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Major expansion of training and performance development centre in GDRFA -Dubai
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Issue 30 March - April 2017
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hen you come across creative people, you can understand that their leader is a visionary. And when you come across a leader who is humble and down to earth, you can be assured that his people are creative and productive. We are talking about the UAE, which is characterised by rulers who only accept the first place when it comes to the progress of the civilization. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai said: “The rise of societies does not depend only on the governments, but also on their people and their positive participation in solving their social and cultural challenges.” He mentioned this on his social media account, when he posted a vacancy looking for a “hope maker”. His Highness has encouraged many hope makers in the society, who are not known to many people.
What I see is that what His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has done through his announcement has sent a message to the Arab world on the importance of awareness of human responsibility and the concept of philanthropy. These qualities also play a role in building the community based on the goals of achieving justice, happiness and a decent life for those who have lost the glimmer of hope in their lives in the Arab world.
The announcement by His Highness encouraged people in large numbers who started sharing their ideas of “hope making” across all media channels and social media.
His Highness is also known to open windows of hope to the Arab world, which has made the people of the UAE the happiest and the people of the Arab world feel safe and secure when they hear the name of our visionary leadership.
This step is another milestone of the UAE to encourage the values of giving by encouraging voluntary and humanitarian work and creating hope and positivity in the Arab world.
Let us be part of the makers of hope and show as much as we can the good that the UAE has instilled in us and I would like to ask all our readers to “initiate and be part of hope.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the noble qualities a “hope maker” should have such as contribution to charity and humanitarian work, and experience in working where the happiness and satisfaction of people was the goal. This announcement has opened new opportunities for all those who want to initiate volunteer work to instill hope and achieve noble humanitarian goals in the Arab world. |Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 1
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 | March - April 2017 |
Our Vision: To have the UAE as one of the most secure and safest countries in the world.
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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.
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GDRFA detects 718 fake passports
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GDRFA detects 718 fake passports
he GDRFA in Dubai has detected 718 fake passports, 23 altered passports and 417 impersonation cases.
As the UAE is expecting an influx of visitors in the run up to Expo 2020, immigration officials are tightening their grip on forged and fake passports and travel documents. The main Document Examination Center at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai is established for travel document forgery detection to keep control of all ports in the emirate. Established five years ago, it has helped detect 718 fake passports, 23 altered passports and 417 impersonation cases from January 2016 to 2017, according to a report in Khaleej Times. Aqil Ahmed Alnajjar, Director of the Document Examination Center, said modern technologies are constantly introduced to adapt to new and innovative methods of forgery. He noted that Dubai airports currently see about 140,000 passengers coming in and out of the emirate daily, and the number is set to increase the closer the date gets to 2020. “We will see millions of visitors crossing our ports and have to tighten our security. The centre is set to be part 4 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
of the state security system,” said Alnajjar. He added that there are 19 security features available in the majority of passports worldwide, which determine whether documents are genuine. Among the basic physical evidence include the watermark or coloured fibres on passport pages. According to the report, detect forged passports, about 1,700 trained first-line officers are deployed across the counters of Dubai ports; the number is set to increase. “These officers are strapped for time, so we train them to spot signs of impersonation within six seconds, and fake passports within maximum of five minutes,” said Alnajjar, noting that officers are constantly trained on new forgery trends that come up.
Through advanced retrochecks - a machine that helps check travel documents that are suspect - introduced to every counter at Dubai airports, first-line officers determine whether a document is genuine. “Most of the cases we see are fake first pages of passports, which are detectable at least 80 per cent of the time to front-line officers,” said Alnajjar. Impersonation is spotted through looking at prominent features of a person such as face structure, ear and eye shape. When in doubt, the documents are transferred to 18 second-line officers, whose offices lie close to the first-liners. Alnajjar said the centre will be looking to deploy more officers in the coming period. If physical evidence indicates that the document is fake, the documents are then checked
Number of forged documents detected by GDRFA - January to December 2016
Fraud impersonation cases:
by 50 employees at the main centre, located at Dubai airport’s terminal 1. Alnajjar added that eight remote machines scattered across Dubai airports’ three terminals, Al Maktoum International Airport, besides other sea and land ports around Dubai, allow officers to transfer suspect documents to the main centre in a process that takes less than 10 minutes. “It saves time and cost and avoids delays for passengers,” he said. While two-thirds - about 66 per cent - of cases detected are fraud impersonation, the majority of cases witnessed are passengers who fell victim to promises of pursuing a better life. “Many people from developing countries fall victim to forgers who promise them a better life away from the political conflicts in their countries. They sell all they have to get their so-called new passports, which they are unaware are fake,” said Alnajjar.
If fake travel documents are caught on arrival to the country, said Alnajjar, the person at fault is deported on the spot, after being blacklisted. If caught on the way out, the centre transfers the forged documents to the police to take further action. The centre, however, is looking to introduce ways to file reports and transfer them to Dubai courts directly. “We are looking to save time and delays to passengers and the police by introducing a new service through which we can file reports to the court directly without having to go through the police,” he said. The ambition is to make the centre an institute for travel document examination. “Within the next five years, we want to be the point of reference in the region, where we train people on passport checking,” said Alnajjar. Major security features in passports
Majority of passports around the world have 19 security features that determine document accuracy. The most basic 10 are: Watermark (a faint design made on paper during manufacture, and visible when held against the light) Security thread (found on the corner of passport pages) Coloured fibres (small fibres on passports visible to the naked eye) Fluorescent fibres (visible only under ultraviolet rays) Fluorescent ink (visible only under ultraviolet rays) Microprinting (information printed on passport that cannot be read without magnifiers; diff-icult to be copied) Optical Variable Ink (OVI) Intaglio printing Electrotype watermark Guilloche (complicated patterned print difficult to copy) |Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 5
Al Marri encourages staff to use public transport I n line with the “Car Free Day” initiative organised by Dubai Municipality, Major General MOhammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA Dubai, has urged employees to use public transport “since alternative transportation methods are available for UAE residents.” Al Marri made the counsel on Feb.15 upon holding a “GDRFA Car Free Day initiative” among the directorate’s staff, according to a Gulf Today report. Major Al Marri said, “Since the alternative transportation methods are available for UAE residents, we are keen to organise ‘GDRFA Car Free Day Initiative’, which aims to spread the public transportation culture among GDRFA employees by encouraging them to use car alternative methods in order to preserve the environment.”
initiative is one of the largest environmental initiatives taking place in Dubai.
Al Marri pointed that the GDRFA is complying with Dubai Municipality’s “Car Free Day Initiative” and adopting its idea and objectives, which “reflects GDRFA’s social responsibility towards environmental issues.”
The “GDRFA Car Free Day” included the distribution of almost 500 agricultural seedlings to GDRFA staff and customers to encourage their participation in the initiative, where they can play a role to preserve a clean environment and achieve the welfare of living.
GDRFA has achieved initiative’s goals by reducing the use of personal vehicles to reach work sites, and replacing them with public transportation, which will decrease UAE carbon footprint, and enhance UAE environmental gains for present and future generations. He also stressed that the 6 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
He praised the efforts of Dubai Municipality and other government entities in encouraging the adoption of sustainable solutions to face environmental challenges, the report added.
The GDRFA-Dubai participation in the initiative drew praise from the Director-General of Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah. Lootah emphasised the pursuit of
Dubai Municipality in highlighting Dubai’s position globally in the field of eco-friendly cities by finding all sustainable and effective solutions to confront various environmental challenges. He also added that “Car Free Day” initiative is the first of its kind in Dubai, which “effectively contributes in promoting and encouraging the use of public transportation in line with Dubai’s commitment to the international environmental conventions for climate change and to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. “The initiative also reflects the concern of the UAE Government and society in demonstrating the most prominent practices in finding sustainable environmental solutions in Dubai in general, and decreasing the carbon footprint caused by the transportation sector in particular,” he said.
Reflections on Happiness and Positivity
he new book by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, titled ‘Reflections on Happiness and Positivity’ brings vision and wisdom based on lessons learnt in life. Through his new book, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed shows the path on how to develop people and countries and how to approach our work, especially for those who are serving people in public and private sectors, and also shows the importance of bringing positivity at work and making the lives of others happier. What caught my attention the most in this book is how an ideal leader, who has a futuristic vision, sets an example with his noble actions and pursues the path of excellence and achievement of desired goals. In the book, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has approached the subject of luck and how this word (luck) does not exist in the dictionary of leaders who seek to make a difference in the minds and hearts of their people and take the development in their countries to new heights. Humans make their own choices and work hard and do not depend on luck. For example, the UAE, which had harsh circumstances before the Union, is now one of the most developed countries, thanks to the vision, perseverance and faith of our two great leaders Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid Bin
Saeed Al Maktoum (May God bless their souls), whose vision in a short period of time established a model country where millions dream to live in. The book answers many questions that may come to the reader’s mind, related to selfconfidence, empowerment, innovation, creativity, teamwork, gratitude, listening, learning from the experiences of others, excellence, humility, self-education, early advancement, sports and love for the people, tasks of government employees and other important issues. Personally, I have benefited from reading this valuable book and advise all my colleagues and acquaintances to read it and benefit from its content, especially that its author His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, is a great example not only in the field of leadership and strategic planning but in various aspects of life.
Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor Deputy Director General GDRFA-Dubai
|Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 7
Interview Major Yasser Rashid Al Khanbooli, Director of Training and Performance Department at GDRFA-D,
Dubai: A city of finest services by 2021
Expansion of training and performance development centre
he training sector of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDFRA-D) reported a record growth in number of trainees, as the Directorate has set a strategy that aims to keep pace with the government of Dubai’s vision of making Dubai the best city worldwide when it comes to customer service. This development comes with the completion of the largest expansion ever in the history of the training and development department, which has recently opened its modernised affiliated training centre that now simulates the best international training centres in terms of form and content. The centre provided training to 8,069 trainees of all job categories, while the training management seeks to deliver its 2017 annual training plan that is designed to ensure the enrolment of 95 per cent of total potential trainees by delivering 342 different trainings, including smart and e-training. In an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, Major 8 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
Yasser Rashid Al Khanbooli, Director of Training and Performance Department at GDRFA-D, shares his insights about this and more. Excerpt from the interview: Q: To start with, what are the major equipment and advanced methods you adopted in the renovated centre’s training rooms in line with the government’s directions to improve the quality of services to the highest standards of excellence? We have planned to renovate the training centre to match the highest technical and technological standards in line with our keenness to keep up with the ambitions of government entities and their commit-
Training services open to all government entities in Dubai as well as other emirates ment to implement the vision of the government that seeks to establish the UAE in general and Dubai in particular on the map of worldclass cities in terms of level of services. The most advanced methods and tools have been introduced into these centres, which allow for constructive interaction between trainers and employees undergoing training. The centre comprises 5 training rooms with a total capacity of 100 trainees. Each training room
Interview has its distinctive and well-studied design that caters to the requirements of training courses up to the highest related international standards, especially in terms of equipment and modern technical means, such as smart boards that display programmes and facilitate the interaction among the employees undergoing training, and the Wi-Fi service enabled in training rooms to allow access to references and experiences that fit the different topics of training courses. We were also keen on aesthetics based on the science of colour positive energy; hence, we have chosen calm orange, yellow and green colours for furniture and decoration to complement the atmosphere of activity and ensure the comfort of employees and trainers alike. Q: Training services are open to staff of interested government entities. What are the job categories eligible to attend training courses, and can other government entities and other emirates take advantage of the Centre’s services? Like every year, the training plan targets all job categories, including leadership, supervisory, executive and other categories, while the training courses vary between general and specialised trainings depending on category. Training topics, on the other hand, are defined based on the study and assessment of the performance characterising each department and the desired developments in each of these departments, with a view to achieving a certain level of typical standards of service delivery that
are in line with the different educational levels of employees. Training, on the other hand, is not restricted to GDFRA-D staff. The Centre’s training services are open to staff of any interested government entity, whether from Dubai or any other emirate. Highly qualified and experienced trainers, who have been selected and trained in cooperation with the Canadian Academic Board, will impart training and the courses also include many specialised field workshops, while a number of competent staff are delegated abroad to gain experience from foreign government entities enjoying prominent governmental performance, such as Singapore and other developed countries. Some specific categories receive training courses delivered by our strategic partners, including Dubai Police, Civil Defence and Dubai Municipality, in addition to our cooperation with private sector companies of relevance to the tasks of our employees. Q: How do you evaluate the impact of training on employees’ performance and assess its effectiveness and response to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai to a city of distinguished services by 2021? Using an evaluation form, trainees are assessed according to Kirkpatrick model of training evaluation immediately after training, in order to measure the degree of benefit acquired as a result of the training programme. The next evaluation phase
340 training courses attended by 8,069 trainees in 2016 includes an evaluation by trainees of the training course, with the aim to ensure trainees’ satisfaction in terms of the topic delivered; they might suggest future modifications. After three months of training, officials in charge monitor closely how each trainee puts acquired knowledge into practice. They also monitor acquired skills through on-the-job assessment of change in the individual behaviour of employees and the progress made in terms of their performance, while ensuring this corresponds to the training programme. There is no doubt that commitment to training courses plays an active role in maximising benefit, knowing that job requirements include the mandatory attendance of preplanned training courses, during which no leave is permitted. Any delay or absence from a training for a duration of two days would render the training cancelled unless an employee provides a legal document justifying his/her absence, exactly as is the case with justifying absence from work. Q: The training centre has been renovated up to international standards and in line with the government approach to develop the human sector and make employees happy, what are the most positive reflections in this area? In cooperation with Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, the training department has |Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 9
Interview prepared a training course entitled “Excellence Programme to Make Customers Happy”. The programme will contribute to improving the knowledge and skills of employees as it includes instructions, exercises and questionnaires that employees should apply and answer. This instructive publication is amongst the things that support employees’ quest to fulfil their duties, as it evokes a sense of self-satisfaction and makes a step further in consolidating the concept of “making employees happy” and spontaneously making customers happy, and we are in the process of preparing for the signing ceremony soon. Q: What are the main training plans for 2017, the targeted job categories and programmes scheduled for each category? In the field of human and financial resources, the training department adopts for its plan for this year the principle of excellence by means of identifying a scientific approach in terms of diversifying training courses, comprehensiveness of targeted trainees and continuity of onthe-job training. The department looks forward to a stage in which it would exceed expectations and achievements and arrive at desired results. Encompasses leadership, supervisory, executive and specialist categories, the delivery of the plan started in February and will last till the end of this year. The number of trainees required for the delivery of training courses and programmes has been assigned be10 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
tween 10 and 25, while venues have also been identified.
related to measuring training impact and means of evaluating it.
This would inevitably make it easier for sectors and senior managements to nominate and devote participants solely to attend these trainings, in line with work requirements and procedures. Scheduled trainings include a programme dedicated to the leadership category called “Himam”, which is the first strategic engine for the development of leadership and managerial performance of GDFRA-D employees.
It also includes the 4th generation programme, which enables participants gain necessary knowledge of the system of government excellence. Last but not least, smart services trainings include acquiring knowledge on how to make security predictions by using online programmes.
On the other hand, executive category identified programmes include ones targeting the skills of dealing with work pressure, the adoption of Kaizen strategy for continuous improvement, firefighting and evacuation, positive energy and excellence in solving problems and decision making, in addition to programmes dealing with the law governing the entry and residence of foreigners; citizenship law; passports; sign and body language, which detects violations and fraud cases; counterfeiting detection methods; and method of dealing with VIPs. Q: How do the new annual plan programmes respond to Dubai Government’s smart approach? We have set in place programmes for a smart online training dedicated to the smart transformation of the work model adopted in GDFRA-D. These systems introduce trainees to ways of using computers, databases and related tables, in addition to using the internet and learning about the concepts of governance and means to put its five principles into practice. This smart approach also deals with knowledge programmes
Q. Do you have any security related programmes, knowing that the fraud index has reported 6,000 forged documents in 2016 compared to previous period? There are specialised programmes dealing with detection of illegal actions that are being put in place by activation of complaints and suggestions programmes and making them open to the public, and by related programmes approved by the training plan for this year, including audit, risks, investigation and preventive security programmes. In cooperation with our strategic partners in Dubai, we will deliver security training courses that introduce trainees to the latest methods of search and detection, preemptive security legal actions, security surveillance and assault skills, and pursuit of offenders, in addition to skills related to investigation, analysis of security gaps and their applications, dealing with cases of escape, deportation of prisoners, dealing with wanted persons and the crime scene, and other aspects related to safety and security. Learning foreign languages should not be overlooked as it strongly contributes to facilitating investigation and inquiry functions.
Interview Q: Himam programme is one of the key continued programmes in the new annual plan. Who are the participants, and what is its degree of importance on the level of leadership? “Himam” was launched in 2016 with the approval and supervision of the Director General, and it will continued throughout the current year. It targets senior leadership and managerial GDFRA-D staff, including Director General Aides and their deputies, department managers, section heads and branch officers. The key development paths being consolidated by “Himam” are based on the basics of evaluation, training, mentoring and measurement of results. The package of development paths depend on an approach that is supported by activities and operational tasks, such as launching awareness campaigns based on field visits, and on-the-job application based on the 10/20/70 theory that provides trainees the opportunity to gain theoreti-
cal knowledge coupled with practical and field actual experience. Measuring leadership and managerial excellence indicators is, however, one of the urgent necessities in terms of assessing the implementation of the overall strategy. Q: What are the strategic objectives your department seeks to achieve as a result of the implementation of the new annual training plan? All the objectives contribute to the realisation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision of making Dubai amongst the best nations in terms of security and delivery of services. GDFRA-D is probably one of the key facilities in which government officials interact with residents in the areas of citizenship, residence and air, sea and land borders, so that Dubai remains the best and most secure destination. We work hard to consolidate principles and strategic objectives, most notably enhancing the reputation of GDFRA-D in the society;
deepening staff loyalty; developing citizenship, residence and border systems; upgrading the efficiency of training delivery with a view to enhancing borders and related facilities through the highest degree possible of combating violations and fraud; and increasing reliance on modern and smart techniques. We also aspire to achieve the management goal of providing best timely services to foreigners at the highest level of security and order. It is beyond doubt, therefore, that using modern techniques in the delivery of training courses is bound to have a great impact on receiving information and making staff and customers alike happy. This in turn contributes to the realisation of the objectives of the happiness approach launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Additionally, the elevated treatment of residents by GDFRA-D reflects the civilised image of Dubai and contributes to supporting the state march and further establishing the reputation of Dubai as a city of peace.
|Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 11
White paper by World Economic Forum analyses the changing global landscape and making travel safer
Making travel safer
he number of people on the move today is unprecedented and the figures are forecasted to keep rising. International arrivals rose from 25 million in the 1950s to 1.2 billion in 2015 and are expected to reach nearly 2 billion international trips by 2030. 12 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
The new global landscape has significant implications for the movement of people across borders, and specifically the travel and tourism industry, which takes responsibility for the safe travel through the skies of over 8 million people daily. While historically travel was a luxury for only those wealthy enough to afford it, the lowering of travel barriers and falling costs have allowed the travel and tourism industry to flourish. These factors, combined with the growth of disposable income, the rise of the middle class in many emerging markets and changing attitudes of people towards travel, have enabled the surge in international travel. By 2030, most of the growth in international travel will come from beyond the traditional North American and European markets, from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, which will enable further growth and job
opportunities in these regions. While Europe and the Americas will continue to grow, the rate is incomparable to other regions. This necessitates that the industry pursues its commitment to securely and seamlessly enable the movement of legitimate travellers. While significant progress has been made, the industry not only wants to incrementally improve the security and experience of its passengers but also to envision a framework for the cross-border movement of people in the future. In this vision, technological advances which have revolutionized global communications and retail are also applied to the international travel process, supporting states and international agencies as they enhance their cooperation and collaboration in sharing data and harmonizing standards.
||Manafez Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 13
The World Economic Forum’s new white paper titled ‘Digital Borders: Enabling a secure, seamless and personalized journey, looks to a future in which eligibility to travel is based on the individual rather than the legacy system of a country of origin. Over the past decades, we have seen technological advances revolutionizing global communications and transport - but these
14 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
advances haven’t been applied to travel. But it can be done. In this digital age, technological solutions can and should be created to move the global system from one of physical to digital borders. From digital identification and biometric authentication to seamless airport transfers, “digital” needs to be at the core of every journey made.
The report envisions a world in which travel will be safer for millions of people as intelligence and security organizations will be empowered with better tools, intelligence and data to perform their vital work more efficiently and effectively. Drawing on the main findings of the report, here are 7 ways we can make travel safer:
. More intelligence and data sharing. Secure, routine intelligence and data sharing between sovereign national governments and international security organizations on travellers is vital. While significant efforts have been undertaken to improve regular and timely information sharing, additional cooperation and collaboration among these groups is needed.
. Provide advance passenger information. The global aviation system and the efforts of all governments to strengthen aviation security are critical to enabling the movement of people across borders. At the same time, sovereign nations are dependent on each other to provide a common secure aviation environment, which is undeniably connected to each nation’s individual economic security. We thus need to drive forward the UN Security Council Resolution 2309 (2016) which urges nations to require airlines to provide advance passenger information to the appropriate national authorities.
. Make the traveller part of the solution. It’s time for governments to reconsider the role of the traveller. People on the move should be able to own their digital biometric profile and have the ability to push this secure data in advance to make their journey easier. Traveller participation will enable the wider use of pre-clearance and will make international border crossings more efficient.
. Utilize enhanced harmonized biometric standards. International organizations have established harmonized and routine sharing of traveller data, including biometrics for identity verification and travel eligibility, which have improved security and facilitated international travel and commerce between partner countries. To take this forward, national governments need to implement
the international standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization and assist emerging economies in implementing those standards.
. Expand multilateral agreements. Based on the success of bilateral agreements to date, and on the current state of international security, governments should aim to expand established agreements multilaterally. These expanded agreements should incorporate the harmonized requirements for traveller data.
. Aim for a single application and a single fee. Many nations currently collect country-specific applications, with varying information requirements and separate application fees for travel security programmes. For multi-national implementation, there should be a single application to electronic travel systems with harmonized security requirements and a single costbased fee with appropriate revenue sharing between participating governments.
. Move to a digital process. Over time, the entire process of border management used by most travellers should be a wholly automated, electronic platform, built on verified biometric data. Evidence is clear that e-visas do not undermine security; they facilitate border crossings for many travellers, reduce paperwork and allow public safety officials to direct more attention and resources to threat identification. |Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 15
Khawla Kabanji, Chief Executive Officer, Zajel
'We focus on exceeding customer expectations'
hawla Kabanji, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zajel, UAE’s fastest growing courier company and preferred by government departments, says focus on exceeding customer expectations and using smart technology to enhance its services has helped Zajel expand its customer base within the UAE and also in other countries.
Zajel recorded a highly successful 2016 with over 20 per cent growth in revenues and entry into new international markets. As Zajel continues successfully on the growth path, 2017 will be a year to further diversify activities and customer base as well as opening opportunities for new talent, said Khawla in an interview with Manafez Dubai. Excerpts from the interview: Q. How was Zajel’s performance and main achievements in 2016? 2016 was a highly successful year for Zajel and we achieved over 99 per cent of our goals from the strategy we chalked out. Zajel recorded over 20 per cent growth in 2016 in terms of rev16 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
enues. This is perfectly in line with our strategy which focuses on consistent and robust growth. We also enhanced our strategic partnership with the government sector Partners by signing new contracts and adding other services and also expanded our activities through international partnerships for direct line haul for export import shipments. We already have partners in India, Pakistan and UK. In 2016 we also signed up in Srilanka, which means that we have our professional representatives in these countries when any shipments go to or come from these destinations. On one hand this enables our customers to easily track their shipment through our website, we look after all aspects of the shipment and for us, it increas-
es our business, diversifies our market share and moreover, enhances the visibility of Zajel brand on a global level. Where ever we have a partner, they can exchange their business directly also. Our plan is to gradually keep expanding the global network and we will continue with this in 2017 as well. Further, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-president and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai to smart city by using advance technology and smart solutions, we continued our efforts toward making best use of technology and launched two mobile phone applications in addition to Zcargo service.
Interview Q. Tell us more about the mobile app. The mobile apps are available on Android and iPhones and can be downloaded for free. A customer can just use it for one time or register as a loyal customer. As soon as the the customers download the app, they can avail of the service round the clock The app also saves the time of the customers and speedens procedures. In case they register, we give them priority and also other facilities such as discounts from time to time. The apps have already become quite popular among customers and a large number of customers are using them. Q. What is the average number of transactions Zajel handles on a daily basis? Every day we handle transactions from government and private sectors, SMEs and individuals. On an average we handled 12,000 to 15,000 transactions daily and the number continues to grow. Q. What makes Zajel different from other courier companies? Zajel serves most of the government organisations in accordance with the highest standards of transparency, which reflects our reliability and high quality of services. We offer a unique range of products and services and use highly professional and advanced meth-
odology for handling the services. As we handle most of the government and private sector, we maintain high confidentiality in data in order to ensure data security. Our commitment is also to ensure quality services in every aspects including dealing with complaints. We resolve the complaints in a highly professional manner and within less than one hour. Our goal is to not just to meet, but exceed our clients expectations. We take their feedback, understand their vision and work with them to see how we can provide them the best services. We are very careful in handling sensitive documents such as passports and have a strong experience in these. We have been handling these since 2008. Another strong point with Zajel is our access. We make it very easy for our customers to give their location details through the Z-code app developed by Zajel, which gives them easy access. Among our government clients are the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, Dubai Health Authority, RTA, Dubai Land Department, Dubai Police,
Dubai Courts, Dubai Prosecution, Jurisdiction Department, Legal Department, Rulers Court, Financial Audit, Dubai Customs, Media Office and others. Zajel FZE provides services to Silicon Oasis and Jafza. We are handling full operation of Dubai Economic Zone under Jafza. Q. How do you ensure customer happiness? At Zajel, our focus is to always exceed customer expectations. We offer them solutions and services which best meet their needs. We also handle complaints in a very transparent manner. The Happiness Meter has been a very innovative measure to enhance customer satisfaction and happiness levels. Our analysis team analyses the results and categorises them as per languages (English, Arabic and Urdu) and check the feedback. In case a customer says they are dis-satisfied, we contact them and understand the reason of their dis-satisfaction in order to provide better services and make them happier. Sometimes customers have suggestions, some issues between them and courier, we listen to |Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 17
Interview courier and also customer and we resolve the solution. Q. How many employees does Zajel have? We have about 200 employees in call centre, agents, courier delivery and operations and administration. I must tell you that we do quarterly employee satisfaction survey as well. We want to ensure happiness of all our employees. Q. Any plans to hire more people in 2017? Yes, jobs will be open according to the requirements of ongoing and new projects. Our HR keeps CV bank updated and screen s different types of professional CVs regularly so when we have a requirement we can bring in those who qualify.
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Q. Amid competition and challenges that technology poses nowadays, what is your vision for 2017 and growth you see? In 2017, we plan to focus and diversify our business. Our focus will be entering ecommerce, we see this as future. Also we are targeting our partnership for direct line in other destinations. We are always there to serve the government whenever they require any enhancement, we are ready for them and we are expecting a similar growth as we witnessed in 2016. We are all aware that with technology, there is a reduction in paper work and also customer visits, which impacts delivery services. For us, the first benefit is that the UAE economy is strong and con-
tinues to grow. Secondly, there are many areas which will continue to have demand for physical delivery. We are fully equipped, well prepared and ready to meet the challenges. We believe that without challenges you cannot be successful. Q. Can you share with us the awards that Zajel received last year? The GDRFA Dubai gave us Best Strategic Partnerâ€™, we got Gold Category award in services from Dubai Police; appreciation for excellence from Dubai Prosecution and also from private sector including Arabtec and Emirates Corporation Society. Zajel also sponsored a Conference on Intellectual Property Rights. ď‚…
YOUR HAPPINES IS OUR FOCUS Â© 2012 ZAJEL COURIER
Manafez Dubai-| April 2016 |Manafez| Dubai | March 2017 | 13 19
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. Hamdan bin Mohammed honours winners of UAE Drones for Good Award and UAE AI/ Robotics Award for Good H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, honoured the winners of UAE Drones for Good Award and UAE AI/ Robotics Award for Good. A total of 40 projects were shortlisted for both the awards, 20 from inside the country, including 10 for UAE Drones Award and 10 for UAE AI/ Robotics Award for 20 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
Good. The finalists were selected from 1,017 entries from 165 countries. Sheikh Hamdan was briefed on a number of hi tech projects presented by the participating teams, who provide practical and innovative solutions in economy, humanitarian and scientific research areas. A low weight communication equipment project developed by Nokia won the UAE Drones for Good Award in the international category, while Sanad Academy project won the award in the national category in Dubai.
The international project, ‘Seven Lives’, carried a prize money of $1 million while the national category winner Sanad Academy was handed AED1 million prize money. The Sanad Academy project is based on the idea of inventing a drone that can locate drowning victims and offer assistance immediately. The award, in its second year as part of the 3rd UAE Drones for Good Award, the UAE AI/Robotics for Good Award aims to support innovation in the key area of artificial intelligence and robotics focusing on their practical use for society’s greater good in areas such as health, education and social services.
Over 5 million register for smart gates
ore than five million people have registered for smart gates system, while 2.5 million people used the facility since the launch early last year, Gulf News quoted a Ministry of Interior official as saying.
Major Mohammad Al Zaabi, director of the e-gates project in the Ministry of Interior, said the system facilitates travel procedures at airports. “Smart gates system is an important project to cut time and effort of the passengers. We coordinate with airports to train qualified staff to help the passengers and show them the proper way to use the system,” the report quoted Major Al Zaabi as saying. He said the system uses the facerecognition technology to clear a passenger. “Passengers can register in any UAE airport and can use the smart gates in all airports,” Major Al Zaabi added. The smart gate is the second gen-
eration passenger clearence system and is a lot faster and more efficient as it is seven seconds faster than e-gates. The e-gate scans biometrics of travellers before allowing them to pass through passport control. Unlike the e-gate which requires an e-gate card, the smart gate does not require a dedicated card. It can identify a traveller by either their passport, Emirates ID, e-gate card or QR barcode generated via the GDRFA smartphone app. Passports need to have the data encoded in an optical character recognition format at the base of the identity page in order to be used at the smart gate.
Using the smart gates is easy. The passport’s photo page is placed on the scanner. The traveller then steps into the gate and completes the eye scan. The gate will then open and the passenger can step through. First-time users have to register with an immigration officer after completing the eye scan. Al Zaabi said that passengers whose residency or passports have expired, are staying illegally in the country, have pending fines, have court cases and children under the age of five cannot use smart gates. If you are a UAE resident, then remember to carry your Emirates ID the next time you travel through UAE airports as you will be able to speed through passport control in a matter of seconds. Who can use them? This new express passport control service can be enjoyed by all Emirates ID cardholders aged 18 and above. Families travelling with children below the age of 18 should head to the manned counter next to the Smart Gates, to complete the immigration process. |Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 21
Sharjah airport expansion project approved
he Government of Sharjah has approved the US$400 million (AED 1.46b) budget for the expansion of Sharjah International Airport, according to MEED (Middle East Economic Digest), quoting Adel Abdullah Ali, Air Arabia’s Chief Executive Officer. According to the airline CEO, the expansion project is expected to begin this summer and will increase airport capacity from 8 to 18 million passengers a year. A master plan for the expansion of the airport was submitted by American engineering firm Bechtel in 2013, recommending a new terminal, construction of
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new roads around the airport, plus additional services such as a new hotel and a shopping mall. In 2014, Sharjah International Airport opened a new AED 500 million (US$ 136m) airport runway, significantly expanding the airport’s aircraft capacity. The new runway allows large and new-generation ICAO Code F aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeings B747-8 Intercontinental and B747-8 freighter. The old runway now serves as a taxiway. The airport handled 11 million passengers from January to De-
cember 2016, registering a 10 percent year-on-year increase on 2015. In January 2017, the airport handled 969,633 passengers, showing a 4 percent increase on January last year. Sharjah International Airport’s growth has been driven by its strategic location, the success of Sharjah’s in-bound tourism industry and the expansion of Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia. The airport’s ideal location, close to Sharjah city, Dubai city and the main highways connecting the country’s seven emirates, has made it a convenient hub for both business and leisure travelers.
Denmark visa application centres opened in UAE
esidents of the United Arab Emirates can now enrol for biometrics and submit their applications for visas to Denmark at the Visa Application Centres launched by the Royal Danish Consulate General in Dubai and the Royal Danish Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The UAE is the fourth country in the Middle East and 33rdcountry globally, where dedicated Denmark Visa Application Centres, managed by VFS Global, have been launched for enhanced convenience and ease to applicants. The centre in Dubai was inaugurated by Mrs. Merete Juhl, Ambassador of Denmark to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar at a ceremony held on 15 February 2017. The centre is located at wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon Phase 2, Umm Hurrair 2, Dubai. The centre in Abu Dhabi is located at Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, adjacent to Khalidiyah Mall, Abu Dhabi. Services in both cities commenced on 15 January 2017. Speaking at the inauguration, Mrs. Merete Juhl Ambassador of Denmark to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, said, “It is my great pleasure to inaugurate the new Visa Application Centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. VFS Global has been carefully chosen to manage the Denmark Visa Application Centres based on their
recognised efficiency and professional approach. It is of utmost importance to Denmark that visa processing is handled in a top professional manner.” Added Mr. Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, “In our continued commitment to expanding our extensive global network of Denmark Visa Application Centres, we are privileged to bring streamlined and proficient visa application services to residents of the UAE travelling to Denmark. We are confident that the newly launched centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
will deliver world-class services for an enhanced visa application experience to our applicants. We are honoured to be a part of the advancement of travel, be it for business or leisure, between the two nations”. VFS Global has partnered with the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark since 2008, and currently serves the client in 33 countries from a vast network of 104 visa application centres globally. In the UAE, the company presently serves a total of 25 client governments since 2004. |Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 23
Middle East News
No visa needed for Saudi citizens traveling to Belarus
he Republic of Belarus has issued a presidential decree to exempt citizens of 80 countries, including Saudi Arabia from the entry visa requirements, the Saudi Press agency reported on Tuesday. This was announced by the Director General of the General Directorate of Public Relations and Media at the Interior Ministry, General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Maraol. “The Ministry of Interior has received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a cable of the Belarusian presidential decree including
visa exemption for Saudi citizens to enter Belarusian territory without the need for prior entry visa requirement.,” Maraol said.
The presidential decree is expected to be put into force one month after the date of issuance under certain conditions.
Qatar’s new transit visa scheme a boon for hospitality sector
atar’s hospitality sector stands to benefit from the newly-implemented transit visa scheme, which is an initiative designed to further boost the country’s tourism, Rotana COO Guy
Hutchinson has said. “If we can only pull around 5% of the passengers who transit Doha to spend one or two nights in Doha, it is a huge number. This is really a very critical change for us and the other
piece is marketing,” Gulf Times quoted him as saying. Hutchinson stressed that focusing on ‘destination marketing’ and promoting Qatar’s state-ofthe-art tourism infrastructure will attract more foreign visitors from the GCC and other countries in the world, the report added. The new transit visa structure allows passengers with a minimum transit time of five hours at Hamad International Airport to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours without applying for an entry visa ahead of time.
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Middle East News
Expats on visit visas to Oman shouldn’t look for jobs
xpatriates coming to Oman on family and visit visas should not be allowed to look for work, a report in Times of Oman quoted a migrants’ forum as saying.
“Allowing semi-skilled and lowskilled workers to migrate and look for a job on tourist and visit visas is not advisable,” Williams Gois, Regional Coordinator of the Migrant Forum in Asia, said. “Sending and host countries allowing such practices will endanger migrants, especially those who are semi-skilled and low-skilled as they are more prone to rights violations,” Williams added. Expatriates coming to the GCC countries, including Oman, on tourist and visit visas and later accepting job visas without informing their respective home countries is a common practice. Until 2015, expatriates living on family visas in Oman were allowed to take up a job without 26 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
first exiting the country and then returning to work. In August 2015, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) directed that if an expatriate on a family or visit visa gets a job, he has to leave the country and return with an employment visa. However, it is not necessary that expatriates must return to their home country and come back. Normally, they go to a neighbouring country and return without informing their home country. An official from Sri Lankan embassy in Oman said they don’t encourage people coming to Oman on a visit visa to look for jobs, according to the report. Bheem Reddy, Vice President of
Migrant Rights Centre in India, said workers should not migrate on tourist and visit visas if they plan to look for jobs in a foreign country. “When sending countries are trying to plug the loopholes to ensure safe migration, potential migrants should not adopt such tactics. By doing so, they are violating fair migration practices,” Reddy added. “While accepting the job, the expatriate worker does not go back to his home country. From Oman, they just go to Dubai and come back on a new job visa. By doing so, they keep their home country in the dark regarding their job contract terms and other things. This will lead to more trouble in case the worker faces a violation,” Reddy added.
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Quick and easy boarding using facial recognition at Schiphol
ogether with KLM, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has started a trial with voluntary ‘biometric boarding’, involving boarding without having to show your boarding pass and passport. Passengers can board quickly and easily via a separate gate that identifies passengers using facial recognition. Schiphol and KLM are assessing facial recognition technology with this trial, testing the speed, reliability and user-friendliness of the system. The boarding process and passenger experience will also be evaluated. The ultimate goal is to make the boarding process as easy and quick as possible for passengers. The trial period will last at least three months. The trial will take place at a selected gate at the airport. To use facial recognition for boarding, passengers must register first. There is a special registration kiosk in the waiting area at the gate. KLM staff will assist with the procedure.
To register, passengers must scan their passports and boarding passes, as well as their faces. To ensure privacy is protected, the personal data will only be used for the trial. The data will automatically be deleted after boarding. Schiphol and its partners are
continually implementing innovations and smart ways to improve travel convenience, airport processes and the time these take. The airport has the ambition of becoming ‘Leading Digital Airport’ in 2018 and this trial is part of this. The introduction of the very first security scan for passengers, crew and staff and the new security lane in 2015 were some of the results of the collaboration with KLM and the government over the past few years. A trial is also currently taking place with a hand baggage scanner that allows passengers to leave laptops and liquids in their bags. Innovative technologies will be tested regularly in the coming period and subsequently rolled out if trials prove successful.
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TAKE OFF FROM ATLANTIS THE PALM HELIPAD ON THE PALM JUMEIRAH
|Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 29 Tel: +971 4 701 9111 Fax : +971 4 701 9100 P.O. Box 25718, Dubai, U.A.E Email: email@example.com web: www.alphatoursdubai.com
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Yusuf Akkawi, Managing Director, Akkawi Engineering Consulting
Akkawi Engineering strongly focussed on ensuring client happiness
There is no substitute to hard work
ith a career spanning over 45 years, Yusuf Akkawi has an unmatchable expertise and knowledge when it comes to doing business across the Middle East, especially in the field of engineering. After handling numerous projects and businesses across the region, he started Akkawi Engineering Consulting about 10 years ago. In an interview with Manafez Dubai, Akkawi shared the secrets of his success and maintain a flourishing business amid strong competition and a dynamic market environment. Excerpts from the interview: Can you share with us your journey that has led to setting up a successful enterprise today? In 1972, I started my career as a mechanical engineer in a technical services company, from where I progressed to become a chief mechanical engineer and later a managing partner in a new company in the 1970s. We handled over 450 projects all over the Middle East in mechanical and electrical engineering, site supervi32 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
sion, engineering design across malls, schools, banks, universities, hospitals, hotels and many other projects, mainly focussed on the Gulf. These projects were spread across the Middle East and included UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Africa, Aqaba Jordan etc. I started Akkawi Consulting 10 years ago and since then we are focussed on operating from Dubai and cater to different markets. What are some of the main projects by Akkawi Consulting? Among the main projects are Leaf Tower (68 floors) in Abu Dhabi, EKFC-Emirates Flight Catering -Food-
point & Linencraft Project at DIP in Dubai, Dubai Motor City Projects (3 Towers), Nakheel Mall and several others for residential and commercial buildings. Amid a highly competitive and dynamic market scenario, what are the main challenges and how do you deal with those? Yes, the market is competitive but if you are strongly committed to your ethics, deal sincerely with your customers, do not compromise on your service, there is no reason for you to not succeed. We are highly focussed on ensuring 100 per cent satisfaction and happiness of our clients. Among the challenges in businesses
no substitute to hard work, sincerity and commitment and these values have driven me to success all these years.
such as ours are constantly staying updated with the latest rules, which we are especially careful about. An inspiring work culture where employees as well as customers feel valued can make a marked difference in the performance of any company. I strongly believe that there is
What would you say about UAEâ€™s market scenario? The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is flourishing under the visionary leadership of our great leaders who always inspire people to give their best and continue to excel. With a large number of new projects being launched, and with Expo 2020 less than three years away, there are tremendous opportunities in every
sector of the economy, especially construction. For our company in particular, we are getting new projects and we are hopeful of a bright future. ď‚…
|Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 33
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Email: - firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org Mob. 3677830 50 00971 Tel. 2999760 4 00971, Fax 2999756 4 971 00, Hadi Plaza Office#M-01Muraqqabat – PO Box 214536 Dubai
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Best practices to win your customers
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ccording to the Customer 2020 Report, the customer experience has overtaken price and product as key brand differentiators. That means if you haven’t already, it’s time to make the customer service department your business’s next big bet — moving away from viewing the department as a cost center and towards a profit center. Service that excels in 2017 relies on meeting your customers wherever they are, treating them like friends with conversational service, building a stellar service team, and working to engage that team. Take a look at five of the best practices below:
When a new customer arrives, find out which channel they prefer for service assistance. As part of your onboarding experience or welcome call, ask how they’d like to be contacted if an issue arises. If your onboarding experience includes a welcome email, include a handy list of all available service channels. Your marketing should also give customers clear instructions on how to reach you when they need you.
Occasionally, you’ll come across a customer who just likes to complain — and sees a customer service agent as a perfect opportunity to let off steam. Keep in mind that while these interactions may be frustrating, they’re a path to new insights about your product capabilities and limitations. Ensure your team treats every complaint as an opportunity to make your company better.
During a session at 2013’s Call Center Week event, Kimberly Warrick, Client Services Manager at NJ Shares noted that agent motivation should be considered from
the very first interview. Here, you have your prospective agent directly in front of you, ready to answer any questions. That’s the time to get your first look at what motivates them. Before they’ve even put on a headset, you’ve got the chance to make note of what will keep this potential service team member motivated. Just ask them!
The millennial generation has huge career aspirations, and as potential hires, they often make up their mind during training whether they’ll work at your center for a long-term period. Telus International has seen a decline in attrition rates through initiatives such as Telus University, which allows employees to gain arts and business credits while still working with the company. They fully invest in their customer support team members’ development outside of the customer support role.
You don’t always need to spend money on tangible rewards in order to make your team feel motivated. Quite often, a supervisor’s quick email or internal social network mention to a team member on a job well done is equally as effective as a gift certificate. Continue to celebrate even incremental successes with even the smallest acknowledgement can brighten the day of an agent dealing with an otherwise stressful shift. (Source:www.salesforce.com) |Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 37
Follow these simple steps and your joints will thank you
Be good to your joints
ompute comfortably. Your upper body should be spaced 20 to 26 inches from your computer monitor, the top of which should be at an even line with the top of your head when your head is in neutral position.
Your arms should hang comfortably at your sides, elbows at a right angle, with your wrists relaxed while typing.
ing yourself in one position. If your job primarily involves sitting, take a break and stand up every 30 minutes or so.
Ditch the high heels. Unless you’re a fashion model, chances are you can live without high heels. Experts say a three-inch heel stresses your foot seven times more than a one-inch heel. In addition, heels put extra stress on your knees and may increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Handle heavy loads. To make heavy loads easier to handle, use your largest, strongest joints and muscles to take stress off smaller hand joints and to spread the load over large surface areas.
Sit and stand. Neither sitting nor standing on your feet all day is good for you. When possible, alternate between the two to prevent lock38 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
When you lift or carry items, use the palms of both hands or use your arms instead of your hands. Hold items close to your body, which is less stressful for your joints. For joint safety, slide objects whenever possible rather than lift them.
Resolve to reduce. Lose weight. You won’t just look better – you’ll feel better, too. Every extra pound you gain puts four times the stress on your knees. Picture portion sizes. Eating proper portions is key to losing and maintaining a healthy weight and, in turn, lightening the load on your joints. Brush up on proper portion sizes and picture visual comparisons. For instance: One serving of meat – 3 ounces – is the size of the palm of your hand; one serving of dairy – say 2 ounces of cheese – is the size of a pair of dominoes; one serving of vegetables – 1 cup – is the size of your fist.
Some people with pain have found a measure of relief from writing down their feelings. Let yourself go. On vacation, that is. Find time to take a break away from your routine – even if you are a stay-at-home mom or you work from home. Don’t get caught up in trying to plan an expensive weeklong trip to an island, either. A day or two off to enjoy your favorite activity counts as vacation, too. Experts continue to emphasize the connection between stress and pain. Sit, soak and soothe. A warm bath before bed can relieve muscle tension, ease aching joints and help you get a good night’s sleep.
Keep a food journal. Increase the odds that you’ll stick to your plan for eating better by putting your nutritional goals in writing. Record what you eat daily to keep track of your progress. Curtail your caffeine intake. While you may need that extra burst of energy in the morning, try and resist those second and third cups of coffee. Studies show that the extra caffeine can weaken your bones. Take the plunge. From strength training to jogging to aerobic classes (and let’s not forget the plain old swim), aquatic exercises allow you to keep doing many of the exercises you love, while taking a load off your joints. See a yogi. Yoga hasn’t been the hottest trend (for the last 5,000 years) for nothing. Yoga and other forms of
gentle exercise like Pilates and Tai Chi strengthen the mind-body connection, allowing you to get your body fit while you get your mind in shape. These exercises keep joints strong and muscles limber while erasing stress. Increase your range. Range-of-motion exercises (such as stretching) are a good way to keep your muscles and ligaments flexible and strong. Add weights to your workout and you’ll tone up, too. Do the write thing. Keeping a journal can be fun and therapeutic. Writing about your deepest fears, feelings and frustrations can help you put everything in perspective. It also helps you easily look back over your victories and successes.
Make a date with your doctor. See your physician for a routine check-up at least once a year. Request an examination of your joints – from head to toe – and ask for tips on protecting your joints from daily wear and tear. It’s never too soon to learn self-management techniques. Play 20 questions. Well, maybe not 20, but write down questions related to your health as you think of them. Prioritize them and slip them into your purse or wallet before your next doctor’s visit. That way, you’ll have your top concerns at your fingertips. Kick butt. People who smoke have a greater risk of fracture than nonsmokers. In fact, smoking can reduce bone mass, which can lead to osteoporosis. Kick the habit to keep your body strong and healthy. Plus, just think of all the money you’ll save by going smoke-free. (Source: www.arthiritis.org) |Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 39
Technologies that will revolutionise the aviation and airport industry this year
ith the technology moving forward faster than other industries can keep up, issues such as cyber security become more and more challenging at a faster rate. IATA’s Houman Goudarzi gives insight into technologies that will impact aviation industry the most this year.
1. Blockchain Technology Blockchain technology has been intensely in the spotlight across 2016, and will continue riding the wave in 2017. It would be harsh to call it a hype as it’s a genuinely disruptive force to be reckoned with in aviation and any other industry, in particular by intermediaries. 40 | Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 |
Above all, it offers amazing opportunities which go well beyond financial transactions, albeit most of the popularity has been gained through Bitcoin and projects initiated by major international banks. Some promising cases studies in the aviation space are related to:
Identity Management: Blockchain technology can take the hassle out of identity management. Here is a more detailed article on how it could revolutionise identity management in combination with biometrics technology.
Tokenising Frequent Flyer Programs: Blockchain has the ability to turn airline miles into something much more pervasive and valuable outside the defined boundaries of airlines and their limited partners with whom passengers get to spend their miles. Imagine if your miles were accrued in real-time, and there was community-driven market place for you to use them instead of the limited spend options made available by individual airlines? I found this article (Why Travel Loyalty Programs Belong on The Blockchain) by Luke Bujarski quite interesting. Item custody-change tracking: Bags change custody through
their journey between airlines, airport, and ground handlers. When something goes wrong with a passenger’s bag it’s important to have a log of custody changes to be able to determine who is responsible. A semi-private blockchain can cater for this as a neutral ground for reporting custody changes throughout the value chain. Encryption and hashing may be necessary to safeguard the information. Another case study would be aircraft parts as they change custody between manufactures, traders, maintenance service providers, and airlines. Tokenising e-tickets: Smart Contracts can facilitate tokenisation of e-tickets and empower the value chain partners for ticket sales and other actions related to tickets. Imagine if an airline could define the business rules and conditions on how tickets are sold and used by its partners through the use of smart contracts on a blockchain, empowering partners across the value chain to act on
behalf of the airline in a secure and efficient manner. 2. Game of Drones You either love them or hate them, or change your personal opinion according to different contexts. Drones have gained massive popularity among recreational users, and are rapidly becoming more and more affordable. 2017 may be the year of entry in the commercial space. Amazon is leading the “Game of Drones” race and has made some headway. The recent Amazon patent on the use of a flying warehouse shows where things are headed. Uber has equally expressed aspirations through their white paper released a few months ago, on the feasibility of ultra-short-haul commercial flights in the urban space. It’s predicting the rise of VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) vehicles offering on-demand flights in urban areas leveraging existing infrastructure (e.g. parking rooftops) as vertiports (airports for aircraft that can take-off and land vertically).
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Some of the challenges mentioned in the paper include: • Regulatory challenges • Battery technology readiness • Vehicle performance and efficiency • Air Traffic Management • Noise and Emissions • Vertiport Infrastructure in cities • Pilot training 3. Augmented Reality Virtual Reality (VR) is often associated with glasses that take you to a virtual world where your actual real movements are translated to the virtual world. On the other hand, perhaps even more relevant, Augmented Reality (AR) is more likely to penetrate the airline and airport space (click here to learn the difference between VR and AR). The above image shows a hypothetical AR view of a passenger, where the view is enhanced with
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information (sensory input, static and dynamic information sources, location, object and context awareness) and functionalities (e.g. buying lounge access by looking at the lounge access button at the top right corner of the view, and blinking twice, which would act as a click of a mouse). The same could be applied on the airport ramp to support ground operations through the use of the AR technology. 4. AI (Chatbots) In an extreme scenario a passenger is expected to download the app of the car rental company, the airline, the departure airport, connecting airport, arrival airport, and the hotel. That’s 6 apps for a single trip, which may or may not occur again.
2017 is likely to be the year of dialogue around consolidated chatbot engines that could act as a single gateway for customers. 5. Airline New Distribution Capability The airline distribution space is gradually making headway towards a more dynamic and nimble model where airlines are in control, travel agents empowered, and
of Beacons technology, airlines, and airports are very likely to start using this technology to provide better/customised services to passengers as they travel through the airport terminal.
Global Distributions System provided with an opportunity to build new products and services. New Distribution Capability (NDC) industry program has been the driving force in the last couple of years making the necessary standards and guidance available to the industry.
aren’t fit for purpose for indoors as the satellite signals are often not strong enough, and the accuracy is not sufficient. With the rise
“Beacons make it possible for airports and airport vendors to know where people are and send them relevant, personalised information. The information might be a gate number, a baggage carousel, flight status, or even a passenger’s favourite coffee shop.” (Source: International Airport Review)
6. Indoor positioning systems (Beacons technology) For a long time it seemed impossible to accurately know the location of moving objects (e.g. people) inside buildings. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) |Manafez Dubai | March - April 2017 | 43
110 ICAO member states issuing ePassports
he global transition to machinereadable passports is now nearly complete and I would like to remind all of ICAO’s Member States that 24 November 2015 was the deadline by which any remaining non-machine readable passports were to have been removed from global circulation.
Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
Continued attempts to travel with these documents could lead to significant passenger and border control impediments, meaning that it is critical for governments to encourage their citizens to renew any remaining nonmachine-readable passports in circulation without delay. In the area of ePassport implementation, some 110 of ICAO’s 191 Member States currently report that they are issuing ePassports – with nearly 600 million in circulation worldwide. However further challenges persist, mainly due to the fact that some ePassports currently in circulation are not fully compliant with ICAO specifications.
(Excerpts from the opening Address at the ICAO Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) Seminar)
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Another ePassport implementation issue I would like to raise with you revolves around the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD), and more specifically the situation whereby many States issuing ePassports are still not using the ICAO PKD to verify and authenticate their chip-based data.
I must emphasize that PKD membership is essential if States wish to capitalize on the full security and facilitation benefits that ePassports are meant to deliver. Going forward, more intensified advocacy efforts are being implemented to underscore the role of the PKD as a fundamental contributor to effective border integrity. ICAO, for its part, has recently put in place a new PKD operating agreement, which led to the reduction of registration fees for new PKD participants . I also wish to emphasize that ICAO is continuing with the establishment of a more systematic approach to assist States in the implementation of ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), including our Doc 9303 specifications and other provisions supporting the ICAO TRIP.
Cooperation and multilateralism are indespensible
am privileged to be here at the inaugural function of 23rd Asian regional Conference of INTERPOL as the chief guest and open up the conference today. My utmost thanks to the everdedicated members of the Nepal Police for your generous invitation. I feel honored to express Nepal’s perspective on “Law Enforcement in Asia, Current and Future Challenges”, the theme around which the conference will be focused for two and half days. New threats and challenges put on every country special demands for strengthening national and collective security. Development in information technology and communication and advancements in transportation have brought the world closer than we have ever imagined. The web of global interdependence is growing complex. Today, no single country can rely solely upon its own capabilities to address the problem of transnational and organized crimes. The adverse effects of such crimes and criminalities cannot be ignored, because crime knows no boundaries and security can no longer be labelled as the agenda of a single country. Thus, cooperation and multilateralism are indispensable. I personally hold the view that the current and future challenges surrounding law enforcement can only
be addressed if we remain undivided in our thoughts and action as well as share common viewpoint on what is good and what is bad. Differences between the parts of the world who have limitless access to solve their issues, and the rest of the world who have to rely upon the former needs to be diminished. If we want a safer world, then the cooperation and collaboration between these two parts of the world, the gap between have’s and have-not’s, should be dismantled.
Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ Prime Minister of Nepal
Today, with a click of a fingertip, a crime can be committed from any anonymous place with anonymity. The development of social media has accelerated the flow of information. Unless the countries and leaders with limitless access view the problems of countries with limited access as shared problems, the challenges will grow day by day. From this forum of national and international participants, I express my assurance and deep concern that Nepal is always willing and committed to combat various organized and transnational crimes so that our futures generations can breathe in a peaceful world.
(Excepts from opening ceremony of the 23rd Asian Regional Conference of INTERPOL)
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