A general view on the Oslo City Hall as workers decorate it with roses and carnations from Colombia as part of preparations for the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on December 8. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, on December 10, will receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to bring Colombia's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end. EPA/Heiko Junge
Stone in cement
US actress Emma Stone (L) and Canadian actor Ryan Gosling (R) display their cement covered hands during a hand and footprint ceremony honouring them at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California on December 7. Stone and Gosling star in the upcoming movie 'La La Land'. EPA/Mike Nelson
A handout image released on December 6 by the San Antonio Fire Department showing submerged vehicles after reserve deputy Dora Linda (Solis) Nishihara was killed late December 4 when an underground pipe ruptured causing a sinkhole that collapsed a roadway swallowing two vehicles killing Nishihara and injuring a second driver who was rescued in San Antonio, Texas. EPA/San Antonio Fire Department
A tram decorated with Christmas lights runs during its maiden voyage in Budapest, Hungary on December 5. The festive tram, which is wrapped in a 3500-meter cable bearing nearly 40,000 white and blue LED lights, serves commuters after dusk for the seventh year until Epyphany, January 6, and transports passengers for a regular fare. EPA/Janos Marjai
Virgin Spaceship Unity (VSS Unity) touches down after gliding freely for the first time after being released from Virgin Mothership Eve (VMS Eve) over the Mojave Desert in the US on December 3. The VSS Unity successfully landed after a free-flying test at Mojave Desert, some two years after a man died when the spaceship's predecessor crashed. EPA/Virgin Galactic
A handout picture dated on December 3 released by Emirates News Agency (WAM) shows His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (R), Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai shaking hands with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud(L) of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques during his visit to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. EPA/Emirates News Agency
UAE marks National Day in style
The UAE celebrated its 45th national day on Friday (December 2) with great enthusiasm and in style with major buildings in the UAE lit up in red, green, white and black, the colours of the country's flag.
From car rallies and dance shows to air shows and splendid fireworks, the entire country celebrated the occasion in a grand manner.
A celebration was held at the Grandstand of Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre under the patronage of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to mark the 45th UAE National Day.
UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Shaikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman; Shaikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah; Shaikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, and Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah attended.
The grand ceremony was also attended by French President Francoise Hollande; Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi; Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi; Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and other foreign leaders.
December 2 marks the country's formal nationalisation from the British Protectorate Treaties in 1971 and the unification of the seven emirates to create the modern-day nation.
Parades were held across the country where the soldiers paid tributes towards the UAE’s Armed Forces and its martyrs, with the theme of the country’s armed forces and their role in safeguarding the country and its residents playing a prominent role throughout the celebrations.
The country also showcased some of the country’s latest military equipment and vehicles, which drew large ovations from the crowd in attendance.
Thailand has a new king
Thailand has a new king after Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, on December 1 accepted to ascend the throne to become the country's new monarch, the 10th King of the 234-year-old Chakri Dynasty. The King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun succeeds his father, Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, who died at the age of 88 in Siriraj hospital on October 13. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit
A picture taken with a fisheye lens shows the Millennium Tower (C), a 58-story skyscraper luxury condominium building in the South of Market district in downtown San Francisco, California, USA which cost $350 million to build has sunk 16 inches since it completion in April 2009. Residences of the Tower have filed lawsuits with the developer. EPA/John G Mabanglo
Tribute to Chapecoense
Wembley Stadium's arch is illuminated in green, in London, Britain on November 29. The arch was lit in the traditional team colours of Brazilian football club Chapecoense after members of the team were killed in a plane crash in Medellin, Colombia on November 28. EPA/Will Oliver
Red Arrows in Kuwait
Members of the British Royal Air Force aerobatic display team, The Red Arrows, performing near Kuwait Towers, Kuwait on November 28. The British Ministry of Defence stated that The Red Arrows, are carrying out their biggest overseas tour in a decade. More than 20 displays and a series of flypasts will be performed across the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions by the display team. EPA/Raed Qutena
Nico the hero
German Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Mercedes AMG GP celebrates with his team after winning the Formula One World Championship 2016 at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE on November 27. EPA/Valdrin Xhemaj
A general view of the Taj Mahal hotel, one of the sites of the 26 November 2008 terrorist attacks, on the eighth anniversary of Mumbai terror attacks, in Mumbai, India on November 26. A total of 171 people were killed and more than 300 others were injured when 10 heavily-armed Islamist militants stormed the city, attacking a number of sites, including, two luxury hotels, Taj Mahal Palace, Oberoi hotel, and a popular tourist restaurant Leopold cafe and a Jewish centre Chabad House. EPA/Divyakant Solanki
Revving up the heat
Spanish Formula One driver Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Toro Rosso in action during the first practice session at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE on November 25. The Formula One Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi will take place on Sunday. EPA/Srdjan Suki
Emirates builds life-size floral version of A380
Emirates Airline has teamed up with Dubai Miracle Garden to construct the world’s largest floral installation through a life-size version of the Emirates A380, covered in more than 500,000 fresh flowers and living plants.
When in full bloom, the aircraft structure will have an unprecedented total stem count of 5 million flowers and will weigh over 100 tonnes (take-off weight of an actual A380 is 575 tonnes). Learn more about what went into creating this incredible aircraft installation.
The flowers and plants used for the ‘living’ Emirates A380 installation were sustainably grown and harvested over a four month period at Dubai Miracle Garden nurseries in the UAE. The A380 installation comprises of seven varieties of flowers including the Petunia, Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides), Marigold (Tagetes), Snapdragon (Antirrhinum), Viola, Geranium (Pelargonium) and Gaillardia (Gaillardia aristata). A medley of over 9,000 flowers and plants made up the Emirates iconic logo, and 100,000 blossoms formed the enormous wings, which reach over 80.27 metres wide.
Over 200 installation crew members meticulously worked 10 hours a day for 180 days to build, layer and mount the textural foliage on the 30 tonne steel structure that makes up the Emirates A380. The life-size installation is over 72.93 metres long. The fuselage stands 10.82 metres from the ground and the tail at 24.21 metres from the ground. The aircraft structure even includes moving engine fans and other key design features that capture the essence of the original aircraft design.
The installation is the largest structure to ever be built at the garden and is set on a flowerbed of 7,460 s m, roughly 10 per cent of Dubai Miracle Garden.
Sustainable use of plant resources
Dubai Miracle Garden’s approach to sustainable horticulture and landscaping practices means it grows and transports flowers and plants with a minimal carbon footprint. Vertical plantation practices were used to minimise water consumption, with high quality hybrid seeds sewed into trays and then transferred to a special variety of soil, allowing for proper aeration and water retention. After the Dubai Miracle Garden season comes to an end, the soil will be used as an organic fertiliser.
The Emirates A380 structure was built from recycled materials and the flowers and plants are irrigated through a drip water system specially designed for the structure that will keep the A380 installation hydrated and lush throughout the season.
The Emirates A380 installation will be on display for the public from November 27 and can be viewed from a special platform comprising of two levels in the centre of Dubai Miracle Garden. – TradeArabia News Service
Two Iraqi boys play as Iraqi army forces from the ninth armoured brigade take up position during a military operation in the al-Intisar district, southeast of Mosul, Iraq on November 22.
Two Iraqi boys play as Iraqi army forces from the ninth armoured brigade take up position during a military operation in the al-Intisar district, southeast of Mosul, Iraq on November 22. The Iraqi forces took full control over the neighbourhoods of Intisar, Jadidat mufti, Salam, Younis Sabawi, and Palestine, while they continue clearing roads and buildings in those areas from bombs, an Iraqi officer said. At least 62,000 people were forced to flee from Mosul, after tens of thousands of Iraqi forces launched a huge offensive on Mosul on October 17 to recapture the city from the control of Islamic state group that occupied it since July 2014. EPA/Ahmed Jalil