Archive for April, 2011

Cyprus Tourism To Mount Strong Presence At Arabian Travel Market

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Jan-April 2011 Tourist Arrivals To Cyprus From Me Grew By 4%
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) will be mounting a strong presence at the forthcoming Arabian Travel Market in Dubai from 2nd to 5th May in conjunction with Cypriot travel industry professionals at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).

“The outbound tourism market from the Middle East offers strong potential for Cyprus as the destination’s year round climate, beautiful scenery, traditionally hospitable people and rich civilization make an ideal product for the regional traveller,” said Vassilis Theocharides, Director CTO Middle East Arabian Gulf Office.

Overall, tourist arrivals in Cyprus increased 6% year-on-year in April, the Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus revealed recently. In the January-April 2011 period, tourist arrivals in Cyprus from the Middle East grew 4%.

Mr Theocharides added that as the Eastern-most member of the European Union, the island of Cyprus is a perfect holiday get away for the regional traveller

Some of the leading travel trade companies from Cyprus will be exhibiting under the CTO umbrella at the Cyprus pavilion during ATM this year including Chronos Travel Ltd., Columbia Hotels Resort Ltd/Londa Hotel, Cyprus Health Services Promotion Board, Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel, Le Meridien Limassol Spa Resort.,  Lordos Hotels (Holdings) Ltd., and Palco Travel Co. Ltd.

Commenting on Cyprus’ latest tourism trends, Theocharides added: “We have noticed an increased movement for incentives trips in Cyprus, mostly stemming from the Middle East and India. Underlining the attraction of Cyprus to its Middle Eastern neighbours Theocharides said: “Cyprus has been a traditional destination for the Middle East for many years. The short-haul distance from the region allows travellers to choose Cyprus for short escapes; the average length of stay from our latest statistics is four days.”

 “Each country in the Middle East has different needs; the Lebanese travellers prefer our beaches whilst the Gulf countries want to discover the island and particularly enjoy the serene nature,” said Theocharides.  Recently Trip Advisor released the ‘World’s Best Beaches’ and Ayia Napa received the first place from all the European Destinations!

As Cyprus is proving such a popular destination with its regional counterparts, coupled with a strong increase in tourist arrivals to Cyprus from the UAE over the past five years, CTO has opened a new visa processing centre in Dubai to facilitate tourists and fast track visa processing.

Cyprus is just a short haul flight away (three and a half hours) from most Arab cities and the island, though small in size, is big in variety, offering a range of climate types in close proximity that are extremely easy to access.


For more information, please contact:
BIZ COM – For PRoactive Communications                       
P.O. Box 48889; Dubai – UAE         
Tel: +971 4 332-0888
Fax: +971 4 332-0999

© Press Release 2011

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 30, 2011 at 3:57 am

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Dubai hotels target Chinese travel market

An increasing number of Chinese have been travelling overseas in recent years as the nation’s economy gains strength and its government relaxes rules on travel abroad. Figures from the China Tourism Authority show that total Chinese outbound departures are expected to reach 65 million in 2011, up 13% year-on-year.

Overall, China’s share of the global tourism market is expected to reach 8% by 2013, surpassing Japan as the world’s second largest tourism market, Boston Consulting Group said in a recent report.

Chinese tourists tend to travel in groups and shop extensively while travelling abroad. Chinese tourists’ spending on overseas travels has been forecast to reach $55bn this year, up from the record high of $48bn in 2010. Since 2009, Chinese travellers have been the world’s fourth-biggest spenders behind travellers from Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Hotel and tourism officials in Dubai have noted these trends and have taken steps to attract more tourists from China, especially given the sharp drop in tourist arrivals from key feeder countries in Western Europe in the wake of the downturn. The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has opened offices in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, and Dubai-owned carrier Emirates has rapidly expanded its routes to the Asian nation.

Dubai’s efforts to attract Chinese tourists were given a boost in the autumn of 2009 when the emirate gained “approved destination” status from the Chinese government, which enabled Chinese tourists to undertake leisure travel in groups to the destination.

Taken together, these factors helped raise the number of Chinese travellers to the emirate from just over 96,000 in 2008 to 150,000 in 2009. The trend continued in the first six months of last year, when Dubai received 57% more tourists from China as compared to the same period in 2009.

China has fastest rising group of travellers

Dubai-based Jumeirah Group says travellers from China are the fastest growing group of guests at its hotels and now represent about 5% of its guests, up from less than one percent three years ago. “During Chinese New Year this year we were looking at almost 80% occupancy from China alone within the Burj Al Arab,” the company’s chairman Gerald Lawless said at a press conference earlier this year.

Lawless said an increase in flights between Dubai and key cities in China has helped boost the number of Chinese tourists visiting the emirate. The expansion of service to China continued this week as Emirates launched A380 service to Shanghai, the most populous city in China.

Shanghai is Emirates’ third destination in Greater China to welcome the superjumbo, following the launch of the aircraft to Beijing in August 2010 and Hong Kong two months later.

Cultural awareness is key

Catering to Chinese tourists has been a key focus at the Ibn Battuta Gate hotel in Dubai since it opened in October last year. “We decided early on that we would focus on the Chinese market,” said Andrew Hughes, director of sales marketing at the hotel. “It started pre-opening with our recruitment strategy, and now we have over 40 Chinese speaking staff in the hotel.”

The hotel has a Chinese sales team that makes regular trips to China and it offers brochures written in Chinese. It also adjusts the menus at its restaurants to cater to Chinese guests during periods such as Chinese New Year. “We really understand that the Chinese market requires a level of cultural understanding as well as the physical elements, and we have had a great deal of success as a result of that,” he said.

One of the cultural differences that the hotel has learned to adapt to is the way the Chinese use social media. Although the Chinese are the biggest users of social media in the world, Facebook is not available in the country, he noted.

At the same time, e-mail campaigns, which are usually highly successful in the GCC market, are not effective in China because they are not ‘instant enough’, he noted. “People in China are looking for instant responses and instant answers. That’s the way the marketplace works. We tried an e-mail campaign but had a very limited open rate since a lot of the e-mail addresses were not even valid in the Chinese market because it is not as commonly used,” he said.

Instead, the hotel uses instant messengers such as QQ and Windows Live Messenger to communicate its offerings and promotions to the Chinese market.

The hotel expects that Chinese travellers will represent about 6%-7% of the guests that it receives this year, and is looking to expand that figure in 2012. “The traditional markets are still coming, but we need to turn to new markets to continually grow Dubai, and obviously the Chinese market with its sheer volume of people and economic growth is hugely appealing for us in Dubai to target,” he said.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 29, 2011 at 3:56 am

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Dubai economy to grow nearly 3.0 percent: IMF

DUBAI (AFP) – The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday the economy of debt-laden Dubai was expected to expand by nearly three percent this year, on the back of robust trade, logistics and tourism sectors.

“The recovery is taking hold, and we see the growth rate for Dubai this year just a little bit shy of three percent,” said Masood Ahmed, the director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department.

“Things that are driving that process (of recovery) are the improvement in trade, logistics and tourism, all of which are doing better,” he told AFP upon the release of the IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook in Dubai.

Economists have been bullish about the prospects for the economy of the Gulf city-state, whose debt woes rattled global markets in late 2009 and whose economy contracted about 2.4 percent in 2009 after several years of rapid economic growth.

The economy grew by a mere 0.5 percent last year, the IMF said.

Citibank said last month that it expected Dubai’s economy to grow 4.5 percent this year and 6.3 percent next year, while Dubai’s Department of Economic Development put growth forecast this year at between three and four percent.

Ahmed said an agreement reached earlier this year between Dubai’s largest group, Dubai World, and its lenders to restructure billions of dollars of debt has been positive to the economy.

“The restructuring of Dubai World’s debt has been a positive step not only for itself but also for the fact that has enabled other top-rated borrowers to come to the market place.”

Dubai had borrowed heavily to finance its rapid economic growth, which came to a shrieking halt when international finance dried out in the wake of the global financial crisis in late 2008.

But it has established itself as a regional hub for business, transit trade, logistics and tourism.

Ahmed warned of continuing uncertainties threatening the recovery of Dubai’s economy, highlighting a continued saturation in the badly hit property sector, debt problems of other government-related entities and a rising cost of borrowing due to regional unrest.

“The overhang on real estate is still there. We do see that with the existing over supply and the inventory that is expected to come online over the next couple of years,” he said.

“This will be a continuing drag on the economy for sometime,” he said.

The sector grew rapidly until it crashed with the global financial crisis, sending property prices tumbling to half their peak values registered in summer 2008, and creating a supply glut.

Meanwhile, “borrowing costs have gone up throughout the region a little bit. given the fact that Dubai has to roll over $30 billion of GRE debt this year and next year, it is slightly a tougher environment in which to do that,” Ahmed said.

Estimates vary of Dubai’s total debt, including that of government-linked firms, but most say they are worth more than 100 billion dollars.

The glitzy emirate, part of the United Arab Emirates federation, was buoyed by it rich partner Abu Dhabi and the federal central bank whom together pumped $20 billion into its coffers to meet immediate debt payments in 2009.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 28, 2011 at 3:53 am

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Taj Palace Hotel Dubai targets Eastern Europe

PRLog (Press Release)
Apr 26, 2011 – UAE, April 2011   –   The Taj Palace Hotel Dubai has identified Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan as key emerging markets for Dubai in 2011.  

According to Azerbaijan’s Economy Ministry Azerbaijan’s economy is likely to grow further in the next few years, but is predicted to reach its peak in 2012 making it a lucrative outbound tourism market.

And, for Kazakhstan, outbound tourism will climb at least 20% in 2011, according to members of Kazakhstan’s Tourism Association.

“As well as continuing to consolidate our relationships with key feeder markets from the GCC, we have identified a number of emerging markets this year, particularly Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan who for various reasons are starting to see Dubai as an attractive tourist and business destination” said Andreas Mueller general manager Taj Palace Hotel Dubai. “With the current unrest around the region the range of destination options for these travellers has been significantly reduced and we see this as an opportunity to showcase Dubai and our property”

The hotel saw a small number of arrivals from both of these countries last year and is forecasting a significant increase in the number of visitors from both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan of 5% for this year. They will be targeting FIT and corporate groups as well as the MICE segments.  

“Our strategy involves making more trips to these new destinations and working closely with DTCM and tour operators to introduce our property to the key players” said Mueller. “We are quietly optimistic about business this year as we seeing a positive growth in the tourism sector despite the room inventory increase”

The Taj Palace is a well established city family leisure hotel and is renowned for its large rooms. The standard room category offers 61 square metres of luxury. It also has a number of apartments which are particularly attractive for families during the long summer months when they need more space.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 27, 2011 at 3:51 am

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Tourists, businesses flee to Dubai to escape storm

Regional turmoil is creating an unexpected boom for Dubai as tourists and businessmen flock once again to the shopping and skyscraper oasis after fleeing just a few years ago in the wake of its spectacular debt debacle.

Visitor numbers are noticeably higher in Dubai’s gleaming malls and restaurants, and hotels are ecstatic as rooms fill up and deals are done.

“It has been a windfall. There are 65,500 hotel rooms and apartments in Dubai, and they were all full. There was not a single one available,” said Guy Wilkinson, managing partner at Viability Management Consultants, a hospitality consultancy.

“Dubai occupancy has been better, unfortunately, since the unrest started. It lives a charmed life through big events in the region.”

Occupancy rates have surged for hotels and hotel apartments in the emirate since a wave of unrest hit the region. Hotel occupancy in Dubai increased by 7.9 percent in January compared with the same month in 2010, data from STR Global showed. February data is not yet available.

However, Dubai is still off its peak, when free restaurant tables and taxis were as rare as water in the desert.

The main driver, however temporary, appeared to be business.

“We’re seeing a number of clients, particularly among large multinationals, that have moved people and operations to Dubai,” said Nabil Issa, Dubai-based partner at law firm King and Spalding. “The common theme is becoming ‘get them out of Bahrain and send them to Dubai for a while’.”

Issa said the flow of deals has virtually dried up in Egypt, Bahrain and Oman, prompting banks and other international businesses to switch their attention to Dubai.

“It’s become the place to meet with one another and negotiate a deal,” said one Bahrain-based public relations executive who had moved operations temporarily to Dubai.

“You’ll see the coffee shops at the (Dubai International Financial Center) and boardrooms are full with business executives trying to close deals that may have been delayed if they had waited it out in Bahrain.”

Clubs and restaurants catering to the financial industry are witnessing an influx of clients from countries affected by unrest.

“There are members from our club in Bahrain who have moved to Dubai temporarily and they are using the club here frequently,” said Russell Matcham, chief executive of Capital Club Limited, which runs Dubai’s Capital Club.

“We have also seen senior Saudis more in the club recently as Bahrain has been off limits. Interest in membership has increased dramatically and we are getting three or four enquiries per day.”


Besides businessmen, tourists are staying away from travel hotspots such as Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, now known as the beach town where President Hosni Mubarak fled at the height of the uprising. Tunisia, seen as ground zero for regional unrest, is also off the tourist map.

“We changed our plans when we saw TV pictures of the huge rallies and violence in Egypt. We originally wanted to head to Sharm el-Sheikh,” said Reinhold Fleischhacker from Germany, as he boarded a sightseeing bus at the Dubai Mall with his family.

Dubai has world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, the Gulf’s only indoor ski slope and has built an artificial palm-shaped island complete with resorts.

Even more extravagant projects were being dreamt up when the cranes came to stop and construction sites fell silent when the asset and property bubble burst as the global financial crisis drew easy money away from Dubai and the region.

The unexpected influx of business and tourism — in other words cash — is a welcome boost for the emirate, which has struggled with an estimated $115 billion debt thanks to the collapse of the real estate market.

The International Monetary Fund expects the Dubai gross domestic product to rise by 2.8 percent this year, compared with 0.5 percent in 2010.

Dubai might be one of the few places in the region to see growth increase on a year-on-year basis amid political turmoil in the Gulf, said Rachel Ziemba, senior research analyst at Roubini Global Economics.

Ziemba cautioned that the initial boost might not herald a long-term positive outlook for the emirate.

“Dubai and, more broadly, the UAE is somewhat sheltered and could see some benefit of tourism flows,” she said. “However the scope of the unrest and particularly its escalation to regions like Bahrain means even Dubai is not immune.”

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 26, 2011 at 3:47 am

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Dubai seen as a refuge amid turbulence

Yaser Alamoodi, a Saudi Arabian public relations executive, had his plans to holiday in Dubai during this month’s school vacation thwarted because he could not get a seat on a flight.

The aircraft were packed as tourists from Riyadh swarmed to an emirate they saw as immune to the kind of uprising that made it too dicey to go to their normal haunts.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 25, 2011 at 3:44 am

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Dubai seen as a refuge amid turbulence

Yaser Alamoodi, a Saudi Arabian public relations executive, had his plans to holiday in Dubai during this month’s school vacation thwarted because he could not get a seat on a flight.

The aircraft were packed as tourists from Riyadh swarmed to an emirate they saw as immune to the kind of uprising that made it too dicey to go to their normal haunts.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 3:44 am

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Dubai Stocks Stage Longest Rally Since 2005 on Economy, Oil; DFM Advances

Dubai shares rose a tenth day, the
longest rally in six years, as investors turned to assets in the
politically stable emirate on signs the economy is recovering
and after oil advanced.

Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank
by assets, surged to the highest since December 2009. Dubai
Financial Market (DFM)
PJSC rose 0.7 percent. The DFM General Index (DFMGI)
climbed 0.1 percent to 1,681.93, the highest since Dec. 9, at
the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The measure completed its longest
winning streak since April 2005. The gauge, which rose 3.7
percent this week, has surged 24 percent from a low on March 3,
surpassing the 20 percent threshold some consider the beginning
of a bull market.

Shares are up on the “positive economic environment in the
U.A.E. We’re seeing trade and tourism in particular soar and
sentiment is good,” said Mahdi Mattar, head of research at Abu
Dhabi-based CAPM Investment PJSC. “Internationals are looking
at the MSCI inclusion, but more important, local investors are
back” after exiting the market amid uprisings that spread in
the Middle East. Higher oil has helped gains, he said.

The emirate’s economy, the second-biggest of the seven in
the United Arab Emirates, may grow as much as 4 percent this
year, according to Citigroup Inc., compared with 2.2 percent
last year. Dubai Airports, home to the biggest Arab airline,
Emirates, expects passenger traffic to climb 11 percent to 52.2
million this year, it said in January.

Credit Crisis

Dubai, on the brink of a debt default in 2009, is emerging
as the closest thing to a safe haven in the Middle East and
North Africa as violence erupted in countries such as Libya and
Bahrain. Families from Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere are moving
to the more politically stable emirate, attracted by its liberal
lifestyle, schools and housing, now cheaper after the credit
crisis cut prices by more than half.

Dubai’s index has advanced 8.1 percent this month on
investor optimism markets in the U.A.E. will be raised to
emerging market status at index provider MSCI Inc. The MSCI
Emerging Markets Index has gained 3 percent in the period.

Oil climbed as much as 0.9 percent to $112.48 a barrel in
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The
contract has soared 23 percent so far this year amid an armed
conflict in Libya. The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation
Council, including the U.A.E. and Qatar, supply about a fifth of
the world’s oil.

Emirates NBD advanced 2.7 percent to 3.8 dirhams. The DFM,
the only Gulf Arab stock market to sell shares to the public,
rose to 1.46 dirhams, the highest since Feb. 7.

The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) and Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) rose 0.2
percent. Kuwait’s measure and Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index (ADSMI)
gained 0.1 percent, while Oman’s MSM30 Index (MSM30) dropped 0.2
percent. Bahrain’s BB All Share Index was little changed. Saudi
Arabia’s market is closed for the weekend.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Zahra Hankir in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Claudia Maedler at

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 24, 2011 at 3:32 am

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Dubai group buys Spanish soccer club

Royal Emirates Group managing director Kaiser Rafiq, left, with Getafe's Manu del Moral and Don Angel Torres, right.

(CNN) — Getafe became the third Spanish football club to pass into foreign ownership on Thursday after signing a deal with Dubai’s Royal Emirates Group.

The Madrid-based team followed in the footsteps of Malaga and Racing Santander, which were also taken over by overseas interests in the past year.

Royal Emirates Group, a conglomerate chaired by Sheikh Butti Bin Suhail Al Maktoum, has a portfolio of more than 200 companies including oil and gas, renewable energy, travel and tourism, health care, water purification, real estate construction.

The deal is worth between €70-90 million ($101-131 million) and will see the club’s title rebranded to “Getafe CF Team Dubai.”

Getafe’s previous owner and president Don Angel Torres Sanchez signed over to his successors in a ceremony at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel on Thursday, accompanied by club captain Manu del Moral.

The group said it was heavily involved in sports in the United Arab Emirates and abroad.

“The investment in Getafe CF is an evolution of this vision and an expression of renewed confidence that Dubai’s businesses are more confident today to make large investments abroad as well as at home,” Royal Emirates partner managing director Dr. Kaiser Rafiq said.

“Caring for community needs through sport is at the heart of what the Royal Emirates Group aims to achieve. This will send the positive message to the world that Dubai cares.”

Rafiq said that, being conscious of football’s popularity with young Arabs, the group hoped to build a bridge between Europe and the Middle East ahead of the 2022 World Cup to be staged in Qatar.

“Royal Emirates Group plans to invest heavily in inducting new blood and promoting the team in the region,” he said.

Getafe, first formed in 1946 and refounded in 1983, has been in Spain’s top flight since 2004-05. The club made a strong start to this season but hopes of qualifying for Europe have evaporated, with coach Michel’s team 14th out of 20 with six matches remaining.

Malaga became the first Spanish club to be bought by a foreign investor when Qatari billionaire Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani paid a reported €36 million ($52 million) in June 10.

He splashed out on players and hired former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini, but the club is battling to avoid relegation.

Santander sold out to Indian businessman Ahsan Ali Syed in January, with his Western Gulf Advisory company taking over.

Since replacing coach Miguel Angel Portugal with the club’s former boss Marcelino, the Cantabria-based team is four points above 17th-placed Malaga.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 23, 2011 at 3:21 am

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Dubai Chamber seeks stronger trade ties with River Nile State of Sudan

The Governmental delegation headed by the River Nile State of Sudan H.E. Governor Lt Hadi Abdallah Mohammad Al Awad was accompanied by H.E. Abdel Salam Mohamad Al Kheir Abdallah, Minister of Investment, Industry, Tourism and Mining, H.E. Ahmad Al Siddiq Abdul Hai, Ambassador of Sudan to the UAE as well as economic advisors from the Embassy of Sudan who discussed possible investment opportunities in their State.

In his welcome address, HE Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair said that this particular visit by River Nile State of Sudan official delegation will help consolidate bilateral ties and open up new channels of cooperation between the two sides.

Al Ghurair informed the visiting delegation about the successful hosting of the annual 4th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Investment Forum hosted by the Chamber last month where one of the keynote speakers, Prof Elias Nyamlel Wakoson, the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Trade, has emphasized on enhancing trade ties with the emerging African and Sudanese markets, particularly in the agricultural sector. Sudan is one of the 19 members of COMESA.

Said Al Ghurair, “Our business relationship with Sudan is good but it needs to be further developed as the country ranked 38th on the list of Dubai’s top trading partners at the end of 2009 while the value of non-oil trade between Dubai and Sudan touched Dhs4.2bn. There are currently 511 Sudanese companies operating in Dubai and we have to take these numbers upwards.”

The Chairman of Dubai Chamber emphasized on the investment potentials available both in Dubai and Sudan and stressed on the importance of cooperation which he said will benefit both the sides. He called upon Sudanese businessmen to come to Dubai and set up businesses here as the Emirate is not only the economic capital of the UAE but a gateway to the region as well as an East meets West destination linking the African continent to the Indian sub-continent.

Al Ghurair also emphasized on the business-friendly environment in Dubai which he said is backed up by unlimited Government support, state-of-the-art infrastructural, logistical and financial services as well as modern trading and tourism sectors that stimulate economic growth in the Emirate.

He also said that under its strategic objectives of creating a favourable business environment, supporting the development of business and promoting Dubai as an international business hub, the Chamber is committed to providing all possible help to Sudanese businesses.

On his part Lt Hadi Abdallah Mohammad Al Awad, Governor of the River Nile State of Sudan, lauded the exemplary growth of Dubai as a global business center offering world-class trading facilities to a cross-section of multi-cultural businesses and expressed his hope of working closely with the Emirate for the economic prosperity of both the sides. He invited Dubai businesses to explore the investment opportunities available in his State.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 22, 2011 at 3:15 am

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Dubai Group seeks to restructure 10 bln dollars of debt

DUBAI, April 19 (Xinhua) — Dubai Group, the financial services arm of state-run conglomerate Dubai Holding, is in talks with creditors to restructure 10 billion U.S. dollars of debt, 4 billion dollars more than previously announced, an English daily of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported Tuesday.

The company aimed to restructure 6 billion dollars of bank debt alongside 4 billion dollars owed to other investors, The National quoted sources close to Dubai Group as saying.

The disclosure came amid improving investor sentiment in the emirate after Dubai World, another conglomerate owned by the government, signed a final agreement last month with its creditors on restructuring 24.9 billion dollars of debt, the report said.

Dubai Group is part of Dubai Holding, the conglomerate owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. The firm invests in financial services assets throughout the world and has stakes in some of the region’s major investment banks.

In November last year, Dubai Group’s missed payment on 1.83 billion dollars of debt maturing in 2011 and 2012 sparked restructuring discussions with creditors.

The higher liability figure for Dubai Group will come as a reminder that debts amassed by companies in the emirate during the boom years remain a problem, according to The National.

The increase in the size of the restructuring may result in further provisioning for the UAE banking sector, which had been expected to report lower impairment charges as banks begin to report earnings this week, the newspaper said.

Dubai is a member of the seven-strong federation UAE, the world ‘s third largest oil exporter. Unlike the capital Abu Dhabi, which has more than 90 percent of the Gulf nation’s oil reserves, Dubai’ s main revenues are from tourism, real estate, trade and financial services.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 21, 2011 at 3:08 am

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Dubai to have world’s tallest hotel

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DUBAI — Dubai, which is home to the world’s tallest building and the largest shopping mall, will open the world’s tallest hotel in mid-to-late 2012 at Shaikh Zayed Road.

Spread across two iconic towers, the 1,614-room JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai is set to become one of the region’s most desirable destinations, Marriott’s President and Managing Director for International Lodging Ed Fuller told a news conference in Dubai on Monday.

The height of the twin towers will be at 365 metres. Dubai is already home to the world’s four tallest hotels that include Rose Rotana at 333 metres, Burj Al Arab at 321 metres, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel at 309 metres, and The Address Downtown Dubai at 306 metres.

The upcoming Marriott property is owned by the Emirates GroupEmirates Group and the company is expected to invest around Dh2 billion in the property, a top executive of Emirates GroupEmirates Group told reporters at the news conference.

The Emirates GroupThe Emirates Group is a vast organisation with manifold business interests in the aviation, travel, tourism and leisure industries.

In Dubai, it will be the second Marriott Marquis in the world after Florida that opened last year. It is planned to open in two phases, Fuller said, adding that the first phase will comprise of 800 rooms and the second will bring the total number to 1,614. The US brand has planned to open 43 new hotels in the Middle East and Africa. The UAE will get the largest share in these hotels, as ten new properties will be added in the country. Marriott currently operates seven hotels and hotel apartments in the UAE and new properties will add over 3,000 rooms in the country.

Carrying a title bestowed only on the finest properties in the Marriott portfolio, the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai will encompass two iconic towers and will feature an enticing array of 13 distinctive restaurants, bars and lounges; a luxurious Saray Spa; 4,015 square metres of conference and event space including two ballrooms and 22 breakout rooms; exclusive executive floors and six presidential suites.

© Khaleej Times 2011

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 20, 2011 at 3:03 am

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Dubai Appoints Banks to Raise $800 Million From Selling Road Toll Receipts

Dubai hired four banks including
Citigroup Inc. (C) to raise $800 million in financing backed by road
toll receipts to help fund transport projects in the emirate.

The Department of Finance also appointed Dubai Islamic Bank
, Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES) and Commercial Bank of Dubai PSC (CBD) to
arrange the dual-currency, six-year financing, the Dubai
government’s Media Office said in a statement. The transaction,
including conventional and Islamic portions, may be syndicated
to more lenders.

Dubai is recovering from the global credit crisis that
battered its property industry and slowed trade and tourism,
taking it to the brink of default in 2009. Economic growth in
the emirate will accelerate to 4 percent in 2011 from 2.2
percent in 2010, according to Citigroup.

The toll-road deal is “an interesting and very positive
initiative given the securitization involved,” said Chavan
Bhogaita, head of markets strategy at National Bank of Abu Dhabi
in a e-mail. Dubai is using “more innovative funding
strategies” to take advantage of the assets and cash flows that
it has, he said.

Securitization is a process of issuing new securities
backed by loans, mortgages, credit card debt or other assets
like future income streams from a road toll system.

Cut spending

The government aims to cut spending this year in a bid to
shrink its budget deficit and forecasts a gap of 3.78 billion
dirhams ($1 billion) for the year, down from 5.99 billion
dirhams projected for 2010, it said in January. Spending is
projected at 33.7 billion dirhams, down 4.9 percent from the
2010 forecast published in a government bond prospectus in
September. The deficit for 2011 is within the targeted ceiling
of 3 percent of gross national product, it said.

Dubai, the second-biggest of the seven states that make up
the United Arab Emirates, had to seek assistance from
neighboring Abu Dhabi after the credit crisis pushed property
prices down by more than half from their peak in 2008, and
frozen credit markets forced some state-owned companies to delay
loan payments. Dubai World signed a final agreement with its
creditors in March to restructure about $25 billion of debt.

Dubai’s five-year dollar bond rose, sending the yield to a
record low. The yield on the 6.7 percent note maturing in
October 2015 dropped 16 basis points to 5.68 percent as of 2:44
p.m. in the emirate, according to Bloomberg composite prices.

Bond Sale

Dubai’s government last sold bonds in September, when it
raised $1.25 billion in a two-part bond sale in its first
sovereign debt issue since the Dubai World credit crisis shocked
global markets in 2009. Its five-year, $500 million note was
priced to yield 6.7 percent, while the $750 million 10-year bond
was priced to yield 7.75 percent. The bonds generated more than
370 orders valued at about $5 billion, it said then.

Separately, Dubai Electricity Water Authority, the state-
owned utility, said today it paid a 5.4 billion-dirham
syndicated loan ahead of schedule. About 2.7 billion dirhams of
the loan was payable on Oct. 13, DEWA said in an e-mailed

To contact the reporters on this story:
Arif Sharif in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Edward Evans at

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 19, 2011 at 2:55 am

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Dubai journalists on familiarisation trip

  • Feb 26th 2006, 00:00

    Dubai press on Malta visit

  • Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 18, 2011 at 2:51 am

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    Dubai World Trade Centre draws over 1.4 million visitors in 2010

    During 2010, DWTC delivered one of the world’s most successful platforms for international businesses to interact with regional markets, bringing together approximately 1,415,000 visitors from over 155 countries with 32,781 exhibiting companies from over 85 countries, enabling the Events Industry to remain a key contributor to Dubai’s economy.

    Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre said: “The significant double-digit growth in visitor volumes and the increase in international exhibitor participation make two very strong statements – the business community continues to believe in the growth potential of the Region; and clearly sees Dubai as the ‘hub’ that will enable their business to leverage regional growth. Combining leading infrastructure with integrated logistics and servicing capabilities, DWTC has warranted this level of continued global confidence as our performance demonstrates the tangible ‘networking’ value that Dubai can deliver to our international, regional and local audiences.”

    “DWTC venues continue to attract leading business houses, manufacturing companies and trade professionals from around the world that seek to leverage Dubai’s growing relevance as the global gateway to access the region’s largest buyers and niche market players. Participating businesses have witnessed strong returns enabling sector specific trade shows and conferences to register substantial growth, and as a facilitator of this forum, we are pleased to be able to play a contributing role in supporting sector stability and broader economic development for Dubai and the Middle East.”

    DWTC delivered a strong and well diversified calendar of events in 2010. In healthcare alone, the venue hosted a total of 13 shows, attracting over 133,000 of the world’s leading healthcare professionals to Dubai, highlighting the growing focus on pharmaceuticals, medical research and health related technology in the Middle East. The calendar also showcased an impressive line-up of shows covering Education, Aviation, ICT (Information Communication Technology), Construction, Food, Trade Logistics, emphasizing the relevance of these industry sectors for the regional and global economy.

    DWTC’s internally organized exhibitions portfolio posted particularly encouraging results, starting 2010 with Gulfood, the region’s mega show for the food and hospitality sector recording a 22% growth in visitor numbers over 2009. A total of 3,500 exhibitors and 55,379 visitors from over 153 countries attended the four-day culinary showcase, providing companies with the opportunity to network and exhibit the latest trends within the food and beverage manufacturing and catering service industries.

    During the second half of the year, Gitex Technology Week, one of the world’s top-3 ICT shows, celebrated its 30thanniversary in 2010 providing the launch platform for some of the most exciting sector innovations in cutting edge technology, concepts and strategies.

    The Anniversary Edition surpassed all industry expectations delivering an unrivalled opportunity for new business, bringing together an impressive 136,114 ICT professionals and 3,500 regional and global exhibitors. Its consumer counterpart at Dubai’s Airport Expo venue, GITEX Shopper, attracted a record 166,521 buyers – 11% increase over 2009, drawing AED 175 million in sales – an impressive 40% increase for the region’s largest consumer IT and electronics B2C event. DWTC’s

    Dubai International Boat Show, remained firmly positioned as the region’s leading leisure marine exhibition, as 700 companies leveraged the event as their forum to connect with international and regional manufacturers and distributors, The show saw 15 global launches and 25 regional premiers, reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in deals made at the event, indicating positive consumer sentiment and improved outlook for luxury consumption within the region.

    Other leading shows in 2010 included Arab Health, which reported a 20% increase in exhibitor and visitor volumes over 2009. With a record 66,000 visitors and over 2,600 exhibitors from 58 countries, the event reaffirmed its position as the largest healthcare exhibition in the Middle East and the second largest in the world. Arabian Travel Market, the Middle East’s premier travel and tourism event, also welcomed an increase in both exhibitor and visitor numbers, welcoming 2,236 exhibitors and 22,063 visitors including a 14% increase in visitors from the GCC (excluding UAE) highlighting Dubai’s growing importance as the regional tourism hub. Big 5, the largest regional event dedicated to the construction sector, once again occupied every square metre of covered exhibition space at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre – featuring 2,150 exhibitors from 71 countries and registering a 7% increase in visitor attendance to the 2010 event, with a total of 48,366 trade participants.

    To drive increased investment opportunities in line with key sectors critical to regional growth, DWTC continued to bring new show profiles to Dubai during the past year. New additions to the 2010 calendar across exhibitions and congresses included: the Aerospace Defence and Training Show (ADTS), the China Homelife Show, Commercial Vehicles Middle East Show, the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Exhibition and Conference, the Dubai International Peace Convention, Microsoft Tech-Ed, Specialty Food Festival, Chemspec Middle East and the Emirates Ophthalmic Conference.

    In a committed effort to deliver an even more diversified range of events, DWTC leveraged its new infrastructural capacity to host a full-spectrum of entertainment events during 2010 at the Sheikh Saeed Halls and Trade Centre Arena. The largest indoor Arena in the Region held 17 concerts in 2010, welcoming over 90,000 visitors, and also telecasted the FIFA World Cup on the largest HD screen in the UAE giving excited fans an ‘almost live’ experience of the games. This new entertainment venue is expected to continue to play a crucial role in elevating Dubai to the ‘next level’ in global entertainment.

    Following its strong performance in 2010, DWTC will continue to work towards sustaining and growing its current 1.5-2.5% contribution to Dubai’s GDP and move forward in its commitment to be a strong contributor to Dubai’s Strategic Plan.
    The 2011 outlook for Dubai’s events industry remains positive, based on DWTC’s preliminary estimates of the successful first quarter of events and some very impressive global congress wins for Dubai lined up through the remainder of this year.

    All indicators to-date substantiate expectations of sector stability and growth after a booming start for DWTC with blockbuster events such as Arab Health, Gulfood and Dubai International Boat Show. Commenting on the outlook for 2011, Almarri added: “We are committed to attracting foreign investment into the region, enabling us to further grow the event sector’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP and remain a catalyst in driving visitor traffic to the UAE.”

    Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 17, 2011 at 2:45 am

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