Tag Archives: United Arab Emirates

Another ‘My City Centre’ mall in the offing

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Majid Al Futtaim recently announced that it’s going to start building its third ‘My City Centre’ mall, named My City Centre Al Dhait, in Ras Al Khaimah this month. The retail pioneer’s expansion into the Northern Emirate comes as part of the company’s strategy to increase its total investment in the United Arab Emirates by AED 30 billion by 2026. The new shopping mall will start serving Ras Al Khaimah’s communities early next year. Located in a strategic location, between two growing residential communities in the north and south-west of Al Dhait in Ras Al Khaimah, the new community mall represents an investment of AED 68.5 million. My City Centre Al Dhait will bring a diverse and tailored mix of shopping and dining outlets, offering nearby residents a convenient and accessible destination for everyday shopping needs.  It will be home to 30 stores across 5494 sq. m. of gross leasable area, including a Carrefour Market spread over an area of 1178 sq. m. Further, it will offer 117 parking spaces to visitors.

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7 carriers from the Middle East suspend flights to Doha

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In keeping with the recent instructions from the governments of UAE, Saudi and Bahrain, seven carriers from the various Middle East countries have suspended their services to Doha with effect from June 6, 2017 until further notice. Among these airlines are Royal Jets, Etihad, Emirates, flydubai and Air Arabia from UAE; Saudia from Saudi and Gulf Air from Bahrain. While Etihad, Emirates and flydubai suspended all flights between Dubai and Doha, Royal Jets suspended their services between Abu Dhabi and Doha and Air Arabia suspended their flights between Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah and Doha. Saudia has suspended its flights between Saudi and Doha and Gulf Air between Bahrain and Doha. So all customers who have booked tickets on any of these airlines for flying to Doha will have to contact the airlines for alternative options, which will include full refunds on unused tickets or free re-booking to the nearest alternate destinations. For detailed information, the relevant airlines can be called or their websites can be looked up.

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Sharjah Expo Centre sees 7% increase in visitor numbers in Q1

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Expo Centre Sharjah has recorded a 7 per cent increase in the number of visitors coming to its exhibitions and events during the first quarter of 2017, in comparison to the number of visitors that came during the same period in 2016. According to the Expo Centre management, 302,474 people visited the Centre’s events, including 12 specialised exhibitions, in January, February and March. The meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry in the United Arab Emirates currently generates a total of $653 million (AED 2.4b) per year and is expected to continue growing at about 7 per cent per annum until 2020. Overall, the GCC’s MICE market is estimated to be worth some $1.3 billion (AED 4.8b) annually. Located on Al Taawun Street in the centre of Sharjah city, the Expo Centre now has 6 exhibition halls surrounding a central boulevard, with a combined gross exhibition area of 26,000 square metres (279,862 sq. ft.) indoors, plus a further 6,000 square metres (64,583 sq. ft.) of outdoor space. A 200-room Novotel Sharjah Expo is currently under construction adjacent to the expo site. Sharjah is also building a new 370,000 square metre (4 million sq. ft.) exhibition and conference centre in Al Tai district, near the intersection of Emirates Road and Mleiha Road. Expected to open in November, the new centre’s first major event is going to be this year’s edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (1-11 November).

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UAE, KSA remain top destinations for UK travellers

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The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are the top destinations in the GCC preferred by business and leisure travellers from the United Kingdom, according to a recent survey. A review conducted by HotelsCombined of the top 10 countries travelling to GCC in 2016 revealed that more than 10 percent of the total visitors to UAE and KSA are from the UK, followed by Australia and the United States. Other travellers are from South Korea, India, Sweden, Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany. The UAE and Saudi Arabia’s proximity to the UK makes it a convenient destination for travellers seeking warm weather and world-class experience including an extensive range of shopping malls, finest restaurants, luxurious and comfortable accommodation and leisure attractions. The study also revealed that 43 percent of those who booked their accommodation were between the 25 to 34 years old, followed by those aged 35 to 44, which comprised 30 percent of the total numbers. Statistics from Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) showed that in 2016, Western Europe is the second highest demand driver for travel to Dubai, accounting 21 percent of the total tourism volume, with more than 3.1 million tourists. The UK retained its position as Dubai’s number three market bringing in nearly 1.25 million visitors, while Germany stayed within the top 10 list with 460,000 visitors. HotelsCombined also highlighted that travellers to UAE and KSA are comprised mainly of families, couples and businesses. When searching for accommodation, these travellers look for luxury hotels, food and dining options, as well as sport and leisure attractions, spa and relaxation and other activities for family, businesses and couples.

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Sharjah hotel occupancy grows by 5.5 percent

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Sharjah hotel occupancy grew by 5.5 percent during January compared to the same month in 2016, according to the latest report from STR, a firm that provides global data and analysis for the hotel industry. Average occupancy levels across the United Arab Emirates increased by 0.5 percent during January to reach 81 percent, although average room rates at hotels across the UAE fell 8 percent in January to reach AED 712 ($195) due to strong market growth in room supply. The UAE’s hotel occupancy rates are among the highest in the world. STR has also reported that the overall hotel occupancy across the Middle East region decreased 2.7 percent to an average occupancy level of 68.4 percent during January, while the average daily room rate fell by 8.4 percent to $177.81. Meanwhile, hotels in Europe reported a 5.1 percent increase in occupancy to an average of 57.1 percent, hotels in Africa saw a 4.5 percent increase in occupancy to reach an average of 50.6 percent, and hotels in Asia Pacific reported a 0.8 percent decrease in occupancy to an average of 64.8 percent. According to the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), Sharjah hotels and hotel apartments registered a 19 percent increase in room nights booked during the first nine months of 2016, totaling 2.94 million room nights. Sharjah offers more than 100 hotels and hotel apartments, including properties managed by some of the leading hotel groups in the world including Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Louvre Hotels Group, Premier Inn Hotels, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, and Wyndham Worldwide. A number of new hotel and resort developments are currently underway in Sharjah, including the construction of …

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VFS opens Denmark visa centre in Dubai

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Residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can now enroll for biometrics and submit their applications for visas to Denmark at the visa application centres, managed by VFS Global, launched by the Royal Danish Consulate General in Dubai and the Royal Danish Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The centre in Dubai was inaugurated by H.E. Mrs. Merete Juhl, Ambassador of Denmark to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar at a ceremony held on February 15, 2017. The centre is located at WAFI Mall, Level 2, Falcon Phase 2, Umm Hurrair 2, Dubai. The centre in Abu Dhabi is located at Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, adjacent to Khalidiyah Mall, Abu Dhabi. Services in both cities commenced on 15 January 2017. Speaking at the inauguration, Her Excellency Merete Juhl Ambassador of Denmark to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, said, “It is my great pleasure to inaugurate the new Visa Application Centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. VFS Global has been carefully chosen to manage the Denmark Visa Application Centres based on their recognised efficiency and professional approach. It is of utmost importance to Denmark that visa processing is handled in a top professional manner.” Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, said, “In our continued commitment to expanding our extensive global network of Denmark Visa Application Centres, we are privileged to bring streamlined and proficient visa application services to residents of the UAE travelling to Denmark. We are confident that the newly launched centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will deliver world-class services for an enhanced visa application experience to our applicants. We are honoured to be a part of the advancement of travel, …

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Rezidor signs two new Radisson Blu hotels in Dubai

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The Rezidor Hotel Group has announced the signing of two new Radisson Blu hotels in International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) and Dubai Studio City, United Arab Emirates. The new signings made in partnership with renowned, Dubai-based, Bin Haider Group, follow Rezidor’s recent announcement that it will open 14 new hotels in the UAE by 2019, and part of expansion plans to have 100 hotels & 20,000 rooms in operation by 2020, across the Middle East. Elie Younes, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer, The Rezidor Hotel Group, said: “We are progressing our growth journey in the UAE where Dubai is a key primary market and welcome the Bin Haider Group to our business family. We believe the brand promise – iconic, sophisticated and stylish – of Radisson Blu perfectly complements the unique needs of the international media production industry that will be based in these two locations”. The two new Radisson Blu hotels are set to open in two upcoming media zones in Dubai, designed to support corporate travelers and media professionals visiting and working in the Emirates. Both properties will further enhance the Radisson Blu brand presence, which already has strong association with media zones in Dubai. Radisson Blu Hotel, International Media Production Zone (IMPZ), Dubai will feature 356 rooms, and, with construction already underway, has an anticipated opening date in Q1 2019. The hotel will hold a prominent location on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, close to the newly opened Al Maktoum International Airport (Dubai World Central). The hotel’s interior design will incorporate the brand’s new “Blu Print” design scheme and facilities include two restaurants, a bar and significant meeting facilities to support the free zone’s businesses. …

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Second Belgium Visa Application Centre in ME opens in Abu Dhabi

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Residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can now apply for visas to Belgium at a new visa application centre launched at the VFS visa center in Abu Dhabi. The centre was inaugurated by H.E. Dominique Mineur, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the United Arab Emirates. VFS Global currently serves the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium in 10 countries from 45 visa application centres, globally. The new centre in Abu Dhabi is located at the Joint Visa Application Centre, Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, Adjacent to Khalidiyah Mall, Abu Dhabi. H.E. Mineur said, “The launch of the new Visa Application Centre is a step forward in Belgium’s goal to serve our clients in a better and quicker way. Abu Dhabi is the first step and Dubai will follow. Our collaboration with VFS Global is also part of a more global plan to promote Belgium as an interesting country for tourism and business. Our collaboration with VFS Global is a long lasting and based worldwide, and I am convinced that together we can achieve these goals.” Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, “We are honoured to partner with the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium and further extend visa services in Abu Dhabi. It is also a great privilege to be a part of the journey towards advancement of travel between the beautiful country of Belgium and the UAE. We are confident the centre will help us achieve our common goal of providing added convenience and accessibility to UAE residents applying for a visa to Belgium.”

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