Saturday, September 30, 2017

TDIC Abu Dhabi offers 11,000 sqm F&B leasing space

The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has announced its first retail offering in Saadiyat Cultural District as an opportunity for business investors to lease food and beverage (F&B) and retail space at Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island’s modern beachfront-living  project.

TDIC is offering more than 11,000 sq m of leasable space along the ground floor of the promenade, where units will have a panoramic view of the translucent sea along with ample outdoor seating space and unobstructed access to the beach, said a statement from TDIC.

The approximate available shop size ranges from 50 sq m to 350 sq m, majority of which are beachfront units with indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as direct access to the beach.

Situated along 1.4 km of pristine beach, the quintessential location of Mamsha Al Saadiyat’s coastal promenade is perfectly positioned to become a modern, vibrant, cosmopolitan and inspirational address among Abu Dhabi’s lifestyle communities.

The amalgamation of its unique architecture, surrounding open environments, easy connectivity and stunning first-class facilities together form an ideal integrated destination for residents and visitors alike.

Commenting on the leasing opportunity, TDIC chief executive Sufian Hasan Al Marzooqi said: "We are very excited to introduce this business prospect to F&B and retail establishment owners. This project is unique to the region and marks a significant milestone for Saadiyat Island."

"We are looking forward to our new partnerships with business investors who share our commitment to continued growth and development in the region," he noted.

Mamsha Al Saadiyat, which is currently under development, will be a first-of-its-kind beachfront residential and retail destination.

Situated in Saadiyat Cultural District and walking distance from the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Mamsha Al Saadiyat will offer its residents unparalleled views of azure beaches, which will be integrated to state-of-the-art facilities and F&B and retail establishments. It will be delivered by the second-half of 2018.

Earlier this year, TDIC celebrated a project milestone with Mamsha Al Saadiyat’s development, successfully completing the concrete groundwork and structure for all buildings throughout the project.

Out of the total 461 units being developed , 414 are apartments or lofts offering one to four bedrooms including 9 duplex penthouses which come equipped with five bedrooms, a private swimming pool and terrace. The remaining 47 are townhouses.

Mamsha Al Saadiyat is destined to become the ideal destination within Abu Dhabi for entertainment, lifestyle and dining establishments, remarked Al Marzooqi.

"Mamsha Al Saadiyat is an exciting residential destination that connects the liveliness of opulent hotels, world-cuisine restaurants, boutique retail establishments and luxurious facilities with the tranquility of iconic museums, white sand beaches and natural surroundings, all within walking distance from one another," he added.-TradeArabia News Service
 



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GCA hosts special aviation training for UAE women

In the light of celebrating Emirati Women's day, The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in the UAE held a specialised training course to encourage and support the prominent role of females in the aviation sector.

The three-day course titled 'Strategic Planning and Innovation in Aviation' was conducted by Laila Bin Hareb, the assistant director general for Strategy & International Affairs Sector at GCAA.

Several key topics were covered during the course, including the application of strategic planning processes and concepts in the field of civil aviation, innovation, strategy development and implementation, in addition to corporate performance management.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, the director general of GCAA, said: "The aviation industry is one of the main contributors to the UAE national economy, therefore strategic planning plays a pivotal role to ensure the integration of roles with consideration of changes in the context of a cohesive plan to ensure its sustained growth and alignment with the National Vision 2021."

Al Suwaidi pointed out that the UAE's aviation industry had witnessed rapid growth. The country, he said, has one of the fastest growing international airlines and its airports are one of the world's busiest airports.

The fleet size of Emirates Airlines grew from 206 aircrafts in 2013 to 252 aircrafts in 2016, while the fleet size of Air Arabia grew from 29 in 2013 aircrafts to 35 aircrafts in 2016.In addition to that, the fleet size of Flydubai grew from 32 aircrafts in 2013 to 51 aircrafts in 2016.

The number of Open Skies agreements signed by GCAA, grew from 81 in 2013 to 92 in 2016.By the end of 2016 the total number of Air Services Agreements  reached 160 agreements.

In the next 20 years, the UAE's aviation sector is expected to compete with the US and China, according to industry experts. Also, the aviation industry is expected to contribute $53 million to the country's economy in the year 2020, providing up to 750,000 jobs for both genders.

"There is no doubt that the aviation sector is set to continue its rapid growth in the next few years and we seek to build an industry that supports and contributes in developing individuals both men and women alike," remarked Laila.

"We strive to train members to work in several administrative and technical jobs through our initiatives to offer an opportunity for women in a dynamic growing sector and a pioneering career path that is continuously evolving in the region," she added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Palma signs up top brands for $408m Dubai project

Palma Holding, a leading UAE-based group which operates across three main divisions of real estate  development, sales and leasing and property management, has signed partnerships with four premium brands Dada, Dedon, Molteni&C and TechnoGym – for its Dh1.5 billion ($408 million) Serenia Residences project.

An exclusively residential community taking shape on The Palm Jumeirah’s Crescent, Serenia Residences features beachfront living at its finest and promises an luxury lifestyle, inviting residents into a world of architectural excellence and modern interiors, with an array of outdoor facilities and bespoke services.

Designed by famous architect Hazel Wong, the project features contemporary architecture and layouts that are unique to the Palm Jumeirah. The project includes 250 units, with apartments that range from one to four bedrooms and penthouse suites.

With the UAE developer giving its finishing touches, Serenia Residences is due for completion in December this year.  

"We are delighted to be nearing the end of our construction journey at Serenia Residences, which once complete will stand as the most exclusive beachfront residence in the city," remarked its CEO and founder Kareem Derbas.

"Beautifully finished interior and outdoor spaces are essential for creating the exceptional lifestyle that we want to offer our residents, so we are pleased to be working with four of the best partners in the business to deliver on our luxury promise with bespoke finishes and A-class brands. This attention to detail is what sets Serenia Residences apart," he stated.

According to him, ressidents at Serenia Residences’ full floor penthouses will find exceptional kitchens created by Dada’s team of expert Italian designers, who bring a wealth of international experience and flair to create functional and innovative kitchens.

The penthouses will also feature walk-in closets designed and produced by Molteni&C, a high-end Italian brand that has been leading the market for over 80 years with its stylish vision for contemporary, functional living, he stated.   

Outdoors, Dedon, the most exclusive line in the world for outdoor furniture, will be providing Serenia Residences with hand-woven luxury furniture including its signature sun loungers and tables, which combine modern technology with luxurious craftsmanship, explained Derbas.

Residents will also have full use of a state-of-the-art equipped from TechnoGym – a world leader in the fitness and wellness solutions sector that has equipped 65,000 wellness centres and over 100,000 homes around the world, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Saudi SWCC picks BNP for $7bn power plant sale

Saudi Arabia has hired BNP Paribas SA to advise on the sale of Ras Al Khair power plant, the largest of its kind bing built at a cost of $7.2 billion, reported Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. 

Saline Water Conversion Company (SWCC), is working with the French lender to find a buyer for the plant, stated the report.

The sale is part of a broader strategy to privatize SWCC by selling some of its existing assets and developing new plants with the private sector, the report added.

Saudi Arabia is planning to sell hundreds of state assets, including Saudi Arabian Oil Company, stakes in the stock exchange, football clubs and flour mills as part of a reform program spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. 

Privatizations could exceed $350 billion over the next five years, according to Elyas Algaseer, co-head of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. in the Middle East and North Africa. SWCC has been working on its privatization since 2015, said the Bloomberg report.

The plant at Ras Al Khair on the kingdom’s east coast provides power for an industrial city that includes aluminum and bauxite facilities owned by Saudi Arabian Mining Company, and is being developed into a maritime industrial hub by Aramco. 

The plant started operations in 2014 and produces 2,600 megawatts of power and 1,025 million cubic meter of desalinated water, making it the biggest desalination and power plant in the world it added.



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Thursday, September 28, 2017

ThyssenKrupp to develop Egypt fertiliser plant

ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions in Egypt is investing  €133 million ($156 million) to expand and develop the machinery of Abu Qir Fertilizers, a report said.

The project will start by the beginning of the next year, and the contracts will be concluded soon, Thore Lohmann, country CEO of ThyssenKrupp Egypt was quoted as saying by Daily News Egypt.

Abu Qir Fertilizers has announced earlier that two acid and nitrate units had been established with a capacity of 600 tonnes per day, according to the report. The company has achieved profits of EGP2.23 billion ($132 million) in the last fiscal year, which ended in June, compared to EGP1.02 billion in the one before last.

Lohmann added that ThyssenKrupp was negotiating with other fertiliser companies to implement expansion and development of equipment, adding that other contracts would be concluded in the first quarter of the next year.



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Saudi Arabia set to hand over 53,000 housing units

More than 53,000 residential units, including flats and villas, will be ready shortly for distribution in different parts of Saudi Arabia, said a report.

The housing units are being implemented with the support of the private sector following the demand and supply rule, reported The Saudi Gazette citing a senior housing ministry official.

"We don’t focus on any particular region and our projects cover all parts of the country," remarked Ahmed Mandoura, a senior official at the ministry in charge of partnership with the private sector.

"The housing units being implemented with the support of the private sector would be handed over to beneficiaries three years after signing the contracts," he noted.

Mandoura pointed out that the number of beneficiaries in the main cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam had reached nearly 300,000 with Riyadh having 143,000, Jeddah over 114,000 and Dammam 42,000, said the report.

"There are different products in these three cities including villas, town houses, and developed plots," he explained.

Mandoura disclosed the ministry’s plan to develop plots in new areas in the three cities to establish housing projects in cooperation with the private sector.

"The agency for technical affairs at the ministry is currently finalizing five projects. They are the Riyadh airport project, Dammam North, Jeddah Airport, Jeddah Housing and Prince Fawaz project," he added.



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Kanoo displays latest warehousing solutions

Kanoo Machinery highlighted its latest technologies that solve key challenges in today's warehousing and storage needs through improved productivity at the recently concluded Materials Handling Middle East in Dubai, UAE.

As the authorised dealer in the region, Kanoo Machinery showcased its new range of equipment and solutions from world's leading brands - Hyster, Utilev, Aisle Master and Combilift.

Materials Handling Middle East is the only dedicated show in the region for professionals from every facet of the warehousing, intralogistics and supply chain sector. This year's edition featured 126 exhibitors from 20 countries, representing over 200 brands.

David Atkinson, general manager, Kanoo Machinery, said: "Kanoo Machinery is a proud member of The Kanoo Group established over 125 years ago. With such a reputable standing in the Middle East, we carved our success through our long-lasting business partnerships, and our network of highly trained Sales and Aftersales Team that provide expert responsive local service support, consultancy on fleet management, equipment rental, and genuine parts supply."

Mohamed Elabd, brand manager, Kanoo Machinery (Material Handling Equipment UAE) said: "We supply a portfolio of products from leading manufacturers and innovators worldwide to ensure that our customers get the right product and the best possible value for their investment."

"We are committed to being much more than a supplier. Our aim is to offer a complete solution to all warehousing and materials handling needs across industry sectors from logistics and supply chain, retail, FMCG, automotive, oil & gas, to pharmaceuticals; while also delivering a platform to establish and reinforce technical guidance, professional consultancy and positive business relationships,” he added.

Kanoo Machinery presented the unique and latest capabilities of Hyster that cater to the Middle East market, from the largest container handlers and reach stackers, to nearly every type and size of a forklift truck. These products give each customer's business an advantage in terms of innovation, cost effectiveness and proven technological solutions to support the widest range of warehousing and storage applications.

They also unveiled the range of affordable forklift trucks from Utilev® that delivers reliable and cost-effective materials handling solutions for applications across many industries; the versatile articulated truck from Aisle-Master that does it all - reduce aisle widths, increase storage, cut warehouse costs, operate inside and out and with superb ergonomics; and also lifting innovations from Combilift - leaders in customised materials handling solutions specialising in multi-directional forklifts, pedestrian stackers and straddle carriers.

According to Kanoo Machinery, the team is now more ready to take on new intralogistics challenges, as it looks forward to discussing with new and potential customers, from the recent event, on how the company's services can help them increase warehouse and storage efficiency, and streamline their operations. – TradeArabia News Service



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Oman floats tender for major water project

Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has floated a tender seeking bids from consultancy firms for a major Independent Water Project (IWP) to be developed at Wadi Dayqah near capital Muscat, said a report.

The last date to submit the bids for provision of financial and commercial advisory services for the project is October 30, reported Times of Oman, citing a statement from the state-owned OPWP.

The winning consultant would advice OPWP in evaluating proposals from bidders participating in a tender for building a water treatment plant, which will have a sizable water treatment capacity.

A tender for selecting the developer is yet to be floated, stated the report.

The proposed IWP is the second water project in Qurayyat. The first major IWP in Qurayyat, which has a desalination capacity of 44 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD)-capacity, is being developed by a consortium comprising Singapore’s Hyflux and Modern Channels Services.

The IWP will be awarded on the basis of build, own, operate and transfer (BOT) basis after floating a tender, it added.



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Azizi Developments partners with Dubai football club

UAE-based Azizi Developments, a leading real estate developer in the Gulf region, said it has signed a strategic sponsorship agreement with Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Football Club. 

This deal comes from Azizi's belief that sport is a significant aspect of the UAE society and culture, and it is vital for the private sector to give back to local communities through such initiatives, said the group chairman Mirwais Azizi after signing the deal with Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, the chairman of the Higher Committee for Merger of Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Football Club.

"The UAE has achieved economic excellence globally and is able to achieve the same on the sports level, he stated.

Azizi said this partnership with Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Football Club is in line with the group's commitment to developing sports and youth in the UAE, especially in a country that has opened its doors to all who aspire to succeed in achieving their dreams.

Sulaiman thanked Azizi Developments for its support of the club and highlighted the pivotal role played by private sector companies in the UAE in supporting and interacting with the local community.

"Sulaiman pointed out that the UAE sports movement is embarking on new horizons based on the directive of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to merge the Arab Youth Sports Club and the Dubai Sports Cultural Club with the Al Ahli Sports Club “into one entity called Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Football Club”.-TradeArabia News Service



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Dubai offers world's sixth most competitive skyscraper rents

Dubai, which continues to provide an attractive real estate and business operating environment, offers the sixth most competitive global skyscraper rents averaging at $44 per sq ft, according to a report by property expert Knight Frank.

Globally, Hong Kong’s skyscrapers continue to command, by some margin, the highest rents in the world at $304 per sq ft, followed by New York (US) at $162 per sq ft and Tokyo (Japan) at $140 respectively, said the report.

San Francisco, where rents have risen to $117 per sq ft, completes the top five, ahead of London which registers at $110 per sq ft, stated property expert Knight Frank in its report, which analyses the rental performance of commercial buildings over 30 storeys.  

With rental rates on an average at $44 per sq ft, Dubai has been placed at the 18th spot in Knight Frank’s global rankings.  

The other top cities on the Knight Frank skyscrapers list are: San Francisco in the fourth place with average rental rates of  $117 followed by London ($110); Sydney ($107); Boston ($77); Shanghai ($67); Singapore ($66); Beijing ($66); Chicago ($62); Paris ($58); Toronto ($58); Melbourne ($56); Mumbai ($56); Frankfurt ($54); Los Angeles ($45); Taipei    ($41); Madrid ($39); Manila ($33); Seoul ($30) and Kuala Lumpur ($23).

On the upcoming big players, the property expert said Toronto’s (Canada) skyscrapers are experiencing the highest rental growth, rising 11.9 per cent in the first half of the year to $58 per sq ft. In comparison, rental rates remained flat in Dubai over the same time period (0%).

Matthew Dadd, a partner for commercial agency at Knight Frank said: "Given the range of striking skyscrapers which Dubai has to offer we do not see a premium paid for higher floors in skyscrapers."

"Occupiers’ priorities are focused on the efficiency of the floor plates as well as the amenities, vertical transportation and location of the building," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Etihad Airways pilot dies mid-flight

An Etihad Airways cargo flight from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam was forced to divert its path after its pilot passed away mid-flight, said a report.

Flight EY 927 made an emergency landing in Kuwait, where a medical team was present to assist him, said a report in WAM.

The pilot was pronounced deceased upon arrival.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss, and are focused on taking care of our late colleague’s family at this time, to whom we offer our heartfelt condolences," the report said citing a statement from the UAE carrier.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Omani group seals aircraft leasing deal with German firm

Oman Brunei Investment Company (OBIC), a joint venture private equity fund between the governments of Oman and Brunei, has successfully closed an aircraft leasing deal with German Operating Aircraft Leasing (Goal), one of the country’s top investment companies.

Goal is a joint venture of KGAL, one of Germany’s top investment companies and a high-ranking player in the world of structured asset finance and investment participation, and Deutsche Lufthansa, one of the world’s premier carriers. 

The company currently owns and manages 62 aircraft, said a statement from Goal. 

A renowned player in the field of structured asset finance, Goal had arranged the purchase of these Boeing aircraft from OBIC. The aircraft were originally delivered in 2014 and 2015 and will continue to be leased to Oman Air, it stated.

With this deal, the five aircraft are now jointly owned by KGAL’s Aircraft Portfolio Fund 4 and OBIC. DVB Bank SE and Bank ABC, Bahrain are acting as senior lender and agent.

Goal will be the asset manager as well as remarketing agent for the aircraft, it added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Ajman commences tourism roadshow in Scandinavia

The Ajman Department of Tourism Development (ADTD) is hosting a three-city roadshow to Scandinavia from September 25 to 29 as part of efforts to showcase Ajman’s tourist attractions and promote the emirate at an international level.

The Ajman delegation mae their first stop in Copenhagen, Denmark before moving to Oslo in Norway. The roadshow will conclude in Stockholm, Sweden before returning to the UAE on September 30.

Commenting on the roadshow, Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, director general of the ADTD, said: “The roadshow provides a valuable opportunity for us to promote Ajman and its world-class tourist sites, services and attractions. We are honoured to be able to share the true spirit of modern Emirati hospitality and instil the image of Ajman as an emirate with rich tourist, natural and cultural elements, helping us to raise the profile of our unique tourist destination and increase the number of visitors from Scandinavia in the future.”

Over the course of the roadshow, the ADTD aims to increase awareness of Ajman as a unique destination and highlights its wide range of diverse tourism offerings, as well as enhances engagement, cooperation and bilateral relations.
Organised by the ADTD, the roadshow is held in conjunction with Emirates Airlines and hotel partners Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort, Fairmont Ajman and Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche.

“The roadshow is part of our strategy to promote the emirate of Ajman as an interesting tourist destination and provides a platform for key Scandinavian tour operators to experience what the emirate has to offer. Furthermore, it comes in line with the ADTD’s ongoing participation in regional and international trade shows and initiatives, which serve to raise the profile of Ajman as a unique destination,” Al Geziry, added. - TradeArabia News Service



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Bahrain showcases destination credentials at key event

Bahrain is looking to boost the kingdom’s standing as a significant tourist destination in the region through its participation in the international trade fair ‘IFTPM Top Resa 2017’ being held‘in France this week.

Participating for the first time, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) is marketing the kingdom’s unique attractions to international participants and also aims to open links to new markets.

“BTEA’s participation at the IFTPM Top Resa 2017’ comes in-line with our commitment to capitalise on such events to showcase the kingdom’s progress in the tourism sector to industry professionals around the world and attract more tourists into Bahrain,” said Yousif Al Khan, director of Tourism Marketing and Promotions at BTEA.

Focusing on the tourism industry, the international trade fair ‘IFTPM Top Resa 2017’ is an ideal platform for participants to gain from exposure to various tourism experiences from around the world. Taking place from September 26 to 29, IFTPM Top Resa 2017 is a unique multi-segment event bringing together in one place leisure, business, events, and groups on an international level. - TradeArabia News Service



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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Aldar unveils major Yas Island developments

Aldar, a leading UAE-based property development company, is set to showcase its upcoming developments such as the riverfront project, the Water’s Edge, on Yas Island at The Restatex Cityscape Riyadh expo which opened today (September 27).

A major industry event in the region, Restatex Cityscape will run till September 30 at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center.

During the event, Aldar will put spotllight on Abu Dhabi’s burgeoning real estate market, and the group's market-leading role in the rapidly growing industry, said a statement from the company.
 
The developer had recently sold out the initial phase of Water’s Edge at Cityscape Global in Dubai, generating Dh400 million ($109 million) in sales, with further homes to be launched in subsequent phases for sale soon. Buyers were attracted by both the potential for yields of 8 per cent as well as the opportunity to live on Yas Island.
 
A major waterfront property, Water’s Edge features 2,255 apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedroom units. Situated on Yas Island’s eastern shores, the majority of units have full or partial views over water.

Residents will get to enjoy Water’s Edge’s wide choice of exercise and recreation facilities, retail, restaurants and cafes, in addition to Yas Island’s abundant attractions.

The construction is expected to start in the fourth quarter and the project will likely be delivered in 2020.

Aldar pointed out that Abu Dhabi’s position as a global destination of choice was well-established; the city was named the second-best city in the world to live, work and do business in the latest Ipsos City Index, and was ranked as the third fastest-growing destination in Mastercard’s Global Cities Index Report in January.
 
The UAE capital also boasts some of the country's most iconic attractions and events, many of which are on Yas Island, the emirate’s most exciting destination, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the Formula 1 Grand Prix, it added.

Among Yas Island’s other residential developments is Yas Acres, an Dh6 billion ($1.63 billion) golf and waterfront development with 1,315 villas, whose residents will enjoy access to a golf course and club house, parks, schools and vibrant waterfront, when complete in 2019.

Another of its big projects is Mayan, a luxury golf and waterfront development comprising studio to four-bedroom apartments and beachfront villas with superb amenities set alongside the Yas Links Golf Club and the exclusive Yas beach on Yas Island.

Chief development officer Talal Al Dhiyebi pointed out that Aldar was proud of its role in Abu Dhabi’s ongoing evolution, providing high quality real estate developments in key locations around the emirate.

"The success of Aldar’s approach has been underlined by strong sales in its destinations and across different customer segments – whether mid-market or luxury – from an increasingly diverse customer base. Our most recent project, Water’s Edge, which sold out of its initial phase in under two days, appealed to investors after a high-yielding project and owner-occupiers looking to make Yas Island their home," he stated.

"Saudi Arabia has become an increasingly important market for us, and we look forward to engaging with Saudi investors at Restatex Cityscape Riyadh," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Australia’s Schiavello opens new showroom in Dubai

Building on 50 years of accomplishment in Australia, Schiavello, a leading furniture manufacturer, has bolstered their Mena presence with a new showroom in central Dubai.

The showroom is located in the new Dubai Design District, near to Downtown Dubai and overlooking the iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

The Dubai Design District (D3) is the purpose-built centre of the design community in Dubai, enabling the showroom to share its location with all the major design and architect practices in the Middles East, the company said.

Dedicated to developing intelligent, inspiring and resilient solutions for the office, the home and public spaces, Schiavello has developed a full range of world class flexible furniture solutions, it said.

Working with Australian and international designers, the collection on display showcases Schiavello’s approach to enhancing collaboration, concentration and health in the workplace and living spaces. Reflective of the brand’s dedication to wellbeing, Schiavello’s innovative office solutions aim to boost productivity and autonomy.

Recent product launches include Krossi, a new sit-to-stand workstation system that allows movement from a seated to an upright position, and Focus, a series of soft barriers and booths that encourages individual work, providing acoustic absorption and privacy for those who need it.

Schiavello’s latest product release, Toku, evokes a sense of community and considers modern day workers – Millennials and beyond – who crave collaborative and interactive spaces and furniture. “We’re a people business. This means that we are continually seeking ways to help our clients by adding value to their activities, on both a personal and an organizational level,” explained Raffaele Tigani, director and general manager of Schiavello International. – TradeArabia News Service
 



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Hyundai E&C wins $437m Qatar road project

Korean builder Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company has been awarded a 492 billion-won ($437 million) contract to develop a key road in Qatar, reported South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

As per the deal, Hyundai E&C will expand a 2.88-km six-lane street into an eight-lane thoroughfare besides building supplementary facilities, it stated.

The Qatar Public Works Authority has sent a Notice to Commence (NTC) to the South Korean builder, allowing it to start the project, said the Yonyap report, citing a company statement.

The duo will be officially signing the street expansion project contract next month.

The work is set to start next month and is expected to be completed within three years, it added.



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Grand Hyatt Dubai welcomes new sales director

Grand Hyatt Dubai has announced the promotion of Moritz Frings to the role of director of sales.

Having a Double Bachelor of Arts from Germany in International Hospitality Management, Frings started his career with Hyatt in 2013 as a corporate leadership trainee at Hyatt Regency Dubai. He later became a sales executive in 2014 after successfully completing the corporate leadership trainee program.

Moritz got promoted in 2015 as a sales manager, and then moved to Grand Hyatt Dubai as an associate director of sales and marketing in 2016.

"Moritz is a smart worker and an achiever, where his contribution is highly appreciated and we are all certain that he will continue his hard work and commitment," the hotel said in a statement. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Indonesia hopes to attract over 2m Chinese Muslim visitors

Indonesia is hoping for a sharp rise in tourist arrivals from Chinese Muslims over the next few months following a successful trade visit to the country.

The Halal Tourism Acceleration and Development Team of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia led a delegation of travels experts and businesses on a sales mission program to three key areas in China to showcase and promote its Halal offering.

Alongside presentations and seminars, the trade delegation developed key strategic partnerships with local communities, Muslim business groups and national Halal associations to help strengthen economic, tourism and trade ties.

Tourism chiefs believe the success of the visit to Xi'an, Yinchuan and Beijing will contribute to a significant spike in visitor arrivals from China in the next few months to hit the 2.4 million mark.

The visit to China is part of a wider initiative by Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia to target 20 million international tourists by 2019 including 5 million Muslim visitors.

Indonesia aims to become the world’s number one destination for Halal Tourism. The fast-growing Halal Tourism market is expected to be worth $243 billion by 2021.

The trade delegation was led by Riyanto Sofyan, chairman of the Halal Tourism Acceleration and Development Team of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia.
“Every aspect of the trade mission was a resounding success and one we believe will bear immediate results for Indonesian tourism and trade,” said Sofyan.

“The Chinese market is already a top international market for us but the visit showed us the huge potential we can still explore."

“During the visit we have laid the groundwork to forge strong ties with a number of Halal industry Associations, China's Halal Food Chamber of Commerce and several Chinese Muslim communities in Xi'an, Yinchuan, and Beijing."

“These in itself are extremely valuable to us as they cover more than 300 companies that are focusing on the halal industry in the country and represent millions of Chinese Muslim families who currently choose Malaysia as the go-to holiday destination," he said.

“These links are vital to our short and long-term success and we believe we have developed some very strong strategic partnerships as a result of the trip,” Sofyan said.

Sofyan added that the Chinese counterparts were especially intrigued and interested by the 10 new Bali destinations and the spread of halal tourism destinations and strong infrastructure across Indonesia.
Official data from The Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, has shown that from 2013 to 2016, Halal tourism has been growing significantly showing a rise of up to 15.5 per cent.

Chinese tourists visit to Indonesia grew to 1,452,971 tourists in 2016 - 27 per cent higher than the previous year.

Earlier this year, Indonesia improved its ranking for the second consecutive year by climbing one position to take the third spot as the top performing destination in the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2017 - officially launched in Jakarta.

China and Indonesia are also part of the One Belt, One Road initiative, which aims to recreate the Silk Road and increase investment and tourism among countries on that road. - TradeArabia News Service



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Suqia launches big water projects in Egypt, Iraq

UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia) said it has launched over 60 infrastructure development projects across the globe in partnership with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment and the Emirates Red Crescent.

UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia) said it has launched over 60 infrastructure development projects including setting up of water plants, wells, and desalination plants across the globe.

The key focus countries included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mauritania, Somalia, Thailand, Djibouti, the Philippines, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali, Somalia, Egypt, Sudan, China, and Iraq.

Upon completion, these projects are expected to serve over 250,000 people, said a statement from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).

The work was done in co-operation with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment and the Emirates Red Crescent, it stated.

"At Suqia, we are committed to achieving one of the key objectives set by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives foundation, which is to combat poverty and disease by contributing to finding permanent and sustainable solutions to water scarcity around the world," remarked Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the chairman of the board of trustees of Suqia.

"We do this by conducting research and studies to develop innovative and affordable technologies to help millions of people around the world who suffer from shortages, scarcity, in addition to providing water to millions of the needy around the world," said Al Tayer, who is also the managing director and chief executive of Dewa.

He was addressing the third meeting of the Suqia board of trustees in Dubai to discuss the charity projects for 2017.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Bahrain to host panel discussion on sustainable tourism

The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) will be hosting a panel discussion on September 28 under the theme “Sustainable Tourism – A Tool for Development”.

The event is being hosted to coincide with World Tourism Day, which is being celebrated today (September 27).

The panel discussion will be attended by multiple stakeholders from the tourism industry. Guest speakers will include: Shaikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, general manager of Peninsula Farms; Nada Al Alawi, Founder of Annada; Ahmed Khalfan, Head of Marketing at Bin Faqeeh Real Estate Development Co.; and Nayef Al Alawi, the CEO of City Limo.

The panel discussion comes in-line with the appointment of BTEA as a member of the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) for the period 2018-2021. This appointment is the result of BTEA’s efforts in developing the local tourism sector and furthering the kingdom’s ability to represent the Middle East region as a paradigm of tourism developments.

World Tourism Day 2017 celebrates sustainable contribution towards the development of the tourism industry and marks the significant influence of sustainable tourism to the economy, the society and the environment.

According to UNWTO, sustainable tourism is a positive tool to eradicate poverty, and protect the environment, as well as improve the quality of live especially in developing countries. - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Flydubai launches flights to Podgorica, Montenegro

Dubai-based airline flydubai has announced the start of flights to Montenegro’s capital Podgorica, which will begin on November 1.

With two flights a week, the journey includes a stopover in Sarajevo, a popular destination on the flydubai network. Podgorica joins the airlines network in Central and Eastern Europe, which includes Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Prague, Skopje, Sarajevo and Sofia.

Flydubai will become the only UAE-based carrier to offer direct air links to Podgorica.

Commenting on the launch, Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer of flydubai, said: “With the launch of our flights to Podgorica, we continue to offer passengers more ways to explore and discover Montenegro. The popularity of our summer flights to Tivat has shown a continuous demand for more access to this part of the world and we are delighted to be offering flights to Montenegro on a regular basis.”

Podgorica offers its visitors plenty to explore, with its charming architecture, green spaces and scenic surroundings, along with a bustling café culture and numerous museums to visit. Skadar Lake National Park, home of the largest Lake in Southern Europe, is a short drive outside of the city, while the popular coastal city of Tivat can be reached with a 90-minute drive.

“With the launch of this new route, flydubai will become the first airline to offer regular services between Podgorica and Sarajevo,” said Jeyhun Efendi, senior vice president Commercial (UAE, EU, ME, CIS) at flydubai. “We look forward to the new opportunities that this will provide along with the flows of trade and tourism that these flights can offer.” - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Dewa sets up bills payment plan with Dubai Islamic

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has signed an agreement with Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), allowing customers to pay their bills in instalments of up to 12 months, without additional fees when they use DIB credit cards.

This is part of Dewa’s efforts to make its customers happier, and its strategy to work with government and private organisations to provide its services according to the highest international standards.

“We strive to adopt innovative ways and mechanisms that enhance the quality of our services and achieve the happiness of our customers, based on the highest standards of efficiency and reliability,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dewa.

“This supports our efforts to contribute to making Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world, and achieve the Dubai Plan 2021 to make the Government of Dubai proactive and creative in meeting the needs of individuals and society as a whole. The new service, in partnership with Dubai Islamic Bank, allows customers to pay Dewa’s bills in instalments, which makes them happier.”

“Customers ultimately want simplicity and convenience when they engage with service providers. This is something we know and understand well, as we continually work to make the customer experience with DIB even more seamless. Our partnership with Dewa is an example of our dedication to finding ways to make our customers feel they have a bank that puts them first,” said Dr Adnan Chilwan, Group CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank.

After the bill is paid using DIB credit cards on Dewa’s website or smart app, the customer has to request the Easy Payment Plan, for three-,six- or 12-month instalments without any extra fees, from DIB online banking, mobile banking, DIB customer service centres, a statement said. – TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Iran firm to build utility vessels for oil platforms

Iran’s Arvandan Shipbuilding Company plans to construct utility vessels for oil platforms for the first time, the company's managing director was quoted as saying in a media report.

The firm is in talks with Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) on the construction of the utility vessels, Hossein Qorbani was quoted in an Iran Daily report.

IOOC is working on most of Iran's oil platforms, Qorbani said, noting that since about two years ago, the company has sought to employ domestic utility vessels for oil platforms rather than hiring them from foreign companies.

Arvandan Shipbuilding has proposed to build some of the utility vessels needed by the IOOC, he added.



from Construction Realestate

Metsec delivers largest purlins project for Nakilat

Metsec, a UK-based cold roll-forming company providing products for construction and manufacturing industries, has delivered the largest purlins project for a major infrastructure project by Qatari marine company Nakilat.

Nakilat provides the critical transportation link in Qatar’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply chain and services to vessels in Qatari waters besides overseeing the activities of the country’s shipyard.

Nakilat Damen Shipyards is an integral component of the supply chain of some of the largest, most advanced energy projects in the world undertaken by Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas, RasGas and their joint venture partners for the state.

Metsec said the fourth phase of the Nakilat shipyard project involves construction of three buildings, a hall, the depot and the assembly building.

"With its capability to roll the long spans that were required on the project, Metsec not only delivered 15-m clear span sections, but was able to provide full design support throughout the 12-month project, even altering operational hours in the UK to accommodate the time difference in Qatar," stated a senior official.

"Part of Metsec’s design offering was undertaking the structural calculations for the project. This meant the project could be value-engineered which reduced the sections sizes required on the project without compromising on strength or performance," remarked Rob Marsh, the commercial and technical manager for Metsec Middle East.

"We pride ourselves in delivering high quality, engineered solutions to our customers and at the most cost-efficient price possible," he noted.

Originally designed using Metsec’s heavy end bay system, with the 342Z25 section in the end bays and the 342Z23 in the internal bays, Metsec’s design team reviewed the project design and advised that the specification was overdesigned.

As a result, the Metsec team value engineered the project, designing a bespoke 342Z20 section for the internal bays, and the 342Z30 section for the end bays. This value engineering resulted in a 15 per cent reduction in the weight of the roof, giving the client a more cost effective solution.

In total, Metsec provided more than 1,000 tonnes of steel to the project, the largest project for the Purlins division to-date.

Marsh said Nakilat Damen Shipyard was the largest purlins project Metsec had undertaken and involved a lot of intensive design work to ensure the sections could accommodate the long spans and to deliver on time and in full to the client.

“On the success of this project, Metsec was then awarded the next phase of the project, a superyacht facility,” he added.

The company had earlier supplied key products for a number of notable projects in the region including Abu Dhabi airport and Warner Brothers theme park on Yas Island.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Tejari to highlight procurement tech for smart city growth

BravoSolution Tejari, a strategic procurement company, will highlight how procurement technologies have the power to support the growth of the region’s smart cities at the upcoming seventh GCC Municipalities and Smart Cities conference.

Taking place in Dubai, UAE on September 27-28, the conference will focus on world cities and their transformation into innovative cities of the future, whilst highlighting strategies to transform provinces and urban neighbourhoods to innovative cities and municipalities.

The event will discuss the changing role of municipalities in cities that are experiencing increased urbanization making it a challenge to be innovative, yet sustainable, in future strategies that can help improve, transform and develop smart cities.

One way to support this development is through solutions such asBravoAdvantageTM17, a strategic procurement platform which offers value-generating features that include powerful business analytics, integrated procure-to-pay functionality and updated spend management and sourcing capabilities.

Dan Quinn, senior vice president at BravoSolution Mena / Tejari, said: “We have had a long and successful history of working with government entities to streamline procurement operations. Through procurement technologies, government organizations can make better strategic decisions that can positively and significantly impact their bottom lines, and the local economy, as they continue to develop the region’s cities.”

“This GCC Municipalities and Smart Cities conference brings together like-minded government officials to contribute towards the advancement and development of smart cities in the Middle East by equipping them with the right tools,” he added.

BravoSolution Tejari provides a market leading global strategic procurement platform that helps more than 600 companies and 100,000 purchasing professionals worldwide. – TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Arabtec unit wins Emaar residential tower contract

Arabtec Holding, a leading contractor for social and economic infrastructure, said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Target Engineering Construction Company has been awarded a Dh196 million ($53.3 million) contract by Emaar Properties for the main contract works of Phase I of its key Downtown Dubai project, Forte.

Situated in Dubai's new cultural centre, Forte is a two-tower residential development, set apart by its distinctive location and aesthetic architecture which adds to the ambiance of The Opera District.

The apartments overlook the iconic Dubai Opera, the 2,000-seat, multi-format, performing arts centre which is the centrepiece of The Opera District and host to opera, ballet, theatre, concerts, exhibitions and sport events.  

Forte is located on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai and forms part of The Opera District, offering an unprecedented life for its residents.  

Target said the scope of work includes the construction of 5 basements for two residential towers.

Work will start on the project this month and is set to be completed within a year.

On the contract win, Arabtec Group CEO Hamish Tyrwhitt said: "We look forward to working on another project with Emaar Properties."

"We continue to win projects that are aligned with our key geographies and our key competencies whilst maintaining a robust risk management approach," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

German media take off with Gulf Air to Colombo

German media representatives were recently invited to visit the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo as part of a collaboration between Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, and Onyx Hospitality Group, a leading hotel management company in Asia.

The six-day visit saw guests experience the comforts of flying with Gulf Air, residing at leading hotels and enjoying some of the island’s most notable touristic sights and tours.
 
Gulf Air’s schedule includes daily flights between Frankfurt and Bahrain and five weekly flights between Colombo and Bahrain, giving Europe and Mena-based travellers wishing to visit the Sri Lankan capital greater flexibility and better connectivity. Gulf Air flights can be booked online on the airline's website. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Mazoon awards key contract for $258m dairy project

Oman-based Mazoon Dairy Company has awarded a RO28 million ($72.4 million) construction contract to Al Adrak Trading and Contracting for its upcoming dairy project in Buraimi region, said a report.

The dairy, being built at a cost of RO100 million ($258 million), is set to become the biggest such project in the sultanate, reported the Times of Oman.

Work will start next month and the project is due for completion in the third quarter of 2018, it stated.

The scope of work includes construction of main dairy farm, feeding centre, milking parlous, staff accommodation, office buildings, utilities and connecting roads.

Starting from an initial herd of 4,000 Holstein-Friesian cows, the farm will have 25,000 cattle by 2026, said the report. 

The company anticipates that the first of the initial phase of 4,000 cows will start arriving at the farm in early 2018, while the project will start production by the third quarter of 2018, it added.

Backed by the Oman Food Investment Company alongside government pension and investment funds, Mazoon Dairy will provide home-produced dairy and juice products.

Mazoon Dairy’s product range will cover a diverse mix of dairy and juice products, including milk, yoghurt, laban, cheese, ice cream and juices, said the report. 

The project is being funded through a RO50-million equity and a RO50-million loan provided by Oman Arab Bank, it added.



from Construction Realestate

Halal travellers 'top spenders of international travel'

Muslim travellers are the biggest spenders when it comes to international travel, with studies showing a halal traveller spending about $10,410 on average per trip outside the Gulf.

Halal tourists are proven to travel with more family members, stay for a longer period and ultimately spend more than any other specialised tourism sectors. For these reasons tourism brands across the globe are adapting their services to meet the needs of these guests and tap into this booming travel sector.

Once seen as a highly specialised niche, Halal tourism has now become a significant sector in the global tourism market, with halal spend anticipated to hit $155 billion this year and rise further to a staggering $300 billion by 2026, according to the GMTI 2017 report.

By engaging with this dynamic market segment, tourism brands can benefit greatly. The untapped Halal travel market has significant potential for industry players with a wealth of business opportunities and revenue streams in the future.

In 2015, the world’s only dedicated Muslim majority travel show, the World Halal Tourism Summit was launched to address the importance of working within this significant sector, both in terms of new revenue streams for global tourism destinations but also educating participants on the specific cultural requirements of Muslim travellers.

This event hosted 202 exhibitors representing 26 countries and generated over $18.4 million worth of business on the show floor. In addition to this, a further $73.5 million worth of business was estimated to stem from leads made at the show.

CEO of Holiday Bosnia, Kamraan Siddique, said: “We found the event to be an extremely useful platform to share ideas and best practice approaches towards the concepts of Halal tourism. It was also a great opportunity to network with a wide range of stakeholders from all over the world.”

This year’s event takes place on November 25 and 26 at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre. Expanded from 2015, the shows confirmed exhibitors include Wonderful Indonesia, Dinar Standard, HalalBooking, South Africa Ministry of Tourism, Chile’s National Tourism Service, Tripfez and Azerbeijan Tourism Authority, among many others, who are all participating to promote their destinations Halal tourism offerings to international trade buyers in this market sector. The event also offers free to attend seminars covering a vast spectrum of invaluable information imparted to visitors from industry experts.

Andy Buchanan, CEO of Cacti Media, the official organiser of International Travel Week 2017, said: “Unlike any other industry event for Halal tourism, the World Halal Tourism Summit uniquely brings together the industry’s most influential participants, ensuring that the valuable time of exhibitors and visitors is maximised in terms of business returns. The event not only shapes the future of Halal tourism, but also educates, demonstrates and delivers new business opportunities. This year’s event is supported by the industry’s biggest Hosted Buyer programme, the only event in the world matching Halal buyers with Halal sellers in pre-booked business meetings.”

Delegates interested in attending ITW Abu Dhabi, or to see the entire seminar programme agendas, please visit the event’s website. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Oman Air receives top recognition

Flag carrier Oman Air was named as “Best Airline in Europe, Middle East and Africa” for the second year in row at the Seven Stars Luxury Lifestyle and Hospitality Awards 2017.

The award ceremony took place last week during an official ceremony and prestigious gala dinner at “The Ecali Club” in Athens, Greece and was attended by the entire senior management from the global travel industry. Oman Air was represented by Rogier De Jager, regional vice president - Europe.

Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards is designed to identify and separate the exceptional from the very best by bestowing the Signum Virtutis, the “seal of excellence” upon the most exceptional luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle properties/products worldwide.
For 2017 the nominees in the category “Best Airline in Europe, Middle East & Africa” were Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, Saudia, Oman Air, South African Airways, Swiss Air and Turkish Airlines.

Paul Gregorowitsch, chief executive officer of Oman Air, said: “Winning this prestigious award for the second time in a row is a significant recognition of the outstanding product, service and Omani hospitality that Oman Air is offering its guests. We are very proud to receive again the Signum Virtutis as Best Airline in Europe, Middle East & Africa. Oman Air is a successful, sustainable company of the highest quality and is seen to be setting standards when it comes to product and on board experience.” - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Dubai airport passenger traffic tops 8m in August

Dubai International Airport (DXB) has registered yet another month of record passenger traffic with 8.2 million passengers welcomed in August, according to the monthly traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports.

Boosted by the seasonal rush of travellers, particularly UAE residents returning for the start of the academic year, passenger traffic at DXB reached 8,233,311 in August compared to 7,727,105 recorded in the same month last year, an increase of 6.6 per cent. The year to date traffic totalled 59,353,368 passengers up 6.3 per cent compared to 55,851,148 recorded during the first eight months of 2016.
 
During August, South America (27.4 per cent) was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth followed by Asia (21.9 per cent), and Eastern Europe (18.8 per cent). In terms of passenger volumes, India remained the top destination country with 1,044,730 passengers in August, followed by the UK (611,254 passengers) and Saudi Arabia (610,434 passengers).

London was the top destination city with 377,130 passengers followed closely by Kuwait (284,151 passengers) and Mumbai (211,564 passengers).
 
The average number of passengers per flight during the month remained high at 246, up 7.2 per cent compared to 229 recorded in August 2016.
 
Flight movements totalled 34,370 during the month under review compared to 34,967 recorded in August 2016, marginally down by 1.7 per cent. Year to date flight movement totalled 274,549, down 1.5 per cent compared to 278,799 per cent recorded during the first eight months in 2016.
 
Freight volumes surged to 221,508 tonnes in August, up 10.1 per cent compared to 201,100 tonnes recorded in the corresponding month in 2016. Year to date cargo reached 1,737,676 tonnes up 3 per cent compared to 1,686,277 tonnes recorded the first eight months last year.
 
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said: “We are very pleased with the way things are shaping up this year, not only in terms of growth, which has been robust with passenger numbers exceeding the 8-million mark three times – in January, July and August, but also with our success in significantly enhancing the airport experience with initiatives such as the launch of the world’s fastest free airport wi-fi, streaming entertainment service ICFlix, quicker passport control and shorter wait times in queues thanks to cutting edge technology.”
 
“As we celebrate Dubai International’s 57th anniversary later this week, we will renew our commitment to make the world’s number one airport for international passenger volumes also the world’s best for customer service,” he added. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Monday, September 25, 2017

Smart home households set to reach 463m by 2021

Worldwide smart home households are predicted to grow more than fivefold from 90 million in 2016 to 463 million by 2021, said the organisers of Gitex Shopper 2017, the Middle East’s largest annual consumer electronics exhibition.

The exhibitors are showcasing an extensive range of smart phone devices between September 23 and 29 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

The past year has seen the introduction of many Smart Home Ecosystems, including Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, among many others. The intelligent systems allow the user to control a variety of household items to easily manage the home - such as locking the front door, controlling the lights, thermostats, alarm clocks and even window blinds.

“This year we are seeing more exciting devices for the home that can control all manner of things simply with a click of a button, via an App, or even speaking directly to the smart device. As the largest consumer and IT electronics show in the Middle East, Gitex Shopper enables visitors to find everything from smart fridges to smart speakers, all revolutionising the everyday routine and make laborious tasks more manageable,” said Avinash Shanbhogue portfolio director - Exhibitions, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)

One of the region’s largest retailers, Sharaf DG, is featuring a wide selection of smart home devices, including Google Smart Home Speaker powered by the Google Assistant and the Nest Thermostat for smart energy efficiency savings.

Regional power retailer, Jumbo Electronics, is showcasing the latest smart home security devices, such as Grains keypad lock, which can be operated with a fingerprint and Grains video door bell, which gives a real-time view of the door at any point, via a mobile application.

Gitex Shopper is also a shopper’s paradise for the latest smartphones, TVs, laptops, wearable tech, smart watches, cameras and gaming consoles, all conveniently showcased under one roof, and at unbeatable prices. – TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Prescott starts work on prime Dubai residential complex

Prescott Real Estate Development, a leading player in the regional residential and property business, said it has broken ground on a major residential and commercial project, Prime Views, at Dubai's prime address, The Meydan.

Estimated to cost over Dh165 million ($45 million), the project will feature 133 one-bedroom units and 18 two-bedroom units spread over four levels and covering more than 225,000-sq-ft area.

Its unique placement in Meydan Avenue, home to the Dubai World Cup and the world's richest horse race, makes Prime Views a distinctive home address in the heart of new Dubai, said the top developer.

The property is situated next to the world-renowned Meydan Racecourse and The Meydan Hotel, a multi-faceted development that offers visitors and residents a sophisticated lifestyle.

Prime Views will be built to the highest quality standards, bringing luxury living to the residents of Dubai, It is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019, it stated.

The premium residential development has been designed to offer an urban lifestyle with a unique horse racing backdrop on one side and an impressive Dubai Downtown skyline on the other, said a senior official.

"Our vision has always been to provide reasonably priced and premium luxury living spaces in prominent neighbourhoods that embrace the good life in Dubai. Prime Views brings luxury living without compromising on quality, location, and amenities," remarked CEO Muhammad Shafi.

Prescott's mega housing project comes in the wake of a government-led affordable housing programme, which is geared towards drawing residents back to Dubai by reversing an earlier trend that saw most residents seek cheaper and less glamorous options in the Northern Emirates.

And with Dubai's affordable housing schemes continuing to gain momentum, Prime Views is now poised to set a standard in terms of value addition by incorporating prime privileges that cater to the tenants' lifestyle, stated the official.

Dubai's bullish economy has also seen renewed confidence within the real estate market with developers currently working to deliver over 35,000 units this year, bringing the total number of residential units on the market to over 500,000, noted Shafi.

"The Prime Views apartments, which are at the heart of Meydan Avenue, will include temperature-controlled pools, a fully equipped health club that sports the latest equipment, and will be surrounded by a vibrant community of outdoor dining, cafes, bistros, and luxury retail," he explained.

With over ten years' experience in the property market, Prescott has successfully initiated and successfully completed numerous real estate projects in Dubai's multi-functional zones, some of which include, First Gold and Silver Certified Leed residential buildings in Dubaim, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Qatar Airways rolls out world's first double bed on flight

Qatar Airways is taking its passenger experience to a whole new level with the unveiling of the world's first double beds in business class, said a report.

Passengers flying from London to Doha in the airline's QSuite will be able to create a fully flat double bed by reclining two middle seats. For those who prefer a little privacy, the QSuite features stow away partition panels to create a private bedroom, said a report in Doha News.

The QSuite design also features adjustable panels and movable TV monitors on the centre four seats to allow those travelling together to transform their space into a private suite, giving them the opportunity to work, dine and socialise together.

"Qatar Airways is known the world over for setting the highest possible standard in customer experience, and it is with much anticipation that I look forward to sharing this new experience with our customers,” said Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker.

After London, Paris and New York's JFK are the next routes to carry the QSuite option, the report said.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

EmiratesGBC to launch zero energy buildings' report

Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, is set to launch the country’s first ‘Nearly Zero Energy Buildings’ (nZEBs) report, followed by a discussion on its key findings on September 27, at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.

This comes as part of celebrations to mark World Green Building Week 2017, a global event to achieve the goal of making all buildings net zero by 2050, in a bid to win the fight against climate change.

Accordingly, the event will define the concept of nZEBs and serve as a referral point to support the strategy for developing the buildings in the UAE, said a statement from EmiratesGBC.

The new report will further complement the global trends in transitioning towards a low-carbon, low-energy economy and developing nZEBs.

The UAE’s ongoing strategies, initiatives, building codes and rating systems that highlight the role nZEBs can play in achieving the UAE’s green vision are documented in the report.

It also highlights the findings of a survey commissioned by EmiratesGBC to examine industry recommendations to achieve nZEBs and highlight the challenges in their development.

Saeed Al Abbar, the chairman of EmiratesGBC, said: "Our report on defining nZEBs is a pioneering initiative that supports the UAE’s pledge to combat global warming at COP 21 and the nation’s ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2016."

"It also complements the sustainable development goals outlined by UAE Vision 2021, Abu Dhabi Plan 2030 and Dubai Plan 2021 – all of which are focused on optimising energy use and promoting sustainable-built environments," noted Al Abbar.

"The adoption of best practices in nZEBs can lead to considerable improvements in the energy performance of buildings by reducing energy demand, improving energy efficiency and enhancing renewable energy generation and utilisation," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Delta continues its expansion in Paris

Delta Air Lines customers in France will benefit from a wider choice next year with the launch of new non-stop flights to Los Angeles and Indianapolis as well as additional service to Detroit.

The flights will be operated in cooperation with Delta Air Lines’ joint venture partners, Air France, KLM and Alitalia.

Flights to Los Angeles will start on June 17, 2018 and will be operated by Boeing 777-200, with three weekly departures from Paris on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The flights will be coordinated on the basis of existing Air France routes and will offer more choice and options for connections in Los Angeles and Paris.

The flight to Indianapolis will start operating on May 25, 2018 and will be the only regular non-stop service between Europe and the state of Indiana.

Delta will also increase the number of flights to Detroit with a third daily frequency starting May 25, 2018. The service will be operated by Boeing 767-300ER and will be in addition to the daily flights currently offered by Delta and Air France.

Next year Delta and its joint venture partner Air France will provide non-stop service between Paris and 24 destinations in North America and up to 42 daily flights to provide more choice and convenience for their customers. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Abu Dhabi opens new entrance to Khalifa City

The Abu Dhabi City Municipality has opened a new Dh11-million ($3 million) entrance to Khalifa City, next to Al Raha Beach running 800 m long serving the Al Raha Gardens and Eastern Basin areas, which will help ease the pressure on two preceding traffic entrances on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai Road.

This comes as part of the municipality's efforts to improve local infrastructure, including roads, bridges, tunnels, entrances and city exits to the capital and its suburbs, as well as to provide advanced services in residential areas, while keeping pace with the rapid national urban development and meet the needs of an increasing population, reported state news agency Wam.

The new entrance runs from the Abu Dhabi-Dubai Highway at Al Raha Beach through a 45-km-long south-eastern coastal road and the sites of several infrastructure projects in Khalifa City.

A major residential suburb located in Abu Dhabi, the Khalifa City is a big hit among renters. It has been subdivided into three areas: Khalifa City A, Khalifa City B, and New Khalifa City. All of these are currently being developed into what will become the new city center of Abu Dhabi.

Khalifa City A is on the main highway to Dubai, about 25 km from Abu Dhabi, and is close to Abu Dhabi International Airport. It already has around 600-700 houses, and is adjacent to the prestigious Al Raha Beach project.

This project will include residential and commercial units, as well as many international hotels. The project is being built by Aldar properties.

Khalifa City B is further inland and is near Bani Yas and Al Shawamikh, while the new Khalifa City is being planned somewhere in between Khalifa City A and Khalifa City B.

The entrance is also the second that will cater to the motorists from Abu Dhabi Airport to Khalifa City, said the Wam report.

Work on the project began in June 2015 and was opened to traffic last week, it added.



from Construction Realestate

Drake & Scull announces key management revamp

Drake & Scull International (DSI), a leader in engineering and construction services, has announced a series of strategic appointments and changes as part of its efforts to restructuring the organisation and streamline business operations.

The ongoing appointments are key to reinforcing DSI’s leadership in the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) sector.

Through the continued support of Tabarak Investment and the guidance of a new set of visionary leaders, the company intends to capitalize on its unmatched industry experience and expertise to seize new growth opportunities across the region, said a statement from the company.

DSI has appointed Ziad Makhzoumi as an advisor to the board of directors. Ziad was the CEO of Fakih IVF prior to joining the company.

With over 30 years of proven leadership and executive experience, he will play a key role in DSI’s efforts to stabilize the business, streamline and revitalize operations, and improve the financial position of the group to maintain its industry leadership, said the top Dubai-based contractor.

Other key changes are the appointment of Muin El Saleh (former CEO of Makkah & Madinah Holdings) as the new managing director of the company’s UAE operations; Dr Fadi Feghali (former managing director of Al Husam Group)) as DSI’s new managing director for international operations; Musa Ibrahim (previously General Counsel of Tabarak Investment) as the group chief legal officer besides Ismail Mohammad as the the deputy general manager of GTCC in the UAE, and Saher Ghazi Kamal as acting managing director for Saudi Arabia.

On the strategic move, Mohammed Atatreh, the group managing director, said: "The success of our organizational vision depends on the dedication and capacity of our people and leadership. Right now, Drake and Scull is implementing a comprehensive plan that will determine the company’s future direction."

"Our latest executive management appointments and changes are geared towards ensuring that we have highly capable leaders in place who can help implement our reorganizational efforts in the fastest and best way possible. Our new set of appointees will play crucial roles in driving more productivity and growth for the company," he added.

DSI’s newly-elected board of directors aims to build a strong and visionary core leadership that can take the company to new heights.

"The appointees reflect the board’s commitment to steering DSI to stability; reenergizing operations with a sharp focus on efficiency, cost control and smooth project delivery; and balancing the service portfolio," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

New HR director for Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait

Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait, the Quorvus Collection flagship hotel in Kuwait, has welcomed Joy Lacuesta to the position of director of human resources.

With more than 15 years’ experience in senior HR roles in the hotel and hospitality sector, Lacuesta will be a valuable addition to the Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait team in one of its primary goals to provide an inspiring work environment for the ambitious team of professionals working in Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait and to attract passionate talents seeking to join a fast-growing, constantly-evolving industry.

After graduation, Lacuesta started her HR career with the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah. After more than 10 years with the Hilton, Joy moved to the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort in 2011 to take up the position of deputy director of human resources, before being promoted to director of HR, a position she held until her appointment at Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait.

"With a passion for employee engagement and people development, and encouraging customer-focused teams, Lacuesta represents the ideal choice to help realise the senior management team’s vision of continually exceeding customer expectation, which sets Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait apart from the competition," the hotel said in a statement. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Air France unveils new edgy airline

Air France has unveiled a new subsidiary airline named Joon that will specifically target "the young working clientele, the millennials (18 to 35 year-olds), whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology."

The new airline will start operating medium-haul flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle later this year, with long-haul flights to follow in summer 2018.

"With Joon, we have created a young and connected brand that will give the group a new impetus. Designed for our millennial customers, it will offer more than just a flight and a fare - it will offer a global travel experience," said Dominique Wood, executive vice president Brand and Communications at Air France.

This new airline will be managed by Jean-Michel Mathieu, CEO of Joon. - TradeArabia News Service



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Bahrain celebrates Saudi National Day

The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) celebrated Saudi Arabia’s National Day by distributing gifts to visitors coming to Bahrain through the Bahrain International Airport and King Fahad Causeway on September 23.

An ‘Ardha’ performance was also organised by BTEA at the West Wing of Seef Mall, Seef District.

The celebration is in line with the bilateral relations and strong ties between both kingdoms under the wise leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin AbdulAziz Al Saud.

The BTEA has developed a calendar of events and activities in line with BTEA’s ongoing efforts to attract tourists to the kingdom and contribute towards the kingdoms economy and the 2030 Economic Vision. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Saudi Arabia unveils new schemes to boost real estate

The Saudi Ministry of Housing has launched a series of programmes and initiatives to help achieve the kingdom's Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020.

The directives from the ministry are aimed at giving citizens the opportunity to own properties, improve the performance of the real estate sector and increase its production besides promoting real estate offers, and increase productivity to provide real estate properties in good condition and proper prices, reported Arab News.

One of the ministry’s programmes aims to find solutions for the many challenges facing the rental industry, which represents half the country's housing sector in order to create a safe and sustainable housing environment.

The ministry's directive is in bid to achieve one of NTP’s key goals to increase the rate of property ownership to 52 per cent, stated the report.

It has already signed many contracts and conventions with banks, financial institutions and real-estate developers both locally and internationally to provide houses for the needy.

Currently, 46 projects providing 13,793 housing units are under development in the kingdom, of which nine have already been delivered in Riyadh, Makkah, Sharkiyah, Qasim, Jawf and Baha areas, said the Arab News report.

The ministry is also working to establish infrastructure to provide water, roads, lighting, gardens and spaces for schools and other projects for these units, it added.



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Propertyfinder signs up for Bahrain property expo

Following last year’s success, leading platform Propertyfinder has signed up as the official property portal partner for the 10th edition of The Bahrain International Property Exhibition (Bipex) which opens its doors next month.

The event will be held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Center from October 26 to 28 under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.

At the upcoming show, Propertyfinder.bh will be showcasing its comprehensive and technologically advanced portal and app to real estate professionals and visitors, said the event organisers, Bahrain Society of Engineers (BSE).

The Propertyfinder Group established in the UAE in 2007, is now present in seven key Middle Eastern markets with over 150,000 unique property listings across the propertyfinder Group network.

Each month, there are over 1 million visitors to propertyfinder Group sites with more than 7 million page views, they added.

Mohammed Khalil Alsayed, the chairman of Bipex 2017 board of directors, said: "We are happy to have propertyfinder.bh support us this year once again. This platform is an added value to all our exhibitors as it allows them to extend their reach in the GCC to the targeted audience."

As Bahrain’s leading property show, Bipex holds a significant place in the kingdom’s real estate industry calendar of events, noted Alsayed.

"Several exhibitors have seen successful results using the portal and propertyfinder.bh will share that success during the exhibition. We both share the vision of promoting real estate projects by top developers that are helping to shape the region, and the economy overall," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Work starts on UAE's Permanent Mission to UN building

The UAE government has broken ground on its new building for Permanent Mission of the UAE to the United Nations in New York. The project reflects the heritage and national and cultural identity of the emirates.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan yesterday (September 23) attended the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new building, reported state news agency Wam.

Sheikh Abdullah said the building of the UAE Permanent Mission is an extension of the country's long-standing commitment to the principles of the United Nations and its continued belief in multilateral diplomacy.

"As an active member of the United Nations since 1971, the UAE, remains committed to playing a role in shaping and developing successful solutions to global and regional issues in cooperation with partners in the United Nations," noted Sheikh Abdullah.

The ground breaking ceremony was attended by Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, and Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, as well as senior UN officials, foreign diplomats and senior representatives of the United States Government and New York City.



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CBRE Middle East appoints key services officials

CBRE, a global real estate consulting firm, has announced two new appointments to its Middle East Advisory & Transaction Services team.

Zeynep Sarsar joins the CBRE retail agency team as a manager, Retail Agency, bringing over five years of regional experience with a background that includes retail leasing and consultancy at Colliers International and McArthur + Company.

Sarsar will play a primary role in providing unique insights and experience solutions to serve the needs of clients. Forming an integral part of the retail team, she will support the department in retail leasing, retail consultancy and business development across the Middle East region. Sarsar has significant experience working on exclusive landlord mandates across the region along with dealing with a multitude of both local and international retailers.

Jayne Higgins joins the CBRE team as a senior consultant, Retail Agency and she brings four years of experience from across the region and the UK in the real estate sector including a background in both property management and retail leasing at Colliers International.

In her new role, Higgins will be working with the team to provide her knowledge of the Middle East market, covering a cross-section of asset classes and providing both retail leasing and consultancy capabilities along with conducting market research to support development evaluations for CBRE’s clients.

Nick Maclean, managing director, CBRE Middle East, said, “This is an exciting chapter for CBRE as we continue to expand our team with driven and committed individuals to best serve our clients. With a strong team of experienced professionals and a combined experience of over 10 years in the region, these key appointments will further develop and strengthen CBRE’s regional status. I am confident that with Jayne and Zeynep’s experience, we will build on our growing advisory and transactions team, and continue to drive results for our clients.” – TradeArabia News Service



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Araco wins $108m Dubai project work contract

Abdul Rahim Architectural Consultants (Araco), a leading engineering consultant in design and project management in the UAE, has been signed up to work on three projects worth a combined Dh395 million ($108 million), in collaboration with a local, family-owned and operated real estate management, maintenance, development and rental company.

The mixed-use projects with different heights are located in International Media Production Zone (IMPZ), Al Furjan and Jumeirah Village Circle Dubai.

As per the deal, Aracao will be responsible for the architectural, MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) and structural design; preparation of tendering process; and construction supervision across all three projects.

On the contract win, Bader AbuShaaban, the head of business development at Araco, said: "It is incredibly exciting for us to partner with such a forward thinking and innovative real estate specialist, on projects that contribute towards the continued development of Dubai as a destination for world-class developments and investments."

"These upcoming projects will feature some of the most cutting edge and contemporary architecture in the emirate and will no doubt enjoy strong demand from investors and residents," he noted.

With an estimated construction cost of Dh300 million ($82 million), the first project in the pipeline is a twin high-rise tower development located in Dubai’s International Media Production Zone (IMPZ).

Once complete, it will feature two basement floors, a ground floor and 18 stories with 539 units of one- and two-bedroom apartments. The residential amenities will include a gymnasium, family play area and swimming pool, which will all provide direct access to the central mezzanine plaza, said the statement from Araco.

The second project is located at Al Furjan, with close proximity to Nakheel’s under-expansion Ibn Battuta Mall complex and Discovery Gardens The building comprises two basement floors, a ground floor and 13 stories, featuring a gymnasium exclusively for the use of residents.

The 108 residential units will boast 54 one- and two-bedroom apartments and the building will include a fitness floor, featuring gymnasium and pool for residents, retail units and community amenities, with construction expected to cost Dh60 million ($16.3 million).

The third project that has been awarded to Araco is located at Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC).  The sleek and modern residential and commercial project features two basement floors, a ground floor and four storeys, which will house 40 one-bedroom and 19 two-bedroom apartments.

Adopting a contemporary architectural style, with glass used to maximize natural light and comfort inside, construction is estimated to cost Dh35 million. Community facilities for residents will include a gymnasium, swimming pool, retail units and other amenities.

"As Dubai nears the end of its next phase of growth ahead of Expo 2020, we are very proud to contribute to the continued development of the emirate’s building stock," noted AbuShaaban.

"Such cutting-edge, state-of-the-art projects as those initiated this year, don’t just provide Dubai’s residents with stylish, affordable homes but excellent investment opportunities for the future," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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La Petite Maison to bring its French flavours to Abu Dhabi

The award-winning La Petite Maison (LPM) is set to elevate the food scene in Abu Dhabi when it opens its doors in October.

After having impressed diners with discerning tastes and a penchant for French cuisine in Nice, London, Dubai, Istanbul and Miami, La Petite Maison will bring its contemporary sun-kissed cooking to the UAE’s capital on October 15. The restaurant, which celebrates Niçoise cuisine, will open its new 8,000-sq-ft Abu Dhabi venue in The Galleria on Al Maryah Island.

Bringing French-Mediterranean cuisine influenced by Ligurian Italy to Abu Dhabi, La Petite Maison will accommodate 80 patrons in its French-inspired vibrant indoor space. For a breathtaking view of the capital’s skyline while savouring the mouth-watering signature dishes, diners can enjoy the outdoor terrace, which seats 60 guests.

La Petite Maison Abu Dhabi’s menu will boast the restaurant’s highly-acclaimed signature dishes, bringing together heirloom recipes passed down through generations with a contemporary flair, using only the finest produce and served with warmth and polished efficiency.

With La Petite Maison’s motto: ‘Tous Celebres Ici’ (We are all celebrities) making its debut in the UAE’s capital, diners can look forward to an unmatched experience at its second restaurant in the emirate. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Al Bustan Residence organises corporate wellness programme

Al Bustan Centre and Residence, the popular hotel-apartment among tourists and businessmen in the heart of Dubai, recently hosted a corporate wellness programme as part of the hotel’s responsible awareness programme.

In partnership with Thumbay Hospital, hotel employees and staff gathered for the medical and dental camp which included free consultation with a dentist and general practitioner. The general consultation focused on blood sugar, blood pressure, and body mass index.

Thumbay chain of hospitals is one of the largest health care providers in the UAE. With properties hospitals and medical centres in Ajman, Fujairah and Sharjah, the group focuses on three pillars: education, healthcare and research. It aims to provide exceptional quality of care with the latest technology.  

Moussa El Hayek, chief operating office, Al Bustan Centre and Residence, said: “We, at Al Bustan Centre and Residence look after the health and wellness of our employees and staff as they are the main assets of the property. We are doing this annually so the team can maintain a strong wellbeing and balance lifestyle to create a health environment in the property.” - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Banana Island Resort Doha diner set for Viva La Liga festival

Ted’s, Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara’s 1960’s style American Diner, is taking part in Qatar’s first Viva La Liga festival, connecting the country’s sports enthusiasts with the most popular global football brand ‘”LaLiga”.

While Viva La Liga’s visitors enjoy the opportunity to witness a host of entertainment events, live cooking shows and exciting performances from artists and Football Freestylers, Ted’s American Diner offers the festival’s 80,000 expected guests the chance to taste the unique flavours of its signature burgers, classic milkshakes, fresh juices and homemade waffles.

From September 28 till October 7, Ted’s is bringing sports fans of all ages in Doha, a family-friendly meeting space where they can enjoy a sumptuous selection of American favorites while sharing quality time and their enjoyment of the game together. The special menu will feature Ted’s famous Chicken, Beef and Lamb burgers, Waffles with a selection of delightful toppings, as well as its Classic Teds Milkshakes.

Commenting on Ted’s participation in Viva La Liga, Thomas Fehlbier, area general manager for Qatar, said: “We are always on the lookout for novel ways to present guests with a unique blend of adventure, wellness and pure indulgence. From a breathtaking coastal view to a myriad of leisure activities that spoil them for choice and a whole new world of culinary bliss, our sensual retreat features prominently amongst luxury hotels in Qatar. Ted’s American Diner’s participation in the Viva La Liga festival is an exclusive opportunity for families and sports fans in the country to be a part of this first-of-its-kind event, while giving them a sneak peek of the delightful experiences awaiting them at our lavish hideaway at Banana Island Resort. We are really excited to partake in this extraordinary event and we can’t wait to welcome visitors to our amazing selection of palate-pleasing flavors at Ted’s.” - TradeArabia News Service
 



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St Regis Doha welcomes new marketing director

The St. Regis Doha has appointed Rebecca Platt as the new director of marketing.

With over 15 years marketing experience in the hospitality industry, Platt brings extensive PR, marketing and digital knowledge to the property.

Platt will be heading the marketing team as part of the senior leadership team at the hotel and will be responsible for developing the complete marketing strategy and representation of the St Regis Doha, developing media and partnership relations, as well as ensuring the overall sales and marketing objectives are achieved.

Having worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years throughout the Middle East, UK and Europe, Platt brings with her a wealth of experience and a background in the luxury hospitality market having worked in the past with many internationally recognised brands. Originally from the UK, she started her career as a creative designer who moved into marketing for the specialist hospitality market and, within three years of graduating, was running her own award-winning marketing and communications company in London.

Commenting on her appointment, Platt said: “I am delighted to have joined the team here at this stunning property and am very excited to be part of the St. Regis family. Although I have worked in the GCC for a number of years now I am looking forward to exploring the Doha market and driving new and exciting marketing initiatives to raise awareness of the hotel”.

Tareq Derbas, area general manager at The St. Regis Doha, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rebecca to The St. Regis Doha here in Qatar and am looking forward to working with her to develop the marketing strategy at the Hotel. She brings with her a diverse range of skills and expertise and I am sure she will prove to be an excellent addition to our leadership team.”

In more recent years, Platt has worked for recognised hoteliers such as the Shangri-La Group, the Intercontinental Hotel Group, Wyndham Hotels and UK-based Bespoke Hotels Group, as well as celebrity chef Marco Pierre White in assisting in his hospitality ventures in the UK. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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Chicago's Acme Hotel first to link TrustYou with 'Alexa'

As part of efforts to personalise and digitise service to hotel guests, Chicago’s Acme Hotel has paired TrustYou’s direct messaging service and Amazon Echo to combine all guest requests via text, email, Facebook messenger and voice control in TrustYou’s dashboard.

Amazon Echo, the hands-free and voice-controlled device to provide intelligent personal assistance, has become increasingly popular for hotels to receive their guests’ wishes through talking to “Alexa” in their hotel room.

“Direct, fast communication and problem-solving is the key to a satisfied and happy guest, which can, in turn, result in good reviews and a loyal customer. Since our hotel is designed to appeal to a young and tech-savvy clientele, Amazon Echo seemed like the perfect match to receive guest requests from the room. Since we were already using TrustYou’s effective messaging tool and dashboard for direct guest communication, the combination of the two was the next logical step”, said Jim Harness, general manager at Acme Hotel.

Amazon Echo devices were installed in all rooms at the beginning of 2017 with the help of Volara, a voice-based guest engagement software. This proved to be a successful investment, as guests rate the innovation positively in their post-stay reviews and state that they like this hassle-free possibility of communicating with the hotel. The most frequent questions for “Alexa” revolve around ACME’s Free Morning Joe coffee service, setting alarms, as well as information about the weather and traffic. The Acme Hotel reports that the integration of “Alexa” has not lead to more requests or a higher workload, but merely offers the modern guest an additional way to communicate with the staff.

“We are proud that our tool has all the makings and the necessary technology to bring the hotel’s guest communication to the next level. Innovative hotels like the Acme Hotel Company are pioneers for the digitisation process and thereby stay ahead of the competition. The combination of Amazon Echo with our messaging feature is a great example of how TrustYou brings flexible and customisable connections to clients and partners to improve the overall guest experience”, added Jennifer Graziano, head of sales US at TrustYou. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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