Page 1

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

www.manafezdubai.com

Issue 10

February 2015

Dubai to host global conference on the Future of Borders Internet of Everything (IoE):

A world where everything is connected

Hollande: Immigration has not been detrimental to France

Dubai: Shopper's Paradise

GDRFA-D to implement APIS for cruise tourists by mid-2015


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

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

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

Establishments: • • • •

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

Other features:

• • • • • •

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

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

• Toll free: 8005111


Welcome Message

The future summit S trong leaders have strong vision. Leadership is

simply the ability to turn a dream or a vision to a desired future. These thoughts dominated my mind when I was attending the 3rd Dubai Government Summit. In the UAE, we are blessed with strong leaders who have a strong vision to make the future of our nation and people bright. We are fortunate to have the visionary leadership and unflinching support of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. A smart agenda has been laid by the government before us at the summit about how our future should be and how we can go about making people happy and satisfied, especially in the times of sweeping changes and challenges. The entire world speaking the same language at the summit clearly points that everyone should work to make the future better and secure. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum remarked earlier, the future belongs to those who prepare for it. In the UAE, this vision is in our minds day and night as we work toward making our citizens and residents happy. Through this, we also draw the focus of the world to take initiatives in socio-economic sectors like health and education and smart cities to make the life of people easier and happy. The decision-makers will pay the price dearly if they delay implementing the decisions. We learned a lot from the keynote address of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, wherein he described the UAE people as the real assets of the country and that the government is focused to ensure their wellbeing.

The speech of His Highness Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, was also highly inspiring as he rightly remarked that positive patriotism will drive future governments and that the UAE leadership had instilled in the people a spirit of tolerance, openness and moderation. The UAE people really feel proud about belonging to the country led by visionary leaders who are doing their best to keep the country at the forefront in every sector and continuing the journey of success started by our pioneering leaders like Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum.In their interactions with world leaders and businessmen, they have always talked about the future and not the past. Through this summit, the UAE has told the entire world that it’s time to talk about the future. I believe that the Government Summit has, on the forefront, all those working in customer service in the government and private sectors keen on preparing well to meet future challenges. After attending the summit and Future Museum, I honestly feel that these steps we have taken are the beginning of a long journey. We will sit and think about how to take it further.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 1


GDRFA Message

GDRFA

in History

t

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

t

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

t

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

t

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

t

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

t

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

t

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

t

1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

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

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

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

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

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

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


Contents

GDRFA News GDRFA Photographes by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan

GDRFA-Dubai headquarters to remain close to the public from February 1 to 3 for renovation

P7

UAE News UAE accounts for 55 per cent of GCC e-commerce market

Dubai Frame to be ready in H1 of 2015

P 25

P 24

Middle East News KSA to issue online visit visas for expat families

P 28

New healthcare scheme for Bahrain expats

P 33

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 Mohammed Abdul Mannan

Strategic Technology Partner of GDRFA-Dubai

Property sales in Cyprus exceeded all estimates in 2014

P 33

Invest and choose your citizenship

Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri

P 30

International News 25,000 British students to study in India

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai

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

www.naddalshiba.com

Email

info@naddalshiba.com

P 44 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 3


Under the patronage of

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

SMART SOLUTIONS FOR BORDER CONTROL & FUTURE TRAVEL

www.emaratech.ae

futureofborders.ae

Special Discount for Airline & Airport Employees * Special Offer for Hotel Rooms at Ritz Carlton DIFC & Flight Discounts on Emirates

Registration: Email: futureborders@emirates.com

4 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | Telephone: +971 4 3034778

:


Don’t miss industry experts presentations

Director General, GDRFA-Dubai

Kevin K. McAleenan Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Stewart Wingate

Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport

SPECIAL PANELIST -

Sir Timothy (Tim) Clark, KBE

Angela Gittens Director General, ACI World

President Emirates Airline

Thani Abdullah Alzaffin

Director General & Board Member, emaratech

Lieutenant General Hans Leijtens

Teresa Hardy

Luc Tombal

Commander, Royal Netherlands Marechaussee

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

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

Paul Moultrie

Eric Kwok-ki Chan

David Ploog

Head of Marketing, Middle East and North Africa, Airbus

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

IDSM, Director of Immigration, Hong Kong SAR

Speakers

H.E. Major General Mohammed Al Marri

Managing Partner, M2P Consulting Inc

: |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 5


GDRFA News

GDRFA-Dubai headquarters to remain close to the public from February 1 to 3 for renovation T he External Customer Service Centres

of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) across the emirate is all geared to handle the workload due to the closure of GDRFA-Dubai headquarters for three days beginning February 1 for renovation works. Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, said the directorate has taken steps to ensure uninterrupted services for all the transactions of the customers at the external service centres that it operates in the Emirate of Dubai during the closure of the GDRFA-Dubai headquarters in Al Jafiliya for building maintenance, renovation and repair. He said: “We have taken measures to ensure that our work does not get interrupted and disrupted due to the closure of our head office. At the customer service centres, customers can efficiently complete all transactions

6 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

that are normally done at the GDRFA-Dubai headquarters. Experienced staff will be deployed to handle the projected rush in transactions at these centres.” Major General Obaid said the GDRFA-Dubai management was making distinct efforts to develop the level of services provided to the expatriate and Emirati customers. The renovation project was part of its strategic objectives to develop and consolidate the quality of its world-class services. The directorate, he added, was working towards getting its customer services seven-star rating in line with the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. He said the administration was continuously seeking to upgrade its quality standards and services portfolio to achieve higher level of performance and excellence.

The Directorate has requested the customers to approach its extensive network of customer service centres which are fully equipped to handle the entire spectrum of services offered at the GDRFA-D headquarters. He said the directorate was keen on the happiness of all the customers and attention was being given to the quality of services provided to them. The GDRFA-Dubai customer service centres are located in Jebel Ali Free Zone, Al Manara Centre, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai International Airport, Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), Twar Center, Bin Sougat Centre, DNATA (near Clock Tower, Deira), among other places. Details about the centers’ locations can be had from the GDRFA website - www.dnrd.gov.ae – and from the toll free call centre 800-51111 or telephone +9714-3139999 round the clock seven days a week. GDRFA has presence on the Facebook and Twitter. 


GDRFA News

GDRFA-D hosts workshop to discuss ways to make customers happy T he

General Direcrorate of Residency and Foriengers Affairs in Dubai (GDRFADubai) has recently organized a three-day workshop at the Jebel Ali Hotel in Dubai to discuss ways to make the customers happy by providing them excellent and high quality services. This was the first workshop to be hosted in 2015 and another workshop will be organized at a later date. The workshop was aimed to review the performance of the year 2014 and chalk out strategies for the year 2015 to implement the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice

President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make people more happy with government services. It was attended by top management of GDRFA-Dubai including its Director General, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, and Deputy Director General, Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor. Major General Al Marri said the GDRFA-Dubai works 24/7 to meet the expectations of the UAE leadership and the government and to translate the vision into a reality in a transparent and effective manner. He called upon the GDRFADubai leaders to discuss the challenges they face and fu-

ture growth opportunities. The workshop, he added, reflects the importance of working as a unified group towards achieving the goals and targets of making people happy by offering them smart and seamless services. He said brainstorming among the participants of the workshop will add value to the GDRFA-Dubai working. Major General Obaid bin Suroor said cutting-edge work culture and good strategies goes a long way in realizing the dreams and achieving the targets. He said workshop discussed the achievements made last year and the future plans for 2015. ď‚… |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 7


GDRFA News

GDRFA-D warns against tenancy contract falsification for visa procedures T he UAE Residents are responsible for the authen-

ticity of tenancy contracts they submit to apply for residency or other visas. Applicants whose tenancy contracts are found to be forged could get more than three years in jail and deportation, Ali Humaid bin Khatem, Head of the Naturalisation and Residency Prosecution (NRP), said. The procedure to get a tenancy contract registered with the Dubai Land Department’s Ejari system has been simplified. “We have noticed a phenomenal increase in forging and/or using forged tenancy contracts since 2013,” he was quoted as saying in media reports. Colonel Khalaf Ahmad Al Gaith, Assistant to the GDRFA-D General Director for Follow-up on Illegal Residents and Foreigners, said: “We are using the media to warn the public. Thanks to the unified system between GDRFA, Dubai Land Department (DLD) and Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), we have exposed many cases of forged contracts.” Around 44 typing centres were found involved in forging tenancy contracts and providing them to According to Article 217 of the Federal Penal Code, residents to apply for visas or residencies at GDR- whoever forges or uses an official forged document FA. shall be sentenced to a period not exceeding five years in prison. “Individuals, who use forged tenancy contracts when applying for visas or residencies, are consid- According to Article 121 of the same law, the ered criminals. They will be prosecuted and tried courts, both Criminal and the Misdemeanours, may even if they did not forge the contracts or even if order the deportation of the accused, if found guilty, they were not aware that the contracts were forged. in forgery cases. The crime of forgery bears a penResidents should double-check the contracts’ au- alty starting from three years in prison. However, thenticity and validity. They should also confirm the court may sometimes give the defendant six the details before applying for visas or residencies. months in jail if extenuating circumstances were It is not a difficult thing to do,” he said. found in the case. 

8 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |


GDRFA News

Noted economist delivers lecture on how to be genius

N oted

mathematician and economist, Dr Manahel Abdul Rahman Thabet, Chairperson of the World Genius Directory and member of the British Society for Economics, delivered a lecture titled, How to be a Genius, as part of a series of monthly lectures hosted by the GDRFA-Dubai under the theme, ‘Leaders of Excellence’. The event was attended by the GDRFA-Dubai

employees and management team members led by GDRFA-Dubai Directoor General, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, who also honoured her with a memento. She spoke about the methods that could help individuals to discover themselves and nurture their talents. She talked about her life’s journey from a little girl suffer-

ing from autism to where she is today.She described His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as a “truly genius leader”. “He is a leader, a poet and a knight,” she said. She said the UAE supports its citizens and called upon the Western countries to learn from the UAE. 

GDRFA-Dubai nabs 1028 for falsifying documents T he General Directorate of Residen-

cy and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) nabbed 1,028 people for falsifying travel documents in 2014, up from 968 caught in 2013.

“The increase in the number of frauders getting caught is due to the training given to all our first line staff,” said the GDRFA-Dubai Deputy Director, Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor.

He said they checked 46,000 documents in all, out of which 1,028 were found falsified. About 71 million passengers travelled through the Dubai International Airport last year.  |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 9


GDRFA News

emaratech supports Future of Borders conference by GDRFA-Dubai

e maratech, the leading technology company for on-

line solutions, system integration, IT consultancy and managed services, has announced its support for the Future of Borders international conference being organized by the GDRFA-Dubai on 11th and 12th March. The two-day conference will be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, DIFC in Dubai under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA-Dubai, commended emaratech’s support as the Host Sponsor for the conference. He said: “We are delighted to have emaratech’s support for the conference. emaratech enjoys a strong reputation globally in the smart solutions for borders control industry and has a proven track record of excellence not only in the UAE but Sultanate of Oman and Jordan. We take pride in the achievements of this UAEbased organization and happy to have their support for the conference.” Thani Abdullah Alzaffin, Director General and Board Member of emaratech, said the conference

10 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

Thani Abdullah Alzaffin, Director General and Board Member of emaratech

will serve as the perfect platform to benefit all stakeholders, discuss the current challenges and future developments which will benefit all the industry stakeholders. He added: “The conference will work towards devising a future roadmap for the borders management industry, thereby ensuring seamless travel experiences for the passengers at the airports and other border crossing points. The immense knowledge and success stories that emaratech has engineered in the border access and control systems as well as the “intelligent travel” solutions will be the highlight of the conference”. The two-day conference brings together 24 international experts from 12 countries. For more information about the conference, please visit www. futureofborders.ae 


GDRFA News

Innovation Centre to be set up at GDRFA-D

T he

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) will set up a centre for innovation and creativity. The GDRFA-Dubai Director General, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, said the centre will be tasked with discovering, developing and sponsoring talented people within the department and outside. The centre will foster talent and innovative thoughts. It will also help talented people protect their intellectual property rights.

over the next three years, to make Dubai the world’s most innovative city.

In November last year, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, approved the launch of the Dubai Innovative Strategy involving 20 initiatives to be implemented

It will complement the National Innovation Strategy, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad to achieve the UAE Vision 2021. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed remarked: “The UAE is already the most innovative Arab nation. We want to be among

The move is in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The Dubai Innovation Strategy is focusing on 10 sectors — renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space, hospitality, economy, tourism and government services.

the most innovative nations in the world. The UAE invests AED14 billion each year in innovation, of which AED7 billion is spent on research and development. We will raise this target significantly. The Innovation Strategy requires all government agencies to cut spending by one per cent and dedicate the savings to research and innovation.” 

Bid to bribe GDRFA-D officer lands PRO in prison A public

relations officer (PRO) has been sentenced to three years in prison for offering an AED4,500 bribe to a GDRFA-Dubai officer for processing visas for him in an unlawful way. The Court of First Instance ordered the 40-year-old Indian PRO to pay an AED4500 fine. The court also ordered his deportation after serving his prison term. The accused was charged with offering a sergeant of the GDRFA-Dubai bribe to process visas for workers who were not entitled to sponsor family members’ visas. The accused approached the sergeant with the bribe to process applications that included forged tenancy contracts. During investigation, the 34-year-

old Emirati sergeant said that the defendant used to go to their branch in Al Rashidiya to finalize workers’ residence visas for his transportation company. The accused offered the sergeant AED1000 for every visa application he would process for him.

The sergeant informed the Preventive Security Department at the GDRFA about the PRO’s offer and was instructed to go along with it and in the process was nabbed. The defendant was caught red-handed as he paid the bribe to the officer.  |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 11


GDRFA News

GDRFA-D Manara Centre renews 747 Emirati passports T he Al Manara Centre of General Di-

rectorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has renewed 747 passports of the UAE nationals during the first nine months of 2014, up from 572 and 180 renewed in 2013 and 2012, respectively.

Colonel Ahmed Obaid Al Muhairi, Assistant Director for Citizenship Affairs at the Al Manara Centre of GDRFADubai, said the centre offers the same services provided by the GDRFADubai headquarters for the renewal and issuance of passports for the Emiratis.

The GDRFA-Dubai operates 23 external customer services centre in the Emirate of Dubai to reduce the rush at its headquarters and also to enable the residents and citizens complete their residency and visa procedures as per their convenience. 

GDRFA-D’s five-year plan for Smart gate usage T he

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) aims to see 50 per cent of people arriving in Dubai use the smart gates at the Dubai International Airport in the next five years, according to a report in Gulf News. Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director General at GDRFA-D, said the number of passengers passing through Dubai International Airport will rise to more than 100 million by 2020 (up from 71 million in 2014). He said to cater to such a big number in less than four years, preparation needs to start from now. He disclosed: “Around seven million people used the smart gate in 2014. We have seen a steady increase and our aim is to have 50 per cent of all the arrivals use the smart gates in the next five years.

12 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

To meet the needs of the expected number of people, we believe that we must use technology, which is why Dubai Airports and Emirates Airline have invested AED100 million to transform Dubai airports into smart airports.” Around 138 smart gates are being installed. There are already 28 smart gates in Terminal 3.

The existing gates (the e-gates, which need e-cards and fingerprints for users to pass through immigration) were also being updated and will be unified to become smart gates (which depend on scanning registered barcoded passports and e-scans to pass through immigration) by 2017. 


GDRFA News

Forum for Human and Financial Resources Sector

T he GDRFA-Dubai hosted a meet-

ing of the Human and Financial Resources Sector Forum under the chairmanship of the GDRFA Assistant Director General for Human Resources and Finance, Brig. Awad Mohammed Ghanem Saeed Al Humairi. The forum was attended by managers and heads of various GDRFA

departments and coordinators of various groups to ensure better and wider communication for effective administration of various facilities and services. The forum reviewed various issues including the quality and services standards in line with the Dubai Government Excellence Awards and the strength and weaknesses

to effectively contribute to the efficiency and development. They also reviewed the model to assess the possibilities and results related to the Dubai Government Excellence Programme. The participants also discussed training, performance management and development plans. ď‚…

UAQ delegation visits GDRFA-D T he

GDRFA-Dubai received a delegation from the GDRFA-Umm Al Quwain within the framework of mutual cooperation and exchange of expertise in various domains. The delegation comprised of Lt. Col. Khalid Salmin Al Suwaidi, Assistant Director of Entry and Residence Per-

mits, Major Jassim Ali Ahli, Captain Salem bin Ali, Captain Farouk Ali Al Bannai, Captain Omar Matar and Captain Imran Ali. GDRFA-Dubai officials, Khalid Hamid Al Ghawi and Salem Mohammad Bu Haroon, welcomed the

delegation and highlighted the importance of field visits, exchange of knowledge and benchmarking. The visiting delegation was briefed about the best practices in the field of entry and residence permissions and they were given a tour of the departments at the GDRFA-D. ď‚… |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 13


Dubai & emaratech care for Gaza

What a great way to start the year with lending a hand to help others in need. Under its program ”humanity for a better society”, a team of emaratech employees answered the call from Dubai Cares to assemble school kits and fill them with educational items for the children of Gaza in Palestine. The campaign titled: Rebuild

14 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

Palestine. Start with Education held at Al-Boom Tourist Village in Dubai witnessed a huge success with the help of thousands of volunteers who were able to finish assembling 50,000 bags in two days.

…and for Syrian refugees Following the success of the campaign, emaratech employ-

ees immediately joined Dubai Cares in supporting the UAE Compassion (Tarahamu) initiative. A collection of relief supplies for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq & Gaza and the rest of Palestine who are affected by the snow storm and the harsh winter conditions that hit the Levant area last week, have been gathered from different emaratech offices. 


Our

Message

The future of borders S trong vision, dedication towards

achieving the goals and successful implementation of projects is what make the UAE stand out. The Future of Borders International Conference that we will be hosting in Dubai from March 11 and 12 is based on our clear vision to discuss the future of borders, and the challenges the borders and travel industry will be facing in our country and around the world in the coming years. The UAE has a long history and good experience and we have plans to face the challenges in different domains. We are implementing several initiatives and utilizing technology to remain in the forefront. The conference is not important because of high-level speakers and attendees but the agenda that will be discussed among the participants which, in turn, will help the decisionmakers in putting together a future roadmap for the border authorities as well as the tourism and travel industry. This is important as the number of air passengers, as per IATA projections will increase dramatically to four billion by 2017. The conference will discuss and deliberate the challenges and threats that keep changing constantly. We are also required to plan ahead to manage the challenges and threats and also meet the expectations of the passengers which too are

changing dramatically due to the rapid technological changes.The UAE will be under the global spotlight with this event discussing the trends and developments and what lies ahead in the future. It will be a platform to share knowledge, best practices and solutions to meet the challenges that of all us will be facing in the coming years. This conference will go great valueaddition to the efforts to create a future where the travel will be seamless and movement of passengers and cargo smooth and efficient than the past. This freedom of movement plays an important role in international economy and makes the authorities managing the borders take steps to become stronger and to increase the level of safety and security. The history will always remember UAE as a country which was ahead of others for its vision and thinking to meet the future challenges.

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

|Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 15


Cover Story

Dubai to host global conference on the Future of Borders

U nder the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum,

President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, Dubai will host an international conference on the ‘Future of Borders’ from March 11 to 12, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Dubai International Financial Centre.

The conference, through five sessions spanned over two days, will provide valuable insights into the future travel trends, the enlarged responsibilities of border control authorities and the challenges they face in handling the huge increase in passengers’ numbers in the coming years. The aim of the conference is to come up with the best formula 16 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

to achieve a balance between the need to strengthen the security in the face of growing threats and risks and accelerate travel facilitation while maintaining high quality services provided to travellers. His Excellency Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, General Directorate of Residency and For-

eigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) which is hosting the conference, said: “The conference will pave the way for all stakeholders to develop not only borders industry, but also the travel and tourism industries and keep the momentum of cooperation and collaboration among them to implement the growth and expansion plans smoothly in line with the changing times.”


Cover Story

Major General Mohammed Al Marri: Conference will pave the way for better growth with changing times

Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director General, GDRFA-Dubai, said: “The conference provides an ideal platform to present UAE’s successful borders management experiment and its expertise in harnessing the latest technologies, smart gates, smart travel solutions and biometric devices to accelerate and facilitate travel.” The conference’s agenda is focused on sharing information, knowledge and best practices in managing borders control, the role of advanced technology and travel smart solutions and the importance of intensifying international cooperation among

all the stakeholders in borders, travel and tourism domains. Thani Alzaffin, Director General & Board Member of emaratech, the exclusive host sponsor of the conference, said: “The conference will work towards devising a roadmap for the “intelligent travel” concepts that GDRFAD and emaratech are engineering to play a leading role in shaping the future of the industry and enrich travel experiences.” He added: “The immense knowledge and success stories that emaratech has engineered in the border access and control systems locally and regionally will be the highlight of the conference. We will also launch a new device during the conference. It is vital for all of us to gain and share insights into how technological revolutions will transform the travel experience in the near future.”

Major General Obaid bin Suroor: UAE is role model for other countries in successful borders management

Badr Abbas, Vice President for Commercial Operations for UAE & Oman at Emirates Airline, said: “Emirates has a strong strategic relationship with GDRFA-Dubai and Dubai Airports. This relationship has become closer after the installation of e-Gates for Emirates pilots and crew in 2008 which has helped immensely in facilitating the completion of their departure and arrival procedures seamlessly. The relationships solidified with the installation of smart gates in Terminal 3 for the Emirates’ flights.” He added: “The aviation sector has witnessed tremendous development in the UAE in general and Dubai in particular during the past few years and contributes 27 per cent to Dubai’s GDP. It also increased the number of visitors to Dubai and users of the airports. We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the GDRFA-D for their efforts to facilitate the movement of passengers and we are pleased to continue our close cooperation as the official carrier for the conference.” Ali Obaid Al Hamli, Director of News Center, Dubai Media Inc. (DMI), the official media organization of the Dubai government, said: “The partnership for the conference is in line with the DMI strategy and comes within |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 17


Cover Story

Experts from 12 countries to chalk out future road map for borders industry

the framework of supporting and encouraging initiatives that contributes to community service activities and highlights the development of the UAE in various domains and joint efforts of various government organizations in Dubai. He added: “It is our conviction that media plays a large and vital role in educating the community and in the maintenance of security of ports and borders. Coordination and cooperation among all the stakeholders will contribute towards maintaining the highest international standing that the UAE enjoys. Sama Dubai TV channel will cover the conference in details for the benefit of all the sections of the society and industries.� Over 24 globally-renowned experts from 12 countries and international organizations will take part in the conference. The speakers include H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy & Chairman of General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA-Dubai, Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, GDRFA-Dubai Deputy Director General, Thani Alzaffin, Director General and Board Member, emaratech, Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Air18 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

line, Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Airports, Lieutenant-General Dr. Hans Leijtens, General Director Royal Marechaussee, the Netherlands, Eric Chan Kwok- Ki, Director of Immigration, Hong Kong, Angela Gittens, Director General, Airports Council International, Paul Moultrie, Head of Marketing, Middle East and North Africa, Airbus and Jung June Ahn, Executive Director, Public Relations Group, Incheon Airport. Nadd Al Shiba PR & Event Management is the official PR agency and content producer for the conference. The first session will debate about the future and government vision and the second session will deal with the future of border management. The third session will shed light on the future of aviation industry, while

the fourth one will highlight the future of airports. The fifth and the final session will reflect on the future of smart solutions. Speakers will provide insights into number important issues including ID thefts, forged documents and the role of smart gates, e-Passports and biometric devices in enhancing the security and accelerating the travel facilitation. The conference provides an ideal platform for participants to gain insights into the emerging threats, challenges and risks facing the borders industry and share and benefit from best practices in managing the borders effectively through the optimized use of available resources and capabilities. More than 500 delegates are expected to attend the conference,


Cover Story

Dubai invested AED100 million on Smart Gates

The number of passengers through Dubai airport will rise to more than 100 million by 2020, up from 71 million in 2014. Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai World Central (DWC) is projected to handle over 200 million people annually next decade.

including a large number of Interior ministers, heads of border control authorities, airlines CEOs, airports operators and representatives of international organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Airports Council International (ACI). Tasked with regulating the entry and exit of travelers to the United Arab Emirates through land, sea and air routes of the Emirate of Dubai, GDRFADubai immensely contributes to achieving UAE’s Ministry of Interior’s vision of making the UAE one of the safest and most secure countries in the world. GDRFA-Dubai has remained in the forefront of Smart Government initiative and introduced a slew of technology-driven initiatives de-

signed for smooth and seamless facilitation of travelers at airports, sea ports and land crossings. It has to its credit several unique projects like M-visa, smart gates and online services for individuals and corporate entities. An investment of more than AED100 million has been made toward the Smart Gates initiative at the Dubai International Airport. The GDRFA-Dubai is presently working on implementing the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) in Dubai. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates, the number of air passengers globally will rise to more than four billion by 2017. Airports in the Gulf alone will receive about 450 million passengers by 2020.

DCAA forecasts aircraft movements for both airports, Dubai International and Al Maktoum International, rising to 665,000 in 2020, bringing in millions of passengers annually. By 2020, as Dubai expects to welcome over 20 million tourists for Expo 2020, it is estimated that Emirates Airlines will fly 70 million passengers, Oxford Economics said. It said overall, Dubai had direct passenger flight connections to 149 cities with populations of over one million people, creating potential export markets of over 916 million people, or 13 per cent of the world’s population. The exponential rise in the number of air travelers worldwide is driving policy to make efforts to ensure smooth and seamless travel experience at airports and other border points. For further information please visit the conference website: www.futureofborders.ae  |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 19


GDRFRA Interview

Colonel Hussein Ibrahim:

GDRFA-D to implement APIS for cruise tourists by mid-2015 I n an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, Colonel Hussein Ibrahim,

Assistant Director-General for Seaports at General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), revealed that the Directorate will start implementing the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) for cruise tourists by mid-2015.

The new initiative will help the authorities cope with the expected growth in the number of cruise tourists, especially after the opening of the world’s biggest cruise terminal in the Port Rashid complex in Dubai. The APIS, he said, will significantly reduce the time required to complete the travellers’ entry and exit control procedures. The GDRFA-D is dealing with about 50,000 cruise tourists a month who come to Dubai on an average of 12 cruise ships a week. Excerpts:

What preparations have been made to handle the increase in the number of cruise tourists following the opening of the new cruise terminal at Port Rashid? 20 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

We are continuously reviewing the developments in the cruise tourism industry with all our strategic partners in order to know more about their needs and meet their expectations and requirements in terms of travellers’ seamless facilitation.

launch of the Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal and also the measures we have in place to make the visit of cruise tourists seamless and memorable.

cruise terminal. We would like to compliment them for their tremendous efforts in making this huge project a reality. They have provided the GDRFA-Dubai will all the necessary infrastructure and facilities to meet our current and future requirements to handle cruise tourists. The reputation of Dubai as a cruise destination has increased immensely due to the successful

The multiple-entry visa system for cruise tourists is a smart move by the Ministry of Interior and is compatible with the needs and aspirations of the tourism industry. This will boost the cruise tourism in the country in the long run with every stakeholder benefiting from the decision. This will give the industry enormous growth opportunities in addition to helping attract

How do you assess the contribution of the There is a perfect synergy among multiple-entry visa in all the stakeholders, especially the boosting cruise tourism in Dubai Ports which operates the the UAE?


GDRFRA Interview

more cruise tourists in the coming period. Statistics suggest that the move has contributed to a significant increase in the number of cruise tourists - about 30 per cent compared with the previous period. It is expected that this percentage will increase further in the future. The 96-hour transit visa facility for sailors and cruise ship crew has also proved to be a huge success. Their numbers have increased from 500 to 1500 following the introduction of 96-hour transit visas.

GDRFA-Dubai handling 50000 cruise tourists a month

cooperation to improve the travel experience of the cruise tourists. A seamless travel experience will bring more visitors to Dubai in the future.

How do you cooperate with the strategic partners to speed up the travel This has come as a big help to the procedures? cruise and shipping companies in the deployment of sailors and crew, similar to what airlines have been doing. This has proved quite beneficial to everyone as the Dubai International Airport provides connecting flights to more than 200 capital cities around the world. I would like to point out here that about 75 per cent of cruise tourists are arriving or leaving through Dubai International Airport.

How APIS is going to speed up the completion of travellers’ entry procedures?

We have an ideal cooperation system in place with our strategic partners in every sense of the word. We share and review with them all our latest developments, new systems and procedures to get their feedback and suggestions. In the recent times, we have discussed about the visas and fees structure including the multiple visas system. We are holding regular meetings with the Dubai Ports Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), travel agents, tour companies and cruise operators to

enhance coordination and cooperation and listen to their suggestions. We also seek information about the future plans and programmes in order to devise our strategies and projects to handle the requirements of the cruise industry in Dubai.

What are your expectations about the cruise tourism sector?

We are very positive about cruise tourism industry in the emirate of Dubai recording substantial growth. The coming period will witness a further influx of cruise tourists as Dubai is becoming a popular cruise destination given the air connectivity that the city offers for people from around the world, excellent infrastructure, safety levels and tourist attractions and more importantly the easy visas formalities that are in place now. Everyone is working towards realizing the vision of the Dubai government. Visitors are amazed with the hospitality that they enjoy in the country which is home to people from various nationalities and cultures. ď‚…

The Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) is the latest technology which allows us to have the travellers’ personal information, passport and travel details before their arrival in Dubai. APIS is an electronic data interchange system. The information is obtained from the airlines and tour operators and this allows us to completing the required procedures smoothly and efficiently in accordance with the highest security standards. We will start implementing this system by the first half of this year. We would like to appreciate and thank all the stakeholders for their efforts and |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 21


Exclusive Interview

His Excellency Saqr Ghobash:

Ministry of Labour making strides towards labour market stability I n an interview for the inaugural edition

of Al’Amal, the bilingual newsletter of the Ministry of Labour (MoL), the UAE Labour Minister, His Excellency Saqr Ghobash, answered a wide range of questions pertaining to the labour market, MoL performance and policies and what lies ahead in the future. Excerpts:

The MoL appears to be giving increased attention to improving organizational performance and excellence. How does it impact the MOL to better administer the labour market? If we better our performance as an organization, it will have larger impact on our work in pursuing our vision and mission and strategic goals. We need to pay more attention to our institutional development and promote a culture of quality and excellence by adopting performance standards, ensuring accountability and continuously developing human resources. We must also create and sustain a work environment that promotes 22 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

We protect workers’ rights and also upholds employers’ legitimate interests

creativity and healthy competition. This is why we launched four years ago an institutional excellence award program inspired by the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Government Excellence Award, an initiative that had a discernible impact on the performance of government institutions as a whole. The award programme has been re-named as The Minister of Labour’s Excellence Award in line with suggestions made by

the ministry’s senior leadership to project personal commitment to organizational excellence. It reflects my commitment to empowering the staff of MOL to excel. How do you assess the MoL relations, coordination and partnership with other government agencies? There is close coordination and strategic partnership between the Ministry of Labour and many other government entities. This empowers us to implement our strategic plans and administer the labour market efficiently. We value these partnerships and work constantly to upgrade them. For example, we work closely with the Ministry of Interior to


Exclusive Interview

provide a number of services as well as to conduct inspection activities and labour awareness campaigns. Similarly, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs is our strategic partner in the implementation of the Discounts and Special Offers Programme for UAE Nationals working in the Private Sector which has been incorporated into His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE’s initiative, Absher. I should also note our partnership with the judicial system that streamlines labour disputes which could not be resolved amicably through arbitration by the

Tasheel is a successful model of partnership with the private sector

labour office and with the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The MOL referred more than 390 firms that were alleged to be in violation of the law in the first nine months of 2014.

Labour law amendments to incentivize Emiratis to join the private sector

tance to empowering the private sector and upholding its rights and interests in the same way we act to protect workers’ rights. Tasheel service centers serve as a model of a successful publicprivate partnership that helped create investment opportunities and employment opportunities for UAE business owners and UAE job seekers, respectively. The number of MOL-licensed centers now stands at 40, employing more than 900 UAE nationals and thus contributing to Emiratisation in the private sector. Furthermore, these centers offered the opportunity to make the ministry’s services available to the public in accordance with the highest standards of customer service set by the UAE government.

Additionally, we partner with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordinating international activities and for safeguarding the reputation of the UAE and enhance its standing in international forums.

We look forward to expand this successful model of partnership. This experiment has allowed the Ministry to focus on our core business of formulating policy and monitoring the labour market. We administer a market of over four million workers and 300,000 registered business establishments, with a staff of about 1,200 employees.

What about partnership with the private sector? The private sector is a key enabler of economic development and a strategic partner of the Ministry. We give utmost impor-

How do you assess the development of the UAE labour market in the future? The labour market policies during the past decades focused on securing the manpower that was

required primarily for infrastructural development. Job creation was skewed to sectors of our economy that were characterized by deflated wages and working conditions that did not appeal to educated and qualified national human resources, who opted instead for public sector employment. Over time, we witnessed the development of two parallel and distinct labour markets with large gaps in their respective wage structures and conditions of work, with UAE nationals overwhelmingly employed in the government organizations. More recently, our Government adopted a vision for the future of our country. In pursuit of this vision, our policy making became focused on supporting the transformation of our national economy to one that is “competitive, knowledge-based and led by qualified and skilled Emiratis”. The UAE Vision 2021, which was articulated by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and launched in 2010 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, necessitated that we focus on creating conditions for a stable labour market in which a qualified and productive workforce contributes to a competitive knowledge-based economy and our nationals are empowered to access suitable private sector job opportunities in positions of leadership, supported by talent from abroad to complement our qualified labour pool.  |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 23


UAE News

Dubai unveils 2015 budget D ubai has wowed its residents and si-

lenced its critics with an operating surplus of AED3.6 billion, the first ever since the global financial crisis in 2008, in its AED41 billion budget for 2015. The budget also put on a humane face with 71 per cent of expenditure allocated to social sector development and infrastructure spending to create more jobs and stimulate the economic growth of the emirate.The finance document is prepared in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who approved it.

This is the first ‘balanced budget’ with no shortfall projected since the 2008 financial crisis. The spending is set to increase by nine per cent in the fiscal year 2015 while revenues are projected to be up 11 per cent. About 35 per cent of the budget expenditures will be spent on social sector uplift, with its prime share of the allocation going into health, education, housing and community development projects. The government has given equal importance to the infrastructure, transportation and economic sectors as 36 per cent of allocations are reserved for spending under this head to sustain positive economic growth in 2015.

About 22 per cent of the budget is allocated to support the security, justice and safety sectors, while the remaining seven per cent is made available for the government excellence sector. The government has further reduced its dependence on oil revenues, which now only contributes four per cent to the total income, compared to the five per cent in the fiscal year 2014. The government has increased public revenues by 11 per cent. Revenue from government services, which represent 74 per cent of the total government revenue, increased by 22 per cent, compared to 2014. 

UAE accounts for 55 per cent of GCC e-commerce market by an online e-commerce A survey solutions company has revealed

that the UAE accounts for 55 per cent of the e-commerce market of the Arabian Gulf countries as it registered 300 per cent growth in the online market between 2013 and 2014. ShopGo announced that the ecommerce sector in the UAE is currently valued at $2.5 billion, representing 55 per cent of the total e-commerce market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The GCC has 90 million internet users, and in 2012 they spent over $9 billion online. By 2015, the region will be spending $15 billion online.

24 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

According to Visa, the UAE government is leading the way for e-Commerce in the country with the telecommunications authority designated to create an effective eCommerce environment.

In Dubai specifically, the e-Pay gateway has had a huge impact, enabling customers to settle fees of e-government services online on a 24/7 basis in a secure environment. 


UAE News

Dubai Frame to be ready in H1 of 2015 T he Dubai Frame project — shaped like a giant window frame — is 35 per cent complete and is expected to be ready in the second half of 2015.

Dubai Municipality said the oversized rectangle will serve as a 150 metre by 93 metre frame of a view of modern Dubai on one side and the older city on the other. There will also be a viewing gallery on the top offering panoramic views. An elevator made of glass will offer unblocked views as visitors travel up and down the sides of the frame. The AED160 million tourist attraction is taking shape near the Star Gate play area in Zabeel Park, chosen as the location after extensive surveys of what site would offer the best views of new Dubai and old Dubai through the frame. Officials hope it will draw 2,000,000 visitors a year, joining a long list of iconic Dubai landmarks recognised internationally, such as the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab. 

Dubai Trolley to become operational in Q1 2015

D ubai’s

newest public transport system will open to public in the first quarter of 2015. Dubai Trolley network will cover seven kilometres around Downtown Dubai, connecting the areas biggest landmarks such as The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, the Address Downtown Hotel and Opera District with other parts of the sprawling neighbourhood. The network will be served by small electric and hydrogenpowered trams accommodating 74 people each. The first phase of Dubai Trolley will cover a distance of one kilometre and will have three stations. Dubai Trolley is a smart urban mobility service that further

builds on the trolley tram systems that are in use in several cities across the US and Europe. The network will be served by doubledecker trams that have the provision of open-deck and air-conditioned seating.The trams will be elegantly designed to complement the Arabesque architectural features of Downtown Dubai. Being electric and hydrogen powered, the Dubai Trolley has practically zero-emission. All the stations will be air-conditioned and will reflect the architectural attributes of Downtown Dubai. According to sources, when completed, the network will also offer connectivity with Dubai Metro through the Dubai Mall station. 

UAE dirham to remain pegged to dollar

T he

UAE will keep its currency pegged to the US dollar. The UAE dirham, which has been fixed at a rate of 3.6725 to $1 since 1997, edged down to its lowest level against the dollar in over a year in the one-year forwards market as the price of oil, on which the economy depends heavily, fell to new fouryear lows. The UAE Central Bank Governor Mubarak al-Mansouri said in a statement to WAM that the policy of the fixed peg of the dirham against the US dollar will remain in place.” The peg came under pressure in 2008 as the global financial crisis slashed oil prices and disrupted fund flows.  |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 25


UAE News

Islamic banking getting popular with expats E xpat focused packages, low charges

on credit cards and relevant offers were among the top enticements of Islamic Banking for expatriates, according to Brave Index, a first of its kind study on Islamic banking by Brand and Communications Agency BRAVE. BRAVE reached out to 500 people in the UAE for the study. A high number of respondents cited that “knowing that late payment fees were donated to charity” would certainly change their perspective on Islamic banking. “Sixty per cent of the respondents stated that their expectation of service was higher for Islamic banks than traditional banks,” according to the study, which pointed out that the expectations differed for different na-

tionalities. Majority of UAE nationals (55 per cent), Arab expats (53 per cent) and Asian expats (71 per cent) expect better service, it said.Regarding expectations, the study noted that

for Western expats, the top priority was a tailored rewards credit card (45 per cent) followed equally by “an expat focused package” and “advertising targeted specifically at them. 

UAE’s passport global ranking goes up T he UAE’s passport ranking has gone

up to 55th position, according to the latest annual Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index. The Index gives a global ranking of countries

based on the freedom of travel for their citizens. This global ranking is produced in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

In compiling the index, the unique global ranking methodology by Henley & Partners is applied to data provided by IATA´s passport and visa database. In the GCC, the UAE, Qatar and Oman saw increases in passport ranking from 2013 to 2014. According to the latest index, since 2013, Germany and the US have joined Finland, Sweden and the UK on the top rank, each achieving a score of 174 countries that their citizens can travel to visa-free, and Canada has jumped from fourth place to second with 173 countries, along with Denmark. The US has risen fast in the ranking from a previously occupied 7th position in 2010 to its current 1st place. 

26 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |


UAE News

Two new centres for Sweden visa in UAE T he Embassy of Sweden in Abu Dhabi has outsourced its visa application process to VFS Global.

People who want to apply for Schengen visas to Sweden can now do so at two new centres being managed by VFS Global – one in Abu Dhabi and one in Dubai. Through the new dedicated offices, the applicants will wait a minimum of 5 days to obtain a Swedish visa after the completion of all necessary paperwork, Gulf Today reported. Jan Thesleff, Ambassador of Sweden to the UAE and Ajit Alexander, COO - Middle East and Africa, VFS Global, said the new facility in Dubai will

cater to applicants based in Dubai and the northern emirates, while Abu Dhabi’s centre will benefit those based in the capital and eastern region.

Philippines to lift conditions for employing housemaids

R esidents in the UAE may soon be able

While VFS Global will accept visa applications, the Embassy will continue to make the assessment and decisions regarding all visas. The new visa application centres are located at Wafi Mall, Level 2 in Dubai and Shining Tower, Level 25, in Abu Dhabi.The Centre in Dubai will accept applications for visas to Sweden from applicants and travel agents residing in the UAE. The service would attract a nominal service fee, payable at the Centre at the time of submitting applications. 

to employ housemaids from the Philippines once again as the embassy of the South-East Asian nation is likely to lift some conditions, according to a Khaleej Times report. The embassy had suspended bringing into UAE and hiring domestic helps since April last year. The report said that some recruitment agencies have indicated that the embassy is likely to relax some conditions for hiring of helps, such as attestation of contracts. “The cost of bringing in and hiring a Filipina housemaid rose more than double as was over the past years, and accounted for a whopping AED14,500, and the monthly salary of the housemaid shot up to more than AED1,500,”. 

18 per cent growth in Dubai Chamber’s membership D ubai Chamber of Commerce and In-

dustry has recorded 18 per cent increase in its members in 2014 compared to 2013.Last year, 16,198 new companies joined the chamber increasing the number of new members to 169,198.Dubai Chamber 2014 figures showed that its member non-oil trade exports and re-exports stood at

AED290 billion in 2014, the highest in the last five years. That was up from AED285 billion in 2013. “The year gone by has been a period of outstanding growth for Dubai and the UAE in general. Today Dubai is known among the top 10 most influential cities in the world,” said

Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber. The annual report also referred to the increasing economic activity in the emirate. It showed an eight per cent increase in Certificates of Origin, from 823,792 issued in 2013 to 887,078 in 2014.  |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 27


Middle East News

KSA to issue online visit visas for expat families Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry will soon issue visas online

for families of expats without the need to visit the Passport Department or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Arab News reported. Quoting a source, the newspaper said the move would save time and prevent overcrowding at visa offices for expatriates wanting to bring their families on visits as well as save them from attaching several documents along with their visa applications.

Applicants should need to undertake to provide appropriate housing for their family members, medical insurance and ensure their departure before the expiry of the visa period. They should also undertake that their visitors follow all the laws and regulations of the Kingdom during their stay.

The ministry had earlier launched a pilot programme to test the system prior to its launch. Giving visas online will also improve the department’s performance and save expatriates’ time and effort, the report said.

Applicants must also clearly specify that the purpose of the visit is to meet the family and not perform Haj or Umrah. There would be penalties for those failing to comply, the report added.

However, applicants must enter their data correctly and exactly as it appears in the civil registry and on their residence permits. The data of their family members must also be exactly filled as it appears in their passports.

Meanwhile, the ministry has started to allow the public to make appointments electronically for services provided by the Department of Recruitment Affairs. These services are available at www.moi.gov.sa under the recruitment icon. 

Exit permit changes in Qatar to be ‘simpler’

C hanges in the exit permit system proposed by the new sponsorship law in Qatar are clear and simple and no need for people to fear about it, a senior official of the Ministry of Interior said. Brigadier Nasser Mohammed Al Sayed, Director of the Search and Follow-Up Department at the Ministry, said that the new sponsorship law has been completed fully and is in the final stage for issuance.“Work on the new sponsorship law started long ago. Qatar took up this issue many years ago, because there is 28 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

an international system existing in most parts of the world. We need to cope with this development. The idea was under study even before Qatar won the FIFA 2022 World Cup bid. The law is completed fully and is in the final stage for issuance,” Brigadier Al Sayed said in an interview with Al Watan Arabic daily. The official disclosed plans to open branches of the Search and Follow Up Department in Al Zubara, Al Sheehania, Al Wakrah and central Doha to provide easier access to the public. 

KD2.16 million in Residency Fines from 70,000 expats

T he

General Department for Residence Affairs closed the year 2014 by collecting fines worth KD2,167,000 from about 70,000 expatriates who violated the residency law by failing to update the data in their passports at the General Immigration Department, reports Al Rai daily. According to an official statistic, there are about 2.5 million expatriates in the country and 107,000 of them violated the residency law as of December 31, 2014. 


|Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 29


Middle East News

New healthcare scheme for Bahrain expats A new health care scheme for private

sector foreign employees has been launched in Bahrain, according to a Trade Arabia report. According to the report, each private company must pay an annual BD72 ($189.8) per expat employee on renewing work permits at the Labour Market Regulatory Authority. Private firms must also pay BD22.500 per Bahraini employee annually and the levied sum will be incorporated in overall social insurance taxes. Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi issued an edict last month, announcing the scheme regardless of the number of foreign workers, it added. Ac-

cording to the report, the ministry has said that no work permit would be issued or renewed unless health care fees are paid. It urged all private firms to register their expat workers with the ministry.

Hukoomi gets popular with Qatar residents and expats

T he trend of availing government

services online is gaining ground in Qatar. The number of visitors to Hukoomi, Qatar government’s portal for providing different services, has almost doubled to 1.5 million in 2013 from 776,379 in 2012.Over the first 10 months of 2014, the portal has received more than 1.6m visitors,

30 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

according to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR) data. The portal hosted record 3.2m transactions in 2013 much higher than 2.7 million in 2012. Around 3.4 million transactions were completed on Hukoomi in the first 10 months of 2014. This online platform provides easy access to information, e-services, events and contact information for various public services, entities and agencies. Through Hukoomi users can access services related to residency permits, can renew driving licences, pay utility bills and traffic violations, apply for business visas, renew health cards and commercial registrations. 

Private firms with more than 50 employees can either register with the ministry, launch their own health insurance or open clinics which operate round the clock, it added. 

Bahrain allows expats to hire domestic help

B ahrain

has introduced new rules allowing expatriates in the kingdom to legally employ domestic workers in a move to end the housemaid visa black market, a report said.The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) has changed the way it distributes domestic worker visas, which previously were only issued to Bahrainis, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN). Under the changes, any non-Bahraini with a residency permit valid for at least six months, who receives a salary of at least BD1,000 ($2.650) a month, can apply for a visa by paying a BD500 ($1,325) deposit.This deposit will then be refunded to the applicant by the LMRA at the end of the domestic worker’s two-year work contract provided no violations have been recorded. 


Middle East News

|Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 31


International News

Vietnam to allow foreigners to buy property V ietnam

will allow foreigners to buy houses for the first time provided they enter the country legally, Thanhnien News reported. Foreigners will be able to own the property for a maximum of 50 years and enjoy the same rights to lease, transfer or sell the property as Vietnamese citizens, according to the news website.The new law will extend the rules that currently ap-

ply to apartments, according to the amended Housing Law which will take effect on July 1, 2015. The law passed with 77.46 percent approval in the National Assembly. Foreign entities who have invested in housing projects in Vietnam, foreign-invested enterprises; branch and representative offices of foreign

Nova Scotia to provide faster route to skilled immigrants N ova

Scotia will launch a new immigration stream in January called Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry, according to the official immigration website. “The goal of Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry is to provide a faster route for skilled immigrants to enter Nova Scotia in response to labour-market demands,” said Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab. “The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration will work with the private sector to ensure we get maximum use out of this new stream, and others available to them.”Nominees must be

32 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

highly skilled, have postsecondary education and qualifications that will help them successfully settle in Nova Scotia.To develop the stream, the Office of Immigration engaged with key partners, including private business, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, immigrant settlement organizations and immigration law practitioners. The stream comes with 350 new immigration nominations, bringing the total in 2015 to 1,050, up from 700 in 2014.The nominations only partially reflect the total number of people able to move to Nova Scotia.

companies in Vietnam, foreign investment funds; and foreign bank branches will all be entitled to purchase real estate under the law.According to the amended law, foreign individuals and entities will only be allowed to buy, receive, or inherit apartments and houses in commercial projects and not in areas that limit or ban foreigners.

Hong Kong suspends investor immigration

H ong Kong has put its investor immigration plan on hold. The plan has granted residency in the city to more than 20,000 mainland Chinese in the last decade, according to a report in Businessweek. The Capital Investment Entrant Scheme takes applications from foreigners investing more than HK$10 million ($1.3 million). The report said quoted Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as saying that the government will continue to process the applications it currently has on hand. A total of 24,481 people were approved for residency under the plan as of Sept. 30, of which 21,822 were Chinese nationals, according to immigration data. Investments made totaled HK$205.8 billion, the report said.


International News

Property sales in Cyprus exceeded all estimates in 2014 sales in Cyprus exP roperty ceeded all estimates in 2014,

recording the first year-on-year increase in transactions since 2010.According to statistics published by the Department of Lands and Surveys, property transactions in 2014 grew by 20 per cent to reach 4,527 compared with 3,767 the previous year. Cyprus has recovered beyond international expectations as a result of the steady progress made in restructuring its economy, with a projected return to growth in 2015. So far, Cyprus has passed all evaluations with flying colours and the country - one of the smallest EU member states - is

estimated to come out of recession in 2015. After a three-year exclusion, the country’s return to international markets sooner than expected has been a significant confidence booster. Of the 4,527 property transactions in 2014, 74 per cent were bought by Cypriots with the remaining 26 per cent being purchased by overseas buyers. Cyprus has an open, free-market, service-based economy with a long record of successful economic performance. The country’s strong business environment, highly educated workforce and favourable tax regime are set to continue attracting investment in its property market. 

Malaysians’ attitude behind influx of foreign workers

T he lackadaisical attitude of Malaysians

is one of the reasons Malaysia has become a ‘goldmine’ for foreign workers, said National Council of Professors (MPN).Its secretary-general, Prof Datuk Dr Raduan Che Ros, said Malaysians failed to seize opportunities provided by the government and this had caused several sectors, including business, to be dominated by foreign workers. This should not have happened as business licenses were only issued to locals, he was quoted as saying in a report by Bernama news agency. Raduan was speaking at a MPN conference themed “National Dilemma: Foreign Labour Issues and Challenges in Malaysia”, attended by 200 academicians. 

25,000 British students to study in India A s many as 25,000 students from the

United Kingdom will go to India to study in Indian universities over the next five years, according to The Economic Times. Quoting Andrew Soper, Minister Counsellor in the British High Commission, the report said the students

from UK will go to India for studies under ‘Generation UK’, a project devised by the British Council.

ranging and expanding partnership in education sector over the years, Soper said.

The first Generation UK-India placements will begin in summer 2015, according to the British Council website. The UK and India have entered into a well-established, broad

Last year, Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, had launched a new UK-wide campaign to support 25,000 UK students to go to India over the next five years.  |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 33


New Technology

Internet of Everything (IoE):

A world where everything is connected The exponentially growing power of the Internet is rapidly transforming our lives and taking us to a world where everythingpeople, processes, data and things - is connected. This evolution toward the ‘Internet of Everything’ (IoE) presents a $19 trillion global opportunity within the next decade, according to a Cisco research study. As per GE estimates, Industrial Internet, a global network connecting people processes and machines, and transforming modern businesses, could add $10-$15 trillion to global GDP by 2035. The multi-trillion dollar opportunity is already being seized by many forward-thinking organisations in private as well as public sectors who are using IoE-enabled solutions to enhance efficiencies, reduce costs and most

34 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

important, improve the lives of citizens. Their innovations are delivering positive, measurable results, some of which have the potential to transform entire sectors of the economy. Belying the perception that public sector organisations are a step behind when it comes to adopting innovative technologies, Cisco research shows that Public Sector Organizations are emerging as leading Internet of Everything (IoE) innovators.Public sector organizations can capture as much as $4.6 trillion of this Value at Stake, the study said.Cisco, which along with Cicero Group, a leading data-driven

strategy consulting and research firm, conducted the global study of IoE capabilities across 40 leading public sector organizations across the world, including Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). For the study, in-depth interviews were conducted with government leaders, department heads and technical experts, who revealed common approaches taken by leading jurisdictions to attain IoE excellence. The strategies adopted by these public sector organisations can be effectively emulated by many other types of organisations, it said.


New

Seoul City’s TOPIS (Transport Operation Information Center) analyses data from a variety of sources, including road and video sensors

for public sector organizations, the consequences of failing to do more with less — and of losing the fight to attract businesses and citizens — are immense. A case in point is the University of Virginia (UVA) Center for Telehealth which is using video conferencing and networked medical devices to provide patients in rural Virginia with medical examinations and services in 40 specialties. The tele-health service has conducted some 40,000 clinical interactions, saving patients 8.9 million miles in travel, and serving those who otherwise might not have received care. Its doctors expand their reach beyond borders and mentor physicians and examine patients in disadvantaged communities in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Scale of operations Overcoming traditional constraints

Sharing their insights into the varied approaches, the research highlighted how by envisioning the possibilities of IoE, these public sector organisations are overcoming traditional barriers of funding and expertise constraints. Global recession, fiscal austerity, and calls for lower taxes have reduced the financial resources of public sector organizations, just as the demand for public transportation, education, healthcare, social insurance, and services of all kinds is expanding. Yet

One of the advantages the public sector organisations have is the massive scale of operations. Owing to their broad authority over large sectors of society and the economy, these organisations are able to launch IoE initiatives with impressive scale and transformative potential. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has signed up 620 million people for a biometric verification program that is improving delivery of benefits and services, while setting the stage for wide usage of biometrics-based financial transactions. The ability of IoE leaders to execute — by planning, implementing, and

Technology

delivering measurable results — is also impressive, especially given the complexity of many of these initiatives. Seoul City’s TOPIS (Transport Operation Information Center) analyses data from a variety of sources, including road and video sensors, GPS, taxi credit-card readers, citizen and driver reports, Wi-Fi networks, and closed-circuit television. It then leverages this data to reduce traffic congestion and improve the efficiency of the public transit system. Through mobile apps and systemwide digital signage, transit riders can see when buses will arrive, plan the most efficient way to reach their destination, and receive real-time updates. In addition to reducing congestion, the satisfaction rate for public transportation has grown from less than 50 per cent to 85–90 per cent.Well positioned to improve the quality of citizens’ lives through IoE, cities are already providing many services on which citizens rely, including transportation, law enforcement, education, water, and (sometimes) Internet connectivity. One of the big possible advantages is a strong network platform that can support multiple initiatives toward IoE strategy. Citing the example of the City of Guayaquil in Equador, the research pointed out how the city has planned expansion of network connectivity throughout the city and to public institution even though presently only 44 per cent of its citizens have internet access. Mayor Jaime Nebot plans connecting citizens with government services through centrally located kiosks, |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 35


New Technology

providing free Wi-Fi through 50 hotspots near educational institutions, and has connected hospitals and clinics to provide telemedicine services, thereby providing a foundation not only for better government services, but also for “digital citizens” who can compete for jobs in the global economy and generate higher tax revenue.

Pilot projects

Data analytics

Data analytics are helping advanced public sector organizations generate insights that improve efficiency, save money, and conserve scarce resources. Stockholm, for example, is developing a system that will use data gathered from its traffic congestion system, video cameras, weather patterns, and accident records to predict when traffic problems are likely to occur.

The study highlighted some public sector organisations use pilot projects and prototypes strategically to rally support among key stakeholders. Jane Alexander, CIO for the Cleveland Museum of Art, used pilots to help museum executives and board members understand how interactive displays and mobile technology could attract people who do not typically visit museums, it said.

As Daniel Firth, chief strategy officer of the City of Stockholm Traffic Administration, explained :“Instead of waiting until an incident happens and then implementing our traffic management systems, we can force-feed these problems before they happen and start using management tools — the traffic signals, message signs, and such — to make sure the problem doesn’t occur, or to reduce the impact of the problem.”

The pilot paved the way for the museum’s Gallery One initiative, which has driven a 70 percent increase in overall attendance, and a 30 percent boost in family memberships.

Dubai’s M-government initiative

The Cisco research also obeserved how smart applications can transform the entire experience of services being provided by organisations. Both citi-

zens and government employees now interact with IoE services primarily through mobile devices. Many public sector entities are putting mobile apps at the center of their IoE strategies. Dubai has the most ambitious mobile government initiative among the jurisdictions we studied, said the research. “The goal is to launch 200 mobile government services in the next two years. Dubai is focused on enabling mobile transactions and payments to make it easier for citizens to conduct business with the government.”

People and Processes

It also observed how successful IoE initiatives take “people” and “process” and not just data and things into consideration. These include encouraging employees to embrace new roles, using training and recruiting to obtain needed skills, and, critically, to design solutions around how citizens can most easily access services and interact with the government.

What’s IoE?

Cisco defines IoE as bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before — turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences and 36 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.


New

Technology

Who was surveyed? For the report, Cisco and Cicero Group’s joint team surveyed among others:

Cities

It cited the example of Dubai’s RTA, which has launched wide-ranging transportation initiatives that include driverless metro service, payment systems for transit and toll-gates, and smart parking meters. The RTA has tackled both people and process issues by incorporating customer input throughout the development and deployment phases. The study further noted how by providing more direct feedback and reporting links among public sector entities and the people they serve, IoE is transforming the ways in which public sector organizations do business. In the past, the types of services that governments deliver were not subject to immediate and direct feedback from citizens. IoE is changing the dynamic between citizens and government. Citizens can now go online or use mobile devices to provide feedback or make complaints.

Catalyst for collaboration

IoE initiatives themselves can serve as a catalyst for effective cross-department collaboration and data shar-

ing, as different groups come together to support their success, it observed. Rio de Janeiro, for example, has developed a coordinated information and operations center in which city officials covering transportation, policing, utilities, and emergency services deliver coordinated responses to a range of emergencies and adverse events. In addition, these agencies now share data in real time, which gives them a fuller picture of the events to which they respond. Such coordination and data sharing pays dividends when the city faces natural disasters or hosts large events. Strong leadership: It was also noted that leading IoE jurisdictions were nearly unanimous in citing the importance of strong senior leadership to get IoE projects off the ground and direct them through political and technical challenges. For senior leaders to champion IoE projects, especially those requiring major funding and coordination, they must be convinced that the public will benefit. 

Amsterdam, the Netherlands Barcelona, Spain Chicago, Illinois Guayaquil, Ecuador Hamburg, Germany Nice, France Oslo, Norway Rio de Janeiro, Brazil San Antonio, Texas Santander, Cantabria, Spain Seoul, South Korea Stockholm, Sweden

Public Sector organizations

Waterfront Toronto, Canada Canada Healthcare Organizations Ontario Telemedicine Network, Canada Sault Area Hospitals, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada UVA Center for Telehealth, Charlottesville, Virginia Museums Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Ohio Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta, Georgia Dubai RTA Ontario Lottery and Gaming, Ontario, Canada San Mateo County, California South Korea Smart Work Center

Universities Elon University, Elon, North Carolina San José State University, San José, California

|Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 37


Rising Tide

Special Study

R

emittances to South Asia region, particularly India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, from expatriates in the Arabian Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) will remain buoyant and are expected to grow to $123 billion in 2015, according to a World Bank report.

A very strong growth is expected in remittances flow to Pakistan (16.6 percent), Sri Lanka (12.1 percent) and Nepal (12.2 percent) as a result of which the growth rate of remittances to the South Asian region is expected to more than double to 5.5 per cent in 2014 with volumes touching $117 billion. The volumes will rise further to $123 billion in 2015, according to the latest Migration and Development Brief by World Bank. “The expansion is being led by flows from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, where skilled and unskilled workers are finding renewed job opportunities,” said the report. Globally, remittances, including those of high income countries, are estimated to rise to $608 billion in 2015 from $582 billion in 2014.

Highest Remittances

India remains on the top when it comes to remittance flows from its citizens living overseas. With more than 14 million expatriates, the world’s second most-populous country received $71 billion in remittances. China closely follows India at $64 billion while the other countries recording maximum inflows are The 38 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

Philippines at $28 billion, Mexico $24 billion, Nigeria $21 billion, Egypt $18 billion, Pakistan $17 billion, Bangladesh $15 billion, Vietnam $11 billion and Ukraine $9 billion. Going by the share of remittances in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of countries, the top recipients were Tajikistan 42 per cent, Kyrgyz Republic 32 percent, Nepal 29 percent, Moldova 25 percent and Lesotho, Samoa, Armenia, Haiti and the Gambia, each of them 20 per cent and more.

Developing Countries

Developing countries have been witnessing a more robust growth in remittances and a strong growth is expected in most parts of the world except Europe and Central Asia. According to the World Bank, remittances to developing countries will continue climbing in the medium term

and are estimated to reach $454 billion in 2015.“Remittances to developing countries grew in 2014 by five percent. Remittance inflows provided stable cover for substantial parts of the import bill for such countries as Egypt, Pakistan, Haiti, Honduras and Nepal. India and China lead the chart with projected remittance inflows of, respectively, $71 and $64 billion in 2014,” said Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Group.He added: “In addition, India and Philippines


Special

benefit from having migrants with the most diverse destination spread, thereby creating buffers against regional shocks.” In comparison to 2013, when remittances increased by 3.4 per cent, the growth in 2014 is estimated to be higher at five per cent and expected to reach $435 billion in 2015. For developing countries, remittances remain an important source of inflows as they bring in large amounts of foreign currency that help sustain the balance of payments. The report pointed out that except China remittances to developing countries were significantly higher and were three times larger than official development assistance. Kaushik said Egypt, Pakistan, Haiti, Honduras, and Nepal were among the countries for which remittance inflows provided stable cover for substantial parts of the import bill. South Asia to receive $123 billion in expat remittances in 2015

He said among those in the top slot of remittance inflows, India and the Philippines benefit from having migrants with the most diverse destination spread, thereby creating buffers against regional shocks “Given the growing importance of this sector, the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief has become an essential tool for global development policy experts,” he remarked.

Regional Remittance Trends

The East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region continue to benefit in terms of macroeconomic stability and eco-

nomic growth as a result of robust growth in remittances.The report said remittances to the region are projected to increase by seven percent in 2014, faster than any other region, to reach $122 billion. The flows would further grow by 4.9 per cent and exceed $127 billion by 2015. In value terms, China and the Philippines are the region’s largest recipients, but the smaller Pacific islands are most dependent on remittances, where they are a significant share of GDP.

Europe and Central Asia

Remittance growth to Europe and Central Asia has been majorly hit and is estimated to slow down from 7.5 per cent in 2013 to 2.2 per cent in 2014 due to factors such as weakening economic growth in Russia, the ruble depreciation, and sanctions imposed on Russia by western countries as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. Total remittances, hence, would reduce to $49 billion in 2014. However, in 2015 the remittances are unlikely to change further, said the report.

Study

Work opportunities in GCC lead to heavy expat remittances Nicaragua, which together account for more than half of the remittance flows to the region. In contrast, high unemployment in Spain is negatively impacting remittances to Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru. Intra-regional remittances from Chile will continue on an upward trend. Remittances to the region are expected to increase by 5 percent in 2014, compared to 1 percent in the previous year, to $64 billion, rising to $67 billion in 2015, the report stated. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is expected to witness moderate growth in remittances at about 2.9 per cent to reach $51 billion in 2014.

Russia is the largest source of remittances to countries in the region, and Ukraine is ECA’s largest remittancerecipient country.

The inflows remain volatile, especially in the three largest recipient countries – Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco. After the sharp fall in flows to Egypt in 2013, remittances are expected to stabilize in 2014, helped by attractive investment opportunities in the planned expansion of the Suez Canal.

Dependency on remittances is high in several ECA countries, particularly in Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic and Moldova.

The ongoing economic crisis and high unemployment rates in Europe will continue to dampen remittances to Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

According to the report, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region are expected to witness remittances bouncing back this year, following a weak 2013.

Flows to the region are expected to strengthen in the coming years, growing by 4 percent in 2015 to reach $53 billion, according to the World Bank report.

Recovery in the US will benefit Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and

Growth in remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa is picking up modestly.  |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 39


In Focus

Invest and choose your citizenship

I

nvestor immigrant visas are witnessing a phenomenal rise in interest from wealthy migrants, who consider these visas an easy and fast way to secure alternate citizenship.

From its commencement in November 2012 till November last year, Australia’s Significant Investor Visa (SIV) programme received expression of interest from 1,908 applicants through skill select. Financial advisory firms specialising in investor visas claim a significant increase in interest since 2008, according to a recent research by Migration Policy institute (MPI). At the time of its termination in March last year, Canada’s federal programme had a backlog of about 65,000 applications with an average processing time of six years. Wealthy Russians were reported to be applying in record numbers for investor visas in the UK and the government granted 162 such 40 40|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |February |February 2015 2015 ||

visas to Russians in the first nine months of 2014, higher than the total number in the preceding year.

In 2013, the US issued 8,600 EB-5 Visas while the UK had 1600 successful applicants.


In

Buying property is the most common route to obtain residency and citizenship

The demand for investor visas is likely to remain robust as middle classes in emerging economies, which are among the major source countries for migrants, continue to grow, said Medeleine Sumption and Kate Hooper at MPI. The number of millionaire households in China went up to 24,00,000 at the end of 2013 from 15,00,000 in the preceding year.

Focus

Examples of cash model Minimum Investment Type of Residence threshold rights Conditional 5-year citizenship (residence requirement of 35 Antigue & Barbuda US$250,000 days in first 5 years )to renew passport Dominica (economic US$100,000 Citizenship )citizenship Temporary residence Malta; Individual permit, pending US $824000 Investor Program citizenship grant after 12 months St. Kitts and Nevis (Citizenship by US$250,0000 Citizenship investment0 Country

Source: Fragomen’s global immigrant investor database

Private wealth in Asia pacific region is also projected to growth by 10 per cent annually between 2013 and 2018. Inspite of this increase in immigration remains high and alternative residence rights are an attractive option for wealthy families that seek to educate their children abroad, travel freely or simply keep options to relocate open for the future. For investors, the motivation to get an alternative citizenship could stem from their desire to secure a faster route to settle abroad, educate their children overseas, protecting themselves from political or economic upheavals in their home countries, gain access to visa free travel, establish residence in low tax jurisdiction, or, simply keep options open for the future. As high as 95 per cent of Latvia’s immigrant investor permits between mid-2010 and mid 2013 went to Soviet Union nationals.

Arab spring has created strong demand from wealthy individuals in North Africa and Middle East. At times, the benefit is in terms of access the immigrant investor can get to other countries. Example citizens of Malta can enjoy visa-free travel to 166 countries.

Diverse programmes

Even as some countries re-assess their immigrant investor programmes, there are many that are launching diverse and new ones, the MPI research noted. The nature of these programmes varies- from being ‘cash for citizenship’ programmes where one can invest in private sector or government, to property investment.

What’s the cost?

Some countries like the US ask for investments in private sector business and requirement to create a certain number of jobs, the US program requires $5, 00,000 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||February February 2015 | 41


In Focus

Examples of property model Country

Minimum Type of residence rights conferred Investment threshold

Greece (Residence Euro 250,000 permit by real estate (US$32,000) acquisition)

Latvia

Portugal (Golden residence permit program0 Spain (Investor visa category under law to support entrepreneurs0

LVL 50,000 (US$90,000) increased to US $317,000 in Sept 2014

Temporary 5 years; renewable provided investment is maintained; eligible for permanent residence after five years

Euros 500,000 (US$534,000)

Temporary 2 years; renewable if investment is maintained; eligible for permanent residence after 5 years.

Temporary, initially 1 year; renewable (two Euros 500,000 (US $ years) provided investment is maintained; 634000) eligible for permanent after 5 years

investment that will create at least 10 jobs, according to the research.St Kitts and Nevis require cash donation of US$250,000 to the government. Citizenship by investment is a major source of income for St Kitts and Nevis for reducing the country’s sovereign debt, diversifying the economy and fuelling economic c growth. Several investor programs exchange residence or citizenship for funds that are channelled toward development projects or used more generally as government revenue. Caribbean IslandSt Kitts and Nevis- started it in the 1980s and in 2013 Malta proposed to sell citizenship for Euro 650,000.

42 42|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |February |February 2015 2015 ||

Temporary 5 years; renewable if investment is maintained, eligible for permanent residence after 5 years

In Dominica, the government directly invests the money in private or public projects.Those keen can also look into the option of investing in property in countries like Latvia, Spain, Greece and

Portugal and obtain residence. In late 2000s, when property markets were majorly hit, some countries launched investor immigrant programs encouraging people to buy property in their country. Some new programs in the European Union simply require wealthy individuals to purchase property for personal use. This model was introduced in Latvia in 2010, Portugal in 2012 and Greece and Spain in 2013- all countries that had seen a mid2000s housing boom slump into a property crash, destroying construction jobs.


In

Between 2007 and 2014, property prices fell by 47 per cent in Latvia, 42 per cent in Spain, 30 per cent in Greece and 14 per cent in Portugal. In some countries, applicants give money directly to the government in the form of a non- refundable fee or low interest loan.

substantial investment in business in exchange of a residence permit. Investors may invest directly in a company; contribute to a seed fund that invests on their behalf. While the number of countries offering the investor immigrant pro-

Focus

gram along with ensuring strong economic value. The countries implementing these programmes benefit out of direct investment, indirect benefits such as spending and taxes paid by investor immigrants, new job opportunities as well as the skill set that investors bring.

Business Investment Model Country

Minimum Investment threshold

Australia: Skills SelectInvestor and Significant investor streams

AU $1.5 million to $5 million

France: Exceptional economic million Euros (US $12.7 10 contribution category )million

Hong Kong (Capital )Investment entrant scheme

HK $10 million (US $1.3 )million

Netherlands

Euro 1.25 million (US$1.7 )million

US EB-5 Program

US $ 500,000 in targeted employment area; $1 million elsewhere

Citizenship by investment is popular in a few Caribbean Islands and, more recently, in Malta. In UK and Australia, investors who buy regular government bondseven though the transaction is thought to provide little economic benefit. Private sector business investments allow wealthy to make a

High demand for investment-linked immigration worldwide

grams has significantly increased in the last decade, the main challenge for such countries is to maintain the integrity of the pro-

Type of residence rights conferred Temporary visa, must meet criteria after four to eight years depending on investment size 10-year residence permit, renewable if investor continues to meet conditions Temporary (two years); renewable provided investor maintains investment, eligible for permanent residence after 7 years Temporary 1 year visa; renewable with eligibility for permanent residence after )five years Conditional green card (two years); convertible into full permanent residence if 10 full time jobs are created However for a country to implement any program it needs to clearly define the economic benefits it will get out of such a program. Additionally, it is critical that these countries protect their reputation by stringent screening of applicants in order to weed out any of those with criminal background or having illegally obtained wealth. ď‚… |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||February February 2015 | 43


Special Report

a shopper's paradise

E

ach of the 32-days of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) from January 1 this year witnessed celebrations in every nook and corner of the emirate- much in sync with the theme of the 20th edition, 20th Anniversary – A Journey of Celebrations, reflecting of the marathon journey undertaken by DSF for two decades.

44 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |


Special

Report

DSF in numbers 56 Million: Visitors from 1996 to 2014

AED145 billion: Visitors spending since DSF inception DSF started in 1996

The longest running festival of its kind in the world, DSF attracted more than 56 million visitors with a total spending of AED145 billion from the time it started in 1996 till 2014. Every year, the festival attracted an average of 4.5 million visitors. Keeping with its promise of bringing new attractions every year, the 2015 edition of DSF brought malls, traditional souks and other areas to life with more than 150 activities across the emirate, heavy discounts, attractive shopping offers and prizes – attracting millions of visitors from throughout the world to be a part of the festival. Round the clock entertainment activities, concerts, cultural and fun events, street performers, wide choice of international cuisine offered multiple experiences for families. “We have been having non-stop fund from the time we came. It has not just been shopping, there is so much more, my daughters wanted

to go out every day – never before did we experience so many entertainment activities continuously, “ Manisha Sharma, who came on a visit with her family said. The DSF is organized by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, DTCM, said: “The launch of the 20th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival is a landmark moment in a journey that began in 1996, based on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The success of DSF not only set the template for the city-wide festivals that followed, but it is also symbolic of the successful journey made over the last two decades in becoming one of the world’s most visited destinations and must-experience cities. |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 45


Special Report

Changing lives DSF prizes: Fulfilling dreams Mega prizes during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) have changed lives of many. V. Tharuvai, 50, who works at a grocery store in Bur Dubai, earning a monthly AED1, 200, is one among those. Tharuvai, who won AED 500,000 in the Infiniti Mega raffle this year, said: “I will now start my own small grocery in Bur Dubai and also build a house for myself, my wife and three kids, back home in Kerala.” The Infiniti Mega Raffle –held daily throughout the shopping fest, offered one lucky shopper the chance to win a prize worth AED 500,000. The daily Infiniti Mega Raffle prize gave two luxury Infiniti cars and AED 100,000 in cash. As a DSF 20th

46 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

Anniversary Special, shoppers participating in the Infiniti Mega Raffle also got a chance to win additional prizes worth over AED 2 million. ‘A Million Reasons to Shop’ promotion, that ran throughout the festival, gave an opportunity to shoppers spending a minimum AED 200 at participating to win up to AED 1 million in prizes. Shoppers also got a chance to win up to AED 15 million in prizes including 100 kg of gold and 40 carats of diamond under the ‘Gold and Jewellery Mega Raffle’ as part of 20th edition celebrations. Other popular raffles included the Nissan Grand Raffle, offering one lucky winner one Nissan car every day for the duration of the festival. 

As the world gathers in Dubai to celebrate the 20th edition, we look forward to welcoming visitors who have never been to Dubai before and those who return year-afteryear, and providing them with an experience to be remembered.” From Welsh National Opera in Zabeel Park, live concerts by Sonu Nigam, KathNiel , Arijit Singh and Ustad Zakir Hussain to fashion shows including the Diamond Fashion Show, Abbati fashion shows, as well as a Abbati Retail Exhibition, DXB Fashion Photography, MAC Instant Artistry, RADO “DUBAI” Watch Launch by popular Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan to Celebrity Pop-up Shop where residents got a chance to meet with fashion icons from the US, Etisalat Festive Park which featured fun-filled familyfriendly events and activities in Zabeel Park, Market Outside The Box (Market OTB) in Downtown Dubai, World premiere of The Smurfs Live on Stage , a Ripe


Special

Report

Global cultural extravaganza Global Village, the region’s most popular cultural, shopping and entertainment event, added to the festivities as it offered more than 12,000 cultural and entertainment shows, culinary attractions at the pavilions that represent more than 70 countries.

Food & Craft Market, a Carpet & Art Oasis, Dubai was all decked up during the grand celebrations with colourful decorations and vibrant lights in captivating designs, creating a vibrant ambience and welcoming residents and visitors alike.Spectacular fireworks shows illuminated the Dubai’s skies every night. 

The 19th season of Global Village, which started on November 6, 2014, will culminate on 11th April 2015. Within the first one month of its opening, the festival attracted more than one million visitors. On the day of opening of the Dubai Shopping Festival, Global Village attracted over 100,000 visitors. Global Village Chief Operating Officer Ahmed Hussain said: “It is clear that the enhancements we have made in Global Village infrastructure this season is already having a hugely

positive impact with one million visitors already visiting the Park. “It has been our most successful opening month to date and shows that the attraction of Global Village for families is as strong as ever. This season we are bigger and better than ever before and have added a further 330,000 square feet to the existing 2.7 million sq ft. of space at Global Village - allowing us to introduce new landscape areas, a purpose built stage and to move the Fantasy Island funfair attraction to a new area.” A charismatic mascot GLOBO has been launched this year- with its own range of branded merchandise and special GLOBO shows for children, has proved extremely popular. GLOBO has become the face that represents Global Village everywhere. 

|Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 47


Hospitality &

Tourism

Dubai offers world’s first online interactive city tour D ubai 360 has been officially launched with the first of its kind online interactive tour.

The site (www.Dubai360.com) allows viewers to explore every angle of the city from the comfort of their own home, providing a first-hand experience that has never been seen before in the virtual world. Developed over an eighteen-month period and utilizing 1,298 pieces of panoramic video and photo content, Dubai 360 is the world’s largest and highest quality interactive city tour. Through the use of state of the art technology, Dubai 360 will redefine how cities are viewed and explored worldwide. Dubai 360 is the first virtual city tour that exclusively uses fully interactive and immersive 360

degree panoramic photo, time-lapse and video content. The ground breaking technology that is at the heart of the project enables access to exclusive views of the city. “Dubai 360 is illustrative of what Dubai stands for. It started off as an

idea and was brought to life through the passion of talented and committed individuals. The project showcases the very best of what Dubai has to offer and we will continue to use the platform to demonstrate the progress the city makes,” said Ismaeil Al Hashmi, Project Manager for Dubai 360. 

Emirates Palace outshines previous years’ performance E mirates Palace, billed as one of the world’s most expensive hotels, enjoyed ground breaking 12 month results in 2014, surpassing its previous record year of 2008 and outper-

forming 2013 across multiple performance indicators. Despite increased competition in Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace record-

ed a steady growth of 8.1 percentage points in overall occupancy compared to 2013, while the total revenue increased by 8.8 percent. Financial performance also improved in its newly rebranded Emirates Palace Spa, as well as its restaurants, cafés and banqueting services, which saw an overall increase of 11.8 percent compared to the previous year. “Emirates Palace remains one of the top performing hotels in Abu Dhabi and the region, and with the increased number of visitors to the UAE expected to rise over the next few years, we are looking forward to continued success,” said Holger Schroth, General Manager of Emirates Palace. 

48 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |


Hospitality

Swiss Belhotel to open 10 new hotels S wiss

Belhotel International Group is planning to open 10 new hotels in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Iraq in 2015. The group recorded strong performance in the region in 2014 and expected growth to continue through 2015 as a result of expansions. The group has been involved in negotiations to open new hotels in Abu Dhabi, adding that the other hotels in Saudi Arabia include two in Riyadh, one in Makkah and one in the southern town of Abha. Swiss-Belhotel International would manage the two hotels in Riyadh in 2015 under its brand name following an agreement signed in November. The group would also open

& Tourism

Timeshare to contribute AED14 billion to Dubai

D ubai is set to be the fastest growing time-

share market in the world and this sector will give the emirate’s economy an AED14 billion boost by 2020 - thanks to the significant increase in the number of tourists, real estate prices and hotel room rates in the emirate over the next decade, according to a new study.

a hotel in Muscat at the end of 2015 and is locked in negotiations to have another hotel in Doha. Swiss-Belhotel International has decided to focus on its regional operations in Dubai to follow up its expansion plans that include the opening of at least 20 hotels in the Gulf and other parts of the Middle East. 

“Dubai is one of the top cities in the world that receive frequent international visitors - new and returning ones both for business and leisure, exceeding those registered by many tourist destinations globally. And this makes Dubai an ideal place to invest in the timeshare sector,” said a report by Arabian Flacon Holidays (AFH).With property prices in Dubai clocking the fastest growth rate in the world in 2013, many aspiring property owners in the emirate are being priced out of the second home or vacation home market. 

Emaar Group unveils mid-market hotel brand D eveloped

by Emaar Hospitality Group, and Meraas Holding, Rove Hotels celebrate the very heartbeat of the city with its unique approach to deliver value hospitality experiences for the young and young at heart global traveller, who explores without borders. Stylishly designed by incorporating contemporary and Arabesque features, smartly configured and effortlessly connected, Rove Hotels are for the modern, attentive, valueconscious and socially networked

generation as well as families who cherish reliable, modern, fuss-free and friendly guest experiences assured through effortless check-in and late check-out at 2 pm. Philippe Zuber, Chief Operating Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said the new hotel brand complements the Dubai Tourism Vision 2020 to welcome over 20 million annual visitors by the turn of the decade. To be set in central destinations and bringing a distinctive new lifestyle inspired value hospitality experi-

ence, Rove Hotels will also support the preparations and hosting of the World Expo 2020. “We have made significant progress with our first project - Rove Za’abeel - while five other properties will open in the coming years in Al Wasl, Port Saeed, Al Jafiliya, Oud Metha and Dubai Marina,” added Zuber.  |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 49


Hospitality &

Tourism

Jannah Group to open 30 hotels by 2020

A bu Dhabi’s Jannah Hotels and

Resorts group has in sight Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia, but hopes that most of the 30 hotels will be within the UAE. According to Richard Haddad, vice president of operations for Jannah, apart from three new properties already in the pipeline, no other hotel opening has been finalized yet.

So far, Jannah has two properties running, the Eastern Mangrove suites in Abu Dhabi and the Jannah Place in Dubai Marina.

UAE targets 500,000 medical tourists a year by 2020

H ospitals

“We have three hotels opening in the next few months, one in Dubai, the Marina Bay Suites, and two in Abu Dhabi, the Burj Al Sarab and the Andalus al Seef Resort, which will be villa suites,” an official said. 

A definite location target for a new hotel opening is Liwa in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. Jannah Hotel group, and its CEO, Nehme Imad Darwiche, have a strong connection with Liwa, which inspired the opening of the hospitality company in 2013.

are introducing advanced surgeries in a bid to attract medical tourists to the United Arab Emirates. NMC Healthcare, which runs 12 hospitals and clinics, said that it would undertake minimally invasive surgeries in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain. The number of medical tourists reached 135,000 last year, up from 120,000 in 2013, according to Dubai Health Authority (DHA). The number is expected to exceed 150,000 by the end of the year, estimates the consultant Colliers International. DHA has a set a target to attract 500,000 medical tourists a year by 2020. 

Seawings launches Seawings Lifestyle S eawings, the luxury seaplane tour op-

erator which has been providing scenic aerial tours and charters within the UAE since 2007, has announced the launch of ‘Seawings Lifestyle’ a unique collection of hand-picked luxury Dubai experiences for the leisure and corporate incentive/MICE market.

50 |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 |

Seawings Lifestyle is an ideal complement to the already popular 40-minute ‘Seawings Silver Experience’ the company offers aboard its unique nine-seat Cessna 208 Caravan seaplanes which operate from Club Joumana in Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa and from Dubai Creek and Yacht Club.

After a thrilling Seaplane water take-off, guests enjoy panoramic aerial views of Dubai’s iconic landmarks such as the world-famous Palm Jumeirah Island, the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel, the world’s tallest building The Burj Khalifa, The World and other manmade marvels. 


Hospitality

& Tourism

UAE hotels caters for every budget

L ong

known for its fondness for luxury brands, the hotel landscape in the UAE has gradually diversified as more four-star and budget properties came online last year, reported The National. Economy hotels still form a minority of the total room inventory, but they make up an important part of the effort from the tourism agencies of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to cater to visitors on different budgets. Dubai, for its part, needs more economy hotels to cater to the 20 million visitors expected in 2020. The annual growth rate of economy hotels is still the lowest. Of the 86 hotels and 25,000 rooms that are under construction in Dubai, eight are in the midscale and upper-midscale

range, accounting for around 2,500 rooms, according to STR Global. Currently, 149 hotels, or 40 per cent, out of Dubai’s 351 hotels are in the upper-midscale to economy categories. In Abu Dhabi, of the 8,242 rooms from 27 hotels that are under various stages of construc-

tion, two are midscale, accounting for 651 rooms. As of now, 35 hotels, or 38 cent of the 91 hotels in the emirate, are in the upper-midscale to economy categories. The number of economy hotels in Dubai is expected to grow by 2.9 per cent this year compared to the previous year. 

Dubai to add up to 35,000 mid-market rooms by 2020

Y usuf Lootah, Executive Director for Tourism Develop-

ment & Investments at Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM), has said that Dubai is set to add 20,000-35,000 mid-market keys by 2020. He said: “Currently, we stand at 89,000 keys in the market, and we are looking to go up to 140,000-150,0000 keys by 2020. So the additional 60,000 keys will comprise of different asset classes, including hotel apartments.We are looking at around 20,000-35,000 keys of the additional new keys to be mid-market.”

be in the next six to 10 years. One of the visions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – who is the driving force behind the development of Dubai – is for us to become the number one destination for the family demographic. So we have to invest in offerings that can cater to different budgets and for different classes.” 

Lootah also added that the DTCM has received 51 new applications for mid-market properties since it introduced incentive schemes for the segment, which includes the waiver of the municipality fees on the hotel for the first few years of operation. Explaining the focus on the mid-market, Lootah said: “It starts with the vision of Dubai and where Dubai wants to |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 51


opinion column

Immigration has not been detrimental to France F rance is a country with a long history of immigration, one of the European countries with the longest history of immigration.

Francois Hollande President Republic of France

Started in the second half of the 19th century to meet the needs of what was called the first Industrial Revolution, immigration continued throughout the 20th century and increased with the rebuilding of the country after the war, with decolonization and finally globalization. Today one in every four French people has at least one foreign grandparent. To talk about the history of immigration is to talk about the history of France. Immigration to France is the history of millions of people from elsewhere who wanted their personal and family aspirations one day to be part of the French dream. That’s how our history was made. Our country wouldn’t be what it is today without this proliferation of talent and strengths. Of course this immigration has also, throughout its history, created frustration, rifts and friction; we must neither ignore the talent nor conceal the fears. This diversity is an opportunity if we can appreciate it, build on it, take it to a new level, if we can express a shared desire to live together, which means full commitment to the Republic.

Otherwise it means falling into the trap of division, the threat of ghettoization, Edited excerpts from the speech at the a clash of cultures and therefore racism, inauguration of the Museum of the History of Immigration in Paris anti-Semitism and hatred of the Other. 52 52 52|Manafez |Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai Dubai |February |September |February 2015 2015 ٢٠١٤ | ||

Our country’s success depends on our ability to settle this issue of citizenship and immigration. It’s also an individual responsibility, because the history of immigration teaches us this too. Living in France presents an opportunity. It must be experienced, understood, grasped, if it is to be used to serve a common destiny. The history of immigration is part of our national history, but the success of integration will determine our national destiny. French society must be represented by all the colours of France. No study has shown immigration has been detrimental to France. Our country has experienced dark periods of our history in the 60’s with its racist attacks, the 70’s with racist attacks. There are currently still prejudices that persist. We doubt the ability to living together. Islam has been pretended as to be incompatible with the Republic in France. This is in an unacceptable. These new bad winds are here and in Europe. But the Republic is a joint project. The French Muslims are citizens of full identity. France is a melting pot of integration with multiples academic achievements, and secularism must be educated and respected and for the common good to establish a way of life. 


opinion column

Fight the evil of human trafficking unique threat the human T he trafficking crime poses is simply

unbearable and its very existence even in the 21st century make it all the more critical. We should look at this crime as an unacceptable transformation of human lives into commodities. The threat is grave, and the challenges – many. We can only succeed in overcoming them by focusing on key issues for a concerted response. Estimates suggest that about 21 million people are victimized, out of which 4.5 million are subjected to forced sexual exploitation. Forced labour generates about $150 billion in illegal profits per year. Where and how this money flows has remained yet another concerning area for introspection. INTERPOL continues to identify new patterns. The need for far more convictions in cases of human trafficking cannot be over emphasized. Human trafficking simply must not be perceived as “low risk vs. high profit”. Out of the “three P’s” to combat it – Prevention, Protection and Prosecution – many resources and much focus have been given to the first two. While they are equally significant, we feel the third P, ‘Prosecution’ merits more attention. With its tools and services, INTERPOL can contribute substantially to supporting transnational prosecutions.

Our operational work is complemented with INTERPOL databases. Most of you are familiar with our International Child Sexual Exploitation Database (ICSE). Through it, we help law enforcement agencies worldwide to identify abused victims and the offenders. With the cooperation of more than 45 countries presently, by now the ISCE has made the identification of over 5,400 victims and more than 2,700 offenders possible. I must reiterate that as trends within crime areas evolve, so should the way we respond. For doing so, training sessions prove valuable in exchange of best practices and experiences amongst experts.

Jurgen Stock Secretary General INTERPOL

For example, about 25 police officers, prosecutors and judges from the UAE have over the last two days participated in the second INTERPOL Specialized Training on Trafficking in Human Beings. Such exchange is vital for this fight against trafficking in human beings. For the second time, the INTERPOL Global Trafficking in Human Beings conference was hosted by funding from the UAE authorities. We have a lot more work ahead of us to truly fight the evil of human trafficking. Together.  Edited excerpts from the speech at the 3rd INTERPOL Global Trafficking in Human Beings Conference in Lyon, France |Manafez Dubai |February 2015 | 53

Manafez Dubai | February 2015  

10th Issue of the Monthly Newsletter issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai

Manafez Dubai | February 2015  

10th Issue of the Monthly Newsletter issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai

Advertisement