COVID-19

GulfNews Business

A full-scale medical R&D eco-system can be created in the UAE

Analysis|: The pharmaceutical industry is at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 - and this emphasises the growing need for greater research and development in the Arab world. The West leads the way in medical innovation. Most of the top pharmaceutical or medical technology patents are held by US or European conglomerates. The biggest pharma companies too - Pfizer, Roche, Merck and Novartis - are American or European. These are achievements the Middle East can emulate. Pfizer, Moderna, Sinopharm and AstraZeneca have put science in the global spotlight. As vaccines are rolled out globally – with the UAE among the world’s leading countries for per capita vaccine administration – many of us can see light at the end of the tunnel. We are turning a corner in the fight against this pandemic… but we cannot let up. Read More World cannot be fixated on IP rights when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines UAE online shoppers are finally dropping their cash-on-delivery preference Framework was there That it took less than a year to vaccinate the first person after the virus’ genetic sequence was made public will go down as a historic moment for pharmaceutical innovation. But the success of medical progress can be attributed to the infrastructure, robust regulations and maturity of nations such as the US and the UK. Such ecosystems, however, are not built in silos. They are the result of years of strategic cooperation and interdependence, involving a plethora of stakeholders. It takes many hands to create a successful medical ecosystem and you need policymakers, regulators, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, disrupters and major decision-makers all pulling in the same direction. Such progress is further supported by a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and an emphasis on education, training and development. Future proofing The UAE has greatly accelerated its efforts to establish itself as a world-class medical and pharmaceutical hub. Our leadership has taken big steps to encourage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education among younger generations, and equip them with future-proof skills necessary to face challenges. Plans such as the UAE Vision 2021, Centennial 2071, the Dubai Industrial Strategy, and the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy have been implemented to further develop our knowledge-based economy. The government has also issued laws to streamline the process of registering intellectual property and patents. Channelling resources Additionally, the UAE’s medical industry has increased investment in clinical trials and manufacturing – most recently, Phase III clinical trials of a Russian adenovirus-based vaccine commenced in the UAE. We’re also leveraging our strong bilateral relationship with China for an inactivated vaccine trial conducted by Sinopharm, the Abu Dhabi Government and artificial intelligence company G42 Healthcare. Figures also show that the UAE’s healthcare infrastructure is steadily evolving and growing to become an increasingly competitive destination for investment and innovation. Recently, it was found that the UAE ranks highest among GCC countries in medical tourism. Committing more Moreover, investments in the region’s healthcare sector are expected to be worth $89 billion by 2022, representing an overall increase of nearly 50 per cent from 2013, according to a report by KPMG. This represents the strong investment potential in the UAE’s health and pharma infrastructure, driven by the momentous impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It also points to the growing role the Arab world can play in medical innovation. Cluster approach Our business district boosts the development of this ecosystem and the national effort towards science. Three R&D centres for top global manufacturers are under construction in Dubai Science Park – India’s Himalaya Drug Company; paints and powder coatings giant Jotun Group; and Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and flavour company. These firms are highlighting the UAE's growing capabilities as an R&D hub by choosing Dubai as a base for their cutting-edge research. In addition, French medical giant Sebia – the world’s leading provider of advanced medical equipment for in-vitro diagnostic testing – opened its first GCC office in our community, while Alliance Global installed a high-end Next Generation Sequencing system platform at Igenomix earlier this year. These show that the UAE is certainly making strides on its journey to become a global capital for medical research and development. However, this process could be greatly expedited through increased collaboration, and by leveraging key strengths where they exist – such as increasing cooperation with public and private universities for tailored STEM education and research; maximising partnerships with public and private hospitals; attracting investments from and facilitating alliances between local and international pharmaceutical companies; and boosting international relations for greater knowledge and talent-sharing initiatives. With time, and continued investment in cross-collaboration, I am confident we will see the UAE establish itself on the global map as a centre for medicine, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and innovation. - Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director, Dubai Science Park.

GulfNews Business

Emails asking for Dh10 on online order delivery could be next big cyber threat

Retail|: Dubai: Cyber criminals are setting their sights lower these days. And that makes it even more dangerous when it comes to your data. Instead of emails that talk about millions of dollars left for you by some government official in Africa, today’s data—seeking communications come from delivery companies or local customs or postal entities. These messages will talk about the need to pay a “surcharge” of, say, Dh10, for delivery of your latest online order. The mails will always have a link – and made to look as “original” as is possible – for the token amount to be paid. That’s where the trouble starts… Because of the innocuous amounts mention and because these days it’s highly likely that some package or the other has been ordered, the risk of letting cyber hackers know all critical banking info is higher. Which is why mention of a Dh10 payment carries with it greater dangers than the promise of millions being sent to your back account… Read More Cyber attackers leaked COVID-19 vaccine data after EU hack WhatsApp delays data sharing change after backlash All too late “Before the user understands what is going on, it is usually too late because some damage has been already done,” says Efi Dahan, Managing Director at the payment services company PayPal for Central and Eastern Europe and Israel. The most common attack that internet users are likely to experience is phishing – about 90 per cent of all cyberattacks’ attempts are based on impersonating other entities. These could be delivery couriers, payment methods, e-stores or traditional stores. It’s all in the timing and how receptive the recipients are to the message. According to PayPal, the cyber hacks will “state there’s an incredible opportunity which needs to be taken advantage of very quickly (i.e., a sale or a discount), or highlight that there is some sort of danger which needs to be fixed quickly (i.e., to prevent your account from being blocked).” Or an online order that can only be delivered on payment of a small sum… As has been clear by now, the pandemic did set off a surge in sophisticated data attacks delivered direct-to-home computers and gadgets. “The most common attack that internet users are likely to experience is phishing – about 90 per cent of all cyberattacks’ attempts are based on impersonating other entities,” according to PayPal. This is a known fact of digital life… and still needs repeating. Because, even with all the warnings out there, someone or the other falls victim. Bare minimum According to PayPal, If the user is unsure about the authenticity of an email, “they might want to avoid clicking links in the message and instead of that, log in to their account directly from their browser or check in with the customer support. “Pay attention also to typos, punctuation, or weird grammar – usually, official messages from the company will not contain such omissions.” To be doubly sure, just pick up the phone and make that call. Too good to be true More users are getting “targeted” ads in social media “showcasing unique products or highlighting discounts”. “It is often difficult for sellers to understand whether they can trust a particular e-store, especially if it’s located abroad,” said Dahan. “In such cases, the user could look up reviews of the store to see what other buyers think about it. “It is also helpful to take a look at the return policy and check the quality of its customer support. Payment methods that are available in the e-shop are also a good indicator of its trustworthiness. For example, if the user pays with PayPal and there is something wrong with the product or – worse – it never arrives at all, it is easy to dispute the unsuccessful purchase and receive the money back.” The long and the short of all this – Do not make an immediate click to anything that reaches your inbox. If what you see is too good to be true, chances are they are…

GulfNews TOP

Emails asking for Dh10 on online order delivery could be next big cyber scam

Retail|: Dubai: Cyber criminals are setting their sights lower these days. And that makes it even more dangerous when it comes to your data. Instead of emails that talk about millions of dollars left for you by some government official in Africa, today’s data—seeking communications come from delivery companies or local customs or postal entities. These messages will talk about the need to pay a “surcharge” of, say, Dh10, for delivery of your latest online order. The mails will always have a link – and made to look as “original” as is possible – for the token amount to be paid. That’s where the trouble starts… Because of the innocuous amounts mention and because these days it’s highly likely that some package or the other has been ordered, the risk of letting cyber hackers know all critical banking info is higher. Which is why mention of a Dh10 payment carries with it greater dangers than the promise of millions being sent to your back account… Read More Cyber attackers leaked COVID-19 vaccine data after EU hack WhatsApp delays data sharing change after backlash All too late “Before the user understands what is going on, it is usually too late because some damage has been already done,” says Efi Dahan, Managing Director at the payment services company PayPal for Central and Eastern Europe and Israel. The most common attack that internet users are likely to experience is phishing – about 90 per cent of all cyberattacks’ attempts are based on impersonating other entities. These could be delivery couriers, payment methods, e-stores or traditional stores. It’s all in the timing and how receptive the recipients are to the message. According to PayPal, the cyber hacks will “state there’s an incredible opportunity which needs to be taken advantage of very quickly (i.e., a sale or a discount), or highlight that there is some sort of danger which needs to be fixed quickly (i.e., to prevent your account from being blocked).” Or an online order that can only be delivered on payment of a small sum… As has been clear by now, the pandemic did set off a surge in sophisticated data attacks delivered direct-to-home computers and gadgets. “The most common attack that internet users are likely to experience is phishing – about 90 per cent of all cyberattacks’ attempts are based on impersonating other entities,” according to PayPal. This is a known fact of digital life… and still needs repeating. Because, even with all the warnings out there, someone or the other falls victim. Bare minimum According to PayPal, If the user is unsure about the authenticity of an email, “they might want to avoid clicking links in the message and instead of that, log in to their account directly from their browser or check in with the customer support. “Pay attention also to typos, punctuation, or weird grammar – usually, official messages from the company will not contain such omissions.” To be doubly sure, just pick up the phone and make that call. Too good to be true More users are getting “targeted” ads in social media “showcasing unique products or highlighting discounts”. “It is often difficult for sellers to understand whether they can trust a particular e-store, especially if it’s located abroad,” said Dahan. “In such cases, the user could look up reviews of the store to see what other buyers think about it. “It is also helpful to take a look at the return policy and check the quality of its customer support. Payment methods that are available in the e-shop are also a good indicator of its trustworthiness. For example, if the user pays with PayPal and there is something wrong with the product or – worse – it never arrives at all, it is easy to dispute the unsuccessful purchase and receive the money back.” The long and the short of all this – Do not make an immediate click to anything that reaches your inbox. If what you see is too good to be true, chances are they are…

GulfNews Business

Dubai's hotels are back to hiring mode, but with extreme caution

Tourism|: Dubai: Hotel operators in the UAE are hiring again, boosted by strong occupancy levels generated in December and which have sustained into the initial weeks of this month. Even with lockdowns and travel restrictions being extended in some of the key overseas markets, the local hospitality sector seems confident that the worst of the pandemic created hit is behind it. While visitor numbers are nowhere close to levels seen in 2019, operators seem optimistic that the period up to March will somewhat make up for an abysmal 2020. At least optimistic enough to hire new staff after the industry, as per some estimates, shed a third of its jobs last year. “The measures the UAE has put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus have allowed the economy to remain open even as lockdowns have been re-imposed in Europe, the UK, parts of Asia and the US, making it an attractive destination for those still willing and able to travel,” said Khatija Haque, Chief Economist at EmiratesNBD Research, in an industry report earlier this month. This return to hiring is being confirmed by multiple industry sources as well as listings made on job portals. Read More What entertainment activities have stopped in Dubai and why UAE-Qatar ties: Reopening of borders to benefit UAE and GCC economies Customer facing roles Marriott in Dubai Marina is looking for waiters, bartenders and a hostess, as per the property’s Linkedin posting. The roles will include key responsibilities such as providing professional services to guests, having strong service and beverage skills, and promoting hotel facilities. The mid-market brand Premier Inn is searching for a receptionist for its hotel in Dubai. According to the company’s post on LinkedIn, the right candidate should have at least a year’s worth of experience in the same role, apart from having a high school diploma and knowledge of English and Arabic. Visitor numbers to Dubai were at 1.1 million between July and November, according to some estimates. The year-end holiday season helped push occupancy rates across UAE hotels well past the 50 per cent mark. These gains are helping with the return of jobs as well. During the worst of the pandemic months, hotels sent all non-essential staff on furlough or even went in for outright job cuts. Language matters One of Dubai’s most famous hospitality names – Kempinski – is on the lookout for a front-office staffer for its Palm Jumeirah property. The candidate must have at least one- to two years of experience in a similar role, at a - preferably - luxury 5-star chain along with “excellent” communication skills in English as well as Russian. Further up the chain For those with slightly different skillsets, the roles available are diverse. The Shangri-La Group is in need of a marketing communications manager at its Abu Dhabi hotel. The appropriate candidate for should have minimum two years of experience in communications or marketing with a five-star hotel. Holding a degree in marketing, communications or business administration will definitely help along with expertise in food and beverage marketing, media and promotions. UAE’s hotels are in hiring mode again as the months-long holiday season keeps occupancy rates high by bringing in tourists from different parts of the world. There’s good news for those passionate about crunching numbers. Hilton Abu Dhabi wants an assistant revenue manager who will be responsible for analyzing and presenting financial data that will help senior executive teams make well-informed decisions. The normalising of relations with Israel allowed direct flights to commence between the UAE and Israel in December and an estimated 50,000 Israeli tourists have reportedly visited since Khatija Haque, Chief Economist at EmiratesNBD Research Critical phase How hotels fare in the first three months will be decisive in ensuring job creation actually takes place. The industry is closely monitoring travel patterns to gauge where the next guests are likely to come from. More delays to a return to normalcy in one part of the world will have its ripples here as well. And on jobs in the industry…