Ajman Bank, Emirates Development Bank sign MoU on credit guarantee for SMEs

Ajman Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Emirates Development Bank (EDB) to offer credit guarantee and co-lending for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE.

The MoU falls within the scope of EDB’s commitment to boost the SME ecosystem and the industrial sector in the UAE and thus increase its contribution to the country’s GDP. The partnership focuses on offering strategic financing solutions to SMEs, one of the economic pillars of the UAE.

The agreement was signed by Mohamed Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of Ajman Bank, and Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB.

As part of the MoU, EDB will provide credit guarantee and/or co-lending programme to the Ajman Bank’s SME customers. Ajman Bank will offer up to AED10 million financing to an SME, and 50 percent of the facility amount will be either guaranteed or co-lent by EDB. The collaboration also aims to support UAE citizens in the startup journey by offering financing facilities of up to AED1 million, wherein 60 percent is guaranteed or co-lent by EDB.

The credit guarantee and co-lending programme is part of a robust platform that EDB has worked out with Ajman Bank to increase their financial lending for the SME segment, with focus on the priority industrial sectors – manufacturing, healthcare, infrastructure, food security and technology.

Speaking about the MoU, Amiri said, “Our collaboration with the Emirates Development Bank will bring together our collective resources and comes at a decisive moment for economic recovery after the pandemic which is ultimately aimed at helping the business community. Moving forward, we will continue to expand on the range of solutions to accelerate growth.”

For his side, Al Naqbi, said, “Emirates Development Bank is committed to bridging the funding gap for SMEs operating in key sectors and as part of this endeavour, we are pleased to work closely with Ajman Bank. Together, we aim to support companies and entrepreneurs to have access to wider financing options, which will serve the country’s efforts of building a knowledge-based economy and contribute to sustainable economic development.”

The MoU is aligned with EDB’s recently-unveiled strategy, offering direct and indirect lending for SMEs (Supply Chain, Project and Long-term Finance), as well as business advisory services for entrepreneurs, startups and small companies (coaching, consulting, mentoring, market research).

Source: WAM – Emirates News Agency

Suhail Al Mazrouei visits Saudi pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, has visited the Saudi Arabia pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Saudi pavilion is characterised by its innovative and sustainable design, enabling it to acquire a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design in energy and environmental design.

During the visit, Al Mazrouei explored Saudi Vision 2030 and its innovative projects that underscore the ambitions of Saudi Arabia’s leadership, along with its future economic and investment opportunities and various energy, sustainability, mining and transport projects, as well as its significant efforts to preserve the environment and natural resources and address climate change.

He also viewed the pavilion’s contents, foundations and sections that are based on four key pillars, which include people, nature, heritage and opportunities.

At the end of the visit, Al Mazrouei expressed his pleasure at visiting the Saudi pavilion and thanked the Saudi youth who organised it, lauding the strong ties between the two countries and their deep-rooted partnerships.

Source: WAM – Emirates News Agency

Al Bithnah Nature and Heritage Trail inaugurated in Fujairah

Etihad Rail, Emirates Nature-WWF, Fujairah Municipality, the Fujairah Environment Authority and Fujairah Adventures Centre, supported by Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority, inaugurated the historic Al Bithnah Nature and Heritage Trail in the Emirate of Fujairah, in celebration of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee.

The emirate’s 50th nature trail, which marks the UAE’s 50th anniversary, is the country’s very first community-built tourism trail and represents a pioneering model of ‘inclusive development’.

The nature path, located in Wadi Ham, has been created as part of a wider Al Bithnah Conservation Project. The trail’s inauguration took place in the presence of Mohamed Saif Al Afkham, Director-General of Fujairah Municipality; Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail; Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director-General of Emirates Nature-WWF; Aseela Al Moalla, Director-General of Fujairah Environment Authority; Saeed Al Memari, General Manager of Fujairah Adventures, as well as members of the local community.

During the inauguration, the delegation visited the first section of the trail and the surrounding areas, which are rich in biodiversity and cultural heritage. The trail is set to be completed by the first quarter of 2022 and will open as an eco-tourism destination for tourists.

The development of the trail marks an important milestone as part of the landmark agreement between Etihad Rail, Emirates Nature-WWF, the Fujairah Environment Authority and Fujairah Adventures Centre signed in March 2021. The agreement supports sustainable development within the local community, provides valuable opportunities for eco-tourism, protects the environment and biodiversity and preserves the UAE’s natural heritage.

The project is part of Etihad Rail’s sustainability vision and commitment to being a ‘Good Neighbour’ to the local communities through which the UAE’s National Rail network passes. Etihad Rail continues to take a lead on projects which minimise the environmental impacts of rail construction and enhance sustainable development by opening up new opportunities for economic growth and increased ecotourism.

On this occasion, Al Afkham said, “Etihad Rail plays an essential role in consolidating the position of the UAE as a global and regional centre for transport and logistics services. The UAE National Rail Network is one the biggest infrastructure projects in the country and serves as a major contributor to the national economy, which will play a pivotal role in enhancing the economic development in the UAE and the Emirate of Fujairah. I would like thank all the parties who contributed to the completion of the Al Bithnah Nature and Heritage Trail, as well as the residents of the Emirate of Fujairah for their cooperation.”

Commenting on this milestone, Mohamed Al Marzooqi, Executive Director of Rail Relations at Etihad Rail, said, “As a Good Neighbour, Etihad Rail is committed to safeguarding the livelihood of local communities surrounding the Etihad Rail project. This will provide unique opportunities for sustainable economic and social development and will play a strategic role in continuing the UAE’s journey towards excellence and success for the next fifty years. We are truly glad to partner with the residents of Al Bithnah area in the development of this trail and are looking forward to seeing its impact on enhancing tourist attraction, supporting biodiversity, and protecting the environment.”

The joint environmental conservation and habitat rehabilitation project is part of a series of projects Etihad Rail is undertaking in collaboration with government, private stakeholders and NGOs. Following the completion of the nature trail, a comprehensive biodiversity study of the wider Al Bithnah region will be conducted to determine water quality, identify environmentally significant habitats, alongside seeking to enable preservation of local biodiversity. This will be accompanied by a socio-economic survey to identify areas, which can further empower the local community and foster sustainable economic growth.

For her side, Laila Abdullatif said, “We launched this project together with our esteemed partners just a few months ago, and have seen tremendous enthusiasm from the residents of Al Bithnah village, as well as the wider-UAE community. There is still an opportunity for the community to get involved with building the rest of the nature trail, and they can participate by joining our ‘Leaders of Change’ programme. This is the beginning of us creating a strong foundation to activate civil society to create a greener, more sustainable nation for our next 50.”

Aseela Al Moalla said, “The distinguished mountains of Fujairah are an example of the sustainable treasures of the UAE, and one of our goals is to conserve them and show them to the world, and the Nature Trail of Al Bithnah is one of the steps to introduce this unique biodiversity to the people.”

Meanwhile, Saeed Al Memari said, “We are proud to be a part of the cooperation to protect Al Bithnah’s natural heritage. The trail combines the magic of picturesque nature, archeological sites and beautiful stories inherited by our ancestors – which we must teach our children and future generations.”

The Al Bithnah Conservation Project aims to assist the community in adapting to rapid changes in the socio-economic world. The agreement signed between the project partners involves three key pillars, which are: supporting the growth of the local community, protecting the environment and biodiversity and preserving the UAE’s natural heritage.

Source: WAM – Emirates News Agency

RTA announces new office, service hours as of Monday, 3rd Jan 2022

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced new working hours at offices and service-providing centres across the Emirate in line with the Dubai Government’s resolution to change the work timing to bring it in line with the Federal Governments new system.

The implementation of the new official working system shall begin on Monday 3rd January 2022.

Working hours at RTA’s main offices shall be from Monday to Friday, with a weekend holiday on Saturday and Sunday. The working hours shall be from 07:30 am to 03:30 pm, except for Friday where the duty time shall be from 07:30 am to 12:00 (midday).

RTA’s service providing centres (technical testing centres) shall observe a full working week from Sunday to Thursday as currently applies, and Saturday shall be a public holiday. However, on Friday, these centres will be operating from 04:00 pm to 09:00 pm.

The business hours of RTA’s customer happiness centres shall be from Monday to Thursday, as currently applies, starting from 08:00 am and ending at 07:30 pm. Saturday and Sunday shall be weekly public holidays. On Friday, these centres will open from 08:00 am to 12:00 (mid-day).

The Dubai Metro Red and Green Lines shall be in operation from Monday to Thursday from 05:00 am to 01:15 am (of the following day). On Friday and Saturday, the metro lines shall operate from 05:00 am to 02:15 am (of the following day). On Sunday, the metro shall be in service from 08:00 am to 01:15 am (of the following day).

Dubai Tram’s service hours from Monday to Saturday shall be from 06:00 am to 01:00 am (of the following day). On Sunday, the tram shall be in service from 09:00 am to 01:00 am (of the following day).

Dubai Bus shall be operating from Monday to Thursday as well as on Friday, Saturday and Sunday according to the applicable Bus Scheduling System, which shall be geared to the demand for service.

As for public parking, the existing system shall remain in place until further notice is made. Public parking shall be free of charge during Fridays and public holidays.

The new closure times of the Floating Bridge shall be from 10:00 pm on Saturday up to 06:00 am on Monday to enable sufficient time for maritime activities, tourist boats and maintenance works of the bridge starting from 2 Feb 2022.

Source: WAM – Emirates News Agency

Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed inaugurates Abdul Rahman Makhlouf Street, adjacent to Abu Dhabi Municipality building

Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, has inaugurated Abdul Rahman Makhlouf Street, adjacent to Abu Dhabi Municipality building, in recognition of the urban planner’s role in shaping Abu Dhabi’s architectural development.

The ceremony to inaugurate the street, formerly known as Al Sough Street, was attended by several senior officials and family members of the late Dr. Abdul Rahman Makhlouf. Renaming the street after the former Director of the Urban Planning honours his role in shaping Abu Dhabi’s early urban development during the 1960s and 1970s.

After receiving his PhD from Munich University in 1957, the late Dr. Abdul Rahman Makhlouf gained extensive experience in urban planning working in many countries and by serving as an urban planning consultant to the United Nations.

He moved to Abu Dhabi in 1968 and was appointed Director of the Department of Urban Planning by the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed.

He also lectured on urban planning at the UAE University’s Department of Architecture between 1983 and 1985 and received the Abu Dhabi Award in 2010 from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed in recognition of his contributions to Abu Dhabi’s urban and architectural renaissance.

Falah Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), extended his gratitude to UAE leadership for their continuous appreciation and recognition of individuals who have made profound contributions to all sectors of the development of Abu Dhabi.

Al Ahbabi said: “Dr. Makhlouf was instrumental in the planning and design of Abu Dhabi’s urban environment and conducted several studies into the future development of the city of Abu Dhabi. Renaming Al Sough Street to honour his name and contributions is a testament to the legacy he leaves behind.”

Source: WAM – Emirates News Agency