Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Saudi Arabia shortlists 25 bidders for wind plant

Saudi Arabia's Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo) has qualified 25 companies to bid for the 400 MW Dumat Al Jandal wind project in Al Jouf region. 

The project is the first utility-scale wind power scheme within the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the project is now available for qualified bidders on the NREP’s dedicated eProcurement portal,, a Saudi Press Agency report said.

The qualified companies will proceed to the RFP stage as either ‘managing members’ or ‘technical members’ - or both - based on their experience in delivering IPP projects of this scale, the report said.

Bidding for the wind power project is set to close in January 2018.

Dumat Al Jandal project is part of the round one of the NREP.  It  also comprises 300 MW of solar PV project in Sakaka, Al Jouf region, for which the bid opening will take place on October 3 and winning bids will be announced on November 27.

The Dumat Al Jandal and Sakaka projects are both 100 per cent private IPP programs, which will be backed by 20- and 25-year power purchase agreements, respectively.

Commenting on the progress of the NREP, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Engineer Khalid Al-Falih, said: “We are moving forward to diversify the kingdom’s energy mix and to build a more sustainable and cleaner energy system that benefits Saudi Arabia and its citizens. Round two of the NREP will be launched before the end of this year, keeping us firmly on track to deliver 9.5 GW of renewable energy by 2023.”

Al-Falih added: “The NREP will build economic resilience and deliver real economic benefits by creating more than 7,000 jobs, increasing Saudi Arabia’s non-oil GDP and nurturing a clean tech startup industry; it is a program designed to boost the domestic renewable value chain and encourage foreign direct investment in the kingdom, bringing prosperity to our citizens as part of the goals established in Vision 2030.”

Technical criteria for round one NREP projects include a 30 per cent local content requirement. This requirement will increase in future rounds to stimulate the growth of a globally competitive and sustainable renewable energy supply chain in Saudi Arabia, the report said.

Companies that have been qualified for bidding include: Masdar, Acwa Power, Akuo Energy, Acciona Energia Global,   JGC Corporation, Elecnor, SNC-Lavalin Arabia, EDF Energies Nouvelles; Enel Green Power; Vestas Middle East; Enercon; GE; International Power; Korean Electric Power Corporation (Kepco); Marubeni Corporation; Mitsui & Co; Siemens Project Ventures; Sumitomo Corporation; and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC).

from Construction Realestate

Four Seasons Kuwait at Burj Alshaya ready to welcome guests

Opening its doors to guests on September 1, the new Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya marks a new era of luxurious hospitality and personalised service in the capital of Kuwait.

Entering the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya, eyes are immediately drawn to the dramatic staircase, spiralling 13 metres (43 feet) up through the soaring lobby.

“Our own ‘stairway to heaven’ is quickly becoming the symbol of Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait, and indeed it reflects the optimism one feels in this dynamic city,” said general manager Didier Jardin on the occasion of the hotel’s opening day.  “For our team of 415 staff, it’s a daily inspiration to take the hospitality experience to new heights, proudly introducing renowned Four Seasons service culture in a new country while being at the vanguard of the company’s continuing leadership around the world.”

Located within the new, two-tower Burj Alshaya development – the stylish new centrepiece of Kuwait City – Four Seasons is ideally situated for business and leisure travellers visiting the city, as well as local guests to dine, entertain and relax.  Indeed, with 2,912-sq-m of beautifully-appointed event spaces hosting up to 1,200 guests, Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait already has many important business meetings and social events on the calendar – including 21 weddings so far.

With 217 guest rooms plus 67 lavish suites, Four Seasons easily transforms for each individual guest, whether in the city to do business, enjoy an urban getaway for two, or with the whole family for a holiday filled with shopping, sightseeing and playing in the outdoor pool.  Four dining venues – plus a fifth opening in September – showcase the creations of international culinary talent while celebrating local tastes and traditions. A two-level spa complex hosts innovative treatments as well as a state-of-the-art fitness centre and second swimming pool.

Chef Concierge Ahmed Elmomor noted that the Four Seasons experience can begin the moment one exits the airport with Kuwait’s most luxurious fleet of house cars ready to convey guests to the Hotel, and chauffeur them about town, including a plush Bentley Flying Spur.

To welcome its first guests, Four Seasons has extended a special Introductory Offer featuring 20 per cent savings on the regular room rate, as well as an attractive bed and breakfast package.- TradeArabia News Service 

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Qatar Airways launches flights to Kiev

Qatar Airways has officially launched flights from Doha to Kiev with the inaugural flight touching down in the Ukranian capital on August 28, said a report.

Travelling on the inaugural Qatar Airways flight to Kiev was Qatar Airways chief commercial officer Ehab Amin, who was welcomed with a traditional airport arrival ceremony hosted by chief executive officer of Kiev Boryspil International Airport Pavlo Riabikin, and attended by Qatar’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Jassim bin Rashid Al Khalifa, said a report in Gulf Times.

Kiev, one of Eastern Europe’s undiscovered cultural jewels, is filled with striking architecture and many art galleries and museums. The city is both historic and modern, and quickly becoming a popular must-visit destination for travellers from around the globe.

“This new route will connect businesses in Kiev and across Ukraine to new business partners from around the globe, while also appealing to leisure travellers, offering them the opportunity to experience this charming city,” the report said citing Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar al-Baker.

The new route will be operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft.

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Dubai Tourism promotes sustainability initiative

Dubai Tourism is taking its Hospitality Sustainability Board Game to a wider segment within the private sector, as part of efforts to encourage companies outside the hospitality sector to play a role in promoting sustainable tourism in Dubai.

An innovative educational tool, the Board Game is a key component of the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative launched by Dubai Tourism to position Dubai as the world’s leading sustainable tourism destination by helping hotels in the emirate adopt more eco-friendly practices and efficiently manage their resources.

More than 300 industry professionals from 75 hotels have played the Board Game so far during events and roadshows organised by Dubai Tourism. However, with the aim of encouraging other companies to contribute towards the success of DST, Dubai Tourism organised another Board Game session recently in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa.

The event was attended by senior officials of the Tourism Development and Investments department at Dubai Tourism including executive director, Yousuf Lootah and senior project manager, Solaiman Al Rifai, as well as Hussain Hassan Mohamed Khansaheb, director, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Tanzeed Alam, Climate and Energy director, EWS-WWF.

Ahmad Khalifa Al Falasi, CEO, corporate services and investment, Dubai Tourism, said: ”We are delighted at the response we have received for the Hospitality Sustainability Board Game, a unique educational tool that was developed to create awareness of ways of reducing the carbon footprint in line with our Dubai Sustainable Tourism initiative. At this stage of our sustainability drive, we wish to highlight two significant developments – the involvement of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the participation of companies outside the hospitality sector in the latest Board Game activity. The support extended by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the enthusiasm shown by the new companies from the private sector is a clear demonstration of the fact that any initiative aimed at reducing energy and water consumption levels is not limited to improving the conservation methods in one industry but it is an obligation for all of us, in both government and private sectors to work together in achieving a cleaner, greener environment for Dubai.”

In his presentation at the event, Al Rifai, senior project manager, Tourism Development and Investments at Dubai Tourism, gave an overview of DST, the mechanics of playing the Board Game and also highlighted the ways in which the private sector could play an even more active role in supporting DST.

The workshop was attended by hotel industry professionals including those who had participated in the previous two Board Game activities, to help the new players obtain a better understanding of how their establishments could benefit through sustainable practices.

The participants in the latest Board Game activity represented entities and companies in diverse sectors including hospitality, travel, environment, real estate and property, to name a few.
Hussain Hassan Mohamed Khansaheb, director, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The UAE aims to transform its national economy into a low-carbon green economy based on its development of knowledge and innovation. Carbon capture and storage technology adopted by the UAE is considered one of the most promising and important technologies in the field of carbon emission mitigation in industrial projects.”

“MOCCAE encourages innovative and technological initiatives in the environment and climate change sector that are in line with the global direction, urging private companies to adopt corporate social responsibility programs that aim at reducing carbon emissions,” he added.

The Board Game was developed jointly with Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF, one of four key partners of DST. The other three leading sustainability entities that are supporting DST are Etihad ESCO, Dubai Carbon and Emirates Environmental Group. The Board Game was designed to raise awareness of sustainability in a fun and interactive way, allowing participating teams to measure and reduce the levels of electricity and water consumption in their establishments, and in the process reduce costs. - TradeArabia News Service

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Special Eid offers at Kempinski Hotel Ajman

Family and friends looking to spend the Eid Al Adha holidays on of the most beautiful white-sand private beaches can head to Kempinski Hotel Ajman, UAE.

Only a 30-minute drive away from downtown Dubai, guests can indulge in a staycation in one of the sea-view rooms with 25 per cent discount, complete with a lavish complimentary breakfast buffet at Café Kranzler, 10 per cent discount at all the restaurants and bars and 15 per cent discount at Kempinski The Spa.

Furthermore, Sabella’s will not fail to disappoint guests, as the New York-Style Italian Brunch is back every Friday** with very attractive summer packages starting from Dh139 ($37.8).

A sumptuous buffet awaits, which offers a variety of sweet and savoury mouth-watering American and Italian delicacies, live-cooking stations and dazzling entertainment, such as live band and kids’ activities; whilst the open terrace offers delightful views over the lush green gardens and peaceful Arabian Gulf.

The perfect family-and-friends gateway will be at Kempinski Hotel Ajman every Friday, offering the relaxing escape guests are looking for all week.

• Brunch with soft beverages – Dh139 net ($37.8)
• Brunch with house beverages – Dh179 net ($48.7)
• Beach and Brunch with soft beverages – Dh209 net ($56.8)
• Beach and Brunch with house beverages – Dh249 net ($67.7) - TradeArabia News Service

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World's longest zipline to open in RAK this December

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced that the world’s longest and highest zip line will officially open on the UAE’s highest peak, Jebel Jais, in December.

With the exact length of the zip line remaining a closely-guarded secret until the multi-million dollar adventure tourism product’s opening, the zip line will propel the UAE’s most northern emirate into the major leagues of global adventure tourism and cement Jebel Jais as the region’s leading active adventure tourism destination.

RAKTDA has partnered with Toro Verde, the world’s leading zip line operator to develop its latest active adventure tourism product, which is due to break the current Guinness world record zip line of 2,200 metres held by 'The Monster' in Puerto Rico - a site also developed and operated by Toro Verde. The Ras Al Khaimah zip line will also be a case study for eco-tourism, using solar energy and locally-sourced natural materials ensuring visitors enjoy the natural experience in the emirate’s mountain landscape.

Speaking at a press conference to launch Ras Al Khaimah’s flagship tourism product, Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA, revealed the currently unnamed zip line will be longer than 28 soccer fields in length.

“Building on the success of last year’s launch of the Jebel Jais Via Ferrata adventure product, the new zip line represents Ras Al Khaimah’s most significant tourism product opening since Al Marjan Island, our coral-shaped leisure tourism archipelago. This key product launch will further enhance Ras Al Khaimah’s unique mountain-beach-desert offering as the emirate moves towards its goal of attracting one million visitors next year, under the guidance and vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.” said Mattar.

With RAKTDA aiming to secure Guinness World Records status for the world’s longest and highest zip line, Toro Verde UAE, a subsidiary of the Puerto Rico based Magno Genesis Holding Group, has been appointed to construct and operate the attraction.
“Jebel Jais’ dramatic and beautiful landscape offers an iconic backdrop for what will be a bucket list experience for people all around the world. The mountains also provide a strong and very challenging base for construction and through our experience and the expertise of our team, we are already making good progress,” said Jorge Jorge, CEO of Toro Verde Ras Al Khaimah.

“Opening within the heart of the UAE’s highest and most iconic natural mountain range, the Jebel Jais zip line experience will consist of two lines, allowing friends and family to take part in the flight together. On arrival at the Welcome Centre, which features a lounge, restaurant, lockers, equipment storage and offices, participants will be given a pre-briefing and then escorted to the launch platform and fitted with a special suit and equipment for this adventure,” commented Ricardo Lizano, COO of Toro Verde Ras Al Khaimah.

The zip line will be open to all ages, providing participants meet required minimum weight of 35kg and maximum weight of 150kg, and a minimum height of 120cm.

Expecting to attract a high-end clientele, a dedicated VIP Lounge and Welcome Centre will provide an enhanced experience. In addition to private parking and the option to fast track their zip line flight, a helicopter transfer will be available, flying guests from Ras Al Khaimah’s pristine coast line, taking in the views of the dramatic Al Hajar Mountains from above.

“This zip line will be like no other experience out there. Once harnessed to the zip line in a horizontal superhero position, participants will soar through the sky as if they’re a bird. It’s the closest you can get to the experience of flying. The flight will take them to a suspended landing platform where they will be transferred to a second line to complete their journey back to the ground,” Mattar explained. “In its first phase of operations, the zip line will be able to accommodate 250 people a day, that’s 100,000 in a year. Nothing like this exists in the world – let alone this region – it is a true first for Ras Al Khaimah and adds another amazing attraction to the UAE’s diverse tourism portfolio.”

In line with RAKTDA’s commitment to sustainability as a sponsor of the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, construction of the zip line and its supporting structures and facilities have been designed to have a positive impact on the environment. Local expertise and materials have also been sourced where possible, with the addition of utilising environmentally friendly resources in specific areas of the site, such as LED lighting and photovoltaic fabric materials, that will allow for the generation of clean energy for operations.

“We want visitors to enjoy the pleasure of experiencing the stunning mountains and nature without impacting the environment,” said Jorge.

The longest zip line in the world in Ras Al Khaimah will open the first week of December and will be one of several eco-friendly products on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest peak, which is set to become the adventure tourism hub of the Middle East. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Adoption of Dewa smart services hits 80pc

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has announced that the adoption rate of its smart services has already reached 80 per cent, ahead of the deadline.

The deadline set by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to reduce the number of visitors to government offices by 80 per cent by 2018.

"Dewa has made great strides in its smart transformation with its strategy to keep up with the latest technologies and developments and best international practices. Dew has succeeded in transforming all its services into smart services, less than a year after the launch of the Smart Dubai initiative, which aims to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa.

Dewa depends on Dubai Government’s smart service excellence model, which provides the criteria for service quality for all government organisations in Dubai. Dewa has fully implemented these criteria in all its smart services, including accessibility, usability, look and feel, content, and functionality, he said.

Dewa provides all its services on its smart app and website, as well as the smart channels of Dubai Smart Government, including mPay and DubaiNow. The services are also available through Etisalat payment machines, Emirates NBD cheque deposit machines, and the smart and electronic services provided by the banks. Dewa also integrates its services with other government organisations to provide innovative services that have positive impact on customers by reducing the steps needed to complete their transactions. These include Ejari service, which enables customers to get electricity and water services as soon as they attest the contract at any of the 800 real estate offices approved by Dubai Land Department, without having to visit Dewa’s customer happiness centres.

Dewa was the first government organisation in the UAE to launch Rammas, which acts as a virtual employee, making use of artificial intelligence (AI) to answer customer enquiries. Rammas is characterised by its ability to learn and understand the needs of customers, according to their enquiries. Rammas analyses these based on available data and information, and takes action to accurately answer most queries. In addition, Rammas is available on Dewa’s website,  smart app (iOS and Android), Facebook page, and Amazon’s Alexa service. - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Abu Dhabi's Eshraq, Reem Investments in merger talks

Eshraq Properties and Reem Investments have announced that they are in talks to join forces to create a mega-listed real estate company in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

A statement said: “Discussions are at an advanced stage over a potential strategic investment in Eshraq (by way of subscription for new shares to be issued by Eshraq) in return for the acquisition of Reem’s entire business and assets (the Potential Transaction).”

This transaction will create the second largest listed real estate developer in Abu Dhabi, the statement added.
Reem was established in 2005 and is considered one of the largest and most successful real estate companies in Abu Dhabi. It also owns prime development land in Abu Dhabi.
The boards of Eshraq and Reem believe that the potential transaction is expected to be beneficial to the shareholders of both companies resulting in synergies derived from integrating their operational and financial resources and as well as combining their management experience and expertise, said the statement.
The potential transaction remains subject to a number of conditions, including the final agreement of specific deal terms including price as well as obtaining the required regulatory approvals, it said.

Eshraq is being advised by Shuaa Capital and Reem Investments is being advised by First Abu Dhabi Bank on the transaction. - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Saudi prince eyes investment in Egypt

Prince Khaled bin Waleed Al Saud, a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family, has expressed his desire to invest in Egypt by establishing a number of projects, especially in Sharm El-Sheikh, a report said.

Prince Khaled, who is also chairperson of the board of directors of the Seven Regions International Company, also stated during his meeting with Sahr Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation that he wishes to enter a partnership to expand his current projects and support any faltering projects in Egypt according to a report in Daily News Egypt.

Nasr highlighted that there are many investment opportunities in the New Administrative Capital, the New El Alamein City, and the Suez Canal Development Center, in addition to South Sinai, which the Saudi prince can invest in as the government provides these areas with high-quality infrastructure and all services to encourage investment in them.

Earlier, Saudi businesspeople Fahd Al-Shobokshi and Abdul Rahman Al-Sharbatli met with Nasr and agreed to inject new investments in Egypt worth $2.15 billion. Meanwhile the Egyptian-Saudi Business Council raised the investment ceiling in Egypt to $51 billion.

from Construction Realestate

2,200 new hotel rooms to open in Cairo by 2019

The hospitality industry in Egypt is booming as the country is witnessing a significant increase in hotel projects, primarily represented by five- and four-star properties, a new report said.

According to the Colliers International Egypt Quarterly review report, Cairo's hotel sector is expected to see the highest increase in hotel rooms, with an expected entry of 2,624 keys between Q2 2017 and 2019.

A number of high profile properties have streamed the market since Q2 2016, including the Steigenberger El Tahrir, Westin Cairo Golf Resort and the recently re-opened Sheraton Cairo Hotel and Casino. The recent five-star hotel additions reinstate the city's growing oppotunity for midmarket hotels.

About 84 per cent of branded supply is currently in the five-star category, representing an opportunity for quality mid-market hotels to enter the market.

Continued growth in occupancy performance is expected as UAE's Etihad Airways boosts frequency of flights to Cairo from Abu Dhabi, increasing visitation from Arab source markets.

Occupancy performance in Q2 2017 was 4 per cent higher than the same period last year, despite more days of Ramadan in Q2 2017 than Q2 2016. However, ADR remained below last year in USD terms due to the devaluation of the Egyptian pound.

Another city expected to do well is Sharm El Sheikh with 1,881 rooms to open between Q2 2017 and 2019.

Occupancy increased in Sharm El Sheikh in Q2 2017 compared to the same period last year, due to an increase from both the domestic and Arab markets.

This trend is expected to continue over the course of the year. ADR levels, however, are expected to continue to decline in USD terms as price-sensitive domestic demand replaces international demand in the short-term.

The cities of Hurghada and Alexandria also show promises of growth, but much slower compared to Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh. Hurghada is expected see 338 hotel rooms open between Q2 and 2019 and Alexandria will see 166 hotel rooms open during the same period. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

New DoubleTree by Hilton hotel signed in India

Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton have announced the signing of a management agreement with Trillion Real Estate & Properties Private Limited for a new DoubleTree by Hilton property in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Scheduled to open in Q1 2019, DoubleTree by Hilton Shirdi will be located at Shirdi's historical town centre, marking Hilton's entry into the popular pilgrimage destination. The latest addition increases Hilton's pipeline of hotels in India to 19 properties.

"With a fast-growing, global portfolio of more than 500 upscale properties, we are delighted that our award-winning DoubleTree by Hilton brand is gaining traction in India," said Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. "With five DoubleTree by Hilton properties currently operating in India, DoubleTree by Hilton Shirdi will mark the brand's sixth property in the pipeline in this burgeoning market. As the first upscale hotel in Shirdi, we look forward to delivering exceptional experiences to guests beginning with our signature, warm DoubleTree Cookie welcome."

Shirdi, famously known as the home of late spiritual leader Sri Sai Baba, is a popular pilgrimage town and an estimated 22 million tourists from across the country and overseas visit the famous Shirdi Sai Baba temple annually. Most recently, the city saw the completion of a new Shirdi Airport, which will facilitate greater access for pilgrims to visit the destination - religious tourism is a key focus in India's tourism planning.

"Our partnership with Trillion Real Estate & Properties to manage DoubleTree by Hilton Shirdi underpins our commitment to expand our footprint in India," said Kaushik Vardharajan, vice president of development - India, Hilton. "Guided by our mission to be the world's most hospitable company, we remain focused on growing our pipeline across India with an aim to serve any type of guest, anywhere they want to be in the country, for any travel need they have. DoubleTree by Hilton Shirdi is a strong addition to our portfolio and will fill the existing gap in the town's accommodation market and give us first-mover advantage in offering our award-winning hospitality to both international and domestic tourists."

When open, the 125-room DoubleTree by Hilton Shirdi will be one of first global hospitality brands in Shirdi. It is located approximately four kilometres from the famous Shirdi Sai Baba Temple and is easily accessible to Sainagar Shirdi Railway Station, the town's main train station, and the soon-to-open Shirdi Airport. In addition to a banquet hall and four meeting rooms, hotel will have an outdoor pool, a fitness center as well as three food and beverage outlets including an all-day dining restaurant.

DoubleTree by Hilton Shirdi will participate in Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's 14 distinct brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, such as an exclusive member discount, free standard wi-fi and a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay. Members can also redeem their points for free nights and can gain access to unique events through the Hilton Honors auction platform. - TradeArabia News Service

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Dubai sanitary ware market set for 10pc growth

The sanitary ware market in Dubai will be worth an estimated $144.2 million by the end of this year and its forecasted growth between 2018 and 2019 is expected to reach 10 per cent, a report said.

The Sanitary Ware Market Outlook report from BNC Network, research partner the construction industry event The Big 5, examines the Dubai Government’s Green Building Regulations, which are calling for more efficient public and private water flow, ultimately showing regulatory demand for increased sustainable building interiors.

Presenting the BNC report, portfolio director for The Big 5 Dubai, Josine Heijmans, said: “The pipeline of active urban construction projects in the UAE is currently valued at $516 billion.”

“New and retrofit projects will be expected to comply with green building initiatives and regulations introduced recently by the UAE Government,” Heijmans added.

The Big 5 2017 will run from November 26-29 at Dubai World Trade Centre, and will dedicate free-to-attend CPD certified workshops to these topics under the Architecture and Sustainability Talks, with the aim of advancing industry best practices in the Region and exploring the latest and most innovative sustainable interior design solutions.

The exhibition will showcase 360-degree building solutions clustered in five product sectors: MEP services, Building Interiors & Finishes, Building Envelope & Special Construction, Construction Tools & Building Materials, and Construct Technology & Innovation.

Last year’s edition of The Big 5 was the largest to date, attracting over 78,579 participants and 2,586 exhibiting companies from 59 countries. Some of the major sanitary ware exhibitors at The Big 5 2017 include Neoperl, Delabie, Presto, Daniel, Remer, and Pentagono. – TradeArabia News Service

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Let go of your stress at Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara

Balance Wellness at Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara has introduced a group corporate programme to relieve work stress.

Balance is a first of its kind, fully dedicated destination Wellness Centre in the Middle East. Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthier existence. It is the constant, conscious pursuit of living life to its fullest potential.

Balance Wellness by Anantara, located in Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara offers its guests a variety of wellness programmes focused on rejuvenating the mind, body and spirit, customising each one to the individual’s unique requirements to achieve personal goals.

The Balance Wellness Centre is introducing a brand new programme to its list: the Urban Wellness and Relieving Stress Programme. Designed for groups of 15-20 people, in either a one-day or two-day activity, the programme is designed to help identify stress signals and provides stress reduction and management techniques. It also identifies personal and professional priorities and works on strategies to create sustainable success, including a short stretching and breathing routine. Both programmes include meals as well as herbal infusions and Wellness juices. The one-day programme will end with a bowling competition as well as a treatment at the spa and a body composition analysis, while the two-day activity includes one night stay in the rooms with morning yoga and a cooking class where attendees will learn how to prepare healthy food.

In addition to the prepared programs, attendees can join in on other activities such as Full Moon Yoga on the gold course, or Zumba nights in the Oxygen room. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Dubai airport premieres free movie experience

Passengers at Dubai International Airport (DXB) can now enjoy free movies and TV shows before their flights thanks to a partnership between Dubai Airports and regional content provider Icflix.  

The initiative combines DXB’s free wi-fi experience, ‘Wow-Fi’, with Icflix’s award-winning video-on-demand service, allowing passengers to stream the latest Hollywood, Bollywood and Jazwood (Arabic) content to their smartphones and laptops.  
This is the latest in a series of unique bespoke concepts to be rolled out by Dubai Airports at the world’s busiest international airport as it strives to make DXB a destination in itself.

In recent months, Dubai Airports has introduced Wow-Fi, artDXB, Early Birds discounts of up to 25 per cent, the first Jones the Grocer in an airport and a brand new sleep lounge ‘sleep ‘n fly’, with several other major projects in the pipeline.
“Dubai Airports is on a mission to engage more directly with our customers, and transform the airport experience for millions of travellers each month. We intend to lead the practical application of available digital tools to exceed customer expectations, across multiple points of their journey at our airports, and including demands for more variety within the airport experience. Our continued investment in a superior wi-fi product (Wow-Fi) has ensured that our customers are connected with a free and fast service, and now we aim to enrich that platform with managed content and relevant messaging. Thanks to our partnership with Icflix, travellers at DXB can now enjoy a wide range of streamed entertainment before and between flights, and this is a service which is completely free of charge to users. We are delighted with this new addition to our consumer strategy, and look forward to evaluating its impact,” said Eugene Barry, executive vice president of Dubai Airports’ Commercial and Communications Group.
“Our mission is to deliver the best online entertainment value, selection and experience to a worldwide subscriber base by providing Jazwood (Arabic), Bollywood and Hollywood content in one place. Today we just expanded that potential customer base by 90 million people so we are absolutely delighted with the deal and excited by the opportunity it provides,” said Carlos Tibi, Founder and CEO, Icflix.
Content on Icflix is available in three languages: Arabic, English and French. The video-on-demand service is complimentary to all DXB passengers for an initial trial period of two months. Following this trial, Dubai Airports and Icflix will assess customer feedback and options for future services.

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Etihad, Aerolíneas Argentinas ink codeshare deal

UAE national carrier Etihad Airways and Aerolíneas Argentinas have launched a new codeshare partnership.

Under the agreement, Etihad Airways customers are able to enjoy convenient connections via Rome and Madrid to Buenos Aires (EZE) and onwards to nine other popular Argentinian destinations – Córdoba (COR), Mendoza (MDZ), Rosario (ROS), Iguazú (IGR), Salta (SLA), Mar del Plata (MDQ), Bariloche (BRC), Trelew (REL) and Ushuaia (USH).

In turn, Aerolíneas Argentinas guests can have access to Etihad Airways’ network of over 100 destinations from its Abu Dhabi hub via the Italian and Spanish capitals.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways executive vice president commercial, said: “This codeshare demonstrates the importance of Argentina as a vital travel market for Etihad Airways in Latin America given the growing tourism, cultural and business opportunities that exist between the UAE and Argentina.

“We wish to give travellers flying Aerolíneas Argentinas the opportunity to enjoy the acclaimed service and hospitality for which Etihad Airways is renowned throughout the world. This codeshare will make the experience that much easier.”

Diego Garcia, Aerolíneas Argentinas chief commercial officer, said: "This is a very good opportunity to consolidate and increase our offer to one of the most important hubs in the Middle East. It also allows us to improve our load factors, optimise the use of the fleet and strengthen the image of Aerolíneas Argentinas in the Asian market. We hope that this agreement will also be the gateway for many tourists to visit some of the most attractive landmarks in our country."

Codeshare agreements offer customers countless benefits, such as baggage check-in to their final destination and extra assistance during connections. Members of both airlines’ loyalty programmes – Etihad Guest and Aerolíneas Plus – will soon be able to earn and redeem miles on the codeshare flights. - TradeArabia News Service

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Dubai real estate draws $41bn in foreign investment

A total of Dh151 billion ($41.1 billion) was invested by foreigners in Dubai property market in 18 months, according to latest figures released by the Dubai Land Department.

The DLD revealed the figure while announcing a list of the top10 nationalities that invested in the emirate's realty market between January 2016 and the end of June 2017, reported Wam, the Emirates official news agency.

 The new list confirms that UAE nationals are in the lead, outperforming all other nationalities.

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director-general of Dubai Land Department, said: "Up to 217 nationalities have invested a total of Dh151 billion in Dubai’s real estate market. This demonstrates the confidence that the world has in our real estate environment, which is characterised by a strong regulatory system that provides safety and security for all parties."

The recent research found out that Emiratis made close to 12,000 investment transactions worth Dh37.4 billion, while Indian, Pakistani, Saudi Arabian and British investors ranked second, third, fourth and fifth respectively in terms of the number of registered transactions.

"This list has been unveiled at a time when our real estate market is preparing for a new phase of growth in the run-up to Expo 2020. We are pleased to have witnessed such a high level of interest from global citizens in Dubai, who have invested over Dh151 billion across 71,000 real estate transactions in just 18 months,” Bin Mejren added.

Indian investors made 10,628 transactions worth more than Dh20.4 billion, while Pakistani nationals made 5,398 real estate transactions worth approximately Dh7 billion. Saudis led the Gulf nations with 5,366 transactions worth Dh12.5 billion and UK citizens took poll position among the European nationalities with 4,188 transactions worth Dh 9 billion.

Besides investors from Saudi Arabia, citizens from three other Arab countries appeared on the list, with investors from Egypt, China, Jordan, Lebanon and America placing in sixth to tenth places respectively through 2,439 transactions worth over Dh 4 billion. Egyptians came in sixth place, followed by Jordanians who made 2,235 transactions worth Dh4.2 billion.

Chinese investors ranked in eighth place after concluding 2,177 transactions worth Dh3.1 billion, while Lebanese nationals came in the ninth place with 1,313 transactions worth Dh2.6 billion and Americans ranked tenth with 1,119 transactions worth close to Dh 2.9 billion.

Combined, all of the other nationalities registered in the DLD’s database made a total of 23,318 transactions amounting to a total value of Dh48.665 billion.

from Construction Realestate

Monday, August 28, 2017

Saja Hotels opens new property in Madinah

Saja Hotels & Resorts, a Saudi hotel and condominium management and operation company, has opened a new hotel in Madinah, located on the northern side of the Central Area, just steps away from the Prophet's Mosque.

The four-star Saja AlMadinah Hotel has 555 rooms, a business centre and a relaxing lounge for guests to enjoy, as well as a dedicated restaurant serving delicious international cuisine options.

The four-star category is witnessing an ever increasing demand, particularly in Makkah and Madinah, to cater to the needs of the pilgrims, specifically groups and families looking for a hotel with premium location, well-priced with quality services.

“In line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 which aims to increase the number of pilgrims, Saja AlMadinah Hotel has been developed to support the diversity of the touristic offerings and to meet the needs of visitors with their different capacity and to attract groups and families looking for a hotel with full services and a distinctive location during the Haj or Umrah seasons," said Mohanad Bin Nabeel Khogeer, chief executive officer of Saja Company.

He added that the design of the hotel, which combines modernity and authenticity, is inspired by the Islamic architecture in its heart and soul, to demonstrate the Saudi definition of hospitality that has the service of pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Mosque as its foundation. The hotel also offers high-quality integrated hospitality services provided by a professional and internationally experienced team ready to meet the requirements of the guests in every way. - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Damac to offer luxurious Just Cavalli villas

Damac Properties, a leading luxury real estate developer in the region, has announced a collaboration top fashion brand Roberto Cavalli Group to launch the world’s first villas to feature interiors with the “Just Cavalli” signature-style.

Located in one Damac's Akoya Oxygen development, one of Dubai’s prestigious golf communities, the luxury villas perfectly embody the designer’s bold and iconic styling and ethos, with exotic and innovative interiors complemented by daring exteriors, Damac said.

Hussain Sajwani, chairman, Damac Properties, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with prestigious fashion brand Roberto Cavalli to offer our customers a bespoke real estate product that marries the designer’s iconic style with our unique homes. As pioneers in branded real estate in Dubai, this association will further expand our stable of unique living concepts for our discerning customers and open a new market segment for Cavalli, marking the brand’s venture into real estate.

"Moreover, luxury real estate in Dubai is in high demand and we are delighted to launch branded villas at a very competitive price point that makes these properties attractive to both investors and end-users,” he said.

Just Cavalli villas have been designed with the avant garde in mind – those who are willing to push the boundaries and go beyond the ordinary. Just Cavalli’s distinctive design is characterised by bold patterns in earthy tones and its daring style will be integrated into villas set within an international golf community.

Priced from Dh1.3 million with an easy payment plan over three years, Just Cavalli Villas will go on sale on September 6 across all of Damac’s sales centres in Dubai.

Commenting on the partnership, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, CEO of Roberto Cavalli, said: “We are excited about extending the Just Cavalli brand into real estate and what better place to do this than in Dubai, where a large audience of customers seek branded properties that are distinctive. Just Cavalli is one of our premium lines targeted at young fashion enthusiasts who seek luxury with a twist in a fun and bold style.

“In Damac Properties we believe we have found the right partner to translate our style into properties that will have aspirational appeal to fans of our brand. Just Cavalli Villas are a first for us and we are confident in DAMAC’s ability to successfully execute this project to the highest levels of sophistication and offer an unrivalled lifestyle proposition to investors.”

Suggestive of nature with its characteristic animal prints in earthy hues, the interiors of Just Cavalli Villas blend effortlessly with the stone exteriors that feature the signature design. Furniture from the brand’s home collection are perfectly complemented by lush fabrics and wall coverings to create a unique ambience in iconic spaces, Damac said.

In a seamless extension of the brand’s theme, the Just Cavalli Gym within the community will offer discerning fitness lovers the ultimate in modern equipment and luxury amenities to enjoy, it added.

Just Cavalli Villas are available in a variety of configurations and sizes including three-bedroom options that offer additional choice with rooftop terraces and unique lower ground floors that provide additional recreational or utility space for the family.

A standalone six-bedroom option is also available for larger families who seek additional space. They have access to the many amenities on offer in the master development including nature-inspired facilities, gourmet fare, retail boutiques, its own rainforest and an 18-hole international golf club.

Damac Properties has partnered with leading international brands such as Versace, FENDI, Paramount, Trump and Bugatti to bring exclusive living concepts to investors from around the world.  - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Imdaad invests in innovation, sets up R&D dept

Imdaad, a Dubai-based integrated facilities management (FM) solutions provider, has announced plans to set up a dedicated research and development (R&D) department at its head office in Dubai, UAE.

The decision to establish the in-house R&D unit comes as part of Imdaad’s commitment to align its business with the UAE National Innovation Strategy 2021, which recognises innovation and research as fundamental pillars of a knowledge-based, highly productive and competitive economy, the company said.

Jamal Abdulla Lootah, group CEO of Imdaad, said: “With this strategic move, we take a significant step in making our business more self-sustaining by creating a culture of innovation that will give rise to new opportunities and enable us to shape the future of our industry keeping in mind the needs of our customers and the community at large. Imdaad is constantly looking to build its innovation capabilities, and having a dedicated R&D department will allow us to develop and rapidly bring to market breakthrough products and services that will catalyse our company’s growth and contribute to the overall advancement and growth of the FM industry in the region.”

For the first year, Imdaad has committed to spend three per cent of its revenue on setting up and developing a sustained R&D function, and the financial commitment will increase in later years depending on the business needs, he said.

The R&D activities will primarily be focused on three areas – engineering, business, and the environment – with water, renewable energy, fleet, services, and development of indigenous products identified as key areas of priority.

“Imdaad has outlined an ambitious goal of reaching Dh1 billion ($272 million) in revenue within the next three years. We also aim at being the first FM solutions provider in the region to have ownership of intellectual property in the form of patents and copyrights. By facilitating the incubation of innovative products that are made locally in Dubai, the R&D department will play an instrumental role in helping Imdaad achieve its strategic goals and making its business future-ready while positioning the company as an innovation champion that is aligned with the strategic direction of the UAE,” Lootah said.

The R&D team, which will function as part of the marketing department, will collaborate with fresh graduates and students from leading UAE universities, providing an opportunity for young talents, particularly UAE nationals, to develop their skills and gain hands-on research and product development experience.

The Human Capital team at Imdaad, which is tasked with selecting and recruiting talented students from top universities, has established a roadmap for the training and development of the young recruits and interns, with an emphasis on how to identify existing and emerging problems and devise practical solutions to address these problems.

The R&D unit is envisioned as a profit centre, and the marketing department has established a set of metrics to measure its ROI (return on investment). The team will also conduct market research on an ongoing basis to identify issues and challenges in the facilities management business and understand the evolving needs of customers, the company said.  – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

KNPC to spend $11.6bn on projects in next 5 years

Kuwait National Petroleum Company's (KNPC) expenditure for the next five years is likely to touch KD3.5 billion ($11.6 billion), the company's CEO Mohammad Al-Mutiari has said.

In an interview with local Al-Rai daily, he said that such expenses are earmarked for ongoing projects as well as launching new ones. KNPC's total capital for the 2017-2018 fiscal year was at KD6.1 billion ($20 billion), a Kuwait News Ageny (Kuna) report said.

KNPC is developing the Clean Fuels Project that will upgrade and expand two of its largest refineries to make higher-value products such as diesel and kerosene for export.

Al-Mutairi said the first installment of a $6.25 billion loan from international lenders was expected to be received by the end of September.

He also said the ageing Al-Shuaiba refinery will be closed and it is now up for sale following the completion of all procedures.

He said a gas line project with a production capacity of 805 million cu ft per day, being built at a cost of KD428 million ($1.4 billion), is currently under way. The project entails separating methane and ethane gasses through a highly intricate process, the report said.

Al-Mutairi also spoke about the construction of new KD210 million ($696 million) liquid sulfur treatment facilities at Al Ahmadi refinery and work to upgrade equipment in those storages.

On the local market's soaring demand for fuel, he noted that a warehouse in Al-Ahmadi area is currently undergoing rennovations at a cost of KD75.6 million ($250 million), while a new facility will be built shortly in Al-Metla'a area.

The KNPC CEO also revealed plans to buld 100 new fuel stations to ensure adequate power supply amid growing urbanisation in the country.

On KNPC's total workforce, Al-Mutairi said that 6,281 employees had been registered as of August 13, while the company is expected to hire an additional 377 workers.

from Construction Realestate

VAT 'will have impact on UAE real estate'

Real estate businesses in the UAE must consider how the five per cent value-added tax (VAT), being implemented from January 1, 2018, will affect them, an expert has said.

Although home renters will escape taxation because residential rentals will be exempt from VAT, landlords may lose out on other expenses they incur with VAT, making rental prices vulnerable to an uptick, said Lukman Hajje, chief commercial officer of Propertyfinder Group.

From a developer’s standpoint, VAT will certainly impact the contract price in construction contracts. And since Dubai developers have been ramping up launches of their off-plan projects in the last six months, it’s imperative that they lock down processes so they are prepared to recoup potential losses under the new taxation system, he said.
Hajje pointed out that while 'location' may be one of the top three most important things in real estate, for developers it's all about brand and reputation.
He cautioned that paying attention to the uptick in construction costs and the inclusion of VAT may put a strain on margins, but there are ways to maintain long-term success.

“The developers who deliver on time and consistently build and maintain a quality product in the long term enjoy repeat business, attract the best talent and the best margins.” - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

National Piling starts work on Bloom Towers

Abu Dhabi-based Bloom Properties has commenced the enabling works of Bloom Towers, a residential development located in Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) in Dubai, UAE.

The developer has appointed National Piling, a leading contracting company, to execute the project that is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2020, a Saudi Gazette report said.

Bloom Towers has attracted high investor uptake due to its ideal location and excellent potential for rental and capital value growth, the company said.

Targeting the mid-market housing segment, Bloom Towers is the second project in JVC for a Bloom Properites, a unit of Bloom Holding.

The development is ideally located on Al Khail Road and offers a short commute to Dubai’s prominent business hubs and free zones while providing a complete range of facilities for residents.

Bloom Towers will consist of three towers with a total of 944 units. The two towers allocated for sale will comprise 689 contemporary studios and one-bedroom apartments with a timeless elegant design.

Sameh Muhtadi, CEO at Bloom Properties, said: “We are very excited about the awarding of enabling works of Bloom Towers. The appointment of the contractor in record time articulates our priority to complete the project as per schedule. We have deployed a highly talented project management team for the successful realization of our mandate. What makes Bloom Towers a unique development is its world-class amenities, connectivity, and the active lifestyle it will offer its residents.”

Cheriyan Alex, CEO at National Piling, said: “We are delighted to work with Bloom Properties on this exciting venture. We look forward to utilizing our expertise and strong track record in the execution of major construction projects in the UAE to ensure the delivery of Bloom Towers to the required quality standards and in a timely manner."

In addition to offering easy access to all major highways, Bloom Towers is conveniently situated in proximity to the upcoming Circle Mall, as well as a community centre, parks, retail outlets, schools, playgrounds, and mosques.

from Construction Realestate

Saja Hotels opens new property in Madinah

Saja Hotels & Resorts, a Saudi hotel and condominium management and operation company, has opened a new hotel in Madinah, located in the Northern side of the Central Area, just steps away from the Prophet's Mosque.

The four-star Saja AlMadinah Hotel has 555 rooms, a business center and a relaxing lounge for guests to enjoy, as well as a dedicated restaurant serving delicious international cuisine options.

The four-star category is witnessing an ever increasing demand, particularly in Makkah and Madinah, to cater to the needs of the pilgrims, specifically groups and families looking for a hotel with premium location, well-priced with quality services.

“In line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 which aims to increase the number of pilgrims, Saja AlMadinah Hotel has been developed to support the diversity of the touristic offerings and to meet the needs of visitors with their different capacity and to attract groups and families looking for a hotel with full services and a distinctive location during the Haj or Umrah seasons," said Mohanad Bin Nabeel Khogeer, chief executive officer of Saja Company.

He added that the design of the hotel, which combines modernity and authenticity, is inspired by the Islamic architecture in its heart and soul, to demonstrate the Saudi definition of hospitality that has the service of pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Mosque as its foundation. The hotel also offers high-quality integrated hospitality services provided by a professional and internationally experienced team ready to meet the requirements of the guests in every way. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Best Western Hotels expands in Osaka

Best Western Hotels & Resorts is continuing to expand in Asia’s key gateway cities with the launch of a newly-built hotel in Osaka.

Opening on September 1, Best Western Osaka Tsukamoto will provide business and leisure travellers with a brand new midscale accommodation option in the heart of Japan’s second largest city.

Nestled in downtown Osaka, this modern hotel is positioned just two minutes away from JR Tsukamoto Station, which provides direct links to the Japanese cultural capital Kyoto, and is only two stops away from Shin Osaka Station, where guests can catch the Shinkansen bullet train to Tokyo.

Best Western Osaka Tsukamoto is one of three new Japanese hotels signed by Best Western Hotels & Resorts earlier this year. The other new properties are located in Sapporo and at Yamagata Airport, and are due to launch in the coming months.

“We are delighted to open Best Western Osaka Tsukamoto as we bolster our presence in Japan’s key gateway cities and most popular destinations,” said Olivier Berrivin, Best Western’s managing director of International Operations – Asia. “As the second most populous city in Japan, a key business travel hub, and the country’s culinary capital, Osaka is a glittering global metropolis.”

“With Japan preparing for a surge of international visitor arrivals over the coming years, as it hosts the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and Summer Olympics in 2020, Osaka will play a major role in the country’s tourism development. Best Western Osaka Tsukamoto will provide the city’s rising number of visitors with a contemporary, convenient and well-connected midscale hotel option in the heart of the city.”

“We look forward to welcoming the first guests to this exciting new property on September 1 and continuing along Osaka’s exciting journey in the month and years ahead,” Olivier added.

Best Western Osaka Tsukamoto offers a total of 105 modern rooms, all of which feature high-tech facilities and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. The hotel will also feature a restaurant serving local and international cuisine, a 24-hour business center and laundry services.

Best Western Osaka Tsukamoto becomes Best Western’s second property in the city, following the Best Western Hotel Fino Osaka Shinsaibashi. The hotel also takes the company’s total Japanese portfolio to 13 hotels.

Japan’s tourism industry is undergoing an unprecedented boom. The country welcomed a record 24 million international visitors last year, and the Japanese government is now targeting 40 million arrivals by 2020 - the year the country hosts the Olympic Games. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Radisson Blu unveils 'The Art Of Weddings' across India

Radisson Blu, the iconic hotel brand driven by innovation and design, launches ‘The Art of Weddings’, a campaign created exclusively for the India market.

Building on the brand’s global ‘Something Blu, A Wedding of a Kind’ concept, the initiative will run across all of India’s 34 Radisson Blu hotels. Aimed at establishing the upper-upscale brand as the venue of choice for weddings and bridal related events, ‘The Art of Weddings’ is targeted at new age Indian couples and brings together the finest names in wedding services for a truly elegant, stylish and sophisticated wedding experience. Special privileges such as food and beverage discounts and a bonus of 25,000 Club Carlson Gold Points, will be extended to all wedding bookings made at Radisson Blu hotels across India during the campaign period.

‘The Art of Weddings’ will roll out in the form of a two-day lavish experiential ‘Wedding Fair’ at Radisson Blu Hotel Indore on September 2 and 3. The first fair was held Radisson Blu New Delhi Paschim Vihar from August 25 to 26. Partnering with the campaign are – India’s finest couture designer, Payal Singhal who will present ‘The Azure Collection’, an exclusive line designed for Radisson Blu; renowned celebrity chef from Radisson Blu, Rakesh Sethi and his specially curated signature dishes; Ramit Batra, acclaimed destination wedding photographer and storyteller, who ties together vibrant and colorful memories of weddings through his photography; Puneet Gupta and his fashionable, bespoke wedding invitation designs; Jewels D’Allure that will bring together personalized, high-end jewelry and Eclairs Cakes; a specialist in designer wedding cakes. Leading make-up artist Kangana Kochhar will also participate in the New Delhi Fair to help would-be brides look their best on their special day.

Bespoke wedding packages include Silver and Gold Tier options with highlights such as signature dishes by Rakesh Sethi, a complimentary upgrade to Club CarlsonSM Silver/Gold status and exclusive offers with local sari houses, jewelers and florists. Couples who book a wedding at either Radisson Blu Hotel New Delhi Paschim Vihar or Radisson Blu Indore Hotel during the ‘Fairs’ also stand a chance to win specially crafted Payal Singhal outfits worth INR50,000 ($781.5) each.

Experiential workshops are also a key feature at the ‘Wedding Fairs’. Attendees will learn how to create an unforgettable destination wedding, select an ideal wedding invitation, trousseau and other gift packing techniques and latest trends, styles and flavors in the world of wedding cakes and much more. An exclusive session with Payal Singhal on a bride’s trousseau is also open for first 20 registrations in each city.

Sandy Russell, vice president, commercial operations, Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said: “India is a very important market for us where we are committed to strengthening our brand presence. The ‘Art of Weddings’ taps on the huge potential of the wedding market in India and is unique in its targeting, delivery and reach. The campaign is designed tocreate personalized wedding experiences and we are confident that the campaign will resonate strongly with consumers in the country.”

Raj Rana, chief executive officer, SouthAsia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said: “We are excited to launch The Art of Weddings in India where we have Radisson Blu hotels located in primary and secondary cities. We believe that Radisson Blu with its service philosophy of ‘Yes I Can! is uniquely positioned to deliver a one-stopdestinationforallweddingneeds of the Indian consumer. By introducing this campaign across all Radisson Blu hotels in India at one-go, we have ensured an inclusive, consistent and seamless experience for all guests looking to book their special occasion with us and we hope to leverage our strong brand presence across the country to maximise guest service.

Entrance is free and open to the public at the ‘Wedding Fair’. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Haeberlin joins luxury Swiss resort Bürgenstock

The Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne has welcomed Chef Marc Haeberlin of the legendary three-star Michelin restaurant L’ Auberge de L’Ill in Alsace as signature chef for its restaurant at the Palace Hotel, RitzCoffier by Marc Haeberlin.

The fourth generation of Michelin-starred chefs in his family, Haeberlin helms the award-winning L’Auberge de L’Ill and will be looking to share his creative talent and expertise with food lovers from around the world, none more so than the growing numbers of Middle East travellers to Switzerland.

According to figures from Switzerland Tourism, between January and November 2016, 327,551 GCC visitors generated 920,398 room nights in Switzerland with an average spend of $430 per day. Visitors from Saudi Arabia accounted for more than 50 per cent of GCC overnight stays, followed by the UAE. GCC visitors spend more per day in Switzerland than in any other region in the world.

Bruno H. Schöpfer, managing director of the Bürgenstock Selection, said: “An expanding multi-ethnic, young and affluent society, supplemented by a growing tourism sector continue to drive the GCC region’s appetite for food, with Dubai, in particular, quickly establishing itself as a world leader in gastronomy. Top chefs Gordon Ramsey, Gary Rhodes and Jason Atherton all have restaurants in Dubai.

“We have found many travellers to Switzerland from the Middle East enjoy a great appreciation for quality and international cuisine.”

L’ Auberge de L’Ill is an illustrious French icon dating back to 1878. The restaurant received its third Michelin star in 1967 and celebrates 50 years of three Michelin stars this year. Taught by his father at an early age, Chef Haeberlin trained under some of France’s most celebrated master chefs, including Paul Bocuse, René Lasserre and Gaston Lenôtre as well as Jean and Pierre Troisgros.

In announcing the collaboration with Chef Haeberlin, Schöpfer added: “Marc Haeberlin is recognised as one of the world’s finest chefs and after 50 years of creating memorable cuisine, he continues to innovate. Chef Haeberlin describes his style of cooking as ‘a cuisine of the region, using regional products and a lot of passion’. This is an appointment of creative quality.”

Interestingly, the RitzCoffier at Bürgenstock Resort’s Palace Hotel pays tribute to Auguste Escoffier and César Ritz. The world’s first celebrity chef and its first luxury hotelier, whom the restaurant is named after, met in Lucerne. Before going on to their triumphs at the Savoy in London and the Ritz in Paris, the two began their celebrated partnership at Lucerne’s Hotel National, where Ritz hired Escoffier to manage the kitchens in 1881. Both were well known innovators. Escoffier aimed to simplify the art of cooking by doing away with heavy sauces and elaborate presentation.

On entering the RitzCoffier, guests of the Palace Hotel will be immersed in the ambience of a 19th century kitchen. The original 18th century fireplace from the Grand Hotel at the Bürgenstock Resort takes centre stage. More than 100 copper pots – similar to those used by Escoffier and put to use by the resort’s chefs between 1873 and 1940 – hang from the walls which are also graced by blue and white tiles, while the oak floors feature an elegant herringbone parquet. Mr Schöpfer has even managed to salvage the antique wooden doors of the Grand Hotel’s original fridges and its 19th century oven.

Switzerland’s stunning luxury resort has also recruited Bertrand Charles as RitzCoffier’s chef de cuisine. He has worked as chef de cuisine under Michelin-starred chefs such as Jean Pierre Vigato of Apicius and Jean François Piège at the Hotel de Crillon. Charles has also directed the kitchens of luxury hotels in Morocco, Mauritius and the Philippines. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Wataniya Airways launches daily flights to Bahrain

Kuwait’s newest airline, Wataniya Airways, celebrated the launch of daily flights to Bahrain with the inaugural flight landing in the kingdom on August 27.

Wataniya Airways’ arrival in Bahrain was met with a ceremonious greeting from Bahrain International Airport’s administrators, Bahrain’s Deputy CEO, Ayman Zainal, members of the media as well as a water jet welcome.

Bahrain is the first GCC country that Wataniya Airways has touched down in since the airline’s launch in July of this year.

Wataniya Airways vice chairman Riyad Al Saeed said: "We are delighted about our newly added destination, Bahrain, to which Wataniya will fly daily at competitive fares, and we also have plans to launch further services in the future."

Operating from Kuwait International Airport, Wataniya Airways currently flies to four destinations: Tbilisi, Sarajevo, Baku and now, Bahrain with its two Airbus aircrafts. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Saudi-China firm set up for Jizan investments

The Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Saudi Aramco and a Chinese company will set up a joint investment firm targeting Saudi Arabia's Jizan region, it has been revealed.

The company will be the biggest investment platform between the two countries, with the aim of attracting Chinese investments in various industrial sectors in Jizan, said Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih.

“Saudi Arabia aspires to be the biggest investor in the sector of refining petrochemicals in the Chinese market, and there will be a big development in this field,” said Al-Falih was quoted as syaing in an Arab News report.

Signed investment agreements between Saudi Arabia and China are worth more than $60 billion, he said in the report.

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Wednesday held a meeting with Saudi businessmen representing various economic, industrial and investment sectors, in the presence of Al-Falih.

Last week Jeddah hosted the Saudi-Chinese Investment Forum, organised by the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources with the involvement of the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, the Council of Saudi Chambers, and Saudi and Chinese businessmen.

from Construction Realestate

$46m China building materials facility to come up in Duqm

An Oman-based major distribution facility for building materials, which is among 10 projects planned by Chinese firms in Duqm, will be ready by the middle of 2019, according to a top-level official at Oman Wanfang.

The building material distribution centre, which is coming up in an area of 500,000 sq m, is being developed by Ningxia Ningqiao Commercial Investment and Operation Ltd. with an estimated investment of $46 million, added the Times of Oman report.

The Chinese company had signed a land lease agreement with Oman Wanfang in April this year for establishing the facility, it said.

Ali Shah, chairman of Oman Wanfang, said that the company do not have a very big building material distribution in the region. And the Duqm facility will support the regional development.

He added that the build material will be imported from China and other countries, and also noted that Duqm, which is also developing, requires a lot of building materials.

Shah stated that the proposed building material distribution centre will provide everything (for the construction sector), from steel bar to furniture.

He said the detailed design for the project is going on now. The work on building the facility will start by the end of the year and it will take one-and-a-half years to complete the facility.

from Construction Realestate

$1.2bn New Al Ain Hospital work 50pc complete

The Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada) has revealed that construction works on the Dh4.4-billion ($1.2 billion) New Al Ain Hospital, a project executed on behalf Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), are progressing as planned and are now 50 per cent complete.

The hospital project will have 719 beds, including 484 beds for general medicine, surgery, children’s ward and maternity; 67 for ICU; 142 for medical rehabilitation; and 26 for VIP patients and royal suites.

The hospital is located at Al Jimi in Al Ain city, and will have 347,000 sq m of built-up area. It consists of the main hospital building, a 1,500-car parking facility, a logistics centre, a 60-MW primary substation, as well as other facilities and advanced medical treatment services that will meet the needs of the community in that area.

It will also include 104 advanced specialised clinics, 17 radiology rooms for X-ray, CT Scan and MRI services, as well as 22 specialised rooms for endoscopy diagnosis and procedures. The hospital will be supplied with state-of-the-art medical and technical equipment.

“The company is keen on rapid and quality delivery of the project, which is progressing as per the approved plan and in line with highest international standards and specifications, in order to provide specialised health facilities,” commented Hasher Al Azeezi, Musanada’s senior project manager.

Musanada has recently completed the hospital’s skylight ceiling and the shop drawings of electromechanical works. It had previously completed all window glass installation works and all concrete works of the main and utility buildings together with the project’s steel structures. Precast concrete slabs for all façade walls have been also completed.

It has also commissioned and handed over the primary substation to Al Ain Distribution Company. The medical equipment and medical and office furniture contracts of the new hospital have been awarded, and all works are progressing as per the schedule, Musanada said.

Meanwhile, Seha has developed its strategic plan identifying the services to be offered by the New Al Ain Hospital in order to meet the need of residents of Al Ain region for high quality health services. The new hospital is set to offer several distinguished medical services in the field of   neurology, rheumatism and vascular surgery, in addition to the first-degree trauma and accident centre and the behavioral science services. -TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Oman's Travel Point named sales sub-agent for Fifa package

Dadabhai Travel has appointed Oman's Travel Point as its authorized sales sub-agent for the sale of the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia Official Hospitality Programme in the sultanate.

Dadabhai Travel was appointed in May 2017 as the exclusive sales agent in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE for the Official Hospitality Programme of the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia and the Fifa Confederations Cup 2017.

Aziz Gilitwala, managing director, at Dadabhai Travel, said: “We are delighted to offer this opportunity to the management, employees and customers of Travel Point in Oman. With this appointment Travel Point, working in conjunction with us, will provide football fans and corporates across the Sultanate with exclusive access to distinctive hospitality packages for what are expected to be one of the most exciting sporting events in the world and one that is easily accessible and in close proximity to the GCC."
Exclusively offered by Dadabhai Travel and its appointed sub sales agents are a broad range of packages that have been designed to include a spectrum of privileges and serve as a perfect way to entertain corporate and private guests in 2018.

Among the Official Hospitality Packages are: Match Club which offers the full ardent fan experience, while Match Pavilion and Match Business Seat allow visitors to network and entertain in comfort and style. The Tsarsky Lounge and Match Private Suite are the premier hospitality packages being offered and will provide the most discerning fans with the highest levels of refined hospitality to make their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia experience an unforgettable one. Unlike normal match tickets which are lottery based, the ticket-inclusive Official Hospitality Packages are confirmed allocations for preferred games.
In addition to these Official Hospitality Packages, Dadabhai and its appointed sub sales agents will also be able to assist with all travel and logistical planning for clients to ensure a seamless process that allows the football fan to both enjoy the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia event to the fullest, whilst also making the most of the rich and dynamic culture and leisure activities that Russian cities have to offer.
Commenting on the occasion, Sunil Prabhakar, CEO - Travel Point LLC said: “We are very excited to collaborate with Dadabhai Travel to offer tailor made hospitality packages for Fifa 2018. We are excited about the fantastic offers that we have been able to put together for high-net-worh-individuals (HNIs) and Corporates. The luxury experience of these packages is truly one of a kind and one with a lasting impact”.
In addition to the Fifa Match Hospitality packages, Dadabhai and its appointed sub sales agents will also help clients in the arranging of special accommodation offers, transportation and tour packages, and specially negotiated rates on flights with multiple carriers, destination management services to facilitate comfortable travel across Russia.
Moreover, Russia will offer visa on arrival to all guests who own an Official Ticket-Inclusive Hospitality Package.

To book tickets in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait, customers can contact Dadabhai Travel. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Emirates Motor, Liebherr partner to supply mixer trucks

Emirates Motor Company (EMC) Daimler Commercial Vehicles and Liebherr will supply 200 units of Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks with mixers to help firms across the UAE deliver on their infrastructural commitments to the growing landscape.

The partnership will comprise a supply of 200 Actros 8x4 with 12 CBM Liebherr Mixers, out of which 100 units will be supplied to one of the largest ready-mix companies in the UAE, said a statement.

The state-of-the-art technology will come with a ‘Connected Trucks' concept where a unique Fleetboard system will be used for vehicle tracking and driver’s performance measurement, it said.

The combination of Mercedes chassis and Liebherr mixer bodies are a perfect technically coordinated fit and form reliable and high-quality truck mixer units, it added.

EMC is the authorised Mercedes-Benz distributor in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the flagship company of ALFAHIM. It will supply top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles with a five-year extended warranty. Plus, a comprehensive repair and maintenance contract for five years will be included with full support all over the UAE.

Additionally, EMC will provide drivers’ training courses for enhanced safety on the road and economical driving techniques.

Bilal Al Ribi, general manager of EMC Daimler, said: “We are excited about our partnership with Liebherr as we continue to support Abu Dhabi and the UAE reach their visions.”

“Our aim is to provide the best vehicles and technology to meet the needs of our client’s business. Nothing fits this description better than the Mercedes-Benz brand promise and EMC’s commitment to service excellence,” he said.

Liebherr has contributed significantly to the rapid expansion of the UAE, and worked on various notable and high-profile projects.

Liebherr’s marketing and sales director Markus Mueller, said: “This strategic partnership with EMC aims to increase our existing mixers to address the growing demand in the infrastructural industry where comfort, economy, driving dynamics and variety are concerned. It is also the result of our business expansion strategy in this market.” – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

4,846 new parking spaces for Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has made available a total of 4,846 new paid parking spaces in different localities of the UAE capital, the emirate's Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) was quoted as saying.

These paid parking bays will come up in six sectors of Abu Dhabi and parking fee will be implemented from today (August 27), the Gulf News report said.

Mohammad Hamad Al Muhairi, deputy general manager of the Integrated Transport Centre, head of traffic and parking team, said parking will be free only for villa permit holders.

from Construction Realestate

Abu Dhabi completes work on six schools

Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada) has announced the completion of six schools at a cost of  Dh671 million ($182.68 million) in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Two of the schools are on Abu Dhabi island and four in Al Ain and the delivery of the shcools, which started in April will be completed in September 2017, a Wam news agency report said.

The project, undertaken in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), is part of the Abu Dhabi Future Schools Programme. It forms part of Musanada’s efforts to contribute to achieving the primary objectives of the Abu Dhabi Plan to construct educational facilities that aid in creating an educated generation that is involved in serving the nation and community, said the report.

Construction of these schools took place in the context of the Future Schools Programme and followed international best practices, whether in terms of the design of classrooms, sports halls and multi-purpose halls, or in terms the appropriate and attractive educational environment, said Saleh Al Ali, Musanada’s acting education director.

Khaled Al Ansari, school services division manager at Adec, expressed his keenness to provide an appropriate educational environment for students with the use of state-of-the-art equipment and tools in modern school buildings.

The new school buildings not only offer a sustainable, safe and secure environment for students and educators alike, but also helps encourage parents and members of the local community to use various school facilities after official school hours, such as the state-of-the-art IT tools, the sports hall, external grounds, the library and the schools theater, he added.

from Construction Realestate

Kayak through natural mangroves at Al Zorah, Ajman

Al Zorah, the 5.4 million-sq-m luxury and lifestyle destination on the natural peninsula of Ajman, is ramping up the tourism appeal of the destination with the launch of Kayak Tours through its natural mangroves and lagoons soon.

Offering visitors the opportunity to explore one of the region’s most prized natural mangroves, which has been officially declared as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention, the Kayak Tours will be conducted by ‘Quest for Adventure,’ an adventure sports company.

Open to the public including students through a guided schools programme, the Kayak Tours are scheduled to commence in September and is expected to catalyse the tourism scene and further establish Al Zorah as a must-visit tourist and lifestyle destination.

Spanning an area of over 1 million-sq-m, the thick, natural mangroves of Al Zorah is home to over 102 species of native and migratory birds including the famed pink flamingoes that can be spotted throughout the year and more so during the nesting season. The area is abundant with a variety of corals, fish, molluscs and indigenous flora, making it a highly sought-after destination for tourists as well as scientists and researchers to conduct field studies.

Imad Dana, chief executive officer of Al Zorah Development Company, said: “Al Zorah is a luxury destination in the Middle East built around an undisturbed ecosystem underlined by rich biodiversity. With the Ramsar Convention placing Al Zorah on the global map to highlight its immense environmental value, we are offering visitors, including students, the opportunity to explore the natural mangroves and creek through the Kayak Tours. The tours will open doors to memorable experiences with the promise of sighting a range of native and migratory birds. The serene ambience of the mangroves will be truly uplifting for every visitor.”

Furthermore, Marina 1 at Al Zorah, which is constructed along the creek, offers sweeping views of the mangroves, and will host several additional activities by the year-end. Activities that are being planned include seaplane tours, abra rides, watersports, land-based adventure sports, an outdoor fitness club and an array of waterfront cafes and restaurants.

Al Zorah will announce the official launch of the Kayak Tours and subsequent Marina 1 activities soon. - TradeArabia News Service  

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Orascom Construction H1 revenue tops $2bn

Orascom Construction has reported a consolidated first half 2017 revenue of $2.012 billion in line with the previous year. Consolidated net income attributable to shareholders increased 4.7 per cent year on year to $51.7 million in H1 2017 and decreased 10.2 per cent y-o-y to $23.7 million in Q2, 2017.

The Mena region accounted for 54 per cent of total revenue, of which Egypt represented 91 per cent, while Weitz and Contrack Watts comprised 28 per cent of total. Net income in H1 2017 in Mena reflects the improved performance in the second quarter while net income in the US was impacted by the realisation of a deferred tax asset of $20 million, the company said.

Consolidated EBITDA increased 12.1 per cent year on year to $111.1 million in H1 2017 and 7.4 per cent y-o-y to $54 million in Q2 2017.

EBITDA margin improved to 5.5 per cent and 5.7 per cent in H1 and Q2 2017, respectively. Particularly, EBITDA margin in Mena rebounded in Q2 2017 to 9.9 per cent from 9.2 per cent in Q2 2016 and 6.2 per cent in Q1 2017.

Net income contribution from Besix increased to $13.5 million in Q2 2017, bringing total contribution in H1 2017 to $24 million compared to $9.5 million the previous year.

The group’s net cash position stood at $202.1 million as of June 30, 2017, compared to $204.1 million as of December 31, 2016 and $186.8 million as of March 31, 2017. Total equity increased 26.2 per cent to $381.6 million compared to the level at December 31.

Consolidated backlog excluding Besix stood at $4.7 billion and new awards at $747.3 million as of June 30, 2017. The froup expects to sign a number of important projects during the second half of 2017 across Mena and US markets, while the current backlog provides sufficient visibility on profitability, it said.

Backlog as of June 30, 2017 was impacted by approximately 20 per cent due to the devaluation of the Egyptian pound. Infrastructure and industrial work continue to account for the majority of the consolidated backlog, representing 86 per cent of total.

Including the group’s 50 per cent share in Besix, pro-forma backlog and new awards stood at $6.6 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively, as of June 30, 2017, the company said.

"We continued to expand our presence in Egypt’s infrastructure sector during the second quarter and signed additional projects in power and roads as well as works associated with the new administrative capital. Our significant involvement in all major segments of Egypt’s construction market further strengthens our position in key areas of focus such as transportation and water treatment, said Orascom Construction CEO Osama Bishai.

"In the US, we remain focused on executing our current projects while evaluating new opportunities. We are also pleased to report that Weitz has successfully completed ahead of schedule the largest student-housing complex in the US at Texas A&M University, solidifying its leadership in this
growing sector of the construction market. Furthermore, we continue execute our plan to streamline our US subsidiaries to improve our overall cost structure as we aim to grow this part of our business and increase profitability." - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

AirAsia hands over AACE to CAE for $100m

AirAsia and CAE have concluded a sale and purchase agreement concerning the Asian Aviation Centre of Excellence (AACE), which is currently a 50:50 CAE-AirAsia joint venture.

The transaction of $100 million (including earn-out) will give CAE full control over AACE’s three training centres – located in Sepang, Malaysia; Singapore; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – as well as its share of the Philippine Academy of Aviation Training (PAAT), a joint-venture training centre between AACE and Cebu Pacific, located in Manila, Philippines.
“CAE and AirAsia have been close partners since 2004, and we created AACE together in 2011. This new agreement is a natural evolution of our relationship and a win-win for both organisations,” said Marc Parent, CAE president and chief executive officer. “It allows AirAsia to concentrate on its core business by completely outsourcing its training needs to CAE, and it allows CAE to expand its footprint in Asia Pacific, the fastest-growing aviation market.”
CAE will remain AirAsia Group’s exclusive training partner. The largest low-cost carrier in Asia has extended its existing contract for all training requirements for AirAsia and for that of its affiliates in support of all aircraft types it operates up until 2036.    
“We’ve had CAE as our training partner of choice for many years now and it has been a great success. Our first MPL cadets trained by CAE are now flying as captains, and we put our full trust in CAE to fulfill our training needs at the highest quality level, as we continue to grow,” said Tony Fernandes, group chief executive officer of AirAsia. “AirAsia is rich in assets but our core business is passenger service and ancillary, and we will continue to regularly dispose of non-core investments and dividend most of it out, subject to board approval. This stake sale is just part of our long-term plan to monetize all our assets. We are also working on several other divestments of valuable assets including our leasing arm, which is imminent.”
Parent added: “We are very proud of what we have accomplished with AirAsia in creating AACE. We’d like to thank AACE employees for setting the standard and creating a great training experience, and we welcome them to CAE. Together we will continue to shape the future of training.”
AACE offers training for pilots, cabin crew, maintenance engineers, technicians and ground services personnel on the Airbus A320, A330 and Boeing B737NG platforms.
The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. TD Securities acted as financial advisor to CAE. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

New hotel manager for Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay, Dubai

Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay Dubai has appointed Marijana Mihajlovic as hotel manager to lead and strengthen the commercial positioning of the hotel, as it approaches its third operating year.

Mihajlovic brings over 20 years of hospitality experience with her that has seen her work for many respected and well-known international brands across Europe, and the region. Notable among her prior career placements are roles as director of sales for Rotana, Accor and Movenpick, where she was in charge of the Bur Dubai property for more than three years, director of sales and marketing for Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, and subsequently Millenium Hotels & Resorts as director of sales, Middle East and Africa.

Extremely passionate, determined and goal driven, with very strong leadership skills, Mihajlovic will take on the mandate to reposition the hotel's presence in the domestic and international market, and drive the overall commercial performance of the property.

Her business qualifications, which include a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Dubai International University of Missouri and several Cornell University degrees, have helped her to develop target-hitting strategic business plans that deliver results sustainably, profitably and responsibly.

Speaking about her new appointment, Mihajlovic said: “I am extremely proud and delighted to take up the position of hotel manager, and build on the success of Deutsche Hospitality as it continues to grow internationally. For me, hospitality is not just a word, but a passion.”

“Acquiring Marijana is a major coup, and we are delighted to welcome her on board” said general manager Stephen Meredith. “She is an extremely experienced hotelier, and her ability to effectively manage teams and drive impressive results goes without saying." - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Be prepared to face VAT changes, firms told

Companies must prepare themselves for the “massive changes” that the introduction of the value added tax (VAT) is bringing to the GCC region, a leading VAT expert has warned.

Speaking at the “How will VAT impact the Solar Industry” seminar organised by the Middle East Solar Industry Association (Mesia) and The Big 5 Solar, Michael Vaughan, director of tax at Grant Thornton UAE, stressed the necessity for enterprises to get ready for the forthcoming transition.

VAT is currently present in 150 countries and contributes to 20 per cent of worldwide tax revenues. Earlier this year, the GCC members ratified the VAT framework agreement, and a UAE law is expected to be enacted by the end of August. Starting from January 1, 2018, a 5 per cent VAT rate will be applied to most businesses; the mandatory registration threshold will be Dh375,000, while a voluntary registration option will be available for companies making supplies of 50 per cent or more of this figure, that is at least Dh187,500.

Although the UAE law on the VAT system is yet to be introduced, Vaughan urged companies to stop immediately from issuing contracts without a VAT clause and to start training their staff.

“There’s a huge transformation underway in the region, and VAT is part of this change,” commented Ahmed Nada, president of Mesia, stressing that “all of us need to understand how this will affect the industry”.

Over 100 solar energy professionals attended the seminar at the Nassima Royal Hotel in Dubai on August 23. Confirming the solar industry’s expansion in the UAE, Hussein Abdel Khalek, event manager of The Big 5, said: “Demand for solar energy has been increasing day after day, and more people are now looking to source their energy from Solar Power.”

“We believe that this is the best time to start our dedicated solar show, which will take place beside the Big 5, the largest construction industry event in the region, from Novemebr 26 to 29 at the Dubai World Trade Centre,” stated Khalek, announcing The Big 5 Solar 2017.

Set to become the premier platform for solar industry professionals to network, learn and do business in the Middle East, The Big 5 Solar will bring all the top government and industry pioneers to meet with buyers and suppliers across the solar industry.

Alongside the show, the third edition of the Global Solar leaders' Summit (GSLS), a high level conference under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy, will host panel discussion and live debates with leading speakers, including Dr Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Energy, and Dr Rashid Alleem, chairman of the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority.

An additional seminar on the impact of VAT on the solar industry will also take place at The Big 5 Solar 2017, where Michael Vaughan will present the new UAE law on VAT and its implications for the local solar community. - TradeArabia News Service 

from Construction Realestate

Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre receives top food safety certificate

Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre has received the ISO 22000:2005, a food safety management system, which can be applied to any business in the food chain from farm to fork.

Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre is only one of the few hotels in the Middle East certified by ISO 22000:2005, committing to ensure the compliance to defined and established code of food hygiene practices and applicable national & international food safety & hygiene regulations through close monitoring, verifications and training of employees, involvement of people and delegation of authorities. .

With this award, Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre is truly providing customers piece of mind regarding food safety in the property and ensuring that guests can have complete confidence in the food served throughout the property.

With unforgettable dining experiences, the hotel serves a range of delectable cuisine and will shortly be re-launching a selection of special theme nights.

This year, Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre has welcomed more than 100,000 guests through its doors to experience the most delicious offerings at Medley Restaurant, La Fabrique Sports Bar, Le Café and Azure Pool Lounge. The five-star hotel, located in the heart of old Dubai, has seen a significant increase in footfall throughout 2017 and with the newly awarded ISO 22000:2005 certificate, Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre hopes to see these figures continue to grow throughout the year.

ISO 22000:2005 requires a business to have created a fully documented system in place and implemented which includes:

• Programmes to ensure a clean sanitary environment
• Hazard analysis and critical control plan to prevent food safety hazards
• Established food safety standards throughout the organization at all levels

“Achieving the ISO 22000:2005 is a testament to the dedication of the entire food and beverage team and senior management to implement best practices when it comes to the handling and preparation of food within the hotel,” said Nishan Silva, general manager at Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Abu Dhabi plan to build six schools on track

Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada) said that scheduled delivery is on track for the construction of six schools in Abu Dhabi, two of which are on Abu Dhabi island and four in Al Ain, during the period from April to September.

The project, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) is part of the Abu Dhabi Future Schools Programme, reported Wam, the Emirates official news agency.

"Construction of these schools takes place in the context of the future schools programme and implementing international best practices, whether in terms of the design of classrooms, sports halls and multi-purpose halls, or in terms the appropriate and attractive educational environment, as well as state-of-the-art equipment and systems, all aligned to the needs of future generations, providing them with best educational settings," said Saleh Al Ali, Musanada’s acting education director.

Khaled Al Ansari, School Services Division manager at Adec, expressed his keenness to provide an appropriate educational environment for students with the use of state-of-the-art equipment and tools in modern school buildings that further enhance and support the educational process in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Al Ansari explained that the designs of future schools encourage students to come up with concepts of creativity and innovation, while enhances their skills and talent through taking part in various activities in line with the modern curriculum that focuses on critical thinking and analysis to create a knowledge-based generation of youth.

The new school buildings not only offer a sustainable, safe and secure environment for students and educators alike, but also helps encourage parents and members of the local community to use various school facilities after official school hours, such as state of the art IT tools, the sports hall, external grounds, the library and the schools theatre, he added.

The total construction cost of these schools amounts to Dh671 million ($182 million), with two schools being in Abu Dhabi, namely Al Dana School in Mohammed bin Zayed City and Al Watan School in Shakhbout City.

In Al Ain, Musanada has completed the construction of four schools at the cost of Dh447.5 million. Al Yahar School and Al Shuwaiba School have been carried out as part of Phase 6 of the future school programme. Each school will accommodate up to 1,250 male and female pupils, in 50 classrooms, and 240 kindergartners in 12 classrooms. Both schools will have various administrative buildings, a cafeteria, a dining hall, a multi-purpose room, laboratories and music rooms.

Musanada has also completed Al Quwa School in Al Ain city and the Ain Al Fayda School in Al Ain city.

Al Ali said that Musanada manages the design and construction of schools and educational facilities following best international practices, aligned to sustainability requirements, where each of the schools has attained the 2-pearl rating stipulated by Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council.

from Construction Realestate