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Expo 2020 visit numbers cross the 6.3 million mark as of 13 December

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DUBAI, 13th December, 2021 (WAM) –Expo 2020 Dubai visit numbers have rocketed with 6,358,464 million visits in the period up to 13 December, steered by world-class music, gripping sporting events, vibrant National Days, family-friendly entertainment and sustained demand for the Expo 2020 Festive Pass.

Alicia Keys saw crowds flocking to Al Wasl Plaza on 10 December, captivating the audience with a message of love, hope, innovation, and making realities out of dreams. With her new double album, Keys, coinciding with her performance at Expo 2020, the 15-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter chose the world’s biggest global platform as the location to unveil her highly-anticipated new release because: "It just felt so perfect to launch Keys in Dubai. Expo 2020 Dubai knows no borders; it is envisioning a future we all want to create."

The New Yorker’s fans around the world were able to hear her new music by logging on to view the concert at virtualexpodubai.com, helping the platform’s total number of visits to hit 30 million mark, up five million in the past week alone.

Meanwhile Manchester City footballer Pablo Zabaleta paid a visit to Expo 2020 Dubai, sharing his interest in coaching and love for the Middle East; Indian singer Neha Kakkar regaled crowds at Jubilee Park on 12 December with a show that inspired people to live life to the fullest; the Expo World Choir, featuring singers and musicians from 142 nationalities hit all the right notes at Jubilee Stage; and popular Filipino artists Sponge Cola and Matthaios came together to tell their stories through music on 8 December.

After nine games at this year’s FIDE World Championship, Magnus Carlsen secured the one point he needed to cross the seven-point threshold to win against challenger Ian ‘Nepo’ Nepomniachtchi at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai. Hot on his heels, Georgia’s grandmaster Nona Gaprindashvili, the inspiration behind the wildly popular Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit, will partake in a panel discussion related to women’s empowerment challenges and achievements at the Dubai Exhibition Centre today (13 December), followed by a thrilling game between the grandmasters and Dubai Culture and Chess Club members at Al Wasl Plaza in a special choreographed show.

Further upcoming attractions include ‘Brainiac Live,’ set to electrify Jubilee Park with a wild science show on 15 December – perfect for children and adults alike – while the Jubilee stage gets into full swing on 16 December with a diverse mix of exciting global musical talent; and Egyptian singer, rapper, actor, dancer and producer Mohammed Ramadan will perform a standalone concert on Jubilee Stage on 18 December.

An immersive day out for families, Expo has plenty on offer for younger visitors, with arts and crafts, light shows, performances and a complimentary winter camp – which includes sports activities, team games and challenges run by fully qualified sports coaches. The recent launch of a new family dining offer, gives one free kids’ meal with every adult meal at certain Expo eateries during the week.

With Expo’s new Festive Pass unlocking unlimited access to a wonderful winter for just AED 95, on sale now until the end of December, visit numbers are expected to keep going up.

As the largest major global event to be held since the start of the pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai continues to maintain robust COVID-19 measures, ensuring a safe and exceptional event for all attending. With more than 90 per cent of the UAE population fully vaccinated, Expo 2020 Dubai has required mandatory vaccination of all Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers. Visitors ages 18 and above are required to present proof of any vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours. In addition, Expo 2020 maintains on site sanitisation stations and mandatory face-masks both indoor and outdoor.

Expo 2020 Dubai runs until 31 March 2022, inviting the world to join a global celebration that will help to shape a better, brighter future for everyone.

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Emirates

UAE private sector pledges to accelerate gender balance in leadership

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DUBAI,18th January, 2022 (WAM) — In a first of its kind initiative for the UAE private sector, 18 leading local and multinational companies from diverse sectors have signed a pledge to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).

This pledge by the private sector aims to increase gender balance in the workplace, with an emphasis on increasing the representation of women in leadership positions to 30% by 2025 through policy, programme, and initiative developments that are aligned with UAE government direction.

The pledge was signed during a ceremony hosted by the UAE Gender Balance Council, the UAE’s National Committee on SDGs and the UAE’s Private Sector Advisory Council on SDGs. The ceremony was attended by Mona Ghanim Al-Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council; Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Vice President of UAE National Committee on SDGs; Shamsa Saleh, Secretary-General of the UAE Gender Balance Council; Hanan Ahli, Acting Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre; as well as representatives of member companies of the Private Sector Advisory Council and representatives of international organisations working on the SDGs.

Companies that signed the pledge include Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC, Masdar, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai Holding, Unilever, Standard Chartered Bank, MasterCard, Michelin, UPS, General Motors, Schneider Electric, PepsiCo, Mondelez International, BASF, Mars, Nestle, and General Mills.

Each of the signatories committed to taking key actions before 2025 to strengthen gender balance in leadership positions, including by: ensuring equal pay and fair compensation; promoting gender equitable recruitment and promotion; mainstreaming gender balance through policies and programmes; and being transparent about progress with fellow signatories and government.

H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, commended this voluntary initiative, which reflects the unique partnership between the government and private sector in the UAE to achieve the national goals and a future vision by the wise leadership that will enable the country to be a leading global economy in the next fifty years. She stressed on the pivotal role of the private sector in supporting the government’s efforts to enhance the UAE’s global competitiveness.

She affirmed that gender balance is a key priority for the government, and that the private sector is an indispensable partner in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 5 (Gender Equality). She stressed that the pledge will be an inspiration for the region and the world.

Sheikha Manal said: "The UAE is highly committed to the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 and has integrated them into its strategic plans, and prioritized them in its local and international partnerships. A national committee for these goals was established in 2017, comprising several ministries and federal agencies, which share the responsibility of implementing these goals at the national level. The UAE Gender Balance Council also launched a host of local and global initiatives to accelerate the implementation of SDG 5 (Gender Equality), in cooperation with government entities and international organisations. These efforts have resulted in remarkable progress for the UAE in global competitiveness reports on women and gender balance, leading the region in some of the most important indexes and climbing to eighteenth place globally in gender equality in a report issued by the United Nations Development Programme. We have witnessed other notable successes, which include ranking first in Middle East and North Africa in the ‘Women, Business and the Law’ 2021 report issued by the World Bank, and first in the Arab world in the Global Gender Gap Report 2021, issued by the World Economic Forum, as well as successfully ranking first globally in 9 competitive indicators related to the progress in achieving the fifth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2021."

She added: "I would like to thank our partners in this initiative that supports the UAE's commitment and continuous pursuit to achieve the sustainable development goals. Eliminating obstacles to gender equality is essential to achieving economic prosperity, social stability and sustainable growth. The UAE, since its establishment, has invested in the capabilities of all members of its society without prejudice or discrimination, and this direction is being reinforced by our wise leadership with pioneering legislation and policies that consolidate the rights of women, ensure equal opportunities and leadership positions in the labor market and enhance their representation in decision-making areas. We are confident that the private sector will keep pace with the achievements made in government in this field, and this initiative constitutes an inspiring model for all private institutions in the country."

Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Chairperson of the Global Council on SDG 5, said: "The signing of this pledge is a defining moment that deserves to be commended, as it enhances government efforts and confirms the important role that the private sector has in achieving the UAE’s vision and goals."

She added: "The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need to work together to come up with innovative solutions to some complex challenges facing our world. It has also demonstrated the extent to which women are affected by crises, noting that there are real gender gaps in leadership positions across the world, with women occupying only 22% of CEO-level leadership positions. We need to escalate efforts to increase the number of women in senior and middle management roles, as more women in leadership means stronger organisational performance and thriving economies."

She expressed her gratitude to the companies that signed the pledge and their cooperation with the government, adding that it represents a great opportunity for the rest of the private sector to join this important initiative, stressing the readiness of the UAE Gender Balance Council to provide support to the private sector to progress in this field.

Abdulla Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, and Vice President of UAE National Committee on SDGs, stressed the important role of the private sector in supporting national efforts to achieve sustainable development goals, as well as promoting national initiatives and projects aimed at consolidating gender balance across various fields.

He said: "The pledge, signed by 18 national and international pioneering companies, constitutes an important step in the UAE’s path to empowering women. Progress in gender equality started with Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the wise leadership continues to build on it because of women’s pivotal role in the advancement of countries and societies."

He added: "This initiative reflects the strategic vision of the UAE Gender Balance Council and H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Completing the sustainable development goals is a joint responsibility between the public and private sectors, and success in this field requires joint efforts to launch initiatives that empower women working in the private sector."

The pledge is the result of the tireless efforts of the UAE’s Private Sector Advisory Council on SDGs, in collaboration with the UAE’s National Committee on SDGs as represented by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Center (FCSC) and the UAE Gender Balance Council, after a focus group discussion on SDG 5 was organised in 2019.

The result of this discussion was the Private Sector Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance, an effort which will promote a culture that encourages all employees to realise their full potential, in line with SDG 5 (Gender Equality). Specifically, the pledge will drive the implementation of Target 5.5, which emphasizes the global importance of ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.

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Emirates

Qatari FM condemns Houthi attacks on UAE in phone call with Abdullah bin Zayed

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ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2022 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received a phone call from Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar who affirmed his strong condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist attack by the terrorist Houthi militia on civil facilities in the UAE.

He pointed out that such terrorist acts contravene all international norms and laws, expressing his sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this terrorist attack, his wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured, and for continued security and stability to the UAE.

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Emirates

Maldives FM condemns terrorist Houthi attack on civil facilities in UAE in phone call with Abdullah bin Zayed

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ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2022 (WAM)– H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received today a phone call from Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives.

During the phone call, Shahid expressed strong condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist attack by the terrorist Houthi militia on civil facilities in the UAE. He also affirmed the Maldives' full solidarity with and support for the UAE in the face of this cowardly attack.

He offered condolences over the victims of this terrorist act and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

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