Tag Archives: China

Belgium opens visa application centres in Al Khobar and Jeddah for Schengen visas

Citizens and expatriate residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can apply for Schengen visas to Belgium at the new Visa Application Centres jointly launched by the Embassy of Belgium in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and VFS Global. The new centres provide outbound travellers from Al Khobar and Jeddah a very convenient visa application platform, ensuring enhanced quality of services and seamless procedures. Applicants also complete their biometric enrolment at the same application centre. With the launch of these new centres, applicants no longer need to visit the Embassy of Belgium and instead need to submit their visa applications at the VFS Global centres in Al Khobar and Jeddah. During the official inauguration of the Visa Application Centre in Al Khobar, H E Dominique Mineur, Ambassador of Belgium to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said, “The recent opening in Jeddah last month has already resulted in an increase in the number of visa applications received for Belgium from the Kingdom. We hope the Al Khobar Centre will also generate the same interest, and we thank VFS Global for their support. This will undoubtedly strengthen the relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Belgium.” The first Visa Application Centre for Schengen visas to Belgium started its operations in December 2016 from the capital city of Riyadh. Commenting on the new centres for visas to Belgium, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO—Middle East, South Asia & China, VFS Global, said, “The number of applications for Schengen visas applied in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has increased significantly and continuously over the years. The positive economic environment in the Kingdom and the high level of economic growth has created more opportunities for business …

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Sharjah to host 50 countries at IWAS World Games 2019 from February 10-16

The Higher Organising Committee of IWAS World Games Sharjah 2019 confirmed that 1,462 participants from 50 countries are set to compete in the world’s largest wheelchair and amputee sports championship in Sharjah from February 10-16. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member Ruler of Sharjah, the IWAS World Games has returned to the emirate for the second time after its successful debut in the city in 2011. The eighth edition of the world championship brings together seven games including archery, athletics, badminton, swimming, shooting, table tennis and wheelchair fencing. New details of the upcoming biennial sports championship were revealed at a press conference held recently at Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa. Global athletes landing in Sharjah over the next few days are set to represent 50 competing nations confirmed by the Higher Organising Committee which include the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Algeria, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, India, Sweden, Ukraine, Thailand, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Kenya, Russia, China, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, Poland, Pakistan, Norway, Kenya, Latvia, Macau, Azerbaijan, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Serbia, France, Georgia, the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Greece, Czech Republic, Austria, Belarus and Comoros.

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Arabian Tea House opens at Souq Al Shanasiyah

Arabian Tea House serves traditional Emirati cooking and Arabic cuisine to its visitors, sprinkled with cultural significance and a historical setting. Visitors can indulge in delicious Emirati breakfast trays, light lunches, grills and wide variety of teas from Australia, China, India, Canada, and Czech Republic. It’s an amazing place to experience Emirati culture, replete with adorning photographs that will take you down the memory lane to the Old UAE in the 1960s. Arabian Tea House is a perfect addition to the Souq as it’s the beacon of Emirati hospitality. In the 1950s, Souq Al Shanasiyah was a thriving trading area and point of convergence for traders from neighbouring countries. Today, Souq Al Shanasiyah at the Heart of Sharjah is a heritage and trading landmark that attracts visitors and tourists by linking the past with the present and keeping a visionary perspective on the future. Keeping its reputation of a vibrant and bustling commercial hub, Souq Al Shanasiyah features multitude of products of various products. The souq has just added – Arabian Tea House to its eclectic portfolio.

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Dubai welcomes 11.58 million visitors in first 3 quarters of 2018

Dubai remains on track to becoming the most visited city for global travel, business and events, according to the latest visitation figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). The emirate welcomed 11.58 million visitors in the first three quarters of 2018, with India retaining its position as Dubai’s leading source market, followed by Saudi Arabia and the UK continuing to hold second and third positions respectively, underlining the city’s sustained appeal to its traditional strongholds and a wider diversified global audience. Russia, China and Germany continued to be key drivers within the top performing markets, each recording double-digit growth compared to the same period in 2017. Tourism from Russia remained on high trajectory, growing by a massive 60 per cent year-on-year, with visitor numbers surging to 460,000 in just the first nine months of 2018. The increase in Russian overnight guests was supported by a strong 19 per cent growth in air capacity across non-stop flights, in addition to added ease of travel access following the introduction of visa-on-arrival facilities in the last two years. China also continued to highlight benefits from the visa-on-arrival scheme, complementing the ongoing ‘China Readiness’ strategy, consequently re-enforcing its upward curve resulting in China securing its position as the fourth largest feeder market with an impressive 641,000 visitors so far this year, marking a 12 per cent increase versus 573,000 for the same period last year. Germany grew even faster at 15 per cent to reach 388,000 visitors during the first nine months, landing in eighth place within the top 10 source markets for Dubai. From a regional perspective, the first nine months saw 20 per cent of overnight visitors …

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Slovakia inks deal with VFS Global for visa processing services

VFS Global has signed a contract with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic for providing visa services in 10 countries worldwide. As per this new contract, VFS Global will now provide visa services for Slovakia in China, India, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Belarus, Russia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Egypt through 38 visa application centres. The rollout of all these new operations is expected to be completed by December 2018. Under the new contract, VFS Global will accept both short and long-term visa applications on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Chris Dix, Head – Business Development, VFS Global, said, “We are excited about our new partnership with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. The countries where we will be operating are markets where VFS Global has worked for several years and whose travellers are familiar with our services and expertise. We are also pleased to have the opportunity to serve our new clients in new locations, and bring applicants in these locations the same benefits and high-quality service that we have been offering our customers worldwide for the last 17 years.”

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New growth opportunities on trade and investment with China’s New Silk Road

China’s Belt and Road initiative is expected to have major implications on trade and investment flows among Muslim countries, according to panellists addressing the topic at the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2018 (GIES) in Dubai. Entitled ‘One Belt, One Road, – How Might We Harness the Silk Route for the Islamic Economy?’, the panel highlighted the unprecedented opportunities for the Muslim nations that are located along the New Silk Road and examined the new growth opportunities that are opening up as the major infrastructure project progresses. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister, the UAE and Ruler, Dubai, the fourth edition of GIES is organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre in cooperation with Thomson Reuters as strategic partner. Held from October 30-31, 2018, GIES attarcted the participation of over 3,000 key decision makers, policymakers, government officials, business leaders and industry experts from around the world. Launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, Belt and Road aims to improve connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries. During the session, Professor Nabil Baydoun, Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, Dubai, spoke about the geographical importance of what is a new ‘Silk Route’ and how the project is an integral part of the Chinese plan for their economy. “It helps China increase trade among 65 countries and its biggest advantage is that it brings China closer to the world. Each nation needs to step up and play a part in working towards Belt and Road. Chinese regulations need to open the door to the world,” he said. Professor Wang Yiwei, …

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Germany opens visa application centre in Kuwait

The German Embassy has announced the opening of a new visa application centre in Kuwait in a move aimed at bringing greater efficiency to visa application processing services and enhanced customer experience to the residents of Kuwait. The centre operated by VFS Global will also provide biometric enrolment facilities to residents of Kuwait applying for Schengen visas. The processing time for a Schengen visa takes a maximum of 15 days and can be applied for up to three months before the planned date of travel. The VFS Global German Visa Application Centre in Kuwait is located at Level 25, Arraya Tower 2, Al Shuhada Street, Kuwait City, Kuwait. Inaugurating the visa application centre, H E Karlfried Bergner, Ambassador of Germany to the State of Kuwait, said, “The opening of the new centre is in line with the mandate the Federal Republic of Germany has awarded VFS Global to open external visa application facilities in 10 countries world over, including the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.” Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO—Middle East, South Asia & China, VFS Global, said, “VFS Global has a robust and long standing relationship with the Federal Republic of Germany and in the MENA region alone, it is expected that we will handle some 200,000 visa applications a year. While the decision of granting visas will rest with the German Embassy, our endeavor will be to provide visa application submission services efficiently and diligently and to the delight of our customers in Kuwait.”

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Jumeirah Group launches luxury hotel in China

Jumeirah Group has announced the launch of Jumeirah Nanjing on September 10. Under the direction of Jumeirah CEO, José Silva, the group is in a phase of accelerated expansion and this new Jumeirah-branded property in China represents an important deliverable in achieving the brand’s global growth ambitions. Located on the banks of the city’s Yangzte river, the hotel is situated on the 39-67th floors North Tower within the prestigious International Youth Cultural Centre (IYCC) of the Hexi New District. The striking and iconic architecture was created by the legendary architect Zaha Hadid, whose design took inspiration from a graceful sailing ship, capturing Nanjing’s blend of traditional and cosmopolitan style. Jumeirah Nanjing, which offers 212 rooms and 49 suites as well as range of exceptional dining experiences, is set to inspire and delight both local and international guests. José Silva, Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group, said, “Jumeirah Nanjing is a stunning addition to our portfolio and we are exceedingly proud to be selected as guardians of such a significant property. The International Youth Cultural Centre is an architectural masterpiece and its iconic stature is truly impressive. Jumeirah Nanjing is a remarkable destination which will boost tourism to the city.” With this strategic addition, Jumeirah will expand its luxury portfolio, which currently extends to 22 luxurious hotels and resorts around the world. The Jumeirah Group will be opening additional properties in the Asia-Pacific region, including in China and Bali.

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Emaar to develop Middle East’s largest Chinatown in Dubai Creek Harbour

Emaar has announced landmark developments that will further strengthen UAE-China relations. To honour Chinese expatriates in the UAE and further bolster business ties with China, Emaar will develop the Middle East’s largest Chinatown within the retail district of Dubai Creek Harbour, its six-square-kilometre mega-development, only 10 minutes from the Dubai Internal Airport and the iconic Burj Khalifa. The retail precinct will occupy a central location within Dubai Creek Harbour – a destination which will be home to the world’s new icon, Dubai Creek Tower, and encompass vibrant lifestyle elements. Set by the Dubai Creek waterway, elegantly designed homes in Dubai Creek Harbour will offer spectacular views of the city’s dramatic skyline, the waterfront and the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary – home to over 450 animal species and migratory birds, including pink flamingos. Further strengthening Emaar’s outreach to China, the company also announced that it will open three dedicated pavilions in China – Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, all cities served by direct daily flights to Dubai on Emirates Airline. The three offices will promote tourism, education, trading and investment between UAE and China. In a third significant announcement, Emaar will expand its premium luxury hotel and serviced residences brand, Address Hotels + Resorts, to China. Discussions are ongoing to develop and operate Address branded hotels in key cities in the country, given the strong appeal and familiarity that the brand enjoys among Chinese tourists.

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Dubai witnesses 41.4% rise in Chinese visitors

Dubai has seen a surge of 41.4 per cent in overnight Chinese visitors from 2016 to 2017 combined with a number of key agreements signed with major players in China. Now one of Dubai’s fastest growing source markets, closing the first five months of 2018 with a record 400,547 visitors, this growth is predicted to continue in 2018. Speaking ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the UAE this week, HE Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism, said, “Our approach to engaging Chinese tourists is two-fold, with landmark partnerships, investments and marketing activities undertaken in 48 cities across China, partnered with a city-level China-readiness strategy in Dubai to enhance the experience of Chinese tourists. The introduction of visa-on-arrival for Chinese nationals in 2016, working in conjunction with the increase in air capacity by national carriers from China – currently standing at 30 flights a week, a 13% increase in non-stop seat capacity in 2017- has also contributed to rapid growth.” Earlier this year, Dubai Tourism signed an agreement with Huawei, one of China’s leading smartphone manufacturers, in January which pre-loads devices with both user-generated and official cinematographic content of Dubai.

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