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Dubai completes solar plant to power 50,000 homes
22 March 2017 - Dubai today [20 March] completed a solar plant big enough to power 50,000 homes as part of a plan to generate three-quarters of its energy from renewables by 2050. The 200 megawatt plant sprawls over 4.5 square kilometres of desert and includes some 2.3 million photovoltaic panels. The project is the 'largest and first solar power project of its kind in the region', said Dubai Electricity and Water Authority chief Saeed al-Tayer. Dubai is part of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, but has few oil reserves itself. (more)

Could UAE solar push lead a trend for the Gulf?
23 May 2016 - As the Gulf states take steps to expand their use of clean energy, a bold plan by the United Arab Emirates to boost its use of renewable electricity from less than 1 percent to 24 percent in the next five years could be a game-changer for the region, experts say. Much of the world is moving away from oil for its electricity generation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which says that globally the fossil fuel has dropped from a 25 percent share to 3.6 percent over the last four decades. (more)

Abu Dhabi utility invites construction bids for 350 MW solar project
16 May 2016 - Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority has invited bids from construction companies to build a 350 megawatt solar plant in the emirate, state news agency WAM said on Monday, 16 May. The plant would be the Abu Dhabi power utility's first foray into renewable energy and comes as the emirate, which has huge oil reserves, seeks to produce around 7 percent of its power from renewables by 2020. (more)

UAE picks woman to be first 'happiness' minister
10 February 2016 - The United Arab Emirates Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce a new Cabinet that includes the country's first-ever 'minister of state for happiness.' Sheikh Mohammed insisted that happiness was more than a wish and would be guided by 'plans, projects, programs, (and) indices.' (more)

UAE's Enviromena sees sun shining for solar power in Mena region
21 January 2016 - Enviromena Power Systems, builder of solar power plants, sees contracts rising tenfold in 2016 as countries from Oman to Morocco push ahead with renewable energy projects, its chief executive said on Thursday. Abu Dhabi-based Enviromena, set up in 2007 with local and international investors including venture capital firms, has built around 50 percent of all solar photovoltaic plants in the Middle East North Africa (Mena) region. The UAE, Jordan, and Morocco have taken the lead in renewables in the region, with others following. (more)

Abu Dhabi's blueprint for a greener future United Arab Emirates
5 September 2014 - An emirate-wide habitat mapping project in Abu Dhabi is pushing for answers to the adverse human impact on fragile ecosystems. The first phase of the multi-million dollar project has already started helping Abu Dhabi to minimise the environmental degradation caused by human intervention and other factors, senior officials told Gulf News in an interview on Thursday. The Environment Agency --Abu Dhabi's project covering the entire emirate -- 59,640 square kilometres of terrestrial environments and 28,220 square kilometres of marine environments -- seeks to accurately document the habitats of all flora and fauna. (more)

United Arab Emirates plans first Arab spaceship to Mars in seven years
16 July 2014 - The United Arab Emirates, already home to the world's tallest tower, is now reaching for the stars. The energy-rich country on the eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula announced plans Wednesday to establish a space programme to send the first Arab spaceship to Mars in 2021. The ruler of the UAE's emirate of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said the mission will prove the Arab world is still capable of delivering scientific contributions to humanity, despite the many conflicts across the Middle East. (more)

United Arab Emirates: Dubai airport soars in rankings of world's busiest
11 July 2014 - Now that he's had a taste of running the world's busiest air hub for international passengers, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths is determined to hang on to the honour while setting his sights on an even bigger prize: beating Atlanta for the title of busiest airport on the planet. The airport Griffiths oversees, with its mall-like duty free halls, tranquil Zen gardens, and luxury car raffles, still has room to grow before it can boast being the world's busiest airport when all flights -- foreign and domestic -- are taken into account. (more)

United Arab Emirates: Donors pledge $80 million to protect tigers and other wild cats
1 June 2014 - The crown prince of the oil-rich Mideast emirate of Abu Dhabi and other international donors committed a combined $80 million on Sunday to fund the conservation of tigers and other wild cats whose survival is under threat. The donors announced the 10-year funding effort, a partnership with New York-based cat conservation organization Panthera, following a private signing ceremony in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi. Panthera was created in 2006 to focus on conserving wild cats, in particular tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, cougars, and leopards. (more)

United Arab Emirates: Dubai in land of OPEC gives blessing to going green
29 May 2014 - Dubai, better known for palm-shaped islands and the world's tallest skyscraper than energy conservation, is on a mission to cut power and water use as the rising costs of fuel and desalination threaten future growth. About 30,000 of the emirate's 130,000 buildings could be candidates for efficiency improvements at a total cost of about 3 billion dirhams ($817 million), according to a report by Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy, a government body for reviewing policy that involves DEWA. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Popularity of Transcendental Meditation 'spreading rapidly' in United Arab Emirates
4 December 2013 - The National, a government-owned English-language daily in the United Arab Emirates, recently published an article about Transcendental Meditation. The article focuses on the benefits of TM and its increasing popularity in the Arab Emirates. This may be due to the 'entrepreneurial spirit' in the country, and growing recognition of the technique's ability to reduce stress and increase energy and vitality--all of which contribute to improved performance. (more)

Can seeking serenity fit in with the hectic routine of daily life? Time Out Dubai reports on Transcendental Meditation
19 January 2013 - Several news articles have been published in the United Arab Emirates in the past year about the benefits of meditation, which have included substantive reporting on Transcendental Meditation. An article in Time Out Dubai quoted a 30-year practitioner describing many benefits of the practice. The article has contributed to growing interest among the public in learning Transcendental Meditation, which is offered by the Creative Intelligence Consultancy at a number of venues across the UAE. (more)

Find your quiet centre with meditation: UAE sees rise in Transcendental Meditation interest
1 January 2013 - A recent article in The National, a news publication based in the United Arab Emirates, surveyed various types of meditation offered in the UAE, saying that 'the practice is on the rise here'. One technique described is Transcendental Meditation. 'Dr Mahnaz Emami, the national director of Transcendental Meditation (TM) UAE, says that there has been a sharp increase in people learning the TM technique worldwide. . . . Dr Emami says that this trend is evident in the UAE as well, as more and more individuals are turning to TM to manage their general health or debilitating illnesses. She estimates that the number of enquiries the centre has received from people interested in TM has jumped by more than 400 per cent over the past year.' (more)

United Arab Emirates: National Maharishi Yagya performance brings wave of progress
29 October 2010 - The first National Yagya (special peace-creating Vedic technology) for the United Arab Emirates was recently performed by Maharishi Vedic Pandits at the Brahmasthan (geographical centre) of India. Since the Yagya there has been an upsurge of interest in programmes for the development of consciousness and well-being of the people: six introductory lectures on Transcendental Meditation have been given, as well as a presentation on Consciousness-Based Education. Seventeen people have learned Advanced Techniques of Transcendental Meditation, and others have received Maharishi Vedic Vibration Technology treatments. (more)

United Arab Emirates: Maharishi College of Perfect Health, 'umbrella for Natural Law-based health care'
7 June 2010 - During a recent visit to the United Arab Emirates to establish Maharishi College of Perfect Health, Dr Robert Schneider met with physicians and leading practitioners of traditional medicine from different countries who are already practising in Dubai Healthcare City. (more)

Collaborations proposed for creating Maharishi College of Perfect Health in the United Arab Emirates
5 June 2010 - Dr Robert Schneider, leading cardiologist, expert in Maharishi Ayur Veda, and researcher on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation programme for heart disease, recently visited the United Arab Emirates and India to begin collaborations and partnerships for the establishment of Maharishi College of Perfect Health. He first met with the director of a health institute and with the developer of many new hospitals in the Emirates. (more)

United Arab Emirates: Maharishi College of Perfect Health to be established in Dubai
15 April 2010 - One year ago, Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management (MUM), signed a Memorandum of Understanding between MUM and a major university in the United Arab Emirates, to jointly establish Maharishi College of Perfect Health there, along with MUM's Business Administration programme. Dr Robert Schneider, a leading cardiologist and researcher on Transcendental Meditation, is now visiting United Arab Emirates to continue developing the plans for the creation of Maharishi College of Perfect Health. (more)

United Arab Emirates: Advanced Courses offered in Transcendental Meditation
14 April 2010 - Vedic Experts from India--teachers of the advanced programmes of Transcendental Meditation--are helping awaken more bliss in the collective consciousness of the United Arab Emirates through courses such as Maharishi Vedic Vibration Technology and the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme, including Yogic Flying. (more)

United Arab Emirates: 'Ultimate sustainable energy solution - tapping human consciousness' finds warm response at World Future Energy Summit
28 January 2010 - Presentations on sustainability and natural health care--based on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes for developing consciousness and ideal health--were warmly received at two recent conferences in the United Arab Emirates: the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, and a conference on Ayurvedic health care in Dubai. (more)

United Arab Emirates: Experts to present development of the brain for increased creativity, intelligence, peak performance
2 December 2009 - In their forthcoming visit to the United Arab Emirates, leading brain researcher Dr Fred Travis and Dr Donn Brennan, a physician trained in Maharishi Ayur-Veda health care, will speak to leaders in the fields of education, health, and every area of society. They will discuss development of the brain for improving creativity and peak performance, as well as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's supreme and complete, authentic, natural health care approach. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Flydubai airline pilots complain of dangerous fatigue in leaked documents
29 July 2016 - The Guardian has seen the air safety reports of 413 Flydubai flights written in the two-month period. In more than 40 reports, pilots describe concerns about fatigue. In some cases they complain about being urged to work overtime -- so-called 'discretion' flying -- when they have warned it could be unsafe to do so. Documents seen by the Guardian suggest some pilots feel they are being pushed too hard and are struggling to recover from punishing day and night flight schedules. The exasperation reflected in the documents is compounded when another pilot questions why Flydubai asks him for the names of crew members who refuse to extend their normal working hours into so-called discretion flying. Flydubai is a state-owned airline flying out of the UAE, whose chairman is His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. He also runs the Emirates airline and is president of the Department of Civil Aviation. Set up in 2008, it is Dubai's first budget airline. (more)

Poor air quality in United Arab Emirates classrooms can harm children's health
21 June 2014 - New research has found evidence of poor indoor air quality in UAE classrooms that may be detrimental to children's health. Data gathered by researchers at the British University in Dubai revealed above-normal levels of air pollutants in a majority of schools participating in the study. The researchers also found evidence of exposed wiring on the floor, worn-out building materials, patched flooring and walls, fire hazards, and cracked walls. The findings, published in the journal Frontiers of Architectural Research, have prompted researcher Prof Bassam Abu Hijleh to call on the Government to step up regulation and monitouring of indoor environment and air quality in UAE schools. (more)

WHO experts find hospital breaches worsened MERS outbreak in UAE
6 June 2014 - Lapses in hospital infection control measures exacerbated an outbreak of a deadly new viral disease which has infected more than 60 people and killed at least 10 in the United Arab Emirates, health investigators said on Friday. 'The recent upsurge of cases in Abu Dhabi appears to have been caused by a combination of factors, including a breach in infection prevention and control measures in health care settings, active surveillance, and increase in community acquired cases,' they said in a statement. First reported in humans in 2012, MERS causes severe and often fatal respiratory illness, with symptoms similar to those seen during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. Its around 40 per cent death rate and reports of clusters of human-to-human transmission have raised concerns it may blow up into a pandemic. So far, it has infected more than 800 people around the world, killing at least 310 of them. The vast majority of cases have been in Saudi Arabia, but there have also been sporadic cases and clusters across the Middle East and in Europe, Asia, and the United States. (more)

Talks to ease Northern Ireland tensions break down
31 December 2013 - Marathon talks between the leaders of Northern Ireland's Catholic and Protestant communities broke down on Tuesday without agreement to ease tensions that have led to one of the worst years of rioting in the British province for a decade. The US diplomat chairing the talks said the five largest parties in Northern Ireland failed to reach an agreement during 18 hours of talks that ended shortly before 0500 GMT, the culmination of six months of negotiations. No date was set for the resumption of the talks, which were a response to some of the highest levels of street violence and attacks by militant groups since a peace and power-sharing deal in 1998. Dozens of police were injured during weeks of rioting early this year after a decision to cut the number of days the British flag flies over Belfast city hall, with officers firing plastic bullets and water cannons. Several bombs have been planted in central Belfast in recent months by Irish militants opposed to the 1998 peace deal, but none has caused serious injury. (more)

UAE awards fuel deals for its future nuclear plant
15 August 2012 - The United Arab Emirates has awarded six fuel contracts valued at $3 billion for its first nuclear power plant, expected to start up by 2017. The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said Wednesday the move will enable the Barakah plant to generate up to 450 million megawatts for 15 years after the plant's opening. The contracts were awarded to US ConverDyn; Canadian Uranium One, Inc.; the UK-based firm URENCO; Anglo-Australian giant Rio Tinto; Russia's firm TENEX and France's Areva. The UAE in July became the first country in more than two and a half decades to begin building its maiden nuclear power plant. (more)

US Navy fires on fishing boat near UAE; one killed
16 July 2012 - One person was killed and three others injured on Monday when a US Navy ship fired at an approaching fishing boat off the United Arab Emirates. The incident was a reminder of how quickly a confrontation can turn deadly in the Gulf, where tensions with Iran have triggered military buildup by the United States and its allies. It was unclear whether the incident may have been a mere misunderstanding. The UAE state news agency, quoting a government official, identified all of the dead and wounded as Indian nationals. The US crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel's operators to turn away from their deliberate approach,' US Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement, adding the incident was under investigation. Shortly before news of the shooting incident broke, the Pentagon announced it was accelerating the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East, assuring that the United States keeps two of the massive nuclear-powered ships and their entourages of warships in the tense region. (more)

Suicides shed light on darker side of Dubai's glitz
2 June 2011 - The suicide of labourer Athiraman Kannan, who leapt to his death three weeks ago was the 26th known suicide by an Indian worker in Dubai in 2011. Last year, 113 Indians committed suicide, roughly one every three days. The deaths have focussed fresh attention to the plight of migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates where armies of overall-clad labourers swarm over construction sites, seldom noticed by those in the plush office blocks and shopping malls. Many labourers are paid less than 1,000 dirhams ($270) a month and are typically saddled with large debts. Workers complain of unpaid wages, excessive working hours, high recruitment fees, isolation, and employers holding their passports to restrict their movement. Workers often face worse living conditions than their families back home. (more)

Bahrain security on alert amid protest calls
13 February 2011 - Bahrain's security forces set up checkpoints and clashed with marchers in at least one village Sunday as opposition groups blanketed social media sites with calls to stage the first major anti-government protests in the Gulf since the uprising in Egypt. The wide-ranging clampdown appeared directed toward Bahrain's Shiite majority -- which had led the drive for Monday's rallies -- and reflected the increasing worries of the Sunni rulers who have already doled out cash and promised greater media reforms in an effort to quell the protest fervour. A prominent human rights activist predicted 'chaos and bloodshed' if attempts are made to crush the planned demonstrations. (more)

Japanese tanker attacked in Persian Gulf - UAE
6 August 2010 - The United Arab Emirates said Friday that a Japanese oil tanker was hit by an explosives-laden dinghy in the Persian Gulf in what would be the first terror attack in the strategic waterway. The report -- which came days after an al-Qaida-linked group claimed responsibility for attacking the vessel -- raised fears about the vulnerability of the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane for many petroleum exporting countries. It was the latest in what has been a series of conflicting accounts of what happened to the M. Star supertanker, which was damaged as it entered the Strait of Hormuz, a transit point for about 40 percent of oil shipped by tankers worldwide. Al-Qaida has carried out attacks on oil infrastructure on land in nearby Saudi Arabia, as well as a 2002 suicide bombing of the Limburg off the coast of Yemen and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden. But if the UAE report is confirmed, the 28 July incident would be the first militant attack in the strait, a narrow chokepoint between Oman and Iran. The Emirati state news agency WAM said Friday that a boat piled with explosives struck the tanker -- the first official word that the incident was an attack. (more)

Dubai downturn sends ripples throughout Arab world
7 January 2010 - The downturn in Dubai's economy is bad news for the Arab world, where chronic economic stagnation, high unemployment, and low-paying jobs have long caused frustration among workers, especially the young. Even before Dubai's financial crisis, the sheikdom's growing economic woes had begun rippling out across the Arab world, forcing workers back to their home countries, where jobs are scarce and wages often rock bottom. The crisis is eating away at the money many Middle East families depend on, sent home from relatives who work in Persian Gulf countries and emirates such as Dubai. In some countries the impact is worse: Worker remittances into Egypt have already plunged nearly a quarter over the past year. Dubai's latest debt problems will almost certainly make things even worse. That has worried some who say high unemployment and low pay are already a core cause of hopelessness, and sometimes extremism, in the Mideast. (more)

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