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Triumph of Innovation Impact Report launched at Expo Dubai



DUBAI, 8th December, 2021 (WAM) — An event hosted at Expo 2020 Dubai today has seen the launch of a new innovation impact report by UBI Global, in partnership with District 2020. As an Innovation Ecosystem partner, UBI Global is collaborating with District 2020 on initiatives focused on fostering and sharing business incubation best practices and networking, to support entrepreneurship growth, and in line with District 2020’s focus on curating a global innovation ecosystem.

The report by the Sweden-based intelligence company and powered by the tech company Global Innovation Studios, examined the impact of the pandemic and social and governance initiatives, on innovators in the global business community. Along with incubators and accelerators, the report also revealed the impact of these external factors on corporate innovation teams.

Bringing together contributions and success stories from organisations in more than 45 countries, the study was fittingly launched at Expo 2020 Dubai. Expo 2020 brings together innovation, creativity and collaboration, under a mission that will be continued when the mega-event comes to an end and the site transitions into District 2020, a human-centric future city to live, work and explore. District 2020 has been designed to create a blueprint for a smart and sustainable community where people and businesses collaborate to create a more balanced, resilient and sustainable way of life. As an innovation ecosystem, District 2020 will support the growth of key industries and technologies that are shaping the future of sustainable urban environments in a post-pandemic world.

During the event, a panel of the world’s top-ranked business incubators and accelerators including SETsquared (the United Kingdom), GVA (the Russian Federation), DMZ (Canada) and Plug and Play (UAE) also undertook a deep dive into the study’s results. A further panel discussion on corporate start-up collaboration led by Founder Institute’s Regional Director Sameer Sortur featured innovation experts from Dubai’s leading businesses including Emirates, Etisalat, and Siemens.

Tala Al Ansari, Director of District 2020 Innovation Ecosystem and Scale2Dubai, said: "We’re delighted to support UBI Global in the release of this report on innovation as a part of our commitment to supporting start-ups and knowledge creation. Dubai is already a leading global center for entrepreneurship, knowledge transfer, and innovation; offering an ideal launchpad for SMEs and global talent. District 2020 aims to contribute to the emirate’s future vision by providing a global innovation ecosystem and community that facilitates co-creation between organisations of all sizes from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to government entities through matchmaking, events, pilot projects in our living lab and more.

''We believe that with great challenges, come great learning opportunities. We are excited to see and share the success stories of global businesses triumphing through the pandemic as a result of innovation."

Also announced at the event was the next World Incubation Summit, due to be held at District 2020 in the fourth quarter of 2022 following its transition and launch as a vibrant community that will evolve from Expo 2020 Dubai. The World Incubation Summit will bring together more than 500 attendees across global start-up programmes and corporate innovation teams to take part in a rich line-up of workshops, networking, tours, pitches, a Gala Night and Awards Ceremony. The World Incubation Summit is also where UBI Global announces the World Rankings of business incubators and accelerators as the result of the World Benchmark Study, due to commence in the Spring of 2022.

Ali Amin, Co-founder and CEO of UBI Global, commented: "Expo 2020 is the perfect place to release the Triumph of Innovation report in partnership with District 2020, and to announce next year’s World Incubation Summit, to be held here, supporting the growth of the innovation ecosystem and community that will evolve after Expo. We are looking forward to sharing the success stories that have come out of the study and recognising GVA from Russia for their success story from the business incubators and accelerators participating in the study, as well as AK Bank Lab of Turkey as the corporate innovation team that met the pandemic challenge. ''

''We are also delighted to honourably mention the success of business accelerator Aalto Startup Center from Finland and corporate innovation team of Sberbank (Russia) for their initiatives during a difficult time. Dubai is a rich launch pad for start-ups and innovation, and we’re excited to watch how it progresses over the coming months and years and we’re pleased to partner with District 2020 to propel this further."

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Nahyan bin Mubarak receives Ambassador of Algeria



ABU DHABI, 24th January, 2022 (WAM) — Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, has received Khemissi Arif, Ambassador of Algeria to the UAE, in his palace.

At the start of the meeting, Sheikh Nahyan welcomed Arif and congratulated him for assuming his new position, wishing him success and a good stay in the country.

Both sides also discussed the strategic relations between the UAE and Algeria and exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Sheikh Nahyan stressed that the two countries share deep-rooted ties supported by their leaderships. Algeria’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai underscores the strategic ties between the two countries, he noted, adding that Expo 2020 Dubai is the most important cultural event in the world, gathering 192 countries in one place, aimed at creating a better future for humanity.

For his side, Arif highlighted his country’s keenness to cooperate with the UAE in all areas and capitalise on the strategic partnership between the two countries. He lauded the successful organisation of Expo 2020 Dubai by the UAE and highlighted the ongoing efforts to boost their bilateral ties.

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Zee Stores becomes Ghitha Holding in strategic expansion



ABU DHABI, 24th January, 2022 (WAM) — Zee Stores, the trading and distribution firm listed on the ADX Second Market, has announced that it will rebrand to Ghitha and expand its strategy to become a Key Player in the food industry, which will support the UAE’s food security agenda.

The holding company will add a number of related businesses to its existing portfolio, through future acquisitions and subsidiaries’ formation, which will enhance its core capabilities in wholesale importing and trading fresh and canned foods; packaging; and providing food services to industrial sites such as gas and oil fields. Its ticker symbol will then change to GHITHA from ZS.

The new strategic direction will enable Ghitha Holding to become one of the largest and most important players in the regional food trading sector.

Mohammed Somar Ajalyaqin, Chairman of Ghitha Holding, said, "With the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy aiming to make the Emirates the world’s most food-secure nation by 2051, expanding operations in food and agriculture presents an ideal opportunity to deliver shareholder value through commercial success while supporting the national development agenda. This transformation of Zee Stores into Ghitha Holding represents the next stage in the company’s journey, and through our growing operations we will continue to play an even greater role in this sector."

Ghitha Holding is a subsidiary of International Holding Company (IHC), the Abu Dhabi-headquartered multi-sector conglomerate which has implemented an ambitious strategy of consolidating and listing subsidiaries to transform them into powerful multi-sector operators. IHC holds an extensive portfolio in its Agriculture and Food & Beverage verticals and has developed deep expertise in food farming, trading and processing, empowering it to make significant contributions to the UAE’s food security strategy.

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UAE to head ALECSO’s Permanent Committee for Arab Culture



ABU DHABI, 24th January, 2022 (WAM) — The Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO) member countries have unanimously chosen the UAE to head the Permanent Committee for Arab Culture.

Salma Al Darmaki, Secretary-General of the UAE National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, has been appointed to chair the Permanent Committee.

The decision comes after the 22nd edition of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers, held in December 2021 at Expo 2020 Dubai. Al Darmaki is the second woman appointed to this position in ALECSO's history.

The Permanent Committee for Arab Culture is responsible for coordinating the work of various ALECSO member states in cultural fields. The Standing Committee is also mandated to prepare for the Conference of Arab Ministers of Culture.

On this occasion, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, Chair of the UAE National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, said, "The UAE's selection to chair the Permanent Committee for Arab Culture reflects its pioneering position in the field of cultural and creative industries and is an affirmation of its ability to establish strong communication links between Arab countries."

"The UAE enjoys excellent cultural relations regionally and globally. The impact of its cultural project which aims to enhance people’s awareness and enhance their contribution to culture, comes in line with unique initiatives that reaffirms the UAE’s position as a global cultural hub, and an incubator for creativity and talent. The UAE’s strategic plan seeks to invest in culture as a crucial tool in developing communities and people alike," the minister added.

For her side, Al Darmaki said, "Thanks to the UAE's leadership and their long-term vision that today, Emirati talent is being acknowledged not just locally and regionally but also globally. The UAE has been investing earnestly in its youth, which has been instrumental in the success of young Emirati talent and the achievements of Emirati women. Our leadership's strategy, vision, and continuous guidance and support have helped us reach new heights of success in the Arab region and around the world."

"I will be working closely with ALECSO’s Permanent Committee for Arab Culture to launch new initiatives and projects to strengthen the role of Arab culture in our present and future endeavours," she added.

Al Darmaki has been an Assistant Under-Secretary for Knowledge and Cultural Policy at the Ministry of Culture and Youth since 2018. She has served as a Research Fellow at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development from 2017 to 2018. She was a researcher at the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the United Nations in Switzerland from 2016 to 2017; an expert on Social Policy in the General Secretariat of the Executive Council in Abu Dhabi from 2011 and 2016, and a parliamentary researcher in the General Secretariat of the Federal National Council from 2009-2010. She also worked for the Abu Dhabi Government Restructuring Committee in 2008.

Al Darmaki holds a post-graduate degree in International Law from the University of London, a Master's in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom, and a bachelor's degree in International Studies from Zayed University in the UAE.

As Secretary-General of the UAE National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Al Darmaki managed the campaign for securing a seat for the UAE on the UNESCO Executive Board from 2019 to 2023. She played a crucial role in the first decision submitted by the UAE to the Executive Council of UNESCO on "A Framework for Arts and Culture Education" and the passing of a resolution on the "Building on the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development through Consolidated Action". Some of her other achievements include the declaration of World Futures Day by UNESCO as an annual international day after being proposed by the UAE. The UAE secured a seat in the intergovernmental committee of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Al Darmaki has been working with the national authorities to further the cause of cultural, educational and scientific endeavours, such as extending the registration of the falconry file for the fourth time in the UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage to become the largest file in the history of the organisation. She also manages the UAE partnership with UNESCO in the pioneering "Revive the Spirit of Mosul" initiative. In addition to supporting the nomination of Abu Dhabi as a Creative City for Music, she has helped make Abu Dhabi the third Emirate to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network along with Dubai and Sharjah.

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