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


Issue 22 March


Will boarding a plane in future be as simple as waving your hand? First-ever passport renewal app launched

GDRFA Dubai friendly for the disabled

Smart choice for a smart living

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

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

• Toll free: 8005111

Welcome Message

Exemplary leadership W hen you see your leader actively performing his duties to uphold the interests of his people and of the nation, you get a clear message. What is the message?

The message that His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, sends out through his active initiatives, efforts and vision, especially to all those concerned with customer service, is to work toward achieving the happiness for all with the goal of not only serving the people of the UAE but people from across the world, clearly conveying that the government is keen to serve people and cares for their well-being. Guided by this vision, we at the GDRFA-D continue to work in the direction of enhancing happiness of our customers and have had many achievements to our credit in the last few years. The hard work of our employees has made us excel in all areas of our operations and we have been ranked amongst the leading ports and borders directorates worldwide. The outstanding service and care has helped GDRFA Dubai build a strong relationship with its customers and we are always keen to help them resolve their problems in accordance with the law.

These numbers are set to rise further as the Dubai Airports expects more than 100 million passengers by the end of 2020. I highly appreciate the dedication and efforts of our officers and employees in efficiently completing their duties round the clock, and in leading the GDRFA Dubai to become as a world class service offering directorate. This clearly reflects the vision of our wise leadership to make the UAE the best in customer service and a country that always cares for the happiness of its people. We had a lot of achievements last year and we still have a lot ahead of us.

In 2015, the GDRFA-D completed more than 65 million multi-category transactions and received 48 million passengers through Dubai International Airport (excluding transit passengers), recording a significant increase over 2014.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 1

GDRFA Message


in History


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

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

Our Mission (MOI):

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

Our Mission (GDRFA):

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

Our Values:       

Justice Team-Work Excellence courtesy Integrity Loyalty Social responsibility

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

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

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


GDRFA News GDRFA Photographs by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan

48 million travellers in Dubai in 2015


UAE News

GDRFA Dubai completes over 65 million transactions in 2015

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai


‘The UAE’s role in safeguarding workers’ rights is praiseworthy’

P 12

5 serious side effects to your health

Smartphone Addiction

P 42

UAE organisations committed to enhancing customer service standards

Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri Director General

General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor Deputy Director General

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

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

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| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 3


48 million travellers in Dubai in 2015 M ore than 48 million people trav-

elled through Dubai’s air, land and seaports in 2015, a 7.84 per cent increase compared to 2014, according to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). More than 24 million of these were travellers entering the emirate through all ports, an 8.15 per cent increase when compared to the 22.49 million who entered Dubai in 2014. More than 19 million of the total number in 2015 were the tourists and visitors entering the emirate through its air and seaports, according to a Gulf News report. Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA in Dubai, said the department is continuously striving to develop its services to make entry processes at the borders efficient and hassle-free. He also emphasised that this was reflective of the directives issued by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Brigadier Salah Al Qumzi, Assistant to the Director General for Land and Seaports Affairs at the GDRFA, said the development witnessed by Dubai’s seaports in recent years sets it apart from its global counterparts.

4 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

“Dubai’s seaports, in terms of both size and the quality of services, is what really puts it on the map and sets it apart from its global competitors,” he said. “We have strategies put in place by our emirate’s leaders to help us continue to better our practices

and efficiently deal with the large number of visitors.” There are a total of six seaports in Dubai — Jebel Ali Port, Port Rashid, Shindagha Port, Hamriya Port, Al Khor Port and the Dry Docks.


The GDRFA branches in these ports offer a range of services, including ship, sailor and crew registration, and services offered to tourists and visitors.

plifying entry and exit procedures at Dubai Airports, pointing out that it takes “no more than five seconds to clear the procedures at passport control counters”.

ing Dubai Airports in 2015: 11.33 million. “January was our busiest month,” he said, “with more than four million travellers using Dubai Airports in that month alone.”

Al Qumzi said there was a 2.18 per cent rise in marine traffic recorded in Dubai last year: 60,488, when compared to 2014 with 59,197.

“There’s been a seven per cent rise in travellers using both our e-gates and counters,” he said. “Last year, we recorded more than 43.5 million travellers entering and exiting the emirate, while in 2014, we recorded 40.43 million.”Al Shanqeeti said the first quarter recorded the highest number of travellers us-

He added that 41,772 new smart gate cards were issued last year, while more than 88,000 were renewed, a 13 per cent increase when compared to 2014. He also said that 130,463 smart gate transactions were conducted last year, compared with 122,103 in 2014. 

Colonel Talal Al Shanqeeti, Assistant to the Director General for Airports Affairs, said the department has wasted no effort in sim-


| Manafez ManafezDubai Dubai||March March 2016 | 5


GDRFA Dubai completes over 65 million transactions in 2015 M ore

than 65 million transactions were conducted by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) last year, a 6.6 per cent increase when compared to statistics from 2014. Brigadier Salah Saif Bin Saloum, Assistant of the director-general for the entry permits and residence department, pointed out that 65.35 million transactions were conducted in 2015. “This is about 6.5 per cent higher than the 61 million transactions we conducted in 2014,” he said. Brig Bin Saloum said that the number of transactions related to entry permits also experienced a slight increase when compared to previous numbers. “In 2015, we conducted more than 13.4 million entry-permit

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transactions. In 2014, the numbers were slightly less where we conducted 13. 36 million transactions. A 17.31 per cent rise in the total number of transactions related to residency permits, including renewals, was reported by the GDRFA. “We conducted almost 3.5 million transactions related to residency permits, which includes issuing new ones and renewals,” Brig Bin Saloum said, “In 2014, statistics report just less than three million transactions in the same field.” More than 1.6 million transactions for new residency permits were conducted by the department last year — a 3.22 per cent increase when compared to 2014. While 1.3 million transactions for renewing resi-

dency permits were conducted in 2015. Brig Bin Saloum also said that the GDRFA transactions related to establishment cards and PRO cards experienced almost a 20 per cent increase. “Almost 300,000 transactions for issuing or renewing these cards were conducted in 2015,” he said. Maj Gen Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of the GDRFA-Dubai, said the department made significant achievements in 2015. “We are always keen on improving our services and easing procedures for our residents and visitors,” he said. “Our aim is to increase customer satisfaction levels, and make Dubai and the UAE a global hub, as directed by our country’s leaders.” 



Successful participation W e had a highly successful participation

in the AccessAbilities Expo 2016 held in Dubai with the goal of contributing to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, of making Dubai disabled friendly by 2020. Our stall at the Expo generated a lot of interest from the visitors, who learnt about the different facilities and services that make procedures easier and faster for people with disabilities. The AccessAbilities Expo, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, gave an opportunity to government and private sector organisations to build fruitful partnerships, enhance communication and to get acquainted with the needs of the disabled, who are an integral part of our society.

In line with the government’s vision, the GDRFA-D has recently started working toward a plan and has set up a special team which will work with the goal of making the directorate fully disabledfriendly. To achieve this goal, I would urge my colleagues, especially the newly-formed team to dedicate all their efforts in this direction. We are fully prepared to provide them the necessary support to contribute to becoming a disabled friendly department.

During my visit to the Expo, I looked closely at the latest technology and the innovations, which we can use to further enhance the quality of services we provide to customers with disabilities, not only within the GDRFA Dubai, but on a larger scale across different organisations as there was a wide range of technologies and smart solutions displayed by the exhibitors.

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

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 7

UAE News

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

Taqdeer Award starts special training for assessors


he Award management has selected 24 assessors, who will play a critical role in determining the eligibility of the construction companies that are fit to win this first-of-its kind award. The training workshops were organised to equip the assessors with the necessary information about the objectives of the award, its criterion and the comprehensive and point-based evaluation procedure based on best international standards. The assessors were introduced to the application process and procedures for both the application and site visit. Each participating organisation will be assessed by a team of three certified assessors headed by a team leader. Taqdeer, named after the Arabic word for ‘appreciation’, is the world’s first points-based award programme for recognizing excellence in labour welfare practices and seeks to promote international best practices in labour welfare and will also be 8 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

instrumental in raising awareness among workers about their rights. The Award aims to enhance relationship between companies and workers by recognizing excellence in labour practices and setting new benchmarks in work practices across sectors in Dubai. In its first cycle, the award is being launched for companies in the construction sector that employ manual workers and the future cycles will include factories and free zones. His Excellency Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor, Chairman of the Taqdeer Award, stated: “The Taqdeer Award will be a major milestone in enhancing employer and worker relation-

ships in Dubai and encouraging companies to follow the best international practices.” Commenting on the workshops, Obaid said: “These training workshops will ensure that uniformity and highest international standards are adhered in evaluating the companies eligible for the Taqdeer Award. We expect great participation from construction companies in Dubai.”

UAE News

Major General Obaid Bin Sorour: “Taqdeer Award to be a milestone in enhancing cooperation among workers and employers”

“We look forward to building a new phase of positive and fruitful cooperation between workers and employers for the benefit of both parties,” he added.There are around 283 companies in this sector in Dubai, employing more than 500,000 workers. The award will target those companies with a workforce of more than 100 workers.

Companies in the construction sector involved in civil, electrical and mechanical work that have been operating for at least two years and have executed a minimum of two projects in the last two years are eligible for applying to the Taqdeer Award. In the first year of the Award, only companies involved in the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, plumbing installation and power generation plants are eligible for applying. The companies can participate in the Award by submitting a comprehensive submission document.

The companies will be awarded the ratings from one star to five stars after evaluation of their award submission document and assessor’s site visit. Winners of 5 and 4-star ratings will receive recognition certificates, they will also enjoy priority in government projects, and will be honored with Taqdeer Award trophy at an award ceremony to be held under the under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.  | Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 9

UAE News

UAE leads MENA in talent competiveness


he United Arab Emirates continued to lead the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2015-16 according to a report by INSEAD business school.

The GTCI is an annual study based on research in partnership with the Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI). This year’s theme of ‘Talent Attraction and International Mobility’ focuses on findings linked to the significant correlation between movement of talent and economic prosperity. Out of 109 countries, the UAE ranked highly, topping the MENA tables at 23rd, with Qatar at 24th,

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Saudi Arabia at 42nd and Kuwait at 51st. The UAE’s sustainability ranking for retaining talent rose from 59th in 2014 to number one in 2015. The nation has maintained its top ranking for safety of employees during night hours. Quality of executive education in management schools also rose, with the ranking improving from 24th in 2014 to 17th in 2015. Ranking for social mobility through improved economic circumstances also rose from 11th to 8th in 2015.

The use of social and virtual networks for career advancement contributed to the rise in ranking, from 10th in 2014 to 7th this year. Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director of Global Indices at INSEAD, and co-editor of the report, commented, “With a very welcoming business climate and liberal tax policies that are conducive to investment, the UAE has shown tremendous leadership in achieving its vision of a knowledge-based economy. 

UAE News

tional investors because of creative talent at a reasonable cost: China, South Korea, Philippines and Vietnam in the Asia Pacific region; Malta, Slovenia, Cyprus and Moldova in the European region; Turkey, Jordan and Tunisia in the MENA region; and Panama in Central America.

With its high standard of living and cosmopolitanism, the nation continues to attract and retain talent from the world over. The UAE’s commitment to embedding innovation in its technology infrastructure and all aspects of knowledge creation and its transfer is exemplary.” He elaborated, “Temporary economic mobility of highly skilled people may initially be seen as a loss for their country of origin, countries have to understand that this translates into a net gain when they return home. GCC countries have benefited from talent arriving from across the world and by building worldclass universities to develop local human capital. The skills that an expat gains working in these dynamic markets, mixing with different cultures, are invaluable assets when he moves onwards. Such an international experience is what top organisations are looking for today.”

Speaking on the future trends in the job market, he warned however that, “At the same time, new technologies might create new challenges for workers at different skill levels: low-skill jobs are being destroyed by automation, mediumskill jobs may be displaced by algorithms, this will be a key feature of so-called ‘industry 4.0’ .” The report cited mobility as being vital to fill skill gaps, and a high proportion of innovative, entrepreneurial people were born or studied abroad. It is hence not surprising that top ranking countries have positioned themselves as desirable destinations for high-skilled workers. Faced with new types of migration flows, decision makers need to shape policies and strategies to address both the immediate concerns of their constituencies and the longer-term interests of their citizens. While people continue to move to jobs and opportunities, jobs are now moving to where the talent is. Some countries have started to attract the attention of interna-

New ‘talent magnets’ are emerging: While the US, Singapore and Switzerland have long been attractive to talent, competition may become fierce among emerging talent hubs such as Indonesia, Jordan, Chile, South Korea, Rwanda and Azerbaijan, as more aspire to join these increasingly attractive destinations. Countries ranked in the top 10 clearly demonstrated openness in terms of talent mobility: close to 25 per cent of the respective populations of Switzerland and Luxembourg were born abroad; the proportion is even higher at 43 per cent in Singapore. The proportion is also significant in the United States (4), Canada (9), New Zealand (11), Austria (15), and Ireland (16). There has been little change in the top 20 since the release of the last edition of the GTCI report, with the exception of Czech Republic (20) entering this group, New Zealand improving its performance significantly, while Canada and Ireland saw modest declines. This year’s GTCI country coverage has improved, allowing the report to cover 109 countries (versus 93 countries in 2014), representing 83.8 percent of the world’s population and 96.2 percent of the world’s GDP. 

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 11

UAE News

‘The UAE’s role in safeguarding workers’ rights is praiseworthy’


AE’s new labour laws, which came into effect from January 1st, are already helping to protect workers from the Indian sub-continent from exploitation, according to the Indian Ambassador to the UAE.

“The UAE’s role in safeguarding workers’ rights is praiseworthy. The new rules will prevent the exploitation of workers by unscrupulous agents,” said T.P. Seetharam, in an interview with the Gulf News. There are 2.6 million Indians in the UAE, of which 65 percent are 12 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

workers, according to Dinesh Kumar, First Secretary, Community Affairs, Embassy of India, UAE. The new labour rules are aimed at enhancing the UAE’s labour market conditions, offer better protection to workers, and consolidate the contractual nature of labour

relations. The key element of the new regulation is the unified labour contract that standardises employment terms, which was drafted by the Ministry of Labour as part of three new Decrees. According to the Indian Ambassador, these new rules are not only

UAE News

worker-friendly but have also gone a long way in weeding out any scope of exploitation of the expat workforce, specially in the semiskilled and unskilled category. “The first thing the UAE government did was to disallow substitution of labour contracts,” Seetharam said. “Usually, workers would sign a particular labour contract in their home countries, which was then substituted by another contract when they arrived in the UAE. “Now they have a greater sense of security and know that they will get what they signed for and expect in terms of remuneration and other working conditions,” he said. Seetharam expressed his happiness that the UAE labour contract could now be signed in several languages, including many Indian languages such as Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. “Most of the semi-skilled and unskilled workers who come from India do not read or write English,” he said. “By making the contract

available in their mother tongue, comprehending the nuances of the labour contract is much easier for them. This will also ensure that they are not misled or duped into false commitments.” The ability of expat employees to switch jobs under the new rules is another welcome step, Seetharam said. “The other most important rule that has come into effect since January 1st is the mobility of the workforce from one job to another, of course under certain conditions. “I think this is a welcome move for the workforce as well for as the employers, as these new laws have created a positive atmosphere at the workplace and have benefited all.” At the time of introducing the new laws, the UAE Labour Ministry said the new rules would bring greater clarity and lead to tighter monitoring of labour contract conditions and ensure that both the employer and the employee enter into fully voluntary relationships.

As part of the unified labour contract, all employees across the UAE are presented with a standard employment offer that contains clear and enforceable conditions of employment, before the worker’s entry into the UAE. The contract will need to be signed by both the employer and the worker. Recent steps taken by the Indian government to protect the rights of its expatriate workers are in synergy with UAE’s new labour laws, according to the Indian Ambassador to the UAE. “Our new eMigrate system, despite the teething troubles, completely ensures that fair conditions of employment are followed,” Seetharam told Gulf News. “It restricts the recruitment of workers except through the eMigrate system, thereby ensuring that all recruitment agents as well as employers have to register with us. That prevents exploitation by recruiters who sometimes promise jobs, take money from the workers and disappear,” he said. 

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 13

UAE News

Sharjah International opens booth at DWTC

S harjah

Airport International Free Zone, SAIF Zone, has installed a permanent booth at Dubai World Trade Centre, DWTC, to attract traders and visitors throughout the year. “We opened a permanent booth in DWTC to share business information and details about SAIF Zone with local and international trade visitors from different sectors,” said Saud Al Mazrouei, Director of SAIF Zone and Hamriyah Free Zone Authority. “It is our strategy to engage international companies and enter-

prises and introduce them to benefits of working in SAIF Zone, which include 100 per cent ownership, zero taxes and full repatriation of profits,” he added. The 20-year old SAIF Zone has emerged as an ideal business hub and even an investor with a limited budget can set up business units here cost effectively,” Al Mazrouei said. The new booth has an electronic screen which provides different kind of e-information throughout the working hours.

DIFC Wills and Probate Registry reached 650 wills T he DIFC Wills and Probate Reg-

istry has registered a total of 650 wills this past year, showing the positive response the initiative has received in Dubai. Launched in May 2015, the Registry provides non-Muslim expatriates with legal certainty and the ability to register English language wills covering Dubai estates that allow their assets to be transferred upon death according to their wishes. The registrants represent a wide section of Dubai’s expat community; of the 650 registered wills, the majority of registrants are from Europe, making up 55% of the registrants, 27% are from India and the rest of the registrants are expats from across the world, including Asia, Africa and the Americas. 

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“The development of our e-services is integral to us as customer satisfaction is of utmost importance and facilitating easier accessing, processing and providing other online services are a few of our ways to do so,” he further added. SAIF Zone houses more than 7,000 companies from 149 countries with over 45 thousand investors and employees. SAIF Zone meets the highest international standards in providing quality services, robust infrastructure and state-of-the-art management. 

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 15

Cover Story

GDRFA Dubai showcases facilities for people with disabilities at AccessAbilities Expo 16 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |


Cover Story

is Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports, said the remarkable success of AccessAbilities Expo has made it a milestone event in the UAE’s journey to becoming the world’s friendliest place for people with disabilities.

“We are very proud to see the tremendous response that AccessAbilities Expo has generated in the first edition itself. The strong support from government bodies, exhibitors and educational centres from all over the world will ensure the success of this Expo, which is another milestone for the UAE and Dubai towards attaining

the target of becoming disabledfriendly by 2020,” said Sheikh Ahmed. AccessAbilities Expo 2016, held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai

Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, attracted more than 6,000 visitors including toptier officials and decision makers, children with disabilities and their families, representatives of private companies from healthcare, tourism, education, telecommunication, technology and service providers. The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) successfully participated in the Expo where it showcased its new smart services and initiatives aimed at helping passengers and customers with disabilities. The Expo had a strong government support from departments including the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Af| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 17

Cover Story

Sheikh Ahmed: AccessAbilities Expo a milestone event in realising the UAE’s vision 2020 for the disabled

fairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Dubai Municipality, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Community Development Authority (CDA) and Dubai Customs as well as from top special education centres from across the GCC. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, said: “In line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, of making Dubai the friendliest city in the world and strengthening the image of Dubai as a ‘City that Cares’ for people with disabilities, the GDRFA in Dubai is committed to making the lives of individuals

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Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

with special needs and disabilities comfortable by ensuring easy and quick access to our services.” “We have introduced the Smart Gate Special Needs counter, which allows any passenger on a wheel chair a smooth access and a convenient airport experience. GDRFA Dubai offer jobs to special needs individuals, trains its staff to learn sign language and provide many smart services for those with special needs and disabilities so that they do not have to

visit GDRFA centres and can conduct transactions online,” he said. The GDRFA Dubai has introduced Smart Gate Special Counter for the disabled to enhance the airport experience, has staff trained to deal with customers having disabilities, provides special facilities for its employees with disabilities, has launched a forum to generate awareness about visual impairment and how to people with visual disability in the right manner.

Cover Story

3-day Expo attracts more than 6,000 visitors, 200 business meetings The Directorate also offered free eGate registration for the visitors at the Expo. The department has set up special counters and made dedicated arrangements at the entrances, smart gates and e-gates for the benefit of passengers with disabilities.

Al Farhan Al Saud, President of Charitable Society of Autism Families and President of Saudi Schizophrenia Charity Association, said: “AccessAbilities Expo is a very important event as it brings together experts, care givers and product suppliers all on a common platform, under one roof.

More than 150 exhibitors from over 30 countries participated in the 3-day event, which led to more than 200 deals between the exhibitors and participating organisations. The event also saw successful hosting of ‘Knowledge Centre’ and active participation from the visitors in a dedicated ‘Activities Area’.

I want to thank the organisers for reaching out to our organization and inviting us to be part of this wonderful event. Saudi Arabia has a population of 27 million and has a high percentage of disabled kids. The government is taking many initiatives for people with disabilities and there will also be a forum to spread awareness of the disease and to discuss causes and treatment methods. The Expo has helped us know about the latest services, tools and facilities which can benefit people having disabilities.”

Commenting on the show, Sameerah Bint Abdullah Al Faisal

Participants from GCC countries said the Expo gave them a re-

Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri

markable opportunity to connect with other organisations and private entities from across the GCC as well as other regions worldwide. Dr Tareq Al-Shatti, Director General Kuwait’s Public Authority for the Disabled said: “AccessAbilities Expo has brought all stakeholders together on a single platform and given us an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences. As a neighbouring country, we are particularly happy to have met organisations and exhibitors from the GCC, we feel we are close to each other. Kuwait is actively working enhancing lives of people with disabilities. Some of the latest smart assistive technology particularly interested us and during the Expo we even arranged with some of the exhibitors to have further cooperation. We believe latest technology can play a major role in improving the lives of the disabled.” The exhibitors said the Expo not only gave them an insight into the latest technologies, it turned out to be a highly rewarding experience for them. | Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 19

Cover Story

International exhibitor German Limbtech, which provides stateof-the art orthotic and prosthetic devices, said it is keen on opening a Centre of Excellence in Dubai. Wendelin Lauxen, Managing Director, German LimbTech Orthopaedic Technology, said: “During the AccessAbilities Expo, we saw Dubai’s efforts to provide the best facilities to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. We are keen to open a centre of excellence in Dubai.”

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Cover Story

Lauxen said AccessAbilities Expo provided an opportunity for the company to reach out to its potential buyers. “We received a highly positive response during the expo from decision-makers, private entities and visitors with disabilities. We look forward to participating in the next edition of the Expo.” Mawfaq Matari, Managing Partner, AMMT, said: “We are very happy to have participated in AccessAbilities Expo. I consider this show as a starting point for a much bigger show in the future. There is a dire need to hold such events that focus on the needs of people with disabilities. We had ‘quality’ visitors. I was happy to see the visitors with disabilities did not have to go through much trouble to see the products on display. The event was focused and brought together all products of interest under one roof. The exhibition was well laid out and visitors with disabilities could finish viewing the exhibition in one day. | Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 21

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Also most of the government departments were present here and they were easily accessible. We eagerly look forward to the next edition of this Expo.” Italian exhibitor Troncone said encouraged by the tremendous response received at the Expo, the company is planning to have a representative office in Dubai. Stephano, CEO, Troncone, said: “We got a very encouraging response and had a lot useful of networking meetings. We see a high demand for our special wheelchair and are now planning to have a representative office in Dubai.” Bilal Bihag, Product Manager for Home Care, OTP, said: “It was a well-organised event and the feedback was very positive. We had a lot of enquiries from end-users, especially for our wheelchairs. It was interesting to see how so many companies came together under one roof to

22 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

Cover Story

cater to the needs of people with disability. It was also good to know the government supporting this initiative and I hope to

see more such events in the future. We look forward to participating in the next edition of the Expo.”

Dr Abdullah Al Yosef, Managing Director, JCI Medical Solutions, which exhibited a range of disability equipment, said, “We have a sense of fulfilment that we could rope in companies to exhibit the latest technologies and services for the benefit of people with various disabilities.” Mariya Ivanova, Marketing and PR Manager, Mafraq Hotel, said: “For tourism to be accessible, it is important that hotels are well prepared. At Mafraq Hotel, we have six accessible rooms and our staff is well trained to deal customers with different types of disabilities. At AccessAbilities Expo, we explored latest innovative technology from all over the world. Through our participation, which is a part of our CSR initiatives, we were also able to show our support to  people having disabilities.” Sam Abboushi, CEO of SAFE Mobility, said: “The excellent feedback from visitors gives us the encouragement to bring more products and services in the fu| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 23

Cover Story

ture. People with disabilities in this region need tailor-made products and services, and we are confident that we can offer them.” International experts from UK, Switzerland, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE discussed key issues concerning people with disabilities during sessions at the ‘Knowledge Centre’ in the Expo. Individuals with disabilities also shared their life stories during the forum, inspiring the audience. Sharan Anil, an artist from Mawaheb from Beautiful people, who shared his life experience during a session at the Knowledge Centre, said: “It was a great experience to share my story. I was overwhelmed by the response, many 24 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

people approached me for a job. It was also amazing to see all the medical equipment and technology that can help a person with disability improve the quality of their life.” Families who visited the Expo said the Expo gave them access some of the latest prod-

ucts, which will be of great use to them. “Till I visited the expo, I never imagined that I could find the tailor-made solution and related devise which I was looking for elsewhere for my daughter who has a

Cover Story

disability. I thank the organisers for this great help,” said Faizal Ahmed, a Dubai resident. The Expo also gave volunteering opportunities to youngsters from the region. Fatima Al Jassim, 20, Emirati, Media Head of Al Mammom Equine Therapy, who volunteered at the Expo: “The opportunity to volunteer at AccessAbilities was an amazing experience for me since I am also differently-abled. I got a chance to meet so many people from my community, learnt a lot by interacting with others. There should

be more such events during the year as it brings the community together on a common ground. We also get the chance to socialize with the community and share our experiences and difficulties. I will surely come back next year.” AccessAbilities Expo was organised by Reed Exhibitions Middle East and Nadd AlShiba PR and Event Management. Daniyal Qureshi, Group exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said: It has been an outstanding success. We are

pleased that the government, disability centres, technology providers and community have come together so cohesively. There were many deals struck at the show and new partnerships built between some of the countries participating. We look forward to bringing all our partners and even more back to the 2017 edition in partnership with Dubai Government and AccessAbilities Expo will lead the way for inclusion and empowerment for person with disabilities in the region.” 

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 25

Middle East News

Bahrain introduces eVisas for visitors from African countries


ahrain has introduced eVisas to visitors from 11 African countries, marking the third phase of the Kingdom’s new visa policy.

Nationals from Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal, Mauritius and Seychelles to obtain their visas online ahead of travel, via the government’s eVisa website (www.evisa.gov.bh). Tourists from 11 African countries will benefit new eVisa system, as Bahrain makes the third phase of its new visa policy. As a part of the third phase of the project’s implementation, nationals from Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal, Mauritius and Seychelles will be able to obtain their traveling visas online, via official website. The new visa policy was introduced in October 2014 and allowed nationals from over 100 26 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

countries to obtain a visa either online ahead of travel, via Bahrain’s government eVisa website, or upon arrival. Currently, due to the new policy regarding visa applications, the business visas for Bahrain are valid for a month and the visitor visas allow tourists to spend up to three months in the Kingdom. Both visa types are multi-entry. Shaikh Ahmed bin Isa Al Khalifa, assistant undersecretary for the general directorate of nationality, passports and residence affairs at Bahrain’s ministry of interior, commented on the third phase of the implementation of the new regulations and on further improvements of the process. “The addition of the African countries to Bahrain’s progressive visa

policy is a significant step forward to providing easier access into Bahrain for all visitors. “The addition of these important African economies will help to support the business and tourism sectors in the Kingdom and hopefully those of the wider GCC region. “Bahrain is home to several expatriate African communities and we look forward to welcoming the friends and families of those living in the Kingdom and to showcasing Bahrain’s successful business environment and rich cultural heritage.” Bahrain registered a 16 per cent increase in foreign tourist numbers in 2015 when compared to the previous year and is on an ascending track in terms of tourism sector revenues. 

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 27

International News

Electronic visa waiver for Kuwaitis


he UK embassy in Kuwait has announced a new electronic visa waiver (EVW) system for Kuwaiti passport holders to travel to the UK for business and tourism.

The EVW will allow Kuwaiti passport holders to travel to the UK for a visit of up to six months by filling in an online form at least 48 hours before they travel to the UK, the British Embassy in Kuwait said in a press release. The scheme removes the need to give biometrics, attend a visa application center or hand in passports in advance of travel. Passengers will be asked to upload a copy of their passport’s biographic data page so that details can be checked for accuracy and security purposes

prior to travel. To cover the costs of the new system, a fee of 15 (around KD 7) will be introduced early next year, it said.

that when the scheme is rolled out early next year, many Kuwaitis would seize the opportunity to visit the UK.

UK Ambassador to Kuwait Mathew Lodge said the new visa system is a sign of deep and permanent relations between the UK and Kuwait, according to the press release. He added that in light of the historic ties between both countries, the UK is committed to introducing an electronic visa waiver system to facilitate the travel of Kuwaiti nationals to the UK. The ambassador hoped

“I am incredibly pleased to announce that the electronic visa waiver system has today been fully implemented in Kuwait. I hope this will mean an increase in the numbers of Kuwaitis visiting the UK and thereby further strengthening the people to people links between our two countries,” said Tobias Ellwood, Minister for Middle East and North Africa. 

Kuwait regulates work permits’ issuance to cut expats’ numbers K uwait’s Ministry of Social Affairs

and Labor (MSAL) has been instructed to regulate the issuance of work permits because the cabinet has noticed an increase in the numbers of expat workers in Kuwait, according to a report in Kuwait Times. The report said the ministry has been notified to monitor various companies more closely to check the maximum number of workers they are allowed to recruit. The reason behind this survey is to limit the numbers of marginal labor which is growing in contrast with

28 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

the state plans, it added. “MSAL had been notified to cut the numbers of expats by being very strict

in renewing and transferring work permits,” the report quoted sources as saying. 

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 29

30 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

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International News

First-ever passport renewal app launched


tsEasy.com, a leading provider of passport and visa expediting services founded by visionary David Alwadish in 1976, has launched the first-ever passport renewal app.

The U.S. State Department expects to have approximately 16 million passport renewals in 2016 and 20 million in 2017—an unprecedented amount. With the ItsEasy app, U.S. passport holders will have the power and convenience of facilitating their passport renewal process at their fingertips at any location – at home, at work, anywhere – using their iPhone/IPad, according to a company press release. David Alwadish, CEO and President of ItsEasy.com, said:”This is truly an exciting time for ItsEasy. We’ve 32 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

been working on this app for quite some time; perfecting it, adding new components to it and bettering it in general. I wanted to create an app that allowed U.S. passport holders to renew their passport with ease from their iPhone in a beneficial, secure, and easy way.” “This is truly an app that all passport holders should have downloaded for free on their iPhones, and soon on Androids. The app is more than a passport renewal app and includes other features such as passport pho-

International News

tos, visa requirements, an emergency info button (for travelers who lose their passport or visa while in another country), and a passport renewal reminder feature that will remind users via email to renew their passport nine months before their passport expires.”

This fee is so minimal and courteously priced for what is provided to the customer, that if a passport holder chose not to use the ItsEasy app, the incremental savings would be barely negligible after their actual costs for photos and shipping.

The free for download ItsEasy Passport Renewal App is safe, secure, confidential, user friendly and is based upon the company’s exceptional 37-year reputation.

Users are provided with the choice of two renewal processing time frames – standard and expedited.

The two primary features of the app include the ability of users to easily renew their passport and their ability to take passport photos which are then reviewed and approved by qualified ItsEasy passport professionals. Travelers in need of only photos have the option to have their passport photos printed by ItsEasy and delivered by first class or overnight mail, or have them emailed electronically to be printed by the user. When using the app, prior to the applicant’s passport renewal order being completed, and in addition to the Department of State’s passport fee, ItsEasy charges $29.95 for their services, which includes a trackable priority United States Postal Service shipping label, passport photos, the correct forms and order status updates.

Once the order is completed through the app, ItsEasy will instantly email the customer the correct passport application to be printed and completed, a simple checklist and a secure trackable USPS priority shipping label to send the documents into ItsEasy for reviewing and processing. The professionals at ItsEasy will then deliver all necessary documents to the U.S. Department of State, who issues all passports and passport cards. Alwadish added, “Why wouldn’t you want an app that saves you precious time and money? Between buying the envelope, postage, passport photos and running around for the errand, if the value of the users’ time saved is factored in then the savings would grow exponentially! We are providing you with peace of mind with government approved and regulated experts handling the entire process—including pre-checking of documents, printing the photos, writing the check and gathering what you’d have to go buy yourself—you’re in safe hands and we are able to advise you every step of the way. I can confidently say that you’ll be aware of where your application is at all times.” In addition to the 10-year anniversary of the Western Hemisphere Initiative approaching, creating the passport renewal surge, the U.S. Department of State also recently announced the elimination of visa page inserts for U.S. passports beginning this year. Previously, U.S. passport holders had the option to pay for the insertion of additional 24-page visa inserts when valid passports lacked adequate space for entry or exit visa stamps. However, now, applicants in need of additional pages in their passports will have to obtain a renewal—making this app even more relevant for U.S. travelers.  | Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 33

In Focus

Ready for an implanted NFC boarding pass underneath your skin?

Will boarding a plane in future be as simple as waving your hand?


he possibility cannot be ruled out, particularly after Andreas Sjöström ,Vice-President, Digital, for technology consulting company Sogeti, became the first person to ever board a plane using only an NFC chip implanted in his hand.

The latest experiment by Sjöström saw him go through all clearances without any paper boarding pass, no smartphone, and no biometric scan. Sjöström loaded his Scandinavian Airlines EuroBonus member ID onto the chip, and got the chip implanted into his hand and was able to use his it to pass from security all the way to the gate at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. 34 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

“The biggest surprise was the feeling of being able to identify myself without anything other than my body. I didn’t have to pull out anything. It gave me a new sensation, sort of a pre-notion of what it will be like in the future when we don’t have to reach out with physical objects to accomplish things,” said Sjostrom. NFC chips have been embeddable, or rather injectable, for quite some

time now. Some are no larger than a grain of rice, and can be purchased preloaded in a syringe. The implant Sjöström used for his aviation experimentation, an xNT implant, can be purchased for about $100. Sjöström says prior to his boarding test, he had successfully used his chip-enhanced hand to open locked doors and pay his fare on public transportation, and that Scandinavian Airlines was excited to work with him on the innovative test

In Focus

The NFC (near-field communication) chip broadcasts information that NFC readers can detect to electronically trigger an event or transaction. Asked whether he thought implanting NFC chip for clearances could be a possibility, he said: “I think it’s interesting to experiment, there are interesting trends in the market, with sensors etc, this is a step of experimentation.

ness health, sensors in phones. In future, it be more common to have digitals as part of your body. I think the key part of innovation is part of experimentation, he said.

In future you may have things you can put things on top of skin instead of into.”

The key being you don’t need to carry anything such as a boarding pass or a mobile device.”

In a video released by Andreas, he explained how to go through the procedure one would need an insulation kit. In a sterilised bag, a syringe, the NFC chip in the tube, you inject it and push in the chip under the skin.

“From implant perspective we are used to the idea of it, as digital sensors becoming smaller and more common to track your fit-

Talking about the response he got at the airport, he said, “The first reaction was surprise. I showed the security officer, the implant. She

“Before the implant, I put some topical anaesthetic cream which takes off the pain, I had that for an hour,” he said. 

asked me if it was worth it. I am experimenting so it’s worth it.”

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 35

36 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 37

New Technology

Advanced Automated Border Control Technology at Viracopos International Airport


iming for a faster and enhanced secure passenger control process, Viracopos International Airport implemented the latest Automated Border Control technology by installing Vision-Box’s ABC eGates at the end of 2015, already processing thousands of passengers during its first month in operation. One of the largest centers of air traffic in Brazil, Viracopos International Airport reached a record level of passenger volume in 2015, with an annu-

38 38 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||March March 2016 2016||

al 10.3 million passenger movements. To meet this record increase, an innovative Automated Border Control solution was implemented in December

2015, just in time to meet the special seasonal demand of the higher passenger flow traveling in both domestic and international flights.

New Technology

The innovative Automated Border Control solution implemented by multinational Vision-Box allows for a faster passenger identification process, through eGates that ensure both passport authenticity and biometric passenger verification through an automated and self-service process. The passengers are in control of their own journey through immigration and emigration control, without directly interacting with the Federal Police, as long as they are at least 18-years-old and hold a Brazilian electronic passport.

The solution is very easy to use as an appealing alternative to traditional passenger control which is typically a time-consuming and uncomfortable experience for the traveler. In this new process at the eGates, the passenger is identified in just a few seconds, using Vision-Box advanced biometric technology. The system compares the facial image stored in the chip of the passengers’ passport against the live captured image, all according to the highest quality and security international standards, making sure that they are the genuine owner of the document. Since they have been deployed, the eGates installed at the Arrivals and Departures areas of the airport have processed more than 9000 passengers, each process taking only 15 seconds on average! This represents a considerable reduction from usual time needed in traditional control – around 3 minutes. Federal Delegate Carlos Fagundes Vieira, responsible for Airport Security Police in Viracopos, stated that, “ABC eGates will reduce the time spent by the passenger in immigration control; the entry and exit of Brazilian citizens in the country will be faster.” In terms of security, the new platform guarantees an enhanced level of trust in passenger identification and represents significant improvements in the efficiency of an airport’s border control processes. The Federal Police remotely monitors every passage at the eGates in real time, leveraging Vision-Box software inspection platform inter-

The passengers are in control of their own journey through immigration and emigration control faced with the International Traffic Automated System. In case of an exceptional situation during the process, the Police immediately receives an alert in order to evaluate the situation and take immediate action, while the passenger remains inside the eGate. For example, if two people simultaneously enter the eGate or if the passport is part of a database of stolen documents, the Police can take instantaneous action. This exception risk-based automated process offers the Federal Police with the capability to better focus on persons of interest through smart case management. As Leidivino Natal da Silva, General Director of Vision-Box Latin America, highlights: “One of the trend of special interest in the aviation industry is currently to refine security processes in order to increase reliability and sustainability. Viracopos International Airport is highly aware and decided to focus on the solution that brings higher levels of innovation and orientation to passenger experience! As an Airport that hosts millions of people per year, the offered platform is the key to optimize passenger flow, to reduce the existing operational costs, as well as to reduce the queues and waiting times, so the passenger may enjoy the retail areas as well as other airport’s attractions.”  | Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 39

New Technology

‘Dubai favourably positioned to harness enormous value presented by Internet of Things’


hief Information Officers (CIOs) from over 35 companies from Energy, Logistics, Finance, health, Aviation, Government, Construction, Oil and Gas, Education and other sectors explored ways on tapping into the multibillion opportunities by harnessing the Internet of Things (IoT) during the first CIOMajlis session at the Emirates Golf Club.

The UAE’s first ever CIOMajlis is an initiative aimed at taking economic growth to the next level by bringing Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from public and private sector companies in the UAE on a common platform to share international best practices and explore business solutions in line with the UAE’s Innovation Strategy and the government’s goal to make it the world’s most innovative country by 2021. Christopher Reberger, Director, CISCO, while addressing the first CIOMajlis session on ‘Internet of Things’, said: “Dubai is embarking on its next evolution to enable Life, Economy and Tourism. With the government’s keenness to make it a Smart City, there is an enormous value that can be created by harnessing the IoT, which is consistent with the broader strategy of the UAE. This is a big opportunity for public as well as private sector enterprises and the benefits accrue in terms on not only cost savings and revenues, but also in enhancing customer satisfaction and the value transcends to organisations and industries.” 40 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

He said the UAE’s focus on Customer Satisfaction and Happiness of its people will also drive orgnaisations to quantify the value of improving experiences, which is what IoTs enables. The Internet of Everything (IoE) which Cisco defines as the networked connection of people, processes, data and things, is transforming industries, countries, and communities and serves as the foundation for a global economic opportunity. Sharing his experience attending the first CIOMajlis session, Ajay Rathi, CIO, Meraas Holding, said: “The CIOMajlis has given us a strong platform to learn from experts who are best in their fields and gives us an opportunity to all members to understand how they can leverage some of the experiences that CIOs from across different sectors share. Many times organisations view IT as expenditure only. The CIOMajlis platform empowers us and helps us build an environment where we can

CISCO: IoE presents over $19 trillion global “value at stake” by 2022

foster a change in mindsets across organizations and look at Information Technology not only as expenditure but from the perspective of the monetary benefits an organisation can reap.” Ahmad Al Mulla, Senior Vice President, Information technology, Emirates Global Aluminium, Chairman of the CIOMajlis, said sharing of experiences will lead organisations across the UAE to take economic growth to the next level. “The high level of engagement at the first session itself shows we need more of this. The CIO Majlis will help organisations connect and benefit from networking, sharing knowledge and learning from global experts. It is not just ideas, but also about implementing those ideas,” he said.

New Technology

Al Mulla: CIOMajlis to set industry benchmarks, foster a culture of idea and knowledge sharing

Going further, we plan to start benchmarking, share case studies and carving pathways for organizations as well on a macro level, based on emerging needs and trends,” he added. Abdulqader Obaid Ali, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Smartworld, said: “We are very pleased at the response to the first meeting. The CIOMajlis initiative aligns with the government’s strategy both at federal and local levels and we are confident this platform will go a

long way in contributing to encouraging innovation across all sectors and driving growth not only on a regional but also a global level in a friendly and collaborative environment. With nearly half of the world population estimated to have network access by 2020, over 50 billion physical objects will be connected to the internet. The outcomes that the connections make possible is what is the real power of the IoT. With this definition, IoE represents a material economic opportunity for both the public and private sectors. A conservative, “bottom up” economic analysis conducted by Cisco Consulting Services, focusing on use cases that can be operationalized in the short to medium term,

estimates a global “value at stake” of $19 trillion over 2013 2022. CISCO studied the IoE areas align with the Dubai Smart City vision IoE’s ability to help public sector organizations manage assets, optimize performance, and create new business models. For Dubai, opportunities for public and private sector estimate of AED 17.9billion over the 5 year period. The CIOMajlis members will have regular monthly meetings during which the members get an opportunity of learning from local and world renowned leaders on topics relevant to them and their businesses as well as participating in local and overseas field trips and educational sessions.  | Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 41


5 Serious Side Effects to Your health

Smartphone Addiction

Your smartphone addiction is taking more that just the time you spend using it.


edical experts warn of serious side effects of excessive use of smartphone, With one in five people in the world owing a smarphone these days, the obsession with mobile gadgets has extended to a wide population.

Following are a handful of new syndromes that come with the addiction and ways you can prevent yourself from getting into these.


Nomophobia: “Nomophobia” (no-mobile-phone-phobia is not limited to the hardcore Wall Street types with their “crackberries” though; it’s more widespread than we realized. A recent survey found that 84 percent of the world’s population said they could not go one day without their phones, and current research shows that nearly twothirds of teens and young adults check their phones every 15 minutes or less. The anxiety and stress over missing out on a text or Facebook update can take such a toll on peoples’ health that Morningside Recovery Center in California recently founded the first rehab group for nomophobia, according to fitnessmagazine.com.

42 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

84 per cent people cannot go without their phone for even one day

Your solution: Experts recommend not checking in for periods of time.You can check if for a minute, keep it silent, upside down. Take “tech breaks” and exten the period of these breaks over time. Gradually, one person learns that the anxiety is not real and is not harmful, and nothing awful happens if you don’t check your phone so often.


Poor Sleep Health Its commonly known now that using gadgets with bright screens before bed makes it harder to fall asleep. Exposure to artificial light before going to bed can suppress your brain’s ability to release me-

latonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. Losing sleep can lead to all sorts of health problems, including depression, weight gain, and even some serious diseases. But a study done by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that 95 percent of people still use some type of electronic device in the hour before bed. Solution: Follow through and take sleep more seriously than your gadgets. Scientists involved with the NSF study recommend doing “wind down activities” before bed, like reading a book or relaxing without electronics. Sure, it’s tempting to check your phone, but don’t use it for more than a couple minutes. Browsing Instagram photos, checking Facebook, and reading e-mails can wait until morning.



Text Claw and Cell Phone Elbow “Text Claw” is a non-medical term used to describe all of the finger cramping and sore muscles that come from continuous scrolling, texting, and gaming on smartphones. An even more common side effect: Using your phone too much can cause inflammation in your tendons and enhance existing conditions, like tendinitis and carpal tunnel. Similarly, “Cell Phone Elbow” describes tingling or numbness in ring and pinky fingers after bending your elbow for long periods of time. If your non-stop smartphoning has you feeling sore and weak, do some stretches. Put down the phone, then try bending your wrists backward, putting your hands together like a prayer and pushing down.

Then, doing some wrist flexes. If you experience pain for longer than a week, try applying heat. Or better still, see a doctor.


try to hold your phone directly out and in front of your face, not on your lap where you might need to look down for minutes at a time.

iPosture and Text Neck Slouching over your phone for hours at a time is ruining your neck and hurting your back muscles. “iPosture” or “Text Neck” are just two of a few phrases doctors throw around to describe the excessive stress on neck muscles.


According to a study of young adults in the U.K., 84% of those tracked experienced back pain during the last year, mainly due to being hunched over smartphones, tablets, and computers.

If you’re experiencing eye discomfort, make your phone’s font size bigger. Mark Rosenfield, O.D., Ph.D., told Men’s Health that phone users should try to hold their phones at least 16 inches away from their faces. Every few minutes look up from your screen  at something far away for short breaks, and don’t forget to blink. 

Fixing your posture can relieve lower back pain, and limiting your phone use can alleviate neck strain. While it seems awkward,

Computer Vision Syndrome Staring at the tiny font in your texts and scrolling through dozens of tweets can lead to eyestrain, blurred vision, dizziness, and dry eyes. And blurred vision plus sore neck muscles can also cause headaches.

| Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 43

Special Study

80 per cent passengers positive about web check-in

Airline passengers want to use technology more often throughout their journey


irline passengers in Brazil are happy to use technology throughout their journey and are moving in big numbers to use self-service on their smart phones, personal computers and at kiosks, according to a survey released today by global air transport IT provider, SITA.

44 44 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||March March 2016 2016||


The survey was carried out at eight international airports in Brazil that together manage 62 per cent of all the country’s passenger traffic. It reports that Brazil’s passengers are very positive about using self-service technology. When it comes to checking in for flights, 80 per cent of passengers in Brazil are positive about web checkin and 76 per cent about self-service kiosks. This compares to only 65 per cent of passengers being positive about checking in at a desk. At the moment, more than half of the passengers surveyed checked in at a desk, which is higher than the global average of 43 per cent, but looking ahead the trend is dramatically moving away from this. In fact, when asked which technology they would use for their next flight, face-to-face check-in was only picked by 28 per cent with a strong move to using personal computers (35 per cent) and mobile devices (24 per cent). Elbson Quadros, SITA Senior Sales Director, Brazil, said: “Rising passenger numbers can put a strain on services at the airport but by using technology such as web and mobile check-in airlines and airports can reduce the pressure. Here in Brazil it is encouraging to see that passengers are happy to use self-service and in fact, would like more. Airlines and airports can be confident that focusing on self-service technology, especially mobile services will make passengers happier.” Though nearly three quarters of Brazilian passengers feel positive throughout the travel experience, this


is lower than the global average of 80 per cent. It demonstrates passengers’ desire for new services which take advantage of mobile and web technologies. Passengers here are connected, 83 per cent carry smartphones – higher than the 23 per cent ownership rate across the general population – and they want to use them when travelling. Some new services have real appeal in Brazil: 83 per cent of passengers would definitely use flight updates to their mobiles, while 72 per cent want updates on their baggage collection. This is a clear opportunity for airlines and airports in Brazil to improve the passenger experience by providing information that the passengers want sent directly to their mobile phones. The survey also shows that more passengers check-in bags at airports in Brazil than in other parts of the world. Here again they have a desire to use self-service. Currently 17 per cent of passengers use self bag drop services but this is set to grow to 35% over the next year. The passengers surveyed were happiest during dwell time at the airport, the time between clearing security and boarding the flight. There was a peak of 93 per cent positive emotions at this stage of the journey with 84% valuing entertainment and 83 per cent eating and drinking, considerably higher than global averages. These statistics are encouraging for those airports in Brazil that have focused on the concessionary model and are providing high-quality entertainment and food and beverage services to their passengers at this point of the journey.  | Manafez ManafezDubai Dubai||March March 2016 | 45

Customer Service

UAE organisations committed to enhancing customer service standards

I The coming months are expected to witnessed increased activity on the customer service front as organisations make extra efforts to ensure high customer satisfaction through measures such as strengthening their customer service strategies to utilising latest smart technolo46 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

n line with the vision of the UAE’s leadership to enhance customer satisfaction and to excel in citizen happiness index, organisations across the United Arab Emirates are taking active measures by launching new initiatives and facilities.

gies in innovative way. Prominent among the initiatives is the ‘Smart Payment System’ by Dubai Courts which marks the beginning of a new phase of excellence and leadership in strengthening customers’ satisfaction and confidence in legal and judicial services.

The new innovative system offers advanced interactive features that improve the speed, ease, efficiency and reliability of online bank transfer proceedings related to financial and inheritance cases, without the need to issue checks to the beneficiaries and parties concerned.


UAE Exchange launches dedicated customer service centre for Arab customers

successful year for us, as we are looking forward to make more achievements in line with our aspired goals to develop legal and judicial system and strengthen Dubai Courts position as a pioneer in courts work on regional and international arena.” The UAE Exchange, a leading global remittance, foreign exchange and payment solutions brand, has also moved introduced a new dedicated customer service centre that will exclusively address requests and queries from Arab nationalities.

The step comes in line with Dubai Courts ‘ efforts to increase customer’s satisfaction and raise usage to 80 per cent by 2018, in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Designed to better meet the evolving needs of a continuously growing Arab customer base, the new customer service centre will provide personalised assistance on any queries related to transactions, products or services. To bring further convenience to the Arab customers, the brand has deployed a dedicated team of Arab-speaking customer care executives. Arab customers residing in the UAE can also call on the custom-


er service number - 600555550 - for any enquiries any day of the week. The customer service centre will also address all customer’s grievances, according to a press release by the exchange. Saaed, which provides minor accident services, said it is further strengthening its customer satisfaction strategy, ensuring smoother traffic and safer roads across the UAE. Transparent and easy access, identified as a key step towards happiness, which are considered as important pillars of “Saaed” customer service. The organization’s customer service centers offer toll-free communication points through (80072233), active all days between 7:30 am and 6:00 pm. Customers and motorists may get in touch for support in any of the three languages of their preference, Arabic, English and Urdu. The center is equipped to offer instant recommendations on queries or complaints on issues related to minor accidents or insurance claims. The company is also, through its online chanels, providing real time information on accidents and traffic updates. 

His Excellency Taresh Eid Al Mansouri, Director General, Dubai Courts , said: “The launch of Smart Payment System is an important step that will spur us on to pursue the course of excellence in 2016. We are confident that 2016 will be another | Manafez Dubai | March 2016 | 47


Thailand, a popular tourist destination

Popularity across Asia drives tourism boom


ne of the most popular tourism destinations in Southeast Asia, Thailand is a country with a fascinating history, culture and beautiful scenery that lures travelers from all over the world.

For many cultural travelers it is a land of ancient temples, glittering spires and beautiful palaces. For sunseeking hedonists it is a place to rejuvenate on palmstudded beaches that rim idyllic bays and islands. For international foodies it is a culinary mecca whose restaurants and sidewalk food stands keep coming back for more. Bangkok, a huge metropolis replete with traffic and shopping centers worthy of any international capital, contrasts sharply with the rice paddies out on the plains, the idyllic villages in the hills and mountains or the beach-side reggae bars in Phuket. Bit it’s this very diversity that’s makes the country so appealing for so many, from burned-out executives who jet here to unwind at sybaritic five-star resorts, to backpackers who wander through to experience the local culture while staying at low-cost guesthouses in Bohemian-like Chiang Mai. The popularity of Thailand led to more than 20.4 per cent rise in visitor arrivals in 2015 hitting an all-time record of 29.88 million. Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn, The Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, said “It was another remarkable year in 2015. The performance endorses the scope and effectiveness of the 2015 Discover Thainess campaign and its success in restoring travel confidence.” Below is a listing of the “Top 10” most-visited places in Thailand as reported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. 48 |Manafez Dubai | March 2016 |

1. Bangkok As the political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital of Thailand, Bangkok features both old-world charm and modern convenience. Invariably, every Thailand holiday includes a visit to the kingdom’s capital city, Bangkok, or Krung Thep, “the city of angels” as it’s known to the locals. Many first-time visitors to the city are overwhelmed by its sheer size; others by the vast number of attractions scattered about the city, the result of more than two centuries of rapid development following the city’s founding in 1782. Today Bangkok is a cosmopolitan, 21st century city of more than ten million inhabitants.


3. Phuket When travelers to Thailand talk about sea, sun and sand, Phuket is often the first place that comes to mind. Catapulted to international attention by the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” back in 1974, the entire area today boasts many hotels and resorts, which offer all sorts of tourism facilities for travelers.

2. Chiang Mai Thailand’s “Rose of the North” contains both cultural and natural diversity, a multitude of attractions, and welcoming hospitality. Chiang Mai literally means “new city” and has retained the name despite celebrating its 700th anniversary in 1996. King Meng Rai the Great, a very religious leader who founded many of the city’s temples, created the city as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom around the same time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, but also the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand.

4. Ayutthaya Once considered the most spectacular city on Earth, the ruins of the capital of the Kingdom Ayutthaya are now a major tourist attraction easily accessible from Bangkok by car, train, or boat as either a daytrip or overnight excursion. A regional power for 417 years, the ancient city its apex in the 16th century, when the Kingdom’s territory extended into and beyond present-day Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Ayutthaya had diplomatic relations with Louis XIV of France and was courted by Dutch, Portuguese, English, Chinese and Japanese merchants.

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6. Krabi a province on southern Thailand’s Andaman coast, is an almost otherworldly region of labyrinthine archipelagos, where islands seem to erupt vertically out of the sea and secluded beaches are only accessible by colorfully adorned long tail boats. Krabi’s myriad of bays and coves have sheltered pirates, merchants, and sea gypsies for thousands of years and archaeological evidence indicates that Krabi was originally inhabited as early as 25,000 – 35,000 years ago.

5. Kanchanaburi Kanchanaburi has become a major tourist destination, with a focus on the outdoors due to its magnificent landscape and charming beauty. Only two hours from Bangkok, Kanchanaburi is accessible by road or rail, and is popular for fishing, rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, bird-watching, star-gazing, golfing and elephant and jungle trekking. The area boasts several well-known waterfalls, caves that were once inhabited by Neolithic man, national parks, tranquil rivers, virgin forests, and several large reservoirs.

7. Ratchaburi Ratchaburi’s premier attraction is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, a destination visited by a large percentage of tourists who visit Bangkok. Vendors in the market sell their wares by paddling boats along Ratchaburi’s canals. Every morning, hundreds of boats crowd the market, paddled by women in straw hats. For a few hundred baht visitors can hire their own boats and explore the canals while shopping for everything from vegetables and fruits to freshlycooked noodles and souvenirs.

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9. Sukhothai Founded in the 13th century, Sukhothai, which literally means “Dawn of Happiness”, was the first truly independent Thai Kingdom and enjoyed a golden age under King Ramkhamhaeng, who is credited with creating the Thai alphabet. The superb temples and monuments of this great city have been lovingly restored, and Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is popular with travelers, particularly on those occasional nights the park when the park remains open and the graceful Buddhas are illuminated by lights.

8. Chon Buri Chonburi, Bangkok’s nearest seaside town, is located on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 50 miles from the capital. The area boasts abundant natural resources, making it a popular coastal province among Bangkokians who seek a weekend. Particularly popular is the seaside resort of Pattaya, though Chonburi’s smaller, quieter seaside towns are also quite popular with foreigners and Thais alike.

10. Phang nga Phang Nga province renowned for its beautiful land, spectacular bay, amazing islands and good diving. Most famous is Phang Nga Bay National Park, a geological wonder filled with islets, sunken caverns, and startling rock formations rising vertically out of the sea. The bay is extremely sheltered and therefore ideal for expeditions on sea kayaks to explore the many fascinating caverns and islands throughout the bay. 

(Source: www.neverstoptraveling.com)

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opinion column

Need to convert threats in jobs market to opportunities G lobalisation, demographic trends

and technological change are transforming jobs in our economy. The overall organisation of work and the skills needed in the workplace are undergoing profound and rapid changes. It is imperative for us to remain ahead of the curve and to be able to provide the necessary tools for workers, companies and labour markets to adapt to these changes efficiently.

Angel Gurría Secretary-General of the OECD

Digital devices are increasingly doing things that only human beings could do just a few years ago.  Many people are worried that these changes are contributing to decreased employment, wage stagnation and growing inequality. But while there is certainly a transition cost to technological change, technical progress is ultimately the driver of productivity, which can in turn support higher wages, better quality jobs and more inclusive societies – provided the right policies are put in place. OECD analysis of ICT employment over the last 20 years shows that ICTs may have negative effects on employment for a limited period and these effects tend to disappear over time. 

(Excerpts from speech at the opening of the Policy Forum on the Future of Work. OECD Conference Centre, Paris, France) 52 52 52 |Manafez |Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai Dubai |September | March | March 2016 2016 ٢٠١٤ | ||

The is higher demand for high-skilled jobs and for some non-routine, lowskilled jobs but much less demand for jobs often involving routine tasks. Focusing policies on upskilling and accompanying workers in the

transition to new jobs is absolutely necessary, not only to facilitate the transition to more productive economies, but also to reduce the long-term social costs of the transition. The already massive skills mismatches will only grow over time unless we urgently put in place the right policies.   At the same time, the sharing economy and the gig economy are challenging labour market institutions which are based on the traditional employeremployee relationship. They are questioning the very definition of what is a ‘job’, as workers can now easily hold multiple jobs, be on-demand at any hour of the day and run new forms of ‘virtual’ businesses. While it has its own set of benefits, it also raises a number of possible concerns such as long working hours, high stress and lack of support. These challenges pose profound questions to our labour market institutions and to policies regarding workers’ rights, taxation, pensions, health and social security. In the past, the world of work has undergone massive transformations such as those ignited by the mechanisation of agriculture, electrical power and the advent of mass production.  

opinion column

Strong demand for air travel to keep aviation industry on a high growth trajectory long-term growth prospects of the T heglobal aerospace industry also remain

positive. With a combined record order backlog of more than 12,500 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, the industry is seeing a period of high growth. And this growth is expected to continue because of strong demand for air travel globally.  Asia is already one of the biggest markets in the world for air travel, with one billion passengers travelling to, from, or within the region each year. With traffic projected to grow 6 per cent annually, Asia will become the largest travel market in the world within the next 2 decades.     Singapore is positioning itself to be future-ready, in order to capture opportunities in the area of aviation and aerospace.  Aviation is a key sector for Singapore and an enabler for business and tourism. With passenger traffic at Changi Airport expected to grow between 3 per cent and 4 per cent per year over the next two decades, Singapore continues to develop our infrastructure to meet our future needs as a leading aviation hub. Today, Singapore is home to 130 aerospace companies – one of the largest and most diverse concentrations of aerospace companies in Asia, and an important node in the global aerospace community. In 2014, the industry achieved an output of S$8.3 billion, and employed close to 20,000 workers. 

Singapore is constantly building new capabilities to prepare ourselves to do better in the future. With companies keen to leverage additive manufacturing in both manufacturing and repair, we have also invested in additive manufacturing research centres. Singapore will also continue to ensure a healthy pipeline of good manpower that is geared for the future. Aviation and aerospace companies tell us that our high quality workforce is one of the key reasons why they choose to invest in Singapore. These industries also offer rewarding and meaningful careers for Singaporeans.

Teo Chee Hean Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore

We also want to help Singaporeans deepen their skills and identify longterm career progression pathways in the aerospace and aviation sector. The Singapore Airshow is just one example of Singapore’s commitment to the aviation and aerospace industries. We will continue to invest in infrastructure, industry partnerships, and a high quality workforce, to build an aviation hub ready for the future, an aerospace industry ready for the future, and a competitive workforce ready for the future. 

(Excerpts from speech at the Official Opening Ceremony Of Singapore Airshow 2016)

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