Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Turkey’s Mapa wins $262m Saudi water project deal

Saudi Arabia has awarded a major contract worth SR985 million ($262.3 million) to Turkey’s Mapa Construction and Trade Company for development of the Arafat-Taif Water Transmission System project, said a report.

The work on the strategic project, which will consist of a 45-km pipeline from Arafat to Taif as well as pumping stations and 12.5-km tunnels, is set to be supervised by Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), according to Arab News.

The pipeline will involve the construction of a 60-inch single line from PS2E near Arafat Tanks to Taif Strategic Reservoirs, said the report, citing a top official.

"This section includes pipe installation in the tunnel and installation of pipe supports/fixed points,"  remarked Cihan Yilmaz, the general manager of Mapa.

"The project also includes laying of a second buried 60-inch line in the area upstream and downstream of the west portal," he added.

He revealed that a housing compound and an administration area will be built near the SWCC Taif Terminal as part of the project.

The Arafat-Taif Water Transmission System comes as part of an ambitious plan to ensure adequate water supply and management, said the report. The entire project will be completed within the next four years, it added.

from Construction Realestate

Farnek to launch carbon neutral cleaning programme

UAE-based total facilities management company Farnek, said it has partnered with Swiss environmental protection foundation myclimate and the Dubai Carbon Center of Excellence (DCCE) to launch the first carbon neutral cleaning programme in the Middle East region.

The initiative now accommodates environmentally-conscious businesses in the UAE, that want to offset their carbon footprint, neutralising the environmental impact of their cleaning operation, by investing in a range of projects that replace the use of fossil fuels with renewable energy, said a statement from Farnek.

To initiate the programme, Farnek’s management team closely assessed its own carbon footprint, in accordance with ISO standard 14064 and myclimate tools, the results of which were independently-verified by the DCCE.

The assessment took into consideration and accounted for any activity, direct and indirect, that could generate CO2e, during their cleaning process, said the statement.

This covered every relevant aspect of Farnek’s operation, areas such as staff accommodation, transportation, cleaning equipment, uniforms and chemicals, electrical equipment and associated waste disposal, it stated.

The analysis concluded that the Farnek cleaning operation produced 1,637 tonnes CO2e per year, equivalent to almost 11 kg of CO2e per cleaner per working day, or close to 3.5 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

That’s the same amount of energy used by an average household over two and a half years. The same carbon footprint calculation can be applied to any external cleaning operation that Farnek carries out for its customers, said the statement.  

Farnek CEO Markus Oberlin said: "Like many industry operations, a cleaning process can make a significant impact on the environment, especially when large areas are cleaned on a daily or regular basis."

"And the effect of cleaning doesn’t end with the chemicals used in the cleaning process, rather it cascades through the production and disposal of the mops, uniforms, shoes and plastic used by cleaning technicians, transportation and the management of our cleaning operations, including recruitment and staff accommodation," he added.

"Carbon neutral cleaning, measures all these factors to provide the client with an accurate picture of the true environmental impact of the cleaning services we provide," he added.

Oberli said it was the first scheme of its kind in the Middle East region, which helps customers to engage with their supply chain and reinforce their commitment to the environment.

"We believe the awareness generated by carbon neutral cleaning heightens the level of climate change awareness and responsibility, among all stakeholders, indeed we already have the backing of the EWS-WWF which is fully supporting this concept," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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Alpha Destination Management gears up for WTM London

UAE-based Alpha Destination Management is all set for a strong presence at the World Travel Market (WTM) being held in London this November.

Samir Hamadeh, general manager for Alpha Destination Management, said: “It’s our 20th time to exhibit at WTM. It is one of the most important events for us due to the fact that the UK market is still a leading market into our destination and Alpha Destination Management is a well-known brand among the UK tour operators. At Alpha we cooperate with some of the top brands of UK tourism being their agents in the emirates and WTM offers us the perfect platform to connect and conduct business with them.”
Speaking about the significance of UK as a top feeder market for Dubai in terms of tourism, Hamadeh stressed: “There has been a major focus from the destination and its stakeholders on UK and we believe it will remain one of the top source markets in 2018 for Dubai. The message that we are conveying at WTM this year is that we are committed to offering greater added value as well as investing further into technology to enhance customer experience in the destination. Dubai is moving away from being a city you must visit, to a city you must experience.”
Dubai is among the top four most visited cities in the world and the best performer in the Mena region. The city recently added 17 new attractions such as the Dubai Opera, City Walk, IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world’s biggest indoor theme park, Dubai Water Canal, and Dubai Parks and Resorts, the region’s largest integrated theme park resort that have all further added to Dubai’s appeal as well as contributed to a steep rise in leisure tourism.
Hamadeh said: “The more the destination creates attractions and tailors its product to cater to UK tourists, the better conversion it can expect. People seek experiences. Dubai is becoming a major attractions hub and it is very important that we focus on offering experiences and added value to our customer. Our approach to UK has to be different than other markets and key to that is coming up with new ideas to grow stop over business. In order to support Dubai’s goal to attract 20 million visitors annually by 2020 and maintain a stable momentum of growth, there is need for new packages and offers with added-value to entice transit passengers to stay for least one night rather than simply pass by. We are also focusing on Dubai’s strong calendar of events to excite more travellers to come over.”
Visitors will be able to find Alpha Destination Management at the Dubai Tourism stand on booth M300. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Millennium & Copthorne wins top honours at WTA

Millennium & Copthorne, Middle East and Africa has been recognised for its continuous efforts and success by receiving multiple accolades at the Middle East Gala Ceremony of the World Travel Awards (WTA) 2017.

The global hotel operator claimed 11 awards, including the ‘Middle East’s Leading Business Hotel Brand’ for the second year running - reinforcing its role as a leading hospitality group in the region with a consistency in delivering excellence.

At the red-carpet ceremony, Millennium & Copthorne claimed the following individual property awards; ‘Middle East’s Leading Airport Hotel’, Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai; ‘Jordan’s Leading Business Hotel’, Grand Millennium Hotel Amman; ‘Kuwait’s Leading Conference Hotel’, Millennium Hotel & Convention Centre Kuwait and many more.

Kevork Deldelian, chief operating officer, Millennium & Copthorne Middle East and Africa said: “We couldn’t be more proud of our achievements at the World Travel Awards this year. These distinctions of excellence are a huge honour, and a testament to the hard work and talent of our teams. We aim to deliver a superior standard of service at each of our hotels, anticipating the needs and desires of every guest. Being recognised again by our industry peers is a wonderful incentive to the team to continue to deliver the very best experience to our guests and further build our reputation in the region.”

Hailed as the ‘Oscars of the Travel Industry’, the prestigious World Travel Awards are voted for by travel and tourism professionals worldwide, recognising the highest standards of quality across the region. - TradeArabia News Service  

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Open Tour Paris launches electric hop-on, hop-off bus

Open Tour, the RATP Dev subsidiary and leader in hop-on, hop-off double-decker buses in Paris, is going electric.

The world-first was presented at BusWorld in Courtrai, Belgium, on October 19, 2017. The first electric bus will enter service on network lines by the end of the year.
Extrapolitan alliance member Open Tour Paris has teamed up with the manufacturer UNVI to design the first 100 per cent electric, double-decker, open-topped bus. In a first for the market, the 12-metre vehicle can carry up to 75 passengers. Its range of 150 km per day means it can make up to 250 stops to enable passengers to hop on and off as they please. The entire Open Tour Paris fleet, comprising 40 vehicles, will be converted to electricity by 2024.
“Committed alongside the City of Paris authorities and the ADEME environmental agency to more sustainable mobility, Open Tour Paris has been reducing its CO2 emissions for many years thanks in particular to eco-driving training for drivers and parking its vehicles in the centre of Paris to optimise journeys to depots. We are proud today to be the first sightseeing network to offer our customers an innovative and sustainable service on board this 100%-electric bus”, said Open Tour Paris director Fabrice Bayon.
This innovation is part of the RATP Group's approach, committed to a major technological and ecological evolution with the objective of converting 100 per cent of its fleet by 2025 for Ile-de-France and two fully electric lines in London in 2018.
The group already operates nearly 900 hybrid buses, 55 electric buses and 140 buses using natural gas in several cities in France and abroad. - TradeArabia News Service

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UAE 'set to develop innovative, hitech future cities'

The UAE recognises the importance of building and developing future cities, relying on innovative and creative ideas in line with its development over the past years and its reputation on the global map in the coming years, remarked Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development.

He was giving his inaugural address on Monday at the Arab Future Cities Summit 2017 in Dubai, UAE.

Organised by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme in partnership with Expotrade Middle East, the event is being held over two days in Dubai, with the participation of pioneers and decision-makers in future cities, locally, regionally and internationally.

More than 600 participants and 40 international experts will be presenting over 20 specialised presentations during the event.

''We are committed not only to keeping pace with the latest developments but also to foresight challenges, develop and analyse visions concerning all vital sectors and design long-term plans that will achieve a qualitative leap at all levels,'' remarked Al Nauaimi, who is also the chairman of the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme.

This can only be achieved through the development of cities and infrastructure to cope with the latest current developments, he stated.

The minister pointed out that building future cities with state-of-the-art facilities and renewable energy solutions will contribute to the development and sustainability of the future communities and as a result will lead to an economic growth based on a strong foundation that takes into consideration all dimensions of the community, most importantly making the citizens happy.

The hosting of the Arab Future Cities Summit 2017 in the UAE, he stated, reflects its ambitious vision to promote the development of future cities that are capable of keeping pace with the rapid changes in the world.

Al Nauaimi said the summit would offer a unique chance for the parties interested in the sector of the future cities and residences, to promote employment opportunities and get insight on the best international practices in the field by meeting worldwide pioneer leaders and decision-makers in this sector.

On the opening day, the speakers discussed the development of smart cities besides open city data as well as serial data, related to transport, e-government technology, digital transformation and the role of the future in achieving happiness and enhancing the integration system in supporting the cities of the future.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

UAE to spend $1.9bn on new residential complexes

The UAE government plans to develop a number of residential neighbourhoods across the country under its Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme at an investment of Dh7 billion ($1.9 billion), reported the state news agency Wam citing a senior minister.

"The programme helped build 30,000 homes, while some 27,000 are in the under-construction phase across the country," stated Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, the Minister of Infrastructure Development.

He was speaking at the Arab Future Cities Summit 2017 in Dubai on Monday.

The number of residential neighbourhoods completed by the programme reached 788 housing units, while the number of those in the implementation phase was eight, comprising 3,467 housing units, revealed Al Nuaimi, who is also the chairman of the Programme.
All the residential neighbourhoods comply with the criteria and requirements of the two-pearled sustainability programme, he added.

from Construction Realestate

Damac tops Forbes 2000 fastest growing firms' list

Damac Properties, a leading luxury real estate developer in the region, has clinched the number one spot on the Forbes Global 2000 List of Growth Champions, making it the fastest growing company worldwide among the top 2,000 listed by Forbes.

The Forbes list was created in collaboration with Statista, a leading portal providing online statistics, market research and business intelligence, and is based on four metrics - sales, profit, assets and market value, and takes into account a company's compounded annual revenue growth between 2013 to 2016.

On the achievement, Hussain Sajwani, the chairman of Damac Properties, said: "Topping the Forbes Global 2000 Growth Champions list is a personal honour for me as it puts the UAE and Dubai firmly on the global map for competitiveness."

"This ranking is a testament to the visionary leaders of the UAE, and the government's support in nurturing entrepreneurship and commercial success, particularly in the real estate sector. This achievement also recognizes Damac's clear vision for growth, its innovative offerings, its solid financial planning and performance, as well as the relentless ambition of its 2,000 employees to be leaders of the industry," remarked Sajwani.

The Growth Champions list considers growth rates for all the companies included in the Global 2000 index, and identifies the top 250 outperformers as Growth Champions, based on their compound annual revenue growth over the last three years.

Damac's strong sales performance is attributed to continued demand for its projects including Aykon City, Damac Hills and Akoya Oxygen. In the first half of 2017, Damac had booked sales of Dh4 billion, an 11 per cent increase over the same period last year.

Established in 2002, Damac's footprint now extends across the Middle East with projects in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Kingdom.

As of September 30, Damac said it has delivered over 19,800 homes, and has another 44,000 units at various stages of development.  

Since its establishment, Damac has been at the forefront of the real estate industry in the UAE and the region, as well as setting an example for brands and organizations in other industries both financially and profile wise, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Monday, October 30, 2017

Abu Dhabi residential market 'under pressure' in Q3

Abu Dhabi’s housing market continued to feel the pressures of weakened demand, sluggish economic growth, and cautious investor sentiment, according to the latest report from leading international property company Chestertons Mena.

Sales prices on average decreased by 3 per cent for apartments during the third quarter of the year, as prevailing economic factors prompted residents to move into more affordable areas such as Khalifa City, Mohammed Bin Zayed City, and Muroor, stated the property expert in its Abu Dhabi Residential Market Q3 2017 report.

Ivana Gazivoda Vucinic, the head of advisory and research, Chestertons Mena, said: "In the first half, we saw a number economic factors place downwards pressure on the Abu Dhabi housing market including low oil prices, increased stock in the secondary market, a rising cost-of-living and work redundancies."

"In Q3, these factors continued to steer market performance, while the announcement of new, high-end residential projects, raised caution among investors," stated Vucinic.

"However, an expected revival in oil prices due to global stock depletion and renewed government activity thanks to VAT receipts has cast a slightly more optimistic outlook for the market," she added.  

Saadiyat Island posted the strongest performance as sales prices increased from Dh1,401 per sqft to Dh1,415 per sqft. Al Raha Beach posted the largest decline, at more than 5 per cent quarter-on-quarter, as prices in the area dropped from Dh1,627 per sqft to Dh1,541.

Average villa sales prices fell by 2 per cent in Q3, with Al Ghadeer, falling more than 3 per cent from Dh904 per sqft to Dh875 per sqft; while Al Raha Gardens declined of just over 1 per cent, with prices decreasing from Dh824 per sqft to Dh812 per sqft.

The emirate’s rental market demonstrated similar trends, with an overall decline in rental prices of 2 per cent and 1 per cent for apartments and villas respectively.

The best performing areas were Al Khalidiya, Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Corniche Road and Muroor, due to the prevalence of affordable units with studio apartments ranging from Dh29,000 to Dh55,000 per annum.

Meanwhile, across Al Raha Beach, Al Ghadeer, Al Reef, Reem Island and Saadiyat Island, which all posted negative results, a studio apartment ranged from Dh39,000 to Dh105,000 per annum and three-bedroom apartments ranged from Dh110,000 to Dh196,000 per annum.

In the villa rental market, Al Ghadeer posted the highest decline in average prices, dropping 8 per cent over the quarter, with negative performance also posted in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Al Reef and Al Raha Gardens, while Al Reem Beach witnessed flat performance, stated Chestertons Mena in its report.

This compares to positive trends recorded in Al Khalidiya, where prices increased by an average of 4 per cent, Al Reem Island and Khalifa City, which both posted a 3 per cent increase in prices, raising the average quarterly results, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Eren, Access Power enter Egypt renewable market

Eren Renewable Energy, a global independent power producer, and its strategic partner Access Power have announced the financial close of two solar photovoltaic (PV) plants marking their official entry into the Egyptian renewable market.

The secured funding will be used to finance the construction of two solar PV plants with a total capacity of 126MWp, located in the Benban solar park in the Aswan province of Egypt.

The two projects have been awarded through Egypt’s Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) program, launched by the national Ministry of Electricity and the country’s New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA).

Construction of the plants is expected to start before the end of 2017. With each of the plants generating roughly 143 GWh per year, they will contribute to the reduction of more than 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

The plants are project financed through non-recourse debt provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Proparco, the private sector financing arm of the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement). EBRD and Proparco have together provided $111.6 million of senior debt for the power plants.

David Corchia, CEO of Eren RE, commented: “The magnitude of the Egyptian energy program and the paramount role of solar energy highlight the exemplarity of the Egyptian government and authorities who provided a sound framework for great-quality projects and private investments. We also thank the lenders of these projects, the EBRD and Proparco, whose role was critical to the successful completion of such large solar programs. We are honoured to set up in Egypt and will work hard to commission these two projects rapidly.”

Reda El Chaar, executive chairman of Access Power, said: “This is a significant and exciting moment for large scale solar projects in Egypt and Africa overall. These two projects will contribute to meeting the energy needs of the country while also enhancing the possibilities of additional large scale solar projects in the region, by providing a framework others can follow. The Benban project will transform the country’s energy sector and fulfil energy self-sufficiency.”

Benban is a $3.5 billion solar development complex, which is located in Aswan’s village of Benban, Egypt, consisting of 41 solar power plants with a total capacity of 1.8 GW. The project began in 2015 and construction will be completed by 2018.

Once the project is completed, the energy generated from the solar power plants will be directly connected to the national grid and then distributed across the country. Officials estimate the power generated by the complex to equal 90 per cent of the electricity generated by Egypt’s high dam. – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

JA Resorts in Dubai get top recognition

JA Resorts & Hotels’ picked up a staggering four wins at the World Travel Awards Middle East Gala Ceremony 2017.

The event, which took place on October 29 at the Armani Hotel Dubai, saw the hospitality group’s exceptional performance receive international appreciation, with two of its local properties, JA Oasis Beach Tower and JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort awarded for their unique and service-focused offerings.

The World Travel Awards, regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry, is voted for by travel and tourism professionals worldwide and recognises commitment to excellence. JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort was once more recognised as the Middle East's Leading Family Resort 2017 for the third year running. With a varied range of amenities focused on every member of the family, from an esteemed nine-hole golf course to stables providing horse riding lessons, to affiliated watersports by registered instructors, the resort offers family-friendly facilities and a variety of engaging activities. The company’s ongoing partnership with the Worldwide Kids Company plays a significant part in meeting the requirements of families with children from as young as four months. In addition to a crèche for babies and toddlers at the flagship JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, there are also CoolZone (4-12 years) and ChillZone (8-16 years) children’s clubs.

Meanwhile, JA Oasis Beach Tower received treble recognition for its niche offering, being awarded Middle East’s Leading Serviced Apartment Hotel, United Arabs Emirates’ Leading Hotel Apartments and Dubai’s Leading Hotel Apartments 2017. JA Oasis Beach Tower, conveniently located on ‘The Walk’ at Jumeirah Beach Residence, consists of 180 spacious apartments spread over 45 floors. All two, three and four apartments cater to the GCC traveller, featuring a fully equipped kitchen, living area and maids quarters. JA Resorts & Hotels takes pride in offering varied destination options within the city of Dubai to cater to the diverse needs of the city’s tourist and business visitors.

JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort and JA Oasis Beach Tower will go forward to compete in the World Travel Awards Grand Final, this year taking place at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, Vietnam on December 10.

David Thomson, JA Resorts & Hotels’ chief operating officer, has been integral part of JA’s success, and states: “We are delighted to receive these accolades. We have always given careful consideration to the developmental strategy of our Dubai-based properties and have worked towards providing guests with outstanding experiences to cater to the tastes of specific travellers. At JA Resorts & Hotels, we pride ourselves in offering unique experiences to our guests that will enhance their stay in the city. We are pleased to have achieved this with JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort and JA Oasis Beach Tower, both of which cater effectively to very different sets of audiences, but at the heart of these two properties is a family-friendly focus. We look forward to future success as we continue to enhance the offering of our existing portfolio while expanding within this market.’ - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Eagle Hills breaks ground on Bahrain residential development

Eagle Hills Diyar, developer of distinguished urban project Marassi Al Bahrain, today (October 30) marked further progress at the master development with the groundbreaking of its newest residential component; Marassi Boulevard.

Marassi Al Bahrain is a distinguished urban project by Abu Dhabi-based Eagle Hills as part of a joint venture agreement with Diyar Al Muharraq, the developer of mega-project Diyar Al Muharraq.

On completion, the project is set to become Bahrain's premiere ‘smart city’, offering luxury homes, high-end shopping, leisure and entertainment.

The groundbreaking was held in the presence of Dr Maher Al Shaer, the managing director of Eagle Hills Diyar, Abdul Ghaffar Alkooheji, the managing director of Kooheji Contractors and other senior company officials.

This comes following the awarding of the main construction contract to Kooheji Contractors, which brings 40 years of construction, civil engineering and design experience to Marassi Al Bahrain.

Marassi Boulevard is a four-building apartment complex which will offer stunning views of the landscaped Marassi Al Bahrain community. Lined with 700 sq m of retail space, the Boulevard faces Marassi Galleria, and is located within walking distance of the development’s bustling seafront promenade.

The property represents a residential mixed-use development which will be home to more than 240 studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, comprising a total area of 38,500sqm.

A short walk from Marassi Al Bahrain’s main 2-km-long beachfront promenade, Marassi Boulevard sits in close proximity to the island’s new-to-market hotels, The Address Marassi Al Bahrain and Vida Marassi Al Bahrain, and the landmark shopping and entertainment destination Marassi Galleria, offering convenient access to extensive retail, restaurants and café options.

Speaking at the event, Dr Al Shaer said: "We are pleased to be working with one of the kingdom’s most experienced contractors, with a host of high quality projects in its portfolio. Marassi Boulevard is the most affordable of our residential offerings, and we are delighted to officially kickstart construction today."

"The Bahrain real estate market remains robust, with continued interest from investors and end users from neighbouring GCC countries, as well as nationals and expatriates. We want people from various income levels to enjoy the opportunity to invest in the most elegant waterfront project in Bahrain," he stated.

Conveniently located along Marassi Al Bahrain’s east coast and in the southwestern corner of the Diyar Al Muharraq mega-development, Marassi Al Bahrain provides easy access to the rest of the island via the main boulevard, and is a 10-minute drive from the airport.

Upon completion, Marassi Al Bahrain will be home to 22,000 residents with a total of 6,000 residences and a total retail space of 250,000 sq m.

On the contract win, Alkooheji said: "It is truly our privilege to be part of this strategic project. With its elegant and inventive designs, Marassi Boulevard will bring a new definition to the concept of community living. This iconic project will have a substantial positive impact on Bahrain’s economic and tourism sectors."

Kooheji Contractors, he stated, had extensive experience in delivering high-end projects to the fullest satisfaction of clients.

"We are fully committed to contributing our experience to meet the expectations of Eagle Hills
Diyar," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Dubai, Saudi start-ups shortlisted for Marriott's TestBED programme

After launching its TestBED programme in partnership with Wamda in the Middle East and Africa region for the first time in September this year, Marriott Hotels has announced the shortlist:  Actimirror from Hong Kong, Twistar from Dubai, Near Motion from Saudi Arabia, Unified Inbox from Singapore, Beachill from Lebanon, and DUBZ from Dubai.  

The shortlist’s innovations include a smart mirror that provides real-time interactive guest experiences while collecting data (Actimirror), a smart device that uses AI for market intelligence by analysing guest’s actions and voice for real-time insights (Twistar), a beacon that enables guests’ navigation and location-based communication (Near Motion), specialised chat apps that allow guests to communicate with smart devices using text and voice (Unified Inbox), an eco-friendly solar-powered beach mattress that can even charge guests’ mobile devices and cool their drinks (Beachill), and a service that allows guests to send their luggage from the airport to the hotel and vice versa without the hassle of carrying it (DUBZ).

“We have been truly impressed with not only the level of interest we’ve received for this initiative, but also with the quality of those entries. There is such an enormous amount of talent across the region and around the world, and we’re glad to be able to help discover it as well as nurture it, and facilitate learning from each other. Marriott Hotels has long been a trailblazer in shaping the future of travel, particularly when it comes to technology, and seeing these entries put into action will be an exciting journey for the people behind them, as well as for our brand,” says Sandra Schulze-Potgieter, Vice President of Premium & Select Brands, Middle East & Africa at Marriott International.

The programme, which was open to seed and early stage start-ups with products or services that are ready to pilot in a live hotel environment, offers an invaluable opportunity for participants to gain insightful feedback from guests, associates and mentors to help further develop and perfect their product.

Marriott received nearly 200 submissions from all over the Middle East as well as Africa, Europe and even Asia, demonstrating the wealth of talent eager to be given a chance to work with such a renowned hotel brand. The short-listed candidates have been hand-picked for their ability to revolutionise a guest’s stay, and their potential to reinvent the hotel experience throughout the region. To enter, applicants were invited to submit their applications online, before being invited to pitch to a panel of experts including Marriott executives and industry experts.

These shortlisted start-ups have now been selected following the expert judging process, and will be invited to Dubai to pitch their solutions in front of a panel of judges on November 13 and 14. They will also be given the opportunity to be profiled through the microsite, Marriott International’s network, and various media outlets, before the finalists will then be chosen.

Once selected, the finalists will have access to a mentoring programme that involves long-term impact and association with the Marriott brand, and access to partnerships with start-up accelerators and industry experts, as well as the chance to interact with guests while they put their innovations into action in a live, working hotel environment within a Marriott Hotel.

Marriott has a long history of supporting talent across the globe, not to mention encouraging its guests to think more innovatively, live more, and do more. This is no different here in the Middle East & Africa, where the programme is uniquely placed to make a serious impact of change. The Marriott Hotels TestBED programme represents yet another opportunity for game-changing growth and impact. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Staycation deals to savour at Dukes Dubai

Dukes Dubai, the quintessentially British, five-star hotel and residences on Palm Jumeirah, has revealed a stunning selection of staycation deals in the run-up to, and including, the festive season.

La Perle Room Package – starting from Dh1,920 ($522.6)

Combine your stay at Dukes Dubai with an unforgettable performance at La Perle. Upon booking at the hotel, receive two bronze tickets for the region’s first resident show, featuring 65 artists, each bringing their own unique set of skills to the performance, ranging from acting, acrobatics, aquatic and aerial stunts.

Offer includes:
• Daily breakfast in Great British Restaurant for two adults
• Two complimentary bronze tickets for La Perle
• 20 per cent off at all food and beverage outlets (except in-room dining)
• Complimentary access to the lazy river, infinity pool, private beach and fitness centre
• Complimentary access to Dukesy Kids’ Club from 10am – 10pm
• Complimentary shuttle service three times daily to Dubai Marina Mall and Mall of the Emirates
• Water sports activities, available upon request - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

NIC unveils $816m Abu Dhabi mall expansion plan

UAE developer National Investment Corporation (NIC) has announced an ambitious Dh3 billion ($816 million) expansion programme for its retail venture Marina Mall Abu Dhabi, which will see an impressive portfolio of entertainment attractions being added to the enhance visitors' experience.

NIC, the breakwater developer and owner of Marina Mall Abu Dhabi, will start work on the 300,000 sq m expansion in the second half of 2018, while a series of upgrades to the mall’s current facilities will begin in early 2018, said senior company officials at the ongoing RECon Middle East & North Africa 2017 Conference and Exhibition in Dubai.

One of the largest annual retail industry event in the region, RECon Mena will run until October 31.

In addition to the extension, NIC has revealed plans for a new promenade, Marina Walk, offering 546 m of prime waterfront views and 123,000 sq m of exciting leisure and entertainment experiences aimed at all ages in the community, including Abu Dhabi’s first skate park.

Marina Walk’s 19,500 sq m of Gross Leasable Area (GLA) will also be home to a fabulous new dining precinct, boasting a brand-new restaurant tower that offers the Abu Dhabi community, and the area’s vast tourist population, an even greater overall experience at its unique location overlooking the Arabian Gulf, said the officials at the top retail event.

Work on the prestigious promenade will also commence in the second half of 2018 and will focus on outdoor experiences, including 15,000 sq m of open park areas for community-led events, multiple water features, three helicopter pads and 900 additional parking spaces.   

Unveiling the big plans, Rami Chehabeddine, the chief investment officer, said: "The Marina Mall extension will begin with the South Block that will be home to a plethora of globally recognized brands, offering a range of luxury and high-end retail, F&B (food and beverages) dining facilities and a brand new residential tower."

While the North Block will further build on the mall’s impressive portfolio of entertainment attractions that already houses a bowling alley, a 9-screen VOX cinema, Magic Planet and Bounce Abu Dhabi, the Middle East’s largest indoor trampoline park, he stated.

"There is no dispute that Marina Mall’s location is unparalleled in Abu Dhabi as it is one of the iconic sites of the capital and this has been one of the key reasons for our continued success," remarked Chehabeddine.

"These new plans will allow us to rejuvenate and heighten the experience we offer our customers for many years to come," he stated.

“By adding to the incredible mix of shopping, dining and entertainment options we already offer as well as building an even greater environment for our customers we will reinforce our position as the destination of choice for people and families of all ages,” observed Chehabeddine.

He said that in addition to the expansion plans, existing features within the current mall will also be upgraded, including the introduction of LED screens, renovation of current store front fixtures to open up the space, as well as enhancing the luxury area and the main entrance.

Already a landmark of the emirate, the expansion project will see Marina Mall play a more prominent role in the government’s drive towards the Abu Dhabi Plan, helping to further strengthen the capital’s core economic sectors, including tourism, hospitality and retail, he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Food Tourism on the top table at WTM London 2017

Food Tourism is once again primed to take a top slot at WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, taking place from November 6–8.
It’s now accepted that travellers from the four corners of the world are seeking an experience whilst on a trip and the food element plays a big role in that experience.
World Travel Market London has gathered together a panel of leading influencers covering every aspect of Food Tourism.
Delegates will gain insight on the State of the Food Tourism Industry from Erik Wolf, executive director of the World Food Travel Association.
In a recent article published on Medium, Wolf cited that on average 25 per cent of the tourist’s budget goes on food and drinks.
The destination, technology and tour operator perspectives of Food Tourism will also be covered including a session with VizEat Co-founder and CEO Jean-Michel Petit.
Food Tourism plays into many aspects of exploring a destination enabling locals to participate in and benefit from promoting a destination as well as allowing visitors to get close to the heart and culture of a place through memorable culinary experiences.
Maria Elena Rossi, general manager, Piemonte Marketing (Piermonte is a region of northern Italy) will talk on how the region has used its farms and markets to attract tourists to the region.

Furthermore, Ollie Lloyd, CEO, Great British chefs will discuss the perspective of the food service industry to food tourism.
The Food Tourism session will be rounded off by a panel discussion on all the latest trends and the opportunity for questions from the audience.
WTM Portfolio conference and seminar manager, Charlotte Alderslade, said: “We’re really excited to have Food Tourism back on the agenda for 2017.
“The session has gained traction since last year and will be a place for delegates to learn how they can best take advantage of this growing trend.”
The session takes place in the Platinum Suite 3 on November 7 from 10:30 - 12:30. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

$20bn pumped into Dubai's infrastructure projects

The Dubai Government has invested around $20 billion in the development of the emirate's infrastructure and transport during the period from 2006 through 2016, reported state news agency Wam citing a senior government official.

"The RTA is a key partner of the smart city initiative launched by the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, four years ago to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world, stated Mattar Al Tayer, the director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

He was speaking at the opening session of IRF Mena Congress held under the theme: "Smart Infrastructure for Mobility Future in Dubai."

"We are spearheading the smart mobility drive and lend support to other key aspects such as the smart economy, smart life, and the smart government," he stated.

RTA’s mobility services are focused on three key drivers: customer centricity, integrated transport, and encouraging the partnership between public and private sectors, explained Al Tayer.

"This sustained strategic direction has brought in a quantum shift evidenced by ranking the UAE Number 1 in the quality of roads for four consecutive years in the international competitiveness index of Davos Global Economic Forum," he added.

According to him, the government has pumped billions of dirhams into transport infrastructure and accordingly, the rate of mass transit means jumped from 6 per cent in 2006 to 16 per cent last year.

"It has also resulted in saving $34 billion as time and fuel wasted by traffic congestions," remarked the RTA chief at the Dubai event.

"Mortality rates too dropped from 22 cases per 100 thousand of population in 2006 to 3.5 per cent per 100 thousand of population by 2016," he added.

In his opening address, Al Tayer also touched on the challenges encountered by the smart infrastructure improvement in Dubai highlighted by the rapid demographic growth of 7 per cent annually.

It is also coupled with the rapid urbanisation, inclement weather conditions and multi-cultural ethnicities, he pointed out.

Other challenges include global challenges relating to legislations and laws, laws and privacy and safety, maturity point and the endorsement of the smart technological systems, he added.

from Construction Realestate

Waldorf Astoria to operate luxury London hotel

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has been appointed by Prime Investors Capital to operate the luxury hotel within one of the capital’s best-known and most prestigious monuments.

Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria, London will open in 2022, following an extensive on-going refurbishment programme which will restore and protect the iconic landmark’s architectural and historical features.
Admiralty Arch was commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of Queen Victoria, and was designed by Sir Aston Webb, who was also responsible for The Mall and main facade at Buckingham Palace. In addition to housing the official residences of the First Sea Lords, Admiralty Arch has served as a centre for clandestine wartime intelligence efforts, a Royal Navy outpost, and latterly as a centre for the UK Government’s Cabinet Office. Following a rigorous and thorough official tender process Prime Investors Capital outbid 28 institutional bidders from all over the world in order to acquire the 250-year lease of the property in 2015.
Since construction of the building was completed in 1910, Admiralty Arch has hosted leading figures of state and society, from Sir Winston Churchill –  whose office was based within the arch when he was First Sea Lord of the Admiralty – to author of the James Bond spy novels Ian Fleming. Situated in one of London’s most prestigious addresses, Admiralty Arch offers unmatched views down The Mall to Buckingham Palace, and commanding vistas across Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column.
Rafael Serrano, chief executive officer, Prime Investors Capital said: “Since 2015 when we acquired Admiralty Arch from the British Government, we have made many decisions that will impact not only the future of the building and the local area, but also the profile of the very heart of London. We have appointed a team of talented experts with the experience and knowledge to capture the spirit of this magnificent building. We have created a detailed plan to transform Admiralty Arch into an extraordinary Hotel, Residences and Private Members Club. And one of the most important decisions we have made is to select and appoint the operator to whom we will entrust the management and running of this hotel. Further to interest and discussions with 12 top luxury hotel brands, we are delighted to announce the creation of Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria, London.
“The Management of Prime Investors Capital and Waldorf Astoria hold many things in common: a commitment to enhance the heritage of this remarkable, elegant building; a determination to preserve its sense of place; and the experience needed to provide superb hospitality to discerning guests from London and around the world. As the proud owners of Admiralty Arch, we have every confidence that, together with Waldorf Astoria, we will ensure that this London landmark enters the next chapter of its life in safe hands and maintains its iconic standing in the capital.”
Christopher J. Nassetta, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hilton said:
“This agreement marries the timeless elegance of Waldorf Astoria with the historic grandeur of one of London’s great monuments. Projects of this calibre are rare, and Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria will provide a truly unforgettable hospitality experience when it opens to guests.
“Waldorf Astoria has a legacy of protecting and enhancing historical buildings, from our flagship hotel in New York, which is currently undergoing a comprehensive refurbishment to protect the art deco building for future generations, to this incredible property in London. This partnership brings our iconic luxury brand to London’s finest address, and we’re proud to partner with Prime Investors Capital Ltd to introduce Waldorf Astoria to London.”
Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria will include 96 spacious and luxurious hotel rooms and suites, and three world class restaurants. Plans include a rooftop bar with sweeping views across London’s skyline, private meetings and event spaces, as well as a state of the art spa. Luxury private residences and an exclusive Private Members Club and other exclusive Food and Beverage components will join the hotel within Admiralty Arch.
Councillor Robert Davis MBE DL, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business, Culture and Heritage, Westminster City Council said:
“I have worked with Prime Investors Capital for a number of years.  First on the creation of the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge and more recently on their extensive plans to restore and refurbish Admiralty Arch into a luxury hotel. This extraordinary project is going to make a huge impact on Central London by opening up to the public an iconic building standing at the end of The Mall and adjacent to Trafalgar Square.
The outstanding team that Prime Investors Capital has assembled - together with a variety of expert advisers - make me confident that Prime Investors Capital has shown the commitment and the vision to ensure that this project will be an enormous success. The hotel will be an important addition to the City of Westminster as well as to London as a whole - at a time when tourism and travel is so important for our country.”
Work is already underway to sensitively restore the building’s original features, and an internationally celebrated design team is in place, led by Michael Blair and David Mlinaric. Blair’s work includes the restoration and extension of The Ritz, The Connaught and Claridge’s hotels. Mlinaric’s body of work includes The Royal Opera House, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The National Gallery and the British Residences in London and Paris.
Historical interiors expert Andrew Damonte completes the design team. Damonte has worked alongside David Mlinaric on the restoration of Dumfries House in Scotland for HRH The Prince of Wales.
Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria, London joins 26 Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts in the world’s most sought after destinations. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Sunday, October 29, 2017

New waterfront shopping mall opens in Bahrain

Sorouh Al Bahrain has announced the opening of The Avenues, a first-of-its-kind commercial and entertainment mall in the kingdom with a unique 1.5-km waterfront location in the heart of capital Manama, opposite the Bahrain Bay.

The kingdom's latest shopping destination was inaugurated by HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister last evening in the presence of Sorouh Al Bahrain chairman Mohammed Al Shaya and other senior government officials, reported BNA.

Designed in a similar theme to The Avenues in Kuwait, the project’s architectural design gives visitors an outdoor feeling whilst remaining indoors, it stated.

The covered roof in the mall allows for sunlight to pass through but keeps the heat out, giving a sense of outdoor shopping. It is also designed in an innovative recreational style that allows the public to have access to a charming sea front.

The first phase of the project, which including the “Grand Avenue” and the “Harbour” boasts 130 retail stores, and a leasing space of around 40,000 sq m, half of which is devoted to restaurants and cafes, all of them overlooking Bahrain Bay, said the BNA in its report.
The work on the Phase One was completed at an investment of of BD60 million ($158 million) within two years, it stated.

The implementation of the Phase Two of the project will start within the next few months and is likely to be completed in 2020. In this phase, the west side of the project will be completed and also additional leasing space of 30,000 sq m will get added, said the report.

The scope of work includes construction of the 210-room Hilton Bahrain Bay Hotel and Residences and also residences with direct access to the mall.

"This will make The Avenues an attractive destination for citizens and tourists from across the GCC and beyond," remarked Al Shaya.
The Avenues features international and local brands, some of which enter the Bahraini retail market for the first time. In addition, it has a number of spaces for family entertainment, including a games hall, ten cinemas, parks, walkways and car parks, it added.

Lauding the kingdom's investment-friendly environment, Al Shaya said: "We are delighted that Bahrain is the first country outside Kuwait to launch The Avenues."

"The Avenues opening in Bahrain follows its success in Kuwait, where it has become one of the most important tourism landmarks in the region, attracting millions of visitors every year," he added.

from Construction Realestate

Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana hosts Pink October workshop

Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana, in partnership with Prince Medical Centre, Abu Dhabi, hosted a Pink October workshop with the objective to raise awareness about breast cancer.

The workshop was held at Capital Centre Arjaan Hotel, where guests and colleagues attended a seminar on early detection of breast cancer by Dr Safa Suliman which was followed by a session of self-assessment techniques. The forum was then opened for questions addressed to Dr. Safa Suliman. Later the female attendees were treated to a wide selection of pink themed desserts and games with prizes to Yas Waterworld & Ferrari World.

In this regard, general manager Chadi Nicolas said: “At Capital Centre Arjaan guests and colleague’s health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us and I would like to thank the team of medical experts at Prince Medical Centre for the great support rendered towards this event for breast cancer awareness”

On the sidelines of the lecture, Dr. Suliman said: “The fight against breast cancer is an ongoing struggle. October is about raising awareness and giving people hope.  Ninety eight per cent of breast cancer survivors won the battle because of early detection.  Similarly, prevention and knowing the risk factors are equally important defenses in the fight against this condition.  As a healthcare provider, we are truly honoured to be part of this life-changing endeavour.”

According to a report by media outlet Khaleej Times, more than 20 per cent of all female deaths in the UAE are caused by breast cancer, and the deadly disease is attributed to almost 40 per cent of all cancer cases. Early diagnosis of breast cancer leads to high survival rates of 90% and hence it is of immense importance through education, awareness and health checkups the number of deaths caused can be significantly brought down. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara unveils wellness offers

To help its guests kick-off the fall season, Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is welcoming visitors to its Balance Wellness Centre where they can embark upon specialist journeys to detoxify, de-stress, rejuvenate and jump-start their weight loss.

The Centre, considered a unique and the Middle East’s first and only wellness hub, offers patrons and habitués the chance to experience the country’s ultimate sanctuary and escape hectic daily life with an exclusive range of results-driven programs that provide balanced diet and the right environment to achieve their balance, relaxation and wellness goals, without going through the trouble of booking flights or travelling abroad.

Ms. Nazley Mohamed, director of Spa and Wellness at Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, said: “As summer counts its last days, there is no better way to start the fall season than by assessing your physical, mental and emotional state and then take them up a notch ahead of their New Year resolutions. This is exactly what we help our guests achieve at Banana Island Resort’s Balance Wellness Centre. Through our tailored holistic approach, professional guidance and state-of-the-art facilities, visitors can now finally give themselves the space and time to grow, unlock their true potential, and conquer their personal goals.”

She added: “Whether they opt for our ‘Balance Wellbeing’, ‘Relax and De-Stress’, ‘Rejuvenate & Revitalise’, ‘Weight Management’, or ‘Detox’ program, our 3-7 day journeys are designed to help our clients eliminate barriers, and stay on track. Alternatively, special offers on our De-stress, Detox and Lymphatic Drainage 90-120 minute therapy sessions present our visitors with a quick reset and reactivation of their Zen state, empowering them to start their week with vigor and stay on top of their game throughout.”

For those looking to unwind and rediscover their personal beauty in an exquisitely relaxing atmosphere, Anantara Doha’s spa hotel brings guests a diverse treatment menu that captures the warmth of traditional Qatari culture and a truly personalised approach to wellbeing. In addition to private facial treatments, pedicure and manicure, soothing steam and bathing experiences include Traditional Turkish Hammam, Royal Moroccan Bath, In-villa Slumber Guru Experience, as well as Biotec Super Anti-ageing Skin Therapy using the Middle East’s first Biotec dynamic facial skincare machine.

To add excitement to the mix, Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is bringing visitors a vast choice of activities to inspire, relax and thrill at the resort’s recreation center. Both above and below the water, the center presents guests with a myriad leisure activities such as a fully-equipped fitness center, surf and swimming pools, children and teen clubs, Velo-Taxi tours, Racing Simulators, and a range of sports including volleyball, bowling and tennis, in addition to a host of land activities. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Restaurant Secrets to launch six new F&B concepts in Dubai

Restaurant Secrets, a Dubai-based restaurant consultancy, is set to launch six new concepts in the world-class beachfront development in Dubai, La Mer.

With its objective to introduce outstanding food and beverage (F&B) outlets, the consultancy will launch 14 new homegrown concepts in the UAE before the year is over. Each one has been fully developed in-house by the firm.

The new concepts include the second branch of Roti Rollers, an East meets West Indian street food brand that opened its first location at Dar Wasl this summer. The Duchess, Backyard, Maison de Juliette, Levee and O’Doner are all scheduled to open at La Mer before the end of 2017. “Each concept has been developed in its entirety by our team of industry experts. From the concept, business model, interiors to the logos, brochures, social media, websites, operations and head hunt; we’ve worked rigorously to bring each concept to life – and each with their own personality and game-changer”, said Restaurant Secrets CEO, Ralph Homer.

Roti Rollers offers a healthier take on Indian fare with less oil, healthier ingredients and a fantastic DIY perspective. While The Duchess, their darling brand with monochrome interiors and provocative splashes of brass and turquoise, offers some of the best indulgent, yet homemade cakes in Dubai, along with an all-day menu of salads, sandwiches, pastas, and fresh meals.

Backyard is where families and friends will come together to dine on Josper-grilled BBQ meats in a setting termed ‘bare-foot luxury’. Maison de Juliette’s game changer is cuisine du soleil – sun-drenched foods – fresh & passionately made with a romantic Provençal touch. O’Doner offers authentic street food from the five corners of Turkey. Levee is waterfront dining at its best in a social lounge atmosphere with an expansive outdoor Al Fresco space.

“Operating in one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries is a perfect base for the firm to create exciting & unique concepts with fascinating flavors and fusions, creative interiors and sensory experiences. La Mer will be Dubai’s next best destination and we’re proud to be a part of a project of such magnitude that welcomes all ages and walks of life,” said Homer.

When asked about the company’s plans for the next year, Homer said: “The work’s not over for these concepts as we handle F&B brand management for our concepts, looking after the social media, online reputation and PR of each brand on a daily basis. We’ve also been working closely with the Sharjah government over the past year to launch the Emirate’s first lifestyle & entertainment district in 2018, with more than 20 new home-grown cafés, resturants, kiosks & food trucks under one roof at the Waterfront.”

Restaurant Secrets delivers turnkey solutions to launch successful restaurants throughout the GCC. The consultancy has conceptualised and incubated well-known unique concepts like The Hamptons Café in Jumeirah Road, the Doner & Gyros franchise, The Victorian, Jolie Floral Boutique Café and Sushina in Abu Dhabi. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Klauss named new hotel manager for Four Seasons Alexandria

Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano, Egypt has welcomed Till Klauss as the new hotel manager to oversee hotel operations.

Klauss, who is from Munich, Germany, joins from the paradise of Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico where he spent the last four years as director of food and beverage.

A graduate from Schweizerische Hotelfachschule Luzern SHL in 2005, Switzerland with a diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Klauss started his Four Seasons career as an intern in the food and beverage division of the flagship Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris in 2001. Since then, he has worked at Four Seasons in Hampshire England ,Damascus, Prague, Toronto then Punta Mita and now finally Alexandria.

With his great passion for food and service, flexibility and creativity, Klauss will assist in uplifting the Alexandrian culinary scene in addition to elevating the guest experience, the hotel said in a statement. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Bank ABC closes aircraft financing for DAE Capital

Bank ABC, acting as sole mandated lead arranger, has successfully closed the financing of an Airbus A320-200 aircraft for DAE Capital.  

The aircraft will be operated by flyadeal, the low-cost carrier recently established by Saudi Arabian Airlines.  The aircraft is one of eight that will be leased by DAE Capital to the airline with Bank ABC providing funding for two aircraft.

Jonathan Robinson, Bank ABC Group head of wholesale banking, said: “We are very pleased to have played a role in the delivery of this new aircraft to flyadeal.  Bank ABC is a leading provider of specialised finance solutions in the Middle East and this deal demonstrates Bank ABC’s ability to structure, arrange and fund a complex cross-border financing on schedule and underlines the Bank’s commitment to the aviation sector and our commercial leasing partners, in this case DAE Capital.”

Firoz Tarapore, CEO of DAE Capital, said: “Many thanks to Bank ABC for its continued support of DAE Capital following its acquisition of AWAS. Our company intends to continue to employ a diversified funding strategy, and maintaining our relationship with Bank ABC via this important transaction is therefore highly appreciated as we enter a new growth phase and transition DAE Capital into the top tier of aircraft lessors.”  

DAE Capital, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise’s award-winning leasing division, has an owned, managed and committed fleet of nearly 400 Airbus, ATR and Boeing aircraft with a fleet value of $14 billion. DAE’s strong capital base, its full-service, best-in-class platform and its three decades of leasing experience allows it to provide customised and comprehensive solutions to airlines to address their fleet ambitions.

The Bank ABC Group is a leading international wholesale bank providing innovative wholesale financial products and services that include corporate banking, trade finance, project and structured finance, debt capital markets, syndications, treasury products and Islamic banking. It also provides retail banking services through its network of retail banks in Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.  - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Bahrain to invite bids for 100MW solar plant project

Bahrain government plans to invite tender bids for the 100-megawatt solar power plant, set to be built in the kingdom under a public private partnership (PPP) scheme, by February next year, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

For further details visit http://www.gdnonline.com

from Construction Realestate

Etihad Rail DB starts UAE’s first rail diploma course

UAE-based Etihad Rail DB has joined forces with the Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute (Adveti) to launch the country’s first Rail Diploma as part of its efforts to develop a highly-skilled Emirati workforce for the railway industry.

The operations and maintenance arm for 'Stage One' of the UAE’s national railway network, Etihad Rail DB said the move comes following the signing of a MoU between the duo and Etihad Rail last year.

The agreement creates occupational training and shared learning opportunities for the young Emirati students, and the participants will be able to specialise in one of four professions - train captain, train controller, rolling stock technician and systems technician.

The programme kicked off on August 20 with a railway induction week in Munich, Germany, to prepare the Emirati students for future careers in the rail industry.

Senior Etihad Rail DB and Adveti officials led the trip which included various learning and networking sessions. The group visited different DB railway facilities along with a simulation training facility and an operations control centre.

In September, the first batch, comprising 10 Emirati students, began the three-year Rail Diploma programme. The first two years will be spent with Adveti at Baynounah Institute of Science and Technology in Al Dhafra Region, with the final year focusing on functional training at Etihad Rail DB.

The practical year will be split between Etihad Rail DB’s headquarters in Mirfa, in Al Dhafra Region, and Doncaster, in the UK, with DB Cargo.

"We are delighted to achieve this milestone, and to sponsor and develop these bright Emirati talents who will form the bedrock of the UAE’s growing railway industry," remarked Abdul Muhsen Younus, the chairman of Etihad Rail DB.

"The rollout of the Rail Diploma falls in line with our mandate to help realise UAE Vision 2021, facilitating a national transition into a globally competitive and knowledge-based economy," stated Younus.

Dr Abdulrahman Jassim Al Hammadi, the managing director of Adveti, said: "It’s an honour for us to be able to contribute to the UAE emerging railway market and to ensure business continuity and sustainability for the transportation infrastructure across the UAE through an initiative such as this."

"In all we do, we look to adopt the very best global practices and training methods. That’s why our partnership with Etihad Rail DB is so special, as it is one of the leading railway operators in the region," added Al Hammadi.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Dubai real estate deals top $55bn in nine months

The total value of real estate transactions in Dubai, UAE for the first nine months of 2017 reached Dh204 billion ($55.5 billion), achieved through 52,170 transactions, according to a report released by Dubai Land Department (DLD).

According to the report, there were a total of 37,633 transactions for land, residential units and buildings, generating a value of over Dh88 billion. There were also 11,699 mortgage transactions worth Dh102 billion and 2,838 other transactions worth Dh14 billion.

 Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director general of Dubai Land Department, commented: "We are delighted to share our new report, which contains many encouraging and promising signs for those interested in Dubai's real estate sector. The data clearly shows an increasing demand across all property categories, including land plots for various forms of real estate development, as well as buildings and residential units, which means that we are attracting a wide variety of investors."
Bin Mejren added: "We expect the market to remain on this upward trajectory of sustained growth, and to see demand continuing to diversify across various real estate categories. The momentum of the market is being driven and sustained by several factors but particularly the upcoming launch of Expo 2020 Dubai."

Land superiority

The latest DLD report shows that the land category attracted Dh143.40 billion worth of investment, achieved from 11,169 transactions across sales, mortgages and other transaction categories. Building sales generated 5,014 transactions with a total value of Dh12.72 billion, while 36,000 transactions for residential units of all types crossed the Dh48.77 billion mark.

Areas in high demand

 The report also reveals the top ten real estate sales areas in Dubai, with 'Burj Khalifa' taking first place in terms of value with 1,650 transactions worth Dh6.239 billion. 'Business Bay' followed in second place with 2,754 transactions worth Dh5,570 billion, while 'Dubai Marina' took third place with 2,596 transactions totalling Dh5.357 billion in value.

'Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid' came in fourth place with 1,495 transactions worth Dh4,470 billion and 'AL Barsha South Fourth 5' ranked fifth through 2,418 transactions exceeding Dh3 billion in value. The other five places went to 'Al Thanyah 5', 'Al Yufrah 2', 'Jabal Ali First', 'Madinat Al Mataar' and 'Al Yelayiss 2' respectively.

In terms of mortgages, 'Palm Jumeirah' topped the list with 578 transactions exceeding Dh11.38 billion in value, followed by 'Business Bay' with 596 transactions worth Dh4.63 billion. 'Dubai Marina' ranked in third place with 777 transactions worth over Dh3 billion, 'Burj Khalifa' came in fourth place with 434 transactions worth nearly Dh2 billion, and 'Al Thanyah 5' placed fifth with 796 transactions worth Dh1.77 billion. The other five places went to 'Al Thanyah 4', 'Al Barsha South Fourth', 'Jebel Ali First', 'Al Yelayiss 1' and 'Al Thanyah 3' respectively. – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

IRF Mena Congress to open with 200 speakers

A total of 200 speakers from 50 countries are set to take part in the first Mena Congress and Exhibition of the International Road Federation (IRF) opening today (October 29) in Dubai, UAE.

Being held under the theme “Mobility Solutions for the 21st Century”, the event is considered one of the key road-specialist events, and will convene at the Dubai World Trade Center for the first time in the Mena region. The opening ceremony will witness the honouring of sponsors and the keynote speaker.

The Congress, which is hosted by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), will see the participation of specialists and experts from all over the globe sharing expertise in an array of discussion panels. More than 100 papers will be presented, and 200 speakers will deliver speeches.

Fifty sessions will be held to discuss a whole host of fields relating to innovations in smart cities, designs of road safety and smart transit systems, assets and pavement management, partnerships and finance, and issues relating to the environment and sustainability. At the sidelines of the Congress, an exhibition spanning more than three thousand square meters will be held where 70 exhibitors will take part.

“Staging this global event in Dubai is a global endorsement of the confidence reposed by international entities in the high profile of the UAE and its ability to host international events. It is also signals a recognition by the IRF of the massive efforts of the Dubai Government in nurturing the best infrastructure of roads network in the Emirate,” said Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the RTA.


“RTA is exploring the possibility of operating autonomous vehicles on pavements and crossing side roads guided by hi-tech dedicated light traffic signals. It seeks to implement this pioneering global experience for crossing side roads by autonomous vehicles through signalised crossings dedicated to these vehicles. An MoU will be signed during the Congress heralding the first experience of its kind worldwide in terms of using technology and customising the infrastructure to the crossing of roads by autonomous vehicles,” said Al Tayer.

“Over the past decade, the Dubai Government has spent about Dh90 billion ($24.5 billion) for upgrading the infrastructure of roads and transport network in the Emirate, including Dh60 billion for roads sector. Accordingly, the total length of roads network in the Emirate has soared from 8715 lane-kilometre in 2006 to 13594 lane-kilometre in 2016.

“During the same period, the number of lanes crossing the Dubai Creek has jumped from 19 to 48 recording 153% rise. Examples of vital roads network projects include the construction of the 13-lane Business Bay Crossing, replacing the old Al Garhoud Bridge by a 14-lane crossing, constructing the 6-lane Floating Bridge using military technology, and increasing the number of lanes of Al Maktoum Bridge to 11 lanes,” he added.

Abdullah Al Mogbel, chairman of the IRF, said, “For centuries, roads had been the world’s first “social network” providing essential human and economic development. At the International Road Federation, we have tried to capture the connections between roads and trade with a simple slogan “Better Roads. Better World.” The roads we are designing and building today are durable assets. They would serve an increasingly diversified range of uses and vehicles. Events such as these supported by multi-stakeholder platforms, like IRF are essential to achieve a cross-industry consensus around essential questions.”

“IRF and Dubai RTA share a common vision of roads and mobility at the service of a longer-term agenda of growth and sustainability. It is with this shared spirit that we have worked together to develop this program, and that we would continue to further our agenda of constructive engagement around mobility solutions for the 21st century,” added Al Mogbel. – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Dewa completes 453 solar roof top installations

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) said it has connected 453 photovoltaic (PV), installations on the roofs of residential, commercial and industrial buildings in the emirate, with a total capacity of about 18.7 MW.

This was carried out under the ‘Shams Dubai’ initiative launched by Dewa to encourage customers to install solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of their premises to generate electricity from solar power and export any excess to the power grid, said a statement from the Dubai utility.

The numbers are expected to increase in the future to eventually cover all buildings in the emirate by 2030.

Commenting on the initiative, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the managing director & CEO, said: "Shams Dubai gives its residents the opportunity to transform their buildings into sustainable ones, reduce the emirate’s carbon footprint, and increase the proportion of solar power in Dubai's environmentally friendly energy mix."

"Through this initiative, community members will promote sustainable development in Dubai and transform the emirate into a global hub for clean energy and green economy, and support the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050," stated Al Tayer.

"Shams Dubai helps customers avoid using very expensive power storage systems by connecting the photovoltaic panels to the network. Furthermore, the surplus power will be exported to Dewa’s grid, which will be deducted from the customers' future bill," said the top official.

Apart from providing those direct benefits to electricity customers, and increasing the value of buildings where solar photovoltaic systems are installed, Shams Dubai establishes a sustainable model for providing clean energy and supporting Dubai’s economy without harming the environment and natural resources, he added.

According Al Tayer, the first customers’ solar photovoltaic systems connected to Dewa’s grid, under Shams Dubai initiative, was the rooftop of the employees’ building at Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International Airport, with a capacity of 30 kilowatts at peak load, kWp.

"After that, a number of ambitious projects were completed, including the 1 megawatt at peak load, MWp, carport installation at Emirates Engine Maintenance Centre in Warsan, a number of Dubai Municipality buildings, including the 260kWp carport at Al Qusais Park, the 1,210kWp installation at the Engineer’s Office’s water pumping station at Al Qudra, the 126kWp canopy at ENOC petrol station near Dubai Internet City, and 353 villas at the Sustainable City as of 31st August, 2017," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Adwea unit to complete $84m expansion projects

Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch (Transco), a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea), has launched a package of new expansion projects in the emirate and the northern region, at a total cost of Dh359 million ($84.12 million).

The package includes an Dh189-million project to link the Barakah nuclear power plant to a 400KV power transmission station through a dual line between Baraka and Bab. Another project entails linking the four reactors of Baraka nuclear power plant with Transco's central control centre at a total cost of Dh27 million, said a statement from the Abu Dhabi utility firm.

Other projects include expansion works in the power stations of Madinat Zayed, Al Saadiyat, Al Bahiya and Al Shamkha South, it stated.

Abdullah Ali Musleh Al Ahbabi, the chairman of the Adwea Board of Directors, said the projects are part of the authority’s five-year (2016-2020) plan, aimed at sustaining efficiency of water and electricity services to consumers.

Transco is also carrying out works to extend a pipeline of 1,400mm diameter from Al Mirfa Water Plant to its pumping station. The project is being executed at a total cost of Dh8.4 million, said the Abu Dhabi utility firm.

The company is also engaged in an Dh5.8-million project to upgrade points 2 and 4, along the Fujairah water transmission pipeline, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dubai property show announces ‘Mega Property Sale’

The International Property Show (IPS), one of the biggest property sales platform in the Middle East region for local, regional and international real estate markets, will be back in April next year with its new ‘Mega Property Sale.

The event will kick off on April 9 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and run until April 11 showcasing the market-leading offers from UAE, regional and international developers in addition to banks, real estate agents and property auction houses, providing investors with a one-stop shop where they can find complete packages of bargain deals.

As the main partner of IPS 2018, Dubai Land Department will be adding value by enhancing trust and transparency in the real estate sector to attract investors at the event, said the event organisers.

The headline feature of the newly-revamped IPS is the ‘Mega Property Sale’, which has been launched to provide buyers with an excellent opportunity to buy property through exclusive deals with low interest rates they stated.

Dawood Al Shezawi, the chief executive of IPS Organizing Committee, said: "IPS is the region’s only transactional property platform where real-time sales take place during the event, providing exhibitors with a real chance to not only promote and showcase their projects among a 20,000-strong international audience, but also to sell their properties onsite to an abundant pool of relevant and quality customers looking for lucrative real estate deals."

"This is a unique opportunity in the real estate world and will be further enhanced by our newly launched Mega Property Sale," noted Al Shezawi.

As part of the ‘Mega Property Sale’, developers will be offering buyers low down payment and registration fees, as well as special discounted prices, he stated.

"Buyers will also benefit from free legal consultancy, three-day local distress deals through live auctions, and a series of exclusive offers from banks including no processing or service fees, onsite pre-approvals and low interest rates. Brokers at the event will find themselves set up for success at the dedicated ‘Brokers Village’, where they can display their portfolios of exclusive deals with the best rates from top developers," stated Al Shezawi.

The event also serves to connect the global real estate community, allowing attendees and exhibitors to meet with investors, network and engage with industry peers, establish new partnerships, and explore regional and international customer needs and demands, he noted.

The other highlights of the new show include a special onsite B2B lounge, B2C meetings, real estate conferences and workshops, interactive country pavilions, and four co-located events: the Annual Investment Meeting, AIM Startup, the Future Cities Show, and the Dubai International Government Achievements Exhibition, he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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Dubai plans to set up $735m e-commerce free zone

Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza) has announced plans to develop the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region's first free zone dedicated to e-commerce in Dubai at an investment of Dh2.7 billion ($735 million). 

A joint venture between Dafza and UAE-based wasl Asset Management Group, the Dubai CommerCity will come up over a sprawling 2.1-million-sq-ft area in the Umm Ramool region of Dubai, UAE.

The launch was held in the presence of Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of the Dafza and other senior government officials.

It is strategically intended to promote Dubai’s position as a leading platform for international e-commerce and to support economic diversification and smart transformation strategies, said a statement from Dafza.  

Dubai CommerCity spans a total area of 427,000 sq m inclusive of office spaces and logistics units covering 207,000 sq m; a total leasable area of 176,000 sq m; and infrastructure and parking areas over 220,000 sq m, with 4,000 parking slots for its customers. 

The free zone is divided into three clusters designed in a modern and innovative way to strategically achieve environmental and investment sustainability. State-of-the-art technologies are implemented to provide investors with quality experiences. 

The Business Cluster includes 13 office buildings with a total leasable area of 108,000 sq m and a total built-up area of 136,000 sq m. It features modern buildings and landscapes within the interior and exterior areas to encourage customers to adopt a healthy and active approach while doing business and to make work routines interesting and youthful. 

The cluster is ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)’ program certified as well, said the statement from Dafza. 

The Logistics Cluster, on the other hand, consists of 84 logistic units with a total built-up area of 71,000 sq m and a leasable area of 68,000 sq m equipped with the latest technologies to meet the needs of logistics services providers and customers. The main feature of the cluster is its rooftop PVC solar panels for generating clean energy, it stated. 

Finally, The Social Cluster is the heart of Dubai CommerCity, with its art galleries, a range of luxury restaurants and cafés, and vibrant facilities that meet the expectations of e-commerce companies wishing to establish regional headquarters in Dubai.

Dafza said the project will accelerate the growth of the GCC e-commerce market which is expected to reach $20 billion in the next three years.

It will provide an environment that stimulates creativity and attracts more direct foreign investments in line with Dubai Plan 2021 which aims to create a unique and sustainable economy based on innovation, it added. 

Speaking at the launch, Sheikh Ahmed said the new Dafza venture will add a fresh dimension to Dubai’s commercial activity and help attract more direct foreign investments to the emirate. 

It is aimed at establishing a unique and sustainable economy based on growth, innovation, diversification, and competitiveness. 

"These are features of the post-oil stage which are in line with Dubai Plan 2021’s goal of making Dubai first globally in ease of doing business as well as a preferred investment destination by 2021," remarked Sheikh Ahmed. 

According to him, Dubai CommerCity has exceptional competitive advantages that make it one of the most attractive free zones for foreign direct investment in the regional markets, and a unique gateway for Dubai and the UAE to access a promising international economic sector. 

The new free zone is strategically located near the Dubai International Airport, well-connected to major local and national highways. 

"It provides direct access for e-commerce stakeholders in the Mena and South Asia regions," said Sheikh Ahmed.

"It also offers world-class cargo and logistics services and an integrated and sophisticated infrastructure with easy access to land and seaports, enabling swift and efficient distribution and delivery of services which are essential to competing in the world of e-commerce as well as minimizing supply chain costs," he added. 

Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, the director general of Dafza, said: "Dubai CommerCity will enhance the role of e-commerce as a key driver of Dubai’s sustainable economy. The free zone will apply its leading experiences and services based on comprehensive studies on the future of e-commerce in the Mena region."

"Through Dubai CommerCity, we aim to play an organizational, operational and knowledge-based role that will contribute to the building of a new world-class free zone and the creation of a unified platform for government, administrative, customs and logistics services that meet the needs of the e-commerce sector, in response to the vision of the wise leadership of achieving sustainable development," he noted.

Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, the chief executive of wasl Asset Management Group, said: "We look forward to partnering with Dafza to translate the vision of our wise leadership to make Dubai one of the best investment destinations in the world."

"Our joint venture supports the national economic diversification strategy and the creation of a sustainable economy based on innovation and competitiveness," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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Saudi Arabia set to build world-class entertainment city

Saudi Arabia is set to build one of the world's mega cultural, sports and entertainment cities in Al Qiddiya, southwest of capital Riyadh which will boast modern recreational facilities including a safari and a Six Flags-theme park.

Work on the multibillion riyal project will start next year and its first phase will be opened to the public in 2022. The state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is the main investor, recently unveiled the park's logo, reported The Saudi Gazette.

The innovative logo reflects the geographical nature of Al Qiddiya, a beautiful place 40 km southwest of the capital city. Inspired by the Tuwaiq mountains, the perpendicular lines in the logo reflect the potential of young Saudi men and women.

"It epitomizes the project's goal of developing an outstanding entertainment center for Saudis," said a senior official, who requested anonymity. It also aims to make Riyadh one of the best 100 cities in the world for living.

The project's identity shows the region's heritage and reflects the beauty and splendor of the place. Al-Qiddiya is designed to become an important landmark, meeting cultural, sports and entertainment requirements of future generations.

It is also considered a qualitative investment initiative. "The project will bring together a number of entertainment facilities that would support the Kingdom's Vision 2030," the official said.

Al Qiddiya will have six major components: The fun city, sports facilities, car and cycle race courses, water adventures and ice games, natural attractions and cultural and heritage events. The project includes resorts, hotels and residential units on about 100 miles of sandy coastline on the Red Sea.

US-based Six Flags announced in June that it had begun talks with the Saudi government to build theme parks as part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 efforts to expand its entertainment sector and diversify the economy.

The Vision 2030 reform program, which was unveiled by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, contains plans to shed the Kingdom's austere reputation, wean the economy off oil and create jobs for young Saudis.

The government wants people to have more fun at home and take fewer vacations abroad. Its sovereign wealth fund PIF will create a company to invest in the sector and forge deals with strategic partners, reported The Saudi Gazette.

The company's investments will include an entertainment complex to be launched by 2019, it added.

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Saudi Arabia set to build world-class entertainment city

Saudi Arabia is set to build one of the world's mega cultural, sports and entertainment cities in Al Qiddiya, southwest of capital Riyadh which will boast modern recreational facilities including a safari and a Six Flags-theme park.

Work on the multibillion riyal project will start next year and its first phase will be opened to the public in 2022. The state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is the main investor, recently unveiled the park's logo, reported The Saudi Gazette.

The innovative logo reflects the geographical nature of Al Qiddiya, a beautiful place 40 km southwest of the capital city. Inspired by the Tuwaiq mountains, the perpendicular lines in the logo reflect the potential of young Saudi men and women.

"It epitomizes the project's goal of developing an outstanding entertainment center for Saudis," said a senior official, who requested anonymity. It also aims to make Riyadh one of the best 100 cities in the world for living.

The project's identity shows the region's heritage and reflects the beauty and splendor of the place. Al-Qiddiya is designed to become an important landmark, meeting cultural, sports and entertainment requirements of future generations.

It is also considered a qualitative investment initiative. "The project will bring together a number of entertainment facilities that would support the Kingdom's Vision 2030," the official said.

Al Qiddiya will have six major components: The fun city, sports facilities, car and cycle race courses, water adventures and ice games, natural attractions and cultural and heritage events. The project includes resorts, hotels and residential units on about 100 miles of sandy coastline on the Red Sea.

US-based Six Flags announced in June that it had begun talks with the Saudi government to build theme parks as part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 efforts to expand its entertainment sector and diversify the economy.

The Vision 2030 reform program, which was unveiled by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, contains plans to shed the Kingdom's austere reputation, wean the economy off oil and create jobs for young Saudis.

The government wants people to have more fun at home and take fewer vacations abroad. Its sovereign wealth fund PIF will create a company to invest in the sector and forge deals with strategic partners, reported The Saudi Gazette.

The company's investments will include an entertainment complex to be launched by 2019, it added.

from Construction Realestate

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DP World unveils mega plans for Jeddah Port

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World has unveiled plans to develop Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah port in support of the Saudi Vision 2030. 

Bin Sulayem was speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh on a panel discussion entitled ‘Dynamic Economies: What are the new ways to solve diversification?’

He outlined the significance of Jeddah Port as a gateway port for the Saudi market and for the region, connecting to major markets in Africa and the Middle East, and pointed out that its role as a trade hub could be further boosted by DP World’s vision for its development over the next 30 years. 

"The Saudi Vision 2030 will also play a pivotal role in changing the economic landscape of the kingdom, wider region and the world," said Bin Sulayem, citing the major announcement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz to build a new $500-billion mega project called Neom spanning three countries -Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. 

He commended the visionary project and highlighted how DP World’s plans for Jeddah support this grand scheme and will help to realise the potential for economic growth owing to its geographical proximity to major markets and trade routes – 10 per cent of world trade will pass through Neom, while spurring innovations in the fields of technology, communications and renewable energy. 

"As the first major investor in Jeddah port for almost 20 years now, we are committed to supporting the kingdom’s effort to leverage its resources and investment capabilities through the development of Jeddah port," remarked Bin Sulayem. 

"Our plans involve increasing efficiencies using innovative tech solutions and making it a semi-automated facility to create skilled jobs for Saudi nationals, transforming the port to an important gateway to markets serving 500 million people which will make the Kingdom’s ports and logistics services a necessity and not a choice for global trade markets, particularly the Red Sea, which is the blood line of global trade," he noted. 

"Jeddah Port is pivotal in facilitating the movement of goods between east and west, and in boosting Saudi exports," he added.

Bin Sulayem said DP World's proposals were designed at boosting efficiency by enabling local businesses, opening new avenues for growth while supporting the government in achieving the Saudi Vision 2030. 

"This is part of our role as partners – to add value to nations and to deliver sustainable solutions for the benefit of all," he noted.

He pointed out that trade and infrastructure were key pillars in diversifying economies supported by technology and automation as seen at its Jebel Ali Port and Freezone, which together contribute to over 20 per cent of Dubai’s GDP. 

"Logistics corridors are another way of making life easier for business. While access to data through digital technology and transparent information are also essential in building governance," he stated.

Bin Sulayem said the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s strong historic relations were underlined by the clear vision of its great leaders who have planned a bright future for their people based on solid economic foundations. 

DP World, he stated, operates the South Container Terminal (SCT) at Jeddah Islamic Port, a crucial link in the world’s busy east-west trade routes through the Red Sea and serving a major domestic cargo base in Saudi Arabia. 

The port is the main import destination for the country, handling 59 per cent of its imports by sea and serving main commercial centres.-TradeArabia News Service

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Emaar Hospitality Group appoints new engineering head

Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality & leisure business of Emaar Properties, has appointed Ibrahima Gaye, as its corporate director of engineering.

Gaye is an engineering expert with over 20 years’ experience, 14 of which have been in the hospitality industry.

To focus on innovative initiatives for a high-level engineering operations set-up, Gaye will lead and liaise with the Property Engineering teams to develop standards and practices that are on par with international standards. He will ensure that leading advances in engineering are integrated as part of the operations, especially to support Emaar Hospitality Group’s digital transformation.

Olivier Harnisch, chief executive officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “With a fast-growing portfolio of hotel projects in the UAE and other international markets, we are committed to developing world-class hotels and serviced residences that assure the highest standards in guest service. This involves having an engineering team on board that can provide all necessary support from hotel development to operation stage. Ibrahima Gaye brings extensive and specialised industry experience that will contribute to the seamless functioning of our properties.”

Gaye said: “Emaar Hospitality Group has set a distinct imprint in the hospitality industry with its elegantly designed hotels and serviced residences that are set in central locations. Providing innovative engineering services is central to delivering high quality guest service and to ensure that each hotel operates to the highest standards of operational efficiency. We will continue to focus on introducing innovative engineering approaches across our current and upcoming portfolio of hotel projects.”  

Reporting to Chris Newman, chief operating officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, Gaye will be responsible for providing strategic direction for the entire Engineering function of the group.

Previously, he was area engineering and design director for Africa and Indian Ocean with a leading hotel group overseeing 30 operational properties and 12 projects. Prior to that, he was regional engineering director for sub-Saharan Africa where he managed operations for 20 properties. He has also worked with other international hotel brands.

Gaye completed his Baccalauréat Serie C in Senegal and holds a diploma in BTS - Electro Technique and DUT GEII (Electronic, Electrical and Computing Engineering). - TradeArabia News Service

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