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. 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.

His Excellency Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, has lauded His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, for his declaration of November 30 as ‘Martyr’s Day’ which has been announced as a national holiday. Martyr’s Day honors the unwavering commitment and steadfast dedication of the soldiers who have given their lives to uphold the values and morals of the country in fulfilling their civil, military and humanitarian duties.

The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water’s Dams Department has announced the opening of gates to release water retained in dams located in the Wadi Shoka, Al Qushaish and Al Kassa in the central region, following heavy to moderate summer rains in Ras Al Khaimah in July. The gates of the dams were opened in the presence of H.E. Sultan Bin Alwan Al Habsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Region sector, and Ghareeb Obaid AlMutawwa, Director of Central Region Department. The move comes in coordination with the Ras Al Khaimah Public Works and Services Department and Al Maneei police station.

The Ministry of Environment and Water has recently announced that it will start receiving orders for environmentally-friendly 115 hp four-stroke marine engines from August 23 to September 3, 2015, across the various fishing boat registration centers in the UAE. The Ministry is offering this category of engines in recognition of the economic and social importance of the fisheries industry to the country, and in line with active efforts to reduce fishermen’s expenses and support the fishing industry to promote food safety as well as the sustainability of local production. Marine wealth is considered a chief renewable natural resource which contributes greatly to the country’s food supply.