Expats can now learn Arabic free of cost in Dubai

Jamal bin Huwaireb said the foundation will organise free Arabic language workshops, while Jameel Al Muhairi announced Bin Arabi reading clubs across public schools in the UAE.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) will provide free workshops to teach Arabic to foreigners as part of their Bil Arabi Initiative, it was announced on 13th of December.
The foundation will organise Arabic language workshops for non-Arabic employees in the public and private sector, in collaboration with Qindeel Printing and Publishing, which will provide language material and specialists.
Online short educational videos will also be posted through 'Bil Arabi' social media platforms to educate non-Arabic speakers about the basics of the language.

Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of MBRF, said the Arabic language is the essence of UAE society and helps build bridges of positive communication with other cultures.In its fifth edition, the initiative will see many projects and activities until the year-end, to strengthen and preserve the use of Arabic among community members. It will see panel discussions posted to Twitter to address different topics, while also engaging social media users. 

Reading clubs across UAE

Coinciding with UN Arabic Language Day observed on December 18, the 'Bil Arabi' initiative aims to encourage the youth to use their mother language across social media platforms and internet.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the foundation also announced the launch of 'Bil Arabi' reading clubs across the UAE's public schools to improve skills of students in different fields and extend the initiative's outreach among youngsters.

Jameela Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education, said the reading club will hone students' skills in reading, public speaking, story writing, art and poetry. The club will be located in public schools, but accessible to students from private schools across the country.

"Students can choose the field they like and get access to material. We aren't talking about classrooms but refining students' skills to help them fulfil their passion in the future," said Al Muhairi, on the sidelines of a conference to announce details of the Bil Arabi initiative.

She said the ministry has put indicators to measure students' comprehension of the Arabic language, ensuring they reached 90 per cent in their ability to read in Arabic. "Reaching this stage required plenty of effort, in collaboration with other government entities," said Al Muhairi, noting that reading tests revealed weak scores among students, who achieved 11 points higher this year. "We need to endorse the love of reading from a young age."

From December 14-18, the foundation will install 10 interactive booths across malls in the UAE, to enable people take part in different activities and share their photos and videos online.

Bin Huwaireb said the initiative has witnessed increasing participation across the years. Just last year, the hashtag #Bil_Arabi reached one billion users throughout the world on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

"It shows young people love their language, but they don't see it as the language of education or the workplace. We are trying to change that by opening doors for them to show their support in preserving the language on social media," said Bin Huwaireb. Bil Arabi activities have also extended to other countries like Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, US, UK and North Korea, aiding the growth of Arabic content online and raising awareness on the importance of preserving the language. Users can access 'Bil Arabi' through bilarabi.mbrf on Facebook, bilarabi_mbrf on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. 
Initiative for non-Arabic staff 
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation organises Arabic language workshops for non-Arabic employees in the public and private sector, in collaboration with Qindeel Printing and Publishing, which will provide language material and specialists. Online short educational videos will also be posted on 'Bil Arabi' social media platforms to educate non-Arabic speakers about the basics of the language.

VOX Cinemas Create 1500 New Jobs in the Middle East

Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas is set to invest AED1.2 billion ($330 million) through a series of acquisitions, creating more than 1,500 new jobs across the region.

VOX Cinemas has secured 23 new locations, opening progressively over the next three years, with 2018 set to be the company’s most aggressive year yet, when it will open 16 locations with a total of 145 screens spanning seven countries in the MENA region.
 The company said recent joint ventures in Oman and Bahrain have anchored the company as the region’s largest cinema entertainment provider.

This year’s expansion into Africa with Mall of Egypt in March and Qatar in April led the Middle East expansion, with further new cinemas in Bahrain and Kuwait opening in the next six months. New cinemas will also launch across the UAE.

Cameron Mitchell, CEO for Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas said: “We are continuing to extend our unique offering to more movie lovers by doubling our screen count to over 600 across seven countries in the Middle East, creating more than 1,500 new jobs across the region by 2020.

"Recently, the company expanded its film distribution interests through a new partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Film across the region, and we are currently reviewing opportunities in film production for 2018, rounding off our vertical integration plans.”

Mitchell added that the company expanded its customer base by 50 percent in the last 12 months, expecting to end the year with 18 million visitors.

"We are excited to bring our branded concepts to several new locations, including Majid Al Futtaim’s City Centres Sharjah, Al Zahia (UAE) and Sohar (Oman), as well as in Al Ain and on Palm Jumeirah.”

YouTube to hire 10,000 people to Control content that endangers Children

YouTube will hire 10,000 people to monitor and control violent extremism on the popular video streaming platform, along with curbing content that endangers children.

In an interview to The Daily Telegraph, Susan Wojcicki, Chief Executive of the Google-owned video-sharing site, said that "bad actors are exploiting" YouTube to "mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm".

"We will continue the growth of our teams, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018," Wojcicki was quoted as saying.

YouTube along with Facebook, Google and Twitter have come under scrutiny over the availability of terrorist material and propaganda on their platforms.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has also asked social media platforms to remove terror content after a series of terror-related attacks this year in the country.

"The tech companies have made significant progress on this issue, but we need to go further and faster to reduce the time it takes to reduce terrorist content online," May said.

YouTube last month announced it will remove content on the platform that attempts to pass as being "friendly for kids".

"While some of these videos may be suitable for adults, others are completely unacceptable, so we are working to remove them from YouTube," Johanna Wright, Vice President of Product Management, YouTube, wrote in a blog post.

The Google-owned company will apply machine learning technology and automated tools in order to discover potentially exploitive content.

YouTube has terminated 50 channels and removed thousands of videos as also advertisements from 5,00,000 exploitive videos under the current set of guidelines.

The company will also continue to work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to report the potentially illegal behaviour to law enforcement, said Wright.

Meanwhile, YouTube Kids has announced new measures for parents if they find children watching inappropriate videos at home even by mistake.

With over 800 million learning video views per day, YouTube Kids is now live in 37 countries.

Samsung India to hire 2,500 engineering graduates.

Samsung India will hire 2,500 graduates from the country’s top engineering institutes over the next three years in what is being billed as one of its largest recruitment drives to ramp up research and development talent.

A majority of these fresh hires will be for new-age domains such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and biometrics,” Dipesh Shah, global senior vice president at Samsung, told, adding that a 1,000 engineering graduates will be absorbed this year in the company’s R&D centres in Bengaluru, Noida and Delhi.

This placement season, the South Korean mobile phone and electronics major has already mopped up talent for R&D across the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other premier institutes such as BITS Pilani, Manipal Institute of Technology, Delhi College of Engineering and Delhi Technological University. Now, it is hiring aggressively in final placements across the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Its recruitment offers at the IITs alone are expected to be well upwards of 300, the company said.

For Samsung, which has always invested heavily in R&D—its global spends in 2016 on the segment was about $13 billion—this year’s hiring will be a 25% jump over the last year’s 800-odd grads. Last year, Samsung was the top recruiter at the IITs.

“Samsung is extremely bullish on R&D in India. Our R&D centres in India work on cutting-edge technology to develop innovations that are centred on Indian customers’ preferences and also contribute significantly to global products,” said Shah.

The company’s Bengaluru R&D centre is the biggest outside South Korea, where research is being done on smart devices, semiconductors, printers, modems, Internet protocols and networks. Among the core areas being worked on are artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, IoT, augmented reality and networks including 5G in Bengaluru, and biometrics, mobile software development, multimedia and data security in Noida.

Delhi works primarily on research related to high-end televisions, other consumer electronics products as well as the operating system Tizen. The three centres together employ about 8,000 workers.

Although Shah said the aggressive hiring is not driven by competition, analysts said that Samsung is definitely feeling the heat, in light of the fact that as per the latest numbers from research firm IDC, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has caught up with it for the top spot in the Indian smartphone market.

In the third quarter of 2017, the two smartphone makers accounted for 23.5% each of the smartphone shipments in the country. The bulk of revenues for Samsung are generated by smartphones.

“Samsung is retaliating in the only way one can: ‘I can R&D you out,’” said Sandip Das, senior advisor of Analysys Mason, a global consulting and research firm specialising in telecoms, media and digital services.

“In this business, obsolescence comes in extremely quickly and even the smallest competitor can sometimes overtake market leaders. However, if you have a strong innovation engine, you can lead the way and destroy your own products instead of waiting for someone else: keep the cannibal in the family so to speak. That’s what Samsung is doing by taking advantage of the vast pool of Indian engineering talent. In the process, it will also endear itself it to the Indian government and Indian consumer,” said Das.

Expats can now learn Arabic free of cost in Dubai

Jamal bin Huwaireb said the foundation will organise free Arabic language workshops, while Jameel Al Muhairi announced Bin Arabi rea...