Note: News U Wish to Read is a press review compilation and only covers articles published in the press, in the UAE and India. Its purpose is to keep us informed of important news items which we all wish to not miss. Enjoy reading the below news items and links. More sections will come as it takes shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.
Opec anticipates better oil prospects as North American production slows
Opec expects a brighter outlook for the oil market as the low prices of the past year bite further into higher-cost production growth, and with demand forecast to pick up in coming months. Opec’s Vienna-based think tank said in its monthly oil market report yesterday that the factors that have been weighing on the market “are showing signs of alleviation”. The main cause for optimism is the sharp slowdown in growth from producers outside Opec, particularly in North America. The report points out that “the oil industry has experienced a rapid fall in global upstream spending, down by more than 20 per cent, with North America cutting as much as 35 per cent. This has led to lower activity – less drilling and the delay or cancellation of new projects – which has put pressure on production growth”.
Energy minister calls for Dh3.5bn savings in water and energy
Energy chiefs aim to trim Dh3.5 billion from the power and water subsidy bill by encouraging people to turn off their taps and switch off their lights. “Today, as never before, we see the urgent need to reduce consumption,” said the Minister of Energy, Suhail Al Mazrouei. “The squandering of resources is the enemy of development. “We are working on supporting a culture of reasonable consumption in various government and private establishments, as well as in homes, schools and mosques.” The low oil price makes generous discounts on already cheap commodities harder to afford. Mr Al Mazrouei hopes consumers will cut their consumption by 10 per cent – instead of increasing it at a rate of 6 per cent a year.
Adnoc makes research and development push via new Petroleum Institute centre
Organisers Abu Dhabi is set to embark on a major oilfield research and development push that could help to add as much as US$500 billion of value to oil reservoirs. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is making a strategic push into R&D through a large investment in a new centre at its Petroleum Institute in the capital. The expansion reflects a major departure in R&D for both Adnoc and the Petroleum Institute, which includes a specific mandate for the institute to come up with ways to add 5 per cent – or about $500bn of value – to Abu Dhabi’s oil reservoir recovery rates, according to the Petroleum Institute president Thomas Hochstettler.
Adipec forecasts record attendance despite oil industry slump
Organisers of Adipec, Abu Dhabi’s big annual oil gathering, expect record attendance next month, despite the worldwide industry slump. “I know it bucks the trend of oil conferences, but we’re expecting record numbers across the board,” said Jean-Philippe Cossé, a director at DMG Events, part of the UK’s Daily Mail Group, which runs the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (Adipec).
DMF 2015 will be held from November 10 to 21 under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. With just weeks away for the third edition of the Dubai Motor Festival (DMF), its showpiece event, the Dubai Grand Parade, one of the most popular motoring pageants in the world, is gearing up to showcase Dubai’s motoring passion in all its forms. DMF 2015 will be held from November 10 to 21 under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, with the Grand Parade taking place on November 21. As excitement mounts within the motoring community, DMF organisers, the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) have announced that registration is open for the Dubai Grand Parade, a spectacular annual showcase of the widest collection of vintage, luxury and supercars and motorcycles in the UAE and region.
New Air India boss bets on people power to fix ailing carrier
Air India is in a better state now than it was when Lohani’s predecessor took over in 2011, four years after a merger with state-run carrier Indian Airlines Air India’s new chief is betting an ‘open door’ policy will help defuse years of soured relations with the flag carrier’s more than 20,000 staff, paving the way for potentially painful change at the loss-making airline. Ashwani Lohani, a 56-year-old engineer and tourism bureaucrat with no experience running an airline, describes his job as “the ultimate challenge”. The 85-year-old state-owned airline is unprofitable, overstaffed and losing market share. India’s aviation market may be the world’s fastest growing, but it’s dominated by younger, nimbler, low-cost rivals such as IndiGo and SpiceJet.
Director-General of Department of Economic Development, said a key reason for Dubai’s resilience has been the emphasis Dubai places on economic diversification. “Today, Dubai’s economy is much more diversified than 2008-2009, and the dramatic transformation of Dubai’s economy that started in the early ’70s is now entering a new level,” said Al Qamzi at the launch of the Dubai Investment Forum. The highlight of the structural transformation that Dubai underwent over the last few decades is the city’s evolution as a trade, investment, services and knowledge hub, said Al Qamzi.
UAE insurance sector premiums expected to grow 15 per cent this year
The UAE’s insurance sector, one of the few bright spots in financial services amid a slowing economy, is expected to grow 15 per cent this year, says the Insurance Authority. Insurance premiums were expected to rise to Dh38 billion this year from Dh33bn last year, Ebrahim Al Zaabi, the authority’s general director, said yesterday. Speaking at a forum to discuss progress in bringing more of the authority’s services online, he said that “premiums are growing across the board”, but did not elaborate on the drivers of growth. Mr Al Zaabi also said the authority would be increasing its oversight of the sector to ensure fair deals for consumers and reviewing all its rules.
For the first time in 8 years, India’s fiscal balance turned from deficit to surplus in the month of August, the latest data from the Controller-General of Accounts (CGA) show. The fiscal deficit, the excess of the Centre’s expenditure over its revenues, was (-) Rs. 15,808 crore in August. The negative figure indicates surplus of revenues over expenditure. In contrast, the Centre ran up a fiscal deficit of Rs. 73,005 crore in August 2014. A sharp surge in the Centre’s revenue receipts as well as a steep decline in its total expenditures made the fiscal surplus possible. The total revenue was Rs. 1,47,022 crore in August against Rs. 71,578 crore in July. In contrast, the total expenditure in August was Rs. 1,31,214 crore against Rs. 1,69,986 crore in July.
Women must play bigger part in environmental science: Abu Dhabi summit
When most people think about famous scientists they tend to remember Albert Einstein, but forget important figures such as Jane Goodall or Marie Curie – and it was that fact that experts at the Eye on Earth Summit want to change, as they encouraged women to get involved in the environmental sciences. Several leading figures at the summit and within the global environmental movement are women, they said. Razan Al Mubarak, secretary general at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, said that it was important to keep open the possibility for women to occupy all roles throughout the environmental movement.
Data sharing pledges made by Abu Dhabi environment summit delegates
Organisations and experts at last week’s Eye on Earth Summit in the capital committed to sharing data to guide countries towards the UN’s sustainable development goals. The delegates want to provide data to developing countries so their growth can be guided towards sustainability. “The summit outcomes are central to advancing Eye on Earth’s vision of achieving a world where environmental and associated social and economic information, combined with citizen engagement, improves decisions leading to sustainable development,” said Razan Al Mubarak, secretary-general of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, a founding partner of Eye on Earth.
The 29 finalists for the 2016 Zayed Future Energy Prize have been selected. The eighth cycle of the awards aims to honour the pioneering work done by international organisations in energy and sustainability. “This has been a record-breaking year for the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which is a testament to the leadership shown by the UAE in seeking long-term solutions that will meet our future climate and energy challenges,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and director general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.
Daily ferry service to connect Abu Dhabi landmarks
The best way to see Abu Dhabi’s skyline is from the sea – and passengers will soon be able to do so on a luxury ferry. The service, which begins next Monday, will cover more than 100 kilometres of scenic waterways around Abu Dhabi island with stops at the Etihad Towers hotel, Abu Dhabi Mall, Yas Marina and the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel. More stops are planned as the service develops. “It is an exciting alternative to getting around Abu Dhabi’s spectacular coastal area in a service unique in the emirate,” said Thomas Rebollini, head of finance at the ferry operator Jalboot Marine – which is named after the traditional pearl-diving dhows of the Arabian Gulf.
Etisalat, the Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications provider, announced the launch of nine data centres across the UAE in order to boost its services to consumers. The centres aim to provide back-up and additional infrastructure in case of natural disasters such as earthquakes and fires. During a Gulf News visit to a data centre in Khalifa City, Abdullah Al Ahmad, etisalat’s vice-president of Business Services, said that the company has seen a global need to boost data security. “There are about 15 billion devices globally connected to the internet, with data worth 13 trillion gigabytes in 2015 and around 500 million transactions done on a daily basis. The number of mobile phones has also doubled over the past four years, replacing desktops and other portable devices,” Al Ahmad said.
Tech firms spearheading cloud solutions adaptation in UAE
Cloud negates the need for large up-front investments in on-premise solutions. Some of the leading technology companies – Microsoft, VMware, Inframon and Pacific Controls – are aggressively spearheading adaptation of cloud solutions in the UAE with a sole aim to transform the current technology scenario to more smarter and efficiency boosting productivity levels across all segments of the emirate’s economy. Dubai – smartest city in the region – has adopted smart measures at various government levels that eliminates processes that consume labour, time and management. The industry experts have already predicted that the emirate is all set to witness a massive shift in coming 12-18 months as cloud computing solutions get adopted by businesses across UAE. But some questions arise here i-e are we ready for this transformation? Do we really have the luxury to wait and watch or be left behind when your peers or competitors have already invested in technology upgrade with latest cloud solutions?
Weigh the pros and cons of the programme before deciding which one you want to pursue. An IT professional with four years of work experience approached me with an aspiration to join INSEAD/IMD/Richard Ivey/ISB. I could gather from his choices that he is primarily exploring a one-year MBA programme and wants to save time. However, what was unsettling was that he had no clarity. He wanted to make more money and hold significant leadership positions in the Industry, but when I asked him what Industry or functions he saw himself working in after MBA, he had no idea. According to him, the strategy was to figure that out when you are on the campus.
Secure electronic transcription technology envisages secure transfer of mark sheets, certificates and any important academic or non-academic documents over Internet. Understanding the importance of quick online document verification and transaction in the changing times, several universities in the country have begun to adopt secure electronic transcription (SET) technology. Along with electronic verification of mark sheets and certificates, issuing of online transcripts using SET technology is possible today. Thanks to Global Document Authentication System (GDAS) technology developed by Myeasydocs, a firm incubated at Indian Institute of Technology Madras, several universities and autonomous colleges in the country, including Calicut University, the University of Kerala and the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), are all set to implement the new online transcript system.
Campaign PASS (Promote All Sports Simultaneously) is an initiative started through my blog to promote all sports(other than cricket – which gets lot of attention) and sports personnel associated to give them more exposure.
TOP scheme has been a big support: Saina
The 25-year-old, who won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, hoped the TOP scheme will help other athletes as well. One of India’s top medal prospect at next year’s Olympics, World No. 1 shuttler Saina Nehwal on Thursday said the Sports Ministry’s TOP scheme has been of immense help in her preparation for the Rio Games. “My sincere appreciation @YASMinistry @Media_SAI @BAIMedia1 for the support over the years. Would not have been here without the support,” Saina wrote on her twitter page.
Professional boxing is like a new era in my life: Vijender
The former world no.1 said that he was enjoying the experience of learning new techniques from his trainers and sparring partners. All set for his foray into the professional arena, Indian boxing star Vijender Singh asserted that his transition from the amateur circuit is like a new era in his life. The London Olympics medalist has been training for more than a month under globally acclaimed trainer Lee Beard in Manchester. Vijender feels that his life has now totally changed with no fellow Indian boxers in the dressing room, no Indian food and no friends. “It’s all together a different beginning of my life. I am really excited for a debut day and I am in shape as I stayed for more than one month in this gym with trainers like Lee Beard and Haroon Headley,” Vijender said. “My trainers are new and it’s almost a month (sic) I am with them and I am the only one Indian boxer training here. In amateur boxing, there were like 2-3 boxers with me in the changing room all the time but right now I am all alone with my trainers so there is a difference. I just want to box hard that day,” he added.
Two Volvo Ocean Racers shortlisted for ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award
Volvo Ocean Race.com
It’s the most prestigious individual award a sailor can receive – a symbol of recognition for their outstanding achievements in this sport. That’s right: the ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award. And despite the Volvo Ocean Race being a massive team effort, it’s only right that some of our outstanding leaders have been shortlisted for the prize. In the male category, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker. A two-time Olympic medallist, the Brit finally got his hands on the Volvo Ocean Race trophy this edition at the third attempt. “Winning the Volvo Ocean Race was not only a special moment for me but also a special moment in the sporting history of Abu Dhabi,” says Ian. In the female category, Sam Davies has been nominated for her campaign as skipper of Team SCA.