Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Emaar opens Rove Healthcare City in Dubai

Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality unit of global developer Emaar, has opened the doors to Rove Healthcare City - a new design-influenced, value-lifestyle hotel adjacent Dubai Healthcare City.

Rove Healthcare City is the third property under Rove Hotels, a contemporary mid-scale lifestyle brand, and its unveiling follows the opening of Rove Downtown Dubai and Rove City Centre, with the focus on assuring an authentic and engaging customer experience.

The unique selling proposition of Rove Healthcare City is its location, which is only 10 minutes from Dubai International Airport, Dubai World Trade Centre, Downtown Dubai and DIFC. In close proximity to the established neighbourhoods of Karama, Satwa, Bur Dubai and Deira, the hotel offers guests effortless access to a wide range of shopping and leisure options that are conventionally part of the tourist itinerary.

Like all Rove Hotels, Rove Healthcare City’s elegant design and central location is further highlighted by hyper-connectivity – walking distance from Dubai Metro, easy access to the main motorway and a hop stop away from cinemas, Wafi Mall and Lamcy Plaza, and leisure attractions.

The unique character of the location, away from the bustle of the city, yet centrally placed near major business headquarters, cultural clubs, hospitals, educational institutions and residential neighbourhoods makes Rove Healthcare City a destination of choice for tourists and for an evening out for local residents.

The 286-room hotel, with 30 per cent of the rooms interconnected for the convenience of families, will also serve as a stimulating cultural hub, where the young and trendy can get together for a social evening, and for families to enjoy quality time with friends and loved ones.

Each room comes with a 48-inch interactive TV screen and a smart media hub - ideal for the tech-savvy traveller. The rooms have free Wi-Fi access, designer mattresses, sofa beds for extra guests, electricity points to accommodate all international plugs, a convenient mini-fridge, a large safe, and a modern bathroom with power rain showers.

Rove Healthcare City lives up to its reputation as a social hub. The Daily Healthcare City is an all-day neighbourhood hangout where you can eat in or ‘grab and go’ with quality coffee and healthy globally inspired food served till late. Its cuisine will also reflect the needs of the local residents with a choice of Indian and Asian cuisine being served.

Assuring simplicity, flexibility, authenticity and fuss-free service – the hallmarks of Rove Hotels, it will also celebrate its unique cultural idiom, where it takes inspiration from the neighbourhood, which is dotted with green parks, the children’s city, and the Dubai Creek, within walking distance.

Rove Healthcare City also serves as a venue of choice for business events and Continuing Medical Education (CME) training programmes, which will appeal to healthcare companies, distributors and others seeking to engage medical professionals in Dubai Healthcare City. Its proximity to Rashid Hospital and the American Hospital means guests of in-house patients, especially wellness tourists, will have a comfortable place to stay.

The new property will also be an ideal venue for artists who perform at the cultural venues nearby such as the Alliance Française, Al Nasr Leisureland, British Council, India Club and Iranian Club, among others. Rove Healthcare City will also appeal to the nearby international schools as well as the business headquarters located in the neighbourhood for hosting their guests.

As with all Rove Hotels, there are standard features including free wi-fi access; late checkout at 2pm; swimming pool, sundeck and 24-hour gym; 24-hour self-service laundromat and interconnecting rooms.

Chris Newman, chief operating officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “Rove Healthcare City is a unique property that caters to the needs of the business community and visitors to the Dubai Healthcare City and the surrounding neighbourhoods. The location has a unique dynamic, being home to hospitals, schools, social and cultural clubs, family parks and malls. Tucked away from the bustle of the city yet in a central location, the area demanded a hotel that assures guests true value hospitality experiences. We deliver that with Rove Healthcare City.”

He added: “The hotel upholds all the features that Rove Hotels are now known for and sought after by guests. In addition to offering a cultural ambience that will appeal to visitors, we are creating unique meeting venues for business guests. We have taken into consideration all the diverse needs of the different establishments in the locality to create a property that will be their first choice for business meetings and socialising.”

Seven Rove Hotels have been announced with another three more to open by 2020. In all, the 10 Rove Hotels will add over 3,700 rooms, in central locations across the city, just in time for Expo 2020 Dubai.  - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Gulf Related celebrates Abu Dhabi mall topping out

Gulf Related, a regional real estate development company, said it has achieved a major construction milestone with the structural completion and topping out of Al Maryah Central, a 2.8 million-sq-ft next-generation mall coming up in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Al Maryah Central, which is set to open in 2018, will be home to the first Macy's outside of the US and the first Bloomingdale's in Abu Dhabi. It will combine with The Galleria, Abu Dhabi’s luxury shopping and dining destination, to create a fully integrated and seamless experience that will cater to the diverse tastes and expectations of all of Abu Dhabi’s residents and visitors alike.

The milestone marks another key stage in the construction of the mall located in the heart of Al Maryah Island, with the remaining construction proceeding at full pace, said a statement from the company.

Al Tayer Group, Dubai Holding Group, Majid Al Futtaim Group, Chalhoub Group and others have all signed leasing agreements to bring 60 more brands to Al Maryah Central, including a 35,000 sq-ft flagship Zara, All Saints, Lululemon and Nars.

The mall will also be home to a 21-screen Vox cinemas with Imax, which features the exclusive dining experience Theatre by Rhodes, a collaboration with Michelin Star chef Gary Rhodes, it stated.

Kevin Ryan, the chief operating officer and managing director, Gulf Related, said: "The topping out milestone highlights the rapid progress we have made since construction began in August of 2015. Al Maryah Central, together with The Galleria, will deliver a new kind of retail experience in Abu Dhabi, offering a cosmopolitan mix of shopping, dining and entertainment on par with the world’s greatest cities."

Marcus Truscott, the managing director of Multiplex Middle East, pointed out that this milestone served as a testament to the hard work and collaboration between Multiplex, Gulf Related and its other partners to deliver a world-class shopping destination in Abu Dhabi.

"Al Maryah Central is a truly forward-thinking and innovative development that will only enhance the Capital’s retail, dining and entertainment sector with its unique offering. We look forward to continuing to work with Gulf Related to ensure the project’s successful completion in 2018," he noted.

The mall’s structure includes a a 185,000 meter-cubed concrete frame poured in situ. Approximately 15 million man hours have been dedicated to this achievement to-date, said the statement from Gulf Related.

Al Maryah Central will offer a diverse mix of retail, dining, entertainment and family activities to the anticipated 15,000 people who will live and work on Al Maryah Island.

The next-generation mall will also be easily accessible to a core catchment of almost half a million people living within a ten-minute drive, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Foster + Partners wins Makkah luxury hotel apartments project

Foster + Partners, a leading UK-based architectural firm, said it has secured a major contract from leading Saudi real estate group Jabal Omar Development to design the masterplan of a luxury hotel and serviced apartments project in the heart of Makkah city.

Jabal Omar Development awarded the contract after Foster + Partners won a major design competition for the project beating several others in the race.

Inspired by traditional Arab architecture, the British group designed the project in a novel way reinterpreting the traditional dense building clusters and creating a new contemporary vernacular that respects its sacred location.

Following the mountainous terrain, its cascading vertical elements form a new topography. The new mixed-use development will create a new gateway along the route to the Grand Mosque for pilgrims from the world over, said a top official.

Luke Fox, the head of studio and senior executive partner, Foster + Partners, said: "Makkah is one of the most unique cities in the world and as the home of the Holy Kaaba it presents a special challenge and honour for any developer and architect."

"Our design sets out to create an innovative building form that will be respectful to the scale and importance of the Grand Mosque," he noted.

Fox pointed out that the scheme addresses the shortage of accommodation in Makkah in response to the rapid growth in visitor numbers.

"Occupying a large portion of the site, the orientation of all rooms and apartments maximise and optimise views towards the Holy Kaaba – the main focal point for every visitor. Generated from the inside-out, its interiors design is an antidote to the lack of identity that typical generic hotel rooms suffer from. Every room has a dedicated space for private prayer and contemplation that provides direct views to the Grand Mosque and Holy Kaaba," he explained.

Located on the axis between the new Haramain High-speed Rail Station and the Grand Mosque, the site also forms a key part of the pilgrims’ journey towards the Holy Kaaba.

A dramatic pedestrian ramp integrated with the new topography will take the pilgrims through naturally lit spaces, adding to the special experience of visiting the Grand Mosque, remarked Fox.

"Our endeavour has been to make the experience special and appropriate to its unique location. The design follows a philosophy of ‘luxury with humility’ with an understated elegance throughout the development," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Aldar supports dialogue for regional hotel investors

UAE-based Aldar Properties is reprising its role as Founding Patron of the Gulf and Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit (GIOHIS), which returns for its second edition to the UAE capital in February.
GIOHIS, which is the only hotel investment event run by and for hotel owners, was launched in 2016 by the global hotels owners’ alliance HOFTEL. Aldar – a leading hotel owner in Abu Dhabi with a portfolio of nine owned hotels in the emirate, including seven on Yas Island – was a key contributor to the success of the inaugural summit. The event saw hundreds of business executives convene to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the evolving hotel industry, with hotel owning groups, developers and investors making up a significant proportion of the delegates.
Jahed Rahman, director of hospitality and leisure at Aldar, said: “This conference was created to provide a forum for owners and investors to exchange knowledge and ideas for a region that is key to the growth of the global hospitality market, bringing together many key industry decision-makers from across the Gulf and Indian Ocean. Aldar plays an important role in Abu Dhabi’s expanding hotel industry, and our support for this event demonstrates our commitment to contributing to its ongoing development. We were pleased with the compelling outcomes of the 2016 event, and look forward to another successful GIOHIS this year, and to making Abu Dhabi thrive further as a business and leisure travel destination.”
GIOHIS 2017 will take place at the Yas Viceroy in Abu Dhabi on February 6 and 7, with 70 speakers, including 36 hospitality industry CEOs, confirmed to participate. The event will offer a global range of perspectives with speakers attending from across the globe, including Australia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, Mauritius, the Maldives, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

GAC Sri Lanka, Hemas to build logistics facility

GAC Sri Lanka has partnered with Hemas Transportation to build an integrated logistics facility in Muthurajawela Industrial Zone in the western part of Sri Lanka.

The facility will comprise a state-of-the-art distribution centre, a container yard and a 15-acre warehouse, said a statement from the company.

A ground-breaking ceremony attended by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickramasinghe, was held yesterday (January 30), it said.

The facility is expected to be operational by early June 2017 and the distribution centre by February 2018, it added.

This new integrated logistics facility will be equipped with the latest reach stackers and will harness a cutting-edge IT platform aimed at innovating Sri Lanka’s logistics system. It will consist of a modern container terminal with a capacity of 6,000 TEUs made up of seven high container stacking and a warehousing and distribution centre offering Third Party Logistics (3PL) services, said a satatement.

Other unique features include a two-way approach to stacks in the container depot and a dual in and out gate that operates independently. The facility will enlist the services of Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL) certified container inspectors who will survey containers entering the depot, benchmarking against global standards, it added.

The distribution centre will consist of 22,000 pallet positions with both ambient and temperature-controlled facilities. Global best practices in layout design, dock efficiency, pallet racking and material handling equipment will be incorporated to enable agile and scalable logistics solutions.

The entire distribution centre’s operation will run on an integrated IT platform that encompasses warehouse management, distribution management and yard management capabilities with barcode and RFID enabled infrastructure.

Mahesh Kurukulasuriya, managing director of GAC Sri Lanka, said: “GAC in Sri Lanka has come a long way. From an eight-man outfit operating from Colombo in 1991, we have grown into one of the country’s leaders in the provision of key specialised support services today with more than 260 employees.”

“This integrated logistics facility is a testament of our unyielding commitment towards meeting our customers’ ever-changing needs through constant innovation,” he said.

“We bring to this partnership, our group’s established track record in providing and managing a diverse and comprehensive range of warehousing and distribution facilities in many locations around the world, as well as in-depth knowledge on the local market and extensive logistics capabilities that both GAC Sri Lanka and our local partner, the McLarens Group can offer,” he added.

“Together, we seek to revolutionise the Sri Lankan logistics market by leveraging the strengths of the companies through this strategic partnership with the Hemas Group,” he concluded.

Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson, managing director of Hemas Integrated Logistics, said: “Our organisation in recent years has made giant strides in diversifying its operations portfolio into warehousing, container depot, car carriers and movement of over dimensional cargoes, 3PL operations, customs brokering and many more.”

“As our next venture in developing our logistics strength further, we have partnered with GAC Sri Lanka, an internationally recognised company in the shipping, marine and logistics industry,” he said.

“Through this joint venture, we aspire to provide total solutions to the Sri Lanka’s exporters and importers whilst adding value to the national economy and making Sri Lanka the maritime and logistics hub in Asia,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Fly with Gravity during Shop Bahrain

Gravity Indoor Skydiving in Bahrain has announced its participation in the third edition of ‘Shop Bahrain’, the largest event in the kingdom, as one of the event partners in the Festival City held at Bahrain Bay.

As part of the collaboration, a booth has been set up for Gravity Indoor Skydiving at the Festival City, where visitors are able to buy packages, and receive discounts and gifts for the wind tunnel. Gravity customers will receive 4 points in ‘Shop Bahrain’ loyalty system for every BD1 spent throughout the duration of the festival. This will entitle them to enter the weekly raffle draws that includes 12 cars.

Gravity Indoor Skydiving, one of the tallest glass wind tunnels in the world, employs a team of qualified professionals in the sport of indoor skydiving who offer customers the incredible feeling of freefall in a safe and fun environment.

Commenting on their participation, general manager of Gravity Khawla Al Hammadi said: “We are delighted to be participating as an events partner in Shop Bahrain, which attracts visitors from Bahrain and other neighboring countries. On this occasion, I would like to thank the festival’s organising team for their efforts in the outstanding launch of this national event, which contributes to the local economy.”

The director of Shop Bahrain Yousef Al Khan also added: “We thank Gravity on its partnership with the festival, which highlights the various entertainment and sports activities available in Bahrain, and grants the visitors a unique experience.”

Shoppers and visitors can learn more about Shop Bahrain through the website: www.shopbahrain.com or through the account @shopbahrain on the social networking channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The Festival organizers have also launched a dedicated whatsapp channel on 38999111. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Monday, January 30, 2017

CH2M to start work on Dubai Parks & Resorts Phase II

CH2M, a leading provider of consulting, design, engineering and management services, said it has been awarded a major contract by UAE-based Dubai Parks & Resorts for Phase Two of mammoth theme park project.

The theme park, which will be operated by Six Flags from the US, is set to open in 2019.

The scope of work includes delivery of in-park and resort wide infrastructure and traffic services, said a statement from the US-based company.

Dubai Parks and Resorts had last month officially opened the region's largest integrated theme park destination with premiere of Hollywood-inspired theme park Motiongate Dubai.

The attraction, which also includes Legoland Dubai, the dining and entertainment district Riverland, Bollywood Parks Dubai, Legoland Water Park and the Polynesian Lapita Hotel, opened its gates to visitors following a four-year development plan supported by CH2M, said the statement.

The destination - which stretches over 25 million sq ft or the size of 420 football fields - is home to over 50 retail and dining outlets, more than 100 rides and attractions, and 15,000 Lego model structures made from over 60 million Lego bricks.

Adding to more than just the entertainment appeal of Dubai, the leisure destination has already invigorated the UAE property market, boosting long-term economic appeal for international investors, said the statement from CH2M.

To bring these attractions to fruition, CH2M has partnered with Dubai Parks & Resorts and other theme park master planners to support the master plan development with site-wide services. These include:

*Leading a first-of-its-kind in Dubai traffic impact assessment which based trip generation for theme parks on attendance figures rather than built up area;
*Conducting water sourcing feasibility studies and modelling for the 62-acre lake to find a conceivable water sourcing option for the parks and
*Delivering earthworks grading and infrastructure design, and providing project and design management.

Headquartered in US state of Colorado, CH2M is an engineering giant providing design, construction, consulting and operations services for corporations and governments.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

New Creative Home showroom opens in Riyadh

Saudi-based Al Mutlaq Holding has opened the third showroom of American brand Creative Home in capital Riyadh which will showcase a wide range of its antiques, mirrors, home accessories and lighting kits.

A leader in classic and contemporary home furnishings, Al Mutlaq Holding, said this opening comes after the first appearance of Creative Home as a stand-alone showroom in Al-Khobar Dhahran Mall, and another in Jeddah Arab Mall.

The move is in line with Al Mutlaq Holding’s expansion strategy which will help spread the concept of creativity in Saudi Arabia, said a senior official.

"This year has so far been an important one for "Creative Home” with the launch of 3 showrooms in Saudi Arabia to show a major collection of home accessories, which received an overwhelmingly positive response from customers around the world," remarked Fahed Mutlaq, the company chief executive.

With more than 16,000 showrooms in North America and over 50 distributors around the rest of the world, Creative Home for home accessories is considered a pioneer brand in the US

Its range of products includes antiques, mirrors, home accessories and lighting kits.

"These products are stand-alone pieces where the customer does not have to buy a full range of accessories but instead can buy the ones that will fit with the home décor of the customer," stated Mutlaq.
The award-winning "Creative Home" joins Al Mutlaq Holding and can be found at Al Yasmeen showroom with a space of 1165 sq m full of creative accessories.

"We provide our customers with unprecedented options, including “Creative Home” products. We expect to attract new customers and continue our efforts to enrich the shopping experience and to be different and distinct from others in the market," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Balexco hosts workshop for Bahraini fabricators

Bahrain Aluminum Extrusion Company (Balexco) recently conducted a workshop for Bahrain-based fabricators at its office in Sitra as part of the company's customer development initiative.

The local fabricators got an update on Balexco's operation inclusive of its future equipment that will be installed in the company's plant besides the quality systems applied in the production operation, said a statement from the company.

The workshop, which was dubbed as a huge success by the participants, also focused on the innovative building systems such as the Balexco Luxury System, for window and door application in residential and commercial buildings, it stated.

It was attended by Balexco senior management led by Mohamed Mahmood Mahamed, the general manager, Garry Martin, the plant executive manager, Shukri A Wahab Qarooni, the sales and marketing manager as well as the company sales team and the workshop organising committee.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Russian visitors to get visa on arrival in the UAE

Russian tourists to the UAE will now be granted visa on arrival at all entry points to the Emirates, said a report.

The cabinet decree proposing the granting of entry visas to citizens of the Russian Federation was approved by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said a report in WAM.

Under the decree, citizens of the Russian Federation are granted an entry visa for 30 days for the first time, renewable one time only for another 30 days, as per UAE regulations.

The decree will enhance strategic co-operation and the common ambitions of the two countries. It will also create new horizons of economic and touristic co-operation serving common interests and goals, as it strengthen the UAE’s international competitiveness as a vibrant economic, commercial, and tourist hub in the region.

The UAE ranks first in the GCC states as Russia’s most important business partner, and is considered the 10th largest foreign investor in Russia, with projects valued at Dh66 billion ($17.9 billion) up to 2014.

During 2015, the non-oil trade between the UAE and Russia reached Dh9 billion ($2.4 billion), and the UAE is investing around Dh18 billion ($4.8 billion) in infra-structures in Russia. The average growth of foreign non-oil trade between the UAE and Russia over the past 5 years is 31 per cent.

The UAE has received more than 600,000 Russian tourists in the past two years, and there are 56 weekly flights between the two countries by UAE National carriers. This number is expected to rise after the issuance of the decree and its positive impact on trade and tourism.

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Alfardan starts work on Oman mixed-use project

Alfardan Properties, a premier real estate developer in Qatar, has started work on a mixed-use development project at a prime location on the Sultan Qaboos Highway, close to the Muscat International Airport in Oman, said a report.

The 10,000-sq-ft project features luxury residential apartments, commercial office spaces and showrooms of Alfardan Motors, reported Oman Observer.
Ibrahim Jaidah Architects and Engineers, an architectural, engineering design and consultancy firm, is the lead design and supervision consultant, while MSCC International is the enabling works contractor and Al Turki Enterprises is the general construction company for the project, it stated.

Construction has begun on Phase One of the multi-faceted development that will boast a distinct blend of traditional Omani architecture and contemporary design concepts with hitech amenities, it added.

from Construction Realestate

UAE airlines' passengers hit by Trump order

UAE's major airlines Emirates and Etihad have been forced to turn away some US-bound passengers due to the new order from President Donald Trump restricting people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, a report said.

A very small number of our passengers travelling were affected by the new US immigration entry requirements, said The National report quoting an Emirates spokesman.

The spokesman said the airline continued to comply with the guidance provided by US Customs and Border Protection with regards to entry requirements for travel to and from the US.

"Where applicable, we are assisting the affected travellers with their flight rebookings. Emirates is offering rebooking and refund options to passengers holding passports from the seven affected nations who are booked to travel to and from the US. Passengers are responsible for ensuring they have the required documents for their travel. Please see our website for more information," the spokesman was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways spokesman said the airline is continuing to work closely with US Customs and Border Protection agency both in Abu Dhabi and in the US on the immigration issues. He said a number of passengers had been affected, The National quoted.

The people affected by the new US order are from Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Yemen.

People from these countries were said to be able to travel to the US only if they are in possession of a permanent resident card, also known as a green card, or the visas A1 and A2, which are for government officials and immediate family; C2, which is for travel to the United Nations; G1 and G2, which are for representatives and employees of international organisations; G3 and G4, which are for representatives and employees of international organisations and Nato, The National said.

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Marvel-ous Valentine's Day offer at IMG Worlds of Adventure

Make your Valentine’s Day marvelous this year with the epic adventure of The Marvel Experience at Dubai's IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world’s largest indoor theme park.

With the perfect marriage of romance, thrills and decadent dining, IMG Worlds of Adventure offers couples an unforgettable day out, whether they’re a thrill or chill seeker.
Designed for theme park lovers and die hard Marvel fans alike, the Marvel Experience costs Dh350 ($95.2) per person and is available year–round, (entry ticket to the theme park is not needed) and is the first-of-its-kind: enabling visitors to live, breathe and dine like their favourite Avengers Super Heroes.
To treat loved ones, The Marvel experience begins at the exclusive IMG VIP Lounge, where guests will be greeted by a IMG Guest Relations host and taken to The Avengers Battle of Ultron ride, to join Marvel’s Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Captain America and the Hulk as they take to the skies to battle the evil villain Ultron.  
Next, for a cozy and romantic Valentine’s meal, Tony’s Skydeck, IMG Worlds of Adventure’s five-star fine dining venue which is nestled above park, is like stepping onto the set of your favorite Iron Man movie. With its mix of delicious wagyu beef steak, exotic seafood and mouth-watering hand-crafted desserts, it is guaranteed to leave you wanting to come back for more.  
For those wishing to buy their loved one something totally unique, the Marvel Universe offers the largest collection of Marvel-inspired merchandise in the park. Guests can transform into Iron Man using incredible CGI and 3D technology providing a jaw-dropping augmented reality game with the “Become Iron Man” experience also included as a part of the package.
The memories don’t stop there, guests of The Marvel Experience will be gifted a special Iron Man USB with the footage Iron Man experience itself so you can show off to your families and friends.
A trip to IMG Worlds of Adventure would not be complete without a trip to the Marvel Vault, which offers rare collectables from the movies and comics such as a life-size Iron Man suit and a selection of one-of-a-kind memorabilia signed by the creator of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, that cannot be purchased anywhere else in the world.
Finally, to capture this moment forever and make you as immortal as your favourite Super Heroes, the Marvel Experience includes a photo opportunity with one of famous Marvel characters, creating a special keepsake of your remarkable day spent together. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Bahrain Duty Free unveils new Bulgari fragrances counter

Travellers using Bahrain International Airport now have even more reason to stop and spend at Bahrain Duty Free with the opening of Bulgari’s new expanded fragrances counter.

Located at the Perfumes & Cosmetics section within the duty free and travel retailer’s refreshed departures retail hub, Bulgari has grown its footprint from three to an impressive 12-sq-m.

The leading Italian luxury goods house, which has a 130-year old pedigree, is a long-term partner of Bahrain Duty Free, and its iconic black and gold livery is a focal point for the Perfumes & Cosmetics’ passenger journey.

Commenting on the opening, Bassam Al Wardi, general manager, Bahrain Duty Free, said: “With the unveiling of the new Bulgari space we have added a further element of upscale excitement to our existing collection of internationally renowned fragrance and cosmetics brands.”

“By creating a stunning showcase such as this, Bahrain Duty Free continues to demonstrate its commitment to delivering a world-class travel retail experience; adding value not only to the passenger and airport experience, but to the kingdom’s tourism economy,” he added.

“In partnership with Bahrain Duty Free and Aer Rianta International, Bulgari is proud to be the first brand to unveil its new interior design concept in the newly refurbished Bahrain Duty Free shop,” remarked Loic Le Toux, area sales manager, Bulgari.

Top selling products covering both women and men’s fragrances, and including Goldea, Jasmin Noir, Omnia, Bulgari Man and Aqva, create a standout visual counterpoint to the company’s elegant branding and gentle contoured fascia.

“A highlight of the new counter will be the exclusive high-end Le Gemme collection, which is only available at selective doors worldwide. Our luxurious counter concept will further intensify the visibility of Bulgari perfumes in the travel retail domain; and is equally perfectly aligned with Bahrain Duty Free’s own premium strategy,” said Le Toux.

This latest opening supports other successful recent openings across its 1,500-sq-m footprint, including Aer Rianta International’s proprietary Candy Cloud confectionery concept, the Middle East’s first Johnnie Walker House and new dedicated premium watches boutique. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Dubai Land Department website logs 6.5m visitors

Dubai Land Department (DLD) has announced that its website saw a significant increase in traffic last year, receiving over 6.5 million visitors over the course of 2016.

The improvements made to the website by DLD, including added features to ensure ease of browsing and the provision of services in six major international languages – Arabic, English, Spanish, Chinese, French and Russian – are thought to be behind the boost in visitor numbers.

Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, director General at Dubai Land Department said: "The impressive number of registered DLD website visitors assures us that we are on track to achieve our primary goal of converting all our services to smart systems. We will continue to develop our services and strengthen our e-Smart efforts, to contribute to the vision of Dubai becoming the smartest city in the world within the next three years.”

Abdulla Al Yaloug IT director at DLD, said: "These figures reveal that our customers look to our site as a trusted source, not only for rapid and effective access to our services, but also for reassurance on all Dubai land and property matters. We have significantly enhanced the site with a variety of technical improvements, and we are delighted to see its visitor numbers increasing as a result – the greatest of endorsements.”

According to the report issued by DLD, its Rental Increase Calculator was the most frequently used website service in 2016, allowing customers to rapidly calculate the rental increase of leased property. DLD’s Project Status Tracking Service, which offers access to details of developments that occur at market prices across all areas of the city, has also been in high demand and came in second place for visitor numbers.

DLD website users also showed a marked interest in courses held by the Dubai Real Estate Institute, with its Mortgage Qualification Course coming in third place among the most widely used services on the department's website.

The top three used services – Rental Increase Calculator, Project Status Tracking Service and Mortgage Qualification Course – were followed by Service Charges, Maintenance, Daily & Monthly Behaviour Indexes, Search for Approved Brokers, and the Search My Service option for brokers and real estate developers.

DLD’s report also revealed that UAE residents ranked first in terms of website visitor numbers, while the site also received a large number of visitors from Saudi Arabia, as well as a growth in traffic from the UK, India, the United States, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Pakistan.

Along with access to DLD’s services, the website also includes a Media Office that contains press releases and an image library that are constantly updated to provide visitors with the Department’s latest developments, news and events.

It is noteworthy that the DLD website is aligned with the standards of Dubai Smart Government websites, which focus on arranging and classifying services according to customer segmentation. With these advanced search capabilities, customers are able to search for services using various methods, including DLD provided services, fast services, or available services based on DLD’s preferences.

DLD has ensured that its website is as efficient and user-friendly as possible, while also adopting the most advanced programs to remain at the cutting edge of website design. The website allows users to settle their queries with minimum fuss and maximum efficiency, while also enjoying high quality online service.- TradeArabia News Service

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Emirates changes crew rosters on US flights

Emirates airline has changed pilot and flight attendant rosters on flights to the US following the sudden US travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, but it said US flights continue to operate to schedule, a report said.

The world's largest long-haul carrier, who flies daily to 11 US cities, has made "the necessary adjustments to our crewing, to comply with the latest requirements," the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, citing an Emirates spokesperson.

President Donald Trump on Friday temporarily suspended the entry of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The decision caught airlines off guard, according to the International Air Transport Association.

The ban applies to pilots and flight attendants from the seven countries, even though all flight crew who are not US citizens already need a special visa to enter the country.

Another Emirates spokeswoman said the impact of the ban on operations would be minimal. The airline employs over 23,000 flight attendants and about four thousand pilots from around the world, including the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, an Etihad Airways spokesman said the airline has "taken steps to ensure there will be no issues for flights departing over the coming weeks."

But amid confusion over enforcing the ban, it is unclear if the ban applies to dual nationals - those who hold one passport from a country on the list and another from a non-US country that is not.

Etihad said on its website that dual citizens could travel to the US using their non-banned passport. Iata has told its members that the ban does not apply to dual nationals if they have a passport not on the list, the report said, citing Reuters.

Qatar Airways declined to comment on the impact of the ban on flight operations, although on Saturday it issued a statement on its website that passengers would need a green card or diplomatic visa to enter the US Emirates and Etihad issued similar statements.

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bahrain’s first Indian Business Partnership Summit takes place at GIF

India’s PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in association with Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE), will present the first Indian Business Partnership Summit to take place in Bahrain, next month.

The summit takes place on February 7 at 2 pm on the sidelines of the Gulf Industry Fair at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The Indian business delegation to Bahrain will be led by senior vice president of the PHD Chamber, Anil Khaitan, along with 30 Indian companies with diverse business interests and multiple products and services.

According to Khaitan, the team will hold detailed discussions and with their counterparts at the summit to further cement the trade and economic ties between India and Bahrain.

The delegation led by PHD will feature business leaders involved in a variety of sectors such as energy including solar, real estate, financial services, rural e-commerce, venture capital funds, logistics, ports and maritime, startups, aluminum, manufacturing, industrial metals (steel and alloys) and academic and research bodies.

“PHD Chamber is organising this summit at Bahrain for the first time. This is in great measure due to the persistence and co-operation with our partners HCE in Bahrain,“ added Khaitan.

India and Bahrain enjoy excellent bilateral relations characterised by strong political, economic and cultural contacts. This positive relationship is seen in the latest trade figures which valued trade between the two countries to be over $1 billion.

The recent resurgence in trade volume is based on non-oil sector. Financial services, real estate, plastics, and automotive components are major contributors to the current uptrend. Key initiatives such as opening doors to FDI, 100 Smart Cities, Make in India, Digital India, Oil and Gas sectors are critical to boost India’s efforts to revitalise the economy. These initiatives have generated much interest from Bahrain companies seeking opportunities in India and Indian companies exploring partnerships with Bahrain companies, the statement said.

 “The India Business Partnership Summit is the result of a vision shared by HCE and PHD Chamber to build on the bilateral trade and investment currently between Bahrain and India by engaging a wider audience of entrepreneurs and businesses from both countries,” said Jubran Abdulrahman, managing director of HCE.  

The chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Committee of PHD Chamber,  Manish Aggarwal, the deputy leader of the delegation, said: “Gulf Industry Fair offers a holistic platform for all aspects of growth for the national economy. The growth of “Housing for All” policies in India offers business opportunities for industry to service the smart cities of India.  Bahrain is also moving along the policy of creating smart urban hubs which could provide excellent cross-fertilization of ideas and products between India and Bahrain “

Attendance at the Summit is by invitation only. For conformation of invitations contact Sarah Al Moosa at [email protected] . –TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Dubai sees mixed trend in property transactional activity

An overview of transactional activity by sales and mortgage transactions reveals a two tiered market trajectory, according to a report.

Sales transactions have continued to decline, whereas mortgage activity is continued to experience growth, said the report by Reidin, a leading real estate information company focusing on emerging markets.

The mortgage activity as a percentage of sales activity accounts for 55 per cent, doubling over the last seven years, it stated.

This new structure has shifted towards more mature markets such as US and UK, where the cash sales only account for 30 to 40 per cent of all transactional activity, said the report.

This shift has added to the slowing the pace of the property market as time to close a transaction has elongated. Typically, cash sales take 15 to 30 days, but mortgages take between 30-60 days due to the regulatory requirements and involvements of banks, it stated.

In recent years in the apartment space, mortgage activity in mid-income communities such as JVC and IMPZ have surpassed historically favored developed communities such as JLT and Marina.

This indicates a shift in buying preferences which has been fueled by access to bank finance.

Whereas in the villa space, Jumeirah Park, which started off as an investor product with a low mortgage to sales ratio has moved into nearly all finance sales.

This indicates that mortgage demand continues to increase across a cross section of villa communities over time, with the sharpest rate of incline being in Jumeirah Park, stated Reidin in its report.
Despite concerns being raised regarding Central Bank curbs on mortgages that came into effect in 2014, the demand across the board has increased steadily, indicating not only access to bank finance, but also a more mature price cycle in line with international markets.
On its 2017 outlook, Reidin said the trend of mortgage financing will continue to increase steadily, despite headwinds such as the strong US dollar and other exogenous factors, indicating resilient underlying demands.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Kier-ACC JV wins $187m Dubai housing project deal

Leading British construction group Kier said its joint venture with UAE-based Arabian Construction Company has won a £150 million ($187.2 million) accommodation project in Dubai.

The scheme is part of Town Square, a major new mixed-use project being developed by Nshama.

This is the second accommodation development Kier has been awarded by Nshama; it had earlier won a £50 million ($62 million) award in November, which it is undertaking on its own rather than being part of a JV, reported the construction index.

It is also delivering a package of infrastructure works on the Town Square site for Nshama under a contract worth £12 million awarded last summer.

Nshama offers trendy, dynamic and sustainable communities consisting of family townhouses and apartments with a range of modern amenities and the best in facilities management and lifestyle features.

The project, to be funded with the support of UK Export Finance, will boast a total built-up area of 171,224 sq m including 1,496 apartments, shops, a swimming pool and a gym.

from Construction Realestate

Al Tayyar extends strategic partnership with Amadeus

Saudi Arabia's Al Tayyar Travel Group has extended its partnership agreement with Amadeus, a leading provider of technology solutions for the global travel sector.

The agreement extension till the year 2020 will transform the existing relationship between Amadeus and Al Tayyar to a strategic partnership, and expand their cooperation from the local level to the Middle East and North Africa. The signing of the agreement marks a step forward in ensuring the delivery of quality services to a wider customer base across the region.

Al Tayyar Group’s decision to upgrade the partnership with Amadeus to the regional level is in line with its intensive projects and investments in the e-commerce, travel and tourism industries, as well as its global expansions.

Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Dawood, managing director and CEO of Al Tayyar Travel Group, said: “As a major company in the regional travel sector, Al Tayyar has been building on the solid foundation of our existing relationship with global travel solutions providers like Amadeus. Our vision is to find innovative ways to meet the needs of the market and create new avenues for growth. The expansion of our strategic partnership with Amadeus to the regional level will further strengthen our relationship and infuse fresh energy to the corporate travel sector in the region.”

Amadeus is one of main leading innovators in the travel sector; it has been empowering the regional travel industry with next-generation products and services to help it overcome rising costs, unpredictable market conditions and changing business models. Its integrated and comprehensive suite of solutions allows travel agencies to streamline and enhance the corporate travel process, enabling them to leverage the opportunities offered by automation and digitization to gain competitive advantages in the market.

Antoine Medawar, vice president of Amadeus Mena, said: “The Mena region represents a key hub of corporate travel and offers vast opportunities for the travel industry. As Amadeus takes its strategic partnership with Al Tayyar to the regional level, the corporate travel sector in the Mena region will stand to gain significantly from the expertise of two leading players in the travel industry. Amadeus is committed to excellence as we work together with Al Tayyar to find new ways to satisfy customer needs and identify exciting new opportunities in the region.”

In the past few years, Amadeus and Al Tayyar Travel Group have worked together to drive operational efficiencies in the Saudi travel industry, offering specially designed services inspired by the unrivalled innovative Amadeus distribution technology. During the course of the existing relationship, Amadeus developed specific solutions that met the needs of Al Tayyar’s customers, and helped it effectively use technology as a true competitive differentiator to succeed in a rapidly changing market.

Known for its professional services and distinguished client care, Al Tayyar Travel Group is the trusted agency of more than 1,600 governmental and private corporations. It has invested in approximately 400 branches across Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Malaysia, the UK, Canada and other popular tourist locations. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

$1bn Abu Dhabi medical city nearing completion

The work on the Dh4 billion ($1.08 billion) Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, a giant project coming up on a 300,000-sq-m area in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is nearing completion and will be handed over to Abu Dhabi Health Services company (Seha) in the fourth quarter of 2017, said a report.

Abu Dhabi General Services company (Musanada) is following a specific and clear schedule to deliver this vital project in line with highest international standards and specifications in co-ordination with its strategic partner Seha, reported state news agency Wam, citing a top official.

A major development project in the regional healthcare sector, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City is strategically located in Al Mafraq area and includes mostly covered parking for 1,660 cars, stated Musanada's acting chief executive Hamad Khalifa Al Murar.

Highlighting the work progress on the facility towers and external clinics building, Al Murar said 91 per cent of the external works and landscapes and utility buildings and electricity and air conditioning plants have now been completed, stated the report.

Electric power and air conditioning systems are being tested on an ongoing basis, while 59 per cent of the medical equipment have been tested and installed, it added.

from Construction Realestate

Dubai Airports celebrates Chinese New Year

Dubai Airports celebrated Chinese New Year with passengers in fine style yesterday, by serving cake and showcasing Chinese culture with a traditional Dragon Dance in Dubai International Airport 's (DXB) Concourse D.

“With 90 airlines serving over 240 destinations, Dubai International Airport truly connects the world. Our goal is to engage and delight our customers with culture and entertainment that reflects and celebrates that diversity,” said Helen Mellor-Mitchell, vice president, Media and Brand Engagement.

China is a fast growing and important market for Dubai Airports with 2.86 million passengers. Six airlines (Air China, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Emirates) serve 10 destinations (Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kunming, Shanghai, Urumqi, Wuhan, Yinchuan) with 14 daily flights. In 2016 four new services were launched from DXB including Air China’s service to Chongqing, China Southern Airlines’ flight to Wuhan, Emirates’ flight to Yinchuan and Sichuan Airlines’ service to Chengdu.

Strong trade and commerce ties, along with Dubai’s attractiveness as a tourism destination are anticipated to contribute to continued robust growth between the two markets. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Indulge in romance at Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel

Celebrating the month of romance, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel is giving couples the opportunity to spend quality time together and reconnect over a weekend escape on the shores of Oman throughout the month of February.

Muscat’s premier luxury introduces a premium package including luxury accommodation, romantic dinner for two on the beachfront, and breakfast in bed for a memorable duo getaway.

Couples can count on the legendary service by the Ladies & Gentlemen of the Ritz-Carlton to provide a seamless experience in a private luxury environment, ideal to disconnect and forget about everything else.

Treat Your Valentine package:
• Overnight in a luxury suite
• Breakfast in bed for two
• Romantic dinner on the beachfront at Beach Pavilion Bar & Grill
• Champagne and romantic turndown

The package is priced from OMR340 ($879.7) net for two and is available throughout the month of February. For reservations, email [email protected], or call +968 2479 9666.

Six Senses Spa at Al Bustan Palace:
The spa has pulled out all the stops with exclusive packages, to embark on a journey of ultimate rejuvenation and celebrate romance in the month of February.

Valentine’s spa packages include:

Signature Hammam & Balinese Massage
130 minutes | OMR85 ($219.9) per person
The Signature Hammam is a cleansing and refreshing experience as it starts with a scalp ritual and a hair mask. It continues with exfoliation using black soap and loofah to stimulate and re-hydrate the skin. Complete with a calming and relaxing Balinese massage.

Love Is In The Air
Scrub, Holistic Massage & Anti-aging Facial  
130 minutes | OMR89 ($230.2) per person

Guests can indulge themselves and a loved one with a decadent chocolate scrub followed by a pampering Holistic Massage and an Anti-aging Facial for glowing skin.

For reservations, email [email protected], or call +968 2476 4333. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Haya to sell treated wastewater to Tabreed Oman

Haya Water has signed a deal with Tabreed Oman Company to sell treated wastewater for one of its key development projects, ‘Palm Mall,’ in Oman, said a report.

As per the agreement, Haya Water will provide 2,000 cu m of water per day for the ‘Palm Mall’ project in Al Mabella to be used for the cooling systems, according to Times of Oman.

Haya Water is making a steady progress in implementing wastewater treatment projects and producing water suitable for various purposes, such as for irrigation of landscapes and playgrounds, road construction works and cooling processes, stated the report, citing a senior official.

The wastewater project’s ultimate aim is to protect the environment from pollution resulting from the overflow of conventional septic tanks. Such pollution has a negative impact on environment as well as public health, remarked Hussain Hassan Abdul Hussain, the chief executive officer of Haya Water.

Tabreed Oman CEO Salem Saeed Al Farsi said the company intends to use treated wastewater instead of fresh water for the cooling process due to its low cost and help protect the environment.

"We hope that our cooperation with Haya Water will continue in the future through purchase of treated wastewater for other projects that Tabreed Oman intends to implement,” added Al Farsi.

There are 11 sewage treatment plants (STPs) all over the Muscat Governorate with a total capacity of about 170,792 cu m per day. These STPs are connected to wastewater networks with a total length of about 1,874 km and treated wastewater network of about 312 km, said the report.

As for the assets in other governorates assigned to Haya Water by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, there are 57 STPs with a total capacity of up to 52,425 cu m per day linked to wastewater networks of about 771 kms and treated wastewater distribution networks of up to 22 kms, it stated.

Haya Water called upon other governmental and private organisations to follow in the footsteps of Tabreed Oman to use treated wastewater for the upcoming projects instead of consuming precious fresh water.

from Construction Realestate

Emirates recognises top employees

The Emirates Group recently awarded its highest staff recognition to 12 employees for going above and beyond their call of duty.

The ‘Najm Chairman’s Award’ was presented for seven individual and team achievements by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group at an awards ceremony at the Emirates Group Headquarters.

The winners were cheered on by an audience that included hundreds of colleagues, families and friends as Sheikh Ahmed presented them with the much coveted Najm Chairman’s Award trophy as well as a monetary award.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, HH Sheikh Ahmed said: “The Najm Chairman’s Award honours the individual and collective achievements of our employees who have not only made outstanding business contributions to the group but also those who embody our core values of service excellence and innovation. It is through the efforts, commitment and the determination of our employees that the group continues to achieve success. It gives me great pleasure to celebrate the outstanding achievements of this year’s winners.”

Najm, meaning ‘star’ in Arabic, is the Emirates Group’s rewards and recognition system that recognises employees throughout the year for their commitment to excellence and innovation. More than 8,500 employees were recognised through the Najm framework from April – December 2016.

The Najm Chairman’s Award is the highest employee recognition award and is awarded annually. Award nominations go through a rigorous selection and voting process by department heads and senior management. Since its inception in 2008 over 60 Najm Chairman’s Awards have been presented for individual and collective staff achievements within the Group.  

Stories of Excellence

A range of outstanding achievements were recognised by this year’s Najm chairman’s Award. Winners were awarded for saving lives, quick and decisive thinking in challenging circumstances and coming up with innovative solutions for business.

Leo Auga, supervisor Emirates Airport Services, received the Najm Chairman’s Award for saving the lives of not one but two customers in the airport by putting his first aid training to good use. In both instances Auga was able to start CPR on customers who had collapsed in the airport. His efforts in those minutes until the arrival of paramedics were crucial to saving the lives of the customers.

Mark Fraser, service operator dnata at Perth, was able to avert a serious incident when a fire broke out under the conveyor of an arriving flight followed by a smaller fire in the engine compartment. With his quick thinking and decisive action Mark was able to put out both fires before they could risk the safety and lives of passengers onboard the flight.

Edwin Jason John Emmanuel Sekar, Kassam Mohamedali Ayub Bakhrani, Mohamad Ayoub, Sandeep Sudhakaran Pillai and Niall Michael Kinirons from Emirates Engineering devised a new planning process to break down and estimate maintenance tasks on the Emirates fleet of aircraft. Once fully implemented in Emirates Base Heavy Maintenance, the new process was able to deliver significant savings in terms of man hours and attain an on-time delivery rate of 90 per cent. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Royal Jordanian to boost presence in 14 cities

Royal Jordanian (RJ), the national carrier, plans to increase the frequency of its flights to 14 of the key Arab and international destinations on the airline's network this summer.

The 2017 summer operating plan will add an additional weekly flight to the already scheduled services to Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt (Germany), Barcelona and Madrid (Spain), Moscow (Russia), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) Tunis and Algiers, and two additional weekly flights to New York, Kuwait and Dammam, said a statement from RJ.

Furthermore, RJ will add three additional weekly flights to Madinah, bringing the total number of weekly flights into the city to 16.

RJ has also rescheduled arrival and departure times providing passengers, particularly transit travelers, with the convenience of selecting from a broader array of flight options, it stated.

The network enhancement comes as part of RJ’s keenness to strengthen its presence and boost its connectivity in those cities, all while incorporating network consolidation throughout the high-demand summer season.

With this move, the RJ’s network connectivity will ultimately increase by an additional eight per cent, said the RJ statement.

Moreover, RJ will be operating a total of 15 weekly flights to Baghdad by adding six additional weekly trips to the existing schedule, he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Ameeri to roll out 'Made in Bahrain' products at GIF

Ameeri Industries, a leading player in the manufacturing, electrical contracting and trading services, is set to showcase its portfolio of innovative 'Made in Bahrain' products at the upcoming Gulf Industry Fair 2017.

The Northern Gulf's leading business-to-business industrial show, Gulf Industry Fair is being organised by Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE) from February 7 to 9 under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa the Prime Minister of Bahrain.

Ameeri Industries has two manufacturing plants, the largest electrical manufacturing plant located in BIIP operating under the brand Ametech which is a channel panel builder partner of ABB and exclusive partners of Himel.

It is also the exclusive manufacturer of the Amgard brand in Bahrain. The brand is well known for its tough road crash barriers and street light poles, alongside a variety of other products in the pipe line.

Adel Ameeri, the chairman of Ameeri Industries, said: "Gulf Industry Fair has been a great platform for business to reconnect and showcase advanced industrial products throughout the region and Bahrain. Ameeri will be using this platform to showcase some new exciting products recently launched and tested under the Ametech and Amgard brands."

Ameeri, he stated, will be launching the new solar energy system solution under the Ametech brand.

The company’s vision is to be a homegrown contributor to Bahrain’s national investment in renewable energy, he added.

Jubran Abdulrahman, the managing director of HCE, said: "GIF visitors will be interested to view Ameeri Industries new Solar System Solution. Their presence at Gulf Industry Fair 2017 will encourage more industries to showcase products ‘Manufactured in Bahrain.’

"The diversification of Bahrain’s economy requires the development of a strong manufacturing base. Companies such as Ameeri are leading by example," remarked Abdulrahman.

Gulf Industry Fair 2017 is being sponsored by Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) and the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), in association with Noga. Majaal and Naffco will be supporting the Industrial Facilities and Fire and Safety zones of the event respectively.  

Supporting organisations for the expo include AHK Saudi Arabia, India’s PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the German Saudi Arabian Liaison for Economic Affairs, the Saudi British Economic Offset Programme and Bahrain Industrial Association.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Miral to create 1,000 new tourism jobs in Abu Dhabi

Farah Experiences, a subsidiary of UAE-based Miral, has launched a new training and recruiting program to help boost employment among Emirati nationals in the travel and tourism sector.

The program supports Miral’s ambition to contribute 2,500 jobs to the Abu Dhabi tourism industry by 2018; 1,000 of which will be part of the Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi theme park opening.
The innovative program, still in its pilot phase, was developed to meet the demand for new Emirati skills, by identifying and engaging with local talent, said a statement from Miral.

The program has already placed 40 new staffers, identified during the first recruitment day. Miral has committed to welcoming another 160 over the next 12 months, it stated.

The three-month, paid program, offers young Emiratis six weeks training in Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld, with the highest performers considered for full-time employment on Yas Island, including the upcoming Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.

“This is a unique ambassador program, as it offers an extremely hands-on approach to training at one of the most dynamic and renowned leisure facilities in the region,” remarked Miral chief executive Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi.

“We have already witnessed fantastic demand, and success in the early stages, which is encouraging, as we look forward to enrolling more trainees throughout the year. Our model extends beyond the traditional Emiratization approach by allowing students to demonstrate and improve their skills first-hand, in one of the most in-demand and exciting sectors in the world,”stated Al Zaabi.

Mariam Al Musharrekh, the associate director of Human Resources at Miral, said: "We are fully committed to contributing 1,000 additional jobs to the tourism sector in the UAE by 2018, and this innovative program will play a major role in identifying and selecting the best local talent."

“We begun rolling out the project at the end of 2016, and we are proud to announce we have already identified a number of rising stars among our ranks. Given the complexity of the industry, the program will be crucial in developing future specialists and leaders of tourism in the UAE, beyond traditional recruitment models,” she noted.

Waleed Ahmed Abdulla Al Katheeri, one of the first recruits to join the program, is already flourishing in the new role, having been accepted through the initial opening day.

“As an Emirati keen on growing my skills in one of the country’s most demanding industries, this incredible experience has already been invaluable in providing me with insight into how the travel and tourism sector works,” he said

“Since enrollment, my passion for the travel sector has grown with gusto, and I hope to be considered for a full-time role upon graduation, to help Abu Dhabi during this formidable growth period.”

The program further demonstrates Miral’s commitment to creating opportunities in the travel and tourism sector, as it expands and develops world-class facilities on Yas Island, in support of Abu Dhabi’s ambition to diversify its economy.-TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

GCC firms 'under pressure over insurance of high-rises'

Insurers in GCC markets are coming under pressure to increase retention levels for high-rise buildings to demonstrate their alignment of interests with those of reinsurers, according to new research by AM Best, one of the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information sources.
In its new briefing, titled “GCC Insurers Must Monitor Impact of Changing Terms for High-Rise Property Insurance,” AM Best discusses how property insurance has been a major issue given the frequency of losses experienced over the past decade.

For many insurers and reinsurers, it is an underperforming business segment, and in many cases loss-making, it stated.

AM Best pointed out that global reinsurers have introduced stricter terms and conditions over the past five years, including event limits and tighter policy wordings following regional instability.

During the recent renewal period, some of the major reinsurers stipulated local insurers must retain a minimum of 30 per cent of risks following a large number of fires in high-rise, skyscraper buildings in the Middle East.

AM Best said it considers this to be a significant development for the market if implemented, given that commonly net retention levels were at 5 per cent or lower on high-value risks.

"During the renewal period leading up to January 1, 2017, reinsurance companies have responded to the recent fire losses by further tightening terms and conditions, and adjusting commission rates for residential and commercial property risks," remarked Mahesh Mistry, senior director of analytics at AM Best.

According to him, most insurers have been under pressure to accept quota share treaties with higher retention mainly as a result of weak performance stemming from poor risk selection.

"While insurers are moving toward higher retention levels, in part to ensure a greater alignment of interests, AM Best believes that they will need to monitor whether this increased exposure will impact their balance sheets in the event of a major loss," stated Mistry.

"A significant rise in retention levels could require greater levels of capital and will increase volatility within underwriting performance, although GCC companies rated by AM Best tend to be well-capitalised," he added.

In the past three years, significant claims for property insurance covering high-rise and high-value buildings have included fires in Dubai in 2015 at the Address Hotel on New Year’s Eve, and earlier that year at the Torch residential skyscraper.

The loss estimate for the Address Hotel claim is estimated between $200 million to $300 million, which, if taken together with the Acwa Power fire in Saudi Arabia, could have been sufficient to result in a negative return for most international reinsurers’ Middle East property portfolios.

Yvette Essen, director, research and communications (EMEA), said: "In 2016, there was further pressure on reinsurers’ technical performance for their GCC portfolios, as although fatalities have been few, subsequent fires have resulted in material property and business interruption claims."-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Saudi Arabia in key energy efficiency drive

The Saudi government is working on a wide range of activities to help boost the country's energy efficiency under its new 'green economy' programme, said a report, citing a top official.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and chairman of Executive Committee of Saudi Center for Energy Efficiency, said the programme is timely as building sectors, ground transportation and industry consume 90 per cent of total energy consumption in the kingdom, reported state news agnecy SPA.

The Prince was speaking at the 11th Saudi Forum for Water and Electricity which kicked off in Riyadh yesterday (January 27).

"The energy domestic consumption constitutes 38 per cent of the kingdom's total production of petroleum and gas. This has been mainly due to the rapid economic and population growth over the last 20 years," remarked Prince Abdulaziz.

Experts have cautioned that the consumption rate could grow two-fold by 2030, unless some strict measures to implemented to rationalise and boost the production efficiency, he added.

from Construction Realestate

Court drops Makkah crane case 'over lack of jurisdiction'

A Saudi criminal court has declared that it was dropping the case related to the 2015 Makkah crane crash, which claimed 110 lives and injured over 200 pilgrims, due to the lack of jurisdiction over the case, said a report.

Makkah Criminal Court issued its ruling in the presence of the defendants on trial and the prosecutor; it came after several sessions of deliberations.

The prosecutor had interrogated the defendants before the judge decided to drop the case due to an issue of jurisdiction, reported Arab News.

The court informed the defence team that it will inform them later of the date the legal decision will be formally issued, stated the report.

Reports presented by the Bin Laden Group during the investigation and court sessions had shown that sudden changes in weather conditions, difficult to forecast, resulted in unusual winds, which in turn caused the collapse of the crane.

The company pointed out that 50 thunderbolts had been recorded on the day in Makkah within a period of only one hour due to the inclement weather conditions. The storm, it stated, was accompanied by heavy rain and thunder, as well as drop in temperature from 45 to 21 degrees Celsius, said the report.

The Civil Defense Department spokesman said that the heavy rain that fell over Makkah on that day reached 40 mm within a very short period of time. The 13 defendants on trial gave their affidavits to the court.

They were absolved of responsibility for the collapse of the crane and the consequent damage due to insufficient evidence, reported Arab News.

Of the three judges, two decided to drop the case; the third maintained that the court has jurisdiction over the case, it stated.

The prosecutor also insisted that the court had jurisdiction and legal competency to look into the case, based on the royal decree issued following the incident, including into charges of loss of life, property damage and negligence.

The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution relied on the results of the investigation, which were submitted to higher authorities, and indicated that the main cause of the accident was the fact that the crane was subjected to heavy winds and had been kept idle in the wrong position, in violation of the operation instructions issued by the manufacturer, said the report.

The defendants were also accused of failing to measure the speed of the wind and to respond to a number of letters from concerned authorities to review the condition of the several cranes at the site, especially the crane that fell, it added.

from Construction Realestate

HLG Contracting wins Dubai mixed-use tower deal

HLG Contracting, one of the leading diversified international contractors in the Middle East, has been awarded a contract valued at Dh401 million ($109 million) for the construction of Al Garhoud Towers by Hasabi Real Estate, one of Dubai’s leading development companies.

Al Garhoud Towers will be located at Al Garhoud area near Dubai International Airport in Dubai, UAE.

As per the contract, HLG, operating as HLG Contracting, will be responsible for the construction of three buildings, which are conjoined through the single mezzanine floor, comprising 100 serviced apartments in one building, a 350-room three-star hotel in a second building, and a 250-room four-star hotel in a third building.

The project will also house a reception and lounge area, food and beverage outlets, and other communal amenities. Three basement levels will house car parking, back-of-house facilities, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) facilities.

Construction will begin in February and is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of next year.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Egyptian group Abu Soma plans Red Sea resort

Egypt-based Abu Soma Development Company has signed contracts worth E£300 million ($19.4 million) for the construction of Sheraton Soma Bay Resort which will come up on the Red Sea coast, said a report.

Some of those contracts worth E£200 million pounds were signed earlier this month; while others signed late 2016, reported Amwal Al Ghad, citing its top official.

The resort will also comprise 200 units including villas, apartments as well as chalets with spaces ranging between 100 and 400 sq m, revealed CEO Ibrahim El Missiri.

The company has already developed 2.5 million sq m out of 10 million sq m of land at Soma Bay and is poised to completely develop the resort within the next ten years, noted El Missiri.

Soma Bay will consist of five hotels; the Westin Cairo Golf Resort and Spa, Katameya Dunes, the Breakers Diving and Surfing Lodge, Robinson Club Soma Bay, and Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, he added.

from Construction Realestate

HLG Contracting wins Dubai mixed-use tower deal

HLG Contracting, one of the leading diversified international contractors in the Middle East, has been awarded a contract valued at Dh401 million ($109 million) for the construction of Al Garhoud Towers by Hasabi Real Estate, one of Dubai’s leading development companies.

Al Garhoud Towers will be located at Al Garhoud area near Dubai International Airport in Dubai, UAE.

As per the contract, HLG, operating as HLG Contracting, will be responsible for the construction of three buildings, which are conjoined through the single mezzanine floor, comprising 100 serviced apartments in one building, a 350-room three-star hotel in a second building, and a 250-room four-star hotel in a third building.

The project will also house a reception and lounge area, food and beverage outlets, and other communal amenities. Three basement levels will house car parking, back-of-house facilities, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) facilities.

Construction will begin in February and is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of next year.-TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Egyptian group Abu Soma plans Red Sea resort

Egypt-based Abu Soma Development Company has signed contracts worth E£300 million ($19.4 million) for the construction of Sheraton Soma Bay Resort which will come up on the Red Sea coast, said a report.

Some of those contracts worth E£200 million pounds were signed earlier this month; while others signed late 2016, reported Amwal Al Ghad, citing its top official.

The resort will also comprise 200 units including villas, apartments as well as chalets with spaces ranging between 100 and 400 sq m, revealed CEO Ibrahim El Missiri.

The company has already developed 2.5 million sq m out of 10 million sq m of land at Soma Bay and is poised to completely develop the resort within the next ten years, noted El Missiri.

Soma Bay will consist of five hotels; the Westin Cairo Golf Resort and Spa, Katameya Dunes, the Breakers Diving and Surfing Lodge, Robinson Club Soma Bay, and Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, he added.

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Friday, January 27, 2017

Desert Adventures Tourism eyes German-speaking tourist markets

Desert Adventures, part of the Kuoni Destination Management Specialists division, is looking to attracting more guests from the German-speaking market with the appointment of Discover The World-Germany as its representative.

The appointment is part of an overall strategy by the Middle East’s leading destination management company of strengthening its foothold in key source markets such as Austria, Switzerland and Germany, and further enhancing its business performance.

With ITB Berlin scheduled to take place from March 8-12, Desert Adventures and Discover The World-Germany will be working closely on a persuasive sales pitch to existing customers and prospective clients during the event.

“The places within which Desert Adventures operates – the UAE, Oman, Jordan and Qatar – have remained as among the most sought-after destinations for German-speaking guests,” said Fabio Prestijacopo, head of sales and marketing, Desert Adventures Tourism. “We are therefore delighted to have appointed Discover The World-Germany as our representative in this market and look forward to making such partnership work to the advantage and benefit of customers.”

Margit Schwarz, director, Discover The World Germany said: “We are pleased to have been provided this opportunity to further develop Desert Adventures‘ business in the leisure and group segment. Our synergies will certainly bring about a rejuvenated feeling of enthusiasm among customers looking to travel into any of Desert Adventures’ destinations because they know that they will be taken care of by two of the most trusted brands in the travel & hospitality industry.”

Discover The World Germany is known for its market-leading and innovative sales and marketing solutions aimed at helping solve market expansion challenges to a diverse client base. The combined strength of talented local travel professionals and existing online technologies enable clients to increase profit, open new markets, retain and grow relationships, solve problems and service needs. - TradeArabia News Service

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Boeing Q4 revenues down 1pc to $23.3bn

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has reported 2016 fourth-quarter revenue of $23.28 billion, down 1 per cent compared with revenues of $23.57 billion over the same period of 2015.                        

Earnings per share reached $2.59 during the period reflecting overall solid execution on production programs and services.

Revenue was $94.6 billion for the full year reflecting strong commercial deliveries and services growth across the company. GAAP earnings per share totalled $7.61 and core earnings per share totalled $7.24.

Guidance for 2017 is set at between $10.25 and $10.45 for GAAP earnings per share and between $9.10 and $9.30 for core earnings per share (non-GAAP). Revenue guidance is between $90.5 and $92.5 billion, including increased commercial deliveries of between 760 and 765. Operating cash flow is expected to increase by approximately $250 million to $10.75 billion and capital expenditures are expected to decline by approximately $300 million to $2.3 billion.

"With solid fourth quarter operating performance and a sharp strategic focus, we extended our aerospace market leadership in our centennial year and positioned Boeing for continued growth and success in our second century," said chairman, president and chief executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg.

"We led the industry in commercial airplane deliveries for the fifth consecutive year, achieved healthy sales in our defence, space and services segments, and produced record operating cash flow, which fuelled investment in innovation and our people and generated significant returns to shareholders."

"Looking forward, our team is intent on accelerating productivity and program execution to deliver increasing cash and profitability from our large and diverse order backlog of nearly $500 billion, standing up our new integrated services business, and capturing an even greater share of the growing global aerospace market to deliver superior value to our customers, shareholders and employees."

Operating cash flow in the quarter of $2.8 billion was driven by solid operating performance, disciplined cash management, and a slight impact from timing of receipts and expenditures (Table 2). During the quarter, the company repurchased 3.7 million shares for $500 million and paid $672 million in dividends.

For the full year, the company repurchased 55.1 million shares for $7.0 billion and paid $2.8 billion in dividends. Based on strong cash generation and confidence in the company's outlook, the board of directors in December increased the quarterly dividend per share by 30 per cent and renewed the share repurchase program to $14 billion. Share repurchases under the new authorization are expected to be made over the next 24 to 30 months.

Commercial airplanes

Commercial airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $16.2 billion on higher planned delivery volume and mix. Fourth-quarter operating margin was 9.1 per cent, reflecting delivery mix, lower R&D and improved performance, partially offset by a $243 million pre-tax charge on the KC-46 Tanker program primarily related to additional effort to incorporate previously identified changes into initial production aircraft.

During the quarter, Boeing delivered the 500th 787 Dreamliner and began final assembly of the first 787-10 aircraft. The 737 program has captured more than 3,600 orders for the 737 MAX, including recent 737 MAX 8 orders from GE Capital Aviation Services for 75 airplanes and SpiceJet for 100 airplanes.

Commercial Airplanes booked 288 net orders during the quarter. Backlog remains strong with more than 5,700 airplanes valued at $416 billion. – TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Oman signs $1.2bn pipe supply contract with Sumitomo

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) signed on Thursday (January 26) a $1.2 billion contract to supply piping for its drilling operations through Duqm.

The five-year deal with Japanese supplier Sumitomo further includes a new supply yard in the Duqm Special Economic Zone, which will be a logistics centre for materials being delivered to PDO’s drilling locations.

The agreement will confirm PDO as an anchor tenant at Duqm from mid 2018, with up to two shipments a week (carrying 3,000 metric tonnes of pipe) being routed through the port for its oil and gas fields.

The logistics hub will provide integrated supply chain management services, such as storage, planning and delivery, and 30 trucks a day will be needed to transfer the pipes from the new supply yard to PDO’s drilling locations.

The move will significantly build capability at Duqm to become the primary logistics hub for the Sultanate’s oil and gas sector and complements the Tanfeedh programme on economic diversification.

PDO managing director Raoul Restucci said: “This contract will spur the growth of Duqm and attract even more business as the port demonstrates its ability to handle major operations.”

“Every year, we drill 600 wells across our concession area and all the piping for that will be managed at Duqm.

“This agreement is further evidence that PDO’s In-Country Value (ICV) programme to retain more of the oil and gas industry’s wealth in the Sultanate by creating Omani jobs and developing local capability and infrastructure is going from strength to strength,” he added.

The new agreement is a renewal of an existing contract to supply PDO oil tubular goods, casing and tubing pipes used for drilling, and consolidates the Company’s long-standing business relationship with Sumitomo. – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Thursday, January 26, 2017

29 in race for $1bn Bahrain medical city project

A total of 29 prominent international engineering firms have been prequalified to bid for the $1-billion King Abdullah Medical City project in Bahrain, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

The project, funded through a SR1 billion ($267 million) grant from the late King Abdulla bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, will be built on a one-million-sq-m plot donated by His Majesty King Hamad at Durrat Al Bahrain, one of the largest towns in southern Bahrain.

The medical city will be a multiple phased mixed-use development comprising academic and medical facilities, a research centre, on-site accommodation and other communal facilities to create a self-sustained campus, reported the BNA.

Under the first phase, a 288-bed hospital supported by on-site staff housing and other communal facilities will be developed followed by the setting up of medical clinics, medical services building, specialised research centres in the prevailing diseases in the GCC region, including cancer, diabetes and obesity in the next phase, it stated.

The mammoth development, to be operated by Arabian Gulf University, will employ more than 700 medical staff, it added.

On completion, the project will boast a 500-bed hospital besides academic school, research facility, medical hotel, rehabilitation hospital, on-site accommodation for both students and staff, it stated.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Saudi Arabia terminates Samsung power plant contract

Saudi government has terminated a contract awarded to South Korea’s Samsung Engineering for building a 3,100-megawatt power and desalination plant on the Red Sea coast in the industrial city of Yanbu,  due to differences over the final construction terms, said a report.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the $3-billion project was awarded by state-owned Saline Water Conversion Corporation to a consortium led by the Korean company in 2012, reported Pulse News.

Samsung was the main constructor for the power plant, commanding half, or $1.5 billion in lump-sum contract value, it stated.

About 55 per cent of the construction has been completed, said the report, citing a source.

The contract was initially due to be completed by December 28 last year, but pushed back to August 25 next year upon agreement, it added.

from Construction Realestate

AESG sets up fire and life safety unit in Dubai

AESG, a leading consultancy practice in the Middle East, has announced the establishment of its dedicated fire and life safety consultancy division.

The new division is fully licensed by local civil defence authorities and provides a holistic portfolio of 11 critical services among which are building fire and life safety strategy and design, qualitative and quantitative fire risk assessments, fire systems design and engineering, fire safety audits and fire protection system design, said a statement from AESG, which is a board member of the Emirates Green Building Council.

The new department draws from a wealth of experience that AESG has already gained in the field through its involvement in many large-scale, high-profile projects such as Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait, The Opus Business Bay and Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital, it stated.

Speaking at the launch, Saeed Al Abbar, the director at AESG, said: "We are excited to extend AESG’s scope of services and capabilities with the opening of this new Fire and Life Safety division."
"As new opportunities emerge from the success of our ongoing activities, we will look to continue our expansion both in terms of geographies as well as offerings," he added.

The opening of the new division adds to a series of strategic growth investment that AESG has made over the last 12 months, said a statement from the company.

Last year, the company expanded its environment consultancy and commissioning division and branched out into the global market with the establishment of a hub in London.

Division director Peter van Gorp, who is a regional veteran with over 20 years of experience in the specific area, said: "There are no straight forward solutions in fire safety, only intelligent choices which are made by qualified professionals with extensive real-world experience."

Commenting on the market need for AESG’s services, he said: "Skyscrapers and high-rise buildings are commonplace to city skylines in the Middle East and these large developments require sophisticated fire and life safety strategies."

Initially, AEGS will focus on providing advisory and engineering services to clients in the building, industrial, and oil and gas sectors.

"There is a tremendous amount of oil and gas related activities in the region which require detailed planning to develop optimised and effective fire engineering solutions," stated van Gorp.

"At AESG, we have invested not only in developing technical knowledge, but also in insuring that it is translated and incorporated into the services we deliver," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Mövenpick Hotels accelerates expansion plans

2016 was a year of milestones for hotel operator Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, as it inked deals for more than 13 new properties in key growth markets, growing its total development pipeline by one-third to 33-plus hotels.

Mövenpick Hotels, which already operates 83 hotels worldwide, will add more than 9,000 extra keys to Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts’ growing inventory over the next four years, with all pipelined properties currently on track to open by the end of 2020.

New deals signed in 2016 will see the company debut in several locations across the Middle East and Asia including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and, in the UAE, the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

2016 also saw the appointment of its new CEO, Olivier Chavy. This ushered in a new era for the hospitality firm, which also unveiled a fresh new logo and corporate identity to better reflect its warmth and inherent ‘Swissness’.

“2016 was our most successful year yet in terms of the number of new hotels we signed, which averaged more than one a month and grew our pipelined portfolio by more than 30 per cent,” said Chavy.

“We not only consolidated our position in key growth markets such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand, where we are now a dominant player, but signed management agreements for properties in strategic locations where we will introduce the Mövenpick brand for the first time, in some cases, setting new hospitality standards that we believe will become an industry benchmark.

“We enter 2017 in high confidence, building on our achievements over the past 12 months with firm plans to further grow our portfolio in line with our ambitious global expansion strategy. We’re well on track to operating over 100 properties by 2020.”

The regional breakdown

In Asia, where Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts currently operates 11 properties with 20 more in the pipeline, the company signed five new properties, three of which were in Thailand - Mövenpick Residences Ekkamai Bangkok (2017), Mövenpick Resort Khao Yai (2017) and Mövenpick Resort Mai Khao (2018).

The company also signed deals for Mövenpick Hotel Khulna, its first property in Bangladesh, and Mövenpick Hotel Quang Binh in Vietnam, both of which are scheduled to open in 2020.

At the same time, the 260-room Mövenpick Siam Hotel Pattaya on popular Na Jomtien Beach opened for business – the first five-star property outside of Pattaya’s city centre.

In the Middle East, currently home to 31 Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts properties with 12 more in the development pipeline, four new management agreements were signed. They included the newly opened Mövenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah Doha, in Qatar, plus Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Al Burj Business Bay, Dubai, UAE and Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Al Tahlia, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which are both set to open in 2018. The 550-room Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, has a mooted 2019 opening date.

2016 also saw the opening of the 228-room Mövenpick Hotel City Star Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – a unique European-style hotel which is Mövenpick’s third property in the kingdom’s city.

In Africa, where the firm has 25 properties and four more in active development, the company opened a landmark property, the Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech, with 503 rooms and Morocco’s largest congress centre. It is the firm’s third property in Morocco, with the two others located in Casablanca and Tangier. Deals have also been signed for properties in Tunisia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Cote d’Ivoire.

In Europe, the company currently operates 21 properties and plans to open the 262-key Mövenpick Congress Hotel Stuttgart, Germany and the 260-key Mövenpick Hotel Basel, Switzerland in 2019.

Green Globe

In 2016, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts made history as the most ‘Green Globe certified hotel company in the world’. The certification body’s 2015 report revealed the Swiss hospitality firm had an overall average compliance score of 84 per cent, an impressive 2.5 per cent higher than the average of all Green Globe certified members worldwide (81.5 per cent).

At the end of 2016, more than 63 of the company’s properties were Green Globe certified and more than half of those (35), had achieved the prestigious Green Globe Gold Member status, with more currently working towards this standard.


2016 also saw a long list of properties recognised by renowned programmes such as the World Travel Awards, Haute Grandeur Awards and Condé Nast Traveler Awards.

At the World Travel Awards, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea was named ‘Best Luxury Resort Spa 2016’; Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach was crowned ‘Best Luxury Contemporary/Stylish Hotel 2016’; and Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi received the ‘Best Boutique Hotel in South East Asia 2016’ accolade. In Europe, Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Center was ranked 9th in Condé Nast Traveler’s ‘Top 10 Best Hotels of Amsterdam’ listing and Mövenpick Hotel Istanbul was named one of US News & World Reports’ ‘Best Hotels in Europe’ 2016-2017.

2017 development plans

In 2017, nine properties are on schedule to open across Asia and Africa.

The company will mark its debut in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Kenya with the openings of Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran, Mövenpick Hotel Colombo and Mövenpick Hotel & Residences Nairobi.

The remaining four new properties on track to open this year are: Mövenpick Hotel Les Berges Du Lac Tunis in Tunisia, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay in the Philippines and in Thailand, Mövenpick Residences Ekkamai Bangkok and Mövenpick Resort Khao Yai.

“We start the year as we mean to go on, forging ahead with our ambitious development plans, building on our sustainability successes, and bringing our award-winning Swiss hospitality to new locations across the globe,” concluded Chavy. - TradeArabia News Service

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Sohar Port plans aggregate bulk terminal

Oman's Sohar Port and Freezone is planning to start operation of a new bulk terminal aimed at facilitating the export of locally mined construction aggregate (primarily crushed rock, gravel and sand) to other markets in the wider Gulf region, said a report.

The proposed bulk terminal, which is a part of the deep water bulk jetty currently operated by Brazilian-based mining giant Vale at Sohar, will help local mining and quarrying firms target big ticket infrastructure projects currently under way in parts of the GCC, Marc Evertse, executive commercial manager, was quoted as saying in an Oman Daily Observer report.

He added that the 270-m-long terminal, which was built in conjunction with the construction of the Vale jetty, is being prepared to handle large volumes of construction material for export.

Evertse pointed out that the demand for primary construction aggregate has soared in countries such as Qatar and Bahrain, where billions of dollars are being invested in major civil infrastructure schemes.  

He also highlighted that the sultanate, given its proximity to these markets and as a source of high-quality materials, is billed as a promising export market.

Evertse further revealed that the terminal is in the process of being prepared for handling large quantities of dry bulk, in particular aggregates

He noted that there is strong pressure from the domestic market to facilitate exports of aggregates.

from Construction Realestate