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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest one in United Arab Emirates is one of the main attractions in Abu Dhabi. Today, the Mosque, located along the Abu Dhabi-Dubai road (Airport Road), has become an important landmark of the city because of being the biggest place of worship in the country.

Yet, the mosque is also a tourist stop for many visitants of various faiths who seek to understand Islam and Muslims and come to admire its sheer size and the intricate craftsmanship of modern Islamic architecture.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Design and Construction: On a closer look, the Grand Mosque constructed between 1996 and 2007  and designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky –a project that was launched by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan whose final resting place is located on the grounds adjacent to the complex – features a combination of several different Islamic architectural styles with a total of 4 minarets and 82 domes of different sizes crowning the colossal building. The mosque is a combination of Mameluke, Ottoman and Fatamid design.

The mosque contains an immense courtyard with a line of pillars interconnected by arcs and is surrounded by garden areas, rows of palm trees and water pools. Beautiful from the outside, it is also incredible on the inside with its elegantly crafted chandeliers made from Swarovski crystals and the floor hall that is covered with more than 5,000 square meters of carpet. Surely, you’ll want to admire the archways, murals and see the mosque’s prayer halls.

The mosque is dedicated to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was the founder and the first President of the United Arab Emirates. All are allowed into all areas of the mosque even if not Muslim. There are praying rooms for worshippers, especially during Islamic festivities like Eid, Ramadan or Friday prayers. Yet, it’s also a place to discover Islam through its extensive library as well as its educational cultural activities and visitor programs, which are organized on a regular basis by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center (SZGMC) offices. For info, visit the official website at https://www.szgmc.gov.ae/en/Home.

Yusef Abdelki’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi still remains a favorite landmark being a place to gather for prayers but also to study, celebrate festivals and admire the beauty of traditional Arab religious art.

To prepare for the visit, just make sure to wear proper, respectful clothing with trousers and no shorts. Women will need to also wear a veil and an abaya will be loaned at the entrance if needed. So, join those who annually visit the mosque to see how the vision of Sheikh Zayed has been realized.

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Last year, November 2017, Louvre Abu Dhabi opened to the public. The 10-year development plan was finally complete. In reality, the construction works officially started in May 2009 while the project was brought to a high level by the UAE and French leaders, who signed the cooperation agreement in March 2007. Expectations were great and tickets sold out opening day on November 11.

Having invested over $1 billion (850 million euros) in the museum, Abu Dhabi is hoping to attract more tourists.

  • Opening time: The Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi is now open from 10am to 8pm every day except Mondays, with nights until 10pm on Thursday and Friday nights.
  • Entry fee and tickets price: Entrance fees at the Louvre Abu Dhabi are 60 AED for an adult, and 30 AED for young people from 13 to 22 years old. Free for young children. You are strongly advised to book your ticket online at the official site.

So, if you haven’t yet discovered the Louvre Museum which is one of the largest art galleries in the Arabian Peninsula you should definitely consider a visit to discover the incredible artwork collection: both temporary exhibitions and permanent collections.

But Louvre Abu Dhabi is not only an incredible museum, it is also an incredible construction built with extreme architectural solutions.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Design and Construction: To give the illusion of a “museum in the sea,” a team of specialist geotechnical and water engineers designed a watertight basement and tidal pools within the galleries. The museum doesn’t sit on a platform and sea water touches its walls. Protecting artwork from salty water and humidity is paramount and, in order to do that a huge concrete box was built and covered with a double-layer system of waterproofing.

For as difficult it was to build the museum in the sea, it is the dome, however, that is stunning. Visitants are amazed by the different artifacts with piece from ancient times to the present that are on exhibit but are in awe when passing under the museum’s silver dome, its pattern resembling interwoven palm leaves.

The “seemingly floating dome structure” was a masterpiece of engineering and ingenuity as it had to be built under strict requirements from the clients and was asked to be built only on 4 poles.

The architect devised a web-patterned dome with a honeycomb frame that’s not only clever to regulate light and temperature but its structure comprised of 7,850 unique metal stars set in a complex geometric pattern that allows the sun to filter through; thus, creating a visually stunning effect … a moving ‘rain of light’.

Surely, the modernist museum, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, will be another favorite landmark for UAE and Abu Dhabi in particular. Abu Dhabi has become an essential capital of art and culture in the Middle East. This art and civilization museum is part of a thirty-year agreement between the city of Abu Dhabi and the French government to be associated with the Louvre name. Its peculiarity is that it does not just include Arab civilization and Islamic art but it actually narrates the history of world civilization though international artifacts.

Louvre Abu Dhabi is an architectural marvel that offers a new perspective on the history of art in a globalized world and is not to be missed!

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It’s evident that the UAE has a strong culture of seafaring and luxury cruising. And today there’s a growing interest for yachts, a demand that will spur the boat business in a region that has a good number of potential buyers for super-yachts. Many are the rich Arabs or Gulf sheiks who, in fact, are seen around the world on their wonderful luxury boats.

The UAE ranks amongst the most productive superyacht manufacturers with an impressive lineup of yachts over 24 meters (79 feet) in length. Three of the largest yachts in the world: the 180-meter long Azzam, reportedly sold to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE; the 162-meter long Dubai that’s berthed next to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah Island and in front of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s summer palace; and the 141-meter motor yacht named Yas owned by Abu Dhabi’s Hamdan bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan are found on the Arabian waters.

The UAE is also a thriving yachting community thanks to the Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) and the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show (ADIBS) that’s been attracting boat enthusiasts from the Middle East and internationally with its many exhibitors and key stakeholders within the marine industry. These shows have quickly become a platform for the world’s best companies to showcase the latest in leisure boats or luxury yachts, as well as innovations in marine equipment and supplies.

DIBS and ADIBS are two of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in the Middle East and give a glimpse of what the yachting culture is all about in UAE.

  • ADIBS 2018: 17th – 20th October, to be held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) Marina
  • DIBS 2019: 26 Feb – 2 Mar, DUBAI CANAL, JUMEIRAH

Time and again, the boat exhibitions is all part of a bid to tempt more people on to the water, and it has supported the rapid growth and development of the UAE marine industry, which continues to play an increasingly key role in advancing both Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s tourism growth.  Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with over 400 km of coastline and over 200 islands and a rich marine life, make a great backdrop for DIBS and ADIBS.

So, are you ready to be part of UAE’s yachting community? If so, then be sure to note down the dates of Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) and the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show (ADIBS), two of the largest, oldest and best-attended events in the region’s maritime calendar.

Then why not consider be part of the UAE/GCC Boat Market either as a yacht owner or as an expatriate looking to set up a yacht charter business in the UAE, if not to provide marine corporate and administration services to yacht owners or become a business hub for trade and export. The opportunity to establish a business presence exists; just make sure to be familiar with UAE Maritime Code (Federal Law No. 26 of 1981) and the requirements for registration on the UAE Registry for any type of yacht as a result of the issuance of the new NTA Regulations.

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The UAE capital has emerged as one of the world’s most exciting new tourism destinations; many of its sights are best seen from the water by taking a traditional ‘abra’ boat or Dhow cruise to admire Abu Dhabi’s maze of islands from another angle.

The UAE’s man-made islands are famous around the world and Abu Dhabi itself is on a T-shaped island on the coast of the Persian Gulf that can be reached by car, sea, plane and boat.

Abu Dhabi is actually comprised of several different natural islands, over 200 in fact. They afford several opportunities to try something new for visitors who can explore with charter boats tours and head to any of the islands off the coast of the Corniche for an afternoon getaway. Tourists can go ashore to either get a quiet spot on the beach to swim, snorkel, fish, picnic or see the facilities and attractions.

A trip to Abu Dhabi is incomplete without visiting some of these islands:

  • Al Maryah Island is home to a developing business, leisure and entertainment hub which is Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District, and nearby is ‘The Galleria’ that has over 130 of the world’s most renowned brand outlets – including 50 Abu Dhabi ‘firsts’.
  • Al Reem Island is home to one of the emirate’s architectural landmarks – the linked, Stonehenge-style Gate Towers.
  • Saadiyat Island is home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
  • Yas Island is home to Ferrari World, Yas Viceroy Hotel and Yas Marina Circuit.
  • Dalma Island is home to its own museum, the Dalma Museum.
  • Bu Tinah Island is home to the first and largest UNESCO recognized reserve in the region which has gained global relevance as a marine life sanctuary.
  • Sir Ban Yas Island is home to a wildlife reserve where visitors can actually go on safari and see the various animals living in its Arabian Wildlife Park.
  • Zaya Nurai Island is home to a luxury villa resort (a 2016 World Travel Awards nominee) with a seafront location offering plenty of activities and lessons that range from stand-up paddle boarding and jet skiing to sea kayaking, and much more.

There are various options to get to the islands. For those that would like to go island hopping, there’s The Yellow Boats (theyellowboats.com) or Jalboot (jalboot.ae), for example. So, get on a boat – whatever watercraft you can find – and head off the coast.

With its beautiful coastline and beautiful natural islands, vacationers will find Abu Dhabi a destination for out-of-the-ordinary experiences, as there’s something for everyone and for any interests, from a shoreline walk on the pristine beaches to a swim in the clean, warm turquoise waters, if not to a tour the islands, a museum visit or a day at the race.

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There’s a new growing trend: Online Food Ordering Services that allows customers to order food from the comfort of their home or anywhere they prefer through computer and smartphones.

Many businesses are recognizing this new market segment and have launched their online delivery services to take advantage of the increase of consumers that opt to browse local takeaway menus before placing an order online. Today, you can already choose from a wide variety of self-service outfits offering a wide variety of foods.

More and more food supply chains, in fact, are using an online and delivery platform to expand the business or are even offering their own application to offer a range of cuisines. Customers can find menus, delivery options and pay using their personal devices.

When using third-party services, businesses pay a commission fee; sometimes there are also customers’ fees per order. Normally, self-employed couriers (who drive a car, ride a bicycle or motorcycle, or are on foot) transport orders directly to wherever customers need it.

So, do you want to join in the trend and start your own food delivery business? If so, your brand will need to compete with EatEasy, Uber Eats, Zomato, Deliveroo, RoundMenu, Talabat, and DinnerTime (to name a few) which are some of those companies that are active in the region that create better food options in the UAE.

If your business is in the food industry and wants to improve its outreach to a wider target audience across the seven emirates then establishing a corporate locals-delivery (gastro) company could help reach out to new customers. There’s no better time than now to open delivery units to promote the business and be among those already transforming the food delivery market in the UAE.

Restaurateurs should expect to see more rapid changes in the food business as new online platforms race to capture markets and customers that choose conveniently prepared food delivery app services. So, this could really be a considerable investment with high possibility of growth and expansion.

Of course, it is important to study well all options and regulations pertaining to the sector. Contact us and make sure to talk to the experts to gather the needed info in running a business in places like the Hamriyah Free Zone’s Food Park that has given a major boost and impetus to the phenomenal growth of the food sector in the UAE. It is also important to consider the right new media marketing and branding approach, so as to stand out in such a highly competitive panorama.

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There was a growing number of guests staying in Abu Dhabi’s 163 hotels and hotel apartments in Q1 2018. In fact, there’s been a 12.3% increase compared to the same period last year, according to figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), bringing to 1.2m guests the number of those that have opted to stay overnight sometime during this first quarter of the year.

Abu Dhabi is investing billions of dollars in tourism and hospitality, as global travelers come to the capital for many reasons: there are the vacationers that come to visit Abu Dhabi’s modern Sheikh Zayed Mosque or even go to see the Louvre Abu Dhabi, if not engage in some fun activities like at the Yas Waterworld Park or Ferrari World, or else be entertained as a spectator at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to make the most of an Abu Dhabi vacation.

Then there are those tourists that visit for the beautiful capital’s sand beaches and islands or to shop at arts district of Saadiyat Island and business and shopping hub Al Maryah Island, home of the luxury mall.

Did you know that Abu Dhabi is a favorite in the hotel industry’s segment of luxury getaways? Emirates Palace is one of Abu Dhabi’s top hotels; the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers or the St. Regis Abu Dhabi are also guest favorites. Tempting is the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort just to name a few of the popular places. Let’s not forget the Pearl Rotana which has opened in Abu Dhabi most recently and is offering an “all new contemporary hospitality experience,” said the hotel’s general manager Karim Nahas.

And for those foreigners that would like to stay longer, luxury residential prices in Abu Dhabi have fallen by 10% in 2017, dropping faster than in Dubai and Riyadh combined, according to Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index (PIRI 100). Rental value is also continuing to decline which is why most newcomers choose to remain in the UAE’s capital city.

Also, the economic activity is on the upsurge with some new Abu Dhabi forthcoming attractions in 2018 that are sure to appeal to more visitors coming in the year ahead:

  • Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (a project to be completed late-2018) will be a transnational museum dedicated to the contemporary art and culture scene which will present some of the most important artistic achievements of our time dating from the 1960s to the present day. Designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Frank Gehry is being built on Saadiyat Island. One can expect this museum to become Abu Dhabi’s main arts and culture hub.
  • Warner Bros. Worldtm Abu Dhabi is a theme park (it’s almost completed and will open in July) that’s sure to fascinate a number of tourists visiting the emirate over the next few years. The $1 billion theme park, built by developer Miral and found on Yas island, will feature 6 immersive worlds to include a DC Metropolis, Gotham City, Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, Dynamite Gulch and a Warner Bros Plaza; in addition, the park will feature 29 state-of-the-art thrill rides, interactive family friendly attractions, and a unique live entertainment area.
  • CLYMB (a project to be completed by mid-2018) is set to be a popular indoor skydiving facility. It’s going to have the world’s tallest climbing wall and the largest flight chamber.

These are only some of the newest projects in the making that are sure to help drive inbound tourism in support of Abu Dhabi’s government’s strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the emirate.

In sum, Abu Dhabi city offers many things to do, see and experience; no wonder there’s so many tourists these days, as well as settlers.

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Ramadan is almost here. In fact, this week begins the Islamic holy month of Ramazan or  Ramadan, a time of fasting, prayer and celebration.

The first day of Ramadan in the UAE is likely to be May 16, if the ad-hoc moon-sighting committee that will be active on Tuesday 15 May will spot a crescent moon as expected. However, in other Islamic countries, Ramadan might come sooner (within the 3-day period) as it depends on the movement of the moon.

Ramadan (observed by Muslims worldwide this May), Eid ul Fitr (June), Hajj and Eid ul Adha (August) among many others are very important dates of the Islamic calendar 2018. One can expect many Muslim followers celebrating the festivals and engaging in the obligatory prayers.

Islām is built upon the following five pillars:

  1. The declaration of faith, to ‘Testify that there is no true deity except God, and that Muhammad is His Messenger’ (Shahadah)
  2. To pray five times a day (Salah)
  3. To pay the yearly alms (Zakah)
  4. To fast during the month of Ramadan (Sawm)
  5. To make the pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj)

Ramadan, then, is a very special month-long celebration that lasts for one complete moon cycle. Expats need to be aware of what is expected during this time.

Here are some specific do’s and don’ts for non-Muslims spending Ramadan in the UAE as per a  Gulf News Guide:

  • You cannot eat, drink or smoke in public during fasting hours.
  • Be flexible. In many places, live music entertainment is prohibited, dance clubs are closed, and bars might not serve alcohol.
  • Visitors should refrain from wearing any revealing clothing; items that are sheer, too short, low-cut or tight fitting should be avoided. Shorts, mini-skirts and sleeveless tops should not be used.
  • Be ready for shorter office work hours. Often, schedules are adjusted to accommodate for the needs of those observing the Ramadan by fasting and, therefore, tiring more easily.
  • Avoid public display of affection. This is generally considered indecent in any period of the year and more so during Ramadan.
  • Do enjoy the Ramadan night markets that contain pop-up souks with food, traditional souvenirs, lots of shopping opportunities and more.
  • As Ramadan is a time of gratitude and charity, be charitable and friendly.

All that is left to say: Ramadan Sa’eed – رمضان سعيد.

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Abu Dhabi Ports – rated as one of the top seaports worldwide in handling containers -is a pivotal element in the development and commerce in the emirate. In fact, it promotes economic growth and increased investment through the rise in container traffic and becoming one of the world’s fastest growing seaports in scale of its operations positioning itself very prominently on the global economic and trade map.

In an effort to improve even more, it recently launched its new cargo e-services to better optimize its logistics services for maritime and trade operations in the region, reports arabianindustry.com. This is part of a plan to boost the capital’s trade and maritime industry to become the most popular provider of integrated ports and industrial zone services and stimulate trade and investment activities, in line with the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision.

Abu Dhabi Port expansion projects are bringing the development of terminal and logistics businesses with new container terminals showcasing the emirate’s importance as a global trading, shipping and logistics hub in the region, says His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports. “MSC [one of the world’s leading container shipping lines] is delighted to be part of the UAE’s maritime sector growth […] making Khalifa Port the first port in the region capable of receiving the largest shipping vessels in the world that specialize in bulk cargo shipment,” he added.

Abu Dhabi Ports participated to the 4th Global Trade Development Week where light was shed on the new era of digitalized trade noting the importance of Port Community Systems in facilitating service jobs to include “vessel management services, ease of registration and payment, container, general cargo, RoRo [Roll-on-Roll-off] and cruise ship services,” as told Maqta Gateway® LLC.

In enhancing processing times and communication procedures, Abu Dhabi ports’ Maqta Gateway – a trade digitalization platform showcased at GITEX Technology Week 2017 – ensures smooth transport and logistics operations whereby able to improve overall efficiency of services to various business units such as shipping agents, traders, freight forwarders, custom brokers and others via the online community-based system, reported Mrinmoyee Hazarika – ship-technology.com. The ambitious project is in line to enhance the efficiency of international trade services of goods in a safe and secure way but also in real time using the latest technologies designed to increase transparency; in fact, a ‘Track & Trace’ service provides customers all information about their transactions.

The initiative to foster maritime innovation to be more productive and more connected has opened new frontiers; this is Abu Dhabi Ports’ success that has now gained a prominent position in the logistics and trade sectors on a local, regional, and international scale. Those in search of a job or who want a career in the maritime sector can find vacancies, as Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) that regulates and manages ports and industrial zones in the capital is looking for resources with a range of skills, abilities & experience who will help them achieve their objectives. Visit http://www.adports.ae/en/careers/ for details.

ADPC.ae
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Emirati are sure to be tuned in to the 101st Edition of the Giro d’Italia from May 4-27 to watch UAE Team Emirates make an impact.

Though UAE Team Emirates’s Alexander Kristoff, the European champion from Norway who joined UCI WorldTeam UAE Team Emirates from Team Katusha over the winter, is notably missing from the Giro d’Italia after much success with cycling winning streaks in Oman and Abu Dhabi this season, cycling fans will still have a valid reason to tune in: in his place, in fact, will be Fabio Aru, the renowned Italian professional road bicycle racer who will lead the cycling squad at his home event.

Rui Costa, the UAE Team Emirates leader and defending champion of the Abu Dhabi Tour, believes the team has a few riders capable to a stage victory: Jan Polanc, for example, who won stage four of the Giro d’Italia in 2017 on the summit of Mount Etna and who will be part of the line-up of the Emirati team this year.

Giro d’Italia is one of the most important cycling events on the calendar with thousands of supporters cheering for the ‘Pink jersey’ as the race progresses through the Italian boot. Many Italians will likely support the UAE Team Emirates with its 5 Italian riders to include, in addition to Aru, Diego Ulissi, Valerio Conti, Manuele Mori and Marco Marcato. Jan Polanc, Darwin Atapuma and Vegard Stake Laengen complete the line-up.

This squad is going to the Giro d’Italia with a huge desire to make an impact, with Fabio Aru as the national champion in the tricolor stripes on his UAE Team Emirates jersey, said General Manager Giuseppe Saronni. Other members that will contribute to the group include Joxean Fernandez Matxin, Marco Marzano, Mario Scirea and Paolo Tiralongo who will direct the team over the three weeks.

Fabio Aru will ensure that in Nibali’s absence from Bahrain Merida he’ll be a top local contender for Italy’s Grand Tour, affirms cyclingnews.com. He says he’s keen to make his mark, as he did in 2015, in the Giro d’Italia. We’ll have to wait and see. Go UAE Team Emirates!

To see the UAE Team Emirates’ roster of riders, visit http://www.giroditalia.it/eng/squadra/uae-team-emirates/, or UAETeamEmirates.com.

A steady presence in this type of cycling events fuel the unstoppable growth of biking in the region and the many amateurs wanting to become professional cyclists and prepare for challenging bike races, such as the UAE Tour in 2019.

So, where to go cycling in Abu Dhabi?

  • Abu Dhabi Corniche has a designated cycle lane.
  • Al Wathba Cycle Track has five different loops (8km, 16km, 20km, 22km and 30km).
  • Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit allows cyclers to go around the Formula One track. That’s right; you can ride around the 5.5km circuit as part of the TrainYas, StartYas, and GoYAS (Ladies only) programs. Access is free for all. Just fill out the registration form online to pick up your membership card to join in the fun. Meetup point: West Gate 20 entrance where you will be directed to Yas Central. No other place offers such a unique, safe and friendly training ground.

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Forex Trading involves buying and selling currencies on the forex market in order to try and profit from fluctuating exchange rates. There are numerous different currency pairings, meaning that forex traders have a good amount of choice when choosing their investments. The forex market is known to be a volatile one, and it can take time for traders to fully get to grips with it. As such, here is some information on how to effectively invest in the forex market.

Research

For those who are inexperienced with forex, it is worth putting some time into studying how the market works, and looking at what steps it may be necessary to take to become proficient at reading and analysing market data.

Luckily there is now plenty of free online information which can help explain the ins and outs of forex. It is worth looking at what affects exchange rates, which software you may need to use to effectively trade, as well as which times are optimal to trade any given currency pairing. Once you have a good idea of how the market works, you’ll have a good chance of being able to make well informed investments.

Use the Tools

Every online trading platform will have a set of tools which help with analysing the markets, and these tools are used by professional traders on a daily basis to help them make successful trades. These they often include charting software, event calendars, and a customisable interface, all of which can help make the investment process much more straightforward.

Find out which tools will be most useful to your trading style/strategy and learn how to use them to their full potential in order to maximise the chances of making a profit from trading forex.

Strategy

Finally, you will need a well-informed, effective strategy in place to ensure that every trade you make is governed by reason and not emotions or ‘gut feelings’. Nowadays, there are many different strategies which are all suited to different traders and trading objectives.

Once you have done your research, you can effectively implement your own strategy (or one of your choosing) and potentially make winning trades on a regular basis. A good strategy should always take into account risk, and govern which trades you make and when.  

Becoming a professional forex trader takes time and plenty of practice, but these simple steps should be enough to get anyone started trading forex. Once you have a good understanding of forex trading strategies, you’ll have a much better chance of making a profit.

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