Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority unveiled details of Sharjah Light Festival 2018

Held under the patronage of
HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi
Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority unveiled details of
Sharjah Light Festival 2018

— Illuminated shows inspired by science, beauty & knowledge to decorate 18 leading locations for 11 days

— Annual festival celebrates Sharjah’s rich cultural heritage

UAE, January 30, 2018 – Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has announced the details of the 8th edition of the Sharjah Light Festival, which will be held with the participation of an exciting lineup of top internationally renowned artists during its 11-day run, in 18 locations under the theme “Culture in Sharjah” from February 7 to the 17th, 2018. The details were unveiled during a press conference held (Monday, January 29, 2018) at Al Hisn Fort Museum in Sharjah. 
In his speech, H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the SCTDA, said that the Authority has worked over the past seven years to diversify the festival’s activities to boost the international image of Sharjah, as well as promote the emirate’s scientific, cultural, and artistic successes thanks to the vision and guidance of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the SCTDA


He added: “Sharjah has the right to be proud of its achievements. Today, it has become the destination of science, art, literature, and culture. It is a unique tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world due to its rich cultural heritage and its world-class activities throughout the year. The SCTDA has been implementing strong efforts to boost Sharjah’s position on the international tourism map by developing its potential and supporting all activities and initiatives that make Sharjah a rich, diverse, and unique tourism destination.”

The festival will include 23 shows covering 18 popular locations in Sharjah, curated by more than 24 artists from 10 countries. The locations include: Dr. Sultan Al Qassimi Center for Gulf Studies; Sharjah University Campus Avenue; University City Hall; Sharjah Police Academy; Khalid Lagoon; Al Noor Mosque; Palm Oasis; the House of Justice; the Heart of Sharjah; Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn); the Supreme Council for Family Affairs; the Ammar Bin Yasser Mosque in Al Dhaid; Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi Mosque in Dibba Al-Hisn; the Municipality of Al Hamriya; the Town Planning Department of Khorfakkan; Khorfakkan Municipal Council; Kalba Municipal Council; and the Directorate of Human Resources in Kalba.
The festival is sponsored by Sharjah Municipality, Sharjah Police Headquarters, Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), Sharjah Civil Defense Department, Sharjah Government Media Bureau.Sahara Centre and Mega Mall are partners, while the Sharjah Media Corporation is the media sponsor.
The eighth edition of the festival will include a series of visual presentations inspired by science, creativity and knowledge. The light shows will be accompanied by music played by elite musicians from all over the world. The opening ceremony for the 2018 edition will be held at the Dr. Sultan Al Qassimi Centre for Gulf Studies. The daily shows will run from 6 :00 pm to 11:00 pm on weekdays and 6:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on weekends.
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e-learning in the Middle East to witness annual growth rate

e-learning in the Middle East
to witness annual growth rate of 9.8 per cent
till 2023, say report
Orient Planet Academy announces new course dates for 2018
January 29, 2018 – The Middle East’s online education is forecasted to experience continuous growth thanks to the rising government investments and increasing popularity of e-learning especially among professionals. According to a report by Research and Markets titled the ‘Middle East Online Education & E Learning Market Size, Demand, Opportunity & Growth Outlook 2023,’the regional online education and e-learning market is seen to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8 per cent during the forecast period.
Saudi Arabia holds the biggest share in the regional market and is expected to earn USD 237.1 million by 2023. The UAE market is expected to follow closely with a CAGR of 10.3 per cent over the forecast year, said the report.
Looking to be part of this expected growth, a large number of online academies in the region have sprung up—serving as a major indicator of the steadily expanding e-learning industry. In line with this, Orient Planet Academy (OPA), the Middle East’s first online academy dedicated to public relations (PR) and communications practitioners, has recently announced its upcoming course dates for 2018. The online classes for next year will take place on February 15, and March 8, April 05. OPA offers courses designed to enhance their skills and compete in a continuously evolving work environment.
Nidal Abou Zaki, Managing Director, Orient Planet Group, said: “The region’s adoption of e-learning practices and growing positive attitude towards online education are major influencers and growth drivers for the market. Growth predictions are only to be expected as the Middle East embraces this type of educational method in pursuit of continuous learning in the era of digital explosion. OPA remains steadfast in its commitment to promote e-learning in the region. For 2018, we have already scheduled our new course dates and we hope PR and communications practitioners will join our growing community of students and learn from practicing industry professionals to help keep them ahead of the competition.”


Nidal Abou Zaki, Managing Director, Orient Planet Group

OPA is a direct collaboration between Orient Planet, one of the Middle East’s most rapidly growing PR marketing and communications consultancies, and the Irish Academy of Public Relations, an Ireland-based international online education provider of courses in communications disciplines. It offers internationally recognized certificate courses in PR, Online Marketing & PR, Journalism, English Grammar and Diploma in Event Management. Its other offerings include Arabic courses in Online Marketing and PR and Diploma in Event Management. Each course takes 10 to 12 weeks to complete and students are required to finish one module every week and pass all requirements before a certificate is awarded.

Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University Celebrates Graduation

Under the patronage and in the presence of 

HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University celebrates graduation of 396 learners of undergraduate and postgraduate programs
Mansoor Al Awar: “We are proud to launch unprecedented initiatives to reshape the future of higher education in the world.”
‘Zayed Cyber Palm for Education’ inspired by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed’s vision to make the university a solid foundation for the universities and institutions of the future in the occasion of ‘2018 The Year of Zayed’
‘School of Artificial Intelligence’ to drive UAE transformation as leading hub for developing AI technologies
UAE, 23 January 2018 – Under the patronage and in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, the University celebrated the graduation of the seventh and eighth batch of learners from the undergraduate and postgraduate programs at the School of Business & Quality Management, School of e-Education and School of Health and Environmental Studies. A total of 396 graduates attended the graduation ceremony at the Dubai World Trade Center, in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, Chairman of HBMSU’s Board of Governors, and members of the Board of Governors, and Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, chancellor of HBMSU as well as faculty and administrative officials, parents of graduates and learners.
The event celebrated the graduation of 26 learners with firstclass honors degrees, 30 with second-class honors degrees and 42 with third-class honors degrees. This achievement reflects the University’s success in developing creative approaches aimed at redefining the future of teaching and learning through smart technology, innovation and quality to hone qualified national talents and prepare them to lead the ambitious development process.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum have met at the graduation ceremony with an elite group of entrepreneurs who are HBMSU’s learners and alumni. The HBMSU President said he is proud of the learners for being a model for young national talents armed with knowledge, innovation and the determination to achieve excellence, which will help build the country’s future, under the directives of the wise leadership of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. H.H. Sheikh Hamdan was also presented with the creative ideas that have turned into promising projects that will add value to the national economy. This achievement adds to the university’s record of excellence in preparing entrepreneurs capable of creating job opportunities that meet the challenges of the 21st century instead of generating job applicants.
H.E. Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim explained that the graduation ceremony is an advancement for the graduates as they move on to share and implement their ideas that will contribute to social progress and the country’s overall development, as well as prepare local entrepreneurs capable of leading technological development. He said that he is proud for the graduates who are joining many of the country’s promising youths.
Khalfan added: “Today, and under the unlimited support of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the HBMSU continues its role towards graduating entrepreneurs rather than job seekers through raising the quality of scientific research, entrepreneurship and innovation, with focus on enriching knowledge and driving the progress of the smart education sector. This is in line with our strategic plan 2018-2020, which aims to support the UAE Vision 2021 in building a competitive economy led by Emiratis equipped with knowledge and innovation. In response to the wise guidance of our leadership to be positive and to work on promoting education, we look forward to continue our efforts to lead the way in re-engineering higher education locally, regionally and globally, in pursuit of creating an incubator environment for the youth’s creations as they represent the foundation stone to explore and build the future.”
Dr. Mansoor Al Awar opened the graduation ceremony by launching unprecedented initiatives aimed at redefining the future of global higher education, particularly the ‘Zayed Cyber Palm for Education’ initiative, which was named after a distinguished leader who had a deep insight and wise vision to establish the pillars of giving to ensure that the goodness of the UAE reaches the entire world.
Al Awar further reiterated that Zayed Cyber Palm for Education is inspired by the vision of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan and the launch of the project comes in the occasion of the declaration of 2018 as the ‘Year of Zayed’, a leader whose legacy and achievements remain a guidance for the University to continue pushing for excellence and prepare a generation of future builders. He said that this first-of-its-kind initiative will pave the way to achieve the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, who said in 2002: “I want the University to be a solid foundation for future institutes and universities.”
Al Awar added: “HBMSU gears up for a new level of engagement that would undoubtedly witness broad and positive changes in higher education regionally and globally. We are preparing to be a palm that provides emerging electronic and smart universities with knowledge and a range of expertise that would enable them to benefit from smart education. We provide a massive cloud platform that provides technological services required for intelligent transformation, including the Student Portal, Student Information System, Virtual Classrooms, Online Payments and Technical Support Services, in addition to facilitating educational services and establishment of schools on the cloud delivering world-class education.”
Al Awar also announced the launch of the School of Artificial Intelligence, which is based on an ambitious vision that aims to create and apply AI knowledge based on research and innovation which will bring about positive social and economic change at the local and international levels. This pioneering move is part of HBMSU’s commitment to build skilled generations that will make the UAE a new hub for developing AI mechanisms, techniques and legislation, in line with the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The strategy aims to capitalize on AI as a platform to improve government performance, accelerate achievements, and create highly productive environment. The new school is a major drive towards re-engineering the future of education through quality programs such as Master of Science in A.I. and Robotics Engineering, Master of Science in A.I. and Game Design, and “Master of Science in A.I. and Computational Data Science.
During his speech, Dr. Al Awar added: “The graduation of this batch coincides with the Year of Zayed, which marks the centennial of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s birth, in commemoration of his memory, principles and noble values ​​as one of the greatest leaders in the world. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed once talked about the wise vision of Zayed that resulted in the achievements and successes that put the UAE on the world map, describing him as the father, the leader and the builder of the modern UAE. Zayed began to make a radical change in the concepts of education, and this is what we are considering today in our efforts at comprehensive re-engineering in education and make a fresh start to the future guided by the wise directions of H.H. Hamdan bin Mohammed, who said: “The world is changing, and we have to adapt with this change by changing education, so that we can be ready for the future,”. The process of re-engineering began when we succeeded this year in obtaining the accreditation for the ‘Master of Science in Change Management and Creativity’ from the Academic Accreditation Authority at the Ministry of Education as a fully online program.”
“Today, we started reaping the first fruits of this unique educational approach as we witness the graduation of these young people, which would normally wait in queue to secure a job, whether in government or the private sector. However, we have succeeded in implementing the principle espoused by H.E. Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, who instructed that the university should provide society with “entrepreneurs, not job seekers”. In line with this, HBMSU has provided the UAE community with a large number of businessmen of about 70 graduates who have embraced the principle of “Entrepreneurs, not job seekers”, and have succeeded in setting up their own projects with a capital of more than a few millions each. We are confident that our graduates will continue the march of scientific and practical achievement, and I wish them all the best, with faith that they will keep in touch with the University for more professional and cognitive support,” said Al Awar.


Curriculum Diploma Program in the Arab Region

In continuation of the successful launch of first-of-its-kind program in
Arab Region in support of UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
HBMSU & UNESCO inaugurate second batch of
‘Curriculum Diploma Program in the Arab Region’
Mansoor Al Awar: ‘The program is an intellectual & systematic tool for delivering high-level education characterized by equality, innovation & quality’
The development of curricula that ensure the delivery of high-level & inclusive education is a strategic priority and a core value
UAE, January 17, 2018Within the framework of the Convention on International Cooperation in the Implementation of Modern Educational Programs, the second batch of the ‘Curriculum Diploma in the Arab Countries’ hosted by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) in cooperation with the International Bureau of Education (IBE) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been launched.


The move is part of joint efforts to develop educational competencies and teaching staff in Arab countries and contribute to the achievement of the fourth of the 17 goals of the UN Sustainable Development Plan 2030 which aims to provide inclusive high-level education characterized by equality and quality and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The program is sponsored by the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance. It offers a unique training experience using HBMSU’s smart educational systems developed by the university to re-engineer the future of teaching and learning based on creativity, innovation, scientific research. The second batch follows a highly successful inaugural edition and will accommodate 41 participants from 16 Arab countries. It aims to meet requirements for training and development of competencies responsible for the development of curricula in Arab countries according to a comparative international perspective that paves the way for delivering high-quality education.
Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, emphasized the importance of the ‘Curriculum Diploma in the Arab Countries’ as being the first of its kind in the Arab World to target developers of curriculum, education policy-makers and teaching staff in promoting a culture of smart learning, which he said has become a pillar for reshaping the future and providing education for all. He said that this program is an intellectual and systematic tool for delivering high-level education characterized by equality, innovation and quality, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal of 2030 to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all.’
Dr. Al Awar said: “The quality program is the result of the strong partnership established with the UNESCO International Bureau of Education and is being undertaken in coordination with the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance. We believe in the importance of strengthening international cooperative frameworks to effect a radical change in the school education system, higher education and scientific research at the local and regional levels.We are committed to providing the best education for future innovators under the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and HBMSU President, who has tasked us to prepare a qualified generation capable of leading development and knowledge enrichment in the Arab World.”
“The second batch of this program is being participated in by 16 Arab countries, which reflects the growing regional and international confidence in HBMSU as a leader in knowledge and scientific research and a pioneering academic institution committed to shaping the future of education based on research, innovation and knowledge. We will continue to prepare the young generation to drive the growth process and keep pace with the requirements of the 21st Century,” he concluded.
The program incorporates a training methodology that combines self- and smart learning and direct education and targets developers of curriculum, education policy-makers, department heads, supervisors, teachers, university professors and education quality assurance specialists. It aims to improve the ability to analyze, review, evaluate, design and develop curricula at all levels of the education system. The first batch of graduates achieved a high success rate of 97.4 per cent out of 38 participants from 11 Arab countries, 14 of which were from the UAE.
The latest batch will span eight (8) months through September 2018 at HBMSU’s campus with the participation of several Arab academics and UNESCO experts. The program agenda’s various major themes presented in Arabic include ‘Curriculum Development: Concept, Trends, Issues and Challenges’; ‘Curriculum Development: Systems and Processes’; ‘Curriculum Design: Outputs? and Models’; ‘Curriculum of Smart Education and Custom Learning’; ‘Smart Learning Technology’; ‘Education Evaluation’; and ‘Inclusive and Creative Education Systems’.