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


Issue 20 January


New Golden Age for Air Travel Dubai Airports wins award for Best Employee Learning

UAE actively integrating

individuals with disabilities

GDRFA Dubai processes 59 million transactions

Brand new tourist attractions in 2016

into the society

Taqdeer Award to enhance employer-employee relationship Be a Customer Service Winner in 2016!

du launches Tourist Plan for visitors

Smart choice for a smart living

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

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

• Toll free: 8005111

Welcome Message

A year of achievements A nother year has passed, during which we

had remarkable achievements that live up to the UAE’s reputation. We took more steps toward enhancing and promoting a culture of innovation, creativity and corporate excellence. We also launched more smart services, thanks to the vision of our wise leadership and their sound directives. The credit should also go to the Ministry of Interior for its follow up and support in its effort to provide the best services to customers, make them satisfied and maintain our excellent record in security and preserving the UAE’s progress. At the Dubai airports, we achieved milestones when we launched the Smart Gates service and then increased those to 28, in order to speeden up passenger flow by reducing time at passport control to only 15 seconds. Dubai airports are expected to handle about 77 million passengers with the announcement of the results for 2015. This is a very large number that needs immeasurable efforts and strong teamwork to achieve the goal of making the UAE one of the best countries in the world in visitor services, making our visitors happy and enjoying an unforgettable visit in every sense of the word. Our efforts are in line with the guidance of our wise leadership to fulfill their ambitions for making the UAE the most sought-after destination by visitors and tourists from all over the world. Among our achievements is the volume of transactions that were processed and completed during the period from January-November 2015. We completed 59 million transactions via the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai and its various outlets.

The number of online transactions increased to one million, that contributed to pleasing a large segment of our customers, especially leading companies. We are extremely pleased with the appreciation we received from the representatives of companies for the online service and its impact on accelerating the processing of company transactions from their offices or even from their homes. Our department strength is over 4300, each of whom carried out their responsibilities in order to achieve g customer happiness by facilitating their procedures but not at the expense of security standards approved by the Ministry of the Interior. As we start the New Year, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to my colleagues at the GDRFA Dubai, who spare no effort to ensure the safety of the UAE’s air, land and sea borders. I hope 2016 will be the year of achievements for everyone and pray to bless our wise leadership and preserve the UAE and its loyal people. I wish that all those who live in our country will fulfill their ambitions and realise their dreams for a better future.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 1

GDRFA Message


in History


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

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

Our Mission (MOI):

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

Our Mission (GDRFA):

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

Our Values:       

Justice Team-Work Excellence courtesy Integrity Loyalty Social responsibility

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

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

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


GDRFA News GDRFA Photographs by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan

GDRFA processes 59 million transactions since January


UAE News

GDRFA-Dubai introduces special services for disabled passengers at airports

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai


Hazza bin Zayed officially opens the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in Zayed Port

P 10 Enhancing passenger experience remains number one priority

Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri Director General

General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor Deputy Director General

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

P 38

Be a Customer Service Winner in 2016!

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

P 42

P 44





Brand new tourist attractions in 2016 | Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 3


GDRFA processes 59 million transactions since January T he General Directorate of Residency

and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai has processed 59 million transactions since the beginning of the year. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General at the GDRFA, said “The GDRFA issued since the beginning of the year till November a total of 59 million different transactions. Al Marri added that 42 million passengers used Dubai borders since the beginning of the year. “We expect this number to increase further,” he added. Al Marri confirmed that the GDRFA-Dubai put all efforts to develop

the work by taking an important initiatives and innovations that include empowering female employees to work from home and also offering flexible working hours and also offering service for elderly and special need people at their home by using Amer car. Major General Al Marri was speaking during the RIMS Risk

Forum 2015 Middle East held at Dubai Conrad Hotel. RIMS, the risk management society, hold it’s first-ever RIMS Risk Forum Middle East now Dubai, as part of efforts to strengthen and support its international network of risk professional. 

GDRFA shedding the light on Legal awareness M ajor General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA Dubai, recently implemented a legal awareness initiative focused on shedding the light on legal procedures and engaging the largest number of Emiratis in the various awareness and education programs. 

4 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |



GDRFA Dubai completes 1 million transactions through e-portal T he General Directorate of Residency

and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai has completed over 1 million transactions for companies via its eportal at the since the beginning of the year. The e-services transactions for companies included residency issuance, work permits, visit visas among other services which can be done only via an e-portal. Major General Mohammed Ahmad Al Marri, Director-General of the GDRFA in Dubai, said in a press statement that such electronic services are part of the GDRFA’s efforts to develop and accelerate its procedures offered for companies. “We are keen to adopt the latest technological standards and best smart

services with the aim of saving time and effort for our customers,” he said. Companies’ representa- Major General Mohammed Ahmad Al Marri tives said that the GDRFA online system enabled them to complete most of their trans- Mallallah said the company’s pubactions from behind their desks in lic relations officer, owner, partner, their offices or even from their home or an authorised signatory must be without having to visit the GDRFA present to register for the online sermain building or its external centers. vice. Major Ali Mallallah, Acting Deputy Assistant of the Director-General for entry permits and residency, said, “to register for online services, a company’s representative can visit the Establishments’ Department at the GDRFA headquarters at Al Jafliya or one of its branches in Bin Souqat Centre and Dubai Festival City.”

“These rules are applied for all companies operating in Dubai no matter how many employees are registered with them,” Mallallah said. The application must be filled in both English and Arabic. A photocopy of the establishment’s card must be submitted, along with passport copy of the authorised signatory. 

845,800 residency transactions completed on commemoration day T he General Directorate of Residency

and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai processed more than 845,800 transactions during the Martyrs Day and National Day holiday.From December 1-3, 2015, over 696,868 pas-

sengers passed through Dubai air, sea and land borders, or of which were entering the country. The GDRFA Dubai issued 135,379 entry permits and 127,564 new entry visas.As many as 449 ships arrived and 322 left Dubai’s

ports during the three days.More than 10,980 residency visas were issued or renewed during the National Day break, of which 3,847 were issued for the first time. There were 24 cases of absconding and 35 cases of fake documents.  | Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 5


GDRFA-Dubai introduces special services for disabled passengers at airports T he General Directorate of Resi-

dency and Foreigners Affairs(GDRFA) Dubai has installed special counters at all terminals of Dubai Airports, including Al Maktoum Airport, to make travelling through the airport easy, enjoyable and comfortable for its passengers having disabilities. By adopting modern and comprehensive services targeting people with disabilities, the GDRFA-Dubai will also be participating towards making Dubai a disability-friendly city by 2020.

6 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the GDRFA-Dubai, said that disabled people usually face difficulties and obstacles at airports, and that is why GDRFA-Dubai took this humanitarian issue into consideration to become the first in the Middle East and one of the first in the world to provide distinctive services for the disabled at an airport. Al Marri explained that one of the main challenges facing those with physical disabilities at airports world-wide is mobility, especially passing through custom counters and getting to gates.

“We have special counters at each terminal at the airports at arrival and departure gates. They are built to accommodate travellers in wheelchairs allowing them to see passport control officers without the need for them to lift up their head, making it more comfortable and convenient for them,â€? he said. Al Marri added that a smart gate and an e-gate has also has been allocated for disabled passengers, while the smart gate at Terminal 3 is the first of its kind in the Middle East which allows passengers to complete travel procedures in only 18 seconds. ď‚…



A new era of innovation T he UAE always strives for excellence in

every area and this is embedded in the Emirati culture. It is our performance-driven approach that has led to may achievements. Working in one of the main government departments in Dubai, hence, is not a cakewalk. The Dubai government entities are constantly working toward enhancing customer happiness. The UAE is moving confidently towards meeting its development goals, improving its global rankings in terms of performance and progress indicators, and attaining the Number One position in customer satisfaction. The UAE’s success is distinct not only in effective use of technology but also in ‘Smart Travel’ through many smart services that have been launched at the Dubai Airports. Last year, the GDRFA Dubai, in cooperation with the Dubai airports and other strategic partners, introduced new technologies and e-services that made the travelling process even faster, allowing documents and irises to be scanned simultaneously, while passengers could walk through the gates without stopping. Immigration counters will soon be relics of the past as there are plans for contactless departures this year. We are coordinating with other partners and the contactless process will be introduced in near future. The combination of advanced passenger information, biometrics, and IRIS on the move technology (IOM) will facilitate seamless departures and arrivals of passengers at the airport within seconds.

Interestingly, Dubai’s airports are now predicted to reach126 million passengers by 2020, bringing the dream to a reality in near future. I would like to convey my best wishes and congratulations to all the GDRFA’s team and Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, on the New Year. At the GDRFA Dubai we are constantly strengthening our efforts to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction and customer happiness. We continue to simplify procedures and encourage employees to give their best performance, to increase productivity and offer the public our best possible services.

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

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 7

UAE News

283 companies in construction sector with over 500,000 employees

Taqdeer Award to enhance employerworker relationship in Dubai


he Taqdeer Award, launched under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, will enhance relationship between companies and workers by recognizing excellence in labour practices and setting new benchmarks in work practices across sectors in Dubai. 8 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

In its first edition, the award is being launched for companies in the construction sector that employ manual workers and the future editions will include factories in free zones. This was stated by Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor, Deputy Director of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, Chairman of Taqdeer Award and Chairman of the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai during the official press conference to an-

Award to target companies employing more than 100 workers nounce the launch of the Taqdeer Award at Ritz Carlton, DIFC. There are around 283 companies in this sector in Dubai, with more than 500,000 workers. The award will target companies employing more than 100 workers. Taqdeer, named after the Arabic word for ‘appreciation’, is the world’s first

UAE News

igible for applying to the Taqdeer Award. In the first year of the Award, only companies involved in the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, plumbing installation and power generation plants are eligible for applying. World’s first points-based award programme for labour practices

points-based award programme for recognizing excellence in labour welfare practices and seeks to promote international best practices in labour welfare and will also be instrumental in raising awareness among workers about their rights. The award has been launched in line with the directives of His

Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to ensure the happiness and welfare of the people of Dubai regardless of religion or nationality and realise Dubai’s vision of becoming one of the world’s best places to work and live. Companies in the construction sector involved in civil, electrical and mechanical work that have been operating for at least two years and have executed a minimum of two projects in the last two years are el-

The companies can participate in the Award by submitting a comprehensive submission document, which will be thoroughly evaluated by a Judging Committee. The companies will be awarded the ratings from one star to five stars. Winners of 5 and 4-star ratings will receive a certificate, enjoy priority in government projects, and will be honoured at an award ceremony to be held next year. These top ratings will give companies a competitive advantage in bidding for international contracts. 

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 9

UAE News

New terminal to boost cruise terminal

Hazza bin Zayed officially opens the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in Zayed Port


is Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, officially opened the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal.

His Highness toured the premises during the opening ceremony of the new terminal organised by Abu Dhabi Ports- the master developer, operator and manager of ports and Khalifa Industrial Zone in the Emirate. Zayed Port’s new permanent terminal, a major landmark for cruise tour10 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

ism in the Arabian Gulf, will serve as a major facilitator in boosting the cruise tourism sector which in turn will reflect on the Emirate’s economy. The state-of-the-art terminal will attract international cruise liners to home port at Abu Dhabi, making it their first destination stop within the

region and allow passengers to enjoy a longer stay in the Emirate. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, expressed confidence that the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal will support the influx of cruise tourism into the Emirate: “With the leader-

UAE News

The new terminal expected to be a turning point in Abu Dhabi’s goal to establish itself as a leading winter sun cruise destination.

ship’s direction, Abu Dhabi Ports is dedicated to further develop the tourism sector in support of Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification efforts. By working closely with our strategic partners and building the necessary infrastructure we hope to expand Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector and reinforce its position as a major global destination.” Zayed Port shall witness a fivefold increase in the number of passengers and ships during the 2015-2016 season in comparison to the first cruise season of 2006-2007. Growth projections for the cruise tourism sector in the Emirate anticipate more than 300,000 passengers by the 2019-2020 season.

Commenting on this occasion, Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “The new terminal is a testament to Abu Dhabi’s commitment to providing worldclass infrastructure and services to support its growing tourism sector.

MSC Cruises, the Switzerland-based global cruise line – number one in Europe, South America and South Africa - is the first cruise line to choose Abu Dhabi and the new terminal as its home port for the 201516 season.

This facility will strengthen the city’s position as an international tourist destination, supporting the diversification of the emirate’s economy, in line with Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030. Abu Dhabi Airports would like to congratulate the entire project team and the strategic partners on the successful completion of this project.”

MSC Musica that berthed at the terminal on the inaugural day will call various ports of the region in the UAE and Oman during this season.

“These are exciting times for Abu Dhabi’s cruise industry,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, TCA Abu Dhabi Chairman. “The opening of the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal marks a step-change in how Abu Dhabi is perceived as a cruise destination, and the collective effort of all partners involved in this achievement underlines the important role the cruise sector has in the expansion of our tourism industry.”

Through the terminal’s tourist information services, retail facilities, provision of city tours, passport border control counters and smooth and timely customs processes tourists will have an enjoyable experience.

Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal with the support from Abu Dhabi Ports’ strategic partners will ensure the ease of the cruise passengers’ overall journey into and out of the Emirate.

Abu Dhabi Airports provided checkin counters operated by Etihad Airways. These counters will allow cruise passengers to check into their flights from within the terminal and will only need to go through passport control at the airport for their exit stamp. Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, pointed out that the design of the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal incorporates suggestions from international cruise operators and shipping lines to ensure the efficiencies of all current and future operations, “This is the first permanent cruise ship terminal in the region that provides integrated facilities and operations with international airport passenger check-in capabilities. Such efficiencies will attract more shipping lines to choose Abu Dhabi as their homeport.”  | Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 11

UAE News

du launches Tourist Plan for visitors


reloaded with 30 local and international minutes and 500MB data, Tourist Plan is an all-in-one prepaid solution.

du has simplified communications for UAE tourists with the introduction of the brand new Tourist Plan for the country visitors. Now those visiting the UAE can take advantage of all the benefits of a specially designed prepaid line, allowing them to stay in touch with friends and relatives

12 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

in the UAE or back home.The Tourist Plan is ideal for tourists, business travelers who stay in the UAE for short periods of time, and is valid for 60 days from the time of activation. It comes with free benefits of 500MB mobile data and 30 flexible minutes that can be used to call local or in-

ternational mobile and landline numbers for just AED 75. All free benefits are valid 10 days from the time of line activation. The Tourist Plan can be purchased at all du shops, UAE airport terminals and across the UAE. ď‚…




AccessAbilities Expo 2016 is the UAE’s premier event which aims to add value to the lives of persons with disabilities.

Held from 9-11 February 2016 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, AccessAbilities Expo will provide a high-level platform for stakeholders from across sectors such as infrastructure, aviation, tourism, hospitality, facilities management, technology, consumer electronics, public transport, education, healthcare and others. Global suppliers will be showcasing the latest technologies to address the growing demands of the disabled communities across the Middle East.

750 50


million people with disabilities worldwide

million of whom are in the Middle East

Exhibit new products and services to more than 3,000 buyers from over 30 countries New business opportunities with the Middle East’s leading decision-makers Connect with professionals from a wide range of industry sectors from across the world Face-to-face meetings with local healthcare and disability experts Build stronger relationships with existing clients, source new contacts and increase your ROI

To understand more on how you can make the most out of AccessAbilities Expo, get in touch with Alex Shalagin via email: alexander.shalagin@reedexpo.ae or via phone: +971 50 662 6371 Strategic Partners



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Event Partners

Information Partner

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 13

UAE News

Dubai Airports wins award for Best Employee Learning


ubai Airports, operator of Dubai International - the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, has won the Service Olympian Award for Best Employee Learning for its Airport Service Programme, which commenced in March 2014 and concludes last month. The Service Olympian’s Best Employee Learning Award is given to an organisation that can best demonstrate a solid, well-structured scheme to support employee learning and enhance their talent, according to a WAM report. “We are very pleased that our employee learning programme has earned recognition just days before it concludes. It’s one of our most signifi14 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

cant training programmes in recent years as it focuses on unifying frontline employees of all stakeholders at Dubai International to raise customer service levels for our 78 million plus passengers. It was attended by 6,000 employees and has been an overwhelming success,” said Samya Ketait, vice president of Learning and Development at Dubai Airports.

Developed by Ethos Integrated Solutions to recognise private as well as public organisations that have implemented successful customer service strategies in the UAE, the Service Olympian Customer Experience Awards support the development of high standards in customer experience delivery in the region’s most advanced and competitive market. 

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 15

UAE News

Dubai Shopping Festival

Global shopping extravaganza kicks off


he 21st edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has a line-up of more than 150 events and activities promising extraordinary experiences to residents and visitors from around the world.

DSF 2016, which will continue till February 1, will run under the tagline “Unwrap the Exceptional” with visitors being offered the opportunity to rediscover their sense of wonder, happiness and excitement. 16 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

From internationally renowned events to celebrity icons, familyfriendly activities to pulsating live entertainment and mind blowing raffle promotions offering millions of dirhams in prizes, this year’s Dubai

Shopping Festival has been taken to a new level of splendour by the organisers, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

UAE News

His Excellency Helal Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commercial Marketing (DTCM) said: “Dubai Shopping Festival is a highlight in the emirate’s year-round calendar of diverse and attractive events and a key driver of tourism growth. Returning for its 21st year in 2016, the Festival is intrinsic to attracting tourists from close-proximity markets including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, other GCC neighbours and India in addition to visitors from further afield, especially those from China, Africa and Russia. Driving high tourism numbers at the start of the year, Dubai Shopping Festival also profiles the Emirate’s year-round retail and entertainment offering - one of the core

pillars of Dubai’s overall tourism offer - and is a significant contributor to the economy of Dubai.”

World’s longest-running festival moves into a new level at its 21st edition from 1 January - 1 February

H. E. Laila Mohammad Suhail, CEO of DFRE, said: “Dubai Shopping Festival 2016 will refresh the experience for visitors by showcasing it as an extraordinary shopping journey rather than a mere sales season. Hence, our line-up of events, activities and promotions are built around the festival’s 2016 tagline “Unwrap The Exceptional”, which defines everything at the festival as a gift that is waiting to be uncovered and cherished. The tagline also reaffirms the fact that Dubai is at its best at this time of the year with an inspirational celebration that rewards by delivering exceptional experiences. DSF offers unparalleled shopping experience as visitors get to experience numerous dedicated shopping activities. Among these activities is the Beauty District, a purpose

The opening day of DSF’s Perfume Theme on 26 January will witness a world-record breaking attempt - offering AED 1 million worth of perfume sampling. Some 200 personnel will be deployed to spray perfume all at the same time in “The Biggest Perfume Sampling” event at MAF Malls and Dubai Airport (Terminal 1 & 3)

designed location that will satisfy all the shopaholics visiting Dubai in Dubai Mall. Shoppers can enjoy lots of goodies and workshops on makeup and beauty tips, adding to their shopping experience with lots of activations. Shoppers can also use the 360 degree Glam Cam once they are done beautifying themselves to take a 360 picture of their new look. Treat yourself to fashion events and in store activations, flash mob, fashion on the ice, perfume district, Art events, plays, Arabic and Hindi concerts, ballet, comedy shows, Historical events at the Dubai Creek, a vintage market featuring vintage fashion, furniture and art and much more, throughout the 32-day-long festival. The DSF will also have firework displays at The Beach, Creek Park and Global village to mark the celebrations. Lucky shoppers get to win millions of dirhams worth of cash, gold and other items during the DSF promotions. | Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 17

Cover Story

Air travel in future


n-flight immigration or biometric payment, self-enrolment using seat-back system that you to scan your ePassport, upload biometrics from the passport chip and perform a biometric face match against the document to prove your identity, a self-service bag drop without the need to furnish your boarding pass or even walking through auto gates at the airports, could very well be a norm than an exception in near future. A white paper by Tascent, Inc., a biometrics and identity innovation company, has presented ‘A New Golden Age for Air Travel,” looking at ways that biometric technologies could make flying an experience to be cherished. Dean Senner, CEO, Tascent, said: “For the 8 million travelers flying around the world every day, 18 18 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||January January2016 2016||

biometrics can help transform an often stressful and impersonal experience into something personal, efficient and memorable.”

tration of users into a program (enrollment) and subsequent token-free recognition of travellers (identification):

Successful implementation and adoption of iris recognition could unlock a wide variety of possibilities in air travel. These include a number of traveller touch points encompassing both initial regis-

Program enrolment using mobile biometric device The lounge is one location within an airport where premium travellers tend to dwell under less time pressure, and as such it presents


an excellent location to offer biometric program registration. Enrollment of a traveller’s biometrics could be conducted in under a minute by lounge staff using a mobile device anywhere in the lounge, without requiring the traveller to shift from their seat, says Tascent. Alternatively, enrollment could be offered in-flight – another time when travellers generally have some spare time – again using a mobile biometric device. The days of requiring new users to sign up in a dedicated room could very well be over as we could be seeing enrolment stations coming to passengers! In-flight self-enrollment using seat-back system A further option for frictionless enrollment could leverage the free time that travellers have during their flight, but this time in a self-service mode.

Given the increasing sophistication of seat-back electronics, it is entirely reasonable to expect biometric sensors and document imagers to make their way onto the plane in the next few years.

Expedited self-service bag drop Once a traveller is enrolled into a biometric program, numerous value-adding opportunities open up, says the white paper.

A traveller could scan their ePass-

Self-service bag drop, which is being implemented today by leading airports, requires travellers to provide a boarding pass (and sometimes also an identity document) as a means of authentication.

New study reveals potential for biometrics to usher in the next golden age of air travel

port, upload biometrics from the passport chip and perform a biometric face match against the document to prove their identity, provide additional biometrics such as iris or fingerprint, enter their frequent flyer details, add payment information, select their privacy preferences, and choose which identity services they wish to enable – all from the comfort of their seat.


Tascent talks of a system using iris recognition that would enable a traveller to simply walk up and look at the bag drop system to be recognized; the system would link the traveller’s identity to the reservation, and accept the baggage. This would also be more secure than today’s system, which relies upon a paper or mobile boarding pass token that can easily be swapped or stolen.

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 19

Cover Story

Enrollment and personalized welcome Frequent-flyer lounges are a haven for the harried traveller, and offer a prime opportunity for airlines to differentiate themselves to their premium passengers. Today’s lounges rely on the traveller presenting some kind of credential, often a boarding pass or frequent flyer card (sometimes both), to gain access. Biometrics can obviate the need to challenge the traveller for a credential: Enrolled travellers can simply walk up and glance at an iris sensor to unlock the doors to the lounge. As well as saving the traveller from fishing through their pockets for their boarding pass, the system might automatically pull up the traveller’s flight status on a nearby TV screen at the same time, while sending a notification 20 20 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||January January2016 2016||

In flight biometric payment, self-assisted immigration, some of the next-gen biometric applications to the lounge staff to enable them to greet the traveller by name – to enable a truly personalized, welcoming lounge experience. Self-service boarding gates In the future of air travel, what happens at the boarding gate? Travellers are recognized by their biometrics, granted access by auto-gates, and no-one laments the demise of the boarding pass. Exceptions (last-minute upgrades, wrongly-directed passengers, and those trying to jump the queue) can be processed by airline staff, who have more time available to focus on customer service with no boarding passes to handle.

Self-boarding is being implemented today by some of the most forward-thinking airline/ airport combinations; tomorrow it will be the norm. Auto boarding with aircraft borne equipment Cutting down the time taken to board passengers onto the plane remains a significant challenge facing airlines today. Though it offers no solution to the challenge of fitting oversized bags into overhead bins, biometrics can help make the boarding experience friendlier by recognizing passengers at the aircraft entrance, greeting them by name and providing a reminder of seat location. Busy stewards can be supported with live data on the proportion of the flight that is boarded, notifications of high-status frequent flyers as they cross the threshold,



information as to whether passengers are (correctly) seated, and automating headcount, if required. In-flight personalisation On an aircraft that recognises you, travellers can expect a new level of personalized experience. Imagine your favourite TV programs proposed when you take your seat; movies that remember you when you change planes; lighting, ventilation, seat adjustment, and food and beverage preferences that follow you when you shift seats; engaging games that you can continue playing across multiple trips; all without any action on your part. Connecting flight and destination information, frequent flyer account status, and private messages could all flow to the seatback, with biometrics making sure that only the intended recipient was reading them. In-flight biometric payment Airlines make a significant proportion of revenue from in-flight services, whether food and drink, entertainment, Wi-Fi, or dutyfree sales. Today, travellers must pay with cash or credit card, and for many this involves standing up and hunting around in the overhead bin for a wallet or purse. Simplifying purchases by introducing biometric payment, either with a seatback system or a mobile device operated by a crew member, reduces purchasing friction and is likely to improve uptake of these services. New revenue sources will also become viable.

In-flight immigration Many travellers would relish the opportunity to use in-flight time to complete immigration formalities if it meant shorter queues upon arrival. Likewise, immigration agencies would appreciate the opportunity to screen biometrics in advance of passengers landing. In-flight immigration could be achieved through self-service (using seatback displays) or assisted service (by a crewmember, using a mobile device), according to the complexity and the degree of automation of the process, the biometrics that need to be collected, and the individual’s degree of comfort. Forward-thinking airlines and government agencies are already adopting in-flight immigration as a means of conveniently expediting travel. In a future world, this could also enable Exit immigra-

tion processing, thereby removing a pre-departure checkpoint and proving beyond doubt that the travellers had left the country. Is this the future of air travel? Will these be a reality? Technically, they are all feasible, but each will require a thoughtful approach to security, usability, process, and integration. The more straightforward use cases outlined above could be implemented today, independently, by forward-leaning airlines. Others, such as the immigration scenario, will take some considerable coordination effort between various stakeholders. “The prize of a new Golden Age of air travel is out there. It will be for the boldest airlines, airport operators, travel agencies, concierge services, hotel brands, and car rental companies to claim it,” added Senner.  | Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 21

Exclusive Interview

His Excellency Fahed Bin Al Sheikh, Deputy Chairman, Autism Trust Foundation

Autism Trust Foundation to open centre for people with autism above 18 years

Making special education affordable


utism Trust Foundation (ATF), which started in 2011 in UK, is now spreading special needs education and providing therapies in over nine countries including the UK, Canada and UAE (Dubai).

22 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |



Fahed Al Sheikh: We plan to open 3 more centres in the next five years in the UAE

Focussed on making special education accessible to as many people as possible, ATF caters to those who have financial constraints. Fahed Bin Al Sheikh, Deputy Chairman of Autism Trust Foundation, in an interview with Manafez Dubai, shared his goal of reaching out to a large number of people, spreading awareness to empower, educate and include people having autism in the society. Excerpts from the interview: What is the focus of the Autism Trust Foundation? Firstly, we cater to people who have financial constraints. ATF has a fund out of which help goes to educate children with autism whose families have difficulty in affording their education.

After attaining the age of 18, these children and their families face a difficulty as they have completed their school but usually do not know what they can do after that. ATF also wants to cater to the needs of people with autism above 18 years of age. How do you plan to integrate or involve this category of those who reach 18 years or are older. We are opening a new centre for them this year, which will be able to accommodate upto20 individuals. The new centre will train them to be more independent in their day to day life such as going for shopping,

making their bed, washing their clothes and other activities. The idea is to lead them toward more self-dependence. Will you also be making any efforts toward helping these students get jobs? Certainly, that will be the next step. We will work toward that and perhaps even set up a venture that will employ them. What is the biggest challenge for parents of children having autism? The parents face numerous challenges, and culture plays a big role

We have a regular training system wherein children come every day during the schedule hours. In addition, we also provide one to one therapies for a nominal charge. ATF has students from all nationalities and our goal is to spread education, therapies and training to as many people with autism as possible.

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 23

Exclusive Interview

in this. In some societies, having a child with disability is still considered a stigma, parents try to hide their children. Many parents continue to live in denial as they do not want to accept. The problem is that you cannot help the child and let them improve unless you accept the situation and work toward it. Awareness, is something that plays a big role in this. At Autism Trust Foundation, we are constantly working toward generating awareness through campaigns, educating parents who come to us. Generating awareness is not a oneday effort; it needs to be done constantly. Once parents are aware of the signs to look for in order to ascertain

whether the child needs further help, they can get professional diagnosis, assessment and train the child. Do you also get involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities of companies. We are very careful when we select people we work with. For instance, we reach out to universities and institutes where we understand, based on our analysis, there is a genuine interest in volunteering. We have nearly 100 people who volunteer with us regularly. Our approach is the same when it comes to CSR activities of companies. We associate only where there is a genuine interest.

24 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

Where do you see ATF five years from now? The last five years for us have been like planting a seed and nurturing the plant to grow a tree. Now we are ready to branch out and expand. I feel concerned that today if the cost of educating a child with autism is AED 1, it will grow multiple times in the coming years. It is important to make training and education affordable. There should be more special needs education centres, they may not be charitable, but to be able to reach out to more people, they can be non-profit so that education is more affordable.At ATF, we aim to open more centres across the GCC and Africa in the next five years. ď‚…

Helping you understand.

Yes, we’re different. And yet, we’re the same. Autism Trust Foundation provides the best therapists, the latest methods and the most up-to-date technologies for Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD]. We at ATF continue to provide a caring environment for those with Autism and create a society that wholeheartedly accepts and welcomes them. To know more, visit www.autismtrustfoundation.com Assessment & Diagnostics | Speech & Language Training | Occupational Therapy | Applied Behaviour Analysis & Therapy

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 25

Exclusive Interview

Acceptance is crucial to improvement of a child with Autism

UAE actively integrating individuals with disabilities into the society


ubai Autism Center (DAC), one of the most reputed centres in the region, has been playing an active role in contributing to enhancing the lives of children with Autism and their families in the UAE for the last almost 15 years.

Due to the rise in the prevalence of Autism worldwide, the role played by an organisation like the DAC is crucial in terms of generating awareness and developing sensitivity to facilitating integration of individuals with Autism in the society.

I would advise parents to carefully monitor the development of their child, to the development charts and in case they see anything lacking to consult a professional. The earlier the diagnosis and acceptance, the higher the chances for the child’s improvement.

Mohammad Al Emadi, Director General of Dubai Autism Center, spoke with Manafez Dubai about the common concerns among parents, issues related to Autism and UAE’s initiatives toward making lives of children with Autism and their families better.

Worrying about social embarrassment, going into denial or even hiding or forcing the child to do what you think is “normal”, do no good to the child. Parents need to accept and act.

Excerpts from the interview: What is the most common issue in case of children with autism you have come across that blocks their development? Soon as families find their child has Autism, they tend to go into denial. Over 50 per cent of success in case of a child with Autism depends on the acceptance of the condition. If you don’t accept, you cannot move further ahead with their development. An accurate diagnosis and skilled analysis is equally important. 26 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

At DAC, we have a list of questions and a chart to help parents understand and monitor the growth of their child. By answering those questions, the parents are better equipped to understand if the child’s development is normal and if they find there are any indicators pointing to gaps in the normal process of development, they need to seek further help. What is your advice to parents? As we all know, Autism is on the rise. But now, we have the tools to diagnose if a child and the extent of the condition. This is unlike earlier when there was massive unawareness and disorders of brain development were labeled as ‘mental retardation’.

I would say you must understand if God gave you a child with Autism, you are the chosen one. You have been given a child with no sins. You should be happy, accept the child, shower them with your love and care and stay positive. Usually, we see people are always looking for ways to help others, outside their home. In this situation, you have been given a chance to help a child who is your own, you should take it as a blessing, accept lovingly and give the best care to this child. Parents should also meet other parents who have children with Autism. At the Dubai Autism Centre (DAC),


As a society, what should be our role in supporting people with autism? Acceptance is the key word. When you see a child having autism, do not embarrass the family or don’t look down upon them. Make them feel they are as much an equal part of the society as you are and, if you have a chance to help, you should help them.

Mohammed Al Emadi, Director General of Dubai Autism Centre we have a Parents Club where we introduce families with children having similar levels of Autism and of similar age group. They get together and by sharing their experiences, they are able to understand their circumstances better. This also takes away the feeling that they are alone in their journey. It brings them hope, takes away the embarrassment and can contribute significantly to the development of the child.

What is your view on the initiatives being taken in the UAE toward those with autism? The UAE is actively taking initiatives to integrate individuals with disabilities into the society and enhance the quality of their lives. There are a great deal of efforts to make the city disabled friendly which starts from areas like airlines, roads and accommodation. Also many more corporate’s are taking an interest in highlighting Autism Awareness. Some public and private organizations have already shown an interest of employing individuals with ASD. We highly appreciate these initiatives, we are on the right path, but


we should remember that we can always do more there is much more that can be done. For instance, DAC runs entirely on donations and that’s an area where greater public support is required.We also need to have more local talent, because they can help deal with children from the Arab region better. 

About DAC: The Dubai Autism Centre (DAC) is a non-profit organization providing information, support, advice and training to professionals and parents of children with Autism. Founded in November 2001 with the issuance of a decree from H.H. Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the DAC is focused on providing various services for children with Autism and their families. The Centre also works toward facilitating a better community understanding of autism, including early diagnosis and treatment methodology.

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 27

Middle East News

Expats rank the GCC the highest globally for enabling them to buy property


SBC survey shows that GCC-based expats are the highest globally to say that they can own additional property as a result of moving

Countries in the GCC rank the highest in the world when it comes to expats being able to own additional property as a result of moving, according to HSBC ‘s 2015 Expat Explorer survey. With the region offering among the strongest wealth creation dynamics globally in terms of higher salaries, better work incentives, and a less 28 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

complex environment to manage finances, expats have singled out the Gulf for the greater ability to save and the higher disposable incomes they enjoy since moving.

Buying a home is widely recognised by people as an important long-term life goal according to HSBC’s Future of Retirement research.

Countries in the GCC were highlighted by the greatest proportion of expats as the places to move to that offered the best financial incentives.

It shows that working age people in the UAE have the highest degree of confidence in property as a good way to generate income for their retirement, with over 8 out of 10

Middle East News

(81 per cent) identifying with this sentiment. In line with these attitudes, expats in the region have singled it out for the opportunities it offers to put them on the right financial footing to purchase property. Expats in Bahrain (30 per cent), Saudi Arabia (27 per cent), UAE and Oman (25 per cent) are the most likely to identify with this sentiment, compared to the global average of 17 per cent. Survey examined the responses of 21,950 expats from across the world to assess their views towards life in their host countries

These attitudes vary significantly across the world among expats in the UK (6 per cent), India (24 per cent) and the USA (19 per cent), indicating that these views are closely linked to the wealth creation dynamics in countries. Gifford Nakajima, Head of Regional Wealth Development, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited , said: “The GCC continues to be recognised by expats as the place that offers the greatest financial opportunities, despite the recent economic slowdown we have witnessed.

A key finding from the research was that the largest proportion of expats recognised that moving to the GCC pays the most compared to other regions across the world. Expats in Qatar (76 per cent) and Oman (72 per cent) are the highest in the world to say that they have more disposable income since moving, compared to a global average of 57 per cent. Similarly, expats in Oman (76 per cent), Qatar and Saudi Arabia (75 per cent) state that they are able to save more since moving, far above the global average of 52 per cent. The UAE also ranks highly among these criteria with 65 per cent and 61 per cent of expats, respectively, expressing these sentiments. Enabling young expats get a step on the housing ladder The dynamics here are being recognised by young expats as well, as the research findings showed that expats between the ages of 18 and 34 in the GCC were among the highest to express that their ability to own a property rose since moving to the region.

Young expats in the UAE (25 per cent) and Qatar among the highest in the world to say that they can afford property in their host countries

Young expats in Qatar (31 per cent), Canada (26 per cent) and the UAE (25 per cent) were the highest globally to identify with this view. This is backed up by a majority of young expats in the region - 71 per cent in Qatar and 58 per cent in the UAE - stating that they earn more in their host country, compared to the global average of 43 per cent. Additionally, a large proportion of the respondents highlighted that they receive accommodation allowance from their employers. Emerging markets in general appear to offer these benefits more regularly, with a high proportion of young expats in Indonesia (60 per cent) and India (53 per cent) highlighting this trend, compared to less than one in ten in the UK (8 per cent) and the USA (9 per cent). 

We see that they are, in particular, highlighting the growth in their disposable income and their ability to save as factors boosting their longterm planning capabilities, which allow them to achieve their biggest aspirations, including purchasing a home.” | Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 29

Middle East News

Czech Republic to open honorary consulate in Oman


o enhance bilateral cooperation as well as partnerships with universities across countries and to arrange exchanges of business delegations, the Czech Republic will open an honorary consulate in Oman in 2016, according to a Times of Oman report.

Dana Eltomova, head of the Consular Section, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Riyadh, confirmed the opening of the consulate, during the inauguration of a visa application centre in Muscat. “We would like to invite Omani citizens and residents to visit the Czech Republic, to enjoy the atmosphere of Prague and of its 12 UNESCO heritage sites, and to relax during a wellness stay at a Czech Spa,” she said. Omanis who are interested in visiting the Czech Republic can submit their visa applications at the new centre, which was inau30 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

gurated by Minister Plenipotentiary Talib Said Al Hassani, deputy head of the Consular Department of Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Applicants can visit the VFS Global centre in Muscat to submit visa applications for the Czech Republic. It is located at level 1, Tilal Complex, Muscat Grand Mall in Bausher. “The newly opened VFS Global Czech Visa Application Centre in Muscat aims at improving visa services for both citizens and residents of the Sultanate of Oman wishing to visit the Czech Republic for leisure, business or a medical stay,” Eltomova said.

Working hours of the centre are from 8am to 4pm. Applicants can submit their credentials between 8am and 3pm and collect documents between 3pm and 4pm.The Centre has a website for easy access to information, including visa categories, requirements, check-lists and applicable fees. The centre has Arabic speaking staff to handle queries and applications, besides automated queue governance, secure handling of passports, documents and personal information, and doorstep delivery of passports. 

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 31

Middle East News

Announcement cements regional commitment to cruise industry in the GCC

Bahrain joins Cruise Arabia Alliance


n a further show of regional collaboration, Bahrain became the latest country to confirm its commitment to the Cruise Arabia Alliance, which now has membership from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Qatar and Oman.

The 6-member alliance encourages its members to share best practices and ensure a region-wide level of service and standards offered to both the cruise lines and their passengers. The news was shared with delegates on the second day of the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum, which was held in Doha, Qatar, and hosted by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA). The announcement came at a timely point when the Kingdom

32 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

of Bahrain also announced it would be complementing the 2015-16 cruise season with 68,000 passengers and 32 calls from various prestigious cruise lines. Qatar Tourism Authority it is expecting a three-fold increase in passengers next season. 30 cruise ships bringing up to 50,000 passengers will call in Doha between October 2016 and April 2017 - up from the eight calls scheduled this season.

Speaking to delegates, Mr Hassan Al Ibrahim, QTA’s Chief Tourism Development Officer, said: “Qatar places huge importance on the cruise industry, both to diversify the tourism sector and Qatar’s overall economy. There are long-term plans to upgrade the country’s infrastructure, all of which will enable us to tap into the potential of cruise tourism by developing Qatar’s ports. 

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 33

International News

Robot at Schipol International Airport to help passengers navigate their way


avigating your way at the bustling Schipol International Airport just got easier as ‘Spencer’, a robot guide will now help passengers find their way in the airport.

Contributions from researchers at Örebro University in Sweden have enabled the robot to map its surroundings. The project is funded by the European Commission and is a collaboration between researchers and businesses in five different countries. “Navigating an airport is challenging, there is a lot of glass and a constantly changing environment in terms of temporary obstructions, such as parked luggage trolleys and people everywhere,” said Achim Lilienthal, professor of computer science and project leader of Örebro University’s contribution to the research project.

The stately looking robot with its friendly but unstirring “face” will be guiding passengers, unaccustomed to navigating international airports, from one gate to another. Researchers from Örebro have equipped the robot with a prerequisite for navigation – maps. The robot then surveys its surroundings by measuring the distance to various obstructions using laser beams.

the most difficult to work around. We do not know, for instance, how long that luggage trolley will be parked in a particular spot, which makes it harder for the robot to determine its own location. We are working on a general map representation that includes and allows the robot to handle temporarily permanent objects,”said Achim Lilienthal.

One of the more basic maps is one that involves fixed obstructions, such as walls.

All the theoretical components of the robot’s ability will be fused into one system in the upcoming integration week. In addition to the Örebro University researchers’ contribution, another aspect of the project is the robot’s ability to understand human behaviour and act accordingly. Things like navigating around a group of people rather than squeezing through, or looking around to see if the group it is guiding is keeping up.

“People in motion are not that tricky either. Objects that are temporarily permanent so to speak, are

The robot project is run by researchers, but the initiative came from the Dutch airline KLM as a result of unwanted costs incurred when novice passengers missed their flights simply because they got lost. “The airport has recently been remodelled and is now so much easier to find your way around,” added Achim Lilienthal.  34 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 35

International News

More Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than entering


ccording to a report from the Pew Research Center, the flow of Mexican immigrants into the U.S. is at its lowest since the 1990s. The report cited slow recovery of US economy after the economic recession in 2009 and strict enforcement of immigration laws at the border by the US as the prime reasons for this reduction. A census report in Mexico says that 1 million Mexicans returned home from the U.S. in the five years leading to 2014. The U.S. census for the same period shows only 870,000 Mexicans moved to the U.S, said a media report. “There are no official counts of how many Mexican immigrants enter and leave the U.S. each year,” it says. So the numbers are estimates, not precise numbers. The report says a growing percentage of Mexicans think life in the U.S. is not better or worse than living in Mexico. The number of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. peaked at 12.8 million in 2007. More than 60 percent of the people who returned to Mexico say they 36 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

wanted to be closer to family. Only 14 percent returned against their will because they were deported. There are fewer Mexicans coming into the U.S., but Mexicans still make up the largest foreign-born group in the country, at 28 percent. In the 50 years ending in 2015, 16 million Mexicans came to live in the United States. Earlier, a study by Migration Policy Institute (MPI) noted that new migration flows from Mexico to the US have been outnumbered by those from China and India. The MPI experts predicted the trend to continue. The new prominence of Asian migration may herald a significant and long-term transition in the demographics of future U.S. immigration, observed Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI’s office at New York University School of Law; and Faye Hipsman Associate Policy Analyst with MPI’s U.S. Immigration Policy Program.

It is for the first time in several decades that Mexico is no longer the top source of recent immigrants to the United States. The historic shift occurred in 2013, and was documented in a recent U.S. Census Bureau study, reflecting an acceleration of Chinese and Indian immigration over the last decade, and is the latest sign that large-scale Mexican migration to the United States—once taken for granted—appears to be winding down. Statistics show that of the 1.2 million recent immigrants counted in 2013, China was the leading country of origin, with 147,000, followed by India with 129,000, and Mexico with 125,000. In recent years, the margins among the three countries have narrowed in recent years. In 2012, Mexico was the source of 125,000 recent immigrants, China 124,000, and India 113,000. It was only less than a decade ago that recent immigrants from Mexico outnumbered those from China and India, each by sixfold. 

International News

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 37

Special Study

Global Airport IT spend over $8.7 billion in 2015, predicted to rise further

Enhancing passenger experience remains number one priority


irports worldwide are increasingly focussing on technology in handling the rise in demand for air travel and meeting their business goals. The result is a clear rise in IT spending with a focus on enhancing passenger experience. 38 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

This increased focus has pushed global IT spend to $ 8.7 billion (estimated) in 2015 and Airport Chief Information Officers are predicting even higher budgets for 2016, according to the annual Airport IT Trends Survey by SITA. The 2015 forecast shows a rise from 5.82 per cent of revenues in 2014 to 6.25 per cent of revenues. IT budgets have increased by a (CAGR) 16.4 per cent over the last three years far outstripping the rev-

enue growth over the same period. Enhancing passenger experience remains the priority and CIOs are committing their rising budgets to introduce technologies such as beacons, mobile services and increased self-service, for better passenger experience. The survey, which is co-sponsored by Airports Council International (ACI) and SITA, in association with Airline Business, is the most exten-



74 per cent to provide notifications to passengers. By this time, more than half of the airports will have sensors in use at various points of the journey including check-in, bag drop, security, dwell time and boarding. Mobile services are also on the rise with 91 per cent of airports planning to provide an app for navigating the airport and 83 per cent for real-time notifications about day-of-travel information such as local traffic or queue times in the terminal. sive study of IT trends in the global airport industry and the 2015 results came from respondents reprsenting views of more than 223 airports. Passenger processing, high priority for IT investment Over 73 per cent of airports consider passenger processing a high priority for IT investment, up from 59 per cent last year. Increased focus on passenger processing is driven by the twin aim of managing throughput, while ensuring that passengers have a great experience. Data from this year’s survey indicates airports worldwide are rolling out technologies that speed up processing, reduce queues and keep passengers better informed, while driving incremental revenues. In what highlights a growing determination by more airports to try and address a common pain point for passengers, 84 per cent of airports see passenger and airport security as either a primary or secondary priority for IT investment, up from 76 per cent in last year’s survey. Matthys Serfontein, SITA Vice President, Airport Solutions, said:

91 per cent airports planning to provide app for navigating airport “Airports always have passengers as a high priority but this year we see a clear acknowledgement that technology can help improve the passenger experience. Airport CIOs are committing their rising budgets to introduce technologies such as beacons, mobile services and increased self-service, to make it easier for passengers as the world’s airports become increasingly busier.” “With 81 per cent of airports investing in beacons and other sensors over the next three years, passengers can expect a more predictable journey through the airport as new features, such as wait times and walk times to the gate, become commonplace. The ‘Internet of Things’ is certainly coming to airports as they commit to serving the ‘connected traveler’ by investing in sensor technology,” added Serfontein. The survey shows that by 2018, 80 per cent of airports will use beacons to provide way-finding services and

Another major focus are for IT investment is related to airport operations such as managing aircraft resources, land and airside passenger activity and tracking assets. Check-in and kiosks In 2015, around two out of five people turn up at the airport already checked-in, but for those who don’t the kiosk is the next best thing. Today, self-service check-in kiosks are almost universally available with nine out of ten airports having them in place, up from 75 per cent in 2014. In addition to providing more checkin kiosks, airports have been expanding the functionality of kiosks. Today 42 per cent of airports have kiosks that can print bag tags to help passengers tag their own luggage before leaving them at drop-off points, which can be much faster for the passenger than using the airport counter. Today, either assisted or unassisted, bag drop points are available at around half of airports globally. Faster check-in of passengers and baggage solves one problem, but can lead to more congestion and longer queues at the next bottleneck. | Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 39

Special Study

The use of mobile devices in operational areas, such as baggage management and aircraft turnaround has been performed largely with specialized handheld devices, but over the next three years, staff in these areas will increasingly use smartphones and tablets to carry out their tasks and stay informed. For example, today staff at 21 per cent of airports use specialized handheld devices for aircraft turnaround, while only 9 per cent use smartphones.

To manage the flow through the terminals more efficiently, many airports have, or are planning to deploy sensor technologies, such as beacons, in the next three years, to gauge the movement of people at critical points in their journey to the gate. Over 30 per cent of airports are planning major investments with sensor technology over the next three years. While the use of sensor technologies will enable airports to better manage queues and the movement of passengers as they progress to retail areas and the gates, airports are also starting to use the same technology, in conjunction with mobile apps, to deliver real-time ‘day of travel’ information services directly to passengers at the appropriate point in their journey. Flight status notifications are already standard airport app features, but over the course of the next three years a range of new services will also become a common part of the mobile experience provided by airports. 40 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

Airport operators are looking to develop ‘smart airports’ over the next three years. Operational efficiency will also see some major improvements during the next three years, as data from sensor technologies drives business intelligence initiatives. Real-time information on assets and resources, such as staff and mobile equipment will enable airports to respond faster and more effectively to unfolding events. Empowering Staff The use of mobile devices by customer-facing staff is becoming a common sight at airports, particularly in the lobby and departure areas, where just over one third of airports are empowering staff, mainly with tablets, but also smartphones and specialized handheld devices.

However, by the end of 2018 this will have changed with smartphones used by staff at 24 per cent of airports and the usage of specialized handheld devices dropping to 18 per cent of airports. By 2018, more than 60 per cent of airports will have implemented mobile access to irregular operational (IROPS) information to their employees. A move which will support increased responsiveness. Airport operators are looking to develop ‘smart airports’ over the next three years. They are using sensors to connect people and things, and are harnessing the power of data to make better and faster decisions, for example by using Collaborative Decision Making (CDM). Making better decision, faster Today around one-third of airports have implemented some kind of local Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) with another 34 per cent planning to introduce it by the end of 2018. The more enhanced version, known as A-CDM, where the airport is connected into regional air traffic man-



However, the focus is shifting. Airports want to use BI tools to monitor passenger flow, and deploy staff and assets more effectively, including the ability to exploit aircraft movement data. Over the next three years, 55 per centof airports plan BI initiatives using passenger flow data and 43 per cent from monitoring airport resources and assets.

Two out of five people check-in before arrival in 2015 agement, airline and other systems, is also expected to be rolled out by 34 per cent of airports over the next three years, although to date only 14 per cent of airports have adopted it. The SITA survey indicates airport operators are looking to develop smart airports over the next three

years that can handle the future growth in passenger and aircraft numbers, while giving passengers a convenient and stress-free experience. Harnessing the power of data Critical to achieving success will be capturing data from sensor technologies to drive real-time business intelligence and analytics. Up to now most airports have focused their business intelligence (BI) initiatives on revenue optimization and today 36 per cent of airports are utilizing data for this purpose.

This fits closely to where airports see the big wins from investing in business intelligence. A good majority of airports expect the most business value to come from more effective tracking of assets and staff, while 49 per cent airports see high value from using BI to increase dwell time to help maximize retail revenues. TO meet the growing technology expectations of passengers and to enhance efficiencies, airports will need to future proof their public communications. Further increase in IT budgets, hence, seems inevitable. ď‚…

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 41

Customer service

Personalise interactions, technology to enhance customer experience

Be a Customer Service Winner in 2016!


s customer service gets more challenging amid rising competition and growing reliance on technology, 2016 will witness personalised customer service to grow increasingly popular, according to global customer service experts.

Experts foresee customer strategy to become central to corporate strategy as companies start to move away from traditional strategic models and planning processes and advise businesses to be more responsive and proactive to customer needs. Here are some tips to emerge a winner in customer service in 2016.

1. Personalised service:

There is a clearly growing reliance on online channels. But its highly crucial that companies ensure that personalised service does not take a back seat. Outsource Australia, a Melbourne based outsourced sales and marketing firm, says customers value personalised service and the fact they are able to talk to real human beings instead of recorded messages or machines. 42 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

“Customers and companies both agreed that the single most important element in a great customer experience is personalising interactions to customers and their individual needs. Customers also expressed an expectation that the data they provide companies should and could be used to accomplish this goal,” according to Outsource.

2. Effort And Responsiveness:

Emerge As Key Customer Metrics: In an increasingly digital world, driven by online interactions and self-service, the focus

of customer experience design will transition from customer delight to simplicity. Customer Effort Score (CES) will emerge as the key customer metric. The speed of the customer is now. Due to rising customer expectations related to responsiveness, the CES score will be complemented by metrics that track time(s)-to-respond to customers across all channels, according to www.customerthink.com.

Customer service

A Facebook post or a You Tube video plays a part in a sale and marketing of products much better than face to face or phone call conversation

3. Feedback:

Brands often ask for feedback and customer often oblige. But what comes next? Many customers want to feel their feedback has been acknowledged and would like details on how the company is addressing both concerns and applause. Customers are particularly passionate about wanting brands to pass along the praise they give about outstanding employees. Outsource Australia believe that businesses should use this information to prepare for 2016 and implement new customer service techniques in the New Year.

4. Contact Centre:

Is The Customer Retention Centre, says customerthink.com. As companies and customers shift to digital channels for transactional interactions, customers will only call if they cannot re-

solve an issue through self-service or if they have a problem. As the only human face of the company, the contact center will need to evolve and address these issues with efficiency, empathy, and emotional engagement. The Contact Center will reinvent itself to become a Customer Retention Center and the perception of the Contact Centre will quickly shift from a cost center to a strategic asset.

5. Use latest technology to your advantage:

Smartphone applications will become a dominant frontier in the customer service world. Robots too are taking over in many arenas. The key is to utilise the technology to your best and customise when needed. The data, queries and feeback obtained through these sources should sbe utilised to enhance customer service further.

6. Social media remains in the spot light:

With customers preferences are increasingly shaped by social media, it will become even more important for organisations to embrace social media.

Social media interactions between a brand and its customers will enter the digital age in 2016, according to a comscore report. Get a perspective on user engagement on different social media platforms in your region and focus accordingly. As social media continues to shape customer preferences, minimising response time would be crucial as will appropriate responses be. A Facebook post or a You Tube video plays a part in a sale and marketing of products much better than face to face or phone call conversation.  | Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 43


Shanghai Disney Resort, China

Be the first one to see brand new tourist attractions, that will open their doors in 2016

Brand new tourist attractions in 2016


hether you are a football fanatic, a Disney devotee or a strong ABBA fan, you will find reasons enough to pack your bags and set off.

Take your pick, based on these new attractions as listed by Lonely Planet.

Shanghai Disney Resort, China Slated to open in spring 2016, Disney’s newest resort – and its first in mainland China – will feature a traditional Magic Kingdom park complete with the largest-yet Enchanted Storybook Castle. Rides and attractions will be scattered around six themed lands, including the pirate-themed Treasure Cove with the high-tech Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle of the Sunken Treasure ride. The Garden of the Twelve Friends at the park’s centre will contain murals 44 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

Mamma Mia! The Party, Stockholm, Sweden


Monnaie de Paris, France

FIFA World Football Museum, Zurich, Switzerland

Surf Snowdonia, Wales

of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac depicted as Disney characters. Just outside the Magic Kingdom, the Disneytown entertainment district will have restaurants, shopping and nightlife, including a theatre showing a Mandarin-language version of The Lion King. Two hotels, the Art Nouveau-style Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the Toy Story Hotel, will accommodate guests in the park Shanghai Disney Resort, part of the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone, is a complete vacation destination and at opening will include: Shanghai Disneyland, a theme park with six themed lands: Adventure Isle, Gardens of Imagination,

Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Treasure Cove and Fantasyland, with the Enchanted Storybook Castle. Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel, imaginatively themed hotels conveniently located near the theme park. Disneytown, an international shopping, dining and entertainment district, adjacent to Shanghai Disneyland and including the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, home to the first-ever Mandarin production of the Broadway hit Disney’s THE LION KING. Wishing Star Park, with beautiful gardens, a walking path and a glittering lake.Shanghai Disney Resort promises something wonderful for

everyone. Guests will be immersed in popular Disney stories that come to life at the largest castle in a Disney park, at the first pirate-themed land in a Disney park, on the longest Disney Parks parade route and in more enchanting places filled with thrills, creativity and adventure. Throughout the resort, visitors will encounter another distinguishing Disney difference: warm hospitality and renowned guest service delivered by Disney cast members. Mamma Mia! The Party, Stockholm, Sweden Take one part restaurant, one part performance, a generous splash of disco, a touch of audience participation and what do you get? A new Mamma Mia!–themed restaurant, slated to open in Stockholm’s Gröna Lund amusement park in January 2016. ABBA legend Björn Ulvaeus is behind the new interactive disco-dining experience, a Greek-style taverna where diners tuck into souvlaki while a story unfolds around them. With the chance to take part in the show, and to sing and dance to the hits featured in the world-famous musical, it’s set to be a delicious feast of ABBA fun. | Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 45


National Gallery Singapore

Monnaie de Paris, France Mid-2016 sees the French capital’s mint reach the completion of its ‘MetaLmorphoses’ project – a multiphased transformation of its monumental 1.2-hectare site on the Seine’s Left Bank. Following 2014’s contemporary art exhibitions in the mint’s sumptuous neoclassical building and the 2015 arrival of triple-Michelin-starred chef Guy Savoy’s flagship restaurant, 2016 will unveil the Monnaie de Paris’ previously unseen collections. Along with these will be metalwork and foundry workshop tours, boutiques, Guy Savoy’s MetaLcafé brasserie, and interior streets and a park overlooked by a restored 1690 town house built by Jules Hardouin Mansart, publicly viewable for the first time. FIFA World Football Museum, Zurich, Switzerland Zurich is upping its game as it braces itself to welcome the new FIFA World Football Museum, slated to open in spring 2016 and costing a cool Sfr180 million. It’s the moment footie fans have been waiting for with bated breath. Bang in the heart of the city, the 3500-sqmetre whopper of a museum will 46 |Manafez Dubai | January 2016 |

whisk fans through the history of the game, with a timeline, hall of fame and cinema; recreate stadium fever with a giant football pinball machine; and harbour the world’s biggest collection of football books. Huddled away in the basement is the museum’s very own Mona Lisa: the World Cup Trophy itself. Surf Snowdonia, Wales The magical mountains and valleys of Snowdonia are a great place for walkers and adventure sports fans. The natural landscape is increasingly being augmented by impressive manmade facilities – Snowdonia now boasts Europe’s longest zip line and a vast underground trampolining

centre. But its most radical attraction will have been freshly opened come 2016: a £12 million, 300m-long artificial surf lagoon that uses local rainwater to produce a consistent, barrelling 2m wave every sixty seconds. It’s a world first, and one that doesn’t just appeal to the hardcore – the wave’s size varies in different parts of the lagoon, and its consistency helps beginners. Surf kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and blobbing are also on offer . National Gallery Singapore Singapore boasts several worldclass museums, but if you only have time to see one in 2016, make it the National Gallery Singapore. Occupying two of central Singapore’s most historical buildings – the former City Hall and Supreme Court – the enormous gallery space, unveiled during the city-state’s 50th birthday celebrations in November 2015, will showcase Southeast Asian art from the 19th century to the present day. After admiring the thousand-odd artworks in the painstakingly restored colonial courtrooms and council chamBASK, Gili Meno, Indonesia


Louvre Abu Dhabi, UAE

bers, don’t miss the fifth-floor rooftop garden with its superb views across the Padang towards Marina Bay. BASK, Gili Meno, Indonesia You might think you’d be more likely to bump into David Hasselhoff at a German karaoke bar, but if you’re headed to Indonesia you might just see him by the pool.

construction on Gili Meno, near Bali. Situated on a private whitesand beach, BASK will boast a world-class restaurant, chic beach club, state-of-the-art spa and its very own underwater sculpture park. Not to mention a star in its midst - the entertainer is said to be eyeing off a three-bedroom ‘Hoff Hideaway’ vacation villa of his own here.

For The Hoff is the face of BASK (baskgilimeno.com), a luxury villaresort development currently under

Louvre Abu Dhabi, UAE The Louvre Abu Dhabi is magnificently ambitious on every level. The

National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC, USA

futuristic, dome-shaped building is an architectural feat in itself, appearing to float above a man-made lake. Permanent collections will represent art throughout the ages, including everything from Chinese Buddhist carvings to Italian oil paintings, while France’s most renowned art institutes are to lend Abu Dhabi 300 additional works – Van Gogh, Monet and da Vinci masterpieces among their number. National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC, USA On its inauguration the NMAAHC (nmaahc.si.edu) will become America’s first national museum devoted exclusively to African American life, history and culture. The 10-storey space will house artefacts from all over the country and history – from Harriet Tubman’s 1876 hymn book, to a Jim Crow-era segregated railcar, to banners and photographs from the #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations.  (Source: Lonely Planet)

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 47

opinion column

Enhancing border security using biometrics O ur pilot project on the capturing of

biometrics at ports of entry and other issues of immigration is among our efforts to enhance border security while easing the pressure on travellers, including those in transit. As you are aware, travel documents accepted for border integrity purposes underpin the ideals of safety and security.

Malusi Gigaba Minister of Home Affairs, South Africa

The importance of valid travel documents to international security cannot be overstated as the ability to operate with anonymity, across borders, is a powerful enabler for persons to advance unlawful and illegitimate activities. To protect our national security, South Africa is in the process of enhancing its capacity to uniquely identify individuals and confirm the identity of travellers with the highest possible degree of certainty, security and efficiency.

(Edited excerpts from statement during inspection of Biometric Capturing at Ports of Entry : OR Tambo Airport) 48 48 |Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai ||September |January January2016 2016 ٢٠١٤ || |

The capturing of the travellers’ biometrics on arrival, at a port of entry of the Republic of South Africa, will also alleviate the pressure to apply in person in visa-required countries or in those countries where we have no representation. The enhanced Movement Control System (eMCS) Biometric Pilot programme was introduced at Lanseria International Airport, in November 2015. This month we introduced the Pilot at OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town International Airports. At OR Tambo International Airport, there is currently a specific focus on the capturing of biometrics in the transit area. The successful implementation of the biometric solution at ports of entry will provide for an alternative mechanism that mitigates against the requirements for the Transit Visa.

To this end, the Department has identified the capturing of biometrics as a key element in securing movements of persons in and out of South Africa.

What this means is that for travellers using ports of entry that have biometric capacity, the Transit Visa will no longer be required.

By using biometrics, SA immigration is helping to prevent the use of fraudulent documents, protect visitors from identify theft and to stop criminals and immigration violators from entering the country.

The baseline implementation of the Phase 1 biometric solution will be completed by 31 March 2016 after which a rollout plan will be developed to implement the capturing of biometrics at the other 67 ports of entry. I must emphasise that our ultimate aim is to capture biometrics for all travellers upon arrival and departure from the Republic at all ports of entry. 

The introduction of biometrics constitutes a key priority in the Modernisation Programme of the Department.

opinion column

Global standards are at the core of work at IATA and ICAO standards are at the core of the G lobal work of both IATA and ICAO. They

are as important today as they were when we were founded. In fact, a good argument could be made that global standards are even more important for an industry that has become integral to our modern world.  To mark IATA’s 70th anniversary, we have chosen the theme of “Flying Better. Together.” It says it all. Because of the work that airlines do through IATA, the industry creates and delivers value that could not otherwise exist. There are several challenges for the industry and by working together through IATA, they are being addressed. The top priority for the industry is safety, alongwith security. The industry has recognised the need to improve in areas such as aircraft tracking. As an outcome of ICAO’s High Level Safety Conference in February 2015, IATA worked with ICAO on the Normal Aircraft Tracking Implementation Initiative (NATII). Essentially, the purpose of the NATII was to ‘test-drive’ the proposed tracking standard and recommended practices to see if they were fit for purpose. The NATII exercises showed us that it was unrealistic to set a 2016 timeframe, and so it was pushed back to 2018. Regardless of this, many airlines are in the process of equipping and others are making improvements

or upgrades to existing tracking capabilities Sustainability is as much a part of aviation’s license to exist and grow as are safety and security. As you know, managing aviation’s international emissions is the responsibility of ICAO—a principle established at the time of the Kyoto Protocol. But COP21 is significant for the aviation industry. If it ends with an agreement in a positive political dynamic it will set the mood for a successful outcome for the important decisions on aviation and the environment that will be taken at the triennial ICAO Assembly in September-October of 2016.

Tony Tyler Director General and CEO, IATA

The industry has been consistent in asking for governments to take a global approach on aviation and climate change. We are supporting the leadership of ICAO in achieving a global agreement on a framework for a market-based measure at its Assembly. And to help governments in their difficult work, the industry has done its homework. We are united in a preference for a mandatory global carbon offset scheme as a key tool in achieving our carbon-neutral growth commitment from 2020. That combines with efforts in other areas, the results of which are seen in our continuous improvement in fuel efficiency. 

(Edited excerpts from remarks at Global Media Day)

| Manafez Dubai | January 2016 | 49

Profile for Nadd Al Shiba PR & Event Management

Manafez Dubai | January 2016  

20th Issue of the Monthly Newsletter issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai

Manafez Dubai | January 2016  

20th Issue of the Monthly Newsletter issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai