The Ministry of Environment and Water has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Environment Friends Society (EFS) at the Ministry’s office in Dubai. The MoU was signed by H.E Abdel Rahim Mohammed Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Environment & Water and H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Ali Mohammed, EFS Chairman, as part of the Ministry’s agenda to strengthen partnerships with civil society organizations and consolidate efforts to promote environmental awareness and education in the UAE. The collaboration is also in line with the implementation of the national strategy to encourage the community's commitment towards effectively establishing sustainability and environmental protection across the country.

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) continues to lead efforts to promote governmental innovation in the implementation of the directives of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to mark 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation.’ It has introduced a professional diploma program in ‘Innovation Leadership in Governmental Sector’ which is currently being held with a broad participation of senior staff, Department Heads, and managers in local and federal government entities in the UAE. The program is considered as a quantum leap in terms of improving the fundamental competencies required for the success of government innovation initiatives. In addition, it serves the objectives of the ‘National Innovation Strategy’ launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE among the world’s most innovative nations by 2021.

A massive influx of tourists was recorded in Salalah, Oman at the start of the Khareef (south east monsoon) season this year, according to the Oman Ministry of Tourism. The city is also currently celebrating the famed Salalah Tourism Festival, a major tourist attraction that yearly draws thousands of local, regional and international visitors. Figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) show that 393,312 tourists flocked to the city from the period June 21, 2015 to August 11, 2015 compared to 272,306 visitors with the same period in 2014.

H.E. Abdel Rahim Mohammed Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Environment & Water, made a field visit to the Mazyad and Khatam Al Shukla border posts to inspect the actions and procedures carried out at the Border Crossings upon entry of animal and agricultural consignments to the country. The move is in line with the Ministry’s keenness to provide safe live animals to meet the local market’s livestock needs for the season of sacrificial animals. The visit aims to achieve the Ministry’s strategic objectives to promote food safety and sustainability of domestic production and at the same time prevent agricultural pests and infectious animal diseases.

H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister, Ministry of Environment and Water, recently welcomed the visit of the officials and members of the UAE Fishermen’s Cooperative headed by H.E. Ali Mohammed Mansour Al Mansouri, President, Abu Dhabi Fishermen Cooperative Society at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Dubai. The delegation, which was composed of the respective heads of the various fishermen association in the UAE, were also met by other Ministry officials like H.E. Abdelrahim Mohammed Al Hammadi, Undersecretary and H.E. Sultan Bin Alwan Al Habsi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Regional Sector. During the meeting, the cooperative officials briefed the Minister of Environment and Water on their key objectives and upcoming initiatives and projects. H.E. Al Mansouri also discussed the cooperative’s role in supporting the local fishing industry—helping address the challenges fishermen face and encouraging the move to preserve and improve the profession for future generations.