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Month: October 2015

News U Wish to Read – 15th October 2015

Posted on Updated on

News U wish to readNote: 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.

Energy

Opec anticipates better oil prospects as North American production slows

The National

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”.

Published: 12th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/opec-anticipates-better-oil-prospects-as-north-american-production-slows

Energy minister calls for Dh3.5bn savings in water and energy

The National

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.

Published: 7th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/energy-minister-calls-for-dh35bn-savings-in-water-and-energy

Adnoc makes research and development push via new Petroleum Institute centre

The National

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.

Published: 10th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/adnoc-makes-research-and-development-push-via-new-petroleum-institute-centre

Adipec forecasts record attendance despite oil industry slump

The National

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).

Published: 6th October 2015

Follow:http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/adipec-forecasts-record-attendance-despite-oil-industry-slump   

Other Sectors

Dubai to ‘feel the rush’ at third Motor Festival

Khaleej Times

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.

Published: 9th October 2015

Follow: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/auto/dubai-to-feel-the-rush-at-third-motor-festival

New Air India boss bets on people power to fix ailing carrier

Khaleej Times

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.

Published: 14th October 2015

Follow: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/aviation/new-air-india-boss-bets-on-people-power-to-fix-ailing-carrier

Politics & Economy

Diversification driving Dubai growth by 4%

Khaleej Times

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.

Published: 13th October 2015

Follow: http://khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/diversification-driving-dubai-growth-by-4

UAE insurance sector premiums expected to grow 15 per cent this year

The National

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.

Published: 13th October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/uae-insurance-sector-premiums-expected-to-grow-15-per-cent-this-year

Fiscal balance turns surplus after 8 years

The Hindu

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.

Published: 14th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/fiscal-balance-turns-surplus-after-8-years/article7750684.ece

Community, Environment & Society

Women must play bigger part in environmental science: Abu Dhabi summit

The National

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.

Published: 7th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/women-must-play-bigger-part-in-environmental-science-abu-dhabi-summit

Data sharing pledges made by Abu Dhabi environment summit delegates

The National

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.

Published: 13th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/data-sharing-pledges-made-by-abu-dhabi-environment-summit-delegates

Zayed Future Energy Prize finalists selected

The National

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.

Published: 11th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/transport/daily-ferry-service-to-connect-abu-dhabi-landmarks

Daily ferry service to connect Abu Dhabi landmarks

The National

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.

Published: 13th October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/zayed-future-energy-prize-finalists-selected

Technology

Etisalat launches nine data centres across UAE

Gulf News

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.

Published: 14th October 2015

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/telecoms/etisalat-launches-nine-data-centres-across-uae-1.1600542

Tech firms spearheading cloud solutions adaptation in UAE

Khaleej Times

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?

Published: 15th October 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/technology/tech-firms-spearheading-cloud-solutions-adaptation-in-uae

Education+

Choose the MBA that works for you

The Hindu

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.

Published: 11th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/choose-the-mba-that-works-for-you/article7747040.ece

Secure and swift

The Hindu

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.

Published: 12th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/secure-and-swift/article7747323.ece

Sports – Campaign PASS

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 Hindu

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.

Published: 8th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/national-sports-day-to-bring-uae-together-in-friendly-competition

Professional boxing is like a new era in my life: Vijender

The Hindu

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.

Published: 6th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/professional-boxing-is-like-a-new-era-in-my-life-vijender/article7731078.ece

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.

Published: 13th October 2015

Read more: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/news/9154_Reaching-the-pinnacle.html

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

15th October 2015

@rameshmenonauh

Photo Speaks – Affection

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Life is too sweet and too short to express our affection with just our thumbs. Touch is meant for more than a keyboard. –  Kristin Armstrong

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Let these photos and quotes make your day inspiring.

You are welcome to like it and share it.

Photo Speaks – Anger

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“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Let these photos and quotes make your day inspiring.

You are welcome to like it and share it.

Photo Speaks – Pearl

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Real friendship, like real poetry, is extremely rare – and precious as a pearl. – Tahar Ben Jelloun

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Let these photos and quotes make your day inspiring.

You are welcome to like it and share it.

Photo Speaks – Harmony

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“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Let these photos and quotes make your day inspiring.

You are welcome to like it and share it.

Photo Speaks – Believe in you

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“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t. Blaise Pascal

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Let these photos and quotes make your day inspiring.

You are welcome to like it and share it.

Photo Speaks : Willpower

Posted on

What is now proved was once only imagined.”  ― William Blake

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Let these photos and quotes make your day inspiring.

You are welcome to like it and share it.

Photo Speaks – Challenges in life

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“Challenges in life are not a problem, if you have the will power and confidence to lead.” ― RM

Challenges in life

We all think, we have the maximum difficulties in life. However, I met a team leader of a troop of monkeys stationed in the famous Bhoga Nandeeswara Temple, at the foothills of Nandi Hills Bangalore. The photo is deceptive as you cannot find the amputated left arm of this leader, who was running the show out there!!

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Let these photos and quotes make your day inspiring.

You are welcome to like it and share it.

News U Wish to Read – 3rd October 2015

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News U Wish to read  - 3 October 2015Note: 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.

Energy

Many reasons for cautious process on Abu Dhabi’s onshore oil concessions

The National

This time last year the air was thick with speculation about Abu Dhabi’s coveted onshore oil concessions, the award of which is worth billions to the international oil companies that secure them and is of prime importance to the people of the emirate. The 15 onshore oilfields – collectively know as the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, or Adco – account for more than half of the country’s oil output, though that is projected to be overtaken by offshore production within a few years. Even a year ago, the question was why had it taken the Supreme Petroleum Council and its technical advisers so long to evaluate and decide upon the proposals it had received? The previous concession had run out at the end of the prior year and all of the interested parties – which included four of the previous concession-holders, excluding Exxon Mobil – had made multiple presentations, as had a number of prospective new partners. Anticipation was building that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) would announce the decision at the big international oil gathering in the capital – Adipec – next month. But Adnoc did not announce the first major concession – granted to Total of France – until the following January, and then two others – to Japanese and South Korean interests – over the next five months. Now, a year later and with Adipec on the horizon again next month, and with still more than half of the 40 per cent of Adco’s foreign stake unallocated, oil industry executives again are starting to murmur – “What’s up with the Adco concessions?”. The delay should not be surprising given the two big challenges the Abu Dhabi oil decision-makers must face. One is that they must evaluate the partnerships for the next two generations in lieu of a changing global economy. Much of the talk since the concessions expired has been of the “shift to the east” – the growth of Asia’s developing economies, particularly China, which has meant more than 90 per cent of Abu Dhabi crude now is absorbed by Asia’s refiners. Adnoc’s loyal, long-term contractual buyers were recognised by the Adco parcels allocated to Japan’s Inpex (5 per cent) and South Korea’s GS Energy, backed by Korea National Oil Corp (3 per cent). Japan bought 30 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s crude oil output last year, with South Korea buying 12 per cent.

Published: 1st October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/many-reasons-for-cautious-process-on-abu-dhabis-onshore-oil-concessions

Iran targets 2 million barrels-a-day lift

The National

Iran plans to increase crude output by 2 million barrels a day from about 50 energy projects slated for investors at a conference in Tehran next month. That is according to Roknoddin Javadi, the managing director of National Iranian Oil Company. The package would also aim to boost natural gas production by 7 billion standard cubic feet, Mr Javadi said at a conference in Berlin. Oil production is now about 2.8 million barrels a day, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Iran has the world’s largest gas reserves and the fourth largest oil reserves, according to BP figures. The country would need US$30 billion of investment over five years to boost oil production, starting with about 350,000 barrels of new output next year, Goldman Sachs said in a report. The supplies could keep pressure on oil prices and delay the market’s return to balance, Henry Tarr, a Goldman analyst, said in the report. Mr Javadi told the conference that “the global oil market will stay bearish in the short to medium term”. The agreement in July by the United States, France, China, Russia, Britain and Germany to remove sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme pointed to an early start next year if all conditions were met, said Mr Tarr.

Published: 1st October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/iran-targets-2-million-barrels-a-day-lift

The rise and fall of UAE fuel prices – graphic

The National

The Fuel Price Committee has announced another drop in the price of petrol, while diesel is to rise slightly for October. Take a look at how the prices have changed since price-setting was liberalised in July.

Published: 28th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/the-rise-and-fall-of-uae-fuel-prices–graphic

Total plans deeper cuts in global project spending

The National

In a scheduled “strategy and outlook” presentation to investors in Paris, Total executives said the company plans to cut both capital and operating expenditures substantially through 2017, including reducing headcount and freezing recruitment. Total was the first of the large international oil companies to begin cost-cutting several years ago, before oil prices began their latest slide. Capital spending had already been cut from a peak two years ago of US$28 billion to about $23.5bn this year and the company said it would be cut a further 15 per cent next year and 12 per cent the year after “to a sustainable $17bn-19bn from 2017 onwards”. The Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanné and other top executives laid out a strategy that forecasts production to grow at an average of 5 per cent a year from 2014 through 2019. That is a slowing rate of growth from the 11 per cent the company registered in the first half of this year and the 7 per cent it expects through 2017. It effectively cut its forecast rate of production to 2.6 million barrels per day in 2017 from 2.8 million bpd. In January, Total was the first company to be granted a new concession in Abu Dhabi’s major onshore oilfields concession, known as Adco. The French company had been one of the legacy Adco concession operators and won a renewal for 40 years with a bid that analysts estimate was $2.2bn for a 10 per cent stake, giving it claim over about 2.2 billion barrels over the life of the contract. Regaining Adco this year has been a big factor behind the 11 per cent production increase posted in the first half. The 15 fields are on track to boost production from about 1.6 million bpd last year to 1.8 million bpd by the end of 2017. But neither the UAE nor the Middle East region in general featured in the plans laid out by Total for the next few years. Total has already said it plans to cut 2,000 headcount this year as part of efforts to trim $1.2bn from operating costs. The company said it is now aiming for even sharper cuts, with a target of between $2bn and $3bn of additional opex reductions by 2017. In the part of the strategy presented by Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s head of exploration and production, he said the company would be looking to cut the numbers and rates of contractors as well as freezing recruitment worldwide as part of efforts to reduce global headcount. The main focus of cuts would be older provinces, he said, highlighting the UK North Sea, which is targeted for a 20 per cent further reduction in personnel by 2017. “We are preparing the group to face low oil prices for a long time,” Patrick de la Chevardiere, Total’s head of finance, told a press conference after the presentation. The focus of future growth will be projects such as offshore Angola as well as liquefied natural gas in Papua New Guinea. As with other large international oil companies, Total executives said they are concerned to maintain their dividend payments for investors even with much lower oil ­prices.

Published: 23rd September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/total-plans-deeper-cuts-in-global-project-spending

Why Shell quit drilling in the Arctic

Gulf News

Royal Dutch Shell’s abrupt announcement earlier this week that it would cease all offshore drilling in the Arctic is surprising for several reasons. One is the unusual degree of confidence the company expressed as recently as mid-August that it had identified 15 billion barrels of oil beneath the well known as Burger J it’s now abandoning. What happened? Mistaken geology: After spending $7 billion over several years to explore a single well this summer, Shell said in a statement that it “found indications of oil and gas … but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration.” This contrasts sharply with Shell officials’ statements as recently as July and August that based on 3- and 4-D seismic analysis of core samples its petroleum geologists were “very confident” drillers would find plentiful oil. The geologists’ expectations were the main reason Shell spent all of that money on a project that entailed much-higher- than-average operational risks and international environmental condemnation. Giving up has got to hurt at a company that prides itself on scientific and technical prowess. Shell said it would take an unspecified financial charge related to the folding of its Arctic operation, which carries a value of $3 billion (Dh11 billion) on the company’s balance sheet.

Published: 30th September 2015

Follow:http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/energy/why-shell-quit-drilling-in-the-arctic-1.1592530

Other Sectors

Mubadala and General Electric agree to sell joint venture to US private equity firm

The National

Mubadala and GE Capital have agreed on a deal to sell their commercial finance joint venture to a unit of Apollo Global Management, a US private equity firm. Mubadala GE Capital (MGEC) in Abu Dhabi has signed a deal to sell “substantially all of the assets” of the company and its subsidiary firms to MidCap Financial. A price for the sale, which will be paid in cash, has yet to be agreed and “is subject to customary adjustment”, MGEC said.It also said the deal was subject to conditions and “may be terminated under certain circumstances”. It is expected to close in the last quarter of the year.

Published: 1st October 2015

Follow: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/mubadala-and-general-electric-agree-to-sell-joint-venture-to-us-private-equity-firm

Air India shifts domestic operations to T2 Mumbai

Times of India

From T2, Air India will operate 63 flights out of Mumbai of which 52 are to domestic destinations. Starting October 1, 2015, Air India has relocated its domestic operations from the Santa Cruz airport to Terminal 2 (T2), of the Mumbai airport to integrate its international operation with domestic flights. The move will also help members of Star Alliance to easily transfer passengers. With this, Air India said it would make Mumbai its second hub after Delhi. Interestingly, Mumbai was Air India’s home base since its inception and most international flights were operated from here till the UPA government shifted Air India’s headquarters to Delhi and the Delhi airport was made its base and main hub.

Published: 2nd October 2015

Follow: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/air-india-shifts-domestic-operations-to-t2-mumbai/article7716194.ece

Politics & Economy

 Economy minister: GDP to grow 3.5% to Dh1.6tr

Gulf News

The share of the industrial sector in the GDP is growing and now stands between 10-14%. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the UAE is predicted to grow more than 3.5 per cent to more than Dh1.6 trillion this year, compared with Dh1.5 trillion in 2014. In a statement to WAM, the minister said the UAE’s ability to maintain high grow rates in the past years despite global economic volatility shows its economic efficiency and proves that its diversification policy is successful as it relies more on non-oil sectors to weather global challenges. The share of the industrial sector in the GDP is growing and now stands between 10-14 per cent. He expects the size of industrial investments in the UAE to double in five years. Al Mansouri stressed that his ministry seeks to bolster the competitiveness of the national economy, the flow of foreign direct investments as well as the country’s economic relations with foreign countries. He pointed out that the Second UAE Economic Planning Forum, a two-day event scheduled on October 7 in Ras Al Khaimah, will enhance coordination between local and federal government departments to boost economic competitiveness, help the SME sector (small and medium size enterprises) and carry out national economic plans. The minister of economy added that innovation and supporting national industries top the agenda of the forthcoming forum.

Published: 3rd October 2015

Follow: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/economy-minister-gdp-to-grow-3-5-to-dh1-6tr-1.1594278

UAE and Saudi Arabia non-oil bilateral trade set to exceed Dh80 billion

The National

Non-oil trade between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is forecast to surge as the Emirates consolidates its status as an international trade centre, boosts investments in the kingdom and enacts unified regulations for Arabian Gulf products. Saudi Arabia is the biggest exporter of goods (mainly petrochemical products) to the UAE in the Gulf. In the UAE, Gulf products overall enjoy exemption of customs duties, in accordance with the country’s economic agreements with Gulf states, which contribute to the big volume of trade with Saudi Arabia. In 2013, the latest year for which figures are available, the bilateral trade was valued at Dh80 billion. The expected rise in trade comes amid increased political cooperation between the two countries, most notably in the military campaign to restore the internationally recognised government of Yemen. Still, challenges remain to the flow of UAE-Saudi Arabian trade, with logistics at the border at the forefront. According to the UAE’s Ministry of Economy, the country’s main export to Saudi Arabia is gold and the main re-export products are jewellery and gold.

Published: 3rd October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/uae-and-saudi-arabia-non-oil-bilateral-trade-set-to-exceed-dh80-billion

RBI surprises with more-than-expected rate cut

Khaleej Times

In a surprise move, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday cut the key repo rate by 50 basis points to 6.75 per cent, the lowest in nearly five years, yielding to pressures from government and industry, clamouring for such a sharp rate cut. Unveiling the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for fiscal year 2014-15, Rajan said since the previous review the bulk of the conditions for easing the policy had been met. Inflation has dropped to a nine-month low and despite the monsoon deficiency and its uneven spatial and temporal distribution, food inflation pressures have been contained by resolute actions by the government, he added. While reducing the policy repo rate – the rate at which the central bank lends money to commercial banks – under the liquidity adjustment facility, he kept the cash reserve ratio unchanged at four per cent. The reverse repo rate has been adjusted to 5.75 per cent.

Published: 30th September 2015

Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/rbi-surprises-with-more-than-expected-rate-cut

Community, Environment & Society

Abu Dhabi road safety campaigns start to prove their worth

The National

Traffic campaigns along with strict law enforcement by police were the key reasons why accidents on the emirate’s roads had fallen by a quarter over the first eight months of the year, Abu Dhabi Police said on Thursday. Latest figures released by Abu Dhabi Police reveal that since the start of the year there were 30 deaths compared with 40 over the same period last year. Brig Gen Khalifa Al Khaili, head of traffic and road safety at Abu Dhabi Police, attributed the decrease to the efforts of the authorities to make roads safer. He said that awareness programmes had been increased to ensure respect of traffic rules. Col Jamal Al Ameri, head of public relations at the directorate, said traffic awareness sessions had taken place at transport companies, schools and universities. And he added that the traffic safety improvements were down to these campaigns – in addition to the widespread use of radars and other traffic monitoring systems. “The drop in fatalities is mainly due to the strict enforcement of laws and the safety awareness programmes,” he said.

Published: 1st October 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/transport/abu-dhabi-road-safety-campaigns-start-to-prove-their-worth

UAE in talks over mobilisation of COP 21 climate agreement

The National

The UAE attended a meeting on Wednesday about how to enact agreements made in the COP 21 climate pact, which is due to be formalised in Paris in December. The UAE delegation to the two-day Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, held on the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, was led by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of the National Media Council board. “In common with the MEF, we have identified an urgent need for the deployment of clean energy technologies at the lowest possible cost, to drive transformational progress,” he said. The minister added that moving to a clean energy economy provides an opportunity to promote continued economic growth and sustainable development as part of a response to the challenges posed by climate change. “The UAE’s participation, alongside 17 of the world’s leading economies, is a testament to the country’s commitment to sustainable development, and its leadership in the deployment of the clean energy technologies necessary to mitigate climate change.” Discussions at the forum focused on a number of important issues that, it is hoped, will be resolved ahead of the COP 21 meeting in December.

Published: 30th September 2015.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/uae-in-talks-over-mobilisation-of-cop-21-climate-agreement

Technology

mGovernment social media accounts caters to Hindi speaking UAE residents

The National

The UAE has added Hindi as a language to communicate mGovernment initiatives on social media. One of India’s official languages, Hindi is now used by the official mGovernment Twitter account. The first Hindi tweet was posted on September 14, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said. “This initiative reflects the UAE government’s respect to its residents’ diverse cultures and civilisations,” said Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, the TRA’s director-general. “It also emphasises the government’s keenness on interacting with the people and hearing their voices through different social-media platforms.”

Published: 28th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/mgovernment-social-media-accounts-caters-to-hindi-speaking-uae-residents

Education+

Emirates Foundation invites budding scientists to participate in Think Science competition

The National

The Emirates Foundation is inviting budding young scientists to participate in next year’s Think Science competition. The contest is held under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Emirates Foundation, and engages youth nationwide to develop scientific innovations that respond to social needs. It is also part of the foundation’s Think Science programme, which aims to encourage Emiratis aged 15 to 35 to follow their passions for science through interactive activities related to engineering, energy, aviation and other fields. The national competition will accept 220 projects in the categories of electrical engineering, environmental sciences, industrial and mechanical systems, energy, smart and safety systems, physics and chemistry, transportation, aerodynamics and aviation. To ensure wider participation, the Emirates Foundation this year opened the doors for those aged between 25 and 35 years who have completed their academic study to participate in the competition. “The competition will provide a unique opportunity for Emirati youth to showcase their talents in science and technology, develop knowledge and share expertise, and be part of the UAE’s growth today and in the future,” said Maytha Al Habsi, chief programmes officer at the Emirates Foundation.

Published: 30th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/science/emirates-foundation-invites-budding-scientists-to-participate-in-think-science-competition

Engineering yourself for a successful career

The Hindu

Tips to make your engineering degree count in the competitive world of campus placements. Engineering education requires a transformation to meet the needs of employers, the challenges facing the profession and the community as a consequence of the rapid development of technology, the demands of large and complex projects and the need for socially responsible multidisciplinary innovation. A bachelor’s degree in engineering opens the door to several professional careers and exciting higher study options. In today’s high-tech world, an engineering degree is a great foundation for careers in traditional engineering fields as well as careers in management, sales, government, medicine, research, law, teaching, and many more.

Published: 28th September 2015

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/careers/engineering-yourself-for-a-successful-career/article7692762.ece

Sports – Campaign PASS

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.

National Sports Day to bring UAE together in friendly competition

The National

Plans have been announced for a nationwide sports day in which men, women and children of various nationalities are brought together in the spirit of friendly competition. Organisers of the UAE National Sports Day believe that as well as promoting healthy living, sporting competition also helps create a harmonious society.  Sports clubs, groups and schools will all be encouraged to take part in the event, which is due to take place on November 25. Its launch follows a directive of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. HE Mohamed Ebraheem Al Mahmood, vice president of the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare and Chairman and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Media, said: “This holds a lot of meaning in the country to promote athletics and a culture of sportsmanship for not only us and the over 200 nationalities in the country but also for our youth.” He urged as many people and organisations as possible to sign up. “The first national sports day carries an open invitation among all the citizens of the UAE, in age, gender and ability, it is meant for everyone,” said Mr Al Mahmood. “And that is the point – to bring people together.” Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council, also hoped the event would prove popular. “We want everyone to participate. I anticipate hundreds of events, and that is what we need.”

Published: 29th October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/national-sports-day-to-bring-uae-together-in-friendly-competition

Indian Super League ready for even bigger kick-off

The National

Team owners and sponsors of the Indian Super League (ISL) are hoping that the football tournament will be able to score huge success among fans over the coming weeks. The ISL kicked off its second season yesterday evening in Chennai after launching last year, bringing Bollywood glitz to football in an otherwise cricket-mad nation where other sports have more limited popular and commercial appeal. Actors, cricket stars and business tycoons are among those who have invested in the eight teams, which include a mix of international and Indian footballers on their rosters. The young league has ambitions to grow, but without doubt it is a high-risk venture. Another football tournament in India, the I-League, has failed to gain much traction. This has been blamed on lack of funding and limited television coverage. India is often referred to as football’s “sleeping giant” – it is 155th in the latest Fifa rankings – but with rising incomes and a vast young population, the potential to generate revenues from the sport could be enormous if its popularity continues to grow.

Published: 3rd October 2015

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/indian-super-league-ready-for-even-bigger-kick-off

Hope you enjoyed reading the above news items and links. More sections will come as it take shape and interest. Your response to this initiative is highly appreciated.

Regards,

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

3rd October 2015

@rameshmenonauh