Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1377

Search results for: United Arab Emirates

1377 Causality between the Construction Industry and the GDP in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Hasan S. Mahmoud, Salwa M. Beheiry, Vian Ahmed

Abstract:

In light of the repercussions of the 2008 global economic crisis, the response of the United Arab Emirates economy and growth, and the vast construction activities that are undergoing, there is a need to investigate the relationship between construction activities and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This study aims to investigate the causality relationship between the construction industry in the United Arab Emirates and the GDP of the country in the last decade. For that, this study will investigate the relationship between the growth of the GDP and the growth of construction activities and their value addition to the economy. To ascertain this relationship, Granger Causality method is used to identify the causality between the time-dependent series.

Keywords: construction value addition, Granger causality, growth of gross domestic product, United Arab Emirates

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1376 The Recognition of Exclusive Choice of Court Agreements: United Arab Emirates Perspective and the 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

Authors: Hasan Alrashid

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The 2005 Hague Convention seeks to ensure legal certainty and predictability between parties in international business transactions. It harmonies exclusive choice of court agreements at the international level between parties to commercial transactions and to govern the recognition and enforcement of judgments resulting from proceedings based on such agreements to promote international trade and investment. Although the choice of court agreements is significant in international business transactions, the United Arab Emirates refuse to recognise it by Article 24 of the Federal Law No. 11 of 1992 of the Civil Procedure Code. A review of judicial judgments in United Arab Emirates up to the present day has revealed that several cases appeared before the Court in different states of United Arab Emirates regarding the recognition of exclusive choice of court agreements. In all the cases, the courts regarded the exclusive choice of court agreements as a direct assault on state authority and sovereignty and refused categorically to recognize choice of court agreements by refusing to stay proceedings in favor of the foreign chosen court. This has created uncertainty and unpredictability in international business transaction in the United Arab Emirates. In June 2011, the first Gulf Judicial Seminar on Cross-Frontier Legal Cooperation in Civil and Commercial Matters was held in Doha, Qatar. The Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference attended the conference and invited the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) namely, The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait to adopt some of the Hague Conventions, one of which was the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements. One of the recommendations of the conference was that the GCC states should research ‘the benefits of predictability and legal certainty provided by the 2005 Convention on Choice of Court Agreements and its resulting advantages for cross-border trade and investment’ for possible adoption of the Hague Convention. Up to today, no further step has been taken by the any of the GCC states to adapt the Hague Convention nor did they conduct research on the benefits of predictability and legal certainty in international business transactions. This paper will argue that the approach regarding the recognition of choice of court agreements in United Arab Emirates states can be improved in order to help the parties in international business transactions avoid parallel litigation and ensure legal certainty and predictability. The focus will be the uncertainty and gaps regarding the choice of court agreements in the United Arab Emirates states. The Hague Convention on choice of court agreements and the importance of harmonisation of the rules of choice of court agreements at international level will also be discussed. Finally, The feasibility and desirability of recognizing choice of court agreements in United Arab Emirates legal system by becoming a party to the Hague Convention will be evaluated.

Keywords: choice of court agreements, party autonomy, public authority, sovereignty

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1375 Data Integrity between Ministry of Education and Private Schools in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Rima Shishakly, Mervyn Misajon

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Education is similar to other businesses and industries. Achieving data integrity is essential in order to attain a significant supporting for all the stakeholders in the educational sector. Efficient data collect, flow, processing, storing and retrieving are vital in order to deliver successful solutions to the different stakeholders. Ministry of Education (MOE) in United Arab Emirates (UAE) has adopted ‘Education 2020’ a series of five-year plans designed to introduce advanced education management information systems. As part of this program, in 2010 MOE implemented Student Information Systems (SIS) to manage and monitor the students’ data and information flow between MOE and international private schools in UAE. This paper is going to discuss data integrity concerns between MOE, and private schools. The paper will clarify the data integrity issues and will indicate the challenges that face private schools in UAE.

Keywords: education management information systems (EMIS), student information system (SIS), United Arab Emirates (UAE), ministry of education (MOE), (KHDA) the knowledge and human development authority, Abu Dhabi educational counsel (ADEC)

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1374 Extracting Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils from the Lamiaceae Plant Family in the United Arab Emirates (UAE): Highlights on Great Possibilities and Sever Difficulties

Authors: Suzan M. Shahin, Mohammed A. Salem

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Essential oils are expensive phytochemicals produced and extracted from specific species belonging to particular families in the plant kingdom. In the United Arab Emirates country (UAE), which is located in the arid region of the world, nine species, from the Lamiaceae family, having the capability to produce therapeutic grade essential oils. These species include; Mentha spicata, Ocimum forskolei, Salvia macrosiphon, Salvia aegyptiaca, Salvia macilenta, Salvia spinosa, Teucrium polium, Teucrium stocksianum, and Zataria multiflora. Although, such potential species are indigenous to the UAE, however, there are almost no studies available to investigate the chemical composition and the quality of the extracted essential oils under the UAE climatological conditions. Therefore, great attention has to be given to such valuable natural resources, through conducting highly supported research projects, tailored to the UAE conditions, and investigating different extraction techniques, including the application of the latest available technologies, such as superficial fluid CO2. This is crucially needed; in order to accomplish the greatest possibilities in the medicinal field, specifically in the discovery of new therapeutic chemotypes, as well as, to achieve the sustainability of this natural resource in the country.

Keywords: essential oils, extraction techniques, Lamiaceae, traditional medicine, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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1373 Rear Seat Belt Use in Developing Countries: A Case Study from the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Salaheddine Bendak, Sara S. Alnaqbi

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The seat belt is a vital tool in improving traffic safety conditions and minimising injuries due to traffic accidents. Most developing countries are facing a big problems associated with the human and financial losses due to traffic accidents. One way to minimise these losses is the use of seat belts by passengers both in the front and rear seats of a vehicle; however, at the same time, close to nothing is known about the rates of seat belt utilisation among rear seat passengers in many developing countries. Therefore, there is a need to estimate these rates in order to know the extent of this problem and how people interact with traffic safety measures like seat belts and find demographic characteristics that contribute to wearing or non-wearing of seat belts with the aim of finding solutions to improve wearing rates. In this paper, an observational study was done to gather data on restraints use in motor vehicle rear seats in eight observational stations in a rapidly developing country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and estimate a use rate for the whole country. Also, a questionnaire was used in order to study demographic characteristics affecting the wearing of seatbelts in rear seats. Results of the observational study showed that the overall wearing/usage rate was 12.3%, which is considered very low when compared to other countries. Survey results show that single, male, less educated passengers from Arab and South Asian backgrounds use seat belts reportedly less than others. Finally, solutions are put forward to improve this wearing rate based on the results of this study.

Keywords: Seat belts, traffic crashes, United Arab Emirates, rear seats

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1372 Employee Perception of Corporate Social Responsibility and Its Impact on Organizational Performance: Evidence from the UAE

Authors: Sherine Farouk, Fauzia Jabeen

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The purpose of this study is to examine the role played by ethical climate and CSR on organizational performance in public sector organizations. In particular, the research will shed light on the link between formalized ethical procedures and employee responses including corporate social responsibility, and organizational performance among public sector employees. Data was collected from 425 employees working in public sector organizations in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates. Structural Equation Modeling will be used to test the proposed hypotheses. The paper contributes to the literature by being one of the first to study CSR and ethical climate within a Middle Eastern context, and will offer important implications for theory and practice.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, ethical climate, organizational performance, United Arab Emirates

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1371 Social Stratification in Dubai and Its Effects on Higher Education

Authors: P. J. Moore-Jones

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Emirati students studying at the University of the Emirates, one of three major public institutions of higher learning in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have a wide demographic of faculty members teaching them an equally wide variety of courses. These faculty members bring with them their own cultural assumptions, methods, expectations, educational practices and use of language. The history of multiculturalism in the UAE coupled with the contemporary multiculturalism that exists in higher education Dubai create intriguing phenomena within the classroom. This study seeks to delve into students’ and faculty members’ perceptions of the social stratification that exist in this context. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with both and analyzed from an interpretive perspective. Findings suggest the social stratification with is deeply-seeded in the multicultural history of the region and country are reflected in the everyday interworkings of education in modern day Dubai. The relevance of this research lies in that these findings can provide valuable insights into not only the attitudes and perceptions of these Emirati students might also be applicable to any of those student populations may exist.

Keywords: social stratification, intercultural competence, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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1370 Electric Vehicle Market Penetration Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Policy-Making: A Case Study of United Arab Emirates

Authors: Ahmed Kiani

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The United Arab Emirates is clearly facing a multitude of challenges in curbing its greenhouse gas emissions to meet its pre-allotted framework of Kyoto protocol and COP21 targets due to its hunger for modernization, industrialization, infrastructure growth, soaring population and oil and gas activity. In this work, we focus on the bonafide zero emission electric vehicles market penetration in the country’s transport industry for emission reduction. We study the global electric vehicle market trends, the complementary battery technologies and the trends by manufacturers, emission standards across borders and prioritized advancements which will ultimately dictate the terms of future conditions for the United Arab Emirate transport industry. Based on our findings and analysis at every stage of current viability and state-of-transport-affairs, we postulate policy recommendations to local governmental entities from a supply and demand perspective covering aspects of technology, infrastructure requirements, change in power dynamics, end user incentives program, market regulators behavior and communications amongst key stakeholders. 

Keywords: electric vehicles, greenhouse gas emission reductions, market analysis, policy recommendations

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1369 Parent’s Evaluation of the Services Offered to Their Children with Autism in UAE Centres

Authors: Mohammad Ali Fteiha, Ghanem Al Bustami

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The study aimed to identify the assessment of parents of children with Autism for services provided by the Center for special care in the United Arab Emirates, in terms of quality, comprehensive and the impact of some factors related to the diagnosis and place of service provision and efficient working procedures of service and the child age. In order to achieve the objective of the study, researchers used Parent’s Satisfaction Scale, and Parents Evaluation of Services Effectiveness, both the scale and the parents reports provided with accepted level of validity and reliability. Sample includes 300 families of children with Autism receiving educational and rehabilitation services, treatment and support services in both governmental and private centers in United Arab Emirates. ANOVA test was used through SPSS program to analyze the collected data. The results of the study have indicated that there are significant differences in the assessment of services provided by centers due to a place of service, the nature of the diagnosis, child's age at the time of the study, as well as statistically significance differences due to age when first diagnosed. The results also showed positive evaluation for the good level of services as international standard, and the quality of these services provided by autism centers in the United Arab Emirates, especially in governmental centers. At the same time, the results showed the presence of many needs problems faced by the parents do not have appropriate solutions. Based on the results the recommendations were stated.

Keywords: autism, evaluation, diagnosis, parents, autism programs, supportive services, government centers, private centers

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1368 New Media and Social Media Laws and Ethics in United Arab Emirates

Authors: Ahmed Farouk Radwan, Sheren Mousa

Abstract:

There are many laws and regulations governing the use of new and social media in the United Arab Emirates. During the past few years, the importance of using these platforms in the fields of media and government communication has increased, as well as at the level of individual use. In 2016, the National Media Council Law was issued to regulate traditional and new media field, and gave the council the power to oversee and undertake the media affairs in the state. NMC is mandated to: Develop the UAE’s media policy, Draft media legislation and ensure its execution and Prohibited media content ,Co-ordinate the media policy between the emirates in line with the UAE’s domestic and foreign policy, Ensure support for the federation and project national unity. All media organizations in the UAE must comply with the regulations and rules issued by council. Social media influencers have to be licensed by NMC if they accept paid ads to be published on their accounts. The study explores other laws concerning of new media and social media regulations and ethics including Combatting Cybercrimes law, Combating Discrimination and Hatred law, The Government Guidelines for social media users in the UAE, The Guidelines for the practices of electronic participation and social networking, Copyright Law, and Child Rights Law. The study clarifies the legal articles, items and standards in all these laws which related with the new media and social platforms and also determines the prohibited digital practices and the cultural norms governing it.

Keywords: media laws, media ethics, new media , UAE

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1367 Regulation and Transparency: The Case of Corporate Governance Disclosure on the Internet in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Peter Oyelere, Fernando Zanella

Abstract:

Corporate governance is one of the most discussed and researched issues in recent times in countries around the world, with different countries developing and adopting different governance structures, models and mechanisms. While the Codes of corporate governance have been weaved into the regulatory fabrics of most countries, it is equally critically important that their mechanisms, procedures and practices be transparent, and be transparently communicated to all stakeholders. The Internet can be a very useful and cost-effective tool for the timely and voluntary communication of corporate governance matters to stakeholders. The current paper details the results of an investigation on the extent of which companies listed in the UAE are using the Internet for communicating corporate governance issues, matters and procedures. We surveyed the websites of companies listed on the two UAE Stock Exchanges – the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) – to find out their level and nature of usage of the Internet for corporate governance disclosures. Regulatory and policy implications of the results of our investigation, as well as other areas for further studies, are also presented in the paper.

Keywords: corporate governance, internet financial reporting, regulation, transparency, United Arab Emirates

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1366 Language Literacy Attrition: An Empirical Investigation

Authors: Ahmad Al-Issa

Abstract:

Our world is now operating under the auspices of globalization with its attendant language of ‘global English.' In many parts of the world, the need for English is often accepted without much thought given to native languages. Indeed, this is the current situation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with English encroaching into all areas of society, and especially forcefully into the education sector, where English as a medium of instruction (EMI) is on the rise. At the same time, Arabic literacy (i.e., the ability to read and write in Arabic) is declining among the UAE youth. Using a mixed-methods design, a study was conducted to gain insights into the use of Arabic by Emirati University students. The study examines how often Emiratis, males and females, use their native language (Arabic) in their daily lives, how they view their reading and writing skills in Arabic vis-à-vis their English literacy skills, and the extent to which they can demonstrate their literacy skills in Arabic. Clear evidence emerged showing that while Arabic as a dialect continues to be spoken on a daily basis, Arabic literacy is unquestionably losing ground. This was found to be motivated by educational, political, societal, and personal forces. These findings and their implications to language policy and existing bilingualism programs will be discussed. Suggestions for further research will also be made.

Keywords: Arabic, globalization, global English, literacy attrition, United Arab Emirates

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1365 Back to Basics: Where is Allah? A Survey of Generation Z Youth at the Canadian University of Dubai

Authors: Said Baadel

Abstract:

The belief of a heavenly God is enshrined to all Abrahamic religions which form the three major religions of the world today. Muslims believe in Allah who is above the seven heavens. The youth in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) study Islamic courses as part of their high school curriculum and are required to take at least one Islamic course at the university level to gain credit hours towards their general education (GENED). This paper provides an insight of what the youth studying in the UAE think of where Allah was. Our analysis reveals that a big number of Muslim youth were not sure, especially those from the Middle Eastern and Arab countries bringing to the conclusion that this subject needs to be revisited again in the course work.

Keywords: Allah, Islam, Tawheed, religion

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1364 Overall Assessment of Human Research and Ethics Committees in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Mahera Abdulrahman, Satish Chandrasekhar Nair

Abstract:

Growing demand for human health research in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has prompted the need to develop a robust research ethics oversight, particularly given the large unskilled-worker immigrant population and the elderly citizens utilizing health services. Examination of the structure, function, practices and outcomes of the human research ethics committees (HREC) was conducted using two survey instruments, reliable and validated. Results indicate that in the absence of a national ethics regulatory body, the individual emirate’s governed 21 HRECs covering health facilities and academic institutions in the UAE. Among the HRECs, 86% followed International Council for Harmonization-Good Clinical Practice guidelines, 57% have been in operation for more than five years, 81% reviewed proposals within eight weeks, 48% reviewed for clinical and scientific merit apart from ethics, and 43% handled more than 50 research proposals per year. However, researcher recognition, funding transparency, adverse event reporting systems were widespread in less than one-third of all HRECs. Surprisingly, intellectual property right was not included as a research output. Research was incorporated into the vision and mission statements of many (62%) organizations and, mechanisms such as research publications, collaborations, and recognitions were employed as key performance indicators to measure research output. In spite, resources to generate research output such as dedicated budget (19%), support staff (19%) and continuous training and mentoring program for medical residents and HREC members were somehow lacking. HREC structure and operations in the UAE are similar to other regions of the world, resources allocation for efficient, quality monitoring, continuous training, and the creation of a clinical research network are needed to strengthen the clinical research enterprise to scale up for the future. It is anticipated that the results of this study will benefit investigators, regulators, pharmaceutical sponsors and the policy makers in the region.

Keywords: institutional review board, ethics committee, human research ethics, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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1363 Factors Affecting on Mid-Career Training for Arab Journalists, United Arab Emirates Case Study

Authors: Maha Abdulmajeed, Nagwa Fahmy

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Improving journalism practice in the UAE requires a clear understanding of the mid-career training environment; what Arab journalists’ think about the professional training available to them, what training needs they have and still not achieved, and what factors they think it could help to improve the mid-career training outcomes. This research paper examines the validity and effectiveness of mid-career professional journalistic training in the UAE. The research focuses on Arab journalists’ perceptions and attitudes towards professional training, and the state of journalistic training courses available to them, in comparison to modern trends of professional training. The two main objectives of this paper are to examine how different factors affect the effectiveness of the mid-career training offered to Arab Journalists in UAE, whether they are institutional factories, socio-economic factors, personal factors, etc. Then, to suggest a practical roadmap to improve the mid-career journalism training in the UAE. The research methodology combines qualitative and quantitative approaches. As researchers conduct in-depth interviews with a sample of Arab journalists in the UAE, Media outlets in UAE encompass private and governmental entities, with media products in Arabic and/or English, online and/or offline as well. Besides, content analysis will be applied to the available online and offline journalistic training courses offered to Arab journalists’ in UAE along the past three years. Research outcomes are expected to be helpful and practical to improve professional training in the UAE and to determine comprehensive and concrete criteria to provide up-to-date professional training, and to evaluate its validity. Results and research outcomes can help to better understand the current status of mid-career journalistic training in the UAE, to evaluate it based on studying both; the targeted trainees and the up-to-date journalistic training trends.

Keywords: Arab journalists, Arab journalism culture, journalism practice, journalism and technology

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1362 Innovation Management: A Comparative Analysis among Organizations from United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and China

Authors: Asmaa Abazaid, Maram Al-Ostah, Nadeen Abu-Zahra, Ruba Bawab, Refaat Abdel-Razek

Abstract:

Innovation audit is defined as a tool that can be used to reflect on how the innovation is managed in an organization. The aim of this study is to audit innovation in the second top Engineering Firms in the world, and one of the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) companies that are working in United Arab Emirates (UAE). The obtained results are then compared with four international companies from China and Brazil. The Diamond model has been used for auditing innovation in the two companies in UAE to evaluate their innovation management and to identify each company’s strengths and weaknesses from an innovation perspective. The results of the comparison between the two companies (Jacobs and Hyper General Contracting) revealed that Jacobs has support for innovation, its innovation processes are well managed, the company is committed to the development of its employees worldwide and the innovation system is flexible. Jacobs was doing best in all innovation management dimensions: strategy, process, organization, linkages and learning, while Hyper General Contracting did not score as Jacobs in any of the innovation dimensions. Furthermore, the audit results of both companies were compared with international companies to examine how well the two construction companies in UAE manage innovation relative to SABIC (Saudi company), Poly Easy and Arnious (Brazilian companies), Huagong tools and Guizohou Yibai (Chinese companies). The results revealed that Jacobs is doing best in learning and organization dimensions, while PolyEasy and Jacobs are equal in the linkage dimension. Huagong Tools scored the highest score in process dimension among all the compared companies. However, the highest score of strategy dimension was given to PolyEasy. On the other hand, Hyper General Contracting scored the lowest in all of the innovation management dimensions. It needs to improve its management of all the innovation management dimensions with special attention to be given to strategy, process, and linkage as they got scores below 4 out of 7 comparing with other dimensions. Jacobs scored the highest in three innovation management dimensions related to the six companies. However, the strategy dimension is considered low, and special attention is needed in this dimension.

Keywords: Brazil, China, innovation audit, innovation evaluation, innovation management, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

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1361 Microgravity, Hydrological and Metrological Monitoring of Shallow Ground Water Aquifer in Al-Ain, UAE

Authors: Serin Darwish, Hakim Saibi, Amir Gabr

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is situated within an arid zone where the climate is arid and the recharge of the groundwater is very low. Groundwater is the primary source of water in the United Arab Emirates. However, rapid expansion, population growth, agriculture, and industrial activities have negatively affected these limited water resources. The shortage of water resources has become a serious concern due to the over-pumping of groundwater to meet demand. In addition to the deficit of groundwater, the UAE has one of the highest per capita water consumption rates in the world. In this study, a combination of time-lapse measurements of microgravity and depth to groundwater level in selected wells in Al Ain city was used to estimate the variations in groundwater storage. Al-Ain is the second largest city in Abu Dhabi Emirates and the third largest city in the UAE. The groundwater in this region has been overexploited. Relative gravity measurements were acquired using the Scintrex CG-6 Autograv. This latest generation gravimeter from Scintrex Ltd provides fast, precise gravity measurements and automated corrections for temperature, tide, instrument tilt and rejection of data noise. The CG-6 gravimeter has a resolution of 0.1μGal. The purpose of this study is to measure the groundwater storage changes in the shallow aquifers based on the application of microgravity method. The gravity method is a nondestructive technique that allows collection of data at almost any location over the aquifer. Preliminary results indicate a possible relationship between microgravity and water levels, but more work needs to be done to confirm this. The results will help to develop the relationship between monthly microgravity changes with hydrological and hydrogeological changes of shallow phreatic. The study will be useful in water management considerations and additional future investigations.

Keywords: Al-Ain, arid region, groundwater, microgravity

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1360 Integrating Knowledge into Health Care Systems: A Case Study Investigation on UAE Health Care

Authors: Alya Al Ghufli, Kelaithim Al Tunaiji, Sara Al Ali, Khalid Samara

Abstract:

It is well known that health care systems encompass a variety of key knowledge sources that need to be integrated and shared amongst all types of users to attain higher-levels of motivation and productivity. The development of Health Integrated Systems (HIS) is often seen as a crucial step in strengthening the integration of knowledge to help serve the information needs of health care users. As an emergent economy, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is regarded as a new arrival in the area of health information systems. As a new nation, there may be several challenges in terms of organisational climate and the sufficient skills and knowledge activities for effective use of HIS. In this regard, the lack of coordination, attitudes and practice of health-related systems can eventually result in unnecessary data and generally poor use of the system. This paper includes results from a qualitative preliminary study carried out from a case study investigation in a single large primary health care organisation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) comprising various health care users. The study explored health care user’s perceptions about health integration and the impact it has on their practice. The main sources of information were semi-structured interviews and non-obtrusive observations. The authors conclude by presenting various recommendations for the development of HIS and knowledge activities and areas for further study.

Keywords: health integrated systems, knowledge sharing, knowledge activities, health information systems

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1359 Critical Factors Affecting the Implementation of Total Quality Management in the Construction Industry in U. A. E.

Authors: Firas Mohamad Al-Sabek

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The Purpose of the paper is to examine the most critical and important factor which will affect the implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) in the construction industry in the United Arab Emirates. It also examines the most effected Project outcome from implementing TQM. A framework was also proposed depending on the literature studies. The method used in this paper is a quantitative study. A survey with a sample of 60 respondents was created and distributed in a construction company in Abu Dhabi, which includes 15 questions to examine the most critical factor that will affect the implementation of TQM in addition to the most effected project outcome from implementing TQM. The survey showed that management commitment is the most important factor in implementing TQM in a construction company. Also it showed that Project cost is most effected outcome from the implementation of TQM. Management commitment is very important for implementing TQM in any company. If the management loose interest in quality then everyone in the organization will do so. The success of TQM will depend mostly on the top of the pyramid. Also cost is reduced and money is saved when the project team implement TQM. While if no quality measures are present within the team, the project will suffer a commercial failure. Based on literature, more factors can be examined and added to the model. In addition, more construction companies could be surveyed in order to obtain more accurate results. Also this study could be conducted outside the United Arab Emirates for further enchantment.

Keywords: construction project, total quality management, management commitment, cost, theoretical framework

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1358 A Multicenter Assessment on Psychological Well-Being Status among Medical Residents in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Mahera Abdulrahman

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Objective: Healthcare transformation from traditional to modern in the country recently prompted the need to address career choices, accreditation perception and satisfaction among medical residents. However, a concerted nationwide study to understand and address burnout in the medical residency program has not been conducted in the UAE and the region. Methods: A nationwide, multicenter, cross-sectional study was designed to evaluate professional burnout and depression among medical residents in order to address the gap. Results: Our results indicate that 75.5% (216/286) of UAE medical residents had moderate to high emotional exhaustion, 84% (249/298) had high depersonalization, and 74% (216/291) had a low sense of personal accomplishment. In aggregate, 70% (212/302) of medical residents were considered to be experiencing at least one symptom of burnout based on a high emotional exhaustion score or a high depersonalization score. Depression ranging from 6-22%, depending on the specialty was also striking given the fact the Arab culture lays high emphasis on family bonding. Interestingly 83% (40/48) of medical residents who had high scores for depression also reported burnout. Conclusion: Our data indicate that burnout and depression among medical residents is epidemic. There is an immediate need to address burnout through effective interventions at both the individual and institutional levels. It is imperative to reconfigure the approach to medical training for the well-being of the next generation of physicians in the Arab world.

Keywords: mental health, Gulf, Arab, residency training, burnout, depression

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1357 A Conceptual Framework of Impact of Lean on the Performance of Construction Industry

Authors: Jaber Shurrab, Matloub Hussain

Abstract:

The rapid pace of changes in the construction industry, technological advancements, and rising costs present tremendous challenges for project managers. Project managers are under severe pressure to minimize the waste, improve the efficiency of the entire operations and the philosophy of ‘lean thinking’ so that ‘more could be achieved with less’ is becoming very popular. Though, lean management has strong roots in manufacturing industry and over the last decade lean philosophy has started gaining attention in the service industry as well. However, little has been known in the context of waste minimization and lean implementation in the construction industry and this paper deals with this important issue. The primary objective of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework for the exploration of appropriate lean techniques applicable to medium and large construction companies and measure their impact on the competitiveness and economic performance of construction companies of United Arab Emirates (UAE). To this end, a comprehensive literature review and interviews with eight project managers of medium and large construction companies of UAE have been conducted. It has been found that competitive, reduce waste and costs are critical to the construction industry. This is an ongoing research in lean management, giving project managers a practical framework for improving the efficiency of their project through various lean techniques. Originality/value: Research significance emphasizes increasing the effectiveness of the construction industry, influences the development of lean construction framework which improves lean construction practices using the lean techniques. This contributes to the effort of applying lean techniques in the construction industry. Limited publications were done in the construction industry mainly in United Arab Emirates (UAE) compared to the lean manufacturing. This research will recommend a systematic approach for the implementing of the anticipated framework within a cyclical look-ahead period and emphasizes the practical implications of the proposed approach.

Keywords: construction, lean, lean manufacturing, waste

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1356 Hedonic Pricing Model of Parboiled Rice

Authors: Roengchai Tansuchat, Wassanai Wattanutchariya, Aree Wiboonpongse

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Parboiled rice is one of the most important food grains and classified in cereal and cereal product. In 2015, parboiled rice was traded more than 14.34 % of total rice trade. The major parboiled rice export countries are Thailand and India, while many countries in Africa and the Middle East such as Nigeria, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, are parboiled rice import countries. In the global rice market, parboiled rice pricing differs from white rice pricing because parboiled rice is semi-processing product, (soaking, steaming and drying) which affects to their color and texture. Therefore, parboiled rice export pricing does not depend only on the trade volume, length of grain, and percentage of broken rice or purity but also depend on their rice seed attributes such as color, whiteness, consistency of color and whiteness, and their texture. In addition, the parboiled rice price may depend on the country of origin, and other attributes, such as certification mark, label, packaging, and sales locations. The objectives of this paper are to study the attributes of parboiled rice sold in different countries and to evaluate the relationship between parboiled rice price in different countries and their attributes by using hedonic pricing model. These results are useful for product development, and marketing strategies development. The 141 samples of parboiled rice were collected from 5 major parboiled rice consumption countries, namely Nigeria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Spain. The physicochemical properties and optical properties, namely size and shape of seed, colour (L*, a*, and b*), parboiled rice texture (hardness, adhesiveness, cohesiveness, springiness, gumminess, and chewiness), nutrition (moisture, protein, carbohydrate, fat, and ash), amylose, package, country of origin, label are considered as explanatory variables. The results from parboiled rice analysis revealed that most of samples are classified as long grain and slender. The highest average whiteness value is the parboiled rice sold in South Africa. The amylose value analysis shows that most of parboiled rice is non-glutinous rice, classified in intermediate amylose content range, and the maximum value was found in United Arab Emirates. The hedonic pricing model showed that size and shape are the key factors to determine parboiled rice price statistically significant. In parts of colour, brightness value (L*) and red-green value (a*) are statistically significant, but the yellow-blue value (b*) is insignificant. In addition, the texture attributes that significantly affect to the parboiled rice price are hardness, adhesiveness, cohesiveness, and gumminess. The findings could help both parboiled rice miller, exporter and retailers formulate better production and marketing strategies by focusing on these attributes.

Keywords: hedonic pricing model, optical properties, parboiled rice, physicochemical properties

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1355 Understanding the Factors behind Graduate Employability in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Mohammed Islam

Abstract:

Graduate employability is a well debated topic by governments, employers, and higher education institutes (HEI) across the world. Much of the focus of these debates have centred around the skills that graduates bring or should bring to the job market, a point echoed by United Arab Emirates (UAE) policy makers and employers. While some research has been carried out on graduates' employability skills, little or no attention has been paid to the forces at play in developing employability policy and its subsequent implementation. The focus of debate has been on a perceived skills gap rather than policy. Recognising a gap in the literature, this paper details a study of UAE employability policy development. Taking a social constructionist approach, this case study views policy as discursive and socially constructed through interactions with key stakeholders. It is within the myriad of interdependent socio-political factors and social practices, particularly power relationships, that this paper explores UAE policy on graduate employability. In doing so, this adds to the debate on graduate employability from the perspective of policy and explores its roots in the interaction between human activity and the ‘system’. Data was collected from two main sources: documentary review and semi-structured interviews. Policies and publicly stated rhetoric on graduate employability were analysed using Critical Discourse Analysis. Semi-structured interviews with representatives from policy makers, HEIs, and employers were reviewed through Thematic Analysis. The theoretical framework for the discussion of findings draws from social practice theories and highlights the factors at play in access to employment for UAE graduates. This case study presents a methodological approach to policy studies that can be applied beyond the context under investigation. Education policy researchers are provided with an opportunity to compare similarities and differences with their own specific contexts.

Keywords: critical discourse analysis, employability, methodology, policy, social constructionism

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1354 Establishing a Genetic Link between Fat Mass and Obesity Associated and Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphisms and Obesity in the Emirati Population

Authors: Saad Mahmud Khan, Sarah El Hajj Chehadeh, Mehera Abdulrahman, Wael Osman, Habiba Al Safar

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Obesity is a non-communicable disease that is widely prevalent with approximately 600 million people classified as obese worldwide. Its etiology is multifactorial and involves a complex interplay between genes and the environment. Over the past few decades, obesity rates among the Emirati population have been increasing. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of candidate gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), namely the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene SNP rs9939609 and Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) gene SNP rs1544410, with obesity in the UAE population. Methods: This is a case-control study in which 414 individuals were enrolled during their routine visit to endocrinology clinics in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates between the period of June 2012 and December 2013. Several biochemical tests and clinical assessments along with a lifestyle questionnaire for each participant were completed at the clinic. Genomic DNA was extracted from saliva samples of 201 obese, 114 overweight and 99 normal subjects. Genotyping for the variants was performed using TaqMan assay. Results: The mean Body Mass Index (BMI) ± SD for the obese, overweight, and normal subjects was 35.76 ± 4.54, 27.53 ± 1.45 and 22.69 ± 1.84 kg/m2, respectively. Increasing BMI values were associated with an increase in values for systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, HbA1c, and triglycerides. The SNP rs9939609 in the FTO gene was found to be significantly associated with the BMI (p=0.028), with the minor allele A having a clear additive effect on BMI values. No significant association was detected between BMI and rs1544410 of the VDR gene. Conclusions: Our study findings indicate that the minor allele A of the rs9939609 has a significant association with increasing BMI values. In addition, our findings support the fact that increasing BMI is associated with increasing risks of other comorbidities such as higher blood pressure, poorer glycemic control and higher triglycerides.

Keywords: body mass index, FTO gene, obesity, rs9939609, United Arab Emirates

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1353 Gender Differences in Risk Aversion Behavior: Case Study of Saudi Arabia and Jordan

Authors: Razan Salem

Abstract:

Men and women have different approaches towards investing, both in terms of strategies and risk attitudes. This study aims to focus mainly on investigating the financial risk behaviors of Arab women investors and to examine the financial risk tolerance levels of Arab women relative to Arab men investors. Using survey data on 547 Arab men and women investors, the results of Wilcoxon Signed-Rank (One-Sample) test Mann-Whitney U test reveal that Arab women are risk-averse investors and have lower financial risk tolerance levels relative to Arab men. Such findings can be explained by the fact of women's nature and lower investment literacy levels. Further, the current political uncertainty in the Arab region may be considered as another explanation of Arab women’s risk aversion behavior. The study's findings support the existing literature by validating the stereotype of “women are more risk-averse than men” in the Arab region. Overall, when it comes to investment and financial behaviors, women around the world behave similarly.

Keywords: Arab region, culture, financial risk behavior, gender differences, women investors

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1352 Science Anxiety Levels in Emirati Pre-Service Teachers

Authors: Martina Dickson, Hanadi Kadbey, Melissa Mcminn

Abstract:

Research has shown that anxiety and trepidation towards learning about science is prevalent among elementary school teachers in Western countries. It has also been shown repeatedly that pre-service and in-service teachers who show signs of anxiety towards science are; a) less likely to teach it at all, where they have some autonomy over this, b) less likely to teach it effectively c) ultimately that their students have lower attainment scores in science. It is therefore critically important to gauge pre-service teachers’ science anxiety levels early on whilst there are still possibilities to overturn some of the reasons behind these fears and avert these serious issues occurring later on. This study takes place in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) in the context of training local elementary school teachers. In the U.A.E., where Emirati teachers are already in the vast minority and attrition rates are high, it is important to offer as much support to pre-service teachers as possible. If pre-service teachers are graduating with high levels of science anxiety unabated, according to the research there is a very real concern that as generalist primary school teachers, their science teaching will be far from optimal. The aims of this research study were to ascertain the science anxiety levels of pre-service elementary teachers and to identify particular areas of their science anxiety, if appropriate. We surveyed 200 Emirati pre-service teachers and found that levels of science anxiety were directly related to their perceptions of performance in science exams, laboratory experiments and inquiry approaches to science learning. Whilst some studies have shown that science anxiety can decrease as students gain confidence in science knowledge by studying courses, we did not see this effect in our study. This is based upon a theoretical framework which holds that in some cases, science anxiety is related to lack of exposure to, or insecurity with science content itself which in some cases is alleviated by the students’ covering of material and greater confidence in the subject. Exploring this variable allowed us to explore whether students educated in schools influenced by the educational reform in Abu Dhabi have differing science anxiety levels from those who were educated prior to the reforms. We discuss the possible implications of these findings to the future teaching of science in Abu Dhabi public schools.

Keywords: pre-service teachers, science anxiety, United Arab Emirates, educational reform

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1351 Examining the Association of Demographic Factors and Arab Women’s Investment Behavior

Authors: Razan Salem

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Men and women are different, and so their investment behaviors may also vary. To the author’s best knowledge, women's investment behavior and its association with demographic factors have not been explored directly in the behavioral finance literature, however, particularly in respect to the Arab region. Thus, this study extends the literature by focusing on examining the association of demographic factors (age, annual income, and education) with Arab women’s investment behavior. To achieve the study’s aim, the researcher distributed 600 close-ended online questionnaires to a sample of Arab male and female individual investors in both Saudi Arabia and Jordan; using Kruskal-Wallis H Test and the Mann-Whitney U Test to analyze the data. The findings reveal that age, education, and level of income are associated with Arab women’s investment behavior. Educational level and level of income are positively associated with Arab women investment confidence level. On the contrary, age is negatively associated with Arab women financial risk tolerance. According to annual income, Arab women with lower incomes have lower confidence and investment literacy levels. Overall, the study concludes that age, income, and education are important demographic factors that must be considered when investigating the investment behavior of women in the Arab region.

Keywords: Arab region, demographic factors, investment behavior, women investors

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1350 Iran and the Security of the Gulf Cooperation Council States

Authors: Ibrahim Alshalan

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The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the greatest and most powerful countries, not only in the Arabian Gulf but in the entire Middle East region. However, the Iranian regime, which came to power as a result of the 1979 revolution that resulted in overthrowing the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, has been the biggest source of threat to the stability of the Middle East since the revolution until this day. It has ambitions to dominate the neighboring Arab countries, especially Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain. Iran has bad relationships with countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. The main objective of this paper is to shed light on the deteriorating political relations between the Iranian regime on one hand and the GCC on the other, especially Saudi Arabia which is witnessing more challenges as a result of Iran's determination to develop its nuclear program. Another important objective of this paper is to identify the Iranian role in the creation of the hotbeds of conflict in addition to its responsibility for some of the region's problems. It also aims to answer the question; why does Iran insist on developing its controversial nuclear program?

Keywords: Iran, GCC, Gulf, Saudi Arabia

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1349 Uncertainty and Volatility in Middle East and North Africa Stock Market during the Arab Spring

Authors: Ameen Alshugaa, Abul Mansur Masih

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This paper sheds light on the economic impacts of political uncertainty caused by the civil uprisings that swept the Arab World and have been collectively known as the Arab Spring. Measuring documented effects of political uncertainty on regional stock market indices, we examine the impact of the Arab Spring on the volatility of stock markets in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Egypt, Lebanon, Jordon, United Arab Emirate, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait. This analysis also permits testing the existence of financial contagion among equity markets in the MENA region during the Arab Spring. To capture the time-varying and multi-horizon nature of the evidence of volatility and contagion in the eight MENA stock markets, we apply two robust methodologies on consecutive data from November 2008 to March 2014: MGARCH-DCC, Continuous Wavelet Transforms (CWT). Our results indicate two key findings. First, the discrepancies between volatile stock markets of countries directly impacted by the Arab Spring and countries that were not directly impacted indicate that international investors may still enjoy portfolio diversification and investment in MENA markets. Second, the lack of financial contagion during the Arab Spring suggests that there is little evidence of cointegration among MENA markets. Providing a general analysis of the economic situation and the investment climate in the MENA region during and after the Arab Spring, this study bear significant importance for policy makers, local and international investors, and market regulators.

Keywords: Portfolio Diversification , MENA Region , Stock Market Indices, MGARCH-DCC, Wavelet Analysis, CWT

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1348 Corporate Governance and Performance of Islamic Banks in GCC Countries

Authors: Samir Srairi

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This paper investigates the impact of the internal corporate governance on bank performance by constructing a corporate governance index (CGI) for 27 Islamic banks operating in five Arab Gulf countries. Using content analysis on the banks’ annual reports for 3 years (2011-2013), the index construction uses information on six important corporate governance mechanisms, namely board structure, risk management, transparency and disclosure, audit committee, Sharia supervisory board and investment account holders. The results demonstrate that Islamic banks adhere to 54% of the attributes addressed in the CGI. The most frequently reported and disclosed elements are Sharia supervisory board followed by board structure and risk management. The findings related to countries revealed that only two countries, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, possess a higher level of CGI. Our regression results provide evidence that Islamic banks with higher levels of corporate governance report high operating performance measured by return on assets and net interest margin. Finally, as of the effect of internal and external factors, we identified four variables that were associated with bank performance, namely size, equity, risk and concentration.

Keywords: governance mechanisms, corporate governance index, bank performance, Islamic banks, GCC countries

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