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Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Pakistan researchers among winners of Facebook misinformation project

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Facebook announced the winners of its Foundation Integrity Research: Misinformation and Polarization request for proposals. Among the global list of winners are Ayesha Ali, Agha Ali Raza and Ihsan Ayyub Qazi from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), whose proposal shone during the competitive selection process.

Misinformation and polarization are fundamental challenges Facebook faces, not just as a company with the mission of bringing people together but also as members of societies dealing with layered challenges ranging from election interference to a global pandemic. At the end of February, Facebook Research launched a request for proposals focusing on these dual challenges. “Our goal is to support independent research that will contribute to the understanding of these phenomena and, in the long term, help us improve our policies, interventions, and tooling,” said Alex Leavitt, Senior Researcher at Facebook.

Ayesha Ali, Agha Ali Raza and Ihsan Ayyub Qazi’s research sets out to measure the role of prior beliefs and analytical reasoning, and how this impacts the beliefs of internet users, as well as to design an educational intervention that uses influential public figures to spread awareness about misinformation in order to reduce polarization, among other goals.

The winning team shared “We are thrilled to have our research been awarded the grant by Facebook which would serve as a stepping stone for us to take our project forward. Through our research, we aim to understand how non-textual misinformation (e.g. deepfakes) is perceived by internet users with low digital literacy, and the role of pre-conceived notions and analytical reasoning in shaping the beliefs of such users. We are hopeful that by the completion of this project, we will be able to make a substantial contribution towards combating the circulation of false and unverified information on the internet.”

Facebook opened a request for proposals for academic institutions or non-governmental organizations from all over the world in February this year. This resulted in over 1,000 proposals being received from 77 countries altogether. Out of these, 25 awardees have been finalized, who will be investigating issues across 42 countries including Canada, Denmark, Pakistan, Turkey and the UK.
Proposals were evaluated by a selection committee which comprised of members from Facebook’s research and policy teams. The winners’ areas of research will include health, politics, digital literacy, and news, while the research itself is not restricted to Facebook apps and technology.

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Emirates Skywards introduces over 1,500 new ways to earn Miles

Saturday, August 8, 2020

  • Emirates Skywards is offering its members worldwide more than a thousand ways to earn Skywards Miles while shopping at popular UK and US brands online
  • Visit com and watch your Miles accumulate with every online purchase made

Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai, has introduced a thousand new ways to earn Miles while shopping online with popular UK and US brands. Members can now visit skywardsmilesmall.com, choose from more than 1,500 brands and splurge on shopping – all the while racking up Miles that can be used for discounted flight tickets and other rewards.

 

Earn Miles all day, every day

Shop online: To start earning Miles, visit skywardsmilesmall.com – which can be accessed on the Emirates app or emirates.com. Members can then browse through a list of fantastic offers across fashion, lifestyle and other retail stores. To shop from participating brands, log in using Emirates Skywards account details and continue to the partner brand’s website to complete the purchase. For every GBP 1 spent, members can earn up to 15 Miles; and for every USD 1 spent, members can earn up to 12 Miles.

Emirates Skywards co-branded cardholders can earn even more Miles while shopping on skywardsmilesmall.com. Before completing the purchase, customers have the option to calculate eligible Miles on the portal based on transactions made. For a full list of participating brands, please click here.

Members can choose from over 1,500 partner brands in the UK and US across several categories including beauty, fitness, health, electronics and much more.* Shop online and splurge on the trendiest fashion wear from popular retail brands including Harvey Nichols and Macy’s.

Emirates Skywards’ 27 million members worldwide can earn and spend Miles for an extensive range of rewards, including flight tickets on partner airlines, flight upgrades, hotel stays, tickets, hospitality at sporting and cultural events, tours and money-can’t-buy experiences.

For more information on Emirates Skywards, visit www.emirates.com/skywards.

* Subject to partner brand shipping conditions

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Ufone successfully concludes Master Class Program 2020

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Pakistani Telecom Operator, Ufone’s “Future Proof Your Career with Ufone Master Classes” Program came to an end after delivering 7 insightful sessions over a span of 6 weeks. More than 7000 students across 150+ cities in Pakistan and abroad benefitted from the program. The master classes allowed students to refine their skills from the comfort of their home and enhance their learnings for the future.

In an effort to continue the legacy of imparting practical knowledge and skills even during the COVID19 pandemic, Ufone came up with the novel idea of substituting their flagship Summer Internship Program with virtual Masterclass sessions. Students from LUMS, LSE, QAU, FAST, IBA, NUST, NUML, COMSATS, IoBM, SZABIST, BNU, AKU, GIKI, IM Sciences, Bahria University, UET, Punjab University and 160 other universities and colleges participated in the program. The humbling response from participants in the form of 300+ positive testimonials and 1000 + positive reactions on LinkedIn is a testament to the success of the program.

The content for each session was tailor made according to the needs and priorities of students so they can be prepared to become a part of the corporate world. The program comprised of 6 Ufone internally certified trainers and 1 external trainer, in total delivering 7 sessions aligned with recurring participant interest manifested through pre-launch surveys. Topics such as MS Power Point and MS Excel essentials, career path management, CV making and interviewing skills etc. were covered in depth by the experts. Each topic resonated with the need of students and enabled them to learn something new.

Being a people centric brand, Ufone has always come up with fresh and creative ways to empower the youth. One of the primary goals of the organization has been to prepare the workforce of tomorrow for the challenges through active engagement with the academia. With the growing significance of the digital arena, the scope of such programs will further increase in the coming years.

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Tourists to Dubai assured of safe visits and smooth travel

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

  1. Application and issuance of tourist visas to Dubai as per normal, pre-pandemic process
  2. From 1 August, all travellers arriving in and transiting through Dubai, must carry a COVID-19 PCR test certificate, ensuring the health and safety of all travellers and the Dubai community
  3. Emirates sees increase in interest and bookings since Dubai reopened on 7 July

As travellers mull over their summer vacation plans, Emirates and Dubai is sending out the clear message that tourists are welcome to enjoy the city’s many attractions, with various measures put in place for safe visits and smooth travels.

Tourists can easily apply for visas in advance, or get their visa stamped on arrival if they hold a passport from one of 70 countries and territories, as per the entry and immigration regulations that were in place pre-pandemic.

Dubai has also updated its entry requirements for inbound travellers. From 1 August 2020, COVID-19 PCR tests will be required for all travellers arriving to Dubai or transiting Dubai. Travellers heading to the UK and Europe will also be required to hold a negative PCR test certificate.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer said: “Dubai remains a highly attractive destination to international visitors. In the 3 weeks since Dubai re-opened for tourists, we saw more than 1.6 million searches for destination Dubai on emirates.com, and an increase in bookings with travellers coming from more than 30 countries including France, Germany, Malaysia, UK, and US. Emirates is working with Dubai Tourism and our other partners on even more attractive travel offers and packages, and we look forward to announcing these offers soon.”

Al Redha added: “We know people want to travel, and Emirates is expanding its network to provide more choice to its customers. We have also implemented various measures to assure our customers of a smooth and safe travel experience. We encourage travellers to consider Dubai as their destination of choice for enjoying their summer break, and to take advantage of the great offers and programmes during the Dubai Summer Surprises festival currently underway. Whether visiting Dubai or another Emirates destination, our customers can fly without the worry of procuring COVID-19 insurance which is required by many countries, as Emirates is the first airline to offer free global cover for COVID-19 related expenses if they should unfortunately be tested positive while they are travelling and away from home.”

Dubai is one of the world’s first cities to obtain the “Safe Travels” stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which endorses Dubai’s comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety. Since re-opening, so far the number of new COVID-19 cases across the UAE to date has remained steady and is on a downward trend.

From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai is one of the most popular global destinations. In 2019, Dubai welcomed 16.7 million visitors, and hosted over hundreds of global meetings and exhibitions, as well as sports and entertainment events.

Emirates currently serves over 65 cities, with safe and convenient connections via its Dubai hub for customers travelling between the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific. Customers from Emirates’ network can stop over or travel to Dubai as the city has re-opened for international business and leisure visitors.

Free, global cover for COVID-19 related costs: Customers can now travel with confidence, as Emirates has committed to cover COVID-19 related medical expenses, free of cost, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel while they are away from home. This cover is immediately effective for customers flying on Emirates until 31 October 2020 (first flight to be completed on or before 31 October 2020), and is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey. This means Emirates customers can continue to benefit from the added assurance of this cover, even if they travel onwards to another city after arriving at their Emirates destination. For more details: www.emirates.com/COVID19assistance.

Health and safety: Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers. For more information on these measures and the services available on each flight, visit: www.emirates.com/yoursafety

Tourist entry requirements: For more information on entry requirements for international visitors to Dubai visit: www.emirates.com/flytoDubai

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New Carrefour Investments Bring Fresh Fruit and Vegetables to its Shopping App

Friday, August 7, 2020

 

 

  • Upgraded infrastructure guarantees hygiene and quality of fresh food products
  • Over 8,000 products, including fresh fruit and vegetables, now offered through Carrefour Pakistan delivery app
  • App provides efficient same-day delivery using temperature-controlled vehicles

 

Carrefour, operated in Pakistan by Majid Al Futtaim, has invested in its logistical infrastructure to now deliver fresh produce including fruit and vegetables to shoppers who use the Carrefour Pakistan mobile application. The investment introduces a hygiene-controlled picking area and strict operating procedures to the brand’s existing online order fulfilment process, allowing the safe delivery of quality fresh produce to customers.

The move safeguards customers’ health and wellbeing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic while providing more shoppers with effortless access to healthy produce. As customers shop safely and conveniently from the comfort of their own homes, they can trust in the freshness and cleanliness of Carrefour’s produce.

Carrefour customers can use the mobile application to access and purchase an extensive range of over 8,000 products. The app offers a speedier and more efficient retail experience, with orders being delivered on the day they are placed, to the same international standard and quality Carrefour offers across all stores. The service is currently operational in all areas of Lahore, and will subsequently be scaled-up to other cities across Pakistan.

 

Jean Marc Dumont, Country Manager of Carrefour Pakistan at Majid Al Futtaim Retail, stated: “Through our investment in an upgraded logistics system, our online product offering has now expanded to include fresh food. In just a few taps, customers can choose from a large selection of the freshest fruit and vegetables to make their lives simpler, easier, and healthier.

We use temperature-controlled vehicles for all our home-driven requests to make sure orders are fulfilled efficiently and to deliver only the safest, freshest, highest quality products. And, we make sure our produce is sourced only from reliable, food safety-compliant suppliers to protect our customers’ health from the hazards of inappropriate farming practices.”

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CCI Pakistan installs four new water filtration plants in underprivileged communities

Friday, August 7, 2020

Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited (CCI Pakistan) has successfully installed four new water filtration plants for underprivileged communities in Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Layyah and Badin. Set up in partnership with World Wide Fund (WWF), the water filtration plants use’s leading water treatment technologies such as reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration to produce clean drinking water.

 

With the addition of four new plants, the total number of water filtration plants installed across the Country by CCI Pakistan now stands at 28. Each plant has an individual capacity of producing up to 2,000 litres of clean drinking water per hour. CCI Pakistan’s Paani project is serving over 1 million people with clean drinking water per day. Thus, protecting them against critical waterborne diseases.

Waterborne diseases including typhoid, intestinal worms, diarrhoea, and gastroenteritis are very common and rampant in Pakistan. According to International Union on Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report, there is a 60% infant death rate caused by water-related diarrhoea in Pakistan, highest in Asia.

Commenting on this achievement, Ahmet Kursad Ertin, General Manager CCI Pakistan said, “Owing to the lack of facilities in underprivileged communities of Pakistan, access to clean drinking water has always remained a major challenge. Through our CSR project ‘PAANI’, CCI Pakistan stands committed to provide access to clean drinking water for underprivileged communities. These filtration plants will not only provide clean drinking water for communities but will also protect them against waterborne diseases”.

CCI Pakistan, is a subsidiary of CCI, a multi-national beverage company which operates in Turkey, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Tajikistan. CCI is a key bottler company in the Coca-Cola system which produces, sells and distributes The Coca-Cola Company beverages.

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Coca-Cola supports small shopkeepers as Government opens up the economy

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The National Coordination Committee (NCC) on COVID-19 has decided to lift restrictions on various business sectors, including tourism, restaurants, transport including air and rail travel and a few others. This shift in policy has come about in light of the declining number of COVID-19 cases in the country. One of the hardest hit communities during the long periods of lockdown were the small shopkeepers. As the economy readies itself for reopening, Coca-Cola’s Open Like Never Before (OLNB) program is ramping up to support small retailers open up with pride and with the right SOPs in place.

By the end of this week, thousands of small neighborhood shops in 11 cities across the country would have benefited from this program. Small businesses do not have financial muscle to sustain lull periods and can quickly go into losses, increasing the risk of closure or debt burdens. The OLNB program supplied free of cost product up to a certain value to these small shops that generated the cash flow they may have needed to keep their businesses afloat. Furthermore, all these stores were supplied with large format posters, illustrating mandated safety precautions to be taken in store to reduce disease transmission and reassure the shoppers. A third leg of the campaign promoted this message on television and social media to invite consumers to rally and sustain their neighborhood stores, commonly referred to as ‘konay wali dukan’. This ensured that people came together to inspire trust and solidarity to support their beloved ‘konay wali dukans and small eateries’

Speaking about this innovative program, Fahad Ashraf, GM Coca-Cola Pakistan stated, “Our OLNB campaign is a great example of how companies can adapt their CSR through fairly simple but high impact actions, to support those most at risk in our value-chain. The health and economic impact of COVID-19 is truly humbling, and even the smallest acts of kindness can create a big impact in people’s lives. We are trying to do as much as we can to support the communities and the government is their pursuit of managing health risks and getting the economy back on track.”

The beneficiaries of the OLNB program include corner-stores, food service outlets and even street vendors. The program is inspired by Coca-Cola’s Global Purpose: To Refresh the World and Make a Difference.

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Emirates launches an airbridge between Dubai and Lebanon dedicating over 50 flights to deliver much needed emergency relief support

Friday, August 14, 2020

  • Airline will enable people around the world to donate cash or Skywards Miles to be converted to cargo capacity for transport of critical aid and supplies to Beirut
  • Humanitarian efforts led by Emirates SkyCargo to work with local and international NGOs on the ground

In the wake of the Port of Beirut explosions which have devastated many parts of Lebanon’s capital city, Emirates is standing with Lebanon to provide critical emergency relief and aid to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the blasts. Emirates SkyCargo plans to ramp up its freighter operations to Lebanon by dedicating over 50 flights to deliver much needed airlift to the country.

Emirates is providing people around the world the opportunity to donate cash or pledge their Skywards Miles, through a dedicated, secure and convenient portal via the Emirates Airline Foundation. For the next three months of donations, the Emirates Airline Foundation will in turn directly coordinate shipments of urgent food, medical supplies and other much needed items with a range of NGO partners to ensure donations directly help those affected on the ground in a swift and transparent manner. Work is underway to mobilise recognised humanitarian partners.

 

For every donation, cargo capacity will be provided for humanitarian organisations to transport critical medical equipment and supplies, food and other emergency relief goods directly to Beirut through Emirates SkyCargo. Additionally, Emirates SkyCargo will further contribute by providing a 20% reduction on air freight transportation charges for approved shipments, underscoring its commitment to expedite emergency relief efforts to Beirut.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group said: “Today, the world is banding together to stand in solidarity with Lebanon, providing urgent relief and immediate recovery support to those affected by this tragic disaster. Emirates supports the UAE’s ongoing humanitarian efforts to support Lebanon and is committed to bolster its global emergency response to ensure that it can support organisations which provide urgent care, shelter, food and medical support to the Lebanese people. People from all corners of the globe have been sending their support to Lebanon and we are proud to facilitate a means for them to tangibly and proactively assist the Lebanese people with relief and recovery efforts on the ground during this difficult time.”

Emirates has already been supporting disaster relief efforts in Lebanon through the dispatch of several charter flights carrying food, clothing and medical supplies donated by various grassroots organisations in the UAE.

 

Emirates is committed to being a strong partner by making a difference and giving back to the communities it serves. Through the Emirates Airline Foundation, the airline supports over 30 humanitarian and philanthropic projects in 16 countries. Over the years, Emirates has supported humanitarian flights in partnership with the Airbus Foundation, and since 2013, Emirates A380 ferry flights have transported over 120 tonnes of food and vital emergency equipment to those in need.

Emirates has been serving Lebanese skies and communities since 1991. The airline started its operations between Dubai and Beirut with a three times weekly service utilising a Boeing 727. Today, Emirates operates two daily flights to Beirut utilising the Boeing 777, with plans to add further frequencies.

To find out more, visit: http://www.emirates.com/standwithlebanon

To donate, visit: https://www.emiratesairlinefoundation.org/make-a-donation/donate-now

 

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Emirates revises its flight schedule to/from Sialkot, offering customers better connections to Dubai and beyond

Friday, August 21, 2020

Emirates has revised its flight timings to/from Sialkot to offer customers better connections via Dubai with seven weekly flights – providing greater access to its current network of 75 cities across six continents. Effective 22 August, Emirates flight EK 618 will depart Dubai at 20:55 hrs and arrive in Sialkot at 1:10 hrs. The return flight, EK 619 will depart Sialkot at 2:40 hrs and arrive in Dubai at 5:00 hrs.

 

 

In addition to Sialkot, Emirates offers customers direct flights to four other cities in Pakistan including Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, and Peshawar.

 

Ensuring the safety of travellers, visitors, and the community, COVID-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers arriving to Dubai (and the UAE), including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from.

 

Destination Dubai: From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai is one of the most popular global destinations. In 2019, the city welcomed 16.7 million visitors and hosted over hundreds of global meetings and exhibitions, as well as sports and entertainment events. Dubai was one of the world’s first cities to obtain Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – which endorses Dubai’s comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety.

Flexibility and assurance: Emirates’ booking policies offer customers flexibility and confidence to plan their travel. Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket by 31 August 2020 for travel on or before 30 November 2020, can enjoy generous rebooking terms and options, if they have to change their travel plans due to unexpected flight or travel restrictions relating to COVID-19, or when they book a Flex or Flex plus fare. More information here.  

Free, global cover for COVID-19 related costs: Customers can now travel with confidence, as Emirates has committed to cover COVID-19 related medical expenses, free of cost, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel while they are away from home. This cover is immediately effective for customers flying on Emirates until 31 October 2020 (first flight to be completed on or before 31 October 2020), and is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey. This means Emirates customers can continue to benefit from the added assurance of this cover, even if they travel onwards to another city after arriving at their Emirates destination. For more details: www.emirates.com/COVID19assistance

Health and safety: Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers. For more information on these measures and the services available on each flight, visit: www.emirates.com/yoursafety.

Tourist entry requirements: For more information on entry requirements for international visitors to Dubai visit: www.emirates.com/flytoDubai.

Dubai residents can check the latest travel requirements at: www.emirates.com/returntoDubai

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Archroma awarded EcoVadis Gold Rating for its CSR performance

Friday, August 21, 2020

Archroma, a global leader in color and specialty chemicals towards sustainable solutions, today announced that it has been awarded the EcoVadis “Gold” rating in corporate social responsibility (CSR) 2020, which places our company within the top 5% of the best rated companies in its industry.

Archroma was evaluated by EcoVadis, an organization specialized in assessing the CSR performance of companies on a global basis. The assessment focuses on 21 criteria which are grouped into 4 themes: Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics, and Sustainable Procurement.

Archroma has built a strong reputation as a global leader in developing innovations and systems that help minimize resource, increase productivity and create value for its customers. The company refers to this commitment as “The Archroma Way to a Sustainable World: Safe, efficient, enhanced, it’s our nature”.

Archroma walks the walk. Archroma, who was undergoing the assessment for the third year, had set itself the target to reach the EcoVadis “Gold” rating. Archroma will use the report to further improve its CSR performance and target setting.

“For Archroma, sustainability is a process of bringing continued improvement to our societal, environmental and economic performance, and that of our customers” comments Heike van de Kerkhof, CEO at Archroma. “We are extremely proud of this first Gold rating by EcoVadis, which is a strong encouragement that we are heading to the right direction in the way we run our own operations, because it’s our nature!”

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