On a boat off the coast of an island near Abu Dhabi, marine scientist Hamad al-Jailani feels the corals, picked from the reef nursery and packed in a box of seawater, and studies them carefully, making sure they haven't lost their color. The corals were once bleached. Now they're big, healthy and ready to be moved back to their original reefs in the hope they'll thrive once more. "We try to grow them from very small fragments up to — now some of them have reached — the size of my fist," al-Jailani said, who's part of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi's coral restoration program. Also Read: Red Sea corals threatened by mass sea urchin die-off, Israeli researchers say The nursery gives corals the ideal conditions to recover: clear waters with strong currents and the right amount of sunlight. Al-Jailani periodically checks the corals' growth, removes any potentially harmful seaweed and seagrass, and even lets the fish feed off the corals to clean them, until they're healthy enough to be relocated. The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, or EAD, has been rehabilitating and restoring corals since 2021, when reefs off the United Arab Emirates' coast faced their second bleaching event in just five years. EAD's project is one of many initiatives — both public and private — across the country to protect the reefs and the marine life that depend on them in a nation that has come under fire for its large-scale developments and polluting industries that cause harm to underwater ecosystems. There's been some progress, but experts remain concerned for the future of the reefs in a warming world. Also Read: Coral reefs' survival at stake: Unesco Coral bleaching occurs when sea temperatures rise and sun glares flush out algae that give the corals their color, turning them white. Corals can survive bleaching events, but can't effectively support marine life, threatening the populations that depend on them. The UAE lost up to 70% of their corals, especially around Abu Dhabi, in 2017 when water temperatures reached 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit), according to EAD. But al-Jailani said 40-50% of corals survived the second bleaching event in 2021. Although the bleaching events "did wipe out a good portion of our corals," he said, "it did also prove that the corals that we have are actually resilient ... these corals can actually withstand these kind of conditions." Bleaching events are happening more frequently around the world as waters warm due to human-made climate change, caused by the burning of oil, coal and gas that emits heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. Other coral reef systems around the world have suffered mass bleaching events, most notably Australia's Great Barrier Reef. How to limit global warming and its effects will be discussed at length at the United Nations climate conference, which will be held in Dubai later this year. Also Read: Rare, pristine coral reef found off Tahiti coast The UAE is one of the world's largest oil producers and has some of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions globally. The country has pledged to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which means all carbon dioxide emissions are either slashed or canceled out somehow, but the goal has been met with skepticism from analysts. But bleaching due to warming weather is not the only threat to coral reefs around the gulf. High oil tanker traffic, fossil-fuel related activities, offshore installations, and the exploitation of marine resources are all putting marine life under intense stress, according to the U.N. Environment Programme, causing them to degrade. Environmentalists have also long criticized the UAE, and Dubai in particular, for its large-scale buildings and huge coastal developments. The building of the Palm Jebel Ali, which began more than a decade ago and has been on hold since 2008, caused an outcry among conservationists after it reportedly destroyed about 8 square kilometers (5 square miles) of reef. "More than 90 million cubic meters (23.8 billion gallons) of sediments were dredged and dropped, more or less on top of one of the remaining reefs near Dubai," said John Henrik Stahl, the dean of the College of Marine Sciences at Khorfakkan University in Sharjah, UAE. The project was meant to be similar to the Palm Jumeirah — a collection of small, artificial islands off the coast of Dubai in the shape of a palm tree. Still, environmental projects persist across the coastline and throughout the emirates. Development company URB has announced it wants to grow 1 billion artificial corals over a 200-square-kilometer area (124 square miles) and 100 million mangrove trees on an 80-kilometer (50-mile) strip of beaches in Dubai by 2040. Still in the research and development phase, the project hopes to create 3D technology to print materials that can host algae, much like corals. Members of Dubai's diving community are also encouraging coral protection efforts. Diving course director Amr Anwar is in the process of creating a certified coral restoration course that teaches divers how to collect and re-plant corals that have fallen after being knocked off by divers' fins or a boat's anchor. "I don't want people to see broken corals and just leave them like that," said Anwar. "Through the training we give people, they would be able to take these broken corals that they find and plant them elsewhere, and then see them grow and watch their progress." But experts say that unless the threat of overheating seas caused by climate change is addressed, coral bleaching events will continue to occur, damaging reefs worldwide. Countries have pledged to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, after which scientists say the effects of warming on the planet could be much worse, and some even potentially irreversible. But analysts say most nations — including the UAE — are still way off that target. "You have to make sure that the cause for the degradation of the coral reefs in the first place is no longer a threat," said Stahl, the Khorfakkan University scientist. "Otherwise the restoration effort may be for nothing."
The United Arab Emirates will continue its cooperation with Bangladesh in the development of its infrastructure and sea ports for mutual benefits. The UAE's newly appointed ambassador to Bangladesh Abdulla Ali AlHmoudi said this during a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban on Wednesday (May 17, 2023). Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting. The UAE envoy said that his county will carry forward the friendship and cooperation with Bangladesh for economic development. Also Read: Economic cooperation needed among countries in South and Southeast Asia: PM tells outgoing Korean envoy Ali AlHmoudi apprised the prime minister about his meeting with Bangladesh's state minister of civil aviation and tourism regarding the cooperation in the aviation sector. The ambassador recalled that the foundation of the bilateral relation between Bangladesh and the UAE was laid by fathers of the two nations Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan through a visit to the Gulf nation by Bangabandhu in 1974. Later, Sheikh Nahyan also visited Dhaka in 1984 and played a very pivotal role in establishing solid foundation of the bilateral ties between the two brotherly countries, he added. Also Read: PM Hasina: Bangladesh won't buy anything from those who impose sanctions against it During the meeting, the prime minister highly appreciated the UAE leadership as they are going to host the COP-28 summit meeting in November next in Dubai. About Bangladeshi expatriates working in the UAE and Middle Eastern countries, she put emphasis on learning Arabic language by those seeking to go there for jobs. The PM welcomed the new UAE envoy in Dhaka and assured him of providing all cooperation during his stay in Bangladesh. Hasina also conveyed her best wishes to the UAE leadership through the ambassador. Read More: Community clinics model: UN adopts resolution highlighting Sheikh Hasina initiative Ambassador-at-Large Mohammad Ziauddin and Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present at the meeting.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Bangladesh Mission in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are working over the issues related to Rabiul Islam alias Arav Khan, a fugitive in the police officer murder case, says a spokesperson. "He is under watch there," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Seheli Sabrin told reporters in the weekly briefing on Thursday (March 23, 2023) afternoon. She said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will extend required assistance if the Home Ministry seeks. Rabiul Islam alias Arav Khan, a fugitive in the police officer murder case, has not been arrested in Dubai, said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam on Tuesday. Read More: Interpol accepted ‘red notice’ request against Arav Khan, says IGP “No, he has not been arrested….it’s an event that’s unfolding. You will know in time,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while responding to a question. The State Minister said all he can say that there is no scope for any Bangladeshi accused to stay free in a country if he is granted political asylum or for any reason he identifies himself. Interpol has accepted Bangladesh police's request to issue a red notice against fugitive accused Rabiul Islam alias Arav Khan, owner of Arav Jewellers in Dubai. Earlier, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said on Saturday (March 18) that efforts were underway to bring Arav Khan alias Rabiul Islam to the country through the international police agency Interpol. Read more: Arav Khan not arrested yet: Shahriar Alam A senior Detective Branch official on Thursday (March 16) said cricketer Shakib al Hasan and content creator Hero Alam who participated in the inauguration of Arav Jewellers in Dubai may be questioned for the sake of investigation.
Saudi Arabia is mulling a three-day weekend after the UAE enacted it last year. According to Saudi local media, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development responded to a tweet by saying that it is evaluating the present work arrangement to extend the weekend to three days, reports Khaleej Times. The message, according to sources, emerged on the ministry’s Twitter account, which is meant to respond to inquiries from its recipients, it said. Read More: China’s Xi wants bigger global role after facilitating Saudi-Iran deal According to the tweet, the ministry is conducting a periodic evaluation of the present work system in Saudi Arabia to enhance job creation and make the market more appealing to local and foreign investors. It further stated that a draft of the work system had been posted on a survey platform for public comment. In a landmark reform, the UAE implemented a shortened workweek on January 1, 2022 UAE – adopting a Saturday-Sunday weekend, with half workday on Fridays. The new approach was implemented throughout all government bodies, and most private-sector businesses followed suit. On Fridays, the office is only open until noon. Read More: Beximco to produce medicines in Saudi Arabia from next year
A UN body investigating discrimination complaints lodged by Qatar against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia concluded its work following the resolution of these disputes, according to an announcement Thursday. The ad hoc Conciliation Commission was established by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in the wake of a diplomatic crisis between the neighbouring Gulf nations, nearly eight years ago. "I hope that the consensus found by Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia to discontinue the proceedings is the result of a genuine dialogue between the parties to end the dispute which arose in 2018 concerning allegations of racial discrimination," CERD Chair Verene Shepherd said. In June 2017, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, citing "support for terrorism." The following March, Qatar submitted complaints against the UAE and Saudi Arabia to CERD, marking a first in the UN Committee's history. The authorities claimed that political and economic sanctions, including the blockade of its borders, were directed at Qatari citizens solely based on their nationality, without legitimate justification. CERD monitors the global implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which entered into force more than 50 years ago. Read more: French prime minister unveils plans to tackle racism Two ad hoc conciliation commissions were appointed in February 2020 to discuss the complaints. The committee commended all countries concerned for their cooperation towards reaching an amicable settlement to the racial discrimination disputes. Qatar and the UAE had both requested and agreed to end their proceedings at an ad hoc conciliation commission meeting on January 26. The second commission involving Saudi Arabia wrapped up last year following an agreement by both parties. CERD has registered another case, Palestine against Israel, which is still pending.
Bangladesh were eliminated from the ICC U-19 Women's T20 World Cup despite beating the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by five wickets in their last Super Six match of Group-1 at the North-West University Ground-1 in South Africa's Potchefstroom Wednesday. After Group-1 Super Six matches, India, Australia, South Africa and Bangladesh secured six points each from four matches. But India (2,844) and Australia (2,210) made the semi-final with a better run rate than Bangladesh (1,226) and South Africa (0.374). In today's match, the UAE folded for 69-9 in the stipulated 20 overs after choosing to bat first. Only Lavanya Keny (29) and Mahika Gaur (17) reached double digits. Rabeya Khan grabbed three wickets for 14 runs in her four-over spell; all-rounder Marufa Akter claimed two wickets for 16 runs in four overs. Chasing 70, Bangladesh scored 73-5 in 9.1 overs. Shorna Akter top scored 38 runs off 19 balls, with four fours and two sixes. Also, Afia Prottasha scored run-a-ball 15 with three boundaries; Robeya Khan made a 13-ball 14 runs, with two boundaries. Also read: U-19 Women’s World Cup: Bangladesh to play UAE on Wednesday for a semifinal berth Samaira Dharnidharka and Indhuja Nandakumar picked up two wickets for 18 and 34 runs, respectively. Earlier, Bangladesh reached the Super Six after topping Group A with an unbeaten record, securing six points from three straight matches. They earned a seven-wicket victory over giant Australia, a 10-run win over Sri Lanka and a five-wicket victory over the US. But the young tigresses slipped in the semifinal race after losing their first Super Six match against hosts South Africa by five wickets Saturday.
A United Arab Emirates returnee was detained with two kilograms (KG) of gold at Hazrat Shah Amanat International Airport in the port city of Chattogram on Tuesday. Expatriate Md Ziaul Hoque is from Companyganj upazila in Noakhali. Bashir Ahmed, director general at Chattogram Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate, confirmed the gold recovery and detention saying that a flight of Dubai Airlines FZ-563 landed at the airport in the morning. Noticing suspicious movement of the expatriate, members of customs intelligence challenged him and searched his bags, he said. Read more: Man held with 2kg gold from Ctg airport The gold weighing around 2kg was recovered from his bag, the customs officer said, adding that legal actions were taken against him in this connection.
Bangladesh Women's Cricket team will play United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the last super-six match of the ICC U-19 Women's T20 World Cup on Wednesday (January 25) at the Absa Puk Oval in Potchefstroom, South Africa to decide a semifinal berth from Group-1. Bangladesh, the unbeaten champions of Group A, made their semifinal berth difficult after conceding a five-wicket defeat against hosts South Africa in their first super-six match last Saturday (January 21). To assure one of the two semifinal berths from Group-1, Bangladesh has to beat UAE by a huge margin on Wednesday to improve as their three opponents India, Australia and South Africa enjoying a good advantage in points and positive run-rate. India assured the semifinal berth from Group-1 securing six points from all the four matches with a good net run-rate of 2.844, followed by Australia, also with six points from all the four outings, having a net run rate of 2.210. South Africa have secured four points from three matches with a net run rate of 0.508 while Bangladesh bagged also four points from three matches, having a net run rate of 0.251. South Africa was due to play their remaining super six-match against Sri Lanka Tuesday night (Bangladesh time) while Bangladesh will play their last super-six match against UAE on Wednesday. So, it will be very difficult for Bangladesh to manage one of the two semifinal berths from Group-1 toppling Australia and South Africa Earlier, Bangladesh clinched the Group A crown with all-win record securing full six points from straight three matches after a creditable seven-wicket victory over giant Australia, 10-run win over Sri Lanka and five wickets victory over USA, but they went down in the semifinal race losing their first super six match against hosts South Africa by five wickets last Saturday.
Bangladesh won two prizes in two out of the six categories of the Zayed Sustainability Awards in the UAE. The prizes were in 'Water' and 'Global High Schools' categories. UAE President Sheik Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan handed over the prizes to the winners at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week opening ceremony in presence of several heads of states & governments including the president of the Republic of Korea. Read More: BAT Bangladesh scoops up ACES Awards 2022 as 'top sustainability advocate' Bangladesh ambassador to the UAE Abu Zafar was also present at the ceremony and congratulated the winners and commended their innovative works that raised the flag of Bangladesh very high in this global event. Read more: 2 Bangladesh projects win 2022 Aga Khan Award for Architecture NGO Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society (LEDARS) working on integrated water resource management approach in disaster-prone coastal area likely Sundarban and Satkhira won the prize in 'Water' category with $ 600,000.00 Starting its journey in 1996, it has been supporting vulnerable communities with water management solutions to make saline ground water suitable for drinking and cultivating crops. On the other hand, Dhaka Residential Model College working on nutrient conservation secured the school category prize with $100,000.00. Read More: Nagad wins UK-based Global Brand Award 2022 Mentionable, the Zayed Sustainability Prize, an evolution of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, is the UAE’s pioneering global award in sustainability and a tribute to the legacy of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. To recognise and reward the achievements of those who are driving impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions across five distinct categories--Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools, it has been awarding since its journey in 2008.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol received an honor guard welcome Sunday on a trip to the United Arab Emirates as he hopes to expand its military sales here. Yoon’s visit comes as South Korea conducts business deals worth billions of dollars and stations special forces troops to defend the UAE, an arrangement that drew criticism under his liberal predecessor. Now, however, it appears the conservative leader wants to double down on those military links even as tensions with neighboring Iran have already seen Tehran seize a South Korean oil tanker in 2021. “I think that the situation in the Middle East is changing very rapidly when it comes to geopolitics,” said June Park, a fellow with the International Strategy Forum at Schmidt Futures. “So Korea wants to make sure some of the strategic partnerships and the components ... with the UAE.” Yoon arrived at Qasr Al Watan palace in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. He was greeted by Emirati leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who took office in May after serving as the country’s de facto ruler for years. Also Read: S. Korea military sorry for failing to down North’s drones An honor guard of traditionally dressed Emiratis greeted Yoon and his wife, Kim Keon Hee. They twirled model Lee-Enfield rifles alongside troops on camelback and horseback. Inside, a military band played the South Korean and Emirati national anthems. While energy-hungry South Korea does rely on the Emirates for just under 10% of its crude oil supply, Seoul has struck a series of deals far beyond oil with this nation of seven sheikhdoms that closely tie the nation to Abu Dhabi. South Korea’s trade with the UAE is into the billions of dollars worth of cars, material and other goods. Before Yoon’s trip, officials described the visit as seeking to solidify the ties already between the two countries. “This visit will strengthen strategic cooperation with our brother country UAE in the four core cooperative sectors of nuclear power, energy, investment and defense,” said Kim Sung-han, director of national security in Yoon’s government. On Saturday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted an anonymous presidency official as also saying that an arms deal was planned. “The atmosphere is extremely ripe for security or military cooperation between South Korea and the UAE involving the arms industry,” the official said, according to Yonhap. Already, South Korea reached a $3.5 billion deal with the UAE in 2022 to sell the M-SAM, an advanced air defense system designed to intercept missiles at altitudes below 40 kilometers (25 miles). Emirati officials have grown increasingly concerned about protecting their airspace after being targeted in long-range drone attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels. While U.S. forces fired Patriot missiles for the first time in combat since the 2003 Iraq invasion to defend Abu Dhabi during those attacks, the Emiratis have been hedging their reliance on American military support since America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. But South Korea’s biggest project remains the Barakah nuclear power plant, Seoul’s first attempt to build atomic reactors abroad. The $20 billion facility, which ultimately will have four reactors, is in the UAE’s western deserts near the Saudi border and one day will account for nearly a quarter of all of the Emirates’ power needs. It’s also key to the UAE’s plans to go carbon neutral by 2050, a pledge that takes on special importance as it prepares to host the United Nations COP28 climate negotiations beginning in November in Dubai. Yoon likely wants to assure the Emiratis that South Korea wants to be in the running for lucrative maintenance contracts after his predecessor, President Moon Jae-in, had said Seoul wanted to move away from nuclear energy. “The energy policy took on a 180 degree shift” after the election, said Park, the analyst. “So Korea is now for nuclear and I guess that the Yoon administration wants to make sure to the Emiratis that there is no concern regarding policy shifts or anything like that.” Then there’s also the nuclear tensions with North Korea. Yoon, a former top prosecutor, became president in May on a promise to take a harder line on Pyongyang. Up until recent years, hundreds of North Korean laborers were believed to be working in the UAE and elsewhere in the Gulf Arab states, offering a cash stream to Pyongyang as it seeks to evade mounting sanctions over its nuclear program. However, a crackdown has seen their numbers drastically drop as nations stopped renewing their visas. A recent U.N. expert report did note that high-end camera gear bought in the UAE ended up in North Korea, while another mentioned a North Korean national living in Dubai obtaining foreign currency through an online app by lying about his nationality. The U.N. also said as recently as 2021 it had information about North Korean diplomats in Iran flying on Dubai-based long-haul carrier Emirates smuggling gold with them.