Daily Archives: January 13, 2019

Misstatements by Kuwait Port Authority General Manager Endanger Efforts to Recover Kuwait Public Funds

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Port Fund today called on the General Manager of the Kuwait Port Authority (KPA), Sheik Yousef Al-Abdullah, to correct misstatements he made in a CNBC Arabia interview aired on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 regarding The Port Fund and its efforts to distribute $496 million to its investors and stakeholders.

The General Manager made inaccurate statements that conflict with the official position of the Kuwait Government and the Kuwait Attorney General, who is working to have Dubai promptly release the funds back to Port Link GP and allow it to pay the Kuwait investors and others.

Contrary to the KPA General Manager’s statement that the KPA’s investment in The Port Fund was “lost”, other Kuwaiti officials recognize that the funds were never lost or stolen but are currently frozen in an account at Noor Bank in the name of the fund’s General Partner, Port Link GP.

Equally surprising, the KPA General Manager stated that the name of the account holder at Noor Bank, Port Link GP, was “unknown” to the KPA even though the legal documents governing the Fund, signed by the KPA and all other Fund investors, expressly authorize “Port Link GP” to act as the Fund’s General Partner and to conduct its business.  Contrary to the KPA General Manager’s suggestion, the $496 million wired to Port Link GP’s account at Noor Bank clearly belongs to The Port Fund and can be distributed to investors from that account.

The KPA General Manager also stated that the KPA did not recognize an $11 million payment previously sent to the KPA from a subsidiary of The Port Fund, suggesting that The Port Fund has not paid any money to the KPA since it invested in The Port Fund, which is factually incorrect.

The statements from the KPA General Manager come at a time when senior government officials are working on the release of the funds.  The Kuwait Prime Minister sent a letter dated September 18, 2018 to the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai stating that these funds “are considered public funds and as well belong to investors in the private sector, and since the continued freezing of these funds is very damaging to government entities and other investors, we ask your Highness to direct your entities in charge to release the funds quickly” (emphasis added).

The Kuwait Attorney General has twice written to the Dubai Attorney General requesting the release of the funds.  Most recently, the Kuwait Attorney General wrote a letter dated December 30, 2018 requesting the Dubai Attorney General “remove the hold [on the funds] … and enable the account holder company [Port Link GP] to transfer and distribute the mentioned amount [$496 million]” (emphasis added).

“The Port Fund calls on the KPA General Manager to correct these misstatements in order to avoid any further confusion or delay in Dubai’s release of the funds, which will only continue to harm the KPA, the Public Institution for Social Security, and other Port Fund investors,” said Mark Williams, investment director of the fund.  “Kuwait government officials have been working to have Dubai release these funds and incorrect information from the KPA potentially undermines the effort of those officials.”

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Ashghal Partially Opens Deepest and Longest Bi-directional Tunnel in Qatar

The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has opened the longest and deepest bi-directional tunnel in Qatar as part of the Al Rayyan Road Upgrade Project Phase 2.

The new tunnel connects Bu Erayen Street and Lebday Street, passes under the intersection known as Al Mokafaha and Lebday intersections. It’s 1.5km and It consists four lanes that accommodate 8,000 vehicles per hour in each direction.

The new tunnel depth is about 25 meters below ground level, so the intersection known as the Al Mokafaha, which is located on the new Al Rayyan Street, consists of three levels: an intersection with a traffic lights beneath which is an underpass and a tunnel under it. The new tunnel passes under the intersection of Lebday (intersection on the ground with traffic lights and to be opened soon).

On this occasion, Eng. Jumah Al Bader, the Project Manager, affirmed that Ashghal has partially opened the new tunnel, the longest and deepest tunnel in Qatar, which will reduce travel time between Bu Erayen and Lebday Street and Al Luqta and Al Waab by up to 65 % particularly due to the increased lane capacity and removal of the existing diversions and will reduce traffic congestion on 22 February street.

He explained that the tunnel is fitted with all the safety and security facilities and that a dedicated building was constructed to serve as the central control room for monitoring and controlling all operating system. This built-in system will allow the safe operation of the tunnel.

Source: Government of Qatar

In presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and President Ibrahim Keita, Khalifa Fund signs USD 25 million agreement to promote entrepreneurship and develop SMEs in Mali.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of Mali, witnessed the signing ceremony between the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and the Malian Government represented by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, today in Abu Dhabi.

The USD 25 million agreement is aimed towards providing support for micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises in the Republic of Mali.

According to the agreement signed by Hussain Jasim Al Nowais, Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and Dr. Boubou Cisse, Minister of Economy and Finance in Mali, the amount will be distributed in equal instalments over the next five years.

After signing the agreement, Al Nowais said: “The agreement is a part of the UAE’s continuing efforts to support micro, small and medium enterprises in the Republic of Mali while also enabling these enterprises in generating business that are in line with the Mali Government’s efforts to promote economic development in the country.”

Al Nowais explained that the agreement provides a financial framework to support the government efforts in the Republic of Mali, which looks towards promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and supporting micro, small and medium enterprises. The agreement is also seen to help offer new jobs and enhance the role of women across various economic fields to boost further development in the poorest areas of Mali.

Al Nowais also pointed out that Khalifa Fund is committed to move ahead in ensuring the necessary measures needed in implementing and monitoring the financed projects, as well as provide the corrective measures if necessary, including the provision of essential technical support and expertise. He also explained the importance of joining hands with the Malian Ministry of Economy and Finance to allow young people and women the opportunity to achieve their ambitions via the establishment of their own projects that will contribute to the national economy of Mali and the development of rural and poor areas throughout the country.

Meanwhile, Dr. Cisse lauded the support that the UAE has been providing to the Republic of Mali in various fields, especially in humanitarian, economic and developmental aspects. He shared that the strong relations between the UAE and Mali reflect a shared leadership vision of the two countries across many regional and international issues.

Dr. Cisse said: “The Malian Ministry of Economy and Finance is committed to prepare the right environment needed to implement and monitor projects while also facilitating cooperation between Khalifa Fund and adjoining agencies, authorities and stakeholders, as well as supporting the implementation of all agreed programs by taking the necessary legal measures and the needed amendments to ensure the success of development projects in Mali.”

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which was established in 2007 in Abu Dhabi, has become one of the leading institutions aimed at instilling a culture of entrepreneurship and supporting SMEs in the UAE. The fund has financed more than 1,400 projects within the country. Its successful experience has been transferred to Egypt, Chechnya, Jordan and the Republic of Belarus through pioneering financing programs directed towards strengthening government efforts in these countries to achieve sustainable development and build a diversified and stable economy.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed receives President of Kiribati.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received the President of Kiribati, Taneti Mamau.

During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), they discussed bilateral relations between the UAE and the Republic of Kiribati and ways to enhance the cooperation between the two sides.

Sheikh Abdullah welcomed Mamau while stressing the keenness of the UAE to develop ties with Kiribati.

The President of Kiribati hailed the UEA’s pioneering stature regionally and globally and its wise leadership’s enlightened vision for its achievements in all domains.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed receives Malian President.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, at the Al Shati Palace today.

While welcoming the President of Mali, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed hoped that the visit would contribute to developing relations between the two countries in various fields.

They also reviewed cooperation and ways to develop bilateral relations in the best interests of the two countries and peoples, especially in the development, economic, and investment sectors.

They also exchanged views on a number of issues of mutual concern.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed emphasised that the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is keen on supporting fraternal and friendly countries in their endeavours to achieve economic development.

Keita extended his thanks and appreciation for the UAE’s development and humanitarian aid provided to his country while highlighting the country’s effective role in developing the educational, health, infrastructure and service sector.

He also praised the UAE’s humanitarian role and initiatives globally.

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, and Hussein Jassim Al Nowais, Chairman of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, were present.

Dr. Boubou Cisse, Minister of Economy and Finance of Mali, and Boukary Sidibe, Malian Ambassador to the UAE, represented the Malian side.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

94% Digital Access Rate for e-Government Websites

The Assistive Technology Center (Mada) of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, affirmed that the rate of digital access to e-government websites in Qatar reached 94% in 2018, according to the results of the monitoring and measurement tool in the center, noting that 46 websites were evaluated for digital access last year. Also, Mada center has granted Digital Access Accreditation to nine websites and e-applications, where these websites are accessible by persons with disabilities, and able to support independent living for persons with disabilities and the elderly.

This is considering as a high percentage compared to the time frame for the launch of the Digital Access Program, and the policy ease of digital and web accessibility. In 2017, the Center has launched an integrated program labeled ” Websites Digital Access”, which aims to support accessibility to government websites and capacity-building, and is supervised by experts specialized in this field, where the services are provided for evaluation of websites, development of solutions, consultancy and training of employees and developers. The program extends throughout the year through coordination and cooperation with government entities in the country.

Source: Government of Qatar

Qatar Airways is the Official Airline Partner of the Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019

DOHA, Qatar Airways is pleased to announce that it is the Official Airline Partner for the Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019, marking the beginning of a year-long collaboration that will see both nations jointly celebrate their unique cultural legacies.

Developed by Qatar Museums, the Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019 will invite audiences in both Qatar and India to explore their cultural heritage through an exciting array of programmes, including a variety of Qatari-Indian exhibitions, musical performances, fashion, film and artistic events.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: We are delighted to be the Official Airline Partner of the Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019, taking place in both Qatar and India. As an airline, we believe that culture is a universal connector that brings people together, and this year-long event will enable both societies to share a mutual path of understanding and appreciation of each other.

As the Official Airline Partner, Qatar Airways also looks forward to being the bridge between both countries by bringing more travellers from India to Doha, so that they can experience Qatar’s incredible hospitality and cultural heritage throughout the year.

The Year of Culture programme, developed under the patronage of H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, has continued to grow under her leadership each passing year, with the Qatar-Russia Year of Culture 2018 programme being the largest cultural collaboration to date.

Qatar Museums Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ahmad Al Namla, said: Since its launch with the Qatar-Japan Year of Culture 2012, the Years of Culture programme has been building bridges between Qatar and the world, celebrating both our similarities as well as our differences. After several successful editions, we are pleased to launch Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019. Our two countries have long enjoyed a close partnership, one that extends beyond economic ties. Our aspiration is that the Year of Culture programme will further strengthen our existing ties, encourage new encounters, and spur creativity and curiosity among the new generations of both countries, so that they may feel inspired to achieve great things together.

Throughout this year, we are going to see great works of art, international collaboration and beautiful showcases of the vibrant cultural history of our two countries. We are proud to partner with Qatar Airways as the Official Airline Partner for Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019, which is a testament to the close collaboration between our countries’ institutions.

In Qatar, residents and visitors to the country will be able to enjoy the Year of Culture experience at the Doha International Book Fair 2019, where India will be the Guest of Honour. Other highlights include an exhibition by Raqs Media Collective, which makes contemporary art, edits books and curates exhibitions, and a ‘Festival of India’ event that will feature a range of visual arts and performances such as classical dance and music (both Indian and Western), as well as cinema and theatre.

Key events to look forward to in India include ‘The Monsoon Wedding’ musical, and a contemporary Art Qatar Exhibition � a landmark exhibition showcasing Qatar’s rapid, social and urban transformation through the eyes of talented emerging artists from the country.

Qatar Airways currently operates 102 weekly flights between Doha and 13 destinations in India, including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram.

Qatar Airways introduced its revolutionary Qsuite Business Class experience on the Mumbai and Bengaluru routes in July 2018, both of which are served by a Boeing B777 aircraft. In February 2018, the award-winning airline introduced its state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 on its Delhi route. Qatar Airways was the global launch customer for this aircraft, which features a two-class configuration of 283 seats in total, offering 36 in Business Class and 247 in Economy Class.

The airline’s cargo division, Qatar Airways Cargo, currently operates a total of 26 weekly freighters to seven destinations in India. The top three cargo destinations in India are Mumbai and Chennai, with seven weekly frequencies each, and Delhi with five weekly frequencies.

The national carrier of the State of Qatar is one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, with a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft flying to over 160 business and leisure destinations across six continents.

A multiple-award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Business Class’ by the 2018 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Business Class Seat’, ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge’.

Source: Qatar Airways