Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tourism will be a key pillar of Gulf economies: UrbaCon CEO

A leading Arab investor and economist has called for more investments in the tourism and travel market expecting it will provide major and significant revenue for the economy in the Gulf states in the coming years.  

In a statement commenting on The 24th annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM) event being held in Dubai, Moataz Al-Khayyat, CEO of UrbaCon, has said that "we can see now an increase in building hotels, entertainment cities, and shopping malls in the Gulf countries, and I think they will keep increasing."  

"In 2015 I commented on the tourism market in the Gulf saying that the tourism sector's positive results in GCC are a good indicator and alarm that we should do much more to face the future challenges and protect the tourism sector as one main sources of the economic growth in GCC," added Al Khayyat.

"A new report by intelligence provider BNC Network shows the growing focus on tourism sector development by the governments of Gulf countries gradually trying to diversify revenue base, and I agree with the report's conclusion that regional tourism sector will get a major boost in the years to come, but again I call for more and more investments in this sector which will be really one of the Gulf economy's pillars in the future," said Al Khayyat.    

UrbaCon Trading & Contracting has been involved in several huge projects over the last few years and has become one of the most respected building contractors in Qatar.

In addition to the Mall of Qatar, included among its projects are the Banana Island Resort, the Sheraton Doha Hotel and Convention Center, and the Lekhwiya Stadium at Al Duhail.

UrbaCon is one of several companies owned by Al-Khayat. These companies include general contracting, commercial and residential developments, building materials, various trading companies, hospitals and restaurants with operations in the Middle East. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Saudi firm unveils new decorative paint range

Saudi-based Middle East Paints Factory has chosen the Gulf Interiors expo, the Northern Gulf's established annual showcase for luxury interiors, design and furniture being held in Bahrain, to launch three new decorative paint ranges – 3D, Bella and Rita.

Founded in 1993 as part of the Balahmar Group of Saudi Arabia, Middle East Paints is a leader in industrial, decorative and construction paints and has ISO and Saso 2008-9001 certifications.

Unveiling the new products, the company said the 3D and Bella lines come in regular and glittery Plus types and in many different shades – 16 for 3D and over a 100 for Bella.

However, its other range Rita is unique because its metallic colours give a special wave effect, it stated.

All ranges are meant to meet new trends in interior paints and give a special effect finish, explained Moataz Al Mahdi, the sales manager of the Jeddah-based company.

At the show, the company is also promoting construction paints and wood paints from its main Middle East brand, as well as the Classic, Racket, Mepco and Maxtra brands, he stated.

A specialist in the field of industrial, decorative and construction paints as well as wood paints and paste products, Middle East Paints Factory boasts seven production lines with a production capacity of 60 tonnes per day.

The company, which has relocated its factory to a sprawling 10,000-sq-m area in Jeddah Industrial City, boosted its production capacity last year.

As part of its regional expansion strategy, the company plans to open a manufacturing facility in Bahrain, stated Al Mahdi.

Middle East Paints Factory has introduced a number of new products into the market such as wood varnish, glaze, and a variety of eco-friendly paints including water-based decorative coatings, special-effect coatings for interior decor and solvent-free epoxy products, said Ali Omar Balahmar, its general manager.

"We have made significant investments in equipping our factory with the latest technology in paint production and testing facilities such as quality control and research and development laboratories and state-of-art machinery, besides recruiting qualified staff with wide experience in the paints sector," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Carlton Hotel Management targets 2,000 rooms by 2020

Carlton Hotel Management, owned by Dubai-based The First Investor group is targeting to add 683 new rooms over the next three years - up 51 per cent -  that will take its total count to 2,000 rooms from the current 1,317.

Out of the existing keys in operation, 1,142 rooms are in Dubai, 85 in Jordan and 90 in the Czech Republic.
With an aggressive expansion strategy, Carlton Hotel Management has quickly emerged as a major player in the hospitality sector with a total investment of over Dh2.2 billion ($598.8 million) in various hotel projects. This investment is set to reach Dh2.7 billion ($734.9 million) by 2020.

Hotels currently owned by the company include Carlton Downtown – Dubai, Carlton Palace Hotel – Dubai, Carlton Tower Hotel – Dubai, Marriott Executive Apartments – Dubai, Villa Rotana – Dubai, Four Points by Sheraton - Dubai, Imperial Palace – Jordan, Sun Hotel - Czech Republic and Belvedere Hotel, Czech Republic.
The company recently announced the purchase of the Carlton Downtown hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road. It is the third hotel to be operated by Carlton Hotel Management - a brand owned by The First Investor, and the ninth in the group’s collection of hotels.
Commenting on the strategic investment, Hosni Abdel Hadi, CEO of Carlton Hotel Management company, said: “At Carlton, we have long-term growth at the forefront of our agenda.  The strategy is to grow within the UAE market and then expand to key cities across Europe; London, Paris, Madrid and beyond.  The UAE continues to be one of world’s most competitive economy for travel and tourism and this is significant and vital to Carlton brand. The UAE is considered one of the most secure destinations with an outstanding hospitality and entertainment infrastructure.  We are delighted to be part of this dynamic and fast growing market.”
Hadi added: “The Carlton Downtown hotel is an exciting addition to our portfolio of hotels as we continue to expand our presence in the region. We are confident that the Carlton Downtown hotel will prove to be a valuable asset for us and will generate superb financial returns for the company.”   
Brilliantly located in close proximity to the World Trade Center, DIFC and Downtown Dubai, the 47-storey spectacular tower features 357 rooms (275 suites and 82 spacious rooms). Included in the hotel’s fabulous facilities are 7 restaurants and bars, 10 meeting rooms, a health club and spa. Carlton Downtown hotel is also home to Dubai’s highest open-air rooftop pool and bar with spectacular 360º views over the city. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Supersonic flight the next step in GCC aviation leadership

Boom Technology today introduced its supersonic passenger airliner as well as the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, at Dubai Future Foundation premises.

The commercial aircraft will connect the GCC to the rest of the world with flights up to 2.6X faster than conventional airliners. For example, a flight from Dubai to Sydney which takes 14:51 today, will take just 8:17 flying supersonic. In the same fashion, Dubai to New York will be 7 hours and 35 minutes versus 14 hours today.
Based in Denver, Colorado, Boom Supersonic is using state-of-the-art aerospace technologies to deliver a revolutionary speedup in travel. Compared to Concorde, designed in the 1960s, Boom will be 80 per cent less expensive to operate—leading to affordable tickets for passengers and profit opportunities for airlines. Key technologies for supersonic include carbon fiber composites, advanced aerodynamics, and modern turbofan jet engines. These technologies combine to enable an airplane faster than Concorde, yet quiet, efficient, and comfortable for passengers.
Blake Scholl, Boom Founder and CEO said: “We are delighted to bring Boom to the UAE. UAE airlines already lead the world in travel experience, and the country is embracing other innovative transportation technologies, such as Hyperloop and drone taxis.”
“Supersonic flight will enhance UAE’s status as the world’s preeminent aviation hub, giving travellers more of the luxury they value most: time.”
The Boom airliner seats up to 55 passengers in comfort and privacy. Cruising at 60,000’, passengers experience less turbulence. Looking through the largest windows in commercial aviation, the sky is a deeper blue and one can see Earth’s curvature.
The Boom’s XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, a one-third scale prototype aircraft, is under construction now and will fly in 2018. Passenger flights will begin in the early 2020s. The XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator will fly with hardware from General Electric (engines), Honeywell (avionics), Tencate (carbon fiber), with composite structures fabricated by Blue Force. Final assembly and vehicle integration are taking place in Boom’s facility at Centennial Airport near Denver, Colorado. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Key Dubai buildings to have extra power generators

Dubai’s real estate developers and companies developing touristic, commercial and  cultural projects have been ordered to install additional power generators to ensure seamless uninterrupted power supply in their developments.

The order comes from Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who made the decision during his visit to Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) headquarters, where he was briefed yesterday’s power outage in Dubai Mall. – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Damac to open ultra-luxury five-star hotel in June

Damac Properties, a leading real estate developer, said it is set to launch an ultra-luxury five-star hotel at the prestigious Downtown district in Dubai, UAE, this June.

Boasting stunning views from each of its 52 floors, the 305-key Damac Maison Royale The Distinction offers a choice of fully serviced deluxe rooms as well as one-, two- and three-bedroom suites that are complemented by a full kitchen.

The five-star property’s amenities, including spa, recreational facilities, health club, amongst others, will ensure guests enjoy their stay at this five-star haven on the Dubai skyline and at the centre of the city’s major attractions, said a statement from Damac.

The new ultra-luxury five-star hotel, to be operated by the group’s premium hotel operator Damac Maison Royale, provides luxury hospitality and accommodation where guests can indulge in a unique leisure and relaxation experience in the city of dreams, it stated.

Niall McLoughlin, senior VP, said: "Dubai has recently reached the 100,000-room mark and has been ranked ninth among the top 10 cities with the largest supply of hotel rooms in the world. Moreover, it is poised for tremendous growth and in the next three to four years, a number of changes are culminating in the lead up to Expo 2020."

"There is no doubt that Dubai will go from strength to strength as the city continues to develop for the future and attract more tourists to meet the growing supply of hotels. Therefore, investments in the hospitality sector within strategic locations represent one of the cornerstones of this growth," he stated.

"For investors, this distinctive property presents a unique opportunity to own a luxury hotel room or apartment in the centre of Dubai’s most desirable district," remarked McLoughlin.

"With the number of visitors to the emirate and the demand for such accommodation in a prime location, owning such properties makes great investment sense. Dubai enjoys amongst the highest occupancy rates in the world – in the high eighties -  and it will continue to be an attractive tourist destination due to major events and expansion of leisure and entertainment offerings for years to come," he added.

Other attractive features of the property include the kids club, offering a wide range of activities that ensure an unforgettable stay for younger guests, said the statement from Damac.

Furthermore, Casper & Gambini’s will offer the finest international cuisines and culinary delights served in a relaxed atmosphere, with exceptional service, it stated.

In addition, in line with the service pillars of Damac Hotels & Resorts, 24-hour check-in, check-out and stay policy, free stays for children, with child-friendly facilities and entertainment, personalized services as well as “no-tipping” policy apply, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

UAE group to develop mega city in Yemen

Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has launched several development projects in Yemen's Archipelago of Socotra, including the first phase of its mega mixed-use project Sheikh Zayed City, said a report.

The ambitious Emirati project will boast 161 houses, a clinic, a school, a public council for residents, a mosque with a capacity of 600 worshippers, and entertainment facilities including a children’s park and football field, reported state news agency Wam, citing an ERC delegation which is on a visit to Socotra.

The team, headed by Dr Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, secretary-general of the ERC, also launched other key development projects in Socotra, said the report.

Dr Al Falahi stressed that the UAE, due to its diligence, proactively responded to the humanitarian call following the natural disasters and storms that struck the Socotra Archipelago during previous years.

Through its humanitarian arm, the ERC, assisted the needy and strengthened its response to reach out those affected, he added.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region and chairman of the ERC stressed that the directives of the UAE leadership strengthen the country's development and humanitarian initiatives in Yemen.

from Construction Realestate

Hilton expands Marhaba service

Hilton is extending a truly warm welcome to Middle Eastern guests this summer as it doubles the number of properties offering its exceptional, memorable Marhaba service.

The Middle East continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing outbound travel markets; Germany alone is expected to receive 3.6 million visitors from the GCC annually by 2030. In response to this, the Hilton Marhaba programme is a tailored experience that will provide a bespoke service to guests, ensuring that their cultural needs are considered during their stay.

The bespoke service offers Hilton guests a home-from-home by providing everything from Arabic-speaking front desk and concierge team members, in-room prayer mats upon request, daily Arabic coffee service, Middle Eastern breakfast delicacies, a selection of Arabic TV channels and newspapers, and importantly, Halal food is available upon request.

Select Hilton properties across Europe are participating in the Marhaba programme including: Hilton Frankfurt City Centre, Hilton Vienna, Hilton Molino Stucky, Hilton Munich Park, Hilton Baku, and  Hilton Evian les Bains and luxury hotel Conrad Algarve.

With outbound travel from the Middle East expected to grow exponentially in the coming decade, and expenditure from Gulf nationals travelling abroad set to increase by a significant 54 per cent to over $100 billion by 2018, Hilton recognises the importance of ensuring that guests specific cultural needs are taken into account when travelling abroad.  

“Our Marhaba initiative sets us apart for travellers from the Middle East looking for a truly memorable stay overseas. The fact that we have doubled the number of hotels offering the service this year shows that no one knows hospitality quite like Hilton does,” said Andreas Lackner, regional head, brand management, Hilton. “Marhaba has been introduced to allow our guests to stay at one of our participating hotels with the confidence that no matter the occasion, or the destination, their cultural needs will be taken care of, as they would be at home. We look forward to saying ‘Marhaba’ to our Middle Eastern guests for what is set to be a busy summer ahead.” - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Etihad promotes Abu Dhabi with '48 Hour Challenge'

Etihad Airways has launched a new ‘48 Hour Challenge’ to experience a host of ‘once in a lifetime’ activities throughout Abu Dhabi in just two days.

The challenge is part of Etihad Airways’ wider stopover campaign promoting Abu Dhabi as a ‘holiday within a holiday’ for transit travellers and a ‘staycation’ option for UAE residents wanting a relaxing short-break. The city’s many highlights can now be enjoyed through a series of exciting stopover programmes.
To launch the campaign, Etihad Airways recently challenged Ricky Wilson, singer-songwriter, TV personality and frontman of British indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs, to spend 48 hours exploring the best Abu Dhabi has to offer. The video of his attempt is part of a global online promotional campaign and captures the excitement of the challenge visually to share with consumers on social media and across the airline’s communications channels.

“For me a stopover meant sitting in the airport, or visiting duty free, but this is not what a stopover should be,” said the singer. “It should be flying falcons across the desert, kayaking, visiting water parks….imbibing the culture of the place. Abu Dhabi has taught me that stopovers can be as relaxing as they are exhilarating. There is something incredibly refreshing about pushing yourself, getting out of your comfort zone and fully immersing yourself in a new city. I will never stay in the airport again during a stopover.

“It is an incredible place, with warm, generous and extremely hospitable people. The city perfectly combines a relaxing and chilled out vibe with excitement and adventure. It is a beautiful city with endless things to do in a short space of time.”

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ chief executive officer, said: “The launch of Etihad Airways’ comprehensive stopover programme reinforces what we who live in this wonderful city have known for so long – that Abu Dhabi is a cosmopolitan, dynamic and thrilling destination packed with opportunities for all visitors, whether they are looking for adventure, culture, or a relaxing beach break.

“It is our honour as the national airline of the UAE, based here in Abu Dhabi, to promote and celebrate the emirate’s sophisticated infrastructure, the hospitality of the Emirati people, and its beautiful landscape. It is the perfect stopover destination for those flying through Abu Dhabi and an ideal domestic getaway for those living in the wider UAE.”

The airline will also launch a special competition to promote its stopover programme. From April 28 until the end of 2017, Etihad Airways will be giving away 500 great prizes to members of the public who take up the 48 Hour Challenge and who post their experiences on Instagram using the hashtag #EtihadChallenge. The amazing prizes on offer range from 24-carat gold spa treatments to desert safari trips.

Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi stopover options include 2-for-1 deals on hotels and various activities. Guests who book a two-night stay from a choice of over 60 participating hotels in Abu Dhabi will receive the second night free. Business Class guests receive a complimentary night’s stay, while First Class guests receive two free nights. Etihad Airways’ guests flying in The Residence cabin onboard the airline’s flagship Airbus A380s will be treated to two nights at the luxurious Emirates Palace hotel.

Abu Dhabi’s world-famous leisure and business attractions include miles of beautiful white sand beaches, theme parks such as Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World, unforgettable desert safari expeditions, arts and cultural institutions such as Manarat Al Saadiyat and the soon to be opened Louvre museum, exquisite local and international dining, world-class golf, and the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and its race track, Yas Marina Circuit.

Abu Dhabi also offers a wide range of shopping opportunities to suit all tastes with a large choice of popular outlets and brands. The city boasts a selection of spacious high-end shopping malls such as the stylish Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall, Marina Mall, and The Galleria - one of the world’s most luxurious shopping centres.

Ricky Wilson successfully completed the following activities on his Abu Dhabi 48 Hour Challenge:

• A tour in a slingshot
• Racing in a supercar
• Cycling around the Formula 1 track
• Speeding down a waterslide at Yas Waterworld
• Boarding a superyacht
• Buying a suit
• Enjoying tea on the observation deck at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
• Skiing the desert sands on a snowboard
• Tasting Black Truffle Pizza
• Camel trekking
• Taking a drive on the desert sand dunes
• Learning to belly dance
• Dining in the desert
• Sleeping under the stars
• Teeing off at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
• Riding the Formula Rossa at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
• Eating a local delicacy
• Kayaking through the mangroves
• Flying a falcon
• Haggling at the souk
• Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
• Enjoying a gold leaf facial
• Partying at Iris Yas Island
• A stay at the Yas Viceroy        - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Major 3G exhibitions kick off in Bahrain

Northern Gulf's biggest exhibitions showcasing the very best in construction, interiors and real estate opened their doors in Bahrain today (April 25) with a record number of property developers at the three-in-one event, which has now expanded to include an evening festival.

Collectively known as the 3Gs, they comprise the Gulf Construction Expo along with the Gulf Interiors exhibition and the record-breaking Gulf Property Show, said the event organisers Hilal Conferences & Exhibitions (HCE) of Bahrain.

The 3Gs are being held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and will run concurrently at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre until Thursday (April 27).

Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister, inaugurated the region's high-profile event in the presence of senior government officials and other big players of the construction, real estate and interiors industry, taking part in the three-day event.

After the inauguration, Sheikh Khalid toured the exhibition stands and appreciated the innovative products on display this year.

As many as 140 local, regional and international exhibitors are taking part at the events, with the Gulf Property Show this year crossing a record 2,000 sq m for the very first time since its launch in 2013.

This year, the trade shows will also feature an outdoor music and food festival in the evening as an added attraction for visitors and families, according to HCE.

The three exhibitions are considered a valuable springboard into the multi-billion-dollar construction, interiors and real estate markets of the Northern Gulf, where the emphasis is on showcasing the latest products, services, technologies and projects available in the region.

HCE managing director Jubran Abdulrahman said the 2017 edition successfully continues the ‘one-stop-shop’ concept.

"Our aim is to promote the GCC’s capacity across the construction, interiors and real estate sectors and support the economic vision of HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain, who continues to extend his patronage to our events," noted Abdulrahman.

"The 2017 edition of the shows has seen a real growth of participants from Bahrain and across the GCC looking to offer individuals and companies with a ‘Made in the GCC’ option," he stated.

The 3Gs will also feature a raft of special offers and deals from exhibitors, he added.

HCE exhibitions director Ahmed Suleiman said: "Our exhibitors are aware that the shows represent a very good opportunity to sell their products and are looking to entice deal making at the shows with attractive offers."

Gulf Construction Expo, Gulf Interiors and Gulf Property Show are open between 10 am and 9 pm till April 27 at the BIECC. Entrance is free.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Bahrain to start work on key highway projects

Work will soon start on major road development projects aimed at transforming the kingdom’s highways and streets to free traffic flows, said a report, citing a senior minister.

Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Essam bin Abdulla Khalaf presented an overview of a number of the highways and main streets development projects, including Al Fateh Street, to His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa during a meeting held at the Qudaibiya Palace, reported BNA.

HRH Prime Minister stressed the significance of developing the streets as per highest global standards to ensure a smooth traffic flow taking into account the future investment projects.

The projects being planned include an underpass at the Gulf Hotel intersection and an overpass for traffic approaching from the north of Al-Fateh Street in the direction of Prince Saud Al Faisal Street.

The development plan also comprises increasing the number of lanes to four on each sides, as well as constructing a U-shape course at the Al-Fateh Street and Tarafa Al-Abid intersection, said the BNA report.

HRH Prime Minister was later briefed by Khalaf on the ministry's operational procedures for Al Fateh Street development project, as well as the preliminary procedures, hiring contractors and consulting companies and preparing tender documents for the implementation of the project.

The detailed designs and tender documents have been completed in conformity with the directives of HRH Prime Minister on the implementation of the project, added Khalaf.

from Construction Realestate

Passenger traffic at DXB up 7.4pc in Q1

Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport (DXB) climbed 7.4 per cent during the first quarter of 2017 to 22,496,596 compared to 20,948,690 recorded during the same period last year, according to traffic results released today by Dubai Airports.
The year to date totals follow March results which saw a 3.8 per cent increase in passenger numbers to 7,511,431 compared to 7,237,509 reported in March 2016. The more modest growth rate in March was due to the timing of the Easter holiday which fell during March in 2016 and during April in 2017. The number of passenger flights in March grew 1.0 per cent to 34,634 compared to 34,303 last year while year-to-date flight numbers were up 0.5 percent to 100,638 compared to 100,116 recorded during the first quarter of 2016.
The average number of passengers per flight in the first three months of the year was 224, compared to 209 during the corresponding period in 2016, an increase of 6.8 per cent.
During the first three months of the year, Eastern Europe was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth (33.3 per cent) as the appreciation of the ruble against the US dollar over the past year has increased spending power in Dubai and spiked demand in the Russian market. Asia was the next fastest growing market (22.6 per cent) which benefited from additional capacity provided by Emirates and flydubai in markets such as Thailand, China and the Philippines, followed by South America (22.2 percent).
Conversely, the impact of travel bans and electronic device restrictions is starting to be felt on North American traffic figures, which were down 4.3 per cent during March of 2017 versus the same period last year. Year to date traffic to and from North America is up 2.5 per cent.
India remained the top destination country during the first three months of the year with a total of 3,031,866 passengers, followed by the UK (1,618,334 passengers), Saudi Arabia (1,572,963) and Pakistan (1,166,642). London topped the list of destination cities during the period under review with 974,950 passengers, followed by Doha (797,729 passengers), Bangkok (633,496) and Mumbai (618,638).
Freight volumes were also on the rise in the first quarter of 2017 with 636,479 tonnes passing through DXB, up 3.5 per cent from the 615,144 recorded during the same period last year. This result was positively impacted by an 8.4 per cent boost in cargo volumes in March with 235,503 tonnes being handled compared to 217,202 tonnes in the same period last year.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said: “While there are fluctuations in growth market-by-market the overall trend is quite positive as evidenced by the 7.4 per cent increase in passenger numbers during the first quarter. That result keeps us well on track to meet our 2017 forecast of 89 million passengers.” - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Investcorp acquires $160m US industrial properties

Investcorp, a leading provider and manager of alternative investment products, said its US-based real estate arm has acquired a portfolio of industrial properties in Chicago and Boston metropolitan areas for $160 million.

The Bahrain-based company pointed out that the portfolio included six properties with an aggregate of approximately 1.8 million sq ft of warehouse and distribution space.

Ryan Bassett, the principal (Real Estate Investment) at Investcorp, said: "An uptick in e-commerce has improved the fundamentals in the industrial/logistics real estate asset class. As consumers increasingly expect faster and more frequent deliveries, logistics companies are seeking properties in close proximity to large population centers, like Chicago and Boston."

"This solid demand, combined with limited new supply, creates attractive market dynamics for landlords in these locations," he noted.

The Chicago portfolio, located in close proximity to downtown Chicago, comprises three individual cold storage industrial buildings that are used primarily for the storage and distribution of frozen food products, said a statement from Investcorp.

There is limited cold storage industrial space in Chicago and minimal new development that is able to service the city’s growing consumer base as demand for fresh, organic and perishable food products continues to grow.
Investcorp said it is partnering with Bridge Development Partners, one of the largest owner/operators of cold storage in the Chicago market, it stated.

In Boston, the Bahraini group has purchased a warehouse, distribution and flex portfolio totalling 1.1 million sq ft. These properties are located in the southern portion of the Boston metropolitan area, with convenient access to major transportation thoroughfares for easy distribution to businesses throughout the city and adjacent suburbs.

The supply and demand dynamics are strong for industrial space in the Boston region and these properties boast a large and diversified tenant base with long lease durations, providing a steady cash flow for landlords.

Investcorp has recapitalized these assets with Condyne Capital Partners, a vertically integrated owner/operator focused on northeastern commercial real estate assets, said Bassett.

With these investments, Investcorp adds to its Boston-based industrial assets, as the Firm purchased a four-building industrial portfolio in the region comprising 900,000 square feet in October 2016, he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Asiana Airlines receives its first A350 XWB

Asiana Airlines of South Korea has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the 12th airline to operate the world’s newest and most efficient twin engine widebody airliner from Airbus.

Asiana’s A350-900 is configured with a three class layout with a total of 311 seats, comprising 28 in Business Smartium, convertible to fully flat beds, 36 in Economy Smartium and 247 in the main cabin.

Altogether Asiana has ordered 30 A350s and will initially operate the aircraft on flights within Asia. From the third quarter of 2017, the carrier will deploy the aircraft on premier long haul routes to Europe and the US, beginning with services from Seoul to London and San Francisco.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The spaciousness, quietness, beautiful interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of comfort and well-being, setting new standards in terms of flight experience for all passengers.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 821 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 44 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever. – TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Emirates wins big at Business Traveller Awards

Dubai-based carrier Emirates was named Best Airline Worldwide at the 2017 Business Traveller Awards in a sweep of four accolades yesterday (April 24) in Dubai, UAE.

At a ceremony attended by key travel industry executives, Emirates was also named “Airline with the Best First Class”, “Airline with the Best First Class Lounge” and “Best Frequent Flyer Programme”.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ executive vice president and chief operations officer, said: “Our customers are at the heart of our brand. In every step of the customer’s journey, we thoroughly and regularly examine the product to achieve a high level of customer care.”

“Providing a truly memorable experience is about continually innovating across our product and offering a personal touch and a warm welcome. Moreover, our Skywards accolade solidifies the programme’s standing as an industry-leading loyalty programme that offers Emirates customers value through exceptional privileges and benefits. We are honoured to be recognised for our efforts by Business Traveller Middle East’s readers,” he added.

Emirates invests continually in product developments and service enhancements. In the past year, the airline’s on-board enhancements include: newly designed Business Class seats, re-designed amenity kits for First and Business Class passengers, environmentally sustainable blankets and interactive augmented reality amenity kits for Economy Class passengers, and regular updates of its range of onboard toys for young flyers. The airline also continues to lead on the in-flight entertainment front with a broad choice of over 2,600 channels on its ice system.

On the ground, Emirates completed an $11 million makeover of its Business Class Lounge at Concourse B in Dubai International Airport, and expanded its global network of dedicated lounges with the opening of its newest Emirates Lounge in Cape Town International Airport.

Emirates Skywards, the airline’s loyalty programme, last year launched Cash+Miles, enabling members to redeem flights using a combination of cash and Skywards Miles, regardless of their membership tier. Emirates also introduced “pay-per-visit” lounge access, enabling Emirates Skywards members and their guests travelling on Emirates to enjoy the airline’s First and Business Class lounges at Dubai International Airport and abroad.

For corporate customers, Emirates launched a revamped Emirates Business Rewards programme to provide greater value, including easier Miles redemptions and upgrades even on last minute bookings.

Today, Emirates Skywards has 14 airline partners including strategic partnerships with Easyjet and Qantas, offering member access to one of the world’s largest networks of global travel destinations. The programme also has 24 hotel partner brands covering nearly 20,000 properties worldwide. – TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Monday, April 24, 2017

Orpic set for ground breaking of Liwa project

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Company (Orpic) will celebrate the ground breaking of its Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC) Project – Engineering and Procurement and Construction (EPC) 3 on April 27.

The event, which will take place in the Wilayate of Ibri, Fahud, will be held under the patronage of Sultan bin Salim Al Habsi, secretary-general, Supreme Council for Planning and Orpic chairman in the presence of a number of officials and community members from the Wilayate of Ibri.

A consortium of two corporations GS Engineering and Construction and Mitsui & Co Ltd has been awarded the contract to execute the EPC Package 3 at a cost of $688 million.

LPIC will firmly reinforce Orpic as a recognized player in the international petrochemicals marketplace – enabling Oman, for the first time, to produce polyethylene, the form of plastic that rates highest in terms of global demand and increased the current production of polypropylene.

The project will be the first-of-its-kind in the Sultanate and will enable Oman to take the downstream plastics industry to the next level, a statement said. - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

HMH appoints new CEO

Hospitality Management Holding (HMH) has appointed Aboudi Asali as its new chief executive officer (CEO).
Asali joins HMH with over 20 years of hospitality experience, starting at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston. After several years in operations, Asali joined Arthur Andersen as a real estate and hospitality consultant in Bahrain and then London. He came back to the Middle East in 2002 as the vice president international lodging development for Marriott International where, during his tenure he signed more than 40 hotels across the region. In 2012 Asali established a company to guide hotel operators and owners in the Middle East and Africa region and negotiated a number of contracts with Hilton, IHG, and Starwood.
Asali’s last position was the senior vice president development at Jumeirah Group where he was responsible for the expansion of both the Jumeirah and the Venu lifestyle brand, in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Europe.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Faisal Al Qassimi, chairman and chief executive, Manafa, and vice chairman, HMH, said: “Asali will be a key member of our management team with a clear mandate for identifying growth opportunities for the expansion of HMH’s portfolio in the hospitality sector fulfilling our strategic vision. Asali’s extensive experience in the region and successful history in development and attaining both management and franchise agreements will surely be a recipe for success.” - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

ATM opens with spotlight on experiential travel

The region's biggest travel and tourism event, Arabian Travel Market, opened today (April 24) in Dubai, UAE, welcoming visitors and trade professions from all across the world.

The region’s leading industry showcase welcomes over 2,600 confirmed exhibitors – with 100 exhibiting for the first time – across 65 national pavilions to the 24th edition.

Running until April 27, ATM 2017 will look into the latest industry trend of experiential travel as its main theme and feature four days of business networking opportunities, insightful seminars and ministerial meetings, at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Simon Press, senior exhibition director, ATM, said: “We have visitors registered from all corners of the globe and all facets of the hospitality industry for what promises to be the biggest show yet in the event’s 24-year history.

“The growth and scale of ATM 2017 is testament to the buoyant travel and tourism industry here in the Mena region. It is no secret the growth we observe in the regional industry is spurred by visionary national agendas and a favourable and thriving business environment. With a series of mega-events scheduled for the coming years, including Expo 2020, this growth will undoubtedly continue.” - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Metsec strengthens Mideast presence with Dubai office

Voestalpine Metsec, the UK´s largest specialist cold roll-forming company providing products for the construction and manufacturing industries, has opened a Dubai office as part of its expansion programme in the Middle East.

Having worked in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region for more than a decade on major purlins projects including Abu Dhabi Airport, Nakilat Damen shipyard and the new Warner Brothers Theme Park, the office opening marks the company´s first permanent location in the Middle East and will enable closer relationships with customers working on purlins and side rail projects, the company said.

Rob Marsh, commercial and technical manager for Metsec Middle East, said: "Opening a regional office in the Middle East represents an important landmark in Metsec´s ongoing commitment to working in the region and focus on building its business here.

"With our extensive range of light gauge galvanised steel purlins, side rails and mezzanine floor systems, Metsec has a proven track record not only in its quality and design capabilities, but in delivering high profile projects in the GCC, and we´re excited about this next phase of our regional development."

Thanks to the new permanent site, Metsec is already offering continuous professional development (CPD) sessions to build understanding of the design and specification of purlins, with a representative of Metsec visiting clients to deliver the training, the statement said.

"For companies looking to increase their staff knowledge of purlins products, the seminars provide a comprehensive and engaging opportunity to fulfil their CPD commitments," said Marsh. - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Orascom begins production at US greenfield plant

Orascom Construction, a leading global engineering and construction contractor,  said it has started production and sales at Iowa Fertilizer Company (IFCo), the first world-scale greenfield nitrogen fertilizer plant to be built in the US in more than 25 years.

The plant has a nameplate capacity of 2,200 metric tonne per day (mtpd) of ammonia, 2,200 mtpd of urea synthesis, 1,200 mtpd of granular urea, 4,300 mtpd of urea ammonium nitrate and 900 mtpd of diesel exhaust fluid, with a combined sellable capacity of 1.5 to 2 million metric tonne per annum of products.

A ceremony was held at the plant to inaugurate one of the largest private sector construction projects in Iowa’s history. It was attended by senior officials including Terry Branstad, Governor of Iowa, and Kim Reynolds, Lt Governor, and the Lee County Board of Supervisors.

A major EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) player in the greenfield chemical plant sector in the US and worldwide, Orascom Construction said it was proud to have built this challenging, state-of-the-art complex.

Furthermore, Orascom’s wholly-owned US subsidiary, The Weitz Company, expanded its industrial capability through its significant involvement in the project.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Oman set to launch major tourism complex in Barka

Oman's Ministry of Tourism is set to sign an agreement with Palm’s Beach Company to develop the RO265-million ($688.22 million) Al Nakheel Integrated Tourism Complex (ITC) in the Governorate of South Al Batinah.

The project, overlooking Sea of Oman, in Barka will stretch over 500,000 sq m with the usufruct right. It will include an artificial lake covering 35,000 sq m and an entertainment centre, said an Oman News Agency report.

The compex is being developed in a mixed-use resort style including a lagoon promenade, a shopping mall, a traditional souq, three international hotels as well as residential and commercial properties.
The hotels will have a total of 530 Key. There will be also 259 villas, 55 townhouses, 266 apartments and three serviced apartments buildings with 476 units.

The project is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2018.

The complex will also include a shopping mall, an international school, various restaurants, a water park, recreational facilities, and other services. The project units are available for Omani and foreign ownership.

Palm’s Beach Company, part of Alargan Towell Investment Company, will be the developer of the project. Alargan Towell Investment Company was established as the result of a strategic alliance between the Kuwait-based Alargan International Real Estate Company and WJ Towell from Oman.

from Construction Realestate

Top firms eye $1.6bn Saudi-Egypt power project

Global technology giants including Alstom, ABB and Siemens are in the race for a $1.6 billion interconnection electricity project being jointly developed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, said a report.

The two neighbouring countries are set to finalise tenders for transformers and lines for the mega project next month and award the contract in September, reported Daily News Egypt.

The winning company will build a 450-km-long antenna, starting at the Badr City power station and stretching to the Nabq City switch station, in addition to a 850-km-long antenna line stretching from the switch station east of the Madinah power station, passing through the Tabuk station, and ending at Badr.

The company winning this contract will establish two 500kV AC/DC transformer stations in Badr City and another linking station to connect to the line in Nabq, it stated.

Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) chairman Gamal Abdel Rahim said the tender bids for the Madinah-Tabuk-Badr transformer stations will be opened by the Saudi side on May 3; while the tender for the Badr-Nabq line will be opened in Egypt on May 7.

The pilot phase of the project will begin in 2019 to exchange 3,000MW at peak hours, he added.

from Construction Realestate

ME hotel occupancy, rates down in Q1, Africa results positive

The hotel industry in the Middle East reported negative performance results during the first quarter of 2017, while hotels in Africa posted growth across the three key performance metrics, according to data from STR.

Occupancy in the Middle East dropped 1.4 per cent to 70.5 per cent while average daily rate (ADR) slipped 6.8 per cent to $173.06, pushing revenue per available room (RevPAR) down 8.2 per cent to $122.07.

Performance was down across all submarkets, with Al Khobar/Dammam and Jeddah reporting the most significant RevPAR declines (down 38.6 per cent and down 33.3 per cent, respectively). Demand fell 6.4 per cent in the country, while supply grew 4.6 per cent.

Overall, occupancy rates in Saudi Arabia slid 10.4 per cent to 58.3 per cent and ADR was down 12 per cent to SR578.09 ($153.9). RevPAR took the steepest fall at 21.2 per cent, settling at SR337.29 ($89.8) for Q1.

Lebanon, however, witnessed an uplift in Q1 with occupancy rates going up 10.1 per cent to 49.3 per cent, ADR climbing 0.8 per cent to LBP219,811.07 ($142.5), pushing RevPAR up 11 per cent to LBP108,302.14 ($70.2).

Lebanon’s quarterly performance was lifted by a particularly strong March, as RevPAR rose 30.9 per cent due to 25.8 per cent uplift in occupancy. At the market level, Beirut recorded strong performance growth for March (RevPAR: up 29.4 per cent) and the entire first quarter (RevPAR: up 12.5 per cent). According to STR analysts, Beirut has experienced a recent surge in tourism, helped by promotional efforts and government initiatives to facilitate political stability.

Africa also posted positive results in Q1 with occupancy rates jumping 5 per cent to 56 per cent and ADR going up 9.8 per cent to $111.15. RevPAR shot up 15.3 per cent to $62.19.

In Tunisia, occupancy climbed up 31.2 per cent to 42.5 per cent while ADR slid 2.0 per cent to TND161.58 ($69.1). RevPAR was up 28.6 per cent to TND68.70 ($29.3).

STR analysts note that Tunisia’s occupancy growth came in comparison with months of significant decline in 2016. A low comparison base remained during that time period due to the 2015 terrorist attack in Sousse. Nonetheless, positive indications can be seen in the eight projects currently in construction in the country and the additional five projects in various phases of planning. Several global brands are included in the new supply set to enter the market. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Oman to sign $688m tourism project deal

Oman's Ministry of Tourism is set to sign an agreement with Palm’s Beach Company to develop the RO265-million ($688.22 million) Al Nakheel Integrated Tourism Complex (ITC) in the Governorate of South Al Batinah.

The project, overlooking Sea of Oman, in Barka will stretch over 500,000 sq m with the usufruct right. It will include an artificial lake covering 35,000 sq m and an entertainment centre, said an Oman News Agency report.

The compex is being developed in a mixed-use resort style including a lagoon promenade, a shopping mall, a traditional souq, three international hotels as well as residential and commercial properties.
The hotels will have a total of 530 Key. There will be also 259 villas, 55 townhouses, 266 apartments and three serviced apartments buildings with 476 units.

The project is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2018.

The complex will also include a shopping mall, an international school, various restaurants, a water park, recreational facilities, and other services. The project units are available for Omani and foreign ownership.

Palm’s Beach Company, part of Alargan Towell Investment Company, will be the developer of the project. Alargan Towell Investment Company was established as the result of a strategic alliance between the Kuwait-based Alargan International Real Estate Company and WJ Towell from Oman.

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Cristal Group to open two new hotels in June

Cristal Group is preparing for the soft opening of two new hotels in the region – the Bayat Hotel by Cristal in Abha (Saudi Arabia) and Masaya Hotel & Residences by Emerald in Erbil (Iraq) -- in June 2017.

Making the announcement at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) which opened today in Dubai, Kamal Fakhoury, CEO of Cristal Group, stated: “It is a record year of growth for us. We have two outstanding hotels lined up for soft launch next month that will serve as a superb address for both business and leisure travellers. It is testament to the strength of our brands which continue to position Cristal Group strongly in the market place in line with our ambitious expansion strategy. We strive to be the first choice for our owners and guests by providing compelling brands for any segment.”

Cristal Group recently entered into a strategic alliance with StayWell Hospitality Group that is aimed at strengthening its global appeal.

Fakhoury said: “We currently have about 1,600 rooms in the region and out of these 200 are in the UAE. This number is expected to grow rapidly with the strategic alliance that we have formed with StayWell Hospitality Group. We are truly excited about the synergy and opportunity of this collaboration that will cement our future expansion in the region.”

Masaya Hotel & Residences by Emerald is the first deluxe residence in Erbil located in the Lebanese Village, one of Erbil’s most prestigious and prime investments along the new Beharka road. During the first phase, the serviced residences will open while the hotel is expected to be fully operational by third quarter of 2017.

Cristal Group is among the first hospitality brands to enter the Abha region in Saudi Arabia with Bayat Hotel by Cristal that is the city’s first five-star property and will be ready for opening in few weeks’ time. Abha region was recently named capital of Arab Tourism 2017.

Cristal Group is present at booth ME2115 in Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority stand at ATM. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Damac launches premium hotel property in Dubai

Damac Properties, a leading luxury real estate developer in the region, said it has launched Golfotel, the only premium five-tower hotel property surrounded by a golf course in Dubai, UAE.

An ambitious project for the company, Golfotel will feature over 2,000 well-appointed contemporary rooms with golf views of the Trump World Golf Club Dubai, which is set within the 55-million sq ft community Akoya Oxygen.

The hotel features amenities such as a lounge and international restaurants, a gymnasium, an outdoor swimming pool as well as shuttle services to the best tourist attractions all over Dubai and complimentary airport transfer.

It is located at an equal distance from Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport and is in close proximity to popular tourist attractions in Dubai.

The announcement from Damac Properties comes ahead of its participation at the Arabian Travel Market 2017, which kicks off tomorrow (April 24) in Dubai.

Niall McLoughlin, senior VP at Damac Properties, said: "Investors will be pleased with the opportunity to own a hotel room on an international golf course that reaps higher returns than any other investment classes."

"Owning a hospitality unit provides an attractive return on investment due to the burgeoning tourism industry and potential revenues that can be generated. What we are offering is even more lucrative owing to the unique setting in a golf community - such properties usually command a premium because of their location," remarked McLoughlin.

Although not necessarily avid golf players, residents and tourists are usually lured by the proposition of a premium lifestyle and sense of prestige due to the proximity of the golf course, in addition to the serenity associated with green and open spaces and impeccably manicured landscaping.

"Communities such as Akoya Oxygen attract residents and tourists who aspire to a certain lifestyle that only these integrated communities can offer," explained McLoughlin.

Damac Hills and Akoya Oxygen are the first integrated golf developments that promise to be lifestyle destinations for people of all ages due to entertainment, hospitality and retail elements.

"Young and mature audiences are appealed by the experiences they present besides being an investment that will provide long-term high returns - Damac has brought Dubai golf community living to a new level," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Top French firms unveil big Project Qatar plans

Leading French companies will be showcasing their innovative products and technologies to local construction professionals at the Project Qatar expo to be held from May 8 to 11 in Doha.

The French Pavilion, being  hosted by Business France, national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, will be focusing on sustainable and environmental-friendly buildings, energy efficiency and timber constructions.

Also it will highlight smart buildings and home automation solutions to reinforce partnerships with existing projects and develop new joint-ventures and engage negotiations with local contractors, distributors and agents in new areas of activities in Qatar.

In a sector where safety is outstanding, the select delegation of French companies renowned for their expertise in the area of high-quality projects, such as 5-star hotels and villas, public buildings such as shopping malls, schools and stadiums, attending Project Qatar will be a significant achievement.

French exhibitors will then seize the opportunity to present smart cities solutions, bioclimatic materials, Mechanics, Electricity and Plumbing Contracting – MEP, among other specific offers.

Christelle Peyran, the head of Business France Qatar, said: "France is focused on energy efficiency, sustainable development and R&D. France invested 18,8 billion euros in 2015 in renovation and energy retrofits, becoming the third market in Europe in terms of eco-friendly buildings."

About 21 per cent of French companies in building sector have a R&D center to develop new materials, stated Peyran.

The top French companies at the expo include:

Bridgin: A manufacturer of measurement, marking and topography equipment, a new real-time depth and slope control tool for all buckets

Guard Industrie : A manufacturer of solutions to protect, decorate, consolidate and clean materials

Icopal SAS: A key player in waterproofing systems, in particular membranes, but also construction and roofing materials.

Aximum: Renowned for industrial expertise and construction-work know-how at the service of safe and reliable mobility

Controlab: A key player in conception, development, manufacturing and marketing of laboratory equipment for civil and mechanical engineering

Serge Ferrari SAS: A leading French industrial group in the field of composite membranes.

Sterela : Electronic systems for transport (air/road) / Traffic measurement checking, road traffic management –

Terreal : Manufacturer of tiles and other terracotta products

French construction sector is quite fragmented with around 350,000 French companies hiring a workforce of 1.5 million and sales revenues of €129 billion.

“In Project Qatar 2017, we have selected the best companies to match Qatar’s expectations of high quality standards and cost effective solutions”, he added.

According to experts, the construction industry alone in Qatar represents 5.7 per cent of the GDP.

After being awarded the 2022 Football World Cup, Qatar rapidly embarked upon an intensive investment program in major infrastructure projects. There is also a growing demand for sustainable development, with profitable segments being hotels and "green" construction that encourage the use of innovative products, they added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Work starts on key Bahrain road project

Bahrain's Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs & Urban Planning has started work on the revamp of Road 3323 at Block 933 in Riffa area that serves 42 housing units.

The BD298,135 ($785,227) project, which is part of the ministry’s plan to improve infrastructure services in the Southern Governorate, has been awarded to Gulf Horizons.

The scope of work in Riffa Revamp Project includes re-construction of a 1.12-km-long road besides dredging and asphalting works using bricks, construction of a stormwater drainage network, implementation of ground channels for future use, lighting and signage works, stated Sayyed Bader Alawi, the roads projects and maintenance director at the ministry.

Also, a traffic signal will be installed on the Intersection of Road 3323 and Road 3334 and the central reservation and lanes between Road 3323 and Um Al Nasan Avenue, he noted.

According to Alawi, the work is expected to increase traffic safety levels and reduce accidents rate along the interchanges located on the road.

Also, the capacity of Road 3323 will increase by 30 per cent by providing pocket lanes; becoming 2500 vehicles during morning and evening peak hours.

Waiting time is also expected to decrease along the Intersection of Road 3323 and Um Al Nasan Avenue by 25 per  cent once work is completed, he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Residential tenants witness ‘Golden Age’ in Bahrain

Weakening economic conditions, tapering off in demand for oil and gas, and an increase in real estate supply has led to increased pressure on the Bahrain real estate industry, according to leading real estate consultancy Cluttons.

The result is a market defined by increased incentives, adjustments and service quality from landlords and developers as they fight to remain competitive in the market, said Cluttons in its latest Bahrain Spring 2017 Property Market Outlook report.

A positive outcome of these conditions is a ‘Golden Age’ for occupiers in Bahrain, with historically-low prices, a strong selection of exceptionally well-managed facilities and a developer approach that is inherently focused on market-suitable properties, it stated.

According to Cluttons, the relative stability of residential rents across the kingdom’s key expat-dominated submarkets appears to have ended following a largely flat 2016.

This year has marked a change in conditions, with rents retreating across the board during the three months to the end of March. In real terms, this equates to a monthly fall of roughly BD80.

Apartments (-8.3 per cent) experienced a sharper rate of rent corrections than villas (-6.9 per cent). However, both segments of the residential rental market experienced the fastest rate of decline since 2009 during the first quarter.

Faisal Durrani, the head of research for Cluttons said: "Weaker economic conditions alone are not to blame for the correction now underway in the rental market in Bahrain. There has been a surge in the number of new residential developments being sold in the market, most of which are being acquired by Bahraini, or other Gulf investors."

"A significant amount of this stock is filtering through to the rental market which is pushing supply ahead of demand– albeit with a significant upside for renters and occupiers," remarked Durrani.

In the sales market, the Cluttons report pointed out that the extent of this burgeoning supply surge was reflected by the fact that over 4,100 units are slated for completion in the upper end of the market within the next two years.

By 2020, over 7,100 units are expected to be added to the existing residential supply. The knock-on impact on sales prices from the sudden boost to supply appears yet to materialise, with residential values holding steady and remaining unchanged for six consecutive quarters, it stated.

At the end of Q1 2017, average residential capital values stood at BD948 per sq m, with apartments on Reef Island (BD1,233 per sq m) and villas on Amwaj Islands (BD1,275 per sq m) remaining the most expensive in the kingdom.

Harry Goodson-Wickes, the head of Cluttons Bahrain & Saudi Arabia, said: "A lack of easy access to debt financing may deter purchasing appetite. Paradoxically, high volumes of unsold stock will also contribute to capital value volatility."

"For now, the difficulty around controlling supply lies in the hands of developers who are promoting favourable payment plans. Those developers who continue to succeed in these difficult market conditions have focused on stock that meets specific market needs, and have a strong track-record of development in the Kingdom and across the Gulf," he stated.

The Outlook forecasts that a correction in residential values is highly likely, particularly if the sales supply pipeline continues to expand unchecked at current rates.

Goodson-Wickes said: "For the rental market, we forecast rents to continue dipping back, with average rental rates likely to end the year 10 per cent to 12 per cent down on 2016 as the economic pressures both within Bahrain and around the region remain in place."

"We are however somewhat optimistic that 2018 will see a return to stability, should government infrastructure spending drive up overall economic activity levels in the way we expect," he noted.

Last year, he stated, proved another stable one for Bahrain’s office and retail property markets with no movement in headline rents reported across the kingdom’s key retail submarkets in Q1 of 2017.

In the office market, rents have slipped in some locations to the most attractive levels on record, he noted.

"Our agency team has worked with several landlords who have now broken rank to lower rates and drive occupancy levels in the office market, revealed Goodson-Wickes.

"In addition to lowering rents, we are working with them to focus on incentives and high-quality property management services to create more favourable leasing terms in a difficult market – this includes free parking, for example," he noted.

Durrani said Cluttons' concern for the outlook of the office market remains with the proposed value-added-tax (VAT) introduction across the GCC, and the potential increase in operating costs for international occupiers who are already grappling with a strong US dollar.

"An extra five per cent charge on top of rents and general operating costs may well suppress activity for longer. This does not however currently sit in our central scenario and we are optimistic for a heeded approach to allow the market some time to gain footing, with signs of stabilisation, or even a recovery in 2018," he added.

New schemes in the retail sector such as The Avenues, which is being developed at a cost of BD45 million and is planned to open later this year; in addition to the region’s largest Ikea store, scheduled to open in mid-2018, underscore the confidence being placed in the sector by occupiers as Bahrain continues to strengthen its retail offering, said Cluttons in its report.

This has been achieved by drawing on appetite from weekend tourist traffic from Saudi Arabia, while also catering to domestic appetite for a more sophisticated retail offering, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Gulf hospitality project value exceeds $148.4bn in Q1

The total value of the GCC's 1,153 hospitality projects exceeded Dh544.62 billion ($148.2 billion) in the first quarter of 2017, according to BNC Network, – the largest and most comprehensive project research and intelligence provider in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

The GCC's hospitality industry constitutes 7 per cent of all active projects in the GCC's urban construction sector. In dollar terms, hospitality projects account for 13 per cent of the total estimated value of the region's urban construction sector, the latest BNC Intelligence, issued by BNC Network, shows.

The latest BNC Intelligence report reflects the growing focus on tourism sector development by the governments of the oil-rich Gulf countries, gradually trying to diversify revenue base and reduce dependence on hydrocarbon.

“With the upcoming mega events such as Expo 2020 in Dubai and the World Cup in Qatar, the GCC governments are obviously preparing themselves for major global events that require additional hotel and tourism facilities that also will help them diversify revenue sources,” Avin Gidwani, chief executive officer of BNC Network, said.

The GCC countries entered into a Customs Union in 2003 and created a Common Market in 2008 – as part of a plan to integrate the region’s economy further.

“With the ongoing economic integration process and as the GCC countries prepares to develop a common market and once the physical infrastructure – such as the GCC rail networks connect the major cities – regional tourism sector will get a major boost in the years to come. People from one city will travel to the other for overnight stay and return without having to cross the border formalities – such as the European Union. The region is preparing for such heavy tourism traffic,” Gidwani said.

“There will be a time when people will board a train from Ras Al Khaimah to perform Umrah in Makkah and return to Ras Al Khaimah a day later.”

Sixty-two projects with combined estimated value of over Dh9.1 billion ($2.5 billion) were launched in the first quarter of 2017, BNC Intelligence shows.

In March, there is an increase of 1 per cent in terms of number as well as in dollar value in the GCC's hospitality projects as compared to February, 2017. In March, seven hospitality projects with a combined estimated value of around $1.1 billion were put on hold in the GCC. The largest hospitality project in dollar terms to be put on hold was Business Park and Hotel located in the heart of Jeddah worth $600 million.

“BNC Intelligence shows, around 12 hospitality projects with a combined estimated value of around $945 million moved to construction from other stages during the month. The largest hospitality project in dollar terms to be awarded was extension and renovation of Beach Rotana Hotel located in Abu Dhabi's Tourist Club Area, worth $215 million,” Gidwani said. “Six hospitality projects with a combined estimated value of around $390.5 million were completed during the month.”

UAE Travel and Tourism Industry

The direct contribution of Travel and Tourism to UAE’s GDP was Dh68.5 billion (US$18.6 billion), or 5.2 per cent of total GDP in 2016 and is forecast to rise by 3.2 per cent in 2017, and to rise by 5.1 per cent per annum from 2017-2027, to Dh116.1 billion ($31.6 billion), 5.4 per cent of total GDP in 2027, according to a latest report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

“The total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was Dh159.1 billion ($43.3 billion), 12.1 per cent of GDP in 2016, and is forecast to rise by 2.9 per cent in 2017, and to rise by 4.9 per cent per annum to Dh264.5 billion ($72.0 billion), 12.4 per cent of GDP in 2027,” WTTC said in its report. “In 2016 travel and tourism directly supported 317,500 jobs (5.4 per cent of total employment). This is expected to rise by 2.3 per cent in 2017 and rise by 2.4 per cent per annum to 410,000 jobs (5.9 per cent of total employment) in 2027.”

In 2016, the total contribution of travel and tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry was 10.4 per cent of total employment (617,500 jobs). This is expected to rise by 1.8 per cent in 2017 to 628,500 jobs and rise by 2.0 per cent per annum to 770,000 jobs in 2027 (11.1 per cent of total), said the global body.

Visitor exports generated Dh109.8 billion ($29.80 billion), 8.1 per cent of total exports in 2016. This is forecast to grow by 3.3 per cent in 2017, and grow by 5 per cent per annum from 2017-2027, to Dh184.5 billion ($50.2 billion) in 2027, 5.9 per cent of total.

Travel and Tourism investment in 2016 was Dh26.2 billion ($7.1 billion), or 7.0 per cent of total investment. It could rise by 11.0 per cent per annum over the next 10 years to Dh74.5 billion ($20.2 billion) in 2027, 11.2 per cent of total 2027, WTTC said.

“According to the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai Government’s tourism regulatory body, the emirate will need to add 40,000 hotel rooms to the existing hotel inventory of 100,000 hotel rooms and hotel apartments in less than three and a half years – which is more than 13,000 additional rooms per year till the Expo 2020 starts,” Gidwani said. “That’s why major project developers are racing against time to expand the hotel inventory in the emirates as well as introduce new and innovative hospitality concepts in the market.”

Nakheel, the Dubai government-owned property developer, has signed a Dh136 million ($37 million) hotel at Dubai’s Dragon City – its second such project within the same development.

With a total project value of Dh176 million ($47.9 million), the 304-room Premier Inn is one of 16 hotels in Nakheel’s Dh3 billion ($816.7 million) hospitality portfolio and part of a huge new master plan that is transforming Dragon City into a giant retail, residential and recreational complex of more than 11 million square feet.

The contract was signed two weeks after Nakheel awarded a construction contract worth Dh184.5 million ($50.2 million) for a second hotel at Ibn Battuta Mall. The 375-room hotel has a total project development value of Dh240 million ($65.3 million). The company is developing two new hotels at the first two of the four Deira Islands – where 128 hotel plots have been sold to investors for the development of hotels and serviced apartments. Nakheel has kept four plots to itself for resort hotels.

Recently Meraas, a Dubai-based master property developer, has announced a major foray into the hospitality sector, with the launch of four hotel brands – Evado, Re Vera, Vivus and MQ, that will strengthen the UAE’s home-grown hospitality sector and compliment the growth of the tourism sector. The group has also said it will open two of its hotels – Re Vera and Vivus, on Bluewaters Island, a short hop from Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel, in 2018.

Schon Properties, a Dubai-based developer, recently announced a deal with Al Hamad Group to deliver 2,550 branded hotel apartments under iSuites – a Dh3.2 billion ($871.2 billion) hospitality development –at Dubai Investment Park. These are some of the projects that reflect the development activities in the hospitality sector.

BNC Network, the largest project intelligence provider in the Mena region, tracks 25,324 live construction projects with a value exceeding $7.2 trillion. It publishes more than 250 project updates that are distributed amongst 73,000 executives and professionals every day. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Amec Foster Wheeler wins Jordan power project deal

Amec Foster Wheeler, a leading engineering and project management company, has secured a new contract from China's Guangdong Power Engineering Company (GPEC), to design and supply two circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) steam generator boilers for a power plant project in Amman, Jordan.

A leading player in the designing, delivery and maintenance of strategic and complex assets, Amec Foster Wheeler said it will also be offering technical advisory services for the project besides delivering the two 235 MWe (net) CFB boilers, that are designed to burn 100 per cent of Jordanian oil shale.

The project, located at Attarat Um Ghudran, 100km southeast of Amman, marks the company's involvement in Jordan’s first oil shale fired power plant, said the statement from Amec Foster Wheeler.

This project will help Jordan utilise its substantial oil shale reserves, estimated to be 30 billion tonnes, thereby reducing its reliance on imported oil and gas. It is expected to meet 10-15 per cent of the country’s annual power demand, it added.

The project with GPEC, which was selected in 2014 to perform the EPC of the $2.1 billion 554-megawatt oil shale fired power plant, is a significant one for Amec Foster Wheeler, said a top official.

"As leading energy markets around the world aim to introduce energy-efficient and eco-friendly solutions with challenging fuels, this project is further testament to Amec Foster Wheeler's leadership and track record in CFBs, which is central to this effort," remarked Tomas Harju-Jeanty, the president of Amec Foster Wheeler Energia Group, Global Power Group.

"We will use our CFB technology that is successfully operating in four European plants to burn oil shale," he added.

According to him, this project is the first utilising Jordan’s abundant oil shale reserves.

GPEC vice president Bai said the successful co-operation with Amec Foster Wheeler is a giant achievement in oil shale-fired power plants.

"We believe that future growth of our market will generate more opportunities to achieve win-win situations," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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HMH gears up for a strong presence at ATM

Hospitality Management Holding (HMH) is all set for a strong presence at Arabian Travel Market 2017 (ATM), taking place in Dubai from tomorrow (April 24).

Ferghal Purcell, COO of HMH, said: “We have a number of strategic announcements lined up for ATM this year that is the Mena region's largest B2B travel and tourism show. It gives us the perfect opportunity to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business with the global travel trade. Twenty-three years in the running, ATM 2017 promises to be bigger and better bringing together travel professionals from 86 countries and regions to Dubai, and we are proud to be part of it again - for the 14th year in a row.”

Experiential Travel, encompassing the adventure, culture, heritage, wellness & spa and cruise tourism segments, which is currently trending globally, has been adopted as the official show theme of ATM. Purcell said, “HMH is well placed to offer its guests unique experiences.  At HMH we understand the needs of our various travelers and their category requirements, and thereby provide them with international standards combined with local flavor across different market segments.”

Elaborating on the location of HMH stand, Purcell stated: “This year we have got an outstanding stand location which is in the center of the aisle with an equally stunning design that is being customised to meet the unique needs of our various hotels namely - The Ajman Palace Hotel, Coral Beach Resort Sharjah, Coral Dubai Deira Hotel, Coral Beirut Al Hamra Hotel, Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments, Corp Amman Hotel, Coral Al Ahsa Hotel, Coral Jubail Hotel, Coral Khartoum Hotel, Coral Port Sudan Hotel and EWA Khartoum Hotel & Apartments. We want our stand to be an experiential destination for our business partners and associates where they can get a true feel of our brands as well as our fabulous portfolio of existing and upcoming hotels.”

Visit HMH stand HC0530 during the Arabian Travel Market from 24-27 April, 2017, in Sheikh Saeed Arena at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. - TradeArabia News Service

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Towers Rotana launches Iftar exchange

As part of the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan, Flavours on Two at Towers Rotana Dubai has collaborated with Epicure Catering to make a difference and launch The Iftar Exchange, a charity campaign that will start at the beginning of Ramadan and last throughout the Holy Month of giving and blessing.

The exchange will involve and engage guests breaking their fast at Flavours on Two, Towers Rotana with the less fortunate individuals at labour camps in Dubai. With every iftar purchased from its restaurant at Dh139 ($37.8) per person, a contribution of one nutritional and hearty packaged iftar box will be donated to less fortunate individuals at labour camps in Dubai, provided by Epicure Catering.

Towers Rotana general manager Hossam Mansour said: “Through this campaign, we aim to provide the less fortunate with a lending hand this Ramadan.”

“Corporate Social Responsibility is of paramount importance to us as our daily activities have a great impact on our communities in which we operate within. The iftar exchange is a part of our commitment to reinforcing the Rotana’s corporate sustainability initiative; Rotana Earth which, has been developed to address environmental, economic and social issues,” he added.

“We are delighted to join forces with Towers Rotana for this incredible campaign. Ramadan is a very special time of year and it’s important to give back to those less fortunate. Epicure prides itself on fresh and delicious home cooked food and we are looking forward to doing our part and teaming up with a known and reputable company in Rotana this holy month,” a spokesperson from Epicure Catering said.

Flavours on Two invites all to experience the true meaning of Ramadan and make a lasting contribution towards the joy of giving by simply breaking their daily fast with a memorable iftar buffet. The restaurant offers traditional Middle Eastern and international flavours available throughout the holy month from the Azan call to 8:30pm. - TradeArabia News Service

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Airbus delivers first ever A321neo

Airbus has delivered the first-ever A321neo. The latest generation aircraft powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines was handed over to US airline Virgin America, an all-Airbus operator, at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany.

“After Virgin America having been the first customer signing for the A320neo back in December 2010, we are today delighted to deliver the first A321neo to them,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus chief operating officer and president Commercial Aircraft.

“With our largest, latest, most fuel efficient NEO Single Aisle aircraft we are turning a new page. The new A321neo powered by next generation CFM LEAP-1A engines guarantees new levels of efficiency and longer range to its operators, greater comfort to the flying public and less emissions and noise to the airport communities. Thanks to its cutting edge technologies it is today the most eco-sensitive Single Aisle aircraft available.”  

The A320neo significantly reduces noise levels, generating only half the noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft. Equipped with fuel-saving Sharklet wingtip devices nitrous oxide emissions are 50 percent below regulatory requirements as outlined by the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). In addition, the aircraft with LEAP-1A engines is proven to deliver at least a 15 percent fuel savings compared to Virgin America’s current generation aircraft, which is equivalent to cutting 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions with each plane every year.

“We have been with Virgin America from the beginning and we are excited to launch this new chapter in that relationship,” said Gael Meheust, president and CEO of CFM International. “The LEAP-1A has done extremely well in its first months of commercial service. It is proving unprecedented levels of fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility while maintaining the level of reliability Virgin America has come to expect from CFM. We think they will be very pleased with all this engine has to offer.”   

The A321neo is the largest member of the A320neo Family. It covers the entire market, from high density to long-range thin routes. There are currently over 1,300 units on order.

“We are honoured to be the first operator of this high in-demand aircraft,” said Virgin America president Peter Hunt, speaking at the ceremony attended by Virgin America teammates, executives from Airbus, CFM and the aircraft lessor GECAS. “The new A321neo – the third member of the Airbus A320 Family to join our Virgin America fleet – will allow us to further reduce our unit costs and enable us to further reduce our carbon emissions.”

“Increased operational efficiency, productivity, and state-of-the-art technology -- this winning combination makes the A321neo an attractive investment for leasing companies like GECAS who are committed to meeting customers’ operational needs while providing the latest technology and a solid return on investment,” said Alec Burger, President and CEO at GECAS.  “The low operating costs and reliability of the LEAP powered A320neo Family makes it a strong asset in GECAS’ portfolio.”

Virgin America currently operates a fleet of 63 Airbus A320 family aircraft comprised of A319ceo and A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM’s CFM56-5B engines.

The new A321neo will become the largest aircraft in Virgin America’s fleet, featuring 185 seats - a 24 percent higher capacity at same comfort levels than its current A320s. Inside the cabin, Virgin America flyers will continue to enjoy three custom-designed classes of service, touch-screen personal entertainment and an on-demand food and cocktail menu on every flight in addition to power outlets at every seat. The aircraft is expected to enter service on May 31, 2017 with its inaugural flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

As first announced in April 2016, Virgin America was acquired by Alaska Air Group in December 2016. - TradeArabia News Service

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Malaysia to showcase tourism products at ATM

The Malaysian Minister of Tourism and Culture Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz will be leading a delegation of 142 Malaysian sellers from 71 organizations to participate in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), scheduled from April 24 to 27, 2017 in Dubai.

The Malaysian delegation will comprise a concoction of different hotels, resorts, travel agents, tourism product owners, and Malaysian states tourism offices representatives. During the four-day event, they will be highlighting their respective tourism products and services that are tailored carefully to cater for the Middle Eastern market.

Malaysia’s tourism industry has recovered fast in 2016 from the decline in number of arrivals in the previous year, as the number of tourist arrivals to Malaysia in 2016 increased by 4.0 per cent in comparison to the same period in 2015. Malaysia received 26.8 million tourists in 2016 as opposed to 25.7 million tourists in 2015, and the target for the year 2017 is 31.8 million arrivals, and hopes to increase until it reaches the set goal of 36 million tourist arrivals for the year 2020, generating MYR168 billion ($38.1 billion).

Aziz will officially launch the Malaysia Pavilion on April 24 at the ATM, followed by the launching of an online travel portal titled “Salam Standard Premium” incepted by the Malaysian Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), he will then have meetings and interviews with members of the media at a press conference scheduled after the official launching.

The Malaysian participation in (ATM) aligns with Tourism Malaysia’s tremendous efforts to boost arrivals from this market by highlighting the country’s latest attractions, shopping destinations, family fun, eco adventure and tourism, honeymooners products, and luxury holidays.

It is noteworthy that Dnata government & corporate travel; one of the biggest travel services provider corporations in the UAE that has strong global presence in 84 countries have intentions to bolster the status of tourism in Malaysia through increasing awareness of the beauty of the country and its variety of world-class tourism attractions.

Dnata government and corporate travel will have a pro-active attitude towards promoting tourism in Malaysia and to collaborate with Tourism Malaysia towards enticing more tourists from the region to visit Malaysia.
Dnata government and corporate travel stated that Malaysia is considered a unique and must-visit destination as it possesses an amazing blend of nature, culture, and most importantly people, where the various beaches, landscapes, mountains amongst many other tourist attractions testifies to the country’s potential, making it a sought-after destination for tourists from different spectrums, whether for eco-tourism, adventures, diving, or sight-seeing.

Dnata government and corporate travel is world-renowned for their works, where they consider Malaysia a great destination for a tailored dream holiday package, showcasing the strengths of the Malaysian tourism infrastructure that appeals to individual and group leisure travelers alike.

The ATM 2017 marks the 24th anniversary of Malaysia’s participation in this prestigious event, which testifies to the country’s constant interest and intrigue in the West Asian market and its commitment to attract more tourists from this region.

The Malaysian Pavilion is located in Hall 3, booth no. AS2220, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. - TradeArabia News Service

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Etihad to debut world’s first mobile expo unit at ATM

UAE's national carrier Etihad Airways said it will launch the world’s first mobile exhibition unit at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the premium travel and tourism show in Middle East, which opens in Dubai on April 24 (Monday).

The innovative mobile exhibition will provide delegates with a first-hand experience of its award-winning cabin products and inflight service at the four-day event, said a statement from Etihad Airways.
The 16-m-long mobile exhibition unit, weighing 22 tonnes and measuring 50 sq m, travelled to the UAE from Europe where it has clocked 60,000 km in 18 months, having visited trade events and exhibitions across Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, The UK, The Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium and Spain.

The Abu Dhabi airline will also host Halima Aden, the American fashion model and icon, on its stand. Somali-born Halima will take part in a live Q and A in the theatre section of the stand, where she will discuss Etihad’s winning partnerships with the world of fashion.

Fatima Al Ali, the ice hockey playing Emirati, will also take part in a live Q and A on the stand. Fatima shot to fame late last year when she was “discovered” by NHL legend Petr Bondra who was in Abu Dhabi for an ice hockey camp.

Her story made global headlines when Etihad flew her to Washington, D.C. and she met her NHL heroes.

Etihad Airways CEO Peter Baumgartner said: "We are delighted to once again showcase our world-class product, services, global network and award-winning marketing partnerships on our stand at the ATM, which this year will include a series of informative and interactive Q and A discussions."

“The 2017 ATM will have an increased level of excitement for Etihad Airways as the event will see the regional debut of our innovative mobile exhibition unit. It is the world’s first and only airline mobile exhibition unit and will ensure the Etihad stand is a must-see for ATM delegates," he added.

It includes full-size mock-ups of The Residence, the world’s only three-room cabin on a commercial airline, and the First Apartment both of which are currently onboard the airline’s A380 fleet, as well as the First Suite from Etihad’s Boeing 787 aircraft, said a statement from Etihad.
Painted in Etihad’s ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ corporate colours, the mobile exhibition unit also features the airline’s renowned Business Studio and Economy SmartSeat, it stated.

Etihad’s stand will promote the airline’s campaigns to “connect the world via Abu Dhabi”, as well as several “winning partnerships” the airline has with the fashion industry and annual Fashion Weeks, City Football Group, the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and Taste Festivals.
There will be live cooking demonstrations from Etihad chefs and a major highlight is set to be the liquid nitrogen ice cream giveaway to delegates at the “ATM Cooldown”.
Visitors to the stand will have a glimpse into the future of air travel through VR headsets in the video area and iPad pods with special focus on the Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal and the airline’s unique Digital Transformation and Innovation (DTI).
The stand’s theatre area will be home to Question and Answer sessions with Etihad executives, covering the areas of guest experience, marketing partnerships, environment and sustainability.-TradeArabia News Service

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Saudi expo to put spotlight on Ajman real estate

The Department of Land and Real Estate Regulatory will be highlighting the potential investment and growth opportunities in Ajman, UAE, mainly in the real estate segment, at a key industry event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Riyadh Real Estate & Urban Development Exhibition 2017 (Restatex Riyadh 2017) will kick off tomorrow (April 23) and run until April 26 at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center.

The Department of Land and Real Estate Regulatory said it will put spotlight on Ajman's growing reputation as an ideal real estate investment destination.

Ajman's real estate market stands at the threshold of a new phase of development, which is right in the midst of the emirate's surge in tourism, construction and infrastructure projects - all forming a friendly environment for foreign direct investments (FDI), it stated.

It is without a doubt that these new projects will help boost Ajman's position as a favorable investment haven for the region.

"We have placed top priority in the efforts to improve and further advance the real estate segment of Ajman, which is part of the move towards sustainable development and economic diversification - keeping in line with the objectives of Ajman Vision 2021," remarked Yafea Al Faraj, the director general, Department of Land and Real Estate Regulatory.

"Our presence at Restatex Riyadh 2017 represents our commitment to reach out to real estate investors and developers from Saudi Arabia; urging them to consider potential opportunities in Ajman's real estate market," he added.
Al Faraj pointed out that Restatex Riyadh 2017 would allow the department to attract more Saudi investors to Ajman.

"In fact, our records show that 1,109 registered land and properties in the emirate are owned by Saudi nationals -representing a key value of Dh800 million ($218 million)," he stated.

For the four-day Saudi show, the department will be setting up a pavilion showcasing the latest and most significant developments and trends in Ajman.

The pavilion will also help Saudi investors be more familiar with investment processes, incentives and facilities that will be made available for them when they invest in the emirate, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

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Global steel demand to hit 1.5bn MT in 2017

Global steel demand will grow by 1.3 per cent to more than 1.5 billion metric tonne in 2017, and increase by 0.9 per cent to a little over 1.548 billion MT in 2018, said a report.

China will likely see flat demand this year, followed by a two per cent decline in 2018, stated Platts, S&P Global, a leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets.

Central and South America are likely to experience the biggest demand growth over the next two years, with 3.5 per cent and 4.7 per cent increases expected in 2017 and 2018, respectively, said the report citing a senior official of the World Steel Association.

Speaking at a media briefing in London, worldsteel's director general Edwin Basson pointed to mostly modest growth expectations for all regions, outside of China.

That region saw a 13.6 per cent decline in 2016, he stated.

The CIS region is forecast to return to steel demand growth over the next two years, as well, bouncing back from a 4.1 per cent decline in 2016 to increases in 2017 and 2018 of 3.2 per cent and 3.4 per cent, respectively, said the association in its short-range outlook.

"And I really think that is the big story," Basson said of the turnaround in the CIS and Central and South America regions.

The European Union's 28 countries are likely to see collective 0.5 per cent demand growth this year and 1.4 per cent next year. The Nafta region should experience a 2.2 per cent increase in 2017 and another 2.4 per cent rise in 2018, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

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Doosan Bobcat names new EMEA president

Doosan Bobcat, one of the world's biggest compact construction equipment companies, has appointed Alvaro Pacini as its new president for the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region.

In his new role, Pacini will be responsible for Doosan Bobcat’s EMEA business, representing the Doosan, Bobcat, Geith and Portable Power brands.

A native Portuguese speaker, he is fluent in English, Spanish and French, said a statement from the company.

Pacini joined Doosan Bobcat in 2011 as the VP of Sourcing in EMEA before taking on additional responsibilities and leading total quality management in 2013 and then operations in 2015. Previously, he worked for Faurecia in Brazil, it stated.

Doosan Bobcat has been expanding its product portfolio and growing its dealer channels across its heavy, compact and portable power equipment brands. Company officials believe Pacini can help maintain the positive momentum.  

Welcoming the appointment, Scott Park, the president and CEO of Doosan Bobcat, said: "With more than 30 years of global leadership experience, I am confident Pacini will help us continue to deliver the innovative, quality products and services our dealers and customers have come to expect from us."

Pacini holds a mechanical engineering degree from the Universidade São Francisco, Brazil, a specialisation in Automotive Motors and an MBA in Industrial Administration from INPG, Brazil, he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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Manara to unveil novel housing projects at Gulf Property Show

Manara Developments, a leading real estate development company, is set to launch two unique housing projects - Hasabi and Wadi Al Riffa - at the Gulf Property Show 2017 which opens this week in Manama, Bahrain.

The event, being organised by Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE), will kick off on April 25 and run till April 27 under the patronage of Bahrain's Prime Minister HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

As a strategic sponsor, Manara will be playing a key role at the Gulf Property Show, a boutique showcase for the real estate and property development sectors in the Northern Gulf.

The Hasabi and Wadi Al Riffa are two unique housing projects designed specifically to meet the housing demands of modern Bahraini families, and built as per the highest quality and environmental standards, it stated.

Unveiling its Gulf Property Show plans, managing director Dr Hasan Al Bastaki said the company plans to launch its affordable housing projects - Wadi Al Riffa, a key development featuring 130 attached villas with land area of 180 sq m and built-up area totalling 235 sq m, and Hasabi - for sale at the upcoming industry event.

Dr Al Bastaki said the civil works will soon start on the Wadi Al Riffa project and is likely to be completed in two years.

The units have been designed to fulfill the requirements of modern Bahraini families who are entitled to benefit from the social housing program “Mazaya” offered by the Ministry of Housing in collaboration with Eskan Bank, he stated.

On its “Hasabi” project, Dr Al Bastaki said it was currently undergoing the earth works, where the company is expected to commence the civil works upon receiving the necessary governmental permits.

Manara, he stated, is keen on designing the “Hasabi” project to be compliant with the modern trends for residential building and construction.

The multi-purpose project boasts three- and four-bedroom residential units with sea views and each with a private jetty, in addition to commercial developments for sea view restaurants and coffee shops to serve the daily needs of residents, in addition to beach facilities and residential buildings three and four floors high.

Dr Al Bastaki said these projects are in line with the company’s recent focus on providing affordable housing that is in line with the general demand.-TradeArabia News Service

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