Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 13 December 2018—(AETOSWire): With the support and under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the 33rd Edition of the National Festival of Heritage and Culture will be held in Janadria for 21 days from Thursday 20th December 2018 to Wednesday 9th January 2019. Organized by the Saudi Ministry of National Guard, the festival is part of the efforts to intensify attention for Saudi heritage, expose it regionally and globally and to promote dialogue among cultures and civilizations on the level of people and nations.
Janadria is the largest Saudi cultural festival that simulates the history, present and future of Saudi Arabia and the largest event of its kind in the region. Since 1985, it has witnessed extensive Saudi participation, a growing Arab and Gulf presence and an unprecedented public presence. The festival annually attracts millions of lovers of cultural heritage and originality and includes the launch of several distinctive cultural initiatives.
This year the festival is characterized by a wide and rich participation from the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the guest of honor of the festival is Indonesia, reflecting the weight of this historic, civilized and cultural country.
With a high-level official presence from the GCC and Arab countries, this year's festival will be held under the theme of ‘Wafaa wa Walaa’ – ‘Faithfulness and Loyalty. The festival will present to the public a literary and artistic distinctive work which is the opera performance ‘Tilal Ya Yaat’ performed by Mohammed Abdo and Rashid Al Majid, with the words of the poet Fahd Aft and composed by the musician Dr. Talal and with the participation of the artist Mazal Farhan for the first time.
In addition there will be the launch of the camel race heritage, a race which is the first nucleus of the Janadria Festival known more than 40 years ago which then transformed into an annual cultural and heritage festival. The festival is also unique with ‘Al Arda Art’ which represents one of the most important events and expresses the unity of the homeland and embodies the pride of the nation, its strength and cohesion.
The new edition is the largest in the history of the Festival, as it will be attended by more than 50 Saudi government institutions and sectors. The Festival will review the stands of the Saudi regions including folk shows, handicrafts, heritage collections, local food, seminars and cultural activities. The programme of folk literature at the Janadria Festival will have a wide participation of a number of famous Saudi, Emirati and Kuwaiti poets.
The festival seeks annually to provide all the amenities and needs for visitors to enjoy all its various activities and for hours spent at the event.
Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, December 15, 2018-(AETOSWire)- The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) officially announced the accreditation of the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) at its 2018 Annual Meeting which was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States of America.
SACSCOC, the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern United States, has a membership of more than 800 institutions in the Southern states and other international sites approved by SACSCOC that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and/or doctoral degrees. SACSCOC also awards accreditation to other international institutions of higher education that satisfy all its requirements and demonstrate compliance with its accreditation standards. AURAK now joins the very small group of elite international higher education institutions that have attained SACSCOC accreditation and can enjoy the diverse benefits of membership in this highly revered organization.
“Accreditation by SACSCOC signifies that the institution has a mission appropriate to higher education, has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, and maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees its offers, and that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives.”
“The culmination of the accreditation process is a public statement of an institution’s continuing capacity to provide effective programs and services based on agreed-upon requirements. The statement of an institution’s accreditation status with SACSCOC also represents an affirmation of an institution’s continuing commitment to the Commission’s principles and philosophy of accreditation.”
AURAK is a nonprofit, government-owned institution of higher education which provides the local, regional and international communities with a North American-style education integrated with Arabic customs and traditions. It is licensed by the Ministry of Education in the UAE and offers a total of 22 accredited undergraduate and graduate programs across a wide range of disciplines. Despite having this primary local accreditation, AURAK was determined to broaden its impact in higher education by obtaining internationally recognized institutional and program accreditations. To date, the institution has six programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and institutional accreditation by SACSCOC. It should be noted that in the case of institutional accreditation by SACSCOC, an institution is also expected to document and demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of all its programs and services although the agency does not award individual program accreditation.
AURAK has been working diligently towards obtaining SACSCOC accreditation since 2014 and successfully achieved candidacy status in July of 2017. This paved the way for the institution to undergo even more rigorous and comprehensive onsite review by a SACSCOC Accreditation Committee. The Committee found the institution to be in compliance with all accreditation standards and requirements. Further internal reviews were conducted by SACSCOC in keeping with its multi-tiered peer review process, the culmination of which was AURAK obtaining SACSCOC accreditation.
This was a formidable achievement that was four years in the making. It demonstrates the tenacity, determination and commitment of AURAK to achieving excellence in all its undertakings – for its students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders.
“The long- standing dream and goal has come true in a record time. The report is positive and clear.” Professor Hassan beamed proudly during the declaration of AURAK’s SACSCOC accreditation status. “Today AURAK is among the first universities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to successfully initiate and complete the entire accreditation process as an applicant institution to secure membership from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), affirming that AURAK is not only as an institution of quality among Arabic educational institutions, but also on an international level as well. This accreditation validates our claims of providing students with a highly rigorous curriculum from the credentialed and highly knowledgeable faculty we have always strived to hire and support. AURAK has achieved in a very short time what some other institutions have failed to do in decades.
I would like to seize this opportunity to thank the AURAK family and supporters for their loyalty, dedication, and hard work. Without them, AURAK would not be the exemplar of educational excellence it is. Today our aspirations and our hard work have been realized. In gaining SACSCOC membership we join a community of highly respected institutions. We look forward to offering a vast array of educational opportunities through which we will continue to develop and excel.”
Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, 17 December 2018, (AETOSWire): This New Year’s Eve, Ras Al Khaimah is the place to be as the Emirate readies to host the most spectacular celebration with a 12-minute fireworks display - the bid for a new Guinness World Record display - and an array of family-oriented activities.
Marjan, Ras Al Khaimah’s master-developer of freehold projects, will manage the show to mark 2019 with a glittering array of activities that will entertain all at its flagship development, Al Marjan Island. With three additional viewing areas around Al Marjan Island, New Year’s Eve in Ras Al Khaimah has fun and thrills in store for local and international visitors.
Abdulla Al Abdouli, Managing Director & CEO of Marjan, said: “This year, we are offering exciting family activities that will delight all in the run-up to the amazing fireworks display that aims to set a new Guinness World Record. The event will position the Emirate as the must-visit destination this season.”
Among the diverse activities are food trucks, ice cream salons, lemonade corners, colourful band performances, and children’s activities such as face painting and inflatable games. Stilt walkers, mime artists, and clowns will welcome guests with free balloons to be distributed.
The three venues to watch the fireworks are next to Al Hamra Village - Al Shohadah Street, secondly at Al Marjan Island and thirdly at Al Wasl Street between Al Marjan Island and Al Hamra Village all with special parking areas. These venues are open for free to the public and are family-friendly with the festivities going on from 5pm on December 31 to 2am on January 1.
Do not miss the opportunity to visit Ras Al Khaimah and enjoy a memorable evening. For world-class hospitality, book your hotel early and enjoy unique beachfront experiences on Al Marjan Island as well as be part of an amazing celebration that will include numerous innovative features.
Having set a Guinness World Record in 2018 for the ‘largest aerial firework shell’, this year’s festivities can be enjoyed from three venues that will be transformed into a family zone with exciting activities for all members.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 16 December 2018, (AETOSWire): SHUAA Capital, the UAE’s premier financial services Group, is pleased to announce the commencement of its post-acquisition integration and consolidation efforts with Kuwait based Amwal International Investment Company (“Amwal”), following the recent completion of the public tender acquisition process, and Amwal shareholders’ General Assembly that was held on 12th December 2018. As part of the General Assembly’s outcome, Amwal announced a new Board of Directors consisting of Bader Al Reizhan, Fawad Tariq Khan, Khaleefa Al Mheiri, Oliver Lee, Ali Tariq, Adil Mustafa and Abdullah Galadari.
The acquisition of Amwal aligns perfectly with SHUAA’s vision of delivering long-term shareholder value, in addition to the prospects of meaningful synergies between SHUAA Capital’s existing capital markets business and Amwal’s key subsidiary, ‘Noor Capital Markets’.
Noor Capital Markets is the region’s leading homegrown online FOREX, Commodities and Contract for Difference (“CFD”) trading platform that is highly regarded for being the best in class service offering and quality execution.
Fawad Tariq-Khan, Chief Executive Officer of SHUAA Capital, said: “The commencement of this consolidation exercise represents the culmination of our efforts in establishing a broad geographic footprint across the region’s strongest markets. From our heritage in the UAE, and now in our six well-placed jurisdictions, we are well positioned to tap into a diverse range of growing markets. We are excited about the potential to take our expertise into Kuwait, Turkey and Jordan, as well as bringing Noor Capital Markets’ services and offerings to our home territories. We believe that we have a winning combination which will support our continued transformation on the path to sustainable profitability”.
Fawad explains further, “Ultimately, it is our clients who will benefit from our ability to deliver a broader range of services and synergies that we will realize between SHUAA Capital , Amwal and Noor Capital Markets. This combination clearly demonstrates SHUAA’s ability to identify, structure and complete complex Mergers and Acquisitions transactions to complement SHUAA Capital’s organic growth plan. We continue to carefully appraise selected opportunities that we believe will generate incremental revenue and will deliver long term shareholder value.”
Mr. Khurram Sayeed, CEO of Noor Capital Markets, said “SHUAA Capital is a natural fit, for our trading business Noor Capital Markets, when you consider its diversified regional presence and experience. Clear synergies can be delivered with our combined efforts and business verticals across new markets including Kuwait, Jordan and Turkey. For Noor Capital Markets, we have built a successful industry-leading business in a relatively short period of time and are excited by the tremendous prospects of delivering a combined business plan alongside SHUAA Capital”.
In addition to the above, Kuwait’s promotion to the FTSE Russell Emerging Markets Index in September is expected to attract significant inflows of investment. In Jordan and Turkey, regulatory reforms are being implemented to support their capital markets’ growth and their implications on broader economies. For instance, despite a challenging economic backdrop in Jordan, last year Foreign Direct Investment inflows totaled USD 1.6 billion, representing growth of 7.5%. Meanwhile, in 2017, Turkey’s Boursa Istanbul recorded growth of 43% year-on-year in terms of the market value of stocks traded, demonstrating its regional significance and appeal. Boursa Istanbul is one of the largest exchanges in Europe with over c. USD 2 billion traded daily on average.
Amwal International Investment Company holds an investment company license regulated by the Capital Markets Authority in Kuwait and a lending license regulated by the Central Bank of Kuwait. Financial earnings are expected to be consolidated during Q4 2018.
About SHUAA Capital psc: Established in 1979, and often considered to be the most recognized financial advisory and investment firm in the Middle East, SHUAA Capital psc (‘SHUAA’) is an integrated financial services firm headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. The firm services corporate and institutional clients, governments, family businesses and high-net-worth-individuals with expertise in the areas of Asset Management, Investment Banking, Capital Markets, Securities Brokerage and Credit. SHUAA is a public shareholding company with its shares listed on the Dubai Financial Market. The firm is regulated as a financial investment company by the UAE Central Bank and the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority.
The firm owns and operates subsidiaries based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Arab Republic of Egypt. They are SHUAA Capital - Saudi Arabia which operates as a Saudi Capital Markets Authority licensed investment bank, Gulf Finance UAE making up its Lending division, along with Gulf Finance Saudi Arabia its SAMA-regulated Shari’ah-compliant lending arm, Amwal International Investment Company- a CMA licensed financial services institution and SHUAA Securities – Egypt specializing in brokerage services for institutional, corporate and retail clients with seamless access to regional markets. www.shuaa.com
Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, 9 December 2018, (AETOSWire): The Department of International Programs and Partnerships of the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) participated in the global "International Education Week" by promoting cultural understanding with a series of events and activities, introducing students to the opportunities at AURAK for Study Abroad and Student Exchange.
AURAK is a public, non-profit, independent, coeducation institution accredited by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research devoted to delivering an integrated American-style, undergraduate and graduate education strongly focused on the native culture.
The “International Education Week” is a three-day extravaganza encouraging student involvement in the international travel opportunities offered at AURAK. The Dean of the Office of Academic Support Services, Professor Steven Zani, launched off the first day with a welcoming speech of anecdotes of his college study abroad experiences, illustrating how “It changes your life.” He emphasized differences between tourism and travel. Tourism is a short trip resulting in a superficial view of the country and travel is an extended stay in which a person experiences day-to-day cultural traditions. Study abroad and exchange programs allow students this extended experience, providing an authentic cultural experience, teaching tolerance, and changing lives forever.
Day one continued with a presentation differentiating between the study abroad and exchange programs and describing the requirements for each. American visiting student, Tyler Kleinsasser, and French exchange student, Radostina Trifonova, presented over their Ras Al Khaimah and AURAK experiences. Tyler reported about his preconceived apprehensions about living in the culture, but he learned quickly that his fears were unfounded and has felt right at home. He already has plans for future international travel. The day ended with a potluck lunch featuring several international dishes. The rest of the week was filled with international games and a movie, celebrating AURAK's variety of identities and nations.
AURAK President, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, is enthusiastic about student involvement in this program, “The more we learn of each other’s cultures, the more we understand, and the less we fear one another. Programs like these enables us to break the chains of fear and live fuller, more enterprising lives.”
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 9 December 2018, (AETOSWire): Saja Hotels & Resorts, the leading Saudi hotel and condominium management and operation company, has recently celebrated the first anniversary of its Saja AlMadinah Hotel in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, marking a successful year of astounding services provided to visitors to the holy city of Madinah.
Strategically located in the Northern side of the central area of Madinah; the four-star hotel is just steps away from the Prophet's (PBUH) Mosque in the city.
Mr. Mohannad Bin Nabeel Khogeer, Chief Executive Officer of Saja Company commented, “We are extremely proud to celebrate the first anniversary of Saja AlMadinah Hotel, the renowned national brand in Saudi Arabia. The past year demonstrated our success in providing visitors to Madinah with the best convenient accommodation in the city, making their Hajj and Umrah trips an unforgettable experience.”
“Our long standing experience in hospitality that exceeds 40 years was a game changer in creating our success during the first year of operations. We have set future expansion plans that include managing and operating other hotels in different cities, and utilize our expertise in providing management services for hotels for further plans. Our efforts in this regard are in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 that aims to increase the number of pilgrims and Umrah visitors,” he added.
With its 544 rooms, an executive floor, relaxing lounge, gym and a dedicated restaurant serving delicious international cuisine options; Saja AlMadinah Hotel was able during the past year to welcome more than 350,000 Guests, achieve a record number of more than 110,000 room bookings, serve around 120,000 meals, receive guests from over 80 nationalities and obtain the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification.
Notably, Saja AlMadinah Hotel boasts high-quality integrated hospitality services to assist visitors perform their religious rituals in the holy city with ease and comfort. It also provides them with the convenience of being close to the Prophet's (PBUH) Mosque in Madinah, in a hotel that enjoys a unique blend of luxurious economy and authenticity, which stands out among other four-star hotels. Saja AlMadinah’s professional multi-lingual and highly trained team helps break down the language barrier and meet the needs of visitors from around the world with high quality services.
Empowering sustainability is going to be an essential
component of rebuilding economy efforts in Iraq, notes Frost & Sullivan’s Energy Practice
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 09 December 2018, (AETOSWire): Blessed with an abundance of solar and wind resources, Iraq is now seeking to diversify its energy dependency away from fossil fuels within the next decade, and enhance the energy mix. The country is expected to supply over 10% of its energy needs by 2028 from sustainable resources, by opting to build large-scale Solar, Wind and Biomass facilities.
The war-torn country suffers from serious electricity shortage due to insufficient generating capacity and constantly increasing demand which is now outpacing capacity expansion. The ISIS aggression in June 2014 reduced the available generation capacity from 28,680 MW to about 24,020 MW. While demand is 17,000 MW, the output of electricity averaged less than 11,300 MW in 2017. Power supply availability is less than 15 hours/day from the public network. This has forced Iraqi citizens to rely on private diesel generators to fill the gap. Considering the current electricity demand growth rate of 6%, the country needs an additional capacity of 20,000 MW to serve demand of over 32,500 MW by 2028.
“To move towards a sustainable economy, Iraq’s electricity infrastructure requires significant investment in capacity expansion, efficiency improvements through retrofits, and renewables-based generation capacity. There is also a pressing need to repair and upgrade transmission lines and substations, to cut down on transmission and distribution losses. This kind of electricity development programme in Iraq requires over USD 50 billion of capital within 2018-2028, presenting significant opportunities for companies that supply to this industry” said Ali Mirmohammad, Sr. Consultant and Business Development Manager at Frost & Sullivan.
For more information on this analysis and to access the infographics, click here.
Iraq holds large reserves of natural gas that can be used for the development of combined-cycle gas turbine plants. Besides, an average irradiation of 5.6 kWh/m2/day with over 3000 hours of bright sunshine per year offers significant opportunities for development of solar energies across the country.
With great efforts, Iraq is on the path to end the practice of flaring gas from its southern oil-producing fields and is also expected to install more gas processing facilities to not only cut gas imports but also provide more feedstock to power generation plants from 2021 onwards. The country’s renewable and energy efficiency development programmes have now received strong support from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), besides the World Bank.
By 2028, Iraq is expected to have an installed capacity of over 5 GW of solar energy, about 1 GW of wind Energy and around 0.2 GW of Bioenergy. This would present great opportunities for private investors and technology providers to get involved in capacity expansions, upgrades and localisations, said Mirmohammad.
As far as the federal budget deficit is concerned, the government of Iraq is simply unable to self-fund the necessary investments in the renewable energy sector. To involve the private sectors and boost FDI, the government offers significant incentives and initiatives to investors in this sector. This includes tax holidays, customs incentives, investor-favourable tariffs, land rights and infrastructure, NIC support in obtaining permits and licenses, and some guarantees for eligible projects identified by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
Wind energy in Iraq is still to be tapped. No significant activity has been carried out in this sector, in contrast to the focus solar energy has received from both government and private sectors in Iraq. However, the Kurdistan Regional Government is planning to augment its much needed electricity from wind and hydropower sources. The KRG ministry has proposed wind farm feasibility studies in all of its three northern Iraq provinces, apart from three hydropower feasibility studies. All the wind sites will be selected at Iraq's Dohuk, Erbil and Sulaimaniya provinces.
Use of Rooftop photovoltaics (PV) in Iraq among home and shop owners has increased significantly within the past two years especially in northern area of Iraq to smoothen power outages. “Iraq presents a strong potential for deployment of off-grid, and distributed solar PV solutions at a micro level. These solutions would present a valid replacement for the extensive deployment of diesel gensets that are currently being used all over the country” notes Abhay Bhargava, Frost & Sullivan’s Director for Industrial Practice, Middle East Africa region.
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