Category Archives: Political

World’s largest statistical map in the UAE

From TheNational.ae

The Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi unveils 170m-long statistical map for National Day

ABU DHABI // The Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi has documented the astounding growth of the city over the decades with what it says is the world’s largest statistical map.

Called Abu Dhabi Over Half a Century, the 170m-long display, located close to Marina Mall, details the significant developments in the capital’s history.

Statisticians spent two years collecting data documenting the socioeconomic rise of Abu Dhabi between the 1960s and 2012 for the project, which is open to the public until December 7, with free admission.

“It captures all the major turning points from all the decades,” said Sameth Raafat, a statistician with the centre. “It highlights how we’ve grown in the last 50 years.”

Visitors to the outdoor exhibit were presented with a beautifully packaged collection of books – one for each decade – chronicling the city’s rise to power.

The first book opens with a quote from Sheikh Zayed: “History is a continuum of events, the present only an extension of the past. So he who does not know his past cannot make the best of his present or future, for it is from the past that we learn.”

Kashif Hussain, a 27-year-old Pakistani who has lived in Abu Dhabi for nearly two years, said the exhibit was a good addition to the National Day celebrations.

“It’s important so we know the history of UAE,” Kashif said.

Vasu Deevi, a 30-year-old Indian who was strolling along the timeline map with his wife, Sireesha, also praised the project.

“This is fantastic, you can see how they grew,” Vasu said. “Even the design, it’s very nice.”

The Abu Dhabi Over Half a Century books are also available online at scad.ae

rpennington@thenational.ae

UAE’s first satellite atlas launched

UAE’s first satellite atlas launched: http://bit.ly/Vxcdep
(GulfNews.com)

By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter
Published: Jan 13, 2013 8:11 PM

Dubai: The UAE’s first atlas based on satellite images from DubaiSat 1 has been launched by Emirates Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST).

The atlas, built entirely by a team of Emirati cartographers, engineers and researchers, is the first of its kind in the UAE and uses most updated live images.

From the skyscrapers of Dubai to the emptiest expanse of Rub Al Khali, the atlas covers the entire country and gives a bird’s eye view of every corner of the UAE.

“Our idea is to let people see the recourses we have and to give them a different view about the UAE and in the long run we feel this atlas could be used in schools and universities,” said Khalid Al Suwaidi, assistant researcher at EIAST and a member of the team that compiled the atlas.

The 127 page compilation includes 70 high quality images of 2.5m resolution each, showing various areas of the country in great detail, while a graphic road map compares each image, giving additional information.

“We have chosen the best and most recent pictures out of the archive of 9,000 images that we have, so that people can see the recent developments of the country,” said Ammar Al Muhair, who is the leader of the that worked on the project.

According to EIAST, the images in the atlas are more recent than those found on Google Earth and other websites.

Some of the most striking images in the atlas are of the Ferrari World, Saadiyat Island, Palm Islands and Al Maktoum International Airport.

The task, which took eight months to complete, beginning from April 2012, wasn’t as easy as selecting pictures and printing them.

“We had people from different departments working together. First of all we had to look for images that didn’t have any errors or clouds in them, then we needed to make sure the image is recent and then we processed it. We did this for all 70 pictures one by one and the task wasn’t as easy as it sounds,” said Obaid Al Shehi, another assistant researcher and member of the team.

On a number of occasions more than one image had to be merged together to get the best product out, each covering a distance of 20 square kilometres.

The atlas, which is in Arabic, covers 83,600 square kilometres, and will be out in the market next month.

Jawahir Jassim Al Mansoori, a graphic designer who worked on the atlas page by page since the beginning said: “It was a very hard beginning, especially that I was working alone on such a huge project. But I accepted this as a challenge and I received great support from my colleagues. Since I was the graphic designer, I had put different ideas of how the atlas was going to look like before putting all my ideas in order and started designing the cover which symbolises DubaiSat-1’s position up in space providing the country with all these satellite images. I feel extremely proud of this project which I dedicate entirely to our UAE leadership.”

An English version of the atlas is also in the pipeline, which will be complete with updated images and additional details.

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.

business@thenational.ae

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.

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.

amustafa@thenational.ae