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

Mobile self-service checkin kiosks at Auckland

Securing borders: Lie-detecting robots being tested to help secure international borders

Issue 29 January - February


25 million to take cruise holiday in 2017

Indian aviation ramps up tech investment

2016, a year of achievements for GDRFA Dubai

A new procedure that enables applicants complete their submissions without visiting any of GDRFAD centers

Ensuring the welfare and happiness of customers

You will receive an SMS from GDRFAD confirming receipt of your application. Visit the Typing Center that suits your needs in terms of proximity and quality of services.

Submit and receive your applications with convenience Your journey starts and ends at the same place. Visit the closest typing center to you to submit and complete your application without visiting any of GDRFAD centers.

You can also use and apply through the mobile app and enquire about all necessary documents by selecting the user guide.

For clarifications, get in touch with us at:

Engineered and powered by

Available on app stores. Search for GDRFAD or scan the QR code

You will receive a second SMS from GDRFAD about completing your application and confirming your delivery location.

Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, a life dedicated to the UAE


here are people who leave permanent imprints in your hearts and their impact remains forever in your consciousness. The late Dubai Police Chief, Lt Gen Khamis Mattar Al Mazeinah is one of them who has left an indelible impact on Dubai and the UAE. His journey was that of remarkable achievements, an example of strong integrity, hard work and dedication to serve the nation and the society. Khamis Mattar played an important role in enhancing the prestige of the Dubai police locally, regionally and globally, and even as he is no more with us today, the echo of his life and his achievements will stay alive in our minds and hearts forever. Diligent in his work, he was active, sincere, knowledgeable, and set an example as a dedicated professional as well as a good human being who had the ability to influence and nurture people. He was indeed a role model at work and also for his family and friends.

We studied in the same school, went together to the Dubai Police and I had the privilege to work with him as his assistant, when he was the head of CID at Dubai Police. I knew him for many years, I found him to be a man who was clear in his thoughts and kept his promises. Khamis is gone and he will remain forever in our hearts.

Born in the United Arab Emirates, he followed the footsteps and learnings of our great leaders. He joined police at a young age and gained expertise especially in managing safety and security of the country. Words are not enough to talk about the life and achievements of Khamis Mattar. For me, it is a personal loss as he was a colleague, a dear friend and more like a brother to me.

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 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 | January - February 2017 |

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

UAE News

First medical fitness testing and residence visa processing centre opened P4 Dubai Customs launches new enhancements at DXB Airport, Terminal 2

P 16

Safran installs 51 new generation eGates in New Zealand airports

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai

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

P 44 Ras Al Khaimah, a journey to magnificent landscapes, breathtaking coastlines and terracotta desert planes

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

P 48 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 3


First medical fitness testing and residence visa processing centre opened


ubai Health Care City opened its first integrated medical fitness testing and residence visa processing centre, which will provide a range of services for more than 8,000 employees. The Emirates Medical Fitness Centre, launched in partnership with the Dubai Health Authority, (DHA), and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, (GDRFA) in dubai, has the capacity to process 100 applications a day. The collaboration with the DHA and GDRFA-Dubai will enable those working with DHCC to carry out

all residency visa application procedures under one roof. Inaugurating the centre, Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri, Director General of the GDRFA-Dubai, said, “Establishing external centres such as this is in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It will put government services on a par with international standards. This collaboration between DHA, DHCC and GDRFA will facilitate the speedy processing of the residency visa applications in the free zone.”

The centre, which is situated in the Ibn Sina building No. 27 at the health care city, will be open from 8am to 3pm and will carry out medical fitness tests and issue residence visas with a very quick turnaround time, said Ramadan Al Beloushi, CEO of the Dubai Health Care Regulatory (DHCR). Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, Vice Chairperson and Group CEO of Dubai Healthcare City Authority; MajorGeneral Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director-General of GDRFA-Dubai, and a number of senior health officials attended the opening ceremony. 

More than 105,000 passengers arrive in Dubai on New Year’s eve


record number of 105,362 passengers arrived in Dubai on New Year’s Eve. The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA), Dubai airports registered 669,093 passengers, including 380,290 arrivals and 288,803 departures between December 28-31, according to a Gulf News report. Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA, said: “We are proud that that for the first time Dubai airports 4 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

received 105,362 passengers in just one day.” A work team was set up during the New Year holiday, which coincided with the weekend, in order to facilitate and speed up the travel procedures of passengers at all Dubai airports to ensure that all counters are open, according to the report. The move is in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to ensure that Dubai International

Airport remains a meeting place for the cultures of the world and an icon of happiness, security and assurance for every passenger. Maj Gen Al Marri said that GDRFA strives to complete the processing of travel procedures for departures and arrivals in accordance with best practices to bring happiness to all passengers. He attributed the smooth passenger traffic and the quick processing of travel procedures to the early preparations and coordination between all departments at Dubai Airports. 



Preparing for 2017


e have learnt from our leadership to not get complacent with achievements and continue working toward excellence and toward the vision to make Dubai the best place in the world to live and work.

Stating briefly, year 2016 was a highly successful year for the GDRFA Dubai as we dealt with more than 52 million passengers (excluding passengers in transit). The GDRFA Dubai also received many awards during the year which was the result of the efforts that were made toward enhancing the services we provide to millions of customers every year with the goal of ensuring the happiness of all our customers.

We are happy about the achievements but we continue working hard to achieving more in 2017 and reaching new heights in various fields of our work including security, especially as Dubai Airports is expected to deal with 89 million passengers in 2017 and over 100 million passengers by 2020.

We want to ensure a smooth journey and happy experience for each and every customer of ours, as millions of visitors come to our country through Dubai Airports. This requires us to be more innovative and creative in providing our services.

I would ask all my colleagues from different departments, who are all entrusted with the responsibility to give their best and enhance the image of the UAE to continue working with a positive attitude and ensure happiness for all. I am confident that we will be able to do so.

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

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 5

Cover Story

Emirates ID at eGates among the highly popular services

2016, a year of achievements for GDRFA Dubai


he General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai marked 2016 with many achievements including the launch of electronic gate service through ID Card issued by Emirates ID Authority, new high-tech services aimed at providing hassle free processes to customers, special facilities for families of martyrs, facilities for people with disabilities, recognition awards and organising and participating numerous activities focussed on enhancing customer experience and excellence. During the year, the GDRFAD launched facilities and services that focussed on comfortable and speedy procedures for customers from across all segments. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA Dubai, said: “The GDRFA is committed to give our best efforts to ensure that we continue on the road to excellence and innovation. Last year witnessed several initiatives and we will continue with many more initiatives in 2017 too.�

6 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

GDRFA Dubai and Emirates Identity Authority launched the facility allowing passengers to use Emirates ID cards through the electronic gates (e-Gates) at the Dubai Airports and complete passport control procedures in only about 10-15 seconds. The highly-advanced service, available on all 127 smart gates across all three terminals at Dubai International, was enabled by creating a secure and efficient link between various operational systems and databases managed by Emirates Identity Authority, GDRFA and Dubai Airports. Upon inserting the Emirates ID Card into the smart gate, the system quickly, accurately and efficiently confirms the identity, travel plans and eligibility of UAE residents to enter and depart the country. The service has been widely appreciated and more than 250,000 people used the facility last year itself.

High tech services

In 2016, GDRFAD introduced several new high-tech services,

which are being highly preferred by customers. Continuing with its initiatives toward innovation and excellence, the GDRFA Dubai launched 12 new high tech services during GITEX Technology Week. Earlier during the year, the GDRFA Dubai introduced the “UAE vi-


sion� new system, which allows public to apply for all kind of visa and residency related transactions only via typing service centres approved by the residency department. At the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) Awards, the Directorate show-

cased its range of services and smart applications, including the Robot to measure the happiness index of its customers. The robot asks three questions to the customer and takes an image and measures the extent of customer’s happiness based on their facial expressions.


The apps and services launched by the GDRFA recorded high success with a large number of users opting for them. Amer Contact Centre, an interactive communication channel of the GDRFA which provides information on several issues, hit 900,000 calls, recording almost 30 per cent increase. |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 7

Cover Story

Women Happiness Council The Council has been created tive environment bound to bring In response to UAE Vision 2021, which foresees upgrading women participation and achieving gender balance in the workplace, in the first half of the year, the GDFRA-D announced the launch of Women Happiness Council.

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 posi-

happiness to GDFRA women employees and achieve highest job satisfaction levels for them. 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, GDRFA-D, said: “GDFRAD is translating the UAE leadership visions and values aimed at making citizens and residents the

8 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |


center of its policies and plans by working to enhance their happiness, stability and welfare.”

Reading is my Companion Tonight” initiative for children

The year also saw the launch of “Reading is my Companion To-

night” initiative by the GDRFA Dubai aimed at encouraging children to read by distributing story and educational books to school students and children of GDFRAD staff members, in addition to children receiving the care and attention of the Al Maktoum Foundation.


Special counter for martyrs families

The GDRFA established a special counter at its headquarters in Jafiliya to serve families and relates of UAE martyrs so as to take extra care for the families of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation.

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 9

Cover Story

10 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |


to support them. The forum was attended by senior officials, academics and people who are visually impaired. The objectives of the forum included educating the UAE community to deal with visually impaired people rightfully, highlighting the capabilities and accomplishments of the individuals with visual impairment. GDRFA-Dubai has 20 employees with special needs.

Successful participation

Al Manaar Forum

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) organised the Al Manaar Forum to highlight the capabilities of visually impaired people and ways

The GDRFA Dubai, which has introduced Smart Gate Special Counter for the disabled to enhance the airport experience, also marked successful participation in AccessAbilities Expo 2016, region’s largest exhibition focussed on individuals with disabilities. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs


(GDRFA) in Dubai, said the department is committed to making the lives of individuals with special needs and disabilities comfortable by ensuring easy and quick access to services.

Foreign language training for its Airport and Seaport staff

In preparation for Expo 2020 and in line with its objectives to provide outstanding services to make residents and visitors from different countries across the world happy, GDFRA-D conducted training and rehabilitation courses to its airport and seaport staff, with the aim to upgrade their grasp of a number of different foreign languages, and eventually enhance their skills and facilitate their communication with passengers and customers. In this regard, Major General Al Marri has opened in the Alliance Franciase Dubai, a French language training course that was attended by 15 male and female employees. ď‚…

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 11

UAE News

Dubai Habour Project adds new dimension to Dubai’s flourishing tourism industry


is Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced the development of Dubai Harbour, a unique new waterfront destination that will feature the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s largest marina. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid made the announcement in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai International Marine Club; Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director-General 12 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

of Dubai Protocol Department, and Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas. The project, located on King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, in the area between the Jumeirah Beach Residence and Palm Jumeirah - also known as Mina Al Seyahi - will be developed by Meraas. The iconic luxury waterfront destination, spread over 20 million sq. ft, will include a 1,400-berth ma-

rina, the biggest in the MENA region, as well as a cruise ship port and terminal, a shopping mall covering 3.5 million sq. ft - the largest one in the area - an events arena, luxurious residential buildings, hotels, offices, retail stores, public service facilities, restaurants, cafes and the Dubai Lighthouse. The master plan of the new project also integrates Skydive Dubai, Dubai International Marine Club, DIMC, and the Logo Island into a single community.

UAE News

To be developed in phases, the Dubai Harbour project will be completed in four years after the ground has been broken. Commenting on the project, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said, “We are happy that this new project, which represents a unique and innovative new addition to the region’s tourism landscape, opens up a range of new opportunities to investors. Dubai Harbour creates a venue for new investments that support our vision for this important sector and promise to further accelerate the expansion of the tourism industry in the UAE, which is already growing rapidly. I am confident that the project will have a highly positive impact on the entire region’s tourism sector. We are keen to encourage new projects and promote investments that will contribute to bringing to the region more tourists interested in experiencing this part of the world.” He also noted that this project is inspired by the Gulf’s long maritime tradition, which has been inextricably linked to the evolution of trade and commerce in the region. “Our region has had a long and historic relationship with the sea, and today we are seeing another initiative inspired by this age-old tradition that opens up new horizons for development. We have great aspirations for the tourism sector, which is one of the main pillars of our economic development and an important source of national income,” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed added. The unique destination, which adds a new dimension to Dubai’s flour-

ishing tourism industry, is set to further enhance Dubai’s position as a leading global hub for maritime tourism. The project will create synergies with some of Dubai’s other iconic projects located in the area, including Palm Jumeirah and the upcoming Bluewaters Island project. Dubai Harbour is also set to enhance the city’s profile as a magnet for wealth and investments. The project promises to be an attractive destination for the GCC yacht owners, who own one-third of the world’s largest superyachts. Dubai Harbour will be accessible by land, sea and air. Additionally, the project will be linked to Sheikh Zayed Road, Palm Jumeirah, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street and Bluewaters Island through state-of-the-art infrastructure. Dubai Harbour is expected to create new employment opportunities and attract substantial investments. The destination is also expected to have an incremental impact on the value of neighboring properties. While developing the project, Meraas will work closely with various Dubai government entities, especially with the Road and Transport Authority, RTA, to deliver a futuristic infrastructure that will connect Dubai Harbour to surrounding areas and provide multi-mode transport systems across the development. Visitors can access Dubai Harbour either from King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, a bridge that connects them directly from Sheikh Zayed Road or the monorail system that will link to the metro from Palm Jumeirah and Bluewaters Island. A

pedestrian bridge with a jogging and cycling track will also connect Dubai Harbour to Palm Jumeirah. The project will also feature water stations in various locations and the key ones, to be built under the shopping mall and select hotels, will offer direct access to the buildings. These water stations will play a major role in facilitating water transportation in the area. The project will also house three helipads. Meraas will also work closely with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and Skydive Dubai to conduct feasibility studies to assess the possibility of using the landing site at Skydive for accommodating private jets. Additionally, Dubai Harbour will offer a high-quality, internal transportation network and a connected road grid and monorail system that can transport passengers to different areas such as the cruise terminal, hotels, the yacht club, the shopping mall, Skydive Dubai and the Dubai Lighthouse. The project’s roads will be designed to enable the destination to host Formula races. A pedestrian bridge will also be constructed, linking the yacht club area to the shopping mall and Skydive. Jogging and cycling tracks will be spread across the development. The 1,400-berth marina, to be managed by one of the world’s best marina operators, will offer worldclass services and maintenance facilities to boat owners and guests besides granting permits to sail in co-ordination with other marinas and international ports.  |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 13

UAE News

UAE among world’s top five destinations for career growth


he UAE has climbed two places to become the fourth best destination for an international career, according to HSBC’s annual Expat Explorer Survey.

In the 45 country ranking, which included responses from 27,000 expats globally and 3,092 in the UAE, the bank found that the emirates stood only behind Switzerland, Germany and Sweden in terms of career prospects. Career-orientated expats continue to be attracted by the economic and political stability in the UAE compared to other markets globally, the survey said. Life in the UAE provides expats with a range of financial rewards, high economic confidence and the chance to experience an improved quality of life. Expats in the UAE are confident about the local economy, with 87 per cent feeling confident or neutral, compared to the expat global average of 82 per cent. More than half (54 per cent) believe it is a good des-

tination for expats to progress their career, compared with 43 per cent globally, according to the survey. The majority (53 per cent) of expats in the UAE say that living there has accelerated their progress towards buying a property, compared with the global average of 41 per cent. Expats in the country are also more likely than average to say the move has accelerated their progress towards making other long-term savings and investments (52 per cent compared to the global average of 38 per cent), saving for retirement (50 per cent compared to 40 per cent globally) and saving for their children’s education (43 per cent compared to the global average of 29 per cent). Expats are moving to the UAE in order to improve their earnings above all other reasons (53 per cent compared with 25 per cent globally). Almost two in three expats in the UAE

report an increase in their disposable income (compared with the global average of 56 per cent) and their ability to save (62 per cent compared with the global average of 53 per cent). The vast majority (93 per cent) of expats in the country say they receive at least one benefit as part of their contract, compared with 33 per cent globally. The benefits expats in the UAE are most likely to receive from their employers are health and airfare allowances. Over 75 per cent of expats in the UAE receive a medical allowance as part of their contract, while 72 per cent receive an airfare allowance (compared with the global averages of 51 per cent and 33 per cent respectively). Two in five (41 per cent) expats move to the UAE to improve their quality of life, compared with a global average of 32 per cent. The majority of expats in the country achieve this aim with 61 per cent saying their quality of life has improved since moving, compared with 52 per cent globally. More than half of expat parents (54 per cent) in the UAE say that the health and wellbeing of their children have improved, compared with the global average of 49 per cent. 

14 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

UAE News

13 new trademark related smart services launched


he UAE Ministry of Economy has launched 13 new trademark-related smart services as part of a move to integrate important additions to the Ministry’s system of smart services provided to UAE businesses across various sectors.

The new services, which complement the ministry’s mandate and functions, are available through its web site and official application available across all smart shops, as well as via smart devices like smartphones and tablets, according to a report in Gulf News. The UAE is the first Arab country to connect its trademarks systems with the International IPAS system, which is responsible for trademarks at the World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, said Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri. “The addition of these new ser-

vices is expected to add a new dimension of excellence to the trademark process.” The new services, he noted, provide an integrated intelligent system of high quality services for trademark holders and facilitate the procedures to help preserve their rights and facilitate the completion of the transactions related to it, the report added The move enhances the confidence of the business environment in the country and contributes to achieving the Ministry’s goal of protecting intellectual property rights and creating a

conducive environment for research and development, innovation and creativity, which are key pillars of UAE Vision 2021, he further noted. “The launch of this new set of smart services is part of our ongoing efforts to promote the concept of smart government — pushing towards the smart shift of government services in various sectors and the aim to reduce the number of customers coming to the offices of the Ministry by 80 per cent, which are in support of the directives of the wise leadership to implement a smart government initiative at the federal level,” the report quoted him as saying.  |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 15

UAE News

Dubai Customs launches new enhancements at DXB Airport, Terminal 2


hmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, launched new expansions at passenger Operations Department at Dubai International Airport- Terminal 2.

They included development of the CCTV room and the Baggage Handling System (BHS) room, plus revamping the staff lounge. Musabih toured concourses 1, 2, and 3 to view the services provided for passengers. He was accompanied by Abdullah Al Khaja, Executive Director of Customer Management Division at Dubai Customs, Mohammed Al Muaini, Director of Land Customs Centers Management, and Ibrahim Kamali, Director of Passenger Operations Department. The new development included enhancements to the CCTV room which helps Dubai Customs’ officers analyse luggage and passengers and communicate with the inspectors on site to recommend further inspection. The monitors at the Baggage Handling System room were also replaced with more advanced ones. The staff lounge was also revamped.

“The Department works on Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport, and is always keen to enhance relationships with other government departments. There is continual coordination between the Department and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, and the Airport Security Department”.

The Passenger Operation Department plays a great role in helping passengers and attending to their different needs, Musabih Explained.

“Dubai Customs highly focuses on the security side without compromising the passengers’ comfort. For this, the Department adopts the latest technologies

16 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

and practices at different customs land, sea and air ports within its vision of becoming the leading customs administration in the world supporting legitimate trade” he concluded. On his part, Ibrahim Kamali said that Dubai Customs has dealt with more than 33 million passengers from January to November and this meant more than 35 million bags. “Professionalism and transparency are the norm for all our staff, and security is a top priority” he explained. 


| Manafez Dubai | April 2016 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 || 13 17

Middle East News

Opportunity for Saudi airports to provide more self-service options

Saudi travelers’ love of smartphones to drive demand for more self-service at the airport


he use of self-service technology in Saudi Arabia is expected to surge in the next 12 months as an increasing number of airline passengers opt for technology rather than face-to-face interactions at the airport, according to SITA’s Passenger IT Trends Survey. In particular, mobile self-service usage across key steps in the airport journey is expected to surge in 2017. A growing number of

18 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

airline passengers have indicated that they plan to use mobile selfservice options in the next 12 months – 20 per cent for check-in

and 24 per cent for self-boarding – up from 4 per cent for checkin and 14 per cent for boarding in 2016. This increase is being

Middle East News

helped by the fact that more than 96 per cent of all Saudi travelers carry one or more smartphones. Airline passengers are also demanding more mobile services in the coming year. More than 70 per cent of passengers would like to receive notifications regarding their baggage while 71 per cent would like to receive flight updates. Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India and Africa said: “Passengers prefer self-service technology as it gives them more control during their journey while helping airports improve the flow of passengers through their facilities. Once passengers start using self-service options they would rather switch to another technology than go back to a face-to-face interaction.” While 79 per cent of Saudi travelers were happy with their overall journey, far fewer experienced positive emotions at key steps such as security (69 per cent), passport control (68 per cent) and baggage collection (64 per

cent). These areas also corresponded with steps in the journey where no self-service options were available. Yet 88 per cent of airline passengers experienced positive emotions when booking their flights – a step where 87 per cent of travelers used self-service technology. “There is real opportunity for Saudi airports to provide more self-service options, particularly at traditional pain points such as baggage, security and passport control. The benefits of selfservice technology at these keys steps in the airport journey can significantly improve passenger satisfaction while helping airports and airlines manage more passengers, particularly during busy periods such as Hajj,” said ElAssaad. Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is expanding and upgrading all 26 airports it operates and the airports are expected to have a combined capacity to handle over 100 million travelers by 2020. Technology will play a key role in the ex-

pansion and modernization of the country’s airport infrastructure. A key focus of GACA’s development program is accommodating the millions of pilgrims that visit Saudi Arabia every year, particularly during Hajj. In 2016 a total of 1.86-million pilgrims travelled to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, more than two-thirds arriving by air. This year SITA also analyzed the behavior of four different types of passengers: The Careful Planner, Pampered, Hyper-Connected and Open-Minded Adventurer profiles, each of whom use technology differently. The largest profile group was careful planners making up 38 per cent of all travelers in Saudi Arabia. These passengers often double check every stage of preparation and travel and tend to use technology, such as mobile devices to book, check-in and manage their trip, more frequently than the other profiles. The survey was carried out in four airports across Saudi Arabia representing 84 per cent of all passengers in the country.  |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 19

Middle East News

Oman expects to generate around OMR300 million as fee on expatriate licences


etailing the tax and fee revenues in the 2017 state budget, the Ministry of Finance said that OMR310 million is expected to be collected as fee for nonOmani labour licenses, reported Times of Oman. In 2017 state budget, the aggregate revenues are estimated at OMR8.7 billion, increasing by (18 per cent) as compared to projected actual revenues for 2016, according to the report. These revenues consist of oil and gas revenues of OMR6.11 billion, representing (70 per cent) of to-

tal revenues. Non-oil revenues are estimated around OMR2.59 billion i.e. (30 per cent) of total revenues, such revenues are to be collected, the report added. According to the report, an official from Royal Oman Police (ROP) said that the Ministry of Manpower will decide on the fee and ways it has to be implemented. “Last year, the government had increased the visa renewal fee by 50 per cent. Now, whether they will increase it again or have some other fee structure, we have to wait and see,” the report

quoted Sunil Kumar KK, a senior official at Najmat Al Fujairah Trading Construction Company, as saying. Oman’s population touched 4,546,830 by the end of November, marking a 0.3 per cent increase over September figures, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). The number of Omanis stood at 2,465,768 who constitute 54.2 per cent of the total population, while the number of expatriates stood at 2,081,062. 

Kuwait to have ‘quota for each nationality’


uwait is working on measures including nationality quotas, limits on family visas and tests for labourers to reduce the number of expats in the country, according to media reports. In an interview with Kuwait Times, minister of social affairs and labour and state minister for economic affairs Hind Al-Subaih outlined the measures and said the country would seek to “reduce or stop unskilled labour”. Kuwaitis make up only 30 per cent of the country’s 4.4 million population, according to some estimates, and MPs have repeatedly called for the population to be rebalanced in recent years. Subaih said rebalancing the country’s

20 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

demographic structure to reduce the percentage of expats to 60 per cent or less could take “15 years at least”. “We are not against expat labour in general, rather our problem is with those without degrees and who are untrained and unqualified, in addition to human traffickers who harmed Kuwait domestically and distorted its image abroad,” she was quoted as saying. “There are many projects that need one person only, but the employer brings in 10 persons, and there are many jobs that can rely on technology such as guarding, cleaning and others.”

An increase in the daily fine for residency violators from KD2 ($6.53) to KD4 ($13.06) and tests for expat workers before they are hired from their home countries are also planned, she revealed. “Bringing in expat labour will be subject to tests in their countries before hiring them. The decision will be applicable in the coming days and the start will be with Egypt and India, as there are agreements with the two countries through non-profit international organisations to guarantee that no fees or commission will be imposed on workers.” 

Middle East News

Qatar abolishes Kafala system


ccording to a report in Arab Times, as Law No. 21 of 2015 comes into effect, new provisions regulating the entry, exit and residency requirements for all workers in Qatar have been introduced.

The new measures come one year after Amir of Qatar, Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, signed the reforms into law, said the report. The law abolishes the Kafala system and guarantees greater flexibility, freedom and protection to Qatar’s more than 2.1 million salaried workforce. According to the report, the Minister of Administrative Development Labour & Social Affairs Dr. Issa bin Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi said: “The State of Qatar is enormously grateful to the millions of

workers who have come to Qatar to build our nation’s infrastructure during this period of rapid change.

we urge the international community not to draw any definitive conclusions until there has been time to see the new law in action.

The new law is the latest step towards improving and protecting the rights of every expatriate worker in Qatar.

At its core, we are doing this because we believe it is the right thing to do and because it provides tangible new benefits to expatriate workers.

It replaces the Kafala system with a modernised, contract-based system that safeguards worker rights and increases job flexibility.” “We welcome any comment or constructive criticism, and will continue to do so in the future. However,

This is why we will work diligently to ensure it is properly implemented, including increasing our monitoring capabilities and hiring more compliance inspectors to tighten the net on companies who violate the law. 

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 21

International News

Laser walls, smart sensors at IndiaBangladesh border soon


ndia’s Border Security Force (BSF) is set to install laser walls and smart sensors along the Indo-Bangla international border in West Bengal to plug the porous riverine and unmanned terrain in the area in order to keep to check infiltration and terrorism, according to media reports. “Very soon laser walls and smart sensors will be installed at the Indo-Bangla border, especially in the porous riverine area and in areas that do not have proper fencing. It will be done on an urgent basis so that it becomes operational by the next year,” The Indian Express quoted a BSF official as saying. The official added that the pilot project is likely to take off within a few months. “The pilot project will start in a few months once we get the equip-

22 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

ment and other things that are needed. The areas, where lasers and sensors will be placed, have already been identified,” another official said. Acoording to the report, a team of technical experts will handle a pilot project for deploying technological solutions in riverine areas and the areas that lack fences. “The smart sensors will be monitored through a satellite-based signal command system. They will have night and fog operability

tools. The mechanism is — sensor blips and alerts border guards,” said the official. Of the 4,096 kilometer-long IndoBangladesh border, 2,216.7 is in West Bengal. The decision to install laser walls in areas, where barbed wire fences could not be erected due to the treacherous terrain or marshy riverine topography was taken by the BSF two years ago. Union Home Ministry and BSF have expedited the installation and activation of laser walls. 

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 23

International News

Construction complete on Changi Airport Terminal 4 ahead of 2017 opening


hangi Airport has completed the construction of Terminal 4 which will open in the second half of next year.

With the external facade done, the next stage of development will be focused on its interior fittings, as well as preparing it for operations, Changi Airport Group (CAG) , according to a report in Straits Times. Yam Kum Weng, CAG’s executive vice-president for air hub development, said: “The past three years have been an intense and exciting journey for CAG and our project partners.

wards the successful completion of the terminal’s construction, while achieving a clean safety record of 26.1 million accident-free man hours. For the next phase, we look forward to working with the airport community to prepare the terminal for opening in the second half of 2017.”

We worked closely with the architects and contractors to ensure that the development works were carried out according to plan, and witnessed the transition of our vision from architectural blueprints to fruition.

Construction work on the new terminal started in early 2014. In addition to the two-storey passenger terminal building, the construction involved the development of two multi-storey carparks providing 1,700 parking spaces, a two-storey taxi holding area, as well as three vehicular and pedestrian bridges spanning across Airport Boulevard to create new channels of access to T4.

“We thank all our partners and contractors for their contributions to-

A 68m-high control tower has also been constructed to enhance air

24 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

traffic controllers’ management of aircraft movements in the apron and taxiways around the terminal. For the first time at Changi Airport, T4 will see a terminal-wide implementation of self-service initiatives to enhance passenger experience and operational efficiency. The preparatory works in the leadup to the terminal’s opening will involve the installation and testing of key airport systems and processes including the new self-service and automated options covering checkin, bag-drop, immigration clearance and boarding. There will also be training and familiarisation programmes organised for airport staff and partners. Completed in under three years, the T4 project involved over 4,000 workers at the peak of its construction works. 

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 25

International News

Passenger traffic to double to 370 million by 2020

Indian aviation ramps up tech investment to meet rapid passenger growth


irlines and airports in India are expected to rapidly ramp up their spend on new technology over the next three years to keep up with surging growth which will see passenger traffic double to 370 million by 2020. The growth will position India as the world’s third largest aviation market. To meet this demand airlines and airports are investing in technology to help bridge the capacity gap and accommodate more passengers. According to SITA’s 2016 India IT Trends Benchmark study, released at the India ICT Aviation Forum 2016, all airlines in India expect to see IT 26 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

budgets increase in 2017 compared to 2016.

The remainder globally are braced for lower budgets.

This contrasts markedly with global airline confidence on future IT budgets, with just over half expecting an increase while around a third will see no change in 2017.

Airports in India are similarly positive about IT spending with 80% of airports expecting an IT budget increase in 2017 over 2016.

International News

This compares to 58% of airports globally who expect an increase next year. Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President, India and Subcontinent, said: “Rapid growth is a positive challenge for India. While many Indian airlines and airports lag the rest of the world in the use of technology, there is tremendous opportunity and desire among air transport executives to bring the country in line with the rest of the world. This vital investment in technology will ensure that India can fully capitalize on the growth we expect to see in the next few years.” Foremost among the priorities of Indian airports is handling the huge passenger volumes efficiently. That means self-service technologies are in high demand and the majority of Indian airports (83%) plan major passenger self-service programs in the next three years. One area of significant growth is self-service bag-drop, with more than 80% of airports expecting to put in place assisted self bag-drop systems. Another key focus area for both airlines and airports is mobile. SITA’s research shows 98% of Indian passengers carry at least one mobile device. Over the next three years, 80% of airlines and 67% of airports plan major projects developing mobile services for passengers. Jaikrishna said: “The good news is Indian passengers prefer to use tech-

nology in their everyday lives. This is aligned with SITA’s global findings that travelers prefer to use technology than face-to-face interactions across the travel steps. As airports and airline introduce new self-service options – particularly mobile services – the industry can be assured that passengers will use them.” With the industry sharply focused on using new intelligence and better predictability to improve operational efficiency, every airline in India plans to undertake work on business intelligence initiatives and 60% have plans for projects around predictive analytics. Other emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, are also going to be looked at by 50% and 25% of airlines respectively, albeit over a slightly longer timeframe, both indicating a further increase in data volume. India still lags its global counterparts in implementing emerging trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT). Globally airlines are bringing aircraft into the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem with an increasing number of “connected aircraft” starting to enter the global fleet. Yet SITA’s survey shows no airlines in India are yet operating connected aircraft. However, the airlines recognize the potential for enhancing passenger services and by 2019, around half will have taken delivery of some connected aircraft, although still somewhat below the global level of 66% of airlines. There is also an interest from India’s air transport sector in single biometric tokens for identity management as

Mumbai becomes first airport in India to introduce self bag-drop Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) is offering its passengers greater convenience when checking in their baggage with the introduction of SITA’s Scan&Fly bag drop units at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport, the country’s second busiest airport. MIAL has deployed Scan&Fly units throughout the airport, allowing passengers that have already checked in online to quickly tag and drop their baggage before heading directly to the gate. The units are available to passengers of Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Go and Indigo. The plug-and-play design of SITA Scan&Fly allows the bag drop solution to be easily installed onto existing airport check-in desks, making use of Scan&Fly’s horizontal support frame, European patent granted. This maximizes terminal space while leveraging the speed of selfservice. it has the potential to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce stress for passengers. Two thirds of India’s airports say they have started trials or projects, of which many are expected to develop into full scale deployments with 86% of airports planning a major program with this technology by 2019.  |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 27

In Focus

Polite, bilingual and responsive, the robot flags passenger upon detecting deception

Securing borders: Lie-detecting robots being tested to help secure international borders


he system, known as the Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessment in Real Time, or AVATAR, has already begun tests with the Canadian Border Services Agency to help border security agents determine whether travelers coming into Canada may have undisclosed motives for entering the country, according to a report on, a science, research and technology news service “AVATAR is a kiosk, much like an airport check-in or grocery store self-checkout kiosk,” the report quoted San Diego State University management information systems professor Aaron Elkins as saying. “However, this kiosk has a face on the screen that asks questions of travelers and can detect changes in physiology and behavior during the interview. The system can detect changes in the eyes, voice, gestures and posture to determine potential risk. It can even tell when you’re curling your toes,” said Aaron. The robot, which is bilingual, polite and responsive would flag passenger if deception is detected. Here’s how it would work: Passengers would step up to the kiosk and be asked a series of questions such 28 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

In Focus

as, “Do you have fruits or vegetables in your luggage?” or “Are you carrying any weapons with you?” Eye-detection software and motion and pressure sensors would monitor the passengers as they answer the questions, looking for tell-tale physiological signs of lying or discomfort. The kiosk would also ask a series of innocuous questions to establish baseline measurements so people are just nervous about flying, for example, wouldn’t be unduly singled out.

Once the kiosk detected deception, they would flag those passengers for further scrutiny from human agents. According to the report, Elkins began working on AVATAR when he was a Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona. As the deception detection project grew more advanced and more sensors were added, more data about the interviewee was analyzed. When Elkins became an assistant professor at SDSU in the fall of 2016, his work moved with him. Here, he is in the process in com-

pleting construction of his lab where he plans to continue researching and teaching students about artificial intelligence. “We’ve come to realize that this can be used not just for border security, but also for law enforcement, job interviews and other human resources applications as well,” Elkins said. “We continue to make improvements, such as analyzing the collected data using Big Data analysis techniques that make AVATAR a potentially valuable tool across many industries.” In the meantime, Elkins is looking for a government agency willing to utilize the technology in a realworld application. “AVATAR has been tested in labs, in airports and at border crossing stations,” Elkins noted. “The system is fully ready for implementation to help stem the flow of contraband, thwart fleeing criminals, and detect potential terrorists and many other applications in the effort to secure international borders.”  |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 29

30 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 31

Special Report

CLIA outlook presents top 8 cruise travel trends

25 million to take cruise holiday in 2017


ruise passengers Increase in cruise travel is expected to continue throughout 2017, with an estimated 25.3 million passengers expected to sail in 2017, a strong surge from 15.8 million just 10 years prior (2007), according to the ‘2017 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook’ by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The CLIA outlook reported that cruise lines are scheduled to debut 26 new ocean, river and specialty ships in 2017 for a total investment of more than $6.8 billion in new vessels.



12,000 CLIA Travel Agents

Now: 2016

More than 25,000 CLIA Travel Agents Globally

15 Offices Around the World

From 2017-2026 the industry is expected to introduce a total of 97 new cruise ships totaling an estimated investment of $53 billion through 2026, the report added. Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA, said: “The cruise industry is responding to global demand and we are highly encouraged by both the short-term and long-term outlook.” “From technological advancements and deployment of new ships to 32 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

Brasil / Alaska / Australasia / Belgium & Luxembourg / Europe /

France / Germany / Italy / Netherlands / North America / North Asia / North West & Canada / Southeast Asia / Spain / UK & Ireland


new ports and destinations around the world, the industry continues to respond to desires of today’s travelers resulting in steady growth and strong economic impact around the world,” Cindy added. Cruise industry expenditures generated $117 billion in total output worldwide, supporting 956,597 full-time equivalent employees who earned $38 billion in income in


2015. As part of the 2017 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, CLIA has forecasted the top eight cruise travel trends that will have the most impact on the cruise industry this year. New Generation Takes to the Water – A recent study found that younger generations—including Millennials and Generation X — will embrace

Special Report





Younger generations—including Millennials and Generation X — will embrace cruise travel more than ever before.


TRAVEL AGENT USE INCREASES Travel agents will continue to be the matchmakers between travelers and cruise lines in 2017.


cruise travel more than ever before, rating it as better than land-based vacations, all-inclusive resorts, tours, vacation house rentals, or camping. Travel Agent Use Increases – According to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, consumer use of a travel agent increased nearly eighty percent from 2015 to 2016. Supporting this, CLIA is forecasting that travel agents will continue to be the matchmakers between travelers and cruise lines in 2017. Today, there are more than 25,000 CLIA-member travel agents globally compared to 12,000 in 2010. CLIA also found that cruisers report high levels of satisfaction with their travel experience when assisted by an agent.


River Cruise Demand Increases – River cruises offer travelers a unique and intimate travel experience. Due to demand, CLIA cruise line Members currently deploy 184 river cruise ships with 13 new river cruise ships on order for 2017, an increase of about 7 percent. More Private Islands on Cruise Itineraries – As more cruise lines introduce private island destinations, travellers are responding and booking these itineraries. In 2017, cruise lines offer ports on a total of seven private islands. New Cruisers Will Take to the Sea – Interest in ocean cruising is projected to remain strong in 2017. When



Adventure travel is growing at a record pace and cruise expeditions are seeing the impact. 25

CLIA Cruise Line Members currently deploy 184 river cruise ships with 13 new river cruise ships on order for 2017, an increase of about 7 percent.


asked what kind of vacations might be of interest in the next three years nearly half (48 percent) of noncruisers expressed interest in taking an ocean cruise while a striking 85 percent of cruisers also expressed interest. Drivable Port Locations in Favor – The cruise industry offers a variety of small and large market port location options across the United States and internationally. Citing the advantages of a myriad of locations seven out of ten (69 percent) non-cruisers believe the greatest benefit is cost savings and three quarters (74 percent) of cruisers like the convenience of driving to a cruise ship. Lure of Celeb Chefs – Cruise travelers are embracing specialty dining and will continue to consider cruise dining experiences based upon celebrity chefs. This year, several cruise lines feature restaurants and dishes created by famous chefs including Guy Fieri, Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa and Geoffrey Zakarian. Demand for Expedition Cruises – According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association, adventure travel is growing at a record pace and CLIA is reporting that cruise expeditions are seeing the impact. In fact, itineraries for Antarctica regularly sell out.  |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 33

Special Report

Skill underutilisation costs college-educated immigrants more than $39 billion in forgone wages annually

Billions of dollars in tax receipts forgone annually as nearly 2 million highly skilled immigrants in U.S. are stuck in low-skilled jobs or unemployed


he United States has long attracted some of the world’s best and brightest. But nearly 2 million immigrants with college degrees are relegated to low-skilled jobs or can’t find work.

The result of this brain waste? More than $39 billion in forgone wages annually and $10 billion in resulting lost tax payments, according to Migration Policy Institute (MPI) researchers. One in four of the 7.6 million college-educated immigrants in the United States during the 20092013 period experienced skill underutilization, that is they were either working in low-skilled jobs or were unemployed. The findings are included in a new report, Untapped Talent: The Costs of Brain Waste among Highly Skilled Immigrants in the United States, issued today by MPI, New American Economy and World Education Services. The report offers the first-ever economic costs of underemployment for the college-educated immigrant population in the United States. (The report is accompanied by fact sheets for seven states: California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas and Washington State.) “Our research makes clear that 34 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

low-skilled employment among highly skilled immigrants—the old, familiar story of doctors driving taxicabs—carries substantial economic costs,” said MPI President Michael Fix, an author of the report. “And these costs accrue not just to the immigrants and their families, but to the broader U.S. economy.” This brain waste should be of particular concern given that the highly skilled comprise an ever greater share of new arrivals. Almost half of immigrant adults entering the United States between 2011-2015 held a bachelor’s degree or more, the researchers found. That’s a sharp rise from the 27 percent share in 1990 and the 33 percent share arriving before the 2007-2009 recession.

underemployment imposes, both in forgone earnings and tax payments. While these college-educated immigrants experiencing brain waste lost out on $39.4 billion in wages annually, the report finds they would have been able to narrow the gap to $28.5 billion if employed in higher-skilled work at the same rate as U.S.-born college graduates.

Among other key findings:

Employment of highly skilled immigrants at their skill level would have generated $10.2 billion in additional tax payments annually, with $7.2 billion going into federal coffers and $3 billion to state and local governments.

Drawing upon analysis of Census Bureau data, the MPI researchers developed estimates of brain waste for the United States and 15 states with the largest numbers of immigrants experiencing skill underutilization.

Brain waste is particularly acute for immigrants educated outside the United States. Twenty-nine percent of immigrants who earned their college degrees abroad experienced brain waste, compared to 21 percent of immigrants educated in the United States.

The report also estimates the economic penalty that immigrant

Immigration status plays a role in brain waste. Nineteen percent

Special Report

of U.S.-educated immigrants who became U.S. citizens experienced skill underutilization, compared to 24 percent of green-card holders and 34 percent of unauthorized immigrants. Immigrant skill underutilisation varies by state. Among the states examined, Florida had the highest rate of immigrant brain waste (32 percent), while Michigan and Ohio had the lowest (20-21 percent). Highly skilled immigrants face a range of barriers to employment at their skill levels, among them: difficulty getting foreign credentials recognized, unfamiliarity with the U.S. labor market, employers’ negative perceptions of the quality of foreign education and work experience, limited English skills and a shortage of education programs to bridge skills deficits. Many of these barriers could be addressed or at least alleviated through targeted programs and policies. The report spotlights initiatives undertaken by non-profits and some states, including Michigan and Ohio. The report notes that immigrants are not alone in experiencing brain waste. Eighteen percent of U.S.born college graduates, nearly 7 million people, also cannot find work at their skill level. “The economy takes a hit in every case where a high-skilled immigrant is underemployed or can’t find work,” said John Feinblatt, chairman of New American Economy. “Smarter immigration policy can help connect workers of every background to jobs that match their skill sets — and make the economy stronger for all of us.”  |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 35

Customer Service

Customer support trends to watch in 2017


he customer support industry continues to change and evolve. It seems like only a few years ago technology like live chat and automated call-back solutions were all the rage and support professionals were trying to integrate these new technologies into their support solutions, and now they’re everyday tools.

But what are some customer support trends to keep an eye on in 2017? While they all may not rise to prominence immediately, here are five support trends to watch.


Self-service is evolving quickly and becoming more visual – Customer self-service portals are changing faster than some industry experts have predicted. This is due to an increasing number of people wanting to answer their own issues on their own time, with little interest in picking up the phone to talk to an agent unless it’s absolutely necessary. More self-service content is being created, especially related to

36 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

video, with some companies even creating interactive video featuring question prompts to guide customers to the answer they need.


Personalization is becoming much more precise – Customers used to be concerned when a company knew too much about them. In general, this concern has waned significantly over the past decade and will likely continue down this path. In fact, in B2B (business-to-business), customers can sometimes be disappointed by what companies DON’T know about them. As a result, more companies are evaluating their customer support software solution to make sure

it’s specific to their industry and suits their needs. For example, software companies are opting for a solution that can track information on products and versions so they can keep track of exactly which software their customers are using. This prevents agents from needing to repeatedly ask for the same (or worse, irrelevant) information and creates a better customer experience.


Mobile support is finally getting a voice – Speech virtual assistant solutions such as iPhone’s Siri have become more commonly accepted and are starting to gain some initial traction in the support industry. It still remains to be seen exactly

Customer Service

how this type of technology will be used in business, especially in customer support, but with the informational and emotional intelligence of these solutions increasing it’s important to keep them on your radar. Cutting-edge businesses will look seriously at this voice solution for helping their customers in 2017.


Eroding of even more silos, especially between support and operations – Customers have grown to expect faster and more accurate responses on a year-over-year basis and 2017 will be no different. This effort will require more collaboration between support and operations than ever before, and having a

place to keep track of specific Service Level Agreements for each customer will be important to avoid confusion. Companies will either need to develop their own SLA solution to meet these rising demands or invest in a solution that does it for them.


Omnichannel is finally getting predictive – Most people know what omnichannel support is – customer service across multiple channels, consolidated into one support system – but now data from this method of support is finally starting to shed insights into the impact of support technology as well. For example, businesses are now looking at their data and developing strate-

gies per device (smartphone, tablet, PC) on not only what specific device to feature a certain type of support on but also where to feature it. Taking it a step further, all of this data is finally enabling businesses to be predictive in their approach to prevent issues before they even occur. Technology will continue to play a strong role in support in 2017 but success will be determined by how well individual companies and their employees work together to optimize the use of this technology to satisfy their customers.  (Source: |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 37


How to keep your health resolutions in 2017?


re your health resolutions for 2017 the same as they were in 2016? Or, even the year before? If yes, you are among the majority who find themselves unable to stick to their health goals. But should that stop you from having health resolutions at all? Behavioural and health experts advise proper planning and effective ways to make sure you stick to your goals and achieve them. Manafez Dubai brings to you 5 easy ways to help you achieve your health targets for 2017 and enjoy a fitter life ahead.

1. Write them and track them

Writing your goals not only gives you a clarity on what you want to

38 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

achieve, it firms your commitment to stick to your goals. After you set specific goals, experts advise that you write them regularly, preferably every day. Keeping a track of your progress is as important as setting the goal. Smaller achievements act as motivations to achieve big. Be accountable to yourself, or find an accountability partner to avoid those slips on the way.


2. Realistic, measurable goals morning workout? Time management 5. Banish negative self-talk Your heath goals should be realistic. If you are not used to walking regularly, trying to run one hour on the first day would only bring in frustration and put an end to your target even before you start your journey. Make small changes gradually. So if you want to finish a half-marathon and are not a regular walker, you could start with a 30-minute walk. Make your resolutions follow the SMART model: specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.

3. Time management

So you have set your goals and made your plan. But did you factor in the changes in your daily routine you d need to make? Such as waking up an hour earlier, if you have planned a

is as important for health goals as it is for any other. Chose a time when you would not be disturbed and when the chances of a sudden meeting, or chores coming up are minimal. Early morning exercise is a great way to fit a workout into a busy day, and it may encourage healthier eating and more movement throughout the day.

4. Reward yourself

If your goal is to release 20 pounds of weight, you should break it down to smaller goals and mark your smaller achievements. Choose a reward that does not sabotage your journey to fitness. Instead, opt for something that makes your challenge more exciting. Book for a spa, get a new dress or even watch a movie. A sense of achievement will motivate you to work harder.

Words have power. And what you tell yourself does create a profound impact on who you become. Do things that raise your self-confidence, start your day with positive words to yourself. Telling yourself that you are a loser is bound to make you one. Positive affirmations, appreciating your achievements, accepting compliments gracefully will all lift you to go for what you want!

6. Take Help

If you have specific health issues, seeking an expert help could be your answer. Not only will it help you avoid injuries, do the right workout, it will also keep you motivated. If you already are attending a fitness class you like, you can ask the instructor for some additional help or advise on some of the moves you did. 

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 39

New Technology

15 per cent growth in revenues

Smartworld records robust performance in 2016


UBAI, January 4, 2017: Smartworld, UAE’s leading systems integrator and next generation ICT services provider, has recorded an outstanding financial performance during 2016 with an estimated over 15% growth in revenues in comparison to 2015.

The robust performance was marked by a record number of new projects Smartworld implemented during the year, with the top ones being in aviation, telecom, construction and banking sectors. Saeed Al Dhaheri, Chairman, Smartworld, said: “The strong financial performance reflects the strength of the UAE’s economy, especially the IT sector, which is driven by the vision of UAE’s wise leadership. New projects across all major sectors of the economy, especially aviation and construction, have been the key factor that has led to the excellence performance and position us for a continuous long-term growth.” 40 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

Abdulqader Obaid Ali, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Smartworld, said: “Smartworld’s growth is driven by the clear vision of being the topof-the-league digital services provider to enable a futuristic digital growth and we are firmly committed and inspired by the path shown by our visionary leader His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to always be the best in everything. In 2016, we made considerable strides and launched a number of major initiatives which put us in a strong position for 2017.” “The new projects, along with Dubai’s strong growth across all sectors, especially IT, make

us highly confident that we are set for the next phase of future growth in 2017,” added Obaid Ali. Smartworld, an Etisalat and Dubai South joint venture company, started 2016 with the launch of UAE’s first CIOMajlis initiative with the goal to contribute to realising the vision of the National Innovative Strategy and making the UAE the world’s most innovative country by 2021. The initiative brought Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from across Energy, Logistics, Finance, Health, Aviation, Government, Construction, Oil and Gas, Education

New Technology

utive Briefing Center in Santa Clara and Microsoft Technology Center in Mountain View.

and other sectors, on a common platform where they shared international best practices and explored business solutions to foster growth and innovation on regional and international levels. The CIOMajlis witnessed ideation and brainstorming on highly relevant topics such as the harnessing the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, Digital Transformation and Cloud. Smartworld led a ‘Silicon Valley Innovation’ delegation of CIOMajlis executives from the UAE to top technology companies in the Silicon Valley including Cisco’s Executive Experience Center in San Jose, General Electric Digital in San Ramon, Oracle Customer Visit Center in Redwood, EMC Exec-

Smartworld and The Kernel also launched UAE’s first-ofits-kind ‘Cyber Security Centre’ this year, which will train UAE nationals in cyber security and provide round-the-clock advanced security monitoring along with cyber threat management to companies across the government and private sec- Saeed Al Dhaheri tor in the UAE. upon the recommendation of In 2016, Smartworld digitally the jury that the company has transformed its headquarters demonstrated clear evidence of with the first Cisco Digital continuous improvement over Ceiling framework deployment its past performance. with Philips Lightening in the Middle East. The company was also honoured with five prestigious The new framework comes with awards from Etisalat - Top Premultiple benefits such as opti- mium Channel Partner Award, mised workspaces, streamlined Top Farming Award, Top Team maintenance, and reduced en- Leader Award, Top Device ergy consumption and operating Sales Partner Award and Top expenses. Key Account Manager (KAM) Award for its exceptional perIn line with its vision of encour- formance in these fields, at the aging innovation, Smartworld, Etisalat SMB Awards ceremowhich employs more than 400 ny. Smartworld also received professionals from over 25 na- CISCO Marketing tionalities, introduced an ‘Employee Idea Management’ pro- Innovation Partner of the Year gram to encourage employees Award last month, as a recogto come forth with smart, crea- nition of its outstanding service tive and innovative ideas for and best-in-class business pracenhancing efficiencies, reduc- tices, serving as a model to the ing costs and developing an in- industry. novative and friendly work environment. Smartworld also received several certifications in 2016 for Smartworld bagged several maintaining high standards of prestigious awards for excel- service, including ISOI 9001: lence during the year which 2015 QMS, ISO 27001: 2013 included Sheikh Khalifa Excel- ISMS, ISO 20000: 2011 ITSM lence Award - Silver Category and OHSAS 18001: 2007 Health in the services sector, based and Safety.  |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 41

New Technology

New video wall to span 1560 feet

Orlando International Airport brings check-in experience to life


he Greater Orlando Aviation Administration (GOAA) today unveiled a new standard in airport displays that will span the length of five football fields to create a fun and interactive check-in experience for the 42 million passengers who travel to and from Orlando International Airport every year. SITA, the air transport technology provider, has partnered with Synect to design and install the ultra-high definition video wall, which fully integrates with the airport operational systems to deliver dynamic way-finding along with flight information, destination time and weather, security and gate information. In addition, the family-friendly airport can now display engaging games to entertain its young 42 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

New Technology

travelers and decrease ceived wait times.


John Newsome, IT Director, Greater Orlando Airport Authority (GOAA), said: “Renovating our ticket lobby to make check-in faster and more enjoyable for more passengers is a key component of our capital improvement plan. This innovative video display redefines the check-in experience by keeping our passengers informed and entertained as they check-in, while also allowing airlines to promote their brands, engage on social media and even offer last-minute upgrades and purchases on largerthan-life displays.” The digital canvas, which will span 1,560 feet (475 metres), comprises more than 700 55” LG LCD screens to create a vast and continuous video wall, essentially creating digital wallpaper. The new digital experience at Orlando also includes installations from the curb side to the terminals, including outdoor digital displays, self-

check-in and way-finding video walls. Matthys Serfontein, Vice President, Airport Solutions, SITA, said: “Orlando’s new video wall is a fantastic showcase of how technology can transform the passenger experience. It is visually exciting, informative and engaging. “Most importantly it is fully integrated with the operational

systems we provide to the airport. This means that passengers will have access to accurate real-time information. There is also the opportunity to display predictive information, such as expected wait times at security or baggage collection. The sharing of all this information helps to reduce the anxiety of passengers as they make their way through the airport.” 

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 43

New Technology

Number of travelers to increase to 12.7 million by 2019 in New Zealand

Safran installs 51 new generation eGates in New Zealand airports


afran Identity & Security, through its subsidiary Morpho Australasia, has completed installing the next generation of eGates into Christchurch Airport.

This installation is part of national upgrade and innovation programme for 51 new generation border processing eGates for the New Zealand Customs Service (NZ Customs). The rollout has seen new generation Safran Identity & Secu44 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

rity’s eGates installed in Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and now Christchurch airport. Since 2009, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports have been using SmartGate to give

eligible travellers the option of self-processing through passport control. The system uses facial recognition technology to compare facial images of the traveller against the data contained in the e-Passport’s chip. Over 18 million

New Technology

passengers have successfully used the system. The new generation eGates speed up the traveller experience with a one-step process, eliminating the kiosk and ticket which was part of the process with the previous gates. They also have a smaller footprint to meet the space constraints of airports, whilst also having Safran Identity & Security’s latest workflow and biometric matching software. Carolyn Tremain, Comptroller and Chief Executive of NZ Customs, said: “Since its introduction in 2009, SmartGate has been an increasingly popular with passengers and has helped manage growth in passenger volumes. The eGates allow passengers pass through quickly and easily, and enable Customs officers to focus on managing high risk travellers at the border.” Tim Ferris, Managing Director of

Morpho Australasia, added: “As a company, we are focused on providing NZ Customs with a range of innovative services and technologies to help with passenger flow. We are proud of our joint innovation journey and are looking forward to launching the next series of passenger technology to help NZ Customs continue as world leaders at the border.” Traveller volumes in New Zealand are expected to increase by 4-5% annually, or around 2.3 million to nearly 12.7 million by 2019. Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 70,000 employees and generated sales of 17.4 billion euros in 2015. Safran is listed on Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index, as well as the Euro Stoxx 50 European index. 

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 45

New Technology

The kiosks have a 12 hour rechargeable battery life to support extended peak periods

Mobile self-service check-in kiosks at Auckland Airport Auckland Airport has rolled out its first mobile self-service check-in kiosks


ccording to a report on, Judy Nicholl, the gateway’s general manager for aeronautical operations, said the kiosks will enable more dynamic use of the check-in area and are being introduced to improve queuing times for passengers. “The kiosks are both mobile and fully-customisable, meaning we can put them out anywhere, and at any time, to meet customer demand,” said Nicholl.

46 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

“Upstairs in the international terminal we are currently expanding and upgrading our departure lounge and security processing to accommodate increasing pas-

senger numbers. “However, this mobile technology will help us to continue to manage the check-in process for passengers within our existing footprint.”

New Technology

Auckland Airport has invested in 45 of the kiosks, which enable passengers to check in themselves, print boarding passes and bag tags and then just drop their bags off at the counter. The kiosks have a 12 hour rechargeable battery life, and can therefore support extended peak periods. Cathay Pacific and American Airlines have already started to use the new kiosks, with more airlines set to follow suit over the summer period. Cathay’s airport services manager, Nathan Rogerson, says the airline is already seeing the benefit of adopting the new technology into its check-in service. “Introducing mobile check-in kiosks for our double-daily flights

to Hong Kong has taken the stress away from the check-in experience for our passengers, reduced

our queues significantly and is allowing us to focus on our customers first,” he enthuses. 

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 47


Ras Al Khaimah, a journey to magnificent landscapes, breathtaking coastlines and terracotta desert planes


as Al Khaimah, the northern-most emirate of the UAE, offers its visitors a truly authentic Arabian experience; from its golden beaches, lush mangroves and terracotta deserts, to the towering Hajar Mountains bordering Oman.

Along with boundless natural attractions and activities, Ras Al Khaimah boasts a number of ancient archaeological sites, giving visitors a fascinating insight into its history and the rich culture that still runs through the very heart of its local population. Here is a guide enlisting the top things to explore in Ras Al Khaimah:

1. National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah

Formerly a palace and residence of the Al Qasimi Royal family until 1964, the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah is now considered the UAE’s wealthiest monumental museum and features a diverse collection of historical artefacts, ancient ornaments, priceless manuscripts and traditional weapons, many of which have been donated by the ruling family and residents of the emirate. Visitors of all ages will be impressed by the museum’s rich variety of educational galleries, which provide a wealth of historical infor48 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

mation and depict aspects of traditional life in Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE.

2. Dhayah Fort

Originally built as a 16th century fortification to defend against invading forces and now the only hilltop military tower left standing in the UAE, Dhayah Fort offers a glimpse into Ras Al Khaimah’s riveting past while providing a modern symbol of the emirate’s enduring heritage. Military aficionados will love learning about the site’s rich backstory at their own pace through self-guided tours of the fort. Meanwhile, sightseers are sure to enjoy the breathtaking bird’s eye views of Ras Al Khaimah, framed by the Arabian Gulf and Al Hajar Mountains, thanks to the fort’s elevated position atop a rocky outcrop.

3. Trip with Seawings

Experience Seawings Urban Experience – a seaplane adventure which takes off from the pristine shores of Ras Al Khaimah on an exciting aerial tour of the city, giv-

ing you picturesque views of the Hajar Mountains, the desert and clear blue Arabian Gulf, as well as the rich culture and heritage of the emirate.

4. Mountain Activity at Jais Mountain (Hiking, Trekking and more)

With winding roads heading towards the peak which stands at 1,934 metres high above sea level, the route offers a challenging and beautiful backdrop for hikers, mountain bikers and those looking for a scenic driving route. The mountain range also offers a number of camping spots for those who wish to spend the night under the stars.

5. Bedouin Oasis Desert Camp or Bassata Desert Camp

Live the ultimate desert experience with the Bassata Desert Village! Enjoy a wide range of traditional Arabic activities with dune bashing, belly dancer, Arabic Tanoura, camel riding as well as Arabic bar-


becue. The Village also provides facilities to experience an overnight stay.

and resorts, and span from beginner to expert level.

6. Golf

Ras Al Khaimah is one of the few destinations where you can tick off both horse-riding in the desert and on the beach from the bucket list. The emirate offers the activity for all levels at the centres including Al Wadi Equestrian Adventure Centre. Visitors can take lessons or go for long hacks set against the beautiful scenery of the beach and desert.

Al Hamra Golf Club offers an eighteen-hole course (across 7,325 yards) with a broad range of facilities to enjoy the day - even off the course. The floodlit course also enables golf-fans to play after sunset. As an alternative, Tower Links also offers an eighteen-hole course set against the backdrop of the Hajar Mountains.

7. Water sports

A perfect activity for those who wish to either relax or enjoy a wide range of water sports, Ras Al Khaimah’s beaches offer an extraordinary experience amongst the stunning stretches of white sand – spanning 64km of pristine coastline. The many upscale hotels available in Ras Al Khaimah also offer private beaches; some with natural lagoons for a special retreat. For adventure seekers keen to take to the water, Ras Al Khaimah offers a great setting for scuba diving, sailing, water skiing, jet skiing, parasailing and fishing just to name a few. Many of the activities are available via the emirate’s hotels

8. Horse riding

9. Banyan Tree Al Wadi

Indulge in one of Ras al Khaimah’s premier experiences- the Banyan Tree Al Wadi, a luxury resort and experience centre in the thick of the Al Wadi Nature Reserve. Unwind at the world-class Spa with the Banyan Tree Rainforest Experience, a signature innovation by Banyan Tree Spa that features 16 invigorating hydrothermal experiences infused with time-honoured Asian wellness philosophy. Close the day with a private dinner, complete with your own personal chef and butler, at the top of a traditional watchtower. Or enjoy a romantic cruise on a traditional dhow boat from the Ras Al Khaimah Marina, followed by a relaxing dinner at your hotel.

10. Experience authentic Ras al Khaimah food and culture

Begin your day with a traditional Emirati breakfast of Balaleet (Sweet vermicelli topped with egg) or Chbaab (pancakes) in Ras Al Khaimah City. Continue on a walking trail of Ras Al Khaimah Old Town, experiencing the simple life of past times. For lunch, eat like a local at one of the cafeterias on the Corniche, or at Emirari restaurant Al Fanar. Make sure to try the famous honey cake at Asayel that has been a winner with Ras Al Khaimah residents for years. Take a break and relax at the Old Corniche Beach. Take an abra (traditional small boat) to Al Qawasim Corniche on the other side of the creek, a beautiful location with perfectly manicured lawns, waterfront restaurants, walking and running tracks and a view of the lush mangroves that are unique to Ras Al Khaimah. For sunset, make your way to the rooftop terrace of Yansoon restaurant at the Corniche. Enjoy the view of the beautifully lit up Mohammed Bin Salim Mosque in a distance.  (Source:

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 49

opinion column

Safety, security and sustainability, key to success of global aviation


uccess of global aviation rests on safety, security, sustainability and global standards. Above anything else, these are my top priorities. To start with, flying is safe. But it is not free from accidents. Every accident makes us even more determined to make our safe industry even safer.

Alexandre de Juniac Director General and CEO, IATA

Our efforts in this direction include strengthening our flagship IATA Operational Safety Audit and progressing the Global Aviation Data Management project or GADM. Both these initiatives will help airlines to more easily exchange safety information. And by collecting and analyzing aviation data we can identify and mitigate risks. In tandem with safety is the priority of security. Over the last year two airports have been attacked, an attempt to bomb a jet failed, terrorists laid claim to downing another, and popular tourist destinations have seen bloodshed.

(Excerpts from speech on Global Media Day)

50 |Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 |

Flying is secure. I fly with confidence and you should too. But there are risks and challenges—insider threats, landside exposure at airports, overflight of conflict zones, and cyber security. Efficient airport checkpoints are important. And our Smart Security program is making them more effective and

convenient. But that alone is not enough to stay a step ahead of those who would do us harm. A recent UN Security Council Resolution reminds governments that keeping aviation secure is integral to a state’s responsibility for national security. Governments can and must do more—upping their game on intelligence gathering and sharing vital information among themselves and with industry. Industry also has a role. And you will see IATA becoming more active in this space. 

opinion column

Adapting to changing security situation


e currently face some of most serious global public security challenges since World War Two. Terrorism is spreading; Cybercrime is arising; Telecoms fraud is escalating; All kinds of traditional and nontraditional transnational crimes are rising. It is the hope and expectation of the 7 billion peace-loving inhabitants of our world that INTERPOL should more effectively promote police cooperation to deliver a decisive blow to this wave of criminality and help build a peaceful and law-abiding world. INTERPOL, guided by the best set of principles and mechanisms to date, as well as the INTERPOL 2020, has made a significant contribution to promoting international policing cooperation.

Indeed, the Executive Committee and the Secretariat are also key in achieving this. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to pay my sincerest respects to Chairman Ballestrazzi, Secretary General Stock, and all those colleagues working closely with them, for their extraordinary efforts and achievements. I am from China. China is a country with a long history, and has endured significant hardships. China is a country that has always maintained the belief that all countries are equal, no matter how big or small. And, China is a country with universal love, and is willing to contribute its efforts to world peace and security.

MENG Hongwei President Interpol

I am a veteran policeman. And I stand ready to do everything I can towards the cause of policing in the world. ď‚…

INTERPOL should continue to adhere to these principles and strategies, while further innovating our work mechanisms, in order to adapt to the changing security situation we see today. INTERPOL should put more emphasis on tackling prominent criminal issues; enhancing the policing capacity of countries with relatively weak law enforcement capabilities; and safeguarding the authority of the rule of law. In doing so, INTERPOL will be able to establish itself as stronger platform for global policing cooperation.

(Excerpts from speech during the 85th session of the INTERPOL General Assembly in Bali)

|Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017 | 51

Manafez Dubai | January - February 2017  

29th Issue of the Monthly Newsletter issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai

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