Showing posts with label construction-realestate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label construction-realestate. Show all posts

Sunday, December 24, 2017

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

Saturday, December 23, 2017

UAE property firm Awtad celebrates DFM listing

UAE-based property investment firm Awtad has celebrated the listing of company’s shares on Second Market of Dubai Financial Market (DFM) where investors can trade on private firms’ shares within a regulated and advanced environment.

The company boasts a capital of Dh150 million ($41 million) distributed between 1.5 million shares with a nominal value of Dh100 per share.

Majid Abdullah Alsari, the chairman of Awtad rang the market bell on Thursday (December 21) to celebrate the listing in the presence of Hassan Al Serkal, the chief operating officer and head of operations division of DFM as well as senior representatives from both sides.

Welcoming the listing, Essa Kazim, the chairman of DFM said the Second Market represents significant value for businesses and investors alike as it enables investors to trade on private companies’ shares within a regulated and advanced environment and through the electronic trading system.

"The listing also enables private companies that play an integral role in the economic activity, to avail various benefits of being a listed company," he noted.

"The second market has a huge potential to expand considering the big number of private joint stock companies in the country of approximately 150 companies and DFM encourages them to be part of its comprehensive platform," ramarked Kazim.

The listing on the second market provides these companies with numerous benefits including; links with local and international investors, the streamlined access to funds necessary for expansion as well as enhancing its competitiveness through the implementation of best practices of transparency, corporate governance and investor relations, preparing the company for a new era of growth," he added.

On the listing, Alsari said: "We are proud to have Awtad listed on the Second Market."

"We give high regard to SCA and DFM and we are confident that this will provide us with a tremendous opportunity to grow our investments, expand our business activities, increase our investor base and contribute to enhancing the concept of transparency and disclosure by applying corporate governance rules to the benefit of all parties," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

GCC transport project value tops $392bn in 2017

Gulf countries continue to invest in transport projects to diversify the region’s $1.4 trillion economy and prepare for post-oil era, with the combined value of 1,424 active transport projects in the region crossing $392.2 billion in 2017, said a report.

Of these, 139 projects worth $207.5 billion involve the development of the railway sector - in bits and pieces - that will later be interconnected to the GCC railway system and create a region-wide rail network to help accelerate cross-border movement of goods, services and people, according to BNC Network, a leading project research and intelligence provider in the region.

However, the highest number of projects – 1,069 – are dedicated to roads and highways sector, with a combined value of $122.6 billion that will improve and expand the road networks across the region, stated BNC in its latest GCC Construction Analytics report.

As many as 100 projects with a combined value of $37.4 billion are in the aviation sector, mostly in aviation infrastructure projects. 

Saudi Arabia is developing a number of small airports to have them connected to the rest of the country as mobility among the GCC residents are growing, necessitating greater connectivity.

In the UAE, Al Maktoum International Airport also represents a significant portion of these projects.

Around 116 marine projects with a combined estimated value of $24.7 billion will also expand the region’s marine transport sector.

The GCC's transport sector constitutes 6 per cent of all active projects in the region and in dollar terms, these projects account for 16 per cent of the total estimated value, according to the report.

The relatively higher spending in the roads and transport infrastructure sector reflects a clear focus on economic diversification of the GCC countries where transport, logistics, trade and tourism will dominate the economic landscape in future.

BNC Network CEO Avin Gidwani said: "Relatively high investment in infrastructure clearly shows that the governments of the GCC countries are planning to reduce dependence on hydrocarbon and make their economies more sustainable by expanding and improving infrastructure that will help cross-border trade, tourism and public mobility that are essential for diversification."

The news of crude oil price bouncing back to the $65 per barrel level will help boost investor sentiment. Higher oil price means higher spending in infrastructure and if the current price stabilizes, we could see increased investment in roads and transport sector.

“Once completed, these projects will change the way people move within the region as well as the way goods are traded and transported from one country to the other,” remarked Gidwani.

In the third quarter of 2017, 15 projects with a combined estimated value of $2.08 billion were announced in the GCC's transport sector.

The number of projects announced in this sector increased by 25 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 as compared to the second quarter of 2017.

Notable projects announced in the third quarter in the GCC's transport sector include Expansion of Um Al Hassam Interchange project located in Manama, Bahrain, worth $1.2 billion; Haima to Thumrait Railway Line in Oman worth $400 million which is part of Oman Mineral Railway Line located in Muscat and Sea Taxi at Abhor located in Jeddah worth $150 million.

As many as 32 projects with a combined estimated value of $3.7 billion were awarded in the GCC's transport sector in the third quarter of 2017, while 60 projects with a combined estimated value of $6.64 billion were completed.

A total of 11 transport projects with a combined estimated value of $811.6 million moved to the construction stage from other stages last month, said the BNC report. 

The largest transport project in dollar terms to be awarded in November was Roads and Infrastructure Works for Al Salmi Road worth $620 million located in Al Salmiya, Kuwait.

A total of 32 transport projects with a combined estimated value of $1.4 billion were completed during November, it added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

UAE's Adia backs $1bn India affordable housing funds

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds, has become a primary investor in HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Fund-2 (H-CARE-2), a $1-billion platform targeting mid-income residential projects in India's leading 15 cities. 

The primary objective of the platform is to provide long term, equity and mezzanine capital to marquee developers at the land and pre-approval stage for the development of affordable and mid-income housing in India, said a statement from the company. 

HDFC Capital Advisors, a real estate investment advisory arm of mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), had raised $550 million in an initial closure of its second affordable housing fund (H-CARE-2).

It will be combined with the first affordable housing fund, H-CARE-1, which was raised in 2016, to create a $1 billion platform, HDFC said in the statement. 

The platform will invest in affordable and mid-income residential projects in 15 cities across India.

This aligns with the Centre's goal to increase overall housing supply, including 'Housing for All by 2022' initiative, remarked Deepak Parekh, the chairman of HDFC.

The combined platform will provide both long-term equity as well as mezzanine capital to developers to build 75 million sq. ft of affordable and mid-income residential projects over the next 2-3 years. The platform will be headed by HDFC Capital CEO Vipul Roongta.

On the prime investment, Adia said India’s housing market presents a compelling investment opportunity driven by the country’s continued economic growth and backed by supportive government initiatives. 

"Our investment in HDFC’s platforms aims to meet the strong demand for early-stage financing of housing projects and encourage the continued growth of the affordable and mid-income residential sector," remarked Khadem Al Remeithi, the executive director of the real estate and infrastructure department at Adia.

"The latest real estate fund raising by HDFC Capital comes at a time when affordable housing has witnessed a spurt in activity after several incentives provided by the government this year, including infrastructure status," he added.

According to Parekh, these funds will play a significant role in progressing towards the ‘Housing for All by 2022’ objective of the government. 

Affordable housing will not only act as a growth driver for the real estate industry in India but will also be a catalyst for GDP growth," he stated.

Parekh pointed out that lack of flexible, long-term capital was one of the key challenges facing developers of affordable and mid-income housing in India. 

“The H-CARE funds will focus on providing leading developers access to financing at attractive rates and on flexible terms,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Friday, December 22, 2017

DLD opens real estate customer service centre

Dubai Land Department (DLD) has launched a new real estate customer service centre titled Cube, which gathers 15 service centres under one roof and completes procedures in one day instead of 10.

Cube has been established in collaboration with a number of key partners including the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, the Dubai Police General Command, the Dubai Health Authority, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.

The Cube project also contributes to positioning Dubai as the best place to live and work, attracting foreign capital, and encouraging direct and indirect investment in support of Dubai’s economy.

Majida Ali Rashid, assistant director general and head of the Real Estate Investment Management and Promotion Centre at DLD, said: “We have established Cube In line with the directives of our wise leadership to further develop our services. We will achieve this through our continuous efforts to provide the highest quality services to real estate investors in one location, allowing them to complete all of their procedures easily and conveniently.”

“The project is aligned with our future strategy and our vision to make Dubai an innovative and sustainable global real estate environment, as well as the happiest city in the world, thanks to its intelligent and accessible services.

 “This initiative is a major step in our approach to providing all real estate services in a way that ensures an easy and efficient investment experience for our customers. As Cube provides all services for all official entities under one roof, we are confident that it will achieve its objectives, the most important of which is providing unprecedented levels of service to customers who wish to benefit from Dubai’s unique investment environment,” Al Rashid added.

Cube reduces both effort and time for real estate investors by providing all services in one location, rather than the previous 15, and by completing procedures in one working day rather than the previous 10.

The centre will include all government and private entities, such as the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship and the Dubai Police General Command, as well as medical centres, printing offices and insurance companies. – TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Saudi Aramco opens construction training centre

State oil giant Saudi Aramco and The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) have jointly inaugurated a training institute for construction sector in Al Nairiyah region of the kingdom.

A stand-alone nonprofit entity, the National Construction Training Center (NCTC) provides nine-month academic courses and vocational training in English. The facility boasts lecture halls and training workshops and can handle 600 trainees.

The NCTC started its operations back in September with around 240 Saudi trainees, and offers training in electrical technologies, welding, precision devices, pipe fitting, and occupational safety.

The training centre was inaugurated in the presence of Fahad Al Helal, the VP of Project Management  at Saudi Aramco and other senior executives and professionals from both parties and the training center.

Trainees will have the opportunity for on-the-job training with their companies.

The move is in line with Saudi Aramco’s efforts to support projects and initiatives that aim at equipping Saudi youth with the required knowledge and skills.

Ahmed Al Saadi, Saudi Aramco senior VP of Technical Services, said the training institute is a result of the partnership between Saudi Aramco and TVTC.

"The aim of this center is to train and develop young Saudis to meet demand for workers in the industrial construction field in the kingdom. NCTC will have a great impact on social and economic development," he noted.

Addressing the gathering, Al Helal said the strategic location of the center in Al Nairiyah will cater to the needs of many communities in the area.

In addition, it will serve several companies working with Saudi Aramco in projects around Al Nairiyah, he added.
 
Hasan Al Zahrani, the general manager of Downstream Project Management at Saudi Aramco, and also  the chairman of NCTC Board of Trustees, said: "This centre focuses on industrial construction, and is one of many partnerships between Saudi Aramco and several entities from government and private sectors."
 
The NCTC is aligned with the goal and objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Miral to open new beachfront community in Abu Dhabi

UAE-based Miral, which oversees the development of Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, said work has started on its beachfront community project, Al Bahar, which will be ready by the first quarter of 2018.

Al Bahar is the official name of the lagoon beach project that has been recently announced by Abu Dhabi Municipality, whereby Miral was appointed to undertake the design and development of the project based on its extensive experience in creating immersive destinations.

Announcing the development of a new, vibrant beachfront community space on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche, Miral said the project will help to deliver on the capital’s vision of offering unique experiences for residents and visitors, establishing the emirate as an entertainment and leisure destination of distinction.

Unveiling the project, Miral CEO Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi said the plan is to develop an 80,000-sq-m location into a dedicated beachfront space for leisure and wellbeing.

"Al Bahar project will create a vibrant and contemporary outdoor space to relax, eat, and shop. The integrated family beach will expand its offering to include over twenty F&B (food and beverages) outlets that cater to different tastes, satisfying those who seek the finest international and local food experiences from the best providers in the market," he stated.

The beachfront will boast basketball and beach volleyball courts, soccer pitches, an outdoor gym, kids play area, spaces for concerts and community events as well as an inflatable floating structure for fun-filled experiences. A promenade, stretching over half a kilometer in length, will also be set aside for walking.

"This project reflects our continuous efforts to make Abu Dhabi a top tourism and entertainment destination, even beyond Yas Island by expanding our expertise to create a new leisure experience on Abu Dhabi’s highly popular Corniche," remarked Al Zaabi.

Miral is opening up the opportunity for leasing the F&B and retail space at the beachfront project.

"With its inclusive atmosphere and authentic experiences, we’re excited and confident that the beachfront project will make a valuable contribution to the capital’s family appeal as from a wellness and entertainment stand point," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

GGICO to hand over Dubai Silicon Oasis homes

Gulf General Investment Company (GGICO), a Dubai-based diversified conglomerate, said it will start handing over the one-bedroom apartments at its Topaz Residences Tower 1 project located in Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Topaz Residences project - which boasts three towers Topaz Residences Tower 1, 2 and 3 - are high-rise residential buildings that feature a total of 448 stylish and spacious one-bedroom apartments, complete with all the modern-day amenities, said the company in a statement.

All the three towers span a total built-up area of 697,925-sq-ft offering a fusion of inspired design and unmatched comfort to ensure a refined well-being for individuals and families, it stated.
 
Topaz Residences Tower 1, after having sold out all units, are handing over its most awaited one-bedroom apartments starting this end of 2017.

While, Topaz Residences Tower 2, the most premium of the series is over 50 per cent complete with the handover scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2018 and Topaz Residences Tower 3 is 75 per cent complete and ready for delivery in the third quarter.

Topaz Residences Tower 2 is offering premium and spacious 1000 sq ft (average) one-bedroom apartments for Dh691 per sq ft - the lowest per-square-feet rate in Dubai Silicon Oasis - priced at Dh708,695.

The company is offering an EMI option of Dh1,750 per month. It also comes with an attractive payment plan where the tenant pays 40 per cent during construction and 60 per cent over 3 years. Those interested can make a reservation by paying Dh74,262.

On the project's progress, Mohammad Harib Fadhel Almazrooei, the managing director, said: "I am delighted to see our plans of offering premium yet affordable quality living unfold just as we had envisioned. GGICO’s sweeping presence in Dubai Silicon Oasis is a befitting decision as the community is thriving with outstanding facilities, and services."

"It is a great community to live and work for those looking for the right balance of quality and affordability," he noted.

Topaz Residences, said Almazrooei, is the newest addition to an extensively spread premium residential offering by GGICO in Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Totaling up the existing projects by GGICO which include Axis Residences, Platinum Residences, and the in-progress Topaz Residences project, the company holds 34 per cent of the total residential projects in Dubai Silicon Oasis, in comparison to other real estate companies, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

ABB, Arkad to set up Saudi oil and gas EPC venture

ABB, a pioneering technology leader, said its industrial automation division has joined hands with Saudi-based Arkad Engineering and Construction to set up a oil and gas EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) venture.

As per the deal, ABB’s current oil & gas EPC business will be transferred into the new joint venture firm, in which, Arkad Engineering and Construction, a fully integrated EPC contractor for the energy sector based in Saudi Arabia, will have majority and controlling interest.

With the closing of the transaction by December 31, the new company, Arkad-ABB, will start providing the full range of integrated EPC services for oil and gas plants.

ABB said with this new venture it aims to build on more than 50 years of experience in oil & gas EPC and the successful delivery of more than 300 projects globally.

Besides the key development in its industrial automation wing, ABB has brought in the EPC business model change for its Power Grids and Robotics and Motion as well thus ending its transition year 2017 in style.

These decisions are fully in line with ABB’s strategy to shift the center of gravity towards strengthened competitiveness, higher growth segments and lower risk, said the company in a statement.

In the Power Grids sector, ABB has set up a joint venture with Canadian construction ginat SNC-Lavalin for electrical substation EPC projects.

The new entity, in which SNC-Lavalin will have majority and controlling interest, will leverage ABB’s power technology leadership and the Canadian firm's project expertise to capture opportunities for profitable growth. The transaction is set for closing in 2018.

In the Robotics and Motion sector, ABB has decided to wind down its turnkey full train retrofit business, beyond meeting current contractual commitments. The sector will continue its strong role as innovation partner for the rail industry, the statement added.

“We are taking decisive actions to complete our EPC business model change as we end our transition year. These actions are in line with our strategy to shift our center of gravity towards strengthened competitiveness, higher growth segments and lower risk,” said

On the new developments, Timo Ihamuotila, the chief financial officer of ABB, said: "We will book the related charges in Q4 2017 and report the divisions starting in 2018 excluding these legacy businesses."

"The fourth quarter results of Power Grids and Robotics and Motion are each expected to be impacted by approximately $75 million on operational ebitda," stated Ihamuotila.

"The transfer of the turnkey oil & gas EPC business into the JV with Arkad is expected to result in a non-operational pre-tax charge to net income of approximately $75 million," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Limitless makes $112.3m early debt payment

Dubai-based real estate developer Limitless will close out 2017 with an early payment of Dh412.4 million ($112.3 million) to banks and trade creditors tomorrow (December 21).

The payment – a week ahead of the due date – comprises Dh297.1 million to banks and Dh115.3 million to trade creditors.

Once made, Limitless will have repaid almost half of its outstanding bank debt and trade creditor obligations, said a statement from Limitless.

Thursday’s transactions will bring Limitless’ bank repayments to Dh2.2 billion (49.4 per cent of the total due), with Dh278.7 million paid to trade creditors (48.3 per cent of the total settlement due).

In May last year, Limitless had cleared Dh1.9 billion of bank debt with an immediate payment following the conclusion of its restructuring agreement with lenders, it stated.

Limitless Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said: "Limitless continues to meet its obligations and commitments to investors. We thank the Government of Dubai and our lenders, trade creditors and investors for their continued trust and support."

The payment, six months ahead of time, covered the first installment and 80 per cent of the second, said the statement from Limitless.

The company also paid Dh163 million to trade creditors at the time. The final repayments are due in December 2018, it added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Manazel, US firm mull school for autism victims

Manazel Real Estate, a leading developer in the UAE has teamed up with US-based non-profit May Institute to explore feasibility of developing a school for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other special needs in the UAE.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reflects the shared goals of May Institute and Manazel to support children on the autism spectrum. May Institute will deliver due diligence services to Manazel to explore this project.

This new venture is in line with Manazel's strategic initiative to diversify and expand into dynamic growth and niche markets capitalizing on a range of opportunities while also servicing part of a community through the provision of unique education and raising awareness.

Dr Lauren C Solotar, president and CEO of May Institute, said, "We look forward to collaborating with Manazel on this assessment and are pleased to share our expertise with the UAE.”

“May Institute and its National Autism Center respond to national and global demand for a broad range of needs and services, including the dissemination of best practices in applied behaviour analysis (ABA) treatment of autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities; training in applied behaviour analysis; and the start-up and operation of schools and programs for autism both nationally and internationally.

"As the number of individuals diagnosed with autism increases across the globe, the need for effective, research-based interventions is more critical than ever. This potential project aligns with our strategic goal of expanding our reach to provide innovative ABA services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder across the lifespan,” she added.

Manazel's chairman Mohamed M Al Qubaisi said, "I am delighted to announce this strategic alliance with May Institute, which reflects our constant search for opportunities that lead towards growth momentum and the company's commitment to its on-going expansion strategy to enter new growth and niche markets. We continue to work towards achieving the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 by taking sound steps and studying endeavours which deliver unique and creative real estate projects for the greater community."

“In the pursuit of delivering optimal shareholder value, Manazel remains focused on pursuing opportunities that complements its overall business strategy while also fulfilling the UAE's efforts to support individuals with disabilities in order for them to be active members of society,” he added.

May Institute is a non-profit organization that is a national leader in the field of applied behaviour analysis, serving individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, brain injury and neurobehavioral disorders, and other special needs. – TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Empower wins Dubai's Museum of the Future deal

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) said it has been awarded a major contract by the Dubai government to provide 2,459 refrigeration tons (RT) of district cooling capacity to Museum of the Future.

Groomed to become the incubator for futuristic innovation and designs, the Museum of the Future was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as a platform to showcase and experiment on the latest inventions from startups and global technology champions.

It will also test human capabilities and limitations in developing long-term development solutions to the challenges facing future cities.

One of the world’s largest district cooling services provider, Empower said the agreement reflects the positive reception and increasing interest of the property sector in investing in environmental sustainability as a key factor to improve growth.

It also underscores the economic advantage of adopting district cooling in real estate development, said the company in a statement.

On the contract win, CEO Ahmad Bin Shafar said: "A hub for the future of humanity is being built right here in Dubai. Providing the Museum of the Future with a sustainable cooling solution is in line with the UAE’s sustainability agenda and Empower will ensure that the air-conditioning requirements of the technology center will meet the highest international standards."

"It is part of Empower’s DNA to support such projects as the future is in sustainability and the successful completion of this project would pave the way for many innovative projects – including those that will optimize our natural resources to dramatically improve our ways of doing business and lifestyles," he stated.

The project which is built at the heart of Dubai’s business district near the Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road, will gather selected researchers, inventors, research centers, companies and funders under one roof.

Upon completion, the project will house innovation laboratories for health, education, smart cities, energy, and transport and will be a permanent museum of future innovations in all sectors, highlighting sustainable development, said Bin Shafar.

Empower supplies district cooling to a wide scope of buildings that ranges from residential buildings to hospitals, educational institutions, hotels, hotels, commercial and retail buildings and institutes, he stated.

By adding Museum of Future to its portfolio, Empower is now able to meet the varied cooling requirements of specialised and tailor-made buildings and structures, as well as the peak-load requirements of such buildings, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Schlumberger to set up new plant in Saudi Arabia

Schlumberger, one of the world's leading oil services companies, said it has signed a deal with state oil giant Saudi Aramco to develop a hitech industrial manufacturing centre within the King Salman Energy Park at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia.

The announcement was made at a ground-breaking ceremony at the King Salman Energy Park, being developed and operated by Saudi Aramco.

Schlumberger, which is a key anchor tenant at the park, said the new manufacturing plant will come up over a 500,000-sq-m area of land allocated for energy-related industries.

The new unit will manufacture products for drilling, exploration and production, as well as midstream, it stated.

Welcoming the move, Mohammed Al Qahtani, the senior VP (Upstream) at Saudi Aramco, said: "Schlumberger is the ‘first mover’ to come onto the King Salman Energy Park, and we extend our warmest welcome. This initiative underlines Saudi Arabia’s key position as a regional and global energy industry hub."

"Significantly, Schlumberger is bringing major manufacturing capacity to the kingdom, with the potential to develop export markets. This presence will attract additional tenants to the Park, bringing the jobs and investment that are crucial to both Saudi Aramco’s iktva development program, and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030," he stated.

The first phase of the facility will be completed in the second quarter of 2018, which will bring Schlumberger land rig manufacturing to the kingdom.

Paal Kibsgaard, the chairman and CEO of Schlumberger, said: "The new industrial manufacturing center will collocate our upstream and midstream manufacturing in the Kingdom and complements the footprint Schlumberger has built over many years."

"We believe our commitment puts Schlumberger in a position to attract the best local talent, to grow within the Kingdom, and to export within the region," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Virgin Hyperloop One wins key DP World funding

Virgin Hyperloop One, the only company in the world that has built a full-scale hyperloop system, said it has secured an additional $50 million funding from its key investors Dubai-based global marine terminal operator DP World and Caspian Venture Capital ahead of its Series C round of funding.

Also the company has named British billionaire and founder of the Virgin Group Richard Branson as its new chairman (non-executive).

In another major development, Virgin Hyperloop One recently completed its third phase of testing achieving historic test speeds of 387 kilometers per hour.

On the appointment, the company said as the founder of Virgin Group, Branson brings with him an unparalleled proven track record in delivering technology breakthroughs and transformative experiences in air, rail, and space transportation.

Branson joined the Virgin Hyperloop One board of directors in October after Virgin Group invested in the company and formed a global strategic partnership. The company is in the process of rebranding itself Virgin Hyperloop One, said the US-based firm in a statement.

On his new role, Branson said: "I am excited by the latest developments at Virgin Hyperloop One and delighted to be its new chairman. The recent $50 million investment sets up the company to pursue opportunities in key markets in the Middle East, Europe, and Russia as it develops game-changing and innovative passenger and cargo ground transport systems."

The investment was made by its existing investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World who have been consistently supportive investors and have backed the company in each of its funding rounds, he stated.

Virgin Hyperloop One's CEO Rob Lloyd said with this, the total financing raised by Virgin Hyperloop One has risen to $295 million since its founding three years back.

"This investment provides Virgin Hyperloop One with a very robust financial platform for 2018 ahead of our Series C round of fundraising. We are so proud to have investors who consistently step-up to support our company and our vision," observed Lloyd.

"We continue to see extremely strong interest from world leaders globally looking to embrace hyperloop to address critical infrastructure challenges. Our focus in 2018 will be on accelerating commercial agreements for both passenger and cargo projects," he added.

New speed record

Meanwhile, Virgin Hyperloop One has set a historic test speed record of nearly 387 km per hour (107 m per second) during its third phase of testing at DevLoop, the world's first full-scale hyperloop test site.

The company achieved faster speeds and tested a new airlock which helps transition test pods between atmospheric and vacuum conditions during its latest test campaign which was completed last week, said the company in a statement.

All components of the system were successfully tested including the airlock, highly efficient electric motor, advanced controls and power electronics, custom magnetic levitation and guidance, pod suspension, and the vacuum.

The tests were conducted in a tube depressurized down to the equivalent air pressure experienced at 200,000 ft above sea level. A Virgin Hyperloop One pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag, it stated.

Josh Giegel, Virgin Hyperloop One's co-founder and chief technology officer, said: "The recent phase three testing continues to prove the incredible persistence and determination of our DevLoop team -- the close to 200 engineers, machinists, welders, and fabricators who collaborated to make hyperloop a reality today."

"The continued support from our existing investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World highlight their adamant belief in our ability to execute," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



from Construction Realestate

Monday, December 18, 2017

Majid Al Futtaim completes $91m mall revamp work

Majid Al Futtaim, a leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has completed the first phase of City Centre Mirdif’s Dh335-million ($91.2 million) enhancement project, adding an additional 500 car parking spaces on the new upper deck on level 3.  

The project, set for completion in early 2018, is in line with Majid Al Futtaim’s commitment to enhance customer experience and improve convenience at its existing flagship destinations.

The revamp is part of Majid Al Futtaim’s planned Dh30 billion investment in the UAE by 2026, it added.

Majid Al Futtaim said visitors can now easily access the mall via the new pedestrian walkways and at the conveniently located drop off areas on level 2 of the parking.

Paying acute focus to customer safety standards, measures have been implemented in the new parking area, including speed control, designated pedestrian walkways and increased visibility and brightness.

City Centre Mirdif’s parking facilities also feature an innovative parking guidance system that enables arriving guests to easily identify available parking spaces and electronically locate their cars after a trip to the mall. In addition, 500 existing parking spaces have been upgraded, said the retail pioneer.

Once complete, the expansion will add over 1,000 car parking spaces on the new upper deck and new entry and exit points, which will significantly enhance convenience and accessibility to the premium lifestyle, shopping, leisure and entertainment destination.

The ground and first floor parking will also be upgraded and new access routes to the overflow car parking will be opened, it added.

Mohamed Al Jasmi, the senior mall manager for City Centre Mirdif - Majid Al Futtaim, said: "We are pleased to release phase one of City Centre Mirdif’s revamp project which on completion will add value to the mall’s existing world-class facilities."

"We are committed to delivering an unparalleled shopping experience as the needs and expectations of our customers evolve and look forward to introducing the new VOX Cinemas complex and mall prayer rooms next year," he added.

City Centre Mirdif’s Vox Cinemas expansion project is in progress and scheduled for completion in June 2018.

According to him, the new complex will include 10 new screens – six new standard and four new Theatre by Rhodes auditoria – as well as a lounge and public amenities.  The mall’s existing VOX Cinemas will operate as usual during the construction of the new multiplex.

The mall’s enhancement project and VOX Cinemas expansion total a Dh394 million investment.

In response to customer feedback, the mall is upgrading and relocating its prayer rooms to the central area of the mall with easy access to the new parking level, stated Al Jasmi.

The revamped prayer rooms will accommodate 757 men, and the women’s prayer room is suitable for 380 people. The prayer rooms are serene and spacious locations with beautiful skylight windows and private access to amenities. The new facilities will allow families and friends who frequent the mall, particularly on Fridays, to perform prayers during their visit to City Centre Mirdif.

Mall operations will continue as normal for all tenants during the ongoing construction period. Majid Al Futtaim’s priority is to deliver an enhanced visitors’ experience at City Centre Mirdif and has planned for minimal disruption during this time.

The redevelopment of existing assets such as City Centre Mirdif is a key element of Majid Al Futtaim’s overall UAE strategy announced in June 2016: to open 10 new City Centre destinations, 28 cinemas, 40 Carrefour supermarkets and a 740,000 sqm community, by the end of 2020.-TradeArabia News Service



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Green Valley Real Estate partners with UAE group

Green Valley Real Estate Group, a leading real estate development and investment company, said it has signed a partnership agreement with UAE-based Central Hotel Management Group. 

As per the deal, Central will be managing Green Valley’s hotel project, in a move that represents a new, unique cooperation model among national Emirati companies. 

This cooperation will kick off shortly by managing a number of Green Valley’s projects in Turkey, followed by projects in Morocco, Georgia and Bosnia, said Ali Al Salami, the director general of Green Valley Real Estate Group, after signing the agreement with Ahmad Al Abdullah Al Ansari, the chairman of Central Hotel Management.

Established in 2004, the Green Valley Real Estate Group owns a total of 42 real estate development projects across the globe. 

The partnership will guarantee an additional source of investment returns for Green Valley’s customers and investors, as they will provide them with rewarding returns on their real estate investments in locations that attract tourists throughout the year. 

Central’s long experience and outstanding success in managing hotel properties will be a major differentiator in this aspect.

“We are pleased to sign this partnership agreement with Central Hotels Management group to manage our projects in Turkey,” remarked Al Salami. 

“This agreement comes to fulfill our promises to esteemed customers who bought their units in Turkey on a hotel system basis, which offers them good investment returns in attractive tourist destinations,” he stated. 

The company surprised its customers by including all its projects in Turkey under the hotel property management system, although most of its projects were not previously part of such arrangement, he added.  

The new brand will be named “Green Valley Central” and will manage all projects in Bursa, Yaluva, Trabzon and Sapanca.

Wiaam Rabah, the chairman of Green Valley Real Estate Group, expressed delight at the tieup with Central Hotel Management, whose focus is to provide excellent hotel services in all its four-star properties in Dubai. 

"We will transfer this outstanding experience and services to Turkey and offer them to our esteemed customers who deserve the best," observed Rabbah. 

Green Valley Central also plans to expand in Morocco, Georgia and Bosnia at a later stage. Agreements related to those countries will be announced in due course, he added.-TradeArabia News Service 



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Work begins on UAE pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

The ground-breaking ceremony of the UAE pavilion - designed in the shape of a flying falcon, symbolising the country’s leadership and pride - at the Expo 2020 Dubai site was held on Sunday.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chief executive of Emirates Group, laid the foundations for the pavilion.

The ceremony, also included the signing of the official agreement for the UAE’s participation in the Expo, which was signed by Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of the National Media Council, NMC, – the entity tasked with overseeing the construction and management of the UAE Pavilion at international Expos – and Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and director-general of the Expo 2020 Office.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said: "The UAE Pavilion will undoubtedly be one of the most prominent attractions of Expo 2020, drawing in many millions to witness its futuristic design. It will be a wonderful opportunity to share our Emirati culture and achievements while showcasing our ambitious vision for the future. The Pavilion will be an architectural marvel that all seven Emirates can rightly take pride in, both now at the ground-breaking stage, during Expo, and in legacy when it will become a lasting icon of our nation."

Dr Sultan Al Jaber said: "I extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for their valuable involvement and unlimited support for the efforts to make Expo 2020 Dubai the best edition of the global event to date."

"The UAE Pavilion is a prominent landmark at the Expo 2020 Dubai, it represents the host country and will be the main attraction for millions of visitors from all around the world," he added.

"The Pavilion showcases the history of the UAE, which stretches over thousands of years, and tells the story of our wise leaders, their vision and their achievements that have transformed the UAE into an international role model. At the same time, the structure will introduce visitors to the UAE’s ambitious aspirations for the future, all the way till 2071."

Dr. Al Jaber continued, "The UAE Pavilion will be the long-lasting legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai, bearing witness to the UAE’s success in organising not only the first Expo in the Middle East and Africa, but also one of the world’s best expos to date. This adds another achievement to the UAE’s ever-growing track record of successes."

Reem Al Hashimy, said that the UAE National Pavilion at Expo 2020 "will tell the story of our country to millions of visitors from all over the globe. It will be a window for communication and collaboration with the world, truly embodying our theme of 'Connecting minds, Creating the future'".

"The Pavilion will leave a lasting impression on the UAE landscape, showcasing our rich culture, our journey as a nation and our development and leadership in many fields. It will introduce millions of people to our history, as well as the future aspirations that we seek to achieve with our leadership’s vision and through cooperation with other nations," Al Hashimy went on to say.

The UAE Pavilion covers an area of more than 15,000 sq m; and is made up of four floors with the top storey dedicated for hospitality with an area of 1,717 sq m. Meanwhile, a 588-sq-m mezzanine floor will house support units, and the two remaining floors consist of more than 12,000 sq m of exhibition space. The entire structure is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

The NMC approved the design submitted by architect Santiago Calatrava after a seven-month design competition, where nine international architecture firms submitted 11 different concepts. Entries were evaluated based on strict criteria, including the extent to which they successfully embodied the main theme of the Expo, "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future", as well as their representation of UAE heritage, balancing the country’s past and future.

Arabtec Construction - a subsidiary of Arabtec Holding - is building the Pavilion; the company won the contract after competing against national and international companies. Arabtec Construction is a leader in the national and regional construction sectors, delivering mega-projects such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport, and other landmark construction projects across the UAE.

The National Media Council has been in charge of building and running the UAE Pavilions in all international Expos since its inception in 2006, as part of its mandate to represent the UAE abroad and advance its position in regional and international forums, shedding light on its efforts, achievements and innovations in social and economic sectors around the world. – TradeArabia News Service



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Dewa completes 82pc of M-Station expansion

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has completed 82 per cent of the M-Station expansion project, the newest and largest electricity generation and water desalination plant in the UAE.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dewa was briefed by Siemens’ representatives on the construction, engineering, and operational progress of the expansion project, which is going according to schedule. To date, most of the civil work has been done, and 10.9 million safe man-hours recorded without any injuries.

M-Station is the newest and largest electricity generation and water desalination plant in the UAE, with a current total capacity of 2,185MW of electricity and 140 million imperial gallons of desalinated water per day (MIGD). The station adopts the highest levels of availability, reliability, and efficiency, using the most advanced technologies in the world. The station’s total capacity will reach 2,885MW when the expansion project is completed in Q3 of 2018.

The station includes the provision of new power generating units, adding 700MW to the installed generation capacity of M-Station. The expansion project includes the addition of two dual-fuel gas turbine generators, two heat-recovery steam boilers, and a steam turbine that is 90 per cent-fuel-efficient. This will increase the plant’s thermal efficiency from 82.4 per cent to 85.8 per cent, which is one of the highest thermal-efficiency rates in the world.

Since 2015, Dewa has been working with Siemens on the Jebel Ali M-Station expansion, as the combined total cost of M-Station construction and expansion is Dh11.5 billion ($3.1 billion). M-Station is equipped with the latest smart devices and sophisticated heavy-duty technological systems. It was built at a cost of Dh10.15 billion. Dh6.2 billion were invested to generate 2,185MW of electricity from 6 gas turbines (F-model) from Siemens, with a capacity of 255MW for each unit, 6 boilers for waste-heat recovery and 3 steam turbines, with a capacity of 218MW each.

The project has been implemented in phases since mid-2010. Water desalination systems costing Dh3.95 billion use 8 desalination units, deploying Multi-Stage Flash (MSF) distillation technology, each with a capacity of 17.5 MIGD and totalling 140 MIGD, two dual-fuel-fired auxiliary boilers of 390 tonnes per hour, and 16 fuel-oil storage tanks, each with a capacity of 20,000 cubic metres, with total fuel-oil storage of 320,000 cubic metres.

Dewa works tirelessly to build a robust infrastructure to enhance its total production capacity, which is currently 10,200MW of electricity and 470 MIGD. – TradeArabia News Service



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Vietnamese group wins EGA alumina supply contract

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), one of the world's leading aluminium producers, said it has signed a deal with Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) for supply of alumina for three consecutive years.

One of the largest industrial companies in the UAE, Ega has more than 40 years of experience in aluminum production with an output of up to 2.4 million tonnes per annum in addition to oil and gas.

Under the terms of the contract, Vinacomin will supply alumina to EGA for three consecutive years, amounting to 300,000 tonnes per year, as raw material for the UAE group's aluminum electrolytic plants, said Abdulla Kalban, the chief executive of Ega after signing the deal with Dang Thanh Hai, the general director of Vinacomin in the presence of Khalid Alqahtani, the ambassador of the UAE in Vietnam.

Expressing his delight at the successful conclusion of a three-year supply agreement with Vinacomin, Kalban emphasised that EGA would like this contract to be the beginning of the expansion of co-operation between the two companies in the future.

On the new partnership, Thanh Hai said this contract will contribute to boosting trade co-operation between Vinacomin and Ega in particular, and between Vietnam and UAE in general over the coming years.

This is Vinacomin's first long-term contract with its Middle East counterpart, in line with the guidance of the Government of Vietnam and the Ministry of Industry and Trade on developing relations with Middle East and African countries in the period 2016-2025, he stated.

Along with long-term contracts with other partners from India, Switzerland, Japan and Korea, this contract will contribute to ensure Vinacomin's consumption of alumina in many markets around the world, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Abu Dhabi funding of Bahrain projects hits $2.85bn

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has allocated to date a total of Dh10.5 billion ($2.85 billion) in government grants to Bahrain to 26 development projects in Bahrain.

Serving key infrastructure sectors, including housing, water, healthcare, and transportation, the projects funded by ADFD in Bahrain aim to support the ongoing efforts of the Bahraini government to fulfill the country’s sustainable development objectives.

A technical delegation from ADFD visited Bahrain to review the progress of the development projects financed by the fund in the country and noted that some of the projects are currently more than 90 per cent complete, while work is in full swing to deliver the remaining projects on schedule.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), said: "ADFD and the Government of Bahrain enjoy long-standing and strong historic ties that date back over four decades. We have worked together to achieve the kingdom’s sustainable development goals across a broad spectrum of economic sectors.”

He added: “The GCC development programme for Bahrain, commissioned in 2013, is a sustainable model of development support extended by the UAE to Bahrain managed by ADFD. During its recent visit to Bahrain, our technical delegation reviewed the phases of completion of various projects and discussed and coordinated the work flow with officials from different government entities there.”

The updates from various projects received during the delegation’s visit include:

Housing Units in the Northern City
The technical delegation inspected the progress of work at the Dh2.5 billion ($680.6 million) project that is taking shape in two phases in the Northern City - including the construction of 2,694 housing units, and the city's infrastructure works.

The project – with a large portion of infrastructure works already completed - aims to support the housing sector through developing new areas in providing quality housing units to the Bahraini population.

Reclamation Works - Eastern Sitra Housing Project
The delegation also visited the Eastern Sitra Housing Project that is being developed through land reclamation for residential and other social services. Once complete, the project will deliver 4,500 housing units valued at around Dh900 million ($245 million).

Encompassing the excavation and reclamation of an area spanning 800 hectares, the project includes the dredging of 24 million-sq-m of soil to prepare the landbank for the new housing projects.

In addition, this project will contribute to the provision of much-needed infrastructure in the region, through enabling the construction of several bridges and roads leading to the Northern City. Infrastructure works also include the construction of public utility networks such as electricity and water transmission stations among other social and residential facilities. With construction registering 90 per cent completion, the project is slated for handover by end-2017.

Sewage Treatment Project
The ADFD technical delegation also visited the Sewage Treatment Project in the Northern City of Bahrain, spanning an area of 640 hectares to collect sewage, transfer it to a treatment facility, and use treated sewage to irrigate agricultural areas surrounding more than 15,600 housing units in the Northern City.

More than 90 per cent of the Dh440 million (US$119.7 million) project has been completed to date. This project aims to serve the Northern City and optimise water resources through preserving the surrounding region and providing a healthy environment for the residents of the Northern City. The project is anticipated to be complete by Q2 2018.

Bahrain International Airport Expansion Project
Funded by ADFD, the expansion of Bahrain International Airport to accommodate more than 14 million arriving passengers valued at Dh3.7 billion ($1 billion) is also part of the ADFD-funded infrastructure projects in Bahrain. Following the visit, the delegation reported that this project was nearly 40 per cent complete, with phase one slated for handover by Q2 2019.

The project aims to support the Bahraini aviation sector and translate a positive impact on related sectors such as tourism, trade and transportation.

The project includes the addition of a new terminal spanning a total area of 177,000-sq-m. The new terminal will include lounges, gates, airline offices, duty free retail outlets and a transit hotel. In addition, support systems for on-ground services and related facilities are also within the scope of the project.

Expansion of Sheikh Zayed Road
The delegation visited and inspected expansionary works valued at Dh330 million ($89.8 million) on Sheikh Zayed Road that is being constructed in line with best international standards.

As one of the Bahraini government's strategic projects, the expansionary works will increase capacity on the road to 50,000 vehicles per day, easing traffic congestion and further enhancing the transport sector.

Cardiac Centre
The delegation also visited the site of the Dh550 million ($149.7 million) Mohammed Bin Khalifa Specialist Cardiac Centre, where 95 per cent of the construction works are complete, with the project handover set for Q2 2018.

The cardiac centre will boost diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases in the region, and is set to feature cutting-edge medical equipment, significantly stepping up the capabilities of Bahrain's health sector.

Development of a water supply network
Funded by ADFD with a total value of Dh183 million ($49.8 million), the delegation confirmed that the water supply network project is currently 75 per cent complete and set for handover in Q2 2018.

The project consists of building two water storage and pumping stations in the Juffair and Busaytin areas that will support and develop the water sector and raise capacity to meet the growing water demand in Bahrain. - TradeArabia News Service



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