Quality & Business Management Conference explores prospects of employing innovation in supporting knowledge-based economy.

HBMSU to launch Innovation Arabia 9 – Annual Congress 2016 in March
UAE, February 27, 2016 – Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has commenced preparations to launch Quality and Business Management Conference under the theme ‘Business Innovation: Imperative for Knowledge Economy.’ This will take place on the sidelines of the ‘Innovation Arabia 9 – Annual Congress 2016, which will be held with the theme ‘Accelerating Innovation Towards Sustainable Economy’ under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the University. To be held from March 7 to 9, 2016, the strategically important event strengthens Dubai’s efforts to lead the march in deploying, transferring, producing and localizing knowledge in the Arab countries and the world.

Currently, all eyes are on ‘Quality and Business Management Conference’ as a world-class platform that will open up new horizons for decision makers, policy makers, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers and academics to explore individual, organizational and contextual powers to enhance the quality and stimulate innovation. The upcoming event is expected to contribute in determining the best ways to apply quality and innovative practices to strengthen the position of the Arab region on the international map. This will be done through a series of extended discussions that will focus on the most important issues, including ‘Excellence in Government Services,’ ‘Entrepreneurship,’ ‘Innovation and Quality,’ and ‘Islamic Banking and Finance’ and their direct and indirect effects on innovation and sustainable development, regionally and internationally.
Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, explained that the importance of ‘Quality and Business Management Conference’ comes from its focus on identifying effective strategies to enhance the quality concepts and stimulate innovation as a solid foundation to start the process of building a solid and integrated economy that is based on knowledge, excellence and innovation.
Dr. Al Awar pointed out that the upcoming event represents an important addition to the tireless efforts that aim to enrich the knowledge and meet the urgent need for innovative and unique solutions. He further emphasized the need to invest widely in quality and innovation to enable governments and business community, enhance competitive advantages, accelerate the pace of economic growth, and achieve sustainable social development in the Arab World and the MENA region.
“The UAE has realized early the importance of investing in innovation as the best way to build a knowledge-based, competitive economy and accomplish the ambitious aspirations to become one of the world’s most developed countries by 2021. Today, the nation is taking advanced steps on the path to leadership, backed by the insightful vision and right guidance of the wise leadership, which has laid a strong foundation to achieve ‘smart’ transformation and attain a leading global standing in terms of innovation, Islamic economics, and government excellence. In this event, which is scheduled on the sidelines of ‘Innovation Arabia 9,’ we seek to support this strategic direction by activating the channels of knowledge transfer and exchange expertise to showcase the best practices in innovation and quality to support the overall development and create a better future for generations to come,” concluded Dr. Al Awar.
‘Quality and Business Management Conference 2016’ consist of four main themes, including ‘Quality Management,’ ‘Business and Management,’ ‘Public Management & Government Service Excellence,’ and ‘Islamic Economics, Finance and Banking.’ The panel discussions and extensive seminars are expected to witness discussions on vital topics related to quality and business management, such as ‘Quality Management in e-Services,’ ‘Intelligent Quality Tools and Methods,’ ‘Investing in Human Resources,’ ‘Creativity … the Heart & Soul of Innovation,’ ‘Green Marketing,’ ‘the Race for National Competitiveness,’ ‘Government as the Engine of Innovation,’ and ‘Innovation as a National Value.’ The event will also highlight the success stories of innovation in the public sector, as well as exchange the views on ‘Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice,’ ‘Risk Management in Islamic Financial Institutions,’ and ‘The Role of Governments and Central Banks in Promoting Islamic Banking and Finance Services,’ among others.


ICDL launches ‘ICDL for Teachers’ initiative to enable interactive classroom learning.

New certification initiative empowers teachers to adopt  modern teaching strategies using ICT and Cyber Safety in the classroom
UAE, September 27, 2014 – ICDL Arabia, the governing body and certification authority for the ICDL certificate program in Egypt, the GCC States and Iraq, has announced that it has launched a new initiative  specially designed for teachers in the region. The ‘ICDL for Teachers’ initiative aims to empower teachers with the skills they need to develop modern teaching strategies using ICT in their teaching practices, allowing them to achieve educational goals more efficiently. Enhanced ICT skills enable teachers to simplify routine tasks, such as planning lessons more efficiently; enhance communication with students and parents; improve collaboration between educators; and adopt cyber safety within the school environment.

The ‘ICDL for Teachers’ initiative  enables the use of ‘smart’ classroom devices, such as smart boards, projectors, personal computers, and tablets by teachers for a more interactive learning experience. Aside from enabling them to use ‘smart’ technology in the classroom, the initiative will also enable teachers to become skilled with subjects such as IT Security including Cyber Safety, Online Collaboration, Project Planning and Social Media. Candidates will be awarded ICDL certificates upon successfully completing the course.

Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL Arabia, said: “According to a recent research report, the recurring spend on education in the GCC is poised to reach USD 150 billion by 2016. The region’s governments along with the support of the private sector are keen to upgrade facilities in the education sector to offer a better learning experience to its students because of its vital role in the region’s growth and prosperity. International research has shown that ICT has a positive impact on students’ performances and encourages them to become resourceful and learn independently. Technology makes lessons more retainable by employing a variety of different learning styles helping students digest information in new ways and improve their retention levels.”
Ezzo stated that “We need to adopt radical changes in the classroom in order to improve the quality of education in our region. The traditional classroom and current practices are no longer effective and the ability to use common office applications is inadequate for the modern day classroom. We launched ‘ICDL for Teachers,’ as a new initiative to empower teachers with essential ICT skills to engage their students in learning using a variety of instructional methods and resources aided by technology.”
ICDL Arabia is already working with Qatar Supreme Education Council and Bahrain Ministry of Education on empowering teachers with latest ICT skills, and is in talks with other Educational authorities across the region to seek cooperation on this new initiative. Ministry of Education in Oman was the first to adopt ICDL IT Security program for its Teachers and staff back in 2013 and so far thousands have been certified.
ICDL Arabia has been spearheading various initiatives to place IT Security and Cyber Safety at the top of government agendas across the region. It has been supporting a wide-scale implementation of awareness programs, including skills validation through training and certification programs centering on IT Security, Cyber Safety and the effective, safe, responsible and mindful use of Social Media. It continues to collaborate closely with the concerned authorities and experts to further elevate the level of IT Security awareness among the public.


HSBC Bank Middle East Limited and ICDL reinforce digital literacy of UAE’s underprivileged kids via ICDL Summer Camp.

Organizations collaborate for the third year in a row to train 200 children from UAE
UAE, August 5, 2014: ICDL GCC Foundation, an organization under the authority of ICDL Arabia that promotes digital skills and cyber safety across the region, and leading global financial services organization HSBC Bank Middle East Limited have collaborated for the third consecutive year to train new 200 children from UAE about fundamental digital skills and cyber safety knowledge. The latest edition of ICDL Summer Camp is to empower underprivileged youth with essential computer skills and teach them how to responsibly and safely use smart devices and social media platforms. 

Children from Umm Al Quwain joined the camp for the first time this year. Meanwhile, Ajman Universityextended its assistance as one of the supporting venues for second consecutive year now. The main objective of ICDL Summer Camp, which started on August 3 and will end on August 21, is to provide extensive training on ICDL and on an ICDL GCC endorsed international certification program, called ‘Social Media for All,’ followed by international exams to gain international certificates. The ICDL Summer Camp is part of the efforts of both ICDL GCC and HSBC Bank Middle East Limited to reach out to the less-privileged members of society, especially the youth, and instil in them the importance of cyber safety.

Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL Arabia and ICDL GCC Foundation, said: “We are very happy with the renewal of partnership between ICDL GCC and HSBC Bank Middle East Limited for the ICDL Summer Camp, which is proof of our common belief that all youth, regardless of their standing in life, must be equipped with essential computer skills in order to thrive in today’s information age. We also believe that we need to help them raise the level of their understanding of the cyber world to prepare them especially in cases of cyber threats. These are all the objectives of ICDL Summer Camp and we aim to achieve them. A high level digital literacy will give our children unparalleled opportunities anywhere in the world.”
Sabrin Rahman, Senior Manager- Corporate Sustainability at HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, said: “Our latest collaboration with ICDL GCC reflects our bank’s efforts to support initiatives that are geared towards providing youth with world-class digital skills and raising their cyber safety awareness. Similar to previous years, the ICDL Summer Camp reinforces digital proficiency among children to make them highly competitive and provide the next generation with key digital knowledge and skills.”
The camp delivery services including training and test services on the international certification programs are delivered by the National Institute of Vocational Education (NIVE) – a KHDA organization- in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Education Zone, Fujairah Education Zone, Al Ihsan Charity Association in Ajman, and UAE Red Crescent across UAE.
The children will also receive gifts and tickets to water parks courtesy of ICDL GCC, Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Center (ADSIC), the Ministry of Interior Child Protection Center, Canon, UAE NBD, Brother, Aquaventure Waterpark and the Lost Chambers – Atlantis, Dubai Dolphinarium, and Dreamland Aquapark, Umm al-Quwain.
ICDL GCC and HSBC Bank Middle East Limited provided ICDL Summer Camp to underprivileged children in UAE in 2012 and 2013. Two years ago 72 young people from Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah acquired valuable computer skills at the ICDL Summer Camp, while 200 orphans and underprivileged kids from Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah learned about essential skills in social media and cyber safety last year.

All six GCC countries rank within the top 10 in Western Asia, Bahrain, UAE & KSA rank under top 20 countries in online service delivery.

GCC countries achieve manifest ranks in the UN e-Government Survey 2014.
UAE, July 16, 2014ICDL GCC Foundation, an organization under the authority of ICDL Arabia that promotes digital skills and cyber safety across the region, has shared the recent findings of the United Nations (UN) e-Government Survey 2014, pointing out the excellent performance of the GCC countries.

Bahrainjumped 18 places to earn the 18th rank, while the UAE enjoyed a global ranking of 32. Other GCC countries also figured prominently in the survey with Saudi Arabia at 36, Qatarat 44 and Oman and Kuwaitat 48 and 49, respectively. The UN e-Government Survey is conducted every two years to analyze the progress made by the countries in all regions of the world in digital interactions between governments and people to implement an integrated e-Government platform. This year’s report focuses on the significant investment made by countries in the information and communication technologies (ICT) for a smooth transition to online public services by enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, and sustainability.
Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL Arabia and ICDL GCC Foundation.

Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL Arabia and ICDL GCC Foundation, said: “The tremendous rise in the ranking of the GCC countries in their position from the 2012 survey depicts their e-Readiness, which indicates their preparedness to offer its citizens, residents and visitors with seamless, efficient and effective e-Services. The GCC countries ranking among top ten in Western Asia driven largely by the proactive initiatives taken by their respective governments to implement online services as an economic tool to support the knowledge economy.
The GCC governments have made significant investment to build their government portals, which offer swift and transparent services. In addition, the report has recognized the deployment of the Emirates ID Authority’s Biometric Enrolment in the UAE as part of the National ID Registration Program as one of the world’s best biometric programs.”
Bahrainranked first among the GCC countries, while it is 5th in Asia. Bahrain’s progress is attributed to the Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology (SCICT) and the e-Government Authority, established to develop and implement a comprehensive e-Government strategy. Driven by a highly advanced e-Government portal, the UAE ranks number two in the GCC and seven in Asia. The results of the 2014 survey also show that Bahrain ranks 7th on the Online Service Index, followed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia at the 12thand 18th position, respectively. Moreover, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwaitare the Arab countries with a score higher than 66.6 per cent in the whole of government.
Driven by a highly advanced e-Government portal, the UAE ranks number two in the GCC and seven in Asia. In fact on emirate level, Abu Dhabi’s Systems and Information Center (ADSIC) the body responsible for e-Government implementation recently won first place award in the ‘Best Application of Information Technology and e-Learning’ category at the recently concluded World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Conference in Geneva, Switzerland for its successful implementation of an initiative that aims at empowering the public with basic ICT skills to be able to use Internet and online services. Dubai, on the other hand, has initiated its transformation from e-Government to Smart Government, a concept of delivering government services through innovative and technologically advanced channels.
Likewise, the report also stated that the GCC countries have established a GCC e-Government committee and organized the GCC e-Government Conference with an aim to provide a platform to the regional leaders to discuss in depth all aspects of the e-Governance programs implemented in their respective countries. The conference also enables them to share their best practices with other GCC countries in order to enhance their respective e-Transformation processes.
The GCC countries have adopted a common goal to enhance their e-Services that will allow them to increase the productivity and efficiency of government and improve their global e-Government ranking.
About ICDL:

The International Computer Driving License (ICDL) is a global computer literacy initiative developed to provide knowledge about Information Technology (IT) and enhance competence of using personal computers and common computer applications for all the citizens of the world. The ICDL GCC Foundation is the sole body to implement and disseminate the program across the GCC States and Iraq with the support of leading educational institutions and accredited bodies. The Foundation mission is to enable proficient use of Information and Communications Technology that empowers individuals, organizations and society, through the development, promotion and delivery of quality certification programs around the world.

13th annual regional ICDL Summer Camps launched with strong support from public and private sectors.

Annual event aims to empower GCC youth against cyber threats
UAE, July 1, 2014 – ICDL GCC Foundation, an organization under the authority of ICDL Arabia that promotes digital skills and cyber safety across the region, has announced the launch of its 13th ICDL Summer Camp with support from various government organizations, private sector companies, and education regulators and training institutions. The ICDL summer camp is free to participants and will be held in various groups for two months, running between June 29 and August 28, 2014 across the GCC region.

Each group will attend the ICDL camp for 3 to 4 weeks to receive training and certification. The camp is being organized with an objective to spread digital competency and cyber safety among GCC youth, while educating them about the safe practices of using the Internet in order to safeguard them from online threats. In addition, it is also a platform where participants can utilize their free time in acquiring essential and practical skills and stay away from other social evils such as substance abuse.

While the ICDL camp is designed to combine educational and recreational activities, valuable prizes will be distributed to those distinguished performers. The UAE camp is in line with the UAE Government’s Vision 2021 to create a knowledge-based society by empowering its nationals, particularly the youth, with essential ICT skills. Almost 1,700 students from the UAE are expected to enroll in the ICDL camps offered as part of the Abu Dhabi Education Council’s Sayfuna Momayaz, first ever ‘Smart Summer 2014’ by Dubai Education Zone, and Sharjah and the rest of the northern emirates. Meals and transportation will be also provided to all participants at no cost throughout the camp while there will be a series of recreational activities as well as exclusive gifts from camp sponsors.
The certification programs offered at the ICDL Summer Camp will enable teenagers aged 14 to 18 to acquire essential computer skills as well as learn effective, responsible and safe practices of using digital devices and social media platforms. Training and certification will take place at ICDL accredited centers at prime universities and colleges across the country, including University of Sharjah, all the campuses of Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Abu Dhabi University and UAE University in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western region, National Institute for Vocational Education at Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), National Academy for Research & Development, and many more. A number of privately owned accredited ICDL training centers across the region will also join the initiative throughout the summer period and offer registration for reasonable fees.
Jamil Ezzo, Director General, ICDL GCC Foundation, said: “In the last 12 years, more than 55,000 from the youth across the region have enrolled in the ICDL certification program through the ICDL Summer Camps, which is a tremendous accomplishment for us. Our main goal in organizing these summer camps is to enable the youth in utilizing their free time in productive activities such as acquiring essential ICT competence as well as learning new social skills. It is also a way to promote voluntary and social work activities such as conservation of the environment among young impressionable minds. In addition, the camp will also be an opportunity for the participants to learn more about the history and culture of the region in an interactive environment. ICDL believes that it is a good way to strenghten community participation that can be a stepping stone in building cooperative partnerships among different social institutions.”
The 13th ICDL Summer Camp is supported for the fifth year by the leading organizations from the public and private sectors. The camp sponsors include H.H. Rulers Court in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Center, Dubai Education Zone, Ministry of Interior Child Protection Center, Sharjah Education Council; and responsible corporate citizens like ITP Publishing Group, HSBC, Etihad Airways, Canon, du, Dubai Water and Electricity Authority, Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD, Brother, Aquaventure Waterpark and the Lost Chambers – Atlantis, Yas Waterworld – Abu Dhabi, Dubai Dolphinarium, and Dreamland Aquapark, Umm Al Quain. 
“We expect a tremendous response for this year’s program, as we will address topics such as social media and cyber safety that are highly relevant to today’s scenario where unrestricted Internet and smart devices have become so accessible by children. The camp will offer more value to our participants while empowering them with the latest trends in digital literacy that is vital in today’s life. We will be emphasizing on the risks of the Internet, including cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cyber addiction, and identitying threats and child exploitation. Since we believe awareness is the best defense, we will address the issues of cyber safety with the younger generation and teach them how to protect themselves from various threats lurking in the cyber world,” concluded Ezzo.  
For details regarding the ICDL Summer Camp, please log on to www.icdlgcc.org or contact
+971 4 4540420.
About ICDL:

The International Computer Driving License (ICDL) is a global computer literacy initiative developed to provide knowledge about Information Technology (IT) and enhance competence of using personal computers and common computer applications for all the citizens of the world. The ICDL GCC Foundation is the sole body to implement and disseminate the program across the GCC States and Iraq with the support of leading educational institutions and accredited bodies. The Foundation mission is to enable proficient use of Information and Communications Technology that empowers individuals, organizations and society, through the development, promotion and delivery of quality certification programs around the world.