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.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Free parking in Dubai for Islamic New Year

Dubai Metro, buses and marine transport to operate as usual

Dubai: Parking will be free at all paid parking zones in Dubai on Thursday, except in Deira Fish Market and multi-storey car parks, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced.

The move was announced to mark the public holiday of Islamic New Year on Thursday.
While RTA’s customer care and vehicle testing centres will remain closed on Thursday, Dubai Metro buses will operate without any changes in timings, with trains running from 5.30am until 1am.
The Al Ghubaiba bus station will operate for 24 hours as usual, while Union, Sabkha, Deira City Centre and Karama stations will operate from 6am to 12 midnight.
Buses between Al Ghubaiba and Al Jubai in Sharjah will run round-the-clock while buses to Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Ajman and Hatta will run between 6am and midnight.
Marine transport will also operate unchanged, with the water bus running from 7am to 10am, water taxi from 10am to 10pm and Ferry Dubai from 9am to 7pm.
Emirates Driving Institute, Dubai International Driving Centre and Drive Dubai will be closed on Thursday while the Dubai Driving Centre and Galadari Centre will remain open.
Belhasa Centre (Nad Al Hamar, Al Wasl) will run the registration service only and Al Ahli Centre will run the training service only. 

Danube, Burjuman hop on to the Dubai Metro

Brands secure naming rights for Jebel Ali Industrial and Khalid Bin Al Waleed stations

Dubai: Two of Dubai’s biggest brand names, Danube Buildmart Group and Burjuman, have joined Dubai Metro’s corporate bandwagon, allowing a station each to be named after them.

The Jebel Ali Industrial Station, which is the second station from Jebel Ali and is yet to open to the public, will be named Danube Station. Burjuman will have the naming rights of Khalid Bin Al Waleed station, which is served by both the Red and Green lines and is one of the busiest on the network.
The names will be officially inaugurated along with the Danube station, which is one of the two stations on the Red Line not operational yet, on 12/12/12.
“The Jebel Ali Industrial station which will be renamed Danube station is the 28th station to be opened on the Red Line. We are looking to inaugurate it in December, most probably on 12/12/12,” said Abdullah Ali Abdul Razzaq Al Madani, CEO of Corporate Technical Support Services Sector at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The partnership, which is expected to run into billions, was announced on Monday at the RTA head office in the presence of top RTA officials as well as Rizwan Sajan, chairman of Danube Group, and Majid Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of Burjuman Centre.
‘A great honour’
“It is a great honour for us to join hands with the RTA and associate with a brand name like the Dubai Metro. I’m really delighted on this development and I thank the government of Dubai and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for the continuous support for Danube. I think this will strengthen our relationship further,” said Rizwan Sajan, following the announcement of the deal.
The 10-year deal will have both the firms shelling out huge sums but Sajan is sure of the returns.
“Not everything is measured in terms of money. Partnering with the public sector has its own benefits. The amount of goodwill this will create among people is invaluable for us,” added Sajan.
The renaming of Khalid Bin Al Waleed Station, already popularly known as Burjuman station for its close proximity to the shopping centre, is just a formality waiting to be completed.
“The Dubai Metro is being globally hailed as one of the most modern and efficient public transportation projects to be successfully rolled out in recent years. As pioneers of the shopping mall industry in the region, we are delighted to contribute to the success of this landmark project. Securing the naming rights of Khalid Bin Al Waleed station is part of Burjuman’s ongoing commitment to support and partner the vision of the government and its agencies to make Dubai a model city in every sphere,” Al Ghurair said.
Business model
Danube and Burjuman joined 11 other corporate firms whose names are associated with Metro stations and they certainly are not going to be the last.
“This is a great business model where both the sides get great mileage. We are eager to partner with more private firms and are currently in talks with a few. We will announce once we have it finalised,” said Adnan Al Hammadi, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency.
Al Hammadi said that the Dubai Metro Station Naming project is the first of its kind worldwide and is the world’s first revenue model for public transport infrastructure, which has now been emulated by other cosmopolitan cities such as Chicago, Boston, Houston, London, Delhi-Gurgaon, Philadelphia, Montreal and Rio de Janeiro, among others.
The other 11 stations that are named after private or public firms on both the Red and Green Lines are Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre, Etisalat, Gulf General Investment Company (GGICO), Sharaf DG, First Gulf Bank, Nakheel, The Palm Deira, Nakheel Harbour & Tower, Dubai Airport Free Zone and Noor IslamicBank 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Two Dubai Metro stations to be renamed

Jebel Ali Industrial to become Danube Station and Khalid Bin Al Waleed to be renamed Burjuman

Dubai: Dubai transport authority, the RTA, has announced the renaming of two Metro stations.
Jebel Ali Industrial, on the red line, will be renamed as Danube Station.
Khalid Bin Al Waleed, on both the red and green lines, will be renamed Burjuman Station.


Abu Dhabi rents down by 6% as new homes arrive

Abu Dhabi rents are likely to fall further in the coming months as another wave of new housing comes on to the market.

Average rents in the capital fell by 6 per cent in the three months to September and by 16 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, according to the estate agency CBRE.
CBRE estimates rents are 63 per cent down on the market peak three years ago. And it predicts they will fall even further over the coming months as new schemes, such as World Trade Centre Residences at Central Market, Nation Towers on the Corniche and Landmark Tower are completed.
The property market is becoming increasingly fragmented, says CBRE, with some tenants negotiating their rents down by between 3 and 9 per cent during the third quarter, while other rents have remained static.
“At this point in the development cycle we see no immediate end to this trend with better quality inventory entering the market, adding pressure to ageing and/or inferior units,” said Matthew Green, the head of research and consultancy for CBRE in the Middle East.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Business Bay canal extension to begin in 2013

Dh1.5 billion project to extend canal from Shaikh Zayed Road to the Arabian Gulf marked as a ‘priority project’

Dubai: The construction of the Business Bay Canal Extension Project which will extend the canal from Shaikh Zayed Road up to the Arabian Gulf will begin in the first quarter of next year, a senior official at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, recently visited the project site to bring forward the initial steps to the realisation of the Canal extension project, which has been endorsed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
RTA will award the Dh1.5 billion project contracts before the end of 2012 to enable contractors to begin construction work as early as the first quarter of 2013.
Al Tayer ordered the project to be prioritised due to the project’s ‘peculiar nature.’
The 2.8-metre canal will pass through populous areas including Shaikh Zayed Road (before Safa Interchange), then through Safa Park, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 2, and Jumeirah Road, before terminating at the Arabian Gulf.
Its width spans from 80 to 100 metres to allow the navigation of marine transit means in the canal.
Bridges up to 8.5 metres high will be constructed over the canal on the key roads intersecting it.
This comprises a six-lane bridge in each direction of Shaikh Zayed Road and a two-lane bridge in each direction of Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Road. Marine transit stations will be constructed throughout the canal to ease movement of the public, thereby promoting marine and tourist mass transit.
Al Tayer likewise instructed the work team to conduct a comprehensive study on the traffic movement in the affected areas and to ensure that traffic will flow smoothly as soon as the project begins next year.
RTA will carry out a number of improvements on the surrounding areas such as Jumeirah and Al Safa neighbourhoods. Roads alongside the canal will be built to assist the mobility between those districts.
Designed to be another key tourist landmark in Dubai, the canal will have facilities for tourists and sports enthusiasts alike.
Tracks dedicated to practising light sports, such as jogging and cycling, will be constructed along both sides of the Canal. Greens, benches, and public relaxation areas and other facilities will not only add beauty to the canal but also give a boost to tourist-oriented projects.
Projected to be completed by early 2015, the priority project is expected to boost Dubai’s odds in its bid to become the host of the World Expo 2020.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Thousands take their free ride on Dubai Metro

Massive response to RTA’s Public Transport Day sees many use train for the first time

Dubai: People converged in droves to buses and metro as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) celebrated the thirrd annual Public Transport Day, offering unlimited free transport to Nol card holders on Thursday.


Image Credit: Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News

Apart from the free rides, commuters also enjoyed free Nol cards, bikes and iPads in various competitions and programmes, while medical and blood donation camps were also held at different locations.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people tried the metro for the first time and vowed it wouldn’t be their last trip.
Longtime Dubai resident Sanaullah, 42, is one of those who had not tried the metro before and it was clear he liked his new experience.
“I tried the metro today and I liked the idea. It is more convenient than using the car, particularly in busy areas of Bur Dubai and Deira. I live in Naif and work in Bur Dubai and I find parking difficult in both areas. I have decided I will use metro from now on,” said Sanaullah, who works for a shipping firm.
Another first timer was 25-year-old Magdi Jasem, who until Thursday thought public transport was for those who can’t afford private vehicles, but egged on by a friend he hoped onto a metro and simply loved it.
“I can’t believe I didn’t try the metro before, I kept thinking it’s not for me. I love my car but I think I will be using the metro more often now, it is cheaper and convenient,” said the marketing executive.
Apart from the first timers, there were also those who can’t have enough of the metro, one among those is Carolina Risma Lolo, who sold her car three years ago when the metro started and since than has been happily using themetro to travel around Dubai.
“I love using metro and I love it more when it is free, I think RTA should have more free days for regular users. I have been using it since the metro started and it has saved me from a lot of headache, since my job requires a lot of travelling. Now I use the time while travelling for myself,” said Lolo, who is a visual merchandiser with sports brand Nike.
And it is not just the middle income workers who love metro. A growing number of people from diverse backgrounds are getting into the fold.
Raynish Robinson is the owner of an electromechanical firm in Dubai with an expanding business, but that doesn’t stop him from travelling by metro.
“I own a car, but I prefer commuting by metro to office as well as to make field visits. It is cheaper and it is eco-friendly. I like the idea of contributing to the efforts of reducing carbon emissions. I encourage my employees to do the same,” said the Indian entrepreneur.
On Thursday, hundreds of VIPs and top government officials also took the metro to work, among whom were Sami Gargash, executive director of Mohammad Bin Rashid Housing Establishment and around 30 of his colleagues, top Dubai Police officials including Abdur Rahman Al Shaikh, top officials from Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department including Ahmad Al Muhairi and 72 other female staff members.
Officials from Dubai Economic Department, which had banned its staff from using cars on Thursday, also took metro to reach their offices.
Commenting on the response received to the Public Transport Day, Ahmad Al Hammadi, director of buses at RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said: “It was wonderful to see so many top officials and VIPs use metro along with common people. We are really touched by the fabulous response received today [Thursday]. I think if at least a fraction of the new users of public transport stick to it, than we will consider it a great success.”
RTA estimates around 800,000 people have used the metro, buses and waterbuses together on Thursday, with hundreds of new Nol cards sold.