Sunday, June 25, 2017

3D replica of Palmyra Arch draws 2m visitors in 2 days

Two million spectators visited the 3D replica of Syria’s historic Palmyra Arch of Triumph in just two days as it made its fourth stop in the Italian city of Arona, Sicily, on the sidelines of the G7 summit.

The replica is set to remain on display until July

Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella and Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini unveiled the arch on Arona’s Piazza della Signori, where it is making its fourth stop following showcases in London, New York, and Dubai. The unveiling ceremony was attended by Omar and Walid Al Asaad, the two sons of prominent Syrian archeologist Khaled Al Asaad who was executed by Daesh in Palmyra’s archaeological site in August 2015.

 “Considering our own rich heritage and its importance to us, Italy plays a leading global role in issues pertaining to culture,” said Franceschini. “We are looking to translate this strength into action by promoting the concept of cultural diplomacy around the world, and raising awareness around heritage preservation.”

 The unveiling ceremony also saw Singer Matilde Mirotti perform “Damasco” (Damascus), an ode to the Syrian capital, accompanied by tenor Giorgio Casciarri and soprano Sara Cervasio and directed by maestro Paolo Beretta.

 The replica – created by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) in a joint effort with the Oxford University’s Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) and Harvard University – is expected to attract thousands more visitors in the coming two months. It was built using 3D technology and original images of the monument. The process took place in Italy and used Egyptian marble. The replica weighs approximately 11 tons and stands almost 20 feet (6 meters) tall – this is roughly two-thirds the size of the original monument.

 “The Dubai Future Foundation was committed to playing its part in recreating the Palmyra Arch of Triumph to underline the potential of future technologies – such as 3D printing – to preserve nations’ history and heritage, all the while catalyzing their development,” noted His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq, DFF’s Acting CEO, adding that unveiling the arch at the G7 Summit highlights the UAE’s (and DFF’s) leading role in preserving ancient heritage around the world so that it “continues to bear witness to human history, while inspiring innovators and experts to come up with bold solutions for proactively planning for the future.”

 The project falls under the partnership between the United Arab Emirates, UNESCO, and the Oxford Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA). It seeks to document archaeological and historic locations around the world using 3D photography to capture their specifications and dimensions. The data can then be used to recreate these structures and artefacts using 3D printing technology should they face the threat of sabotage or vandalism.

 To that end, an electronic portal was launched to collect one million 3D images of archaeological sites at risk of destruction and sabotage to be documented. The portal has published more than half a million images so far, and distributed 5,000 digital cameras with 3D features to the initiative’s partners and volunteers, with the support of the Dubai Future Foundation.

 The project’s website has attracted a wide audience; statistics from UNESCO reveal it was visited by more than 30,000 people, while 50,000 watched the video of the UNESCO/IDA panel discussion online. Meanwhile the hashtag registered 250,000 mentions on Facebook and Twitter in a short amount of time. – TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai offers Eid specials

Dubai’s Nikki Beach Resort & Spa is set to welcome guests for the Eid Al Fitr celebrations, offering an extravaganza of dining options, signature Nikki Beach entertainment, trendy vibes, and a line-up of Nikki Beach Dubai resident DJs playing the very best dance beats.

The contemporary beachfront resort located on Pearl Jumeirah invites everyone to embrace the Nikki Beach philosophy and join in the “Celebration of Life”.

Resort general manager Alexander Schneider said, “We take this opportunity to wish our guests a wonderful Eid al Fitr. At Nikki Beach, we are Celebrating Life in a simple but very rewarding way and we think the brand ethos blends well with the UAE local values. Eating, dancing and spending time with family and friends are staples in any celebration. We embrace that and more.”

The property with its pristine beach, unparalleled views of the Arabian Gulf and its mix of different room categories, 45 per cent of which are suites and villas aims to create memorable experiences for its guests this Eid. From offering a relaxing atmosphere near the beach at the Floridian Key West bar and grill, with unpretentious fine food and genuine service, to the infamous Pour Elle Ladies Day on Tuesday, June 27  at the Beach Club, the visitors have the freedom to feel at home and feel themselves.

Schneider added, “At Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai we curate spaces. We are delighted to have created a social environment where our guests can choose to mingle or withdraw themselves for a personal time of relaxation.”

The beach club runs along the breathtaking shores of the Arabian Gulf facing the white-sandy beachfront. By day, guests can lounge poolside and enjoy the extensive menu of dishes featuring signature tastes and spices representative of all the Nikki Beach locations around the world, with local influences. At sunset, Soul Lounge becomes the heartbeat of the resort, where guest can enjoy relaxed chill-out tunes and creative bites. – TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Bahrain Ministry of Works opens key road

Bahrain’s Ministry of Works has opened the new Saar Southern Entrance road from Sheikh Isa bin Salman Highway has opened.

The project, opened by Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Essam bin Abdulla Khalaf, comprises a new lane on Avenue 27 along with ramps entering and exiting Sheikh Isa bin Salman Highway, is expected to increase capacity by 40 per cent as well as easing access to nearby residential areas and shopping malls.

“The Saar Southern Entrance project is one part of a larger $1.2 Billion masterplan designed to ease traffic congestions along 11 locations. The new access road will improve the flow of traffic for vehicles entering Saar, thus eliminating the queue of vehicles reaching Sheikh Isa bin Salman Highway. By increasing the road’s capacity by 40 per cent, we are confident the project will significantly improve the local road network for vehicle users,” said Khalaf.

Khalaf confirmed that the Ministry submitted a series of projects for review by the Executive Committee, which has subsequently approved 11 urgent projects.

The Saar Southern Entrance road is one of several projects financed by the GCC Development Programme, to be implemented within three to five years. The comprehensive planning process has been implemented to ensure the Kingdom’s strategic road network is able to accommodate increased urban expansion.

 The Ministry of Works seeks to expand Bahrain’s road networks in-line with international standards, to further enhance Bahrain’s investment environment.  – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Dubai real estate transactions up 25pc in Q1

The Dubai property sector has witnessed solid growth in the first quarter with about 25 per cent increase in overall transactional activity in the real estate sector during the period, said Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, the director general of the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

He was speaking at the first Ramadan Real Estate Majlis hosted by International Property Show (IPS), a major property sales platform in the Middle East, where major developers from across the UAE came for an exclusive Suhoor Networking Night.

The event took place in Armani Hotel, Downtown Dubai and was organised in collaboration with DLD under the theme: “Upgrading Real Estate Sector & Investment Promotion.”

Emphasising Dubai’s position as a safe haven for investors, Bin Mejren said: "We continue our efforts to spur development by providing a sustainable real estate environment that will attract investor confidence in the market."

Dawood Al Shezawi, the chief executive of IPS, said: "This gathering opens doors for a meeting of minds, and is a way to enhance the relationship of government and private sector to improve the real estate market. It is beneficial to deliberate on issues that affect the property market in order to have a better understanding of challenges at hand and come up with probable solutions."

An open dialogue facilitated by Dr Hiba Jaber, consultant at Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI), offered the gathering an opportunity to network and discuss several issues affecting the real estate sector.

These include lower oil prices, a strong dollar-pegged local currency, banks policies on money transfers, reconsidering the mortgage cap set by the UAE Central Bank, possible effects of VAT in 2018, balancing supply and demand, incentives to investors, and affordability of housing for end-users.

Ahmad Thani Al Matrooshi, Emaar Properties' managing director, emphasised the importance of working together in order to upgrade the real estate sector.

“We have a strong appeal to international investors.  As developers, we can do the marketing but we need the continuous support of DLD and banks in completing transactions getting the money abroad,” he stated.

On controlling supply and demand in an effort to improve the market, Masood Al Awar, the chief commercial officer at Dubai Properties, said: "About 80 per cent of the demand will come from the international market. However, as of today, not even 50 per cent come from it which means that we still have a huge market to conquer and investors to attract moving towards 2020."

"So I think all developers will have enough demand for the supply they will put into the market," he added.

“Indeed, it is important to have coordination between different stakeholders to control oversupply. We all have to work together hand in hand, in order to make sure that this market stays in good condition,” added Essam Hasan Saleh, Jumeirah Golf Estates' executive director for business development and property management.

Marwan Bin Ghalaita, the CEO of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) said: “With the rapid growth of Dubai as a global commercial hub and tourism destination, increasing population, more job opportunities, continuous interest of foreign investors, oversupply is not a problem because demand is there and is continuously growing.”

The participants in the Majlis reached the consensus that different stakeholders must come together to motivate and upgrade the real estate sector.

There were suggestions for developers to adapt more to market needs by extending payment plans and providing more affordable housing, as well as for government to provide more incentives to investors both locally and internationally, banks to ease up their policies, and investment promotion authorities to help attract international investment in the real estate sector.

Furthermore, Bin Ghalaita assured the gathering that the real estate market in Dubai was in a healthy position and ideal for real estate investments.

“DLD has put regulations in place, facilitates ease in transactions and accommodates all kinds of investments, so we are doing our part and so must everyone else,” he noted.

Bin Mejren said the forum was a good platform for knowledge-sharing, exchange of views and in-depth discussion on concerns facing real estate developers, sellers, and buyers.

"We hope that this is the first of several events to be held regularly to facilitate more understanding and cooperation among the real estate community in order to upgrade the property sector and attract investors and developers in Dubai," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah wins favourable DIFC ruling

Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (DIFC Courts) has issued a court order prohibiting the owner of the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai hotel from taking any further actions to prevent Viceroy Hotels and Resorts from exercising its exclusive authority to manage and operate the hotel.   

Viceroy requested the DIFC Courts’ assistance following the actions taken by the hotel’s owner on Monday (June 19), when it announced the purported takeover of the hotel by Five Hotels and Resorts, a company affiliated with the hotel’s owner, and took steps to attempt to remove Viceroy from the property.  

The owner’s wrongful actions at that time breached the existing hotel management agreement, said a statement from Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai hotel. 

Viceroy is currently taking steps to ensure that the hotel’s owner complies fully with the terms of the court order and the hotel management agreement, said a top official. 

Bill Walshe, the chief executive of Viceroy Hotel Group, commented: “Contrary to the hotel owner’s statements and subsequent media reports, Viceroy has always been, and remains, the legal operator of the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai. 

“The Court’s order requires, among other things, Viceroy’s name, signage and branding to be reinstated at the hotel. Our priority remains to work with our outstanding hotel colleagues to ensure continuity of service and consistent delivery of a guest experience in keeping with the Viceroy ideology.  We will continue to work strenuously with our legal team to ensure we achieve this.” 

“Viceroy is immensely proud to contribute to Dubai’s dynamic hospitality landscape with the opening of our Palm Jumeirah hotel on March 31, 2017. We are committed to supporting Dubai’s Vision to be a leading tourism market and will strongly resist any attempts to threaten this.”

Viceroy Hotels and Resorts signed a long term hotel management agreement to operate the Palm Jumeirah hotel in 2013. The resort officially opened on March 31, 2017. 

According to Walshe, Viceroy Hotel Group inspires travellers with one-of-a-kind authentic lifestyle experiences that bring together provocative design and intuitive service in sought-after locations. 

A leader in modern luxury, Viceroy’s vibe-led hospitality is guided by the brand promise “Remember to Live,” an affirmation to create lifelong memories for each and every guest, he stated. 

"Viceroy destinations are segmented into three distinct portfolio tiers to help travelers find exactly the kind of experience they’re looking for. The Viceroy Icon Collection properties include epic hotels and resorts in Dubai, Abu Dhabi," he added.-TradeArabia News Service 

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Orascom deploys Genie boom lifts for giant Egypt project

Orascom Trading has deployed key boom lifts and telehandlers from Genie, a unit of global lifting solutions specialist Terex Corporation for the turn-key construction of world's largest power plant project coming up in Egypt.

The list of lifting solution tools include Genie ZX-135/70 boom lifts, a mix of ten Genie Z-80/60 booms, GS-4047 scissors lifts and GTH-4018 telehandlers, said a statement from Orascom Trading, the authorised Genie distributor in Egypt.

Marking another milestone that reflects its leadership in the infrastructure sector in Egypt and the Middle East, since 2015 Orascom Construction (OC) has been involved in the turn-key construction of two state-of-the-art combined cycle power plants in Egypt — both of which are the largest the world has ever seen.

The project is being built in a consortium by OC with Siemens. Each of the two power plants under construction by OC has a contract value of $2.24 billion and a power generation capacity of 4,800 MW.

Both operate on natural gas with light fuel as a backup to offer an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy mix for Egypt’s future.

The First Phase of the project was officially inaugurated in the presence of Angela Merkel (Chancellor of Germany representing Siemens) this March. Construction of the second facility, located on the Mediterranean coast, north of Borolos Lake in Egypt’s Kafr El Sheikh Governorate, started this January.

To adapt to the challenges of safe work on these challenging jobsites, OC has used two Genie ZX-135/70 boom lifts, in addition to a mix of ten Genie Z-80/60 booms, GS-4047 scissors lifts and GTH-4018 telehandlers.

Based in Cairo, OTC offers the full range of Genie products, said a top official.
“Orascom Trading has been our group’s internal equipment provider for the past 20 years, and when it comes to leading brands they definitely know their business. It came as no surprise to us when they signed up as an authorised Genie distributor last November,” remarked Yasser El Saied, the equipment manager for Orascom Construction.

"Now that we have direct access to the wider range of Genie machines, we have had the opportunity to see their superior quality. Our operators have also been able to experience their ease of operation. We are now keen to lay our hands on as many as we can, and as far as the activity of Orascom Construction goes, that means big numbers," he stated.

Working to a tight 2018 delivery schedule, the large numbers of machines operating on the Borolos site means that the environment is extremely busy.

“We are impressed by the versatility and precision of the Genie ZX-135/70 booms which are proving irreplaceable for a wide range of the plant’s highest-reaching tasks," remarked El Saied.

"We are also using them to support jobsite supervisors monitoring the quality of work on going on steel and concrete structures, and to assist in the inspection of completed sections of the plant. Once the job is completed, we will be using them for maintenance duties on both sites," he added.

Ashraf Noshy, the sales equipment manager, Orascom Trading Company, said: "Unlike other similar machines by other brands, we have found that Genie booms are particularly easy and smooth to operate. This also applies to the Genie ZX-135/70 boom that operates without a jolt even when fully elevated. It is also fast to get to the desired height.”

“It’s highly smooth and precise positioning, as well as its ability to be driven at maximum 141 ft height are also key factors that help save time and make work easier. These benefits are much appreciated by our operators,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Arabtec wins regulatory nod for share capital cut

Arabtec Holding, a leading contractor for social and economic infrastructure, said it has secured regulatory approval for its new capital reduction plan.

The move is aimed at slashing its share capital from Dh6.1 billion ($1.6 billion) to Dh1.5 billion ($408 million), said the Emirati firm in its statement to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

The entitlement date (the last day of trading before restatement) was June 22. The ex-date, when the number of shares is reduced and the share price is restated (prior to the commencement of trading) will be June 28 (the first day of trading after the entitlement date), it stated.

A major player in the region. Arabtec has several key projects to its credit including iconic buildings such as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and Abu Dhabi landmark, the Emirates Palace Hotel; as well as other technically challenging work on airports and related infrastructure. It was the first private construction firm to list on the Dubai Financial Market in 2005.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Abu Dhabi approves $653m housing loans

The Abu Dhabi government has announced plans to issue new batch of housing loans worth Dh2.4 billion ($653 million) to 1,250 beneficiaries in the emirate as part of its initiative to provide all the necessities of a dignified living and appropriate housing to its citizens, said a report.

The new batch of loans will cover the needs and demands of citizens to build their homes or to re-build in different areas of Abu Dhabi, reported state news agency Wam.

The confirmed batch will include 600 loans in new areas, with 400 loans for completing buildings in existing areas, 150 for the purpose of tearing down and rebuilding, 80 for maintenance and expansion, and 20 for maintenance only, it stated.

In another development, a total of 625 beneficiaries have been selected to receive housing assistance worth Dh417 million under the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, said the Wam report citing a top minister.

Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and chairman of the programme, said the good news was conveyed ahead of Eid Al Fitr to bring a smile on the faces of the eligible recipients.

"This underscores the leadership's commitment to bring joy to citizens on the happy occasion and the government's persistent efforts to improve the quality of life for citizens," he added.

from Construction Realestate

Etihad to boost Mena operations, adds new Dammam flight

UAE national carrier Etihad Airways is set to boost capacity between its Abu Dhabi hub and the key markets of Amman (Jordan), Beirut (Lebanon), Cairo (Egypt) and Casablanca and Rabat (Morocco) in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region to cater to the peak June – September travel period, said a top official.

The airline also unveiled plans to launch additional services to Saudi city of Dammam which will be year-round.

"As we build up to the peak travel season and well into the holiday period, we are delighted to provide our local guests more choice with additional flights between Abu Dhabi and some of our key markets across the Mena," remarked CEO Peter Baumgartner:

“By further aligning our capacity with demand during the busy upcoming months, the extra services will help facilitate our guests’ travel to and from these cities and our popular connecting destinations in the GCC, Asia, Australia and the Indian subcontinent,” he noted.

Extra flights and the deployment of bigger aircraft in the Mena region will provide local guests with more choice and greater convenience travelling during the holiday season. These include Dammam (fourth new daily flight); Amman (second new daily flight); Beirut (4 new flights a week and introduction of Boeing 787); Cairo (fifth new daily flight); Casablanca (aircraft upgrade to Airbus A340) and Rabat (one extra weekly flight). 

Etihad said Dammam will initially be served with an additional three morning flights-a-week service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from June 26, rising to a daily service on July 9. 

The capacity increase to the largest city in the kingdom’s Eastern Province will raise frequency on the route to four daily services year-round, it stated.

With the Amman route already upgraded to a Boeing 787 on each of the current daily services, an additional daily early morning flight serving the Jordanian capital will operate between June 25 and September 30.

Four extra flights will be introduced on the Beirut route on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between August 1 and September 10, taking frequency up from seven to 11 services a week, said the Abu Dhabi carrier. 

Effective August 1, seven of the flights to Lebanon’s capital city will operate with the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 featuring 299 seats. 

Egypt’s capital Cairo, one of Etihad Airways’ most popular North African destinations, will have an additional seven midday flights a week, taking frequency up to five daily services between August 1 and September 10, said the statement from Etihad.

In Morocco, the daily Casablanca services will be upgraded from an Airbus A330-300 to A340-600 aircraft between August 1 and September 10. And frequency to Morocco’s capital city of Rabat will increase from two to three flights a week with a new Sunday service operating between August 6 and September 3, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Damac offers big savings this Ramadan

Damac Properties, a leading luxury real estate developer in the region, is offering savings of up to Dh500,000 (136,099) on a select range of ready properties including apartments and villas in Damac Hills, Jumeirah Golf Estates, the Burj Area, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Jumeirah Village Circle.

The special Ramadan offer, which runs until June 30, covers free packing and moving, free furniture package from Marina Home or Home Centre, a free three-night stay at one of Damac’s hotels as well as Dubai Land Department registration fee of 4 per cent paid on the buyer’s behalf.

Niall McLoughlin, senior vice president, said: "With savings of up to Dh500,000 when buying ready property from Damac, this Ramadan we are bringing dream homes closer to customers than ever. With this promotion, we aim to facilitate the purchase of a ready property and help customers to decide to move into their new homes by making their move more affordable and convenient."

"There is no better time to take this step and move in. Customers who take advantage of this special offer will be able to entertain family and friends in their brand new home," he added.

Last month and as part of its Ramadan promotions this year, Damac also launched Casablanca Villas, a collection of fully furnished and serviced luxury boutique villas in Dubai inspired by the enchanting vibes of Casablanca.

With this promotion, Damac Properties is offering investors and customers the opportunity to pay 60 per cent of the property value upon completion.

Making its mark at the highest end of stylish living, Damac Properties has cemented its place as the leading luxury developer in the region, having delivered over 18,500 homes, with a development portfolio of more than 44,000 units at various stages of progress, observed McLoughlin.

"This includes 13,000 hotel rooms, serviced hotel apartments and hotel villas that will be managed by operator Damac Hotels & Resorts," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

EDM unveils infographic on cabin crew

EDM, a leading global provider of training simulators to the civil aviation and defence sectors, has announced the launch of aviation industry’s first infographic about the cabin crew sector.

EDM’s infographic includes visual representations of useful facts and figures about airline cabin crew in an interesting and engaging way. 

Some of the topics covered include the largest crews in the industry, the world’s safest airlines and the top-rated crew teams as voted for by passengers, said the company in a statement. 

Some staggering statistics include the predicted growth in annual aircraft passenger journeys to 7 billion by 2035 and the forecasted 814,000 new cabin crew needed to service this expansion in civil aviation.

"We continually research the major trends taking place within the aviation industry to help us maintain our competitive edge," remarked Tony Bermingham, the managing director of EDM. 

"We wanted to share some of our findings with the wider airline community and hope that civil aviation professionals around the world will find our infographic useful," he stated.

Combining the highest engineering standards with leading-edge technologies, EDM provides airlines with door trainers, cabin service trainers, cabin emergency evacuation trainers and full size mockups and defence organisations with procedure trainers, maintenance trainers, ejection seats, simulators and full size replicas, remarked Bermingham. 

Serving organisations worldwide from its UK headquarters, EDM is committed to delivering exceptional quality and value to its clients to help them enhance safety and operational efficiency, he added.-TradeArabia News Service 

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Friday, June 23, 2017

Airbus wins $40bn of commercial jet orders at Paris

Airbus announced $39.7 billion worth of new business during the 2017 Paris Air Show, providing strong evidence that the commercial aircraft market remains healthy.

The company won commitments for a total of 326 aircraft, including firm orders for 144 aircraft worth $18.5 billion and MoUs for 182 aircraft worth $21.2 billion.

A320 Family aircraft sales and commitments were robust, with business accounting for a total of 306 aircraft worth $33.8 billion. This total comprises 132 firm orders worth $14.7 billion, and MoUs for 174 aircraft worth 19.1 billion. In the Widebody segment, Airbus won business for 20 aircraft worth $5.9 billion, comprising 12 firm orders worth $3.6 billion and MoUs for eight aircraft worth 2.3 billion.

John Leahy, chief operating officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft said: “Our commercial success this week at Paris extends our already diversified order backlog to a new industry record of over 6,800 aircraft, with 326 orders worth $40 billion.”

Further to the new orders, the show also saw a repeat order from DHL Express for four more A330-300 Passenger-To-Freighter conversions, in partnership with EFW and ST Aerospace.

At this year’s show, Airbus not only marked a solid sales tally but also extended its value offering at both ends of its commercial product portfolio. In the Single-Aisle family Airbus decided to offer the Airspace Cabin brand – which, on the A320, includes the biggest overhead bin in its class. For the A380, Airbus has increased revenue-earning potential with even better fuel efficiency, thanks to enhanced large winglets, greater cabin capacity and a new higher take-off weight capability to increase its payload-range.

In addition, Airbus this week launched a new open aviation data platform called Skywise to support the digital transformation of the industry and add value for our customers’ operations. Skywise combines Airbus’ aerospace expertise with advanced data analytics solution provided by Palantir Technologies. – TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality