UNESCO General Conference in Paris

Mansoor Al Awar presents report for UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education during UNESCO General Conference in Paris
UAE, November 7, 2017 – Dr Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) and Chairman of the Governing Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE), recently participated in several meetings at the UNESCO General Conference in Paris and presented his report on the UNESCO IITE including ‘Policy Advocacy and Technical Assistance,’ ‘Teacher Professional Development’, ‘Open Education Resources and Digital Pedagogy,’ as well as ‘National Capacity Building for ICT in Health and Wellbeing Education’. 
 
Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) and Chairman of the Governing Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE)

Al Awar highlighted the activities of the IITE Governing Board, including networking and strategic partnerships as well as challenges and lessons learned. He also emphasized the ongoing efforts to support UNESCO’s initiatives in realizing education’s goals up to 2030 to provide a fair and inclusive education and promote the lifelong learning opportunities for all. On the sidelines of the meetings, Dr. Al Awar also took part in a meeting with H.E. Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education for the UAE and Minister of Education of Switzerland, which addressed common issues and shared interests in education.

GETEX Autumn 2017

GETEX Autumn 2017 opens doors to more than 5,000 learners keen to take up higher education 
 
Leading education event throws spotlight on occupational & industrial skills, continuing education & professional development
 
November 1, 2017 – Gulf Education and Training Exhibition (GETEX) Autumn Edition 2017, the latest edition of the leading student recruitment platform in the Middle East and Asia, has opened today (Wednesday, November 1, 2017) at Hall 5 of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre to help more than 5,000 learners around the region find the right educational choice from over 600 courses.

 

The region’s most trusted event for higher education features a wide variety of study streams from over 50 regional and international universities located in eight countries, which are set to open their admissions between November 2017 and April 2018. The courses are focused on occupational and industrial skills, continuing education courses and other professional development offerings.
 
Anselm Godinho, Managing Director, IC&E and organizer of GETEX, said: “We are excited to present to students and parents the range of new courses and career options they can choose from in this year’s Autumn Edition of GETEX. Universities are here to address student’s concerns and present their course options to learners aspiring to study further. Admissions officers and education counselors are ready to offer them career guidance on the appropriate program, including advice on scholarship opportunities.”
 
For more information, please visit: http://www.mygetex.com/

HBMSU meets with Fujairah University

HBMSU meets with Fujairah University to discuss smart learning
UAE, October 4, 2017 – Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) Chancellor Dr. Mansoor Al Awar received Prof. Dr. Mohammed Gharseldin, Chancellor of Fujairah University, and his delegates who recently paid the HBMSU a visit to gain insights into its fundamental smart learning initiatives. The visit formed part of Fujairah University’s efforts to build a smart learning environment and learn from HBMSU’s relevant experiences, including but not limited to technology, pedagogy, expansion of library facilities, and research activities. 
 
 
The meeting was also a follow-up on their previous collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing the quality of learning in the country to help make the current and future generations globally competitive according to UAE Vision 2021. During the visit, both parties shared key overviews of their respective institution. Dr. Al Awar also took the opportunity to invite the delegates to be part of the upcoming Innovation Arabia 11 conference.
 
 

‘Champions of Tomorrow’ and ‘Creative Program’ campaigns

Abu Dhabi Education Council awards winners of Event attended by senior officials, winners & participants & their parents
Abu Dhabi, May 16th 2017- The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) recently concluded its extracurricular activities for the academic year 2016-2017, following the completion of a series of contests and competitions under its ‘Champions of Tomorrow’ and ‘Creative Program’ campaigns.
The initiative falls in line with the Council’s continuous effort and commitment to encourage students to participate in various scientific, cultural, artistic and sport activities with the aim to adopt and develop new talents as well as build their competitiveness and excellence.
The ceremony was held in the presence of many senior officials and was attended by winning students, participants and their parents.
During the event, the participating students were commended for showcasing their cultural and artistic talents and excelling in sports. Gold, silver, and bronze medals along with other prizes were given for the first, second and third places, respectively.
The ‘Champions of Tomorrow’ initiative attracted the participation of 75 per cent of ADEC students, giving a tremendous boost to the local education system and developing talents according to the highest international standards and practices. The contests established a spirit of competitiveness and excellence among students in various fields, including science, sports, art and culture. On the other hand, the ‘Creative Program’ is an ideal platform to discover the promising talents that can compete in international events. The program has registered 2593 participants from the school year 2016-2017, with an increase of 1503 students compared to last year; 20 per cent of which are from scientific programs, while the art and music programs attracted 30 per cent of students.

 

Abu Dhabi Region
H.E. Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of School Operations, ADEC, expressed his delight in the increased participation of students in the ‘Champions of Tomorrow’ and ‘Creative Program’ initiative. He stated that it reflects a great momentum and a high capability to achieve leadership and excellence at the intellectual, scientific, cultural and athletic level. He also mentioned the remarkable success of this current edition of extracurricular activities in emphasizing social and national participation, enhancing the culture of innovation and excellence for the upcoming generation, and boosting the creative abilities in various sectors that will raise the UAE’s name across the world.
Mr. Al Dhahiri added: “The ‘Creative Program’ is an important milestone in the process of promoting leadership among students while improving their scientific and creative thinking. This is in line with ADEC’s strategic vision to develop the local education system and strengthen student competencies, while benefiting the local and international community.
“The ‘Champions of Tomorrow’ campaign reflects the central role of the program in spreading a culture of physical education to uphold the UAE’s position in regional and international sports events. These successes will help us develop the activities, initiatives and competitions aimed at unleashing creative capacities and skills of youth while providing them with knowledge and competencies with emphasis on social and cultural development in accordance to the strategic objectives of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.”
Al Ain Region
The selection of the winning schools was conducted for each educational seminar separately, based on the total score in accordance with the criteria set by the jury. The total number of selected schools were 18 each in Abu Dhabi, the Al Ain Region and the Al Dafrah Region. 

DuPont Middle East Highlights Importance of Workplace Safety

DuPont Middle East highlights importance of workplace safety to students of Khalifa University of Science & Technology – Petroleum Institute
Initiative aims to strengthen awareness on safety procedures and use of personal protective gear
May 02, 2017DuPont Middle East recently held a seminar on workplace safety for students of Petroleum Institute at the Sas Al Nakhl area. The initiative has been designed to raise awareness among students who will soon be pursuing a career in key industries such as oil, gas, mechanical, chemical and petrochemical, where safety risks are higher than in other sectors. The Petroleum Institute is part of the newly-established Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

 

As part of the company’s community outreach program, DuPont aims to educate future engineers on the importance of safety regulations to ensure the wellbeing of the workforce while also reducing hazards and risks at the workplace. DuPont has expressed its commitment in raising awareness among university students on established safety procedures and the proper use of specialized protective gears or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Karim Dirani, Marketing Communications Specialist at DuPont Protection Solutions, discussed common issues in workplace safety and explained the importance of always wearing the right PPEs. The team also conducted a demonstration of Thermo-Man®, the world’s most advanced life-sized thermal burn injury evaluation system. Since the 1970s, the state-of-the-art device has been used worldwide to test the flame resistance of work clothing materials produced by companies across various industries, including oil and gas, petrochemicals, chemicals, electricity, and fire-fighting services.
 
Dirani said: “Establishing a culture of safety and instilling the habit of protecting one’s self against known risks in the workplace takes a certain degree of awareness that should start even before students begin working as engineers and professionals. DuPont is fully committed to education as an important platform to build and hone the culture of safety and the university is the ideal setting for them to start understanding the value of workplace safety regulations. The seed of awareness has to start here and I fully appreciate the students of Petroleum Institute, for their high regard to this matter as they do with their future profession.”
 
Dr. Ali Al Mansoori, Executive Vice President for Academics at Khalifa University of Science and Technology, added: “We laud DuPont’s efforts to enlighten students on the various aspects of workplace safety and regulations – including the protective gears that can be used and how they are manufactured to protect them. This event definitely contributes to their knowledge and awareness of their future workplaces and what they must never forget as soon as they move on to their roles as professionals in their chosen field.”
 
 

Emirates College for Management & Information highlights UAE’s higher education growth path at Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016.

Increasing number of international schools and student mobility present unique opportunities for education sector
UAE, December 25, 2016 – The UAE is increasingly gaining global importance as an ideal destination for investments in higher education as the Gulf nation gives top priority to education as a means to achieving economic success and development, said Prof. AbdulSattar A. Al-Alusi, President and CEO of Emirates College for Management & Information (ECMIT), during a presentation held recently at the Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016 in Oxford, United Kingdom.

ECMIT, a leading private higher educational institution based in Dubai, participated at the summit held under the theme ‘Investment in Science and Education: Investing in the Future.’ Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016 is an annual event for education, scientific research and business.
During the summit, Prof. Al-Alusi noted: “The UAE Government envisions an exceptional system of higher education based on innovation, academic excellence and scientific research. Its policies and regulations, programmes and initiatives are all formulated to meet its overarching goal of building a knowledge-based economy. The results of such efforts are visible in the growth and internationalization of higher education in the country.”
Data shows that the UAE has invested AED 10 billion into the education sector – equivalent to a 22 per cent increase in governmental spending on education, both general and higher.
“The UAE Government’s higher education strategies have attracted international student mobility to the country, which has exponentially grown to more than 37 branch campuses within the last 10 years – the highest number among 200 worldwide higher education providers. This has been achieved by providing the platform for the construction of state-of-the-art campuses, investor-friendly regulations and policies, world-class support services to migrating students, and a wide array of degree specializations that meet current job market requirements,” he added.
Prof. Al-Alusi further explained that in order to ensure excellent access to both public and private higher education for citizens and residents, the UAE adopts several measures and guidelines including promoting educational institution leadership in the areas of R&D, creativity, innovation and competitiveness; ensuring the sustainability of a quality control system based on learning outcomes and academic integrity; strengthening partnerships with industry to align educational outcomes and labor market needs; promoting a culture of continuous learning and providing smart learning opportunities; supporting community service and social responsibility; optimizing financial resources and the complementary role between public and private education sectors; and enhancing international cooperation and creating an attractive learning environment for international students.
“The main drivers of growth for higher education in the country lie in policies and infrastructure, and quality and standards. It is evident that the rise of higher education institutions is not random but rather a focused move to boost the economic growth of the country,” he further stated.

Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016 was participated by a wide group of decision makers, education leaders, scientists, and representatives of academic institutions, universities and specialized companies from more than 50 countries around the world. Organized by the European Business Association in Oxford, the session focused on the most important issues and aspects in the areas of education and scientific research. The Summit discussed the latest developments and emerging trends on integrating the education, business and science sectors and highlighted the best practices and cutting-edge tools in the field of learning management.

Emirates College for Management & Information to discuss importance of education in UAE at Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016.

To review education sector’s role in country’s efforts towards sustainable & comprehensive growth
UAE, November 30, 2016 –The Emirates College of Management & Information (ECMIT), a leading private higher educational institution based in Dubai, has confirmed its participation in the Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016, the annual event for education, scientific research and business, to be held under the theme ‘Investment in Science and Education: Investing in the Future’ on December 20, 2016 in Oxford, the UK. Prof. AbdulSattar A. Al-Alusi, President and CEO of the ECMIT will head the delegation representing the institution at the Summit.

Prof. AbdulSattar A. Al-Alusi, President and CEO of the ECMIT.

During the event, Prof. Al-Alusi will throw the spotlight on the most prominent features that have led to the growth and development in the UAE’s education sector. He will also review the role of the education sector in supporting the sustainable and comprehensive progress of the country, with a particular focus on the most important initiatives and achievements in its ambitious pursuit to be one of the leading regional and international educational centers. In addition, the ECMIT delegation will highlight the major investment and key features of the local educational infrastructure such as the development policies and innovative actions taken by the UAE in order to promote the domestic education sector.
Dr. Al-Alusi said: “The UAE has come a long way in the Higher Education and Scientific Research field in the light of the dynamic changes witnessed by this sector in the recent years to become a fundamental pillar of the national economy. The sector has further fueled the overall social and economic development to contribute in enhancing the country’s position as a leading global destination for science and education. The education sector has a special priority in the UAE as it is an integral part in the process of transition to an economy that is based on knowledge and innovation. Moreover, it is driven by a number of ambitious initiatives and policies that reflect the approach of excellence, leadership and innovation adopted by the country’s visionary leadership.”
Al-Alusi added: “Our participation in the Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016 complements our relentless commitment to actively participate in international events and forums to share knowledge and the best international experiences and practices in the field of higher education. We look forward to our presence in this year’s edition of the flagship event, which provides a platform to highlight the UAE’s most prominent educational components and review its pivotal role in shaping the future of the education sector in the region and the world. The event will also discuss the features of the strategic plan adopted by the ECMIT, which is specially designed to suit the ambitious objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 aimed at making the country one of the world’s best at all levels”.
The Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016 will witness the participation of a wide group of decision makers, education leaders, scientists, and representatives of academic institutions, universities and specialized companies from more than 50 countries around the world. Organized by the European Business Association in Oxford, the session will identify the most important issues and aspects in the areas of education and scientific research. The Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016 will discuss the latest developments and emerging trends on integrating education, business and science sectors, in addition to highlighting the best practices and cutting-edge tools in the field of learning management.
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Also attached is an image of Prof. AbdulSattar A. Al-Alusi, President and CEO of the ECMIT.

International Conferences & Exhibitions to launch International Student Fest this November.

Debuting show to complement UAE’s robust education sector predicted to touch 1.4 million in 2020
September 07, 2016 – International Conferences & Exhibitions (IC&E), one of the longest-standing international exhibition houses in the Middle East, has announced the launch of the International Student Festival to ensure that students in the region have a common event that they can relate to as well as own. The move complements a recent industry survey, which forecasts that the number of students in schools and universities in the UAE will grow at an annual of 4.1 per cent to reach 1.4 million in 2020 from 1.1 million in 2015. The pioneering event will take place from November 24 to 26, 2016 at Meydan Grandstand and Convention Centre in Dubai. 

Specially designed for the UAE’s multi-cultural community, the International Student Festival will provide a central stage supplemented by displays, seminars, workshops to connect youth coming from diverse cultural backgrounds. The show aims to position itself as the annual confluence of discussions, debates and discoveries that facilitates dynamic, creative and competitive learning facilitated by inter-college competitions in sports, fashion, and culinary skills, among others.
Aside from being beneficial to youth, the 2016 International Student Festival will provide a perfect platform for exhibitors to meet thousands of prospective students and develop personal relationships. In addition, it will provide participants with vast opportunities to display and demonstrate their products live on the spot to the audience as well as receive immediate feedback.

“The region’s education sector has registered a significant growth in student enrolments driven by population expansion, rise in disposable income, and enhancement in educational infrastructure. Aided by this robust growth and coupled with demand among students for a show that offers learning beyond the classroom, we have decided to introduce the International Student Festival as an informative and engaging venue for both visitors and participants. We are confident that the newly launched event will serve to initiate dialogue within the UAE’s international student community and bring out the best in them,” concluded Anselm Godinho, Managing Director, International Conferences and Exhibitions

Amanda Collins, Pearson’s Director of School Services in the Middle East, believes professional development for teachers is essential to raising standard of UAE schools.

August 30th, 2016
Dubai, United Arab Emirates:  A recent article in the UAE’s National newspaper reported that over 20,000 students in Abu Dhabi are currently enrolled in schools deemed as weak or very weak by school inspectors.
The figure was released by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) following the first round of school inspections that have been conducted as part of the new UAE School Inspection Framework. So far in 2016, 41 schools across Abu Dhabi have been inspected, with 19 schools being categorised by the new reporting structure as either “weak” or “very weak”. The good news is

that two schools have fallen into the “outstanding” category and eight schools classed as either “good” or “very” good.

The UAE Ministry of Education launched the new School Inspection Framework in 2015 to unify the various school standard systems that had previously been in place across the seven Emirates. Under the Framework, schools are assessed against a number of criteria, including student achievement, personal and social development of students, teaching and assessment, curriculum, protection, care, guidance and support of students, and leadership and management. Schools are ranked into six categories: outstanding, very good, good, acceptable, weak and very weak.
A school’s performance against the Framework is linked to whether ADEC grants permission for that school to increase its fees. ADEC recently released figures showing that out of the 90 schools requesting a fee increase for the 2016-2017 academic year, 39 applications were rejected, suggesting a significant percentage of schools were not meeting basic Framework criteria.
The launch of the new system is no doubt a step in the right direction when it comes to understanding the quality of teaching and learning taking place in the UAE, with identification of issues the first step in building a strong, future-proof education system.
The real question is what do we do with this information? How can we use the valuable data collected from school inspections to shape positive reforms that will have a positive impact on both teachers and their students?
The report ADEC released following the first round of inspections noted that of the 19 schools falling into the “weak” or “very weak” category, 14 have failed to improve over the past three inspections. This is troublesome, as it suggests that despite the deficiencies being identified in schools, little progress is being made in redressing these issues.
The inspections in Abu Dhabi have shown that many of the greatest challenges facing our schools relate to the quantity and quality of available teaching staff. ADEC reported that September to December 2016 saw a turnover rate of teachers of 20% in Abu Dhabi schools. Absenteeism has been cited as a major issue, with the National newspaper also reporting a high number of teachers failing to turn up to class.  Anecdotal evidence suggests several reasons for high rates of absenteeism amongst teachers, including unsustainable workloads and a lack of knowledge about new reporting and compliance obligations. Recent media articles have suggested that as well as long work hours, high levels of stress are leading to “scores” of teachers in the UAE resigning.
Ongoing training and professional development for educators must therefore be at the heart of any solution to the main challenges being experienced within our schools. Those schools that rate highly on the new School Inspection Framework all enjoy strong and effective leadership – but the strong leadership exhibited in these high performing schools is no accident. Effective school leadership requires an ongoing commitment to professional learning and development on behalf of school principals and others within the school leadership team. Senior educators in our schools need to be constantly updated with the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary to deal with the complex challenges impacting modern school environments. Importantly, they must also be well equipped to guide the wider school community through changes to curriculum, assessment and reporting.
As already mentioned, absenteeism and high turnover of teachers can be, at least in part, explained by teachers feeling overwhelmed by new regulations and ill-equipped to deal with the multitude of other complex challenges facing today’s educators. Professional Development that specifically helps teachers and school leaders to implement reforms that will help improve their school’s performance during inspections is essential – with emphasis on improving learner outcomes all important. Schools need to be supported in their efforts to keep good staff. Increased pay for teachers as an incentive to stay is not always a sustainable option, but increased and improved Professional Development is. And while many school leaders are reluctant to invest in staff training for fear that if teachers leave it will be a waste of money, these leaders need to realise that it is often this investment in teachers that encourages them to stay, and give their best to a school.
Many weak schools are unaware of how to effectively use data to improve school performance and classroom instruction. Technology is often heralded as a panacea to fixing major education issues. But too often technology is unfortunately viewed by teachers as more of a hindrance than a help – largely due to technology being implemented without the training and support necessary to ensure it is used effectively. The result is teachers feeling burdened rather than empowered by technology – resenting its introduction and failing to exploit its potential as a way of making the teaching, assessment and reporting process more efficient and effective. We need to take steps to ensure data and technology are used optimally, benefitting school performance rather than hindering it. One of the easiest ways of achieving this is making the relevant training more effective and accessible.

So, in short, there are some important lessons that we can take from the findings of the first round of school inspections conducted under the new Framework. Giving educators and school leaders the tools, confidence and capabilities to address the issues being picked up will help us to build a robust school system. This is essential for ensuring each and every learner in the UAE is being given the best chance of meeting their potential in a schools that comply with the Ministry of Education’s new standards. 

TRA announces academic membership of Ajman University of Science and Technology to International Telecommunication Union.

UAE, August 3, 2016 –The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has revealed that Ajman University of Science and Technology (AUST) has been granted academic membership into the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies. The move is hailed as a key step forward that complement AUST’s scientific and academic roadmap towards development while also helping national efforts in consolidating the UAE’s credentials in the ITU.

Earlier, the TRA encouraged AUST to join the ranks of other academic members of the ITU, a move that reflects the TRA’s policy and the UAE’s vision to support and convince all academic institutions, universities and colleges to be part of the ITU with the aim of making good use of several advantages offered by the union and benefit from its membership to the hilt, especially in the light of the rapid development witnessed by the world in digital technology.
The ITU membership will help the university in enhancing its academic levels through being acquainted with the latest developments, techniques and practices in the domain of the telecommunications and information technology industry and keeping up with the emergence of technological advancements in this sector. In addition to capitalizing from studies and mega world projects carried out by the ITU, which includes a large number of designed technical researches, that are conducted by committees, experienced and specialized working teams in various areas either in radio communications or standardization or development.
TRA lauded the great step taken by Ajman University of Science & Technology and its efforts to develop a scientific and academic roadmap that looks towards improving the capabilities and competencies of local human resources as well as assuming its academic role in enabling students to lead the future and developing a generation that is able to match with major developments in the telecommunications and information technology sector. AUST’s efforts is expected to play a key role in bolstering the status of the UAE and its leadership at the global level, while also highlighting the academic sector as a main partner in supporting the process of development and evolution.
In addition, the TRA also expressed its keenness in strengthening ties with all educational and academic institutions in the UAE—urging other schools and universities to join the ITU and benefit from researches and specialized studies, particularly in the field of telecommunications and information technology, in an attempt to pave the way for students who are specialized in this area and to benefit from training courses and activities organized by the Union. The ITU organizes a wide range of workshops that are facilitated by international experts and are aimed at implementing the recommendations of the telecommunications sector to fortify the country’s credentials at the regional and international events and help in fully developing the digital economy network in the UAE.
By AUST’s ITU membership, university students now will be able to take advantage of key opportunities offered by the ITU, especially with regards to training courses in the domain of radio communications and the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA), as well as the direct communication with international experts and researchers from more than 100 universities and research centers that are also members of the ITU.
The cooperation will serve the university at all levels and open new horizons that could contribute to developing the university’s academic level; keeping pace with the changes in the digital technology world and qualifying talented and skilled students in leading the future and building the community.
AUST’s entry into the union follows after the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) announcement of academic membership in the ITU earlier this year, making good use of its membership to enhance its academic’s path and foster global partnerships that can back its vision in the field of applied education as well as focusing on specializations that meet with the labor market’s requirements and the state’s development plans.
Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi has also received an invitation to join the ITU, which was issued in recognition of the quality of its research outputs. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General, ITU recently visited the university in March and toured the university’s Innovation Center, ‘Eptic.’ During the tour, he met with researchers who briefed him on projects to improve the fiber optic network, big data and the security of cloud computing networks. The ITU official also visited a research center for processing and analyzing visual signals and the Khalifa University Robotics Institute (KURI) in addition to meeting with students and researchers who briefed him on their research projects.
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About the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was established to help further develop the telecommunications and information technology industries and support efforts aimed towards creating a knowledge-based economy in the country. The authority focuses on strengthening the development of the telecommunications and information technology sector, which are important drivers for social and economic growth and one of the main pillars of UAE Vision 2021.

TRA is responsible for supporting the telecommunications and information technology sector through the enforcement of a regulatory framework that stimulates healthy competition; maintains the rights of the beneficiaries; improves readiness of e-services; encourages investment, innovation and development and develops human capital. For more information, please visit: www.tra.gov.ae.