The most talented designers and architects working in the region were recognized yesterday at the Dubai World Trade Centre where INDEX 2013 and the Office Exhibition, the MENA's leading trade exhibitions for the residential and commercial interior design sector, are taking place. After the inauguration of INDEX by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and of The Office Exhibition by H.E. Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qatami, the winners of the The IIDA 2013 Middle East Interior Design Competition, The IIDA 2013 INDEX & Office Exhibition Product Design Awards and of the Fifth Contemporary Majlis Design Competition were announced.
The IIDA 2013 INDEX & Office Exhibition Product Design Awards
'In_Motion' by Guialmi, a company with over 40 years of experience in the development of office furniture solutions, was selected by the jury for this award.
"At Guialmi we are very pleased of having been selected for this award that recognizes our work. Even If we have been working with Italian designers and architects for many years now, this product was designed by a young designer from our R&D team. A proof that design culture is now a part of Guialmi DNA. We want to thank ÍNDEX for promoting and supporting this design initiative", said Jorge Almeida, Export Director of Guialmi.
The IIDA 2013 Middle East Interior Design Competition
The Middle East Interior Design Competition rewarded interior designers and architects with a project located in the Middle East which was completed between 2010 and 2012.
'One GE Solution Offices' on Sowwah Square, Abu Dhabi, realized by Ak Design, a Dubai & Abu Dhabi based design practice, was selected by the jury as the best project among all categories.
"We were inspired by the ideology of Ecomagination and wanted to create a great workspace that would translate this into built form, designed to aid staff interaction and productivity. With GE's commitment to green initiatives, the project was strongly driven by environmental considerations. Also the practicalities and complexities of populating a great number of staff, within the given floor plate, whilst retaining an open, light and spacious feel presented unique opportunities", saids Kim Nielsen, Design Director at AK Design.
Other winners were identified for each participating category of the IIDA The Middle East Interior Design Competition including: Women's Museum by Enrico Botta Architecture for the Cultural/Institutional/Educational category; Bayt Abdullah Children's Hospice by NBBJ for the Healthcare category; Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa realized by The Gettys Group for the Hotel category; Slider Station by Bishop Design LLC for the Restaurants; Bin Sina Pharmacies by Brand Creative for the Retails category; and Ahasees Spa & Club at Grand Hyatt Dubai by HBA for Spas/Fitness/Wellness Centers.
The INDEX & Office Exhibition Product Design Awards honoured manufacturers and designers for their excellence in product design serving the residential and commercial office industries, whereas The Middle East Interior Design Competition rewarded interior designers and architects with a project located in the Middle East which was completed between 2010 and 2012. The two competitions, created by International Interior Design Association (IIDA) with the support of dmg events, were ideated to celebrate excellence in product design and interior design in the Middle East
The 5th Contemporary Majlis Design Competition
The winner of the fifth Contemporary Majlis Design Competition, that tasks the region's design talents with creating a modern and innovative concept for the traditional Arabic meeting and social space, was also announced yesterday; the team of LOCI achitecture+design took the Jury's Award, beating three other projects displayed at the show with its 'Flow' design concept.
Commenting on the design Hani Fallaha, partner of LOCI architecture+design with Hamad Khoory, said: "Inspired by footsteps left in the sand, the Flow Majlis concept came about by the idea of leaving behind your memory for someone else to discover. With sand giving the Majlis its fluid structural integrity one has the ability to sit down and shape his/ her own seat to what suits them best. Derived from the Bedouin ideology, Flow allows people to sit low to the ground, which reflects humbleness, a strong connection to the land and the absence of a social hierarchy".
The four final designs for the Contemporary Majlis Competition are on display at INDEX in Hall 8 of the Dubai World Trade Centre for the duration of the show. All candidates will have another chance of winning with the second award – the People's Choice Award – given to the design that collects the most votes from INDEX and The Office visitors. All visitors can submit one vote and the most popular project will be announced on the final day of the exhibitions, Thursday 23rd May, at 12noon.
INDEX 2013 and The Office Exhibition will be open exceptionally till 9pm tomorrow Wednesday 22nd May.
Further information on the shows is available at www.indexexhibition.com and at www.theofficeexhibition.com or on the show's Facebook pages www.facebook.com/INDEXDubai .
A monstrous tornado twisted through the Oklahoma City suburbs completely flattening neighborhoods and destroying a school with winds up to 200mph.
At least 91 people were killed, including 20 children, and the death toll is expected to rise when sizing up damages, officials stated.
The storm brushed a community of 41,000 people about 10 miles south of Oklahoma City leaving it in ruins as homes were crushed into piles of broken wood and crumpled cars.
The National Weather Service issued an initial finding that the tornado was an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale, the second most-powerful type of twister.
US President Barack Obama declared a major disaster and ordered government aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts.
The tornado affected landlines, mobile phone and scattered shards of wood, awnings and glass all over the streets.
There is nothing to do in the face of natural disasters – check out the video below:
A Saudi woman has made history by reaching the summit of the world's highest mountain.
Raha Moharrak, 25 became the first Saudi woman to climb the challenging summit and also the youngest Arab to make it to the top.
She is part of a four-person expedition that also includes the first Qatari man and the first Palestinian man attempting to reach the summit.
They group is trying to raise $1m (£660,000) for education projects in Nepal.
Moharrak is a university graduate currently based in Dubai.
Despite the restriction of women rights, the young girl overcome a lot of barriers to get to her target project.
She talked about inspiring other Saudi and Arab women"I really don't care about being the first," she is quoted as saying. "So long as it inspires someone else to be second."
In last year' Olympics, two Saudi females were allowed to participate for the first time wearing a modified veil agreed by Olympic officials.
Also, Saudi director Haifa Al Mansour was the first to helm a long feature movie "Wadjda" which received acclaims regionally and internationally.
The Arab Media Forum on Wednesday was concluded with an honorary event held by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to recognize top Media achievers.
Shaikh Mohammed presented a special award to the Chairman of the AJA Board of Directors, Khalfan Al Roumi, which was received by his daughter Ohood Al Roumi on his behalf, in appreciation for his contributions as one of the prominent founders of journalism in the UAE and for his role in establishing and developing the AJA project since 1999. It earned the Award its current prestigious position and impartial reputation as a platform for fair competition in the Arab world.
Shaikh Mohammed also presented the Media Personality of the Year Award to Egyptian TV and Radio presenter Hamdy Kandeel in appreciation for his efforts in serving Arab Media throughout his career as a writer, lecturer, diplomat and a political activist, defending issues of concern to Arabs in the Middle East from such influential positions as the Director of the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) Middle East Manager and the director of Free Flow of Information and Communication Policies at Unesco, Paris.
The "Best Newspaper Column" award went to the Lebanese columnist Hazem Saghieh known for his articles in "As-Safir" newspaper, 1974, and "Al-Hayat" daily, 1988. During his early career, Saghieh served as editor for the quarterly publication "Abwab", then, moved to work as editor for Beirut-based quarterly cultural publication "Kalamon" that covers political, cultural and social issues in Lebanon and in the region; in addition to publishing a number of books that tackled topics on political and cultural lives in the Arab world.
Other honorees included "Investigative Reporting" award to Abdul Wahab Aleiwa of "Al Wafd" Egyptian newspaper for his feature tackling the issues of smuggling arms to Egypt.
AJA Board Member Raed Barqawi presented the "Economic Journalism" award to Khalid Al Biheiri of "Al Roya" Omani newspaper for his article that revolves around the involvement of a third party in determining the features of trade exchange between Arab and Israel.
AJA Board Member Dhaen Shaheen presented the "Political Journalism" award to Othman Lehyani, of the Algerian newspaper "Al Khabar", for his article on Salafis in Tunisia.
Also, "Al Bayan" local newspaper, Nidal Hamdan received from Board Member George Samaan the "Press Interviews Journalism" award for his feature about Iran provocation that contrasts with its policy of friendship and good neighbourliness with Gulf States.
Vice-Chairman of the International Humanitarian City (IHC) Board of Directors Ibrahim Bu Melha presented the newly introduced 'Humanitarian Journalism' award to Hanan Khunduqji, of the Jordanian newspaper 'Al Ghad', for her distinguished work on physical and verbal abuse of special needs at care centers.
AJA Board Member Nasser Al Dhaheri handed out the award of 'Specialized Journalism' to Rasha Abu Zaki from the Lebanese "Al Akhbar" newspaper for her special report on Lebanon.
Board Member of AJA, Ahmed Behbehani gave away the 'Sport Journalism' award to Amin Al Dobali from "Al Ittihad" newspaper for tackling the issue of steroids in sports; after which photographer Alaa Badarneh of EU Agency News received Best Picture award from AJA Board Member Dr Ahmed Abdul-Malik.
Dr. Hessa Lootah, gave out the 'Outstanding Cartoon Works' award to Syrian cartoonist Raed Khalil; whereas Vice-Chairman of AJA Mohamed Barakat presented the Young Journalist awards to three winners: Huda Baroud of the Palestinian newspaper "Palestine", Haitham Mahjoub of Egyptian newspaper "Al Masry Al Youm" and Esmahan Al Ghamedi of the Saudi newspaper "Al Riyadh".
Recruiters from the region's technology and IT sector are placing increasing importance on hiring candidates with developed 'soft skills', said experts speaking on a London Business School recruitment panel recently.
Cultural awareness, Arabic capabilities and regional understanding are now the top recruitment criteria for companies in the Middle East who are placing greater value on cultural awareness and regional experience than they did previously. Arabic-language skills also remain highly desirable to companies who are becoming more risk-averse.
"In 2008, around the financial crash, markets went soft and companies retrenched across the board. Now companies are looking to recruit quality people for the long-term – it is about identifying high potential candidates as well as high performers." comments Jonathan Holmes, Managing Director at Korn Ferry International.
"Talent is becoming less of a short-term commodity and more an asset to be attracted, retained and developed."
Calibre and ambition are playing a much bigger role in today's recruitment trends, a change to previous years where past performance outweighed future potential.
"We've seen a move away from candidates who simply 'tick the boxes' to candidates who bring big potential with them," says Ali Qazi, Senior Consultant at Michael Page Middle East.
"The easiest way to secure your own gain is by fostering and developing these so called 'soft skills'. Are you a right cultural fit for the organisation? That means understanding the culture, and of course the language factor."
With Europe riding out its third leg of economic recession, and with that, greater redundancies and international secondments from the West, the region is seeing increasing demand for job roles.
Sean Rutter, Managing Consultant MEA region from RP International, comments:
"There is a disconnect between the perception of opportunity versus the reality. There is massive demand for jobs in this area, but unfortunately the reality is that it is hugely competitive. In previous years more roles would be filled externally, now they are more and more internally filled."
Whilst companies are demonstrating growing thirst for people with regional talent, competition remains incredibly tough. The panel members discussed what candidates can do to stand out from the crowd.
"Personal PR is very important," continues Lee Rook, Sales Director, MEA, at Eutopia Solutions Ltd. "Building a strong, extensive network around yourself could be the most important thing you do. Does your network know what value-add you bring to a job?
"An MBA might also be the smarter way to take your career forward, and help differentiate yourself from competing candidates. It's by no means the golden key, but it can be the thing that shows you are committed to career progression and personal development."
Speaking on the Technology, Media and Telecom Insights recruitment panel were:
· Jonathan Holmes, Managing Director at Korn Ferry International;
· Vishal Patel, Division Manager at Robert Half Technology;
· Ali Qazi, Senior Consultant at Michael Page Middle East;
· Sean Rutter, Managing Consultant MEA Region at RP International;
· Lee Rook, Sales Director MEA at Eutopia Solutions Ltd.
The Kingdom of Bahrain Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) today announced a radical IT system overhaul as it eyes a new era of efficient energy management.
In what will become the Kingdom's largest ever utility-based IT project, EWA will automate key operational processes, initiating a bold step-change in customer service and overall performance in line with Bahrain's 2030 economic vision.
The project will entail the introduction of utility industry-specific solutions from world-leading business software company SAP, including customer relationship management, billing, metering and network asset management. Key innovations include an integrated Energy and Water Value Chain with streamlined and mobile-empowered business processes enabled by SAP Utilities.
SAP's suite of business solutions will, among other things, speed up the billing process, mitigate disconnection problems, enhance fault detection capabilities and control customer demand and load profiles more effectively.
Crucially, the project, which is SAP's largest of its kind in Bahrain, will accelerate a transition to a smart energy infrastructure that incorporates renewables and cutting-edge metering. Project implementation will be handled by SAP's Field Services team.
"The Project will help improving network reliability, preventive maintenance activities and outage responses time."
"Sustainable development in Bahrain can only progress if we are capable of unlocking more efficient ways of capturing, managing and distributing electricity and water," said His Excellency Shaikh Nawaf Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, CEO, EWA.
"This requires awareness, determination and, crucially, it requires innovative technology capable of revolutionizing core processes. With our eye on Bahrain's future generations, and the help of companies and collaborators like SAP, we are committed to stamping out inefficiency, minimizing emissions, embracing renewable energy, and making the smart grid a widespread reality."
Energy diversification is top of Bahrain's political agenda, with plans recently announced to kick-start two renewables projects in June.
EWA's decision to work with SAP follows four successful years running on the German IT pioneer's solutions for financial, warehouse and material management procurement.
"SAP is proud to partner with the Kingdom of Bahrain and support its 2030 economic vision," said Robert Enslin, President of Sales and a member of the SAP Global Managing Board.
"This is a project set to support a roadmap of smart grid and smart energy and water services, world-class water efficiency and a powerful energy mix that features renewables in addition to oil and gas. Together with EWA, we are blazing a trail for a better run, cleaner and more sustainable future."
SAP has a strong track record working for utility companies in the Middle East, with its solutions currently running on behalf of a host of high-profile entities across the region.
More than 2450 utilities run SAP across 70 countries.
Combining science, technology and the latest filmmaking techniques, researchers from IBM have created the world's smallest movie by using the smallest particles of any element in the universe: atoms. By moving and precisely placing thousands of actual atoms frame by frame, scientists made the revolutionary short film, "A Boy and His Atom."
In just 242 frames of stop-motion action, the short film tells the story of "Atom," a character who befriends a single atom as they go on a playful journey full of dancing, bouncing, and fun. The minute long piece shows a unique way of blending science and filmmaking together and is so small that it can only be seen when you magnify it 100 million times. Guinness World Records has certified "A Boy and His Atom" as the world's smallest stop-motion film.
"Capturing, positioning and shaping atoms to create an original motion picture on the atomic-level is a precise science and entirely novel," said Andreas Heinrich, Principle Investigator, IBM Research. "At IBM, researchers don't just read about science, we do it. This movie is a fun way to share the atomic-scale world while opening up a dialogue with students and others on the new frontiers of math and science."
Pinoy Property Show has successfully concluded with AED 100,000,000 worth of sale from the three-day exhibition with over 3,000 visitors. The success of the event, which was held at Dusit Thani Hotel in Dubai, resulted to participation of property developers at the second series of the show to be held in KSA this coming October 2013.
The exhibition witnessed the presence of Frank R. Cimafranca, Consul General of the Republic of the Philippines in Dubai, who praised the initiative and said: "The show translates the great demand on real estate in Philippines which is currently experiencing the best market for real estate and it is perceived to sustain its growth in terms of office, residential, and leisure sectors. A significant percentage of the overseas remittances escalated the remarkable sales of residential condominium market last year. With the migrant workers' buying potential, OFWs fuel the market boom".
Tamer El Sherbini, Managing Director of Alpha Conferences the organizers of the show, said: "We are glad with the success achieved, for the first time the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority to join an exhibition in the Middle East, we were able also to launch first Filipino discount card for Filipino overseas during the exhibition with Creative travel & Tour and Resorts World Manila, the biggest entertainment resort in the Philippines , the thing which represented an opportunity for the Filipino community in the UAE".
The exhibition represented an ideal platform for Filipinos interested in various investment opportunities in owning their own houses spread in different cities in Philippines including Cavite, Tagaytay, Cebu, Patangas, Pampanga, Metro Manila, Antipolo and Tarlac.
Analysts say that currently the construction sector in the Philippines contributes roughly about 8 to 9 percent of the GDP, while real estate services are at 11 percent. This reflects investment opportunities on the property industry to foreign investors.
"We foresee success in our first venture with the Filipino expatriate community and envision Pinoy Property Show to be an annual event in Dubai. A second sequence will be held in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sometime in October this year. Filipinos form 4.3 per cent of the overall population in the UAE alone and there is about 1.5 million in Saudi Arabia, which make up the fourth largest group of foreigners in the country. The launch of the Pinoy Property Show will cater to a big population in the Middle East," El Sherbini added.
Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group launched "The Lost Valley", the third zone of the IMG Theme Park in Dubai.
The land of dinosaurs and huge thrills have been exclusively created for the IMG Theme Park located in the City of Arabia, Dubailand.
The IMG Theme Park will let you discover the excitement of a journey bursting with thrills, speed and adventures in The Lost Valley as the 'no longer' dormant vertebrates are bought back to life in an enthralling themed world offering an array of rides, entertainment and retail outlets.
Featuring a number of anchor attractions guaranteed to get any pulse racing, the theme park will catapult even the bravest of souls into a land they will have to keep their wits about them!
The Lost Valley will provide visitors a visual, audible and tactile experience allowing visitors to feel the excitement of a lost world. We want to offer our visitors an immersive experience in an unexplored land full of dinosaurs, providing 'hands on' activities and thrills in an environment themed down to the smallest detail of a world that existed long ago.
A representative of the IMG Group stated: "With the guidance of our award winning theme park design agency 'Falcon Treehouse,' we have created an experience offering visitors an unforgettable adventure with dinosaurs entwined in an adrenaline-packed theme park zone."
"The project is our brainchild and we will ensure that the visitors get to witness life-like dinosaurs and experience the same thrill levels as if they were ever to see the dinosaurs for real themselves. With the exciting announcement of the third zone we are expecting the park to set a new benchmark in the industry locally and globally by offering our audiences a new wonder," he added.
The Lost Valley is the first-of-its-kind concept in the theme park industry reserving IMG Group as the sole trademark proprietors. The realistic theme park zone will combine breathtaking experiences, enhanced by dramatic lighting, audiovisual effects and cutting-edge entertaining content.
Representing dinosaurs from different ages, The Lost Valley will take you back to an era which existed millions of years ago. It will be the home of animatronic dinosaurs, resembling multiple types and sizes of species of these extinct creatures.
Featuring the latest technology and dynamic sound-effects, The Lost Valley will be a complete family entertainment zone exhibiting adventurous rides such as 'The Velociraptor Launch Coaster' and multiple other attractions in this one zone alone.
HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been given a lavish welcome as he was greeted by the British Queen on the first day of his state visit to the UK.
The president of the United Arab Emirates was taken on a carriage procession with the Queen to Windsor Castle. Guardsmen from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in their scarlet tunics and bearskins formed a guard of honour.
The British prime minister David Cameron was at Windsor Castle on Tuesday for a state lunch for the president, hosted by the Queen. Among the other guests was the UAE's deputy prime minister, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of Premier League football club Manchester City.
In a speech, the Queen told the president: "Our two countries have been close friends since before the foundation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, under the wise guidance and leadership of your late father, Sheikh Zayed."
She added: "The UAE is one of our largest trading partners in the Gulf region, and we have welcomed Emirati investments in the United Kingdom in many areas from the construction of the largest port facilities in the UK to the Emirates Skyline, the spectacular cable-car crossing over the Thames and, of course, Manchester City."
The visit helps build on the relationship between the two countries, which have a growing partnership in defense and security
The UAE represents as well Britain's largest export market in the Middle East.