Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hormann introduces high-speed door for food sector

Hormann, a leading Germany-based provider of doors and gates, has introduced a high speed door, type V 2515 Food L, for the food industry.

This door has been specifically designed for the food industry and features side guides that are particularly easy to clean, said a statement from the company.

The high speed roller door intended for wet areas in the food industry is incorporated with a fabric curtain and V2A stainless steel frame. The door operator is fully enclosed in a spray-water protected cover, protection category IP65, it said.

The door is supplied as standard with a photocell and PVC seal in the frame, it added.

Darius Khanloo, managing director at Hormann Middle East and Africa (MEA), said: “It is suitable for all applications where hygiene and food safety is paramount.”

“Since it is made entirely of stainless steel, the door can be very easily cleaned with high -pressure cleaning systems and water. And above all, no counter weights or springs complicate the cleaning of the frame,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service



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RAK mall expansion work nearing completion

UAE-based Al Hamra Real Estate Development is nearing completion on the first phase of its Dh390 million ($106 million) expansion work at Manar Mall, the premier retail and leisure destination in the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

Once completed the gross leasable area (GLA) at Manar Mall will increase from just over 300,000 sq ft to nearly 600,000 sq ft over two levels, said the statement from Al Hamra Real Estate

It will add another 80 retail destinations thus taking the total number of retail outlets to 164 providing a wide range of international and local retailers for residents and visitors alike.

The first phase work will be completed and handed over to the mall authorities by the end of the second quarter this year, said the company statement.

This complements the ambitions of the RAK Tourism Development Authority, which recorded 800,000 tourists in 2016, up 10.9 per cent over the previous year, with a target of one million visitors by the end of 2019, it added.

The Manar Mall expansion is being undertaken by Al Hamra Real Estate Development, a fully owned subsidiary of Al Hamra Group, which has proven expertise in developing and managing master-planned communities.

Al Hamra Group owns hospitality, retail and leisure assets such as the iconic Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah.

“The expansion of Manar Mall, is in line with the growing trend for community retail and leisure-based destinations that focus on the customer experience and convenience of location and access, as opposed to the mega-malls that have defined the UAE’s retail landscape over the last decade,” remarked Benoy Kurien, the general manager, Al Hamra Real Estate Development.

Located close to RAK city centre, the mall is already home to renowned brands such as Carrefour, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Sephora, M&Co, GAP, New Look, Next, Mothercare, Boots, Bath & Body Works, Chili’s, McDonald’s and KFC, together with some of the UAE’s most iconic homegrown retail brands, including Paris Gallery, Sun & Sand Sport, Damas and E-Max, with a Fun City and a seven-screen Novo cinema.

“Retail developments with integrated leisure and entertainment facilities, positioned alongside restaurants and cafes are key to driving footfall, as more people demand local, indoor, family-oriented destinations for leisure, entertainment, dining and of course shopping,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Abu Dhabi unveils big plans for Hudayriat Island

Abu Dhabi government has unveiled major plans to develop a 30-km waterfront community on the 3,000-hectare Hudayriat Island located southwest of Abu Dhabi island.

Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) held a workshop with stakeholders on Monday to discuss approaches that will help transform Hudayriat Island into vibrant and sustainable community.

In line with the Abu Dhabi Plan, Hudayriat Island Master Plan comprises a diverse range of facilities including those for recreational activities, a public shoreline, green mobility network and rich natural environment.

The UPC said under this ambitious project, several plots will be allocated for the UAE nationals, who will benefit from the Emirati Housing Programme.

An accessible waterfront spanning an impressive 30km will be at the heart of the mixed-use development. It will take up to 10 minutes to walk from the waterfront to any point on the island, said the statement from UPC.

Abdulla Al Sahi, Planning and Infrastructure Executive Director, of the UPC, said: "We will take an integrated approach to the planning and design of the island, while balancing social, cultural, environmental and economic factors within a robust stakeholder engagement process."

"By utilising and enhancing the environmental features in this unique area of Abu Dhabi, this development will raise the standard of living, restore Emirati culture, promote healthy lifestyles and create a variety of coastal activities and attractions," noted Al Sahi.

"We will ensure the master plan complies with the UPC’s full suite of planning frameworks and manuals so that every step is taken to lay the groundwork for safe and sustainable communities in the future," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Netherlands visa application centre opens in Abu Dhabi

The Embassy of The Netherlands in Abu Dhabi has launched a new visa application centre in the capital city of Abu Dhabi to bring enhanced accessibility and greater convenience to residents of the UAE who plan to travel to The Netherlands.

Applicants can visit the centre in Abu Dhabi, managed by VFS Global, to submit visa applications and enrol for biometrics in a comfortable and efficient environment.

The new centre, formally inaugurated on May 22, 2017 by Frank J. M. Mollen - Ambassador of The Netherlands to the UAE, offers applicants streamlined and quicker visa application services managed by the centre’s well-trained and specialised staff.

Abu Dhabi is the second city in the UAE, after Dubai, from where applicants can apply for a visa to The Netherlands. The centre is centrally located at Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, Adjacent to Khalidiyah Mall, Abu Dhabi. Services at this location commenced from February 14, 2017.
VFS Global serves a total of 22 client governments in Abu Dhabi, and has operated visa processing services in the city since 2004.

Speaking about the launch, Mollen said: “My colleagues and I are very happy that the visa applications are now managed by VFS Global, in close cooperation with the Embassy. The Netherlands have an outstanding relationship with VFS Global in many countries, and I am very confident visa applicants will be as satisfied with the VFS Global’s service in Abu Dhabi as they are in other locations."

Also commenting on the launch, Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, said: “Our time-honoured partnership of over 10 years with our esteemed client government, The Netherlands, is reflective of the trust they have bestowed on us through this successful relationship. We are privileged to further extend our services to two centres in the UAE, and remain committed to providing comprehensive end-to-end visa services for applicants travelling to the Netherlands.”

VFS Global has partnered with the Government of The Netherlands since 2006, and serves the client in 33 countries from 71 visa application centres globally.

The key features of the centre include:
• Convenient and centrally-accessed location
• Professional staff with local language capability to handle queries and applications
• Well-appointed centre for enhanced comfort of applicants
• Automated queue governance for smooth flow of applicants
• Dedicated website for easy access to information including visa categories, requirements, check-list and applicable fees
• 100 per cent secure handling of passports, documents and personal information
• Door-step delivery of passports
• Premium Lounge for personalised and comfortable service. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Philippines Airlines to suspend Abu Dhabi-Manila flights

Philippine Airlines (PAL) will be temporarily suspending all flights between Abu Dhabi and Manila from July, the company has announced.

According to the airline, the temporary cancellation of the service is being carried out as PAL undertakes route assessment initiatives.

To ensure its Filipino passengers are not affected by the move, the airline will provide a bus service between the UAE capital and Dubai, from where they will depart. Similarly returning overseas Filipino workers who have purchased tickets are advised to either seek a refund or re-book their flight, and depart from or arrive at Dubai airport instead.

“PAL is seeking the kind understanding of affected passengers as the airline implements these operational adjustments,” the carrier said.

“Holders of PAL Manila –Abu Dhabi –Manila tickets dated July 8, 2017 and onwards may avail of any of the following options: Re-book their PAL Manila – Abu Dhabi flight to the PAL Manila – Dubai route and be transported by PAL – arranged/assisted bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and vice versa or refund the cost of their tickets.”

Affected flyers have been given 30 days from original travel dates to arrange for a rebooking or refund, with rebooking/refunding charges waived.

“PAL will also communicate with affected passengers via email notification and call-out.”

“The airline shall inform the public once the service resumes.”

PAL is the largest Filipino carrier serving the UAE market. It currently operates daily flights between Dubai and Manila and thrice weekly flights on the Abu Dhabi route. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Turkish Airlines hosts Black Sea Mena Summit

Turkish Airlines organised the first Black Sea Tourism and Investment Summit (Middle East and North Africa Region) in Rize, Turkey on May 11.

Agencies from 14 countries and the region gathered together for a workshop that was held with over 700 people attending. The workshop also saw over 2,000 meetings between agencies that allowed the introduction of Trabzon, Artvin, Rize, Ordu, Giresun and Samsun cities.

A gala dinner was arranged that included ministers to reflect the importance of the event and to express their support to empower tourism for Turkey’s Black Sea region, thus attracting tourists from Middle East and North Africa (Mena). Delegates not only enjoyed Turkish hospitality but also visited the Black Sea's busiest ports and its must see attractions by attending a familirisation trip between May 12-14.

During the trip paticipants had a chance to tour Rize, a picturesque tea-growing area offering scenic natural views, beautiful historical artefacts and touristic attraction such as rafting, zip lining, among others, in the Firtina valley.

Additionally, particpating guests enjoyed the exquisite features and must-see attractions which the city of Trabzon has to offer like Uzungol Lake, Boztepe Hills, and much more, showcasing just why Trabzon is considered among the most attractive global touristic destinations and how it is able to attract thousands of visitors worldwide.

Turkish Airlines has regular flights to Trabzon, which has been an amazing tourist destinations in recent years. Thousands of tourists go to Trabzon to spend a week of relaxation, enjoy local delicacies, visit the city’s several monasteries, among other must-do activities.

Turkish Airlines also flies directly to Trabzon from the GCC region including Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Kuwait.

The airline is planning to operate charter flights from several destinations from the Middle East to Black Sea including Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, Al-Qassim, Taif, Beirut, to Trabzon and Al-Qassim, Riyadh to Ordu. - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

RAK airport adds SmartWings’ Prague service to schedule

Following an exceptional first quarter, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport has celebrated with the arrival of a new scheduled operation between the emirate and Prague, the Czech capital.

The operator is SmartWings, the Czech Republic’s most prominent low-cost carrier. The service will start with a weekly flight to a destination that is becoming increasing popular with UAE and regional residents. With its historic centre and varied architecture, “The City of a Hundred Spires” is one of Europe’s most attractive tourist destinations.

Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman of RAK Airport and DCA, welcomed the airline to Ras Al Khaimah, saying: “This is a key connectivity for Ras Al Khaimah for various reasons. Firstly, it connects RAK to one of our tourism source markets in Eastern Europe.  Secondly, UAE residents enjoy visiting Prague during spring and summer time, and now they will have the option of flying from hassle-free RAK Airport.  And lastly, through the hub at Prague, travellers will be able to continue their journey on SmartWings’ and their sister company Travel Service’s strong European network.”

Mohammed Qazi, RAK Airport CEO, said: “SmartWings are familiar with the airport as they have been operating charters to RAK for a while, but a scheduled operation is certainly a big boost for us.  We are committed to airlines operating to RAK and shall be working closely with SmartWings and our colleagues at Tourism Development Authority to make this a year round feature. I am particularly pleased to have this service leaving from our doorstep as Prague is most definitely a two-way connectivity, and RAK Airport will be able to serve the local communities of the Northern Emirates.”

Qatar Airways and Air India Express both initiated scheduled operations last year, joining the services run by Air Arabia out of RAK International. In addition to the new scheduled service, Qazi also revealed that for the first time charter flights are running throughout the summer, a clear indication that tourism growth from Europe is becoming a year round phenomenon.

According to Qazi, 2017 is currently beating what was a record year for the airport in 2016, highlighted by double-digit growth in the first quarter, with scheduled movements increasing by 11 per cent and non-scheduled rocketing by a hefty 30 per cent. Passenger numbers have also soared by 9 per cent over 2016, with the biggest growth coming from transit passengers following investment in rest areas for passengers transiting through the airport. On the cargo front volumes have grown by 15 per cent year-on-year due to the addition of new freighter operators connecting Ras Al Khaimah to Africa and the Subcontinent. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Oman sewage plant set for 2018 completion

Haya Water, a major government-owned water reuse company in Oman, said work was progressing as per schedule at its Darsait STP (sewage treatment plant) project and was due for completion by the end of next year.

Darsait STP is considered to be one of the largest and most significant projects in the region designed with the highest standards and specifications. It will cater to the residents of Wadi Kabir, Al Humriya, Ruwi, Bait Al Falaj, Darsait, Costal Darsait and Aynt areas.

The capacity of the STP in its first phase will be 37,000 cu m per day and will be increased to 50,000 during the second phase. The plant is expected to be completed during the last quarter of 2018, reported Oman Observer, citing a senior official.

The construction of the new STP is part of Haya's efforts to connect houses and other facilities with a modern wastewater system and to raise the capacity of wastewater treatment by taking advantage of the latest technologies in the field of wastewater treatment, remarked Said bin Rashid Al Asmi, general manager for projects in Haya Water.

The plant will use the membrane bio-reactor (MBR) technology, which is considered one of the best systems worldwide that produces high-quality and pollution-free treated wastewater in accordance with local and international standards and specifications, stated Al Asmi.

According to Haya, the scope of work includes the establishment of recreational facilities in the area.

Haya Water is also considering construction of two football fields and open spaces for those who wish to practice any kind of sports, said Al Asmi.

The location of these two football fields and other facilities will be on the old STP site, which will be demolished after the official opening of the new STP, he added.



from Construction Realestate

5,800 new homes to enter Qatar market by year-end

An estimated 5,800 new homes are set to enter the Qatar real estate market by year end, assuming minimum construction delays, according to a report.

These include apartments in five buildings at United Development Company's (UDC) flagship project The Pearl and 10 buildings in Lusail, stated ValuStrat, a leading consulting firm, in its review on Qatar's real estate market for Q1.

By the end of 2016, the total housing stock (villas, residential houses and apartments) was approximately 281,000 units. Another 1,500 units, comprising about 17 per cent villas and 83 per cent apartments, were added to Qatari market during the first quarter this year.
 
Of these, majority of the new residential projects were concentrated in Lusail, The Pearl and Al Sadd, it stated.

This year’s Cityscape exhibition unveiled major off-plan residential projects such as Al Swida Village in Al Thumama (77 apartment buildings), Lusail Azure (serviced apartments and villas), Telal 2 in Lusail (luxury apartments), Millennium Apartments in The Pearl, Jumanah Tower 2 in The Pearl and Ezdan Oasis in Wukair (8,679 housing units).

All the projects mentioned are expected to be completed by 2020, it stated.
 
On the residential prices, the ValuStrat report said compared to 2016, the median transacted price for residential houses fell by nearly 12 per cent year-on-year, although the volume of transactions increased by more than 50 per cent.

This annual increase in transactions volume of residential units illustrates a positive response to falling prices, it stated.

On the first quarter scenario, ValuStart said the median transacted price remained unchanged. However, the volume of transactions for residential houses decreased by 20 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ).

The quarterly fall in volume can be partially explained by recent rises in lending rates by Qatar Central Bank total 0.5 per cent in December 2016 and March 2017, it stated.

The real estate consultancy said compared to last year, the median monthly asking rents have declined by approximately 15 per cent YoY and five per cent QoQ.

For villas, the median asking rents plunged by 18 per cent YoY and eight per cent QoQ, while for apartments the asking rents were down 15 per cent YoY and five per cent QoQ.

"Apartment asking rents were relatively stable in some areas like Al Sadd. As many landlords did not reduce rents, but offered incentives and promotions which translated into a fall in effective rents, stated ValuStrat in its report.  

"Moreover, in areas like Abu Hamour or Fereej Bin Mahmoud, rents were stable as majority of these districts cater to low-middle income segment," it added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Monday, May 22, 2017

Oman to call proposals for major solar project

Oman is likely to issue a Request for Proposals (RfP) in the fourth quarter of this year to set up its first large scale solar Independent Power Project (IPP), a report said.

Oman Power and Water Procurement Co (OPWP) plans to procure several IPPs providing around 2,400 MW of new gas-based capacity, and a new Independent Water Projects offering a total of over 800,000 cu m per day of new desalination capacity, Oman observer reported.

Future procurement initiatives may include additional solar or wind IPPs, a gas-fired IPP for service in 2024, and the first coal-fired IPP for operation beyond 2024, the state-owned utility said.

“OPWP plans to procure Oman’s first large-scale solar IPP in 2017. Technical advisers have been engaged to develop tender documents and an appropriate evaluation methodology that assures a cost-effective project without subsidy. OPWP expect to issue the RFP in Q4 2017, for capacity of at least 200 MW, to be operational by 2020,” the report quoted a statement from the utility.

The move comes as OPWP is faced with burgeoning electricity demand projected to grow at the rate of about 6 per cent annually from 5,920 MW in 2016 to 8,960 MW in 2023, it added.



from Construction Realestate

Kuwait to spend $309m on road development

The Kuwait government is set to spend around KD94 million ($309 million) for development of roads and other key infrastructures in South Surra neighbourhood of the capital city, said a report.

The project, being implemented by the Ministry of Public Works, involves construction and maintenance of roads and overpasses in areas within the vicinity of Sheikh Jaber Hospital and parts of the 6th Ring Road, reported the state news agency Kuna.

Two contracts linked to the consultancy agreement and implementation of the project would be submitted to the Minister of Public Works Abdulrahman Al Mutawa, it added.

Meanwhile, in another development, Al Mutawa has signed a consulting agreement for designing, construction, and maintenance of overhead intersections and U-turns on Al Nuwaisib road.

The agreement includes rehabilitating the existing road, cancelling all 33 U-turns besides providing the suitable multi-storey intersections all over the road and the needed intersections for entrances and exits of the new cities, according to Kuna.

The agreement also includes developing 43-km-long roads, nine multi-storey intersections, an overhead U-turn bridge that connects Al Wafra road to Al Nuwaisib road (intersection no.5); in addition to 4 bridges for camel crossing, said the report.

Nuwaisib road is extended from intersection no. 91 (Al-Dubaiya Bridge), to the exit of Al-Nuwaisib area that is close to the border of Saudi Arabia, it added.



from Construction Realestate

Nikki Beach Resort unveils Ramadan offerings

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa presents guests with a set of unique Ramadan experiences. The newly opened resort located on Pearl Jumeira Island brings the energy of the Nikki Beach brand into its Iftar offering.

Overlooking the Arabian Gulf, Nikki Privé is the venue of choice for corporate Iftars where colleagues and business partners can indulge in a contemporary, family style dining experience. The area features an exclusive beach-facing terrace that boasts fantastic views and a large outdoor terrace.

General manager Alexander Schneider said: “Ramadan is the time to gather with family, friends and colleagues. We aim to create memorable experiences by offering a relaxing atmosphere near the beach and this is what exactly our brand is rooted in."

The exclusive locale will serve as a chic setting to unwind and relax from 19:30 to 22:00, with a selection of delicious shisha. The resort is a place to engage with staff and guests alike, a place to meet and create lifetime memories on the beach overlooking the stunning Arabian Gulf. - TradeArabia News Service



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