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


Issue 17

October 2015

Internet of Things to bring revolution in passenger experience

Humanoid robots entering New Jersey classrooms Tips for a winning customer self-service portal

A billion reason to be in UAE

Over 800,000 travel to and from ///// //// ////// Dubai during Eid-al-Adha

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

Reaping the reward of excellence A lways ahead of others in terms of

achievements, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s VicePresident and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, recently approved the star rating evaluation of federal government service centres, which assures that UAE is the only country in the world to apply the same criteria of rating as hotels. Now, we at the GDRFA in Dubai, are following the same process to bring the vision of our leadership to reality by offering the best services to our customers, and giving them the best experience and impression about our country and the border industry in the UAE. Excellence is inbuilt in our systems; it is a journey and not the final goal. It is a journey and we need to make continuous progress toward which we will keep adding more services and smart solutions to make our customers happy. The GDRFA in Dubai has added more achievements to its kitty by recently launching the ‘Excellence Programme for Training’.

The smart solutions are also a part of our achievements including the online visa facility for GCC expats. Dear readers, the star rating system on a federal level will enhance the quality of services and boost the brand of UAE in the international market and make our customers happy. This is the reward of the excellence which we are reaping after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum sow the seeds to encourage government bodies toward attaining excellence. In today’s competitive times, let us all compete.

The programme, under which 4,300 GDRFA employees in different categories will get training, aims to enhance the skill set and productivity of our staff, which is a vital step to offering a creative work environment that motivates them to innovate and excel. In addition, we have introduced Creativity and Innovation Strategy in GDRFA to develop a culture of creativity and motivate the staff to be creative at all levels and make GDRFA exemplary at local as well as international levels.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 1

GDRFA Message


in History


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

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

Our Mission (MOI):

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

Our Mission (GDRFA):

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

Our Values:       

Justice Team-Work Excellence courtesy Integrity Loyalty Social responsibility

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

To communicate with GDRFA: Location: Aljaffilya - Bur Dubai PO Box : UAE – Dubai 4333 Email: 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

Visa applications for GCC expats is now fully online

Smart Gate registration at Dubai Mall



UAE News Global Village to kick off on Nov 3

UAE tops Arab countries in Islamic Economy index, second globally

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Middle East News Middle East countries most popular expat destinations

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Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai

Sultanate awards contacts worth over $11 billion in first eight months of 2015

Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri Director General

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 Editor Shveta Pathak

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Tips for a winning customer self-service portal

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




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Visa application for GCC expats is now fully online V isa applications for GCC expatri-

ates visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are now done online via all access ports to Dubai, according to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai. The GDRFA Dubai had started the online application facility earlier this year and starting October 1, all applications are done online. Airliners providing connection flights between the UAE and GCC States will allow Gulf States nationals or expats working in the Gulf in specific professional domains and holding valid work residence permits there, to board their flights to the UAE only if they have attained their visas online.

The visa service has received tremendous response and over 12,535 visas were issued from June to August. Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director of the GDRFADubai, told Manafez Dubai: “The online visa service comes as part of the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to work on providing government services round the clock via mobile phones and smart devices for the public. We are committed to enhancing traveler experience.” With the online service, he said, visa can be obtained merely six hours prior to their flights departure, he said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Talal Shanqeeti, Assistant Director-General for Airports Affairs at the GDRFADubai, said prior to introducing this facility, the application process to acquire a visa upon arrival via immigration counters in Dubai airports used to take around 40 minutes. “GCC visitors can now finalise their entry procedures via Dubai airports in less than 3 minutes. They can also use their smart phones to take a picture of the visa barcode to facilitate their entry procedures.” The online visa facility provides applicants with immediate notification on their mobile phones when the visa is ready, and they can present it via their phones upon arrival at Dubai International Airport. 

Smart Gate registration at Dubai Mall U AE residents can register to access

the Smart Gates at Dubai airports free-of-charge at The Dubai Mall, said the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).Once registered, travellers can bypass the long lines at passport control, clearing the immigration process at Dubai airports within seconds, according to a report in Gulf News.

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There are no prerequisites for the registration. Residents can register by submitting their passport information and biometrics (fingerprints and eye scan). The mobile registration booth will operate at the Gold Souq Atrium in The Dubai Mall for only a few weeks before it relocates. Quoting a GDRFA official, the report said registered travellers need only

spend eight to 12 seconds to clear the immigration process and can use either a passport, Emirates ID, Smart Gate card or even a QR barcode via the GDRFA DUBAI smartphone app. The GDRFA Smart Gate mobile registration booth has previously been set up in other locations, including Deira City Centre, Mirdif City Centre, and the World Trade Centre. 



Creating history P eople with talent create history with their

achievements. In my opinion, these achievers and the achievements become even more important if they are those who overcame challenges of disabilities and hence, create history in their own special way. The UAE’s leadership has complete faith in their abilities and they strongly support the disabled, who form almost 15 per cent of the total world’s population, which equals 750 million, almost 50 million of them are in the Middle East. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council launched “My community… a city for everyone” initiative to empower people with disabilities and make Dubai the worlds friendliest city for those with disabilities. To implement his vision, he formed a supreme committee, which works toward bringing this vision to reality. The GDRFA Dubai is committed to give full support and encourage people with disabilities to contribute their best. The directorate has 24 employees with disabilities and it takes good care of them. These employees work hard and their contribution is no lesser than the others, and, in some cases they have achieved more than their coworkers due to their dedication, hard work and abilities. They are quite capable to play their role to support the society. Manar Conference, which is organised annually by the GDRFA Dubai, aims to highlight the challenges and issues related to the blind and generate awareness on related issues. As a society it is or duty to

support them to speak about their rights and contribute to the society. I would like to convey a special thanks to our colleagues with disabilities, particularly Manar Al Hammadi, who did not let blindness come in the way of her ambitions and has numerous achievements to her credit. She has made us all proud with these achievements and is the first Arab woman in the world to hold a certification as an International Trainer from British Institute of Leadership and Management. We, at the GDRFA believe in giving the opportunity to people with disabilities and offer them our support to be creative and to be capable to give more and it is with this purpose in mind that the Manar conference is being organised. I wish the all the success to this conference so that many can benefit from this event.

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

|Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 5

Cover Story

Over 800,000 travel to and from Dubai during Eid-al-Adha The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, GDRFA-Dubai, has said that the department carried out 814, 981 transactions during the Eid al-Adha holiday from September 22nd to September 26th. GDRFA-Dubai also revealed that 670,853 people travelled to and from the emirate through its land, sea and air ports during the holidays, while 319, 453 left the emirate in the same time period. The department added that it issued 17,306 residency permits and 123,974 entry permits over Eid. 6 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

Cover Story

Major General Mohammad Ahmad Saeed Al Marri, Director of GDRFA-Dubai, said that the residency department continuously works to offer efficient and fast services to help Dubai visitors and all travelers coming in or out of the city to have an easy and smooth travel experience. Major General Al Marri said that GDRFA staff are well trained to handle any number of travellers coming to or going from Dubai, even with the inflow of visitors during holidays.

were issued during Eid Al Adha. GDRFA also said 758 ships used Dubai’s sea ports, with 357 arriving in the Emirate and 401 departing. Major General Al Marri said that the GDRFA-Dubai is committed to providing the best services to all its customers as per directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The GDRFA director also praised the directorate’s employees for their commitment and for doing their job to the fullest during the Eid break, as it contributed greatly to the ease of entry and exit of visitors to Dubai. 

Major General Al Marri said GDRFA staff and officers worked during the Eid holidays and are now ready to receive Haj pilgrims who have started returning to Dubai. More than 351,400 people arrived in Dubai through its air, sea and land ports between September 22 and 26, while 319, 453 left the emirate in the same period. A total number of 17,306 residency permits and 123,974 entry permits |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 7

GDRFA Interview

Brigadier Awad Al Aweem

GDRFA’s Leadership Excellence program to enhance skills


rigadier Awad Al Aweem, Assistant of the General Manager, Human Resources and Finance Department, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, said the GDRFA has launched a major development and excellence leadership project which will bring massive transformation in terms of developing the skills and abilities of the directorate’s leadership team. Al Aweem said over 4,300 GDRFA officers will receive training courses in their respective fields, to accomplish the goal of the directorate to ensure continuous progress in its performance in line with the vision of UAE’s leadership which guides us to provide the best services at government departments for customers and ensure happiness. In an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, Al Aweem spoke in detail about the GDRFA Dubai’s strategic plan on developing a new generation of leaders with a strong understanding of the impact of they can create in serving clients as well as work toward achievements in the field of security. The program, termed ‘Excellence Leadership Program’ is the outcome 8 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

of an in-depth and comprehensive analysis by the expert GDRFA team of all the related aspects such as the requirements and the goals of the directorate. The team studied the impact the program could have on employees at various levels including directors and assistants of several departments, heads of departments and officials at branches. The training courses will equip the leaders with skills in accordance to the requirements and goals of the directorate and the role of the concerned official.

Plan to improve GDRFA training centre “Training needs of administrative staff have changed over a period of time. Particularly in light of the rapid technological changes, smart travel and adoption of intelligent systems in completing travelers procedures at the Dubai International Airport, which is expecting to receive over 79 million travelers in the current year and 126 million in 2020 at the Dubai International and Al Actium airports, the training programme will enhance skills of the officials that suit current requirements,” said Al Aweem.

GDRFA Interview

“We are working to our full capacity to achieve the goals of our administration to be the best whether it is in human resources or systems and their usage. The success we have achieved in terms of improving the performance of our individuals and also the application of the best systems and technologies, is the result of efforts by all under the guidance and immense support provided by our Director General Major General Mohammed Al Marri.” “Working in the services sector in the UAE, we need to stay constantly updated and keep working toward developing ways and systems to ensure high satisfaction of our customers and create a positive image of the UAE in aspects . This requires a staff with a high level of commitment and knowledge about the nature and requirements of work.” The aim of the “Excellence Leadership Program” is knowledge- sharing among a group of leaders, spreading a culture of excellence, applying planning mechanism in a systematic way, and developing a culture of positive values among the leaders in addition to strengthening these leaders’ views about strategic thinking and adopting international best practices in the field of advanced leadership.

Al Aweem added: “We have a forward looking approach and hence, keep up with the challenges of the future by enhancing the capabilities our officers and employees of all ranks. According to the plan, all the 4,300 management employees will get into training courses and programs each in their respective fields and according to their need in 2016.” Giving details, he said the work development program plan includes interactive training on leadership skills and development, on-the-job practical application and continuous improvement, thorough theoretical and practical training courses (simulation), meetings on developmental issues in the workplace, development of a strategic plan to suit the requirements of work place and organizing stimulatory workshops and brainstorming sessions. In the first phase, 320 employees working in the administration at different levels of leadership will be trained.

All GDRFA employees to enrol in training programs in 2016 He said: “Initially, the training was optional, but now it has been made mandatory for all in order to develop a generation of highly motivated and skilled leaders who can easily cope with future challenges arising as a result of the phenomenal growth in the numbers of travelers and residents, and also the security challenges being faced in the region and across the world, spreading the culture of excellent leadership through the administration.” Brigadier Al Aweem revealed that there is a project to refurbish the training center of the administration in order to be better prepared to receive trainees. “We have accomplished a lot toward enhancing the skills of our employees and still have a lot to achieve in this direction to attain our targets,” he added. 

The program is based on the standards of the outstanding employee in leadership positions adopted by the Dubai Government Excellence Award for governmental performance. The program includes six criteria which focus on performance and achievement, efficiency, creativity, communication and cooperation; selfeducation, and, leadership skills. These six criteria eventually target building an effective and distinguished leaderships and may promote the realization of future administration. |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 9

GDRFA Interview

Manar Al Hammadi, a GDRFA employee, has contributed to bringing hopes to numerous lives

A beacon of light


anar Al Hammadi is no ordinary woman. Challenging her blindness, this young Emirati woman not only dispelled common perceptions people have about being visually impaired, she surmounted the challenges that came her way and today, has become a beacon of light for many others.

Determined right from her childhood to make her mark in the society, Manar decided to never let blindness come in the way of her ambitions and surprised all by successfully completing first a Bachelor’s degree in Social sciences and later, a Masters in Management and Strategies.

people who are visually impaired, not only within the scope of their work, but in all the affairs of life.

In an interview to Manafez Dubai, she said: “I never let myself fall into despair and decided that the gift of life that Allah has given me, I must use it to bring happiness in the lives of others. It gives me a lot of satisfaction and joy too.”

Manar Al hammadi Through voluntary programmes, she has been educating the community of how to deal with those with visual Manar is trained in the art of disability. dealing with people who are visually impaired She created ‘Manaar Forum’, an annual event for the visually impaired, with the support of GDRFA. “The forum has been highly tory is full of examples of peosuccessful so far. ple who brought major positive changes in the society inspire of Through this forum, my goal is to being blind,” she said. facilitate integration of the visually impaired in the society, make During the interview she said she the society know how they can be aims to make the forum an annual more accepting of the blind and feature so that it can reach maxiget their best contribution. mum number of people.

Manar, who works with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, is trained in the art of dealing with

A visually impaired person can equally contribute to the society as much as any other and my goal is to make this happen. The his-

She went on to become the first Arab woman in the world to hold a certification as an International Trainer from British Institute of Leadership and Management.

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Manar said she spends most of her time reading and writing columns for various publications. She uses modern day technology to her

GDRFA Interview

advantage and stays updated by gaining knowledge from the internet “so that I can improve my ability and succeed in my mission to motivate people to contribute to the society”. “I am also very keen on improving the e-services, smart programmes for blind, which is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, regarding smart government. Toward this, I am eager to contribute to creating new smart services for the visually impaired.” Manar’s efforts have been widely recognized and she has received numerous government awards including the Dubai Award for Excellence in Government Perfor-

On her advice to the visually impaired, she said: “I always encourManar uses modern day technology to her advantage age them to speak for themselves and stays updated by instead of waiting for someone gaining knowledge from the else to talk on their behalf. internet

mance for the Unknown Soldier category in 2007. “I never felt happier in my life as I did when I received the honour from none other than His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” she gushed. Manar said she is very grateful to the GDRFA Dubai for the support and encouragement, particularly in organizing the Manar Forum.

We must do our best in whatever we take up and if we speak for ourselves, we are the ones who will be able to lead a respectful, successful and a happy life,” she added. Her achievements have only motivated Manar to continue strongly toward her goal of empowering people with disabilities. “I still have a lot to do for myself as well as for the society and for people with disabilities, particularly the blind. I want to defend their rights and help them lead better lives,” she said. 

|Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 11

UAE News

20th season promises novel experience to visitors

Global Village to kick off on Nov 3


he 20th season of Global Village, the popular cultural, shopping and entertainment seasonal event, will kick off on November 3.

The 20th edition of Global Village promises novel experiences for visitors. This year, Global Village will offer a platform to Emirati entrepreneurs to showcase their creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial talent, said media reports. Emirati entrepreneurs will be offered 30 kiosks with a 50 per cent discount at the park. Global Village is among the most popular events in the region and at12 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

tracts visitors from across the UAE, GCC and other countries across the world. The 19th edition ended with a total of five million guests, who visited between November 6, 2014 and April 11, 2015.

tended by Ahmad Bin Eisa Hussain, CEO of Global Village, and Saeed Al Merri, Deputy CEO of Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development, according to a Gulf News report.

As it readies for the new season, the park has partnered with Dubai SME to bring these opportunities to young entrepreneurial Emiratis. The signing of the agreement was at-

Home-grown businesses, run and operated by Emiratis, are being actively encouraged and supported by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-

UAE News

President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The report quoted Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, as saying: “Our partnership with Global Village gives young Emiratis the chance to exhibit their amazing entrepreneurial skills and have the youth of the Emirates get involved in the development of their own businesses from an early age. We are glad to join forces with Global Village once again this year to give Emiratis a chance to benefit from this association and to exhibit their products in a dynamic international environment.” The large number of residents from Dubai and the tourists that visit Global Village give the participating SMEs the opportunity to engage with the public and see their reaction to their products, giv-

ing them more confidence in their own abilities as business owners to grow. “At Global Village we are committed to working in partnership with Dubai SME to help provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs to start and develop their businesses while they gain insight into what it takes to grow and manage a successful business”, Bin Eisa said. “As part of our CSR initiatives we have developed a plan for this season with our strategic partners at Dubai SME that will provide more than 30 kiosks with a discounted rate of 50 per cent, to help these budding business owners have a platform where they can support and promote their business ventures.” Ahmed Hussain, chief operating officer of Global Village, told Khaleej Times that he is keen on recording the responses of guests

Global Village is among the most popular events in the region and attracts visitors from across the GCC and other countries

and shoppers to further improve the quality of services and live up to the expectations of visitors. “We had conducted a survey for our visitors to gauge their feedback and response to all our new initiatives this season. The idea behind conducting this survey was to ensure that we meet and exceed the expectations of our guests,” the report quoted Hussain as saying. “We have many new offerings planned for the next season, which we will announce through this year. However, one thing we can promise is that the 20th season will be an unforgettable experience for all our guests.”  |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 13

UAE News

UAE tops Arab countries in Islamic Economy index, second globally


he UAE has received top rankings as one of the healthiest Islamic economy environments worldwide, second only to Malaysia on scores spanning seven key economic sectors, according to the second edition of the Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI), which measures the development health of Islamic economy sectors across 73 core countries. A total of 73 countries were evaluated that included 57 OIC and 16 non-OIC countries. The purpose of the Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI) is to show the current development health of Islamic economy sectors. The GIEI is a composite weighted index comprised of six sector level indicators (Halal Food, Islamic Finance, Halal Travel, Modest Fashion, Halal Media and Recreation, and Halal Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics). The updated indicator is featured in the third ‘State of the Global Islamic Economy Report’ (SGIE 2015-2016) revealing the outstanding growth of the Islamic economy across strategic sectors and the abundant opportunities available in global Islamic markets. His Excellency Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Chairman of the Board of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), said: “The UAE today is taking on greater global importance in the Islamic economy as one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, with the Islamic economy growing at nearly twice the rate of the global economy and Muslim consumer spending exceeding $1.8 trillion. Islamic banking assets hover at 14 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

The UAE is better positioned to leverage the Islamic finance sector some $1.3 trillion and are expected to double in just five years from today.” His Excellency Al Gergawi added, “Our strategy for developing the Islamic economy is not limited to Islamic banking and finance, which constitutes an important part of this economy, but spans seven key sectors forming the true pillars of an economy that is expanding while the world’s Muslim population continues to outgrow others. For example, total spending by Muslims on Halal food and beverage annually exceeds $1.1 trillion, which is equivalent to the combined spending of India and China. The UAE ranks third worldwide in terms of benefitting from the Halal food industry, thanks to its strong expertise in accrediting Halal foods, combined with an advanced global logistics infrastructure and flexible legislative and regulatory framework that facilitates import and re-

export to global markets that are in close proximity to the UAE.” His Excellency noted, “Studies are showing similar interest and solid growth in sukuk, with the UAE leading the way globally in this field thanks to its distinguished regulatory expertise in sukuk issuance. The UAE is also better positioned to leverage the Islamic finance sector, which is estimated at $1.8 trillion globally and expected to grow by 75 percent in the coming five years.” “The latest SGIE report we have developed with Thomson Reuters indicates that Muslims spend $142 billion on tourism, with the GIEI ranking the UAE as having the second best positioned Islamic economy (following Malaysia) for serving the family-friendly tourism sector among the 73 countries covered by the indicator,” His Excellency Al Gergawi concluded. DIEDC stated that the third edition of the report on the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE 2015-2016) revealed data that highlight the significant progress achieved by the Islamic economy in its seven sectors, and the promising opportunities offered by Islamic markets worldwide.

UAE News

A key initiative of DIEDC since its inception in 2013, the report aims to position Dubai as a trusted international resource for research in line with Dubai’s aspiration to emerge as the global capital of Islamic economy. Commissioned by DIEDC and published in partnership with Thomson Reuters in collaboration with DinarStandard, the 2015 edition of the report highlights Islamic economy as one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. Indeed, the Muslim population is growing at twice the rate of the global population, and Muslim consumer spending across the different sectors of the Islamic economy is expected to reach AED 9.55 trillion (US$2.6 trillion) by 2020, compared to AED 6.6 trillion (US$1.8 trillion) in 2014. More specifically, the indicator reveals the UAE’s ranking as one of the healthiest Islamic economy environments, taking the number one

Islamic economy is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world

spot in the Arab world and coming in second globally on the GIEI, earning top marks that place it amongst leading nations on index scores of Islamic finance, Halal food and family-friendly tourism. The findings reflect the UAE and Dubai’s meteoric achievement in developing a holistic strategy for the Islamic economy industry to reinforce the country’s position as a safe investment hub in the GCC and the Middle East region. Commenting on the launch of the report, His Excellency Essa Kazim, Secretary General of DIEDC said: “While we celebrate the achievements of Dubai’s leadership in the Islamic finance domain that have led

to the emirate outpacing top global financial centres in sukuk listing, we are confident the trillion dollar industry will continue to drive innovative ideas for future investments and help enhance competitiveness across the world to create new avenues for the growth of the whole ecosystem. The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report and Index 2015 can serve as a roadmap for a world of future opportunities that investors globally can tap into.” Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC said, “With the launch of this report Dubai reinforces its position as a reliable research reference in Islamic economy. We are pleased with the positive results revealed by the SGIE 2015 and the promising indicators on the sectors’ growth, as well as on the progress of the UAE among the most active and healthiest Islamic economy ecosystems.”  |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 15

In Focus

Humanoid robots stepping into New Jersey classrooms for special needs students


OULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY AGAIN?” asks the diminutive robot named Peter. Several of the 3- and 4-year-olds in the preK/kindergarten class are excited about the prospect.“Yes, robot!” “Let’s do it again!” “I love this robot!” they call out. “Can you show me a dog?” asks Peter (robot) as the classroom teacher nods to the child whose turn it is to answer. The little girl walks to the front of the room, picks up a card with a photo of a dog and holds it in front of the robot’s “eyes.” “Well done,” Peter says calmly, slowly raising his fist in a victory salute. All of the children clap and cheer. This scene is repeated throughout the period as the students take turns playing games with the 2-foot-tall robot. Wrong answers, and there are few, are met with a simple “try again” from Peter. Keeping youngsters this age on task can be difficult under any conditions, but what is most amazing is that the six children in this classroom have autism. They are part of a pilot pro16 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

gram at Shaler Academy, a Ridgefield pre-K/kindergarten public school that has a regional magnet program for students with autism and other special needs. Humanoid robots like Peter are stepping into New Jersey classrooms as electronic teacher aides, helping students with everything from responding to social cues and language to improving fine motor skills. The robots can dance, pose questions and “understand” verbal and nonverbal answers. And, oh, yes,

once they master facial recognition, they can greet you by name, keep a record of your progress and even ask for a kiss. “The fact that this group (of students) could sit, wait their turn and applaud for each other is tremendous,” says Patricia Drimones, supervisor of special education in Ridgefield. “The robot has been a success beyond our expectations. For some, their engagement with the robot has helped us develop language that can otherwise be hard to tap.”



ogy makes it easier for these students to focus and process information. A spokesperson for Aldebaran attributes children’s attraction to NAO robots to the unit’s human-like natural body motion as it encourages learning and mimicking, which helps translate social information about connecting to others.

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have problems relating socially, understanding and using language, and learning. A 2014 study by the national Centers for Disease Control estimated that 1 in 68 children in the United States have ASD; in New Jersey, that rises to 1 in 45. According to the CDC, diagnosis is possible as young as age 2 and early intervention is likely to be more effective and less costly.

mathematics (STEM) research and special education programs in New Jersey. Experts say that many autistic students feel overwhelmed by the ever-changing complexities of facial expressions, body language, day-to-day changes in hair styles and clothing, and other extraneous factors that most people either tune out or unconsciously process. The simplicity of interacting with technol-

At the same time, NAO’s clean design reduces sensory information, which helps avoid overstimulation and makes social tasks easier, especially for children with autism. As with other technology, it is predictable. Plus, the robot is tireless and can repeat a lesson until the child understands. Students who are hesitant to engage with people often eagerly work with the robot, says Mary Ellen Paradiso, the school’s speech and language specialist. “Unlike people, the robot shows no facial expressions. It has a steady voice, and is consistent and nonjudgmental. For some students, it takes the pressure off trying to relate to a real person,” she says.

The robot that the Shaler Academy is using is still in the initial stages of development. Called a NAO robot, it has been used in classrooms since about 2011. The first packaged software designed for autism, Autism Solution for Kids (ASK NAO), was released in 2013. The initial price of nearly $20,000 for a single robot in 2008 has dropped significantly — to $9,000. Aldebaran Robotics, the creator and manufacturer, says that more than 7,000 NAO robots have been sold and it estimates that more than 50 are in use in science, engineering and |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 17

In Focus

have been programming the robot, has been in place for more than a year. The school’s NAO robot is helping teach life skills to 14- to 21-year-olds with multiple disabilities. The robot also works with students on their fine and gross motor skills, motivating them to pick up and hold a card directly in front of its eyes and to join in exercises and dances.

The school’s NAO robot is helping teach life skills to 14to 21-year-olds with multiple disabilities And breakthroughs made with the robot usually carry over into human interactions. “Many students have become more verbal in class,” Paradiso says. For example, kids learn that words have consequences. “Sometimes a student will say ‘no’ when the robot asks, ‘Do you want to play again?’ and then be disappointed when the robot doesn’t continue the game. It is a lesson in language and appropriate response.”

dent figured out that I am actually typing the words, but like the others, he responds.” “Robots can’t plan a lesson, see when a student is upset or help set up the conditions so a student can succeed,” says Paradiso, but she can program a response for the robot’s behavior. Ridgefield purchased two robots, allowing one to be programmed or have its battery recharged while the other is working with students. This school year, one of the robots will be assigned to a high school programming class.

There is a lot of social learning going on, too, says Nicola Schneider, district behaviorist. “Kids are learning selfcontrol and turn-taking, as well as how to relate to each other and follow directions.”

“We have a lot of ideas we want to implement but don’t have the time or expertise to do the programming, and it will be a great learning experience for the high school students,” says Paradiso. “The special needs teacher at the high school is also interested in using it (to teach) life skills with more severely disabled older kids.”

Paradiso is excited to experiment with the robot’s functions. “I can type and the robot speaks my words. So the robot may say, ‘Can you jump for me?’ and the kids will jump. Only one stu-

A partnership between the Warren County Special Services School District, which serves special needs students throughout the county, and Warren Hills Regional High School, whose students

18 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

“You don’t see a lot of the typical resistant or defiant behaviors when the kids are interacting with the robot,” says Shannon McDowell, special education teacher in the Warren Hills Regional School District. “It’s great for teaching kids to identify numbers, letters, emotions. ... Plus, it gives kids used to only working with an aide a sense of independence.” The robot was purchased by the Warren County Special Services School District, with the help of a grant from the Kiwanis International Foundation and a casino night fundraiser organized by the Washington Woman’s Club and the Washington chapter of the Kiwanis Club. Tyler Henning and Nick Gagliano, Warren Hills high school students who did the initial programming and in-classroom rollout of the robot, also made presentations to other New Jersey Kiwanis Clubs and school boards in Parsippany, Chatham and other towns. Chatham piloted the use of NAO robots at Chatham Middle School during the 2014-15 school year. Seven more robots were purchased for a new high school computer science course — animation and movement — being offered this year, says Danielle L. Romero, the district’s supervisor of instructional and design technology for grades K through 12.



The robots can dance, pose questions and “understand” verbal and nonverbal answers. And, oh, yes, once they master facial recognition, they can greet you by name, keep a record of your progress and even ask for a kiss.

“We hope that, in the future, we can begin to utilize the NAO robots in our special education classrooms, utilizing the ASK NAO package, as well as have our middle school and high school students create programs based on teacher and student need.” In Edison public schools, four NAO robots are building relationships between high school students in advanced engineering classes and special needs students. The high school students began working with the robots during the 2014-15 school year and the district is now creating logistics and curriculum for a pilot program, says Christopher Conklin,

assistant superintendent for pupil special services. “The idea is to link gifted students with those who are challenged academically and socially,” he says. “The robot is a platform, like the iPad, and we want our talented high school kids to spend time in the (special ed/autism) classrooms and think, ‘How can we use the robot in this situation?’ “ “There’s no single magic answer for autism,” Conklin adds. “It’s a lot of

dedicated professionals working with the kids. That’s the magic. But, just maybe, another magician may come out of this program; maybe one of these students who gets inspired by their work with autistic students will invent some new way to help these kids communicate.”  (As appeared in www.nj.com , an online New Jersey’s largest website for local news, sports, entertainment, jobs, autos, real estate and information, affiliated with 12 New Jersey newspapers).

|Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 19

Middle East News

Oman’s projects market set for record-breaking year

Sultanate awards contacts worth over $11 billion in first eight months of 2015


man’s projects market is set for another recordbreaking year, with the sultanate having already awarded over $ 11 billion worth of contracts within the first eight months of this year, according to the latest data from MEED Projects, the region’s leading online projects tracking service. Last year, Oman awarded contracts to the tune of $14.8 billion. The pace has been set by a raft of major projects, including the multibillion-dollar Khazzan and Makarem tight gas development, the $900m Yibal Khuff sour gas development, the $630m Salalah independent power project, and the estimated $600m Miraah solar power plant. Also anticipated this year are awards on the first segment of the Oman Rail project, expected to be worth in excess

of $1bn, the four multi-billion-dollar main packages on the Liwa plastics scheme, and the Barka and Sohar independent water projects, valued at about $500m each. “Whether Oman beats last year’s record for contract awards will largely depend on the award of a handful of major contracts by the end of 2015,” said Ed James, MEED Projects Director of Content and Analysis. “However, with most of them at an advanced stage of tender evaluation,

Ed James, MEED Projects Director of Content and Analysis

we are hopeful that awards will be made soon,” he added. Oman has traditionally been a small market by regional standards, with about $8bn-worth of contracts awarded each year. However, the past 18 months have seen a steep change in activity in the sultanate as the government looks to proceed with a number of key projects such as the Muscat International Airport, the modernisation of the Sohar refinery and the planned railway network. 

Middle East countries most popular expat destinations T he UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman were among the top 10 most popular destinations for expats to relocate, according to an annual HSBC survey.

The UAE jumped 6 places to become the 9th best destination for expats, up from 15th place in last year’s survey, according to a report in The National. The average salary of survey respondents in the UAE was $120,000. That’s almost twice the 20 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

World Bank’s estimate of per capita income in the UAE ($60,866 in 2011), and significantly higher than the median salary in Abu Dhabi – $89,000, according to the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi. Bahrain ranked as the Gulf’s most popular destination for expats, who think it’s a better place to bring up children – and more fun – than anywhere else in the region. Expats believe that it is the fourth-

best place to relocate in the world, after Singapore, New Zealand and Sweden. Expat Bahraini residents’ main concern is that salaries in the kingdom are not as high as those in Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, or the UAE, the survey said. The survey, conducted online by polling company YouGov, polled 21,950 expats across 39 countries. 

|Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 21

International News

Mobile ‘biocarts” to collect and send data while visitors are still in queue

Biometric terminals for foreign visitors at Japanese airports


apan is planning to install mobile biometric terminals at various airports that will capture photos and fingerprints of foreign visitors while they are waiting in line at immigration control in an effort to expedite the process, according to media reports. Japan has witnessed a rise in the number of foreign visitors recently and the measure will help cope with the growth. According to the Japan Tourism National Organisation (JNTO) , the estimated number of international visitors to Japan in July 2015 reached over 1.92 million, a 51 per cent increase from the previous year. The accumulated number from January to July has reached over 11 million. The figure includes commercial visitors other than tourists, but tourists normally account for roughly 80 per cent of the visitors.  Mobile terminals, called “biocart” will be used to take visitors’ images and fingerprints as well as passport data while still in queue and send these to the inspection desk. This implies that by the time the visitor reaches the inspection desk, the immigration officer will already have his data. This will reduce time taken 22 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

in processing and also reduce the workload of immigration officers. Quoting Japan’s Justice Ministry, a report in the Biometric Update.com said the influx of foreign tourists has increased the wait times at some airport immigration control, which has been taxing for immigration authorities. The ministry plans to install the terminals in all airports that offer international flights. It has already requested money to purchase the terminals in the fiscal 2016 budget, which will take effect April 2016. The longest reported waiting time for immigration in the first half of the year was 36 minutes at Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture, followed by 24 minutes at Haneda airport in Tokyo and Chubu Centrair International Airport in Aichi Prefecture, and 20 minutes at Narita International Airport near Tokyo, a report quoted the ministry as saying.

“Depending on the person, it may only take half the time it has taken now to get through immigration,” said a senior ministry official. According to previous reports, the Justice Ministry will also start trialing facial recognition technology for automated immigration gates at the Narita and Haneda airports to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. By country of origin, China has shown a phenomenal over 105 per cent growth in number of travelers compared to the previous year. The estimated number of travelers from China reached 576,900 people while those from Taiwan was 361,700, Hong Kong 158,700 and Indonesia 25,500 people. Eight countries including Australia, North American and European countries (except Russia) also experienced double-digit growth and recorded the highest figure for July, according to JNTO. 

International News

US to witness major shift in immigration patterns in next 50 years, says study


latest research by Pew Research Study Centre on immigration in the US has indicated major shift in immigration patterns over the next 50 years.

Over 13.9per cent of the U.S. population today is foreign born, with 45 million immigrants residing there, in comparison to merely 5 per cent in 1965. In 1965, the population was 84per cent white, 11per cent black, 4per cent Hispanic and 1per cent Asian. By 2055, the US will have no racial or ethnic majority, the research said. In the next 50 years, Asians will have surged past Hispanics to become the largest group of immigrants heading to the United States, according to to the study. Pointing out the key highlights of the research, Anna Brown, a research assistant focusing on Hispanic, social and demographic trends at Pew Research Center, said without any post-1965 immigration, the nation’s racial and ethnic composition would be very different today.

Following are some of the key findings: Nearly 59 million immigrants have arrived in the U.S. since 1965, and accounting for deaths or those who have left, 43 million of them live here now. When their children and grandchildren are included, these immigrants added 72 million people to the nation’s population, accounting for 55per cent of population growth from 1965 to 2015. Immigrants and their descendants are projected to account for 88per cent of the population increase over the next 50 years. A near-record 13.9per cent of the U.S. population today is foreign born, with 45 million immigrants residing here. This compares with 5per cent in 1965, when the immigration law was changed. The current share of the population that is foreign born is only slightly below the record 14.8per cent that was seen during

the waves of European-dominated immigration in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This foreign-born share is projected to rise to 17.7per cent in 2065 as immigration continues to drive U.S. population growth. Since 1965, immigrants and their descendants have changed the country’s racial and ethnic makeup. In 1965, the population was 84per cent white, 11per cent black, 4per cent Hispanic and 1per cent Asian. The black share of the population has stayed steady since then, but Hispanics are now 18per cent of the population and Asians are 6per cent, while the white share of the population has fallen to 62per cent. The U.S. public’s views vary when asked about some key aspects of American life. The most negative view of the impact of immigrants is on the economy and crime, where half of Americans say they are making things worse. It’s a different story when it comes to immigrants’ impact on food, music and the arts: About half say they’re making things better. There has been a shift since 1970 in the parts of the world sending the most immigrants to the U.S. – from Europe to Mexico to Asia. In 1970, the largest group of immigrants who had arrived within the previous five years were from Europe, continuing the trend of previous immigration waves.  |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 23

In Focus

Data from wristbands can help carers understand response to situations and interventions needed

Wearable biometric wristbands could predict dramatic behaviour changes


iometric technology which helps ‘see inside’ the bodies of those with autism by measuring minute physiological changes such as surface skin temperature and heart rate, could be commercially available in the form of simple wristbands within two to five years.

24 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |


That’s according to Dr Matthew Goodwin, a world-leading authority on wearable bio sensors from Boston’s Northeastern University. Dr Goodwin is working with a lightweight wristband, similar to a watch, which measures four physiological signals. Along with heart rate and surface skin temperature, it measures the amount of sweating at the surface of the skin and the three dimensional movements of the limb that’s wearing the sensor (rapid, repetitive movements are often a sign of agitation in people with autism). The combined data may be able to predict behaviour changes in the wearer before they happen. People with severe autism, who are unable to communicate through words or body language, are apt to dramatic behavioural changes that include self injury, aggression, and running away.  Dr Goodwin said, “The children with autism we’re working with can’t tell us what’s going on.  They can’t say they have a headache, or it’s too loud in here or I don’t like this teacher.  If we want to understand them, we need to look at what their body is telling us – and we need to do this in a gentle, unobtrusive way.” Goodwin and his team are also exploring ways to stream information from wristbands live to mobile phones, via an app.  This would enable a family member or teacher to monitor closely the person they are caring for.  For


Through 10 years of research in America, Goodwin and his team have established that body signals may be able to predict these sometimes violent changes before they happen, allowing carers the opportunity to take appropriate action

instance, a simple traffic light visualisation of colours could denote the level of agitation; red could be used as a warning of behavioural change. Blue could be used to denote underarousal, allowing a carer to understand when the person is bored and lacking stimulation. Data from the wristbands could also be collected over time and saved on a secure server, allowing carers to understand the bigger picture of how the person responds to different situations – and to understand what interventions work best. Dr Goodwin said, “I need to be clear that we are not reading minds. 

Assistive technology has been attracting attention due to its diverse uses and ability to enhance lives of people with autism

dramatic difference that assistive technology can make to their quality of life. Ipad apps are now, literally, giving a voice to people who have never spoken. Robots are helping autistic children learn to play peeka-boo. 

Who knows where this innovation may lead us. Over the next decade we may even see thought-activated Bio sensors aren’t magic – they still technology, advanced robotics and need a human to interpret them. ” augmented reality – technologies He said that bio sensors capable of that we once thought of as science predicting seizures were now being fiction – becoming widely available marketed  and that his team would and affordable. be working with manufacturers to further develop this technology so “Assistive technologies can be that it can be autism-specific. truly life-changing and we feel it is part of our mission as an autism Jane Carolan, director of client ser- charity to ensure everyone has acvices at Wirral Autistic Society and cess this information and is part of organiser of Autech 2015, said, the debate about how we want to “When you work with people with support people with autism in the severe autism, as we do, you see the future.”  |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 25


Unsaturated fats, high-quality carbs lower risk of heart disease, says new study

Quality and type of fats and carbohydrates determine healthfulness


State-of-the-Art review published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology summarizes the evidence relating food to cardiovascular disease and how the global food system contributes to dietary patterns that greatly increase the risks for populations with poor health.

While eliminating saturated fats can improve heart health, the study shows that it makes a difference which foods are used in their place. The study shows that replacing saturated fats with un-

saturated fats and high-quality carbohydrates has the most impact on reducing the risk of heart disease. When saturated fats were replaced with highly processed foods, there was no benefit.

Previous research looked at the association between consumption of saturated fatty acids and the risk of coronary heart disease, but did not specify the replacement for saturated fat -- such as unsaturated fats or the type of dietary carbohydrate. This is one of the first studies to distinguish between polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and carbohydrates from whole grains or refined starches and added sugars. “Many physicians could benefit from more in-depth nutritional knowledge to help them counsel their patients on changing their dietary practices in a way that will impact their health. In particular, we found that when study participants consumed less saturated fats, they were replacing them with low-quality carbohydrates such as refined grains that are not beneficial to preventing heart disease,� said Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D., study author and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

26 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |


“Our findings suggest that when patients are making lifestyle changes to their diets, cardiologists should encourage the consumption of unsaturated fats like vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds, as well as healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains,” Hu said. Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D.,

Replacing saturated fats with carbs from whole grains, unsaturated fats most effective at lowering risk

FACC, further elaborated on the important role clinicians play in helping patients make healthy lifestyle choices. “All physicians and medical personnel who interact with patients should speak with them about the benefits of consuming unsaturated fats and healthy carbohydrates,” Fuster said. Researchers analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study, a cohort of 121,701 female nurses enrolled in 1976, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a cohort of 51,529 men enrolled in 1986. For this study, research-

ers followed 84,628 women and 42,908 men who were free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer and documented 7,667 incidents of coronary heart disease. Participants provided information on diet, lifestyle, m e d i c a l history, and newly diagnosed diseases through questionnaires at baseline and every two to four years for 24 to 30 years. The questionnaire asked how often and in what quantity specific foods had been consumed in the past year and to specify the types of fats or oil used for frying, baking and at the table. The questionnaire was validated against biomarkers of dietary fatty acids. Researchers noted that participants generally replaced calories from saturated fatty acids with calories from low-quality carbohydrates -- such as white bread or potatoes -- rather than calories from unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds or high-quality carbohydrates like those in whole grains. Replacing 5 percent of energy intake from saturated fats with an equivalent intake from either polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, or carbohydrates from whole grains was associated with 25 percent, 15 percent, and 9 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, respectively. However, replacing 5 percent of energy intake from saturated fats with carbohydrates

Mediterranean diet, considered to be optimal for reducing cardiovascular diseases, can be recreated in other regions using similar food replacements from refined starches or sugars was not associated with either increased or decreased risk of coronary heart disease. Examples of the kinds of changes that Hu said could result in reduced risk of heart disease: Cooking with healthy fats such as canola oil, olive oil or other vegetable oils instead of butter, lard, and hard margarine. Exchanging snacks like potato chips and cookies for peanuts, almonds and olives. Making sandwiches with a whole wheat bun, avocados and chicken breast instead of large amounts of cheese and processed meats. Study limitations included the observational nature that did not allow the study to prove causality and self-reported diet questionnaires cannot be completely accurate. However, the authors stated that their results were broadly consistent with those from randomized clinical trials, and the diet questionnaire was validated against fatty acid biomarkers. In an accompanying editorial, Robert A. Vogel, M.D., Cardiology Section at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Denver, said, “Healthfulness clearly lies in the quality or type of both fat and carbohydrate.”  |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 27

Special Study

Global billionaire population will surpass 3,800 by 2020

A billion reason to be in UAE


ubai and Abu Dhabi are among the top-tier global billionaire hubs. The UAE has the second highest number of billionaires in the Middle East– 46 – who holds US$132 billion wealth.

28 28 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|October |October2015 2015||

Special Study

A record 10 UAE residents have made it to the Forbes Billionaires List 2015, with a combined net worth of a whopping $34.1 billion. Among the billionaires, four are Emiratis and six Indians who’ve made the UAE their home

A latest study has highlighted the composition and dynamics of the top-tier segment of the world’s ultra-affluent population. It revealed that the world’s billionaire population reached a record high of 2,325 billionaires last year, a seven per cent annual rise, whose combined wealth increased to US$7.3 trillion, a 12 per cent growth. The billionaire census, done by Wealth-X, in partnership with UBS, said 63 per cent of billionaires’ primary businesses are privately held and 81 per cent of all billionaires made all or the majority of their wealth themselves. The report forecasts that the global billionaire population will surpass 3,800 by 2020. In the most bullish scenario, there will be over 4,100 billionaires by 2020, an increase of 78 per cent on their current levels. In the most conservative scenario, the global billionaire population will rise to around 3,600 billionaires by 2020, a net increase of “only” 56 per cent. Billionaires – defined as those individuals with a net worth of US$1 billion or above – control nearly four per cent of the world’s

Dubai - 8th rank on Billionaire Cities list Dubai is at the eighth slot in the ranking of cities with maximum number of billionaires. New York is at number 1 with 103 billionaires; Moscow at number 2 with 85 rich individuals, followed by Hong Kong (82), London (72) and Beijing (37). The billionaire population in the Middle East shrank by 1.9 per cent last year, but total billionaire wealth in the region rose by 16.7 per cent. Dubai tops the Middle East list. The other cities

wealth. The members of this group of ultra-wealthy individuals form one of the most exclusive clubs in the world: there is only one billionaire for every three million people on the planet. Between 2011 and 2013, the growth in the wealth of the world’s billionaires accounted for 40 per cent of the growth in total ultra-high net worth (UHNW) wealth – although billionaires only comprise one per cent of the global UHNW population. UHNW individuals are defined as those with a net worth of US$30 million and above. Demi-billionaires are defined as those with a net worth between US$500 and US$999 million. Europe has retained its position as the region with the highest number of billionaires (775), while the US remains the country with the highest number of bil-

include Riyadh, Jeddah, Kuwait City, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Beirut, Dammam and Al Khobar. The Middle East is home to 154 billionaires holding US$413 billion wealth last year, down from 157 billionaires and US$354 billion in 2013. After Saudi Arabia, UAE has the second highest number of billionaires – 46 – who holds US$132 billion wealth. Except for Bahrain, all other five GCC states have been featured on the list.

lionaires (571). Billionaires in the US now account for nearly 25 per cent of the total global billionaire population. The US also experienced the largest absolute growth in terms of the number of new billionaires: 57 new American billionaires were recorded in 2014 census. Both North America and Europe maintained their leading positions in terms of the size of their billionaire populations and total billionaire wealth. The Pacific region was the only region to experience a fall in its total billionaire wealth. This decrease was only of US$2 billion – two per cent of the collective net worth of the region’s billionaires. Asia saw strong growth in terms of the size of its billionaire population and total billionaire wealth, and 30 per cent of the net increase in global billionaire wealth came from that region. |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 29

Special Study

Number of billionaires: 34

of its billionaires born outside the UAE. This segment of Billionaire wealth: of the city’s billionaire population US$79 billion to rise in the future, as the city continues to develop. 94 per The wealth of Dubai’s billion- cent of Dubai’s billionaires’ priaires now comprises 60 per mary businesses are privately cent of the billionaire wealth owned. in the UAE, and 91 per cent of the city’s billionaires have made Only one of Dubai’s billionaires all or the majority of their own is female. At least 62 per cent of Dubai’s billionaires are married. wealth. 68 per cent of Dubai’s billionDubai has become an increas- aires are philanthropists. 21 per ingly attractive destination for cent of Dubai’s billionaires have foreign wealth, with 38 per cent specific interest in private jets. www.billionairecensus.com

The number of Latin American billionaires grew at a faster rate than that of any other regions last year, the average net worth of the region’s billionaires fell by 25 per cent. In Africa, billionaires’ total wealth grew, but the overall number of billionaires in the region decreased. A similar situation occurred in the Middle East,

where a two per cent decline in the number of billionaires was accompanied by a 17 per cent increase in their combined wealth. The massive wave of intergenerational wealth transfer from baby boomers to their heirs is underway. In most instances, achieving billionaire status requires

more than just inheritance; 81 per cent of billionaires made the majority of their fortunes themselves. Wealth transfers to the next generation are increasing the size of the world’s billionaire population. Some fortunes have already been passed on to the next generation of heirs or heiresses, thereby increasing the overall number of billionaires. The average age of the typical billionaire is 63, one year older than it was last year. 93 per cent of the world’s billionaires are older than 45 years. Private and public holdings Private and public holdings are stakes billionaires hold in companies they are currently involved in. In total, 47 per cent, or US$3.4 trillion, of the wealth of billionaires is privately held, one and a half times more than the US$2.1 trillion, or 29 per cent, of billionaire wealth that is publicly held. Non-real estate luxury assets, which are widely seen as embodying the billionaire lifestyle, vary wildly.For example, one in 30 billionaires owns a sports team or a racehorse. Other significant luxury assets include yachts, planes, cars and art. Despite the international repute of these top-ranking higher education institutions, it is worth noting that only 16 per cent of the world’s “educated” billionaires attended these schools; 84 per cent did not. Today’s billionaires were awarded their bachelor’s degrees from over 700 different universities around the world. Billionaires are increasingly gravitating towards diversified

30 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

Special Study

business ventures such as industrial conglomerates, especially in emerging markets. For Latin America & the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the largest proportion of new billionaires made their fortunes in industrial conglomerates. $10 billion threshold Crossing the US$10 billion threshold is particularly rare. 97 per cent of billionaires worth US$10 billion or more have made part or all of their wealth themselves. These billionaires are, on average, five years older than the typical billionaire at 68. Although traditionally wealth tends to rise with age, billionaires wishing to cross over the US$10 billion threshold need to be proactive, constantly seeking out new opportunities for business growth and expansion. Philanthropic sphere Excluding future pledges, billionaires, on average, donate just over US$100 million cumulatively over their lifetimes. This is equivalent to three per cent of their net worth – more than the average billionaire’s real estate holdings. At least 35 per cent of the world’s billionaires have their own private foundations, and more than 70 per cent are active in the philanthropic sphere. The majority of billionaires contributes to numerous charities, but tends to channel the bulk of their philanthropic contributions into one cause. For 28.7 per cent of billionaires, their top cause is

education or higher education, with some of the largest individual gifts going to universities. Many billionaires view philanthropy as a means of preserving their cultures and values for future generations. Billionaire hubs Billionaires move from city to city, not from country to country: they are transnational. 42 per cent of Europe’s billionaires live in the region’s top ten billionaire cities, and these individuals hold 41 per cent of the region’s billionaire wealth. In Germany, billionaires are spread out across the country. The number of billionaires in London more than doubles when you include not only those who are primarily based in London. Only 39 per cent of North America’s billionaires are concentrated in the region’s top ten billionaire cities – the lowest percentage of any region. 86 per cent of Latin America and the Caribbean’s billionaires’ wealth and 79 per cent of the region’s billionaire population is concentrated in top ten cities. 66 per cent of Asia’s billionaire wealth is in the region’s top ten billionaire cities and 55 per cent of billionaires are based there. 86 per cent and 88 per cent of the Middle East’s billionaires and wealth, respectively, are concentrated in top ten cities led by Dubai and include Abu Dhabi. This trend – partly caused by limited economic development and opportunities outside the re-

UAE’s billionaires as per global ranking) (As per Forbes 2015 ranking)

220 Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Ghurair ($6.4 billion) 230 Majid Al Futtaim ($6.2 billion) 291 Micky Jagtiani ($5.2 billion) 512 Saif Al Ghurair ($3.4 billion) 557 Abdulla Al Futtaim ($3.2 billion) 737 MA Yusuff Ali ($2.5 billion) 782 Ravi Pillai ($2.4 billion) 949 Sunny Varkey ($2 billion) 1118 BR Shetty ($1.7 billion) 1638 Azad Moopen ($1.1 billion)

gion’s main hubs – demonstrates the growing importance of cities. The study noted: “Cities like Dubai are becoming increasingly successful in attracting billionaire investment, and this is having a positive impact on the region’s total wealth. With the continued implementation of business friendly regulations, there is potential for further growth in this region’s number of billionaires and their combined wealth.”  |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 31

Exclusive Interview

Dr Hibah Shata, Co-founder, Child Early Intervention Medical Centre

Technology is making a major positive contribution in the lives of people with autism


hen Dr Hibah Shata's daughter was diagnosed with Autism, she decided not to dwell in misery and, instead, help not only her daughter but also many other children with a similar condition. The noble thought gave birth to Child Early Intervention Centre, which has helped many since its inception. Dr Shatha spoke to Manafez Dubai about ways to deal with children having autism and how technology is making a difference in the lives of those with special needs. How do you suggest caretakers/family members, who are not trained to deal with disabilities, to cope? For those who know children affected with autism, they need to understand the child`s weaknesses and strengths. The key starting points in helping children with Autism include the following. Get trained to understand how to manage the challenging behaviour(s) and use reward system to encourage good behaviour and reduce maladaptive behaviours Children need consistency, as they often get confused when one member of the family says yes and the other says no. Children need routines so they can expect what is coming next. This makes the transitions easier and more acceptable with less 32 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

challenging behaviours. Visual Schedules of day-to-day activities are useful. You need to find a way to teach your child to communicate. This can be done through expanding on their verbal skills, teaching them to use the Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS), sign language, and/or the I-pad Prologue 2-Go system.

How has the UAE progressed in improving the lives of people with autism and what are the areas you think need more attention? The visionary leadership of the UAE has taken numerous initiatives that reflect their sincerity toward integrating special needs people into the society and making their lives comfortable.

Make the time with the child fun, by doing things that the child enjoys and rewarding them with hugs and tickles and throws in the air. This will lead to a better learning environment.

Among a few of the initiatives are the introduction of the United Arab Emirates Federal Law No. 29 in 2006, regarding the Rights of Persons with Special Needs promotes the philosophy of inclusive education by ensuring that all students with disabilities in public and private educational institutions in the UAE have access to equal educational opportunities, empowering children and their families, and allowing better services in Private Education.

Some children have sensory issues, such as sensitivity to light, sound, or even touch. The person working with the child may need to employ sensory diet strategies to help children accommodate and accept the sensory changes.

We also see many new clinics and learning centres, particularly in autism, coming up, which allows more children to access specialised services. The Community Development Authority has started specialized centre for

Technology helps service providers to learn new skills and to access large amount of data



4. What are the latest technologies available in the world, which need to be brought in the UAE, to help individuals with autism as well as their families? There are multiple Augmentative Communication Device programs created by experts in communication. Many applications today can be simply used on I-pods, I-pads, I- phones or desk tops. These apps will encourage learning in a very interactive way. Some can enhance hand writing and manual dexterity and many focus on cognitive skills and memory.

Dr Hibah Shatha children affected with developmental delays and has facilitated the inclusion of many children in Government and Private schools. In addition, Sanad card is issued by the Ministry of Social affairs to support children and adults with Autism to access many services free of charge. But as the number of people with autism is rising, we need to make continuous efforts in areas such as professional development of individuals working in the field and the provision of adequate financial support for all children to receive early intervention Services. How can technology play a role in improving children with autism? Children who receive adequate early intervention services are often able to make it to school and the development of many types of

software today helps to allow this to happen. Augmentative Communication Devices have helped non-verbal children to access schools and use their devices to communicate as their voice. Also online learning has opened many opportunities for children to access mainstream curriculum at their own pace. New technology is being developed to enhance the social skills and the understanding of social cues that would help individuals affected with Autism gain confidence and enables them to socialize and be more included in society. Technology also helps service providers to learn new skills and to access large amount of data. There are many webinars and online tutorials and conferences available to provide continuous education for professionals.

There are several examples such as Inference Ace (Janine Toole); Preference and Reinforcer Assessment App (Touch Autism); Picture the Sentence (Hamaguchi Apps); Nearpod (Panarea) and Behavior Tracker Pro (Marz Consulting, Inc.) among others. Can you share with us a personal experience of improvement in case of a child with autism. What were the techniques used and what was the result? An example is my daughter Sarah. She was born normal, but by the age of one and a half years I noticed that she was not responding to her name when I called her, and she never came to me for anything. I thought she could not hear, but I knew she was hearing as when I put music she would dance. I started my journey by taking her to the paediatrician who suggested a hearing examination which she did and it was suggested that her hearing was fine and she might be on the Autism Spectrum. ď‚… |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 33

New Technology

Airlines allocate bigger budgets to IoT

Internet of Things to bring revolution in passenger experience

34 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

New Technology


major revolution in the passenger experience is set to emerge over the next three years as airlines invest in the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).

According to the SITA 2015 Airline IT Trends Survey, the vast majority of airlines (86 per cent) expect that the IoT will deliver clear benefits in the next three years and already more than one third (37 per cent) have allocated budget to it. The ‘Internet of Things’ is when physical objects are connected to the internet, which enables tracking, data collection, analysis and control. In case of aviation industry, more things in the airport are being connected up including buildings, equipment, bags, trolleys, tugs – basically all the ‘things’ that could emit a status. In reality, however, because today over 83 percent passengers carry smartphones, passengers and staff are connected and can be part of the IoT too. SITA’s survey carried out among the world’s top 200 airlines shows that airlines are already considering the benefits of IoT and over the next three years more than half plan investments in this area. By 2018, 16 per cent plan major programs and a further 41 per cent plan to invest in research and development. Jim Peters, Chief Technology Officer, SITA, said: “Our whole world is becoming more and more connected and air-

lines recognize that investment will be needed to harness the benefits of IoT efficiently. This year airlines are beefing up their investments in both business intelligence and data centers, which are key foundations required for the IoT. SITA is already working across the community, with airlines, airports and other stakeholders, to see how to make the IoT effective across every point of the business and passenger journey.” All things - objects, passengers and staff - that are being connected will create immense amounts of data and both business intelligence (BI) and data centers are vital to extract the data’s value. This year’s survey shows that airlines are heavily investing in these areas. Already 94 per cent of airlines are investing in BI with 74 per cent planning major investment programs by 2018. While 68 per cent have a major investment program planned for data centres in the next three years, with a further 14 per cent investing in R&D or a pilot program. The results of the survey show that IoT investments will be focused in the areas of check-in, bag drop and bag collection. The survey also indicated that airlines are shifting from us-

By 2018, over 44 per cent of airlines will use beacons in bag services

ing a one-size-fits all usage of IT toward a more tailored approach. The perfect technology combination of mobile, big data analytics, and proximity sensing is enabling airlines to offer passengers better end-to-end travel experiences with more relevant choices and information. Personalisation of journey to enhance passenger satisfaction has been a focus area for the airlines and the survey found that many airlines are starting to address personalization by offering passengers a growing list of technology-based options to tailor their travel both at the airport and during the flight. Over the next three years, more than 82 per cent of airlines will be investing some resources to improve personalization, according to the survey. The next three years will also witness over 75 per cent of airlines offering major programs to deliver passenger services through smartphones. It would be a highly personalised smartphone booking experience com|Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 35

New Technology

pared to what is being offered currently. By 2018, smartphone apps will offer personalized options before and during travel. Updates relating to baggage and customer service apps that can resolve travel issues will also become more common with 64 per cent of airlines expecting to offer the service by 2018. Kiosks and beacons will also play a part in delivering a personalized journey within the airport. Passengers, for instance, will be able to download content for the flight, including books and films, from media kiosks to their tablets or smartphones. More than one fifth (22 per cent) of airlines are expecting to offer this service by 2018. Also in its infancy is a ‘virtual concierge’ for passengers delivering airport shopping to gates and lounges. Around one in five airlines plans to introduce such a service over the next three years. Beacons for baggage One of the first manifestations of the IoT in the air transport industry is the use of beacons. This will be the first area that airlines will see the benefits of sensors and the ability to match location with other information. Today just 9 per cent of airlines are using or trialing beacons but this is set to rise rapidly to 44 per cent by 2018. Bag services are the steps of

36 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

IoT investments by airlines to be focused in the areas of check-in, bag drop and bag collection.

the journey where beacons will be most used by then – 44per cent of airlines are planning to use them at bag drop and 43 per cent at bag claim. These are the key pain points in the passenger journey over which the airlines have direct control and it is encouraging for passengers to see the airlines investing in new technologies at these steps. Services on-board By the end of 2018, the majority of airlines (66 per cent) will offer wireless internet and multimedia services on passenger devices, giving passengers greater ability to choose their own inflight relaxation and entertainment. Mobile apps giving passengers the opportunity to book destination services, such as onward travel from the airport, are also set to increase rapidly from 6 per cent currently to 44 per cent in 2018, while in-flight duty free shopping apps will also increase sharply from 11 per cent to 47 per cent. Location Another area of progress identified in SITA’s survey is how communications are set to develop rapidly from the first wave of notification services, which are now established, to the point where interactive mobile communication becomes

the standard for the majority of airlines. The focus of these new services over the next three years will be to use locationbased information, in many cases from beacons, to solve baggage-related issues and help passengers board on time with notifications based on their location, even before they reach the airport. Today, close to 60per cent of airlines offer flight notification services to passengers via smartphone apps and by 2018 the numbers are expected to be

96 per cent airlines will offer flight notification to passengers via smartphones by 2018

over 96per cent. This is already the number one service for which airlines are using beacons and in three years, 57per cent will use beacons to inform way-finding apps. Peters added: “It is early days for the IoT but it is becoming a reality and this will be a gamechanging and real-time revolution in the way we do things – not only in the air transport industry but across all aspects of our lives. Together airlines and airports can use beacons as a gateway to the IoT, creating intelligent airports and fully exploiting business intelligence and analytics to deliver a better passenger experience.” 

New Technology






Aircraft Turnaround


Baggage location status updates

50% Baggage Handling


On-board 10%


10% 2%

Location-based notifications Roaming




Implemented today


Premium lounge

Missing baggage communication

Planned by 2018

Check-in/bag-drop Airport security checkpoints

Real-time baggage status information for passengers




Total by 2018

% of airlines planning to provide tablets to staff


Airlines AND the Internet of Things (I oT)


71% 37%

IoT will present clear benefits in the next 3 years

Our organization understands the concept of IoT

We have budget allocated for the implementation of IoT

% of airlines who strongly agree or agree


% of airlines planning to leverage beacons to enhance apps

8% 14% 7%



3 Walk to gate time % 5 Duty free offers %

Total by 2018


Baggage collection




Flight and gate info




© SITA 2015

www.sita.aero/surveys I @sitaonline I #SITAInsights

|Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 37

New Technology

Saeed Al Dhaheri, Chairman, Smartworld

‘Smart city initiatives offer a sea of opportunities’


n an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, Dhaheri said his prime focus will be on strategic expansion and offering of smart city solutions, tapping into new opportunities across the UAE, and contribute to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s VicePresident and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in making Dubai the smartest city of the world.

Excerpts from the interview: What is your vision for Smartworld? We want to grow the business of the company according to the vision of the shareholders and also position Smartworld strongly in the area of Digital Business and Smart City Solutions. There are a lot of efforts going on in the UAE and across the region toward business transformation in Smart Cities and Smart Government initiatives. Our goal is to lead the company and offer solutions in smart city initiatives, smart government and digital business. Tell us more about the potential role of Smartworld in smart cities initiatives in the region. Smart cities initiatives imply huge transformation as each city 38 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|September |October 2015 38 2015| |

Saeed Al Dhaheri

has its own set of challenges and priorities it wants to address. With help of technology, a city can get much more efficient in using resources, whether it is infrastructure, transportation, roads or energy. Usually, this implies implementing and integrating technology solutions across those domains and effectively levering big data and analytics to provide insight that would help decision makers taking proper decisions at the city level. With advent of technology such as the Internet of Things, a city can deploy sensors everywhereon roads, on highways, buildings, energy grid, and monitor usage and consumption in order to optimize operations. This enables efficiencies in terms of en-

ergy, cost-cutting alongwith ease of operations. Technology helps you with analytics as you can predict, based on past, what will happen in future, which is a valuable tool for decision makers. Smartworld has the capability to effectively use technology to help cities achieve their goals, while at the same time overcome challenges, with the aid of technology whether it is Internet of Things, deploying or developing smart solutions.We are solutions’ architects and also solution providers when it comes to smart cities intiatives. In terms of area of operation, Dubai started the smart city initiative about two years ago. There are more initiatives across Abu Dhabi and other emirates and also in other countries across the MEA region.

New Technology

We have the know-how, we have the means. Be it consultation or implementation, Smartworld can play an important role. The market has immense potential and we see lot of opportunities in this area. Geographically, which locations do you plan to focus on for Smartworld’s growth? Smartworld has major clients across the UAE. We are very well-positioned in providing medium to large scale solutions, whether these are infrastructural or transformational programs in the UAE. We are tapping opportunities in the GCC countries and in near future, we are aiming at growing our business in the MENA region. My goal is to Smartworld’s growth across the Arab region. What is your opinion of the vision of His Highness Sheikh

Mohammed on opinion of turning Dubai to Smartest City in the world? We are fortunate to have a visionary leader in His Highness sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who has positioned Dubai and the UAE as a competitive nation on a global platform. As per global reports, including a recent one from the World Economic Forum, UAE is on the top in terms of use of ICT and number two in the world in government adoption of ICT. Our leadership is always aiming for number 1, and we hope Smartworld can achieve a part of this vision. How do you view market competition? I believe competition is healthy in the industry and it is necessary for growth. In the UAE, we

UAE is on the top in terms of use of ICT and number two in the world in government adoption of ICT

have a large number of major international companies specializing in different areas to provide point solutions. When it comes to smart city solutions, no single vendor can deliver all solutions. I believe the best approach to tackle this huge transformational programme is to get all concerned stakeholders on the table to cooperate together, as will as establish public private partnerships to address smart city adoption. In this regard will go a long way to ensuring success and each one has the opportunity to contribute their expertise. I firmly believe in coordination and collaboration alongwith a healthy competition. 

|Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 39

Hospitality Interview

Mafraq continues its journey to success


ustomer satisfaction is among the core values of Abu Dhabi based Mafraq Hotel which has been witnessing continuous growth in performance since its inception.

40 40|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |October |October 2015 2015 ||

Hospitality Interview

Customer satisfaction is our key focus The hotel, which started its journey in May 1996 by being sensitive to the social, cultural and business life of the surrounding area, has emerged as a highly popular meeting point and destination for local, national and international social events. Mafraq continues on its journey to success by caring for its customers as well as its employees. In an interview with Manafez Dubai, Mario Scotto, General Manager, Mafraq Hotel, talked about tourism industry and how the hotel continues to thrive amid competition. Excerpts from the interview: How is the enhanced portfolio of tourist attractions helping Abu Dhabi hotels? According to SCAD, in Abu Dhabi “The number of hotel establishment guests increased 19.9 per cent from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015 to 1.0 million guests.” This figures shows the Abu Dhabi hotels have seen greater increase performance

compared to previous years. How do you see the tourism industry’s performance this year and what’s the 2016 prospects? We are optimistic that the 2016 tourism sector will outperform the previous year’s result. In the UAE, the number of visitors continues to grow. However, with the increase in supply and unrest in the region, there could be an impact on occupancy and room rates and establishments should frame strategies to cope with the changes. How is tourism industry regulators raising standards and excellence in hospitality industry? The tourism authority plays the most fundamental role in managing and marketing with its extensive activities and major events to promote the UAE’s rich cultural heritage locally and globally in so doing increased its investments on this sector. Will Abu Dhabi also benefit from Dubai hosting Expo 2020? The event will have a very positive impact in Abu Dhabi as the capital of UAE and the neighbor of Dubai. This effect might continue from 2020 and years to come. With the development of more infrastruc-

Mario Scotto, General Manager, Mafraq Hotel

ture, increase in aviation, and hospitality sectors will bring more opportunities and expected to benefit economically. Is tourism focus helping the economy in the UAE in a big way? The economy of the UAE particularly in Abu Dhabi has reflected a growth in various sectors including the Tourism industry. As one of the UAE’s long term objectives is to create a non-oil reliant economy such as the tourism industry which is also one of the ten sectors focus on the 5-year economic development and of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision. How do you deal with competition in the market? Having an edge over the competitors is one of the things that keeps us working toward doing our best. We strongly value our human resource and pay a lot of attention to service training and staff development. We do our best to cultivate a spirit of loyalty among the staff toward the brand. They are our ambassadors.  |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 41

Special Study

OECD Employment Outlook 2015 Jobs outlook improving slowly but millions risk being trapped at bottom of economic ladder

Employment to remain below pre-crisis levels till end of 2016, says OECD


he jobs recovery is slowly gathering pace, but employment will remain well below pre-crisis levels in many countries, especially in Europe, through to the end of 2016, according to a new OECD report.

According to the ‘OECD Employment Outlook 2015’ around 42 million  people are currently without work across the OECD, down from 45 million in 2014 but still 10 million more than just before the crisis.  Unemployment in the 34 OECD countries is projected to continue declining over the next 18 months to reach 6.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2016. It will remain above 20 per cent in Greece and Spain.  “Time is running out to prevent the scars of the crisis becoming permanent, with millions of workers trapped at the bottom of the economic ladder,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, launching the report in Paris. “If that happens, the long-run legacy of the crisis would be to ratchet inequality up yet another notch from levels that were already far too high. Governments need to act now to avoid a permanent increase in the number of workers stuck in chronic joblessness or moving between unemployment and low-paid precarious jobs.” 42 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

Jobs outlook improving slowly but millions risk being trapped at bottom of economic ladder

The outlook finds that long-term unemployment remains unacceptably high. More than one in three jobseekers in the OECD have been out of work for 12 months or more, equivalent to 15.7 million people.

economic ladder,” said Stefano Scarpetta, OECD Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs. Youth unemployment still above pre-crisis levels The high and persistent youth joblessness level also remains a major concern. While levels have peaked in the worst hit countries of Southern Europe, youth unemployment remains above pre-crisis level in nearly every OECD country.

This is an increase of 77.2 per cent since the end of 2007. More than half of these people have been without work for two years or more, and their chances of finding work again are shrinking.

The share of young people neither employed nor in education or training, the so-called NEETs, is still higher than in 2007 in more than three quarters of OECD countries among 20-24 year-olds and nearly two thirds of countries among 25-29 year-olds.

“The jobs recovery is becoming more widespread and gaining momentum putting unemployment on a declining path in most countries, including those hardest hit by the crisis. However, the recovery is still far from complete and time is running out to prevent millions of workers from being left trapped at the bottom of the

Moreover, the Outlook finds evidence that a person’s long-term career prospects are largely determined in the first 10 years of working life. This suggests that many of the youth who finished school during the crisis and have struggled to find work since may find their future career opportunities limited.


Part-time jobs The jobs mix has also shifted towards more part-time work, says the report. The share of workers employed parttime has risen from 18 per cent before the crisis to 20.6 per cent currently. It is highest in The Netherlands (51.7 per cent), Switzerland (36.8 per cent) and is more than 25 per cent in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In many countries, people have chosen to work part-time, but in countries, such as Greece, Italy and Spain, many parttimers are looking for full-time jobs. At the same time, the share of temporary employment has changed little since the start of the crisis. It fell sharply in the recession but has increased again during the recovery when many employers prefer to expand their workforce through temporary contracts.

Wage growth has slowed, falling from an annual 1.8 per cent between 2000 and 2007 to 0.5 per cent since. Wage restraint helped limit job losses during the recession and encourage a rebound in employment after, but slower wage growth and real declines in some countries has also reduced the incomes of many households, further contributing to economic hardship. Poor job quality is a major policy concern in emerging economies. Job quality is analysed along three dimensions in line with the OECD’s Job Quality Framework: earnings quality (a combination of average earnings and inequality); labour market security (capturing both the risk of unemployment and the risk of extreme low pay); and the quality of working environment (measured as the incidence of job strain or very long working hours). 


Around 42 million people are currently without work across the OECD, down from 45 million in 2014 but still 10 million more than just before the crisis. Unemployment in OECD countries to decline 6.5 per cent by 2016. Long-term unemployment remains high. More than one in three jobseekers (15.7 million) have been out of work for 1 year or more. Policy makers should scale up efforts to assist jobseekers and, in particular, get the long-term unemployed and youth back into work, says the OECD.

|Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 43

Special Report

‘Aruba airport becomes world’s first to provide 100 p.c. self-service’


ruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport has become world’s first airport to provide a 100 per cent self-service passenger experience.

In what could reshape the future of identification processes and passenger experience not only in airports, but at borders worldwide, the airport has launched ‘ Happy Flow’ , a revolutionary Airport platform developed by Vision-Box, in collaboration with the Aruba QBI Airport, the Aruba Government, Schiphol Airport, the Dutch Government and KLM. An innovative passenger process, is a unique and innovative process in which the passenger is only required to show his or her passport once throughout the journey at the airport. 44 44|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |October |October 2015 2015 ||

The system was delivered by VisionBox and is being rolled out as a twoyear pilot programme. The use of facial recognition then allows the passenger to proceed to check-in, drop off baggage, pass the border and board the aircraft, all without being asked to show a passport or boarding pass again. In order to do this, Aruba Happy Flow combines the public process of border control with the private passenger process at the airport. This is unique in the world and has been designed to streamline the passenger process, making it fast and secure.

Cooperative effort

Aruba Happy Flow is the result of a cooperative effort by Aruba, the Netherlands, Aruba Airport Authority N.V., Schiphol Group and KLM. Prime Minister Mike Eman of Aruba said in a press release, “Happy Flow is an extremely innovative and important step in the transportation industry for passengers, not only for Aruba but worldwide. Aruba is very proud to launch this unique concept by bringing together public and private parties. Happy Flow is another milestone in creating a sustainable knowledge economy in Aruba and fortifying the development of Aruba as a hub.



based on the use of biometrics to provide a secure, quick and happy experience for the passengers. Furthermore it provides the authorities with a powerful end-to-end management platform which allows for the monitoring of the whole passenger process with multiple security, efficiency and revenue benefits, respecting the privacy of data at all times,” said Senior VP Vision Box Miguel Leitmann.

Two years

I am very much satisfied with this first phase concrete result from the partnership that was formed on the initiative of Aruba with the Government of the Netherlands, KLM and Schiphol to make this project possible as a prelude to the EU Pre Clearance ambition of Aruba.” “With Aruba Happy Flow, together we have made an innovative step to further improve the comfort for the passenger. This is a unique project where amongst others the public and private passenger processes are combined. I have high expectations of the results. If the experience and test results are positive, we will further develop this project,” according to Schiphol’s Jos Nijhuis.

tively and achieve great things. What has been accomplished today will have the attention of airports around the world, regardless of size, we share many of the same challenges, and today, we are leading the way in a viable and innovative solution to improving the airport experience,” said AAA CEO James Fazio. “We are making history in Aruba today, starting a new era in the aviation sector. Happy Flow is the first ever 100% self-service passenger flow

The Aruba Happy Flow pilot will operate at Aruba Airport for two years. At first only a limited group of KLM passengers travelling with an EU passport will be invited to participate in the pilot. They will be invited to do so, upon departure, at the airport on Aruba. If the results of the pilot are encouraging, expansion of the project to include larger groups of passengers is possible. Additional possibilities include integration with the security process, or the introduction of the Happy Flow process at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The wait won’t be long enough to see airports worldwide follow suit! 

“As the Happy Island’s National airport, we are proud to introduce Aruba Happy Flow. This project further demonstrates our commitment to improving the passenger experience, and introducing new and innovative technology solutions in order to meet our future growth in passenger traffic and maintain the highest levels of safety and security. This project was an extraordinary example of how the public and private sector can work collabora|Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 45

Customer Service

Tips for a winning customer self-service portal


ver 92 per cent customers surveyed by Microsoft said they expect brands and organisations to offer a customer self-service portal, according to a newly -published 2015 U.S. Multichannel Customer Service Report from Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Parature, from Microsoft.

And while many brands and organizations do have an online self-service offering, it’s not been built with customer ease in mind. Customers must roll the dice with their available time, navigate a sometimes crazy maze, and hope to find the information or issue resolution they’re looking for in (relatively) quick time. Customer response from various quarters has clearly shown the strong positive impact an easy to use customer service channel can create. In the UAE, over 89 per cent of consumers bought more from businesses who had made the customer service process easy, while 83 per cent were loyal to such businesses, according to a recent study from telecom company BT and comms solution busi46 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

92 p.c. customers worldwide prefer customer self-service portal

ness Avaya – Autonomous Customer 2015: On hold for Intelligent Customer Service. When developing or redeveloping your brand or organization’s customer self-service page or portal, the four pragmatic tips below will put your brand or organization, and your customers, ahead of the game: 1. Think Like Your Customers. Design with your customer in mind. In Forrester’s July 2015 brief for

CIO professionals, Leverage Design Thinking to Spark a CustomerObsessed Innovation Culture, VP and research director Frederic Giron and principal analyst Ryan Hart note that companies must “transform themselves from “inside-out” to “outside-in” organizations that shape innovation around the demands and expectations of their users — it’s the only way forward in the age of the customer.” But this doesn’t mean that the benefit is all one-sided. Their same research notes that the best customer-focused and -facing innovation is derived at the intersection of “technological feasibility, customer desirability and business viability.” where the product or service benefits all sides. In the case of self-service, a portal designed


with customer ease and desirability in mind would deliver greater customer satisfaction and retention, as well cost savings through reduced volume to higher-cost, higher-touch service channels such as phone and email. 2. Better Yet, Ask Your Customers While it’s terrific to think like your customer when developing or redeveloping your self-service portal, it’s even better to ask them directly. Select customers to be part of your ideas and testing team, and be sure to add feedback and survey tools to your finished product (or perhaps better said, your self-service portal in continuous progress). Think you don’t have time to get customers involved, or you would like to but you have an internal project deadline that’s looming? The John Wooden quote is a proper share in this case: “If you don’t have the time to do it right now, when will you have the time to do it over?” Or consider this: Gartner Research estimates that by the end of 2016, at least 80 per cent of organizations that fail to plan their self-service implementations will incur higher customer service costs and will not achieve the savings and benefits expected. For instance, in our 2015 State of Multichannel Customer Service Report survey, 61 per cent said they have a more favorable view of a brand or organization that offers a mobile-responsive self-service portal. 3. Organize, Personalize, Prioritize. For customers wanting to use selfservice more often, there’s nothing that will turn them away faster than thousands of pages of disorganized hyperlinks and information. Ask. com is an example of a brand that


Know your customer: Interesting Facts • A dis-satisfied customer will tell 9-15 people about their experience. About 13 per cent of dis-sastified customers will tell more than 20 people (White House Office of Consumer Affairs) • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 per cent. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5 to 20 per cent (Marketing Metrics) • 88 per cent customers are less likely to buy from a company that leaves customer complaints unanswered on social media (Conversocial) • Loyal customer is worth upto 10 times his/her first purchase (White House Office of Consumer Affairs) • 80 per cent of your company’s revenue will come from 20 per cent of your existing customers (Gartner Group) • 9 out of 10 consumers expect to receive a consistent experience over multiple channels (Synthetix) • 70 per cent of buying decisions are based on the way the customers feel they are being treated (McKinsey)

89 p.c. consumers in UAE bought more from businesses with easy customer service process

has created an organized, convenient and inviting self-service support offering, transparently putting the answers to its most frequently asked questions front and center, along with the name and friendly face of the person that’s helping to provide the answers at Ask. And while Ask also offers support ticketing on its portal, the word ticket has consciously been removed to support a more personalized experience, as Ask wants to make sure that no customer or user ever feels like a number when contacting support. Ask is also a prime example of a brand that is never content with its knowledgebase content, keeping it updated and adding to on a frequent basis based on its article rating and

feedback tools, as well as page views and keyword searches. In addition, by regularly adding content, search engine placement increases. 4. Don’t Make Your Portal an Island In addition to the knowledgebase, a brand or organization’s web selfservice offering should also include several assisted service options to include support ticketing, email, your organization’s customer service phone number and/or live chat. Don’t design your self-service portal as an island, but as a bridge. In addition, your self-service offering should be just as predominantly displayed and promoted as your customer service phone number or email. Address frequently asked questions in your social media streams; provide a link to your self-service offering in every email signature. Share the web address as part of your brand’s IVR messaging. These are just a few of the ways you can promote self-service use and adoption.  |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 47


& Hospitality

Shoppers get ‘smarter’

Smart devices impact 80% purchase decisions


ccording to a latest Master Card report, eight out of 10 shoppers purchase decisions are informed by a digital device- a computer, smartphone, tablet or in-store technology in shopping, pointing out the growing impact of technology in retail and the need for retailers to master multiple channels instead of relying on a single one to reach their customers. According to the report, the consumers are turning to ‘smarter shoppers’ and said they are getting more value than before. However, though in-store sales still account for more than nine-tenths of all retail spending, the result is a more focused in-store shopper buying from a narrower list of unique stores than in years past. “Getting smart about smart shoppers is paramount to a retailer’s success, yet shoppers consistently report they’re frustrated that retailers don’t get it,” said Mathieu Loury, senior vice president of Merchant Solutions for MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard. 48 |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 |

Amazon, ebay are among world’s most popular online shopping platforms

“The good news is that the solutions exist to both analyze and answer these expectations—meeting your omnishoppers every step of their empowered journey, and creating an ecosystem that propels them forward.” Technology has given consumers access to more types of information and

they are willing to dive headlong into the online marketplace to learn about what they want to buy. Frustration occurs when merchants haven’t aligned their online and in-store inventories and consumers can’t fulfill purchases after traveling a long road to get there. Merchants must be able to offer consumers what they’re looking for once they have made the purchase decision, regardless of


the channel in which initial contact was established. Failing here means a losing a customer, according to the Master Card report. According to the report, the path to purchase for the omnishopper is informed by the necessity of getting information about product details and the way to discover real value. The more diverse information omnishoppers get, the more comfortable they are pulling the trigger on a purchase. The true intersection of price and quality is what makes the omnishopper thirsty for information. Promotions are only important to 18 percent of respondents. It’s not shipping policies or pricing that frustrates omnishoppers the most. It’s inventory. It is more important (73 percent) than information security (59 percent), and characterizes three of the top four frustrations omnishoppers cite,the report said. Consumers’ confidence is high globally regarding their own financial positionand also about their country’s economy. 76% in UAE were confident about the economy’s strength.

MasterCard. Key findings include: Technology Use in Shopping is Almost Universal: Eighty percent of consumers report using technology during the shopping process, such as smartphone apps for price checks, “click and collect” services to buy online and pick up in-store, and in-store technology to research or order a product. In addition, six out of ten are doing more research online today than two years ago. Brick and Mortar Stands Strong: The omnishopper chooses physical stores for better customer service, entertainment value of shopping, superior inventory levels and a faster, more social buying experience. This might be a contributor to eCommerce’s relatively flat growth as a share of total retail sales (7.5 percent globally). Consumers Want Specific Inventory, and a Seamless Experience Accessing It: Today’s shoppers know what they want. The top frustration – cited by 73 percent of respondents – is items not being in stock, underscoring the importance of inventory manage-

& Hospitality

An estimated 77% men and 68% women shop during lunch hour. ment for retailers. Consumers Feel Smarter and Get More Value: Fully 80 percent of global consumers claim to be getting more value, both in-store and online. Merchants Are Primed for Omnishoppers’ Loyalty: Despite having nearly endless choices a click away, only 26 percent of shoppers like to try new merchants. This can pose a challenge for retailers trying to attract new customers. Just 20 percent say technology has led them to consider a new retailer. “When looking at consumers around the globe, Brazilians were the most ardent researchers. In markets like the UK and US, the more consumers research before shopping, the fewer stores they visit in the physical world,” said Theodore Iacobuzio, vice president of Global Insights, MasterCard. 

“Retailers should pursue opportunities to make shopping memorable for those consumers who are confident and are looking for experiences expressing their feeling, largely optimistic, for the future. The message: think big,” according to the report. The MasterCard Retail CMO’s Guide to the Omnishopper combines survey data from thousands of shoppers around the globe with transaction-based insights from |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 49

opinion column

Travellers looking for personalized experience L ast year we achieved significant

successes in both of our main business lines: Distribution and IT Solutions.

Luis Maroto President & CEO Amadeus Group

In 2014, we processed 526 million bookings, 4.6 per cent more than the year before. And that air bookings by travel agencies grew by 5.2 per cent, a figure higher than the distribution industry as a whole, which grew at a 3.2 per cent pace. This difference is the consequence of an increase in our market share, which by the end of 2014 was 41 per cent. We expect to continue growing over the next few years to reach nearly one billion passengers boarded in 2017. Amadeus operates in an industry closely linked to the evolution of the world economy, which is expected to grow by 3.5 per cent this year. Based on this outlook for growth and in line with our own evolution, we expect to continue expanding both of our business lines: Distribution and IT Solutions. The explosion of Internet and mobile devices has given the traveller more power than ever before in their relationship with companies in our industry.

Edited excerpts from a speech at the Amadeus IT Holding SA Shareholders’ General Meeting, Madrid 50 50 50 |Manafez |Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai Dubai |September |October |October 2015 ٢٠١٤ 2015 ||

The traveller is now looking for a more personalized experience and integrated services. IATA estimates that airlines generate average income of seven dollars per passenger. Despite high occupation rates and the decrease in fuel prices, or the revenues generated by ancillary

services, airlines have failed to find a way to increase that average income. At Amadeus, we believe in a model that pursues generating higher revenues, putting the traveller at the center of the travel industry ecosystem. In that model, the traveller has access to information in a fast, transparent and objective way, whatever channel he decides to use. This is guaranteed by the current distribution model. Our vision is to connect all travel services providers to facilitate the interaction of all players in the travel value chain: what we call the travel ecosystem. For this to happen, we need to enrich the content we offer, and also to develop our IT solutions, to move towards a greater personalization of services for the traveller. Our vision is focused on generating revenue in a sustainable manner. We defend a sustainable distribution model in which all players, from the airline to the traveller, can benefit from the advantages of interacting in an intelligent, objective and transparent way. 

opinion column

We must manage cyber risk security is a new and dynamic C yber threat. Aviation is a specific target for

those intent on doing cyber mischief and theft -or worse. Airlines are the highest value target for fraudsters and close to fifty percent of all phishing attempts are made against airlines and airline passengers. We structure our internal information security program around three main goals: to guard against unauthorized external or internal access to IATA’s IT systems; to ensure early detection should an unauthorized access occur; and to be able to react quickly to address any intrusion and assure secure business continuity. IATA’s role is to assist airlines in developing a robust cyber security strategy and to help drive coordination of global efforts to address cyber threats to aviation. Last year we launched the Aviation Cyber Security Toolkit. It is intended for airlines but is also applicable to airports, ground handlers and others in the value chain. Many airlines and airports have robust systems in place to address common hacking threats. Cyber experts have to improve their expertise constantly. What we are facing is close to an asymmetric warfare in which it is easier to attack than to defend. There is a need to adopt a holistic approach. A related vulnerability comes from the introduction of greater levels of automation. There is no question that automation significantly enhances safety and aircraft capabilities while

simplifying many rote tasks. The more systems we automate, the more vendors we have and the more interfaces that can be targeted for attack. A key component of managing risk is effective sharing of information, including common or mutually understood policies and procedures for doing so. Today, constraints of national classification systems and ambiguities around the legal rights and mechanisms for sharing information across borders are particularly challenging.

Tony Tyler Director General & CEO International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Governments need to adopt threatbased, risk-managed and outcomefocused frameworks that are balanced against industry capabilities and sustainability. This is a much better way to address evolving threats than prescriptive measures that are not able to adapt to the constantly shifting cyber arena. The global aviation system is an attractive target for a large-scale cyberattack, or for a targeted attack on some of its most vital elements. While we cannot eliminate cyber risk, we must manage it. This will require a deeper collaboration between authorities, industries and the academic world through an effective information sharing program. ď‚…

Edited excerpts from a speech at the Civil Aviation Cyber Security Conference, Singapore |Manafez Dubai |October 2015 | 51

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Manafez dubai english october 2015 final for printing  

Manafez dubai english october 2015 final for printing