KSU Wins Best Scientific Research Award at Dubai Conference

King Saud University (KSU), represented by Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Chair for Osteoporosis Research at the Department of Biochemistry of the Faculty of Science, has won the Best Scientific Research Award at the 5th Clinical Conference & American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Gulf Chapter Annual Meeting among the 106 papers submitted to the conference held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The KSU’s research titled “The Effect of Genetic Variations in Vitamin D Protein Gene on the Response to its Supplement,” said the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

KSU is a public university in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, founded in 1957 by King Saud bin Abdulaziz as Riyadh University, as the first university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

KSU’s mission is to provide distinctive education, produce creative research, serve society and contribute in building the knowledge economy and community through learning, creative thinking environment, the optimal use of technology and effective international partnership.

Dubai Launches Trial of Flying Taxi

Dubai, London- As part of an ambitious plan adopted by the Emirati city, Dubai staged a test flight on Monday for what it said would soon be the world’s first drone taxi service.

The flying taxi developed by German drone firm Volocopter resembles a small, two-seater helicopter cabin topped by a wide hoop studded with 18 propellers. During its trial flight, the helicopter was clear of passengers.

Meant to fly without remote control guidance and with a maximum flight duration of 30 minutes, it comes with plenty of fail-safes in case of trouble: back-up batteries, rotors and, for a worst case scenario, a couple of parachutes.

Volocopter is in a race with more than a dozen well-funded European and US firms, each with its own science fiction-inspired vision for creating a new form of urban transport that is a cross between a driverless electric car and a short-haul, vertical takeoff-and-landing aircraft.

These include aerospace giant Airbus, which aims to put a self-piloting taxi in the air by 2020; Kitty Hawk, a company backed by Google co-founder Larry Page; and Uber, which is working with partners on its own flying taxi strategy.

Alexander Zosel, Volocopter’s co-founder and chief innovation officer, said in an interview with Reuters ahead of the Dubai trial: “We only go public when we can show something that flies. We show facts, not visions.”

The company performed its maiden test run in a ceremony staged for Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.

The UAE has sought to distinguish itself in a region mired in war and strife as a high-tech, forward-looking society.

Most Expensive Apartment Sold in Dubai for $27.7 Million

Dubai- A huge penthouse apartment in the Palm Jumeirah has been sold for AED102 million ($27.7 million), the most expensive in the Emirate. The previous title price tag hit AED60 million set ($16.3 million).

The announcement was made during The Cityscape Global exhibition and conference on property development in Dubai.
The triplex penthouse apartment at the One Palm, implemented by the Dubai-based Omniyat, spreads across 29,800 square feet, features several living areas, five en-suite bathrooms, and almost 11,500 sq ft of exterior space including several balconies, terraces and a rooftop area.

The triplex unit has been designed by London-based luxury design studio Elicyon, famed for its involvement in the renowned One Hyde Park building.

The buyer, an undisclosed source, bought the unit on the condition of a very specific request. Despite One Palm offering three swimming pools, the buyer asked that a 20-meter long private lap pool be built on the rooftop of his penthouse so that he could swim in private. The pool will become one of the highest and most private swimming pools in Dubai upon completion.

Situated in a prime plot on the eastern tip of the Palm Jumeirah, One Palm offers a total of 90 units. It includes three-, four- and five-bedroom residences and three triplex penthouses. A private jetty will also allow residents to dock their yachts. The project is due for completion in 2018.

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi to Skip UN General Assembly as Aid Pours in for Rohingya


Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend next week’s United Nations General Assembly as international aid poured in to the Rohingya Muslims that have continued to flow into Bangladesh to escape the violence in their country.

Suu Kyi was skipping the assembly in order address domestic security issues, according to presidential office spokesman Zaw Htay. The meeting is set for September 25.

Suu Kyi is not Myanmar’s president — her official titles are state counselor and foreign minister — but she effectively serves as leader of the Southeast Asian nation. Zaw Htay said that, with President Htin Kyaw hospitalized, the second vice president would attend the UN meeting.

“The first reason (Suu Kyi cannot attend) is because of the Rakhine terrorist attacks,” Zaw Htay said.

“The state counselor is focusing to calm the situation in Rakhine state. There are circumstances. The second reason is, there are people inciting riots in some areas. We are trying to take care of the security issue in many other places. The third is that we are hearing that there will be terrorist attacks and we are trying to address this issue.”

The crisis erupted on August 25, when an insurgent Rohingya group attacked on police outposts in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. That prompted Myanmar’s military to launch “clearance operations” against the rebels, setting off a wave of violence that have left hundreds dead and thousands of homes burned — mostly Rohingya in both cases.

The government blames Rohingya for the attacks, but journalists who visited the region found evidence that raises doubts about its claims that Rohingya set fire to their own homes.

Many of the Rohingya who flooded into refugee camps in Bangladesh told of Myanmar soldiers shooting indiscriminately, burning their homes and warning them to leave or die. Others said they were attacked by Buddhist mobs.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who lived under house arrest for many years under a military junta that ultimately gave way to an elected government, has faced a torrent of international criticism and pressure since the crisis erupted.

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said the Rohingya were victims of what “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Bangladesh has been overwhelmed with the massive influx of Rohingya, many of whom arrived hungry and traumatized after walking for days through jungles or being packed into rickety wooden boats.

Before August 25, Bangladesh had already been housing some 500,000 Rohingya refugees who fled earlier flashes of violence including anti-Muslim riots in 2012.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has pledged to help the new arrivals, but demanded that Myanmar “take their nationals back.”

With two pre-existing camps packed beyond capacity, the government said it would provide 2,000 acres (810 hectares) for a new camp in the border district of Cox’s Bazar. Many of the new arrivals were staying in schools, or were huddling under tarps in makeshift settlements along roads and in open fields.

Basic resources were scarce, including food, clean water and medical aid.

Dozens of foreign diplomats and aid agency officials were set to meet Rohingya refugees Wednesday near the Kutupalong refugee camp, according to Kazi Abdur Rahman, additional deputy commissioner in Cox’s Bazar district.

“A humanitarian crisis is going on here,” he said. The diplomats “will visit camps, talk to them, see their condition. We need to work together during such a serious crisis.”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s largest Muslim body, urged Myanmar to allow in UN monitors so they can investigate what it alleged was systematic brutality against the Rohingya. The UN Human Rights Council approved an investigative mission earlier this year, but Myanmar in June refused to allow it to enter. An envoy’s visit in July was met with protests.

Myanmar’s president office said a committee has been formed to implement recommendations for improving the security and livelihoods of the Rohingya.

Dubai’s ruler is sending a Boeing 747 cargo plane loaded with tents to shelter Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The Foreign Ministry of the United Arab Emirates said the plane is carrying over 100 metric tons (110 tons) of tents made available by the United Nations refugee agency.

The ministry said Wednesday the plane sent by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the second to leave Dubai’s International Humanitarian City in recent days. Another UNHCR shipment carried jerrycans, sleeping mats, tarps, blankets and kitchen sets.

Four Hercules planes carrying 34 tons of aid for Rohinyga refugees have departed for Bangladesh from an air force base in the Indonesian capital.

Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called for an immediate end to violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and promised significant humanitarian aid. He and other officials including his foreign minister and military chief inspected the relief operation before its departure from Halim Air Base.

Presidential spokesman Johan Budi says the planes are carrying rice, instant meals, family kits, tents, water tanks and blankets.

He said it is the first batch of aid from Indonesia following discussions with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Economic Gathering in Dubai Tackles Future of Investments

Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan, son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attends the inauguration of Italian ship Costa Deliziosa in Port Rashid Dubai

Dubai – Dubai is set to showcase opportunities for growth, innovation and future investments in its key sectors, supporting the UAE’s 2021 National Plan, through a program to be held in October under the titled of “Dubai Investment Week”.

The event aims to provide the investor community with a comprehensive view of growth opportunities, partnerships, innovation and the future of investment in all vital sectors that support the objectives of the UAE National Agenda 2021 and the Dubai 2021 Plan, a statement by the Dubai government said on Sunday.

The statement noted that Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the launch of the “Dubai Investment Week” program “follows a careful review of the current and future investment issues and trends to strengthen partnership with the UAE and global investors.”

“His Highness directed to continue working on enhancing the business readiness of Dubai, its attractiveness to receive sustainable foreign investments and the public-private partnerships in all fields,” the statement noted.

“Sheikh Hamdan said that the sustainability of FDI flows in recent years, despite global economic volatilities, is a clear demonstration of the confidence of the investor community in the plans and initiatives of the Government of Dubai and the vital role played by the emirate as a major hub in the global economy,” it added.

The event will be held from 15-19 October 2017 at the Emirates Towers Hotel and will see several discussion forums that highlight global and economic trends that concern policy makers and investors.

The program also features a forum dedicated to sustainable investment to promote regional and international integration initiatives to facilitate FDI flows in sustainable development projects, according to the statement.

Participants will include leaders in the government sector, international and regional companies and representatives of banks and investment funds, as well as official delegations, experts and specialists from international institutions and expert houses.

Amazon Completes Acquisition of Souq.com


Online retail giant Amazon completed on Monday the acquisition of Dubai-based Souq.com, the largest online retailer in the Middle East, around three months after the deal between the two sides was signed.

In a joint statement, the two retailers said that Amazon clients can use their accounts to access Souq.com’s services.

In buying Souq.com, Seattle-based Amazon will leapfrog into the crucial Mideast markets of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, where the retailer already has local operations.

No sales price has been discussed for the deal, first announced in March. However, Dubai’s state-backed Emaar Malls PJSC announced it made an $800-million bid for Souq.com in a filing on the Dubai Financial Market just before Amazon closed its deal.

Bloomberg had previously estimated that Amazon paid 650 million dollars to acquire Souq.com.

Established in 2005, the Dubai-based retailer was originally set up as a bidding site, but it was later expanded to become an online market, described as the Amazon of the Middle East.

In February 2015, it announced that it had garnered 273 million dollars from international investors to fund its future expansion plans.

Its founder, Syrian businessman Ronald Mashhour, said that the online retail market is witnessing “very rapid growth,” estimating its value in 2016 at 20 billion dollars.

The merger with Amazon, said Mashhour, will “help us offer a special service to our clients.”

Souq.com offers 8.4 million products for sale within 31 categories, including electronics, clothes, watches and furniture. It attracts over 45 million visitors a month.

Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Issues Law on Tolerance Institute


Dubai – Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued a law on the establishment of the International Institute for Tolerance. He also issued a decree to establish a Board of Trustees for the institute and another to appoint the managing director.

The law includes launching the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Tolerance Award, administered in accordance with the provision of the law, and establishing its statutes in correlation with the Institute.

According to an official statement, the International Institute for Tolerance aims to instill a spirit of tolerance in society, building a cohesive society and promoting the UAE as a role model for tolerance, anti- extremism and -all forms of discrimination among people, including discrimination based on religion, gender, race, color or language.

The law will promote tolerance, encourage open dialogue and highlight the honest and peaceful essence of Islam.

Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE has promoted the values of tolerance, coexistence and acceptance and tolerance is an essential value in building societies and plays a key role in countries’ stability and peoples’ happiness.

The ruler of Dubai added: “We seek to instill the value of tolerance, openness and dialogue among communities, and to contribute in rejecting fanaticism, extremism and narrow-mindedness.”

Rashid noted that since its establishment, the UAE has promoted the values of tolerance and has become a safe haven for people from all over the world who can find it a place without discrimination based on religion, race, gender or color.

He also said: “We look forward to leading the activities of the International Institute for Tolerance, which seeks to instill the value of tolerance and openness in young Arab leaders. We must work together toward instilling tolerance as an essential cultural component so it becomes a work approach, intellect and daily practice.”

The law also aims to honor groups and entities that contribute to entrenching the value of tolerance among people, encouraging entrepreneurship and excellence in establishing the rules of tolerance at the national and international levels, promoting interfaith dialogue and highlighting the peaceful and honest nature of Islam.

In accordance with the law, the Institute has the following functions and powers: to propose policies and legislation aimed at securing the values of tolerance and moderation in the society, and to submit them to the relevant authorities for implementation; periodically organizing international conferences related to tolerance in the State; preparing and disseminating research on the values of tolerance; managing the tolerance award and empowering it so it realize its goals; signing partnerships with the concerned cultural institutions worldwide to spread harmony and tolerance values among generations.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Tolerance Award will be handed out across five sectors – three honoring the efforts to spread the value of tolerance in philosophy, literary creativity and visual arts, and two competitions organized by the awards committee, focusing on youth projects and new media initiatives.

Dubai Launches Cyber Security Strategy

Dubai Launches Cyber Security Strategy

Dubai- Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai launched on Wednesday the “Dubai Cyber Security Strategy”, which aims at strengthening the emirate’s electronic security of information and data systems.

The new strategy will be applied in all government and private agencies and will allow individuals to enjoy the safe use of technology.

Dubai Electronic Security Center – the body in charge with implementing the strategy – will cooperate with the different government agencies in the emirate to guarantee the upgrade of the level of electronic security and the adoption of precautionary measures to ensure that information security systems are in line with international standards.

The new strategy targets five main domains, including the cyber smart nation, innovation, cyber security, cyber resilience, and national and international collaboration.

In remarks on the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed urged government and private sector institutions to work together to ensure the achievement of a secure cyberspace.

“We want to harness technology to create a new reality in Dubai and a different life, a new model of development,” he stated.

He added that cyber security represents an essential requirement in the digital era, as the world has become more interconnected with the spread of smart technologies.

The Dubai ruler underlined the importance of modern strategies that enable the UAE to maximize the benefits of technology and ensure the nation’s readiness to face any challenges it may bring.

Dubai Repays $600 Million Sukuk Certificates


Dubai – The Government of Dubai, acting through the Department of Finance (DOF), announced that the $600 million Sukuk Trust Certificates issued on 2 May 2012 under its $5 billion Trust Certificate Issuance Programme, reached maturity on 2 May 2017.

Upon maturity, all certificates were redeemed in full by making the required payment through the paying agent to the holders of the certificates, along with accrued profit.

Abdulrahman Saleh Al-Saleh, DOF Director General, said, “This settlement reaffirms Dubai Government’s commitment to deal with its repayment obligations in a proactive manner, in line with the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the ongoing support from Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and the close follow-up from Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.”

The Department of Finance was established in 1995 and is in charge of supervising accounting and financial affairs of Dubai government in addition to issuing financial statements.

DOF responsibilities also include putting annual budget of Dubai and implementing it in cooperation with relevant domestic departments, providing monetary liquidity and supervising preparation of governmental fees and resources and developing them.

Asharq Al Awsat EIC Awarded Media Personality of the Year at Dubai’s Arab Media Forum


Riyadh – The Dubai-sponsored forum for Arab Journalism presented Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Ghassan Charbel the Media Personality of the Year Award on Tuesday. Mr. Charbel was awarded at the concluding events of the Arab Media Forum.

The event was held under the patronage of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Media Incorporated Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum honored the winners of the Arab Journalism Award 2017.

Since its inception in 1999, at least 136 Arab media personalities from all media specialties and from across the Arab countries have won this coveted industry recognition.

Asharq Al-Awsat’s cartoonist Amjad Rasmi was presented with the award for his outstanding cartoon works.

Born in Beirut in 1953, Mr. Charbel began his career as an editor at Lebanon’s An Nahar newspaper in 1976. He remained in that position until 1987 when he became an editor at Agence France Presse (AFP).

In 1989, he was appointed editorial director of Asharq Al-Awsat in London before heading in 1993 to become assistant editor-in-chief of al-Wasat magazine in London. He soon became its editor-in-chief and remained in that position until 2005.

He worked as editor-in-chief of al-Hayat newspaper from 2004 until 2016 when he was appointed to his current position at Asharq Al-Awsat in London.

Throughout his long career, Mr. Charbel has conducted interviews with kings, heads of state and key political players. He has published five books to date.

More than 500 senior journalists, writers, academics and specialists have also participated as judging committee members, and more than 35 eminent media persons from different intellectual backgrounds and professional experience have served on the board of directors for the awards.

Outstanding contributions in the following 12 categories are honored at the Arab Journalism Awards: 2011 Investigative Reporting, Young Talent Journalism, Photo Journalism, Economic Journalism, Outstanding Cartoon Works, Specialized Journalism, Best Press Interviews Journalism, Best Columnist Award, and Media Personality of the Year.