First Fujairah NASA intern returns from 4 month mission work in Silicon Valley

Dubai: The historic Emirati NASA interns have again made history -this time with the completion of work by its newest research fellow -a female UAE University chemical engineering student who hails from a small traditional village of Thoban in Fujairah.

While Maryam’s work at NASA focused on solid waste processing, other mission work undertaken by the UAE NASA research fellows have focused on phone sats (satellites), gray water recycling, remote sensing, avionics, platinum Leed green building automation, mars rovers, and more. The innovative work has taken place at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California under official Agreement between the UAE’s Arab Youth Venture Foundation and NASA, the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The NASA UAE innovative partnership program has now seem 16 UAE nationals work inside the restricted areas of NASA for up to four months on mission work that has provided immersive practical and team work experiences and is aimed at empowering the next generation of Emiratis toward success in their dynamic careers in burgeoning strategic business sectors in the UAE.

According to Fujairah’s Maryam Yammahi, “This was a great opportunity for me to join one of the most magnificent scientific organizations of the world (NASA). Being a part of this program was a dream and as a chemical engineering university student, I am very proud to have worked with excellent researchers in the area of .solid waste processing and how water absorption affects different materials – particularly spacesuits. Living in the US also had a good affect on my personality -I became a more responsible, communicative and patient team member and living in the US also taught me to respect the rules and be more active. Now that I’m home I will certainly use what I learnt at NASA in my coming years to be a good engineer for the UAE”.

Lisa LaBonte, CEO of AYVF commented, “Adding our first Fujeirah intern to the UAE NASA alumni base is highly valuable in many respects, particiularly in terms of education and outreach to impact younger students. Maryam will have the ability to make a positive impact as to the merits of studying math and science through her local schools visits and related events.

Lubna Al Qasimi discusses economic cooperation with Peruvian minister

Abu Dhabi: Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi met Monday with Deputy Foreign Minister of Peru Jose Beraun in Abu Dhabi and discussed with him the ways for activating trade and investment cooperation between UAE and Peru.

At the meeting held at the MOFT headquarters, they hailed the continuous development of bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

Sheikha Lubna stressed UAE’s keenness to bolster ties with Peru in various areas, especially in the avenues of trade, investment and economy.

Baraun spelt out the diligence of Peru on enhancing relations with UAE as well as other Arab countries.

He also stressed the importance of the forthcoming Third Summit of South American and Arab Countries (ASPA) to be held in Lima in October this year.

Baraun is on a tour of the Arab countries ahead of the economic-political summit, which will group 36 Arab and Latin American countries.

The volume of bilateral trade between UAE and Peru stood at USD 22 million during last year, recording a 18 percent increase compared to the preceding year.

Finance House first half year Net Profit Tops AED 51.1million

Abu Dhabi: For the first half-year of 2012, Finance House P.S.C (FH) has registered a net profit of AED 51.1 Million compared to AED 48 Million for the same period last year. Customer Deposits crossed AED 2 Billion and Bank Placements exceeded AED 1 Billion.

Total Operating Income for the first half year of 2012 was higher at AED 98.2 Million compared to AED 92.7 Million for the same period last year, due to robust performance of the core business and higher returns on the group’s investment portfolio. However, Net Interest Income earned during the first half of the year was AED 54.6 Million compared to AED 57.2 Million for the same period last year. The lower net interest income is due to the sharp reduction in interest rates on inter-bank placements which stood at AED 1.13 Billion as of 30th June 2012 compared to AED 772 Million as of 30 June 2011.

Net Loans ‘&’ Advances as of 30 June 2012 increased by 21.5 % to AED 1.23 Billion compared to AED 1.01 Billion as at 30 June 2011. While commenting on the loan book, Mohammed Alqubaisi, Chairman of Finance House, stated: “During the second quarter, we have seen a marked increase in loan draw-downs on existing and new credit facilities granted, signifying increased borrowing appetite of the corporate private sector, in line with improving levels of business activity and business confidence across the UAE”.

Customers’ Deposits as of 30 June 2012 increased by 23.9% topping AED 2.01 Billion compared to AED 1.62 Billion as of 31 December 2011. This is an all-time high in the 8 year history of Finance House and bears testimony to the continued confidence that the market places in Finance House. The resultant Loans to Deposits ratio as of 30 June 2012 stood at a healthy 61% (71% as of 30 June 2011), with ample room to grow the lending book in sync with improving levels of business activity and business confidence across the UAE.

Return on Average Equity for the first half year of 2012, on an annualized basis significantly improved to 18.6% p.a. compared to 12.1% p.a. for the full year ended 31 December 2011. Similarly annualized Return on Average Assets for the first half year of 2012 improved to 3% compared to 2% for the full year ended 31 December 2011. The Group’s Capital Adequacy Ratio as of 30 June 2012 is a robust 21.8% and provides a solid foundation for balance sheet growth in the near term.

At the recently concluded Banker Middle East Industry Awards 2012, Finance House was adjudged as the “Best Business Finance Company in the Middle East” and also retained the “Best Retail Finance Company in the Middle East” title for two consecutive years. Looking ahead, Alqubaisi commented: “We remain confident that in the foreseeable future, our strategy of continuously seeking and addressing profitable niche segments will enable us to continue generating robust returns on our shareholders’ equity on a sustained basis”.

Waha Capital invests positively in future of young Emirati leaders

Abu Dhabi: The ‘Shababna wa Shebna’ summer youth leadership camp, organised by Altaaat Leadership Development has concluded. The camp was attended by a group of 12 young potential Emirati youth leaders and took place for five days on Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

Sponsored by Waha Capital, a diversified investment management company based in Abu Dhabi, the “Shababna wa Shebna” youth leadership camp featured five interactive days filled with important and life-changing lessons on leadership, taught through a range of fun and adventurous activities that campers were able to try out for the first time in their lives.

Activities included assembling a raft with limited resources and using it to transport members of the camping team across river banks. Campers also went on a safari through the island’s valleys and mountains, where they encountered cheetahs, giraffes, gazelles and a range of other wildlife living on the island.

These activities, along with kayaking, swimming, archery and numerous indoor team-building activities were all organized as part of the camp’s programme to help enrich the targeted learning outcomes for the participating youth.

Speaking on behalf of Waha Capital, Chief Executive Officer Salem Rashid Al Noaimi expressed his delight in having supported this important youth initiative and in Waha Capital’s active support for leadership programmes targeting UAE nationals.

UAE-Australian relations discussed

QUEENSLAND: Trade and tourism relations and efforts to encourage joint projects between the UAE and Australia were discussed by Ambassador of the UAE and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.

Campbell praised the relations between the UAE and Australia and Queensland in particular, and expressed appreciation of the Abu Dhabi government’s donation of AU$30 million to fund building five cyclone shelters in Queensland.

Also, the UAE ambassador met a number of businessmen and university officials in the Australian state.

ADPC awards consultancy services’ contract for the development of Marfa Port

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) and Parsons International Limited have signed a consultancy contract for the first phase development of Marfa Port, Abu Dhabi, to support fishing and marine recreational activities.

Following directions from the Abu Dhabi Government, ADPC tendered a contract for specialised consultants to develop Marfa Port. Parsons was selected to provide support to design Marfa Port so that it can accommodate more than 200 boats. The new contract embodies ADPC’s continuing commitment to ensuring the development of Western Region ports.

The town of Marfa is 95 kilometres west of the capital, Abu Dhabi. With an estimated population of 14,500, Marfa has a unique coastal topography in the Emirate featuring a rock hilltop spine running parallel to the coast. It also has a developed seaside Corniche and accessible public beach fronts.

The natural landscape and strategic location of Marfa offer excellent opportunities for development in residential, tourism, and commercial sectors. In addition, Marfa is supported by a large power and desalination plant.

The city serves as a major fishing centre in the Western Region, also attracting tourists and water activities enthusiasts. However, the existing condition of the port is inadequate for the fishing industry and requires upgrading and additional service buildings.

Commenting on the announcement, Tony Douglas, CEO of ADPC, said, “As we gear up for the official launch of Phase One of Khalifa Port and Kizad, we remain committed to the development of smaller ports in Abu Dhabi, particularly in the Western Region. We are confident that our agreement with Parsons will serve the purposes in hand and provide the expertise needed to deliver a much more developed port. Al Marfa Port in Abu Dhabi is an essential one as it has been serving as a fishing harbour for so long and needs to be redeveloped to match the high class infrastructure projects taking place in Abu Dhabi currently”.

Joseph A Mehula, President of Parsons MENA, added, “We are delighted to be partnering with ADPC in the project of developing Al Marfa Port. We at Parsons enjoy extensive experience in marine projects and are proud to be part of the development of one of the essential ports of Abu Dhabi. We look forward to working closely with ADPC and to deliver a project that ought to be one of the most interesting ones we have worked on”.