Home News 14th Hemaya International Forum opens in Madinat Jumeirah

14th Hemaya International Forum opens in Madinat Jumeirah

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DUBAI, UAE: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, the 14th edition of the Hemaya International Forum began today at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference and Events Center in Dubai, discussing “The Role of Security, Education and Research Institutions in Countering Drugs and Psychotropic Substances: The Current and Future Challenges” under the theme ‘Learn to Protect’. Organized by the Dubai Police and INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding, and running until the 29th of April, the 2-day pivotal gathering in Dubai, aims to explore new ways to address the issue of drug abuse and find innovative strategies to eliminate the dangers of drug addiction.

Commenting on this occasion, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding said, “The UAE has always placed the issue of drug abuse on top of its priorities with the implementation of counter-narcotics strategies, stringent regulatory measures and technical capabilities for combating this ever-growing problem. This is clearly evident by UAE’s efforts both locally and internationally as well as the cooperation and coordination between the entities and institutions working in the field of drug control to build a promising future for the next generations.”

He added: “We highly praise the great efforts of Dubai Police in their fight against drugs and how they utilize the human, technical and material resources for this purpose. We also highly appreciate the awareness programs and projects that they continuously organize to educate the communities and individuals on the dangers of substance abuse and we are very proud to be partnering with Dubai Police to eradicate this problem.”

This year, the Hemaya International Forum featured a rich comprehensive agenda and is expected to attract over 1500 visitors and participants from all over the world over the next 2 days while 22 local and international expert speakers will offer their insights on a number of key trending topics during 15 scientific sessions and 7 specialized workshops to highlight the issues and challenges related to combating drug abuse and addiction.

On the first day, H.E. Abdulmajeed bin Abdullah Al-Bunyan, President of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences spoke about ‘Challenges of the Knowledge & Scientific Gap in addition to its Considerations to Encounter Drug Abuse and Psychotropic Effects’, while Dr. Ali Wardak, Professor of Criminology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of South Wales focused his attention on ‘Opium Production and Trafficking: Gaps in Research and Academic Knowledge’. In addition, Expert Mustafa Erten, UNODC Project Coordinator in charge of Law Enforcement related topics in the GCC Region addressed a session on ‘Roles & Benefits of TOT Approach in Enhancing Expertise of Security, Education & Research Institutions in Countering Drugs & Psychotropic Substances’.

Among other sessions, Dr. Amr Osman, Assistant Minister of Social Solidarity – General Manager of Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction spoke about ‘Endeavour to an Interdisciplinary Methodology to Combat & Prevent Drug Abuse and Psychotropic Substances Experience of Egypt as an Model’ and H.E. Brigadier Hussein Alshebli, Head of Bureau of Drug Issues addressed his topic ‘The Scope of Relationship Between Law Enforcing and Educational & Research Institutions in Addition to the Mechanisms of Consolidating Sustainable Partnership Among Them’. In addition, Dr. Ahmed Oraby, Head of Forensic Investigation at Dubai Police Academy and Senior Expert Jassim Al-Awadhi, Assistant Professor, Dubai Police Academy focused his attention on ‘Security Academic Institutions & their Roles in Enhancing the Educational Programs Relevant to Combating Drugs, Between Reality and Aspirations’.

Additionally, David Robert Richards, CEO of Brynawel Drugs Rehabilitation – UK spoke about ‘The role of therapeutic institutions in applying the learning of academic researchers, in order to counter drug abuse and addiction’, while Dr. Khalid Masoud Head of Department of Forensic Chemistry (Toxics & Drugs Analysis), Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, Arab Interior Ministers Council addressed his session ‘Educational Efforts of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences in Countering New Psychoactive Substances’.

Commenting on CDA’s participation in Hemaya International Forum, His Excellency Ahmed Julfar, Director General of CDA said that the authority’s participation in the fourteenth edition of Hemaya International Forum comes from the belief in the importance of spreading community awareness about the different and interrelated aspects of the addiction as a disease and the preventive awareness associated to it.

Julfar said that facing addiction is a social responsibility, that starts from protecting and supporting the addicts to overcome what they went through in order to complete their recovery, and to integrate smoothly in their families and the surrounding community.

“Addiction is an international issue and we cannot ignore it by isolating or eliminating addicts from being fully integrated into the society. Although prevention remains the most important and successful factor we should work on, recovery from addiction is not a dream nor a difficult task to reach as long as the necessary factors are available.” He said

“Ownak Social Rehabilitation Centre managed by CDA, provides social rehabilitation services for those recovering from addiction and those who are at risk of it. Post-care is the most critical stage of a recovery journey, and roles are broadened to include the family and the community, because integration, empowerment and support are essential.” He added

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ali Wardak, Professor of Criminology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of South Wales, said, “As we live in an increasingly globalized world, illicit drug availability and its usage at a global level has become a complex and serious problem and we need to put in place more protective strategies to overcome drug abuse and addiction now more than ever before. One key aspect of protecting society effectively against illicit drug use is acquiring more in-depth knowledge about it and raising awareness about its serious negative implications on our society. As young people are increasingly at risk, disseminating this knowledge through school’s curricula is extremely crucial and far more effective.”

He added, “No nation on its own can deal effectively with this multidimensional challenge.   Drug abuse and addiction is not merely a law-enforcement, or social issue in any individual country. As a global problem motivated by the need and greed of Transnational Organized Crime networks, all key stakeholders need to think globally and closely coordinate their counter-narcotics strategies at a global level.  Along with preventing illicit drug use at a national level, we must simultaneously prevent devastating wars and deal with Transnational Organized Crime at a global level.”

On his side, Dr. Jassim Al Awadhi, Assistant Professor, Dubai Police Academy, said, “As educational entities in the academic world, we have no choice but to play our role in gaining more knowledge about the world of drugs, drug users and criminal networks and organizations that support the illicit drug activities. Moreover, combating drug abuse and addiction cannot be done by one single entity and in order to effectively root out illicit drug trafficking and the people behind this activity, cooperation between different entities locally and internationally in a transparent manner is extremely important.”

He added, “As part of its efforts, Dubai Police Academy is following its educational strategy by giving the much-needed support to trainee officers in their academic life and making them ready to act proactively in their respective positions. We also need other educational entities and partners to take their full responsibility and implement programs and courses in combating drugs that are beneficial to the educational community as well as play an active role in informing the authorities about any illegal activity.”

He further commented, “Educational institutions need to embrace new technologies and familiarize students with the latest tools and techniques that are helpful in preventing drug dealers and their malpractices. Additionally, local and international organizations involved in the fight against drug addiction must work with educational institutions to come up with new ways to overcome this menace.”

From his side, David Robert Richards, CEO of Brynawel Drugs & Alcohol Rehabilitation – UK, said, “In a world in which we face a common threat from drug abuse and addiction it is vital that we learn and share our learning, in order to better protect our people and communities. I, therefore, congratulate the organisers of this year’s Hemaya International Forum on their choice of theme “Learn …to Protect”. In my session, titled ‘The role of therapeutic institutions in applying the learning of academic researchers, in order to counter drug abuse and addiction’, I illustrated how the practice of a Therapeutic Institution, namely Brynawel Rehabilitation Centre (UK) has been transformed by adopting methods and approaches developed by Academics working in University Departments of Law, Criminology and Community Justice, to tailor treatments to the individual clients, enhancing their prospects of recovery from substance misuse.”

He added, “Recovery from dependency on illicit drugs and other such substances through an evidence-based approach has proven successful. While it is not always amenable to the traditional research methods of randomized clinical trials, evidence-based approach has used a wide range of research techniques to demonstrate not only that people can and do recover but also showcased that there are ways to maximize the chances of this happening by supporting individuals, their families and their communities. In order to achieve more results, collaboration and cooperation between all agencies rather than working in silos is very important.”

On the sidelines, 2 workshops were held on the first day of the forum designed for industry professionals dealing with issues related to drug abuse and addiction. While Colonel Ammar Mustafa Al Sayed, Commandant of Officers Training College, Royal Academy of Police – Kingdom of Bahrain, spoke about ‘Combating illicit Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Trafficking Through Deep Web’, Dr. Huda Al-Suwaidi, Director, Vulnerable Group Department, Community Development Authority, Government of Dubai, focused on her topic, ‘Social Role of Institution in order to Prevent Drug Abuse and its subsequent Negative Effects’.

In addition, a Youth Session was organized under the title ‘The Role of Youth for Preventing Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’ by the Youth Leadership Council at Dubai Police, to raise awareness about the harmful impact of drugs on the younger generation and why the youth can play a beneficial role to combat drug abuse in our communities.

Running parallel to the conference, the exhibition offered leading companies, key institutions in the public and private sector and specialized government and non-government organizations a great platform to exchange expertise and knowledge on the latest advances in overcoming drug abuse as well as latest technologies and services to eradicate drug addiction in our societies.

The exhibition provided a number of companies and business establishments from varying sectors such as Narco Analysis Equipment Manufacturers, Drug Rehabilitation Centers/Clinics, Drug Detection Equipment or Kits, Laboratories and Hospitals, Government Agencies, Drug Enforcement Agencies and Counselling Centers, a chance to showcase their latest products and educational programs to raise awareness about the threats facing society from drug abuse.

Hemaya International Forum is annually organized by Dubai Police and INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Launching Hemaya Smart Application for Combating Drugs

Dubai Police has just launched “Hemaya” smart application with the aim to raise awareness about the drugs and its disastrous impacts. The launch happened on the sidelines of Hemaya International Forum which is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and organized by Dubai Police and INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding in partnership with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and supported by Anti-Narcotics Department UAE and Pan – Arab Bureau for Narcotics Affairs – Arab Interior Ministers Council.

Colonel Abdullah Al Khayyat, Manager of Hemaya International Center – Dubai Police, said: “the application is a comprehensive digital platform that employs Artificial Intelligence (AI) to answer all the questions related to the dangers of drug abuse.it can also help in detecting drug addicts and shows the locations of rehabilitation centers, in addition to highlighting the role of the family and parents in raising awareness about the dangers of drug abuse and providing specialized consultations.

The application also includes a number of electronic services that can help the UAE community in particular, such as Remote Education and “Amna” Chatbot, Student Program, Community Programs, Hemaya Library, Reports and Statistics Center, Share your Ideas and Hemaya International Forum

Colonel Al Khayyat stressed that Dubai Police Force is exerting great efforts to enhance security and safety in the emirate and consolidating its efforts with all the concerned organizations, bodies and authorities to combat this serious issue that is destroying the future of our children. He also added that the age of modernity and technology has also facilitated life and provided possibilities, but opened the space for more complicated issues such as drugs, Today, young people are victims of international gangs that aim at rapid gain and do their best to reach to our children by all means. Therefore, we must address and be close to our children and reach them with innovative and new methods of raising awareness of the dangers of drugs or even the idea of trying them out of curiosity without lecturing them. We shall instead approach them through the means they prefer. Hence, this is how we came up with the idea of designing smart application for smart phone systems that are accessible to all young people, and easy to download on their phones, and then learn about the damages of drugs and addiction. The application also provides channels to report about a drug dealer or ask for help, as well as answering all drugs related inquiries of the children and the parents.

Launching a Master and Higher Diploma Programs in Addiction Sciences 

In cooperation with the Dubai Medical College, Erada Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation launched a Master and Higher Diploma Program on Addiction Sciences, first of its kind in the Middle East, accredited by the Ministry of Education. The program was launched during a press conference held by the Erada Center on the sidelines of the 14th edition of Hemaya International Forum which is held at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference and Events Center in Dubai. The launching ceremony happened in presence of Dr Abdul Qader Al Khayyat, Chairman of Erada Center, Dr. Mohammed Faeq, Executive Director of Erada Center, Dr. Amr Abdel Aty, Consultant Psychiatrist at the center, Prof. Mohammed Galal El Din, Dean of Dubai Medical College, and Hafiz Ahmad, Professor of Biochemistry.

The launch of the program comes out of the keenness of both Dubai Medical College and Erada Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation to develop the higher education system and create new jobs specialized in the treatment of addiction. Also, the region lacks the local specialties who are able to deal with the field of addiction treatment, therefore, we need such major to develop and support the local cadres to grow in the field of treating addiction.

The Master in Addiction Sciences and Higher Diploma in Addiction Sciences are the first of their kind in the UAE and the Middle East. They aim to graduate specialists who are able to provide specialized healthcare services in the treatment of addiction in hospitals and other clinical institutions. The programs will also help the graduates to become licensed psychiatrists, addiction rehabilitation specialists or nursing care professionals, based on the professional background of each student. The program also aims to enhance the role of clinical practitioners of addiction as a member of the health care team by improving their skills in fields like, communication, management, clinical, and research. News Desk

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