Shivani DDPPL

Ireland opens first visa application centre in Abu Dhabi

Ireland Visa Application Centre (3)

The Embassy of Ireland in Abu Dhabi has opened UAE’s first external visa application centre in partnership with VFS Global. All non-UAE Nationals who are based in the UAE and require a visa to enter Ireland will no longer need to visit the Embassy. They should instead route their visa applications through VFS Global’s centre located in downtown Abu Dhabi. H E Paul Kavanagh, Ambassador of Ireland to the UAE, said, “The new external visa application centre will provide an excellent streamlined service for non-UAE Nationals who are based in the UAE and who require a visa in order to enter Ireland.” UAE Nationals wishing to visit Ireland are exempt from all visa requirements. The Ireland visa application centre in the UAE is the third outsourced processing centre of Ireland in the GCC region in partnership with VFS Global, which now operates such centres for Ireland in 15 countries across the world. The VFS Global visa application centre for Ireland in Abu Dhabi is located at Level 25, Shining Tower on Mubarak bin Mohammed Street next to Khalidiyah Mall. Visa applicants based in the UAE can direct their queries to the call centre number +971 4 2055910 or communicate with the centre via email at info.irelandUAE@vfshelpline.com.

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Abu Dhabi ranks top in the Middle East in ‘Smart City’ chart

Abu Dhabi Tops Ranking of Smart Cities in the Middle East

Abu Dhabi has been ranked top in a list of cities in Africa and the Middle East in the McKinsey Global Institute’s study ‘Smart Cities: Digital Solutions for a More Livable Future.’ With a rating of 18.4, Abu Dhabi ranked first in the region ahead of Dubai, which was placed second with a rating of 17.3. Covering 50 international cities, the study looked at how cities all over the world use technology to increase the quality of life across a wide range of criteria, including healthcare, security, mobility, economic development and housing. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) said, “In today’s digital age, metropolitan cities in the world over are delivering creative ways in which data is used to reinvent the way their city is perceived, explored, interacted with and how services are delivered. Abu Dhabi ranking number one in the study is testimony to our ongoing efforts to establish the emirate as both a destination of distinction and a highly modern location in which international communities want to work, live and do business.”

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Etihad Cargo launches ‘FlightValet’ to transport luxury vehicles

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Ahead of the seasonal surge in demand for luxury vehicle shipments to popular holiday destinations, Etihad Cargo celebrates the launch of ‘FlightValet’, its newly designed product aimed to ease the process of moving motor vehicles across the globe. Etihad Cargo transports hundreds of high-value vehicles annually on its passenger and freighter aircraft, and this new product will further simplify customers’ booking experience. Commenting on the launch, Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, Managing Director – Cargo and Logistics, Etihad Airways said, “We are delighted to introduce this new tailored product to the marketplace. Demand from our customers has grown significantly in recent years, and in an effort to improve our service offering, we have introduced vehicle handling capability at key new stations in 2018.” FlightValet is available to those who wish to transport their luxury vehicles immediately. Customers choosing the service will benefit from Etihad Cargo’s proven track record in handling some of the world’s most valuable cars. FlightValet is offered through a dedicated team that will oversee the swift, safe and secure delivery of the vehicle to its final destination. Throughout the year, it will also cater to racing enthusiasts worldwide wishing to take their cars around iconic racetracks such as Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, home to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2009.

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Emirates launches second daily flight to Prague

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Emirates has launched a second daily flight between Dubai and Prague to meet the increasing demand for travel on the route. The airline has been serving the Czech market since 2010 and has carried some 1.7 million passengers on the route during this time. To meet the rising demand for both inbound and outbound travel, Emirates has added this new daily flight operated by a Boeing 777-300 ER with a capacity of 360 seats, boosting tourism into the Czech Republic by 262,800 seats a year. The new flight will accommodate three classes on board, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy. Flight EK137 leaves Dubai at 15:30 and arrives in Prague at 19:55. The return flight EK138 leaves Prague at 21:35 and arrives in Dubai at 05:30 the following day, giving travellers the full day in Dubai to kick-start their holiday, short break or business trip, and take advantage of the wealth of activity and dining options the cosmopolitan city has to offer.

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First Bvlgari Residences ready for delivery to owners

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Meraas and Bvlgari have announced the handover of Bvlgari Residences Dubai, in the city’s most exclusive residential community. Residences are located within the 1.7 million square foot Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai. The resort includes the world’s first Bvlgari Yacht Club, which exudes the unmistakable atmosphere of the Italian Riviera, famous for its glamour and exuberance. As part of the spectacular Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai, Bvlgari Residences Dubai sets a new benchmark for exclusive lifestyles and exceptional living spaces. With a range of amenities and services within the community, the homes combine convenience and comfort with luxury living. The handover process affirms Meraas’ commitment to delivering quality projects that enrich life in Dubai. The island neighbourhood is comprised of 168 apartments ranging from one- to three-bedroom units, six four-bedroom penthouses, and 15 mansions ranging from three- to six-bedrooms. Designed by renowned Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, the residences are managed by the adjacent Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts, and residents can benefit from the ‘Hotel a la carte services’, including housekeeping, catering, butler services, personal shopper and impeccable 24-hour concierge services. Buildings are also equipped with a Private Fitness Centre, a swimming pool and a steam room for the residents’ comfort. Pep Lozano, General Manager of Bvlgari Resort & Residences, said, “We are thrilled to welcome our first residents, who will be living in the Bvlgari residential community on the island.”

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National Aviation Services opens Luxury Pearl Lounge at Cairo International Airport

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National Aviation Services (NAS) has inaugurated its Pearl Lounge at the Cairo International Airport recently. The development of this new lounge follows a five year agreement between the National Logistics Services (NLS), a wholly owned NAS subsidiary and the Cairo Airport Authority to develop and operate the lounge. The inaugural was held in the presence of Mohamed Galal, NAS Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Ahab Abd Elaziz, General Manager, NAS Egypt, key airport officials, dignitaries and media. The new Pearl Lounge, located at Terminal 2 in Departures, covers an area of 540 square meters and offers the ultimate in comfort and luxury to all passengers. This includes complimentary Wi-Fi, tablets, charging power points, food, beverages, comfortable seating and a kids entertainment area to relax and unwind or catch up on work. NAS has been operating in Egypt since 2013. The Pearl Lounge at Cairo International Airport is the fifth NAS lounge in the country with two each at Sham Al Sheikh and Marsa Alam airports. NAS also provides Meet and Assist services that allow passengers to maneuver airport queues faster and helps get them to their flights or destinations quicker. General Ahab Abd Elaziz, General Manager, NAS Egypt, said, “The Cairo International Airport is the busiest in Egypt and second busiest in Africa with a total capacity of 30 million passengers annually. At the Pearl Lounge, NAS offers world class facilities combined with its lounge management expertise to offer passengers premium hospitality in a comfortable and luxurious environment.”

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Emirates Airlines expects over 220,000 passengers in the upcoming two weekends

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Emirates expects high passenger traffic on its flights this upcoming weekend, as travellers journey out for their summer holidays and long breaks. Over 220,000 travellers will be passing through Emirates Terminal 3 during the upcoming two weekends. Emirates reminds customers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before flight departure, and customers are encouraged to plan extra time to avoid potential delays. Passengers can physically check in at the airport as early as six hours before departing on their flight. They are requested to check in no later than 90 minutes prior to departure, regardless of class of travel. Customers who check in less than 60 minutes prior to their scheduled flight departure will not be accepted for travel. Customers can also check in online on both their desktops and mobile devices from 48 hours to 90 minutes before flight departure. In addition to these online check-in services, Emirates also offers check-in facilities near its car park area. Customers can use these to check in and drop off their luggage from 24 hours to six hours prior to departure. Along with checked in baggage, passengers are strongly advised to adhere to carry-on baggage weight limits, which are 7kg for Economy Class and 14kg for Business and First Class. Staff will be checking the weight of carry-on bags at various touch points before passengers board their flights. For a more convenient way to check-in, especially for families, groups and passengers with tight schedules, Emirates also offers home-check in, allowing customers travelling across all classes to check in for their flights from anywhere in Dubai.

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flydubai launches direct flight between Dubai and Sicily

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flydubai has launched its first service to the Italian city of Catania, marking the start of direct flights between Dubai and Sicily. A senior delegation from Dubai, including HE Liborio Stellino, the Ambassador of Italy in the UAE, Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations for flydubai, Thierry Aucoc, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations (Europe & Russian Federation) for Emirates, arrived at Catania International Airport (CTA) for the launch event. The delegation was met on the ground by Muhannad Alnaqbi, Deputy Head of the UAE Mission to Italy, and by Nico Torrisi, Chief Executive Officer for Società Aeroporto Catania (SAC). On arrival, the flight was met with a traditional water cannon salute. flydubai offers direct flights to Catania and through its partnership with Emirates this service will operate as part of its codeshare offering unmatched travel options. flydubai’s route network in Europe includes 27 points in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland (from October), Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine. Stellino, Italy’s Ambassador to the UAE, said, “The new flydubai connection with Catania will enable, in an effective way, for the South of Italy to be directly linked to Dubai’s extensive air network. It is therefore favourably perceived as part and parcel of the multifaceted and comprehensive Italy-UAE partnership. Such a positive development in connectivity is going to become immediately a very useful tool for both countries, a win-win approach, creating enhanced results and a successful impact on the tourism and trade sector.”

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Emirates and Crop One Holdings to invest US$40 mn to build vertical farming facility

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Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) and Crop One will co-invest US$40 million to build the world’s largest vertical farming facility near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. The project is a joint venture with US-based Crop One Holdings, the world’s leading vertical farm operator. The construction of the facility is scheduled to start in November 2018 and will take approximately one year to complete. The first products are expected to be delivered to Emirates Flight Catering’s customers, including 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges, in December 2019. When complete, the vertical farm facility will cover 130,000 square feet, but have a production output equivalent to 900 acres of farmland. At full production, the facility will harvest three US tons (2,700 kg) of high-quality, herbicide-free and pesticide-free leafy greens daily, using 99 per cent less water than outdoor fields. The proximity of the farm to the point of consumption also substantially reduces carbon emissions associated with transportation. It will also ensure the quick delivery of the fresh products, reaching customers within hours of harvest, maintaining high nutritional value. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group said: “Today’s announcement is an important milestone for the Emirates Group, for Dubai, and for the UAE. This investment to build and operate the world’s largest vertical farming facility aligns with the UAE’s drive for more agricultural self-sufficiency, a vision which began with the late HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s founding father. The introduction of ground-breaking technology at the facility also enhances Dubai’s position as a global innovation hub.”

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Tourism major contribution to Sharjah’s economy: Shurooq

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Several major announcements were made on the progress of investments to Sharjah recently. It was announced that His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim Al Serkal, was entrusted the position of Executive Chairman of Shurooq under the Emiri deree by His Highness Sheikh Dr.Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council; Ruler of Sharjah. Al Serkal has been one of the key leaders in Sharjah’s tourism industry growth and has contributed immensely over the period he served as Chief Executive Officer from 2009 to mid- 2018. Under his leadership and vision at Shurooq, Al Serkal has actively diversified the emirate’s tourism sector by developing the eco-tourism in Kalba, beach tourism in Khorfakkan, cultural tourism in the city of Sharjah with attractions like Al Qasba destination, Al Majaz waterfront, Flag island and Al Maraya art center. He stated, “We are attracting and focusing on developing investments for Sharjah, making it a hub for investors to diversify the economy of the emirate of Sharjah. During the past few months Shurooq signed a few MOUs for high end tourism development.” Some of them are Palace in Al Khan beach, boutique hotel in the cultural district and the island development project. As Sharjah is on its way to receiving 10 million tourists by 2021, Shurooq is entrusted with obtaining more investments to develop the emirate of Sharjah. His Excellency Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qassimi, member of the Executive council of Sharjah and Executive Chairman of the department of government Relations, Chairman of Sharjah Supreme committee for digitalization stated that by 2019, Sharjah will be a data driven nation by digitalizing 90 per cent.

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