Tuesday, December 26, 2017

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.



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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



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