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Grab tickets for NBA’s debut in UAE at Abu Dhabi Etihad Arena

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NBA tickets Abu Dhabi

The UAE is breaking another glass ceiling in the world of Sports as the country extends its outreach to get the world’s most popular disciplines headed to these shores. The NBA will makes its debut not just in the UAE, but in the Arabian Gulf, even if it is for two games this October.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the 2021 NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks will be taking on the Atlanta Hawks in two pre-season games on October 6 and October 8.
Basketball is a popular sport and the only source of joy for the large expatriate Filipino community just like cricket is for those from the subcontinent. That is why Manny Pacquaio is aiming to bring his Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League to the UAE next year for a league of its own in the emirates. The eight-time boxing champion is a regular visitor to Dubai and has played in exhibition games before too.

The Bucks are currently battling the Celtics in the NBA post-season, with two-time the NBA MVP flanked by three-time NBA All-Star Khris Middleton and three-time NBA All-Defensive team member Jrue Holiday.
The Bucks previously met the Hawks in the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, with the Hawks led by two-time NBA All-Star Trae Young and 2020-21 NBA rebounding leader Clint Capella, along with John Collins and Bogdan Bogdanovic, with the Bucks prevailing to win their first NBA championship in 50 years.
“We are honoured to have been selected to participate in the NBA’s first games in the UAE. As the NBA continues to expand globally, we look forward to visiting Abu Dhabi and furthering the league’s goals of inspiring people through basketball. We will be proud to represent our city, our state and Bucks fans worldwide this October,” Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv Forum President Peter Feigin.
The partnership also sees DCT Abu Dhabi, under “Visit Abu Dhabi,” the tourism promotion initiative of the UAE’s capital city, serve as the Official Tourism Destination Partner of the NBA in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and China.

NBA in Abu Dhabi

Two pre-season NBA Games will be held at the Etihad Arena

More than 220 male and female prospects from the Middle East – including five players from the UAE – have participated in Basketball Without Borders or NBA Academy, the league’s elite development programs for top prospects from outside the U.S.

Since 2019, more than 500 boys and girls have also participated in the NBA Basketball School Dubai (UAE), a year-round, tuition-based development programme for boys and girls ages 6-18.

Want to get tickets first? Here’s how.

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Click ‘Register Now’
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“We are thrilled to be hosting the first NBA games in Abu Dhabi, the first to be hosted in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf, and look forward to welcoming the Atlanta Hawks, the Milwaukee Bucks and basketball fans from across the world to discover this incredible city and experience our authentic Emirati culture for themselves,” said DCT Abu Dhabi Director General Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry.

“Basketball has the ability to unite communities, and the spirit of the game will be felt by players and visitors, both on and off the court. The unveiling of the NBA teams marks an important milestone in our wider partnership with this world-class sports organisation.”

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of eIndia.com. Now managing editor of Headline.ae, part of MEMc (https://www.memc.co)

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UAE cuts Friday sermon to 10 minutes until end of summer

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The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments said that the decision is aimed at ensuring the safety of worshippers during the summer months.The directive is applicable from Friday, June 28, until the start of October.

According to the UAE’s National Center of Meteorology, summer temperatures in the Gulf country frequently exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), with some areas experiencing highs of up to 50 C (122 F).

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No KHDA inspection for Dubai school next year: Would it impact rating and fees?

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Private schools in Dubai will not be subject to comprehensive inspections throughout the 2024-25 academic year, as per a new directive from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). The only exception to this policy applies to newly established schools that are entering their third year of operations during the upcoming academic year. This recent decision was communicated to all Dubai schools via a circular issued by the KHDA. The authority aims to streamline the inspection process, focusing on institutions at a critical stage of their development while temporarily relieving more established schools from the full inspection regimen.

The KHDA circular reads, “We would also like to inform you of an important update to school inspections during the 2024-25 academic year. Full school inspections will not be conducted across all private schools in Dubai, except for new private schools that will be in their third year of operation during the academic year.”

However, schools may request a comprehensive inspection from the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB). Such requests will be reviewed and approved at the discretion of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Schools are required to submit their requests by July 5, 2024. The KHDA issued, “Schools with approved requests will be notified during Term 2 of the 2024-25 academic year.”

Dubai schools traditionally undergo annual inspections, during which they are evaluated and assigned ratings. However, these inspections were suspended during the pandemic. The ratings, which span from ‘Outstanding’ to ‘Weak’, are determined based on a defined set of criteria.

What is the current status of the ongoing inspection of schools under the KHDA?

The latest circular also mentions, “DSIB will conduct other visits that target specific focus areas and include ongoing monitoring activities. Schools will be notified ahead of time on the areas of focus and priorities for the next academic year.”

All schools are required to regularly update their ‘Self-Evaluation Form’ and online school profile over the course of the next academic year. It is imperative for schools to ensure that all necessary information is readily available for review by DSIB. Additionally, schools must consistently administer all critical external benchmark assessments.

Belrehif stated, “The School Self-Evaluation Form is an essential part of schools’ ongoing cycle of review and improvement planning and helps them measure how well they are doing in different performance indicators outlined in the UAE School Inspection Framework.”

Impact on School Rankings and Fees

The ability of schools to increase their fees is contingent upon their most recent evaluation by the DSIB. Schools that receive higher ratings are typically allowed to impose more substantial fee hikes. In April 2024, the KHDA introduced an Education Cost Index (ECI) set at 2.6 percent which would enable schools to modify their tuition fees for the 2024-25 academic year accordingly. The private schools in Dubai had been granted permission to raise tuition fees by up to 5.2 percent, as determined by their latest KHDA inspection outcomes.

In a recent interview, Fatma Belrehif,  DSIB CEO, announced, “The School Fees Framework is the mechanism by which schools can adjust their fees annually. The rate by which schools can adjust their fees is tied to each school’s most recent inspection rating. Any fee adjustment by schools must be approved by the KHDA. Schools will be notified in case of any changes or updates to the fee framework.”

How does this circular affect schools and parents?

Schools: Schools may need to adapt their internal quality assurance processes, relying more on self-evaluation and external feedback to maintain and improve standards.

  • Strategic Planning: With the absence of formal inspections, schools might focus on alternative ways to attract and retain students, such as enhancing their curriculum, extracurricular offerings, or investing in teacher development.
  • Performance Monitoring: Schools will need to find new methods to monitor and report their performance, potentially increasing collaboration with parent-teacher associations and using third-party evaluators.

Parents: Guardians and Parents may find it more challenging to assess the quality and performance of schools without the KHDA’s annual inspection reports. They might need to rely on word-of-mouth, online reviews, and direct engagement with schools to make informed decisions.

  • Engagement and Feedback: The halt in inspections could encourage more proactive engagement between parents and schools. Parents may need to take a more active role in communicating their expectations and concerns to ensure their child’s educational needs are met.
  • Financial Considerations: With the potential stability in school fees, parents might experience a degree of financial predictability. However, they should stay informed about any changes schools might implement to maintain quality in the absence of inspections.

As the educational community awaits further details and guidance from the KHDA, stakeholders are keenly observing how this decision will shape educational practices and policies in Dubai for the upcoming academic year.

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Sheikh Mohammed approves massive Dh30 billion rainwater drainage project for Dubai

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An integrated project to develop a rain drainage network in Dubai has been approved at a cost of Dh30-billion, announced Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday.

Named ‘Tasreef’, the project will enhance the capacity of Dubai’s rainwater drainage system by 700%, covering all areas of the emirate.

The project is set to be completed by 2033 with construction to start immediately. It will serve Dubai for the next hundred years, added Sheikh Mohammed.

The project, which will cover all areas of Dubai and absorb more than 20 million cubic meters of water per day, is likely to be the largest such network to collect rainwater in the region.

‘Tasreef’ is a continuation of drainage projects launched by Dubai in 2019, covering the Expo Dubai area, Al Maktoum International Airport City, and Jebel Ali.

It comes around two months after unprecedented rains flooded the UAE. As a sustainable strategic project, it aims at addressing future climate change impacts, such as increased rainfall, with a network designed to seamlessly adapt to all rainfall events.

The project will utilise the latest Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM), the largest of their kind in the Middle East, known for their efficiency, speed, and high precision in excavation, and their ability to handle various topographical conditions.

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