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ADFD supports development of new Waste-to-Energy Plant in Maldives

ABU DHABI, 12th December, 2021 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the economic development arm of the UAE government, signed an agreement to provide a concessionary loan valued at AED 51.4 million (US$14 million) to support development of a new waste-to-energy plant on Ado Island in the Maldives, a project which was selected under ADFD-IRENA Project Facility.

The Agreement was signed by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, and Ibrahim Ameer Minister of Finance of Maldives.

The signing ceremony was attended by Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Deputy Director-General of ADFD, and drew the participation of senior representatives of the two parties.

The new waste conversion and water treatment facility will generate 1.5 megawatts of clean energy to provide electricity to more than 6,000 homes in Ado and surrounding islands. The plant will reduce total waste volume on the island by 10 percent, contributing to the Maldives waste management strategy as well as climate action targets.

The facility will also contribute to the Maldives economic development strategy by strengthening the energy sector, reducing reliance on fuel imports, and creating new job opportunities through both the construction phase and ongoing operations and maintenance of the facility.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, said, "This project is significant as it represents the core purpose of the Fund on many levels. It advances ADFD’s commitment to support UAE’s climate action and renewable energy goals while providing the people of Ado with a sustainable renewable energy source that also addresses local waste management challenges. Financing this project reflects the Fund's commitment to supporting the renewable energy sector in developing countries, which will positively affect sustainable economic development for these countries."

"This waste-to-energy project is an important step in supporting the Maldives government’s strategy aimed at increasing the proportion of clean energy production and reducing dependence on electricity production from fossil fuels by a large percentage. It is the second project funded by ADFD in the field of waste-to-energy in Maldives."

Ibrahim Ameer, Maldives Minister of Finance, said, "This is a strategically important project for the Maldives and the people of Ado Island. Waste-to-energy represents a smart approach to advancing our national waste management objectives and emissions reduction targets while creating high-value jobs and providing our residents with reliable clean energy. We greatly value our partnership with ADFD and the UAE to support the development of this and other high impact infrastructure projects across the country."

This is the second waste-to-energy project supported by ADFD in the Maldives. With this concessionary loan, which will cover 50 percent of the total project development cost estimated at AED 102.8 (US$28 million).

In 2015, the Fund contributed to the financing of a waste-to-energy plant with a production capacity of 4 megawatts. This project was certified by the Global Innovation Institute (GINI) as an innovative project due to its important contribution to achieving the country’s strategy for solid waste management and driving a 10 percent reduction in waste volume. Based on the positive results achieved by this project on the Maldivian economy and society, the Fund today supports, through this agreement, the replication of the project to serve other regions and islands in the Maldives.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi added, "With the introduction of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the UAE continues to demonstrate its commitment to be a global leader in climate action, the adoption of clean energy and the reduction of carbon emissions here at home, across the region and worldwide. As a nation, we were among the first to ratify the Paris Agreement and our National Energy Plan 2050 calls for reducing the carbon footprint of power generation by 70 percent. ADFD is committed to advancing that national strategic imperative by supporting projects such as this waste-to-energy plant in the Maldives as well as to help promote the growth of the UAE green economy as part of ADFD’s national economic development and diversification mandate."

ADFD has enjoyed strong relations with the Government of the Maldives since 1976. The Fund has financed ten development projects in the country valued at approximately AED 751 million, spanning crucial socio-economic sectors such as housing, communications, transport, energy, and education.

Waste-to-energy is one of the many renewable energy sources supported by ADFD which also includes wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass technologies as part of its long-term commitment to combat climate change. In total, ADFD has supported the development of 90 renewable energy projects in 65 countries around the world that have the capacity to generate more than 9,000 megawatts of electricity.

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Hamriyah and Deira ports record AED 12.133b in customs declaration value for first nine months of 2023

Dubai Customs plays a crucial role as the frontline defense for community security, consistently advancing its customs centers to safeguard and facilitate maritime trade. H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, recently visited Creek Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center to evaluate progress and oversee ongoing efforts for continuous customs service development. During this visit, several executive directors, department heads, and customs center managers were present.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, accompanied by Rashid Al Dhabah Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Seae Customs Centers Management, conducted inspections at Khor Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center. Managers Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al Salman and Majid Salem Al Tawilah provided insights into workflow progress and accomplishments. Over the first nine months of this year, 62,454 customs declarations were processed, totaling AED 12.133 billion, with 19 seizures recorded during the same period. A visit to Hamriyah Port Customs Center showcased an advanced container X-ray inspection device, supporting increased inspection operations.

Subsequently, visits to Khor Customs Center and Deira Port highlighted achievements, including a notable seizure called the “Wheelhouse,” which successfully prevented an attempt to smuggle 243 kilograms of narcotics into the country. Commending customs employees, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih emphasized the pivotal role of maritime customs centers in ensuring community security and facilitating trade. The department collaborates for efficient goods clearance and acknowledges employee efforts
during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the department’s support for global efforts to revive maritime navigation and international trade.

Musabih clarified that the department’s advanced capabilities in monitoring and inspection enable it to keep pace with the UAE’s rapid foreign trade growth. Supporting Dubai’s economic agenda D33, the department aims to double foreign trade and enhance economic partnerships with key global markets. Efforts to boost customs inspector efficiency continue through training courses, ensuring their ability to thwart smuggling attempts. Continuous development of X-ray scanning
devices and the K9 customs dog unit further enhances contraband control achievements. Rasheed Al-Dabah explained that the forthcoming period will witness the advancement of new initiatives and mechanisms in the realm of inspection and examination. These initiatives are grounded in a forward-looking perspective to introduce cutting-edge technologies utilized in examining maritime transport vessels, wooden ships, and ships engaged in fish trade.

He remarked, “Our endeavors are harmonized to enhance performance in sea customs centers, concurrently focusing on bolstering monitoring, tracking, and technical support activities to yield optimal outcomes through continuous and productive collaboration among all specialized teams within the department. The Customs centers in Deira, Al Khor, and
Hamriyah Port Customs Center shoulder their vital responsibilities in safeguarding society and facilitating maritime trade through Dubai Creek and Hamriyah Port, supporting the ongoing growth of the national economy.”

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Dubai Customs Hosts Sharjah Housing Delegation to Strengthen Government Communication Ties

Dubai Customs, represented by the Corporate Communication Department, warmly welcomed a delegation from the Sharjah Housing Department. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the delegation with the duties and responsibilities of the
Corporate Communication Department and its affiliated divisions. The delegation also aimed to explore the awards received by the department, notably the recognition as the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2023.

Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of Corporate Communication Department, along with department managers, extended a cordial reception to the Sharjah Housing delegation, which included Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication, Nada Sivan, Head of the Public Relations and Events Department, and Hamad Saleh Al Hamadi, Head of
the New Media Department. Bin Gharib highlighted the department’s commitment to strengthening communication with government entities to exchange practical experiences and knowledge. The delegation was briefed on Dubai Customs exceptional performance in customs operations and other facets.

The meeting delved into discussions on potential avenues for collaboration, with the Sharjah Housing delegation. Emphasis was placed on the crucial role played by Dubai Customs’ Corporate Communication Department, customs administrations, and centers in ensuring security and safeguarding society. The delegation was presented with an overview of the department’s working mechanisms, awareness campaigns, events, and activities conducted internally and externally, aligning with Dubai Customs esteemed reputation.

Furthermore, the Sharjah Housing delegation acquired an understanding of the best media practices adopted by the Corporate Communication Department, showcasing its outstanding performance in enhancing knowledge and media dissemination to all partners. This has resulted in the department establishing and fortifying relationships with local and international media
entities. The presentation also encompassed the factors contributing to the department’s receipt of the award for the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award.

Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication at Sharjah Housing, expressed appreciation for the efforts of Dubai Customs Corporate Communication Department, acknowledging its excellence and significant contribution to enhancing the department’s standing. Dr. Al Nuaimi affirmed Sharjah Housing’s commitment to fostering ongoing visits and meetings with Dubai Customs, aiming to achieve the highest level of coordination and benefit from the Corporate Communication Departmen’s experience in securing numerous local and international awards.

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Zayed Sustainability Prize opens submissions for 2025 cycle

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, has officially announced that the 2025 cycle is now open for submissions.  Submissions will be accepted until 23 June 2024 through the Prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs), nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and high schools with sustainable solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the six categories of Heath, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools. Commenting on the launch of the 2025 submissions cycle, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President, said: “Since 2008, the
Zayed Sustainability Prize has honoured the legacy of Sheikh Zayed by fostering inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development around the world. In this decisive decade for climate change, these values are more important than ever. I am optimistic that the Prize will contribute to global climate action in line with the UAE Consensus, which will pave the
way toward an effective response to the Global Stocktake decision.” In response to the pressing climate crisis, and to further support the UAE’s efforts to accelerate practical solutions needed to drive climate action and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, the Prize has increased its funds from US $3.6 million to US $5.9 million. The Prize will reward US $1 million to each winner in the organisational categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action. Within the Global High Schools category, which is split into six world regions, each school can claim up to US $150,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub- Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. The most recent Zayed Sustainability Prize winners were recognised at an Awards Ceremony held during COP28 UAE. To encourage a broader range of organisations and high schools to participate, the Prize will be accepting submissions in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This will ensure that innovative solutions from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be recognised. For the Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action categories, organisations should prove that they are improving access to essential products or services in their targeted communities and are able to implement a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, projects should be led by students, and must demonstrate innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges. The evaluation of each submission to the Prize consists of a rigorous, three-stage process. First, due diligence is conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the Prize’s evaluation criteria of Impact, Innovation, and Inspiration. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who unanimously elect the winners across all six categories.   Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during the 2025 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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