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Dubai Begins Gold-Plating £35m Landmark Structure…

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Dubai’s newest landmark forms a perfect snapshot of the city’s panoramic view with a 50-storey-high gold-plated picture frame. The Frame, which cost an estimated Dh160million (£35million) consists of two 150-metre high, 93-metre wide towers connected by a 100-square-meter bridge – all covered in gold plating.

From the bridge connecting the two towers, tourists can take snapshots of the city’s panoramic view, with ‘Old Dubai’ in the north and ‘New Dubai’ in the south.

Construction on the attraction started in 2013, and authorities are now installing the final details, like the gold stainless steel cladding.

According to a statement from the Dubai Municipality, The Frame will be ‘an important attraction point for tourist visitors and residents alike, and is expected to attract nearly 2 million tourists a year’. There will be interior spaces in the building that will act as exhibitions, including one telling the history of Old Dubai.

The exhibition will feature ‘mist effects, smells and motion’ that will tell the story of Dubai.

‘The Past Gallery embodies the idea of the project and tells the story of the evolution of the city and its past, and shows the old city using the most new and updated means of presentation that contributes to the creation of a favorable environment that develops & comprehends the renaissance taking place in Dubai,’ the statement says.

A Sky Deck exhibition will give tourists a chance to see the city from all views.

Interactive screens will help tourists point out buildings and landmarks and will give facts and information about each.

A mezzanine level will represent the ‘future of Dubai’, according to the statement.

‘The concept of this gallery is to depict Dubai 50 years from now into the future by creating a virtual metropolis through interactive projections and virtual reality technology,’ the statement says.

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Military patrols Ecuador’s capital as clashes resume and many defy curfew

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Armored military vehicles patrolled the streets of Ecuador’s capital, Quito, on Sunday after police and protesters clashed and many residents defied a curfew imposed by President Lenin Moreno in a bid to quell unrest triggered by fuel subsidy cuts.

Ecuadoreans posted videos on social media of burning road blockades and standoffs between crowds and security forces in downtown Quito ahead of the first round of talks aimed at ending 11 days of unrest.

The interior minister said a group of vandals had again set fire to the comptroller’s office and that some 500 people had defied police barriers in the city.

The unrest was the worst in the small South American country in more than a decade and the latest flashpoint of opposition to the International Monetary Fund in Latin America. Moreno has cast the dispute as a battle between Venezuela and other left-leaning forces and more market-friendly ideologies.

Nearly 60 roads in the city were closed, the municipal government said, without elaborating.

“Blocking roads is punishable by law and even more so during a curfew,” said councilman Bernardo Abad.

Indigenous protesters vowed to continue protests across the country until Moreno reinstates fuel subsidies, a sign that a potential breakthrough in the dispute announced on Saturday might fade under the government crackdown.

The first round of talks between indigenous leaders and the government was set to begin at 3 p.m. (2000 GMT) in Quito, although no announcement had been made yet on who would take part or where exactly it would be held.

Moreno signed a $4.2 billion deal with the IMF earlier this year, angering many of his former supporters who voted for him as the left-leaning successor of his former ally, Rafael Correa.

Moreno has defended his decision last week to slash fuel subsidies as a key part of his bid to clean up the country’s finances, and denies it was required by the IMF.

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Algerians protest against proposed energy law

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Hundreds of Algerians protested in front of parliament on Sunday against proposed changes to the energy law that they say the caretaker government has no right to pass.

The draft law was agreed by the cabinet on Sunday, interim president Abdelkader Bensalah was quoted by state media as saying. It must still be approved by parliament.

Protesters said the law was draw up by the caretaker government to secure support of Western countries in a standoff over mass protests that have rocked Algeria for months. The government did not immediately comment.

“The draft will allow us to start deep reforms in the energy sector and implement a development plan for Sonatrach,” Bensalah said, referring to Algeria’s national energy company.

The law is aimed at attracting foreign investors to help Algeria strengthen its energy output and improve revenues using their superior technology, but would maintain a 49% limit on foreign ownership if passed into law by parliament.

Sonatrach has met several major international oil companies in recent months, including Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

“The current tax system does not allow Sonatrach to make new discoveries,” Mustapha Hanifi, the hydrocarbons director at the energy ministry, said at a conference on Sunday.

“We need to discover more oil and gas to ensure the country’s energy security and its revenues,” he added.

Algeria’s economy and state revenues are highly dependent on the energy sector, and foreign currency reserves have more than halved since oil prices began to drop in 2014.

The weekly mass protests since February have toppled veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika and forced the authorities to detain many senior officials on corruption charges.

The army, which has emerged as the strongest power in Algeria since Bouteflika stepped down in April, hopes a presidential election panned for Dec. 12 will help quell the protests.

But demonstrators have said the vote cannot be free or fair if the military and senior officials tied to Bouteflika retain political power.

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