IFAW Celebrates Grand Opening of Middle East and North Africa Regional Office in Dubai

Friday, 7 December, 2007
Dubai, UAE
IFAW has celebrated the opening of the Middle East and North Africa Regional Office in Dubai, its 16th office worldwide. At an evening press conference, IFAW President Fred O’Regan thanked the Municipality of Dubai for its generosity in donating office space within the Bastakiya Historical Buildings for IFAW’s conservation and animal welfare work. Dr. Abdalla Rafia, Assistant Director General for Environment and Public Affairs at the Dubai Municipality, stressed the importance of considering the environmental impacts of Dubai’s rapid growth, and the strong respect for animals in Islamic culture. In seeking to achieve excellence in all areas, Dr. Rafia noted, Dubai sees the importance of partnerships with IFAW and others to ensure high standards of animal welfare.
IFAW Executive Vice President Azzedine Downes recognized regional partners with Leadership Awards for their outstanding efforts on behalf of animals.  Awardees included:  The Dubai Municipality, the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature in Jordan, the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kuwait Environment Public Authority, the Republic of Yemen Environment Public Authority, the Syrian Arab Republic Ministry of Local Administration and Environment, the Libyan Jamahiriya Environment General Authority, and the Egyptian Zoos and Wildlife Department.  
More than 80 guests later attended an outdoor reception organized by Dr. Hedia Baccar, IFAW Middle East Advisor.  The event was made possible through in kind donations from local businesses Abela, Delice, Ajmal and Rawabi.
IFAW’s decision to establish a physical presence in the Middle East and North Africa region came as a result of growing demand for conservation and animal welfare programs from local and national agencies.   While the office is a new development, IFAW’s engagement with regional partners goes back three years.
IFAW’s current priorities in the Middle East and North Africa include:
  • building regional capacity to prevent illegal wildlife trade through comprehensive training,
  • raising consumer awareness of illegal wildlife souvenirs through the “Think Twice” campaign, and
  • expanding participation in “Animal Action Week”, IFAW’s signature  education initiative.
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    Press Contact

    Azzedine Downes (IFAW, Executive Vice President)
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    +1 508 744 2101
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