Monday, July 31, 2017

Damac launches new Trump-branded villas

Dubai-based Damac Properties, a leading luxury real estate developer, has launched  its new Trump-branded villas at its Damac Hills master community.

The Trump Estates Park Residences offer a great location – set within a well-established golf community, the company said.

Four-bedroom villas in the project will be priced from Dh2.96 million ($805,000) with complimentary three-year family membership at the Trump International Golf Club Dubai.

The two-storey villas come with a unique lower ground floor, private yard, separate living/dining area and kitchen and access to the world-class amenities of Damac Hills, the company said.
 



from Construction Realestate

Dubai's 'Healthcare Tourism' plan targets China, Russia and Africa

Plans are underway to strengthen Dubai’s position in the health care sector, on the basis of sophisticated infrastructure and adoption of the latest equipment.

A team from Dubai Medical Tourism Council and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) met with the International patient team and other doctors from the Canadian Specialist Hospital - one of the DXH (Dubai Health Experience) Group members since the inception of the initiative - to discuss strategies to attract more patients into the city.

Dubai witnessed an influx of 326,649 international patients from various parts of the world in 2016, up 9.5 per cent from the previous year.  

“It is a matter of pride that Dubai has come to be considered as a benchmark in healthcare, by many of our neighbors, in such a short time. Statistically, we have a strong influx from our neighbouring nations and the Asian region. Our strategies are being channeled into making Dubai a preferred healthcare destination in the other African nations, China and Russia among other countries," said Dr. Layla Al Marzouqi, director of the Dubai Medical Tourism Project, DHA.

Close to 80 per cent of the hospitals in Dubai are accredited, marking it as the city with the highest number of accredited hospitals. This is further augmented with a team of 35,000 healthcare professionals from 110 nationalities greeting patients in their own language.

Dr. Yashar Ali, CEO, Canadian Specialist Hospital said: “Canadian Specialist Hospital has a fully functional department dedicated to international patients. We have been promoting Health Tourism since 2006 and are recognised as one of the leading health tourism centers in Dubai. We offer a variety of packages for people with different needs and resources including orthopedics, ophthalmology, dental, dermatology, wellness and preventive health check-up and assisted reproductive techniques.”

Dubai is currently placed 75th globally and first in Mena for providing quality of life to its residents. Medical care and health considerations are among the deciding factors taken into account in achieving this distinction.

Addressing the future of Dubai as a global Health Tourism hub, Hussain Anani, COO, Canadian Specialist Hospital said: “Support from the tourism, hospitality and aviation industry would be a boon in achieving the industry’s goals. Initiatives to set up dedicated channels with international and local travel agents, hotels and passenger carriers would be instrumental in providing a comprehensive package for those in need of medical attention.”

Canadian Specialist hospital has a full-fledged team that manages the necessary arrangements for international patients, starting from visa and accommodation till consultation and transportation, based on the requirements of the individual. - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Dubai Airports seeks $1bn funding for airport expansion

Dubai Airports is looking to raise $1 billion in funds for the expansion of its second airport, a report said.

The government-owned airport operator is talking to banks about the export-credit agency-backed fundraising, which is likely to have a maturity of more than 10 years, a report in Gulf Times said citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The funds will cover the setting up of a baggage-handling system and an automated people mover to carry passengers within the new Al Maktoum International Airport.

The new fundraising follows the $3 billion loan that Dubai Airports raised in May to fund the expansion of this facility as well as of Dubai International Airport, the report said.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Eskan REIT now open to expats, foreigners

Bahrain's Eskan Bank Realty Income Trust has announced that expatriates and foreign investors are now eligible to purchase and trade in units of the trust on the Bahrain Bourse.

The move follows approval by the Central Bank of Bahrain for such investment, the company said.

The trust, which is Bahrain’s first Sharia-compliant retail real estate investment trust (REIT), is the first to be listed on the bourse and also the first unleveraged listed REIT in the GCC.

The Trust has an attractive target of 6.5 per cent in net distributable income payable semi-annually. It offers investors a new alternative asset class with the opportunity to share in a stable diversified property portfolio; together with liquidity by being able to easily convert units to cash via trades on the Bahrain Bourse.

Additional liquidity is provided by a dedicated market maker on an ongoing basis. The underlying properties of the trust – retail, office and residential – currently have a combined occupancy rate of over 86 per cent; and there has been a recent pick up in leasing enquiries from prospective tenants, it said.

Dr Khalid Abdulla, general manager of Eskan Bank, said: “We are delighted that expatriates and foreign investors will now be able to buy and trade in units of the Eskan Bank Realty Income Trust. This will provide the trust with a more diversified unitholder base and greater global funding potential. It will also enable investors, regardless of nationality, to share in the ongoing development of Bahrain’s real estate sector and national economy.”

The eligibility of expatriates and foreign investors to trade in units of the trust results from new regulations issued by the Central Bank of Bahrain following enactment of the new Bahrain Trust Law in November 2016, which relaxed certain legal procedures with regard to trust holdings such as real estate assets.

Trading in the REIT, which was listed on the Bahrain Bourse on January 2, 2017, was initially restricted to GCC nationals because the underlying properties of the trust are located in areas of the kingdom not open to expatriates and foreign investors.

Najla Al Shirawi, chief executive officer of SICO, previously the mandated lead manager for the offering, and currently sub-investment manager and dedicated market maker for the REIT, said: “I would like to thank the Central Bank of Bahrain for its continuous and progressive enhancement of regulations, and the Bahrain Bourse for its ongoing reform initiatives, which support the development of the kingdom’s capital markets. It is pleasing to note that since listing on the Bahrain Bourse at the beginning of this year, the Eskan Bank Realty Income Trust has witnessed active trading on a weekly basis. The opening up of trading to expatriates and foreign investors will further improve the liquidity of this REIT, and the bourse as a whole.”

The trust also announced that in accordance with the terms of the offering prospectus and trust instrument, the first semi-annual (January to June) dividend of the REIT will be distributed in early September 2017. The payment date is governed by a regulatory process which entails closure of the books on June 30, 2017, an independent property valuation, external audit of the financial statements, and final approval of the proposed dividend by the Central Bank of Bahrain, it said.-TradeArabia News Service
 



from Construction Realestate

Airbus to sell communications unit to Motorola

Airbus has executed an agreement under which Motorola Solutions will acquire Plant Holdings, which holds the Airbus DS Communications business.

This agreement is part of the portfolio reshaping within the Airbus Defence and Space Division announced in September 2014.

Airbus DS Communications is a leading provider in North America of command centre software for fielding emergency calls (911) and citizen emergency notification. It generated revenues of more than $100 million in 2016.

Completion of the transaction is expected by the end of 2017. – TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Emergency air corridors for allocated Qatari flights

Civil Aviation Affairs of Bahrain's Ministry of Transportation has announced the allocation of emergency air corridors by the anti-terrorism quartet countries for use by Qatari companies as applicable in cases of closure of regional airspaces, a Bahrain News Agency report said.

The corridors are provided in coordination with the civil aviation authorities of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt.

The Civil Aviation Affairs said the procedure reflects the four states’ commitment to safety of international air navigation.

It added all these corridors have been coordinated with neighbouring countries under the umbrella of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as part of the Air Navigation Safety Support Program.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

First woman chief for Iran Air

Iranian woman Farzaneh Sharafbafi has officially taken charge of Iran Air, the country's flag carrier airline company, a report said.

Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi, who appointed Sharafbafi, said that he strongly believes in equality of men and women in various cultural, economic and political spheres, Irna reported.

The main yardstick for picking up Sharafbafi as the chief of the biggest Iranian airline was her professional and managerial capabilities, it added.

Sharafbafi, 44, holds PhD in aerospace from Sharif University of Technology.

She is the top researcher of the Roads and Urban Development Ministry who has presented various articles in the international level.

Iran Air is the oldest airline in the Middle East operating flights to 56 countries. It currently holds 55 airplanes and it will take delivery of 200 planes under the agreement signed recently between the flag carrier and Airbus, Boeing and ATR, seven of which have already been delivered to the company.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Dubai real estate transactions value hits $36bn in H1

Real estate transactions in Dubai, UAE during the first half (H1) the year reached a value of Dh132 billion ($36 billion), achieved through 35,571 sales, mortgages and other transactions, according to figures released by Dubai Land Department (DLD).

DLD’s H1 2017 Transactions Report reveals that the market has achieved a high percentage of growth compared to the same period last year, with total value increasing by 16.8 per cent from a total of 7,320 transactions – an increase of 25.91 per cent compared to transactions for the first six months of 2016.

The report also confirms that the Dubai real estate market generated a total of 25,864 sales transactions worth over Dh63 billion and 7,893 mortgage transactions worth Dh60 billion, while 1,814 other types of transaction brought in Dh9 billion.

Providing an analysis of the value generated by different types of property, the report shows that the land category represented Dh91 billion from approximately 8,000 transactions, while building sales accomplished 3,887 transactions with a total value of Dh10 billion and unit sales crossed the Dh31 billion mark from 24 transactions.

Sultan Butti bin Mejren – director general of DLD – said: “Our report for the first half of this year bears promising results for professionals in the real estate sector, as despite global economic pressures, Dubai has once again reaffirmed its leadership of regional markets and driven renewed growth in the region.”

Bin Mejren confirmed that the 26 per cent increase in transactions and the 17 per cent increase in value is an unrivalled success for the sector. The success demonstrates the wisdom of the economic policies set by the government – particularly those that have contributed to the protection of all parties and the preservation of real estate rights, as these have encouraged real estate investment and safeguarded the growth of a transparent, sustainable and secure real estate sector.

Bin Mejren added: “Establishing strong foundations for the sustainable growth of our real estate sector has been largely focused on preserving the rights of all investors and providing a secure environment where their transactions can take place in a transparent matter. This has allowed the sector to grow by increasing investor confidence and heightening the appeal of Dubai’s property market.”

The report provides further details about the total number of investments made in Dubai’s real estate market during the first half of 2017. 27,381 transactions were completed by 21,574 investors, generating a total investment value of Dh58 billion. The report also highlighted that 6,253 female investors completed 7,341 transactions worth Dh15 billion.

Emirati investors take the lead

Emirati investors ranked first for both number and value of transactions, completing 4,510 transactions worth Dh15 billion, followed by Saudi nationals in second place with a total of 1,936 transactions worth Dh4 billion. The total value generated by GCC investors increased by 16 per cent compared to the same period last year, with 7,665 transactions worth Dh21.7 billion.

Arab and foreign investors

When looking at the Arab investors, Egyptians and Jordanians took first and second places respectively. The total value of Arab investments reached Dh8 billion, representing a 25.5 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, generated by 4,654 Arab investors, a 40 per cent increase compared to the same period.

Among foreign investors, Indian, Pakistani, British, Chinese and Canadian nationals took the first five places, with 15,062 investors generating a total value of Dh28.6 billion. These figures represent a 35 per cent increase in investor numbers and a 34 per cent increase in value compared to the first six months of 2016.

Areas in high demand

The report also sheds light on the top ten areas in Dubai for both number and value of transactions. Dubai Marina took first place with 2,529 transactions, followed by Business Bay with 2,146 transactions, Al Barsha South 4 with 2,001 transactions, Jebel Ali 1 with 1,931 transactions, and in fifth place Al Thaniya 5 with 1,501 transactions.

In terms of value, Palm Jumeirah topped the chart with transactions worth Dh9.5 billion, followed by Dh6.5 billion for Business Bay, Dh5.8 billion for both the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Marina areas, and Dh5.6 billion for Al Wasl area. – TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Abu Dhabi to launch $204m development projects

Developmental projects worth in excess of Dh750 million ($204 million) have been endorsed for launch by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, a report said.

This came in a meeting of the Executive Council Executive Committee under the chairmanship of Jasim Mohamed Al Zaabi who affirmed the enterprises are aligned with the Abu Dhabi Plan objectives to ensure safe community, and a sustainable, open and competitive economy, reported Wam, the Emirates official news agency.

Two of the projects go for revamping internal streets in different areas across Al Ain City at an estimated cost of Dh220 million. The two projects are set to ensure traffic safety and upgrade services to meet population growth needs and ensure their wellbeing.

Other projects include, but not limited to, development of two morgues in Abu Dhabi, and maintenance of the Sheikh Zayed Road and Bridge at a total cost of Dh25.5 million and a project for upgrading the efficiency of the emirate’s power grid to meet urban expansion and population growth needs.

The committee members have reiterated the tireless efforts made by the country’s wise leadership to ensure welfare and continue to help citizens and residents alike lead a decent life.



from Construction Realestate

Dewa awards two water reservoirs contract

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has awarded a consultancy contract worth Dh6.3 million ($1.7 million) to design and construct two water reservoirs in Al Nakhli with a storage capacity of 120 million gallons, and in Al Lusaily with a storage capacity of 60 million gallons.

This will increase the storage capacity of Dubai to 1,010 million gallons, reported Wam, the Emirates official news agency.

“This project implements our strategy to provide a reserve water supply that will meets Dubai's expected daily consumption of about 412 million gallons per day in 2020, and supports our efforts to strengthen water pipelines and increase water flow to meet the rapid growth of water in various part of Dubai,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dewa.

“The project includes the design of the reservoirs according to the latest standards of sustainability, and the supervision of the implementation of the project at the two sites. The construction and operation of both reservoirs is expected to be complete within 32 months. Dewa’s total storage capacity will increase to 1,010 million gallons, compared to the current capacity of 830 million gallons,” noted Al Tayer.



from Construction Realestate

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sabre names Anderson as president, Hospitality Solutions

Sabre Corporation, the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, today named Clinton Anderson as president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions (SHS), effective August 7.

Anderson will succeed Alex Alt who has accepted an executive position at another company.

“Clinton has demonstrated his tremendous value and executive skills leading initiatives and taking on strategic projects across the company over the past three years, working effectively with customers and employees alike,” said Sean Menke, Sabre’s president and CEO.  “Having someone of Clinton’s caliber already on the Sabre team allows a seamless transition as he steps into this new role and builds upon the outstanding organization and opportunities that Alex has created during the past five years he’s been at Sabre.  Sabre has identified the hospitality sector as a key engine of growth and Alex has also positioned the company for tremendous opportunities.”

Anderson joined Sabre in 2014, and he currently serves as senior vice president of strategy where he has been instrumental in key product, technology, business and investment strategy initiatives.  Prior to joining Sabre, he co-founded Emerson/Anderson, a private investment fund focused on small cap businesses. He was also a partner at Bain and Company where he served as a leader of consumer products and performance improvement practices and led consulting engagements across many industries to drive profitable growth, operational efficiency and strategic differentiation.

“Growing the Sabre hospitality business and taking advantage of the technology opportunities in the sector has been a key focus in building Sabre’s business strategy,” said Anderson. “We have leading technology solutions and intend to continue to build a portfolio that will allow us to scale and work with hotel operators of all sizes and across the globe. Alex should feel very proud of what he has accomplished, and I welcome the chance to take the reins and continue to drive Sabre’s hospitality business to even more success.” - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

BA offers First customers from UAE special fares, experiences

British Airways (BA) First customers flying from the UAE to London can avail special fares on First cabins on board the 787-9 Dreamliner when booking 60 days in advance.

Since the opening of The First Wing on April 5, the new exclusive check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald customers at Heathrow Terminal 5 has welcomed nearly 200,000 travellers through the dedicated security channel leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

The airline’s First customers that book 60 days in advance can now experience the new generation First cabins on board the 787-9 Dreamliner on the Abu Dhabi-London route for as little as Dh20,550 ($5,593.2).

Customers flying First from Dubai can also enjoy special rates when they book 60 days in advance with fares starting from as little as Dh21,270 ($5,789). Dubai customers will also be able to access British Airways’ new Concorde Lounge concept at Concourse D in Dubai International Airport.

Exclusive to First guests, the Concorde Lounge opened in 2016 and provides a dedicated area for First customers and their guests to relax and unwind in a private environment before boarding their flight.

British Airways is continuing to invest in other improvements to First, including a similar refresh of its flagship Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5 to be unveiled in October 2017. The lounge, which is also exclusively for First customers, will receive an updated look and feel, as well as improvements to the terrace area.

British Airways’ new Liberty London washbags will also take to the skies at the end of July. Boasting prints from Liberty’s vintage textile archive, the ladies’ kit features an eye-catching print called ‘Indiana’ flower pattern in a range of blues, while the male washbag showcases a more understated black and grey paisley design called ‘Arundel’.

The gentlemen’s washbag features Refinery’s revitalising moisturiser, lip balm, deodorant stick and shave gel, as well as a razor, brush and comb, toothbrush/toothpaste, eye mask, socks, ear plugs and pen. The ladies’ kit includes Aromatherapy Associates triple rose renewing moisturiser, hydrating hand lotion, renewing cleanser and deodorant stick, along with a lip balm, cotton wool pads, toothbrush/toothpaste, hairbrush and pen.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO, said: “We know that our First customers are used to the very best in life and have very exacting standards. They rightly expect every part of their journey with us to cater to their needs, so we’ve focused on areas that we know matter to them. First Wing enables them to maximise their time, whisking from kerb to lounge through the fast track security channel. And we’ve paid attention to the details that make a difference on board too, through elements such as the updated Liberty washbags and the ability to pre-order a preferred meal.

“From the feedback we’ve received from our First fliers, these changes are making a real difference to their experience, driving great customer reaction and there’s more to come with the revamped Concorde Room at Terminal 5, due to be unveiled this October.” - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Big 5 Solar focus on Building Integrated Photovoltaics

The Big 5 Solar event, scheduled to be held in Dubai in November, will shed light on the future of solar energy in the UAE and the region and the need for new regulations for Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BiPV).

The event, from November 26 to 29 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, will feature a day-long Global Solar Leaders’ Summit, as well as Solar Talks throughout the event. The event is being held under the patronage of UAE's Ministry of Energy.

With the success of ground-mounted PV solutions such as those in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, local governments are looking to diversify their energy mix. Currently however, projects like the launch of Dewa’s Shams Dubai initiative to connect solar energy to buildings, inclusive of their online solar calculator, are coming hand in hand with the limitations of current policy and regulations surrounding new solar technologies.

Although BiPV solutions are not yet at the forefront of building design in the region, upcoming projects in the retail, transport and building sectors will see a wealth of opportunities for façade based technologies to take centre stage. Partnered with the rising popularity of these solutions abroad, it is paramount to facilitate BiPV growth in the UAE, said the event organisers.

According to the Architectural Solar Association (ASA), tailoring global regulations for this specific landscape is the key to encouraging a mass adoption of BiPV in the region. However, locally focused safety regulations are perhaps the biggest hurdle faced by the industry, it said.

The incentives for adopting renewable energy methods have become more complex than simply adjusting to an environmental outlook; they are making a move towards lowering utility costs and increasing the value of properties. According to Anoop Babu, Mena regional manager ASA, preparing for the future should be at the core of building concept design.

He describes the transition towards BiPV as removing “facades that would otherwise be idle for the next 20 years, and replacing them with active building elements.”

The ASA are an official supporting association of The Big 5 Solar event. The Big 5 Solar pursues the escalating green demands in the GCC construction industry, and is set to become a premier platform for solar industry professionals to network and do business in the Middle East.

The event will also offer a series of high level free-to-attend  Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified Solar Talks covering topics such as the connection between solar and construction, the impact of VAT on the solar industry, the role of SME’s in driving the Mena solar industry, as well as many more.

These talks will bring together solar industry pioneers to empower a positive change and transformation of the renewable energy sector with a focus on solar.

A prominent feature at The Big 5 Solar 2017 will be the Global Solar Leaders’ Summit (GSLS), the only established high-level summit in the Middle East focusing on solar technology. Key speakers include: Dr Matar Al Neyada,
Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Energy; Dr Rashid Aleem, founder of Aleem Business Congress; and Dr Nasser Saidi, chairman of the Regional Clean Energy Business Council. They will come together highlight the latest trends and practices in the solar industry along with major opportunities and challenges within the booming solar market.

Organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, The Big 5 Solar will be co-located with The Big 5 Dubai, the largest, most influential and renowned construction industry event in the Middle East. - TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort's spa gets top recognition

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has received two of the top categories at the 2017 World Luxury Spa Awards ceremony which took place in Hanoi on July 22.

The private island resort’s Iridium Spa was presented with the ‘Best Luxury Boutique Spa’ award along with the ‘Best Luxury Wellness Spa’ award at the glamourous ceremony. The results were based on a multitude of factors including brand, location, overall guest satisfaction from online reviews, services and facilities, design, and menu offerings.

Upon receiving the awards, general manager Alexander Blair said: “We are delighted to receive these highly prestigious awards. It is a testament to the spa team’s hard work and dedication to ensure that each guest experience is truly unforgettable.

The rejuvenation and wellness aspect of the resort are extremely important to us, so it is incredibly encouraging to be recognised for our efforts at the resorts key offering.

We will treasure these awards and strive to ensure the standard remains high.”

The World Luxury Spa Awards are accepted as the pinnacle of achievement for luxury spas worldwide. These Awards were established as a celebration of ultimate achievement in service excellence. It is about rewarding and congratulating spas that have excelled beyond the normal call of duty.

Offering the most sought-after restorative wellness practices, the resort’s overwater spa provides the latest personalised services curated by Ayurvedic and acupuncture experts. The spa features six private couple treatment suites, a steam room, sauna and the Blue Hole Pool, the Maldives’ largest heated seawater hydrotherapy pool. - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Shurooq's Mleiha Fossil Rock Lodge 60pc complete

The second phase of the 'Mleiha eco-tourism and archaeology' project in Sharjah is 60 per cent complete, a report has revealed.

The Mleiha Fossil Rock Lodge project, part of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority's (Shurooq) commitment to the development of tourist destinations and facilities in various areas of the emirate, aims to provide a unique experience for desert lovers, said a report in WAM.

Located close to the Fossil Rock, it offers guests a relaxing experience and the opportunity to explore wildlife more closely.

Among the recreational activities offered by Desert Rock Lodge is the desert safari adventures with four-wheel drive or desert bikes, the report said.

The design of the project is unique in all its elements, with earthy colours reflecting the general nature of the desert environment surrounding it, but in a modern mould that preserves the identity and originality of the region.

Marwan Al Serkal, CEO of Shurooq, said: "Shurooq continues to offer unique facilities and destinations. Today, our announcement of a unique hospitality project in the heart of Melihah Desert represents a new step forward and is an indication of the success of our methodology, which is based on creativity, innovation and sustainability."

"The Rock Lodge is scheduled to be completed under the second phase of Maliha Heritage and Eco-tourism Project. It will be fully equipped to meet the requirements of desert lovers and adventurers. This project offers a variety of tourist attractions, and offers a wide range of discovery and entertainment options that will satisfy all tastes," he added.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Minister studies housing needs for Bahrain's Jannusan

Bahrain's Housing Minister Bassim bin Yaqoob Al-Hamar has made an inspection visit of Jannusan area to identify the housing needs of the locality.

The visit follows directives from His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa to visit the village and be informed about its needs regarding service facilities and housing.

He highlighted the Housing Ministry’s plans to implement a housing project in the village whenever a suitable land lot is provided, stressing that all the housing needs of the village will be included in the ministry’s action plan.

He added that the housing demands of Jannusan and the neighbouring regions are given priority in the distribution programmes of the Northern Governrate’s projects, including the Northern City, as well as in the private sector projects.

The minister inspected the housing project that is currently implemented by the private sector in the village for the benefit of the “Mazaya” programme applicants.

Al-Hamad expressed admiration for the project and the units’ design, stressing the need to expedite the construction process.

The minister lauded the key role played by the private in addressing the housing issue in the kingdom, calling the housing applicants to benefit from projects that are adjacent to their current residence.



from Construction Realestate

Shurooq's Mleiha Fossil Rock Lodge 60pc complete

The second phase of the 'Mleiha eco-tourism and archaeology' project in Sharjah is 60 per cent complete, a report has revealed.

The Mleiha Fossil Rock Lodge project, part of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority's (Shurooq) commitment to the development of tourist destinations and facilities in various areas of the emirate, aims to provide a unique experience for desert lovers, said a report in WAM.

Located close to the Fossil Rock, it offers guests a relaxing experience and the opportunity to explore wildlife more closely.

Among the recreational activities offered by Desert Rock Lodge is the desert safari adventures with four-wheel drive or desert bikes, the report said.

The design of the project is unique in all its elements, with earthy colours reflecting the general nature of the desert environment surrounding it, but in a modern mould that preserves the identity and originality of the region.

Marwan Al Serkal, CEO of Shurooq, said: "Shurooq continues to offer unique facilities and destinations. Today, our announcement of a unique hospitality project in the heart of Melihah Desert represents a new step forward and is an indication of the success of our methodology, which is based on creativity, innovation and sustainability."

"The Rock Lodge is scheduled to be completed under the second phase of Maliha Heritage and Eco-tourism Project. It will be fully equipped to meet the requirements of desert lovers and adventurers. This project offers a variety of tourist attractions, and offers a wide range of discovery and entertainment options that will satisfy all tastes," he added.



from Construction Realestate

Drake & Scull appoints Mohammad Atatreh as board member

Drake & Scull International (DSI), a regional market leader in engineering and related services, has announced the appointment of seasoned UAE entrepreneur Mohammad Atatreh as its board member.

Atatreh replaces Khalaf Sultan Al Daheri who resigned from his seat on the board.

Atatreh was a board member of several leading UAE companies, including Tabarak Commercial Investment, where he played a strategic role in the management of the company’s real estate development and construction portfolio. He is also part of the board of trustees of Al Falah University.

His inclusion in the board continues a series of key board appointments aimed at ensuring business continuity and at achieving the group’s strategic objectives set forth in the business plan at the outset of the current fiscal year to reinforce stability and prepare the group for a new phase of recovery and sustainable growth, DSI said. – TradeArabia News Service
 



from Construction Realestate

Oman Cement, Raysut set up Duqm JV

Oman Cement Company and Raysut Cement Company, Oman’s two main cement manufacturers, have set up a joint venture to explore the feasibility of setting up a large cement plant at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Duqm, said a report.

The consultants appointed by the two principal partners have submitted a draft of their feasibility study into the project, added the Oman Daily Observer report.

Al Wusta Cement, the new joint venture, will not only seek to meet the infrastructure requirements of investors setting up operations in Duqm, but will also target export markets in the Middle East, East Africa and the Indian sub-continent, it said.

The joint venture is seeking to partially offset a widening deficit in domestic capacity that currently leaves the Sultanate dependent on imports for an astonishing 54 per cent of its total requirement of cement.

Tanfeedh — the National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification — is mooting the establishment of a cement manufacturing hub in Duqm to plug this shortfall through investments in as many as three new cement plants in the SEZ.

Tanfeedh’s proposals call for the development of two cement plants each of a capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum, and a white cement plant initially of 300,000 metric tonnes per annum dedicated primarily for export.

Also proposed are cement grinding plants in Duqm and Suhar, added the report.



from Construction Realestate

Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai restaurants win top award

Cactus Jacks and Da Vinci’s restaurants at Millennium Airport Hotel have been recognised with 2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on consistent great reviews.

Cactus Jacks is one of the most popular Latino restaurants in Dubai serving Latino food and late night “fiestas” daily. The outlet is known for its famous frozen margaritas and mojitos; with delicious speciality fajitas, great theme nights, and live entertainment. Equally popular is Da Vinci’s which opened in 1989 and was the third Italian restaurant to open in Dubai. Since then, it flourished collecting numerous culinary awards such as being in Top three Dubai’s Favorite Italian Restaurant for three consecutive years.

Simon Moore, general manager of Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai, said: “There is nothing more gratifying than to see guests appreciate our product and service on a globally trusted portal such as TripAdvisor. With social networking becoming increasingly important, world of mouth recommendations such as these are invaluable. Positive guest experiences go a long way in creating loyal customers which in turn generates better financial performance.”
 
Established in 2000, TripAdvisor is now the world’s largest travel site and offers more than 500 million reviews and opinions with a base of over 390 million unique monthly visitors. Now in its 7th year, the Certificate of Excellence celebrates establishments that consistently earn great TripAdvisor reviews from travellers. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Musanada completes Al Rahba unit revamp

The Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada) has completed the emergency department renovation and expansion project at Al Rahba Hospital for handing over to Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) in the third quarter of 2017.

This forms part of Musanada’s efforts to deliver projects that will achieve the primary objectives of Abu Dhabi Plan in the area of healthcare, aiming to provide high-quality health services in line with best international standards, reported Wam, the Emirates official news agency.

"The Dh44 million ($12 million) emergency department renovation and expansion project at Al Rahba Hospital will meet the needs of residents in Al Rahba region, provide them with quality health services, and is aligned to the steady population increase across the neighbouring regions around the hospital," said Yahya Al Ali, Musanada’s acting Infrastructure and Housing director.

"Engaging an experienced team, Musanada has completed all the required project work in line with highest international standards and Seha’s requirements. This was achieved without interrupting the required services for patients, medical staff or hospital clients, while fully observing safety requirements and taking into account best sustainability criteria that focus on reduction of energy and water consumption following the adoption of a contemporary environment-friendly design that ensures an appropriate healing and comfortable environment for patients," he added.

Eissa Saif Al Rumaithi, executive director of Al Rahba Hospital said, "The emergency department renovation and expansion project at Al Rahba Hospital comes in line with the efforts made by Seha to improve the infrastructure across the various healthcare facilities in order to provide world-class, quality-based health care and curative services in all of its outcomes."

"Aiming to attain highest quality levels in the services it delivers, Al Rahba hospital seeks to consistently improve therapeutic services, ensuring they are readily available to all patients. The emergency department renovation project will help enhance the hospital’s position and ensure the provision of high-quality medical services to patients in a shorter time," he continued.

Stretching over an overall area of 2,800 sq m, the project aims to enhance the efficiency of the emergency department by optimally redesigning the available space, allowing an improved capacity to treat larger numbers of patients approaching the hospital.

Equipping the hospital with state-of-the-art medical equipment and methods, the project will enable a better coverage and provision of health services to larger numbers of the population across the various regions of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The project scope included the trauma centre and the fast-track preliminary examination centre.

Following completion of the renovation and expansion works and the testing and commissioning phase, the emergency department will provide the necessary emergency healthcare services to individuals, children and pregnant women.



from Construction Realestate

Sharjah airport logs 5.5m passengers in H1

A total of 5.5 million passengers passed through Sharjah International Airport (SIA) during the first half of 2017, marking an increase of 2.9 per cent as compared to the 5.3 million passengers recorded during the first half of 2016.

A total of 835,800 passengers passed through the airport in June, a 1.7 per cent growth as compared to the 821,230 passengers during the same month last year, reported Emirates news agency Wam, citing an SIA statement.

The aircraft movement increased to more than 37,300 movements from January to June 2017, a 3.8 per cent increase compared to the 36,000 movements during the corresponding period last year. The airport registered 6,115 aircraft movements, including 94 unscheduled ones, during June 2017.

The volume of air freight handled at Sharjah International Airport in H1 2017 was more than 72,998 tons, including 11,157 tons in June, while the amount of sea-air cargo registered during the period from January until the end of June 2017 was 5,346 tons.

Ali Salim Al Midfa, chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, said, "The number of passengers through Sharjah International Airport continues to grow as a result of the continuous development of the facilities and services under the guidance of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah."

The use of smart gates has contributed to the airport’s capacity while there has also been an increase in the number of destinations served by the airlines operating at the airport, he added.

Sheikh Faisal bin Saoud Al Qasimi, director of Sharjah Airport Authority, said that the airport will continue to provide the best services and facilities which have gained the confidence of passengers, making SIA the preferred travel option for many people because of the efficiency of procedures, particularly after the launch of smart gates which have helped cut waiting time and reduce congestion.

According to statistics, more than 850,000 passengers have passed through the 16 Smart Gates at Sharjah International Airport since they were launched in October 2016. The smart gates have reduced the time required to carry out passport control procedures by more than 70 per cent, helping to cut the waiting time as travellers can now get through passport control within 20 seconds.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Dubai Customs, Emirates ink service standards deal

Dubai Customs has signed a service level agreement with Emirates Airlines to ensure higher standard of performance, maintain a secure environment for customers and staff and provide high quality service for the carrier and customers.

The agreement was signed on the part of Dubai Customs by Ibrahim Kamali, director of Passenger Operations Department, and on behalf of Emirates Airlines by Badr Al Shehhi, divisional vice-president, Baggage and Operations Services, in the presence of officials from both sides.  

Kamali said the agreement comes to reinforce the common vision and strategic partnership between Dubai Customs and Emirates Airlines. “Both parties aim to minimize obstacles, expedite procedures and deliver a high level of service to customers and passengers, streamlining their movement through Dubai’s airports while ensuring the protection of society and supporting sustainable economic and tourism development of Dubai,” he said.     

Al Shehhi said the move is intended to further strengthen cooperation and partnership between Dubai Customs and Emirates Airline to serve their shared goals.

“This SLA will surely help boost our interconnected services and procedures to be able to handle the increasing volume of passengers and their luggage in the most efficient and timely manner, especially with Dubai’s positioning as a global hub of travel and tourism,” added Al Shehhi. – TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Electronics ban lifted on Turkish Air UK flights

The electronics ban that applied on Turkish Airlines’ UK bound flights has been removed, the national carrier said in a statement.

Passengers are allowed to carry all their concerned devices at cabin during their flight, it added. – TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Dubai calls for implementation of new railway law

Dubai’s Road and Transportation Authority has called on all entities operating in the construction field to cooperate in the implementation of the Executive Council Resolution No. (1) / 2017 governing railway systems in the Emirate.

Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younes, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency said: “The Resolution aims to streamline the railway systems to bring them in line with the safety & quality standards required as well as the highest global practices of the industry. It ensures the integration of various mass transit systems in the Emirate and defines the respective roles & responsibilities of the Agency and the Safety Regulator to ensure the efficient and safe operation of the railway systems.”

“The new Resolution aims to realise maximum safety and safe operation of railway transport, provide advanced and safer transit systems, protect the environment and maintain the natural ecological balance, and realise the vision of Dubai as a sustained and smart city.

“It also seeks to avert any losses or negative effects, immediate or in the long run, inflicted on humans and properties because of the operation of railway systems,” he added.

“To realise the objectives of this Resolution, RTA assumes a host of tasks such as planning, designing and upgrading the railway network in Dubai as well as regulating the construction, improvement, operation and maintenance of the network in the Emirate. It also endorses the stipulations, procedures, controls, standards, specifications and manuals applied by the Agency and the safety regulator, and also endorses the conditions & procedures upon which the Agency and the safety regulator issue certificates as stated in this Resolution.
 
“The Resolution delegates to RTA the powers of ensuring that certificates issued by the Agency and the safety regulator as well as investigations carried out by inspectors are free from any conflict of interests. It also has to ensure that such investigations are carried out independently of owners, operators, contractors and other personnel associated with the provisions of this Resolution.

“It has to ensure the cooperation of the parties concerned in the Emirate as well as neighbouring Emirates in all matters that meet the objectives of this Resolution including the integration of railway systems and other transit modes. It has to make contracts and agreements relating to railway systems, and take appropriate measures to protect it. It also has to define areas designated as right-of-way for the railway network & surrounding areas including the endorsement of restricted activities, and endorse the policies, plans and programs submitted by the Agency and the safety regulator,” added Mohsen.

Compensation for losses

The Resolution prohibits any person to practice any activity that may cause damage to the railway network or expose it to danger, or cause harm to the environment or others harms, because of exceeding the thresholds of noise & vibrations. The offender has to bear the responsibility for damages in respect of all losses incurred.

According to the Resolution, the said losses include losses inflicted to individuals, properties, the environment and the restricted use, be it temporary or permanent. The offender has to remove the offence during the period specified by RTA, and in the event of failure, RTA may remove the offence, whether by its resources or through the support of a third party, at the expenses of the offender. The offender has also to pay 25 per cent of the removal cost as administrative fees.

Penalties and measures

The Resolution penalises violators responsible for offences stated in Table (5) and (6) annexed to this Resolution and obliges them to pay the respective fine of each, without prejudice to a tougher penalty provided for in any other Resolution. The Resolution states that a written warning must precede the slapping of fines for offences in respect of which the Director General had issued a Resolution. The warning shall include the redressing of the offence within the period specified by the Agency or the safety regulator. Otherwise, the fine is imposed on offenders.

The fines stated in the two tables above shall be doubled for recurring offenders within one year of the previous offence, provided the doubled amount must not exceed AED500,000 ($136,000). The Director General, or authorised representative, shall take any of the following measures against the violator, over and above the fine due under Part A of this Article, and cease the activity pending the removal of the offence or abolishing of the certificate issued.

Law enforcement and grievances

RTA or operator’s employees, as named in a Resolution of the Director General, are entitled to practice law enforcement duties in proving the acts committed in violation of the provisions of this Resolution and the decisions issued thereunder. In so doing, they are entitled to file the law enforcement reports and may seek the support of policemen, if needed.

All interested parties are entitled to submit grievances to the Director General from the decisions, procedures and measures taken against them under this Resolution within 15 days from the date of being informed of the Resolution, procedure or measure that have caused this grievance. This grievance has to be settled within 30 days from the date of submission by a Committee formed by the Director-General for this purpose, and its decision shall be final. – TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Friday, July 28, 2017

RAK Properties half year revenues hit $57.4m

Leading property development firm RAK Properties has announced record half year results, with revenues exceeding Dh211 million ($57.4 million).

The reported half-year figures reveal an increase from Dh39 million ($10.6 million) to Dh62 million ($16.8 million) in net profits from January to June 2017 – up 59 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The firm, which is listed on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange, currently boasts total assets valued at Dh5.11 billion ($1.39 billion), a significant increase on the Dh4.99 billion ($1.35 billion) recorded at the end of last year.

Commenting on the results, managing director and CEO Mohammed Sultan Al Qadi said: “Our half year results serves as proof that, with unwavering support from investors for our developments across the UAE, RAK Properties continues to go from strength to strength. Having already completed several key projects and accomplished various operational achievements, we look forward to the remainder of 2017.”

RAK Properties attributes its outstanding half year results to strong off-plans sales backed by exceptional marketing support. With proven excellence in a wide range of projects, the leading property developer is expected to announce additional residential, hospitality and retail projects to further its growth this year, thereby continuing to play a central role in shaping the lifestyle of residents of the UAE. - TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Tabreed H1 profit surges 20pc to $52.4m

The National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed), a leading district cooling utility company, has posted a net profit of Dh192.7 million ($52.4 million) for the first half (H1) of the year, as against Dh160.5 million in H1 2016, marking an increase of 20 per cent.

The company continues to deliver solid performance and growth driven by its core chilled water business with new capacity and connections added across the GCC, reported Wam, the Emirates official news agency.

The company also announced good progress towards completing the transaction to introduce ENGIE as a new major shareholder of Tabreed.

Earnings per share increased by 20 per cent to 7.1 fils compared to H1 2016 of 5.9 fils.

Group revenue increased by 10 per cent to Dh639.2 million while core chilled water revenue increased by 17 per cent to Dh602.3 million.

EBITDA increased by 12 per cent to Dh308.0 million and share of results of associates and joint ventures increased by 29 per cent to Dh62.4 million.

The report went on to detail the operational highlights for the six months ended 30th June 2017, stating that total group connected capacity across the GCC increased to 1,084,451 refrigeration tons (RT), with 36,040 RT of new customer connections added in the first half of the year, broken down as 22,863 RT in the United Arab Emirates, 3,000 RT in Bahrain and 10,177 RT in other regions.

A total of 595 million kilowatt hours of electricity was saved across the GCC, enough energy to power approximately 20,000 homes every year, which in turn led to the prevention of the release of almost 297,500 tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of eliminating the emissions of 59,500 vehicles annually In other developments, the company recently announced that global energy leader ENGIE will purchase 40 per cent of Tabreed from Mubadala through the conversion of Mubadala’s Mandatory Convertible Bonds, MCBs, and transfer of 1.086 billion shares to ENGIE. Further to that announcement, at their meeting on 26th July, Tabreed’s Board of Directors approved the necessary increase in Tabreed’s share capital and conversion of the MCBs to shares.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2017, once the required regulatory approvals are obtained.

Khaled Abdulla Al Qubaisi, chairman, said: "Tabreed has earned a leading position in district cooling with a clear vision to deliver consistent and sustainable results to investors and shareholders. This is reflected in Tabreed’s robust performance in the first half of 2017 with a net profit increase of 20 per cent to Dh192.7 million. Its sound business model and growing customer and partner confidence is also reflected in the recent announcement of a major investment in Tabreed by global energy leader ENGIE, who will harness their long-standing experience to support Tabreed’s growth strategy and reinforce its reputation as a leading regional utility offering best in-class solutions and high quality long-term services."

Jasim Husain Thabet, Tabreed’s chief executive officer, said: "Tabreed is going from strength to strength with a growing presence across the GCC region, where we are proud to cool landmark projects and critical infrastructure developments. This is essential to driving business results and economic development. Profits from our associates and joint ventures have increased by 29 per cent to Dh62.4 million."

"The planned investment in Tabreed by global energy leader ENGIE is further testament to Tabreed’s financial strength and leading market position. Tabreed Board approval of the necessary increase in share capital, and conversion of the MCBs, is a significant step and we look forward to welcoming ENGIE as a major shareholder of Tabreed. This brings us one step closer to the successful completion of the transaction, expected in the third quarter of 2017.

"As we look forward, our focus will continue to be on delivering high quality and advanced solutions and services to meet the region’s rising cooling needs, where we are well positioned to capture growth opportunities," Thabet added. – TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski recruits 25 Saudi nationals

In recognition of the importance of Saudisation, Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski has employed 25 Saudi nationals in the hospitality, food, beverage and housekeeping departments.

Juan Uribe, general manager of Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski, said "The general policy of the hotel is based on the investment in human skills and employing these skills in the right places, which directly contributes to the development of all departments and makes them able to meet our guests' requirements in a way that expresses our leading brand."

Nawaf Al-Subaie, Human Resources manager, said: "During the last period, we had a great challenge. The aim was to employ as many Saudis as possible within a short period. The process was selective and included several stages, starting from the announcement of the vacancies, then receiving biographies, giving priority to the Saudi citizens, and giving them the opportunity to train in one of the most important international training institutes to acquire the required skills, and then recruiting them."

With the changes that have been taking place in the recruitment sector in Saudi Arabia over the last few years, Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski is considered one of the first private entities to adhere to the Saudisation, in addition to working according to the Nitaqat initiative.

Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski, located in Riyadh, consists of 70 floors with 349 rooms and hotel apartments, in addition to a variety of international restaurants and cafés suitable for all tastes. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort launches Football Academy

Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, Morocco has announced the launch of its Football Academy, which offers courses throughout the summer for children aged six to 16 years.

Designed for the entire summer to develop and nurture young football players, the Football Academy is being run by certified professional football coaches and it follows the same training methods used by professional teams. It has many football pitches for participants to benefit from an outstanding training programme and learn the best techniques and football tricks. Starting immediately, the coaching sessions are challenging with goal shoots, dribbling and football matches.

“It is our pleasure to launch the Football Academy. All our coaches possess professional qualification which offers kids a fantastic way to learn a new skill whilst on a luxury holiday. The children are split into age groups allowing for new friendships and learning skills such as, being a team player,” said Khadija El Idrissi, director of Communication and Public Relations at Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort.

“Opening the Football Academy is a huge commitment. It demonstrates our confidence in our excellent services, as well as our optimism about the footballing talent we expect to find here,” added El Idrissi.

Morocco has been rapidly building its presence in Africa in varied sports and aims to have as many children and adults as possible playing football and other sports.

“The launch of the Football Academy at Mazagan reinforces our message to welcome young kids, adding variety to the holiday as well as learning a skill. We are especially passionate about football here in Morocco, as it is the national sport and are confident that the young players will make Morocco proud someday,” said El Idrissi.

The course and kit at the Football Academy includes a shirt with name, short, socks and sports bag. Running till August 31, the special summer package has been designed to establish the resort as the ideal destination for young football prodigies.

“It is our passion and commitment at the academy to develop the stars of tomorrow. Our football programme will thereby offer a comprehensive, holistic junior programme - for grass roots levels and develop stars performers for tomorrow,” El Idrissi said. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Saudi Arabia to privatise all airports by year-end

All airports in Saudi Arabia will be privatised this year in order to improve services being rendered to passengers and cut public expenditure, a senior official has revealed.

Speaking to Al-Eqtisadiah daily, Abdul Hakeem Al-Tamimi, president of the General Authority Civil Aviation (GACA) said GACA’s privatization strategy aims to transform all airports and related sectors into companies fully owned by Saudi Civil Aviation Holding.

The ownership of the holding company would be transferred to the Public Investment Fund (PIF) at a later stage, the report said.

Three methods for privatisation will be followed:

1. Transform each airport into a company
GACA will apply this system on King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh first. Al-Tamimi disclosed plans to sell minority stakes in the company to the public. A board of directors will be formed to manage the company.

Goldman Sachs will manage the sale of stakes in the Riyadh airport, the first major privatization of an airport in the country.

The exact size and potential value of the stake was not immediately known. Riyadh has the second biggest airport in Saudi Arabia after Jeddah's King Abdulaziz International Airport.

King Khalid International Airport handled 22.5 million passengers in 2016, up 0.9 per cent year-on-year. Saudi Arabia is trying to raise $200 billion over the next several years through stake sales in assets such as airports.

2. Sign contract with a specialised company for operation and maintenance
As similarly done with the new King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, GACA will bear the cost of the airport expansion project and the company will share the revenue, Al-Tamimi said.

3. Build, operate and transfer (BOT) system
"This system was applied on Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah and some other airports like Taif, Hail, Qassim and Yanbu, after signing deals with investors,” Al-Tamimi explained.

The government has also brought in foreign firms to manage some of its airports including the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), which was awarded in 2016 the contract to manage and operate Riyadh airport's new Terminal 5. Singapore's Changi Airport Group was awarded in April a contract to operate the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah for up to 20 years.

“Some of the regional and domestic airports will be transformed into companies by the end of this year,” Al-Sugair said, adding that this transformation was the first step of privatization, which will lead to the operation of all airports on a commercial basis," said Dr. Faisal Al-Sugair, chairman of Saudi Civil Aviation Holding.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Sadara brings Saudi Arabia’s first Polyols plant on-stream

Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara), the largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase, has successfully started up the kingdom’s first Polyols plant. 

This manufacturing facility produces specialty chemicals that go into the production of polyurethanes and speciality foams. 

The polyols plant is one of the last of Sadara’s 26 chemical facilities to start up. It is also one of Sadara’s 14 facilities that will produce specialty chemicals never before produced in Saudi Arabia. 

Commenting on the announcement, Sadara CEO Ziad Al-Labban highlighted the added value that Sadara brings to the kingdom, saying: “Sadara has long been identified as a game-changing player in the petrochemical arena in the kingdom and the region. The Polyols facility will enable manufacturers in Saudi Arabia to obtain the speciality chemicals needed for a broad spectrum of applications. This will help create new industries domestically as well as generate enormous job opportunities for the kingdom’s young professionals.”

Sadara has two Polyol trains which use propylene oxide and ethylene oxide to produce multiple grades of polyether polyols. The products are used in a broad range of industrial applications, including the production of speciality foams for trim and seating applications, TDI moulding and formulating systems, noise/vibration/harshness molding, flexible moulding, high-resiliency molded foams and more. Tradearabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

New aviation school to open in Oman

Oman will soon get its first aviation academy after an agreement was signed by the Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (OAPFD) and other shareholders.

The Oman Aviation Academy (OAA) is considered to be the first aviation training company to be established in the sultanate, in cooperation with Airbus Helicopters. The academy will be based in Sohar Airport and is expected to be operated by CAE, a leading civil and defence aviation training company with approximately 160 training sites in more than 35 countries around the world.

OAA will provide aviation training for national and regional cadres with the aim of them obtaining an EASA aviation frozen (ATPL), which enables them to be pilots in regional and international airlines.

The first phase of the academy will kick-off in the last quarter of this year with construction works set to begin by year end.

OAA will be built on an area of 4,000-sq-m with a capacity of 150 trainees. It will include an area of 3,000-sq-m of Aircraft Hangar, an area of 4,000-sq-m for student housing , tower and a taxi way.

Dr. Ali bin Masoud al-Sunaidy, minister of Commerce and Industry and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Authority, said: "This important agreement reflects the strategic partnership between the sultanate and Shareholders companies and it will play a great role in supplying the local aviation sector with pilots either in civil or military sector.

He added: "The Oman Aviation Academy is an educational training platform that will contribute to promoting the education sector through the development of a new training curriculum. We hope that through this project, the sultanate will be the first destination for neighbouring and regional countries to benefit from the training and educational services in the field of aviation sector." - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Petrofac wins $100m new contracts in Iraq

Petrofac, a leading provider of oilfield services, has secured a contract extension and a new award with a combined value of more than $100 million for construction management, engineering, commissioning and start-up services for two international oil companies (IOCs) in Iraq.

The awards reflect the extensive track record Petrofac has been amassing in the country since 2010, the company said.

The announcement builds upon $70 million of new awards in Iraq announced in April, giving the group good visibility of future work in the country and securing around 250 jobs, it said.

Mani Rajapathy, managing director, engineering & production services east, said: “We’re delighted the IOCs in Iraq continue to choose Petrofac to support their operations. Iraq is an important market for us and, as evidenced by the number of awards we’ve secured there this year, we’ve consistently proven our delivery and execution capability on behalf of our clients.

“As we move forward, our teams will remain focused on ensuring services are delivered in alignment with our clients’ expectations to enable them to maximise value from their oil and gas assets.” - TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Kahramaa completes key substation for Qatar Rail

Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has announced the completion of the first electricity substation that serves the Qatar Rail Company in Ras Abu Fontas area.

The plant will provide Doha Metro project with electricity.

Kahramaa, in collaboration with the entire working team and Qatar Rail, achieved operational works of the substation 132/33 KV last week. The project took 16 months to complete, it said.

The plant will be supplied power from Al-Thumama Super Station and the generation plant at Ras Abu Fontas.    

The substation was designed with two separate systems for operation. The first one is a 132 KV system that will be operated by Kahramaa and the second system of 33 KV will be operated by Q-Rail.

Kahramaa plans to construct four more new substations (including one 220/132/33 KV substation) and work is expected to start before the end of December 2017. - TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Foundation stone laid for Salalah Grand Mall

Foundation stone for the new Salalah Grand Mall project in Salalah city was laid this week as part of Oman's Renaissance Day celebrations.

The project is being developed by Oman's Ministry of Defence Pension Fund and Al Madina Real Estate Co.

The event was held under the auspices of Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan bin Hamood Al Busaidi, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar.

Leading Omani property developer Al Madina Real Estate earlier said it was looking to replicate the success of its Muscat Grand Mall with the Salalah project.

An official said the company was looking to develop the project as a mixed use development, but will start off initially with the Salalah Grand Mall in phase one.

A new eco-lifestyle resort under the ‘Agarwood’ brand will be built near the mall. Part of the Millennium & Copthorne chain, the 286-key resort encompasses a hotel, villas and apartments. Construction work on the property is currently under way.
 



from Construction Realestate

Saudia Holidays offers special discounts on packages

Saudia Holidays, the newly-launched holidays division of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), will be showcasing its full range of travel packages during a two-day event at the Panorama mall in Riyadh.

Taking place at Riyadh’s Panorama mall from July 27 to 28 from 17:00 – 23:00 hrs on both days, visitors are welcome to discover the large variety of pre-packaged and customizable holidays.

Saudia Holidays representatives will be available onsite to answer any enquiries and also make bookings on the spot for families wishing to plan and reserve their summer and Eid-al Adha holiday travels.

Visitors can also avail a one-time special discount of 10 per cent on the total package price when booking holidays at the exhibition.

In addition, visitors stand a chance to win a three-night hotel stay at the LUX resort and a pair of Business Class return airfare on the airline’s inaugural flight to the island destination – Mauritius. An entry ballot can be filled out when visiting the Saudia Holidays exhibition on July 27 and 28.

Through its partnership with Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN), Saudia Holidays offers guests access to more than 225,000 quality hotel accommodations in over 29,000 destinations, including Dubai, London, Paris and New York.

Saudia Holidays also offers access to 175,000 quality car rental vendors across 30,000 locations in addition to 50,000 tours and activities, enabling guests to select their ideal package of flight with hotel and/or vehicle and tours. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Inflight connectivity 'a necessity, not a luxury' - survey

Inflight broadband is changing the airline industry and revolutionising passengers’ expectations of the onboard experience.

That is the conclusion from the third annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey, published today by Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, in association with market research company GfK.

Overwhelmingly, passengers now expect the same levels of connectivity and access to online services whilst they are at 30,000 feet as they receive on the ground. As such, 60 per cent of all passengers say that inflight wi-fi is now a necessity rather than a luxury. Over half (56 per cent) of passengers in the Middle East who have experienced high-quality inflight wi-fi rate it higher on their list of priorities than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline.

With airlines in every market racing to install or upgrade their wi-fi offering, passengers will have a choice to opt for an airline that offers high-quality broadband, and will soon turn their back on airlines not offering this. Over a third of Middle Eastern respondents (36 per cent) said they would stop using their preferred airline within the next year if it did not offer connectivity enabling them to stream or browse online without interruption.   

The ability to connect to personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets now sits within the top three considerations when choosing an airline, behind ticket price and airline brand for 46 per cent of Middle Eastern passengers who have experienced high-quality inflight wi-fi.

What’s more, the ability to remain online and work during a flight is greatly improving passenger experience, according to more than half (56 per cent) of all business travellers who have previously used inflight wi-fi.

The survey reflects the responses of 9,000 airline passengers from 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and North and Latin America, and is the largest global passenger survey of its kind.

Ben Griffin, vice president, Middle East, Africa and South Asia at Inmarsat Aviation, said: “High-quality inflight wi-fi is changing the way people think about flying and how they spend their time in the air. Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline.”

He continued: “The annual Inflight Connectivity Survey has become a barometer for passenger sentiment. This year’s survey reveals that 60 per cent of passengers believe that inflight wi-fi is a necessity and no longer a luxury. This will only increase as more people experience inflight connectivity. It is clear the opportunity that connectivity presents to airlines cannot be underestimated.”

Middle East Survey Highlights
• 81 per cent of Middle Eastern passengers would pay for inflight connectivity even on short-haul leisure flights, rising to 85 per cent for long-haul business flights
• 59 per cent of Middle Eastern passengers agree that inflight wi-fi takes the anxiety out of flying because they can stay in contact with people on the ground
• 36 per cent of passengers in the Middle East said they would stop using their preferred airline within the next year if they only offered poor quality Wi-Fi
• Business flyers in the Middle East use wi-fi for both work and non-work reasons: 29 per cent browse the web, 37 per cent use social networks, 43 per cent email and 20 per cent use business tools
• Leisure flyers love the freedom to use a variety of devices as they wish. The Middle East has the highest volume of multi-device usage in all regions surveyed, with 66 per cent of inflight connectivity users connecting more than one device.
• 51 per cent of Middle Eastern passengers would take advantage of the ability to purchase items from the plane and collect them on arrival at the airport
• 27 per cent of respondents in the region would choose to have inflight purchases delivered to their home

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. It is the first provider with a complete next-generation high-throughput satellite (HTS) network spanning the world. Inmarsat is also the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit. Inmarsat’s world-leading passenger solutions are complemented by its industry-standard certified safety and operations services. Passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an on-board connectivity experience on par with broadband services available on the ground. - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Boeing commercial jets revenue tops $15bn in Q2

The Boeing Company has posted a revenue of $15.7 billion in its commercial airplanes segment during the second quarter of the year with operating margins at 10 per cent.

The company posted total revenues of $22.7 billion in the second quarter of the year, reflecting planned production rates and timing of commercial and defence aircraft deliveries.

Commercial Airplanes booked 183 net orders during the quarter. Backlog remains robust with more than 5,700 airplanes valued at $424 billion.

During the quarter, Commercial Airplanes delivered the first 737 MAX 8 aircraft and announced the launch of the 737 MAX 10. Demand continues to be healthy with 571 incremental orders and commitments announced at the Paris Air Show, including 56 for widebody aircraft and 361 for the launch of the 737 MAX 10. Also at the Paris Air Show, a number of commercial service agreements were announced that provide further growth opportunity for Boeing Global Services.

Defence, Space & Security second-quarter revenue was $6.9 billion. Second-quarter operating margin increased to 12.9 per cent, reflecting increased productivity in all three segments.

Backlog at Defence, Space & Security was $58 billion, of which 37 per cent represents orders from international customers.

"Our teams are delivering better performance in every segment of the business, which is reflected in our strong second-quarter results and improved 2017 outlook," said chairman, president and chief executive officer Dennis Muilenburg.

"Our robust cash flow enabled us to return more value to shareholders, invest in future growth and in our people, including a plan to accelerate pension funding that also reduces risk and cyclicality in our business.

"In the second quarter, we added to our large and diverse order backlog with key wins in commercial airplanes, defence, space and services, while achieving important milestones such as delivering the first 737 MAX airplane, flying the second production-ready T-X trainer aircraft, and conducting a successful Ground-based Midcourse Defence intercept test.

"As we look to the second half of the year, our teams are focused on accelerating productivity, quality and safety improvements across the company, while completing key development efforts and delivering better capabilities and economics to our customers,” he added.

Operating cash flow in the quarter of $5.0 billion was driven by strong operating performance and favourable timing of receipts and expenditures. During the quarter, the company repurchased 13.6 million shares for $2.5 billion, leaving $9.0 billion remaining under the current repurchase authorization. The company also paid $0.9 billion in dividends in the quarter, reflecting a 30 per cent increase in dividends per share compared to the same period of the prior year. – TradeArabia News Service



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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Armani Hotel Dubai awarded first Green Globe certification

Armani Hotel Dubai, the first hotel to be opened under the Armani Hotels and Resorts portfolio, has been awarded its first Green Globe certification.

Mark Kirby, general manager, said: “Green Globe certification for Armani Hotel Dubai is a strong testament to our commitment to be a socially and environmentally responsible hotel operator, focused on international best practices in energy and water use efficiency and sustainable development.

“Since inception, we have focused on promoting green initiatives hotel-wide and encouraged the participation of not just our employees but also our guests and partners. Through our green programmes– from recycling materials to minimising food wastage and supporting environmental campaigns, we have set an industry benchmark in being a green hotel that works to secure a greener future for our coming generations,” added Kirby.

Armani Hotel Dubai recently became part of the UAE Food Bank, an initiative announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The hotel is one of the key hospitality partners for the project that further promotes the noble ‘Year of Giving’ initiative marked by the nation in 2017.

To drive the initiative, Armani Hotel Dubai has put in place a clearly structured programme whereby food is delivered fresh to the UAE Food Bank on a daily basis, (whenever unused, not displayed and safe surplus food is available.) In addition, the hotel has new guidelines in place to avoid wastage of food resources and urges all staff members, partners and guests to join in the noble cause and make a difference to the lives of the underprivileged.

A Food Waste Recycling machine was recently installed to successfully achieve a zero food waste goal. It eliminates food disposal costs, reduces the hotel’s carbon footprint and converts food waste into soil nutrients for use on farms and landscaped areas. Another waste management initiative is the implementation of an efficient waste segregation system where waste is sorted and disposed of at designated recycling stations. Burnt-out light bulbs, used batteries and old printer cartridges are collected and sent to a recycling agency for safe destruction and recycling where possible.

Green Globe’s preferred partner in the Middle East, Farnek, conducted a comprehensive audit of the property to ensure compliance to its strict set of sustainability criteria.

Sandrine Le Biavant, director consultancy, Farnek Middle East said: “This luxury hotel within the Burj Khalifa tower has shown a commitment to accelerating their sustainability performance that is highly commendable and meets their level of service quality and their iconic image. The secret to their success is the presence of a Dubai veteran in sustainable-hospitality Abdul Quddus and an inspired general manager, for whom sustainability is part of excellence, and the whole effort is supported by a responsible programme from Emaar Properties.”

As part of its focus on enhancing energy and water efficiency, all incandescent lights in Armani Hotel Dubai have been replaced with power saving LEDs and motion detectors have been installed in back office areas. In addition, water saving devices and water aerators have been fitted resulting in a significant decrease in water consumption.  

In line with its communication strategy, Armani Hotel Dubai has created a Green Page on guestroom iPads to engage and involve guests in various sustainability initiatives. The hotel’s sustainability commitment is outlined on the hotel’s website, which highlights its commitment to preserving precious resources and creating a sustainable operation that benefits guests, colleagues, the local community, and ultimately, the planet.

Green Globe is the hospitality industry’s international standard for sustainability and with leadership from the hotel’s resident Green Champion, staff members are working to address energy consumption, air quality and waste management, while exploring biodiversity initiatives, green procurement solutions and social responsibility opportunities.

To contribute to local regional development, Armani Hotel Dubai is a certified member of Emirates Environmental Group, a professional working group focused on protecting the environment through education, green programs, and community involvement. Recently, the hotel donated gift vouchers for distribution to the dedicated volunteers of EEG to encourage further community participation. Staff members, partners and guests are also urged to make a difference by donating toys, clothes, blood and soap to the underprivileged. Various CSR projects including Walk for a Cause, clean-up programs and the annual Earth Hour are also promoted. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Abu Dhabi group to set up $150m Vietnam petchem JV

Abu Dhabi-based Baron Point Petroleum Services Company (Baron Point Petroleum) has reached an agreement with national oil and gas company PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PV Oil) to set up a joint venture that will finance, build and operate petroleum product pipelines and storage space in the country and also source and trade petroleum products in the international markets.

Baron Point Petroleum is majority owned by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Hamed, in partnership with an accomplished team of senior managers and experts headed by managing partner and chief executive James Philip Coppola III, said the company in a statement.

Set to positively contribute to the improvement of southern Vietnam’s economy, and the petroleum supply chain, the $150 million Bonded Terminal System at Phu Quoc Island is strategically chosen to supply and store crude oil and refined petroleum products, as well as general bunker supply, catering to southern Vietnam and the broader Southeast Asia region.

Growth prospects for the Bonded Terminal System include offtake of refined fuel in markets such as Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia and Singapore, stated Baron Point Petroleum.

Located at Dat Do point, An Thoi town, Phu Quoc District, Kien Giang province, the area being developed spans approximately 570 sq km.

Drawing on its strategic placement in the global oil power-house center of Abu Dhabi, combined with its New York structuring expertise, Baron Point Petroleum provides PV Oil best in class skills, people and processes to support the national oil group’s growth.

The emirati firm undertakes the investment, build, and supply of the Bonded Terminal System, which includes allocations of national strategic reserves to benefit the Vietnamese people.

Developing in conjunction with regional and international strategic partners, the initiative will support Vietnam with top-tier international expertise and talent, said Coppola after signing the deal with Nguyen Hoang Tuan, the chairman of board of members of PV Oil.

"We are honoured to form a strategic relationship with PV Oil, and we will bring to bear the best of financial and energy market standards for the benefit of the Vietnamese people," he stated.

The Vietnamese team will conduct follow up meetings in Abu Dhabi with Sheikh Khalifa where knowledge transfer and development discussions will occur next month, he added.

On the new venture, Hoang Tuan said: "We are expanding by developing Phu Quoc Island and the southern Vietnamese supply channel in partnership with Baron Point Petroleum."

"This strategic development has attracted strong financial and energy market expertise and the resources needed to propel Vietnam’s growth," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Tourico Holidays unveils new platform to help clients boost sales

Tourico Holidays, a leading travel brokerage company, has launched Olympus X, a proprietary platform designed to help travel distribution clients improve inventory accuracy, identify hotel deals with the highest profit margins, and increase sales.

The first-of-its-kind interactive dashboard also provides detailed monthly reports where clients can view all of their bookings, total room nights, cancellation ratios, average daily rates (ADR), year-over-year and month-over-month growth, the best hotel opportunities for boosting profits, and many other valuable data points.
 
Olympus X also enables Tourico to view client inventory and bookings and offer its sales support. Using the platform, Tourico can help identify high-margin hotels and ExclusiveDeals, Tourico’s selection of pre-purchased hotel room blocks, that a client may be missing from its inventory. The intuitive programme maps out a client’s sales region and ensures inventory from that area is current, while prioritising the best hotel deal options.  The platform enables Tourico sales managers to monitor client trends, recognise areas of opportunity, and help clients strengthen their margins.
 
“Olympus X is truly the first all-inclusive, interactive platform for travel distributors that not only allows them to capture real-time data that is critical to day-to-day operations, but it also identifies areas of potential improvement and growth,” said Lev Koutamonov, the vice president of Professional Services for Tourico Holidays.  “Never has there been a singular platform that proactively updates and assists travel distributors with their business, and offers them the automated reporting that brings it all together.”
 
Several industry-wide problems led to the development of Tourico’s professional services technology. Until now, Tourico sales managers did not have visibility into clients’ systems regarding Tourico product, making it extremely difficult to identify how to improve sales and profits. Fragmentation of information and business tools was also a primary obstacle for clients, preventing them from improving their reaction time and efficiency.
 
“Between great company leadership, a team of highly qualified engineers, developers, and programmers, and working directly with clients on process improvement, we were able to create a solution to a longstanding industry issue,” said Koutamonov. “We’re looking forward to using the new platform to help all of our clients take their businesses to the next level.” - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Abu Dhabi University completes new students' accommodation

Abu Dhabi University said work on the new extension to its female dormitory has been completed and is set to open with the start of the 2017-2018 academic year, said a report.

Designed to cater to the rise in demand for on-campus student housing, which already accommodates 408 students in segregated male and female dorms, the Dh17.5 million ($4.76 million) project adds 93 rooms spanning over 4,200 sq m that can accommodate 144 female students, reported state news agency Wam.

The new facility will offer state-of-the-art services and facilities, such as a multi-purpose hall, a gym, discussion and reading rooms, several service rooms and outdoor courtyards, it said.

The university currently hosts more than 7,000 students from 70 nationalities across its campuses in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, according to the report.

The number is expected to rise as its new postgraduate campus in Dubai opens in the academic year 2017-2018, it added.



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Oman to award $2.8bn wastewater project contract

Oman government is set to award a consultancy services contract for the development of a RO1.1 billion ($2.84 billion) wastewater project which will cover all the governorates of the sultanate, said a report.

The project is being developed by state-owned Oman Wastewater Services Company (Haya Water) whose original remit as the water reuse utility of Muscat governorate has been expanded to cover wastewater collection and treatment, as well as treated effluent distribution, across the sultanate, with the exception of Dhofar Governorate, reported Oman Observer.

Several leading local and international consultancy firms are in the race for the big wastewater project, said the report.

The selected consultant will be required to develop a detailed master-plan, complete with a capital investment programme, covering a 25-year horizon.

Inputs for formulating this blueprint will be based on population forecasts, water demand and wastewater generation estimates, connection and coverage forecasts, treated effluent production, sludge generation, and various strategic master-plans of the government, it stated.

Additionally, the consultant shall review reports and strategies of various ministries, notably the Ministry of Tourism, Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), and the Supreme Council for Planning.

Last year, Haya Water had declared that it was progressively taking over the estimated 58 sewage treatment plants (STPs) and 820 km of sewerage networks currently in operation in the various governorates of the sultanate, it added.



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Lacklustre rental market dims UAE investors' yield

Yields for UAE buy-to-let investors are in retreat as declines in rental values outpace a slump in sales prices, according to a report by Propertyfinder Group, a leading real estate portal in the region.

Nevertheless, yields remain generous compared with global norms and with zero capital gains tax the country’s property sector remains an excellent option for international investors looking for both investment income and long-term asset appreciation, stated the 'UAE Real Estate Trends 2017' report.
 
Rental yields fell in 15 of Dubai’s 23 apartment neighbourhoods and in 11 of the city’s 16 villa districts in the six months from last September to March 2017.

These declines left apartment yields varying from 5.2 per cent on Palm Jumeirah to 9.5 per cent in Discovery Gardens. For villas, yields range from 3.1 per cent in Emirates Hills to 6.5 per cent in Jumeirah Village Circle, it stated.
 
Unsurprisingly, Dubai’s peripheral areas – deemed a higher risk by many investors and therefore priced accordingly – offer some of the best yields. Of the 10 districts with per square foot selling prices below Dh1,000, Motor city provides the lowest yield at 7.9 per cent, said the report which analysed apartment and villa sales and rental prices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates.
 
Dubai continues to be a multi-tiered market where the most desirable locations offer the worst rental yields, while the best yields are found in emerging communities surrounded by desert and mass construction, it added.
 
Propertyfinder pointed out that in the emirate, market forces present a neat risk versus reward synopsis.

"Blue Chip communities for investors are deemed to be safer and, despite their popularity, have a relatively smaller pool of well-heeled tenants who can afford over Dh120 per square foot per annum in rent," it said in the report.
 
Rental values fell by a greater margin than sales prices, largely following the same trend in each neighbourhood. This suggests landlords have proved more willing to cut their asking prices than those wishing to sell and perhaps points to ebbing demand and over-supply in the rental sector, it added.
 
The UAE portal said emerging communities catered to the large and growing middle income segment seeking affordable rents but for buyers there are many, many projects and apartments complete, under construction and off plan to choose from so these communities tend to be less liquid.
 
“If the villa community is relatively affordable, the rental yield is healthy but they steadily decline as you move up the food chain. Emirates Hills and Palm Jumeirah both offer villa yields of around 3.1 per cent which in virtually any other market in the world is acceptable, but in Dubai appear distinctly lacklustre,” it stated.
 
Abu Dhabi, the world’s fifth largest oil producer, has suffered markedly more from the sustained slump in crude prices than Dubai, where oil makes little direct contribution to the economy.
 
As such, it’s no surprise that Abu Dhabi’s property sector is showing prolonged weakness. Sale prices fell in four of six apartment districts and in six of eight villa neighbourhoods, while rental value declines were mostly of a bigger magnitude, said the report.
 
According to Propertyfinder, the yields remain excellent, despite the drop in rental values – apartment yields are 7 per cent or higher in all districts, with Al Reef the largest at 8.6 per cent.

Villa yields also outperform Dubai, ranging from 5 per cent on Saadiyat Island to 7.8 per cent in Hydra Village. Overall, yields fell in eight of 12 neighbourhoods for villas and apartments, it said.
 
Northern emirates steady

In the northern emirates of Sharjah, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah, the yields were steady as prices and rentals showed relatively little movement. Apartment yields slipped to 6.5 per cent from 6.7 per cent and villa yields rose to 6.0 per cent from 5.7 per cent.
 
For investors, the rental yield in Sharjah and Ajman in particular look particularly enticing, stated the report.

"We’ve seen some launches of freezone, off-plan projects recently in Sharjah which is now competing with Dubai and RAK for non-GCC buyers," it added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Saudia receives 10th Boeing 787 Dreamliner

National carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has received its 10th Boeing 797-9 Dreamliner.

The aircraft will join the fleet of Saudia, which is currently implementing an unprecedented programme for modernisation and development, aiming to reach 200 modern aircraft in 2020 within the framework of the transformation plan at Saudi Arabian Airlines Organization, its companies and strategic units.

Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, director general of Saudia, said the plane is the 21st new aircraft to join the fleet this year.

The company had received in the first half of this year's new aircraft (20 planes), and 11 additional planes are expected to be delivered to Saudia by the end of 2017, which will bring the total number of aircraft joining the fleet of the national carrier this year to 32.

Twenty eight aircraft were received last year, the carrier said. - TradeArabia News Service



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