#ICYMI: Stories that made the headlines in Dubai this weekCulture & Entertainment
- 16 June 2017
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Photo (from left): Maryam Bahlooq, CEO of Emirates NBD / @EmiratesNBD / Twitter; Mariam Umm Eisa Mosque / @DubaiOneTV / Twitter; and Qibla Finder / @walizahid / Twitter
We round up the news stories that made waves over the previous seven days.
1) Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Mosque renamed to ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus’
Showing tolerance and unity for all, this week the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi’s Al Mushrif, was renamed to 'Mariam Umm Eisa' mosque, which translates from Arabic as 'Mary Mother of Jesus'
In a statement released by the national news agency WAM, the change was ordered by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to “consolidate bonds of humanity between followers of different religions”.
Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, praised His Highness for his “wise directives in carrying out this initiative that set a shining example, and a beautiful image of the tolerance and coexistence enjoyed by the UAE.”
It is estimated that more than 200 nationalities currently reside in the UAE.
2) Google launches ‘Qibla Finder’
There’s no doubt that in recent years more and more international companies are taking notice of the opportunity in catering to the Muslim consumer. Google is the latest.
The internet giant has just launched Qibla Finder, an app that uses augmented reality to show the direction towards the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Working with a smartphone’s compass and camera, Qibla Finder works by estimating the user’s current location to calculate the most direct route to the Kaaba.
Although the app is also available on iOS, unfortunately there’s no augmented reality function.
3) No more gates at Dubai Airport?
Is the beginning of the end of long queues at Dubai International. Dubai Airports, operator of the world’s busiest airport, is reportedly set to test new facial recognition technology that could put an end to the traditional airport arrival experience.
The emirate’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) has signed up with the British start-up ObjectTech to install biometric tunnels that will scan passenger faces as they walk to baggage reclaim.
This ‘gate-less border’ could mean that passengers arriving at the airport will be able to walk straight to baggage reclaim with their info detected via a biometric verification system.
Dubai International Airport is expecting to receive 100 million passengers this year.
4) London fire: Muslims awake for Ramadan praised for saving lives
According to reports, the death toll from this week’s terrible fire that destroyed the Grenfell Tower in London could still rise. However, some residents are saying that it could have been much worse if it hadn’t been for Ramadan.
The fire in the 24-storey building broke out around 1am on Wednesday while many of the residents were sleeping, and it is said that no building-wide fire alarm sounded or sprinklers worked, meaning many residents were sleeping and oblivious to what was going on.
Witness accounts say that Muslims observing Ramadan – who were out early morning to pray – were the one of the first residents to notice the fire, knocking on people's doors trying to wake them to get them out of the building.
“Muslim boys saved people's lives,” one local woman told HuffPost UK. “They ran around knocking on people's doors. Thank God for Ramadan.”
Meanwhile, in a widely shared video on social media, another woman praised the work of those who helped save residents.
“If it wasn't for all these young Muslim boys around here helping us, coming from mosques, a lot more people would have been dead,” she said.
Twelve people have been confirmed dead, with around 70 taken to hospital. Many are still unaccounted for.
5) Emirates NBD appoints its first female Emirati CEO
We can’t help but LOL when social media trolls claim that Arab women are oppressed and not allowed to work.
And in a new move that shows the UAE is getting serious about becoming amongst the top 25 nations worldwide excelling in the field of women’s empowerment, one of the country’s leading banks has now appointed its first female CEO.
Emirates NBD has appointed UAE national Maryam Bahlooq as the new chief executive officer of its fully-owned subsidiary Tanfeeth.
She was previously the acting group head of human resources, leading the HR Business Partnership unit at Emirates NBD.
In a statement, Bahlooq said: “I am delighted to be the first female UAE national to assume a CEO position within the Group and hope to inspire and mentor others like me to take on similar leadership roles.”
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