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Ministry of Culture and Youth reveals details of Al Burda Festival

ABU DHABI, 12th December, 2021 (WAM) — The Ministry of Culture and Youth has revealed the details of the second edition of Al Burda Festival to be held at Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo 2020 Dubai from 19th-21st December.

The three-day festival themed ‘Transcending spaces, discovering the world’ is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and coincides with the UAE’s 50th anniversary and carries the message of openness, coexistence, and tolerance.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said, "Al Burda Festival honours Islamic arts, and the greatness of Islamic civilisation. The festival aspires to promote tolerance and human and cultural interaction through Islamic art, which epitomises the rich heritage and values of the great Islamic civilisation."

She explained, "The Ministry of Culture and Youth opts to see the world as a better place through art and culture. We want to use art as a medium of communication between people from different cultures and backgrounds in the hope of forge stronger human connections for a brighter future. This is the underlying principle of Al Burda Award since its launch 17 years ago. Launched in 2018, Al Burda Festival celebrates Islamic creativity and has grown into a very significant global event in the cultural field, in general, and in the field of Islamic art. The festival promotes Islamic civilisation, culture, and history through the arts."

Al Kaabi noted that the UAE, since its establishment, has been an incubator of culture and diversity, with more than 200 nationalities living in the country. "Al Burda Award highlights the role of UAE in enshrining the idea of human convergence. This year the 16th iteration of the award has attracted more than 1,557 entries from more than 56 countries around the world. Since its launch in 2004, Al Burda has felicitated more than 300 artists worldwide in its main categories. The award has been an important vehicle to promote our culture and heritage by showcasing traditional Islamic arts."

Al Burda Festival Events

Al Burda Festival comprises dialogue sessions that host intellectuals from the field of Islamic arts and culture, provide comprehensive topics and insights on the latest trends and pioneering ideas that shape the future. The conferences and meeting at the festival include insightful dialogues and discussions on the intersection of traditions, cultural heritage, advanced technology, entrepreneurship, arts, and culture.

The festival also features performances and films inspired by the Islamic world, which tell stories rooted in Islamic arts and culture, targeting audiences of various interests and age groups. The festival celebrates Islamic decoration, Arabic calligraphy, Nabati (popular) poetry and ornamentation.

More than 74 world-renowned speakers will be participating in 65 programmes encompassing panel discussions, workshops and dialogue sessions over the three days of Al Burda Festival. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about Islamic art forms and enjoy performances inspired by the cultures of the Muslim world. More than 15 exhibitions with exquisite Islamic artworks will be on display. The festival will also host 10 live performances from different regions of the world including the Middle East, Asia and Africa. In addition to these, a range of documentaries and animated and feature films, targeting children in particularly, will be screened during the festival.

The UAE Ministry of Culture is organising Al Burda Award and Festival with more than 30 partners.

Al Burda Award

The winners of Al Burda Award, one of the world's highest cultural awards in the field of Islamic arts, will be announced during the festival.

Launched in 2004, Al Burda Award reinforces the UAE's message of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among people across the world by highlighting the diversity of Islamic art and by bringing people together through artistic and cultural endeavours.

The award celebrates the diversity of Islamic culture and its artistic creativity and plays an important role in strengthening the UAE's soft power. It shares the UAE’s cultural values and principles with the world while also strengthening its relations on a global level. It promotes cultural concepts and raises awareness about the rich Islamic art and culture thereby instilling pride in the authentic culture, ancient heritage, and tolerant Islamic cultural identity.

Al Burda Award has been bestowed upon 300 artists worldwide in Islamic arts, the winners are creative ambassadors from various countries of the world and are well-versed in Islamic history. Al Burda champions Islamic history and has been contributing to keeping the traditional art forms alive for our future generations.

Through the Al Burda Award platform, the Ministry of Culture and Youth aims to strengthen its partnerships at the local, regional and international levels with a three-pronged agenda, which includes cooperation with the founding partners to develop artistic works and productions, as well as publications related to the festival. Secondly, the award forges cooperation with several knowledge partners and thirdly it brings together renowned speakers and participants to contribute to the sessions.

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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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