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Issued by the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai


Issue 12

April 2015

Al Marri: Smart Gates to enhance passenger experience

47,910 suspected documents inspected in 2014Â

Collaboration among stakeholders, the key to bright Future of Borders

Smart choice for a smart living GDRFAD’s mobile application enables: Individuals:

• On arrival visa extension. • Dashboard with all entry permits and residency

applications that are in progress, active, expiring soon or have expired. • Generate barcode to enter smart gate at Dubai Airports. • New and renew sponsored residencies (citizens). • New and renew residency (wife & children). • Attaching required documents. New update: • New entry permit for assistant categories (citizens) • Family passport renewal bouquet (citizens). • Renew passport (citizens only). • MYID

Establishments: • • • •

Extending entry permits (tourist visas). Work entry permit renewal. Before arrival – entry permit cancellation. Printing of Ministry of Labor’s permits. New update: • Dashboard with all entry permits & residences overstays and the ones expiring within 30 days.

Other features:

• • • • • •

Payment gateway. Visa inquiry. News and activities. Amer Car services. User guide. Branches with location maps and contact details. • Multimedia section. • Contact Director General

Mobile application is available on all app stores. Search for: GDRFA Dubai or simply scan the QR code

• Toll free: 8005111

Welcome Message

Celebrating Success Y et again, the UAE has proved its capacity to

successfully organize and host a mega event and play a key role in shaping the future of a highly important sector. My claim is based on UAE’s success last month when the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-D) organized the ‘Future of Borders 2015’ on March 11-12, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group. His Highness, during the event, asked leaders from borders management and airport operations worldwide to work more closely together to tackle the two major challenges facing the industry in the future- the significantly growing passenger numbers and safety and security at borders- particularly in light of unstable situation in some parts of the world. How were we able to achieve this success? Several important elements have led us to the success of this event. The foremost among them is the high-profile decision makers who participated in the Conference. These included representatives from international organizations like IATA, ACI, FRONTEX, from airports and airlines like Dubai Airport and Airbus, as well as those who create smart solutions facilitating travel. Each of these decision makers and representatives talked about experiences within their organizations or their countries on how they improved procedures and implemented new technology to make the movement of passengers in sky, land or sea, easier without compromising on the security.

This made the ‘Future of Borders 2015’ a real global platform for all to learn the best practices in this highly important arena, which also faces numerous risks. What also grabbed my attention during the conference were the recommendations particularly the one focusing on the importance of partnership between different stakeholders- between governments, airlines, airports as well as between countries. Another key recommendation sought a focus on moving from traditional methods, used for checking passengers, toward smart solutions which would help meet the new challenge of growth in passenger numbers. Alongwith the high-profile decision makers and representatives, the delegates who participated in the conference and the GDRFA-D team, all helped make the ‘Future of Borders 2015’ a highly successful event and reach the target behind organising it. On this occasion I would like to thank everyone who made this event a success. I wish for the UAE to continue rapidly moving ahead toward its goals always stay on the forefront.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 1

GDRFA Message


in History


October 1971 Pursuant to an order promulgated by the then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, two departments were established: Central Immigration Department and Ports and Borders Department


October 1972 The two departments were merged with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior and Federal Law No. 17 concerning the naturalization and passports was promulgated.


1973 Federal Law No. (6) concerning Immigration and Residency was promulgated as the first law regulating the entry and residency of expatriates in United Arab Emirates.


1977 The two departments were merged and the new Department shifted to a building in the ministries complex


1982 The Administration shifted to the present building during the tenure of Colonel Mohammad Al-Ghaith


2003 The building was completely refurbished during the tenure of Brigadier General Saeed Bin Belaila


1999 Naturalization and Residency Administration, Dubai, established a branch at Hatta Fort


1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 |

Our Vision: To have the UAE as one of the most secure and safest countries in the world.

Our Mission (MOI):

To work efficiently and effectively towards enhancing the quality of life in the UAE community by providing security, traffic, reform, residency services and ensuring safety of lives and properties.

Our Mission (GDRFA):

For the happiness of the people, we offer excellent and fast naturalization, residence and ports services.

Our Values:       

Justice Team-Work Excellence courtesy Integrity Loyalty Social responsibility

Strategic objectives:  Promote safety and security.  Promote public confidence in the effectiveness of services provided.  Optimal use of intelligence.  Ensure all administrative services are provided based on quality, efficiency and transparency standards.

To communicate with GDRFA: Location: Aljaffilya - Bur Dubai PO Box : UAE – Dubai 4333 Email: amer@dnrd.ae Toll Free Number: 04 3139999 - 8005111 Working Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM GDRFA-Dubai http:// www.dnrd.ae Dubai Airport Freezone http://www.dafz.ae Dubai Public Prosecution http://www.dxbpp.gov.ae Dubai Municipality https://www.dm.gov.ae

Department of Economic Development http://www.dubaided.gov.ae Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing http://www.dubaitourism.ae Land and Property Department http://www.dubailand.gov.ae


GDRFA News GDRFA Photographes by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan

UAE News

47,910 suspected documents inspected in 2014Â

P9 Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri

DIFC licenses 242 new companies

Dubai tops Mercer quality of living survey in MENA

P 41

P 40

Middle East News Qatar approves visas for 50,000 Bangladeshis

P 44

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai

New healthcare scheme for expats in Bahrain

Director General

General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor Deputy Director General

General Coordinator Captain Khalid Al Rahma Editorial Consultant Ghassan Suleiman Creative Manager Mohammed Al Jarouf Executive Editors Mohammed Abdul Mannan Shveta Pathak

P 44

Dubai hotels welcome 11.6 million guests P 49

Strategic Technology Partner of GDRFA-Dubai Advertise with us Content, Production, Marketing & Advertising Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management Phone: + 9714 2566707 Fax: + 9714 2566704 Website




|Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 3

GDRFA Dubai would like to thank

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group

for being Chief Guest & Patron of the Future of Borders Conference

4 |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 |

Under the patronage of

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group

Platinum Sponsors:

Official Logistics Partner:

Strategic Media Partner:

Strategic Hospitality Sponsor:

Official Carrier:

Official Host Sponsor:

Silver Sponsor:

The Ritz Carlton - DIFC Sponsors:

GDRFA Dubai would like to thank all the sponsors for their valuable contribution |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 5

Under the patronage of

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group

The Ritz Carlton - DIFC


H.E. Sultan Saeed Nasser Al Mansouri

H.E. Major General Mohammed Al Marri

Angela Gittens

UAE Minister of Economy

Director General, GDRFA-Dubai

John P. Wagner

Paul Griffiths

Thani Abdullah Alzaffin

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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CEO, Dubai Airports

Director General, ACI World

Director General & Board Member, emaratech

Major General Obaid Mehayer Bin Suroor Deputy Director General, GDRFA-Dubai.

Eric Kwok-ki Chan

IDSM, Director of Immigration, Hong Kong SAR

Lieutenant General Hans Leijtens

Commander, Royal Netherlands Marechaussee

Teresa Hardy

Head of Carrier Delivery, Border Systems Portfolio Border Force, Home Office, UK.

Michael Herrero

IATA Area Manager, Gulf

Mark A. Clifton

VP and GM, Border Control/Transport/ Critical Infrastructures, Safran Morpho

President of Products and Solutions, SRI International

Manuel van Lijf

Piet Demunter

Director, Product Innovation at Air France – KLM

Paul Moultrie

Head of Marketing, Middle East and North Africa, Airbus

David Ploog

Managing Partner, M2P Consulting Inc

Jung June, AHN

Executive Director, Public Relations Group, Incheon Airport

Fergus Wilson

COO, Aer Lingus (The Irish Airlines)

Speakers & Moderators

Luc Tombal

Head of Airport Development, Brussels Airport Company

Sayed Hashish

General Manager - Public Sector /Middle East & Africa, Microsoft Corporation

, Australia

GDRFA Dubai would like to thank all the speakers & moderators for their valuable contribution

|Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 7


No departure point at terminal 3

Al Marri: Smart gates to simplify procedures for over 79 million passengers estimated to use the Airport this year G iven the flow of passengers at Dubai

International Airport, the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) is going to cancel the departure point at Terminal 3.The movement aims at smoothing passengers’ process at the departure point at terminal 3, travelers will walk in without the need to stand in queue. Travelers’ details will be sent in advance to the passport control officers via Emirates Airlines after booking their tickets. His Excellency Major General Mohanmmed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, said that this step is taken as

part of adding to the GDRFA-Dubai unique services at the airport. “We want our clients to enjoy fast and hassle-free travel and we are honoured with our exceptional immigration customer service as our staff work efficiently to ensure a swift and smooth arrival and departure process for the passengers,” he said. Major General Al Marri said that Dubai Airport is one of the busiest in the world and requires an efficient GDRFA services to handle the heavy load of more than 71 million passengers used the airport in 2014 which expected to be 79 million by the end of this year.

Lt. Colonel Talal Al Shanqity, assistant of the director General of the GDRFADubai for Airports’ Affairs Department said the airport has installed more passport control desks at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 and more than 100 e-gates installed at Terminal 1 and 2 while smart gates that are available at Terminal 3 at the arrival point, are managed by specially trained GDRFA staff who offer foremost services to the record numbers of passengers lining up at the passports control counters. He said the GDRFA staff at the airport make it a priority to make every process smooth, easy and joyful experience for travelers as per instructions from Major General Al Marri, to receive and see off travelers with care and smile. “Our staff work around the clock in four shifts with each shift dealt by 60 officers to offer services to the public,” he said. “We offer special help to old people and families with children and also for people with special needs,” he added. 

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47,910 suspected documents inspected in 2014 H is

Excellency Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-D, said GDRFA-Dubai was using the highest technological standards at the Dubai airport to detect even the highly sophisticated fake passports. He added that the passport control officers at the airport are well trained in identifying forged passports quickly and efficiently. "We invest in our staff to enhance their skills. The officer must be able to recognize the security features of any passport in the world,” he said. According to GDRFA, a total of 47,910 suspected documents were inspected by its staff members at Dubai International Airport in 2014 compared to 64,652 suspected documents inspected in 2013. Captain Abdullah Mohammad Al Mutawa, Director of ECIFD, GDRFA-D, said visitors trying to enter the country using fake identity documents are being easily exposed at the airport, due to the high-tech passport-reading and biometrics technology system designed to identify fraud.

In 2013, a total of 968 fake documents were caught by ECIFD, of which 765 were forged, 34 were documents with some changes and 169 were those used by someone else other than the original owner. He said usually those who try to enter the country using fake passport are send back immediately to the country they came from. He added that although passports and identity documents from all over the world are becoming more and more difficult to copy, criminals try to commit look-alike fraud, which means that someone who looks the same like the original passport-holder tries to enter the country with that passport. He said that criminals do not select specific passports from specific country to fake it, they may fake travel document from any country in the world which means there is

no specific country with high rate of passport forgery. “The centre helps verify the identities of millions of travellers passing through Dubai airport each year," he said. The ECIFD stores data on travel documents and identity cards from over 200 countries. It has a library of sample documents and forgeries. In order to help the passport control officers at the airport to identify valid and forged passports, the ECIFD has trained all the GDRFA staff on security system. The training centre of ECIFD develops and maintains the high level of expertise in relation to document checks on national and international investigation. He added that training on body language is also very important for passport control officers. 

The ECIFD was established in 2010. He said a total of 1,027 fake documents were seized by the ECIFD in 2014 compared to 968 in 2013. Out of the 1,027 fake documents caught last year, 818 were forged, 24 were documents with some changes and 185 were those used by someone else other than the original owner.  |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 9


Smart systems to inspect workers accommodations in Dubai

Bin Surour: 569, 128 unskilled labourer of different nationalities are working in Dubai M ore than 569,128 unskilled labourers

are working in Dubai, according to statistics released by the Permanent Committee for Labour’s Affairs in Dubai (PCLA). Major General Obaid Mohair Bin Surour, Deputy Director of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-D) and Chairman of PCLA, said there are more than 569, 128 unskilled worker in Dubai working for 3,039 different companies in Bur Dubai and Deira. “The UAE is working hard to ensure protection of workers’ rights, which have a great impact on the interest of the country,” said Maj. Gen. Bin Surour, adding that the UAE is one of the first countries in the world, which seeks to protect workers’ rights and welfare and provide a decent life for them. He said the UAE has a long-standing commitment to protecting workers’

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rights as well as upholding the interests and rights of employers, consistent with the law. He added that in order to achieve the goal of full protection for workers in Dubai and according to the government guidelines regarding the transformation to smart services, the Follow up and Inspection on Workers’ Housing Section of the PCLA is now conducting inspections on workers accommodations, housing and labour facilities through the use of smart devices and smart services’ system where this program gives precise information on labour accommodation, sites and numbers of workers and all details related to workers living there. Bin Surour said: “The new inspection smart system allows inspectors to send instant details from the site directly to the head office of the Committee through the use of smart system that allows the Chairman of the Committee to directly follow-up

on the inspection process and to follow up on companies. “The newly applied smart system allowed us to do intensive and quick inspection as well obtaining instant photography and videos about the inspection process,” he added. He said this type of inspection helped in decreasing in the number of offenses by companies and also it helped in ease and speed up the inspection process which benefit the workers and increased discipline among companies. He stressed that the smart inspection process gives instant statistics on the companies and the number of workers. He said that the inspection is taking place on weekly basis. He said the new system is a significant step in the inspection process and methods of performance and


this shift directly affect workers and helped them to get comfortable, fair and healthy life.“We want to educate workers about their duties and their rights.” Binn Surour said the PCLA also tries to solve labour problems directly from within the workplace and helps workers to meet their demands as long as this within the limits of logic and law. “We have data base for each company in Dubai, number of workers, accommodation, and the areas and locations of those establishments.” There were 5,537 periodic inspections of labour accommodations in the Deira and Bur Dubai areas last year. These inspections revealed that there were 14 housing units with poor facilities — 6 in Deira and 8 in Bur Dubai. There were 508 units in the medium housing category, of which 316 were in Deira and 199 in Bur Dubai. There were 564 units found to

be good condition, of which 84 were in Deira and 480 in Bur Dubai. The inspection campaigns covered 150,973 rooms in the labour housing units — 49,515 in Deira and 102,458 in Bur Dubai. These included 569,128 workers, of which 171,287 lived in Deira and 397,841 in Bur Dubai. Major General Bin Surour said the PCLA conducted last year a periodic inspection of the 1096 workers’ housing in Deira and Bur Dubai area and did 5,537 inspection visits while the number of establishments inspected is 3039. “We want to guarantee a decent life for workers through the application of specific criteria that include providing them sufficient space, bed for every worker, shelves for clothing and others for shoes and also water coolers apart from ensuring they have access to medical help, are living in hygienic conditions, have

safe kitchens and private places to eat and bathrooms and other services that ensure their safety and convenience. He said there is a need that both workers and their employers adhere to the rules related to security, safety and cleanliness of the accommodation.Bin Surour said the country is keen to protect workers’ rights in accordance with the law as well as on humanitarian grounds. “We are cooperating with the Dubai police, Dubai Municipality and Ministry of Labour, and other concerned authorities in addition to the private sector on workers safety.” “We mainly target construction workers and are committed to improving the quality of life of those workers whose have a valuable able contribution to nation-building.” We have a toll-free hotline number 8009119 for workers.  |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 11


Raising workers’ awareness can reduce the crime rate among labourers by 50 percent M ost crimes by labourers are a result

of their ignorance and are not deliberate, said Major General Obaid Mohair bin Surour, Deputy Director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai). Bin Surour, who is also the Chairman of The Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai (PCLADubai), said raising awareness will reduce the crime rate among workers by 50 percent. "The PCLA has started a one year campaign to raise the awareness among workers in Dubai about their rights and duties," he said. The campaign, carried under the slogan ‘Safe work is my life and my

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future’, will continue for one year and will make the workers aware of their responsibilities and their rights before and after entering the country.

Campaign to make workers aware of rights and duties "We are keen to prevent any violation toward workers’ rights and at the same time we want the workers to be responsible and to understand what they should and should not do," said Bin Surour. The emirate’s Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs has issued guidelines for labourers on how to protect their own rights and on how

to be aware of the law and regulations. "The PCLA will closely follow up the implementation of the rules," he added. "Some crimes are committee because the workers are not aware of the law so they end up violating the law," said Bin Surour, while addressing a meeting with companies in Dubai to launch the labour’s awareness campaign held at the PCLA offices in Al Aweer area in Dubai. "We want workers to take the initiatives and to follow up on their own issues,” he said.He said thousands of leaflets, posters and brochures will be distributed on the companies


and workers describing what are the rules here and what the workers should do and what they should avoid. "We want the workers to feel the UAE is their second home and we want them to enjoy their stay here and to make their work in the UAE a pleasant and rewarding experience," said Bin Surour. He said there are more than 200 nationalities living in the country peacefully and in harmony and all of them respect the rules and regulations which may differ from one country to another. "We hope that the laboures who come newly here know their rights and responsibilities from the moment they arrive the airport till they reach the worksite." "We encourage the labourers to be alert and in touch with concerned authorities here if they face any problems to avoid breaking the law and to avoid committing any crime to avoid being punished." Posters explaining rules and regulations have been distributed in all labourers accommodations and worksites. "The most common crimes that may be committed by workers were listed on the posters such as working for someone else other than the sponsor and the punishment is Dh 50,000 fines, overstaying, drug trafficking which may land the worker a life imprisonment, drug abuse which leads to four years in jail, while murder could lead to life sentence or the death sentence. Riot, theft, robbery, being drunk, perjury, gambling, arson are among other crimes," he said.

Posters explaining rules and regulations have been distributed in all labourers accommodations and worksites

Also, employers have been asked to put up worker guidelines in multiple languages at worksites. He said workers will be taught about their personal safety at worksite and about the protection equipment which they should use at work such as safety helmets, safety overalls, ear protection, safety boots, dust masks, visibility jackets and other safety equipment. "We want workers to be fully aware about their rights regarding working hours, over time, monthly salary, medical benefits, day offs, public hol-

idays, end of service, accommodation allowance and other regulations." In addition to that workers should be aware that they should be medically fit in order to be issued labour contract here. Abdul Momen Al Medawi, Coordinator of the PCLA said: "We want this campaign to be fruitful because such kinds of campaigns will be positive on the country in general and on companies and workers too. He said the campaign will be held every year and PCLA seeks cooperation from companies. The meeting was attended by the PCLA members from Dubai Court, Public Prosecution, Dubai Police, Communities Development, Human Rights and Ministry of Labour. ď‚… |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 13


GDRFA aims to enlist half-a-million people annually for its smart services applications over the next five years T he General Directorate for Resi-

dency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) unveiled a package of smart services during its participation in the Dubai Government Achievements Exhibition (DGAE). The GDRFA-Dubai showcased large number of its smart applications, the smart travel gate ‘eyen’ and the smart gate. Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the GDRFA-Dubai, said the Dubai government’s achievements exhibition is a global and international event that will allow all governmental bodies in Dubai to show their best services. Al Marri said the DGAE reflects the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who has said that ‘Innovation is a daily necessity in government work’. He added that the in cooperation with emartech, GDRFA Dubai has presented during the exhibition, the smart traveler system gate ‘eyen’ which is a unique way to ease entry of passengers at airports and it is expected to be introduced at terminal 1 and 2 at Dubai airport and at Maktoum airport.

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He said the system uses iris recognition and facial imprint to determine the biometric identity of the users through a single view mechanism, and provides users with a compact and integrated procedure. Facial recognition will crosscheck a traveller’s face print with the photo on an electronic passport. The main aim of the system is to enhance security and to speed up the process in which travellers can access passport control in less than two seconds. Al Marri added that GDRFADubai also presented during the exhibition, the smart gate, a selfservice automated, secure and easy-to-use system, and an alternative to the traditional passport control counters at airports, which will help in reducing long queues. He said travellers can complete their transactions via smart gate

in less than 20 seconds with highest security standards. Users need electronic passports, Emirates ID, or e-gate card, and can even use the smartphone instead of the passport. He added that there is no requirement for prior registration to use the smart gate and that travellers only need to have readable passports. This free of charge service will also do the iris scan and facial imprint. Captain Khalid Ahmad Bin Mediya Al Falasi, assistant directorgeneral of Smart Services Sector at GDRFA, said the directorate aims to enlist half-a-million people annually for its smart services applications over the next five years and for that the GDRFA enabled important smart applications which can be used by individuals and companies. 



Check-in counters to be history T he success of ‘Future of Borders 2015’,

organized by the GDRFA Dubai, is a big achievement for the UAE. The conference attracted high profile international speakers from aviation and border industries who discussed ways to shape the future of borders. One of the key reasons this success could come through is the highly relevant subject this conference revolved around. The border and aviation industry leaders talked about the future and how they plan for it keeping two main issues into consideration, one of them being the number of passengers expected to reach 12 billion by 2030. Those within the industry are thoroughly aware of the strong competition between airlines and airports , particularly as the passengers today are smarter and understand their needs well and are well-equipped with the smart tools to get what they want in terms of speed, check-in and other areas. In this situation, I believe the management of borders worldwide should deal with this situation in a highly professional manner to stay ahead of this competition. Boosting mutual relationship through measures such as contracts between two or more countries, implementing new rules and smart solutions to cope with this tremendous growth, thereby boosting the local as well as international trade and tourism and economy, without compromising on the security standards, is the right approach.

Based on our vision, the GDRFA Dubai works with support and cooperation of the Ministry of Interior and its strategic partners such as Dubai Airport, fly dubai and Emirates Airlines to make check-in counters a thing of the past as a part of UAE’s strategy to be on the forefront in every field. These dreams might appear distant, but if you have a belief that you can do it, the dreams would soon turn to reality. Under the support and supervision of our visionary leadership and the highly capable team, we believe we can turn our dreams to reality within a short time. In the UAE, there are no roadblocks in the way of the projects meant for the progress of the country. We have great leaders who make the road smooth and offer us all the support to reach our targets. I strongly believe that our ambitions to make the check-in counters a part of history will be implemented to make the journey of our passengers through Dubai Airport an experience they would cherish for a long time.

Major General Obaid Moheir bin Suroor Deputy Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 15

Cover Story

Collaboration among stakeholders, the key to bright 'Future of Borders' M ore than 500 delegates participated in the two-day Future of Borders 2015 conference, which brought together 24 international leaders and experts in borders, aviation, airline and technology sectors on a single platform. The conference, organized by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-D) was a resounding success.

16 |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 |

Cover Story

Sultan Al Mansoori

“Border control agencies need to be well-prepared to deal with the emerging challenges as the number of passengers travelling across the international borders is set to rise exponentially in the coming years. Borders are strategic partners for airports. They should prepare themselves for more important and challenging role in the future,” His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said while opening ‘The Future of Borders 2015’ Conference on March 11 in Dubai. The two-day conference, organized by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-D), marked a key stage in bringing stakeholders in border security together and coming out with solutions in enhancing passenger experience and security. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said: “The

Mohammed Al Marri

Conference presents an excellent opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities arising in near future.” The Future of Borders 2015 had a stellar line-up of 24 speakers from 12 countries, including representatives of ACI, IATA, Frontex and immigration authorities of the US, UK, Netherlands, Australia and Hong Kong. Collaboration among stakeholders is the key: Future of Borders 2015 speakers

The conference gave a clarion call for collaboration among the stakeholders- government, airports and airlines- to enhance passenger experience and ensuring border safety. His Excellency Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority, (GCAA) talked about the efforts of the UAE towards

emerging as the world’s firstchoice global travel hub and further development of the aviation industry and initiatives to ensure seamless travel facilitation through its air, sea and land routes. He referred to the rapid strides the aviation industry has made in the UAE over the years due to the visionary policies of the government and ceaseless commitment of the stakeholders to turn the vision into reality. His Excellency Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFADubai, said in his opening remarks that as the stakeholders come together on a single platform, the conference will provide a momentum to cooperation and collaboration among all the stakeholders to implement the expansion plans smoothly in line with the changing times and help UAE become the world’s mostsought after travel hub. The conference, he said, was aimed at coming up with the best formula to achieve a balance between the need to strengthen the |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 17

Cover Story

Obaid Moheir bin Suroor

security in the face of growing threats and risks and accelerate travel facilitation while maintaining high quality services provided to travellers. Leila Hareb, Assistant Director General of Strategy and International Affairs, General Civil Aviation Authority, while talking about UAE’s Advanced Passenger Information (API), said: “The UAE has the most sophisticated API system for enhanced security, monitoring, tracking and interception of transit passengers. The API system benefitted the Ministry of Interior, customs, airports, ports and police by way of collating data and analyzing risks.” She said the Ministry of Interior, Dubai Customs, GDRFA-Dubai and Dubai Police were among the organizations that benefitted immensely from the API project launched late last year. The GDRFA-Dubai is implementing the Advanced Passenger 18 |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 |

Thani Alzaffin

More than 500 delegates, 24 international speakers make Future of Borders 2015 a success Information System (APIS) at the Dubai International Airport this year with the First and Business class passengers of Emirates covered in the first phase followed by Economy class passengers in the second. GDRFA-Dubai will also implement the APIS for cruise tourists as the Emirate of Dubai has been recording impressive growth in cruise tourism.

Future and vision of government

The inaugural session on ‘The Future and Vision of Government’, was addressed by Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI, Micheal Herrero, Gulf Area Manager at International Air Transport Association (IATA), Thani Alzaffin, Director General and Board Member, emaratech and Hendrick Weijermans, Head of External Relations at FRONTEX.

“The Airports Council International (ACI) is collaborating within and outside of the industry on passenger facilitation solutions and supporting implementation and harmonization of Automated Border Control (ABC) solutions that use interoperable equipment and common international standards,” said Angela. Representing airports which handles 95 per cent of the world’s passenger traffic, ACI, along with ICAO and IATA has supported the proliferation of ABC systems in the US. This new technology allows travelers to complete the required travel documentation at kiosks, increasing the efficiency of passenger processing and freeing passport control/immigration officers to focus on their security tasks. The increased throughput from this technology will allow passengers to move more quickly through the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) process, thereby improving travel facilitation.

Cover Story

Leila Hareb

Angela said the ACI has collaborated with CBP to launch a firstof-its-kind application to expedite travelers’ entry processes into the US. The app allows eligible travelers to submit their passport information and customs declaration form via a smartphone or tablet prior to CBP inspection. “We are working with other stakeholders to gain greater efficiency and a better passenger experience at the world’s airports to help in managing future growth. Our mission is to promote professional excellence in airport operations and management,” she said. Micheal Herrero, Gulf Area Manager at IATA, in his presentation, said the number of air passenger globally will increase to 7.3 billion in 2034 from 3.3 billion last year. This projected growth will put enormous pressure on the aviation industry as more people will travel by air and cross international borders. He said technological advance-

Paul Griffiths

ment has been impacting the way people travel and their expectations. He said the Middle East airlines have one of the lowest breakeven load factors - 58.6 per cent. Passenger capacity is expected to expand by 15.6 per cent this year, up from 11.4 per cent in 2014. Airlines are expected to post a collective global net profit of $25 billion this year. PassenBorders were being redefined due to the constant impact of technological advancement in the travel and border control

ger traffic is expected to grow by 7.0 per cent this year, well above the 5.5 per cent growth trend of the past two decades. Hendrick Weijermans, Head of External Relations, FRONTEX, European Agency for Operational Cooperation for borders in the EU, said: “All of our coun-

tries face recurring, multiple and partly different challenges in terms of border management and internal security that can only be overcome if we seek mutually trusted cooperation.” He said there was a need for tactical passenger analysis before their arrival to the borders. Thani Alzaffin, Director General and Board Member, emaratech, said the borders were being redefined due to the constant impact of technological advancement in the travel and border control industries. He also announced the launch of eyen system, the latest from emaratech in the smart travel technology.

Future of Airlines

Paul Moultrie, Head of Marketing at Airbus Middle East, gave a presentation on ‘The Future of Airbus’ during the session on ‘Future of Airlines’. He said by 2033, there will be 91 ‘Aviation Mega Cities’ in the |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 19

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Adel Al Redha

world and these cities will account for 95 per cent of the longhaul traffic in the world. He said a survey of 10000 people conducted by the European airplane maker to elicit their opinion about what they want from the future of flight suggested that they want the air transport “cheaper, greener and more fun”. Airbus believes that the industry as a whole must concentrate on technological advances, while also advancing solutions that will meet passenger and market demands, the growing population and its demographic profile, and respect all aspects of the environment.

One of the ways to enhance passenger experience is to share database of, for example, frequent flyers on average be around 13 minutes shorter. This would save around 9 million tonnes of excess fuel annually, which equates to over 28 million tonnes of avoidable CO2 emissions and a saving for passengers of over 500 million hours of excess flight time on board an aircraft.

The airplane manufacturer unveiled its 2050 vision for ‘Smarter Skies’ where in it envisages more flights, fewer emissions and quicker passenger journey times.

Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Emirates Airline, said the airline is working closely with the government authorities in the UAE to introduce more ‘efficiencies and expediting’ passenger transactions at all touch points.

Airbus research suggests that every flight in the world could

“With increasing number of passengers we need to find ways and

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means to facilitate passenger experience. We are privileged that in Dubai and the UAE we are all working with the same vision and mission which is to enhance passenger experience,” he said. “Air travel has undergone transformation. Gone are the days when people travelled only one or few times. These days some passengers travel multiple times during the same day. Also the numbers are rising exponentially,” Al Redha added. “In such times, process barriers lower the standards. One of the ways to enhance passenger experience is to share database of, for example, frequent flyers. Airlines can share it with authorities and we can have a scenario where using a single card the passenger can enter or exit. We must do that,” he said. During the session, the speakers discussed how Advance Passenger Information (API) enhances seamless travel experience and the way air crafts in the future will change the face of travel.

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Manuel Van Lijf, Director Product Innovation at Air FranceKLM, said: “In near future, the airport processes will be passenger centric. Air travelers have more contact points and are also more connected. They expect timely and accurate information on all platforms, they expect us to recognize their needs and also be transparent. This means that different stakeholders- the airlines, airports and security agencies should communicate with each other.”

Airlines expect the requirement for API to grow

He explained that Air FranceKLM, alongwith other partners, has started a project ‘Aruba Flow’ aiming to establish Pre Clearance from Aruba to the US. Fergus Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, Aer Lingus, the national

flag carrier of Ireland said the Advance Passenger Information (API) enhances the seamless travel experience and airlines expect API requirement to grow in the near future. He said the 78-year-old airline currently collects API from passengers flying to and or from the US, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic and Turkey. Speaking about API from an airline Wilson said the technology-oriented airline provides opportunity for its customers to provide API across many channels– web, mobile, self-service and check-in. “Airlines expect the requirement for API to grow. Standard format request are key to fast, cost efficient, accurate and reliable data provision. Aer Lingus IT systems are set up for provision of API in the standard format.”

Future of Border Management

John Moorhouse, Regional Director for the Middle East and

Africa at the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, said the Australian Border Force (ABF) will be the frontline border protection agency and the operational arm of the Department will be led by a Commissioner, reporting directly to the minister. “It will be a professional, agile and disciplined force and will have a physical presence at our air and sea ports, as well as regional and international locations,” he said. The Australia government, he said, has been dealing with the challenges of border management by creating a single agency to manage borders. In the year ended June 2014, there were 32.6 million crossings of Australia’s international borders -1.4 crossing per Australian- compared with 18.6 million crossings 10 years ago. Just under half of the total movements in 2013-14 were departures from Australia -16.28 million. “The government has made it clear that effective border management should have the right infrastructure, the right processes and the right partnerships in place to ensure that we support legitimate trade and travel by ensuring a stable, secure border. By having responsibility for both facilitation and security in the same organisation, we hope to continue to maintain an innovative yet balanced approach,” added Moorhouse. Eric Chan Kwok-Ki, Hong Kong’s Director of Immigration, said Hong Kong is planning to |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 21

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have a total of over purpose e-Gates by convert all existing multi-purpose ones, said.

600 multi2016 and e-Gates to an official

“We will convert all existing e-Gates to multi-purpose ones, which can serve both Hong Kong residents and visitors. The enhancement enables greater flexibility in the daily operation at checkpoints to cater for different passenger mix at different time, and further improve our service quality. It is our plan to have a total of over 600 multi-purpose e-Gates by 2016.” Kwok-Ki said despite the hectic growth in passenger traffic tremendous pressure on the handling capacity at checkpoints, the authorities have been able to clear 95 per cent of visitors arriving through the airport within 15 minutes, and 95 per cent of visitors arriving through land and sea checkpoints within 30 minutes.

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To fully utilize the counters in the arrival and departure halls, the authorities, during the busy hours when all counters in the arrival hall are fully manned, diverts the arriving passengers to the departure hall and turn some of the

Hong kong will have over 600 multi-purpose e-Gates by 2016

departure counters into arrival counters so as to increase the arrival handling capacity. The same applies to situation when the departure hall is very busy. Teresa Hardy, Head of Carrier Delivery at the UK Border Force, said the UK government has introduced initiatives to help improve the way some passengers travel through the UK border. These include the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) scheme

which was introduced last year and available to Emiratis, Qataris and Omanis to apply on line for a free single entry visa, with an option for longer term visit visa. Last year, up to 80 per cent of potential customers elected to use the EVW system, the vast majority without any issues. The other measures include Registered Traveller scheme, Fast Track and ePassport-gates. “By 2020, the Home Office needs to be a very different organisation. Our aim this year is consistent competence. This is first and foremost about delivering for the public: meeting our commitments and getting things right first time; taking responsibility for what we do, speaking up where we see things that need to be improved,” she remarked. She said Border Force Officer’s productivity was planned to be increased to 10 passengers per

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minute compared with three passengers per minute manually. Delivery of 65 ePassport gates will be available at seven airport terminals. “ePassport gates are more efficient at detecting forgeries and imposters than manual detection. Further delivery is planned for other ports in 2015-2016 to increase passenger flow,” she added. She said the collection of API was a key element in the UK’s strategy to deliver “robust” border controls and in support the national counter-terrorism strategy, serious cross-border crime and abuses of the immigration system. “The UK is required to balance its obligation to ensure the security of the UK with that of facilitating the entry and exit of legitimate travellers. Advance data is important to new legislative initiatives that are being urgently progressed to better protect aviation security and to safeguard national security. Carriers are our critical partners and

The quality of data should be improved to roll out extensive services to both business and leisure passengers

collaborative working with them and their system providers is essential to successful implementation of the UK’s advance data programmes,” said Teresa. Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director General of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), called for more efficient and quicker systems for border control procedures taking into account the rising volume of passengers at Dubai’s two international airports. Speaking about transformation of borders in Dubai through smart technologies, he said the airport counters were found to be crowded in peak hours despite the implementation of several impressive developments,

thereby necessitating the need to think of other solutions. He remarked: “We will not only have more e-gates, but more efficient, quicker systems and should develop systems to analyse information more efficiently and enhance security at borders. We should have information network with partners to exchange information and communication.” Major General Obaid also presented before a packed audience the evolution of civil aviation in Dubai, right from 1937 when civil aviation operations started, to the present status of being the home of the world’s largest airport for international travellers. He also gave a detailed account of the technological advancements at the GDRFA-Dubai, from e-gates to the third generation smart gates. He underscored the need for imparting high quality training to achieve Dubai’s vision and expand the talent pool with more competent employees. |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 23

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“We have to enhance work with partners, strategic partners from both the public and private sector. The quality of data should be improved to roll out extensive services to both business and leisure passengers.” Later, participating in a panel discussion on Future of Border Management, he stressed the need to analyze Big Data to enhance facilities. “We should think differently. Egate is a solution now, but after 10-15 years, it will not be ‘the’ solution. Pre-clearance of passengers will have to be increasingly used,” he said. Lieutenant General Dr.J.A.J Leitjens, Commander of Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, spoke about the border and immigration control measures and how various initiatives and projects have been helping the authorities to make travel experiences seamless and smooth.

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Pre-clearance of passengers will have to be increasingly used

“Airports should be functioning as nodes to gather and share information to fight terrorism. The solution is not in technology, but on cooperation. There needs a new paradigm as the concept of smart hubs is gaining momentum,” he said. John P Wagner, Deputy Assistant Commissioner at US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), listed out the policies and programmes undertaken by the agency in the US and outside in the border and immigration control domain. He provided insights into the preclearances initiative under which Abu Dhabi’s and Dublin’s Shannon airports have covered to facilitate faster and smoother facilitation for travellers going to the US.

He said: “Airport design of the future will see the phase out of paper customs declarations as we move to mobile technology. Automatic passport control programs will be expanded to more airports with more kiosks. We are building a cohesive system to address national security threats by gathering early information from airlines in coordination with emigration advisory program. Informal arrangements are being worked out with airlines to make a recommendation to check on ‘concerned’ passengers.”

Future of Airports

Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Airports, while talking about the growth in passenger numbers, “Our revised projections for 2020 now exceed 126 million passengers. By 2030, we expect to have around 200 million passengers traffic.” In his presentation titled, Building the Future, he enlightened the conference participants: “We

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will have to come up with other solutions to satisfy Dubai’s continued thirst for growth. In Dubai, we are building, not talking about building. An unwavering vision to build not just an airport but an engine of economic growth and vital to the growth of the city.” Dubai International is currently the world’s number one airport for international passengers and the sixth busiest. Al Maktoum International Airport in DWC, which presently has five to seven million passengers capacity, saw 845,046 passengers passing through its gates in its first full year of operations in 2014. DWC will have a passenger capacity of 220 million on completion of its second phase. The first phase of US$32 billion dollar expansion of DWC, approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai late last year, will enable the facility to accom-

GMR owns 54 per cent stake in the Delhi International Airport and 63 per cent of the Hyderabad Airport

modate 120 million passengers on completion over the next six to eight years. Al Maktoum International will be 10 times larger than the site of Dubai International, making it the world’s largest airport and the world’s largest intercontinental hub.

In 2013, aviation contributed US$26.7 billion to the economy of Dubai or 27 per cent of the emirate’s GDP. About 416500 people rely on aviation activities for the livelihood which works out to 27 per cent of the total workforce in Dubai.

The US$7.8 billion investment will to lead to ultimate capacity of 100 million passengers at the Dubai International. Last year, it recorded 70.4 million passengers, an increase of 6.1 per cent and this year expected to handle 79 million passengers.

“The vision for aviation remains single minded and utterly focused on building that contribution at a faster rate than any other activity in Dubai,” he said. Pradeep Panicker, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure, told the Future of Borders conference that the aviation industry in India was undergoing major infrastructure transformation with airports modernization and expansion under focus.

He said the design challenges are focused on four key areas Passenger Experience, Airline Product, Airport Processes and Facilities.

DIAL is a joint venture company among GMR Group, Airports Authority of India, Fraport and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad. |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 25

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GMR currently operates Delhi and Hyderabad international airports. Delhi airport’s passenger handling capacity has grown to 40 million. Last year, Delhi airport passenger traffic grew seven per cent to 37 million, while it jumped four per cent to nine million in Hyderabad airport. GMR owns 54 per cent stake in the Delhi International Airport and 63 per cent of the Hyderabad Airport. “We are planning to introduce more systems to enhance the passenger experience. In order to eliminate long queues, we will be introducing self-service and pre-validation, QR code and automation,” said Panicker. India is now the ninth largest aviation market in the world and expected to become the third biggest by 2020 with enhanced airport system that can handle 336

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India is now the ninth largest aviation market in the world and expected to become the third biggest by 2020

million domestic and 41 million international passengers. The government has envisaged an investment of $12.1 billion in the airport sector during 12th plan period, of which $12.1 billion will come from private sector. This investment would help in modernization and development of airports. The government’s move to privatize airports at Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai has generated interest among the airport infrastructure developers, including the GMR. All these airports are currently under the state-owned Airports

Authority of India (AAI) and the government plans to offer them for operation, management and development to private sector companies through the PPP model. According to a report by global consultancy, KPMG, India’s fast-growing civil aviation sector, already among the top 10 globally, could be number one worldwide by 2030. All of India’s top 15 airports reported growth, India’s two largest airports in Delhi and Mumbai both grew by around seven per cent, with Delhi handling almost 37 million passengers. India’s airports have reported passenger growth of 7.3 per cent to over 46 million in the second quarter of 2014. Domestic demand has risen by 7.4 per cent to about 34 million, while international traffic has increased by seven per cent to 12.3 million.

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Jung June AHN, Executive Director for Public Relations Group at the Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC), said Incheon International Airport, which topped the service quality ranking by the Airports Council International (ACI) for 10 straight years, is launching this month self-bag drop service on a trial basis, a senior Korean aviation official said. The Self bag drop service pilot operations will cover selected flights of Eva Air (EA), Korean Air (KE) and Asiana Airlines (OZ), he said. The project is part of the expansion programme for the innovative U-Airport services that the airport has been pursuing over the past few years as part of the passenger flow management system and easing passenger facilitation at one of the world’s leading international airports. Passengers flying with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines will be the first to be able to make use of the new system, which will allow them to complete bag tagging and bag drop in a one-step process. The Self-Service Zone and Passenger Flow Management System are designed to enhance security and reduce passenger waiting time. Visual congestion info and queue measurement sensor are part of the Smart airport project. The airport, which has the world’s third largest terminal in size, handled 45.51 million 2014 – 9.1 per cent growth be-

tween 2012 and 2014. Incheon is the main hub for Korean Air and Asiana Airlines it offers flight destinations throughout the globe. “Airport is no longer a mere gateway to another country. Passengers want some new experience and excitement. Airtainment is the new trend in aviation industry. The Self bag drop service pilot operations will cover selected flights of Eva Air (EA), Korean Air (KE) and Asiana Airlines (OZ)

One extra hour is an additional value to passengers to rest, relax, shopping and cultural experience. We have a set a common goal to shorten the processing time and enhance service performance,” said June AHN. He said the airport was aiming to process 95 per cent of passengers in departures within 45 minutes as against the ICAO’s standard of 60 minutes from check-in to passport. Similarly, processing of 95 per cent of arrival passengers will be reduced to 40 minutes as against 45 minutes set by ICAO. About U-Airport, June AHN said the concept – anytime, anywhere, omnipresent – has been designed to reduce passenger processing time and make new value for passengers.

Future of Smart Solutions in Borders

Colonel Barakat Al Kendi, Head of Systems Development and Chairman of e-Transformation Strategy at Ministry of Interior , said in a presentation on Digitalisation of UAE Border’s Control on the concluding day of the Future of Borders International Conference organized by GDRFA-Dubai, that ministry was working on a pilot project to transform systems at all entry points. “Dubai airports will receive about 80 million passengers this year and Abu Dhabi will see an increase of 20 per cent in passenger handling and borders should be prepared to handle this increased traffic,” he said. The government is aiming at a new project for adopting the latest technology and continuation of earlier projects. “We have a holistic view to have all partners to facilitate the flow of passengers across the borders,” he added. He said the key goal was to transform traditional gate to e-gate, to facilitate use by all, including children and Special Needs people when entering or passing through the borders. Al Kendi said the implementation of new technology, particularly the Iris recognition technology, has enabled the authorities to identify and apprehend more than 400000 people. David Ploog, Director, M2P Consulting, talking about the Future of Airport Border Control, |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 27

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said things have changed since the days of manual handling some 30 years ago with change in infrastructure and border control systems. He spoke about three trends in border control: Pre-clearance will be increasingly used with Advanced Passenger Information (API) system; Automated Border Control (ABC) systems and walk-through systems using biometrics. By 2030, passenger travel will double and border control authorities should use new technologies and resources will double and the number of emigration officials should be doubled. There are significant opportunities emerging with e-passports and biometric information and they should be aligned with various authorities. Mark A Clifton, President of Products and Solutions with SRI International, spoke IOM (Iris on the Move). More people travel across the borders which require faster and accurate identity management. SRI, a non-profit organization based out of Silicon Valley which invented colour television technology and mouse, is working in collaboration with Samsung to introduce more mobile solutions and low-cost consumer products. Luc Tombal, General Manager and Vice President Border Control Transport Critical Infrastructure, Safran Morpho, said technologies developed by his 28 |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 |

There are significant opportunities emerging with e-passports and biometric information and they should be aligned with various authorities

company is helping airlines to identify threats and risks. “Risk-based screening using Personal Name Record (PNR), finger print technology, iris recognition and collating data can be implemented for better border control,” he said.Safran is working on a pilot project to develop a biometric engine for the European Union on a ‘Smart Borders’ initiative.

thorities. The manual processes are automated to validate. In his concluding remarks, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, said the conference will go a long way in finding ways and means towards the goal of making the journey memorable, smooth and seamless. “Knowledge-sharing will help in devising processes and policies to meet the rising expectations of the travelers. This conference debate and recommendations will be of immense help to all the key stakeholders of the travel world – borders, airports, airlines and technology providers.”

Sayed Hashish, General Manager – Public Sector, Middle East and Africa, Microsoft Corporation, in a presentation on Smart, Secure & Elevated Passenger and Authority Experience, said smart border control can give competitive advantage to countries. “Microsoft offers a platform and technology to elevate passenger experience, which the UAE can utilize,” he said.

Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, said the coming together of all stakeholder on one platform reflects the global keenness towards ensuring a better future for the travelers. The conference, he added, will pave the way for all the stakeholders to work united in achieving the goals of seamless travel experiences.

Hashish made a preview of Microsoft’s new offerings such as Hololens, cloud platform; both in private and public cloud, Skype translate for emigration officials to enable communication with passengers in their native language and Connect Camera to interpret sign language.


Pre-clearance will use API data, airline reservation system in coordination with emigration au-

The Future of Borders 2015 gave a clarion call for collaboration among the stakeholders for an enhanced passenger experience and safety at borders. Angela Gittens, Director General, Airports Council International (ACI), said: “Countries need to work together so they can have seamless interaction for passengers in between the

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two countries. Routine work should be done by machines. It is the complex jobs that should be done by humans.” Emphasising on the need for collaboration among airports, airlines and the government officials to ensure a safe, secure and well facilitated journey with passengers. For those small minority of high risk passengers who need more attention from the authorities (whether immigration, security or customs standpoint) we do not want to inconvenience the vast majority that are just trying to travel for business or leisure, she added. Michael Herrero, Gulf Area Manager, International Air Transport Association (IATA), said: “The key word is collaboration. We need to have greater collaboration between different governments, between airports, airlines and governments as well as within the countries.”He add-

ed: “We already have the technology and standards and with a conference like the Future of Borders we have the momentum. We should make sure that we define a common vision to work together toward challenge of the future. In the next year event, we would want to see agreements between governments, countries happening here.”

in volumes by changing processes. I think Dubai has done a very good job in anticipating its growth and in accommodating that growth. It now needs to look at its processes and have different components work together and also learn from countries that have done to get the next step in activities and customer service.”

The key word is collaboration. We need to have greater collaboration between different governments, between airports, airlines and governments

Angela added: “It is also important for airlines to work with airports as they plan for the future. Airlines operate in a highly competitive market and can make changes rather easily compared to airports. It will be helpful for airports if the airlines are able to share plans, route structures and volumes so they can plan.”

On handling the surge in passenger numbers, Angela recommended focusing on re-designing and re-thinking about processes. She remarked: “Dubai airport has shown how it was able to increase capacity and handle rise

Future of Borders 2015 was supported by Emirates, emaratech, Commercial Bank of Dubai, DP World, Ritz Carlton-DIFC, Zajel, Key Information Technology, LRS Identity, Microsoft, Marhaba, Dubai Media Inc and Arabian Aerospace.  |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 29

In pictures: Future of Borders 2015

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eyen to recognize documents and iris simultaneously with an acquisition speed of 2 seconds


maratech, the leading online and technology solutions consultant in the Arab World, launched “eyen, its latest technology module that performs simultaneous document and iris scan, during the Future of Borders International Conference in Dubai. The latest iris recognition module engineered and launched by emaratech has an average acquisition speed of up to two seconds. This innovation is a result of a strategic partnership between emaratech and SRI International. SRI’s next-generation Iris on the Move® (IOM) biometric product 34 |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 |

line is available for airport security, border patrol and a broad range of related security applications in the region. eyen, which means guard, sight, noble and people of the region in Arabic and means sight and vision in English offers many opportunities for entry and exit systems at borders, free zones,

private holdings and many establishments. As a first application, eyen module has been integrated in the new intelligent travel gate that will be launched soon. “eyen module is the latest technology that enhances security and users’ experience with minimal

Thani Alzaffin, Director General & Board Member of emaratech speaking at the panel discussion of the first session of the Future of Borders conference with Angela Gittens - Director General, Airports Council International, Michael Herrero - Area Manager, Gulf Area, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Rick Weijermans - Head of External Relations, FRONTEX moderated by Laila Hareb, Assistant Director General of Strategy & International Affairs, General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), UAE.

changes in habit norms”, said Thani Alzaffin, Director General and Board Member of emaratech. He said: “The module maintains highest level of security using the latest iris recognition technology with our partner; SRI International. At emaratech, we focus first on people and then on process. We study

emaratech’s latest ‘eyen’ module to enhance security and user experience behaviors, review existing processes, analyze the operational and technical challenges, in order to deploy business solutions that enhance the overall experience by process re-engineering”. He added: “We have been developing solutions with our strategic partners to enable the UAE play a leading role in shaping the future of the industry and enrich travel experiences. We are very proud of the many achievements realized so far with the eGates and the smart gates implemented at all airports in the country and in the region.” emaratech is a strategic technology partner of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) which organized the two-day conference at Ritz Carlton, DIFC. The conference has a line-up of 24 speakers from 12 countries, including Thani Alzaffin, Director General and Board Member of emaratech.

eyen module, simultaneous document and iris scans with an average acquisition speed of 2 seconds, and highest levels of security

emaratech has been bringing latest technologies and solutions for seamless travellers’ facilitation, including smart gates and e-gates. It is working on various innovative and unique projects towards this end.  |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 35

Exclusive Interview

Michel Ayat, CEO Arabian Automobiles Company

‘Strong growth in UAE economy driving automotive market’ S trong growth in UAE’s economy, an ever expanding population, rising number of expatriates are among the factors that would help automotive market grow at impressive rates, says Michel Ayat, CEO, Arabian Automobiles Company.

The company, which is among the largest automobile distributors in the Gulf, employs over 3,000 people. Ayat attributed the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai’s (GDRFA-D) diligence and strong support to its human resources to the smooth expansion the company has witnessed over the years.

We employ over 3,000 people at AAC and as we have expanded we continue to rely on GDFRA with the smooth employment of new people

In an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, Ayat spoke about the company’s growth, its initiatives and automobile market in the UAE.

With the strong growth in the UAE economy and also major upcoming projects and events such as the Expo 2020, what kind of growth opportunities do you anticipate for your business? There are indeed some fantastic events and upcoming projects in the coming years in the UAE, which will bring fantastic benefits for all of us. As new developments and infrastructure to support those developments are built, consumer demand for personal transport will increase, which is a boon to our business. The leadership of Dubai’s Government has continued to further enhance Dubai as a place for foreign direct investment, and we can only see this increasing as the years roll on. How was year 2014 in terms of performance and what are your targets and expectations for 2015? So far 2015 has continued the suc-

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Exclusive Interview

nese makes is also evident in the market, based on the value driven aspects, technology and reliability. We expect this to continue. Arabian Automobiles has been the first automotive distributor to be recognized with the Dubai Quality Award. What do you attribute your success to? I’m very proud to say that AAC was the first automotive distributor to ever win a Dubai Quality Award. We strive to maintain a high level of quality in all that we do, from planning our business strategy to providing customers with the most convenient and enjoyable experience. The leadership of AAC has always focused on excellence, inspired by the same drive the country’s leadership demonstrate in all they do.

cess we experienced in 2014, for a number of reasons. This year was the 20th anniversary of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), an annual event that Arabian Automobiles Company (AAC) has supported from its inception and creation two decades ago. In this year’s DSF, our retail campaigns have once again produced excellent results. We see the market growing at around 7-9 per cent for the year, based on the ever expanding population of the UAE, and a continuation of the positive upwards sales trend over recent years. In terms of our business, we have everything in place – a great network, state of the art showrooms, a highly motivated workforce – to help us deliver on our sales goals and continually outperform the market. We will never rest on our laurels.

What are the major trends in the UAE automotive market you are expecting in 2015? We’re only just in March so it’s still a bit early to predict the key trends for 2015. So far we see that SUVs are still selling strongly. The growth in small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is leading to an increase in the sales of family sedans, as these companies offer fleets to their burgeoning staff. We also see crossovers being the main driver of the market, with their combination of SUV space and comfort and the driveability of a sedan. The popularity of Japa-

You have a strong customercentric focus. Can you tell us about a few of your initiatives and practices to enrich customer experience? At AAC we firmly put our customers right at the forefront of our minds – they come first in everything we do. To continually enhance their customer service capabilities and expertise, we offer constant training and development of our workforce. Our AAC teams have won Nissan Sales Training awards in the region for their supreme levels of customer service. Our strong footprint of 13 showrooms means we are where we our customers are. Furthermore, we offer a wide range of customized accessories to suit individual needs, alongside the latest customer engagement technologies to excite and engage customers the moment they walk into the showroom. |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 37

Exclusive Interview

How do you view the role of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai in terms of supporting visas and other documentation for human resource in your company? We employ over 3,000 people at AAC and as we have expanded we continue to rely on GDFRA with the smooth employment of new people. Without GDFRA’s diligence and speed in supporting our HR departments, we would not be able to continue to grow and deliver success in the way we do. GDFRA has always been and continues to be a key partner of AAC. How do you think the GDRFA supports the business of private companies in Dubai? As Dubai continues to grow and attract more foreign workers to these shores, private companies rely on speedy administration of

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We see the market growing at around 7-9 per cent for the year, based on the ever expanding population of the UAE as more and more oversees residents come and make the country their home, and a continuation of the positive upwards sales trend over recent years. HR processes to bed in new foreign employees as quickly as possible. With the strong support of

the GDFRA, such companies can focus on what they do best and can rest assured that the administrative side of things is in very safe and speedy hands. Are there any new launches planned for 2015? What can your customers expect Arabian Automobiles to offer them this year? As Arabian Automobiles, we are continuously looking for new ways to improve our customer experience by implementing strategic plans and new model introductions that cater to the market’s needs. We have recently launched the new Nissan X-Trail, and Juke and not so long ago, our refreshed Nissan Patrol. There will be further new models joining our broad and exciting line up, though I can’t say any more as further details will come later in the year when the time is right. 

‫نيســان باتــرول اجلديــد ‪2014‬‬ ‫انطلق برفقة العائلة على أي درب‬ ‫األمر ال ّ‬ ‫يتعلق فقط باملكان املقصود‪ .‬فتقنية ترشيد استهالك الوقود الرائدة يف باترول‪ ،‬واملقصورة الرحبة‪ ،‬ونظام‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫متعددة ومستقلة تضفي على رحلتك أجواء من املتعة والرتفيه قبل أن تصل إىل وجهتك‪.‬‬ ‫اجملهز بشاشات‬ ‫الرتفيه‬ ‫بطل جميع دروب احلياة‬ ‫نيسان‪ٌ .‬‬ ‫إبداع ُيثري احلماس‪.‬‬

‫مس ــاحة رائ ــدة يف فئت ــه | نظ ــام ترفي ــه متع ــدد الشاش ــات | نظ ــام درع الس ــامة‬

‫‪|Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 39‬‬

‫‪www.nissan-dubai.com‬‬ ‫‪NissanDXB‬‬


UAE News

DIFC licenses 242 new companies DIFC is home to 1,225 active firms also one of the highest on record and represents the equivalent of leasing all of the office space available in the Gate Building.

D ubai International Financial Centre, the global financial hub connecting the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) markets with the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas, has reported an 18 per cent increase in the number of registered companies in 2014 operating within the centre within a year, which is highest growth in the last five years. Home to 21 of the world’s top 25 banks, 11 of the world’s top 20 money managers, 7 of the top 10 insurance companies, and 9 of the top 10 law firms, DIFC said the total workforce in the Centre rose 17,860 people, from 15,600 at the end of 2013. The number of net new jobs created in 2014 was 42 per cent more than the net new jobs created in 2013. Net additional leased commercial office space increased 15 per cent, reaching 282,000 sq ft in 2014. 40 |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 |

per cent occupancy for 100 office and retail space The growth in new companies means that on average, DIFC granted license to one new company every working day of the year. Only the boom year of 2008 registered a higher number of new company licenses. His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC and Chairman of DIFC Authority, remarked: “These results demonstrate that Dubai International Financial Centre continues to be the destination of choice for regional and international financial services firms looking to access the growing opportunities available in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. DIFC also facilitates the continued development of South-South trade and investment. The total net new commercial office space leased during the year was

Of the 1,225 total active firms at the end of 2014, there were 362 financial services firms, up 11 per cent from the 327 last year; 682 non-financial services firms (additionally 10 firms were provisionally approved at the end of 2014), up 21 per cent from the 565 non-financial firms last year, and 171 retailers, up 18 per cent from the 145 retailers last year, according to a DIFC press release.

Near 100 per cent occupancy DIFC continued to be one of the most desirable business addressees in Dubai and represented a key component of the city’s Central Business District. During the year, a total of 282,000 sq ft of net additional office space was leased, 15 per cent more than the 245,000 sq ft of net additional office space leased in 2013. Demand for DIFC-owned and managed office and retail space remained strong during 2014, with occupancy remaining at nearly 100 per cent. Reflecting this, DIFC’s fourth Business Centre opened in November, and by December, all 11,000 sq ft of serviced and furnished offices had been leased. The Business Centre is located in Gate Village Building 2. 

UAE News

Dubai tops Mercer quality of living survey in MENA

D ubai has been ranked no 1 for

highest for quality of living according to the Mercer 2015 Quality of Living rankings across the Middle East and Africa region. It is followed by Abu Dhabi (77), also in the UAE, and Port Louis (82), Mauritius.

pensate employees when placing them on international assignments. Mercer compiles Quality of Living Reports and Location Evaluation Reports for each city, providing an overview of conditions and hardship premium recommendations.

Dubai has consistently topped the Mercer Quality of Living rankings over the past decade, and has maintained a steady improvement in its global rankings as well.

Mercer conducts its Quality of Living survey annually to help multinational companies and other employers compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Employee incentives include a quality-of-living allowance and a mobility premium*. Mercer’s Quality of Living Reports provide valuable information and hardship premium recommendations for over 440 cities throughout the world; the ranking covers 230 of these cities.

The emirate ranked #85 in 2005 (out of 215 cities then ranked), and this year, it ranks at #74 in the world (#73 last year). Mercer’s Quality of Living Rankings cover 230 prevalent destinations for globally mobile talent and are based on our Quality of Living Survey. The Quality of Living Survey assesses quality of living conditions to help multinational companies and other employers fairly com-

“Taking a short- or long-term work assignment in a new country is both an exciting and challenging experience for employees and their families,” said Slagin Parakatil, Principal at Mercer. “Cultures, societies, and comparatively different climates,

as well as political instability, high crime rates, and poor infrastructure can be difficult to navigate and settle down in for employees and their families. Employers need to assess whether their staff and families will encounter any drop in quality of living when relocating and ensure they are fairly compensated for it.” Vienna has the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2015 Quality of Living rankings. Overall, European cities dominate the top of the ranking along with major cities in Australia and New Zealand. Zurich, Auckland, and Munich are in second, third, and fourth places respectively. In fifth place, Vancouver is the highest-ranking city in North America and the region’s only city in the top 10. Singapore (26) is the highest-ranking Asian city, whereas Dubai (74) ranks first across the Middle East and Africa. Montevideo in Uruguay (78) takes the top spot for South America.  |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 41

42 |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 |

|Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 43

Middle East News

New healthcare scheme for expats in Bahrain

A new health care scheme for private sector foreign employees has been launched in Bahrain, according to a Trade Arabia report.

According to the report, each private company must pay an annual BD72 ($189.8) per expat employee on renewing work permits at the Labour Market Regulatory Authority.Private firms must also pay BD22.500 per Bahraini employee annually and the levied sum will be incorporated in overall social insurance taxes. Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi issued an edict last month, announcing the scheme regardless of the number of foreign workers, it added. According to the report, the ministry

has said that no work permit would be issued or renewed unless health care fees are paid. It urged all private firms to register their expat workers with the ministry.

Qatar approves visas for 50,000 Bangladeshis

Q atar

labor officials have approved work visa applications for 50,000 Bangladeshis, Doha News reported. Quoting an official from the Bangladeshi embassy, the report said the 50,000 individuals already have job offers in Qatar, but had been waiting for the government here to approve their applications. Most will be working in the construction sector and will gradually arrive over the next three months. “We’re happy to provide more workers,” Bangladeshi ambassador Syed Masud Mahmood Khundoker told Doha News. He said the fact that most of his

44 |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 |

country’s citizens were Muslim and have a reputation for being hard workers and quick to learn new languages is “prompting Qatar to recruit in larger numbers” from his home country. There are approximately 220,000 Bangladeshis living in Qatar, making it the fourthlargest expat community behind India, Nepal and the Philippines. Embassy officials said between 7,000 and 8,000 new Bangladeshis come to Qatar each month, but it is not clear how quickly the community is growing here, because figures for how many people return home each month were not available, according to the report. 

Private firms with more than 50 employees can register with the ministry, launch their own health insurance or open clinics which operate round the clock, it added. 

Kuwait, South Korea sign agreements

K uwait

and South Korea have signed agreements to offer mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and special passports, bilateral transportation cooperation and in health care.According to Kuwait news Agency (KUNA) three agreements and memos of understanding were signed in presence of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, visiting South Korean President Park Geun-hye, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.An agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and special passports was signed by First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, KUNA said. 

|Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 45

opinion column

‘It is important to standardize e-Gates globally’ A s an international finance and trade

centre as well as a tourism hub, Hong Kong welcomes visitors and businessmen from all over the world. While Hong Kong has a population of over 7 million, we processed 290 million incoming and outgoing passengers in 2014, representing an increase of 4.7 percent when compared with that in 2013.

Eric Chan Kwok-ki, Director of Immigration, Hong Kong

Inspite of the challenges, we have been able to meet our performance pledge by clearing 95 per cent of visitors arriving through the Airport within 15 minutes. We adopt a multi-dimensional approach. To deal with the high passenger traffic during rush hours, we draw reinforcement from other less busy checkpoints. We also implemented “Contra-flow Crowd Management Measure” and in 2013 we introduced a smart-phone application which provides the public with real-time reports on the estimated passenger waiting time. In 2013, we introduced the nonstamping initiative in phases to facilitate visitors and non-permanent residents. We have introduced a smart identity card system in 2003, a new border control system and an e-Gate system in 2004, as well as an electronic passport system.

The launch of e-Gates for residents laid a solid foundation of our border management strategy. We believe that (Excerpts from presentation at The Future of Borders 2015 Conference in there is still room for expansion of Dubai on March 11-12). e-Gate service in the years ahead. 46 46 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|April |September |April2015 2015|٢٠١٤ | |

In order to provide greater travel convenience, we have been exploring and have successfully entered into agreements with a number of countries including Korea, Germany and Singapore, to open up the e-Gate service to residents of both sides after enrolment. It is essential to explore the possibility of standardising and harmonising different e-Gate systems globally. The use of e-travel document has become increasingly popular worldwide. We estimate that over 90 per cent arriving visitors will be using e-travel documents by 2020. It is an opportune time to make full use of the potentials of the document. We consider that a global framework of storing and retrieving biometric information, travel details and electronic visa information from the chip of e-travel document for identity verification should be on the international roadmap. Furthermore, the possibility of converting booklet-type passports into card-type passports embedded with chips would be a good business case to study in the arena of future border management. We look forward to working handin-hand with e-Gate user countries/ regions in promoting bi-lateral or multi-lateral use of e-Gates as well as the harmonisation and standardisation of automated border control system globally in the near future. 

opinion column

‘Lets keep open skies open’ recent weeks the Big 3 U.S. airlines I n– American, Delta, and United – have

criticized Gulf-based carriers for allegedly receiving unfair support from their shareholders. But as members of the U.S. – U.A.E. Business Council recently declared, the Big 3 need to “stop complaining and start competing” instead.  These airlines, along with their major international alliances, are attacking Gulf carriers for receiving subsidies while ignoring the enormous amount of direct U.S. government aid (such as pension fund bailouts, and war risk insurance), and state or local tax breaks (on jet fuel, office construction, airport leases) they receive. Moreover, recent comments made by Delta CEO, Richard Anderson are not just misleading, self-serving, and hypocritical – but detrimental to the robust and critical bilateral relationship between the U.S. and the U.A.E.  U.S. exports to the U.A.E. in 2014 were more than 22 billion dollars.  And among the substantial amount of goods exported to the U.A.E. every year from U.S. companies, commercial aviationrelated products are the largest subset.  Indeed, this is a fast-growing and dynamic bilateral trade relationship and, unlike China, comes with a $19 billion trade surplus. U.A.E. airlines meanwhile have been the largest international buyers of American commercial aircraft, with deliveries and orders valued at more than $200 billion since 2000.  With over 250 non-stop flights a week to the

U.S., U.A.E. airlines are transporting millions of visitors a year to cities all across America, filling hotels, attractions, and restaurants, and delivering more than $6 billion a year in combined economic activity. The Big 3 have spent their time recently by actively lobbying against foreign carriers (such as Norwegian Air) from gaining permits to establish footholds in the U.S.  As a result, U.S. Carriers have been able to reap massive gains from consumers by placing a monopolistic premium on ticket sales – directly hurting customers.  This has in turn also affected international gateway airports within the U.S., who would otherwise stand to benefit from direct flights to other markets.

Danny Sebright, President, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and a counselor at The Cohen Group

A recent report by the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, “Commercial Aviation: Taking Flight” identifies more than $16 billion in annual benefits to the United States, supporting over 100,000 jobs and generating over $1.6 billion in American tax revenue. With a $19 billion trade surplus at stake, U.S. officials should stand with virtually every single stakeholder in U.S. commercial aviation, including U.S. airports, travel and hospitality companies, business travelers and cargo airlines, and resist any efforts to limit free trade or restrict Open Skies agreements with the U.A.E.  Let’s keep Open Skies open.  (Excerpts from his Oped in The Hill on March 19) |Manafez Dubai |April 2015 | 47

Profile for Nadd Al Shiba PR & Event Management

Manafez dubai april 2015 english  

Manafez dubai april 2015 english