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Expansive strides



R&M is a leading producer of copper and fiber-optic solutions. Nabil Khalil, Executive Vice President R&M Middle East, Turkey & Africa discusses some of the highlights of the company’s innovative cabling solutions and how they are making strong inroads in terms of customer deployments

Elaborate on highlights of the current year so far?

Our focus in 2016 has been on R&M Netscale solution that we launched earlier this year. Netscale is the world’s highest-density fiber cable management solution, and the first to feature integrated intelligent infrastructure management functionality. Designed as an ultra-high density platform that utilizes the smallest diameter uniboot patch cord for minimal cabling bulk, this solution boasts up to 67% higher density than its competitors and promises to eliminate a host of cable management problems that plague data centres today. Its combination of market leading features saves considerable amounts of -costly- space at large companies in the financial, pharma, colocation and telecom segments as well as edge data centres.

Currently available high-density fiber solutions for data centers generally offer up to 72 LC duplex ports per rack unit and pose great difficulties for management. Thanks to R&MinteliPhy technology, Netscale delivers a density of up to 80 RFID-monitored LC duplex or MTP ports, and even 120 standard LC duplex or MTP ports per rack unit. Innovative rear-cabling management makes it easy to manage connections, alleviating risk during MACs and migrations. Modular components and best-in-class network scalability makes it possible to accommodate the unique infrastructure requirements of each data center.

In edge data centers, Netscale’s unmatched density makes it possible to consolidate all PoP servers into 1U housing, leaving more space for switching/routing gear. The high density allows colocation providers to minimize meet-me-room footprint, freeing up space for more racks and switches.

Discuss your focus on the FTTH segment in the region and some key projects completed this year?

We have established ourselves as the leading and preferred vendor for Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Networks by the regional operators. As a result of this, we have had a significant amount of success in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

This year, we are focusing on our SYNO dome closure solution, a product designed to give network operators more freedom for FTTx projects. The SYNO dome closure is revolutionizing the assembly process. A modular system for cable entries eliminates the laborious task of threading fiber optic cables through the closure bottom plate. This product from R&M dispenses with time-consuming sealing using shrink tubes. Instead, integrated blocks made from the company’s own SYNO gel seal the splice closure.

With the new SYNO dome closure, the fiber optic cables are inserted laterally, doing away with the need to thread them through the closure bottom plate. The cable entries can be opened, closed, changed, and retrofitted in just a few simple steps. The cable bays and individual cables remain freely accessible, meaning that the dome closure can be modified or fitted with additional fiber optic cables even during network operations.

The SYNO gel technology developed by R&M is an innovation for mechanical cold sealing. When the cable entry is sealed, gel surrounds each cable, preventing dust and moisture from getting in. Fluctuating temperatures, mechanical loads, or water pressure cannot damage the dome-end splice in any way.

As an example of our success in the FTTH market, one of the UAE’s largest oil companies has begun investing in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. One of their undertakings has been building a massive complex of 40 residential buildings to accommodate the staff. To provide the very latest and best connectivity, Etisalat’s compliant FTTH cabling is being installed in all the buildings with a total number of data/telephone points exceeding 38,000 Cat6 points. The end-to-end Cat6 and FTTH cabling solution was procured from R&M in Q4 2015. The cabling project execution began in the second half of Q2 2016 and is expected to be completed in a year.

Elaborate on your partner collaboration/ enablement strategy in the region in terms of deploying turnkey solutions such as for the datacenter segment?

R&M’s partners are vital to its success. Besides our local presence in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey, we also have an extensive network of partners that enables us to serve our customers in Bahrain, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, and Tanzania.

Enablement of these partners is also key to our strategy. We support and encourage professionals in network technology and structured cabling with our Qualified Partner Program (QPP). It enables them to increase their expertise and the quality of their projects and deliver turnkey solutions which in turn helps them gain satisfied customers.

The global network of qualified and certified R&M partners gives customers competent, professional advice on site, provides the ideal cabling solution pursuant to ISO/IEC 11801, EN 50173-x and TIA/EIA 568-x as well as offers a compelling and unique Warranty Program, covering 5 years product, 25 years System and lifelong application warranty

With QPP, R&M ensures multinational customers the same high quality standard worldwide.

Besides the datacenter, which are your major segments of focus?

We develop and manufacture passive cabling solutions for high-quality communication networks (Layer 1) which contribute significantly to operational reliability and safety in voice, data and video transmission systems worldwide. While we enjoy great success in the data center market, our high performance cabling solutions are also used extensively in offices, by network operators, in homes and in industry.

In terms of market segments, we serve a broad range of industry verticals including petrochemical, infrastructure, security services, telecom, finance, education, healthcare, hospitality, automotive and utilities.

Comment on any recent success story regionally for R&MinteliPhy in terms of customer deployments?

In Saudi Arabia, McDonald’s selected R&M, well-known for its innovative Swiss-quality cabling solutions in order to ensure its new data center leverages with best physical connectivity solutions.

The technology highlight however is the R&MinteliPhy Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) solution which has been used for real-time visibility as well as seamless monitoring and management of the entire physical network. With features such as easy and up-to-date documentation, remote man¬agement of infrastructure work orders and simplified asset management, R&MinteliPhy allows McDonald’s to better plan and manage future infrastructure expansions.

The R&MinteliPhy system was designed to allow full infrastructure management of McDonald’s data center and office cabling cabinets at their Head Office in Riyadh. With this system, a single analyzer at the end-of- row cabinet controls all cabinets in that row, which will help McDonald’s IT team to save critical space in the data center. The system is currently monitoring more than 1000 Cat. 6A and fiber optic links in the data center and is ready to be linked with remote locations as well for full future management.

At McDonald’s request, the R&MinteliPhy system was also used to monitor – via SNMP – other devices in the network for more integration with the Building Management System (BMS) and active equipment. A 25-year system warranty was provided to the customer after thorough testing and checking of all links. An extensive training with a strong focus on the R&MinteliPhy system was held for all the technical leaders as a part of R&M Academy.

Elaborate if you constantly update your solutions?

We continuously enhance our solutions to ensure they remain at the cutting edge of technology and we have already revised the solution multiple times since its initial release. Like previous releases, integration of the RFID-based R&MinteliPhy 4 platform offers users real-time visibility into the physical network infrastructure that connects IT assets in the data center. The latest release enables 3D modelling and rendering, reporting based on historical values of objects and changes made to objects, multi-factor TOTP authentication and automated cable length calculations.


HID Recognized for Its Design Expertise as Bahrain’s ePassport Wins Multiple Prestigious Awards



HID has recently achieved global recognition for its Bahrain ePassport project, clinching several top honors. These include the distinguished London Design Awards, the High Security Printing Award, and the iF Design Award. This suite of praises reinforces HID’s leadership in security design, showcasing its innovative approach to integrating cutting-edge security features with aesthetic and cultural elements.

Craig Sandness, Senior VP and Managing Director for Citizen Identity at HID, shares, “Our design philosophy is centered around seamlessly weaving security into the fabric of the document’s design. The Bahrain ePassport is a prime example of this approach, where innovation meets artistry. This is not just our success; it’s a shared victory with our Bahraini partners, local artists, and calligraphers. Together, we’ve crafted a document that is as secure as it is symbolic of Bahrain’s rich heritage.”

The Bahrain ePassport, celebrated for its innovative design, marks a milestone in document security by introducing the world’s first document-embedded hashtag, #teambahrain. This feature is more than a nod to digital savviness; it’s a strong symbol of national unity and a testament to HID’s ability to integrate modern digital elements with traditional security measures.

HID’s work on the Bahrain ePassport has been recognized across several categories in the London Design Awards, including Gold awards in Service Design for Government, Cultural, and Best User Experience categories, underscoring the project’s excellence in functionality, cultural sensitivity, and user engagement. The High Security Printing Award for Best New ePassport for EMEA and the iF Design Award in the Publications and Communications category further validate HID’s skill in creating secure, user-centered design.

The collaboration between HID, Bahraini authorities, and local artisans highlights HID’s commitment to incorporating local culture into its security designs. This partnership approach not only enriches the document’s aesthetic appeal but also enhances its acceptance and significance among citizens, demonstrating HID’s leadership in creating identity solutions that respect and celebrate cultural heritage.

“As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Bahrain ePassport, we look forward to continuing our journey of innovation,” adds Sandness. “We invite governments and organizations worldwide to join us in this journey of creating secure, innovative solutions that pave the way for the future of identity documentation.”

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Fitness First Marks Mother’s Day with Four Days of Free Access



As Mother’s Day approaches, Fitness First is proud to honour and celebrate all mothers with a special gift of health and wellness. From 21 to 24 March, Fitness First invites all mums to enjoy complimentary access to its state-of-the-art facilities at any of its UAE-based clubs.

Recognising the invaluable role of mothers in our lives, Fitness First is opening its doors to mothers of all ages and fitness levels, offering them the opportunity to prioritise their well-being and embark on a journey to better health. Whether it’s a rejuvenating yoga session, an invigorating cardio workout, or a strength training class, Fitness First provides a wide range of fitness options tailored to meet the diverse needs and preferences of every mother.

In addition to offering access to top-notch gym facilities and equipment, mums visiting Fitness First during this special period will also have the opportunity to participate in group fitness classes led by certified instructors, and connect with other like-minded individuals in a supportive and motivating environment.

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Visa-free countries for UAE residents looking to book last-minute getaways this spring term break



As UAE schools gear up for the upcoming spring term break starting from 25 March, residents are planning for their well-deserved getaways, ready to embark on new adventures and explore the world. Global travel marketplace, Skyscanner recommends these visa-free travel destinations for UAE residents this spring term break.

Ayoub El Mamoun, Skyscanner Travel Expert, invites families and adventure seekers alike to explore these captivating visa-free destinations

Seychelles starting from AED 2,711 – “A tropical haven with pristine beaches and lush greenery, Seychelles is perfect for family retreats. Explore Anse Lazio’s white sands or snorkel in vibrant coral reefs for a blissful escape.”

Georgia starting from AED 1,703– “Steeped in rich history, Georgia welcomes UAE residents to explore ancient monasteries, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities. Georgia is becoming a regular tourist haunt for UAE residents given the sudden influx of Georgia tour packages and the family activities to be experienced.”

Jordan starting from AED 1,752 – “A treasure trove of ancient history and natural wonders, Jordan is a captivating family destination. From the rose-red city of Petra to floating in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, Jordan promises a timeless family adventure.”

Malaysia starting from AED 1,903 – “A melting pot of cultures and landscapes, Malaysia invites families to explore bustling Kuala Lumpur, beautiful Langkawi beaches, and vibrant neighborhoods in Georgetown. Trek lush rainforests in Taman Negara or dive into the colourful underwater world of the Perhentian Islands. Try Skyscanner’s multi-city search too to explore all that Malaysia has to offer.”

For travellers still deciding on a destination to visit this upcoming break, a Skyscanner ‘Everywhere’ search is one of the easiest ways to be inspired. Ordered by cheapest price, a search to ‘Everywhere’ shows travellers all the destinations available for your desired travel departure.

Skyscanner’s Everywhere search tool reveals return flights to visa-free destinations such as Thailand from AED 1,891, Philippines from AED 1,932, Azerbaijan from AED 1,634 and Malaysia from AED 1,976 round trip.

With the convenience of visa-free travel to various destinations, the options for an unforgettable getaway are endless. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready for a stress-free holiday.

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