Page 1

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

www.manafezdubai.com

Issue 11

March 2015

Biometric facial recognition enhances border security

Shaping Future Governments


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

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

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

Establishments: • • • •

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

Other features:

• • • • • •

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

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

• Toll free: 8005111


Welcome Message

“I and my people love No. 1” H is Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said, “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and accomplish it. Here in the UAE we think differently. While others try to predict the future, we create it.”

These words from H.H Sheikh Mohammed are important and motivate the GDRFA-Dubai to outshine in different areas. We, at the GDRFA, are committed to follow these words by H.H Sheikh Mohammed. This reflects in our performance. 2014 was a year of achievements for us. We dealt at Dubai Airport with 43.5 million passengers, processed 61.4 million transactions and launched new smart and e-services. We aim to provide best services to our customers. We are now ready to launch APIS to enhance the level of safety and facilitate movement of passengers and implement the second generation of Smart Gates at the airport to make travelling a pleasant experience that will stay in their memories.

I believe that 2015 will be a landmark year for the GDRFA-Dubai especially as Dubai airport has become the top busiest in the world and that UAE has been ranked as world’s number 1 in compliance with aviation safety standards. Here on, we move forward to further add to our achievements by adding new smart services. Among the most important will be our implementation of the UAE Vision and using biometric information in our procedures to check passengers. We will also implement other smart services that will keep us ahead of others worldwide and lead us toward what His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said: “I and my people love No. 1.”

We have also increased the number of our employees at the Dubai Airports by another 250 to support the team to cope with the rapid growth in number of passengers, expected increase to 79 million by 2015 and to over 100 million by 2020. This achievement is a part of our endeavor to follow the vision of Ministry of Interior based on the directive of H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, to make UAE the safest country in the world.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 1


GDRFA Message

GDRFA

in History

t

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

t

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.

t

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.

t

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

t

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

t

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

t

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

t

1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

Our Vision The UAE to become one the safest and most secure countries in the world.

Our Mission To work efficiently and effectively to enhance the quality of life for UAE society through security, transit, rehabilitation, residency services and secure the safety of lives and property.

Our Values Justice t Work with team spirit t Excellence t Good cooperation t t Integrity t Loyalty Social responsibility t

Strategic objectives t Strengthening of security and safety t Ensure readiness and preparedness in disasters and crises t Enhancing public confidence in the effectiveness of the provided services t The optimal use of security information t Secure the provision of all administrative services in accordance with standards of quality, efficiency and transparency

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

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


Contents

GDRFA News GDRFA Photographes by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan

GDRFA-D handled over 61 million transactions in 2014

P6

UAE News

Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri

UAE most connected country in MENA

UAE to have ‘CEO of Innovation’ in all government departments

P 22

P 23

Middle East News Qatar proposes labour law reform for workers

P 26

KSA and UAE control 74 per cent of GCC’s private wealth

P 28

General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor Deputy Director General

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

Strategic Technology Partner of GDRFA-Dubai China to cancel temp residence permit

P 28 Biometric facial recognition enhances border security

Director General

P 24

International News Easing visa norms can boost Singapore tourism

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai

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

www.naddalshiba.com

Email

info@naddalshiba.com

P 30 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 3


Under the patronage of

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

The Ritz Carlton - DIFC

SMART SOLUTIONS FOR BORDER CONTROL & FUTURE TRAVEL

A thought provoking agenda... Structured over two days with different themes: Day One: · Future and Vision of Government · The Future of Border Management · The Future of Airline Industry Day Two: · The Future of Airports · The Future of Smart Solutions in Borders

The Ritz Carlton - DIFC Strategic Hospitality Sponsor www.emaratech.ae

Sponsor

Registration: Email: futureborders@emirates.com

4 |Manafez Dubai |March | Telephone: +971 42015 3034778

:


H.E. Sultan Saeed Nasser Al Mansouri

H.E. Major General Mohammed Al Marri

UAE Minister of Economy

Director General, GDRFA-Dubai

John P. Wagner

Paul Griffiths

CEO, Dubai Airports

Sir Timothy (Tim) Clark, KBE

Angela Gittens Director General, ACI World

President Emirates Airline

Thani Abdullah Alzaffin

Eric Kwok-ki Chan

Director General & Board Member, emaratech

IDSM, Director of Immigration, Hong Kong SAR

David Ploog

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

Lieutenant General Hans Leijtens

Commander, Royal Netherlands Marechaussee

Teresa Hardy

Michael Herrero

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

IATA Area Manager, Gulf

Jung June, AHN

Fergus Wilson

Speakers

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

SPECIAL PANELIST -

Luc Tombal

Mark A. Clifton

President of Products and Solutions, SRI International

Paul Moultrie

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

Manuel van Lijf

Piet Demunter

PS Nair

Director, Product Innovation at Air France – KLM

Head of Airport Development, Brussels Airport Company

Head of Marketing, Middle East and North Africa, Airbus

Corporate CEO, GMR Airports Ltd

Sponsorship & Exhibition: Email: victoria.lee@emirates.com Telephone: +971 4 3034746

Managing Partner, M2P Consulting Inc

Executive Director, Public Relations Group, Incheon Airport

COO, Aer Lingus (The Irish Airlines)

futureofborders.ae : |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 5


GDRFA News

GDRFA-D handled over 61 million transactions in 2014 T he General Directorate of Residen-

cy and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-D) processed a total of 61,403,172 transactions in 2014, an increase of seven percent compared with the previous year. His Excellency Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-D, attributed the accomplishment to the GDRFA-D efforts and commitment of the staff to providing simplified, streamlined and fast services to the public. He

6 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

thanked the GDRFA-Dubai employees for their high quality performance last year. He also said these achievements would not have been possible without the support of His Highness Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. The GDRFA-D will remain on the forefront of excellence in performance and also in simplifying the work for higher customer satisfaction and happiness.

The number of travelers via Dubai’s ports of entry increased by seven percent in 2014 compared to the previous year, with 43,585,587 visitors. A total of 300,926 transactions were completed at the service center at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, which is open to the public 24/7. The number of people registered with the GDRFA-D for the smart gate services last year crossed the 336,545 mark. The smart gates re-


GDRFA News

duce the time a traveler spends at passport control to only 15 seconds. The number of Emirates e Gate cards issued or renewed reached 120,597 thousand last year. There was an increase of 10 per cent in the number of visas that were completed in 2014 compared to 2013, with the total number reaching 12,772,553, while the number of tourist visas issued last year was 5,143,334 and the number of visaupon- arrival reached 4, 56,708. The ship movements at Dubai sea ports, both arrivals and departures, increased by 14 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013 with the total number reaching 59,197. The total number of tourists who arrived to Dubai via its sea port reached 85,467 in 2014. The number of establishment cards and the PRO cards issued by the GDRFA-D last year were 267315, showing an increase of eight per cent compared to previous year. The Follow Up on Foreigners and Illegals Sector at the GDRFA-Dubai last year conducted a total number of 224,548 transactions while a total of

326 establishments’ inspection campaigns were carried out. The number of illegals arrested during those inspection campaigns was 7285. Major General Al Marri said that the number of complaints about people leaving work with their sponsors unauthorized, received by GDRFADubai decreased by six per cent last year due to the public awareness campaigns by the GDRFA-Dubai via print, broadcast and social media. The complaints received by Amer service last year were 33, a decline of 15 per cent compared to 2013.The number of calls to GDRFA-D call center in 2014 reached 768,309 via many channels, including Amer, the online chat, electronic services and e-mail and answering machine. Major General Al Marri urged the public to use the round the clock Amer service by calling the toll free number 8005111. Public can give their feedbacks or inquire about the GDRFA-Dubai services. Residents are also urged to use the GDRFADubai social media channels - Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

He added that the GDRFA-Dubai is the first government department to use Instagram to show videos of its employees via its programme called “Sabah Elkhair Ya Watan”. This aims to promote the government departments’ loyalty to the nation and to the President. The programme shows employees talking about their success stories, patriotism and love for their work and the country. The number of videos of this programme which has been already posted on Instagram are 205. Major General Al-Marri said the GDRFA-Dubai is keen to obtain public confidence and to gain customers’ satisfaction, adding that the social networking channels have became very important ways to communicate with public. The GDRFADubai established a Positive Energy section last year at The Human Resources and Financial Department in order to encourage talented staff to develop their skills. The GDRFADubai also opened its Museum inside the department’s premises last year. The museum is considered the first governmental building designed by a female Emirati artist.  |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 7


GDRFA News

No departure point at Terminal 3 G iven

the flow of passengers at Dubai International Airport, the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) is going to cancel the departure point at Terminal 3. The decision aims at smoothening passengers’ process at the departure point at Terminal 3. Travelers will walk in without the need to stand in queue. Travelers’ details will be sent in advance to the passport control officers via Emirates Airline after booking their tickets. His Excellency Major General Mohanmmed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, said that this step was taken as part of adding to the GDRFA-Dubai unique services at the airport. “We want our customers to enjoy fast and hassle-free travel and we are honoured with our exceptional

8 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

Al Marri: Smart gates to simplify procedures for over 79 million passengers estimated to use the airport this year immigration customer service as our staff work efficiently to ensure a swift and smooth arrival and departure process for the passengers,” he said. Major General Al Marri said that Dubai Airport is one of the busiest in the world and requires an efficient GDRFA services as it handled the heavy load of more than 71 million passengers in 2014 and which is expected to be 79 million by the end of this year. Lt. Colonel Talal Al Shanqity, Assistant of the Director General of

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


GDRFA News

cial help to old people and families with children and also for people with special needs,” he added.

Employees well trained

Lt. Colonel Al Shanqity said a new GDRFA employee at the airport goes under six month probation period in which he or she will be professionally trained on customer services with additional training on security, body language and borders security and by the end of the six months training the officers will only be handed the ‘immigration stamp’ and will start work. He said the GDRFA staff is taught to speak basics of different languages such Chinese, Russian, Urdu, French, English and some other languages to easily communicate with the public and to welcome people individually. In addition to that they go regular training courses on dealing with diplomat, or with special needs people. “Because passports control officers must be well qualified as they are the first one to deal with travelers at the airport so we keep the staff under evaluation and we monitor them closely for another six months,” he said.  He said that most importantly the officers must have tolerance with public and be able to work under pressure. “Dealing with more than 200 nationalities on daily basis is not an easy work,” he said. Lt. Colonel Al Shanqity said more than 130,000 passengers use the airport each 24 hours and sometimes in one hour they may handle 600 passengers and that must be with smile, tenderness, politeness and in professional way.

Lt. Colonel Al Shanqity said that as part of Terminal 3 services a Special need counter at the smart gate is available which allow passenger on wheelchair to go through it. He said using smart gates are free of charge and allow residents and people from the nationalities who does not require visa to the UAE to use their passports or their ID cards to complete passports control process in 10 to 15 seconds.

Traveller will not have an arrival or departure stamped on their passports as the usual stamp will be replaced by a sticker instead

He added that at the moment 28 smart gates at Terminal 3 at the arrival are available and there are 100 e-gate at the airports and they can be accessed by e-gate card or by Emirates Airline Skywards, while Emirates crew have separate facility. He said that another service which will be applied soon. Traveller will not have an arrival or departure stamped on their passports as the usual stamp will be replaced by a sticker instead. “We are proud of our airport which is one of the best airports in the whole world,” he said. He explained that more service are available at Terminal 3 including the GDRFA centre which is opened 24 hours to finalise all visa and naturalisation related transactions for public at any day.“We are

trying to make all possible efforts to achieve 100 per cent passenger satisfaction,” he said.

New app for visitors

Major Walid Ahmad Saeed, Director of the Dubai Airport Passport Control at Terminal 3, said that an app will be available soon on smart phones that will allow visitor to check how much time is left in their visa validity or if they overstayed their visit. This will allow them to pay the overstaying fines in advance so they will not be delayed for any reason. “We try our best to speed up the process of each and every traveler even for those who have cases against them, we try to complete their process at the counter with less than 40 seconds,” he said. “Despite working under pressure and dealing sometimes with angry travellers we deal with passengers in a civilised manner and pay them due respect,” said Muna Saif Al Muhairi, a passport control officer at Terminal 3. Raniya Saeed another passport control officer said serving traveler in nice way reflects the beauty of our country.  “We do our best to be kind but sometimes if we could not deal with a difficult passenger we refer the issue to the duty officer,” she said. “Sometimes people have issues with their passports which may have expired, or with expired visas. We try our best to help people avoid legal issues,” said Warrant officer Haytham Ali, officer at the GDRFA affairs airport office.  |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 9


GDRFA News

GDRFA-D organizes lecture on leadership T he General Directorate of Resi-

dency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) organised a lecture on leadership and the positive relationship between the management and the officers and its impact on the workflow. The lecture which was held under the slogan ‘My leader is my guidance’ delivered by Major General Obaid Muhair bin Surour, Deputy Director, GDRFA-D, in which he talked

10 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

about the importance of building positive and close relation between the management and the staff which will affect the work in constructive way. The lecture, which is part of a series of monthly lecture to be organized at the premises of the GDRFA, was attended by the assistant directors and staff of the GDRFA.Major General Bin Surour said there is a great need to have communication among the staff and the management

on all level and he encourages them to work as one team. According to Mohammad Sultan, consultant at the GDRFADubai, this lecture is part of monthly lectures to be delivered by the head of departments to talk about different topics which will enhance the internal communication. He thanked Major General Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-D, in supporting this initiative. 


GDRFA News

GDRFA achieves 95 per cent Emiratisation T he GDRFA-D has reached 95 per

cent Emiratisation. The total number of UAE national employees with the Directorate reached 4,215 last year of whom 17 are employ-

ees with special needs. The GDRFA-D provides its employees special training and also helps them complete their studies within and outside the country, depending on

the requirement. Presently, eight of the department’s employees are studying overseas and 12 employees are pursuing their studies within the UAE. 

Rise in e-linkage transactions A total of 791,895 transactions were

completed via the electronic link project with the Department of Economic Development and the Land Department in 2014.A total of 918,834 transactions were completed via the electronic link project with the Dubai Health Authority. A total of 197, 217 transactions completed via the electronic link

with the Department of Economic Development Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al Marri, GDRFA-Dubai Director General, said the department was keen to improve all kind of the services provided to customers. “We are keen to keep our services to be provided to public with efficiency, high level of

quality and to facilitate work and the process of transactions to all visitors, residents and tourists.” He also praised the efforts of the Deputy Director General of the GDRFADubai Major General Obaid Mohair Bin Suroor and Assistants Director General and all the staff for their determination to provide the best services to the public.  |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 11


emaratech supports PHASE

T hani

Abdulla Al Zaffin, Director General & Board Member of emaratech, praised the efforts of Prince Haya Award for Special Education (PHASE) and the exemplary results achieved since its launch in 2009, creating a competitive and qualified environment that is capable of advancing future services for special needs individuals. “emaratech aims to promote solidarity among all those involved in caring for special needs, which will result in a society with no differences between its members, but an ongoing collaboration to enrich the quality of life for each member of the society”, Alzaffin said during signing the agreement with Mr. Mohammed Al-Emadi, head of the award’s executive committee.

12 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

“This year we launched ‘Humanity for A Better Society’ program, which aims to foster initiatives that will raise the level of social responsibility of our employees as each one of us is a member of this society”, he added. “Each of us has a mission to offer to others; whether individuals or enterprise. Exceling in community support can be achieved by combining corporate social objectives with what society really needs, in order to ensure sustainability. Just like ‘PHASE’ that honors excellence in special needs practices to enhance the overall services and performance in the area of special needs,” Alzaffin concluded.

Mohammed Al-Emadi appreciated the role of emaratech in supporting various social programs and the strategic vision of dedicating financial and human resources to serve the community. Launched in November 2009, Princess Haya Award for Special Education (PHASE) is the first initiative of its kind in the region. It targets the role models in the special needs sector through various categories on a par with international standards. The initiative also aims to encourage people working in the special needs sector to excel and set higher service standards in all fields of special education. 


Our

Message

Transforming borders B order control is of late drawing a considerable

attention on international and domestic fronts due to numerous reasons.The topmost concern is safety challenges which continue changing with time. Another reason behind this attention is the dramatic growth in global passenger traffic which, according to Airports Council International (ACI), will increase to 12 billion by 2031. The fact that the role of borders is continuously getting important in terms of ensuring security as well as supporting the economy. Movement in terms of business and passengers, growing at an unprecedented rate between countries, is another reason for this attention.Due to this highly important role of borders, The Future of Borders International Conference, being organized by the GDRFADubai from March 11 to 12, is drawing major international participation. 24 experts from various countries will highlight the best practices in management of borders and the challenges being witnessed. Among the key speakers will be His Excellency Eng. Sultan Saeed Nasser Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), who will highlight the importance of aviation sector in the UAE. Angela Gittens, Director General of Airports Council International (ACI) will share insights into the role of airports as an economic hub and not just a place for landing and take-off for the aircrafts. Michael Herrero from IATA will talk about passenger expectations in the future and the role of technology which would make air travel smooth and safe.

Top-ranking officials from Australia, US, UK, Hong Kong and many other countries, which have witnessed transformation in border management, will share their valuable insights and experiences.The conference will also have technology specialists, who will talk about the latest innovations like Smart Gates, Biometric Solutions, the new generation passports and how technology will shape the future of borders. Borders, I believe, are no longer only a security check point to allow or deny entry and exit. Rather, they have transformed tremendously and are playing a major role in economic development as well.I believe we need to continue working toward a better future with Smart solutions to ensure the movement of passengers remains safe and smooth. As we get closer to the Future of Borders Conference, I would like to extend an invitation to all the decision-makers and professionals related to borders, aviation and technology industries to attend this event. I am sure the conference will provide us all a great opportunity to contribute in shaping our future.

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

|Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 13


Cover Story

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Shaping Future Governments T he third edition of the annual Government Summit that

Dubai hosted from February 9 to 11 was a resounding success with top-ranking government and business leaders from 100 countries in attendance.

14 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |


Cover Story

The third edition of the annual Government Summit that Dubai hosted from February 9 to 11 was a resounding success with top-ranking government and business leaders from 100 countries in attendance. Attracting 4000 participants, the Government Summit, over 50 sessions, discussed various aspects of the challenges confronting the delivery of government services, the role of technology and innovation in meeting people’s expectations and the shaping of next generation of governments. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, described the annual event, as “the summit of innovation, prosperity and unrelenting determination.” “This summit has been exceptional. My brother, friend and mate, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed delivered a speech at the summit in which he talked about the past hardships, present challenges and the bright future. With his positive spirit, he is leading us to the future. This reminds us of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” said HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the conclusion of the Summit.He added, “Mohamed, go ahead to the future and the people of the UAE follow you.” Held under the theme ‘Shaping the Future Governments’, the Government Summit attracted senior representatives of 93 governments, more than 4,000 par-

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

HH General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, thanked HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid whom he described as “my brother, my friend and my mentor.” He also referred to the UAE’s pioneering industrial development and the experiment of Strata which manufactures aircraft parts for Boeing and Airbus and in which, Emirati women account for 83 percent of the labour force. “I salute the Emirati women for their key role in community building. It is important that all energies of the community, be it of men or women, are invested properly. They should be supported,

encouraged, empowered and given the opportunity to assume their national responsibilities,” he said. He noted that the achievements made by the UAE need to be protected in the light of challenges and crises sweeping the region. “Since its inception, the UAE has been sending a message to the others that this region can still be a source of benevolence, peace and love for the whole world.” Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also spoke about the UAE’s contribution in humanitarian fields, not only through the government, but also by its citizens, residents and businessmen. He said the UAE citizens and the country’s national unity were the most prime assets.

|Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 15


Cover Story

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, announced the robots award during a tour of the Museum of Future Government Services at the summit. The new $1 million international award also has an AED1 million prize for the local UAE version of the

16 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

contest, which will be awarded in the 2016 summit. The UAE continues to take its commitment toward innovation and progress further, as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has directed the start of preparations for the summit’s

fourth edition which will be held from February 8 to 10 next year, and for it to include a broader and larger vision, creating a specialized global event for the development of innovative solutions in government services that keeps up with the rapid scientific development.


Cover Story

ticipants and 100 speakers from around the world. At the opening session of the summit, His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Government Summit, underlined the role of innovation in driving the economic competitiveness of nations and enhancing the quality of life of people. “The Government Summit reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum that innovation is today’s imperative in ensuring the progress of humanity and in building stable, progressive and creative communities,” he said while addressing a gathering of heads of states, high-ranking government officials, technology experts and educationalists from around the world. The Summit serves as a global platform to address the challenges of the future and build an environment that fosters the well-being of individuals and stability of nations. The experts address tough questions such as how we can change our educational system to enable students to access jobs that do not exist today, and ways to prepare for a future when current jobs become obsolete with technology advancement. They also explore the challenges faced by governments in a fast-changing world to ensure the sustained happiness and welfare of citizens, said Al Gergawi.

His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan

HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior urged the international community to put in place up-to-date frameworks to deal with terrorism that transcend criminal laws and procedures to deep, preventive remedies of the sources and drivers of terrorism, hold financiers, propagandists and political sponsors of terrorism accountable for their acts which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, especially amidst the steady increase in terror crimes which increased by 60 percent between 2013 and 2014. Addressing the low oil prices challenge, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the UAE economy’s dependence on oil revenues had dropped remarkably from 90 to 30 percent today and the govern-

ment was planning to reduce that percentage to five percent by 2021. "Progressive patriotism has a vital role in addressing the low oil price challenge. It is a common challenge that requires collective responsibility ...A family is expected to raise the level of education of its children and preserve the nation’s gains and add to its material and moral achievements. A government employee is also expected to innovate, produce and work as one team," he added. He stressed the importance of taking inspiration from the UAE’s exceptional leadership, wisdom, determination and perseverance to deliver success and from the noble values of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

|Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 17


Cover Story

The three days of the Summit witnessed heads of states, high ranking officials and experts sharing their thoughts and insights on a wide array of subjects concerning innovation and betterment of future. Numerous initiatives were also announced during the summit. Among the major initiatives that were announced was the formation of the UAE Gender Balance Council, a federal entity chaired by President of Dubai Women’s Establishment Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wife of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The new body aims to boost UAE’s efforts to evolve and enhance women’s role as key partners in building the future of the nation. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced seven new initiatives aimed at encouraging innovation. These include a robot laboratory in schools, developing the curricula related to innovations, establishing innovation incubators for university students and youth and discovering ‘innovators of the future’ in the age group of five to seven years. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the summit’s significance will be proven in the coming years, when quality government services are being provided globally, in collaboration with international partners like the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. 18 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs announced the launch of seven educational initiatives in schools and universities by the UAE Federal Government with the aim of promoting innovation. The seven initiatives include the launch of robot labs in schools and universities, developing a curriculum that promotes innovation, making innovation part of school’s evaluations, launching an annual national innovation exhibition, launching innovation incubators in schools, discovering future innovators from the age of five to seven and, finally, creating extensive training summer camps for innovative youth. “We want these initiatives to make research, analysis and innovation at the core of an effective learning process,” said

Sheikh Mansour during the session titled ‘Innovation in Education’. Sheikh Mansour also announced a new job post, Chief Executive Officer of Innovation that will be set up in every government agency this year to meet the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as the goals of the 7-year innovation strategy that was announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. “Innovation is the secret of remaining on top, which is why the government is working on seven initiatives that aim to encourage innovation in education. Innovation is the secret of remaining on top, which is why the government is working on seven initiatives that aim to encourage innovation in education,” said Sheikh Mansour.


Cover Story

HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized that the UAE’s success story cannot be narrated in a minute.The UAE’s progress and its opening up to the world is something it owes to its Islamic and Arab identity, he said during the Summit. ‘’Though the UAE is small in size, it has a far-reaching impact on scientific progress. A desert in the past, the UAE is today a lush green land of bounties, high-rise buildings, renaissance and modernity.’’ Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said many countries around the world had kept asking questions about the secret behind the resounding success and dynam-

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan

ic leadership the UAE displayed in a short span of time.‘’Many people across the world are looking for the recipe of success that the young state has achieved in just 43 years, something that should have taken a long time. How did seven individual emirates unite together under a common determination and transform in a record time into an attractive destination for creative minds and talents from different countries of the world?”

Serving a message to those who think that the identity of the UAE’s Muslim people and existence of the State amidst an atmosphere of turbulence pose challenges to the UAE, he said: ‘’The State has been and will remain the land of opportunities and the UAE people with their Islamic identity will always be messengers of peace and a source of stories of success and inspiration.’’

Ban Ki Moon: Leaders must listen to voice of people Governments and leaders need to work transparently and inclusively to create sustainable development, said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. In his main address at The Government Summit 2015, Ban Ki Moon said: “We are the first generation that can end poverty and we may be the last generation that can stem the impact of climate change.”

He commended the UAE for declaring 2015 the Year of Innovation. “For the UN and the world this is the year to take a transformative step towards a more sustainable and peaceful world,” he said. Emphasizing on the need for creating a sustainable future for everyone, the Secretary General said: “Corrupt and inaccessible public institutions breed unrest and instability. For true stabil-

ity, efficiency in government is more than a matter of smooth functioning. It demands public institutions that truly serve. “Leaders must listen carefully and sincerely to the voice of the people. What their challenges are, particularly from women who have fought too long and do not have an equal voice,” he said, adding that governments that answer these calls will be strong.”  |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 19


Exclusive Interview

Khawla Kabanji, Chief Executive Officer, Zajel:

‘Zajel will have a strong global footprint in 2015’

K hawla Kabanji, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zajel, UAE’s fastest

growing courier company, says the company has chalked out a new strategic plan to expand into the international market in 2015.

This will lead Zajel to emerge as one of the major players in global courier industry within this year. Strong economic growth in the UAE and Dubai being a hub of business and tourism are further driving the company’s growth, she said in an interview with Manafez Dubai. Kabanji said the Zajel is wellequipped in terms of technology, manpower and other resources to achieve its goal of being among the best in the world. It strives to exceed customer expectations by providing speedy, accurate and reliable services.Talking to Manafez Dubai, Kabanji shared Zajel’s growth and its future plans.

Can you share with us Zajel’s journey from inception to becoming one of the best and the most preferred courier service in the region.

Zajel was formed in 2008, the idea was mooted by our top management, who have led us to this path of success. We support the services provided by the General Direc20 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

torate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Dubai, (GDRFA-D) and we are a subsidiary of emaratech technology capital, a technology & professional services company that specializes in providing technology consulting, outsourced technology and business strategy solutions for Global Corporate and Government entities in the Middle East.

We deal with 10,000 documents a day

Through our services to the customers of GDRFA, we help people save time and also ensure that their documents are delivered safely. For example, the GDRFA has launched the facility for companies to submit papers and apply for visa online. Zajel receives these documents from the customers, gets them processed at the GDRFA and delivers it back to the customersall within one day.

What is the nature of services Zajel provides?

We are not a courier company serving only the government bodies. We are equally active in supporting small and large projects and also individuals. Our sphere of operations extends to customers across all categories. We provide highly secure cash and cheque collection services, apart from international and domestic courier service. We make your transactions worry-free by delivering your shipments and documents to and from worldwide locations. Your shipments are specially packaged, shipped swiftly and ensured that they reach the correct destination on time.

What role does Zajel play in supporting customers receive their visas with ease?

We help customers receive their visas on time and with ease through various types of services. One of them is Barq, which allow individuals to renew, cancel, change status for the visa without


Exclusive Interview

Speed, accuracy and trust is what Zajel is known for

visiting the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai (GDRFA) offices, to avoid delay, long queues and fines. We also provide online services and e-form facility for our customers.

Does Zajel have branch in free zone area?

We do. Zajel FZE is a strategic partner of Jafza to provide fast and efficient services pertaining to all their free zone transactions to Jafza customers. We provide the customers with a seamless tracking of their transactions from pick up till delivery. By providing timely and reliable services in the free zone, which are highly important business hubs, we assist them in smooth functioning and enhancing their efficiencies. We are able to finish the transactions in free zone within 2 hours only.

What makes Zajel different from other courier companies?

We offer our customers the best in speed, accuracy and reliability. We are the only ones offering ePassport service, which allows UAE citizens to renew their local passport without visiting the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai (GDRFA) offices. We are trusted for our services and we ensure all documentation of our clients is kept strictly confidential.One of the other things that makes us unique is that we are the only company in the market giving 24x7 call centre service to our cli-

ents. Our call centres use the latest technology and your answers can be answered in English, Arabic and Urdu. Our customers can track their documents from pick up till delivery.

When it comes to your customers, can you share with us who are your main customers?

Zajel is strategic partner for most of the government bodies of Dubai like the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai, Dubai Police, JAFZA, Dubai healthcare Authority (DHA), Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Municipality, Customs and Dubai Courts.

How do see the growth of the company?

Zajel started big and is strongly focused on its growth. The company has continuously displayed success

and achievements in all spheres and this has been possible due to the clear vision of our team leader and the dedication and capability of our trusted staff. We effectively utilize the latest technology to deliver the best services to our customers. Due to its speed, accuracy, and efficiency, Zajel is today undoubtedly the best preference for its customers. We have been recording a strong annual growth and expect to continue growing at this speed, particularly now that we have a strategic plan to expand outside the UAE. I believe 2015 will be one of the best years in the history of our company because of the economic growth in the UAE and also because of the trust which we have earned from our customers in public and private sectors. ď‚… |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 21


UAE News

UAE to have ‘CEO of Innovation’ in all government departments vation strategy that was announced by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

T he UAE will create a new job post ‘Chief Executive Officer of Innovation’ for every government department, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, announced at the Government Summit.

Sheikh Mansour also announced that the new job post, will be set up in every government agency this year to meet the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who designated 2015 as the year of innovation, as well as the goals of the 7-year inno-

“We are also introducing a new job post, Chief Executive Officer of Innovation, that will be set up in every government agency this year. We have signed an agreement with Cambridge to train 60 Innovation CEOs. Our goal is for everyone to work with the spirit of innovation.” “Innovation is the secret of remaining on top, which is why the government is working on seven initiatives that aim to encourage innovation in education. Innovation is the secret of remaining on top, which is why the government is working on seven initiatives that aim to encourage innovation in education,” said Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. 

Online grievance reddressal for Indian expats in UAE

I ndian expats in the UAE can now get their consular grievances redressed on a new online system introduced by the Indian Government, according to a Gulf News report.

Quoting Indian Consul-General Anurag Bhushan, the report said on Monday the grievances include labour issues, death cases, compensation cases and missing persons. Queries related to passport and visa services are not covered under the system. 22 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

The system is called Called MADAD or the MEA Consular Grievances Monitoring System and is being implemented through the Indian missions in the UAE. The portal aims to facilitate online logging and tracking of complaints pertaining to consular services by complainants. To begin with, a user needs to open the link to the Madad portal, which is available as Passport Seva Online (www.passportindia.gov.in). First time users need to create an account by entering their

name, phone, email and password. The account needs to be verified by clicking on a link sent to the user’s email ID. Once the log in is successful, the user can file his or her own complaint or on behalf of someone else. The entire history of the grievance would be maintained online and the user can check the status and updates by logging in later. In a separate development, the Consulate has announced two new cultural initiatives to promote Indian culture and science in UAE, said the report. 


UAE News

UAE most connected country in MENA

T he United Arab Emirates is the most connected country in the Middle East and North Africa as it is ranked 12th out of 140 countries worldwide, jumping six places since 2013, according to the third edition of the Global Connectedness Index, GCI, report by DHL.

The report documents that global connectedness, measured by crossborder flows of trade, capital, information and people from 140 countries, has recovered most of its losses incurred during the financial crisis. Commenting on the report, FrankUwe Ungerer, Country Manager, DHL Express UAE, said, “The UAE is essentially a gateway to the rest of the world and a trade route

that has grown immensely over the years. It is becoming one of the world’s busiest logistics hubs and given its location between East and West, we understand the importance of offering the best in class when it comes to logistics solutions and continue to invest in the UAE and across the rest of the GCC as part of our aggressive expansion plans.” The DHL Global Connectedness Index 2014 documents the substantial shift of economic activity to emerging economies that is pushing the world’s economic centre of gravity eastward. Emerging countries are now involved in the majority of international interactions, whereas before 2010, the majority of international flows were from one advanced economy to another.

Notably, the 10 countries where global connectedness increased the most from 2011 to 2013 are all emerging economies, with Burundi, Mozambique and Jamaica experiencing the largest gains. In addition to a comprehensive overview on the state of globalisation, the 2014 report also provides detailed insights into the connectedness of individual countries and regions. The Netherlands retained its top rank as the world’s most connected country, and Europe is once again the world’s most connected region. All but one of the top 10 most globalised countries in the world are located in Europe, with Singapore as the one standout. |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 23


Middle East News

KSA and UAE control 74 per cent of GCC’s private wealth Private wealth in the GCC has

doubled within the last five years and reached $2.2 trillion, according to a new report by Strategy&, formerly known as Booz & Company. According to the report, Saudi Arabia and UAE hold 74 per cent of the region’s wealth.The study estimates that there are currently between 1.5 million and 1.6 million wealthy households in the GCC.Most of the region’s private wealth resides in Saudi Arabia (44 percent), but the UAE has made notable gains with its share of GCC’s private wealth increasing from 24 percent to 30 percent from 2009 to 2013. Dr Daniel Diemers, partner with Strategy& in Dubai, said: “Highnet-worth individuals (HNWIs) continue to account for the largest chunk of the region’s wealth at 41 percent, followed by ultra-high-networth individuals (UHNWIs) at 34 percent. “However, the affluent segment has been growing the fastest over the last five years at 21 percent CAGR, more than doubling in absolute dollar terms from $261 billion in 2009 to $560 billion in 2013. However, during the same time frame, wealth creation for the region’s HNWIs, at 76 percent, and UHNWIs, at 94 percent, was hardly anemic.” According to the study, the growth of affluent households - those with $100,000 to $1,000,000 of liquid financial assets - has been strong, with total households increasing about 50

24 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

GCC has more than 1.5 million wealthy households percent between 2010-2013, from an estimated range of 850,000-880,000 to up to 1.325 million.It said the UAE has created the most affluence in the GCC, growing its share of affluent households from 16 percent to 26 percent from 2009 to 2013. Jihad K. Khalil, senior associate with Strategy& in Dubai, added: “Powerful macroeconomic and socio-demographic forces are propelling the growth of wealthy households in the GCC. One key driver has been the strong rebound in global equity markets as increasingly aggressive allocations among the region’s wealthiest helped them recapture value destroyed during the crisis. “From 2009 to 2013, global equities saw 50 percent gains. Of the $1

trillion net increase in wealth during the period, we estimate that the global equity rally’s impact on existing wealth accounted for around 40 percent of that gain. “The other 60 percent of the $1 trillion in net new wealth was driven by the GCC regional GDP growth, which rose steadily at an average rate of 10 percent per annum as the oil price rose and then was sustained at near-record levels through 2014. “Governments have used this windfall to spend generously on megaprojects, infrastructure, and job creation - all of which helps to produce more income for wealthy individuals and create a generation of newly affluent citizens and expatriates,” he added. The study revealed that geopolitical events also intensified the migration of new wealth to the region. Since the start of the Arab Spring and in its aftermath, many regional wealthy households migrated to the more stable countries like the UAE. 


|Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 25


Middle East News

Qatar proposes labour law reform for workers Q atar will

introduce a major labor law reform to ensure thousands of workers building venues for the 2022 World Cup are paid on time, after complaints by rights groups, according to a report in The Daily Star. The changes, approved by Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad alThani, will see workers get paid at least once a month and in some cases every fortnight, the report said. Under the proposal, wages will be paid through direct bank transfers, which should, in theory, make it easier to track those employers that do not comply with the new law. Once introduced, employers will have six months to implement them.

If they do not, they could face up to one month in prison as well as a fine of up to 6,000 Qatari Riyals ($1,650, 1,440 euros), said the report. The reforms are expected to have a positive impact on workers across the Qatari economy.

Arab countries need 17 million new jobs by 2020

T he Arab world needs 17 million new job opportunities by 2020 to prevent unemployment from sliding to deeper levels per capita, according to the Gulf News.

Quoting Arab Knowledge Report, launched during the recently held Knowledge conference, the report said that that youth account for more than 50 per cent of the total population of those unemployed in the Arab World. Unemployment in the Arab World, especially among the youth, is one of the most pressing issues preventing the region’s knowledge economy from flourishing, the report quoted Dr Gaith Fariz, Director and Coordinator 26 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

of the Arab Knowledge Report, as saying. Fariz said this is disconcerting because a large percentage of the Arab world are youth and will continue to be so, as more than half of the population in the Arab region fall under the age of 25 and by 2015 the percentage of youth below the age of 15 will be 33 per cent. “A total of 17 million jobs are needed by 2020 to maintain the current unemployment rate and prevent it from increasing. However, to provide everyone with jobs and end unemployment, around 56 million job opportunities are needed.” 

The report quoted a 2013 academic study, “A Portrait of Low-Income Migrants in Contemporary Qatar”, which found that 21 percent of migrant workers in Qatar “received their salary on time only sometimes, rarely, or never.” 

Kuwaitis can visit Albania without visa

K uwaitis can now visit Albania without a

visa, according to the Albanian embassy in Kuwait. The decision follows the visit of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to Kuwait last November. The no visa policy for Kuwaitis will be implemented shortly to woo more tourism and investors from Kuwait, reported Kuwait Times. “If you are citizens of Kuwait or the United Arab Emirates you are free to go Albania just by showing identification documents and passport. No visa is needed. This order will be implemented starting Wednesday or two days after the publication of this announcement,” the newspaper quoted Kujtim Morina, Albanian Ambassador to Kuwait as saying. “Kuwaitis can stay up to 90 days within a period of six months.” 


Middle East News

|Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 27


International News

Easing visa norms can boost Singapore tourism S ingapore

can attract over 500,000 more visitors should it ease visa applications from key markets including India, China and Russia, according to a report by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and World Tourism Organization, an agency of the United Nations. The report, ‘The Impact of Visa Facilitation in ASEAN Member States’ – a reference to a club of southeast Asian nations of which Singapore is a part, was based on UNWTO tourist arrival numbers for Singapore in 2013. Those data indicate 11.9 million visitors in that period. Singapore Tourism Board’s own numbers suggest there were 15.6 million arrivals that year.

Data from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), released in mid-October, show that in the second quarter the number of mainland Chinese tourists visiting Singapore fell 47 percent year-on-year, and nearly 44 percent judged quarter-on-quarter. During the same period, overall tourism receipts actually fell 3 percent year-on-year, to SGD5.6 bil-

China to cancel temp residence permit

C hina plans to abolish its temporary

residence permit and push forward reform of the household registration system, said Xinhua, official press agency of the Peoples Republic of China, while quoting a public security reform plan released in February. The report said that the plan approved by the central authorities will replace temporary residence permit with permanent residence permits. Temporary residence permits have long been held by hundreds of millions of Chinese migrant workers, who have to apply for the permit before formally living and working in a new city. Observers said the permit has led to instability and unsettlement and

28 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

that the temporary residence registry system is no longer suitable for today’s situation, said the report. Many cities in China have already ended the temporary permit system, but Beijing currently still uses it, it added. According to the report, permanent residence permit holders will enjoy many of the same privileges as local residents. They may receive social security, buy apartments and cars and receive the same public services as local people. In many Chinese cities, only locals or migrants with more than five years of paying local taxes in the city are allowed to buy apartments and cars, the report added. 

lion (US$4.3 billion), mainly from a decline in shopping.However Singapore’s revenues from ‘sightseeing, entertainment and gaming’ – mostly consisting of the casino gambling component – actually rose 12 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2014, to just over SGD1.47 billion, according to data from the STB. 

340 additional kiosks to reduce traveler waiting time in US

T he US Department of Homeland Secu-

rity will install 340 more airport kiosks to automate passport inspections to reduce wait times for international arrivals by up to 30 per cent, Customs Today reported.The move is part of an effort by the Obama administration to double international tourism to the United States over five years. According to the report, the Obama administration is also expanding a program, which was first used at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, to allow certain travelers to submit their passport information and customs declaration form through a smartphone app before their customs inspection. 


|Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 29


New Technology

Biometric facial recognition enhances border security I

NTERPOL is working toward developing a global facial recognition system, which will allow its member-countries to share biometric data and compare faces with a single global list of photos. The facial recognition system will be a major step toward enhancing border security and efficiency amid the challenge of rapidly increasing number of travelers internationally. This year, a global facial image database, which Interpol is already developing with the support of Safran Morpho, is expected to become operational. Using the system will enable member countries to identify and authenticate individuals by comparing faces with a single global list. The global police body has recently brought together international technical and biometric experts from 16 countries who developed a ‘best practice guide’ to serve as a guideline for improving the quality of images required for accurate facial recognition. The guideline will be used by its 190 member-countries. The result will be enhanced forensic capabilities of Interpol as not many 30 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

crimes have hard evidence such as DNA or fingerprints to help identify suspects, its website said. Biometric facial recognition technology has been receiving a lot of attention in recent years due to its potential of being applied in wide variety of areas. When compared with other biometric identification systems such as finger print, facial recognition has high advantage due to its non-intrusive, no contact process and it can be performed from an area of over two feet without requiring the individual to stand in front of the camera or obtaining their consent. Facial recognition is being used in government, financial, aviation and many other sectors to identify individuals. Governments worldwide have been making active efforts to apply the latest technology. The Czech government has recently approved the acquisition of a new se-

curity system that features facial recognition technology to be deployed at Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport as a security measure, said a report in the Prague Daily Monitor. The system will provide the airport with a new facial recognition system that automatically detects travellers’ faces.The $7.8 million project is set to be deployed at the Prague Airport by 2016 and will also be installed later at other airports in the Czech Republic including Brno Airport and Karlovy Vary Airport. Japan is also planning to introduce an automated facial recognition system for Japanese travelers at airports to slash the waiting time in screening procedures to enter the country. “As criminals employ ever more sophisticated ways to avoid detection, so too must law enforcement benefit from the latest advances in technology, especially in biometrics, to more effectively combat all forms of transnational crime,” said


New

Technology

In 2015, INTERPOL will host its first facial recognition symposium to increase awareness of facial recognition activities among member countries and to encourage the sharing of facial images with the new database.

Rapidly growing market

Different reports have predicted high growth for the global facial recognition market worldwide. According to a Research and Markets report, the Global Facial Recognition market is set to grow at a CAGR of 25.7 percent over the five year period ending 2019.

INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble. Under the agreement between INTERPOL and Morpho, the latter will provide a range of biometric solutions and other technical support to enhance global security. Morpho (Safran) will provide Interpol with a range of innovative biometric solutions and other technical support to enhance global security. The company’s cutting-edge facial recognition technology will also be provided to Interpol as an additional criminal identification tool. In an effort to further enhance border security and efficiency, the two organizations, along with other key partners, will also collaborate on developing global standards and best practices through the use of biometrics in order to tackle the challenge of increasing numbers of travellers and the related threats. “This is particularly true at borders, when officials have just moments to decide whether to allow a

Biometric facial recognition market set to reach $6.5 billion by 2018

person into their country or not. It is vital that they have all the necessary tools at their fingertips to enable them to check whether this person is wanted internationally or have tried to conceal their identity,” added Noble. “INTERPOL’s partnership with Morpho brings together these essential elements to help our member countries better protect their borders and their citizens, and to bring fugitive criminals to justice,” he said. Philippe Petitcolin, Chairman and CEO of Morpho, commented: “This new partnership is a continuation of our decade-long effort to support INTERPOL in its fight against transborder crime through delivery of advanced biometric solutions.” 

Another report by Markets and Markets estimates facial recognition market to grow to $6.5 billion by 2018 from $1.92 billion in 2013, representing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.7 per cent. In the current scenario, government and utilities are expected to be the largest adaptor for face recognition technology. The increased threat of unauthorized intrusions is one of the major factors driving this market, according to markets and Markets. The report highlighted growing need for higher security at airports a major growth driver. “With thousands of passengers travelling every day, tracking each one of them is challenging. Facial recognition is one of the best solutions to look for potential threats,” it said. Market leaders in this industry are now spending more toward R&D in order to come up with inexpensive yet advanced solutions for end-users. The day when no face can stay hidden is not far.  |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 31


Top customer service trends

Customer Care

P

oor customer service is no more a choice. An Accenture Global Pulse Survey in 2013 showed that worldwide, 66 per cent consumers switched to other brands due to poor customer service. No wonder, the number of organizations eager to adopt ways that make their customers happy continues to rise. So what are the trends that would place you a notch above your competitors in 2015? What are the new technologies and concepts? Amid all the hype surrounding new opportunities in this arena, the top trends that would rule customer service this year are worth watching. “The future of customer service is more than just drone delivery,” according to trendwatching.com, which has listed the top trends for customer care in 2015 and beyond. 32 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

Offer Options

As customer expectations undergo a powerful change, organizations would need to provide them more than just the product. Plenty of brands are paying lip service to the ‘every product a service’ mantra. A brand that offers its own backup plan, which means providing access to an alternative when needed, is preferred over the one that fails to do so. This year, truly customer-centric brands will offer a Plan B. BMW i3 announced its customers could get on demand a gas powered car and reduced rate. BMW partnered with a car rental service to offer a 20 per cent discount when customers hired a BMW through that company.

EE Festival Power Bar, a portable mini charger for cell phones, offered festival goers at the Glastonbury Music Festival unlimited swaps for depleted batteries and users could keep the power bar after the event, according to the website.

Face your customers

Ineffective virtual assistance would not do anymore! Rapid advancements in technology have seen customers enjoying video conversations with friends easily. Organizations, hence, need to catch up too. Among the forward thinking brands that are already taking advantage of the readily available technology are Amazon Fire Phone. In June last year, the online retailer launched its Fire


Customer

Phone, which comes pre-loaded with the Mayday button, a one-tap application that instantly allows the user webcam-enabled face time with an Amazon customer services representative. Mumbai-based IndusInd bank launched a Video branch last year where customers could have video conferencing with branch managers. Aside from making videop calls, they can also complete transactions and access a contact centre. Earlier, in 2013, Bank of America launched its Express Branch in New York, featuring ATM’s that allow live video chat with bank staff, and, in June 2013, Poland-based mBank launched a new online banking system that allows customers to webcam with bank representatives.

Smart Delivery

Increasing number of customers would expect to tap their smartphone to place an order for almost everything. Smartphone fuelled rise in delivery innovations would only rise from here on be it ordering your pizza or hiring a cab.While this could mean working the logistics out, like being able to deliver at unusual or even mobile locations, it would have its rewards.

Future of customer service is more than just drone delivery

Take your inspiration from Pizza Hut Panamá, which, in May last year, launched Oven Delivery: a delivery service that cooks pizzas whilst they are in transit. Electric ovens were installed on the back of motorcycles to reduce delivery time and improve the quality of the pizza.

Information is the key

You can never get enough of information when it comes to your customers. Modern day technology makes it possible. With smart sensors, face and object recognition technologies, it is easy to know about customers’ location, preferences, purchase history and much more. Add to it is the online data filled by your customers that you can use. Last year, Virgin Atlantic gave Google Glass to its concierge at the upper class lounge in London’s Heathrow airport.

Care

The staff used Glass to identify passengers, initiate check-in automatically and provide updates on weather and local events at flight destinations. Virgin say the service may alert staff to passengers’ personal preferences, such as dietary requirements, in future. Copenhagen Airport became the first airport where passenger service staff used Glass to access to gate, baggage and flight information and benefit from real-time language translation. Russian cosmetics retailer Ulybka Radugi uses emotion recognition software to offer customized discounts.

Reward good ehavior

This year, smart brands will realize that it’s often other consumers who have the greatest impact on customer experience – good or bad. So they’ll encourage – or even force – every consumer to do their bit when it comes to creating a positive atmosphere and ensuring processes run smoothly. In May last year, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola partnered in the Philippines to launch BFF Timeout: a free app that rewards diners for not using their phones. La Petite SyrahCafé rewards polite patrons with discounts. MTS India  unveiled special trash cans at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender festivals in Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. Designed to help minimize trash at the events, for each item deposited in the cans, people were rewarded with a code giving them free Wi-Fi access. When festival-goers entered their unique code, an automated message was sent across their social networks, telling their connections about the Indian telco’s special bins.  |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 33


Special Study

UK benefits from European immigrants, says study

E

uropean immigrants to the UK paid more in taxes than they received in benefits, helping to relieve the fiscal burden on UK-born workers and contributing to the financing of public services, says a research by the UCL Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM). The research on the fiscal effects of migration to the UK observed that European immigrants who arrived in the UK since 2000 contributed more than £20 billion to UK public finances between 2001 and 2011, in addition to contributing productive human capital that would have cost the UK £6.8 billion in spending on education. Professor Christian Dustmann, Director of CReAM and co-author of the study, said: “A key concern in the public debate on migration is whether immigrants contribute their fair share to the tax and welfare systems. Our new analysis draws a positive picture of the overall fiscal contribution made by recent immigrant cohorts, par34 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

ticularly of immigrants arriving from the EU.”During the period between 2001 and 2011, European immigrants from the EU-15 countries contributed 64 per cent more in taxes than they received in benefits. Immigrants from the Central and East European ‘accession’ countries contributed 12 per cent more than they received. These are the central findings of new analysis by Professor Christian Dustmann and Dr Tommaso Frattini of the fiscal consequences of European immigration to the UK, published by the Royal Economic Society in its Economic Journal. The research provides an in-depth analysis of the net fiscal contribution of UK immigrants, drawing

a distinction between immigrants from the 10 Central and East European EU member states that joined since 2004 (the A10), other European Economic Area (EEA) immigrants and non-EEA immigrants.

Its main findings are:

The positive net fiscal contribution of recent immigrant cohorts (those arriving since 2000) from the A10 countries amounted to almost £5bn, while the net fiscal contributions of recent European immigrants from the rest of the EU totalled £15 billion. Recent non-European immigrants’ net contribution was likewise positive, at about £5 billion. Over the same period, the net fiscal contribution of native UK born was negative, amounting to almost £617 billion.


Special

Immigrants who arrived since 2000 were 43 per cent less likely than natives to receive state benefits or tax credits. They were also 7 per cent less likely to live in social housing. European immigrants who arrived since 2000 are on average better educated than natives (in 2011, 25 per cent of immigrants from A10 countries and 62 per cent of those from EU-15 countries had a university degree, while the comparable share is 24 per cent among natives) and have higher employment rates (81 per cent for A10, 70 per cent for EU15 and 70 per cent for UK natives in 2011). The value of the education of immigrants in the UK labour market who arrived since 2000 and that has been paid for in the immigrants’ origin countries amounts to £6.8bn over the period between 2000 and 2011. By contributing to ‘pure’ public goods such as defence or basic research, immigrants arriving since 2000 have saved the UK taxpayer an additional £8.5 billion over the same period.

European immigrants to UK contributing more than they have received in benefits and transfers

Considering all immigrants who were living in the UK over the years between 1995 and 2011, a period over which the net fiscal contribution of natives was negative (and accumulated to about £591 billion), EEA immigrants contributed 10 per cent more than natives (in relative terms), while non-EEA immigrants’ contributions were almost 9per cent lower. Over the same period from 1995 to 2011, immigrants who lived in the UK endowed the UK labour market with human capital that would have cost about £49 billion if it were produced through the UK education system, and contributed about £82 billion to fixed or ‘pure’ public goods. “Responding to comments on our earlier report on this topic pub-

Study

lished last year, we performed extensive sensitivity analysis, which does not alter our main conclusions: immigration to the UK since 2000 has been of substantial net fiscal benefit, with immigrants contributing more than they have received in benefits and transfers. This is true for immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe as well as the rest of the EU,” said Professor Dustmann. “When we additionally consider that immigrants bring their own educational qualifications whose costs are borne by other countries and that they contribute to financing fixed public services such as defence, these contributions are even larger. European immigrants, particularly, both from the new accession countries and the rest of the European Union, make the most substantial contributions. This is mainly down to their higher average labour market participation compared with natives and their lower receipt of welfare benefits,” he added. 

|Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 35


In Focus

US Preclearance:

A win-win for all

B

y 2024, the United States of America – which, according to IATA, will remain the largest air passenger market until around 2030 - is aiming that 33 per cent of all US-bound air travelers are pre-cleared.

The global trade body of airlines says traffic to, from and within the US is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 3.2 per cent that will see 1.2 billion passengers by 2034, 559 million more than 2014. Preclearance implies that the immigration, customs and agriculture inspection processes, which each traveler is required to undergo before being permitted entry into the US, are done on foreign soil prior to boarding a direct flight to the United States. The traveler does not need to undergo further Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing or security screening on arrival. As of now, preclearance operations take place at 15 foreign airports in six different countries, benefitting air passengers, airports, and air carriers, in the United States and abroad.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport in Scandanavia and Oslo Gardermoen Airport are among those expected to be among the new destinations offering US preclearance. So far, Ireland is the only country is Europe where preclearance is available at both Dublin and Shannon airports.

Following the success of its preclearance operations, the United States is now keen on rapidly expanding its air preclearance operations and several new airports are expected to be added this year, thus taking the global border management to another level.

In the UAE, preclearance was established a year ago at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. From January this year, Etihad announced this facility is available for its passengers travelling to New York and San Francisco and travelers and travelers can get the pre-

3636|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |March |March 2015 2015 | |

clearance done at Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal3. As more than 250,000 air travelers air travelers arrive in the United States from airports around the world every day, and the number expected to rise further, the benefits of preclearance extend to all parties involved. For air travelers, the benefit is in the form of an improved passenger experience, while for the US, it means enhanced border security as, along with its international partners, the US can identify and address the threats at the earliest possible point.


In

Focus

Preclearance also has the potential to increase capacity and growth opportunities for airports and air carriers in the US and abroad.

How passengers benefit

Air travelers benefit from the more streamlined process that preclearance supports, according to the US Customs and Border Protection 2015 fiscal year guidance for prospective applicants. The inspection procedures are carried out before boarding the flight to US. Majority passengers undergo only primary inspection, which takes nearly 30 seconds to two minutes per traveler. Like inspectional procedures on arrival in the United States, each passenger’s biographic information is confirmed, then biometric information, in the form of a photograph and fingerprints, may be collected. In addition, passengers are briefly interviewed by a CBP officer to verify identity and determine eligibility to enter the United States. Finally, a CBP officer determines whether to permit a passenger entry into the US, or refer the passenger to secondary inspection.

It facilitates improved passenger experience as: 1-More direct-flight destination options: Precleared passengers may fly directly to hundreds of domestic US airports.

2-Faster connections: Just like US

domestic air travelers, precleared passengers do not have to go through CBP inspection upon arrival in the US, resulting in shorter connection times and earlier arrival at final destinations.

33 per cent of all USbound air travelers to be precleared

3-Shorter wait times: Preclearance

reduces wait times for the inspection process at U.S. airports. For example, a precleared Boeing 777 from Abu Dhabi arriving at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in the middle of peak traffic reduces the number of passengers in queues for inspection at that time by almost 20 percent.

5-Seamless

baggage transfer: With the Baggage Image Weight Identification System (BIWIS), baggage may be checked through to passengers’ final destination, no pick-up/drop-off necessary. Travelers are not required to physically transport their checked baggage through the CBP inspection process. Instead, checked baggage is held in a designated preclearance area and made available for secondary inspection at the request of a CBP officer. Baggage is only loaded onto the aircraft once its owner clears inspection.

4-Greater predictability, door-to- 6-Streamlined security screening: door: Without the need for clearance on arrival in the United States, passengers benefit from a rapid and predictable exit from the U.S. airport, or transfer on to a connecting flight. Also, uncertainty concerning whether a passenger will be denied admission on arrival in the United States is greatly reduced.

TSA-comparable aviation security screening eliminates the need to undergo additional security screening before boarding a connecting US flight.

7-Efficient pre-boarding experi-

ence: Passengers arriving at the airport a recommended two to |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||March March 2015 | 37


In Focus

three hours before departure can use some of that time to complete the preclearance process.

Preclearance helps eliminate queues

Apart from an improved passenger experience, preclearance helps rid of the queues as it enhances efficiency, leads to an overall increase in clearance capacity and also gives potential opportunities for innovation. Passengers who are departing on a U.S.-bound preclearance flight are pre-cleared as they check in

“By the time your plane’s nose is over the Atlantic, you’ve already been cleared by U.S. customs and immigration and arrive at JFK as a domestic flight, which means you can head straight into Manhattan.”

or arrive from various connecting flights, instead of requiring clearance all at once upon arrival in the United States. There is an overall increase in clearance capacity due to preclearance expansion reduces wait times at U.S. airports, speeding up connections and maximizing aircraft utilization.

Innovations like trusted traveler programs, Mobile Passport Control, Automated Passport Control kiosks, the Baggage Image Weight Identification System, and queue management systems can make waiting in line a thing of the past. For the United States, it will help identify security threats at earliest possible point. “As the terrorist threat persists, preclearance is critical to our joint efforts to remain proactive and stay ahead of international security threats. Preclearance also helps to protect against threats to U.S. agriculture and public health,” says the US Customs and Border Protection Guidance.

In addition, US benefits out of: 1- Shorter wait times at airports 2- Greater utilization of domestic gates 3- More resources to innovate and increase CBP staffing 4- Increased capacity to add new routes and welcome more visitors to the US

The benefits of preclearance extend to participating airports as well in terms of future growth.Demand for preclearance increases the number of passengers, flights, and routes to and from the United States through preclearance airports, compared to competitor airports. For example, preclearance operations at Dublin Airport have helped 3838|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |March |March 2015 2015 ||


In

Focus

The FY 2015 Preclearance Expansion Process Initial Submission

Collaborative Review

Prioritization

Negotiation

Finalization

Airport authorities submit a letter outlining their interest in preclearance expansion

DHS technical teams conduct site visits and work with applicant airports to develop their preclearance model

DHS, with the U.S. Department of State, prioritizes applicant airports that are ready for formal negotiations to begin in 2015

Formal negotiations occur between the United States and the host government

Agreement is reached between the United States and the host government to establish preclearance operations

November 2014

December 2014

December 2014

Starting January 2015

months after 24-36 negotiations begin

33 per cent of all USbound air travelers to be precleared

to make it the seventh largest airport in Europe for commercial air service to North America. It also offers airports a chance to offer the service to interested commercial aviation customers. Besides, retail sales in preclearance areas generate significant revenue. Duty free sales in Vancouver International Airport’s U.S. and International Departure Terminals reached $108 million in 2013. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the US government agency responsible for securing U.S. borders and facilitating international trade and travel. U.S. preclearance operations began at Toronto Pearson International Airport in 1952. In the more than 60 years since preclearance was first established, it has helped to increase air travel from preclearance airports to the United States.2 Currently, preclearance

of air passengers occurs at 15 locations in six foreign countries: Canada, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, Bermuda, Aruba, and the Bahamas. Over 600 CBP officers and agriculture specialists are deployed to foreign airports, processing over 16 million U.S.-bound passengers per year. In Fiscal Year 2013, 29 percent of all commercial aircraft, and 18 percent of all commercial

air travelers arriving in the United States were precleared. Considering the success and the benefits of preclearance, within DHS, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will administer a process to evaluate and prioritize an initial set of potential preclearance locations to begin formal preclearance negotiations in 2015, thus marking a major change in the way we look at air travel and borders. ď‚… |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||March March 2015 | 39


UAE Retail

80 million visit Dubai Mall in 2014

T

he Dubai Mall welcomed more than 80 million visitors in 2014, surpassing annual footfall figures achieved by the world’s most popular tourist destinations and key international airports.

Mohamad Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Malls, said: “This is another historic milestone for Dubai, with a record 80 million visitors to The Dubai Mall in 2014.” “With wholesale and retail accounting for nearly 30 percent of Dubai’s real GDP, The Dubai Mall continues to make a sterling contribution to our city’s diversified economic growth, as envisioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 40 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”

lion, among others, according to a media release.

The visitor numbers recorded in the mall were higher than footfall figures provided in 2014 by Business Inside with Times Square, New York City at 39.2 million; Niagara Falls at 22.5 million; Central Park New York at 37.5 million; Union Station, Washington DC at 32.85 million; Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom Orlando at 17.5 million and Eiffel Tower in Paris at 7 mil-

The contribution of The Dubai Mall to the city’s retail sector is significant, and is estimated to account for about 5 percent of Dubai’s GDP. Tenant sales recorded across the mall’s 1,200 plus retail stores and 200 F&B outlets at the mall, cumulatively grew by 14 percent in 2014, with growth seen across categories including fashion, luxury jewellery, foot-


UAE

Retail

wear, sports and recreation, health and beauty, entertainment and food. The mall also remained popular in social media being one of the top 10 geotagged locations globally on Instagram and with more than 1.5 million fans on Facebook, the highest for any shopping mall destination in the world. It has over 250,000 followers on Twitter. Nasser Rafi, CEO of Emaar Malls, said: “We are proud to have welcomed 80 million visitors to The Dubai Mall, who enjoy our best in class retail, entertainment and leisure offers. We are committed to creating memorable experiences for our customers not only within the mall environment, but also to be engaging and connecting with people around the world on our social platforms. “While we set records in visitor arrivals and social media engagement in 2014, we are now looking to take the mall experience to beyond the extraordinary with the expansion of our Fashion Avenue by adding another 1 million sq ft (built up area) and a further 150 high-end and luxury international brands. Our vision is to deliver an unmatched experience for our visitors.” 

As a world leader in family-leisure and entertainment, The Dubai Mall’s attractions also include SEGA Republic, the largest indoor theme park of its kind; KidZania®, the dedicated children’s city; Dubai Ice Rink, an Olym-

pic sized ice rink; and the 22-screen Reel Cinemas that can seat over 2,800 people. The mall also serves as the gateway to At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY, the world’s tallest observatory deck. 

|Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 41


UAE Events

Celebrating the word

F

or five days in March, Dubai witnessed region’s largest celebration of written and spoken word as the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature starts on March 3. A much awaited event for literature and art lovers from all age groups, the festival presented a wonderful opportunity for visitors to meet world famous authors, attend literary debates, listen to readings, participate in workshops and children’s events with participation from more than 150 writers, thinkers and speak42 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 |

ers from 25 countries from March 3 to 7 at The Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City. Among the popular events this year were poetry from Imtiaz Dharker, Yang Lian, Victor Rodriguez-Nunez and Owen Sheers, all under the stars of the desert nigh; a night of readings, songs and performance from of the acclaimed stage version of War Horse by Michael: workshop by UK’s literary agents Luigi Bonomi on how to sell your manuscript; a workshop on mime; novelist Jasper Forde ‘s interaction with aspiring authors who can get their work reviewed in Forde’s Fantastic Feedback. Writing competitions and an inter-school quiz were amongst the educational highlights, and young people also got a chance to hear and meet some of

their favourite writers. With simultaneous translation between Arabic and English for select sessions, the Festival is a meeting of minds where ideas are shared and friendships are formed – not least among the authors themselves. The festival has also been a strong platform for UAE-based authors to share their literary work with a global audience. P.G.Bhaskar, a Dubai-based Indian author, told Manafez Dubai: “My first participation was shortly after I had written my first novel. Now, three novels and three years later, I am delighted to be part of the festival. It’s a wonderful experience; the atmosphere, the events, the interaction, the venue, all make for a heady


UAE

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature welcomed 150 authors, thinkers and speakers from around the world

Events

New App The Emirates Festival of Literature launched a new smartphone app giving access information to the visitors on authors and the latest Festival news. Using the brand new app, the users were also able to browse sessions over the five days of the Festival and schedule their Festival experience. The app gave latest updates on sessions. Nora, a Dubai-based student, who visited the festival, said: “Using the app I was able to explore details about authors, get updates. It was highly beneficial, I was able to attend my favourite sessions.”

mix, made even more so by that very special Dubai touch. The festival is something to really look forward to, both as a reader and as a writer.” More than 35 per cent of the authors this year were from the Arab world. The festival had special events lined up for children with illustrators, old and new, to delight them; master storytellers captivating them with their stories; and enthralling sessions and workshops to hone their skills and enrich their experiences to the literary world.

schools around the country.The highly popular festival, which welcomed more than 30,000 visitors last year, has also been awarded as the Best Festival in the Middle East. Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature said: “I think that for our

festival, the award has been given to us not because we are the glitziest or the brightest or have the most stars. It is because the festival is life-changing in many ways and it is totally engaged within the community of Dubai and the region and we are bringing in whole families, so everything about it has an innately good feel, genuinely happy.” 

Students of all ages from around the UAE got a unique opportunity to interact with their favourite authors including Hooda Shawa Qaddumi, Philip Ardagh, Lauren Oliver, Imtiaz Dharker, John Dougherty, David Tazzyman, Steve Cole and Kaltham Al Ghanim. Additionally, visiting authors also met students in nearly 100 |Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 43


opinion column

Outgrowing our origins W hen we observe Australia Day, we

rightly celebrate what it means to be an Australian - to live as freely and prosperously, and as safely and securely, as any one possibly can on this planet.

By Michael Pezzullo Secretary Immigration & Border Protection Australia

Of course, it is also the day that we formally commemorate the founding of a British colony in Sydney in 1788. As we rightfully enjoy Australia Day and its festivities, I would contend that it is worth pondering the significance of the events of 1788 in the broader context of the Australian national story. Today, the British foundations of our political, social and cultural order, are not often discussed or recognised. But how can we ‘outgrow our origins’, much less forget them? The early colonial story is to my mind a remarkable story of historical achievement and human development. For nearly two centuries, Australians saw themselves as either ‘Britishers’ or as members of the global family of ‘the white race’. We built defensive walls to insulate ourselves from a puzzling and hostile outside world, and especially the Asian region around us. Can we imagine what would be our standing in the world, if today we sought to preserve those walls and that insularity?

Edited excerpts from a speech delivered to mark the Australia Day 44 44 44|Manafez |Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai Dubai |September |March |March2015 2015 ٢٠١٤ || |

And we also recognise that for all of the beneficial inheritance that is ours as a result of the act of British settlement

in 1788, we would never have become the Australia that we are today without the dismantling of White Australia, and the reversal of discrimination in immigration (which was only finally achieved in the early 1970s). Australia will of course maintain a permanent migration programme, which is so crucial for our long-term economic prosperity and our demographic health. I see, however, ‘engagement’ with the world as taking the place of ‘settlement’ at the heart of the Australian story and consequently necessitating a redefinition of our mission. People from all over the world come to Australia to holiday, work, study and engage in commerce. Some, of course, come to settle here and commence new lives. It is always going to be the case that we were, and therefore will always be, a ‘settler nation’. British foundation of social and political order, and the multicultural diversity of our immigrant society will always coexist on our island continent, and in our hearts and minds. 


opinion column

Change the narrative on migration recent years, many European I nUnion (EU) countries have attracted

immigrants, since they are perceived as alternative destinations to the United States, Canada, and Australia. At the same time, emigration, which characterised Europe for centuries, has not stopped. Europe is also confronted with daily migration challenges: people who are crossing our borders illegally, hoping for a better life or looking for protection. Nevertheless, there are over 20 million non-EU nationals who immigrated and live legally in the European Union and account for 4 per cent of the EU’s total population. I know it is difficult to make the case for migration at times of economic crisis and of high unemployment levels. But we need to change the narrative on migration. We need to show its positive impacts.

irregular migrants. To tackle the problem, we need to create adequate legal immigration channels and improve existing policies, rather than relying on unpredictable regularisation campaigns. Having said this, we must bear in mind that most migrants from outside the EU come for reasons other than employment. But they also bring with them their knowledge and skills. It is, therefore, in the interest of host countries to allow them to contribute to their societies with their full capabilities. Thus, labour market integration of legal migrants is an area where we will be working increasingly at the EU level. Moreover, when developing strategies to maximise opportunities of legal migration, we should seek the involvement of the business community and social partners.

Europe is an ageing continent and, without migration, the EU’s working age population will decline by 15 million this decade alone (2010-2020).

Of course, the success of any migration policy also depends on the admission policy set by the country of destination.

One of my priorities, during my mandate, will be to develop a new European policy on regular migration focusing on highly skilled migrants and the benefits they can bring to our economy and to our society as a whole.

It, therefore, pleases me to see that the OECD was able to bring together at the same table many ministers with different portfolios, who are ready to debate all these issues here today. 

Also, we cannot ignore the existence of the large ‘underground’ economy in Europe, which largely relies on

By Dimitris Avramopoulos Commissioner for Migration European Union

(Edited excerpts from his remarks at the OECD High-Level Policy Forum on Migration)

|Manafez Dubai |March 2015 | 45

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