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

Internet of me

The next big thing UAE hotel industry

Issue 18,19 November - December


GDRFA Dubai celebrates UAE National Day

on a growth trajectory

UAE ranks first

in Rule of Law Index

Passport-less travel could soon be reality

UAE has highest employee retention rate

Kick your snooze button habit!

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

Celebrating 44-years of success A s the UAE marks the 44th anniversary of

the establishment of the UAE Union and the Flag Day, we feel proud to be a part of this noble land. On this occasion, I would like to congratulate and express immense gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the Supreme Council Members, Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Emirates, the UAE people, and the employees of GDRFA in Dubai and other Emirates. It is because of the hard work of the late founder of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum and their brothers who sacrificed everything for the sake of our nation, that the UAE has witnessed tremendous progress and changed dramatically from a small country to a country that exemplifies success and is looked upon by the world, especially when it comes to progress in economic and humanitarian spheres.

All these achievements let us feel proud that we are part of this land. We wish the very best to our leaders to continue working in this direction. Our leadership, that has placed happiness of people as its top priority, deserves for us all our loyalty and appreciation and we wish our leaders continue to do much more for the UAE nationals and also for people from other parts of the world.

I believe that it is the formation of the Union that has created the miracle that the UAE is today, achieving the success that is difficult to be replicated. The UAE has witnessed achievements in every field for the last 44 years because of our leaders who have followed the path set by the founders of the Union, worked hard and formed smart policies that have led the UAE to become one of the most advanced countries in business, aviation, smart services and environment, among other areas.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 1

GDRFA Message


in History


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

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

Our Mission (MOI):

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

Our Mission (GDRFA):

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

Our Values:       

Justice Team-Work Excellence courtesy Integrity Loyalty Social responsibility

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

To communicate with GDRFA: Location: Aljaffilya - Bur Dubai PO Box : UAE – Dubai 4333 Email: Toll Free Number: 04 3139999 - 8005111 Working Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM GDRFA-Dubai http:// Dubai Airport Freezone Dubai Public Prosecution Dubai Municipality

Department of Economic Development Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Land and Property Department


GDRFA News GDRFA Photographs by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan

GDRFA unveils latest smart services at GITEX Technology Week


Sheikh mohammed's poetry adorns GDRFA's facade

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai


UAE News Ultra Wealthy In United Arab Emirates Control US$255 Billion Of Private Wealth

Dubai Ruler issues new laws to further boost Dubai’s Smart City project

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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

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


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GDRFA Dubai celebrates UAE National Day 4 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |



T o express national unity and patri-

otism, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) celebrated the UAE National Day. Officials, visitors and schoolchildren gathered in the Flag Yard at the GDRFA main building in Al Jafliya area and sang the national anthem while raising the UAE’s flag. The UAE National Day celebrations mark the accession of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan as President of the UAE. Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of the GDRFA, said that this day offers an opportunity for Emiratis and expatriates alike to show their loyalty to the leaders of the UAE. He added that the National Day is a chance for everyone to express their love and loyalty to the coun-

try and to the wise leadership of the UAE. It’s an occasion, he said, to look forward to a great future and remain dedicated to the country and to protect it. Major General Al Merri said that His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin

Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has called upon all residents to fly high the nation’s flag on this occasion and remember the efforts of the founders of the UAE who sacrificed everything for the sake of the nation. 

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 5


GDRFA unveils latest smart services at GITEX Technology Week T he General Directorate of Residen-

cy and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai stall at the recently concluded 35th GITEX Technology Weeks drew people in large numbers. The Directorate offered free Smart Gate registration during the event and unveiled its biggest lineup of latest smart services, aimed at enhancing passenger experience during the event. Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of GDRFA-Dubai, said: “We’re showcasing our portfolio of new smart services to highlight our

6 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

technological leadership in efficient and seamless travel facilitation.” With Smart Gate service, passengers can avoid queues at immigration. A passenger gets clearance within an average time of only 12 seconds using the service. The GDRFA Dubai also showcased a first-of-its-kind electricity-powered car to serve transit passengers at Dubai International Airport, a new application for the Apple Watch, and a Next Generation Emigration system are among the new technologies the General Directorate of Residency and For-

eigners Affairs (GDRFA). The first-of-its-kind electricitypowered Amer car, dedicated to serve the needs of transit travelers while the Amer Van, dispatched to the doorstep of a customer or company on their request, is fitted with the necessary equipment to process and complete the GDRFA’s transactions efficiently. The Directorate also unveiled its A’aber project, which is a combination of e-gateway used at the UAE airports and e-link, used to facilitate transit between land borders of the UAE and Oman and provides travellers easier access to passport



New smart services aimed at enhancing passenger experience control services via Hatta borders. The A’aber service aims to speed up entry and exit procedures via land borders linking the UAE and Oman by cutting back on waiting lists to ensure a comfortable travel experience for people and thus attract more tourists. Amer self-service kiosk, a mobile kiosk, equipped with touch screen, allows customers to know about GHDRFA’s services round the clock, seven days a week. Customers can enquire about entry and residency transactions, sponsor and sponsored files, print the original entry permit and smart visas. The Next Generation Emigration (NGE), to be implemented at Ter-

minal 3 at the Dubai airport, is a control room with a pre-clearance system on passengers. The NGE strengthens security levels by getting advance information about the passengers after they book their flight tickets. The changes will smooth passengers’ movement at the airport, increase service levels

to passengers, increase capacity, and reduce operational costs. The GDRFA is also working on developing smart apps that can be used on wearable smart platforms such as Apple Watch. These ca be used to send alerts to the customers. 

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 7


Sheikh Mohammed's poetry adorns GDRFA's facade T he façade of the General Directo-

rate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai headquarters in Al Jafliya is now adorned with the poems of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai as a part of the Open Air Museum project, which aims to transform Dubai’s cityscape into an outdoor art gallery, The verses have been designed by Emirati calligrapher Narjes Noureddine. As part of the project, Major General Mohammad Ahmed Al Merri, director-general of the GDRFA, inaugurated an exhibition by the reception of the headquarters, displaying 14 other calligraphic works by Noureddine. The GDRFA Dubai participated for the second year in a row in the ini-

tiative of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to transform Dubai’s cityscape to an open air gallery “Dubai Speaks to You.” And to highlight the look and feel and the unique character of Dubai as one of the world’s most developed, fastest growing and culturally diverse cities and to transform the city into an open air museum and to make Dubai as canvas.

The initiative was organized by The Positive Energy Department at GDRFA. Major General Al Marri also honored Dr. Najat Makki, one of the one of the most respected contemporary artists in the UAE and the Arab world, who painted the largest painting on the front of GDRFA last year as part of the Dubai Initiative open-air museum. 

GDRFA launches new app

G eneral

Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has launched a new smart application for reporting a failure or faults which will enable the employees of the GDRFA to report any malfunction in the system, or any other crashes in the service that may occur while providing the service to the customer. Major Khalid Bin Madiya Al Falasi, Deputy Assistant of Director

8 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

General for Smart Services, said that the service is characterised by the feature of attaching pictures and selecting the location. Employees will be able to report any of these failures directly using the smart application in their smart phone. He added that the problem will be reported directly to the concerned person as quick as possible through smart application which allow the

work to be done smoothly and easily, adding that this reflects positively on the progress of work and speeds it up and therefore this also affects positively on the customers’ applications which will also be done quickly without interruption that may occur due to any sudden technical failure that could happen. “The new system will save time and efforts for the staff and for the customers,” he said. 



A country of hope, bright future T he United Arab Emirates (UAE) is celebrating

44 glorious years of establishing its great Union. The celebration has been marked by its citizens and residents alike, reflecting the remarkable success of the country that carries with it a promise of bright future. Within only 44-years, the great vision and hard work of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the principal driving force behind the formation of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum and their brothers who sacrificed everything for the sake of our nation and believed that the Union is the bridge to connect the UAE to the world, has resulted in an unprecedented and unparalleled success of the UAE. Since the auspicious day of December 2, 1971, the UAE has firmly treaded the path of progress in the fields of education, healthcare, trade and commerce, politics, sports, environment and many others. The UAE has earned a highly respected place in the global map due to the leadership’s support to humanitarian causes. Our noble leadership believes that we should support the right causes and the countries that need support, as is guided by our religious Islamic teachings, our tradition of helping generously. The Union has not only achieved tremendous progress in economic and other areas, it has kept its focus strongly on developing its people and keeping them happy. It is this focus on the people, that today we have many doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, soldiers, sportspersons, and achievers in every field.

It is this balanced approach with a focus on infrastructure, economic and human development, which has brought the UAE to the place that it has achieved now. On this important occasion I would love to express my immense gratitude and regards His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and their brothers Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Emirates, and congratulate UAE’s nationals and expatriates who live here. I hope the celebration of the Union continues for unlimited years and the ‘Spirit of the Union’ continues to lead the country to further heights of success.

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

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 9

Cover Story

44th UAE National Day

Spirit of nationalism prevails as UAE celebrates National Day The UAE went into celebratory mode for the 44th National Day with the country-wide observation of UAE Flag Day on November 3. The Spirit of nationalism prevailed as the UAE country celebrated the Flag Day. The UAE Flag Day is a day when the national spirit is renewed and is a day to reflect on the achievements of the era of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid 10 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, endorsed the UAE Flag Day initiative. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed had called on all members of the UAE community to launch a nationwide campaign to celebrate the UAE Flag Day on November 3, which coincides with the anniversary of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s assumption of office as the leader of the country.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid invited all federal and local government entities to raise the UAE Flag at the same time on November 3 at 12 noon to reaffirm allegiance to the UAE flag, which is a symbol of the country’s unity and greatness and represents our aspirations for a better future for the people of the UAE. In conjunction with the UAE Flag Day, Sheikh Mohammed endorsed the recently recorded music of the National Anthem of the UAE that

Cover Story

44th National Day, has approved the logo for the celebration, according to WAM, UAE’s official news agency. He described the commemoration as “the most important day for this homeland, as it denotes the beginning of the country’s renaissance and is a symbol of security, welfare and progress at all levels in the UAE.” will be disseminated to all federal and local entities for official use. The newly recorded music of the National Anthem reflects the national identity of the Emirati community. The National Anthem celebrates the national identity, loyalty and the history of the UAE.

Spirit of the Union has been kept as the official theme for the 44th UAE National Day celebrations. His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and chairman of the Higher National Committee of the UAE’s

“This day reminds us of our founding fathers, especially the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who laid the foundation stone and erected pillars of this homeland and prioritized Emiratis,” he said. This year, the UAE, in line with the orders of the UAE President

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 11

Cover Story

the National Sports Day and programmes focused on highlighting the UAE’s values, heritage, culture and distinguished achievements, accomplished thanks to the wise leadership which transformed the UAE into a modern and developed country. On November 14, the second edition of the UAE Pioneers initiative was inaugurated in Dubai by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. He honoured 44 Emiratis who have distinguished themselves in their fields. The UAE Pioneers initiative aims to promote in the Emirati society the concept of honoring and give an opportunity to all UAE citizens to nominate themselves or other people who are pioneers in various fields. Distinguished Emirati personalities in various fields such as education, health, innovation, technology, sports, arts, culture and other fields were awarded.

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will observe the Martyrs’ Day on November 30 in honour and recognition of the sacrifices made by UAE martyrs to restore peace in Yemen. Sheikh Nahyan said the participation of government authorities, the private sector, UAE citizens and residents in the celebrations will present a “genuine image of the UAE society’s cohesion and spirit of solidarity under the 12 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

flag of the UAE and the wise leadership.”Days ahead of the National Day which falls on December 2, the UAE launched the firstever UAE National Sports Day on November 25, thereby kicking off the 44th National Day celebrations. The National Sports Day events showcased the UAE’s close relationship with the sports sector, with each of the seven emirates organizing a sporting event on the day. UAE Unites Us was the theme of

Among those awarded for their distinguished works was the first Female Emirati TV director, Hessa Lootah, and Fatima Al Kaabi, the youngest inventor. Others pioneers honoured included Dr Fatima Taher, the first innovator of an electronic system to help in early detection of lung cancer; Ahmad Obaid Al Mansoori, the first radio presenter; Dr Zainab Abdullah Kazim, first physician in obstetrics and gynecology; and Shaikha Mahra Bint Majed Al Qasimi, the first Emirati school principal. The first female Emirati journalist was also given recognition. The pioneers received special medals, and

Cover Story

In response to the call of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to celebrate UAE Flag Day on November 3, Brand Dubai, a subsidiary of the Government of Dubai Media Office, organized “Flags Garden”, an innovative initiative to mark the national occasion. The flags were arranged to create the shapes of the letters in the country’s acronym UAE. Organized for the second year in a row, Flags Garden highlighted the themes of national pride, solidarity and unity. Over 33 government organizations in the Emirate of Dubai, including the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) have lined up several programmes to mark the UAE National Day this year.

their names will be archived in the Government Year Book of the UAE Pioneers. During the ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed also launched the 2014 UAE Pioneers book which contains inspiring stories about 43 Emirati pioneers who were honoured last year. The 44 personalities selected for this year’s award were chosen from a pool of 2,600 people nominated through the UAE Pioneers website and social media channels.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed remarked: “We have honoured 44 personalities who are UAE pioneers. They are our pride and honouring them is a thank-you message from the Emirati people for their devoted efforts. We have pioneers in every Emirati home in the UAE since early times. They are the individuals who we can count on to lead the UAE’s effort to achieve top rankings in all fields and our ambassadors to the world.”

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) will organize the first ever Camel Marathon in Al Marmoum to mark the celebrations. Total prize money of AED2 million will be on offer, including luxury cars for the top three, Abdullah Hamdan bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC, revealed. The marathon aims to promote UAE’s deeplyrooted traditional sport of camel racing. HHC has opened the door for UAE citizens above 18 years of age who are proficient at camel riding to participate in the marathon without a cap on the number of participants. Valuable prizes will be awarded to the first 50 winners, including cash prizes to the winners from the fourth to the 50th positions. More than 1,000 camels and their riders are expected to compete in the first camel marathon on December 3. 

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 13

UAE News

Ultra Wealthy In United Arab Emirates Control US$255 Billion Of Private Wealth


here are 1,275 ultra-wealthy individuals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), representing 20 per cent of the total ultrawealthy population in the Middle East, according to a recent report by Wealth-X, wealth intelligence, providing sales, marketing, strategy and compliance solutions provider. The combined wealth of the UAE’s ultra high net worth (UHNW) population stands at US$255 billion. The study also reveals that 57 per cent of the UAE’s UHNW population amassed their fortune through entrepreneurship. Only 8 per cent fully inherited their fortune; and 35 per cent partially inherited and grew their wealth. Nearly 1,000 UHNW individuals are based in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi (450 individuals) and Dubai (495). Saudi Arabia and the UAE jointly account for over 45 per cent of the UHNW population in the Middle East. 14 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

Wealth-X defines UHNW individuals as those with US$30 million and above in net assets

Only 3 per cent of the UAE’s UHNW population made its wealth through oil, gas and consumable fuels.The most significant source of wealth for the UAE’s UNHW population is industrial conglomerates, at more than 20 percent. The UAE is ranked 22nd in Wealth-X’s global ranking of UHNW population by country, behind Saudi Arabia (17) but ahead of Kuwait (32).

There are nearly 6,000 UHNW individuals in the Middle East with a combined net worth of US$995 billion. Saudi Arabia has the largest UHNW population (1,495 ultra wealthy individuals) and UHNW wealth (US$320 billion) in the region, followed by the UAE. David Awit, Wealth-X Director for the Middle East, commented: “Despite the UAE equity market suffering declines of nearly 20 per cent in the last year, our study shows that UHNW individuals in the country have defied this economic backdrop to record further increases in their fortunes in 2015, highlighting the ability of the world’s wealthiest individuals to continue to create new wealth.” 

UAE News

New UK visa services launched in UAE

Visa applicants can pay additional fee to walk in without appointment

B ritain

has launched a brand new range of premium visa services at its application centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Visa applicants can now pay an additional fee to walk in without an appointment, receive assistance with applying or paying online, or receive help with checking that their application form has been completed correctly.The UK already offers visa free travel for UAE nationals, provided they register for an electronic

visa waiver (EVW) prior to travelling to the UK. There were almost 50,000 EVW registrations in the last year, with record numbers of registrations in July. For Emiratis who choose to apply for visas, and those who require longer term study or work visas, the UK provides fast processing, with an average turnaround time in the last year of under four working days. UK Visas and Immigration International Director Simon said, “The UK

welcomes visitors from the UAE, and we provide a fast and efficient service for those who need a visa. The new services have been introduced in response to feedback from customers and are designed to provide additional flexibility, as well as support with the application process for those who need it.� A new scheme for multinational companies based in the UAE who send staff to the UK on a regular basis has also been introduced . 

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 15

UAE News

UAE Passport is most powerful in MENA

Grants holder access to 72 countries T he UAE passport is the most pow-

erful passport in the MENA region, enabling Emirati citizens to travel to 113 countries visa free, according to a report. Henley & Partners, the global leaders in residence and citizenship planning, in its Visa Restrictions Index 2015, observed that the UAE moved 15 places up and adding 37 to its score in the index. The dramatic climb can be attributed to a new agreement with

16 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

the EU for visa-free travel to 36 countries including the 26 Schengen area states, which was made public in May this year. As the first Arab country to be granted a European visa waiver, Emirati citizens may travel to a total of 113 countries visa-free, making it the most powerful passport in the MENA region. Twenty-two countries moved up in the rankings: Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Dominica, Esto-

nia, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu Over the past year, the UAE has been catapulted into the spotlight as the biggest climber with its dramatic addition of 37 countries and improvement in rank from 55 to 40. ď‚…

UAE News

VFS Global has launched visa application centres for the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Abu Dhabi and Dubai T ravellers seeking to visit Czech Re-

public can submit visa applications and enrol for biometrics at the VFS Global centres in located in Shining Tower in Abu Dhabi or Wafi Mall in Dubai to obtain their visas.

launch this centre was due to people’s growing demand for applying for a visa. We felt that we wouldn’t be able to meet the rising demand only from the embassy, which encouraged us to launch this centre.

Ondrej Soukup, Consul and Deputy Head of Mission of the Czech Republic, told Gulf News on the sidelines of the press conference, “One of the reasons why we decided to

“We’ve had about 3,000 applications this year, and with the launch of this centre, we anticipate that the number will go up to at least 4,000.”

VFS Global is planning to open similar centres for the Czech Republic across Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.One of the centre’s key highlights is the fact that it will be solely dedicated to handle applicants’ visas. Amongst a few convenience features, the agency will offer door-step delivery of passports, guaranteeing complete security in handling all sensitive documentation. 

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 17

UAE News

Dubai Ruler issues new laws to further boost Dubai’s Smart City project


his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has issued a number of new laws that further enhance the organisational structure and legislative framework for the Dubai Smart City project. The new laws aim to enhance the progress of the Smart City initiative and encourage innovation in this sector by fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors. The new laws also complement the strategic

18 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum that was announced two years ago with the aim of transforming Dubai into one of the world’s smartest cities and utilising technology for the benefit of people. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: “Today we have completed the organisational structure and legal framework for transforming Dubai into the world’s smartest city and creating a new and unique model in developing and managing cities.”

He added: “Managing global cities requires sustained efforts to provide fast and innovative services. We must utilise modern technology and available resources to achieve our objectives.” His Highness called on all of Dubai Government’s entities and departments to work together to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. Sheikh Mohammed said: “Work together as a single team and seek help from experts who can build the future of the UAE, particularly talented young people who want to serve their country.” 

UAE News

Sharjah launches ‘mClass’ smart hotel classification


harjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has introduced an ‘mClass’ smart hotel classification and the ‘Sharjah’ Mobile App in seven languages, to enhance the tourism experience in Sharjah.

His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said the smart services provided by the Authority come under the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 which has adopted an innovative approach to tourism as a key pillar of the Vision. “Based on this pillar, SCTDA has offered smart services and solutions for the tourism sector in the emirate, and comprehensive information and facilities to visitors to make their visit a memorable experience,” H.E. Al Midfa added. The app marks a qualitative leap in the classification of its 105 hospitality facilities. The new smart application, which will be available

for download on mobile phones, enhances interaction with hotels and evaluates their performance based on guest reviews. SCTDA’s ‘Sharjah My Destination’ tourism portal, available in seven languages, gives comprehensive information to visitors and investors about the emirate of Sharjah and its major tourist locations. It also provides details about the major events and activities organised across the year in the emirate as well as its most important shopping destinations. The portal contains the latest facts and figures about the tourism sector in the emirate and facilities offered to investors.  |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 19



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Sheikh Ahmed: AccessAbilities 2016 a step-forward to making Dubai world’s friendliest city for disabled by 2020 Dubai will host AccessAbilities Expo 2016, the first-of-its-kind expo aimed at enhancing the quality of life for disabled and special needs people, from February 9-11, 2016, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a strong support and participation from government and private organisations. The expo gives an opportunity to over 750 million individuals with disabilities and special needs worldwide, 50 million of whom are in the Middle East, their families, caretakers and those associated in providing services for them, to explore world’s latest and best smart solutions and services. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, who is the Patron for AccessAbilities, said: “The UAE has a visionary leader in His Highness Sheikh Moham-

med bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is committed to providing unparalleled opportunities for special needs individuals and prove their abilities in a friendly and flexible community environment. AccessAbilities Expo will contribute to realizing this vision by bringing in the best of solutions, services and products from across the globe on a common platform.� Sheikh Ahmed said the expo has a noble aim of integrating special needs individuals into the society and enhancing their contribution. He said the history is full of examples of people with disabilities and special needs who excelled and contributed to the society in a big way. “The expo is also aimed at further inspiring government authorities and private sector to integrate individuals with disabilities and special needs into the society by helping them overcome their daily challenges and

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 21



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Expo AccessAbilitiesAccessAbilities Expo

AccessAbilities Expo

9 - ‍ﺒﺎاﺎ‏ 11 February, ٢٠٥ٌ ٥٠-٨2016

9 - 11 February, 2016

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Dubai International Convention And Exhibition Centre

Leading UAE's Centers support AccessAbilities Expo 2016 Leading special needs centres in the UAE have confirmed their participation in AccessAbilities Expo 2016, through which they are keen to contribute to realizing the vision of ‘My Community’ initiative by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai in establishing Dubai as a fully-inclusive and disabled friendly city by year 2020.

necessary to bring the change we need in structure, perceptions and resources. The expo will bring all this on a single platform, which can harbor major change and push things in the right direction.�

Mariam Othman, Director General, Rashid Pediatric Therapy Centre, said: “Dubai’s leadership has once again taken the lead in caring and providing for the disabled and Rashid Centre for the Disabled welcomes the launch of the AccessAbilities Expo.

“I feel the goal of expo is very similar to what we, at Al Noor, always work toward achievinggenerating a better understanding about special needs individuals and have an empowered community working toward not only empowering people with disabilities but also empower the rest of the community to understand, accept people with disabilities and together become a productive community and society.

The event will be a catalyst for greater understanding and collaborative efforts towards improving the lives of the disabled in the region.

In addition, AccessAbilities will bring access to the latest technologies, which have opened up myriad of possibilities for people with disabilities,� she said.

We look forward to our participation at the event and the opportunity to meet the global industry’s key players in Dubai�.

Dubai Autism Centre (DAC), which is dedicated to improving the lives of children with autism and their families, is eager to explore the best practices and technologies that can lead to improvement in the lives of children with autism.

Isphana Al Khatib, Director, Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs, said: “We are very pleased with our participation in AccessAbilities Expo, which will draw attention to issues concerning special needs and disabled people. The expo will work as a catalyst to generate more actions that are

22 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

Mohammad Amin Al-Emadi Board Member and Director General of Dubai Autism Center, said: “The Dubai Autism Centre implements the best international practices being adopted in other countries worldwide.

ensuring their services are easily accessible to this growing segment of our community,� added His Highness. The first edition of the unique expo will mark another milestone in the UAE’s journey to becoming the world’s friendliest place for disabled and special needs individuals as well as their families. AccessAbilities is being organised by Reed Exhibitions and Nadd AlShiba PR and Event Management. The exhibition will be spread over an area of 8,000 square metres and will feature a Knowledge Centre along with dedicated activity areas. From robotics, special purpose computers, specialized software for communication to inclusive learning material and aids, prosthetics, positioning device sand other assistive and rehabilitative technology, AccessAbilities 2016 will present the latest smart technologies that can lead individuals with disabilities toward better and independent lives. The expo is supported by key government bodies including Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai Municipality, Community Development Authority (CDA), General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, and Dubai Customs as the strategic partners alongwith private sector organisations in technology, telecommunication, healthcare, aviation, hospitality, tourism, education, infrastructure, facilities management and other areas from more than 30 countries. AccessAbilities Expo comes at a highly relevant time as countries worldwide deal with the challenge of increase in number of people with disabilities and special needs. 

Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline Group

Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline Group 9 - 11 FEBRUARY 2016 ENABLING 9 -DUBAI 11 FEBRUARY 2016 INTERNATIONAL DUBAI INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITIES CONVENTION AND2016 9 11 FEBRUARY CONVENTION AND INTEGRATING EXHIBITION CENTRE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL




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|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 23

Middle East News

Qatar to extend health insurance to expats


atar’s Social Medical Insurance Scheme (Seha) is set to be extended to expats from next year, according to the local media agency. The Minister of Public Health, Abdullah bin Khalid Al Qahtani told Qatar News Agency that the extension of health cover to expats is part of the third and last phase of Seha, which will include all resident employees, workers, domestic helpers and visitors. “Adding workers to the third phase will coincide with the opening of new hospitals planned for single workers next year,” he said. Al Qahtani told the newspaper that the cost of providing the health insurance for workers will be borne by the employers and that the premium will not be deducted from their salaries. The health insurance will come in varying packages, depending on the sector the expat is working in. “For example, the insurance package for personnel will differ from workers and from domestic workers, while the insurance for visitors will only cover emergency services,” Al Qahtani said. 24 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

The first phase of Seha was launched in July 2013, and included Qatari females aged 12 and above. The second phase was then launched in April

Qatar’s Ministry of Interior has launched 15 additional E-services rendered by General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriates Affairs and General Directorate of Traffic on the web Portal of the Ministry, according to a media report The newly added electronic services include changing visa type, modify visa details, modify egate services, query on travel movements, travel movement statements, e-gate activation, certificate of written off vehicles, vehicle clearance certificate, driver’s license certificate, the first owner certificate, ownership transfer cer-

2014 to include all Qatari citizens. Since its introduction, Al Qahtani said Seha has paid medical bills worth QR1.285 billion ($353 million).  tificate, certificate of fancy numbers, exported vehicles certificate, vehicle ownership certificate, certificate on previously owned vehicles. From now, more than 250 electronic services are accessible on the MoI Website that are associated with different sectors of the Ministry including Passports, Traffic, Borders and Criminal Evidence and Information. Customers can complete most of the dealings and transactions through MoI website, Metrash2 application or via service centres located in different parts of the state. There are special Metrash2 counters facilitated in all service centres and Traffic department that customers who don’t want to depend on Postal service, can depend to receive the required transactions.

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 25

International News

Singapore’s Changi Airport Group considering wearable technology, self-service and single passenger tokens


hangi Airport Group (CAG) is considering the use of biometricbased single passenger tokens and wearable technology at Singapore Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4, which is scheduled to open in 2017, according to a report by Future Travel Experience. In August, new self-service check-in and bag tagging facilities went live in Terminal 2 for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir passengers as part of the ongoing Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) initiative, following on from Changi Airport’s trial of self-service bag drop alongside Jetstar Asia in Terminal 1 in 2014. Steve Lee, chief information officer and senior vice president of technology at CAG revealed to FTE that uptake for these self-service solutions 26 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

has been positive and continues to rise. “Changi Airport will be building on the momentum to introduce FAST in Terminal 3 for Singapore Airlines, and will be progressively bringing other carriers onboard FAST in the coming months,” he stated. “With the possibility of a single biometric token looking set to become a reality in the near future, we are indeed exploring how it can be adopted at Changi Airport – to further improve the overall facilitation

of passengers but without compromising on security outcomes,” said. “A key success factor would be the strong collaborative spirit among all agencies at the airport. He also stressed the important fact that “self-service does not necessarily mean poorer service, nor does it mean lower service standards” – a vital point for an airport that prides itself on its positive customer service reputation. “In fact, self-service alleviates the amount of manual

International News

processing work done by check-in agents today,” he said, “freeing them up to provide higher value-added services such as addressing passengers’ other queries they may have pertaining to their travel journeys.” CAG’s plans to leverage the latest technology to drive efficiency extend far beyond self-service bag drop and self-tagging. Back in July, it was announced that the new Terminal 4, which is due to open in 2017, will make extensive use of facial recognition technology also as part of the FAST programme. On the way facial recognition technology will be used, Lee said: “Today, departing passengers are required to verify their identity at three locations – when they check-in their luggage, clear border control and just before they board the aircraft. These are performed manually by the ground handling agents or immigration officers.

“The adoption of facial recognition at the T4 self bag-drop machines, integrated border control lanes and self-boarding gates will allow the security checks to be fully automated. By leveraging technology, we expect clearance through these touch points to be speedier, thereby enhancing operational efficiency while reducing the reliance on manpower. More importantly, our self-service processes are being designed with the passengers in mind – intuitive and userfriendly. The improved ergonomics and interactivity, coupled with the shorter queuing time, is expected to enhance our passengers’ experience at Changi.”

be considered, trials have already been undertaken of another technology that has been touted as holding significant potential for airports and airlines – wearable technology.

Single passenger token

“When wearable technologies are integrated seamlessly with mobile services, the passenger experience can be significantly enhanced,” he said. “For example, by delivering timely and relevant notifications to passengers about their flight status, guiding them in wayfinding or highlighting events or promotions around them. This will give passengers not just the wow factor but also the extra personal touch that a mobile application alone cannot deliver.”

With biometric technology central to the plans for Terminal 4, this could present an opportunity for CAG to pursue the concept of a biometricbased single passenger token, similar to what is being trialled by KLM at Aruba Airport. Lee, who will offer detailed insight into CAG’s technology-focused plans in his presentation at FTE Asia EXPO 2015, admitted that this is on the Group’s radar. “With the possibility of a single biometric token looking set to become a reality in the near future, we are indeed exploring how it can be adopted at Changi Airport – to further improve the overall facilitation of passengers but without compromising on security outcomes,” he said. “A key success factor would be the strong collaborative spirit among all agencies at the airport.”

Exploring use cases for wearable technology

While the development of a biometric-based single passenger token will require a great deal more investigation before any live pilots can even

Others in the region have made public their trials of wearables in recent months, ranging from Japan Airlines at Tokyo Haneda Airport to Spring Airlines onboard the aircraft, and CAG’s Lee explained that tests have been undertaken by CAG, but “there are no concrete use cases for full implementation yet”. He is, however, confident that wearables can help bring about improvements once the right use cases are identified.

While the exact nature of how smartwatches and smartglasses can be used to improve operations and customer experiences remains cloudy, there can be no doubting the impact that technology-led innovation is set to have on the highly regarded “Changi Experience” in the months and years ahead. While selfservice bag drop and self-tagging are already simplifying passenger processing, the widespread use of biometrics and the potential creation of a single passenger token have the potential to truly revolutionise the airport experience.  |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 27

International News

Saint Lucian passport grants visa-free travel to 105 countries For the first time, foreigners will be able to gain Saint Lucia’s citizenship and passport as the country announced its first citizenship investment programme. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning and Social Security. The legislation was supported by all elected members of parliament, and the island nation will commence accepting applications for citizenship by investment on January 1, 2016.

28 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

Applicants will require a net worth of US$ 3,000,000 to qualify and St. Lucia has set an initial limit of 500 applications per annum. A citizen of Saint Lucia will hold a passport that allows visa-free travel to 105 countries and has a Passport Power Rank of 45, according to Arton Capital’s Passport Power Index. Armand Arton, CEO and Founder of Arton Capital, said: “This is a ground-breaking announcement for all global citizens and of course for the country of Saint

Lucia. It will bring great benefits to Saint Lucia’s economy, with international investment set to increase dramatically, which will contribute greatly to the country’s national development. “The announcement will allow high net worth individuals to access several benefits, such as visa free international travel to a large number of countries, increased security and flexibility while traveling, and it will act as an insurance in times of political or economic disorder elsewhere.” 

International News

Middle Eastern Airports record 15 per cent growth


he summer holiday season continued to support strong passenger traffic in August 2015, with AsiaPacific and Middle Eastern airports recorded growth of 8.3 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, according to Airports Council Celebrate the International. spirit of union with Mafraq


Majority of airports in the region reported positive passenger growth for the month with strong support from both international and domestic travels. Among the largest airports in the region, Shanghai Pudong (PVG), Bangkok (BKK) and New Delhi (DEL) generated the highest growth rate for the month at +20.9 per cent, +16.0 per cent and +15.3 per cent respectively. In the Middle East, the three largest hubs continued to generate solid growth for the month: Doha 22 per cent and Abu Dhabi 17.4 per cent and Dubai 9.5 per cent. 

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|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 29


In Focus

is world’s most liveable city


elbourne in Australia is the most liveable place in the world, according to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit Liveability Ranking 2015.

The Australian metropolis’ perfect scores in healthcare, education and infrastructure secured its top position for the fifth year in a row; followed by Austrian Capital, Vienna. Vancouver in Canada, which was the most liveable city surveyed until 2011, lies in third place according to the index, Vancouver in Canada, which was the most liveable city surveyed until 2011, lies in third place, according to 30 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

the index which surveyed 140 cities worldwide. The fourth place went to Toronto, Canada; while Adelaide, Australia, and Calgary in Canada, shared the fifth place. The Index assigns rating for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.

Libya, Nigeria, PNG, Bangladesh and Syria are at the bottom of the list of 140 cities, making them least liveable places.Australian cities were found to be “a relative picture of stability”, with Melbourne the most liveable, Adelaide fifth, Sydney seventh, Perth eighth and Brisbane 18th. None of these cities saw their ranks change in this year’s report.


Although the top cities remain unchanged, the last year has seen a number of changes in city liveability scores. Over the past six months 38 cities of the 140 surveyed have experienced changes in scores. This rises to 53 cities, or 37% of the total number surveyed, when looking at changes over the past year. Of these changes the majority have been negative, 38 in the past 12 months, reflecting a deterioration in stability in many cities around the world.

within the top tier of liveability. Of the 65 cities with scores of 80 or more, 20 have seen a change in the score in the past 12 months. As global instability grows, these movements have been overwhelmingly negative, with only Honolulu in the US and Warsaw in Poland registering rises. The report noted that companies pay a premium (usually a percentage of a salary) to employees who move to cities where living condi-


tions are particularly difficult and there is excessive physical hardship or a notably unhealthy environment. The Economist Intelligence Unit has given a suggested allowance to correspond with the rating. “However, the actual level of the allowance is often a matter of company policy. It is not uncommon, for example, for companies to pay higher allowances—perhaps up to double,” the report said. 

The impact of declining stability is most apparent when a five-year view of the global average scores is taken. Overall, the global average liveability score has fallen by 1 percentage point to 75 per cent over the past five years, and one-third of this decline has come in the past year, according to the Liveability Ranking report. Although the most liveable cities in the world remain largely unchanged, there has been movement |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 31


Kick your snooze button habit!

32 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |



hat extra 10 minutes of sleep never feels enough and you keep hitting the snooze button to tack on an extra five, 10, 20, 30 or whatever you can squeeze in.

Perhaps by now you are relying heavily on the snooze button in a bid to be wake up well rested and breeze through your daily routine. But this is exactly where you are going wrong! Experts warn against “drockling”, the old, official term for getting in and out of sleep. Not only does snoozing fail to help improve your sleep quality, it messes with your day by damaging your REM sleep, which is the most restorative sleep stage crucial to staying focused during the day. The result is a dip in productivity and you stay fuzzy headed all day. The brain starts its sleep cycle all over again, after you hit snooze and drift off. The result is that when the alarm goes off again,

you are perhaps at an even deeper part of your sleep than you were earlier. It would leave you feeling worse than you did when you woke up first! The damage is not limited to a day. If you heavily rely on snoozing, you are confusing your internal clock and end up struggling with your sleep cycles for days to come. What you should do instead? Examine your sleep cycles and how many hours of sleep do you do well with. Do you need eight hours or are you fine with 6.5 ? Professor Kevin Morgan a scientist from Loughborough University’s sleep research unit recommends focussing on setting a regular wake up time, rather than a fixed bedtime , according to

Setting the alarm for the time that you have to get up, actually getting up when it goes off will bring a consistency in the pattern and make it easier for you to have a restful sleep. If you slept fewer hours, at the end of such day, your feel sleepy earlier as your body needs to, and again get into your routine. Some of the tips to kick off the snooze habit: Go to bed at a reasonable time to ensure you are not sleep deprived Avoid having a heavy dinner or caffeinated drinks before sleeping Get rid of multiple alarm clocks and keep one. Place the alarm clock across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off!  |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 33

Special Study

UAE ranks first in Rule of Law Index


he United Arab Emirates (UAE) has topped the Middle East and North Africa for the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index for the second consecutive year.

The Index is the world’s most comprehensive data set of its kind and the only to rely solely on primary data, measuring a nation’s adherence to the rule of law from the perspective of how ordinary people experience it.The UAE has achieved 0.67 (min 0, max 1), while Denmark came first in the global ranking with 0.87.

34 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

The UAE succeeded in acquiring the top position on the list thanks to its prestigious record in the competitiveness indices, most importantly adherence to the order and security factor, by which crime is effectively controlled, civil conflict, is effectively limited and people do not resort to violence to redress personal grievances.

In this category, the UAE scored 0.91, followed by absence of governmental corruption 0.82, and effective criminal justice 0.77. In countries where the rule of law is weak, medicines fail to reach, health facilities, criminal violence goes unchecked, laws, are applied unequally across so-

Special Study

cieties, and foreign investments are held back. Effective rule of law helps reduce corruption, improve public health, enhance education, alleviate poverty, and protect people from injustices and dangers large and small.

fore investing in a country where corruption is rampant, property rights are ill-defined, and contracts are difficult to enforce.

Strengthening the rule of law is a major goal of governments, donors, businesses, and civil society organizations around the world.

The WJP Rule of Law Index presents a portrait of the rule of law in each country by providing scores and rankings organized around eight themes: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

To be effective, however, rule of law development requires clarity about the fundamental features of the rule of law, as well as an adequate basis for its evaluation and measurement.

The country scores and rankings for the WJP Rule of Law Index 2015 are derived from more than 100,000 household and expert surveys in 102 countries and jurisdictions.

The Index’s results also strengthen the UAE’s status as a leading trade, finance, investment and tourism hub

In response to this need, the World Justice Project has developed the WJP Rule of Law Index, a quantitative measurement tool that offers a comprehensive picture of the rule of law in practice.

The report shows that the UAE has attained significant results towards its vision of distinguished police performance. Based on the answers drawn from household and expert respondents, police officers respect due process and fundamental rights of suspects. According to the report, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea share the same vision with the UAE in this regard.

The rule of law affects all of us in our everyday lives and is the foundation for a system of rules to keep us safe, resolve disputes, and enable us to prosper. In fact, every sector of society is a stakeholder in the rule of law.

Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, expressed his confidence in the UAE police bodies’ ability in achieving additional positive results on all global competitiveness indices.

For instance, an investor seeking to commit resources overseas would think several times be-

“These achievements are possible thanks to the accumulated expertise and skills of the UAE

In fact, every sector of society is a stakeholder in the rule of law

people, and the sound planning under the leadership of Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and his ongoing commitment to keep the police institution at the forefront of the most effective and efficient institutions internationally. . Abdullah Nasser Lootah, Secretary General of the Emirates Competitiveness Council (ECC), noted that the annual results of the International Justice Project’s report are a new addition to the landmark achievements made by the UAE and will further reinforce its good reputation locally, regionally and internationally. The Index’s results also strengthen the UAE’s status as a leading trade, finance, investment and tourism hub, thanks to the UAE’s distinguished record in rule of law, justice, safety, and security and other unique features. It is worth mentioning that the World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, non-profit, international multidisciplinary organization, which periodically releases the annual “Rule of Law Index”. The Index provides original, impartial data to measure how the rule of law is experienced in practical, everyday situations by ordinary people around the world.  |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 35

Special Study

UAE most popular expat destination, records highest retention rate

UAE to witness 7.1 per cent pay rise in 2015


he UAE, and particularly Dubai, remains the most popular destination in the GCC region among expatriates to work and also has the highest retention rate, according to a new survey by Gulf Talent.

As the Gulf region continues to enjoy a stable pace of economic growth, faster than most of the world, amid social and economic challenges, and firms are maintaining employment levels or increasing headcount. Salaries in the region are expected to rise 6.9 per cent in 2015- with the expected rise in UAE being 7.1 per cent. During 2014, Gulf salaries rose at their highest average rate since the financial crisis, according to the ‘Employment and Salaries Trends in the Gulf 2015’. The report is based on survey of 22,000 professionals employed by large and medium sized firms in the GCC, of 600 executives and human resource managers, interviews with top management of a mix of private sector local and international companies, and included employees aged between 22 and 60 years.

Infrastructure investment, key growth driver

Continued investment by GCC governments in infrastructure development remains a key driver of growth and job crea36 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

tion, with projects such as Gulf Railway, Jeddah Metro and Qatar stadiums driving significant activity. Healthcare has emerged as the fastest growing sector across the region, with 82 per cent of

Healthcare, education witness largest headcount expansion

firms increasing headcount in 2014, followed by education at 80 per cent, Media and Marketing 80 per cent and Transport and Logistics 78 per cent. The growth in the sector is being driven by a combination of growing populations and massive government investment. New regulations making health insurance mandatory on employers is also contributing to the sector’s expansion.

Hiring continues

Across the region, more firms increased headcount last year

than those who reduced it. Saudi Arabia topped the list, where 72 per cent of firms reported expansion. UAE, and particularly Dubai, continued to enjoy a recovery, witnessing a healthy increase in their share of regional recruitment activity. In the UAE, 59 per cent of the firms increased headcount.

Salaries rise by 6.7 per cent

Pay rises across the region averaged 6.7 per cent in 2014, the highest average increase since the financial crisis, and are projected to accelerate further in 2015 to 6.9 per cent. This is largely driven by stable economic growth, competition for local and expatriate talent, rising cost of living in some countries, and government measures such as pay rises for nationals and raising the level of minimum wage. At the same time, the strength of the US dollar, to which most Gulf currencies are pegged, is helping make Gulf salaries more attractive for expatriates, reducing upward pressure on wages.

Special Study

Construction firms, HR average rate of 6.9 per cent, Furthermore, 88 per cent of exprofessionals top pay rises compared to 6.7 per cent in the patriates already residing in the In 2014, among sectors, construction firms saw the highest pay rises, as governments across the region continued their massive investment in infrastructure projects.

Among job categories, HR professionals enjoyed the highest pay rises, signaling the return of HR to prominence as companies seek to expand their talent base. Marketing professionals surveyed have reported the lowest average pay rises, possibly as a result of the shift to digital, reducing companies’ need to invest in traditional media and marketing. Salaries across the region are forecast to rise in 2015 at an

previous year. Qatar is expected to see the highest average pay increase at 8.3 per cent, driven by rising cost of living and the need to attract talent to the country. Employers in Oman, plan to award the second highest average pay rise at 7.2 per cent. This is followed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE at 7.1per cent.

country expressed a desire to remain there, the highest retention rate among all GCC countries.

UAE, most popular expat destination

The outlook for 2015 remains positive, with employers in most sectors expecting to grow. However, much depends on what happens to the oil price.

The UAE, and particularly Dubai, remain the region’s most popular destinations for expatriates. Qatar ranks second in popularity with newcomers. Over 60 per cent of professionals surveyed chose the UAE as the place where they would like to work.

The country’s popularity stems from attractive employment opportunities, excellent infrastructure and relatively liberal social norms.

With the region’s heavy reliance on expatriate talent from India, the accelerating economic growth in India can also pose an increasing challenge to employers, according to the survey.  |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 37

Exclusive Interview

UAE hotel industry on a growth trajectory


ubai is all set to become world’s third most popular tourist destination by 2017, up from the fourth position globally. The total number of tourists expected to visit Dubai will be approximately 17.6 million by 2017. Dubai Tourism officials expect the tourist numbers to grow at seven to nine percent annually. Last year, 13.2 million tourists came to Dubai, a growth of 8.2 per cent year on year. Dubai has set a target of 20 million visitors by 2020. Dubai currently has over 95,000 rooms and

38 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

8,400 more will join the inventory next year, according to the consultancy JLL.

sights into one of the world’s fast-expanding, highly-competitive hotel markets

In an exclusive interview to Manafez Dubai, Philippe Montaubin, Cluster General Manager, Novotel Al Barsha Dubai and Adagio Premium, share in-

How is the tourism industry performing in the UAE? Each year we see an increase in tourists visiting the UAE. The UAE is always increasing


its appeal with new attractions, events and exhibitions, which encourages both first time and repeat visitors to keep coming to the UAE. The subdued Russian market due to its economy and the geo-political situation around the region, enhanced with currency fluctuation, have tempered travels, nevertheless the efforts made by DTCM and the country as a whole have demonstrated to be well founded and we are seeing increase in arrivals from new destinations. Q4 2015 will see an influx of travellers from the GCC over the Eid break and internationally over the festive period.

Is the hotel industry doing well in the UAE? Business in 2015 has been satisfactory with occupancy rates averaging 70-75 per cent. We expect to see these occupancies maintained through to year-end. The industry continues to grow with new hotels opening at a rapid rate. This is difficult to sustain in the short term. This will continue, as we get closer to 2020. How strong is your room inventory and how many new properties are in the pipeline in the UAE?


Currently, Accor hotels Network has 5,300 plus rooms in Dubai, UAE. Accor is a staple brand within the region and as such is always looking to expand if the right opportunities present themselves. The year 2015 has seen the Aparthotel Adagio Premium opening as the first purposebuilt property of its kind in the UAE in Dubai, and only second in the world after Doha. A number of tourism source markets like Russia are down. How has it impacted the hotels business and how is the industry overcoming the challenges? To replace the Russian market and the slowdown in regional winter month visitors the UAE have facilitated travel arrivals from European countries. Medical tourism is an ambition the emirate has had since 2012. |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 39

Exclusive Interview

and a lower RevPAR. Nevertheless, the UAE is continuing to be a top destination for both business and leisure travellers. We will see many hotels opening as we get closer to 2020 to accommodate the crowds expected to come for the Expo.

Dubai is set to become a medical tourism hub, with hospitals offering complete packages along with hotel accommodation. Dubai attracted 260,000 medical tourists in the first half of 2015, up 12 per cent from last year. Dubai had set a target to welcome 500,000 medical tourists by 2020. New markets are being sourced By DTCM and travel agents in the region to replace the hole left in the

40 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

market due to the Russian market being down. Visa policy has been relaxed. How do you see the hotel industry performing next year and up to 2020 when World Expo is hosted in Dubai? The industry will continue with a flat trend towards 2020 and beyond as increase in hotel inventory, will reflect a lower ADR

Is there a big competition due to new chains entering in the market? Increased competition is good for the industry. It encourages hoteliers to increase levels of service and be more competitive on pricing; this initiative opens up the UAE to a whole new demographic of traveller. Competition is always increasing in the UAE among hotels and affordability is becoming an increasingly important factor to travellers within the region. Our Novotel and Adagio properties offer top quality service at extremely affordable prices. ď‚…



Location & access novotel dubai al barsha off sharaf dg metro station sheikh zayed road, al barsha 1 po box 450011, Dubai, u.a.e contact tel +971 4 304 9000 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 41 www

New Technology

Australia and New Zealand to trial cloud passports

Will cloud passports be a reality?


assport -less travel could soon be a reality as Australia and New Zealand look at trialing ‘Cloud Passports’.

Affairs and Trade staff competition aimed at boosting innovation. “We’re in discussions with New Zealand and if we’re able to put in place the appropriate requirements, including security, then it’s something we’d like to trial and implement,” Bishop was quoted by the media as saying. While the details of how cloud passports would work, are not available yet, the idea seems interesting for passport systems worldwide as it would also eliminate the risk of passport being lost or stolen. Having a ‘cloud passport’ means your identity and biometric information is stored online, doing away with the need to carry a physical passport as we do now. The idea, which is still in its early stages, is quite likely to go global. 42 42 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|November |November//December December2015 2015||

“We think it will go global,” said Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Minister, who recently revealed that cloud technology would used to turn the passport chip into a “purely digital one”.The idea of a ‘cloud passport’ was the result of Australia’s Department of Foreign

Storing biometrics in the cloud, however, could raise security related concerns. Bishop acknowledged there were security requirements which would have to be met in order to store biometrics in the cloud, according to media reports.

New Technology

“We’re in discussions with New Zealand and if we’re able to put in place the appropriate requirements, including security, then it’s something we’d like to trial and implement,” she said and added that the concept would not be adopted if it was not able to be made secure. “Australia prides itself on having one of the most secure passports in the world, but by

embracing and harnessing new technologies, we might be able to do better,” she said.“Just doing the same old thing year after year after year doesn’t make Australia a more productive, innovative, creative and prosperous country. “So we are embracing new ideas not for the sake of it but in order to grow our economy, to make it easier to do business in Aus-

tralia, to create more jobs.”Tens of thousands of Australian passports were reportedly registered as lost or stolen last financial year. According to media reports, DFAT reported that 38,718 passports were registered as lost or stolen from 2014 to 2015, while the previous year saw 38,689 passports reported as missing.  |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 43

Special Report

Middle East already embracing top technology trends impacting digital transformation

Internet of me

The next big thing


s ordinary things become “intelligent” devices and every experience gets digital, forward looking businesses are focussing on creating highly personalized experiences that engage and exhilarate consumers.

The companies that succeed in this new “Internet of Me” will become the next generation of household names, according to the latest Accenture Vision Technology 2015 report. The Middle East, according to the report, is actively embracing the new technology trends that will affect digital transformation. More than three-quarters of Middle East survey respondents said that having 44 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

a personalized customer experience fits within their top three business priorities, and almost half said they are already seeing positive returns on their investments in technologies that enable this personalization. In its annual global technology outlook, Accenture identified five technology trends that will re-shape markets by creating new digital ‘ecosystems’

and found that leading businesses and governments in the Middle East have new strategies and projects in place to capitalize on digital transformation opportunities. Accenture also interviewed more than 200 senior decision-makers in the public and private sectors of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to supplement this report.


A majority of respondents – 62 percent in UAE – have seen the pace of technology adoption in their organization increase over the past two years. About half the organizations in the Middle East, 48 per cent in UAE, are actively investing in digital technologies, while another four in 10 are assessing them. “Now that digital has become part of the fabric of many organizations’ operating DNA, they are stretching their boundaries to leverage a broader digital ecosystem as they shape the next generation of their products, services and business models to effect change on a much broader scale,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology officer. “Leading organizations in the Middle East are already planning and executing on their digital transformation goals in response to the fast-changing needs of this digitally-savvy population.” All of the survey respondents from UAE and 97 percent from KSA are already using or experimenting with mobile technologies to engage with customers, employees or business partners, compared with an average of 94 percent in other countries. The five trends identified in the Accenture Technology Vision 2015 report include the personalization of the internet – Internet of Me; a shift in focus from selling things to selling results in an Outcome Economy; digital platforms that help build next-generation products and services in the Platform (R)evolution; intelligent software embedded across the enterprise, creating the Intelligent Enterprise; and intelligent machines and devices working alongside employees as a Workforce Reimagined.

About half the organizations in the Middle East, 48 per cent in UAE, are actively investing in digital technologies, while another four in 10 are assessing them.

Digital devices on the edge are powering an Outcome Economy and enabling a new business model that shifts the focus from selling things to selling results. More than nine in 10 Middle East respondents expect that with more intelligent hardware, sensors and devices, organizations will increasingly shift from selling products or services to selling outcomes.


It is not surprising, therefore, that Middle East respondents were more likely than their global counterparts to say they plan to engage with business partners from outside their own industry on digital initiatives like joint online or mobile solutions – 49 percent in UAE, 50 percent in KSA, while only 40 percent in other countries, on average The Intelligent Enterprise is making its machines smarter – embedding software intelligence into every aspect of its business to drive new levels of operational efficiency, evolution, and innovation.

The Platform (R) evolution reflects how digital platforms are becoming the tools of choice for building nextgeneration products and services, and entire ecosystems in the digital and physical worlds.

More than two-thirds (69 percent) of the respondents in KSA – and more than nine in 10 (95 percent) of those in UAE – reported that managing the volume, variety and velocity of data being generated today is very or extremely challenging, compared with 55 percent in other countries, on average.

The vast majority of Middle East respondents – 97 percent in UAE and 90 percent in KSA, higher than in any other country surveyed – believe that industry boundaries will dramatically blur as technology platforms reshape industries into more interconnected ecosystems.

At the same time, approximately 80 percent of all Middle East respondents said they believe that software will soon be able to learn and adapt to our changing world and make decisions based on learned experiences, with applications taking on human-like intelligence. 

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 45


Conde Nast Traveler Readers Name Best Islands in the World

Palawan is world’s best island


ondé Nast Traveler’s readers have named the best islands to visit in the world outside the United States and the top spot went to Palawan in the Philippines. Palawan, which is home to the famous Underground River, bested 19 other world-famous islands, including Bora Bora (84.756) and Moorea (84.656) in French Polynesia, which are both known for being among the world’s best spots for snorkeling with its crystal blue waters. This stunning island was chosen largely because itis home to one of the new seven natural wonders of the

46 |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 |

world: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this river is one of the longest underground rivers in the world, spanning five miles. With an overall rating of 85.937, Palawan was

named by Conde Nast Traveler as the world’s best island for second straight year. “Palawan’s natural wonder is one of the longest underground rivers in the


The top 20 islands in the world are as follows:

being an excellent wine destination for its numerous vineyards open to visitors. It is also home to some stunning olive groves and delicious restaurants, as well as picturesque beaches and forests.

world, traveling five miles through a subterranean cave system. Guided boat tours take visitors down a portion of the waterway, where karsts, natural rock formations created by dissolving limestone, loom in every direction,” wrote the Magazine. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the subterranean river a World Heritage Site in 1999. Cebu (80.404) at 19th is also a new comer on the list. The magazine called it the most densely populated island in the Philippines yet is famous with its beaches.

Australia was represented twice on the reader’s choice list for Whitsunday Islands (sixth place) and Tasmania (tenth place). Surrounded by the Barrier Reef, Whitsunday Islands feature incredible snorkeling and diving opportunities; while Tasmania is renown for its rainforests, wildlife and challenging hikes. This year included more than 128,000 travelers for the survey, the most in its history. The islands were “judged on a set of criteria relevant to their category, based on a standard five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair and poor.” 

Palawan, Philippines Bora Bora, French Polynesia Moorea, French Polynesia Waiheke Island, New Zealand Bermuda Great Barrier Reef & Whitsunday Islands, Australia Vancouver Island, BC, Canada Bali, Indonesia Santorini, Greece Tasmania, Australia Cook Islands British Virgin Islands St. John, USVI Mykonos, Greece Boracay, Philippines Maldives Orkney Islands, Scotland St. Lucia Cebu, Philippines Hvar & Dalmatian Islands, Croatia

In second place was Bora Bora, voted the most photogenic place on Earth in 2014, and in third was the French Polynesian island of Moorea.  Waiheke Island in New Zealand ranked in fourth place, renown for |Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 47

opinion column

Competition and Cooperation for Stronger Middle East Aviation T he success of aviation in this region

has been remarkable.Of course, such growth did not happen by accident. The industry needed visionary leaders to take risks. The Middle East has invested over $200 billion in more than 1,000 aircraft since 2005, and plans to spend a further $200 billion in the next 10 years.

Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO, IATA

The result of this investment has not only transformed the economies of this region, it has helped to reshape our entire industry. Now the challenge is to look beyond merely national issues and focus on an even bigger picture – the strategic development of aviation across the entire Middle East.  Safety is still at the top of the priority list, and always will be. The safety performance in Africa and in the Middle East has been on an improving trend.  The United Arab Emirates was recently commended by ICAO for the complying with 98.86 per cent of all ICAO safety standards – the highest compliance rate in ICAO’s history.  Global standards, partnerships and collaboration are as critical for aviation today as they were seven decades ago - possibly even more so.These priorities remain particularly appropriate for the Middle East.

(Remarks at the Middle East and Africa Aviation Day, Abu Dhabi)​

By embracing competition and collaboration, challenges of limited

48 48 48 |Manafez |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai Dubai|November |September |November//٢٠١٤ December December | 2015 2015||

airspace, increased airport and air traffic charges and other bottlenecks can be addressed. Perhaps the most pressing concern facing air transport in the region: air traffic management (ATM). This is an issue where cooperation is absolutely paramount. Flying better, together We all know how hard it is to plan for an uncertain world. But 70 years of experience tells us that whatever the challenges, aviation overcomes them best by cooperating together on the fundamental standards of a safe, secure and sustainable air transport system. The next two decades are poised to be exciting ones for aviation in the Middle East. Our 20-year forecast estimates passenger growth in the region will be among the fastest in the world. Airlines in the region are expected to become even stronger as they leverage the unique position of the region to service fast-growing markets in Africa and Asia. Airlines, airports, regulators and governments - need to do to foster innovation and competition to drive connectivity and respond to the global demand for flight. The celebration of 70 years of industry cooperation through lATA reminds us of the enormous value that airlines have created by working together: global mobility for 3.5 billion travelers and 50 million tonnes of cargo. 

opinion column

ICAO committed to implement Sustainable Development Goals welcomes the significant I CAO progress made to adopt the United

Nations’ Post-2015 Development Agenda. I am certain that, once agreed by this distinguished body, it will contribute greatly to our common goals supporting the eradication of poverty in all its forms. As a United Nations’ Specialized Agency established 70 years ago, ICAO has been mandated to promote the development of a safe, secure and sustain able global civil aviation system. ICAO’s current Strategic Objectives are strongly linked to 13 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), demonstrating our full commitment to their implementation. ICAO has been proactively working with the international community to address challenges of rapidlyexpanding air traffic, which is now projected to double by 2030. To foster this projected growth in a sustainable manner and produce inclusive and productive employment, aviation must have coherent policies with tourism, trade and other transport sectors to further improve connectivity and modernize infrastructure. These measures alone could nearly double aviation’s share of GDP to 5.8 trillion dollars in the next 15 years. Upgrading air traffic systems, for example, would contribute to the

global economy an estimated $300 billion per year. In this regard, I would like to congratulate all States on the ground -breaking Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and ICAO will continue its support to the new initiatives, in particular the establishment of a Global Infrastructure Forum. ICAO has launched a No Country Left Behind campaign to better identify and coordinate assistance to needful States so that they may foster sustainable local and regional prosperity and fully benefit from the improvement of their air connectivity.

Dr. Fang Liu Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

In addition to our strong and ongoing commitment, ICAO, as an official observer on the Interagency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators, have proposed global indicators under SDG Goals and in close co-operation with States and international partners and consistent with the visions of the SDGs and ICAO’s No Country Left Behind goals, our Organization continues to lead the development and implementation of a coherent and harmonized global regulatory framework for a safe and secure air transport operation. The ability of the world air transport network to safely manage 100,000 daily flights to every corner of the world has always relied upon how successfully States could cooperate to their common benefit. 

(Excerpts from address to the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post -2015 development agenda)

|Manafez Dubai |November / December 2015 | 49

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