Mar 07 - 13, 2005



More than 130 UAE filmmakers will vie for the top awards at the Emirates Film Competition that kicked off at the Cultural Foundation last week.

The competition will continue till March 7. On its fourth year of running, it is the first-of-its kind competition ever conducted in the UAE to encourage serious film making in the country.

To participate in the competition, all the films should have a UAE-based theme, and at least one of those involved in the project should be a UAE national. All the entries will be screened at foundation's grand auditorium during the one-week festival. A four-member jury, including Mohammed Asli, Abdul Sattar Najji, Jasim Jaber, and Ibrahim Salim will decide the winners in different categories. "Ever since its inception, the competition has grown, both in terms of viewership and the number of participants," said Dr Rajah Balakrishnan, technical director for the competition.

"It is an encouraging trend to see more and more locals taking up film-making seriously, and this is an apt platform for them to learn more about all aspects of film making," added Dr Rajah. Besides, the competition, there will be a screening of movies and TV films of various genres, including fiction and documentaries. A total of 283 movies from around 33 countries will be screened during the one-week festival. The movies screened on the opening day include Mohammed Asli's 'In Casablanca, the Angels Don't Fly', Baz Shamoun Al Bazi's 'Where is Iraq, Where is Iraq', 'About the Other', 'Afghan Days', 'Thread After Thread', 'The Rise of the Doing', 'Unveiling Dubai' etc.


South Korea's sole aircraft maker Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has nearly closed a deal to sell 60 supersonic trainer jets worth $2 billion to the UAE. KAI is adjusting the deal's price tag after working out most of the other terms with the UAE, the Maeil Business newspaper said quoting KAI chief Jung Hae-Joo.

If KAI closes the deal to sell its T-50 trainer jets, South Korea would become the world's sixth largest exporter of supersonic trainers, it said.

"We expect to reach a deal at the end of the year on exporting 60 T-50s to the UAE," Jung was quoted as saying. "Negotiations with the UAE are under way in a final stage." Jung said UAE's air force chief Khalid Bin Abdullah Mobarak Al Buainnain "expressed satisfaction in public" about T-50s when he visited KAI's assembly plant last month. South Korea's air force has offered to help the UAE train pilots and mechanics if the Middle Eastern country buys the jets, according to the Yonhap news agency.

The KAI has built T-50s since 1997, and plans to provide 94 T-50s by 2011 to the South Korean air force, Yonhap said.

KAI was launched in 1999 after the aerospace affiliates of South Korea's three business conglomerates Samsung, Daewoo and Hyundai merged under the government-led industry restructuring.




A national health insurance scheme is not far off, as the UAE Ministry of Health, the Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms), and other local government departments, work together on establishing a health insurance system, according to Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry.

Shaikh Hamdan, who spoke to reporters after inaugurating the 10th International Dental Conference and Arab Dental Exhibition (AEEDC 2005), said that comprehensive change in the system, such as the introduction of a country-wide health insurance scheme requires time, but said it would not be too long before the health insurance scheme becomes a reality.

AEEDC 2005, which this year marks its tenth anniversary, is 35 percent bigger than last year's show. It is being held at the Dubai International Convention Centre (DICC). The show and conference have attracted over 2,500 specialists in the dental field from all over the world, and 350 companies from 57 countries who are exhibiting the latest dental technologies available.

"Health insurance is vital. The MoH and the Dohms, along with other local departments are proceeding towards setting up a system for health insurance. The area must be ready for this change. To carry out such comprehensive change takes time, but it won't be too long," said Shaikh Hamdan.

Asked about the privatization of both federal and local public healthcare sectors, Shaikh Hamdan said: "To date, there is no move towards privatization. We are first proceeding to implement health insurance, and after that, we would consider privatization."

Shaikh Hamdan said that Dubai has earned a major position in the world today as a result of the huge progress and development achieved by the UAE. He said Dubai is attracting investments as a direct result of the facilities extended to companies and investors, a fact which is drawing companies to Dubai.


Nationals from different walks of life have welcomed the setting up of municipal councils in Sharjah emirate, saying they are necessary for better public participation in governance.

Mohammed Butti Al Abdouli, a member of the Sharjah Consultative Council, said elections have become necessary because they give general public the opportunity to choose their representatives.

"They will make possible interaction between the leaders and the people. Effective interaction is essential as it is the basis for building the nation, its protection and defense, safety and security," said Al Abdouli.

"During this phase of the country's development, elections have become necessary as a complete generation has become capable of taking up the responsibility and sharing in decision-making."

"The country has developed in economic, cultural, scientific, social and educational fields. This requires the induction of more nationals in councils for better support." Progress, he pointed out, is only possible by sharing power with the people, who have become aware of the necessity of development. "Elections also contribute to trust both ways between the ruler and the people and motivates people to contribute more to the country's development," he noted.



Courtesy Khaleej Times
Edited by Amanullah Bashar