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Mohammed bin Rashid launches second season of World’s Coolest Winter

DUBAI, 15th December, 2021 (WAM) — His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, today launched the second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign. Launched at a special event at Expo 2020 Dubai site, this year’s edition will expand on last year’s campaign and will cover both domestic and foreign tourism.

The launch ceremony was attended by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, and Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, alongside other ministers and officials from local tourism authorities and federal entities.

In a series of tweets through his official account, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, "Today, we launched the second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign, in collaboration with federal entities and local tourism departments, reinforcing the UAE as one destination, as we outlined in the Principles of the 50."

He then tweeted, "The primary target audience of the campaign is domestic and family oriented, with the aim of gathering our families in our beautiful nation. We want families from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to enjoy Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, and families from other emirates to experience Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Everyone should enjoy the Emirates."

Sheikh Mohammed noted that the UAE’s winter is pure as the soul of the nation’s people, noting that "the world’s coolest winter is in the world’s most beautiful country among the world’s most pleasant people".

He added, "The UAE’s tourism recovered the quickest globally. The seven emirates have rich history, geography, nature, urban architecture, and community. The UAE’s archaeological sites, culture centers, historical landmarks, and nature reserves, offer visitors a holistic experience."

The second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign is carried out by the UAE Government Media Office, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and relevant tourism and culture entities. It is the largest campaign of its kind and will highlight the diversity of the UAE’s touristic and recreational attractions, the beauty of its natural landscapes, and the hospitality of its people, it will run from 15th December 2021 until the end of January 2022 to familiarise residents and international tourists with the activities that the UAE winter offers.

Open Invitation

This year’s World’s Coolest Winter campaign is an open invitation to all citizens and residents, as well as visitors to the UAE, to capture their most beautiful experiences, adventures and memorable moments in various parts of the country and share them across digital platforms. It is hoped that this will result in inspiring photo and video content on the UAE’s tourist and entertainment experiences, cultural events and enjoyable adventures, highlighting not only the country’s diversity but also its safety and the effective measures taken against COVID-19. The campaign also opens the door for influencers and celebrities from the country, the Arab region and the world to introduce the most prominent tourist attractions to their millions of followers.

Key Human Element

This year’s edition of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign celebrates the human element in every visit to the UAE, which is central to its status as a sought-after global tourist destination with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and is reflected in its values of tolerance, inclusion and respect for every visitor from every background.

Locally and Globally

The "World’s Coolest Winter" campaign is expanding this year to target international visitors, presenting the most important tourist and entertainment destinations in the country, its nature, culture, heritage, history, architecture and landmarks, and highlighting the distinctiveness of the tourism experience in each of the seven emirates. The campaign is also accompanied by the provision of many exclusive promotions for the campaign by tourist establishments, hotels, shops and restaurants.

UAE’s Tourism Sector in Numbers

The UAE achieved tourist occupancy rates in hotel and tourism establishments of 64% between January and October of 2021. The UAE outperformed the top 10 tourist destinations in the world such as the United States, which achieved an average of 58%, China (54%), Britain (50%), Turkey (49%), France (44%), Mexico (43%), Spain (40%), Italy (37%), Germany (33%), and Thailand (21%).

In the first half of 2021, hotel and tourist establishments attracted about 8.3 million guests, a growth of 15% compared to the first half of last year. During the same comparison period, the number of hotel nights spent by guests amounted to around 35 million nights, a growth of 30%, and the average guest stay increased to 4.1 nights, with a growth of 12.5%. This was accompanied by a 31% growth in hotel establishment revenues, to reach AED11.3 billion. The share of domestic tourism reached more than 30% of the total guests of hotel establishments.

The global data website Statista expects the UAE to attract more than 31 million tourists annually by 2025, and the travel and tourism sector to contribute AED280.6 billion to the UAE's GDP by 2028.

Unique Tourist Attractions

The UAE’s unique tourism offering features a huge range of activities that includes ecological and sustainable tourism, which offers visitors from all over the world the opportunity to visit the UAE’s nature reserves, oases, mountains, beaches and islands; desert tourism, including safari trips, sand boarding, and oases among rolling sand dunes; beach tourism, including options for water sports and free diving; and mountain tourism, including hiking activities, mountain biking, rock climbing and canyoning.

There is also a burgeoning adventure tourism scene, which includes deep-sea diving, parachute jumping, paragliding and other exciting, daring and challenging sports. The country’s cultural and heritage offering includes historical and heritage sites and various museums, while tourism for major festivals and celebrations will take in Expo 2020 Dubai, the largest human event of its kind in the world, as well as artistic, musical and entertainment. Finally, shopping tourism presents visitors with shopping festivals, offers and discounts in various regions of the country.

During the mild winter season, the UAE also offers an ideal destination for the MICE (meetings, conference incentive and exhibition) sector, as well as resources for health and medical tourism, providing visitors from all over the world the opportunity to benefit from world-class health services as well as recuperation during the winter with its cool air and moderate heat.

Comprehensive Goals

The "World’s Coolest Winter" campaign unites all tourism and promotional efforts and initiatives in the UAE in coordination and integration with various institutions and relevant authorities locally and federally, to activate internal tourism throughout the country, in addition to external tourism to attract tourists from all over the world, especially from countries experiencing severe winters. The campaign urges all entities and institutions working within the tourism sector in the country to develop and present a competitive, distinct and diversified tourism product that meets the various expectations and interests of internal and external tourists.

The campaign also sheds light on the most important natural, cultural, heritage, historical and urban areas in the country and I highlight the unique nature of each of the country’s seven emirates.

The campaign focuses on the welcome and hospitality to be found in the Emirates, making people from everywhere feel comfortable relaxed and at home.

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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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