It’s impossible to ignore call of UAE’s mountains at SHD

SHARJAH, They may have had limited resources “but life in the mountains was one of absolute freedom,” reminisced Ras Al Khaimah resident Saeed Sabat Al Dhuhouri, as he offered a personal insight into a unique way of life at the recreated “Mountain Environment” set up at the 18th edition of Sharjah Heritage Days (SHD).

It is through the memories and experiences of former mountain dwellers and the recreated settings of summer and winter dwellings and occupations the people engaged in, that visitors at the ongoing cultural festival at the Heart of Sharjah can discover the way of life in the mountain ranges across the UAE in the past.

Al Dhuhouri explained that every family had a summer and winter home, made of roughly hewn rocks. Small openings in the summer houses ensured proper ventilation while in the winter homes, the interior rocky walls were plastered to retain the warmth. The entire setting has been recreated, and inside, one can find the simple belongings of the household – cooking utensils, incense burners, water pots, wooden chests containing clothes and jewellery, and large clay pots to store food grains.

When winter ended, it was customary to lock up and move to the summer house, said Al Dhuhouri, who still has four homes in the mountains.

A large pile of mud cakes sits atop a tannour-like oven which, he explained, was lit with straw and wood. Under the heat, the mud cakes would crumble to a powder and this cement-like material was used for construction purposes.

Close by was an ingeniously designed circular predator trap made of rocks. Through an opening at the top, a sheep was lowered inside while a tunnel-like opening on the side lured the animal into the trap. “As beautiful as the mountains were, they were also home to wild animals such as the Arabian leopard, lynx, wolf, fox and wild dogs.”

“We lived by the seasons, experiencing each season to the fullest,” Al Dhuhouri recalled wistfully. “It was a life where you were at complete peace; and where you gained knowledge from the environment around you.”

More on the way of life of UAE’s ancestors in the mountains as well as in the agricultural, desert and sea landscapes can be understood at the festival until 10th April, 2021. On weekends, SHD is open to visitors from 16:00 to midnight.


Source: Emirates News Agency

RAK Ruler holds virtual meeting with Ambassador of Estonia

RAS AL KHAIMAH, H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, has held a virtual meeting with Jaan Reinhold, Ambassador of Estonia to the UAE.

Sheikh Saud welcomed the Estonian Ambassador and wished him luck and success in his duties, to reinforce the strategic ties between the two countries.

For his part, the Estonian Ambassador commended the cooperation relations between the two countries.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Mohammed bin Rashid, Chairman of Sudanese Sovereign Council discuss bilateral ties, regional issues

DUBAI, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has received a phone call from Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, Chairman of Sudanese Sovereign Council, during which a number of bilateral and regional issues of common concern were reviewed.

During the phone call, Sheikh Mohammed reiterated that the UAE would stand with Sudan in all efforts that fulfil the aspirations of the Sudanese people for development and peace under its new leadership, wishing the Sudanese government and people continued success to achieve its supreme national goals.

For his part, Al Burhan expressed his deep appreciation, and of the Sovereign Council and the Sudanese government, to the UAE’s president, government and people for the support provided to his country at various levels, especially in countering the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE President confers Zayed the Second Medal to US Ambassador

DUBAI, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has conferred the Zayed the Second Medal to US Ambassador John Rakolta in appreciation of the efforts he made during his tenure to promote relations between the two countries in several spheres.

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, presented the US Ambassador with the honour while receiving him yesterday.

Gargash praised the US Ambassador’s work and valued the relations between the two countries while wishing the Ambassador success in his future assignments.

Source: Emirates News Agency

TRA organises 1st OSI executive team meeting of 2021

DUBAI– The General Authority for Regulating the Telecommunications Sector (TRA) has announced it organised the first meeting of 2021 of the Online Service Index (OSI) Executive Team, an indicator of UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda.

The meeting, held virtually, was attended by OSI team members representing 11 federal entities, including local electronic/digital governments. It reviewed best government practices for 2020, and international developments, given the special circumstance that the world has gone through in recent months.

The meeting reviewed key achievements made by the UAE in Open Data, and the substantial development in the UAE Open Data Portal. The UAE advanced to the 16th place globally in the 2020 Open Data Inventory (ODIN) report, issued by the Open Data Organisation, covering 187 countries, to record a jump of 51 ranks at once, compared to the 2018 report.

Salem Al Housani, Acting Deputy Director-General of the Information and mGovernment Sector, and Chairman of the OSI Team, stressed that the UAE was able to make strides in Open Data last year, reaching the 16th place globally, saying, “We will continue our meetings and cooperation to achieve all entitlements as today we are just a few months away to celebrating our golden jubilee, the deadline set by our wise leadership to realise the UAE Vision and National Agenda Objectives. This requires further efforts from us as a national OSI team, and action to increase communication, coordination and cooperation between our government entities, to have increased activation of smart services in line with UAE Vision 2021 and the goals of the National Agenda.”

During the meeting, participants reviewed the big leap made by the UAE in Open Data, according to the Open Data Watch, which measures the inclusiveness and openness of official data and statistics. It also includes an assessment of UAE Open Data Portals across three key sectors, 22 categories and 65 sub-indicators.

Furthermore, the meeting addressed the Open Data Race, one of the open data team initiatives in cooperation with 14 government entities, which contributed to raising UAE’s ranking to 16th in the Global Open Data Index. The meeting reviewed the achievements of UAE Hackathon in its previous sessions.

Priorities of the National OSI Team are to provide a sustainable environment and integrated digital infrastructure and to achieve the goals set at the global level. The Team acts in accordance with major global trends in the UN e-Government Survey, namely bridging the digital divide, Open Data, promoting use, multichannel services, Connected Government (G2G), and e-participation.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Emirates expands its operations in the Americas

DUBAI– Emirates has announced it will resume non-stop services to Seattle (from 1st February), Dallas and San Francisco (from 2nd March), offering its customers seamless connectivity via Dubai to and from popular destinations in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

The addition of these three destinations will take Emirates’ North American network to 10 destinations following the resumption of services to Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Toronto and Washington DC.

Flights to/from San Francisco will operate four times weekly on Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER while flights to/from Seattle (operating four times weekly) and Dallas (three times weekly) will be operated with the two-class Boeing 777-200LR, offering 38 lie-flat seats in Business and 264 ergonomically designed seats in Economy class.

The airline will also be providing its customers with more options and choice with additional flights to New York, Los Angeles and São Paulo. Effective 1st February, Emirates will be operating double daily flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and a daily flight to Los Angeles (LAX). Emirates customers also have seamless access to other US cities via the airline’s codeshare agreements with Jetblue and Alaskan Airlines.

In South America, Emirates will be introducing a fifth weekly flight to São Paulo (from February 5th), offering customers in Brazil even more travel options with greater access to its expanding network. Beyond São Paulo, Emirates customers can connect and access to 24 other cities in Brazil via the airline’s codeshare partnership with GOL and its interline agreements with Azul and LATAM.

Emirates has safely and gradually restarted operations across its network and currently serves 114 destinations on six continents.

Source: Emirates News Agency