Abu Dhabi seeks closer cultural ties with world’s largest festival site

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) has signed a letter of cooperation with Southbank Centre, the world’s largest festival site, home to the Royal festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, and four world-class orchestras. The agreement covers common principles, goals and areas of common interest for joint collaboration in culture and education, a statement said. It added that the letter was signed by Huda Ebrahim Alkhamis OBE, founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and Jude Kelly CBE, artistic director of the Southbank…

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Bahrain's Sheikh Salman hails World Cup allocation increase

Asian football chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has hailed the continent’s proposed allocation for the expanded 48-team 2026 World Cup. FIFA recommendations released on Thursday revealed that Asia will see its allocation doubled from a guaranteed four spots to eight. Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman said the allocation was “a fair distribution”. All regions will see an increase in their allocation for the 2026 finals while there will also be a six team play-off to decide the final two spots, meaning the possibility of Asia getting a…

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Kuwaiti woman held for filming maid's suicide attempt

Kuwaiti police have detained a woman for filming her Ethiopian maid falling from the seventh floor in an apparent suicide attempt without trying to rescue her, media and a rights group said Friday. The Kuwaiti woman filmed her maid land on a metal awning and survive, then posted the incident on social media, Al-Seyassah newspaper reported. The 12-second video shows the maid hanging outside the building, with one hand tightly gripping the window frame, as she begs for help in an apparent last-minute change of mind. The woman holding the…

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Saudi domestic tourism set for major surge by 2020

Government led investment is driving a surge in domestic tourism across Saudi Arabia – with experts predicting a 40 percent surge in the number of internal trips made between 2015 and 2020. The Euromonitor International Tourism Forecast report, prepared ahead of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2017, has revealed record levels of domestic travel within the kingdom. Following the announcement of Saudi Vision 2030 – the country’s attempt to become the world’s leading Arab nation – vast initiatives have been launched aiming at encouraging Saudis to explore all the kingdom…

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Pacquiao back in talks after collapse of UAE fight plan

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is back in talks for a possible fight with unbeaten Australian Jeff Horn, the Filipino world champion’s adviser said Friday. The announcement follows the much-publicised collapse of a $38 million bout between Pacquiao and Britain’s Amir Khan, reportedly after investors in the United Arab Emirates failed to come up with the money. “We are discussing the matter with (US promoter Bob) Arum,” Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told AFP by text message, when asked if his boxer would sign a contract Friday to fight Horn. Top Rank…

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UAE healthcare market to be worth $28bn by 2021

The UAE’s healthcare market is set to surge to more than AED103 billion ($28 billion) by 2021 – reperesenting 60 percent growth over the next five years, according to a report. Expected improvements in the quality of healthcare provision, together with rising demand for preventative care and digital medical services will help to fuel massive growth of the industry, the study by MENA Research Partners (MRP) said. Increased investor interest in emerging sectors such as the cutting-edge medical device market will also play a role in expanding the current AED64…

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UAE eyes new law to lure more foreign investors in industry

Emirati investments in the industrial sector amounted to AED112 billion ($30.4 billion) in 2016, accounting for 86 percent of the total investments, according to UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri has said. The minister told Arabic language daily, Al Ittihad, that the total investments in the country’s industrial sector rose to AED130 billion by the end of 2016. Foreign investments in the sector were worth AED14 billion, similar to that invested by GCC citizens. In comments published by state news agency WAM, he said the UAE government…

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Qatar Airways to launch laptop loan service after US ban

Qatar Airways has announced a solution to the recently imposed electronics ban by offering passengers a laptop loan service on its flights to the United States.The Doha-based airline said in a statement that it has taken the step to purchase laptops available for loan on all of their US flights to allow “uninterrupted productivity and service” throughout the journey. Qatar Airways group CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “We truly appreciate the importance of being able to work on board our aircraft and that is why I have insisted on offering…

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Nearly 40,000 Toyota vehicles recalled in the UAE

Al-Futtaim Motors, the exclusive distributor of Toyota in the UAE, on Thursday said it has commenced a service campaign for 39,294 vehicles in the country having potentially faulty airbag inflators.“Following communication with Toyota Motor Corporation, we have started a special service campaign on additional 39,294 vehicles in the UAE, including Corolla MY 2010 to 2013,  Yaris MY 2012 and Alphard MY 2011 and 2013,” the company said. The involved vehicles are equipped with Takata-produced front driver and/or passenger airbag inflators which contain propellants that could degrade after prolonged exposure to…

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Abu Dhabi's TAQA posts $5bn loss for 2016

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA), the state-controlled oil explorer and power supplier, on Thursday reported a full-year loss of 18.55 billion dirhams ($5.05 billion) for 2016.The net loss was largely fuelled by a 16.9 billion dirham post-tax impairment, related to its oil and gas assets, due to the lower commodity price environment, TAQA said in a statement. TAQA, 75 percent-owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, recorded a net loss of 1.8 billion dirhams for the previous year. It did not provide a quarterly earnings breakdown for 2016. Like…

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