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Flying high: Flydubai to issues $500 million worth of sukuks on NASDAQ

Flying high: Flydubai to issues $500 million worth of sukuks on NASDAQ

4108Nasdaq Dubai said on Wednesday flydubai listed its $500 million (Dh1.8 billion) sukuk on its exchange.

This is the 18th Sukuk to have listed on Nasdaq Dubai since the beginning of 2014, supporting Dubai’s rapid expansion as the global capital of the Islamic Economy. The emirate is one of the three largest venues in the world for Sukuk listings, with current nominal value on its two exchanges totalling $24.05 billion.

“The issuance and listing of flydubai’s Sukuk demonstrates the important role being played by the Islamic capital markets in supporting Dubai’s growth as a global aviation centre,” said Essa Kazim, Secretary General of DIEDC and Chairman of DFM in a statement.

The sukuk saw a geographic distribution of 64 per cent to Middle East accounts, 25 per cent to European accounts, 7 per cent to Asia, and 4 per cent to US offshore.

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470Four winners of Nissan GT Academy 2014 will race as one team in this year’s edition of 24 Hours Dubai. The grueling race will be their first international racing experience after winning the GT Academy 2014 challenge in their respective regions. The four 2014 winners will be joined by the winner of GT Academy Germany 2013.

Ahmed Khalid, winner of GT Academy Middle East 2014, will be making his race debut in Dubai, completing his journey from living room gamer to real-life racer when he gets behind the wheel of the GT-R NISMO GT3 as part of the Nissan team. The full line-up includes other regional winners of GT Academy 2014 - Nicolas Hammann from USA, Gaetan Paletou from Pan Europe and Ricardo Sanchez from Pan International, as well as by Florian Strauss, winner of GT Academy Germany 2013.

Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East, says: “The fact that Ahmed Khalid, a winner of the GT Academy in 2014, will be taking part in such a prestigious event as the 24 Hours at the Dubai Autodrome is a source of great pride to us. Nissan’s GT Academy keeps developing the champs for a successful career in motorsports and we are excited to see the dreams of those four gamers coming true.

“Nissan is committed to supporting motorsport and has been pushing the boundaries of innovation within this industry for a long time. To be able to transform a gamer into a professional racer on the track is unique and exciting experience.” he added.

At the 24 Hours of Dubai, for the first time GT Academy graduates will be competing in a full race spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. The racing car retains the core attributes of the road-going GT-R. As the ‘GT’ in its name suggests, one of those objectives is to provide an exciting-yet-comfortable driving experience no matter what the road or weather conditions; while the other objective refers to the ‘R’ in its name, to deliver exhilarating high performance derived from race car technology.

“It has been always my dream to become a racing driver, and thanks to the Nissan GT Academy Challenge I’ll be behind the wheel with the Nissan team in the 24 Hours of Dubai. As my first international race, I want to put in a big one for the team. The whole experience, from the sofa in the living room playing games to the international finals at Silverstone to lining up on the grid in the great race in Dubai is life-changing for me” says Khalid.

Finalists of the GT Academy 2014 race camp were judged at Silverstone – UK, where Ahmed Khalid claimed the Middle East’s title.

Over a six-day period competitors received intense and in-depth instruction on all aspects of motor racing. Vehicles they were exposed to included three of the finest, the GT-R, 370Z NISMO and 370Z.

“I didn’t have any experience as a racing driver so the race camp at Silverstone was tough physically and mentally. But it was invaluable and I hope to bring the skills I learnt to Dubai Autodrome in my debut international race,” says Khalid.

Additionally, the Nissan Nismo athletics coaches applied extensive preparations on the team and will be on hand to assist the drivers in any area necessary during the race.

“There is so much more than simply getting behind the wheel and driving fast. There’s fitness, mental toughness and self-belief, diet, knowledge of the technology that makes up the vehicles and much more. What takes place off the track is as important as what happens on it,” says Martin Poole, one of the coaches.

For nearly 80 years, Nissan has been pushing the boundaries of innovation within the Motorsports industry. Ever since its grassroots the Datsun NL-75 won at the Japanese Tamagawa Speedway in 1936, Nissan has developed some of the most recognized racing cars to have ever graced the track. Nissan’s global recognition came later in 1964 when it showcased its first ‘Skyline GT’ in Germany, which then went on to overtake a Porsche in one lap during the Japan Grand Prix.

The success has continued with the domination of the Nissan GT-R of Japan’s prestigious Super GT series. The 2014 championship was won by Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda in the number 23 Motul Autech Nissan GT-R. Also in 2014 Nissan made history when the Nissan ZEOD RC became the first car to complete a racing lap at the 24 Hours of Le Mans under electric power alone.

The Dubai 24 Hours event is both a sports car and touring car automobile endurance race held annually at the Dubai Autodrome. The event is open to both professional and semi-professional teams and is the highlight of the Middle East racing calendar.

There are local competitors from the UAE and throughout the Gulf plus a host of international teams, particularly from Europe. Race will be staged at the Dubai Autodrome January 8-10, 2015.

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FedEx Cares Campaign celebrated across the Middle East

FedEx Cares Campaign celebrated across the Middle East

420FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world’s largest express transportation company, recently concluded the 2014 FedEx Cares Campaign, its annual service month to benefit local communities. 124 FedEx team members across the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait were involved in community outreach activities, clocking more than 680 hours of volunteer work.

FedEx Cares is an annual volunteering initiative, where FedEx team members and their families donate their personal time and effort by giving back to their local communities. In its fourth consecutive year in the Middle East, FedEx team members participated in various activities focused on the environment and society.

“The FedEx Cares Campaign highlights our commitment to being a great place to work, a thoughtful steward of the environment and a caring citizen in our local communities,” said David Ross, senior vice-president of FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent & Africa operations. “Our team members are passionate about sustainably connecting people and places while improving quality of life. This program is just one of many ways in which FedEx actively supports the UAE and its people.”

In the UAE, FedEx volunteers dedicated themselves to monitoring their environmental impact as well as contributing to societal development by:

Carpooling to reduce carbon footprint for a greener community.

Spending time with senior citizens at the Family Gathering Centre in Al Mamzar.

Engaging in creativity inspiring games with special needs children at the Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs.

Holding a crafts and baked good sale to raise funds for the Apnalaya organization which supports urban community development projects in the underprivileged neighborhoods of Mumbai.

The FedEx Cares Campaign in the Middle East complements the volunteer activities taking place globally. Over the past 10 years the program has expanded to nearly 400 cities around the world. In addition to thousands of volunteer hours each year, FedEx donated over $46 million in total contributions in 2013.  FedEx also utilizes its global logistics network to support people in need by providing critical relief supplies and services to communities impacted by natural disasters.

For more information about FedEx Cares Campaign and the FedEx commitment to volunteerism and the communities it serves, please visit

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All-new Ford F-150 named official vehicle of 2015 International CES

All-new Ford F-150 named official vehicle of 2015 International CES

47The all-new Ford F-150 pickup – the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever – will be the Official Vehicle of the 2015 International CES.

CES, which will take place Jan. 6-9, 2015 in Las Vegas, is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association and is the world’s largest hands-on showcase of emerging innovation.

The all-new F-150 demonstrates Ford’s product excellence and innovation. The truck is completely redesigned, with a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body coupled with a high-strength steel frame, making it nearly 700 pounds lighter and more efficient. Also available are more smart features than the previous model, including class-exclusive driver-assist technologies such as adaptive cruise control, smart towing module, multicontour seats, active park assist, 360-degree camera and Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert.

“We are honored the 2015 F-150 is the Official Vehicle of CES, proving that the new standard in full-size pickups is not only Built Ford Tough but also smart, with innovative design and technologies that help truck customers do more with their truck,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group marketing manager.

As Official Vehicle of 2015 CES, F-150 will be featured in Ford’s main display area in the North Hall of Las Vegas Convention Center, as well as prominently throughout the show floor.

“We are excited to have the new F-150 as the Official Vehicle of the 2015 CES,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Electronics Association. “With state-of-the-art technologies, driver-assist features and dramatic improvements in weight savings, the F-150 delivers the type of connectivity, efficiency and performance tech-savvy consumers demand in their vehicles. We look forward to seeing Ford once again at our show.” F-150 features several innovative and smart technologies, including:

Class-exclusive active park assist: Active park assist uses two ultrasonic sensors and electric power-assisted steering to help drivers parallel park. The sensors measure the gap between two vehicles to determine if there is enough room for the F-150. After confirming the vehicle can fit, the truck automatically steers into the space, while the driver operates the accelerator and brake pedals.

Class-exclusive adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support: Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support uses radar in the front of the truck to measure the distance and speed of vehicles ahead. Using this information, F-150 can automatically slow to keep a consistent following distance set by the driver. The slower speed will be maintained if adaptive cruise control is activated. Collision warning triggers visual and audio alerts if the system detects the following distance is diminishing too quickly and a collision may occur. It also pre-charges the brakes if the driver needs to stop suddenly.

Class-exclusive smart trailer tow module with Dynamic Hitch Assist: The smart trailer tow module shows the driver which lights on a trailer connected to the truck aren’t working, so the driver or a passenger doesn’t have to exit the vehicle and walk around the trailer to discover lights are blown. Dynamic Hitch Assist is a new rearview camera feature that adds a dynamic line based on steering wheel angle in the display to help customers line up truck and trailer without requiring a spotter or having to exit the vehicle.

Class-exclusive 360-degree camera with split-view display: Available360-degree camera with split-view display uses four exterior cameras to give the driver a bird’s-eye view of up to seven feet surrounding the F-150 to assist in parking, maneuvering in tight spots and navigating narrow roads and trails at low speeds.

High-wattage outlets: 400-watt, 110-volt outlets in the cab allow drivers to easily charge corded tools, battery chargers or mobile devices on-site or while in transit.

LED spotlights: LED spotlights on sideview mirrors provide powerful, durable and bright lighting around the truck exterior.

Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert: Available BLIS® uses radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor areas that may not be visible to the driver. The sensors trigger a warning light in the sideview mirrors to indicate another vehicle is in a blind spot if the driver is attempting to change lanes. These same sensors can detect a vehicle coming down an aisle when the driver is slowly backing out of a parking space.

Lane-keeping system: Available lane-keeping is designed to help prevent a driver from drifting outside of the intended driving lane. The system automatically detects the left- or right-hand road lane markings using a camera mounted between the windshield and interior rearview mirror. A vibration in the steering wheel is used to alert the driver. The system can also provide steering torque to help guide the vehicle back into the lane if needed.

Lighter yet more capable: Regardless of model configuration or engine choice, every truck customer benefits from up to 700 pounds of weight savings with the 2015 F-150; F-150 can tow up to 1,100 more pounds, haul up to 530 more pounds, and brings the highest EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of any full-size gasoline pickup on the market. When equipped with the available 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine, the new F-150 4×2 has EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. Actual mileage may vary.

“We’re always looking to deliver more for our customers, and this truck offers a whole new level of productivity by being the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever,” said Scott.

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Growthgate Capital Successfully Sells Majority Stake in Able Logistics (UAE) to Kerry Logistics Network (HK)

Growthgate Capital Successfully Sells Majority Stake in Able Logistics (UAE) to Kerry Logistics Network (HK)

4133Growthgate Capital, the Gulf-based investment firm announced today that it has exited from its investment in Able Logistics Group (Able) by selling its 70 percent equity stake therein to Kerry Freight Services (South Asia) Pte. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kerry Logistics Network, for $32 million (subject to certain adjustments). Taking into account this transaction and prior dividends received, Growthgate Capital has realized a 3x returns on its investment in Able. The preparations for Able’s IPO which were announced in Q1 2014, were set aside indefinitely in favor of Kerry’s strategic buyout offer.

Able is a leading freight forwarder and logistics provider headquartered in Dubai, with additional operating bases in the Middle East and other key hubs in the Near and Far East. The transaction involved the acquisition of 70 percent of Able’s capital stock by Kerry Freight Services (South Asia). Kerry Logistics Network, the owner of Kerry Freight Services, is a publicly listed company in Hong Kong (stock code 00636) with a total market cap of HK$20.5 billion as at December 29, 2014. Kerry is one of Asia’s major logistics providers with a global network that stretches across six continents, including an extensive distribution network and hub operations in Greater China and the ASEAN region.

Growthgate first invested in Able in 2007, when operations were limited to the UAE and few Asian destinations. Today the company operates from multiple bases in Dubai, Sharjah, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong, with over 500 corporate customers including multinationals in diversified sectors such as electronics, food, and fast moving consumer goods. Able’s management expects to achieve $135 million in total revenues in 2014.

“We have always believed in Able’s business model, and the outstanding team led by Dr. Ghanem Al Hajri, Executive Chairman and Vijay Vikram, CEO. Since 2007, we have been continuously impressed by their commitment to delivery and the phenomenal results achieved. This is a great development for Able, as Kerry is the best strategic partner to take the company forward and give the senior management team the opportunity to propel the business on a wider scale as part of a global platform,” commented Karim A. Souaid, General Manager of Growthgate Capital.

“Since its establishment in 2001, Able has delivered consistent and outstanding growth quarter after quarter. Starting from scratch, the company has gained a significant market share of the corporate logistics and freight forwarding market in little over ten years, in a highly competitive and concentrated context, and a difficult economic climate. This tremendous success is the result of the combination of an ambitious project with a faultless execution by a great management team. We have consistently supported and funded Able, and are proud of its achievements,” added Souaid.

Vijay Vikram, CEO and co-founder of Able said, “We have very much appreciated the steadfast support from Growthgate throughout the past years. As the only institutional investor in the company, Growthgate took the initial risk, and continued to support us ever since, committing valuable time, capital and efforts to build-up the platform in different markets and varying economic cycles. Growthgate has simply been an ideal growth partner.”

White & Case acted as international counsel for Growthgate Capital on the transaction whereby HLP LLC acted as local counsel. PwC further advised Growthgate on specific finance and accounting aspects of the transaction.

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Ford EcoBoost Police Interceptors Repeat As Quickest Accelerating in State Testing in Michigan, California

Ford EcoBoost Police Interceptors Repeat As Quickest Accelerating in State Testing in Michigan, California

475Ford Motor Company, manufacturer of the best-selling police vehicles since 1996, trumped the competition in recent instrumented acceleration testing conducted separately by the Michigan State Police and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

The EcoBoost®-powered Ford Police Interceptor sedan bested all V8-equipped competitors’ sedans in testing by both Michigan and California authorities, while Ford Police Interceptor utility with EcoBoost out-accelerated the competition’s all-new V8-equipped utility and all base V6-powered sedans.

“We are thrilled to repeat as having best acceleration,” said Arie Groeneveld, Ford Taurus, Explorer and Police Interceptor chief engineer. “Quickly closing the distance between an officer and a target vehicle is key to safely avoiding high-speed pursuits. Our police vehicles are built around officer safety, and outstanding performance is yet another demonstration of that commitment.”

Michigan State Police testing results

Preliminary results of Michigan State Police testing show the 2015 Ford Police Interceptor sedan with all-wheel drive is fastest of the fast – posting a 0-60 mph time of 5.85 seconds, compared to 6.31 seconds for a competing 5.7-liter V8 sedan with all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is standard on Ford Police Interceptor sedan, optional on the competing model.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered sedan also topped a competing 6.0-liter V8-equipped sedan, which clocked a 0-60 mph time of 6.17 seconds.

“Ford Police Interceptors are the only police vehicles to be pursuit-tested for three years in a row by both Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department with traction control and electronic stability control safety systems fully engaged,” said Jonathan Honeycutt, marketing manager, Ford police vehicles. “Our safety philosophy entails testing our vehicles as our agencies will drive them.”

Ford also took top honors in Michigan State Police 0-100 mph testing: Police Interceptor sedan turned a 14.19-second 0-100 mph time, while a competing 5.7-liter sedan posted 15.63 seconds and a rival 6.0-liter sedan took 14.69 seconds.

The results are similar for utility vehicles. Ford Police Interceptor utility with standard all-wheel drive hit 60 mph in 6.55 seconds and 100 mph in 16.13 seconds. A competing all-new utility vehicle powered by a 5.3-liter V8 posted a 0-60 mph time of 7.31 seconds and a 0-100 mph time of 18.99 seconds.

Additionally, Ford Police Interceptor utility repeated with fastest lap time around Grattan Raceway among police utility vehicles.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department testing results

Results from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department tests are even more dominant for Ford Police Interceptor. For the first time, the department conducted testing with a “key on and drive” policy – meaning stability and traction control settings were in default mode as when the vehicles are first turned on.

Ford Police Interceptor sedan repeated as the quickest-accelerating vehicle overall in Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department tests, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.9 seconds. The EcoBoost-equipped Ford Police Interceptor utility not only out-accelerated its competition, but was quicker at 0-60 mph than all base model (V6-powered) sedans.

At Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, where testing was conducted, Ford Police Interceptor sedan with EcoBoost placed first overall, posting a fastest lap of 1:20.47. The EcoBoost-equipped Police Interceptor utility also placed first and posted best-in-class stopping distances.

Through October 2014, the most recent data available, Ford has commanded more than half of the new police vehicle market – 56 percent – hitting a high of 66 percent market share for July.

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Enjoy Free Wi-Fi in the sky on Emirates A380s

Enjoy Free Wi-Fi in the sky on Emirates A380s

442Over 200,000 passengers have used Emirates’ free onboard Wi-Fi since October this year, taking advantage of the airline’s service to connect with family, friends or colleagues when they fly.

On most Emirates A380s passengers can access 10MBs of free data, enough to send emails, blog, tweet, post on Facebook, or browse the Internet.

Emirates currently offers Wi-Fi connectivity on 86 aircraft – on board all of its 56 Airbus A380s, as well as on 30 of its Boeing 777s. A comprehensive retrofit programme is also underway to install Wi-Fi capability across the rest of its fleet. On 51 of Emirates’ A380s, the first 10MB of data is free, and a token $1 charge is levied for the next 500MB. On all other aircraft, getting online costs US$1 due to the current hardware and software installed.

Until 01 January 2015, proceeds from these connection charges will be donated to the Emirates Airline Foundation to help improve quality of life for disadvantaged children around the world.

“Emirates sees inflight Wi-Fi as an essential value-add service that should be freely available for our customers to connect with friends, family and business. At the moment, software and technical limitations mean that on some of our aircraft we still have to levy a token charge for Wi-Fi. We are working hard to overcome this but until then, it is only $1 to get online.  We’ve been providing free Wi-Fi and $1 Wi-Fi on the fleet since early October and up to 35% of passengers are using the service, especially on long flights,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ VP for Corporate Communications - Product, Publishing, Digital and Events.

“Most of our flights are long-haul international routes, and we know that many of our customers want to stay in touch when they travel. That is why Emirates has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in our inflight connectivity systems.  We especially see a spike in mobile and Wi-Fi usage during major festive seasons, and we believe that our customers will welcome the fact that if they have to pay a $1 connection fee, proceeds will go towards supporting a good cause. We expect to collect and donate about US$40,000 to the Emirates Airline Foundation, but that amount could increase if more users log-on to Wi-Fi between now and the new year,” added Brannelly.

Since Emirates introduced onboard Wi-Fi three years ago, more than 600,000 passengers have connected to the service, and usage is rising in tandem with the growing penetration of mobile devices and changing lifestyles.

The industry leader in onboard connectivity, Emirates was the first airline to install in-seat telephones and onboard faxes back in 1995. Today, customers onboard Emirates can connect to Wi-Fi, send emails and text messages via their personal ice entertainment system screens, as well as use their personal mobile devices to make calls and send messages.

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Ford and Al Jazirah Vehicles bring ‘Driving Skills for Life’ to the Kingdom, to Help Reduce Youth Traffic Fatalities

Ford and Al Jazirah Vehicles bring ‘Driving Skills for Life’ to the Kingdom, to Help Reduce Youth Traffic Fatalities

412Ford and Al Jazirah Vehicles want to make driving in Saudi Arabia Safer. Ford Middle East and Al Jazirah Vehicles Agencies Co., the Ford and Lincoln importer-dealer in Saudi Arabia, are partnering with the King Abdulaziz University, to bring Ford’s global Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme to the Kingdom. The free educational programme is designed to impart safe driving practices to students early in their driving stages to help improve their road safety record.

According to the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013, Saudi Arabia has the highest road accident toll in the world, which now makes up the country’s principal cause of death in adult males aged 16 to 36. In Saudi Arabia from 1971 to 1997, 564,762 persons died or were injured in road traffic accidents, a figure equivalent to 3.5% of total population of Saudi Arabia. During this period 66,914 people died on the roads due to accidents, amounting to one person killed and four injured every hour. Over 65% accidents occur because of excess speed, drivers disobeying traffic signals or use of cell phone while driving.

Ford’s Driving Skills for Life programme was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association and a panel of safety experts with the mission of teaching newly licensed teens the necessary skills for safer driving, and the importance of making good decisions while driving.

In its first 10 years, Ford Driving Skills for Life has directly trained more than 30,000 teens in nearly 900 school districts in 39 states, plus 15 international markets across Europe, Asia and North America. In 2013, the programme made its Middle Eastern debut in the UAE, followed by Saudi Arabia for this year.

The Ford Driving Skills for Life programme will visit the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah (December 7-11), where professional instructors will share and demonstrate special skills and give tips on safe driving practices using specially equipped Ford vehicles. The instructors will teach students the necessary skills for driving safely, brief them on the main hazards that they may face, and tell them how to handle some of the challenging situations on the road.

“Ford is proud of its rich heritage in safety leadership,” said Kalyana Sivagnanam, Marketing, Sales & Service director for Ford Middle East & North Africa. “As one of the company’s main pillars, safety is just as reflected across the designs of Ford vehicles and their unique technologies, and our Corporate Social Responsibility activities such as Ford Driving Skills for Life, which is designed to make a profound impact among youth and help make them safer drivers.

“Inexperience and recklessness are some of the leading causes of crashes with young drivers, and this programme delivers the key skill sets that will help increase their knowledge and confidence,” Sivagnanam continued. “We are very pleased with our tie-up with the King Abdulaziz University on this important initiative, and are looking forward to contribute, together with our local partners, the Al Jazirah Vehicles Agencies Co., towards one of key issues touching the Saudi communities by bringing safe driving awareness to the Saudi youth in a hands-on way.”

Dr. Abdulmonem Al Hayani, dean of Student Affairs at the King Abdulaziz University said: “Bringing social values to our students, including safe responsible driving skills, is a key pillar of our curriculum, and hosting Driving Skills for Life fits perfectly with our goals towards shaping a cognitive and behavioural student.”

Dr. Essam Kawthar, executive director of the KAU Research Endowment Fund praised the efforts of Ford and Al Jazirah Vehicles Agencies Co. in promoting ‘Driving Skills For Life’ in the Kingdom. He commented: “As its name suggests, the information to be acquired in this programme is going to be indispensable and necessary for driving and road conduct to our students.”

He further added that this corporation of conducting the programme aligns with his department’s initiative to launch the perfect driving competition, which aims at urging students to adhere to safety rules. The competition will accordingly instil positive attitudes in the students towards themselves as well as their nation.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Fahad Al Kraidees, president of Al Jazirah Vehicles Agencies Co., said: “Just as with Ford Motor Company, social responsibility and giving back to the communities where we serve our customers is a crucial part of AJVA’s corporate philosophy. Al Jazirah Vehicles Agencies Co has always taken the topic of safe driving seriously, as evidenced by our long term association with the General Department of Traffic in raising awareness. Bringing the Ford Driving Skills for Life to the Kingdom, adds another proof point to our efforts in educating the youth on responsible and safe driving. We are proud to be part of this initiative together with the King Abdulaziz University.”

According to the World Health Organisation report ‘Global Status Report on Road Safety’, more than 8,000 people die on the roads in the GCC and another 60,000 are injured, many of them critically. The WHO estimates that by 2020, road traffic injuries will be the third leading cause of disability adjusted years of life lost in the Middle East.

Ford Driving Skills for Life engages young drivers and addresses four key areas that are critical factors in vehicle accidents. These include distractions / hazard recognition, vehicle handling, space management and speed management. These four key areas pose the most problems for young drivers and play a role in more than half of the vehicle crashes involving young people worldwide.

“Ford encourages safe and responsible driving and with the launch of the Ford Driving Skills for Life, the company is underlining its commitment to road accident prevention in Saudi Arabia and the region,” said Roch Legault, Ford’s Country manager for Saudi Arabia.

“Today, Ford vehicles offer customers smart technologies that truly revolutionise the driving experience and help drivers drive safely and even avoid accidents. And we remain focused and committed to bring high end technologies that will help make the world a better place,” Legault concluded.

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Smart taxis in all cities in 45 days

Smart taxis in all cities in 45 days

48Under new laws for public taxis that come into effect in 45 days, commuters in the Kingdom will no longer hail cabs on the streets.

Taxis will be provided with the most advanced communication technology, so passengers can call a taxi company to arrange a pickup. Sources involved in the new taxi legislation told local media that these regulations come as part of a set of solutions to reduce traffic congestion in the cities. The sources added that renewal of licenses for taxi companies will be withheld until they comply with the new regulations.

As part of these directives, it is stipulated that each vehicle will have a device installed that directly links it with the National Information Center of the Ministry of Interior. Using audio communication devices or via the internet, each taxi company will have at least one vehicle equipped with special appliances to serve handicapped people, a dress code for the drivers and will pay attention to their drivers’ personal hygiene.

Those who violate the new regulations will face fines that range from SR500 to SR2,000. A Transport Ministry committee will ensure the application of the regulations, noting that specified parking sites will be allocated for the taxis in Riyadh, Jeddah and Damman, in a bid to curb the number of vehicles on the streets.

The most challenging reason for traffic congestion in the cities are taxis, since more than 200,000 vehicles, mostly driven by expatriates, crowd the already busy streets.

There have been public demands for some time for regulating and developing the sector in terms of services offered, economic feasibility, hygiene issues, prices and protection of passengers.

An official at the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) said a project will soon be in place to improve taxi services at international airports of the Kingdom (King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh and King Fahd International Airport in Dammam).

The project will later be extended to include all domestic airports across the country so that taxis will be modern and equipped with the most advanced technologies to offer quality services.

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FedEx Express Expands FedEx International First Service For Early Deliveries

FedEx Express Expands FedEx International First Service For Early Deliveries

427FedEx is expandingsolutionsfor global customers who need their critical deliveries to arrive as early as the start of the next business day. FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), and the world’s largest express transportation company,is broadeningthe FedExInternational First®early delivery service to an additional 31 countries, increasing the number of origin markets to include the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain. The service will also be offeredin specified countries across Asia, Europe and South America.

This expansion brings the total number of origin markets to 97, and means that customers can now use FedEx International First to ship packages from the above countries to any of the existing International First destination markets. The full list of origin and destination markets can be found at:

Depending on origin and destination, FedEx International First shipments arrive within one to three business days, at the start of the business day. The service is used for business documents, electronic and high tech equipment, medical devices, clinical trials and gear for the entertainment industry—shipments that require delivery on a tight deadline.

“The expansion of the FedEx International First service from FedEx into the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain reflects the rapid growth of businesses in the region,” said David Ross, senior vice-president of FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent & Africa operations. “FedEx always strives to stay ahead of customer demand by developing innovative and viable solutions to facilitate the delivery of critical and time-sensitive shipments.”

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