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

www.manafezdubai.com

Issue 23 April

2016

Smart Travel System at Abu Dhabi International Airport to provide personalised travel experience

Online travel agencies sell 85 p.c more ancillaries

Taqdeer Award, an excellent model in labour practices

Exciting retail opportunities for airlines

Things employees say Sleep deprivation is killing that drive customers away you and your career

The rise of the solo traveler


Smart choice for a smart living

New user interface that enables individuals: • Renew passports (citizens). • Issue new and renew residency for wife & children. • New and renew sponsored visas (citizens). • Extend on arrival visa. • Generate barcode to enter smart gate at Dubai Airports. • Legal consultation. • Attach required documents. And more sevices for individuals and companies

Available on all app stores. Search for: GDRFA Dubai or scan the QR code

• Toll free: 8005111


Welcome Message

Happiness for all is our goal

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e are fortunate to be blessed with leaders who are dedicated to ensure the happiness of their people and are working persistently for the sake of all those who live in the UAE. Our great leaders are the role models who are looked up to by people in other countries across the world. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in this direction, has launched ‘Happiness Meter’, a major initiative to measure the happiness and satisfaction of people, and he has called upon government entities to make this a part of their strategies and achieve five-star service quality rating, and create a work environment that encourages innovation and creativity among employees with the goal of making happiness a way of life for people living in Dubai and the UAE. In response to these directives, the GDRFA in Dubai is pleased to announce that we have formed a Happiness Council for Women, which is a major step in line with the vision of our wise leadership and will enhance Dubai’s image and also loyalty and a sense of belongingness among the people in the UAE. Through the initiative we also aim to provide a friendly work environment for women. Among our plans to make happiness a way of life, we are also working on establishing a Happiness Section, which is a part of the HR and finance department, to support the Happiness Council for Women as we believe in enhancing the participation of women in different fields and encouraging them to develop their skills and progress in their career. I would ask all GDRFA Dubai employees to participate and contribute in our endeavors

to achieve happiness for all and also boost the image of GDRFA Dubai among our customers in providing them the best services, resolving their problems and bringing a smile on their face, in line with the vision of our leadership. We, at the GDRFA D, are indeed fortunate to get this opportunity to add to the happiness of our customers, in accordance with the law, by providing them excellent services by having a positive attitude toward work. This positive approach will certainly enhance the position of the UAE as a role model in the field of human happiness and as a society with positive values. I am confident we are fully capable of achieving this.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 1


GDRFA Message

GDRFA

in History

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

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


Contents

GDRFA News GDRFA Photographs by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) launches Women Happiness Council

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai

P4

UAE News

Dubai’s construction sector to set exemplary standards in labour practices

P8

Online Travel Agencies sell 85 per cent more ancillaries

P 30

Digital-free retreat in Abu Dhabi

DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT

Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri Director General

General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor Deputy Director General

General Coordinator Major Khalid Al Rahma Editorial Consultant Ghassan Suleiman Creative Manager Mohammed Al Jarouf Executive Editor Shveta Pathak

Strategic Technology Partner of GDRFA-Dubai

Official Courier

Advertise with us Content, Production, Marketing & Advertising Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management Phone: + 9714 2566707 Fax: + 9714 2566704 Website www.naddalshiba.com Email info@naddalshiba.com

P 48 | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 3


GDRFA News

Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri: GDRFA committed to enhance happiness, stability and welfare

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) launches Women Happiness Council

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he GDFRA-D has launched Women Happiness Council in line with the initiative by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, of the national happiness and positivity program, which aims at integrating happiness in the policies, programs, services and work environments of all government authorities. The national program aims as well to strengthen the values of positivity and happiness as a UAE life style, and to develop new standards and tools to measure happiness in UAE societies. The launch of the Council comes in response to UAE Vision 2021, 4 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

which foresees upgrading women participation and achieving gender balance in the workplace. The Council has created with a view to providing Dubai with a women friendly environment by 2020, achieving gender balance in GDFRA, building capacities and

talents and enabling women to create and innovate. In addition, it aims to create a positive environment bound to bring happiness to GDFRA women employees and achieve highest job satisfaction levels for them.


GDRFA

Chaired by Ms. Shamsa Saleh, CEO of Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), the Council includes a number of women leaders, who belong to various government authorities, in addition to GDFRA members. The selection of members belonging to all sectors is based on GDFRA belief in the importance of diversifying expertise and efficiencies to provide the Council with a qualitative addition. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDFRA-D said: "The GDFRA-D is translating the UAE leadership visions and values aimed at making citizens and residents the center of its policies and plans by working to enhance their happiness, stability and welfare." Major-General Al Marri remarked that GDFRA-D seeks through the creation of Women Happiness Council to work in accordance with the vision and objectives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who stressed that happiness and positivity are a life style, a government commitment and a real spirit that unifies the UAE society. Al Marri stressed His Highness’s belief that “the governmental system develops to realize the objectives sought after by every individual, namely their own happiness and that of their families.” Major-General Al Marri noted that GDFRA-D will soon create within its human and financial resources department a special section for happiness, which mandate is to provide support to Women Happiness Council.

News

Al Marri added that the Council, which established this week, includes GDFRA-D and other authorities’ members, and is characterized by being an internal Council mandated to support female employees working for GDFRA-D and other entities, with the aim to achieve diversification and exchange of ideas. H.E. stressed that the key objective of creating the Women Happiness Council is to support women participation in the residence and foreigners’ affairs sector, and emphasized that this issues forth from our belief in the important role of women and their positive impact and participation in all sectors. Al Marri clarified that the creation of this Council would endeavor to support women and follow up their affairs, stressing that GDFRA-D is part and parcel of the government of Dubai, and is committed to prepare the adequate environment needed to realise happiness for individuals, families and the society at large. Al Marri said that by recently establishing Women Happiness Council, GDFRA-D would exhert its efforts to encourage all participate by submitting their opinions and proposals, in addition to implementing initiatives aimed at making happiness the life style adopted in GDFRA-D. Shamsa Saleh, CEO of DWE and Chairman of Women Happiness Council, said: “The support we provide to women committees and councils in directorates and institutions comes in line with the vision and directions of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed

Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri

bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of UAE Gender Balance Council, President of DWE and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, UAE, aimed at realization of gender balance agenda and increasing women participation in all areas and sectors of work. It comes as well in response to working women needs and conditions, and eventually ensures a positive environment that attracts women to the labor market, and reduces labor market dropouts in the ranks of women. She said the GDRFA Dubai strongly supports and encourages participation of women, who constitute 27 per cent of the totally employees, and provides friendly work environment for women which is important to help women employees acehive a balance between their work and household duties. Membership of Women Happiness Council includes Eman Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai “the Model Center” – General Secretariat of | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 5


GDRFA News

agement of global conferences. She served as Director of Strategic Management and Institutional Development at DWE, where she was active at business development and management, business planning and follow up to ensure the achievement of the desired goals.

Shamsa Saleh began her professional career by joining DWE in 2008, and was appointed CEO in 2011. Under her management, Dubai Women launched many important initiatives and vital projects, which serve the establishment stated mission in terms of strengthening the role of Emirati working women in order to vitally and actively contribute in society. Shamsa enjoys extensive experience in strategic planning, business development and manDubai Executive Council; Feryal Mohammed Tawakul, Executive Director of Corporate Services Division, Emirates Transport; Sarah Falaknaz, DP World Vice President for Innovation; Maryam Majid Bin Theneya, IT Director and Communication at Dubai Foundation for Women and Children; Manal Al Jassmi, Head of Governance Assurance, Internal Auditing and Risks Section at GDFRA-D; First lieutenant Maryam Ibrahim, Head of Coordination and Follow Up Section at GDFRA-D; Sheikha Al Shaafouri, Head of Attraction and Employment Section at GDFRAD; and Jawaher Al Amiri, Auditor 6 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

Shamsa leads the Establishment’s research team mandated to conduct the relevant studies needed to identify the difficulties faced by Emirati women in their quest for development, and to find appropriate solutions to these challenges. Prior to joining the DWE, Shamsa worked for DIFX as Vice President for Corporate Planning and Project Management. She also worked for Dubai Free Zone Technology and Media as Strategy and Special Projects Specialist, in addition to her role as Acting Manager at the Department of Strategy and Special Projects. at Governance Assurance, Internal Auditing and Risks Section at GDFRA-D. Eman Al Suwaidi said: “There are potential policies, plans, projects and services meant to build the relevant environment and to strengthen positivity as core value among female employees, so as to enable them realize their dreams and aspirations, in addition to developing standards and tools to measure female employees’ happiness.” Sarah Falaknaz, DP World Vice President for Innovation, added that the most important objectives and strat-

egy of Women Happiness Council include building talents and capacities, enabling women to work on creativity and innovation, and seeking to ensure happiness and achieving highest job satisfaction levels among GDFRA D women employees. Speaking about the functions of Women Happiness Council, Manal Al Jassmi noted indicated the Council’s role of following up all plans and affairs related to GDFRA-D female employees, in addition to highlighting women leaders, who are highly talented and have specialized skills, in order to for them to internally and externally represent GDFRA-D. The functions also include providing a local and federal communication network, providing consultancies for female employees, and working to provide initiatives that serve the objectives of the Council. Sheikha Al Shaafouri concluded by stressing that indicators, surveys and annual reports will be designed to measure happiness levels among female employees in all GDFRA-D directorates. She added that GDFRAD has 4,510 employees, of which 1,233 are females- 863 military employees and 370 civil employees. GDFRA-D has 102 supervisory and 1016 executive female employees, and surveys indicate that 80% of them were satisfied with their jobs in 2015, compared to 75 per cent and 79 per cent in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The Council held its first meeting recently in the presence of all members. The session including reviewing objectives and tasks and visualizing the general framework and time schedule for the Council’s plan. 


Our

Message

Another milestone in UAE’s border industry

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he launch of ‘Smart Travel System’ by His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, is a major step in the progress of ports and borders segment in the UAE and in promoting a culture of smart travel, as it allows passengers to enjoy a personal travel experience and complete the procedures quickly from the moment they arrive at the airport until they board the plane. The UAE has been on the forefront when it comes to adopting smart technology to enhance customer experience. In line with this, the GDRFA Dubai is taking many initiatives, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior, by implementing programs and smart technologies to facilitate the movement of passengers through Dubai Airports with a view to handling the flow of more than 85 million passengers, expected to use the Dubai International Airport this year and more than 100 million passengers in 2020. As a part of our strategy to reach all our customers and ensure they are able to avail of the latest facilities such as Smart Gates in Terminal 3, we have reached Dubai Media Corporation and other government organisations. The move has been welcomed by the DMI, as all its employees are now able to enjoy the ‘self check in’ privilege which will make their journey through the airport a great experience and bring happiness to them. At present, a special team is working on a project to convert the Dubai International Airport to smart airport, in Terminal 3, where passengers will be able to board the plane at

a single check point without having to wait at the passport control counters. This initiative, which will be officially launched soon, has been successful in facilitating the flow of travelers as well as enhancing security at the airport. I would like to thank the special team which includes GDRFA Dubai, Dubai Airports, Dubai Police, Emirates and others for their hard work on this project in the last two years. As the number of air travellers continues to increase globally and is expected to reach 7 billion by 2034, I would like to stress that methods and systems that were used earlier need to change with time so as to handle this growth effectively. The United Arab Emirates has been active in implementing the latest smart technologies and enhancing passenger experience at the airports and making their journey smooth and happy, while ensuring safety and security at borders at the same time. The UAE will continue to stay ahead of others.

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

| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 7


UAE News

Taqdeer Award conducts special awareness training workshops for assessors and construction companies

Dubai’s construction sector to set exemplary standards in labour practices

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onstruction companies in Dubai are keen on setting exemplary international standards in labour practices.

Executives from the companies, who attended Awareness Training Workshops for the construction sector conducted by Taqdeer Award, said participating in the Award will not only inspire them to further enhance their labour welfare measures but also ensure that every aspect of worker-related practices is taken care of. The special training workshops were organised at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs

(GDRFA) in Dubai premises, as a part of its efforts to generate awareness about criterion for participation in the Award. The award management has selected 24 assessors, who will play a critical role in assessing the eligibility of the construction companies that are fit to win this first-of-its kind award. The management also organised special training workshops for assessors to equip them with the necessary information about the objectives of the

283 companies, more than 500,000 workers in construction sector award, its criterion and the comprehensive and point-based evaluation procedure based on best international standards. The Taqdeer Award, launched under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, is the world’s first points-based award programme for recognising excellence in labour welfare practices and seeks to promote international best practices in labour welfare and enhance relationship between companies and workers. The Award is targeted at Construction Sector in its first cycle. According to the latest Deloitte and MEED Projects report, over $ 390.8 billion worth of projects are un-

8 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |


UAE News

Redha Ghanim, Senior Manager, AlFuttaim Carillion, who attended the training session, said: “We believe that in order to continue improving and excellence, there should be challenges. The Award comes before us a challenge and we are very keen, we would want to ensure we get the highest ranking.” der construction or in the pipeline in Dubai and the construction sector has a significant contribution in Dubai’s GDP (nearly 8 per cent) and employs 500,000 workers. Fawzieh Shahrour, Trainer, Team Power International, who conducted the training, said: “The assessment criteria are quite comprehensive and cover several aspects of labour practices in an organisation. The assessment team will evaluate the companies on Essential Fundamentals such as labour policies, facilities, health

24 assessors undergo comprehensive training to assess construction companies eligible for the Award

and safety, labour security, recruitment and wages; Culture and Work Environment which includes transparency, innovation and creativity, labour relations, communication and feedback, administration, and labour perceptions and feedback. The training workshop is aimed at helping companies understand details of each of these aspects so that they can understand areas they can improve upon.” The training workshop was attended by around 20 representatives from different companies.

“Our company is very active in taking initiatives for the benefit of our workers, and our effort is to go an extra mile and give them more than expected. We have, for instance, a clinic within the company premises and many other facilities. The Taqdeer Award presents before us another challenge to further enhance our services. We are very keen on setting high standards which will be an example on international level,” he added. Participation in the Award will help companies identify areas where they can take extra measures, as well as give recognition to those who are already implementing the best practices, said the representatives from companies. Karim El Shennawy, Business Development Manager, Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC), said: “Our company has clear labour welfare policies. By participating in the award, we will be able to assess if there are any areas we need to pay special attention to. This will help is ensure that there are no gaps in implementing labour welfare practices.” The Award will inspire all companies to achieve the highest ranking and excel and will benefit both workers as well as companies, said the participants.

More than $ 390.8 billion worth of projects under construction or in pipeline in Dubai

Bianca Wilton, Employee Relations Manager, Al Futtaim Carillion, said: “As the construction sector employs a very high number of workers, we believe the Award rightly focuses on this sector in the first phase. The Award will inspire all companies across the UAE, it will raise awareness on enhancing labour welfare measures.” Serin Matheew, Assistant Manager, HR Operations, Chicago Maintenance & Construction Co., said: “As an ISO-certified company, we already have sound policies and practices in place. Taqdeer Award participation, I feel will help us focus on areas that need to be paid attention to, it will help us excel.” Daq Tanvir, Group Human Resources Manager, Dutco Balfour Beatty Group, said: “The Award will help us benchmark against the industry and see where we stand. It will be a recognition for us on what we do and help us understand where we stand in the industry. The award is in line with the vision of our wise leadership to ensure happiness for all, promote mutual understanding and ensure the happiness of both employers and workers.” The Award will benefit both workers and employers in Dubai as it keeps interests of both parties, said the participants. Ahmad Ataya, Administration Manage, Belhasa Six Construct: “Taqdeer Award focusses on the welfare of workers, which will improve their performance and, in turn, benefit the companies.  | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 9


Interview

Khawla Kabanji, Chief Executive Officer, Zajel

Zajel records 20 per cent revenue growth in 2015 To extend services globally

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hawla Kabanji, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zajel, UAE’s fastest growing courier company which provides services to most of the government bodies, says Zajel is all set to expand to international markets this year. In an interview with Manafez Dubai, Khawla said Zajel is committed to following the Happiness Initiative by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-president and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and enhancing its services for the customers to achieve the happiness target.

Excerpts from the interview: Can you share with us Zajel’s performance in 2015 and your plans for 2016? Year 2015 was highly successful for us and Zajel witnessed 20 per

cent business growth. We achieved 99 per cent of our targets. We were awarded ISO 9001:2008 in Quality Management Systems as well received gold appreciation certificate from Dubai Police and excellent appreciation from Dubai Persecution. We started direct line business with partners for cargo and logistics in India, Pakistan, and UK. We also developed three applications to enhance the efficiency of the operation and meet the clients expectations smart apps, fleet management system and inventory management system. In 2016, our key focus will be to extend our services globally through direct line of cargo and logistics. ZAJEL is one of the fastest growing courier companies in

10 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |


Interview

the UAE, how do you use smart technology for your services? We follow the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vicepresident and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai to smart city by using advance technology and smart solutions. In this direction, we are proud to introduce our new enterprise level Courier Management Software with highly advanced features that we have developed in-house. Among those is Z360, a complete world class courier operations management software solution with all the operations, call center, front desk and accounts modules with complete MIS reports for all the modules. For courier management, we have Z Lite, which is a complete web based courier management solution for corporates and strategic partners with all the modules and MIS reports, integrated with

back office Z360 system. And it is also compatible with latest smart phones. Z-Tron, is a mobile device based software solution ready to process real time updates, pickup notifications, capture proof of deliveries for consignee signature and ID snapshot, integrated with Z360 and Z-lite. Our call centres are equipped to handle unlimited number of concurrent calls, allow our customers to leave a voicemail when our agents are unavailable, ensure, via the IVR System that the call is directed to the right person, The Power Diallier we use automates the outbound calling process so our

sales team can call more contacts faster and the system has multiple language options like English, Arabic and Urdu to cover wide range of our customers What makes Zajel different from other courier companies? Zajel serves most of the government organisations, which reflects our reliability and high quality of services. We are fully equipped with the latest technology, have high level of security on servers to maintain customers and clients data, offer a unique range of products and services and use highly advanced methodology for handling the services. | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 11


Interview

Are there any new initiatives in the pipeline? We are developing CARGO Model. In our efforts to continue with enhancing our services, we are targeting Health, Safety & Environment

12 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

Management System based on ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001. We will continue working ceaselessly to enhancing services, providing the best quality services to clients and be the most preferred courier company. ď‚…


YOUR HAPPINES IS OUR FOCUS

© 2012 ZAJEL COURIER SERVIC

| Manafez Manafez Dubai Dubai ||April April2016 2016||13 13


Cover Story

Smart Travel System at Abu Dhabi International Airport to provide personalised travel experience

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t. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, inaugurated ‘Smart Travel System’ at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The system allows travelers to enjoy a personal travel experience, by which they can quickly finalise their travel procedures from the moment they arrive to the airport and until they board the plane. The system allows travelers to check-in easily while they are waiting to receive their boarding pass, and then head straight to the e-gate and finalise their travel procedures without the hassle of visiting the passport control and waiting at the counter. 14 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

The ‘Smart Travel System’ provides services to process travel procedures and check in luggage, as well as e-gates to validate travelers’ passports data and face recognition feature, and other smart specifications for boarding the plane. Lt General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the inauguration of the ‘Smart Travel System’ at the Abu Dhabi International Airport is a qualitative leap that improves procedures and enhances flexibility to facilitate travelers’ movement,

which is one of the main focus areas for the UAE, which is exemplary for its progress in the aviation sector. “The government of the UAE is keen to ensure sustainable and upgraded services to increase travelers’ satisfaction and meet their aspirations by providing the best services that would allow them to quickly complete their travel procedures,” he said. He also appreciated the progress made by the Abu Dhabi International Airport and the


Cover Story

commitment to pursue further development process to keep abreast of the latest and best services and techniques. His Highness Sheikh Saif and the attendees watched a documentary film about the different stages and benefits of the Smart Travel System, which allow travelers to complete their travel procedures quickly. H.H also listened to a briefing about the new system, which grants travelers the ease of a self-service process. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Sha’far, Undersecretary at the Minister of Interior; Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police; Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaiaili, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Naturalization, Residency and Ports Affairs; Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Inspector General of the Ministry of Interior; and Major General Abdul Aziz Maktoum Al Shareefi, Director General of Protective Security at the Ministry of Interior. Also attending were Brigadier Sheikh Mohammed bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Director General of Security and Ports Affairs at Abu Dhabi Police; and a number of officials from the Abu Dhabi airports and officers from the Ministry of Interior. The inauguration was also attended on behalf of Abu Dhabi Airports by Engineer Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazroui, CEO; Engineer Ahmad Al Hadabi, COO; and Ahmad Jumaa Al Shamesi, Director of Airport Operations.

Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) said: “Providing a worldclass travel experience for travelers is a top priority for the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). The continuing growth in passenger numbers at Abu Dhabi International Airport prompts us to implement the latest technological system, in order to streamline travelers’ movement around the airport”. He appreciated the cooperation with the Ministry of Interior to launch the “Smart Travel System”, which represents a milestone that further strengthens the prestigious leading status of Abu Dhabi Airports, in terms of adopting the latest innovations and providing cuttingedge technological solutions to passengers. “This system will not only provide the most suitable conditions for travelers, but will also improve the efficiency of the security inspections, by providing more accurate and credible information and data,” he added. Brigadier Engineer Hussein Ahmed Al Harithi, Director General of Electronics and Telecommunications Services at the Ministry of Interior, and Chairman of the Higher Committee for E-Ports Project, said: “The ‘Smart Travel System’ is a first-of-its-kind in the UAE; it was launched at the Abu Dhabi International Airport in order to provide convenience for travelers, streamline their travel procedures and save time and effort. This would contribute to the happiness of Abu Dhabi Airports passengers thanks to the comprehensive high-end services provided to passengers, arriving to or departing

from this prestigious hub, which cater to their needs and streamline their travel procedures, on par with the best airport services standards in developed countries.” Brigadier Engineer Al Harithi added that this great milestone will further promote the leading position of Abu Dhabi Airports in providing the best services and facilities to help passengers complete their arrival or departure procedures in a comfortable and civilized manner. According to Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), the distinguished automated system features a number of facilities dedicated for check-in, check-out and luggage loading. The Airport provides the e-gates system for passport control, equipped with biometric capture devices and face recognition system, in addition to smart boarding gates. The ‘Smart Travel System’ procedures will enhance passengers’ travel experience, by reducing check-in time by 70%. This would provide passengers with a greater opportunity to enjoy a wide range of offers in the retail, entertainment, restaurants, cafes and shops, and allow airports and airlines to accelerate the flow of travelers and increase the capacity of the existing infrastructure. The ‘Smart Travel System’ at the Abu Dhabi International Airport includes a set of self-service procedures, notably bags drop-in, electronic check-in, e-gate, and selfboarding. Signs have been installed across passenger halls to explain the process, in order to allow passengers to benefit from services provided through the project. | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 15


Cover Story

Smart Travel at Abu Dhabi

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Cover Story

| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 17


Middle East News

UAE among top five destinations in Muslim travel market Spending by Muslim travellers to rise to $200 billion by 2020, number of Muslim arrivals to grow to 168 million

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he United Arab Emirates (UAE) is among the top five destinations in the Muslim Travel market, according to the latest MasterCard– CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2016.

18 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |


Middle East News

on the list of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations. Turkey, Indonesia and Qatar round off the top five. Indonesia climbed two places to take the fourth spot while Bahrain became the biggest mover, jumping four spots to take the tenth position. Singapore also retained its pole position for the non-OIC destinations, with Thailand, the UK, South Africa and Hong Kong making up the top five.

The index, which covers 130 destinations, saw the UAE move up one spot from last year to take the second position behind Malaysia

“The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2016 has now become the number one tool for destinations around the world to realign their strategies to reach out to the Muslim consumer. One of the biggest trends we are seeing is non-OIC destinations making a concerted effort to attract the Muslim tourist and they now represent over 63 percent of the destinations covered in the GMTI. For example, Japan and Philippines have taken some ma-

jor steps over the last few months to diversify their visitor arrivals and boost their economy in the process,� said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating & HalalTrip. The study also revealed that in 2015, there were an estimated 117 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally, representing close to 10 percent of the entire travel market. This is forecasted to grow to 168 million visitors by 2020 equal to 11 percent of the market segment with a market value projected to exceed US$200 billion. Asia and Europe were also revealed as the two leading regions in the world for attracting Muslim visitors - accounting for 87 percent of the entire market. The Index rated the destinations against a backdrop of criteria which included suitability as a family holiday destination, the level of services and facilities it provides, accommodation options, marketing initiatives as well

The top 10 OIC destinations in the GMTI 2016 RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

GMTI 2016 RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11

DESTINATION Malaysia United Arab Emirates Turkey Indonesia Qatar Saudi Arabia Oman Morocco Jordan Bahrain

SCORE 81.9 74.7 73.9 70.6 70.5 70.4 70.3 68.3 65.4 63.3 | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 19


Middle East News

as visitor arrivals. Each criterion was then weighted to make up the overall index score. This year, two new criteria - air connectivity and visa restrictions were added to further enhance the Index. UAE had an Index score of 74.7 placing it second in the overall combined list.

Family destination

Popularity of a destination for holidays as well as its family friendliness was among the important criteria. More than 50 per cent of Muslim tourists travel with their families - a much higher percentage compared with other travel segments. The index rated the destinations based on visitor arrivals and also 20 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

availability of activities such as shopping, sightseeing, architecture, arts and culture, nature and wildlife, beaches and more. Safety of destinations for Muslim travellers was also among the key criteria. A safe and secure environment is the key to attracting any tourist to a destination. Historically, empirical studies reveal a very high correlation between a safe travel environment and the number of tourist arrivals to a particular destination.

Dining options and halal assurance

Availability of Halal food is one of the most important aspects when it comes to catering for Muslim travelers. Muslims are required to only consume Halal food.

The main criteria for meat is that it has been slaughtered in a Halal manner. Furthermore, any food which does not use meat or meat based ingredients or alcohol in its preparation is considered permissible to consume. There should also be no risk of Halal food being contaminated with non-Halal food. Given the complexity of the food industry, an independent Halal assurance of a food outlet by a Halal certification body puts Muslims at ease when choosing where to eat, said the report.

Accommodation Options

Providing accommodation options which cater for the Muslim travelers is important. Having access to Halal food, prayer direction mark-


Middle East News

ings, no alcohol and water friendly washrooms are just some of the most important services that Muslims will look for to make their stay comfortable at hotels or other accommodation. Since a huge proportion of Muslim tourists travel with children and parents, having family friendly accommodation such as an apartment hotel will increase its attractiveness.

The scoring methodology for access to prayer places is based on the general availability of prayer facilities in the destination and in particular their availability in the main tourist cities of the destinations. Malaysia scored 81.9 while Turkey posted 73.9. In comparison, the highest scoring

The Index helps destinations, travel services and investors to track the health and growth of this travel segment while benchmarking their individual progress in reaching out to this growing market. “Many already successful destinations around the world are looking to diversify their visitor base to maintain tourist growth rates in today’s increasingly competitive travel market.

Ease of access to prayer lo- non-OIC destination Singapore cation scored 68.4 with second place The fast growing Muslim travel Performing prayers (Salah) five times a day is one of the five pillars of Islam. Salah is preceded by ablution, a certain way of cleaning oneself before prayers. The prayer could be performed at any clean location, but most Muslims travelers would prefer a mosque or a designated place for prayers. Hence, ease of access to prayer facilities in the tourist destination will make Muslim travelers comfortable.

Thailand at 59.5.

Taiwan and Japan have continued to improve their overall rankings and the average GMTI scores by region show Asia as the leading region. The overall average GMTI score for the complete 130 destinations currently stands at 43.7. From a regional perspective, Asia Pacific destinations lead with an average GMTI score of 56.5.

segment is an opportunity in plain sight but in order to benefit from it, it is crucial to understand the needs and preferences of Muslim travelers and how to adapt and tailor products and services for them. We believe that the GMTI provides real value to businesses and governments looking to tap into this important market segment,” said Matthew Driver, Group Executive, Global Products & Solutions, Asia Pacific, MasterCard. 

The top 10 non-OIC destinations in the GMTI 2016 RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

GMTI 2016 RANK 8 20 21 30 31 31 33 34 35 36

DESTINATION Singapore Thailand United Kingdom South Africa Hong Kong France Taiwan Japan Sri Lanka United States

SCORE 68.4 59.5 59.0 53.1 53.0 51.6 50.1 49.1 49.0 48.9 | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 21


Exclusive Interview

Dr. Ruba Jaradat, International Labour Organization (ILO) Regional Director for Arab States UAE - ILO working on a 2- year project

Taqdeer Award, an excellent model in labour practices for other countries to implement

T

aqdeer Award, launched under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, aims to enhance relationship between companies and workers by recognising excellence in labour practices and setting new benchmarks in work practices across sectors in Dubai.

2222|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai | April | April 2016 2016 ||


Exclusive Interview

UAE working with ILO on a 2-year project

The world’s first points-based award programme for recognizing excellence in labour welfare practices, which seeks to promote international best practices in labour welfare, is excellent initiative which can be a model for others in the region, says Dr Ruba Jaradat, International Labour Organization (ILO) Regional Director for Arab States. In an interview with Manafez Dubai, Dr Ruba, spoke about the positive impact of the Award and UAE’s initiatives toward enhancing employer and worker relationship.

What is your opinion about the role of Taqdeer Award in recognising excellence in labour welfare practices? The Taqdeer Award is a positive step that reflects the spirit of corporate social responsibility  and due diligence by employers, which the ILO promotes. Offering incentives for labour welfare practices will help raise standards in the construction sector in Dubai and benefit workers. The award can be a valuable complement to legal regulation and the enforcement of such regulation, and is a reflection of Dubai’s and the UAE’s serious efforts towards reform in this area for the benefit of all workers. What do you think of the impact it can make in the UAE labour market? The Taqdeer Taqdeer Award, which is targeted at companies employing more than 100 workers, can have a positive impact particularly among major companies by providing them with strong incentives to implement labour welfare practices.  We hope that the award can be expanded in future to include smaller companies, subcontractors and suppliers, including manpower outsourcing agencies. The award as it is now is a big step in the direction of creating better working conditions and encouraging the implementation of labour rights in the UAE. In this regard, I would like to commend the UAE for approaching the ILO and working with us on labour market reform. We are working together on a promising new initiative: a two-year project in which the ILO will support the Government to build the capacity

of the Ministry of Labour to manage and monitor its labor market for the benefit of all workers, including migrant workers. It will see the ILO and UAE working together to develop tools and information so that policy makers can better govern the labour market and monitor progress. The project will work on enhancing labour inspection capacities to monitor working conditions, dispute prevention and resolution mechanisms, and access to justice for migrant workers, as well as developing a national occupational safety and health policy. Do you think that Taqdeer Award can be a model that can be implemented in other countries, both regionally and worldwide? The award is an excellent initiative to encourage employers to improve their employment practices and we hope the impact it will have in practice can be a model for others in the region. We encourage stakeholders in other countries to follow suit and implement similar programmes as an incentive to companies to provide better working conditions and promote workers welfare.  | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 23


International News

Westminster Group signs 20 year Middle East Border Security MoU

W

estminster Group Plc (‘Westminster’, the ‘Group’ or the ‘Company’), the AIM listed , a supplier of managed services and technology based security solutions, announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) relating to a 20 year border security project in the Middle East. The project will involve the provision of equipment, training and ongoing maintenance of security screening checkpoints for the duration of the contract, being initially 20 years, at an import border crossing within the Middle East, according to a press release. The border crossing is a major and very busy transit point between two countries and due to the volumes of traffic passing through the crossing vehicles can be queued for several days waiting to cross. The purpose of the project is to provide advanced screening, monitoring and detection systems that will significantly speed up the crossing process whilst maintaining a high degree of security. The MOU has been entered into with the authority responsible for border security. 24 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

In accordance with the terms of the MoU Westminster will now be undertaking a gap analysis and feasibility study prior to finalising contract negotiations.

the last few months and shows the momentum we are achieving in establishing long term, recurring revenue projects in various regions of the world.

Under the proposed contract and project programme Westminster will establish an office in the country and will provide the specialist equipment and technologies and the ongoing support and maintenance teams necessary to ensure all equipment is regularly serviced and any malfunctions are quickly rectified.

“This is a further illustration of the corporate development activities that we are supporting through the fund raising announced today.

Peter Fowler, Chief Executive of Westminster Group, said: “I am delighted to announce this latest development for our Technology Division which follows several important long term (typically 15 25 year) project MoU’s signed by our Managed Services Division in

“Whilst there is of course no certainty as to timing or the final outcome of these or any of the project opportunities in progress we believe the number of long term, large scale MoU’s now in play, any one of which provide significant revenue opportunities, and the momentum we are seeing together with the current focus on security worldwide is encouraging and we will of course continue to update the market on progress in due course.” 


| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 25


International News

Philippines accelerates plans to develop Halal tourism

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he Philippines is accelerating its plans to position itself as one of the world’s preferred destinations for Muslim tourists. The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) has unveiled a series of initiatives as part of a major drive to create a long-term infrastructure across the country to diversify its visitor arrivals by attracting Muslim visitors- especially from the neighbouring ASEAN region and the Middle East. It has now partnered with CrescentRating, the world’s leading authority on Halal travel, to help build capabilities and resources as well as launch a destination marketing campaign to meet its objectives.  The relationship will see the PDOT embark on a series of activities to increase awareness of the avail-

ability of Halal food, mosques, and other Muslim-friendly holiday experiences and facilities in the Philippines. The Muslim travel market is now widely recognised as a key growth tourism sector projected to be worth $200 billion by 2020. The Philippines’ close proximity to the large Muslim populations of Malaysia and Indonesia, coupled

with its rich diverse culture, makes the country an attractive destination for family tourists keen to explore one of the most unique places in Asia. “The Philippines receives close to 566,000 visitors from the Middle East, parts of ASEAN, as well as India and Israel. This forms our base market to extend Halal services and to move forward. Halal is not only a religious matter, but a nation’s concern. “ “Hence the impetus in the development of the halal industry must be economic rather than just cultural. Improving the Halal industry in our country will not only serve to advance the lives of Muslim Filipinos and attract more tourists, but it could also help spur growth in the Philippine economy,” Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. of the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) said.

26 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |


International News

Tourism Philippines said this new drive to attract inbound Muslim tourists formed a key strand on its long-term strategy to maximize its economic growth in the halal tourism industry. The initial focus will be on developing services in Manila, Davao, Cebu, and Boracay.

online campaigns including the use of social media influencers in the region.

destination to position itself and inspire Muslim visitors to choose Philippines for their next holiday.

It will also use CrescentRating services to accredit hotels and restaurants in the major cities of Philippines with its rating system.

The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country composed of more than 7,000 islands, offering a unique travel experience from its waterfront promenade to centuriesold Chinatown.

Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating, said: “We are delighted to have entered into a partnership with the Philippine Department of Tourism on their maiden journey into the Muslim-friendly travel market and excited about working together.” 

“Muslim tourists are now more bold and daring in their travel choices and the Philippines presents a great offering for those looking for natural beauty and culture.” The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015, the most comprehensive research that has been released on the sector, revealed that in 2014, the Halal tourism market was worth $145 billion with 108 million Muslim travellers representing 10% of the entire travel economy. Philippines was ranked 47th on the list with a GMTI score of 41.8. 

It will work with CrescentRating and its sister brand HalalTrip to launch a dedicated Muslim Visitor Guide and promote its offering via

“Looking at the Philippines’ unique culture and heritage, we believe there is a huge potential for the

| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 27


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| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 29


Biz World

Online Travel Agencies sell 85 per cent more ancillaries

O

nline travel agencies (OTAs) are spearheading a dramatic shift towards online merchandising in 2015.

In the first three quarters of this year, Amadeus IT Group saw an 85 per cent increase in the amount of ancillaries being sold by travel agencies. This trend suggests that OTAs are becoming a big player in the merchandising market. Â 30 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

There are three times more OTAs integrating ancillaries services as part of their product offering in 2015 compared to 2014. Not long ago, ancillary sales by OTAs were negligible. Today, we see cases in which 15 out

of every 100 air bookings by OTAs include an ancillary sale, and that figure rises to 30 or 40 for certain carriers. In addition, there are three times more OTAs with integrated airline ancillaries in 2015 compared to 2014.


Biz World

Pedro Espin, associate director for merchandising and personalisation at Amadeus, says this change is being fuelled by customer demand, and by the significant number of airlines that have made their ancillary content available in the GDS.    “Online travel agencies constantly need to improve their user experience to stay competitive. If I want to book a window seat or bring one extra bag, and an OTA does not give me that option, I can find another travel vendor in just a few clicks,” says Espin. OTAs have also recognised that merchandising is simply good business. Logitravel, for example, has stated that the company expects revenues to climb between 5 per cent and 15 per cent thanks to the integration of ancillaries and Fare Families on their website.

Online travel agencies (OTAs) are spearheading a dramatic shift towards online merchandising in 2015

The good news is that airlines are benefitting from this trend as well. More than 60 airlines already sell their ancillaries and Fare Families through the Amadeus system, and another 40 airlines have signed and are in the process of being integrated. It is too early to know how much revenue airlines generated through ancillary sales in 2015, but in 2014, IdeaWorks says a sample of 63 airlines made a total of $38.1 billion, which equates to $17.5 per passenger, with year-over-year growth of 21 per cent. “The selling of merchandising is the first step that OTAs are taking in offering travellers great

Fast Facts

The volume of AAS sold by travel agencies has increased by 85 per cent compared to 2014 45 per cent of total global air bookings made through OTAs could offer sales of merchandising products such as ancillary services or airline Fare Families In 2016, this number is expected to rise to 60 per cent Ancillary Adoption Rates for full service carriers range from 10 per cent to 40 per cent

personalisation in their air bookings,” says Pedro Espin. “This trend will benefit everyone: travellers, OTAs and airlines.” 

| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 31


New Technology

Allowing passengers to use a single biometric token from entry to exit

SITA Smart Path replaces passports, boarding passes with biometric checkin Morpho to provide technology for FAST Project at Changi Airport

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resenting your passport or boarding pass to board an aircraft may soon be a thing of the past as biometric airport screening witnesses rapid advancements.

A latest biometric system, launched by IT provider SITA, allows passengers to move through the airport and board the aircraft simply by presenting them for a biometric check-in, without any need for presenting a boarding pass, a passport or travel documents. With SITA Smart Path, the passenger’s biometric details are captured through a facial scan at the first touch point in the journey. The record is checked against the passenger’s travel documents, typically the passport, and a secure single token is created. Then, at each step of the journey – from check-in, to aircraft boarding or border control – passengers gain access simply with a facial scan and without having to show their passport or boarding pass. SITA said it is currently working with a number of major airlines and airports to integrate biometrics into 32 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

the passenger journey and expects that by 2020 passengers using biometrics will be the norm at airports across the world. Matthys Serfontein, Vice President, Airport Solutions, said: “The key to single token travel is gathering and verifying data as early in the process as possible in order to establish a robust token. This includes both biometric and biographic information. And then if necessary to update it with more detailed information from airline, airport or government systems at various steps in the journey. That is exactly how we have designed SITA Smart Path.” The system and seamless walkthrough experience within reach of passengers today. Unlike other offerings, SITA’s can be easily integrated into existing airport infrastructure and airline systems. This includes standard common-use, self-service equipment already in

use across the industry such as check-in kiosks, bag drop units, gates for secure access, boarding and automated border control, making rapid deployment easy and cost-effective. Smart Path also integrates with government systems and databases, allowing integrated immigration and border checks. “SITA has a strong record of introducing new self-service solutions across the entire passenger journey for both airlines and airports. But we also provide sophisticated border management systems to Governments.


New Technology

We have built on this unique expertise to create SITA Smart Path - a single, secure, self-service process using existing common-use infrastructure which works seamlessly with multiple airline and Government systems. Smart Path simplifies secure, passenger processing for everyone – airlines, airports and border authorities,” said Serfontein. Airports are also actively implementing biometric identification to fasten procedures for passengers. Singapore’s Changi airport has chosen Morpho (Safran) to provide the

technology for its Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) project at the forthcoming Terminal 4. This biometric control system involving self-bag drop, integrated border clearance and self-boarding gates will increase the airport’s operating efficiency and improve passenger travel experience.

MorphoPass manages the different stages in a passenger’s journey through an airport, based on biometric identification, to offer enhanced service quality all the way to boarding. The solution makes checkpoints faster and less intrusive for travelers at bag drop, airside access and passport control, as well as boarding control point.

This solution is based on MorphoPass Biometric Applicant Management System and MorphoWay automated gates to support the airport’s Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) concept for Terminal 4 which will open in 2017.

Morpho CEO Anne Bouverot asserted that together with the airport authorities, the company is “building the checkpoint of the future, combining the best in biometric accuracy, design efficiency and program execution.”  | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 33


New Technology

Dubai stands to gain $5 billion from digitalisation

UAE-based CIOs discuss opportunities in digital transformation during CIOMajlis

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igital transformation presents a $4.9 billion worth of opportunity for Dubai over the next five years, according to latest statistics. With the government undertaking numerous ‘smart’ initiatives, the benefits of digitalisation are expected to percolate to every sector in the economy, especially utilities, transportation, aviation and tourism.

“The UAE’s leadership is taking active initiatives toward becoming the world’s smartest place. The initiatives are inspiring companies to actually push themselves in the direction to digital transformation. In a recent survey, CISCO estimates that over the next five years, this digitilisation will contribute $4.9 billion to 34 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

the GDP, which includes $3.7 billion from the private sector,” said Ashley Woodbridge, Customer Solutions Architect, Cisco, while addressing the CIOMajlis on a session on ‘Digital Transformation’. More than 30 UAE-based CIOs from different sectors including oil

and gas, infrastructure, logistics, finance, energy and IT, shared experiences and discussed the challenges and opportunities in the way to digital transformation during the recent CIOMajlis, held at Al Badiya Golf Club, Festival City. Ahmad Al Mulla, Senior Vice President, Information technology, Emirates Global


New Technology

Aluminium, Chairman of the CIOMajlis, said: “The rapidly changing technology necessitates that companies keep up with the pace and gain out of it, which can be challenging particularly as the CIOs need to align new technology initiatives with the goals of the organization and at the same time, face challenges in form of global competition and availability of resources. At the CIOMajlis, the biggest advantage is the sharing of tried and tested methods. We are getting tremendous response to the CIOMajlis and expecting number to grow multiple times within a few months.” Abdulqader Obaid Ali, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Smartworld, said: “The UAE government’s initiatives toward adopting smart technol-

ogy and driving innovation across all sectors is a driving force for organisations to follow the path and successfully meet competition at global level. The experience at CIOMajlis will help companies across the UAE to implement effective strategies, which will also bring more international business.”

in terms of performance, operations, security, control and business growth and we have been actively working toward it. We have put our plans in place and also started implementing those plans; our next step is SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytic and Cloud) technology, which for a business like ours, where our customers are spread across different countries, will be greatly beneficial. It will help us meet customer expectations and stay ahead of competitors.”

During the session, the CIOs shared the challenges and opportunities that digital transformation brings forth.

Thameem Rizvon, Group IT Director, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group, said: “The CIOMajlis is a unique and strong platform that provides an opportunity to learn from experiences of other organisations. As CIOs when we get together, the best advantage is hearing what others have done, what are the areas that challenges issues you can face. It will help us prepare better and the advantages are longterm.”

Ali Abdul Aziz Al Ali, Vice-President, Information Technology Division, ADNOC, said: “The government’s initiatives are driving organisations such as ours to actively work toward excellence through digital transformation. We believe that digital solutions will serve a lot

The CIOMajlis members have regular monthly meetings during which the members get an opportunity of learning from local and world renowned leaders on topics relevant to them and their businesses as well as participating in local and overseas field trips and educational sessions. 

| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 35


Health

Sleep deprivation is killing you and your career

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ccording to the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, the short-term productivity gains from skipping sleep to work are quickly washed away by the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on your mood, ability to focus and access to higher-level brain functions for days to come. The negative effects of sleep deprivation are so great that people who are drunk outperform those lacking sleep. New research has found skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity. What Sleep Deprivation Does to Your Health Sleep deprivation is linked to a variety of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity. It stresses you out because your body overproduces the stress hormone cortisol when it’s sleep deprived. It also makes you look older, because cortisol breaks down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic. In men specifically, not sleep36 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

ing enough reduces testosterone levels and lowers sperm count. Not sleeping enough also makes you fat. Sleep deprivation compromises your body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and control food intake. When you sleep less, you eat more and have more difficulty burning the calories you consume. Sleep deprivation makes you hungrier by increasing the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and makes it harder for you to get full by reducing levels of the satiety-inducing hormone leptin. People who sleep less than six hours a night are 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who sleep seven to nine hours a night.

How Much Sleep Is Enough? Most people need seven to nine hours of sleep a night to feel sufficiently rested. Doing Something About It Follow these strategies and you’ll reap the performance and health benefits that come with getting the right quantity and quality of sleep. 1. Stay away from sleeping pills. Anything that interferes with the brain’s natural sleep process has dire consequences for the quality of your sleep. Many of the strategies that follow eliminate factors that disrupt this recovery process. If getting off sleeping pills proves


Health difficult, make certain you try some of the other strategies (such as cutting down on caffeine) that will make it easier for you to fall asleep naturally and reduce your dependence upon sedatives. 2. Stop drinking caffeine (at least after lunch). Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that interferes with sleep by increasing adrenaline production and blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain. Caffeine has a six-hour half-life, which means it takes a full 24 hours to work its way out of your system. Caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates most. When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with a cognitive and emotional handicap. You’ll be naturally inclined to grab a cup of coffee or an energy drink to try to make yourself feel more alert, which very quickly creates a vicious cycle.

3. Avoid blue light at night. Short-wavelength blue light plays an important role in your mood, energy level and sleep quality. Exposure to blue light impairs melatonin production and interferes with your ability to fall asleep as well as with the quality of your sleep once you do nod off. Remember, the sleep cycle is a daylong process for your brain. When you confuse your brain by exposing it in the evening to what it thinks is a.m. sunlight, this derails the entire process with effects that linger long after you power down. The best thing you can do is avoid these devices after dinner (TV is OK for most people as long as they sit far enough away from the set). 4. Wake up at the same time every day. Consistency is key to a good night’s sleep, especially when it comes to waking up. Waking up at the same time every day improves your mood and sleep quality by regulating your circadian rhythm.

When you have a consistent wake-up time, your brain acclimates to this and moves through the sleep cycle in preparation for you to feel rested and alert at your wake-up time. Roughly an hour before you wake, hormone levels increase gradually (along with your body temperature and blood pressure), causing you to become more alert. This is why you’ll often find yourself waking up right before your alarm goes off. 7. Stop working. When you work in the evening, it puts you into a stimulated, alert state when you should be winding down and relaxing in preparation for sleep. Recent surveys show that roughly 60 percent of people monitor their smartphones for work emails until they go to sleep. 9. Learn to meditate. Many people who learn to meditate report that it improves the quality of their sleep and that they can get the rest they need even if they aren’t able to significantly increase the number of hours they sleep. At the Stanford Medical Center, insomniacs participated in a six-week mindfulness meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy course. At the end of the study, participants’ average time to fall asleep was cut in half (from 40 to 20 minutes), and 60 percent of subjects no longer qualified as insomniacs. The subjects retained these gains upon follow-up a full year later. Give mindfulness a try. At minimum, you’ll fall asleep faster, as it will teach you how to relax and quiet your mind once you hit the pillow.  (Source: Success.com, article by Travis Bradberry) | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 37


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| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 39


Special Study

Air travelers can expect more onboard sales, report says

Exciting retail opportunities exist for airlines

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ccording to the recent GuestLogix’ Airline Onboard RetailMarket Assessment, the future of air travel will include a lot more sales pitches with carriers expected to be better equipped to sell fliers entertainment, food and even tickets to theaters and theme parks in the cities they’re visiting. cosmetics account for 70 per cent of inflight duty free & travel retail sales. The onboard retail market remains strong and will continue to serve as a major area of growth and focus for airlines worldwide, according to the report. Findings are drawn from analysis of data gathered across a spectrum of sources, including airlines, annual reports, travel associations and agencies, as well as GuestLogix’ proprietary database of onboard retail sales.

The airline onboard retail industry has been growing annually at an average rate of 12.9 per cent since 2012, much of that growth was led by purchases of food, beverages, inflight entertainment and inflight duty free & travel retail products by passengers onboard European and Asia Pacific carriers, according to a new report from GuestLogix Inc, a global provider of ancillary-focused merchandising, payment and business intelligence technology to airlines and the passenger travel industry. Dan Thompson, SVP, Marketing & Communications, GuestLogix , said: “An evolving retailing sophistication, combined with passengers’ willing40 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

ness to pay for a better travel experience, has contributed to significant inflight retail market growth. Global airlines have achieved substantial revenue growth from onboard retail activities, primarily through the sale of food and beverage and duty free.  That said, in 2016, we’re going to see onboard technology, product and service offerings, access points and payment methods continue to evolve and expand.” The comprehensive report released recently in collaboration with retail analyst firm Kantar Retail, also found that passengers are showing a preference for fresh foods over snacks, and tobacco, beverages, and fragrances/

Of the 12.9 per cent average annual growth rate since 2012, Europe accounts for nearly two-thirds, while Asia Pacific accounts for approximately one-fourth. Interestingly, full-service carriers account for roughly 60 per cent of sales growth, but low-cost carriers are growing at nearly double the rate of full service carriers. U.S. spending on services (including air travel and tourism) is up, representing 67 per cent of total spending in 2015. Additonally, the global middle class population nearly doubled from 2001 to 2011 - a positive consumer trend for the airline industry,


Special

as more people are able to afford and consider air travel, all of which indicate rise in travel retail opportunities. Low-cost carriers led Buy on Board (BoB) growth, said the report. Fresh foods are fueling food sales growth at an average rate of 12.7 per cent annually, while snack sales are dropping at an average annual rate of 3.7 per cent, it noted. According to the report, inflight entertainment sales are growing rapidly (28.5 per cent) and dominate the passenger comfort category. “Airline suppliers and partners have years of expertise in deconstructing shopper behaviors and analyzing trans - actional data to maximize sales — expertise that can be leveraged by airlines to further improve the long-term health and growth of

Quite simply, the airline onboard retail (or OBR) market includes the sale of anything — whether a product or service — on an airplane. The airline OBR market has generated substantial growth in recent years, though variations exist by segment, merchandise category, service, geography, and flight length. There are three primary airline OBR segments — Buy on Board (BoB), Inflight Duty Free & the global OBR market for airlines. Exciting retail opportunities exist for airlines that want to become forward-thinking retailers and market-

Study

Travel Retail (DFTR), and Destination-Focused, with most sales emanating from the former two. BoB includes products or services for immediate consumption, such as snacks, drinks, inflight entertainment, and passenger comfort items (like seat upgrades). DFTR includes products or services for future consumption, such as jewelry, leather goods, alcohol, electronics, tobacco, and destination products such as tickets for shows or events, air transfers, and so on. ers, as they look to optimally cater to what passengers desire to purchase throughout the airline travel journey,” said the report.  | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 41


Special Study

DAPA families could see a 10 per cent income gain as a result of work authorization, sais MPI report

More than 10 million people live in households with potential DAPA recipients

A

latest report by Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the Urban Institute says work authorisation could increase the average DAPA family’s income by 10 percent. The program could also lead to reductions in poverty and other measurable gains for millions of people living in DAPA households, including nearly 4 million children under age 18 who are U.S. citizens. Drawing upon an innovative MPI methodology that permits analysis of the unauthorized population using U.S. Census Bureau data, the report estimates that as many as 3.6 million unauthorized immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) would be eligible for DAPA. The program, which would provide temporary relief from deportation and eligibility for work authorization, was announced by the Obama administration in November 2014. It was temporarily blocked pending resolution of a legal challenge filed by 26 states, and the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in the case in April, with a ruling expected by the end of June. In the report, Deferred Action for Unauthorized Immigrant Parents: Analysis 42 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |

Together with 340,000 DAPA-eligible parents of adult children, as many as 10.2 million people could be affected

of DAPA’s Potential Effects on Families and Children, MPI and Urban Institute researchers describe the population potentially eligible for DAPA and estimate the effects of work authorization and relief from deportation on family income, poverty and child well-being. The report says the average family could expect to see a $3,000 (10 percent) income gain if potentially DAPA-eligible parents obtained work authorization and earned the same as LPR parents with comparable characteristics such as age, educational attain-

ment, English proficiency and length of U.S. residence. As a result, 6 percent fewer DAPA families would be living in poverty. Although the labor force participation of potentially DAPA-eligible fathers exceeds immigrant fathers overall and the U.S. born, nonetheless DAPA families have lower incomes (in part because potentially DAPA-eligible mothers’ labor force participation is lower): $31,000 versus $43,000 for all families with immigrant parents and $47,000 for families with U.S.-born parents. The poverty rate for potentially DAPA-eligible families is 36 percent, compared with 22 percent for all immigrant families and 14 percent for families with U.S.-born parents. The report finds DAPA would not have any significant im-


Special

pact on labor force participation rates. Of the 3.6 million unauthorized immigrants potentially eligible for DAPA, 3.3 million are parents of U.S.-citizen or LPR children under age 18 who are living with them. Another 340,000 parents of adult children would also potentially be DAPA eligible. An estimated 85 percent of all minor children in potential DAPA households are U.S. citizens, says the report. It adds that more than 10 million people live in households with at least one potentially DAPAeligible adult. w Beyond the 3.3 million potentially DAPA-eligible parents of minor children, an estimated 2.3 million other adults and 4.3 million children under 18 reside in these households. Together with

The report finds DAPA would not have any significant impact on labor force participation rates.

340,000 DAPA-eligible parents of adult children, as many as 10.2 million people could be affected. According to the report, 69 per cent he potentially DAPA eligible have lived in the United States ten years or more, and 25 percent at least 20 years. The report builds on previous research by MPI and the Urban Institute describing the effects of parental unauthorized status on these children, finding that deferring deportation would protect children and families from potentially substantial economic and other harm.

Study

“When parents lack legal status, their children — who are often U.S. citizens — are harmed. A strong body of evidence demonstrates that parents’ unauthorized status reduces the well-being and development of children due to increased family stress, fear of deportation, poor work conditions, lower income, inferior housing and reluctance to access community supports for children,” said Heather Koball, an Urban Institute senior fellow who co-authored the report. Said co-author Randy Capps, director of research for U.S. programs at MPI: “If the Supreme Court permits DAPA to go forward, the program has the potential to improve the incomes and living standards for many unauthorized immigrant families through protection from deportation and eligibility for work authorization.” 

| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 43


Customer Service

Things employees say that drive customers away

E

mployees could be sabotaging customer service experience and driving customers away without even any inkling that they’re doing anything wrong.

The culprit isn’t “entitlement,” tattoos, piercings or creativity with facial hair.It’s much simpler and more insidious than any of that. It’s language: the thoughtless use of words and phrases that leave a bad

44 44 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||April April2016 2016||

taste in customer mouths. Which is why, in setting up customer service systems and designing customer experience frameworks for consulting clients, I work so hard to shape the words and turns of phrase that

employees deploy in the course of doing business with the customers they serve. There can be hundreds of interactions between a single customer


Customer

and the employees who serve her in a service-intensive business (for example, a full-service hotel, a hospital, an outpatient clinic, a restaurant, a financial services institution, a law firm). So many of these language and interaction guidelines I set up for a client business are situation- and industry-specific. However, some of the most important language guidelines apply across the board, regardless of industry. Here are five of the most persistently problematic from my hall of shame, along with an alternative for each of them that is more effective and less offensive.

1

“You need to _____” [fill out the application form, show your ID, whatever it is]. (A better alternative:‘‘We find it works best when you…’’) When you tell a customer “You need to…”  it makes customers resentful, thinking ‘‘I don’t need to do jack, buddy—I’m your customer!’’) Of course, customers do need to do things (pay their bills, show proper ID when required, and so forth). But there are many other ways to get this point across without baldly ordering a customer around.

2

“Like I said,” (Also: “Again”)

(A better alternative: Simply repeat what you said or find a better way to explain it.) When you tell a customer, “Like I said, Mrs. Smith, we will be closed on alternate Thursdays from noon to 3 PM,” it conveys to Mrs. Smith that she’s not listening up to your standards!  Ditto if you say “Again, Mrs. Smith, ….” As a professional serving customers, it’s your job to convey information, not to judge the attentiveness and comprehension skills of your customers.

3

“To be honest with you,” (Also: “To be perfectly frank,”)

(A better alternative: “In my judgment,”) Think about what this conveys to a customer:  If you say “To be honest with you, Mr. Johnson,” what were you doing before that moment with Mr. Johnson—lying to him through your teeth?

4

Service

“You owe us $____’’

(A better alternative: ‘‘Our records show a balance of . . .’’) Absolutely,  customers are going to owe you money–at least I hope they will–and you’ll want to get paid. But it’s generally better to talk euphemistically about moneys owed. “Your balance is,” “Our records indicate a balance,” etc.–the proper wording is often industryspecific, but a blunt “You owe us____” is never going to work.  It may get you paid, but it ain’t going to get your customer to return.

5

“Please hold.”

(A better alternative: “May I place you on a brief hold?“) Now, my mom is a retired English teacher and would probably tell you that the “May I” (vs. “Can I”) is what’s important here, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here.  While it does sound better to my ear if you say the correct “May I” instead of “Can I,” what’s most important to the customer who’s calling is that he has a choice as to whether to hold or not. Because almost all customers, if given a choice, will happily agree to a brief hold, but only if they know that the choice is theirs. This way they feel confident that the one hypothetical time they may call in the future when they really can’t hold (their kid is having a seizure or whatever), you aren’t going to force them to do so.  (Source: www.forbes.com) | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 45


Tourism

The rise of the solo traveler

S

olo travel is following an upward trend, presenting multi-billion dollar worth of opportunities for the travel industry.

Latest studies have pointed taneous when it comes to deout to a rising number of ex- ciding their itineraries, prefer ecutives, particularly women, to engage in active pursuits opting to travel alone. Solo such as sports activities and travelers tend to be more sponfor Cant have fit 3rdshown slide aofpreference info

personal guided tours. According to Visa Travel Intentions Study, solo travel has nearly doubled amongst affluent and first time travelers. 

Cant fit 3rd slide of info After rd rdslide After on here… Cant Cant fit fit 3 3 slide of of info info rd rd Most solo travellers know exactly where they toofgo. While they Sporting and voluntee on here… Cant Cant fit fit3want 3 slide slide ofinfo info After After Most solo travellers know exactly where they want to go. While they Sporting and v After After on on here… here… are early in travellers terms of fixing their destination, they display the same travel activities, are pu Most Most solo solo travellers know know exactly exactly where where they they want want to to go. go. While While they they Sporting Sporting and and voluntee volunt on on here… here… are early in travellers terms of fixing destination, they display the same travel activities Most Most solo solo travellers know knowtheir exactly exactly where wherethey they want want totogo. go. While While they they Sporting Sporting and and spontaneity as global travellers indestination, planning trip itineraries. thesame are areearly early in in terms terms of of fixing fixing their their destination, they they display display the same travel travel activities, activities, are are p spontaneity global travellers indestination, planning trip itineraries. thesame are areearly earlyininas terms terms ofoffixing fixingtheir their destination, they they display displaythe same travel travelactivitie activit spontaneity spontaneityasasglobal globaltravellers travellersininplanning planningtrip tripitineraries. itineraries. spontaneity spontaneityasasglobal globaltravellers travellersininplanning planningtrip tripitineraries. itineraries. Solo travellers tend to zoom into a single destination rather than consider Solo travellers tend to en

Set on destination but but Engaging in Settheir on their destination Engagin spontaneous about theirtheir itineraries pass spontaneous about itineraries to their to their Solo travellers tend to zoom into a single destination rather than consider Consideration of Destination a set of options. Consideration of Destination a set of options. Consideration ConsiderationofofDestination Destination Consideration ConsiderationofofDestination Destination 31%

Global 44% Global 44% 44% Global Global 56% Base: 44% (10309) 44% Global Base: Global (10309) 56%

Solo travellers t Travel activit and attending sporting e Tra and Travel attending Travelactiv acts

31% Solo 31% 31% Solo Travelers Solo Solo Travelers Solo Solo Base: (2485) Travelers Travelers Base: (2485) Travelers Travelers

31% 31%

44%

56% Base: Base:(10309) (10309) 56% 56% Base: Base:(10309) (10309) 56%

T Travel activit Tra Volunteere profit V Volunteer Volunte

profi pro Trekked /

69% 69% 69% 69% 69% 69%

Base: Base:(2485) (2485) Base: Base:(2485) (2485)

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I knew the destination I wanted to go to and did NOT consider others I knew the destination I wanted to go to and did NOT consider others I considered Adestination FEW possible destinations before choosing the destination I knew I knewthe thedestination I wanted I wanted totogogototo and anddid did NOT NOTconsider consider others others I went to I considered Adestination FEW possible destinations before choosing the destination I knew I knewthe thedestination I wanted I wanted totogogototo and anddid did NOT NOTconsider consider others others I went to I considered I consideredA AFEW FEWpossible possibledestinations destinationsbefore beforechoosing choosingthe thedestination destinationI went I wentto to I considered I consideredA AFEW FEWpossible possibledestinations destinationsbefore beforechoosing choosingthe thedestination destinationI went I wentto to While they are early in terms of fixing their destination, they display the Time taken to plan itinerary for most recent overseas leisurethey trip display the While theytravel are early in terms of fixing destination, Time taken to plan travel itinerary for their most recent overseas leisure trip same spontaneity as the average global traveller in planning trip itineraries. same spontaneity asitinerary the average global traveller in planning trip itineraries. Time Timetaken taken toto plan plantravel travelitinerary for formost most recent recent overseas overseas leisure leisuretrip trip Time Timetaken takentotoplan plantravel travelitinerary itineraryfor formost mostrecent recentoverseas overseasleisure leisuretrip trip Time taken to plan travel itinerary for most overseas leisure trip Time taken to plan travel itinerary for most overseas leisure trip 1 month in 1 month 1 1month month One in 1 1month month advanceinOne inadvance inin or later 2015 advance advance or later advance advance ororlater later 2015 2015 ororBase: later later (5139) Base: (5139) Base: Base:(5139) (5139) Base: Base:(5139) (5139)

53% 53% 53% 53% 2015 53% 53%

2015 2015 Base: (1046)

53% 53% 53% 53% Solo Travelers 53% 53% Solo Travelers

Solo SoloTravelers Travelers Solo SoloTravelers Travelers

Base: (1046) Base: Base:(1046) (1046) Base: Base:(1046) (1046)

72 Global Travel Intentions Study 2015 – Prepared by Millward Brown 72 Global Travel Intentions Study 2015 – Prepared by Millward Brown 46 |Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | Global Travel Intentions Intentions Study Study 2015 2015 – Prepared – Prepared byby Millward Millward Brown Brown 2072 72 Global VisaTravel Global Travel Intentions Study 2015 | Prepared Millward Brown Global Travel Intentions Intentions Study Study 2015 2015 – by Prepared – Prepared byby Millward Brown Brown 2072 72 Global VisaTravel Global Travel Intentions Study 2015 | Prepared byMillward Millward Brown

Visa Confidential Visa Confidential Visa Visa Confidential Confidential Visa Visa Confidential Confidential

sp

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ex Global

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USA, Australia an USAs destinations for dest sporting events/a spor


Tourism

| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 47


Tourism

Digital-free retreat in Abu Dhabi

DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT Bookings for digital detox weekends on the rise in the UAE

D

igital detox breaks – those where you leave your devices behind, forego Wi-Fi connections and ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ can apparently do wonders for your relationships.

Increasingly evidence is showing that a weekend break from the digital world enriches lives. “We have had some people arrive concerned and a bit agitated that they won’t get through the weekend without logging on,” explained Rashad Qudsi, Manager, Arabian Nights Village, which lies half way between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain amidst the seclusion of Al Khatim’s towering dunes. “They all though suddenly start really noticing the desert around them, tuning into the peacefulness, the bird song and totally relax. It’s very warming to see.” Most people log on to social media alone for almost two hours a day and research has shown that even when on vacation, people remain constantly connected over social media, email, and by using devices to find the best hang outs or route maps. Being offline can really unnerve some people. But with research showing that being totally connected for too long leads to us losing the pleasure of the here and now, digital detox breaks are fast becoming the new medium for happier lives

48 48 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai| |April April2016 2016| |

– and demand has even given rise to a specialist website: digitaldetoxholidays.com to find disconnected resorts. “With our iPads, smartphones and other portable tech devices, we have the ability to continuously send and receive information at the touch of a button or swipe of

a finger,” explained Kathryn Brierley Director of the UK’s TheHealthyHoliday company, which has seen a five-fold pick up in digital detox bookings in the past six month. “There’s a never ending stream of news bombarding us and sometimes this ‘always connected’ ex-


Tourism

istence becomes overwhelming, making it tough to ever find a moment to switch off and relax. “A break from digital communications (even just for a few hours) can refresh and calm us, enabling us to become more productive in human relations and work. This revitalising break clears our life from ‘noise’ and allows us the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves, relax and return to the digital world recharged.” And demand, it seems, can only get better with a recent company poll showing that a third of Brits regret spending too much time on their mobile device while they’re on holiday. Half of those polled admitted to checking work emails while away and four out of 10 said having access to social

media was ‘very important’ to them when they’re abroad. Yet Levi Felix, co-founder of digitaldetox.org and organisation which helps people recover from over-connectedness, says that by disconnecting from our devices we reconnect with ourselves, each other, our communities and the world around us becoming more present, authentic, compassionate and understanding. “Given the space to unplug from the noisy world, we are able to re-evaluate our path, take stock in life, strengthen our relationships, and move forward with a sense of purpose and belonging,” he says. Levi’s research throws up some startling statistics: 61 per cent admit to being addicted to the in-

ternet and their devices; 67 per cent of mobile users check their phone even when it’s not ringing or vibrating; heavy internet users are 2.5 times more likely to be depressed; 60 per cent of people say traditional vacation does not relieve their stress; high social media use can trigger increased loneliness, jealousy and fear, artificial light from screens increases alertness and suppresses the hormone melatonin by up to 22 per cent negatively affecting sleep, performance and mood. The digital detox movement began in the US, where the strongest demand is apparently coming from burnt-out executives but is catching on elsewhere – even among the ever-connected celebrity world. Award-winning British singer/ songwriter, Ed Sheeran who had 16 million Twitter followers and 5.5 million subscribers on Instagram, has opted out of “seeing the world through a screen”, and is foregoing all social media until next autumn at least. The singer announced his withdrawal from social media at the end of a world tour promoting his second album, X, saying that although he was travelling the world, he wasn’t actually seeing it. “I’m taking a break from my phone, emails and all social media for a while. I’ve had such an amazing ride over the last five years, but I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes, so I’m taking this opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I missed.”  | Manafez Dubai | April 2016 | 49

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