Guinness entry for Maqta Fort model in aluminium cans

Guinness entry for Maqta Fort model in aluminium cans


A group of Emirati youths has made a model of Abu Dhabi’s historic Al Maqta Fort using empty aluminium cans, breaking the previous Guinness record made by Japanese earlier in the year.
To enter their sculpture into the Guinness World Records, 30 trainees working at Mubadala and Dubal-owned smelter Emirates Aluminium (Emal) in Taweelah, used 46,566 empty cans -against 35,679 cans used by Japanese in September- to make their real-sized sculpture. They spent 50.5 hours to build the sculpture. The cans were produced from the Aluminum smeltered at Emal in Abu Dhabi.

The record breaking model, built on the beaches of Emal plant in Taweelah near Dubai, is 5.67 metres tall, with a base diametre of 3.99 metres and top diametre of 2.06 metres.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Eisa Al Falasi, who was a member of the team that built the model, said their project started earlier this year, with a plan to use 25,000 cans only. “But, we had to change our plans in September when we came to know that Japanese used 35,679 cans.”

“The model is 1/3rd of the actual size of the fort,” Al Falasi said.

He said that he and his friends put in real hard work for obtaining the drawings of Maqta Fort from the authorities and using computer animation and models in order to construct it can by can.

Hundreds of family members of Emal staff, who were present on the occasion, cheered the team with excitement when the officials from the Guinness World Records announced the successful entry of the record.

UAE cities top in Arab world for quality of life

UAE cities top in Arab world for quality of life

Abu Dhabi and Dubai rank highest in the Arab world for quality of life and infrastructure, according to a survey by the HR consultancy Mercer.

For overall quality of life, Abu Dhabi ranks 78th globally – level with last year – while Dubai edged up one place to 73rd, according to Mercer’s rankings.

That puts the two UAE cities ahead of others in the Middle East and North Africa, with the next highest in Mercer’s ranking being Oman, which was placed 103rd.

“That the two UAE cities maintained and exceeded their high ranking shows that development is up to par with major cities around the world,” Mercer said.

Dubai – which opened its Metro system in 2009 – ranked 34th globally in terms of its infrastructure, ahead of cities including Geneva, Miami and San Francisco.

Quality of life in Cairo and Damascus fell sharply in Mercer’s rankings due to the impact of social unrest, the survey found.

Mercer’s study measures elements including social and economic conditions, plus the availability of medical, education, transportation and recreational facilities.

Vienna retained the top spot in Mercer’s ranking, followed by Zurich at second and Auckland third. Baghdad ranked lowest among the global rankings for quality of life.

UAE ranks 20th in merchandise trade

UAE ranks 20th in merchandise trade


UAE is the world’s 20th biggest exporter in merchandise trade, according to the most recent classification done by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Secretariat for 2011, surpassing countries like Australia, Brazil, Switzerland and Sweden.

The UAE exported $285 billion in merchandise trade, next to India (19th position) with exports of $297 billion, according to the WTO report. The UAE constituted 1.6 per cent of the world’s exports which stood at $18.21 trillion of merchandise trade in 2011.

These figures were released on the sidelines of the announcement of the 27th International Autumn Trade Fair (IATF2012), the region’s pioneer consumer goods show, which will be held from December 11–13, 2012 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“The report also says that the UAE is the world’s 25th importer in merchandise trade, having imported merchandise worth $205 billion in 2011, 1.1 per cent of the world’s imports of $18.38 trillion. The USA tops the list of importers with $2.26 trillion of imports in 2011. The UAE was ahead of countries like Austria, Malaysia and Sweden in import value, which speaks volumes on the leading position of the country in the global trade in both imports and exports,” said Satish Khanna, general manager of Al Fajer Information and Services, organiser of the show.

“Considering the remarkable role played by the UAE in the global trade, we anticipate great success for IATF 2012, which is regarded the leading regional buyer-seller meeting ground for the consumer goods segment in the Arab region. The show will feature 400 exhibitors from 20 countries. Ranked as one of the more popular general trade fairs in the region, IATF 2012 will occupy 8000 square meters of space,” Khanna added.

The exhibition’s significance is being held at a time when global consumer goods manufacturers are shifting their focus to developing economies. Dubai is ideally poised to gain as a trading hub for consumer goods being surrounded by fast growing markets of the Sub Continent and Africa.

This year, the fair will host the official national pavilions of six countries, occupying 90 per cent of the 8,000-square metres of exhibition space. The national pavilions will include 225 exhibitors from China, 35 from Hong Kong, 15 from Korea, 30 from India, 20 from Taiwan and 10 from Pakistan. Other countries participating at IATF2012 at individual levels include UAE, Netherlands, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran.

Khanna added: “IATF12 will unveil an exciting mix of products comprising cosmetics, foodstuffs, electronics, household appliances, plastic household products, toys, stationery, electrical items, handicrafts, carpets, garments, textiles, house ware, kitchen ware, sanitary ware, novelties, machinery, machine tools, hardware accessories and dairy products.” 

Biggest National ID card makes it into world record book

Biggest National ID card makes it into world record book

By Nada AlTaher Staff Reporter
Published: Dec 4, 2012 7:19 PM

Photo 1 of 1
Abu Dhabi: The biggest Identification Card was revealed on Tuesday by the Sultan Bin Zayed Culture and Media Centre holding President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s name and picture.

This initiative came under a National Day Project for the Culture and Media Centre called Khalifa in the World’s Languages.

Abdullah Fadel Al Muhairbi from the the Diwan said: “On this day which extends our celebration of the 41st National Day, we are honoured to reveal this National ID card which has now entered the Guinness Book of World Records as it is also considered the first idea of its kind in the book.”

Regional director of Guinness World Records, Talal Omar, said that the idea came form the Sultan Bin Zayed Culture and Media Centre and is an identical copy of the original National ID card which meets all the standards required to break the world record.

The card is 1.4 metres long and 0.86 metres wide making it almost 20 times the size of the original National ID card. According to the Guinness representative, the UAE is in the lead among its Middle Eastern counterparts as it currently holds 110 world records.

Abu Dhabi: The best liveable city

Abu Dhabi: The best liveable city


Abu Dhabi has been named the best liveable large city in the world, fending off a field of tough international competition.
The country’s capital city took gold in the International Awards for Liveable Communities, in the cities with populations over 400,000 category — beating out 11 other finalists, including Ankara and New Taipei.

The LivCom awards, hosted in Al Ain from November 22 to 26, included finalists from 32 countries and 60 cities, with Abu Dhabi emerging as the winner in the largest city category, after a grueling one hour submission on six main criteria, including natural and built environment; environmental best practices; healthy lifestyle; community participation; arts, culture and heritage; and city planning.

The finalists were filtered out after a preliminary round in July.

An Abu Dhabi Municipality spokeswoman said many people were surprised with just how accomplished the UAE capital was, as it did not have the same profile as many big cities, or even sister city Dubai.

“People were very, very impressed…I don’t think people realise how much is going on in Abu Dhabi, it’s a very low profile city.”

Even many of the city’s residents would be unaware of the great availability of health and community services, or environmental initiatives happening.

“I don’t think people recognise what’s going on…there’s a lot of awareness to be had. In the next couple of years a lot’s going to happen…and already there’s a lot going on. There’s wonderful things on the ground.”

While Ankara was a well-established city, the toughest competition came from some of the up-and-coming Chinese cities, the spokeswoman said.

But it was Abu Dhabi’s ability to show the city’s good habits were long-standing, and it was not just “hopping on the bandwagon” of in-vogue ideas.

“This leader (President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan), even before people were talking about environmental best practices he planted nine million trees…people are shocked with what he did for sustainabilty (and) what he did for engagement.”

The spokeswoman said that once the basics had been established, the discerning judging panel wanted specific details about quality of life.

“We didn’t fudge anything, they asked tough questions…we said the way it is, ‘We’re not perfect on air quality but we’re generally good, here’s some issues we’re dealing with’.”

And the best was yet to come, she said, as Abu Dhabi became an iconic city in its own right.

“Yes there are many things we have to learn about the world, but we’re coming into our own (and now) there’s many cities that are coming to us to see how we’re doing it.”

Launched in 1997, the awards have been endorsed by the United Nations, and were considered “the sole international competition focusing on the best global practices related to the management of the local environment”, Abu Dhabi Municipality said.

Sharjah sets record with largest human image<

Sharjah sets record with largest human image


The record for the largest number of people forming a single image has been swept up by the Sharjah Police Academy, which got together 4,000 people to replicate an image of the country’s Rulers.
The record-breaker, on Monday, featured the faces of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates. The previous record was held by Pakistan, where 1,936 people took part.

Also, more than 21000 national and expatriate students and people from Sharjah schools, universities, military academies and government departments gathered to form a huge human flag. However, the attempt did not break the record of the world’s largest human flag formed by more than 24,000 people in Pakistan last October.

Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, attended the ceremony organised by the Sharjah Police and Sharjah Police Academy in recognition of the upcoming 41st National Day, on December 2.

The ceremony was also attended by Shaikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, Shaikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, chairman of Central Department of Finance, and a number of shaikhs and department directors.

Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police Major-General Humaid Mohammed Al Hadidi said the event was made to express the depth of belonging and pride in this great nation felt by police. “And (to) express the noblest meaning of loyalty and gratitude for the leadership and in calling the whole world to be a witness of the sincerity of emotion, depth of love, respect and appreciation… between (the) nation and its leadership.”

(With inputs from Wam)

UAE ranks 5th in world for order

UAE ranks 5th in world for orderp

ABU DHABI // The UAE has ranked fifth in the world in providing order and security for its residents.

And for the second consecutive year, the Emirates took top place in the Middle East for the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index.

The country’s global performance was one place better than last year, although this year’s index covered 97 countries compared with 66.

The Rule of Law Index is administered by the non-profit group World Justice Project (WJP) and was released yesterday.

It measures the adherence of countries to the rule of law, and shows changes in those countries over time, providing governments, businesses, NGOs and civil society with a tool to plan targeted, effective reforms.

The UAE scored top grades regionally in the absence of corruption, order and security, regulatory enforcement, access to civil justice and effective criminal justice.

“The UAE leads the region in several dimensions of the rule of law,” the report said. “Public institutions in the country are relatively well developed and free of corruption, and government officers are held accountable for misconduct.”

It added the country is safe from crime and violence, and the civil court system is efficient and relatively independent.

Globally, the UAE ranked in order and security behind only Singapore, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

The country’s criminal justice system ranked 12th due to the effective investigations system used, the report stated.

For the absence of corruption and regulatory enforcement, the UAE made 23rd and 24th of the 97 countries.

But the report also stated that discrimination against “marginalised groups is a problem”, and that the formal system of checks and balances remains weak.

The UAE leads the Middle East and North Africa in most dimensions of the rule of law, followed by Tunisia and Jordan.

“Achieving the rule of law is a constant challenge and a work in progress in all countries,” said WJP founder William H Neukom.

“The WJP’s Rule of Law Index is not designed to shame or blame but to provide useful reference points for countries in the same regions.”

The report was based on a series of scenario questions posed to legal experts in each country.

For fundamental rights the UAE, which ranked second to Lebanon last year, dropped three places to fifth in the region.

In spite of the UAE’s strengths, “the formal system of checks and balances remains weak, and fundamental rights are curtailed (ranking 82nd), including labour rights, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom from arbitrary interference with privacy and freedom of opinion and expression”.

For the second year running, Ebrahim El Saddig, a partner at the international law firm SNR Denton & Co in Dubai, authored the UAE report.

But this year he was joined by seven other legal practitioners in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, and an undisclosed number of anonymous contributors, the report shows.

“The WJP report shows the nexus between good governance, the rule of law and the ability to attract investments,” Mr El Saddig said aftre the release of last year’s report.

UAE holds world’s largest biometric database

Abu Dhabi: The UAE holds the largest biometric database in the world, the Emirates Identity Authority has announced.

The population register of Emirates ID has over 103 million digital fingerprints and over 15 million digital facial recognition records, which includes multiple records of each UAE resident, and digital signatures as of October 11, senior officials said.

This biometric database is considered to be the largest in the world, according to a statement issued by the authority.

Dr. Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Emirates ID, said the authority has submitted an official application to the World Record Academy to recognise this record.

Asked about the confirmation of the authority’s claims about the world record, an official spokesman of the authority told Gulf News on Sunday: “We have made worldwide surveys and enquiries with the similar official authorities and agencies of the world governments holding such databases and confirmed that our database is the largest.

“The World Record Academy also confirmed to us that no other government or authority has made a similar claim for such a record,” he said.

The spokesman clarified that the authority did not apply for Guinness World Records because they have not listed such a record.

World Record Academy is the leading international organisation which certifies world records.

Its website says 90 per cent of the new world records applications are verified within three days.

Emirates ID said by implementing a new strategic plan by the end of 2009, it doubled the enrolment in the population register and hence the number of fingerprint records of individuals was increased by several times during the past three years.

About 14 million digital fingerprints were recorded as of September 2009. But it was increased to 102 million by the end of last month (September 2012).

Dr. Al Khouri said the comprehensive database of residents’ biometrics will contribute and support projects related to the UAE’s national vision 2021, aimed at enhancing the security and advancement of society, as well as supporting e-government projects through authenticating personal identity in e-transactions carried out on the internet.

This will help hinder the risk of identity theft that increases day by day worldwide, he said.


Sharjah to raise world’s seventh tallest flagpole

Sharjah to raise world’s seventh tallest flagpole

By Jumana Khamis, Staff Reporter
Published: Nov 21, 2012 12:00 AM
Sharjah: Shurooq, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority which is constructing a 123 metre-high flagpole on Flag Island, is planning to raise the 7th tallest flagpole in the world on December 2, the UAE’s 41st National Day.

The project, set to be completed on November 25 is organised in collaboration with the Sharjah Department of Public Works and a number of government bodies. Located opposite the area previously known as Montazah Al Jazeera, facing the governmental buildings in Sharjah, the project has also been taken on by Trident Support, the company which is also credited with constructing the world’s tallest flagpole in Tajikistan.

“This National Day, the emirate of Sharjah will be sharing their pride in the Emirates by raising the UAE’s national flag on one of the tallest poles in the world,” said Shaikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).

Standing as high as the one in Abu Dhabi, the flagpole was commissioned only six weeks prior to National Day.

The flagpole which was designed to be a centrepiece of a tourist attraction, will eventually include an open amphitheatre, art gallery, shops, restaurants and cafes, explained Shurooq CEO, H.E Marwan Bin Jasem Al Sarkal.

“The pole is to be transported to the location in 12-metre pieces and then assembled in place,” added Al Sarkal pointing out that the flag is half way through its installation process.

The island which is surrounded by a panoramic view of the landscape will also hold several performances on December 2 in celebration of the UAE National Day.