India, EU to resume free trade pact talks after 8 years
India and the European Union have agreed to resume talks for a balanced, ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement and also launch negotiations for a stand-alone investment protection pact, the external affairs ministry said on Saturday.
Dubai Tourism to showcase city’s diverse tourism sector at Arabian Travel Market 2021
Tourism|: Dubai: The 2021 edition of the Arabian Travel Market will see Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) showcasing unique events, projects and initiatives designed to further accelerate tourism momentum in Dubai. Over 70 representatives from government bodies, hotels, destination management companies and tour operators will join Dubai Tourism at the Dubai stands in Hall 3 of the Dubai World Trade Centre to safely welcome stakeholders, partners and visitors to a key industry event within a physical setting, as part of continued efforts to lead the recovery of global tourism. Taking place for the very first time as a hybrid event from 16-19 May (physical) and 23-25 May (virtual), the Arabian Travel Market is a key fixture on the global travel and tourism calendar. This year’s event will feature industry discussions under the theme, ‘A new dawn for travel’. “ATM will play a pivotal role in strengthening the industry in what continues to be one of the most challenging periods for global tourism. With Dubai being the host destination and as one of the longstanding official partners of the event, our participation together with a cross-section of industry representatives is fundamental to the global efforts underway in dealing with a rapidly evolving situation as well as to drive post-pandemic tourism growth,” said Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Tourism. Visitors to the Dubai Tourism stand will have the opportunity to learn about a diverse array of offerings, activities and initiatives from its key departments. These include Dubai’s efforts to maintain its position as one of the world’s safest travel destinations, as well as plans for the Expo 2020 Dubai and the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. The Dubai College of Tourism will be demonstrating the breadth of its educational offerings to travel and trade partners, as well as the institution’s role in shaping the next generation of Dubai’s tourism workforce including the industry nationalisation programme Medyaf, which encourages Emirati nationals to take up roles in the sector and equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills to be employed in a tourist-facing role. The College will showcase the robust programme of its courses such as Dubai Way, an online learning platform which offers a series of new and engaging practical courses in keeping with domestic demand and global travel trends. There will also be five full-time vocational programmes and scholarships accepting admissions in September 2021, including Food & Beverage Service, Front Office and Hospitality Management. The gastronomy sector will also be a key promotional focus for Dubai Tourism during ATM, given Dubai’s position as one of the world’s top culinary destinations and the food capital of the region. The Dubai stand will also highlight key activities by government bodies and industry stakeholders, demonstrating the emirate’s successful public-private partnership model that continues to support its ever-evolving tourism landscape. Participants alongside Dubai Tourism at the stand include Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai (GDRFA–Dubai) and Dubai Municipality. In addition, further to the announcement that Dubai aims to increase the contribution of creative arts to the emirate’s GDP from 2.6% to 5% in the next five years, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) and Dubai Culture will be championing Emirati arts and culture at the newly launched Al Quoz Creative Zone.
Gates divorce roils world's biggest family philanthropy engine
Business|: New York: It started with a safari in Africa. A young Bill and Melinda Gates, riding in the back of a truck, were on the continent for the first time in 1993 - there to see animals, nature and discuss their priorities as a soon-to-be married couple. But what they saw sparked a broader conversation about the enormous fortune they'd already begun to amass. "It was our first sustained look at extreme poverty," Melinda said in a speech in Abu Dhabi in 2016. It was "the beginning of our education about the challenges facing the world's poorest people." It was also the beginning of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic behemoth the couple built over the course of their 27-year marriage, which ended this week. In their note announcing the split, they said they would continue running the foundation together. Despite this assurance, news of the divorce sent a shock wave through the world of philanthropy. A commitment to giving In 2010, the Gateses, now worth about $145 billion, signed the Giving Pledge, a promise they co-created for the world's richest people to donate the majority of their wealth in their lifetime or will. They committed "the vast majority of our assets to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation." It remains to be seen how that money will be distributed in the wake of their split. The pledge is in no way legally binding, and Bill and Melinda have already explored other ways of giving back, tackling climate change and gender inequality, respectively, through their own investment firms. Their individual giving could expand now that there are two ultra-high-net worth households instead of one, said Elizabeth Dale, associate professor of nonprofit leadership at Seattle University. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is no ordinary family philanthropy; it's the largest of its kind on the planet. With more than 1,600 employees and offices around the world, it has a $50 billion endowment, and has already distributed more than $50 billion since its inception to causes like vaccine development and women's empowerment. It rivals large countries in its support, contributing more resources to research and development to combat malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases. It also has its ties to Wall Street The foundation trust distributes tens of millions of dollars in fees every year to investment managers and financial services firms. Some of the biggest recipients disclosed in the trust's most recent tax return included Marathon Asset Management, Wright Management, State Street Corporation and Green Court Capital Management, who all received more than $7 million in fees. Any change to Bill or Melinda's involvement in the foundation would have a big impact because of its unusual board size. Bill and Melinda make up two-thirds of the foundation's trustees. The third member is their friend Warren Buffett, who has added more than $27 billion of his own money to the foundation's coffers over the past 15 years. The Ford Foundation, which is roughly a fifth the size of the Gates Foundation, has 15 members on its board. The Rockefeller Foundation, at a 10th of the size, has no fewer than 12 at any time. And unlike those organizations, its living donors can influence its priorities and operations, said Greg Witkowski, a senior lecturer of nonprofit management at Columbia University. Dale and Witkowski agree the split won't immediately impact the foundation or the grants that have already been promised, but it could impact its future depending on how the couple's approach to philanthropy evolves as they separate. Differing approaches to philanthropy Greg Ratliff, who worked at the Gates Foundation for 10 years and is now senior vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, said their work was family-driven, meaning they only took on causes that Bill and Melinda were interested in. They each brought very different approaches to the work, he added. "It was sort of head and heart, and Melinda brought the heart and the personal component," said Ratliff, who worked on education and education technology projects at the foundation. He remembers how Bill would gravitate toward whatever technology or tools they were implementing in the schools, and Melinda would look to the impact their work had on the students and teachers. Dale said the fact that they have their own separate interests means their individual giving outside of the foundation could pick up. That's what happened following Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott's divorce in 2019. As a couple, they weren't big philanthropists, especially relative to their $137 billion net worth at the time. Shortly after their split, Scott received a quarter of the former couple's Amazon.com Inc. stake, worth about $38 billion then. She signed the Giving Pledge and in 2020 went on a philanthropic tear, giving away almost $6 billion to hundreds of small organizations in a matter of months. In other small coincidences, the Gates announcement of a split came in the form of a Twitter message, signed "Melinda Gates and Bill Gates," a departure from the "Bill and Melinda" on pretty much everything else the couple signs. And like Scott, Melinda has prominently embraced her maiden name since they announced the split, going by Melinda French Gates. The two women have worked together on shared causes, including the Equality Can't Wait Challenge in 2020, a $30 million award to organizations that come up with ways to advance women's power by 2030. In 2015, Melinda started Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company, "as a separate, independent organization" from the foundation to focus on solving issues impacting women and families. Bill also has his own side projects, like Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund that fights climate change by investing in green startups. Dividing the assets How the Gates fortune is split could determine which causes get more attention. Their complicated holdings have already begun untangling, with more than $2 billion transferred to Melinda this week alone. The bulk of it is from about 14.1 million shares in Canadian National Railway Co. For now, the foundation is projecting an image of calm. Carla Sandine, spokesperson for PATH, a global health non-profit and major grantee of the Gates Foundation, said they've heard the same thing as everyone else: nothing is going to change. "I think we have to trust that," said Sandine. PATH, based in Seattle, has received more than $2.2 billion from the Gates Foundation. The fact that the divorce of two people has caused so much anxiety and uncertainty in the nonprofit world highlights the problems with the modern philanthropy model, said Erica Foldy, associate professor of public and nonprofit management at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. "What a few individuals decide to do has a massive impact on the health and well-being of millions or even billions of people," Foldy said. Sandine agrees that it's frustrating that the world depends on the generosity of individuals to solve its problems. "I think the fact that we would even talk about the future of global public health hinging on the relationship between individuals, I think it's reflective of a larger problem," Sandine said. "Public health around the world is not properly funded, so Bill and Melinda Gates have been filling massive gaps."
UAE's Etihad Rail ready to manufacture sleepers locally
Business|: Abu Dhabi: Etihad Rail has set up local manufacturing facility to build sleepers in the UAE. Since its inception, Etihad Rail has ensured building the UAE’s national rail network with world-class standards, to contribute to supporting the growth of the nation’s industrial sector and advancing the country’s wider economic growth. The company referred to local sources to provide many of the main components required for building the network, in line with ‘Make it in the Emirates’ strategy, which was launched recently by the UAE. Sleepers are a vital component of the railway network, as they form the base for anchoring railway tracks. The company has built factories to manufacture railway sleepers locally, rather than importing them with the aim of achieving optimal efficiency in time, effort and costs, alongside reducing the environmental impact of importing goods into the UAE.Etihad Rail Etihad Rail The highest quality of raw materials that are available locally, are used in manufacturing the sleeper, which contributes in creating hundreds of jobs across the UAE. The first of the two Sleepers Factories is located in Al Mirfa, in Al Dhafra region of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The factory stretches over 13,000 square metres, and is able to produce 45,000 sleepers each month, manufacturing all sleepers required for Stage One of the project. The second factory, located in Saih Shuaib on the border between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, covers an area of over 9,000 square metres. Having taken 12 months to build and requiring 700,000 man hours, the factory can produce 1.1 million sleepers. The production of sleepers at the factories is conducted over a production line facility. With eight lines in operation, each line can produce 400 sleepers per day, with the factory producing 3,200 sleepers in every casting. Each sleeper produced at the factory undergoes a thorough quality and inspection test. These tests include dimensional tests, cube testing, and bending testing. Assessors check for any cracks before the sleepers are transported to the assembly area to be used.
Young people forced to get creative as COVID-19 disrupts summer job plans yet again
News/Business: When it comes to jobs, young people have been hit hard by the pandemic. New data from Statistics Canada finds 101,000 jobs were lost for those aged 15-24 in April. That's setting up a tricky summer for many young people who typically rely on finding work in restaurants, hotels and summer camps.
Gulf Air begins IATA Travel Pass trial on flights to London, Singapore
Aviation|: Dubai: Gulf Air will commence the trial of IATA's travel pass starting from May 7 on flights from Bahrain to London, Athens and Singapore. Passengers holding a biometric passport will be able to trial the app which helps passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with any government requirements for COVID-19 testing or vaccine information. The Travel Pass app will have an integrated registry of travel requirements to enable passengers to find accurate information on travel and entry requirements for all destinations regardless of their itinerary. Eventually, it will also include a registry of labs — making it more convenient for passengers to find testing centres and labs at their departure location which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination. "Gulf Air is proud to partner with IATA as one of the first airlines in the world to commence the trials and we look forward to initiating it on three routes starting from today," said Captain Waleed AlAlawi, Gulf Air’s Acting Chief Executive Officer. Passengers flying directly from Bahrain to London, Athens and Singapore will be notified with instructions on how to sign up to be part of the trial. "Through this live trial we hope to demonstrate that governments can efficiently manage travel requirements with complete confidence in the identity of the passenger and the veracity of the travel credentials," said Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security. "This is an important step in enabling international travel during the pandemic, giving people the confidence that they are meeting all COVID-19 entry requirements,” he added.