Standard.

New UAE national carrier adds three routes to Europe and Middle East

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the newest national airline of the United Arab Emirates, announced three new routes connecting Abu Dhabi to Belgrade, Sohag and Luxor. The new destinations offer something for everyone – from beautiful landmarks and delicious cuisine to magnificent ancient ruins and rich history for those who have the appetite for dynamic experiences, exploring new places and culture.

New UAE national carrier adds three routes to Europe and Middle East

Kees Van Schaick, Managing Director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, said: "These new developments highlight our long-term commitment to providing low fares and high quality onboard experiences to our customers. The new connection between the capital of the United Arab Emirates and these three new cities within Europe and the Middle East will continue to stimulate air traffic demand and support the growth of Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector and economic agenda. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board our new, green and ultra-efficient fleet."

Emirates Steel and SAFEEN Group commence transshipment operations

Emirates Steel, the leading integrated steel producer in the Middle East, and SAFEEN Group, the marine service arm of Abu Dhabi Ports, both part of ADQ, have announced the commencement of transshipment operations, as part of a 10-year agreement previously signed between the two parties in 2019. As per the agreement, SAFEEN will work closely with Emirates Steel to provide short marine shipping services for three shipments of iron ore per month and will be responsible for the purchase, rental, delivery, operation and maintenance of cargo ships, trailers, and unloading equipment for the premier steel manufacturer, said a joint statement issued by Emirates Steel, SAFEEN Group and Abu Dhabi Ports on Sunday.

Emirates Steel and SAFEEN Group commence transshipment operations

Serving as the company’s latest venture into the transshipment business vertical, and as one of the largest active transshipment agreements (by volume) within the Arabian Gulf region, the contract will be delivered via a converted Post-Panamax bulk, the largest bulk commercial vessel ever registered under the UAE flag, along with three self-propelled and self-discharging barges, and a wide range of marine assets such as tugs and speed boats.
The four vessels will work closely together to discharge and transship cargo arriving from mother vessels, which will vary in size up to Newcastlemax class, and will then safely transport and discharge the raw materials from anchorage to Emirates Steel’s jetty in Musaffah.

Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, CEO of Emirates Steel, said, "This memorable moment demonstrates Emirates Steel drive for strategic alliances, especially within the context of our own commitment to supporting the cooperation between home-grown entities. We are confident that our collaboration with Abu Dhabi Ports will leverage the full capabilities of SAFEEN’s transshipment fleet. Through the launch of HAFEET, we have ensured the best logistical and shipping services to receive over 5 million tonnes of our raw materials (equivalent to 75-football pitches) in a yearly basis as efficiently and effectively as possible."

He added, "I am very excited about Emirates Steel future developments and expansions plans, which will contribute to supporting the economy of Abu Dhabi, and I hope today’s significant milestone is only the first step towards more cooperation and synergy between Emirates Steel and Abu Dhabi Ports."

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said, "Working in close collaboration with our valued partner Emirates Steel has enabled us to not only make certain that the start of our transshipment operation falls in line with their logistical requirements, but also ensures that SAFEEN’s first foray into this new vertical is a successful one and representative of the integrated and comprehensive capabilities offered by the wider Abu Dhabi Ports group. 

"By combining the long-standing expertise of our marine service arm, along with the increased capacity of our newly retrofitted and ultra-modern transshipment fleet that is being led by M/V HAFEET, we can deliver a robust offering that will enhance the maritime and logistics activities of our customers and enable their business to reach new horizons."

Dubai Police to mark start of Ramadan and Iftar with cannon shots

Every day during the holy month of Ramadan, a single shot is fired at the time of iftar and two shots are fired to mark the start of the holy month and the commencement of Eid. Dubai Police have been making the final arrangements and remain on standby to fire the cannons that will announce the sighting of the new crescent and the start of Ramadan, as is tradition since the early 1960s.

Dubai Police to mark start of Ramadan and Iftar with cannon shots

Major Abdullah Tarish Al Amimi, Commander of the Artillery Unit in the General Department of Protective Security and Emergency, said that cannons have been set up in six different locations across the emirates. Including Atlantis - the Palm, Al Salam Masjid in Al Barsha, Burj Khalifa, Al Mamzar Beach, Al Habbai Mosque in Al Khawaneej, and the praying ground in Al Mankhool. Al Amimi pointed out that the Dubai Police strives to keep the tradition alive as the shooting of cannons reminds people of the time they could end their fasts.

"Every year families gather to watch the Ramadan cannons. However, due to the ongoing pandemic and as per the announced precautionary measures against COVID-19, firing Ramadan cannons could be viewed only on TV as no one would be allowed to gather at the locations" he added.

For Muslims, the month of Ramadan is the Islamic calendar’s most important month. It is a time of prayer, reflection and devoutness, marking the lunar period in which the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received his first revelations. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, the other four are faith (shahadah), prayer (salah), charitable giving (zakat), and the pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj). For observers of the faith, this period is observed by increasing time spent in prayer and with family and loved ones. 

NCL to relaunch brand with docu-series titled Embark

As it prepares for its return to service beginning July 25, 2021, Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel announced the premiere of  EMBARK – The Series, a docu-series chronicling the brand's highly anticipated comeback. Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here. The first of five episodes will premiere on April 15, 2021. EMBARK – The Series is part of the Company's EMBARK with NCL editorial content platform which will deliver rich content.

Norwegian Cruise line to launch Docuseries

With its first episode, Great Cruise Comeback, the new docu-series chronicles the relaunch of the brand's 17-ship fleet. The episode focuses on the ongoing measures for a healthy and safe return to sailing, including unscripted conversations with executive leaders including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' President and CEO Frank Del Rio and President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Harry Sommer.

The first episode provides an exclusive look at the brand's preparations for its return to service, including technology designed to enhance the embarkation process, how the brand's shipboard crew and entertainers have been managing over the last year, and how this temporary pause has affected small businesses and valued partners, including Miami-based distillery Wynwood Brewing Company.

The nearly 30-minute episode will stream live at and on Facebook, with a live pre-show conversation and Q&A session featuring Sommer and NCL Executives and Team Members at 7:30 p.m. ET on April 15, 2021. EMBARK Spotlights: Following the popular Choir of Man: Live from London and NCL: Live from Broadway virtual performances, which aired in late 2020 and reached nearly 900,000 viewers, EMBARK Spotlights focus on the extraordinary offerings and experiences available across the NCL fleet.

AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Serum Institute of India deliver 38 million vaccines

The COVAX Facility has now delivered life-saving vaccines to over 100 economies since making its first international delivery to Ghana on February 24th. So far, more than 38 million doses of vaccines from manufacturers AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Serum Institute of India (SII) have now been delivered, including 61 economies eligible for vaccines through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment. COVAX aims to supply vaccines to all participating economies that have requested vaccines, in the first half of 2021, despite some delays in planned deliveries for March and April.

AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Serum Institute of India deliver 38 million vaccines

This milestone comes 42 days after the first COVAX doses were shipped and delivered internationally, to Ghana on February 24th. COVAX has now delivered more than 38 million doses across six continents, supplied by three manufacturers, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Serum Institute of India (SII). Of the over 100 economies reached, 61 are among the 92 lower-income economies receiving vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

Despite reduced supply availability in March and April – the result of vaccine manufacturers scaling and optimising their production processes in the early phase of the rollout, as well as increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines in India – COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating economies that have requested vaccines in the first half of the year.

COVAX may be on track to deliver to all participating economies in the first half of the year yet they still face a daunting challenge as they seek to end the acute stage of the pandemic. The world will only be safe when everybody is safe and hence efforts to rapidly accelerate the volume of doses depends on the continued support of governments and vaccine manufacturers as largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history leaves no room for complacency.

"In just a month and a half, the ambition of granting countries access to COVID vaccines is becoming a reality, thanks to the outstanding work of our partners in the COVAX Facility," said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. "However, this is no time to celebrate; it is time to accelerate. With variants emerging all over the world, we need to speed up global rollout."

Israel's Aviv Clinics forays in Dubai - top officials attend opening ceremony

Aviv Clinics, a state-of-the-art medical facility focused on optimizing brain and body performance, was opened in Dubai by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group. The medical facility is a significant example of the successful collaboration between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, made possible by the Abrahams Accord Agreement, signed last year.

Israel's Aviv Clinics forays in Dubai - top officials attend opening ceremony

The clinic, which marks a new era in healthcare and collaboration between the UAE and Israel, had senior officials from both countries. These include key UAE government officials attending the event such as Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World Group and Chairman the Dubai International Chamber of Commerce; Awadh Saghir Al Ketbi, Director General of Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO, DP World – UAE region; and Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and CEO of the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC); and the new Consul General for Israel, Ilan Stzulman Starosta.

Developed by world-renowned physician Professor Shai Efrati, with his research team from the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Shamir Medical Center in Israel and the Aviv team, the Aviv Medical Program is a transformative treatment scientifically proven to reverse the effects of physical and cognitive decline caused by the aging process. By combining Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) with the latest neuroscience, physiology research and the most advanced diagnostic imaging technology, there is no other program in the world using the unique protocol provided by Aviv Clinics.

Highlighting the UAE’s 2021 vision to become a global hub for cutting-edge innovation in various sectors including curative and preventive health, Bin Sulayem said: "Innovation is rooted in UAE UKTN and has enabled Dubai to become a key location for global trade across all sectors and attract some of the most innovative and smart solutions in the world. The opening today of a pioneering medical science facility that demonstrates the same approach is a testament to the daring and ambitious environment that the Dubai Vision has created.

$1 billion unified central technological facility opened in Egypt

The Spokesman for the Egyptian Presidency stated that the President inaugurated the Smart and Secure Documents Complex developed at a cost of US$ 1 billion. His Excellency inspected the complex’s buildings and the different production lines. In this complex, various government documents will be issued through a unified central system at the national level.

$1 billion unified central technological facility opened in Egypt

The system would ensure the issuance of state documents in accordance with the latest international security standards. Academic certificates, secured passports, all civil affairs documents, real estate registration documents, government model contracts, and smart cards are issued in this complex among other documents.

The Complex, the largest and most modern of its kind in the Middle East and Africa, is a gigantic technological edifice equipped with advanced technical capabilities. The Complex also represents a great added value that supports the nation’s strategy for digital transformation and automation, particularly when it comes to documents and data of all government agencies.

Flydubai commences twice weekly operations to Albanian capital Tirana

Flydubai’s first flight to Tirana touched down in the Albanian capital marking the start of service from Dubai. The aircraft departed Dubai International (DXB) and arrived in Tirana International Airport (TIA) recently. The flight was welcomed on arrival by a ceremonial water cannon salute and representatives from the airport and Albanian government officials. Flydubai will serve this route with twice weekly flights, on Thursdays and Sundays. With the introduction of the new service, flydubai is the first airline to provide direct airlinks from the United Arab Emirates to Albania.

Flydubai commences twice weekly operations to Albanian capital Tirana

Commenting on the start of flights, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, said: “we are pleased to be the first UAE-based airline to operate direct flights between Dubai and Tirana. We hope these direct airlinks support trade and tourism between the two countries in the future as travel restrictions begin to ease.  We look forward to seeing demand grow on this route and to increasing the frequency of our flights.”

During the ceremony, the Chief Operation Officer of Tirana International Airport Mr. Volker Wendefeuer stated: “we have worked intensively for this route and we are happy to connect two countries with great potential for growth in the economic and tourism sectors. I wish flydubai a great beginning here and a lot of success for all the parties that have been involved in completing this grand project.”

Emirates will codeshare on this route offering travelers more seamless connections through Dubai’s international aviation hub to 155 destinations between both the Emirates and flydubai networks including Australia, China, Indian Ocean, Japan and South Asia.

Flydubai’s passenger experience has been redesigned to enable travel in a safe environment that minimizes crew and passenger contact and offers passengers confidence to travel at every step of their journey. The airline has recently introduced an extended multi-risk travel insurance that includes COVID-19 cover to offer passengers greater peace of mind when traveling.  Passengers are required to make sure that they are up to date with the regulations from the IATA Travel Centre for their whole journey and follow the guidance issued by the authorities and the airline. 

Sheikh Mohammed signs off EDB Strategy of financial support worth AED 30 billion

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, approved the Emirates Development Bank (EDB) Strategy to provide a sizeable AED30 billion financial support to businesses and start-ups in a major step to drive the national economy. Launched to support Operation 300 billion, the EDB Strategy aims to leverage the Bank’s role as a key driver of the national economy to provide the largest support network for the industrial sector.

Sheikh Mohammed signs off EDB Strategy of financial support worth AED 30 billion

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, "Advancing the national economy is a top priority that requires a joint effort of all our economic entities in the coming phase. We must adopt a distinctive vision that meets global trends and sustains development to maximize the industrial sector’s revenue and boost the broader economy. The Emirates Development Bank Strategy presents a giant leap that will leverage the bank’s role as a key driver of the national economy. Providing effective financial solutions will support the role of SMEs as main players in shaping our national economy."

The EDB Strategy was launched 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 Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, among other delegates and officials.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid had launched Operation 300 billion earlier in March as a 10-year comprehensive strategy to more than double the industrial sector's contribution to the country's GDP, positioning the UAE as a global industrial hub by 2031. Supporting Operation 300 billion Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of EDB, presented the Bank’s strategy pillars and objectives. Under the strategy, the Bank allocated a portfolio of AED30 billion to support priority industrial sectors over a period of five years, which will contribute to financing more than 13,500 SMEs and creating 25,000 jobs.

Al Jaber noted that the launch of the strategy is based on the Bank’s role as a key driver of the national economic development that provides a large support network for the industrial sector in line with the Industrial Strategy 2021-2031 objectives.

He said, "Operation 300 billion is a comprehensive national program aimed at enhancing the contribution of the industrial sector to the UAE’s sustainable economic growth. Through close collaboration, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the Emirates Development Bank will extend support to large corporations, SMEs and entrepreneurs across various industries including healthcare, infrastructure, food security and technology."

Al Jaber noted that EDB will act as a critical financial engine for the national industrial strategy Operation 300 billion alongside its continued mandate to provide Emiratis with housing finance. "The new EDB strategy will help accelerate industrial development and the adoption of advanced technology through dedicated financing programs and will also provide dedicated investment funds that will support entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs."

In addition to providing flexible housing solutions, EDB will complement its offering to companies and entrepreneurs with training, counseling and guidance for UAE citizens and residents. "EDB aims to cultivate a spirit of innovation, with a focus on the industries our leadership have identified as critical to the nation’s long-term sustainable growth," he said.

The Bank will also launch an AED1 billion investment fund for start-ups and SMEs in 2022 and targeting industrial companies in priority sectors that need financing and investment. Driver of the National Economy The Strategy extends the Bank’s continuous role in advancing the national economy. Since its inception, the Bank has supported 550 companies, allocating AED1.8 billion business loans to SMEs. The Bank provided housing loans worth AED2.4 billion, besides its $750 million 5-year Senior Bond under a $5 billion program.

Free solution for app data transfer from phone to phone launched

IMobie Inc., a software developer with 10-year experience in data transfer, released AppTrans - the world's first free solution for app data transfer. This program is specially designed to transfer apps and app data, including WhatsApp chats, between iPhones or Android phones of all brands. Apart from that, AppTrans also makes it easy as one click to back up, restore, export, and install apps with app data.

Free solution for app data transfer from phone to phone launched

Apps are essential for everyone in everyday life. There's no software to specially help users move often-used apps and app data to new phones. AppTrans offers one effortless solution. AppTrans moves apps and app data directly between phones, whether from iPhone 8 to iPhone 12 or Motorola to Samsung. It also enables users to choose what to transfer: all apps or several ones wanted, apps and app data, or just the data. Besides, it can merge WhatsApp chats of two phones, even two accounts. So users always keep a complete chat history.

AppTrans also helps back up apps to prevent data loss. Users can decide what to back up - may it be a complete backup of all apps with data, or just several important ones, or even app data only, like WhatsApp chats. AppTrans supports both iTunes backups and backups created with AppTrans to ensure users a higher chance to retrieve lost data. Users can preview backups, and restore data as needed. All other content on the phone will be kept intact, like photos, contacts, messages, etc. No risk of data loss.
AppTrans can directly install IPA, APK, or XAPK files on the phone with a click, in case the apps are not available in the app store. Also, it could export apps from iOS/Android devices to computer. So, users can easily install them on other phones/tablets. Or, go back to the older version if they don't like the latest update.

National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in limelight with Golden Pharaoh Parade

Twenty-two pharaoh mummies walked the streets of Cairo on Saturday evening in a stunning royal procession from the Egyptian Museum on Tahrir Square to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Fustat. The event marked the official launch of NMEC. Against the backdrop of fireworks, the mummies – 18 kings and four queens – travelled in order of age on purpose-built gold-colored pharaonic chariots, equipped with an air ride suspension system to absorb vibrations, and bearing the name of their occupants in Arabic, English, and hieroglyphics. 

National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in limelight with Golden Pharaoh Parade

Seqenenre Tao II, who reigned over Upper Egypt around 1,600 BCE, led the parade, while Ramses IX, who ruled in the 12th century BCE, brought up the rear. In line with strict international standards for the transport of artifacts, the royal remains were placed in state-of-the-art sterile display cases to guarantee their immaculate preservation. Accompanying the mummies were 60 motorcycles, 150 horses, and a pharaonic music ensemble conducted by renowned Egyptian maestro Nader Abbassi. 

Befitting the greatness of the ancient rulers, the procession commenced with a 21-gun salute, circled the obelisk at the nearby Tahrir Square, and then proceeded along the Nile to NMEC, where Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi personally welcomed the pharaohs to their new permanent home in Fustat, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The 40-minute parade drew the participation of 12 Egyptian celebrities and was broadcast by 200+ TV channels from around the world. 

The priceless artifacts will spend the next two weeks in NMEC’s laboratory, where they will be prepared for installation inside their new showcases at the Royal Mummies Hall, modeled on the Valley of the Kings – the area that houses their original tombs. The exhibits will provide detailed information on the historical background of the royals, along with CT scans and elaborate DNA analysis. The Royal Mummies Hall will open to visitors on April 18, coinciding with World Heritage Day.

To promote its launch, NMEC offers a 50 percent discount on entry ticket prices to the Central Exhibition Hall for all visitors from April 4 to 17. In addition, representatives of local and international media have the opportunity to photograph and film the artifacts inside the Central Exhibition Hall for free on April 4 and 5. Overlooking Ain Al Sira in the heart of the historical city of Fustat near the Babylon Fortress, NMEC is one of the largest and most important archeology museums in the world, and the first to span the entirety of the Egyptian civilization.

Limited-edition Tea Forte curated collection

Stimulate your senses with the Soleil Collection, aromatic and sumptuous tea blends packaged in a striking floral homage to spring's bounty. Tea Forte continues its partnership with The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), with a third awe-inspiring collection featuring classic artwork from The Garden's archival prints that was inspired by the warmth of the spring sun that nurtures the fruits, flowers and tea leaves of Soleil. Sales of the Soleil Collection help support NYBG's work in plant research and conservation, horticulture and education.

Limited-edition Tea Forte curated collection
Selections from the Soleil Collection include a Gift Set, featuring a Petite Presentation Box and limited-edition pale yellow Café cup and tea tray (MSRP $49); Presentation Box featuring 20 infusers (MSRP $34); Petite Presentation Box featuring 10 infusers (MSRP $22); 15-serving Single Steeps® Sampler (MSRP $20); and a KATI® Loose Tea Steeping Cup with Stainless Steel Infuser (MSRP $20).

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