Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dubai authorities brace for New Year’s Eve

Dubai is ready for New Year’s Eve thanks to forward planning.

Dubai: Police and civic staff are as ready as they can be for an expected million visitors on New Year’s Eve to Burj Khalifa celebrations.

The Executive Committee for New Year’s Security hasfinalised its preparations for New Year’s eve, said a top Dubai police official.
Maj Gen Mohammad Eid Al Mansouri, Director of the General Department of Protective Security and Emergency at Dubai Police and head of committees for activities in Dubai, told Gulf News that police, ambulance and civil defence staff for New Year’s Eve festivals are ready forexpected traffic jams that have traditionally descended on the Burj Khalifa area due to the massive number of people expected to visit Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall at night.
“The new year celebration at Burj Khalifa is a very important event that attracts people from within the country as well as neighbouring countries and from all over the world,” he said. “We are expecting one million visitors to attend the celebration.”Major General Al Mansouri said the committee faces safety, security and organisational challenges.
“Our main concern is the traffic gridlock that not only affects Dubai Mall and the surrounding areas but also extends throughout the city and sometimes it makes traffic movement on Dubai roads stop completely,” he said.
Al Mansouri said the committee was working on an effective strategy to the traffic jam problem that will involve all departments including traffic and the Road and Transport Authority.
“In the past, there were some negative issues in relation to traffic movement at such events and now we hope to overcome this,” he said
“There are intensive security measures in place during the new year festivities at Burj Khalifa and the surrounding areas in cooperation with civil defence, the ambulance centre, RTA, Dubai Metro, Emaar and other sections from Dubai police.”
He said Dubai Police will manage the security procedures and massive security preparations will be put in place during this important event.
The Civil Defence will be ready and on alert on the scene along with a large number of firefighting personnel and rescue vehicles including helicopters in addition to ambulances from Dubai ambulance services centre.
Uniformed and undercover police will extensively monitor the area.
The Security committee comprises members from police explosive security department, police VIP’s protection department, emergency department at Dubai Police, Civil Defence, RTA, Dubai Metro, Dubai Ambulance Services, Emaar and others.

Friday, December 28, 2012

How Burj Khalifa residents will watch the fireworks

XPRESS catches up with the privileged few to get a lowdown on how they view New Year’s Eve spectacle

Dubai So what’s it like to be a privileged resident of the Burj Khalifa on New Year’s Eve when thousands of visitors brave long commutes and traffic snarls just to be at the tower to catch the most spectacular fireworks on earth?


NO WORRIES: Manju Chadrashekar (left) with his family in his 66th floor Burj Khalifa apartment. They won’t have to fight the crowds on the big night

The only privilege if you will is that you don’t have to fight the crowds,” said Manju Chandrasekhar, a resident of a two-bedroom 66th floor apartment.
Standing by the window of his dining room, he is inches away from the pyrotechnic spectacle that is set to envelope the world’s tallest tower as 2013 ushers in. “You see that big metal rig just outside? That’s where they mount the actual fireworks.”
But to take in the full view of the dazzle, he plans to go down the building with his family when the countdown begins.
“My parents have flown in from India and my sister, brother-in-law and nephew from the US,” he said.
On the 71st floor, resident Buffi Jashanmal has other plans. She is hosting a big bash for the special night and will watch the fireworks from her own apartment.
“I am having a red carpet event with around 30 people, a mix of family and friends. My mother’s in a wheelchair, so I plan to be indoors and see little flutters of the fireworks falling down on us. Isn’t that beautiful?” she said.
Jashanmal said her family also has the option of watching the extravaganza from the poolside on the 74th floor or going down the building like many other residents.
Chandrasekhar said he will watch the fireworks from a section of the Burj Park.
“This is a separate area with a separate access for residents. Last year I went down at around 11.30pm and stood a few feet away from the building to see the full panorama. I didn’t have to battle the crowds.”
A resident on a lower floor, who did not want to be identified, said: “I feel proud to be living in the world’s tallest tower. This pride multiplies many times when there’s an event like the New Year fireworks or the Mission Impossible feat. It’s like your own home being in the spotlight and making international headlines.”
She said she and her husband make it a point not to travel at about New Year’s so they can watch the fireworks. “You can’t get closer than us.”
Not surprisingly, residents receive a flood of requests from friends, colleagues and family to share space on the big night.
In his second year at the Burj, Chandrasekhar said: “Last year, I had a couple of colleagues over. This year, I have my family here.”
His family can’t wait for December 31. His sister Anupama said: “We timed our visit from New York around the fireworks. It’s my son’s first birthday on the 28th and this is a great way to celebrate. I am also curious. My brother told me the fireworks last year were spectacular and they would be getting bigger and better this year.”
Anticipation runs high as this year’s fireworks will be synched to live orchestral music and include several new sequences. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Downtown Dubai’s new air-conditioned link to Dubai Metro is now open

Emaar Properties PJSC, the global property developer, announced the opening of the new 820-metre long air-conditioned metro link that connects the Burj Khalifa/The Dubai Mall Metro Station with the iconic attractions in Downtown Dubai described as 'The Centre of Now .

The opening of the link will significantly add to the convenience of visitors visiting Downtown Dubai, which will host a series of celebratory events in December to mark the festive season, including the spectacular New Year’s Eve Gala and Fireworks.
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties, said: "At 820 metres, the metro link is one of the longest of its kind, linking Dubai Metro with the leading retail and lifestyle destination in Dubai. The direct connection with the Dubai Metro, which is now one of the most popular public transport modes in the city, will help in reducing vehicular traffic, and enable visitors to simply walk across from the station to Downtown Dubai through a temperature-controlled travellator."
He added: "The link has been a priority for us and we have achieved great progress in its construction as the foundations, columns and steel work have been completed with several professionals and skilled workers involved on the project on a daily basis. The work has been undertaken in close coordination with the Roads & Transport Authority and Dubai Police to ensure that traffic in Downtown Dubai has not been affected as work progresses."
The metro link has ten travellators - each between 70 to 120 metres in length and 1.4 metres in width, with a central walkway for pedestrian use. The travellators will move at an average speed of 0.5 metres/second, starting at the Burj Khalifa/The Dubai Mall Metro station entrance and travelling through the Downtown Dubai development before connecting directly with The Dubai Mall. At its peak capacity, it can carry over 13,500 people per hour.
The link is designed in glass, drawing on traditional Arabian architecture styles, enabling spectacular views of Downtown Dubai including Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The ‘Mashrabia’ styled façade and colourful lighting will complement the existing architecture and add to the lively ambience of Emaar Boulevard.
Visitors will enter The Dubai Mall through the new metro link, with new retail stores set to open to cater for the 30,000 people expected each day. It will incorporate the highest safety features with exit routes along its length and easily accessible staircases.
The metro link will also provide a new marketing platform with multimedia advertising displays along its walls, providing organisations and establishments with the opportunity to explore newer, state-of-the-art marketing avenues for effective audience engagement.
Visitors will have an air-conditioned passage from the Metro to various leisure, shopping, commercial and lifestyle amenities in Downtown Dubai including Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar, Emaar Square, the development’s commercial hub and several hotels. It will also facilitate the convenience of visitors to Downtown Dubai’s new commercial precinct, Boulevard Plaza and Emaar Boulevard, which hosts several lifestyle events including the popular Emirates Classic Car Festival and the Downtown Dubai Parade National Day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Unmatched fireworks and light show, dazzling lake performance and stunning live orchestra to herald in 2013 at Downtown Dubai

December 24, 2012: The world's most spectacular and unmatched extravaganza will be staged in Dubai to welcome 2013.

 The gala of a lifetime, the Downtown Dubai New Year's Eve celebrations is expected to host more than a million visitors in a celebration that is unparalleled in scale, diversity and dazzle. The full-fledged production will stand out for its largest repertoire of events that will appeal to every visitor, from around the world.
Hosted by Emaar Properties, the Downtown Dubai New Year's Eve Gala will flag off in the evening with a cultural showcase of brilliantly choreographed music and dance performances.
Music aficionados are in for a special treat with a live performance by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, one of Europe's leading music ensembles. The world-renowned musicians will perform at Burj Steps, overlooking Burj Khalifa, transporting audiences to the nuanced world of classical music maestros.
The Downtown Dubai New Year's Eve Gala will also be highlighted by the first of its kind show on the Burj Lake. Choreographed live to perfection, the show will have three distinct elements – light, water and fire – and glitzy projections on a huge 210 metre long screen, in addition to live telecast to over 2 billion viewers, and simultaneous streaming online at
The cultural showcase for the evening will be a true reflection of Dubai's cosmopolitan outlook while celebrating the richness of the Arabian heritage. Live dance and artistic performances marked for their visual richness, and a video montage that underlines UAE’s multicultural diversity and iconic accomplishments will set the stage for the majestic finale – the dazzling fireworks atop Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.
Synced to live orchestral music, a feat never before attempted, the iconic fireworks display will envelope the tower in a rich wash of colours. Several new fireworks sequences will be created this year.
With the fireworks set to the captivating symphony of live orchestral music, audiences on the ground can have a greater appreciation of the full majesty of the pyrotechnic spectacle before them. 
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties, said: "Every year when we plan the festivities for New Year we set ourselves an ambitious target – to make it the most watched spectacle on Earth. This year, we have the largest array of events – all scaled up in terms of creative excellence and artistic brilliance.
"Apart from the spectacular shows, the Downtown Dubai New Year's Eve Gala is also about celebrating the tremendous achievements of the UAE and Dubai, our people and our cultural diversity, in a befitting homage which salutes the success that Dubai has won as a global city.
"We want every resident and visitor to feel pride in being part of this vibrant city and to be exhilarated by their experience taking with them memories they can cherish lifelong. The spectacularly executed event will put the spotlight on Dubai underlining the city’s credentials as the world’s must-visit destination this New Year's Eve."
Today, described as the must-attend tourist attraction in Dubai's events calendar, Emaar's Downtown Dubai New Year's Gala will unite the world in one grandiose celebration.
On the night of December 31, 2012, Downtown Dubai will reiterate its reputation as 'The Centre of Now' with the attention of the world focused on the city for a world-class event of epic proportions.
For further information regarding travel maps, logistics and timings, visit
The Downtown Dubai New Year’s Eve Gala is supported by Emirates, Etisalat, Samsung, Mercedes, and Omega.
Visitors to Downtown Dubai on December 31 are advised to take advantage of options for public transport. It is also recommended that visitors arrive by 8pm to secure a good viewing location. For more details on public transportation and hours of operation, please visit


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis Hotel is world’s tallest hotel

The 355-metre five-star hotel opened to the public last month

Dubai: The city of superlatives has done it again with JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, claiming the world’s tallest hotel title, the latest addition to Dubai’s growing list of world records.

New record for JW Marriott Marquis Hotel

We are excited and delighted to be officially recognised as the world’s tallest hotel. Dubai is a city of superlatives and the JW Marriott Marquis is an outstanding addition its iconic skyline,” said Rupprecht Queitsch, general manager of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Located in the heart of Business Bay, the 355-metre JW Marriott Marquis Hotel was recently officially recognised by the Guinness World Record as the world’s tallest hotel. The iconic five-star hotel boasts of a height that’s almost half or 43 per cent of the height of Burj Khalifa.
The world’s tallest hotel title was previously held by the 333-metre tall Rose Rayhaan by Rotana on Shaikh Zayed Road, which opened in January 2010.
Dubai holds a number of Guinness World Records including the tallest building — the Burj Khalifa; the tallest residential building — Princess Tower; the largest shopping centre  The Dubai Mall; the largest indoor ski-resort — Ski Dubai; to name a few.
Currently, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel ranks 28th in the world’s top 200 tallest buildings, and the sixth tallest building in Dubai, according to Emporis, a global database for building and construction information.
The 77-floor twin towers opened its first tower to guests last month. The hotel’s grand opening is scheduled in February 2013. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in November ordered the implementation of the second phase of the project that is scheduled to be completed by 2014.
The hotel has 804 guest rooms with panoramic views in each tower, 14 restaurants, bars and lounges. It features more than 8,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor event space which includes two ballrooms.
“It’s sort of a small city within itself. Any business traveller can find everything he needs within the hotel itself,” Ashok Korgaonkar, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai’s leading architect, told Gulf News.
Korgaonkar said that when they designed the hotel in 2005, the primary goal was not just to come up with a good design but also to make it functional.
“We wanted the design to stand out in comparison to the surrounding buildings but we didn’t want purely aesthetics but also functionality. So the structure is basically the contemporary version of the trunk of the date palm tree which is part and parcel of the life in Arabian countries,” Korgaonkar said. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

DAMAC Properties launches 'The Distinction'

DAMAC Properties has announced its first major new product launch since 2008, with 295 premium serviced hotel apartments in the Burj Area.
'The Distinction' will be a 195 metre, 53-storey, iconic tower overlooking the platinum real estate in the heart of Dubai, with enviable views of the fountain, mall and world's largest tower.

On the back of improved market sentiment, which has shown average prices increasing by 14% in the first nine months of the year, according to the Reidin Residential Sales Indices, 'The Distinction' will serve to the very top top-end luxury sector of the emirate's real estate market.

The rental market is also seeing strong growth with yields up as much as 24% in prime locations across Dubai according to a recent report by CB Richard Ellis.

While Dubai's property market sees a strong growth path, hotels are also benefitting, with 87.1% occupancy in October according to the latest figures from TRI Hospitality Consulting - an increase of 7.5% year-on-year.

"Luxury projects in prime locations are driving the UAE property resurgence and 'The Distinction' will provide the quality of finish and service expected at this end of the market," said Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President, DAMAC Properties. "The serviced hotel apartments at 'The Distinction' will offer the highest levels of customer service, luxury and opulence placing it among the premium products DAMAC Properties has on the market today."

Main contractor, ANC Contracting, has already started work on the project, which is set for completion in the first quarter of 2015. The project will be a mix of studios, one, two, three and four-bedroom penthouses.

The company launched sales of the project from its offices at Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina and at Park Towers in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) early this morning (Saturday, 15 December 2012).

DAMAC Properties has a proven track record of delivering projects in the Dubai real estate, already completing 37 buildings across the UAE, with 7,817 units and nearly 14,000,000 square feet of space.

"DAMAC Properties has become an established brand, synonymous with quality and luxury throughout the Middle East," McLoughlin added. "We are chosen and trusted to deliver high-end, desirable living spaces in some of the best locations. 'The Distinction' certainly lives up to this promise."

The Distinction, which will be one of the most desirable projects DAMAC has ever undertaken, has been designed by architects ZAS with the interiors being undertaken by WA International.

"In Dubai there remains a strong desire for the very best, and this, combined with an improving economy and limited availability of high-end luxury developments, is driving the demand. We are anticipating a high level of interest in 'The Distinction'."

'The Distinction' comes lavished with the highest quality amenities to be enjoyed by the residents, including a luxury spa which houses a relaxing Jacuzzi and peaceful sauna. There is also a high-tech gymnasium and stunning swimming pool.

Hotel Serviced Apartments are a relatively new concept to the Dubai market, offering five-star concierge services to include everything from receiving fresh linen every day through to bookings for private jets and limousines and even having a top-end chef cook for you in your apartment.

It also provides a sound investment vehicle as owners can enjoy the luxury and services on offer, or add their property to a rental pool which will drive stress-free rental yields in addition to the tax-free capital growth, all managed by DAMAC Suites & Spa.

Tourism to Dubai has continued to grow in strong numbers with the Al Maktoum International Airport set to open next year set to cater for 160 million passengers a year. In addition, the UAE's GDP is set to reach 4.5% by the end of the year, reaffirming Dubai's sustained and steady economic recovery.

DAMAC Properties will have 4,000 luxury serviced hotel apartments under development by the end of next year, with its first project in this sector, Burjside Boulevard, overlooking the Burj Area, set to complete in

Emaar launches premium Sky Collection residences at The Address The BLVD in Downtown Dubai

December 15, 2012: Emaar Properties PJSC, the global property developer of iconic real estate assets, is offering an unprecedented opportunity for discerning customers to own a premium home within The Address The BLVD, the newly launched hotel and serviced residences in Downtown Dubai.

The Address The BLVD Sky Collection is an exclusive portfolio of majestic residences, duplexes, and penthouses, set within the upper-most levels of Emaar's latest Address hotel, located on the Emaar Boulevard, near Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, in the world’s most prestigious square kilometre.
Underlining the robust growth of Dubai's property sector, the launch of The Address The BLVD Sky Collection follows the earlier sell-out response to the serviced residences in the property.
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties, said: "The Address The BLVD Sky Collection is envisaged to be the connoisseur's choice, and offers the opportunity to own ultra-luxury homes in the heart of Downtown Dubai.
"The Address The BLVD is being developed to the highest world class standards that define Emaar's projects, and the Sky Collection will offer residents unparalleled luxury living in our latest landmark property, set in the heart of our flagship development, Downtown Dubai." 
The Sky Collection features an exclusive portfolio of three, four and five bedroom serviced residences, spectacular penthouses, and duplexes. Residents will experience an exclusive lifestyle in the dazzling heights of The Address The BLVD with unsurpassed service from the renowned Address Hotels + Resorts brand.
Scaling new heights, the stunning serviced residences will offer unprecedented vistas of Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain. Residents will enjoy the finest lifestyle amenities and a new air-conditioned bridge link will offer direct access to The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination.
The prime location of The Address The BLVD on Emaar Boulevard, with a range of leisure and F&B choices, offers residents an enviable address in chic Downtown Dubai. Residents will also be in convenient proximity to Dubai’s major business hubs such as Emaar Square and Dubai International Financial Centre.
Sales of The Address The BLVD Sky Collection serviced residences will be by pre-arranged appointment only. Interested buyers can register online for more information at on December 16, 2012.
The Address The BLVD, a five star premium hotel and serviced residences, is the sixth addition to The Address Hotels + Resorts portfolio of Emaar Hospitality Group in Dubai, scheduled for handover in 2015. Featuring 200 hotel rooms and 523 serviced residences, and billed to be another sterling addition to Dubai’s skyline, the 72-storey hotel is 370 metres high, and will be one of the tallest buildings in Downtown Dubai, next to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Downtown Dubai New Year Eve 2013

On the night

Downtown Dubai will be all abuzz with excitement this New Year. We're putting on a whole production for you and the family to enjoy.  This big event, a world first, is one you will not want to miss.  Be sure to arrive before 8pm.  You won't want to miss a minute.
Limited parking will be available within Downtown Dubai, please see the map for locations.  . These are available from 1pm to 8pm on 31 Dec, 2012 and from 12:30am to 6am on 1 Jan 2013.
Alternative parking with Metro service is available with at Rashidiya station and the Etisalat station.
Follow @RTA_Dubai or visit for more information.

3- Taxi 

Please see the map for designated taxi holding area

 4- Feeder Buses

Please see map for the designated Rta Feeder Bas locations.
Follow @RTA_Dubai or visit for more information.

The Downtown Dubai app for iPhones can be downloaded for free following this link
It offers you an insiders guide to all you need to know, including information relating to the New Year's Celebrations, all at the tip of your fingers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Khalifa Port gateway to future

Facility, completed ahead of schedule at a cost of Dh26.5b, is part of Abu Dhabi’s diversification plan

Abu Dhabi: Khalifa Port, the Middle East North Africa (Mena) region’s first semi-automated container terminal, is built to support the multi-modal (transportation of goods under a single contract ) logistics capabilities, and which integrates into the new Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad). The port accommodates up to 12 million tonnes of general cargo annually and 2.5 million TEUs (twenty foot-equivalent units) of containerised cargo, said Tony Douglas, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC).

he Dh26.5 billion project will act as an economic gateway of trade for Abu Dhabi, and it has been completed before the required time while meeting the highest standards,” added Douglas. “As a sign of our success, we have attained profits in the last two years and we are expecting further profits in the years ahead.” Douglas explained that UAE ports will be complementing each other and will play a pivotal role towards the overall economy of the UAE.
“There is no doubt that Khalifa Port will be allotted for heavy industries in Abu Dhabi and some heavy and big vessels will be mobilised to it,” said Douglas, adding that “Mina Zayed will be restructured to handle cruise shipping and commercial activities.”
Mohammad Al Shamsi, Executive Vice President, at Ports Unit of Abu Dhabi Port Company (ADPC), told Gulf News that it is expected that handling capacities will increase to 5 million containers within the first five years.
Al Shamsi said that the cost of the port was “less than estimated figures,” with no further information about exact figures and savings.
“The Khalifa Port will be built in five phases. Khalifa Port will also have the ability to expand up to 5 million TEUs by 2018. It is projected to support an annual capacity of 15 million TEUs and be able to handle an additional 35 million tonnes of general cargo by 2030.
Primary agreements
Khalid Salmeen, CEO and MD of Khalifa Industrial Zone of Abu Dhabi (Kizad), told Gulf News that 50 companies had already signed primary agreements with Kizad to lease grounds.
“Kizad is expected to grow over the next twenty years to 417 square kilometres. As Phase I of the project is 51 square kilometres, which forms 55 per cent of the area of Abu Dhabi Island, 27 per cent Phase I has been leased out to Indian, American, Brazilian and Emirati companies,” said Salmeen.
He added: “We have signed so far primary agreements with 50 companies, 33 of them are final long term ground development lease [Musataha] or usufruct agreements. Six companies have already mobilized to Kizad.”
As per Phase II, Salmeen said: “We will start it when 60 per cent of the Phase I is leased out.”
Hesham Al Mutairi, manager of Kuwait Port Authority, told Gulf News that UAE ports complement the role of other GCC ports.
“The UAE ports are considered Kuwaiti ports in cases of emergency and there is a high level of coordination between our two countries in this prospect,” said Al Mutairi.
For his part, Captain Mousa Murad, General Manager of Port of Fujairah, told Gulf News that Fujairah Port will be connected to Kizad by 2016-2017.
“The Fujairah Port will be connected via Etihad Railway by 2016-2017. Right now 70 per cent of the Abu Dhabi oil is transported from Habshan via pipeline to Fujairah Port,” said Murad.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Metro to add Red Line station on 12/12/12

Jafza commuters hail facility which is expected to serve at least 10,000 people daily

Dubai: The Danube Metro station, which is the 28th station on the Red Line of Dubai Metro, will herald a world of convenience for workers and residents of Jebel Ali Freezone Authority (Jafza), a senior official said.

The Jebel Ali Industrial station, which was recently renamed Danube station after the popular building materials firm bought the naming rights from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), will open for the public on 12/12/12.
Danube station provides direct access to commuters living and working in the freezone enclave which is home to 6,800 international firms and around 170,000 people who either reside or work there.
Ebrahim Al Janahi, Deputy CEO of Jafza, commenting on the opening of the new station said: “The opening of the 2nd Metro station in Jafza will further facilitate 50,000 persons living in the staff accommodation in Jafza and almost the same number of daily Jafza commuters to use this most efficient and hassle-free mode of transportation. By using Metro, Jafza commuters are and will be contributing their bit in reducing carbon emission.”
Commending Danube for their initiative in partnering with RTA, Al Janahi said: “The Metro station is named after Danube, one of our most dynamic companies. The naming reinforces Jafza companies’ deep commitment to the UAE and its enlightened leadership’s vision to make the country one of the best in the world. Jafza companies together contribute more than 21 per cent to Dubai’s GDP year-on-year basis.”
Danube Group’s chairman, Rizwan Sajan, speaking exclusively with Gulf News said: “It gives immense pleasure to me to serve people. I feel if we are able to make a small difference to people’s live our purpose is served, our idea is to add as much convenience to people’s lives as possible.”
He thanked RTA and Dubai’s leadership for accepting Danube as a partner.
Apart from officials, residents and workers from Jafza who regularly commute by the Metro and have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the new station, have hailed the decision.
“I use Dubai Metro daily for my journey to and from work, but it wasn’t easy as I had to take buses from Ibn Battuta station; most people in Jafza using Metro had to face such difficulties but this station will really help all of us,” said Nancy D’Costa, who works for a logistics firm which is located just a few hundred metres from the station.
As usual, RTA is planning to deploy a huge number of feeder buses along various routes, though the exact numbers were not available.
“I urge RTA to have a wide network of feeder routes inside Jafza connecting Danube station so that it is convenient for all; our offices are located a few kilometres away from the station and if they have regular feeder buses it will really help all of us,” said Ahmad Basheer, who works for a shipping firm.
The new station is expected to bring on at least 10,000 new daily commuters to the already popular rail network which currently boasts a daily passenger volume of around 300,000.
The 52.1-kilometre Red Line has a total of 29 stations. The last station — Energy — which is also located in Jebel Ali, is yet to open for service.
The much shorter Green Line, covering a total distance of 23 kilometres, boasts 20 stations including two it shares with the Red Line, namely the Burjuman and Union stations. In all, 18 Green Line stations are currently functional. Al Jaddaf and Creek stations are yet to open for the public.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Salam Street tunnel renamed and now open to the public

ABU DHABI // After five years and more than Dh3 billion the 4.2-kilometre Salam Street tunnel finally opens to traffic at 6am today, with a new name and the promise of significantly easing traffic.

Al Salam Tunnel has been renamed Sheikh Zayed Tunnel and is set to open to the public at 6am on 5 Dec, 2012. Silvia Razgova / The National
Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, national security adviser and vice chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, yesterday inaugurated the tunnel, which has been renamed the Sheikh Zayed Road and Tunnel by decree from the President, Sheikh Khalifa.
The grand opening will be the final step of the multi-phase Salam Street redevelopment project that began in 2007.
“This main tunnel was completed today in time for the inauguration,” said Abdullah Al Shamsi, executive director of infrastructure and municipal assets sector at the Abu Dhabi Municipality. “We expect the journey time between Sheikh Zayed Bridge to Mina Road or the Corniche and back to be 20 minutes.”
The tunnel stretches from Delma Street, at the Sea Palace junction, up to the Corniche and Mina Road. The covered section of the tunnel runs for 2.4km, while the open  section covers 1.8km.

RTA confirms auto-update of Salik toll on taxis

Taxis will be charged Salik toll only when passengers are onboard

Dubai: Taxis in Dubai are to include Salik tolls in the fare total if they pass through a gate from mid January 2013, the Roads and Transport Authority has confirmed.
Gulf News was the first to report the reintroduction of the toll on Tuesday, which has now been confirmed by senior RTA official Eisa Abdurrahman Al Dossari.
However, Al Dossari added that passengers will have a right to choose whether they want to use Salik or an alternative route.
“The passage of taxicabs under Salik toll gates will be optional for taxi passengers. Before starting a journey, the cabdriver will offer the passenger the option of passing under Salik gates or using alternative roads, so that there is no dispute later,” explained Al Dossari.
He said the decision was taken to further ease traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road.
“This decision will clearly contribute to easing the traffic flow by re-routing the vehicular movement on a number of roads and streets in the Emirate. Most notably, it is set to ease the pressure on Shaikh Zayed Road, and encourage commuters to use the Dubai Metro in their daily travels,” emphasised Al Dossari.
The Salik toll system which was introduced by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in July 2007, was also applicable to taxis. However, following numerous complaints by commuters who felt cheated, the toll, which was entered manually by drivers was scrapped for taxis from December 2008.
To avoid the confusion now, the RTA has come up with a system which will automatically include the toll of Dh4 in the fare, if the taxi crosses the Salik toll gate.
However, taxis will be charged Salik toll only when passengers are on board, and the fare metres are running, a transport official has said.
“If a cab is crossing the Salik toll gate without a passenger, which is without the fare metre running, then no Salik will be charged,” said the official, who asked not to be named.
RTA is now upgrading the fare metres of all cabs in the city to a new system called D8 which allows the toll to be automatically added to the fare.
“The decision will be implemented gradually as RTA is working on upgrading taxi meter systems of a specific number of taxis on daily basis starting from the mid of next month. The addition of the Salik toll will be fully automated without any intervention on the part of the taxi driver; which will render the application of the procedures highly transparent and hassle-free,” explained Al Dossari.
Lashing out at the decision to reintroduce the toll for cab users, a resident said: “Already the taxi meters run like a horse, plus a new gift from RTA for 2013.”
Taxis are part of public transport, already we are paying minimum fare of Dh10 which is more compared to other countries, said another.
In a website comment a reader from Singapore said that there too a similar toll is collected from commuters by automatically adding it to the taxi fare. “Dubai is not the first place in the world to introduce this! All developed nations have this thing,” said the reader.
“Not fair... so what is public transport then. Isn’t it to help the people who don’t have cars,” Cynthia Fernandes commented online.
“It is the perfect way to discourage people from using public transportation. Now rich people should start using these taxis because an average person can’t afford the fares,” said another reader.
According to RTA statistics, the total number of taxi fleet in Dubai Emirate stood at 7,907 in May 2012.
New system
The new system, D8, allows RTA to monitor and control the speed of taxis. When a taxi driver exceeds the speed of 120 km/h, a recorded message is played asking to reduce the speed. In case, the driver does not comply within three minutes, the taxis’ central control room gets alerted, which then communicates with the driver. In case the driver ignores the warning, the fare metre of his cab will stop working and RTA will initiate disciplinary action against the driver.
With the new system, cab drivers will not get to choose whether or not they want to accept an assignment. The taxi nearest to the customer, who books through the dispatch centre, will be asked to go to the customer whether or not the driver wants to.
Taxis from other emirates, commuting through Dubai, have never been exempt from the toll.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Emaar Properties to herald in UAE National Day celebrations with Downtown Dubai Parade

November 27, 2012: Global property developer Emaar Properties PJSC will herald in the celebrations of the season with the second Downtown Dubai Parade, National Day, organised in partnership with the Dubai Events & Promotions Establishment (DEPE), on December 2, from 3pm to 5pm, along the spectacular Emaar Boulevard.

Celebrating the sterling achievements of the UAE by integrating the multicultural diversity of Dubai, the Downtown Dubai Parade, National Day will feature a colourful canvas of traditional and international floats, live entertainment, heritage and cultural activities. Families and friends, young and old, are encouraged to line the route and wave flags in Downtown Dubai, underscoring the truest essence of Dubai’s celebrations.
From highlighting the progress that the nation has made over the last four decades, its ambitions to push the frontiers to achieve excellence, to the spirit of global collaboration that has made Dubai a world city, the Downtown Dubai Parade, National Day will salute the camaraderie and solidarity that has made the UAE a cultural melting pot and home to over 200 nationalities.
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties, said: "Today, Downtown Dubai, which is rightfully described as 'The Centre of Now,' has established its credentials as the heart of the city – featuring some of the UAE's iconic achievements that underline the nation's growth and evolution. Through the consolidated efforts of the public and private sector, we will once again shine the spirit of collaboration that marks the UAE's identity through the Downtown Dubai Parade on National Day.
H.E. Laila Mohd Suhail, Chief Executive Officer of DEPE, added: "The Downtown Dubai Parade, National Day is a true celebration of the achievements of the UAE and brings together public and private sector entities to pay rich tribute to our visionary leadership. With this colourful event, Dubai is underlining its focus on organising festivities and celebrations that put the spotlight on our strengths as an events destination, thus building on Dubai’s position as the 'IEFA World Festival and Event City.'"
Local and international schools, government entities, international brands, cultural groups, bikers' and sports clubs and children mascots will join the parade, lending it extra colour and spectacle.
Inflatables representing Emaar Properties by its various entities including Downtown Dubai, The Dubai Mall, SEGA Republic, Reel Cinemas, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, KidZania®, The Address Hotels + Resorts, At the Top, Burj Khalifa, and Dubai Marina Mall, will be exhibited during the parade.
Downtown Dubai's attractions include Burj Khalifa, which also features At the Top, Burj Khalifa, the world's highest observation deck with an outdoor terrace; The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination; The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain; world-class residences; commercial offices and the Emaar Boulevard, a 3.5 km boulevard lined with retail and F&B attractions.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Events listings: UAE National Day

What you can do in the UAE to celebrate National Day

November 27, Tuesday
Abu Dhabi
Sorbonne University: Emirati artist Aysha Ahmad Al Masood presents historical pictures and artifacts from the UAE, at 1.30pm. The university’s official celebration will be held on Wednesday November 28 from 4pm, at the university campus located on Reem Island.
Abu Dhabi Education Council: Open day for public and private school pupils, teachers and their families with cultural performances, military shows, art workshops and sport activities like paintball and soccer. Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, 10am-6pm.

Knowledge and Human Department: National day performances and dances by eight schools, at the Mina a’Salam Hotel, Dubai, 9.30-11.30am.
Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department: 20 UAE-themed activities, including union tree planting in Umm Al Sheif, and a traditional bazaar and folk shows at the Mizher branch, in association with the Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain Cultural and Islamic Centre, 9am-12pm at the Al Sheif and Mizher branches of Princess Haya Centre.
Dubai Ladies Club: Cutdoor bazaar with cooking and art workshops, kids activities (also Wednesday). Thursday will include a special UAE-themed bazaar, a children’s party where all children are encouraged to wear National dress, and the beauty salon be doing UAE-themed nail art. 11am-8pm, Jumeirah Beach Road.

November 28, Wednesday

Abu Dhabi
Zayed University: Mohammad Al Menhali and Mansoor Zayed perform. Celebrations also include a military band, photo booth with traditional decoration, hand craft workshops, tents, a traditional food café, videos on national day; from noon-5pm, at female promenade.
Abu Dhabi Men’s College: Open day with heritage village, a cultural cooking show, Emirati cultural products on sale, competitions best-decorated student cars, and for Arabic poetry, traditional Ayala Emirati dance and screenings of short movies. 10am-12pm.
Zayed University: du National day forum with Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, presenting awards to winners of the du social media award, and premiere of the official National Day song.
Dubai Public Prosecution: Bazaar tent with traditional and handmade products. In front of the Dubai Public Prosecution building, 9am-2pm; also on Thursday.
Ministry of Education: Raising of the UAE flag on the biggest flag pole installed in a governmental department, inauguration of the Union Library and unveiling of the “union mosaic” inside Al Qusais metro station, next to the ministry, at 9.30am.
Cultural and Scientific Association: Seminars on development efforts in light of the union on Wednesday, 7pm; Thursday: a Chinese band performance; Friday: Egyptian band performance; Saturday Emirati Scientific Club will hold a scientific day with workshops and an art exhibition, at the association’s headquarters in Mamzar, Dubai, 9am-7pm
Deira City Centre: Kids art activities on the Centre Stage until December 2; the mall’s LOVE Art initiative has a photo exhibition by the Emirates Photography Society celebrating the UAE’s heritage.
Documentary Voices: Screening of When Clouds Come Down, directed by Moein Karimodini, followed by a discussion on cinema and national identity, at Alliance Francaise, Oud Metha, 8pm. Daily pass, including script writing workshop, Dh200. Details at
Global Village: Union Festival until December 2. Emirati cultural shows with Ayyala, Andiman, Liwa, Razfa and Noban dances, traditional competitions on Meydan Stage and Youla contests. Doors open from 4pm. Call 04-3624114.
Ajman Corniche: Ajman Police’s national day activities, 8.30pm.
Al Mamzar: Sharjah Police’s national day activities, in front of Sharjah Islamic Bank, 4pm.
Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation: Events for people with special needs (adults and kids), al harbia band, workshop on Arabic calligraphy, kids workshops and traditional food, from 9am until noon. Details at

November 29, Thursday

Abu Dhabi
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology: National anthem performed by police band, al harbeya performers, traditional contests, photo booth with UAE national costumes, camel riding, henna, traditional games, old souq and food kiosks. 10am-4pm; call 02-8109435 or 050-4887044.
Department of Economic Development: Activities and a luncheon, 11am-2pm, courtyard of DED headquarters, Business Village, Port Saeed near the Clock Tower.
Dubai Municipality Architectural Heritage Department: Display of the Department’s products with tents, a poetry house, local food. All municipality centres will hold traditional programmes, including exhibitions of old photographs and calligraphy and live stage shows. 10am-1pm.
Mall of the Emirates: Exhibition of works by regional artists with images of the UAE, H.H Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and H.H Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Until December 3.
Mirdif City Centre: Maze, a heart-shaped walk-through adventure incorporating the “Spirit of the Union” theme with touchscreen games and prizes; ‘Joy of the Union’ photo station which allows visitors to select a UAE-themed background; heritage and children’s area with traditional and modern arts and crafts such as weaving, puppet making, mask and origami making, painting and more. Local drumming and folklore band Yoola. Until December 2.
Documentary Voices: Screening of Floating Life of Dubai Creek, followed by a Q&A with director Tim Kennedy, at Alliance Francaise, Oud Metha, 8pm. Daily pass, including script writing workshop, Dh200. Details at
Global Village: National Day concert featuring Hazzaa on the main stage and a parade with over 40 artists from all over the world and their traditional costumes. Emirati areesh huts around the park welcome visitors with Arabic coffee, dates and Arabic incense. Doors open from 4pm. Call 04-3624114.|
Dubai Ladies Club: Cultural activities for children and mothers including a UAE-themed bazaar with products from small businesses from across the country; 11am-9pm in the main foyer, open to all ladies. UAE-themed nail art, 3-8pm and UAE-themed children’s party 4-6pm, open to children 4-11, prize for best dressed.
November 30, Friday
Sharjah Islamic Bank: The sixth SIB national carnival, with a traditional food tent featuring Emirati bakers, and UAE-themed photo sessions. Also Saturday, in the front yard of the bank’s headquarters opposite Al Khan Lagoon.
Blue Marlin Ibiza: Unite as One, a two-day National Day fiesta featuring Rudy (Axwell, Dirty South) and Shawnee Taylor (Sublimal records) alongside resident DJs Frederick Stone, Jean B, Jixo and Danz and Kaytek. At Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel And Resort, Ghantoot; call 050-1422800.
Dubai Outlet Mall: Emerging and professional artists from different nationalities will present a live painting show using only the colours of the UAE flag, 10am-midnight. Completed painting will be on sale from December 2-8. Call 04-4234666.
Global Village: National Day concert featuring Arwa at the main stage. Doors open from 4pm. Call 04-3624114.
Atlantis, The Palm: Lost Chambers Family Fun Day with date tasting, UAE folklore and cultural activities and see the UAE flag flying underwater. UAE free-diving champion Ahmad Khoori will perform a free-dive to help raise awareness of ocean conservation at 11am. Dh100 per person, children under 11 receive free admission with each full paid adult admission. Call 04-4260000.

December 1, Saturday

Blue Marlin Ibiza: Unite as One, a National Day fiesta featuring Michelle Weeks and Ultra Nate alongside resident DJs Frederick Stone, Jean B, Jixo and Danz and Kaytek, at Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel And Resort, Ghantoot. Call 050-1422800.
Global Village: Concert featuring Diana Haddad, Ali Al Katheeri and Ali Al Naqbi. Doors open from 4pm, concerts from 8pm. Call 04-3624114.|
Dubai Festival City: Spirit of the Union celebrations from 6pm, with performances and fireworks.
Sharjah City Centre: Roaming traditional dance troupe playing National Day-themed music (also Sunday); traditional Emirati food bazaar complete with live cooking stations and a National Day-themed photo exhibition on display from December 1-15.

December 2, Sunday

Arabian Center: Traditional entertainment and giveaways, yola dances, free henna for women and a falcon display. A digital canvas will be displayed in the mall where customers can draw their wish, worth up to Dh5,000.
Global Village: National Day concert featuring Ali Al Katheeri, Ali Al Naqbi and Fadhel Al Mazrouei and raffle to win a Chevrolet Camaro 2013. Doors open from 4pm, concerts from 8pm; Call 04-3624114.|
Al Nasr Leisureland: Ice show featuring junior skaters supported by Ice Stars Skating Club. Show at 6.30pm, free entry. Call 050-5594589.
Mirdif City Centre: Flash mob performance at 5pm, national anthem playing at 7pm, a march by the Dubai Customs inspectors and surprise grand finale event.
Ductac, Mall of the Emirates: Freej Folklore, a blend of dance, music, animation and stage performance. English show at 3pm, Arabic at 6pm, free entry. Call 04-3414777.
Jumeriah Beach Road: National Day motor parade organised by the Community Development Authority at 3pm between Union House in Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Residence with Ferrari, Corvette, Harley Davidson and classic car clubs.
Abu Dhabi
Breakwater: Traditional market at Heritage Village organised by Emirates Heritage Club with food and handicrafts, falconry and camel riding and a traditional boat race, 5-9pm.
Ferrari World: Free admission for a child under 1.5m for every adult ticket purchased; for resident families only, until December 3.
Sharjah City Centre: Cutting of a 41kg cake decorated with the colours of the UAE flag, 8.30am.
Sharjah Aquarium and Sharjah Maritime Museum: Maritime parade, Emirati wedding, competition for best Emirati costume and Emirati meal, marine band and traditional competitions, from 2.45-7pm. Details at
Al Majaz Waterfront: Cultural dances (5-10pm), firework displays (9pm) and multimedia shows in the Sharjah Fountain (8pm, 9pm and 10pm); art exhibition (November 27-December 6) and exhibition by the Woman’s Union Association in Sharjah (on display November 28-December 7). Also December 1.
Qasba: Daily activities from November 28-December 3, including stage performances and workshops by Sharjah Police, 9pm-midnight. Also, signing of the National Day card (November 29), National Day marathon (November 30), Emirates Society stand (7pm-9pm daily), carnival, performances by UAE bands, exhibition by students from the University of Sharjah’s College of Fine Arts and Design (11am-9pm daily) and workshops: origami (5-9pm, November 26); drawing with the Emirates Fine Arts Society (10am-4pm, November 27); mixed media (5-9pm, November 30).

December 4, Tuesday

Capital D Studio: “We Built This City” exhibition of photos taken by the public and uploaded to Instagram with the hashtag #webuiltthiscity. Mention @sauceloves and @capitaldstudio and the images stream directly to 41 selected instagram shots will be turned into a #webuiltthiscity installation at the event in Al Quoz at 7.30pm. Call 04-3415339 / 04-3463393.

Dubai to get new entertainment hub

Dh10 billion complex with five distinct theme parks to be located in Jebel Ali

Dubai: A new Dh10 billion entertainment complex in Dubai, featuring five distinct theme parks, was announced on Monday.

The new complex, approved by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and announced on Monday night in a statement issued by Dubai Media Office, will be located at Jebel Ali and feature theme parks based on movies, animals and fun characters aimed at appealing to all demographics.
It will offer multi-faceted leisure and entertainment facilities and will cater to both residents and tourists. Meraas Holding will oversee the new development.
The first phase of the development will be Dubai Adventure Studios, which was originally announced by Meraas in December 2011. It is set to host Hollywood brands and will have a range of “adrenalin-challenging rides and attractions that will be accessible to people of all ages.”

A second park will be named Bollywood Parks, and will focus the immense global appeal of Indian cinema. Meraas has partnered with several major film studios in Mumbai to provide content, while a large theatre within the park is expected to showcase Broadway-style musicals. The theatre will also become part of Dubai’s annual entertainment calendar.
A water and marine life park will showcase aquatic life, animal encounters and live shows, besides rides and attractions. A theme park catering to the need of toddlers, preschoolers and primary school children will also be built, as will a night safari that will highlight the Arabian desert.
The theme parks will be connected by a district featuring retail and dining offerings. The first component of the development is expected to be completed by 2014.
“Meraas has been working with several industry experts to bring together a powerful mix of components that fulfill the need for a pure entertainment-based destination,” said Abdulla Ahmad Mohammad Al Habbai, Chairman of Meraas Holding, who said the new complex will contribute to the growth of the economy.
This is Dubai’s second major product announcement in this week, following the announcement of Mohammad Bin Rashid City on Saturday.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mohammed bin Rashid orders commencement of second phase of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai

2012-11-25 19:32:31

WAM Dubai, Nov 25th, 2012 (WAM)--The Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has ordered the start of the second phase of AED2.5 billion JW Marriott Marquis Dubai hotel project.

The instruction was made during an inspection visit paid by Sheikh Mohammed to the project, which is situated on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Accompanied by the Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, H. H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed toured the project, slated to be the world's tallest hotel when it is completed. It will have 1,600 rooms.

Sheikh Mohammed toured the hotel and inspected its facilities. It has the largest function room in the Middle East, world class services for business, 19 restaurants and many other luxury facilities.

Concluding his visit, Sheikh Mohammed expressed his satisfaction with the successful completion of the first phase of the iconic project and described it as a boost to the tourism sector in the emirate of Dubai that has become synonymous with unparalleled business and tourism ventures.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

New city to rise within Dubai: Shaikh Mohammad

The new city will feature world class leisure facilities for 35 million visitors

Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced the establishment of a new city within Dubai, setting new benchmarks in urban development in the region.

Comprising four key components, the new city, which will be called “Mohammad Bin Rashid City”, will feature world class leisure facilities and provide an integrated environment for the development of entrepreneurship and innovation.
The first component focuses on family tourism, and will include a park that is equipped to receive 35 million visitors and the largest family centre for leisure and entertainment in the Middle East, Africa Indian subcontinent and region.
This centre will be set up in collaboration with Universal Studios and include over 100 hotel facilities to meet the needs of visitors from the region.
The second component, focusing on retail, will feature the largest shopping mall in the world. The third component will include the largest area for arts galleries in Mena.
The fourth component will see the development of a unique area that will provide an integrated environment for entrepreneurship and innovation in the region.
Making the announcement, Shaikh Mohammad stressed that, “The current facilities available in Dubai need to be scaled up in line with the future ambitions for the city. Therefore we have to start work immediately on the third phase of development that is aligned to our Vision till 2030 and boost the UAE economy to enable it to enter a new era in which it will become the capital of entrepreneurship, arts, culture, and family tourism for over 2 billion people.”
He highlighted that the current accelerated growth rates require Dubai to start immediate preparations for the future because within just six years, the number of passengers passing through Dubai airport will reach more than 90 million people.
“Our development initiatives concerning infrastructure in all sectors should be aligned with this growth rate and we have the determination to reach our objectives and be the first in the region to achieve them,” Shaikh Mohammad said.
The new city will be located between Emirates Road, Al Khail Road and Shaikh Zayed Road, and will include Mohammad bin Rashid Gardens Project. It will be connected to Downtown Dubai and Business Bay through a crossing that will be named the “Cultural Crossing” which will include art galleries and create the largest area for arts in the region.
“Mohammad Bin Rashid City” will feature a massive park which will be 30 per cent bigger than Hyde Park in London. It will be surrounded by the largest mall in the world called “Mall of the World”, which will be capable of receiving 80 million visitors a year, and include over 100 hotel facilities to meet the requirement for accommodation.
“Mall of the World” will be connected to a family entertainment centre which will be developed in collaboration with Universal Studios International. This centre will be the largest in the region and is expected to attract 6 million visitors each year.
“Mohammad Bin Rashid City” will be designed keeping in mind global environmental standards, and will include a specialised area in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
This area will provide an integrated environment to support entrepreneurship and attract talents looking for a platform to support their projects and innovations in various sectors, paving the way for a new economy based on knowledge, creativity and innovation. 
The new city will include residential areas built on green building standards in terms of energy consumption, waste treatment and conservation of natural environment.
It will also feature a number of golf courses under well-known international names. The new city project will be implemented by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties and will be marked as the biggest joint venture in real estate industry regionally.
The tourism sector in Dubai is growing by 13 per cent annually; with growth in hotel revenue exceeding 22 per cent to reach more than Dh 16 billion. The hotel occupancy rate was 82 per cent in the year 2011, which was the highest globally, and the number of visitors to Dubai Mall reached 62 million in 2012, with 25 per cent growth in retail sales in 2011.
In attendance at the announcement were. Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, other shaikhs and senior officials.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Crystal Tower to enhance JBR leisure offerings

Turkish architectural group says project will add value to the community

Dubai: A new leisure complex titled Crystal Tower will complement ‘The Beach’, a major retail development under way in The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR).

Visitors to the popular beachfront stretch will see new hotels, restaurants, a beach club, gym and a modern mosque coming up.
Speaking to Gulf News about her latest project, Melkan Tabanlioglu of Turkish-based Tabanlioglu Architects, said she expects it to introduce a new lifestyle concept in Dubai.
Tabanlioglu Architects has been renowned for creating outstanding architectural designs. In 2011, it became the first Turkish architect group to be awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) International Award for architectural excellence in the Loft Gardens in Turkey.
Tabanlioglu studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University. After graduating in 1993, she attended Polytechnic University of Metropolitan Catalonia, Spain, for her Master of Architecture.
One of the latest projects of Tabanlioglu Architects includes Bodrum International Airport, which was launched last June.
Details under wraps
Although details of Crystal Tower are still under wraps until the developer officially launches the project at the year end, Tabanlioglu revealed that it is a project undertaken by the Al Fattan Group.
“Construction has already started. The inspiration for the project came from the people and everything should be about bringing people together. This is my first project in the country and if there are more opportunities to come, then why not continue,” said Tabanlioglu.
The project will also add value to the community as it has plans to build a mosque that can accommodate 1,200 worshippers and a dedicated prayer hall for women.
Although Tabanlioglu is based in Istanbul, she has etched her mark worldwide, having designed a number of projects in Tripoli, Equatorial Guinea and Russia.
Having recently won the Community and Culture Project Award — Built category at the 2012 Cityscape Dubai Awards for Emerging Markets, Tabanlioglu Architects is expected to have a bigger presence in the region after the firm launched its first international office in Dubai after the success of its offices in Istanbul and Ankara.
“The building will have an aesthetic look and incorporate a lot of social life. I looked around at what was surrounding [the area] and see architecture as a social structure that brings a level of convenience to people. I look at how the building can add value to the city,” she added.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fire breaks out at Tamweel Tower in Jumeirah Lake Towers


Police begin probe into cause of fire that displaced hundreds of people

Dubai: Police have started investigations into the cause of a fire at Tamweel Tower in Jumeirah Lake Towers on Sunday.


the fire left hundreds of people displaced and damaged several apartments. Falling debris damaged at least four vehicles and a playground near the building.
The fire started at 1:30am, with residents reporting that the fire started at the roof of the 34-storey building, near the air conditioning plant.
Falling flaming debris then caused most of the balconies to also catch fire, and the wind helped the fire spread, pushing the flames inside the building.
Residents of the building and the nearby Al Seef building were evacuated.
No one was reported injured in the blaze, the Civil Defence told Gulf News.
Witnesses took to the social networking site Twitter to report difficulties faced by firefighters in extinguishing the fire, which was burning its way up to the upper part of the building.
A resident told Gulf News that when he and his wife vacated their apartment, they saw fire coming out from their neighbour's apartment. "We had no idea the upper floors were also on fire. We tried to douse off the fire with buckets of water, before the sprinklers finally went on and we evacuated the building," he said.
The fire was put out at around 8:19am, the Civil Defence said.
Smoke could still be seen billowing from the building at around 11:30am and police have cordoned off the area.
JLT resident Monstilus posted on Youtube a video of the fire, which "happened outside my house."
"Apparently the whole building caught fire and some cars in the area. Big blasts throughout the night.  From what I heard, everyone evacuated safely," Monstilus said.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Next phase of Dh2.5b Madinat Jumeirah project approved

Shaikh Mohammad approves fourth phase of Dh2.5 billion Madinat Jumeirah expansion project

 Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has issued directives to launch the fourth expansion phase of Madinat Jumeirah, which is expected to cost Dh2.5 billion.

Shaikh Mohammad emphasised that the development of tourism infrastructure in Dubai must match the UAE’s growing position as an international tourism hub, stressing the process of development never stops and has no limits.
The announcement of the project was made in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and His Highness Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
Shaikh Mohammad viewed the details and outline of the project, which will face the Burj Al Arab area in Jumeirah.
It includes a luxury five-star hotel, a villas complex, restaurants and a commercial centre with retail stores as well as a pedestrian precinct.
He directed that the project should be completed by the end of 2015.
The luxury five-star hotel in the project will have 420 rooms with sea views as well as a range of international restaurants and luxury amenities and facilities suitable for the size and location of the project.
The group of villas and hotel apartments in the project will be run by Jumeirah Living, a subsidiary of the Jumeirah Group. The complex will have 45 luxury villas and hotel apartments which will have enhanced facilities and residential services and a number of restaurants, a spa, a business centre and other amenities.
The meeting to announce the project was attended by Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of Dubai Holding, Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Director-General of the Department of Protocol and Hospitality in Dubai, Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Holding, Ahmad Bin Byat, and Executive Chairman of Jumeirah Group Gerald Lawless.
The Dubai-based luxury hospitality company Jumeirah Group is a member of the Dubai Holding group, and operates a world-class portfolio of hotels and resorts.
These include Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi; Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai; Jumeirah Dhevanafushi and Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives; Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel in Shanghai; Jumeirah Frankfurt in Germany; Jumeirah Grand Hotel Via Veneto in Rome; Jumeirah Port Soller Resort & Spa in Mallorca; Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah in Istanbul; as well as Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in London.
The Jumeirah Group also runs the luxury serviced residences brand Jumeirah Living; the spa brand Talise, Jumeirah Restaurants; Wild Wadi Water Park; The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management; and Sirius, its global loyalty programme.
The group plans to launch a number of projects in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Kuwait.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

World class stunt riders gear up for Freestyle Moto X in Downtown Dubai

November 13, 2012: For the first time, Downtown Dubai, Emaar's flagship mega-development described as 'The Centre of Now,' will host spectacular performances by internationally acclaimed Freestyle Moto X stunt riders, in Burj Park, set against the dramatic backdrop of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

Friends, families and adrenaline junkies will be captivated by the hour-long performances by five of the world's most famed stunt riders over two consecutive weekends, November 16 & 17, and 23 & 24, from 2-3pm and 4-5pm on each day. The event is open to the public for free.

This thrilling event will add to the buzz of Downtown Dubai, one of the city's most sought after lifestyle destinations, where visitors and residents will delight in awe-inspiring motor bike stunts ranging from backflips, whips and seat-grabs to 'supermans' and some high flying surprises.
The performances will be launched from a dramatic stage set in Burk Park with impressive ramps and viewing areas all set to provide the ultimate day out for visitors and steps away from the relaxing array of leisure and hospitality attractions in Downtown Dubai, the ultimate place to recover from an adrenaline fueled day out.
"Downtown Dubai is today the must-visit tourist destination in the city, and we are continuously exploring new opportunities to add to the lifestyle experience of our visitors and residents. The Freestyle Moto X is brought for the first time to the community, and will offer a thrilling entertainment experience for visitors," said Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties.
For further details of Freestyle Moto X visit
Anchored by Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, Downtown Dubai will soon host the Dubai Modern Art Museum & Opera House District, which is billed to become the cultural referral point for the city. The mega-development of Emaar includes world-class hospitality and lifestyle offerings from The Address Hotels + Resorts, The Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar, The Dubai Fountain and several homes and offices.
Downtown Dubai hosts a series of events throughout the year including the Downtown Dubai Parade, National Day; the Emirates Classic Car Festival; the New Year’s Eve Gala and a range of concerts and exhibitions.