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Sheikh Hamdan launches landmark Dubai Reef sustainability project

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His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, has inaugurated the landmark Dubai Reef project with the launch of the pilot reef modules.

A sustainable initiative by Dubai Can, Dubai Reef is the world’s largest marine reef development project and marks a pioneering step in Dubai’s efforts to promote ecological sustainability. Working around a plan to deploy 20,000 purpose-built reef modules of various sizes over a four-year period, Dubai Reef marks a significant endeavour for the city that will span a staggering 600 square kilometres across Dubai’s waters. The meticulously crafted design of the reef units will see them exceed 400,000 cubic metres in volume.

In line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan and The Executive Council of Dubai, the Dubai Reef project is a city-wide collaboration uniting key partners to support the wider strategic goals and ambitions of Dubai and the UAE, including the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), the UAE’s Green Agenda – 2030, and the UAE Net Zero 2050 strategy.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “The landmark Dubai Reef initiative is a testament to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Reef ecosystems are unique life sources and vital components in the protection of marine life. Dubai Can’s Dubai Reef project will inject vitality into our coastal waters and contribute to global conservation efforts. The project’s significant long-term environmental and socio-economic impacts will serve Dubai’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.”

With an initial proof of concept championed by His Excellency Ahmed Mohammed bin Thani and contractors HaejooX in 2021, the first modules have now been activated as part of the Dubai Reef pilot project. Working alongside the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), the newly formed Dubai Environment and Climate Change Authority (DECCA) will be a critical partner in ensuring successful project delivery. As Director General of DECCA, His Excellency Bin Thani will continue to play a key role in supporting the Dubai Reef project and further strengthen the emirate’s advocacy in the realm of environmental protection and climate action. DP World; Dubai Chambers; Nakheel; the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation; and Emirates join DET as strategic partners in the Dubai Reef project.

His Excellency, Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of DET, said: “Aligned with the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and guided by the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, the Dubai Reef project showcases the emirate’s enduring commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. This collaboration between public and private sector entities will see each partner bring their expertise to drive Dubai’s sustainable future and contribute towards achieving the ambitious goals set forth in the D33 Agenda.”

His Excellency Ahmed Mohammed bin Thani, Director General of DECCA, said: “The Dubai Reef project will provide diverse environments to attract and stimulate fish and marine life. In 2021, we partnered with leading reef developer HaejooX to launch a two-year proof of concept, analysing the effectiveness of purpose-built reefs in Dubai. The study used advanced technologies and utilised a three-dimensional scanning system to understand the quantities and types of fish present. Preliminary data showed an abundant expansion in marine life.”

The Dubai Reef initiative is a strategic investment set to leave a lasting legacy in terms of protecting marine life and environmental sustainability. The project’s key drivers include enhancing biodiversity, safeguarding Dubai’s coastal and marine habitats, supporting fish populations, and increasing ecosystem resilience. The project will also encourage environmental stewardship, strengthen socio-economic prosperity and ecotourism, and preserve Dubai’s marine heritage.

The project has won over renowned investor Ray Dalio who is involved in various philanthropic initiatives and takes a keen interest in ocean exploration and conservation. “I love this audacious Dubai Reef project because it will be a remarkable contribution to the world’s understanding of the benefits of ocean restoration and as well make the Dubai environment healthier and provide an incredible recreation park. Once again, Dubai is pursuing an ambitiously great project, this time under the visionary guidance of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan. It is an amazing project in an amazing place under amazing leadership,” he said.

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Abu Dhabi bans single-use styrofoam products from June 1

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Single-use styrofoam products will be banned in Abu Dhabi from June 1, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development announced on X.

As part of the ban, Abu Dhabi is targeting avoidable, single-use consumer products. Specifically, the banned products comprise cups, lids, plates and beverage containers (including their caps and lids) made of expanded polystyrene. In addition, food container receptacles for products that are intended for immediate consumption, either on the spot or for takeaway, or containers that have a product that is typically consumed from the receptacle and is ready to be consumed without any further preparation such as cooking, boiling or heating, will also be prohibited.

Items exempt from this ban include:

-Reusable storage boxes

-Coolers

-Items intended for medical use

The initiative to ban single-use Styrofoam is an extension of the Abu Dhabi Single-Use Plastic Policy, and supports the aims of the Year of Sustainability.

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World League of Fighters announces grand launch in Bangkok: Winners to secure golden tickets to UAE’s inaugural season

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The World League of Fighters (WLF), the first-of-its-kind franchise based league-styled Muay Thai tournament, announced the grand launch ceremony for the inaugural season on June 1st at the prestigious Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok. Sticking to the league’s ideology of sportainment, the mega launch event will offer the audiences mesmerising live musical performances from some of the renowned artists along with an action-packed fight night comprising of five intense bouts to mesmerise the local Muay Thai fans.

To further capture the imagination of the audiences all around the world, the launch ceremony will be held at the highly popular the New Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, in Bangkok, Thailand. Currently owned and run by the Royal Thai Army, the Stadium is regarded as the symbol of modern Muay Thai, and is frequented by the fans who pack the stadium in large numbers each week to witness thrilling fights.

The grand event will be attended by Mr. Rajesh Banga, Chairman World League of Fighters, Mr. Rahul Saxena, President World League of Fighters, Mr. Sunil Mathew, Co-Founder World League of Fighters, Mr. Nilesh Pundir, Co-Founder of World League of Fighters, along with President WBC Muay Thai, Colonel Thanapol Bhakdibhumi. Mr. Samer Al Suojhayer, Co-Founder and Head of Operations WLF Asia, Mr. Kevin P. Noone, Secretary General WBC Muay Thai, and Mr. Fouad Darwish Ceo & Managing Director of Palms Sports will also be present to witness the spectacle.

To kick start the exciting Muay Thai action, USA’s Matt baker will face off against Azerbaijan’s Rauf Gerayzade in the Cruiserweight bout, while Thailand’s own Satanfah Sitsongpeenong will take on Iran’s Mohammad Sirasani in the Middleweight fight. India’s Surya Sagar will vie for a win when he takes on Lithuania’s Deividas Danyla in Welterweight match, and Russia’s Dana Begzhanova will also be in action against Spain’s Alba Morral in the Women’s Featherweight bout. The winners of the four bouts will get a Golden Ticket to the inaugural season of the World League of Fighters which will take place in Abu Dhabi later this year. The Muay Thai action will close with the Headline Contest between Kazakhstan’s Ali Kabdulla and Armenia’s Martun Mezhlumyan in a 170 Pound Catchweight contest.

To further add to the spectacle, the fans will get a chance to groove along with the biggest Thai pop sensation Kratae Rsiam, who recently opened Bruno Mars’ concert in Bangkok, and will be performing live at the launch ceremony. The renowned local musical artist Tong Twopee, who has garnered a cult-like following on social media, will also be performing live for the audience in attendance.

Speaking on the upcoming Launch event, Mr. Rajesh Banga, Chairman World League of Fighters said, “The Launch event in Bangkok is a tiny teaser of the extravaganza that we will be presenting to the world with the inaugural season of World League of Fighters. We are bringing a revolution to the world of combat sports, and we are confident our vision will resonate with the global masses. The Launch event will not only give the fans a chance to enjoy live Muay Thai fights, but also allow them to engage with live musical performances. We are grateful to WBC Muay Thai for their constant support and for the Thailand and Bangkok government authorities for allowing us to showcase our vision at the Mecca of Muay Thai – the New Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.”

WLF partnered with World Boxing Council Muay Thai last year to revolutionise the sport of Muay Thai and spread its reach across the globe. This is the first time in the Combat Sport World, a franchise-based league-style tournament is being organised featuring 20 of the world’s best male and female Muay Thai fighters. The renowned international combat sports stars will be divided into 4 franchises that will compete against each other in a round-robin format, to claim the Coveted WLF * WBC Title Belt.

President WBC Muay Thai, Colonel Thanapol Bhakdibhumi, added: “It is about time the adrenaline-pumping sport of Muay Thai gets a revamp. A league-styled competition of such magnitude is a celebration will boost the popularity of the sport and expand its reach beyond horizon. The upcoming Launch event is a moment of celebration for all Muay Thai fans, aficionados, trainers, and fighters not only in Thailand, but all around the globe, and we want to give them a show that they will never ever forget. The mingling of Muay Thai with entertainment is an unprecedented chapter in the history of combat sports and we cannot wait to present a glimpse of what is in store for the fans.”

The event is slated to take place in UAE in September.

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UAE announces 10 year Blue Residency Visa

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The UAE has announced a long-term residency for environment advocates. Called ‘Blue Residency’, the 10-year visa will be granted to individuals who have made “exceptional contributions and efforts in the field of protecting the environment”.

Applicable fields include boosting the air quality and green technology. “The sustainability of our economy has become linked to the sustainability of our environment,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, as he chaired a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.


Blue Residency: Who is eligible

The Blue Residency will specifically be granted to supporters of environmental action. This includes members of international organizations, international companies, members of associations and non-governmental organizations and global award winners. It also includes distinguished activists and researchers in environmental work. Those are interested in the residency are invited to submit their applications through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security, or through nominations by competent authorities.

The UAE already grants 10-year residency visas, called golden visas, to eligible investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and frontline heroes.

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