News and Views from around the World
New wildlife spotted on Dubai’s ‘green’ desert
Green efforts in Dubai’s arid deserts are paying their dividends slowly but naturally. Over 140 species of birds, a dozen of which are yet to be identified, have been spotted in and around a lake created in the middle of Saih Al Salam Desert, which has also seen a green belt being nurtured along its bank. The most notable spotting among the birds is that of eight Lappet-faced vultures soaring over Al Qudra Lake.
The municipality created this lake in Saih Al Salam, where institutions belonging to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, are busy greening the desert and creating freshwater wetlands to enrich the arid environment of Dubai. The lake has been stocked with Tilapia fish and parts of its banks are already covered with reed-beds.
Algeria to promote investment
Algeria is drafting a new investment law in order to improve its business climate and attract foreign expertise which, it is hoped, will edge the economy away from reliance
8 The Middle East December 2014
on oil and gas. According to Abdelkrim Mansouri, head of the National Agency of Investment Development (ANDI), the measure is part of a series of wider reforms intended to diversify the economy and better comply with international standards. Government red tape, bureaucratic foot-dragging and an antiquated banking system are among the reasons foreign companies cite for staying away. Reforms include reducing periods for dealing with investment requests. Industry Minister Abdesselam Bouchouareb has said the government aims to attract investments to sectors such as cars, petrochemicals, medicine, agro-business and textile as well as public works and construction.