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



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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wood flooring trends in 2017 inspired by nature

Interiors in 2017 are all about going back to basics, connecting ourselves with nature once again. In a world that's so fast-paced, we as humans have an innate need to hold on to the natural, the organic, said an industry expert. 

This is now being translated into interior design trends, with homes focusing on having a harmonious, natural and calm feeling, stated Nordic Homeworx, the exclusive distributor of Kährs, one of the oldest wood manufacturers in the world, based in Sweden.

It was founded in 2006 by a Swedish national Pauline Madani to bring premium Swedish wood flooring into Dubai. Nordic Homeworx is not only the exclusive distributor for the Kährs but also the agent for the brand in the Middle East. 

"Creating a home with a soul. Having a natural wood floor at home is a big part of creating that feeling- because wood is a material that affects all senses," remarked Emanuel Lidberg, the creative design manager for Kährs in Sweden.

According to Lidberg, a current trend in Scandinavia is big windows, covering a whole wall from floor to ceiling in an effort to erase the lines between indoors and outdoors. 

"This means that the light falls in a way that can cause reflections on the floor, confusing our sense of colour. That is why we're seeing matte surfaces becoming a big trend in the near future," he stated.

Wood floors provide a natural warmth and beauty to a home that very few other flooring materials can. Wood floors also add style to a home, are easy to care for and clean, comfortable to walk on and are non-allergenic and child-friendly, said the expert.

"Though investing in a high-quality natural wood flooring in Dubai will most likely have a high initial price, it will surely cost you less over time. This is due to the fact that much like most high-end brands - more research has been done into the product, skillful manufacturing implemented and high-quality raw materials used," observed Lidberg. 

"There is usually a valid reason for a wood floor's price. It generally takes a little bit of investigation into the brand to understand better. We also recommend you to look into other clients' experiences through testimonials or word-of-mouth as an additional background check into the supplier," observed Lidberg.

The 160-year history of Kährs is the story of a strong passion for nature and the environment; for wood as a material and for interior design, combined with innovative thinking and a commitment to the highest quality standards, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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ENBD REIT to distribute $9.7m interim dividend

ENBD REIT, a leading Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust in the UAE, will be paying an interim dividend of $9.71 million ($0.0382 per share) as its first dividend payment since listing on Nasdaq Dubai in March.

The Nasdaq Dubai-listed REIT said the payment will be only made to those investors who own shares in ENBD REIT before market close on July 2. The dividend record date will be July 5, said the statement from the company.

The dividend payment represents an annualised dividend yield of 7.13 per cent, based on ENBD REIT’s closing share price of $1.08 on June 21 and an annualized dividend yield on net asset value (NAV) per share of 6.6 per cent on the current NAV as of March 31. 

It is the intention of ENBD REIT to continue to distribute dividends to shareholders on a half-yearly basis, said a top official.

"The board of directors is pleased to announce ENBD REIT’s first dividend payment since the successful listing of our ordinary shares on Nasdaq Dubai in March," remarked its director Tariq Bin Hendi.

"In the period since listing, our management team have worked hard to deploy the capital raised by the transaction. We have already announced one successful acquisition, which has diversified our holdings into alternative asset classes, and we have a strong pipeline of further acquisitions, which we intend to be announcing soon," stated Bin Hendi. 

"We look forward to continuing to deliver strong returns to our shareholders," he added.

ENBD REIT has key investments in properties across Dubai’s office, residential, and alternative real estate asset classes. In March, the company successfully raised $105 million when it listed on Nasdaq Dubai.-TradeArabia News Service



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Swiss-Belhotel to launch new residence brand in Bahrain

Global hospitality group Swiss-Belhotel International (SBI) has signed a management agreement with Hassan Lari Property Development & Management to operate Swiss-Belresidences Juffair in Bahrain.

This latest announcement marks the debut of the Swiss-Belresidences brand in Bahrain.

Mohamed Lari, general manager of Hassan Lari Property Development & Management, said: “We look forward to working with a reputed partner like Swiss-Belhotel International. Swiss-Belresidences Juffair has been designed keeping in mind the comfort and flexibility that today’s modern travellers demand, and will offer guests an enriching experience.”

Laurent A. Voivenel, senior vice president, operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International, said: “GCC is a strategic growth market for us and we are delighted to announce this superb new property in Bahrain with Hassan Lari Property Development & Management. We are truly grateful to the owning company for having given us this fantastic opportunity and are confident Swiss-Belresidences Juffair will appeal to both leisure and business travellers."

Expected to open by the end of 2017, Swiss-Belresidences Juffair is an upper midscale hotel apartments complex featuring 129 well-appointed two and three bedroom serviced units each equipped with fabulous facilities including a full-fledged kitchen.

Enjoying a prime location in the city, in close proximity to popular shopping and dining attractions, the hotel also boasts outstanding recreation and dining facilities such as a swimming pool, a large spa connected with the health club, a mini theatre, a kids club, an all-day-dining restaurant and a deli corner in the lobby.

The growing demand for quality hotels across the Middle East is helping to fuel the rapid expansion of Swiss-Belhotel International in the region.

Gavin M. Faull, chairman and president of Swiss-Belhotel International, said: “This new signing reinforces our commitment to the Middle East where we currently have more than 3,500 rooms under development. We are excited to expand our presence in the region and offer our guests more choice in this evolving market where we have been operating with great success for over a decade.” - TradeArabia News Service
 



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GE wins Jordan power plant maintenance agreement

Global technology and engineering conglomerate GE said its power unit has signed a multi-year agreement with Samra Electric Power Company (Sepco) in Jordan to provide full maintenance services, including parts and repairs for critical power generation equipment at its combined cycle power plant located in the Zarqa region of the kingdom.

The 1,175MW Samra Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) Power Plant feeds power into the national grid for both residential and commercial use, said a statement from GE.

This agreement will cover seven GE gas turbines that are installed and operating at the Samra Station. GE will also provide its Advanced Gas Path (AGP) upgrade for 9E units and its MXL2 upgrade for GT13E2 units at the site, it added.

It will help to lower maintenance costs, improve the availability of assets at the plant and enhance operational output and efficiency, said Amjad Al Rawashdeh, the managing director of Sepco, after signing the agreement with Fadi Tabboush, the executive sales director of GE’s Power Services business for East Mediterranean, Iraq and Pakistan (EMIP). 

“The collaboration with GE marks our focus on the continuous improvement of operations at Samra and the better utilization of assets at the power station,” noted Al Rawashdeh. 

"Jordan’s energy needs are estimated to be growing at about five per cent per annum. GE’s expertise and advanced solutions will help us to support the cost-effective supply of power to meet the requirements of people and industry in general," he added.

The agreement with Sepco underpins the transformational value that GE can bring to our customers, he added.

Joseph Anis, the president and chief executive of GE’s Power Services business in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, said: "We are honoured to help Sepco reduce maintenance costs and improve asset performance at Samra for greater plant availability and more reliable operations."

GE’s AGP solution to be deployed at Samra blends hardware and digital innovations to deliver industry-leading performance and operational flexibility, he explained. 

The solution offers extended availability with the industry’s longest gas path maintenance interval of up to 32,000 hours and can help prolong the life of the turbines and parts to as much as 96,000 hours, as well as increase output, enhance efficiency and reduce fuel costs, stated Anis.

"GE has supported the development of the energy sector across the Middle East and North Africa and Turkey for more than 80 years. Today, GE-built technologies support the generation of more than two-thirds of the region’s electricity," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Emirates, flydubai to work together under one unit

Over the next 18 months, Dubai's Emirates airlines and flydubai will be working together to bring the airlines under one unit, said a report.

“We are minded to accelerate a greater joining of the hip, of what we do, there’s a lot of work going on there to extract value for the shareholder,” Emirates President Tim Clark said at the Paris Airshow.

The push by their state owner comes amid pressure on profits at both airlines, siad a report in Aviation Business ME.

The carriers currently have an interline agreement allowing their passengers to connect between each other's flights, the report said.

The move could open up slots for Emirates, said Clark and likely delay the move to Dubai World Central, Dubai's second airport, to "sometime between 2026 to 2030," he added.



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Emaar Properties names Jain Group CEO

Dubai's Emaar Properties, leading property developer and builder of the world's tallest tower Burj Khalifa, has appointed Amit Jain, as the new Group chief executive officer.

An industry veteran, Jain has over 20 years of experience in senior positions with real estate, banking industries and as management consultant. He is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a CFA Charter holder from the CFA Institute, US.

He was previously the group's chief operating officer and chief executive of Emaar's Dubai operations, said the company in a statement.  

Since Emaar's former CEO Abdullah Lahej left the company to take his responsibility at Dubai Properties Group in April last year, Jain had been handling the responsibilities of the CEO position on an acting basis.

In another development, Emaar's hospitality unit has confirmed that it will be managing its first hotel in Saudi Arabia.

“We would like to clarify that entering into a hotel management agreement is in the normal course of business for Emaar Hospitality,” Emaar Properties said in a statement issued to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

The agreement is not expected to have a material impact on Emaar Properties’ financials, it added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Enjoy a fun Eid holiday at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel

Eid Al Fitr is on the horizon, and Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa in Kuwait is welcoming guests to its luxurious accommodation and facilities for a time of relaxation and to enjoy an exceptional culinary fair.

For guests that like to beat the heat, there is plenty of fun on the private beach of the resort. Take to the Gulf on a jet ski, open the throttle and enjoy the thrill, or go for a friendly contest and see who can stay upright the longest on a giant inflatable banana as it blasts through the waters. There’s also the option for guests to lift their Eid stay to the next level by taking to the water then to the air with a parasailing session.

Younger guests are important to the team at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa. The dedicated staff at Sinbad Kids’ Club will keep the little ones entertained with a range of activities including arts & crafts and extensive play area. Teens need their own space too while on holiday and the Scene Club caters especially for them with their own dedicated space featuring the latest gaming consoles and a private movie theater.

When it comes to dining, the culinary team created a very special Eid brunch with a twist at Garden Café. The brunch features an array of international cuisines and, for the first time, includes a unique Chocolate and Candy Room, offering 55 different chocolate treats, including signature treats such as fashion designed eclairs, an edible chocolate frame, chocolate Um Ali and a wide range of candies – enough to satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth. There’s also a live, interactive chocolate show, a chocolate river and the very popular chocolate shawarma station.
 
For relaxation and rejuvenation time, the award-winning Talise Spa has a special Eid offer with new Detox treatments from Anne Semonin, Paris. Shock your body into action with the Cryolipolysis Body Treatment or try the Cryo Time Freeze Facial.

There’s plenty to keep one occupied at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa this Eid Holiday.. - TradeArabia News Service



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Global passenger jet aftermarket services to top $1.8trn

The global aftermarket services for passenger aircraft above 100 seats will reach $1.85 trillion over the next 20 years, while the fleet will more than double to 40,000 as traffic grows at 4.4 per cent every year, said an Airbus report.

During the period, the total industry aftermarket services spend will reach around $3.2 trillion, added the report titled Global Market Forecast 2017-2036.

Training, cabin and systems upgrades are also major contributors to the overall services market, it noted.

MRO

MRO is the largest activity represented under services market and is expected to double in the next 20 years. On an annual basis, Airbus predicts that the MRO spend will grow from $60 billion to over $120 billion per year; For this segment, there will be a necessity to manage mixed-fleet with ageing aircraft and new technologically advanced aircraft. In addition, the development of low-cost-carriers (LCCs) will further drive outsourcing strategies to allow airlines focusing on their core business of transporting their passengers. Asia Pacific will see the largest growth in MRO demand over the period.

Training

As the world fleet grows, so does the need for more pilots and technicians: Over one million pilots and technicians to be trained over the next 20 years, according to the forecast. Airbus has already tripled the number of its global training locations in the last three years and will continue to grow to propose tailor-made solutions to customers, right on their ‘doorstep’ while integrating latest technologies and web-based solutions.

Cabin & systems upgrades

Airbus projects that over the next 20 years the upgrade market will be worth US$180 billion, driven in part by high competition between airlines who value the ‘passenger experience’ as a differentiator (comfort, connectivity etc.), as well as systems upgrades. Notably, 38 per cent of this market will be Asia Pacific. – TradeArabia News Service



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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Amlak partners with Dubai Land Department

Amlak Finance, a leading specialised Shari’a compliant real estate financier in the Middle East, has announced a key partnership deal with the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

This strategic co-operation aims at doubling customers’ properties, enhancing the investment appetite for the Dubai real estate market, and stimulating growth in the sector, said Arif Alharmi, the managing director and chief executive of Amlak Finance, after signing the deal with Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, the director general of the Dubai Land Department.

This follows Amlak Finance’s recent launch of its exclusive ‘Double Your Property’ product to double customers’ properties through creating a suitable environment for real estate investors and promoting the real estate sector’s contribution to the overall development of the emirate under the umbrella of DLD, he stated.

Under the deal, DLD will provide support to Amlak in identifying potential investors who qualify for this investment proposition.

This first-of-its-kind product targets resident and non-resident investors who have equity in UAE property. This includes individuals that have already purchased properties or those who have now reached the end of their finance or mortgage tenure, said Amlak in a statement.

The product will provide eligible investors with increased returns on their real estate investments as well as other attractive financing terms including refinancing options for up to 80% of the current market value, it stated.

Alharmi said the company looked forward to offering its new ‘Double Your Property’ product to wider audiences.

"At Amlak, we are continually enhancing products and services we offer to our customers in line with current demands and we believe this new offering is well-suited for the market. Our DLD partnership and recent product launch will further increase investment transactions in Dubai," he added.

On the tieup, Bin Mejren said: "We are delighted to collaborate with Amlak Finance especially since this collaborative initiative is in line with our vision to promote Dubai’s position as the world’s premier real estate destination and a byword for innovation, trust and happiness."

"Such strategic partnerships will increase real estate transactions activity, provide a channel for non-residents to invest in the Dubai market, and at the same time it will encourage existing property owners to redirect investment to the real estate sector, and ultimately promote investment in the Dubai real estate sector on a global scale," he added.

Under this aagreement, Amlak will also provide support for customers by facilitating the entire new investment process using the refinanced amount. Customers will be able to enjoy complete access to Amlak’s diverse real estate portfolio and will receive a complementary property management services, it added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Arcadis names new Middle East CEO

Arcadis, ae leading global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets, said it has appointed Dr Kamiran Ibrahim as the new chief executive for its Middle East operations effective July 1.

Dr Ibrahim currently holds the position of managing director for UAE and Oman and will succeed Graham Reid, who has accepted a position at RES Group in the United Kingdom, said a statement from Arcadis.

Dr Ibrahim joined Hyder Consulting in the UK in 2003 and moved to the Middle East in 2006. Prior to the Arcadis acquisition of Hyder Consulting in 2014, Dr Ibrahim held a number of senior executive leadership roles, including that of regional business director for Geotechnics/Tunneling and regional managing director for the Utilities/Water sector.

Following the Arcadis acquisition, he assumed two regional roles at Arcadis, - Managing Director of Qatar and the Global Business Leader for Water - prior to his current role leading the growth of the UAE and Oman businesses.

Dr Ibrahim is a civil engineer with over 30 years’ experience in business development and operations within contracting and consultancy firms across the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

He has a proven ability to drive and implement operational success in large international organizations. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Civil Engineering, a Master of Science degree in Highways and Traffic Engineering (MSc), and a PhD in Civil Engineering (Geotechnics).

Throughout his professional career, he has had key leadership involvement in the design and management of numerous high profile international projects, aimed at improving quality of life of the people within their respective localities.

Stephan Ritter, Arcadis' executive board member responsible for Europe, UK, the Middle East and Global Excellence Centers, said: "We are grateful for Reid’s contribution to the integration of our activities in the Middle East and for building a resilient business in challenging times. Graham led the region with a strong focus on clients and successful project execution. We wish Graham all the best in his new role."

Welcoming Dr Ibrahim into the fold, Ritter said his unique combination of relentless client focus, outstanding track record and business acumen were amongst his strongest attributes.

"His significant leadership capability and deep understanding of the Middle East region, as well as Arcadis’ clients and people, make him a natural successor. I am delighted that he has accepted the CEO role in the Middle East,” he added.

On his appointment, Dr Ibrahim said: "I am passionate about leading multi-disciplinary teams to overcome clients’ business challenges, and I am committed to bringing the very best of Arcadis to our clients."-TradeArabia News Service



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India's Sterling and Wilson wins major UAE power project

India-based engineering firm Sterling and Wilson has won both the turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operation and maintenance contract for the world’s largest single location solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at Sweihan in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The plant is being jointly developed by Marubeni, a Japanese integrated trading and investment giant, along with Jinko, a global leader in the solar industry, and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea).

Sterling and Wilson, one of the dominant global forces in the solar PV space, said the project will deliver a capacity of 1177 MWp, easily surpassing the current largest 850 MWp single location plant in China.

With construction already under way, the  plant, which is spread over a desert area of 7.8 sq km, is scheduled to be fully integrated with the grid in a record timeline of just 23 months. To top it all, the project was awarded at the lowest ever recorded bid in the history of PV solar, stated the Mumbai-based Sterling and Wilson.

The Marubeni consortium had successfully bid a tariff of $2.42 cents per kilowatt hour, marking the lowest cost ever for solar power, it stated.
 
This is a positive demonstration of the promising future of clean energy, reducing the dominance of fossil-fuel-backed power plants.

Sterling and Wilson pointed out that the prestigious project would be playing a major role in helping Abu Dhabi achieve its aim of sustainability and energy diversification, through the use of clean energy/low carbon growth in accordance with the world’s vision of long-term environmental stewardship.

The plant, once commissioned, would save around seven million tonnes of carbon emissions every year, a number that would be a national landmark, it stated.

To put it in perspective, 1,177 MWp can power around 195,000 homes, thus contributing to the welfare of the current as well as the future generations of the people of the UAE, said a top official.

"We are fully geared and very excited to be a part of this important milestone in the global solar market," said Bikesh Ogra, the president for renewable energy at Sterling and Wilson.

"Owing to the favourable government policies, India is now the third largest market for solar in the world, allowing Sterling and Wilson the opportunity to become the leading solar EPC in the country. The company has created a global brand and has now grown to be the world’s largest solar EPC player outside US and China," he remarked.

Laying emphasis on the need to be competitive, Ogra said: "The strongest contributor to this tariff is the capital expense driven by lower equipment cost and a highly efficient system design. Our unique design offerings and state-of-the-art robotics optimises the yield and performance of the plant."

Sterling and Wilson also has to its credit 1400 MW of best-performing solar power plants in various geographies with a powerhouse of more than 3,000 qualified engineers, project managers and designers.

As the acceleration of growth in the energy sector has increased worldwide, Sterling and Wilson has ventured into the wind and energy storage sectors, covering the entire canvas in the renewable sector, said Ogra.

Backed by its robust resources in project management, project implementation and project engineering, with projects completed in the Philippines and South Africa, and a number of projects in Zambia, Niger and Morocco under construction, the company is fully geared to deliver more than 3,000 MW every year, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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