Abu Dhabi Energy Services, UAEU launch country’s largest solar project in education sector

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Energy Services (ADES), a subsidiary of TAQA (Abu Dhabi National Energy Company), announced the commencement of a 9000-kilowatt peak (kWp) solar photovoltaic (PV) project for the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al Ain.

This project is the largest solar energy initiative in the UAE’s education sector and the first large-scale renewable energy endeavour for the UAEU.

The project will install over 14,000 solar ground-mounted modules with tracking systems on the UAEU campus, covering 190,000 square metres. The panels are expected to provide 25% of the university’s electricity demand and will be completed within 13 months of the agreement’s start.

The initiative is projected to reduce CO2 emissions by 8,187 tons annually, equivalent to removing 1,822 cars from the streets each year.

The collaboration supports the goals of the UAE Consensus from COP28, which aims to triple renewables and double energy efficiency by 2030. This initiative is a significant step in enabling UAEU to in
crease its reliance on renewable energy sources, inspire young people, and set an example for the education sector. It also underscores the commitment of both ADES and UAEU to the UAE’s vision for a sustainable and energy-efficient future.

Prof. Ahmed Ali Al Raeesi, Acting Vice Chancellor of the UAEU, stated, “This project presents a critical milestone towards achieving the UAEU’s vision for achieving sustainability and innovation in renewable energy. We are proud to create partnerships with ADES to implement this pioneering project, which will significantly contribute to reducing carbon emissions and improving efficient energy usage on campus.”

He noted that the university launched various initiatives related to solar energy and supports scientific projects and research that contribute to combating climate change.

Prof. Al Raeesi noted that this project is part of UAEU’s strategy to enhance sustainability, which was reflected in the university’s active participation in COP28.

Khalid Mohamed Al Qubaisi, C
EO of ADES, said, “This solar project marks a significant milestone in our ongoing partnership with the UAEU, reflecting our joint commitment to a sustainable future. By powering the campus with renewable energy, we are shaping a sustainable experience for over 17,000 students and staff.”

He added, “ADES is proud to deliver a comprehensive turnkey solution for this landmark initiative, covering financing, procurement, and construction, in line with the highest industry standards”.

Earlier in 2023, ADES and the UAEU announced the completion of the first phase of their energy efficiency project, which achieved a 27% improvement in energy consumption by retrofitting selected buildings. The second phase expanded these energy-saving measures to additional buildings and facilities, reinforcing the university’s commitment to climate action.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Mashreq Bank allocates additional AED1 billion in financing for industrial companies

ABU DHABI: Mashreq Bank has allocated an additional AED1 billion in financing solutions to enhance the country’s industrial sector’s growth and support its competitiveness and productivity.

This aligns with the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, Operation 300Bn.

This new step stimulates industrial companies in the country by enabling them with additional financing solutions under the umbrella of “Make it in the Emirates” (MIITE) initiative. It also reflects the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology’s (MoIAT) commitment to enhancing collaboration between the public and private sectors and financial institutions to support the industrial sector’s contribution to the UAE’s GDP.

This is an extension of the ongoing partnership between MoIAT and Mashreq Bank during the “Make it in the Emirates 2023 Forum,” during which the bank committed to providing AED1 billion in financing for industrial companies.

In 2023, Mashreq Bank provided AED970 million in financing to ind
ustrial companies of various sizes to enhance growth, expansion, and competitiveness in sectors such as food and beverages, metal industries, and building materials and construction.

Omar Al Suwaidi, MoIAT Under-Secretary, emphasised that the ministry continues to collaborate with strategic partners to provide enablers and incentives to support the growth and competitiveness of the UAE’s industrial sector. This aligns with the objectives of Operation 300Bn, enhancing the attractiveness of industrial investment under the MIITE initiative and the National In-Country Value Programme.

“These efforts support our strategic directions, including the development of AI applications, technological transformation, sustainability, and innovation, which reflect on enhancing productivity and competitiveness,” he added.

Al Suwaidi noted that competitive financing for the industry supports the strategic directions, which include expanding the ministry’s initiatives and programmes.

“We announced in the third edition of MI
ITE Forum of offering 2,000 off take products for local manufacturing. In addition, we launched the AI Innovation Programme, Transform 4.0 to support 100 high-potential manufacturers in digitalisation, creating a group of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) lighthouses over the next three to five years. These efforts and expansions require supportive and enabling financing solutions,” he stated.

He pointed out that innovative financing motivates industrial companies to expand their operations and integrate AI into production. This contributes to transforming factories into smarter and more efficient ones, enhancing the added value to the national economy, creating more growth opportunities for companies, and providing more quality jobs for Emirati talent in production and manufacturing.

Joel Van Dusen, Head of the Corporate and Investment Banking Group at Mashreq Bank, said, “Our partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology represents an important step towards building a prosperous and sustainable futu
re for the industry in the UAE. Providing competitive financing to industrial companies enhances productivity and supply chain flexibility, opening new horizons for investment and growth in vital economic sectors.”

Source: Emirates News Agency

Dubai South announces successful first-stage trials of autonomous vehicle

DUBAI: Dubai South, the largest single-urban master development focusing on aviation, logistics, and real estate, announced the successful completion of the first stage of the UAE’s autonomous vehicle trials in partnership with Evocargo.

The trials were carried out on a set route in a closed area of the Dubai South Logistics District.

During the trials, Evocargo checked and validated the hardware, software, and reliability of its unmanned electric truck, the Evocargo N1, for future service in the Logistics District.

Autonomous navigation on a predefined route was tested with special emphasis on safety in mixed traffic scenarios involving interaction with other participants like automobiles, trucks and pedestrians. The tests measured success of the Evocargo N1 in object detection, accident prevention, collision avoidance with moving obstacles and emergency stops.

The truck’s autopilot system was tested in a full range of manoeuvres (parking, reverse parking, turning, and reverse turning). The control centr
e’s functionality (route management, remote monitoring, and control) was also tested. No failures or potentially hazardous incidents were reported by any parties during the series of tests.

Additionally, Evocargo prepared a comprehensive report of trial results across two stages. In the second, the Evocargo N1 platform carried out freight transportation tasks on a standard route in a closed area.

The platform’s ability to respond to its surrounding environment in mixed traffic was extensively tested and met high validation standards.

In his comments, Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District – Dubai South, said, “We are proud of this groundbreaking milestone, which is a testament to Dubai South’s commitment to aligning with the wise leadership’s vision of establishing Dubai as a global logistics powerhouse. Our collaboration with Evocargo reinforced the UAE’s position in the industry and set a progressive stage for significant advancements within the regional logistics sector.

“As we look to the future,
autonomous vehicles will play a pivotal role in revolutionising the industry, enhancing efficiency, and reducing the overall carbon footprint to create a sustainable and technologically advanced logistics infrastructure that will benefit Dubai and the UAE.”

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, said, “The trials aim to attract new customers and investments in the GCC countries, which are on track for world leadership in innovative tech. We are proud to be a pioneer and one of the first commercial suppliers of cutting-edge services in cargo transportation based on our own electric unmanned vehicles.”

Dubai South and Evocargo agreed to carry out the UAE’s first autonomous electric vehicle trials in a memorandum of understanding signed in December 2022.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Masraf Al Rayans Profits Rise by 3.2 percent in 2024 First Half


Doha: Masraf Al Rayan (a Qatari public shareholding company) net profits increased by 3.2 percent in the first half of 2024 to reach QR 789.058 million , compared to QR 764.641 million in the same period last year.

Data issued by the bank and posted on the Qatar Stock Exchange website on Wednsday showed an increase in earnings per share to reach QR 0.085 Qatari in the period ending on June 30, 2024, compared to earnings per share of QR 0.082 Qatari r for the same period of the previous year.

Meanwhile, the Board of Directors of Masraf Al Rayan announced the latters intention to distribute interim dividends, recommending to the General Assembly of shareholders to approve amending the banks bylaws to authorize the Board of Directors to do so, taking into account obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.

In this context, HE Chairman of the Board of Directors of Masraf Al Rayan Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al-Thani, said that the announcement of the implementation of the principle of distributing i
nterim dividends comes in accordance with the controls and conditions stipulated in the applicable laws and regulations and taking into account the approval of shareholders and the relevant regulatory authorities. He added that “this step comes to support the national economy in accordance with the principles of Qatar Vision 2030.” For his part, Fahd bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Group CEO, said that applying the principle of interim profits will begin after completing the amendment to the banks bylaws and obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals, noting that this step would enhance investor confidence in the market and in the banks financial performance and its ability to generate attractive revenues for investors.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Oil Prices Return to Rise Upon Settlement


New York: Oil prices rose at settlement at the end of Wednsdays trading, after three consecutive days of losses.

Brent crude futures contracts recorded an increase of $1.35, or 1.61 percent, to reach $85.08 per barrel upon settlement.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose by $2.09, or 2.59 percent, to reach $82.85 per barrel upon settlement.

Crude oil prices fell last week after four weeks of gains, as hopes for a recovery in summer demand in the United States were met with other concerns about demand in China, and Chinese economic data reinforced those concerns.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Qatar Airways to Participate in Farnborough International Air show 2024


Doha: Qatar Airways has unveiled that it will participate in the Farnborough International Air show 2024 (FIA) from Jul.22-26 2024.

The Qsuite Next Gen will form the centerpiece of the airlines presence at the prestigious international air show, which gathers aviation leaders from across the globe to showcase innovations and foster industry collaboration.

At Chalet C114-115 pavilion, Qatar Airways highlighted that it would showcase a new upgraded version of the award-winning Qsuite promises luxury redefined and brings a wealth of innovative features, offering the visitors the opportunity to experience the future of travel aboard the world’s best airline and in the best business class seats.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer said that Qatar Airways highly anticipates this years Farnborough International Airshow as the best Airline in the World, adding that Qatar Airways is confident that the reveal of its latest business class offering will be a huge draw for the globa
l aviation community. It also looks forward to welcoming visitors to its installations and onboard its aircraft which will be on display, to experience what Qatar Airways offers.

Visitors are also welcome to rendezvous with the airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and discover Qatar Airways world-class product and service, as well as experience ultimate luxury and aircraft performance with Qatar Executives Gulfstream G700, of which Qatar Executive is the first commercial carrier in the world to operate this aircraft.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways won the Worlds Best Airline for the unprecedented eighth time at the 2024 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organization, Skytrax. Qatar Airways has been the Worlds Best Airline in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2024. The airline continues to be synonymous with excellence, also taking home, World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge, and Best Airline in the Middle East.
As leaders in industry innovation and digital adoption, Qatar Airways was also recently voted the ‘Worlds Best Airline Website’ by World Travel Tech Awards.

Qatar Airways was the first Airline in the Middle East to be certified to the highest level of IATAs Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) programme, based on recognized environmental management system principles (such as ISO 14001). As an inaugural signatory to the Buckingham Palace Declaration in March 2016, Qatar Airways became the first airline globally to be certified to the industry standard for the prevention of illegal wildlife trafficking in aviation.

Qatar Airways currently flies to over 170 destinations worldwide, connecting through its Doha hub, Hamad International Airport, the Worlds Best Airport, as voted by Skytrax in 2021, 2022, and 2024. In 2024, Hamad International Airport also received the Best Airport in the Middle East accolade for 10 consecutive years, as well as Worlds Best Airport Shopping for the second year in a row.

Source: Qatar
News Agency

Gold Soars to Record Prices


Singapore: Gold prices rose to an all-time peak on Wednesday, driven by mounting hopes of a US interest rate cut in September after recent comments from US Federal Reserve officials.

Spot gold was steady at $2,468.55 per ounce, after hitting a record peak of $2,482.29. US gold futures gained 0.3% to $2,474.50.

Markets are expecting a rate cut of at least 25 basis points by the Fed at its September meeting.

Among other precious metals, Spot silver fell 1.1% to $31.04 per ounce, platinum was flat at $999.91 and palladium added 0.8% to $967.06.

Source: Qatar News Agency

ADB Raises S. Korea’s 2024 Growth Forecast to 2.5%


Seoul: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) revised up its outlook for South Korea’s economic growth this year to 2.5%.

The ADB said in its latest report on the Asian economy for July that it raised its forecast for Korean economic growth to 2.5% for this year, an increase of 0.3% from its April forecast, Seoul’s finance ministry said Wednesday.

The ADB said the rosier forecast came as Korean exports remained strong on rising demand for semiconductors, among other items.

The latest projection is on par with that made by the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Korea. The South Korean government and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) presented a 2.6% expansion.

The Manila-based bank maintained the growth outlook for 2025 at 2.3% and kept the forecast for inflation for this year unchanged at 2.5% and 2 % for next year.

Exports, a key growth engine, rose 5.1% on-year to US$57 billion in June, the ninth straight monthly gain, as chip exports surged 50.9% to reach an all-time
monthly high, according to government data.

Source: Qatar News Agency