Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Oman to float Muscat Expressway tenders in 2018

Oman's Ministry of Transport and Communications aims to float tenders for its four-lane Muscat – Bidbid Expressway project next year, said a report.

Also plans are afoot to open the Al Batinah Expressway up to Wadi Al Jizi in April, reported Oman News Agency.

In another development, the ministry has awarded Oman Global Logistics Group (Asyad), a government holding company, the contract to manage tunnels on Bidbid/Sur road.

The agreement was signed by Salim bin Mohammed Al Nuaimi, the undersecretary of the ministry and Abdul Rahman bin Salim Al Hatmi, the CEO of Asyad, said the report.

It implements the national economic diversification program ' Tanfeedh'. The project is the first of its kind using this approach, it added.

"Work is underway at the tunnels in Bidbid- Sur road at Wadi Al Uqq. The first-of-its-kind tunnel experience in the sultanate is one of the initiatives of Tanfeedh program with relation to establishing a company to manage transport and communication public projects," stated Al Nuaimi.
 
"Diba-Lima- Khasab road needs more than eight tunnels - each between 1.5 km to 2 km - to meet the technological developments in road projects," he added.



from Construction Realestate

Dubai remains 'top choice' for GCC Mice destination

The Meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (Mice) market is growing rapidly in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai, as it remains the top-choice for business, incentives and meetings and luxury travel from the GCC, a study conducted by event management company QnA International revealed.

Dubai has been at the forefront of the GCC’s Dh4.7 billion ($1.27 billion) Mice industry, and accounts for more than a quarter of the GCC Mice market, showed an earlier study conducted by Strategy& in 2015.

While the survey results indicate that Dubai’s popularity has not waned, other countries in the Middle East including Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco and other GCC nations are gaining momentum as they develop their respective Mice and luxury travel sectors.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, outbound travel expenditure from the Middle East is expected to reach $165.3 billion by 2025 - a high number when compared with the worrying statistic that suggests only 2 per cent of global exhibitions take place in the Middle East.

The survey conducted by QnA International on the global Mice, business & luxury travel industry revealed insights on industry trends and challenges, emerging global destinations and emerging trends and challenges within the industry.

The results indicate some new destinations of choice for business and luxury travel. For instance, France was indicated as the most preferred business travel destination in Europe with Greece too making an appearance while Morocco and Australia were listed as destinations of choice for luxury travel.

The complete list is as follows –

Top destinations for Business Travel include European countries such as France, Germany, Spain, Italy, UK, Greece, and Asian countries such as China, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan along with Australia, UAE and US. Top destinations for Mice include Australia, Europe specifically Eastern Europe, Central Asian countries such as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia as well as the South Asian subcontinent and Far East.

Mediterranean countries such as Montenegro, Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and countries from Middle East & Africa like UAE, Kuwait , Kenya, Tanzania also featured as top destinations for Mice.

Australia, US, New Zealand, Fiji, Bora Bora, UAE, Mauritius, Croatia, Morocco, Hawaii and other European destinations have been marked as top luxury travel destinations from the GCC.

Delegates were also asked to identify emerging destinations that could overtake developed markets as a tourism and hospitality destination. Fascinatingly, countries from the Middle East, Mediterranean, Baltic, Eastern Europe and Far East Asia were identified and include Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Siberia, Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand to European countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden to Mediterranean countries Monaco, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and last but not the least Russia, Middle East countries such as Oman, Bahrain, Egypt & Saudi Arabia.

Amongst the trends changing the Mice, business and luxury travel landscape from the Middle East, the delegates identified the integration of technology and technological breakthroughs in the industry as pertinent. Other trends considered important were creating authentic experiences, high end luxury luxury, focusing on needs of the Islamic traveller, mobility, and value for money deals whereas some of the challenges identified by survey respondents include delivery timelines, budget constraints, availability of Halal food, finding the correct supplier and the appropriate destination, security, competitive rates, cultural understanding and cultural protocols.

“Taking these market findings into consideration, the sixth annual Mice Arabia and luxury travel Congress has put into place a conference agenda that will discuss the trends and challenges in these sectors and propose practical solutions, while retaining a dominant focus on the one-to-one prescheduled business meetings between the buyers and the suppliers," said Sidh N.C, director, QnA International.

The sixth annual Mice Arabia and Luxury Travel Congress will be held from February 27-28, 2018 in Dubai, UAE. - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Sweid & Sweid awards Dubai Banyan Tree project

UAE-based developer Sweid & Sweid has signed up Civilco Civil Engineering & Contracting Company as the lead contractor for its first Banyan Tree Residences project in the Middle East being built in Dubai.

Located on a large island overlooking The Emirates and Montgomerie golf courses, Banyan Tree Residences sits at the intersection of DMCC and Emirates Hills on Al Telal Street.

The single tower development will boast 244 residences stretched over 32 storeys and include one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, duplex apartments with private outdoor gardens, and three full-floor penthouses crowning the building, said a statement from Sweid & Sweid.

The project is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2019, it stated.

On the contract award, Maher Sweid, the managing partner, said: "The selection was made based on Civilco’s proven track record of successfully executing high rise projects in Dubai and throughout the UAE, along with timely completion."

“Furthermore, the company boasts extensive experience in managing projects within busy residential areas including the Burj Khalifa District and Jumeirah Lake Towers. Its strong financial standing and comprehensive network of experienced subcontractors and suppliers strengthen its prequalification as the main contractor of choice,” he stated.

Nader Dahdal. the area manager from Civilco, said: "Sweid & Sweid is an award-winning developer with exceptional standards. To be selected to complete this iconic development is a testament to our experience and expertise which will be key to ensuring Banyan Tree brand attributes are not compromised."

"We are very happy with the construction progress made to date. We are on schedule to handover and be ready for the Q3 2019 deadline," he added.

The UAE developer has also roped in Arcan Project Management as project manager.

"With decades of experience spanning countless towers, we are excited to be a part of this ground-breaking development where numerous components – including the amenities and views – make it a truly unique project in Dubai," remarked Amid Jondi, the managing director of Arcan Project Management.

Set within a gated community stretching over 110,000 sq ft, Banyan Tree Residences project will house a  residents-only Clubhouse & Spa with key features including a state-of-the-art fitness centre, an authentic Banyan Tree spa experience, saunas, a squash court, and an expansive indoor children’s play area.

Outdoors, the residents will enjoy a 31-m resort-style swimming pool, a children’s pool, a children’s play area, and a poolside café, all set along the extensive outdoor green spaces with lush landscaping, said the company in a statement.

Concierge and 24-hour security will be provided, with Banyan Tree’s management ensuring their internationally-renowned levels of service and hospitality are offered to the residents, it added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Fam rolls out hitech property management system

Leading real estate brokerage fäm Properties has unveiled a new tech-driven property management system that will transform the way real estate agents and landlords communicate in the UAE and also help tenants resolve issues more quickly.

Devised by fäm Properties, it comprises an Oracle-based customer relationship management (CRM) system linked to an Android and iOS app, both developed by the company’s in-house tech design team.

The bespoke online platform, which can be individually tailored, considers maintenance fees, service charges, incoming rent and all other financial aspects to calculate actual ROI for landlords.

It gives landlords peace of mind by delivering real time condition reports, budget forecasting and showing actual return on investment (ROI) for individual properties through a unique online platform.

Also the new system will be a boon to tenants, who often get frustrated over delayed response to urgent maintenance problems. It comes with an instant communications channel to resolve domestic issues like AC breakdowns, plumbing leaks and electrical failures.

“The objective is to take property management services to a new level, using technology to make it much faster, easier and more effective for real estate agents, landlords and tenants to talk to each other,” remarked its CEO Firas Al Msaddi.

“This is another first for the Dubai property market, and we feel it’s particularly important in the current economic climate to adopt an innovative approach to real estate overall,” he added.

Having last month launched a sophisticated market analysis tool providing real-time insights into Dubai property trends, fäm Properties believes its new property management offering will help dispel negative attitudes towards real estate agents in the UAE market.  

The new system has paperless access to all documents for each property and can receive detailed monthly, bi-annual or annual reports, and avoid time-consuming hassle of calls, emails and meetings with agents in the process.

"For investors, there’s a major advantage in being able to access real time data, speed of property manager response, photos, quotations, tenant’s satisfaction and actual ROI, as opposed to promises of 6, 7 or even 8 per cent returns and a subsequent delivery of different numbers due to lack of efficiency," remarked Ahmed Abou El Naga, the director of Asset Management for fäm Properties.

"By using the new Fixit app, which is linked to the online CRM platform, to upload information and images, tenants can instantly can bring urgent maintenance issues to the immediate attention of landlords and agents," stated Naga.

The obvious benefits of the app for the tenants are expected to boost occupancy rates for managed units, increasing profitability for landlords in the process, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Dubai Frame set to open in January

Dubai Frame, a 150-m-high, 93-m-wide structure built to resemble a huge picture frame at Zabeel Park offering views of both the historic and modern parts of the city, will be open to the public next month.

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, toured the award-winning cultural landmark ahead of the opening, reported state news agency Wam.

It has been designed by award-winning architect Fernando Donis, the name behind Dubai’s Porsche Design Towers, and the Dubai Renaissance Tower.

Sheikh Mohammed visited the ground floor museum of the building which showcases the UAE's history, heritage and the metropolis it has become.

He was accompanied by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and other senior officials.

Sheikh Mohammed then ascended one of the two towers, and crossed the 100-sq-m bridge where he viewed the historic and modern landmarks of the emirate.

The Dubai Frame is a 150-m-high, 93-m-wide structure built to resemble a huge picture frame, through which landmarks representing modern Dubai such as Emirates Towers and Burj Khalifa can be seen on one side, while from the other side, visitors can view older parts of the city such as Deira, Umm Harare and Karama, stated the report.

Lauding the project, Sheikh Mohammed said Dubai Frame was indeed an elegant architectural feat, it added.

He also praised Dubai Municipality's efforts to "achieve this cultural and global attraction, that represents a solid development for the tourism industry in the UAE."



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Dubai Frame set for January opening

Dubai Frame, a 150-m-high, 93-m-wide structure built to resemble a huge picture frame at Zabeel Park offering views of both the historic and modern parts of the city, will be open to the public next month.

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, toured the award-winning cultural landmark ahead of the opening, reported state news agency Wam.

It has been designed by award-winning architect Fernando Donis, the name behind Dubai’s Porsche Design Towers, and the Dubai Renaissance Tower.

Sheikh Mohammed visited the ground floor museum of the building which showcases the UAE's history, heritage and the metropolis it has become.

He was accompanied by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and other senior officials.

Sheikh Mohammed then ascended one of the two towers, and crossed the 100-sq-m bridge where he viewed the historic and modern landmarks of the emirate.

The Dubai Frame is a 150-m-high, 93-m-wide structure built to resemble a huge picture frame, through which landmarks representing modern Dubai such as Emirates Towers and Burj Khalifa can be seen on one side, while from the other side, visitors can view older parts of the city such as Deira, Umm Harare and Karama, stated the report.

Lauding the project, Sheikh Mohammed said Dubai Frame was indeed an elegant architectural feat, it added.

He also praised Dubai Municipality's efforts to "achieve this cultural and global attraction, that represents a solid development for the tourism industry in the UAE."



from Construction Realestate

Over 1,000 yachts to celebrate New Year in Dubai

The shores of Dubai will see more than 1,000 yachts gather for three days of celebration to bring in the New Year, said a report.

Organised by Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the ‘New Year’s Eve Yacht Gathering 2018’ will be launched with support from 12 public and private establishments including Dubai Police and Kleindienst Group, said a report in WAM.

"The New Year’s Eve Yacht Gathering will further enhance Dubai’s competitiveness on the world’s maritime tourism map. We now have more diversified tourism product offerings, and with bold initiatives like Sea Dubai we can expect more success and growth in 2018 and beyond," said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

Ali Al Daboos, executive director of Operations, DMCA, said: "New Year’s Eve Yacht Gathering 2018 is an important addition to ongoing initiatives for enhancing Dubai's position as a world-class destination for New Year’s Day celebrations. This is an excellent initiative aimed at delivering a unique three-day experience spanning the Burj Al Arab up to the Palm Jumeirah. It is in line with relentless efforts to accelerate the growth of the marine leisure sector as a key pillar for consolidating the leadership of the local maritime community as one of the most competitive and attractive in the world."

The New Year’s Eve Yacht Gathering 2018 is scheduled to take place from 11am to 2am from December 29 to 31.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

New sales head for Kuwait Marriott Hotels

Kuwait Marriott Hotels has appointed Samer Gerges as the new cluster director of sales and marketing.

Gerges brings with him over 10 years of sales experience in the hospitality industry. His extensive experience enabled him to develop great leadership skills and the ability to form high-performing teams that deliver exceptional business results.

Gerges is no stranger to Marriott Hotels, having held many positions within the company, including cluster sales manager and cluster director of sales at Marriott Hotels in Kuwait, where he was fully in charge of managing all proactive and reactive sales teams, and putting together strategies to drive more business and revenues.

Gerges has dedicated his time to provide guidance to his team, establish great relationships with stakeholders and customers, and has supported the positioning of Marriott hotels in Kuwait, which has led to a tremendous increase in Revpar and yearly revenues.

In his new role, Gerges will oversee all sales, marketing and reservations activities while developing business strategies that drive more revenues, growth and exceed the business goals.

Throughout his career with Marriott, Gerges has received various sales and marketing accolades for his outstanding performance, including the Presidents Circle in 2013, Chairman’s Circle in 2016 and he has also been awarded the Mustang Manager of Kuwait Marriott Hotels in 2012 and 2015.
 
Commenting on Gerges’s appointment, cluster general manager George Aoun said: “On behalf of the management and associates of Kuwait Marriott Hotels, I would like to congratulate Samer on his new promotion. Under his leadership, I am confident that Kuwait Marriott Hotels will bring new heights to market positioning and guest satisfaction." - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Contractors 'must add VAT on Saudi govt deals'

All companies which are working on contracts with government departments in Saudi Arabia need to modify their bills to include the 5 per cent VAT (value-added tax), said a report citing a senior official.

The investors in the contracting and real estate sector have all been updated on this, remarked Hamoud Al Harbi, the project manager of VAT at General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT).

"We have informed contractors that any supplier who issues an invoice or receives consideration before January 1, 2018 but the actual supply of goods or services takes place on or after the date must charge VAT based on the actual date of the supply," stated Al Harbi while speaking to Saudi Gazette on the sidelines of a VAT workshop.

"Since construction services are a continuous process, then VAT is due at the earlier of the due date or the actual payment and VAT becomes due for each progress payment at the earliest of the issue of the invoice or the date of actual payment," he said.

"All contracts that were signed without factoring in VAT rate may have zero VAT under three conditions: the contracts must be in effect before May 31, 2017, the customer should be entitled to deduce input tax in respect of the supply of goods and services and finally, the customer provides a written certification to the supplier that input tax can be deducted or refunded in full," explained Al Harbi.

Under the new rules, companies must also provide financial reports every three months, failing which they will incur fines, stated the Saudi Gazette report.

On the fines, Al Harbi said: "It ranges from SR10,000 to SR100,000 for violations such as not being registered in the VAT, providing fake financial reports, not saving financial documents, not paying the VAT rate and not being co-operative with VAT officials."

However, the official said, taxpayers have the right to appeal against decisions of penalties issued by GAZT within 30 days of the date of notification.

"If taxpayers disagree with the decision issued by the VAT First Instance Committee, an extra 30 days will be given to present an appeal to the VAT Appeals Committee. This committee will issue a decision that shall be final and non-appealable before any other judicial authority," he added.



from Construction Realestate

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Araco set to oversee construction of new Dubai hotel

Abdul Rahim Architectural Consultants (Araco), a leading engineering consultant in the UAE, will begin its supervisory role on the construction of an approved hospitality project in Dubai’s Business Bay, work on which has just started.

The four-star hotel, which is designed to meet standards and classifications outlined by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, will be one of the newest hospitality projects in the city’s buoyant and growing tourism and travel sectors.

At present, Dubai accounts for 30.3 per cent of hotel rooms or hotel keys in development, which translates to 29,200 keys at the end of October 2017 according to a recent report by STR — a data benchmarking, analytics, and marketplace insights company for the global hospitality industry. This figure is the highest for the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region outpacing Saudi Arabia, and spread across 95 hotel projects in Dubai over the coming years.

The frenzied development of new hospitality projects should be understood in the context of the UAE’s projected growth in the tourism and travel industry for the next decade which outpaces the 4 per cent expected in the global sector. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the growth of the tourism sector in UAE at CAGR of 5is expected to reach over Dh260 billion by 2027. As a factor of the UAE’s GDP, the tourism and travel sector will make up 12.4 per cent boding well for the country’s ongoing economic diversification strategies.

“Over the years we have been involved in many hospitality projects working for renowned brands, operators, owners, and construction companies. This time round as well, we are happy to be working with our counterparts in providing more choices and opportunities in Dubai’s strong hospitality sector,” commented Bader Abu Shaaban, head of Business Development, Araco.

Construction on the new hospitality project is set to begin this month with expected completion in 21 months. The hotel will add a further 228 rooms, and 16 suites to Dubai’s hospitality sector. The total built up area is anticipated at 235,000 sq ft across the 17-floor hotel which will also consist of one basement, the ground floor, and 2 parking floors. – TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Arenco Real Estate wins excellence award

Dubai-based Arenco Real Estate, part of A A Al Moosa Enterprises, was honoured as the Iconic Real Estate Company of the Year 2017 by the Middle East Excellence Awards Institute.

The award was handed to the team by Marwan Ahmed Bin Ghalita, CEO of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) during a property summit held at Burj Al Arab where Arenco was selected amongst the GCC’s Top 25 Property Development Executive Leaders.

Arenco was recognised for its outstanding contribution to the UAE’s real estate sector for more than 40 years.

Mohammad Khoori, director, Arenco Real Estate said: “Arenco Real Estate has set the standard of excellent services and built its reputation for superior quality since its foundation in 1975, and we are honoured of being ranked among the nine property developments which were only selected and met the standards of the Top 25 Property Development Executive Leaders award. This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of Arenco Real Estate creators.”

Arenco Real Estate has a vast inventory of apartment units, offices and showrooms, villas, warehouses and buildings for staff accommodation across Dubai. Arenco also owns prestigious hotel names in the region which are managed by Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Taj, Wyndham and IHG. – TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Danube awards Dubailand residential project contract

Danube Properties, a Dubai-based property developer, has awarded a Dh221-million ($60.1 million) contract to Naresco Contracting for the construction of its residential project, Miraclz Tower, located near Miracle Gardens at Arjan district of Dubailand that will host 599 units including 591 apartments.

Owned by Abdulla Abdulkarim Al Arif, Naresco Contracting has been in the construction industry since 1986.

A member of Abdulla Al Arif Investment, Naresco is now in the process of completing Glitz Residence 3 for Danube which is getting ready for handover in a few weeks’ time.

As per the contract, Naresco will deliver the project delivered by the end of 2019.

Danube Properties, part of Dubai-based diversified conglomerate Danube Group, has launched nine residential projects, of which two have been delivered, two are getting ready for delivery while four others are at various stages of construction and one in tendering stage.

The Dubai developer had awarded five construction-related contracts worth more than Dh381 million  in 2017 – a year it started delivering homes – part of the Dh2.84 billion portfolio.

Besides the Naresco contract, Danube has also awarded a Dh146 million contract to Dubai Walls Construction for the main construction package for the Resortz project. The 17-month contract will see the project gets ready for occupancy by the second quarter of 2019.

Resortz will host 444 units including 419 apartments, 25 retail outlets, landscaped environment that appears more like a five-star resort, than a residential compound, said the developer in a statement.

Prior to that, Danube Properties has awarded a Dh10 million piling and shoring contract to Atlas Foundation for Miraclz Tower and a further Dh4 million piling and shoring contract for Resortz project.

Atif Rahman, the director and partner of Danube Properties, said: "These construction contracts reflects our deep commitment to our largest stakeholders – our valuable property buyers and investors – who have put their trust and hard-earned life savings in our projects to receive the keys to their dream homes."

"Since launching its first project in 2014, Danube has been able to deliver two projects involving 302 residential units, worth Dh270 million – part of the company’s Dh2.84 billion-strong portfolio. In the next few weeks, we are preparing to deliver 525 residential units, including 171 townhouses and 354 apartments," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Al Forsan leases out 95pc of staff accommodation

UAE-based Al Forsan Real Estate (AFRE) has announced that almost all of its villas and more than two-thirds of its apartments meant for employee accommodation in Abu Dhabi have been leased out.

The property arm of Al Forsan Holding, AFRE had launched its fully-furnished employee accommodation facility within its flagship - Al Forsan International Sports Resort.

The organisation develops mixed-use communities that support active lifestyle through the integration of world class sporting facilities.

From the start of the newyear, the studio apartments would be leased at Dh35,000 ($9,530) per annum inclusive of electricity, water and air conditioning charges, said the company in a statement.

AFRE developed the employee accommodation facility in a bid to fortify its position as a diversified development company. This particular venture proved highly successful when 21 out of 22 villas were promptly leased within few months of its launch, it stated.

The facility also comprises six buildings with studio apartments, of which four are completely leased out. Only 158 more studio apartments within building 3 and 4 are available for leasing, it added.

Rashed Al Qubaisi, the general manager of Al Forsan Holding, said: "The employee accommodation project was entirely different from any of our previous developments."

"We sought out to provide safe, secure and hassle-free living environment to the employees of various organisations in and around the Khalifa City area and looking at our occupancy rates, we believe we have nearly accomplished what we were set out for. Among our residents, are present employees from the aviation and hospitality industry that includes restaurants and cafes," he added.

Al Forsan Village, located within Khalifa City 'A' area of Abu Dhabi, includes 440 units of one- to four-bedroom apartments spread across 241,985 sq m. Health and luxury underpin the Al Forsan Village lifestyle for stakeholders.

Spread across 15,000 sq m, Al Forsan Village Town Square, the retail and leisure destination embedded within the project, is also home to several community-focused brands.

Most of the renowned retail stores such as Spinneys, Holland & Barrett, Tilia Flowers, illy café, Just Kidding, Street9 Café, Cheeky Monkeys, Coffee Club, Champion Cleaners, Oregano Café, Physiomins among several others are already operational. The retail community has close to 17 stores to address the needs of the residents, stated Al Qubaisi.

Since the employee accommodation facilities lie within the Al Forsan International Sports Resort, the residents are provided with the unique opportunity to benefit from the various activities available at the venue, he noted.

They get to enjoy various sports such as football, kart racing, horse riding, wakeboarding, shooting among others. All the facilities are available for the residents at corporate membership rates.

This is a unique approach to ensure that an organization’s human capital is healthy and productive at the same time, added Al Qubaisi.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Oman tourism revenues exceed $3.1bn

Oman's tourism revenues exceeded RO1.2 billion ($3.1 billion) at the end of last year, with a large share of the revenues coming from local tourism.

According to the Tourism Statistics Bulletin issued by the Omani National Centre for Statistics and Information, local tourism accounted for 73.5 per cent (RO 882.5 million/$2.28 billion) of the total revenue while foreign tourists contributed 26.5 per cent of the total revenue, equal to RO319 million ($827.6 million).

"The total tourist spending in 2016 increased by 10.3 per cent to reach RO319 million compared to RO289 million ($749.8 million) at the end of 2015," the report said.

"The average expenditure of tourists during the last year was RO101.21 ($262.5) and the outbound tourism expenditure increased to RO490 million ($1.2 billion) and domestic tourism to RO882.4 million ($2.28 billion)," it said.

The number of incoming tourists to the sultanate increased by nearly 40 per cent every five years. The number of incoming tourists stood at 1.1 million tourists in 2005, increasing to 1.5 million in 2010 and then to 3.2 million in 2016.

Visiting relatives and friends (41.9 per cent) topped the list of the main purpose of tourism, followed by recreation (33.5 per cent) and work trip (17.7 per cent). - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

UAE nationals granted visa-free entry to Chile

UAE nationals can now enter Chile visa-free, said a report citing an announcement made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The development comes in pursuance of the MoU signed by the UAE and the Republic of Chile on November 12 to exempt Emirati and Chilean nationals carrying ordinary passports from obtaining pre-entry visas while travelling to both countries, said a report in WAM.

Ahmed Saeed Ilham Al Dhaheri, assistant under-secretary for Consular Affairs at the Ministry, said holders of ordinary UAE passports can now enter Chile without pre-entry visa and stay up to 90 days.

"Introducing such distinguished consular services is among the strategic objectives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in line with the directives of the country's wise leadership to ensure welfare and happiness for Emirati citizens around the world," he said.

He added that the signing of the MoU would further strengthen cooperation between the UAE and Chile in areas of tourism, trade and investment, the report said.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Emirates pays tribute to Sheikh Zayed with unique livery

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from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Seef Mall announces first 'Shop & Win' raffle draw winners

Bahrain's Seef Mall has announced the winners of the first raffle draw of the ‘Shop & Win’ campaign, which is running till the end of the month.

The raffle draw was held in the presence of Seef Mall’s management and a representative from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

Fawzia A. Allah Al Dosari, Yousif A. Allah Al Rumaihi, Benjamin Maglunob, Rafeada Al Hariri, Mariam Yahya, Lizy Babu, Njood Abdulla and Mariyam Nasser each won cash prizes of BD 1,000. Shoppers still have the chance to enter the raffle draw and win BD 1,000 in cash every day when spending BD20 ($52.4) or more at the mall.

Seef Mall aims to host a series of events and campaigns throughout the year in order to strengthen the retail sector and further position Seef Mall as the leading destination for shopping and entertainment in the kingdom.

Seef Mall has been a leading premier shopping hub and entertainment destination in Bahrain since 1997, and still continues to attract a large number of visitors from neighboring GCC countries through its diverse selection of international brands, variety of restaurants, and a wide range of entertainment facilities for adults and children to enjoy. - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Al Shirawi wins IFM contract for Dubai tower

Al Shirawi FM, a leading single-source provider of integrated facilities management (IFM) in the UAE, has won the IFM contract of Prism Tower, located in Business Bay, Dubai.

Al Shirawi FM will provide MEP, housekeeping and security services for the commercial property, which boasts a total built-up area of 85,000 sq m. This is the fourth property that the company will be managing in this area, in addition to Volante, Windsor Manor and 118 Luxury Tower.

In the last three months of 2017, the facilities company won a spate of new contracts, including the re-tender of Shindagha Tunnel facilities maintenance contract. Airport Tunnel and Rashid Hospital Tunnel are the other two key assets of RTA that are managed by Al Shirawi FM.

Pramodh Idicheria, COO, Al Shirawi FM, said: “As we head into a new calendar year, we at Al Shirawi FM backed by these significant wins are brimming with confidence. We have embarked on a new operational excellence strategy that is yielding good results. The commitment and hard work of our teams, however, remain the key driver of our success and I take this time to applaud their efforts.”

Charalampos Sarafopoulos, general manager, Al Shirawi FM, said: “It is an exciting phase for us as we have much to look forward to in the new year. We have projects within different sectors, with very different requirements. Nevertheless, we are geared up to the challenge and will ensure client satisfaction across the board. We are also hoping to venture into new areas such as theme parks facilities management.” – TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Wasl properties completes new heritage project in Dubai

Wasl properties, a subsidiary of wasl Asset Management Group, has officially completed wasl district – the company’s heritage project in the Naif area of Deira.

The project fulfils wasl’s mission to maintain the city’s rich history, and follows the launch of wasl district Souq in 2015.

Zainab Mohammed, chief property management and marketing officer at wasl properties, said: “Wasl district project is underpinned by wasl’s deep respect and appreciation for the UAE’s heritage, and the company’s ongoing efforts to preserve and share it by revitalising older areas of Dubai. Through culturally inspired real estate projects like wasl district, the company is celebrating areas of the city that may otherwise be overlooked while also providing residents with a development that offers the perfect mix of old and new. The final phase of the project incorporates residential, retail and office components. In this way, we can fulfill our mission to enhance the real estate market in Dubai and provide all options that are compatible with our different customers."

Wasl district brings residents an authentic blend of traditional Emirati architecture with a range of modern amenities and facilities. The project offers residential apartments from studios to three bedroom apartments, some with a maid’s room, that range from 495 to 2,529-sq-ft in size. Each unit is finished meticulously with premium tiles, high-quality flooring and central gas, with amenities including a swimming pool, storage rooms, gated security, a state-of-the-art gym and plenty of retail and F&B choices.

The ground floor of the project is dedicated to 15 F&B units and 23 retail units ranging from 516 to 1,011-sq-ft in size – all of which are fully equipped to meet a wide variety of retail business needs. Retailers have the option of a street-view and will benefit from high footfall in a lively district that is characterised by a holistic residential, commercial, and retail environment. The new retail spaces are complemented by the existing wasl district Souq, where visitors can find shops that sell heritage items among other merchandise.

Wasl district also features four floors of modern, commercial office spaces that range from 689 to 1,356-sq-ft in size and offer infrastructure that is suitable for all businesses. - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Construction Realestate

Bahrain's biggest shopping festival returns next month

The fourth-edition of Shop Bahrain is set to be the biggest nationwide festival with a unique line-up of events and entertainment, a fantastic shopping experience and numerous prizes.

The 30-day event, aimed at celebrating the kingdom’s hospitality and tourism offering, will kick off on January 11 and will run until February 10, 2018.

The festival, organised by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), is held in cooperation with partners from the public and private sector such as Tamkeen, YK Al Moayyed, Viva Bahrain and Gulf Air.

The event will kick-start the kingdom’s robust 2018 tourism calendar and will include an impressive line-up of activities and promotions for the entire family to enjoy including numerous prizes and raffle draws.

“The fourth-edition of the festival aims to further drive the growth of the tourism and retail sector by attracting residents and tourists to the numerous activities. We were keen to host the event during the holidays of our Gulf neighbors in order to attract a large number of tourists to flock the country,” said Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, chief executive of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority.

“This year we have over 27 hotels participating and have also witnessed an increase in the participating shopping malls that reached 22 malls. The Taste Tour alone will also feature 44 restaurants. Also the prizes for the festival include airline tickets and over 20 brand-new cars from YK Al Moayyed,” he added.

“The kingdom’s tourism strategy aims to increase the average tourist expenditure in Bahrain to reach BD100 ($262.3) per day. Shop Bahrain will be a main driver as it will offer tourists a 30-day celebration catered to the entire family. The activities and entertainment held during Shop Bahrain will further position the Kingdom as an ideal tourist destination,” said Shaikh Khaled.

Tamkeen’s chief executive Dr. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi stressed that Tamkeen continues to support Shop Bahrain for the fourth year in a row due to its proven track record of energising the retail sector in the kingdom.

“The festival has a positive impact on various sectors in the kingdom such as retail, hospitality, transportation and so forth. It also portrays the true partnership between the public and private sector and aims to position Bahrain as an ideal tourism destination in the region,” he added.

Among the highlights of the event is a unique shopping experience witnessed across the participating malls along with a number of entertainment activities for the entire family. The calendar of events also includes a ‘Festival City’ located at the Bahrain Bay which will host a variety of activities and carnival games for all age groups as well as a market, live performances and acts in both English and Arabic and entertainment.

Other highlights include the return of the ‘Taste Tour’ which aims to showcase over 40 mouth-watering restaurants. Also the excitement doesn’t end here, shoppers registered in the festival’s loyalty system found at participating hotels and shopping malls will be able to enroll in raffle draws. Shop Bahrain will also be covered by a number of local and regional social media influencers with an aim of promoting the festival to a larger audience.   

Further commenting on the festival, Shop Bahrain director, Yousef Mohammed Al Khan said: “The festival this year will create an unforgettable calendar of events for the entire family including many surprises, exciting range of in-mall activities and valuable prizes. This year we launched a dedicated app for the festival aimed at informing locals, residents and tourists about the latest promotions, activities and the latest updates on customer’s the loyalty point system.”   

“For every BD10 ($26.2) spent by the shopper, they will be eligible to enter the raffle draw to enter fabulous prizes including 20 brand new cars. Shoppers can register for the system through kiosks located at participating shopping malls and hotels,” he added.

Shop Bahrain will mirror the kingdom’s position as an accessible family destination, renowned for its close proximity to the Gulf countries with easy access through the King Fahad Causeway and the Bahrain International Airport. The festival will offer an incredibly diverse range of retail experiences. Shoppers will be enrolled in the Festival’s loyalty system when purchasing directly from any participating outlet and partner allowing them to win a wide range of prizes.

To learn more about "Shop Bahrain", visit the event's website or social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Completed constructions in Abu Dhabi surge 3.6pc in Q3

A total of 1,104 buildings have been completed in Abu Dhabi, UAE during the third quarter (Q3) of 2017, reflecting a growth of 3.6 per cent from 1,066 buildings during the corresponding period last year, a report said.

The number of completed developments during Q3 increased by 16.7 per cent against Q2, 2017 during which a total of 913 buildings were completed, reported Emirates news agency Wam, citing data from Statistics Centre- Abu Dhabi (SCAD).

Industry analysts anticipate more significant growth over the next year after the establishment of a number of housing and infrastructure developments has been approved, the report said.

In terms of geographical diversification, up to 595 buildings have been established in Abu Dhabi Region, which accounts for 54 per cent of total buildings completed emirate-wide during Q3. Up to 491 buildings were completed in Al Ain City, making up 44.5 per cent of total completed buildings in the emirate, while the rest having been completed in Al Dhafra Region.

According to SCAD figures, residential buildings totalled 951, accounting for 87 per cent of completed buildings during Q3 in addition to 33 public facilities, 49 industrial buildings, and 43 facilities, classified as residential and commercial buildings together with two agricultural buildings.

The Mohamed bin Zayed City in Abu Dhabi came first in terms of completed buildings, comprising 26.7 per cent thereof, followed by Beni Yas (10.9 per cent) , Al Shamkha (9.1 per cent), Khalifa City (7.4 per cent), while the rest of completed units are spread over the remaining areas of the capital.

The rough estimate of cost per sq m reached up to Dh2,645 ($720) for buildings ranging between 300-599 sq m in Abu Dhabi, and up to Dh2,118 for same sized buildings in Al Ain, and Dh1,876 in Al Dhafrah, with average building cost per sq m emirate-wide standing at Dh2,246.



from Construction Realestate

Monday, December 25, 2017

2017 breaks new records in skyscraper completions

More buildings of 200-m height or greater were completed in 2017 than in any other year, with a total of 144 completions, marking the fourth consecutive record-breaking year, according to a recent report by The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

That’s a remarkable increase of 95 per cent from 2013, when only 74 buildings of more than 200 meters were completed, stated CTBUH in its annual web report, titled "the 2017 Tall Building Year in Review."

Notably, 2017 was also the most geographically diverse year in terms of the number of cities and countries that completed 200-meter-plus buildings, with 69 cities across 23 countries represented in the data, up from 54 cities across 18 countries over last year.

A total of 28 cities and eight countries completed their tallest building this year. Once again, China completed a majority of the 200-m-plus buildings that finished in 2017, about 53 per cent of the total with 76 completions.

Although this is a slight decrease from 2016, when China completed 83 such buildings, or 65 per cent of the global total, China is still by far the world leader in skyscraper construction. In fact, the city with the most 200-plus-meter building completions, Shenzhen, finished 12 buildings, or 8.3 per cent of the year’s total – more than any other country on the list, except China.

The US completed the second-greatest number of 200-meter-plus buildings of any country, with 10 buildings finished in 2017, stated the CTBUH report.

On the new findings, CTBUH executive director Antony Wood said: "The data from 2017 shows a continuation of the trend towards a greater global proliferation of skyscraper construction."

"High-rise construction is no longer confined to a select few financial and business centers, but rather is becoming the accepted global model for densification as more than one million people on our planet urbanize each week. Thirteen cities saw their first 200-meter-plus high-rise completion in 2017, in addition to the 28 cities and eight countries that saw their tallest building completed this year," he added.

The functional share of tall buildings in 2017 proved to be among the most interesting discoveries in the study, as the data showed a large shift from all-office and mixed-used function to all-residential towers.
Buildings with all-residential function spiked to 49 completions, or 34 per cent of the total, up from just 19, or 15 per cent of the total last year. At the same time, all-office building completions fell to 56, or 39 per cent of the total, compared to 67, or 52 per cent of completions in 2016.

“It is tempting to speculate that we are now seeing the built results of a full-blown recovery from the 2008 economic crisis, as greater confidence in single-function programs sparks a resurgence in speculative residential development,” remarked Steve Watts, the chairman of CTBUH.

“Further, there’s been growing interest over the past several years in residential real-estate investment by absentee owners as a wealth management strategy. However, market dynamics vary greatly between regions, so it’s likely there are other factors to the story,” he added.

Of the 144 buildings of 200-m or greater height completed in 2017, 74 of them (about 51 per cent) used concrete as the main structural material; while 64 (around 44 per cent) used a composite of steel and concrete.

The significant use of concrete can be attributed to a combination of concrete’s relative ubiquity and lower cost in many regions, as well as its comparative simplicity in construction, which would increase its appeal in regions with lower-skilled labor pools, said the report.

“In 2017, two buildings had all-steel construction, consistent with the 2016 figures,” Watts said. “As of this writing, there are only seventeen 200-meter-plus buildings currently under construction that employed all-steel structural systems,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Dubai ARP projects 'to boost greener aviation'

Dubai government said it has started the implementation of the Air Space Restructuring Projects (ARP) aimed at delivering enhanced airspace capacity and greener aviation.

The ARP aims at delivering crucial benefits to the aviation sector in the UAE at large, such as the enhancement of the airspace capacity to meet the forecasted air traffic demand for 2020 and beyond, and increasing access to all airports within the country, said statement from Dubai Air Navigation Services (Dans).

A major air navigation services provider of Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Dans said the newly designed airspace will help enhance its efficient utilisation to cater to growth and expansion plans in the sector.

It has ensured the implementation of 90 new air traffic management procedures and the introduction of 150 new way points, in addition to the training of 168 air traffic controllers to guarantee the successful and seamless transition to the new design of the 'Controlled Airspace' for Dubai and the Northern Emirates, it added.

In the Dubai Aviation sector in particular, the project deliverables cascade into specific transformational results on annual basis such as enabling airlines to save fuel consumption of a total value of $14.6 million, driving CO2 emission reductions of 90,401 metric tons, while also enhancing air traffic movements capacity to accommodate continuous growth in the controlled airspace for Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Mohammed Ahli, the director-general of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO of dans said that the project and its implementation are in accordance with the vision of the nation’s leaders to shape the future of aviation during the project, as well as the active management and noble spirit of co-operation at the General Civil Aviation Authority.

"The past three years whilst working on the project, have demonstrated the importance of cross sector collaboration for the greater benefit of the UAE," remarked Ahli.

"We are also proud to witness the Aviation sector arrive at new and unprecedented fronts, as it continues to cater to its prestigious customers of airports, airlines and authorities. It is also crucial to acknowledge the tremendous and exemplary efforts exerted by the various project teams, who ensured the successful delivery and implementation of the project," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

UAE architect Araco marks 32 years of success

Abdul Rahim Architectural Consultants (Araco), a leading engineering consultant in design and project management in the UAE, is celebrating 32 years of its operations in the country.

Over the last three decades, Araco has been instrumental in the development of over 1,500 projects across the UAE paying particular attention and strict compliance to local and international construction standards, and practicing transparent business ethics, said the company in a statement.

It boasts a diversified portfolio comprising multi-storey residential towers and villas, commercial buildings, hospitality and industrial projects including manufacturing plants, cold stores, and warehouses, it stated.

Some of the company’s more iconic structures include futuristically-designed residential and mixed-use buildings in Dubai’s Silicon Oasis; residential towers in Jumeirah Village Circle, Business Bay, and many other locations; office and commercial buildings such as the IB Tower in Business Bay, and those in Al Garhood, Sheikh Zayed Road, and other locations in the UAE.

The company has also developed large functional warehouses in industrial zones, and many showrooms on Sheikh Zayed road.

However, Araco said it considers the work on palaces and residential villas, such as a futuristic-oceanic hybrid palace constructed on oceanfront property at Jumeirah Beach in Dubai as its most iconic projects.

The company’s projects are a testament to its drive for excellency, beauty, and in some instances unorthodoxy, it added.

Some of its key projects in the pipeline are Dubai Silicon Oasis (Ribbon of the Light Project); six buildings in Dubai’s upcoming residential area Jumeriah Village Circle; SA Properties in Barsha Heights; a G+33 typical floors in Dubailand (Majan) Wadi Al Safa; 22 buildings in Satwa area and Dh300-million twin towers at International Media Production Zone (IMPZ).

Raheem Bani Zaman Lari, the managing director and founder of Aracao, said: "Over the decades, we have been involved in numerous projects some which seemed impossible. But we developed and continue to develop our capabilities to design, construct, and supervise the creation of magnificent structures."

"We are not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom, go against the flow, and swim upstream with bold ideas: in fact, I would go so far to say that it is this organizational cultural identity that has made Araco so successful," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

New cluster GM for Millennium Madinah hotels

Millennium Al Aqeeq and Millennium Taiba Hotels, part of Millennium Hotels & Resorts, have announced the appointment of Jamal Abdulla as the new cluster general manager of the two luxurious properties in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

The hospitality veteran, with over 20 years of experience in Saudi Arabia, will be responsible for guiding the overall direction and strategic priorities of the hotels, ensuring hotel revenue targets are met whilst delivering an excellent guest and member experience, the group said.

Kevork Deldelian, chief operating officer, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels – Middle East & Africa, said: “Jamal is an experienced hospitality professional with an extensive knowledge of the KSA market. Whilst Saudi Arabia is continuing to position itself as a business and in select locations a leisure destination, religious tourism is fueling the country’s growth in the hospitality sector. Given the importance of KSA as one of our strategic growth markets, we are confident that Jamal will harness his broad market knowledge to strengthen the overall performance of our properties and to achieve greater affinity with the Millennium Hotels & Resorts brand.”

Prior to joining Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Abdulla was the managing director for the ‘5 Stars Hotel Division’ with Mohamed Al Ali Al Swailem Investment Co., where he was responsible for the openings, renovation and operations of their hotels. He has previously worked with international hotel groups such as Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Accor Hotels and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

'Green' celebrations at JA Hatta Fort Hotel

JA Hatta Fort Hotel in Dubai, UAE, is celebrating this festive season in the greenest and creative way. 

As many as 275 recycled car tyres have been used to build a unique but equally festive Christmas tree. The idea behind the project is to spread festive joy and happiness as well as raise awareness on the importance of sustainability and protecting the environment, the hotel said.

The tree was made up of recycled car parts, recycled timbers, LED fairy lights and a GI chain. The project took four days to complete and forms part of a wider range of celebrations and festive activities conducted by JA Resorts & Hotels.

Deborah Thomson, general manager of JA Hatta Fort Hotel, commented: “As we continue with our holiday celebrations and enjoy the festive period, it’s important that we remember the environment around us. Our ‘Very Green’ tree is a small reminder to keep recycling and contributing to sustainable initiatives. It’s a fun and different way to celebrate Christmas and we look forward to welcoming all our guests to JA Hatta Fort Hotel over this joyful time.” - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Sheikh Mohammed in debut Dubai Safari Park tour

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visited the Dh1.25 billion Dubai Safari Park, an edutainment development sprawling over 12 million sq ft.

Sheikh Mohammed kicked off tour by visiting the monumental model of the park, accompanied by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO of Emirates Group, and Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, reported state news agency Wam.

He was briefed by Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, on the various departments and facilities of the park, which includes four villages: Arabian, Asian, African, and an open safari village.

The region's one-of-a-kind development also includes a Valley Zone adjacent to the African village. It provides the visitors with a safe and comfortable atmosphere and gives them the opportunity to enjoy a pleasant family picnic on the green yards along the animals living in the valley, which stands as a large edutainment centre for visitors, especially school students and families, to learn about wildlife and its diversity, it stated.

Sheikh Mohammed, accompanied by a delegation of senior officials, toured the park's diverse sections and villages in eco-friendly vehicles run by solar energy.

The Arabian Village is considered a moderate desert environment embracing different species of Arabian oaks, deer and birds. All the components of life for these animals and birds are provided from sand, grass, water, lakes, artificial scales, air-conditioned umbrellas and others.

The Dubai ruler then visited the Asian village, established as an incubator for animals and birds from Asia.

At the end of his tour, Sheikh Mohammed expressed his satisfaction with the completion of this educational cultural tourism project in a short period of five-six years.

He commended the great efforts of the Dubai Municipality and its partners to implement this promising national project which is not serving families in the UAE only, but also tourists and visitors from different world countries, said the Wam report.

The park features integrated services and facilities for People of Determination, an area dedicated for buying souvenirs, and classes dedicated for school students, in addition to restaurants and rest areas, which allow visitors to take short breaks in a comfortable and quiet family ambience, it added.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Al Rajhi Capital plans $431m IPO for REIT

Al Rajhi Capital, one of the largest investment firms in Saudi Arabia, said its real estate investment trust (REIT) fund will be launching its initial public offering (IPO) from January 1 to 14.

Al Rajhi REIT’s preliminary portfolio comprises 13 high-quality assets that generate income at the end of January and July of every year, it stated.

The fund’s assets are spread across various sectors in the kingdom, namely: retail (54 per cent), warehouses (12 per cent), offices (26 per cent) and education sector (8 per cent).

As the fund manager, Al Rajhi Capital will be offering 42.67 million units at SR10 each. Subscription will be available through Al Rajhi Bank website and Al Rajhi Capital investment centres at a minimum value of SR1,000. With this Al Rajhi REIT will have a fund size of SR1.62 billion ($431 million).
 
The Sharia-compliant fund aims to acquire or invest in income generating commercial, office, and educational assets, as well as warehouses, which are mainly located in the kingdom, except for Makkah and Madinah region.

"The fund’s investment target is mainly developed, income-generating assets, and focus is also on leasing and distributing at least 90 per cent of the fund’s annual net income in cash over the fund term on a semi-annual basis," said a Al Rajhi Capital spokesman.

The IPO is open only to Saudi and GCC nationals besides the institutions, companies, and investment funds operating in the kingdom, along with qualified foreign investors (QFIs) and expats living in the kingdom, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Barwa awards $356m Qatar labour city contract

Barwa Real Estate Company, a leading Qatar-based developer, has awarded a QR1.3 billion ($356 million) contract to Insha Company for the construction of a new labour city in capital Doha.

The company has already signed a leasing contract with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment for the rental of two plots of land spread over a total area of 1.18 million sq m on Salwa Road for a lease term of 27 years.

The land will be developed into a labour city, taking into account social, cultural and architectural standards that are consistent with the Qatar National Vision 2030.

As per the deal, Insha will be completing the construction work within a year, said the company in a statement.

Gathering all the needed facilities, the city will aim to provide housing for workers of different nationalities and cultures, especially those living in slums.

​​​​​​​​​​​​The project comes as part of the Qatari government efforts to improve the housing standards of workers and meet the needs of the local market in line with the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and Qatar's preparations for hosting the 2022 World Cup, said the statement.

Occupying an overall area of 994,567 sq m on Salwa Road, the project includes the construction of 3,170 residential houses, each comprising of eight rooms, eight bathrooms and a kitchen, in addition to retail shops and mosques with a total building area of 730,728 sq m, it stated.

The infrastructure works include setting up 25 power substations, internal roads and potable water, fire, irrigation and sewage networks as well as surveillance cameras.

An adjacent plot of 183,538 sq m has been allocated as parking lots for buses, in order to reduce traffic congestion within residential areas, it added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Dubai implements new air space restructuring project

Dubai has implemented the new designed airspace that enhances its efficient utilization to cater to the growth and the expansion plans in the sector.

Spearheaded by Dubai Air Navigation Services (dans), the air navigation services provider of Dubai and the Northern Emirates, that ensured the implementation of 90 new air traffic management procedures and the introduction of 150 new way points, in addition to the training of 168 air traffic controllers to guarantee the successful and seamless transition to the new design of the Controlled Airspace for Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The Air Space Restructuring (ARP) project aims at delivering crucial benefits to the aviation sector in the UAE at large, such as the enhancement of the airspace capacity to meet the forecasted air traffic demand for 2020 and beyond, and increasing access to all airports within the country.

In the Dubai Aviation sector in particular, the project deliverables cascade into specific transformational results on annual basis such as enabling airlines to save fuel consumption of a total value of $14.6 million, driving CO2 emission reductions of 90,401 metric tons, furthermore enhancing air traffic movements capacity to accommodate continuous growth in the Controlled Airspace for Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Mohammed A Ahli, the director general of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and the CEO of Dubai Air Navigation Services (dans) stated: “The past three years whilst working on the project, have demonstrated the importance of cross sector collaboration for the greater benefit of the United Arab Emirates.

“We are also proud to witness the Aviation sector arrive at new and unprecedented fronts, as it continues to cater to its prestigious customers of airports, airlines and authorities. Moreover, it is also crucial to acknowledge the tremendous and exemplary efforts exerted by the various project teams, who ensured the successful delivery and implementation of the project.”

Leading the implementation of the new airspace design in Dubai, dans has allocated a full-fledged team of its air traffic management professionals who supported and collaborated with all the entities and members of the Air Space Restructuring project over the period of the past three years.

The organisation was part of the Project Sponsor Committee, and had appointed representatives to three teams (the project steering group, project technical team and the project management team) who managed and ensured the successful and seamless operational transformational into the new airspace design. Through their unique expertise and knowledge, the teams extended their support by taking on different roles such as advising on the new airspace designs, conducting 9 real time simulations on the procedures in partnership with the project vendors in Italy and overseeing the full project management framework adhering to meticulous specifications.

The first phase of the project which delivered the new design of the terminal airspace of the UAE was fully funded by Dubai Air Navigation Services. Moreover, the organisation in partnership with Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) has been a major shareholder in equivalence in the third phase of the project which delivered the implementation of the final design in Dubai in particular and the UAE in general.

Dubai Air Navigation services (dans) is the air navigation services provider for Dubai and Northern Emirates. Dans also provides air navigation services for airport authorities and numerous prestigious airlines, such as Dubai Airports and private airports in the UAE. – TradeArabia News Service



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Heavy fog disrupts flights at UAE airports

Emirates Airlines has cancelled and delayed several inbound and outbound flights on Sunday due to heavy fog in Dubai, a spokesperson of the airline was quoted as saying in a media report.

Emirates Airlines urged clients to check the status of their flights through the airline's call centre or website, reported state-run news agency Wam.

"The safety of passengers and crew is a top priority for us," said the airlines.

Meanwhile Etihad Airways has anticipated some flight delays and cancellations due to heavy fog forecasts in Abu Dhabi over the next few days.

As a consequence, some return flights into Abu Dhabi are also expected to face disruption, according to the company's spokesman.

Guests holding bookings over the next few days are advised to check the status of their flights at etihad.com/flightstatus or through the Etihad Airways Mobile App before proceeding to the airport, reported Wam.

The company will continue to monitor the adverse weather conditions in Abu Dhabi and have in place contingency plans in the event of further disruption to its operations, added the spokesman, reiterating that "the safety of our guests and crews remains our utmost priority."

Fog formation decreasing by Thursday, Friday: NCM

The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) has expected the weather to be humid at night and early morning with fog and mist formation over scattered areas, and partly cloudy to fair in general, said Wam.

Wind will be light to moderate Northwesterly to Northeasterly, with speed of 15 – 25 km/h reaching 30 km/h at times, with fresh northwesterly winds starting from Tuesday evening especially toward west and over the sea, reaching 40 km/h.

Sea will be slight to moderate in Arabian Gulf becoming rough by Tuesday evening and slight to moderate in Oman Sea.

From Wednesday to Friday, it will be humid at night and early morning with a probability of fog and mist formation especially over the internals and western areas, where opportunities and places of fog formation are gradually decreasing, especially on Thursday and Friday. The amount of clouds will increase at times over the sea, eastern and northern areas during Wednesday and Thursday.

The wind will continue light to moderate Northwesterly, becoming easterly and Northeasterly by Thursday morning, freshening at times over the sea with speed of 15 – 25 km/h reaching 40 km/h. Sea will turn rough to moderate in Arabian Gulf, becoming slight to moderate by Friday, and moderate in general in Oman Sea, becoming rough at times by Thursday daytime.



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Sunday, December 24, 2017

UAE to build park, playground in Yemen

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has signed an agreement to build and equip 'Shuhair' recreational park in Ghail Bawazir district of Hadramaut in Yemen.

The work includes the provision of electricity and water, as well as the construction of a mosque, renovating the car parking area and a children’s playing area, reported state news agency Wam.

The agreement is part of the development support provided by the ERC to bring life back to normalcy in the liberated areas of Yemen, it added.



from Construction Realestate

Egypt to launch $5.6bn development project in Sinai

The Egyptian government is set to pump in more than E£100 billion ($5.6 billion) into infrastructure development projects in the insurgency-hit Sinai peninsula over the next two to three years, said a report.

The coast of the south of the Sina peninsula is peppered with Red Sea tourist resorts, while the northern province is underdeveloped and lacks basic infrastructure and job opportunities, reported Reuters.

Security forces have battled Islamist militants in the mainly desert region, stretching from the Suez Canal eastwards to the Gaza Strip and Israel, since 2013. Militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers, it stated.

Speaking at a ceremony to inaugurate a development project in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi said: "We have entrusted the ministry of housing and the engineering authority with a national project of comprehensive urban planning."

"The E£100 billion projects would be carried out whether I remain in power or not," he added.
 



from Construction Realestate

Dubai luxury tower Mada on track for Q2 delivery

Saudi-based Artar Real Estate Development said work is in full swing at Mada Residences, a luxury residential tower coming up in Downtown Dubai, and on track for delivery in the second quarter of 2018.

Artar is ending the year on a high note, having completed 30 floors of the new building, which will stand out among the rest for being delivered on time in one of Dubai’s most sought after neighbourhoods, said a top official.

"Careful planning and execution from our teams of engineers, architects and workers have allowed us to stay on track with development. As it stands, Mada Residences is the only residential building in Downtown Dubai slated for handover as promised in Q2 2018," remarked Okbah Abdulkarim, the chief operating officer at Artar.

Throughout its development, four cranes carried 6,000 tonnes of steel and 31,000 cu m of concrete that went into the construction of 36 floors containing 200 flights of stairs.

Around 13,000 sq m of fire-proof stone finish porcelain cladding and 17,000 sq m of glass make up the façade of Mada Residences, stated Abdulkarim.

"Offering a luxury residential experience in the heart of the city, with 193 spacious one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments designed with liveability in mind, the tower is a one-minute walk from the new Dubai Mall extension and features a Signature Collection of nine elite 4-bedroom apartments," he added.-TradeArabia News Service
 



from Construction Realestate

Abu Dhabi hosts workshop for project contractors

Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), the entity responsible for developing quality infrastructure in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, hosted a workshop to introduce consultants and contractors executing infrastructure projects undertaken by the Follow-up Committee of President's Initiatives to the Council’s product and personnel certification schemes.

In line with the QCC’s aim of enhancing the quality and sustainability of the built-environment in Abu Dhabi, the workshop included detailed presentations on the conformity schemes, and examined the emirate’s current and future infrastructure needs in the context of its economic development.

In June this year, the Follow-Up Committee of President's Initiatives endorsed a raft of personnel and product conformity schemes issued by QCC.

The endorsement followed the signing of a partnership agreement that aimed to strengthen strategic collaboration between the two parties.

As per the terms of the partnership, entities that hold a Certificate of Conformity and Abu Dhabi Trustmark issued by the Council become preferred suppliers of the Committee. In addition, the Committee encourages its partners to use their products and services.

Furthermore, the agreement promotes exchange of knowledge and expertise in the construction sector and related services.

Abdullah Hassan Al Muaini, the executive director of Conformity Scheme Services at QCC, said: "The workshop is part of QCC’s drive to promote sustainable development in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the private sector."

"Through introducing our private sector partners to QCC’s certification schemes, we seek to build local capacities to ensure that all infrastructure projects in Abu Dhabi comply with the highest local and international quality standards," stated Al Muaini.

"In order to develop state-of-the-art urban infrastructure in the emirate and drive wide-scale adoption of sustainability practices across sectors, it is vital that stakeholders in the construction industry apply our conformity schemes in projects that are taking shape," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Celebrate the festive season with HMH

The season of fun and festivity is in full swing at the hotels managed by HMH – Hospitality Management Holding.

Whether guests are looking for buzzing locations or a quiet luxury retreat, there is something for everyone. For a relaxing holiday escape to Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel or Coral Beach Resort Sharjah. Stay at Coral Dubai Al Barsha Hotel or Coral Dubai Deira Hotel and experience the magic of Dubai at the doorstep. Equally delightful are the Corp Amman Hotel, Coral Beirut Al Hamra Hotel, Coral Muscat Hotel & Apartments, Coral Khartoum Hotel, Coral Port Sudan Hotel and EWA Khartoum Hotel & Apartments.

Ferghal Purcell, COO of HMH, said: “As we approach 2018, we look ahead with a great deal of excitement with a host of activities lined up throughout the festive season. We have put together a fabulous Christmas and New Year programme at each of our unique hotels to make our guests’ celebration special. The season’s best deals are available on our website www.hmhhotelgroup.com ”

With a beautiful collection of hotels located in some of the most sought-after destinations across the Middle East and Africa, properties managed by HMH offer an array of stay and dining alternatives awaiting guests and their family. From ‘suite’ surprises to the coolest serviced apartments and elegant rooms, there is a wide choice of accommodation options. For diners too there is plenty to tempt the palate. Purcell said: “Let our chefs take you on an epicurean journey with excellent local and international cuisines. On the menu will be our authentic festive fares with a wide mix of the popular flavours served in magical settings in all our fabulous restaurants.” - TradeArabia News Service
 



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Abu Dhabi completes key city infrastructure work

Abu Dhabi City Municipality has announced the completion of a comprehensive project involving extensive maintenance infrastructure works at key areas of Al Wathba, Zayed City and Musaffah covering rehabilitation of roads, greens, lighting and irrigation networks, and pavements.

The project is part of the overall maintenance plan aimed at upgrading and renovating the infrastructural components as well as protecting the urban appearance of cities and providing the best service facilities, said state news agency Wam.

The Abu Dhabi City Municipality has accomplished the operation and maintenance of landscaping and local irrigation networks project in the Mainland, namely Al Wathba, Al Nahda and Al Faya, it stated.

The municipality has completed the operation, maintenance and landscaping work in addition to irrigation networks in the area to the south of Abu Dhabi – Suwaihan Road. As for agricultural works, ADM has completed the maintenance of Baniyas Park, said the report.

Wide-ranging maintenance works such as readying green landscape at the entrance of the second bridge in the direction of Mohamed bin Zayed City and trimming soil cover in an area of around of 5000 sq m.

In Zayed City and suburban areas, the municipality has carried out maintenance infrastructural works including operating and maintaining landscaped areas as well as local irrigation networks, trimming soil covers in Al Fursan Street and Al Raha Mall, removing flowers and marigold, cutting greens at the Airport Street and removing weeds, reported Wam.

The general maintenance and rehabilitation plan will roll on to cover all areas under the environs of the municipality in a bid to uplift and maintain the calibre of public facilities to realise the needs and expectations of the community and partners and contribute to boosting the standards of sustainable development, it added.



from Construction Realestate

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya gets top recognition

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya celebrates its first successful year by scooping a number of impressive prestigious awards.

The hotel was recognised as the ‘Best Business Hotel’ and received the ‘Best Location’ Award in the Middle East by ‘Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards’. It was also awarded the 'Best Luxury Business Hotel’ Award, at the 2017 World Luxury Hotel Awards; all of which acknowledge the most exceptional hospitality experiences and services, based on guest satisfaction.

The hotel's prestigious restaurant, Azure, was recently recognised as the 'Best Family luxury Restaurant in the Middle East' at the prestigious 2017 World Luxury Restaurant Awards. The award aims to highlight special culinary cultures and nominates five-star restaurants around the world, based on their overall experience offered to guests. Since its opening last January, Azure has been offering a unique culinary experience to guests with its distinguished atmosphere and gastronomic heritage of countries like Turkey and Greece, inspired by the Aegean islands heritage.

Located on the first floor of Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya, Azure restaurant offers an infusion of Turkish and Greek gourmet that pulls its influences from Aegean-inspired cuisine, providing a refreshing retreat from the mundane. Azure uses authentic ingredients sourced both locally and internationally to service exceptional unique flavors. In addition to the lunch a la cart menu, the restaurant is now presenting a business lunch set menu.

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya Hotel’s general manager Nizar Weshah, expressed pride in the hotel’s achievements within a relatively short period of time since opening its doors and lauded the support of the hotel’s work team. He said: "The hotel's distinguished location and services were a key factor in this success; coupled with the outstanding skills of the hotel’s experienced and dedicated staff to provide the best services to guests; an approach that has earned us enhanced loyalty and support from our customers."

With its prime location in Olaya, a growing financial district in Riyadh, the Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya is the preferred destination for business travelers. It is also in close proximity to the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center, and is a less than 40-minute drive to King Khalid International Airport.

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya offers 261 spacious guestrooms, including 40 suites, spread across 28 floors, designed in a unique contemporary style. All guestrooms and suites feature panoramic views of the vibrant city of Riyadh, and incorporate subtle local touches and design elements, including patterned leather panels that are embroidered with a contemporary interpretation of a middle-eastern mashrabiya motif.

Located on the 26th floor with spectacular views, the hotel’s Regency Club offers exclusive services, including access to the Club’s meeting room, providing a quiet and comfortable environment for guests, as well as complimentary internet access, and snacks all day round.

To unwind after a long day, the hotel’s Sokoun Spa is the ultimate destination for rejuvenation and relaxation. The spa offers four treatment rooms and an extensive range of wellness services, including relaxation massages and therapeutic body treatments for men. It also includes a Fitness Center, the best in Riyadh, which features the latest equipment for health and recreation, from cardiovascular exercise machines to strength-training equipment; with a special fitness facility for women. A traditional Moroccan Hammam invites guests to unwind from the day's stress with a cleansing steam or sauna. The spa also features an indoor swimming pool and a multi-purpose sports court. - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality

The Track, Meydan Golf wins top accolade

The Track, Meydan Golf is celebrating for a second year running after being named the Middle East's Best 9 Hole Golf Course 2017 at the ‘World Golf Awards’ that took place recently in Spain.

Nominated against three other venues, The Track, Meydan Golf was the stand out winner.

Located just 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport The Track, Meydan Golf is in an ideal location to accommodate visitors travelling from overseas. Set against the backdrop of the iconic Meydan Racecourse and views of world’s tallest building ‘Burj Khalifa’, the Peter Harradine designed championship course measures 3,706 yards for nine holes, and 7,412 yards for eighteen holes, from the black championship tees. The club has an all-inclusive nature and welcomes golfers of all standards, which is highlighted by the provision four teeing options.

Reuben Mifsud, cluster general manager, Meydan Hotels & Hospitality expressed his delight upon receiving this exclusive award and said: “We are very happy to be recognised for the second year in a row with this prestigious accolade, which marks an impressive milestone for The Track, Meydan Golf in the region."

The most unique feature of The Track, Meydan Golf is its floodlights, allowing visitors to play as much golf as they like both day and night. The option to play golf into the evening hours makes The Track the perfect place for a quick stopover before catching a flight.

Tom Rourke, PGA Fellow Professional, director of Golf, The Track Meydan Golf, said: “It takes a great team to reach such a remarkable achievement and I’m proud to be one player of this team. This is the best way to end 2017 - to win Middle East’s Best 9 Hole Golf Course and it will definitely encourage us to exceed further and higher expectations that are set in this field.”

Off the course, golfers can enjoy the wonderful service of the Qube Sports Bar, which is located on the upper level of the Meydan Golf Clubhouse and serves as a unique venue in which to relax before or after a round of golf. The prominent feature of the bar is the four-sided large ‘Qube’ shaped projector screen together with 16 LED screens, offers an unparalleled experience when it comes to sports viewing. Moreover, visitors can take advantage of the pool tables, shuffle board, table football and darts boards that are offered complimentary to all. The Qube also offers a fantastic menu, serving great food to satisfy any appetite, carefully prepared by professional culinary team of The Meydan Hotel.

Adjacent to the golf course, the distinct Meydan Racecourse, where the world’s finest thoroughbreds come to race, visitors can witnesses a calendar of nine domestic meetings from November to March including the Dubai World Cup Carnival and its signature event, the Dubai World Cup (the world’s richest day in racing). - TradeArabia News Service



from Travel Tourism Hospitality