Saturday, January 21, 2017

Iran signs up German groups for key airport projects

Iran Airports Company (IAC) has signed strategic agreements with leading German developers for major airport projects in the country, said a report.

These multilateral MoUs were inked with Munich Airport, Frankfurt Airport and Dornier Consulting International GmbH for cooperation in the aviation sector, reported Iran Daily.

The IAC also discussed co-operation with French and Italian firms in training human resources, optimising the airports' capacity, commercialisation of airports besides providing financial resources for development of infrastructure, modernising IT and navigation infrastructures, airport operations management and airport development, stated the report, citing a senior official.

The German side will finance the construction of Tabriz airport terminal as well as new airports in Chabahar and Ahvaz on the basis of BOT (build-operate-transfer) and BLT (build, lease, transfer) financing arrangements, remarked Rahmatollah Mahabadi, the head of the IAC.

Iran is planning to overhaul all its airport equipment to enhance safety and security level, he added.
 



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Kuwait's expat tax move 'to hit property sector badly'

Kuwait's real estate sector, especially the investment and commercial segments, will be severely affected if the government goes ahead with its decision to impose taxes and increase fees on expatriates, said a report.

The negative impact on the entire real- estate sector especially the investment segment will be massive if the recent statements issued against expatriates are transformed into decisions, reported Arab Times, citing a top industry expert.

"About 90 per cent of the flats in Kuwait are rented out to expatriates; therefore, any actions that could lead to a mass exodus of expatriates will hit the sector very badly," stated Abdulrahman Al Habib, the head of the Real Estate Brokers Association.  

Al Shabib Real Estate Group chairman Bader Al Shabib said rents of most of the flats in Kuwait are likely to fall 13 per cent this year, since many expatriates have already taken steps to send their families back to their home countries.

In such a scenario, the real estate sector will be facing a serious problem this summer, he added.



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Etihad to launch extra summer flights to Maldives

UAE national carrier Etihad Airways has announced four additional weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi – Malé route, increasing frequency to the idyllic Maldives to 11 services a week between July 1 and September 17.

The capacity increase will cater to high demand during the peak summer season. The announcement comes as the Abu Dhabi-based airline completed five years of operations to the Maldives.

Etihad Airways launched its daily scheduled flights between the capital cities of the UAE and the Maldives on November 1, 2011, said a statement from Etihad.

The summer expansion will be supported by a two-class A320 aircraft operating the route, with 16 Business and 120 Economy seats, it stated.

These additional flights will operate on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between July 1 and September 17, it stated.

Flight No EY 260 will take off from Abu Dhabi at 12.55 midnight and land in Malé at 6.20 early morning, while on return, Flight No 261 will depart Male at 7.40pm and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 11pm.

Over the past five years, Etihad Airways has carried more than 450,000 passengers on the route, with the majority travelling to the Maldives from Abu Dhabi, the GCC and key European markets.

The Maldives is the ultimate honeymoon and leisure destination, with Malé being the gateway to the premium leisure destination. Etihad Airways is a key contributor to the Maldivian economy, supporting the vibrant tourism and fishing industries.

The extra flights will provide more options for local passengers travelling between Abu Dhabi and Malé with an early morning arrival into the Maldives islands, said the UAE national carrier.

Overall connectivity to and from key destinations in the GCC and Europe will increase and, new two-way connectivity will be established from markets such as Edinburgh, Jeddah, Madrid, Moscow and Zurich, it added.-TradeaArabia News Service



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NDigitec to open new facility in Dubai

NDigitec, a leading UAE-based creative production company, is set to open a new, dedicated facility within Dubai Production City, aimed at further enhancing its overall fabrication competency amidst a surge in demand for its fabrication solutions and services in the UAE and region.

With the new facility, NDigitec will be able to offer the complete spectrum of fabrication competency solutions – ranging from digital signage, fit-out, turnkey, event podium, display and exhibition stands – to complement its Premedia and Digital Printing competencies.

The company, the preferred supplier for over 500 business partners in providing a complete value chain of over 75 services for brand owners, media and the graphic arts industry, has thus become the one-stop creative partner for all media production requirements.

The new facility will offer a range of services, including Electroluminescent panel (EL Panel) signage, LED signage, Fit-out & turnkey project services, event fabrication, podium and display stands, POS retail stands, exhibition stands and online ready-made stands, among others. With the new unit, NDigitec Fabrication will deliver solutions with wood, MDF, steel, acrylic, aluminum, LED signage, among others.

Mohammed Shawer, NDigitec DigiPrint & Fabrication General Manager, said: "The new production facility is a major step forward for NDigitec and will strengthen the company’s position as the market leader for creative production services."

"The company has an in-house team of over 20 years of proven competence in fabrication and we have the right solutions and services to cater to various needs of the market and the confidence to deliver on our promises," he noted.

Vatche Kavlakian, CEO of NDigitec, said: “NDigitec is witnessing a sharp growth across all its competencies, making it a one-stop destination for all creative production needs. The concept of selling readymade exhibition stands on our web-to-print platform, Dubaiprint.com will be implemented in 2017 and we believe this will be game changer in the industry.”

The company has also successfully researched over 100 different exhibition stand concepts to suit the needs of various brand owners across segments with a dedicated Content Creation Department (CCD) located at the NDigitec headquarters at Dubai Production City.

NDigitec offers a wide array of brand experiences and digital production solutions; web development and interactive solutions; augmented reality / virtual reality and film production solutions; photography and talent services, prepress solutions, large and small format digital and 3D printing solutions; exhibition, digital signage and fabrication solutions, among others.-TradeArabia News Service



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Artar's Dubai project on track for 2018 completion

Artar Real Estate Development, a leading Saudi-based group, said its work on its Mada Residences project in Downtown Dubai, is going as per schedule for completion in the second quarter of 2018, with a topping out ceremony likely to take place next month.

Backed by 50 years of regional experience, Artar picked its Mada Residences location seeing Dubai’s Downtown district as one of the world’s prime central city locations for investment and living, said it top official.

It boasts a superior location in Downtown Dubai, Burj Khalifa District with easy access that minimises traffic hassles. Destinations such as DIFC, the expanded City Walk Mall and Jumeirah are easily accessible.

“Prime location projects such as ours position investors strategically for long-term growth. Current selling prices are close to construction costs and I can’t think of a better time to buy. You get great value for money right now,” remarked Okbah Abdulkarim, the chief operating officer.

"We are just a one minute walk to The Dubai Mall Extension, two minutes from Business Bay Marina, the Yacht Club, Promenade and an RTA Water Taxi Station. It is genuinely hard to think of a city with such a huge wealth of dining, entertainment, retail, leisure, cultural and other facilities in one location,” he added.

According to him, the Dubai market is experiencing a period of healthy stabilisation paving the way for strong growth in the build-up to Expo 2020.

GCC investors, he stated, have not let regional economic concerns undermine their interests in Dubai residential property which is still seen as providing long-term financial security.

According to him, prime locations such as Dubai’s Downtown district are particularly attractive for Saudi and other GCC investors who want the best of both traditional and multicultural worlds.

"We have not experienced reduced enquiries due to oil prices as our property, unlike others in Downtown, appeals to a wide range of end users and investors. We are not reliant on the type of buyers affected by the drop in oil revenue," observed Abdulkarim.

“Dubai remains an appealing investment destination for regional investors due to its central location, shared religious and cultural values and cosmopolitan lifestyle, world-class infrastructure and a broad range of facilities for businesses and tourists,” he explained.

“We feel that in early 2018 Downtown in particular will see strong demand from the usual GCC investors as we approach the reality of Expo 2020,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Dana unveils big Automechanika Mideast plans

US-based Dana, a global leader in highly-engineered driveline, sealing, and thermal-management technologies, is set to introduce its strong lineup of aftermarket products to the 2017 Automechanika trade shows in the region.

Automechanika Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's leading regional trade fair for the automotive aftermarket industry, will run from January 31 to February 2 at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events.

Automechanika Dubai, the largest automotive aftermarket trade exhibition in the Middle East and Africa, will take place from May 7 through May 9 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

At each of the upcoming shows, Dana will provide its booth guests access to Spicer driveline products and Victor Reinz premium sealing products for the light, commercial, and off-highway vehicle aftermarkets, said a statement from the company.

It will also present the GWB industrial driveshaft products, developed for the Middle-Eastern marketplace, dueing the shows.

The company has previously shown its Spicer products at these shows, but this will mark the first time that Dana will present the products as a complete driveline package with axle, transmission, and driveshaft applications, it stated.

By bringing its Spicer, Victor Reinz, and GWB products into one exhibit, Dana will be able to better showcase its diverse product portfolio.

Current and potential customers from around the globe who visit Dana’s exhibition booths also will have the opportunity to interact directly with Dana’s technical and product specialists about the range of products provided by Dana, ask questions, and establish a personal rapport with Dana’s product and aftermarket experts.

This year will mark Dana’s ninth time exhibiting at Automechanika Dubai, and the second time at Automechanika Jeddah.

The company’s continued presence at these and other Automechanika shows is testament to Dana’s commitment to offer advanced technologies and high-quality original equipment solutions that meet top-performance standards for its global customers, said the statement.

Powered by recognized brands such as Dana, Spicer, Victor Reinz, Glaser, Magnum, GWB, Thompson, TruCool, SVL and Transejes, the Dana delivers a broad range of aftermarket solutions - including genuine, all makes, and value lines - servicing passenger, commercial, and off-highway vehicles across the globe.-TradeArabia News Service



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Friday, January 20, 2017

ATM launches 2017 exhibitor awards

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017 exhibitors will be pulling out all the stops to showcase their creative and business flair at this year’s event as organiser, Reed Travel Exhibitions, reprises its popular Best Stand Awards initiative for a third year running.

Launched in 2015, the awards recognise the design creativity and business-friendly appeal of exhibiting companies’ physical presence at the annual industry showcase.

“Arabian Travel Market would not be the huge success it is without the massive amount of effort and investment that goes into creating and manning the exhibitor stands at the show,” said Simon Press, senior exhibition director, Arabian Travel Market.

“Stand design is an extension of a company’s brand identity – so build quality, presence and visibility are essential to the overall visitor experience, not to mention the on-stand reception and hospitality. The award programme is a way of recognising these efforts and since its inception has helped produce exciting, fresh and creative designs,” added Press.

The five categories this year are – Best Stand Design, Best Stand for Doing Business, Best Stand Feature, Best Stand Personnel and Best Stand within the Travel Tech Show at ATM.

The judges panel consists of a four-strong line-up of top industry and design professionals comprising: Leo Fewtrell, general manager, Dubai Travel & Tour Agents Group (DTTAG); Fiona McAndrew-Sharp, sales and marketing director, TTN; Nick Hall, managing director, Digital Tourism Think Tank and Daniel Pearce, managing director, TTG Media.

Judging will take place on Tuesday April 25 with the winners unveiled during a photo session on the show floor the following day. With more than 2,500 exhibiting companies spread across 12 exhibition halls covering the full spectrum of the travel and tourism industry, the judging panel will have a lot of ground to cover.

The criteria for the Best Stand Design award focuses on identifying an eye-catching stand that has a novel creative design that makes the best use of its available space. It should also appear inviting from a visitor perspective and have outstanding presence in the halls, attracting a high level of visitor traffic.

The winner of the Best Stand for Doing Business will need to create a busy B2B atmosphere and present a well-planned and easy-to-navigate layout with a good presentation of the stand and its services.

The Best Stand Feature accolade will recognise the stand with the most visual impact and good use of features to showcase cultural characteristics and draw in visitors.

It’s not all about aesthetics, however, said Press: “It’s vitally important to have good people skills, to look your best and be able to interact well with visitors. We are in the hospitality industry after all, and this will be rewarded with the Best Stand Personnel award.”

The final award is the Most Innovative Stand within the Travel Tech Show at ATM, which shines a light on the importance of technology to the industry and reward exhibitors with a tech focus.

Once the winners have been selected, they will be put to the public vote for a chance to walk away with the coveted People’s Choice Award. Calls for votes will be made via social media, with the winner announced on April 26. All the results will be shared to a global audience via ATM’s social media platforms.

ATM, considered by many industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, will strive to build on the success of its previous edition as Reed Travel Exhibitions looks to add to its record-breaking achievements. ATM 2016 witnessed a year-on-year visitor attendance increase of 8 per cent to over 39,800 people, with 2,520 exhibiting companies signing business deals worth more than $2.5 billion over four days. - TradeArabia News Service



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Eco-Villa prototype opens its doors at Masdar City

Masdar City’s Eco-Villa, a pilot project incorporating water and energy-saving technologies, has been completed and a UAE national family will soon live in the prototype sustainable dwelling, it was announced today at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017.

The Eco-Villa was launched in the presence of Sheikh Dhiyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy; Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of Masdar; Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, head of the Energy Council and member of Abu Dhabi’s Executive Council; and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive officer of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.

The 405 sq m Eco-Villa is the first villa to achieve a 4 Pearl rating according to the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s Estidama Pearl Building Rating System. It will use around 72 per cent less energy and 35 per cent less water than a typical comparably sized villa in Abu Dhabi, displacing an estimated 63 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

The cost of construction is similar to that of a conventional home of the same size; its energy and water efficiency will also reduce running costs substantially. The four-bedroom property is expected to consume just 97 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per square metre.  

Fully equipped with 87 rooftop solar panels, the prototype is capable of supplying as much as 40,000 kWh of electricity to the national grid. A suite of passive energy and water-saving design features further reduce its impact on the environment.

“People expect a sustainable design option to be more expensive, but our Eco-Villa concept challenges this misconception,” said Yousef Baselaib, executive director of Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar.  

“The Eco-Villa stays true to Masdar City’s principles of sustainable urban development in that it is cost-efficient, environmentally sensitive and culturally appropriate in both its design and function. Because of its energy and water-efficient design, residents of the Eco-Villa will receive significantly reduced power and water bills.”

Once a family moves into the property, Masdar’s sustainability team will monitor the villa’s energy, water and waste management performance. The data collected will enable the design of the Eco-Villa to be further refined, supporting the eventual commercialisation of the building concept.

“Our Eco-Villa prototype shows that sustainable design can be implemented according to the specific environmental, social and economic demands of the Gulf region,” added Masdar’s Baselaib.

The Eco-Villa is located in Masdar City, one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments.

Today, Masdar City is home to around 300 full-time students of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Around 2,000 apartments are either under construction or in design through Masdar or third-party investors. This will bring the residential population at Masdar City to more than 3,500 people over the next three years.  - TradeArabia News Service



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Yas Waterworld launches new 'Residents Offer'

Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi invites UAE residents to enjoy a day out at the mega waterpark with the announcement of a new value price.

Unlimited fun has now been made more affordable with Yas Waterworld’s new Residents Offer, for only Dh95 per person. Guests can enjoy temperature-controlled rides, slides and attractions upon presenting a valid Emirates ID.

The offer is valid for a limited time period. Residents can visit the water theme park from 10am till 6pm.

For more information, call 02 414 2000, or e-mail [email protected] or visit https://yaswaterworld.com/. - TradeArabia News Service



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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Qatar Shell signs EPCM deal with WorleyParsons

Qatar Shell has signed a five-year engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services contract with WorleyParsons for for the Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) and associated facilities.

The contract signing ceremony was held at Qatar Shell’s offices in Doha, said a Gulf Times report.

It was attended by Michiel Kool, managing director and chairman of Qatar Shell Companies; Chris Ashton, WorleyParsons managing director (operations – Europe, Middle East and Africa); and Sheikh Faisal bin Jassim Al-Thani, WorleyParsons Qatari partner.

Under the contract, WorleyParsons will provide EPCm services primarily for a portfolio of brownfield projects.
The contract will be executed by WorleyParsons Qatar with support from WorleyParsons Global Delivery Center in India.

Pearl GTL is the world’s largest producer of GTL products, capable of producing 140,000 barrels of GTL products each day. The plant also produces 120,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids and ethane.

Pearl GTL is located in Ras Laffan Industrial City and made its first commercial shipment in June 2011.
 



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ADT completes underwater clean-up at Khalifa Port

Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) in cooperation with Al Mahara Diving Centre and Tadweer Waste Treatment has completed an underwater clean-up operation at Khalifa Port.

Organised to ensure the protection and sustainability of the marine ecosystem, the operation took place recently and saw ADT volunteer divers, members of Al Mahara Diving Centre, and Tadweer plunge to the depths of the port’s waters to search for any garbage that may have collected in the berths.

The event was instigated by ADT when it called out to experienced divers to take part in the clean-up and attracted participation from both the public and private sectors. Similar cleanups have been held in the past and as a result the divers commented that the port was already quite clear of garbage and that any debris gathered was small.

“We are delighted to hold events like this. Not only do we want to make sure the marine stays clean and unpolluted, but we also wish to raise awareness of the importance of preserving and protecting our natural assets,” said Abu Dhabi Terminal chief executive officer, Martijn Van De Linde. “We are merely custodians of this splendid resource and we are committed to protecting it as much as we can,” he added.

The event highlighted ADT’s unwavering commitment to the protection of the marine environment and ecological system, particularly at a time when this environment is facing threats and potential challenges from pollution, waste, and urban development.

Eisa Saif Al Qubais, general manager of Tadweer (The Center of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi) said: “The community wellbeing has always been at the forefront of our priorities, and that is why at Tadweer we support all the initiatives and collective efforts of the public and private sectors that enable us to achieve our strategic goals. Our participation at the Khalifa Port campaign comes in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, and reflects our commitment to promoting environmental preservation and raising awareness on maintaining a safe, clean, and sustainable environment.” – TradeArabia News Service



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