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Boxpark transforms Al Wasl street into a classy urban locality
posted on 24/01/2015

Shop, dine, play and walk in the unique settings of containers lined up on a Dubai street in a new concept of a souq next door.
Boxpark, Dubai's latest shopping district, has transformed a 1.2km stretch of Al Wasl street into a cool urban locality.
Developed by Meraas Holding, Boxpark is a concept borrowed from several cosmopolitan cities, where 220 shipping containers are put together to form a unique architectural design with an eclectic mix of colours.
Set to open by the end of this month, the outdoor mall offers easy park and dine option with a line up of cafes and restaurants as well as great shopping experience with global brands in funky settings.
Organisers say that Boxpark will be a place to be for hangouts in the next few months, offering what people might look for in a much smaller and convenient scale than the malls can offer.
"I have been watching the development over the past year and I was wondering what is being done with all these containers. It is an interesting design and they seem to have done a good job. I am looking forward to checking out the shops as soon as they open,” said Khalid Omran, a resident of Al Wasl street, living right across the Boxpark.
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Another resident, who lives in Satwa and passes through Al Wasl street daily said he is also looking forward to checking out the new stores and cafes once they open.
"I love shopping and I hope they will have good deals at Boxpark. I walk through the area every day and it will nice to stop over every once in while and hang out a bit,” said Dany Camus from Philippines.
However, not all are convinced the concept will work in Dubai weather.
"It's a good idea and a great urban design. But outdoor concepts are never a sell-out in Dubai because of the weather, but, nevertheless it is an interesting new development,” said Hadi Mohammad, who also lives in the vicinity. – Gulf News -


Dubai Mall helps to lift Emaar Malls Group profit
posted on 22/01/2015

Emaar Malls Group, the retail unit of Emaar Properties, posted a 5 per cent increase in fourth-quarter net profit to Dh412 million last year from Dh394m, led by an increase in traffic to its flagship The Dubai Mall, the firm said.
For 2014, the Dubai-listed firm posted a 23 per cent increase in net profit to Dh1.35 billion from Dh1.1bn a year earlier. Revenue was up 13 per cent at Dh2.7bn compared with Dh2.4bn reached in 2013.
Revenue from The Dubai Mall accounted for 82 per cent of the total, which came in at Dh2.2bn, up by 12 per cent from 2013.
"The strong revenue growth recorded by Emaar Malls highlights Dubai's clear emergence as the world's premier shopping and leisure destination,” Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Malls and Emaar Properties, said in a statement.
"In addition to contributing about 5 per cent of Dubai's GDP through retail sales at The Dubai Mall, our shopping mall assets created sustained positive economic impact by attracting international retail investments, creating thousands of new jobs and supporting the city's hospitality and aviation sectors.”
Tenant sales across Emaar Malls' portfolio were more than Dh18bn last year, an increase of 14 per cent compared to 2013.
Total tenant sales in The Dubai Mall were Dh16bn last year, 14 per cent higher than the Dh14bn achieved in 2013.
Emaar Malls has a total gross leasable area (GLA) of about 6 million square feet and recorded a GLA occupancy rate of 95 per cent last year.
Emaar Malls is currently expanding The Dubai Mall's Fashion Avenue by 1 million sq. ft. to have more stores.
Emaar Malls' initial public offering last year raised Dh5.8bn by floating 15 per cent of its shares on the Dubai Financial Market. – The National -


Mohammed bin Rashid tours Box Star Project
posted on 18/01/2015

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, toured the tourist and commercial Box Star Project, located along Dubai's Al Wasl Road in Jumeirah, sprawled across 1,200 metre long stretch.
H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, accompanied Sheikh Mohammed.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director- General of the Department of Protocol and Hospitality in Dubai and Abdullah Ahmed Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas Holding also accompanied Sheikh Mohammed during the tour.
Sheikh Mohammed and his accompanying officials toured the commercial and tourist project which has a unique architecture as it uses unconventional building materials such as industrial containers, concrete and steel materials, to add a touch of modernity.
Sheikh Mohammed was briefed by Al Habbai on the design of the project's shops and yards and familiarised himself about the new building materials used in the project, which will, when opened at the end of this month, be a rare building of unique architectural importance.
Sheikh Mohammed congratulated them on this promising project, underscoring the importance of such international malls that entice families inside and outside the country by encouraging family tourism. Such initiatives need to be promoted to reflect the UAE's authentic heritage.
Box Park will be a revolutionary lifestyle destination where urban chic meets contemporary sophistication. Providing a refreshing alternative to sprawling, insular malls, the concept will feature an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes and high-end fashion outlets, intermingled with open spaces and amenities.
Following the example set in other cities such as New York, London, Paris and Christchurch, where similar temporary ‘pop-up' structures have been erected, 8x8 will be a permanent destination where all kinds of people including residents and tourists can spend a memorable and fun-filled day out. A spatial experience that is inviting, comfortable, engaging and memorable, this self-contained destination will be a place to shop, dine, relax and soak up the outdoor ambiance.
Nestled in the heart of Jumeirah, Box Park will serve as a seamless addition to the surrounding community and is set to become the new social hub of Dubai. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


‘The Beach’ new attraction for all
posted on 11/01/2015

Dubai has an endless number of places that should not be missed; whether you are a resident or a tourist. The Beach opposite JBR is one of Dubai's newest additions to the leisure and entertainment landscape, offering first time experiences of an outdoor lifestyle destination in the region.
The development has emerged as one of the city's must-visit locations by the sea and uniquely set along the coastline of Dubai Marina. It captures the essence of Dubai: charming and urbane, warm and welcoming, the destination spans over 300,000 sq. ft. and truly brings the region's community together.
The entire project is the first of its kind to offer a wide range of facilities to the residents surrounded at the Jumeirah Beach Residence while the leisure-seeking tourists and visitors don't resist the charm of its design and detail with architectural definition.
The Piazza, which stands apart as art hub in the Marina, witnesses a huge number of visitors that come to admire the architect in the presence of live performances and art installations to support the growing art appreciation in Dubai, alongside bringing traditional performers to celebrate Emirati culture and the nation's festivities.
The Beach, which consists of plentiful choices to both residents and tourists of the region offering a range of shops, Cineplex, outdoor screen, restaurants, play-areas, walkways, lawns, outdoor running track and gym equipment, benches, sunbeds and cabanas, bean bags against a canvas of the sea, sky, sand and palm trees.
For those who make their time at The Beach to enjoy some foods, the restaurants make an appeal to different tastes, offering casual dining and cafes by the shore.
The promenade hosts a variety of new international and regional concepts, with a comprehensive line of dining options, ranging from quick service restaurants to boutique-style eateries and sophisticated dining concepts. Some new outlets making their debut at the venue include La Playa, Dubai's first outdoor screen, Real Madrid Cafι, the first of its kind in the world, Eggspectation, Le Paradis du Fruit, Fruiteiro do Brasil, Eat Greek, Leopold's of London, Tike, Awani and Obica.
From fashionable boutiques to international retail outlets, The Beach offers just the right mix of stores for beachfront shopping with funky boutiques like Sauce on Sea, to a tourist's dream spot to grab their latest memory at "I Love Dubai”.
The facility provides an array of fun-filled and adventurous outdoor experiences including weekly fitness sessions, a splash pad play area specifically designed with kids in mind, and the waterpark, an inflatable playground attracting both kids and adults looking for an extraordinary water sports experience that takes fun to new heights.
Families can enjoy a stroll together after dinner or prams can be pushed in the morning with their friends on the outdoor fitness track fitted out with workout equipment - a great way to stay fit while walking on a cushioned surface. For relaxation, the lawn is perfect for a family picnic or a soak in the sun - an ideal spot to enjoy the outdoors by the sea.
However, visitors can spend a day at the beach in style at the club, where they can tan on a sunbed, have their own side table, rent a towel and receive all day access to changing rooms, toilets and internal showers. The open beachfront is also accessible to the public for regular beachgoers.
A great way to catch the latest film after a day out at The Beach is at Reel Cinemas, a 10-screen theatre hosting over 900 people and features three platinum movie suites, a platinum lounge with a dedicated kitchen, and seven standard screens.
Guests can also watch their favourite film or a sports event under the stars while seated comfortably on bean bags at La Playa Lounge, the outdoor screen - a new experience for film goers in Dubai that can host up to 1,000 people.
While everything is set to attract the visitors, the ample car park space is also a huge attraction for many.
The visitors can enjoy the 3-hour complementary parking upon spending Dhs75 at any outlet at the destination or while watching a movie at Reel Cinemas. – The Gulf Today -


Yas Mall rises to become leading retail destination in the region
posted on 07/01/2015

Since opening its doors in November 2014, Yas Mall, Aldar's flagship retail development, has been making waves, bringing a brand new shopping, dining and entertainment experience to the region.
Within close proximity of the airport and seven luxury hotels, Yas Mall has fast establishing itself as one of the most popular malls in the region, serving as an exciting leisure break destination for tourists from all over the GCC. Its vibrant, first-of-a-kind offering allows all ages and interests to be where it's all happening, adding to the existing iconic attractions on Yas Island, including Ferrari World, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Links and Yas Waterworld.
In just over one month, the mall has welcomed an array of visitors over the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, followed by landmark celebrations such as the UAE's 43rd National Day. It is now firmly positioned as an integral part of the capital's tourist map, representative of the intrinsic role shopping and leisure plays in the UAE's vibrant lifestyle. Yas Mall hopes to attract over 20 million visitors in its first full year of operating.
Talal Al Dhiyebi, Executive Director of Asset Management at Aldar, commented, "It is with immense pride that we see Yas Mall operating successfully today, transforming the Abu Dhabi retail landscape and putting the capital firmly on the international retail map. Retail remains an important growth sector in the UAE and particularly Abu Dhabi. Yas Mall answers the demand for better designed malls offering a distinctive lifestyle experience beyond shopping.
Yas Mall offers a spacious design filled with natural light, an abundance of open spaces and an easy to navigate layout. It is a mall of firsts, offering the UAE's first Lego Store, and the first 4Dx Vox Cinemas, Geant Hypermarket and Cheese Cake Factory in Abu Dhabi. It also houses the largest Debenhams department store outside of the UK.
Visitors can spend a day exploring 370 of the most desirable retail, F&B brands and entertainment offerings, the majority of which are open, or will open in early 2015, all within easy reach of the Capital and the Abu Dhabi International Airport. Highlights include Zara, Nike, Adidas, Fun Works, Hamleys, Go Sport, Jamba Juice and Angelina Cafe.
Families especially enjoy the mall's family friendly approach, including a two-storey wide FunWorks with a focus on educational play, a Build-A-Bear Workshop and even a children's cinema and play area that can be rented for private parties. A regular programme of vibrant, interactive events will ensure that each visit is as unique as the last. When it comes to dining, there is an endless selection to choose from, including Abu Dhabi's first Cheese Cake Factory, P.F. Chang's, Rogo's Rollercoaster Restaurant, Carluccio's Restaurant, Angelina, and Pie Face. For relaxation, visitors can catch the latest blockbuster at the 20 screen VOX Cinemas which will boast Abu Dhabi's biggest MAX screen at 24.5 metres wide, or visit Ferrari World that is directly connected to the mall.
Yas Mall has already attracted a loyal social media following, boasting a combined total of more than 150,000 fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Abras prove a hit with Global Village visitors
posted on 27/12/2014

Blue Abras (tourist abras powered by electricity) have once again been hugely embraced by Global Village visitors for the six year running; a practice that has had a substantial contribution to the revival of this traditional transit mode characterized by fun & entertainment. This high footfall recorded by Blue Abras is reflected on the healthy number of riders of this mode which has exceeded 15,000 riders since November last.
Emirates 24/7 quoted Dr. Yousef Al Ali, CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency as saying: "We are very keen on taking part in the events of the Global Village for several months each year as part of our vision to have an indelible impact on this annual showpiece. This has reflected on our ability to attract huge numbers of the public, be it residents or visitors of the UAE, by operating traditional abras to beef-up our marine transport fleet, considering them part & parcel of our mobility options, particularly noting that abras have the privilege of being the first transit mode in Dubai linking the two shores of the Dubai Creek i.e. Deira and Bur Dubai." "Deploying traditional abras as an entertainment transit means at the Global Village is a key step through which the RTA is seeking to invite the attention of various community segments of different ages to this transit means in a bid to promote the tourist movement in Dubai, and also showcase the pioneering efforts of the RTA in undertaking a variety of inland and marine transit projects," explained Al Ali.
"The deployment of traditional abras at the Global Village also echoes the close coordination & cooperation between various entities in Dubai as the management of the Global Village has a significant contribution to the success of the project by allocating the appropriate place & line for up to 5 abras. The tourist journey passes through the lake across a host of villages overlooking the water canal; offering much enjoyment to abra riders who can have a panoramic view of key landmarks of the Village. The considerable interest of the public in these abras every season is quite evident as the number of abra riders at the Global Village last year (the fifth year of the service) clocked 121,074 riders.
"Traditional abras at the Global Village are powered by electricity in order to ensure a pollution-free environment. Abras are operated daily from 4 pm up to 12 am (midnight) and the tourist journey takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Each abra has a capacity to accommodate six riders and the fare is fixed as 50 dirham," said the CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency in a final remark. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Blue Flag raised on Al Bateen beach for the fifth time
posted on 24/12/2014

The Blue Flag has been raised for the fifth time on a beach in the Capital — and this time, the ladies beach at Al Bateen.
A programme by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the Blue Flag is awarded to beaches and marinas that met the strict criteria of water quality, environmental management, and environmental education and safety.
Since it started in 1987, the Blue Flag has been raised on more than 4,000 beaches and marinas in 48 countries.
The Abu Dhabi Corniche was awarded the Blue Flag in 2011, the first to be given in the Arabian Gulf region, according to Abdulla Al Junaibi, community service director at the Abu Dhabi City Municipality.
The Capital currently has five Blue Flags on its public beaches — three in the 3.2km stretch of the Corniche beach (Phase 1, 2 and the Hiltonia Lagoon), the 800-metre Al Bateen public beach and the 230-metre ladies beach at Al Bateen. "One of our main strategic goal is to improve (and adopt) the best services in our social facilities according to international and best standards… focusing on the environment, health and safety,” said Al Junaibi.
As part of the Blue Flag requirements, the Abu Dhabi beaches have 24-hour security, lifeguards, first aid clinics, washrooms and changing rooms. Safety buoys are also placed to be reached within 15 seconds by the lifeguard on duty. And to make the visit to the beach special needs-friendly, two wheelchairs are allocated at Al Bateen and two at the Corniche.
Water quality is also being monitored and tested on a monthly basis for three types of bacteria and findings are posted on the beach information board with a smiley if faecal coliforms are below 250 and faecal streptococci are below 100. If the bacterial count exceeds the acceptable quantity, the Blue Flag is lowered till the problem is resolved and water quality is once again established. From January to November this year, there were around 2.5 million visitors to all beaches managed by the municipality in the Capital. Of these, about 30,000 visit the open and paid areas on a monthly basis and around 15,000 come to the ladies beach. – Khaleej Times -§ion=government


Nakheel rounds up retailers as Circle Mall bookings pass 30 per cent
posted on 23/12/2014

Almost a third of shop space at Nakheel's new Circle Mall at Jumeirah Village in Dubai has been booked less than two weeks after its launch, developer Nakheel confirmed yesterday.
Around 130,000 square feet at the new retail and leisure destination is accounted for, with upscale British supermarket chain Waitrose confirmed as the anchor store. The multi-screen cinema and most of the casual dining and food court space is also already taken.
Circle Mall will have 200 shops, an anchor supermarket, two department stores, a cinema and a variety of dining outlets. It is one of several projects in Nakheel's growing retail portfolio, which includes malls at Deira Islands, Palm Jumeirah and Jumeirah Village Triangle, souks at Deira Islands and Warsan Village, a retail complex at Palm Jumeirah's Golden Mile and neighbourhood centres at Nakheel communities across Dubai.
Ali Rashid Lootah, Chairman of Nakheel, said, "Retail expansion will continue to be a focus for Nakheel in 2015 and beyond. We are targeting 10 million sq. ft. of leasable space through a diverse range of new projects from large-scale malls and souk-style complexes that will attract residents and tourists from far and wide, to local centres that serve the immediate needs of people living in our communities.
"The reaction to Circle Mall, and to other recently-launched Nakheel projects proves that retailers – be they global household brand names or individual entrepreneurs are hungry for new space where they can expand their business and capitalise on Dubai's growth." Located between Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, Al Khail Road and Hessa Street, the Circle Mall will serve hundreds of thousands of people living in and around Jumeirah Village, and provide a new leisure destination for residents and tourists across the rest of Dubai. Construction is expected to begin in Q1 2015.
Nakheel yesterday announced a second extension to Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai, adding another 640,000 sq. ft. of shop space and a multi-storey car park to the complex. The developer also confirmed plans to release a tender for the construction of Deira Islands Mall in January 2015. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Nakheel all set to ramp up at Deira Islands
posted on 22/12/2014

In what will be a substantial boost for the local construction sector early in the new year, Nakheel confirmed tenders will be called for the Dh1.7 billion plus (excluding the land cost) Deira Islands Mall — with a gross leasable area of 2.85 million square feet — by late January. The mall project will also encompass two hotels offering a combined 600 keys and properties with 300 serviced apartments.
The Mall itself is looking at a three-year project, as the developer scales up its retail and residential leasing portfolio. It will also see four residential towers being built by Nakheel, which will go into its leasing portfolio, which is an income stream that the developer has been focusing heavily on.
Another major tender — potentially around Dh500 million — will be for adding 640,000 square feet of leasable area at Ibn Battuta Mall. In the medium-term, Nakheel's target is to have a retail leasing portfolio of 10 million square feet.
"For 2015, we are planning on awarding project tenders totalling Dh7 billion on top of the Dh5.3 billion awarded this year (lower than the Dh6 billion that had been projected earlier),” said Ali Rashid Lootah, Nakheel's Chairman. "We do not see an impact on Dubai from the oil price situation … the property market too will be insulated as in any uncertainly investors will look to staying committed to real estate.”
Confirmation of the mall, hotels and residential high-rises comes on top of a sizeable investor platform Deira Islands has already attracted. The 90 plots that were put up for sale to sub-developers earlier this year for waterside hotels have been acquired, Lootah said. Demand was also high for the small outlets that will make up the Night Market there.
Nakheel will, at the same time, develop a resort project on Deira Islands in "partnership with a global name”, Lootah added. "There's very limited new build happening in Deira and that means extremely high lease rates on apartments and offices. With Deira Islands, substantial new capacities are being created — once major infrastructure works are ready, we will focus on the freehold component there and when we can get better pricing.”
Another sizeable exposure will take the form of 80 high-rises — offering a combined 4,000 units — in the Port Jebel Ali area. Another focus of the project will be the Waterfront, where it intends to fast-track the needed infrastructure works for the sub-developers to come in and do their bit.
At Nad Al Sheba, there will be 1,500 villas that Nakheel is building. It will also be opening the retail and F&B components at the Golden Mile on Palm in the first quarter, with the British supermarket operator Waitrose confirmed as an anchor tenant.
Asked if it might be time to consider tapping a loan to part-fund upcoming projects, Lootah said: "So far, we have enough of own funds to cover requirements. But if we were to approach the banks to borrow, they won't be saying ‘no!'.” – Gulf News -


Global Village bridging people: Sheikh Mohammed
posted on 21/12/2014

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday paid an inspection visit to the Global Village, the leading family entertainment and cultural attraction in Dubai.
During his tour, Sheikh Mohammed visited the pavilions of a number of countries to learn about their folklores and cultural heritage through the exhibited traditional products and art shows.
Sheikh Mohammed, who exchanged greeting with exhibitors and visitors during his tour, expressed his delight over this annual global cultural event launched by Department of Economic Development (DED) in 1997.
He stressed that "such cultural and popular festivals play a great role in building bridges between the people of the UAE and the peoples of the world away from formalities and protocol.
He also hailed the efforts of the organisers of the event which has become a popular destination for Emiratis, expatriates and citizens of other countries in the region.
Some 40,000 visitors throng the Global Village every day to enjoy a host of products and live art shows from across the globe.
Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director-General of the Protocol Department and Hospitality in Dubai, and Mohammed Al Mulla, Director of the Global Village, accompanied Sheikh Mohammed during his tour. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -§ion=nationgeneral


Global village: Around the world in a day
posted on 20/12/2014

Once a ticket has been purchased to enter the cultural wonderland; senses are heightened as they are put to the test.
With the winter breeze brushing against one's skin as the stroll around Global village begins, a noticeable increase in greenery and open space allow greater masses of people to fit in one place without feeling crowded.
Synergy of the distant sound of the rippling water from the gondolas, African drums pounding the chest, the voice of stall vendors inviting people into pavilions, chatters in different languages and Arianna Grande's music blasted near the rides in Fantasy Island allows these, otherwise known as noise, different sounds to serve as the atmospheric soundtrack of the place known as the ambience.
Though one's eyes are overwhelmed with the lights beaming from the pavilions, rich aroma of spices from available cuisines invade the lungs inviting visitors in to try the different savoury dishes.
The mist from the dancing fountain, splashing away to the Pirates of the Caribbean song, rests on one's arms and face while walking from one pavilion to another. The sound of giggly children's footsteps fill the place as they rush to their parents by crossing the bridge that connects the Fantasy Island theme park area with the food court area.
Given that Global Village brings together an array of pavilions from around the world in one location, visitors have native products available for them at the tips of their fingers.
Walking into the Indian pavilion, colors shine on every corner with artistically beaded shoes, soft cashmere scarves with intricate stitching and uniquely patterned native attire.
As for the Afghanistan pavilion, one cannot help but notice the sweet scents conquering the open space. Known for its honey, the pavilion offers visitors a quick taste of Afghani honey, also known as their signature product.
"A lot of people, both local and international, come to our pavilion to taste our honey and then they buy it,” said Mohammad Ashraf, a stall vendor in the Afghanistan pavilion. "They come for it because we get the honey from small bees in the mountain areas.”
However, Ashraf adds that although honey seems to be the key selling product, Afghanistan is also well known for its dried fruits. Another pavilion in Global Village well known for its honey would be the Yemeni pavilion with a wider variety available in stalls.
Egypt, the pavilion that won the Best Pavilion title last year, has a man standing at the entrance in a pharaoh costume to welcome the people entering. While the Indian pavilion proudly displays its cashmere variety, the Egyptian pavilion has a wide consumer base in terms of its cotton goods.
Upon entering, 100 per cent cotton made pajamas and clothing are showcased making them their best seller.
Mohammad El Sayed "There are products that aren't provided all year long anywhere except during the period of time in which Global Village takes place,” said Mohammad El Sayed, stall vendor in the Egyptian Pavilion. "Our products such as our 100% cotton clothing and Egyptian nuts are widely popular especially among the local people of the country.”
Nerien Rophail, a Canadian pharmacist currently living in Dubai, expressed her fondness of Global Village in an educational sense. Rophail, who has traveled to several countries in the past, explains that visiting the different pavilions resembles traveling to the different countries.
With a facility such as Global Village available to the public, she was able to discover more about the countries she has visited and the ones she aspires to visit someday.
"For instance, I had no idea that Afghanistan was famous for their honey, carpets, jacket and dried fruits,” she explained. "And that's why by watching native performances, tasting the food they have to offer and interacting with the natives in the pavilion teaches you about the culture of the place.”
Visiting Global Village allows visitors, like Nerien, to travel the world in one night. It allows people to move from one country to another a, couple of steps apart, saving the price of a plane ticket. – Gulf News Agency, WAM -


Night Souq to transform Deira into tourist magnet
posted on 14/12/2014

Hot on the heels of the full leasing of Nakheel's new Night Souq at Deira Islands, the developer has issued a tender for the construction works, a spokesperson said.
The Night Souq at Deira Islands – home to 5,300 shops and nearly 100 restaurants – was fully leased last month, with hundreds of local businesspersons making a dash for units at the new attraction.
The project will stretch almost 2km along Deira Island's waterfront, offering visitors quayside cafes and restaurants.
Nakheel describes it as a modern twist on the souq, a traditional Arabic marketplace. The Night Souq will join a list of attractions on Deira Islands, a development coming up near the Dubai shoreline.
Food and beverage outlets will be located to the front of the island, with the back portion taken up by a host of retailers. It will be easily accessible by road via bridges and by water, and be within walking distance of hotels, residences and the Deira Islands Mall, Nakheel's other major retail project at the islands.
A Nakheel official had earlier said the Night Souq will transform the Deira district into a hub for tourism, retail and entertainment. Deira is the original trading heart of the city, where buyers and sellers from all over the world converge for business.
Deira Islands is a four-island waterfront city master planned by Nakheel that will add 40 km, including 21 km of beachfront, to Dubai's coastline and pave the way for the development of hundreds of new hotels, serviced apartments, mixed-use buildings and residential waterside projects.
Nakheel itself is developing a significant amount of the 4.5 million-square-metre south island – home of the Night Souq – by creating a unique creekside destination, easily accessible from the mainland by bridges and by water via abras. Attractions will include Deira Islands Mall, a 250-room hotel; an amphitheatre for 30,000 people; and a marina that can accommodate large yachts.
All four islands will feature hotels, resorts and residential, commercial and retail units. Nakheel will master plan and complete infrastructure work ready for third party development on each island. The developer also plans to build five hotels of its own at Deira Islands. – Gulf News -


Traditional hospitality at UAE's Global Village pavilion
posted on 21/11/2014

The traditional look and feel of the UAE pavilion is a fantastic experience for visitors. The pavilion gives off the impression of being a traditional souk. The design of the sandy coloured facade supports this, and as visitors enter the pavilion the fragrance of the burning bakhoor and oud immediately awaken the senses.
The Al Dhanai store is a regular fixture of the UAE pavilion with Ali Al Dhanai, the owner, bringing his products back to Global Village for the 9th time. While the store is popular for its local honey, bees wax, and honeycomb, the real pull for many visitors is the experience of traditional and renowned Emirati hospitality that they receive at the stall.
The honey is all locally produced in Dibba Fujairah, giving the honey a distinct flavour as it is mainly produced from the flowers on two trees -- sidr and samar. The two trees are said to make very distinctly flavoured honey that is popular amongst tourists and locals.
Every year guests are welcomed and offered traditional Arabic coffee and lulu dates, to reflect the hospitality and generosity of the UAE people. Mohammed Rashid Al Hafiti who works in the store, even offers guests a seat in the store, as Emiratis would to a weary traveller. Some of the tastiest dates that are on offer in Global Village can be found at this stall, with a special mixture of coconut shavings sprinkled on the date.
Mohammed also sells other items, especially locally produced products that have traditional value, namely the Shemagh -- a traditional Emirati head dress -- and the traditional kandura for men. The culturally significant and ever popular yollah, the plastic prop that is regularly used in the traditional Yollah dance, is also on sale, as well as the walking sticks that are used in Emirati dances.
Visitors can expect a true taste of Emirati culture at the UAE pavilion and this will allow tourists, local residents, and Emiratis to see that the hospitable nature of the UAE is still widely sought and highly regarded. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationgeneral


Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan opens Yas Mall
posted on 20/11/2014

H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser and Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, yesterday inaugurated Yas Mall, the largest and latest shopping and entertainment destination on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior , H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Executive Council Member, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, a number of Sheikhs and members of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and senior officials.
The ceremony, which took place in the Town Square, commenced with the arrival of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, accompanied by the UAE national anthem. This was followed by a performance dedicated to the vision of the UAE leadership.
The programme also included an interactive video highlighting Yas Island's present and future. The last performance celebrated the launch of Yas Mall and showcased an extraordinary art installation of six falcons made from steel representing a symbol of force, courage, grace and pride.
The inauguration ceremony included a tour by H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed around Yas Mall's different sections and facilities. Spanning three floors, Yas Mall includes more than 370 stores, 60 of which are international restaurants, along with 83 unique-concept stores, which further enhance the Mall's retail offer of local and international brands.
The 2.5 million sq. ft. mall, which was developed by Aldar Properties, provides visitors with an exciting range of leading local, regional and international retail brands and entertainment attractions, serviced by nearly 10,000 covered parking spaces.
Yas Mall will open to the public for the first time on Wednesday, 19th November, a few days ahead of the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Located on Yas Island, Yas Mall offers a shopping destination for both tourists and residents supported by its easy access from the centre of Abu Dhabi. Yas Mall's proximity to other exciting attractions such as Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Links, Yas Park and Yas Water World as well as its direct link to Ferrari World, adds further value to the leisure and entertainment offer on Yas Island.
Yas Mall includes 20 VOX screens which bring even more excitement to Abu Dhabi, with the Emirate's first 4Dx technology, as well as a family entertainment zone by Fun Works, with the region's first 60,000 sq. ft. area dedicated to playful learning.
Yas Mall was designed to achieve a Two Pearl Estidama rating, Abu Dhabi's sustainable framework for design, construction and operation. It integrates a series of green strategies that make it a forerunner in the next generation of development in the Middle East. Some of these strategies include the use of regionally sourced and durable materials including modular limestone flooring and wall cladding and the use of shading strategies such as vertical glazing that is protected from direct sun via deep insets, canopies and a brise-soleil system, as well as improved outdoor thermal comfort through landscaping and shading devised over exterior parking and primary pedestrian pathways.
Estidama, which means sustainability in Arabic, is Abu Dhabi's own green building guideline. All buildings in Abu Dhabi must meet a minimum of 1 Pearl; Yas Mall is a 2 Pearl Estidama Building. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Nakheel launches 5,000 shops at Deira Islands Night Souk in Dubai
posted on 03/11/2014

Nakheel says local entrepreneurs are queuing to be part of its ambitious plan for a night market in Dubai – with one family even booking space for three dozen shops.
The developer said yesterday that leasing had begun for retailers and restaurants at its Night Souq, which is to have 5,000 shops spread along 1.9 kilometres of waterfront on its Deira Islands development.
The 15.3 square km development is to open in the middle of 2017 and is to feature 96 quayside cafes and restaurants.
"It will promote local business and entrepreneurship, serve hundreds of thousands of residents living on and around Deira Islands and act as a major attraction for Dubai's growing number of annual tourists,” said Ali Rashid Lootah, the chairman of Nakheel.
Interest in the Night Souq, particularly from the Emirati population, has been very high according to the Dubai property developer, with the average 170 sq metre shop costing Dh55,000 per year to lease.
"Deira is the original trading hub of the city, where buyers and sellers from all over the world converge to do business. Nakheel's Night Souq will serve to extend these traditional commercial activities by significantly boosting trading opportunities in the area known as Old Dubai,” said Mr Lootah.
In recent years, night markets have become a draw in tourist markets from Marrakech to Melbourne and Laos to Los Angeles. The largest night market in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, for example, has more than 200 stalls selling foods such as tan shui (fish balls) and oyster omelettes.
For the Deira Islands version, Nakheel is allowing a maximum of six shops per person. Interest from young Emirati entrepreneurs has been high, according to a company spokesperson, who said that one local family had already snapped up 36 shops. Nakheel is keen to attract more independent brands to the Night Souq rather than the international brands readily available at the malls.
"The retail industry is obviously booming and there is very strong demand for the food and beverage sector,” said Matthew Green, the head of research and consultancy at CBRE. "There is a very large visitor tourism population and visits to Dubai are growing at 10 per cent a year, so there is a strong demand for retail and new destinations.”
Comprising four linked islands, Deira Islands is a 4.5 million sq metre project that is being partly developed by Nakheel. All four islands will feature hotels, resorts and residential, commercial and retail units.
Attractions will include the Deira Islands Mall, a 250-room hotel, an amphitheatre for 30,000 people and a marina. More than 280,000 people are expected to eventually live there, and the projected number of new hotel rooms is 50,000.
Nakheel will master-plan and complete infrastructure work ready for third-party development on each island. The developer also plans to build five hotels of its own at Deira Islands.
In June, it awarded a contract worth nearly Dh40m to RSP Architects, Planners & Engineers to act as the design and supervision consultant to the Deira Islands Mall, which will comprise 200,000 sq feet of leasable space.
The islands are to have nine new beaches and the developer also started selling 94 plots of land for hotels and hotel resorts earlier this year.
Nakheel reported a 47 per cent surge in profit in the third quarter of this year to Dh2.6bn compared with the same period a year ago. – The National -


Pottery Barn and Cheesecake Factory among 42 brands revealed for Yas Mall
posted on 03/11/2014

Yas Mall's landscape became a little bit clearer after one of the region's biggest retailers, Alshaya Group, yesterday announced the 42 stand-alone brands it would bring to the capital's newest mall.
The group said its investment would create 2,000 jobs, mainly sales assistants and would represent Alshaya's single biggest opening on one day, it said, but declined to give the exact day. The 235,00 square-metre mall will open before the Formula 1 weekend on November 21st.
The mall will feature 400 shops from 370 brands, said Talal Al Dhiyebi, the executive director of asset management at Aldar Properties, the operator.
Industry sources said that Alshaya, which operates 2,600 stores across the Middle East and North Africa, Russia, Turkey and Europe, has up to 15 more brands within Yas Mall's department stores. Out of the 42 outlets the retailer listed yesterday, Pottery Barn Teen and Icing are the first in the country. The fashion brands Muji, West Elm, Jo Malone and River Island will be the capital's first stores.
F&B outlets such as Texas Roadhouse and The Cheesecake Factory will also operate in Abu Dhabi for the first time.
The mall is expecting 20 million visitors in its first year, bringing in more than 50,000 people a day, and Aldar is banking on a 15 per cent to 20 per cent annual increase in retail sales across the U.A.E. to sustain business.
"There is a lot of resident population around us with massive communities,” said Mr Al Dhiyebi.
"At Al Raha Beach Aldar has over 3,000 residential units that are over 97 per cent occupied. In Khalifa City we have again 4,000 to 5,000 residential units, which are again nearly totally occupied. These residential communities will be supporting us significantly through the week. Our tourist numbers are growing and we are part of the 2030 vision. ”
Attractions will include a 20-screen Vox cinema, the region's largest department store at 200,000 square feet, an "edutainment” concept store, direct access to the Ferrari World theme park and the country's first Lego concept store.
For the second quarter of this year Aldar reported net profit of Dh506m, driven by unit handovers and a 45 per cent growth in recurring revenues across its property portfolio, including a faster-than-expected lease-up at its Al Rayyana development. – The National -


First Macy’s outside the US to open in Abu Dhabi
posted on 28/10/2014

The Al Tayer Group will open the region's first Macy's and second Bloomingdale's store at Abu Dhabi's Al Maryah Central.
It will be the first Macy's department store outside the US.
This follows an agreement signed with Gulf Related, the developer of Al Maryah Central located on Al Maryah Island.
The stores are to open in 2018, and each will be spread over four levels.
Macy's will take up 205,000 square feet, while Bloomingdale's will have 230,000 square feet. The first Bloomingdale's in the region is at Dubai Mall.
Al Maryah Central will directly connect to the recently opened upscale destination, The Galleria.
The Al Tayer Group will operate more than 20 outlets at the location, bringing its total anchoring commitment to 520,000 square feet plus. – Gulf News -


Abu Dhabi’s biggest mall eyes Dubai, GCC patrons
posted on 25/10/2014

The biggest mall in Abu Dhabi is set to open next month just before the Formula 1 event.
Connected to the world's largest indoor theme park Ferrari World, Yas Mall completes the Yas Island proposition, which already boasts of the world's best-known attractions such as Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Waterworld and Yas Links, along with a large choice of hotels.
Giving a tour to reporters, Talal Al Dhiyebi, executive director of asset management at Aldar, said: "The construction is complete and the building is handed over...right now tenants are preparing their stores, shop fronts and training their staff before a formal opening.”
He said the biggest mall that offers 2.5 million sq.ft. of leasable area would not only attract shoppers from Abu Dhabi, but from Dubai, the GCC and beyond.
"We're planning a lot of marketing activities to attract shoppers. We will launch promotions and package selling as well for the destination Yas,” Al Dhiyebi said.
Bathed in natural light, the wide and spacious avenues of Yas Mall will host over 370 of the most desirable retail, food-and-beverage brands and entertainment offerings, all within easy reach of the capital and only 45 minutes from Dubai.
The mall's design is integral to the visitor experience, with a strong sense of height, light and space.
Yas Mall aims to bring many distinctive brands under one roof. All the stores are being encouraged to launch outlets, which are unique in design or offering. Chalhoub Group, known for managing retail outlets and building brands, is creating its first own brand department store.
The mall will also house the largest Debenhams outside of the UK in which shoppers will have access to a personal stylist.
Yas Mall will house the first Hamley's, Hollister, Brook's Brothers in Abu Dhabi, and first Lego Store, standalone Under Armour store, two-level Go Sports store and Joe Fresh in U.A.E. and the first Geant Hypermarket in Abu Dhabi.
At the heart of the facility is the largest enclosed gathering space where a huge class roof allows ample sunshine to naturally-lit spaces surrounded by greenery and water features.
The 20 screen Vox Cinemas will boast the biggest MAX screen in Abu Dhabi at 24.5 metres wide. Along with three Gold Cinemas, its 4DX technology will engage all five senses and make audiences feel as if they are part of the feature.
There will be over 60 food-and-beverage outlets, including outdoor dining on Cascade Walk and cafes spilling out onto Town Square.
Yas Mall is a place for families to spend time together and caters to children of all ages. Offerings include the first FunWorks in the U.A.E., the region's largest adventure play system, with a 60,000 sq. ft. area dedicated to playful learning and edutainment with activities ranging from science and arts to theatre and construction. – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Over 5 million guests to enjoy Wi-Fi U.A.E., networked by du, at Global Village
posted on 16/10/2014

du has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Global Village, to provide Wi-Fi services across 14,000 square metres of the entertainment and retail destination. The MoU was signed during GITEX Technology Week 2014, on the sidelines of the telecom operator being chosen as the Official Wi-Fi Provider of Dubai Smart City.
Through the agreement, du will be the official Wi-Fi provider for Global Village throughout its operating season, from 6 November 2014-11 April 2015. Wi-Fi U.A.E., networked by du, will cover 31 pavilions, 25 restaurants, and more than 150 kiosks, serving upwards of 5 million visitors over 157 days.
Fahad al Hassawi, Chief Commercial Officer, du, said: "Connectivity, anywhere, any way we want it, is the future of Dubai. Mobility is what will fuel our progression into becoming a truly Smart City. As the Smart City Official Wi-Fi Provider in Dubai, we are empowering our community with the ability to access their world from wherever they want and however they want, quickly and conveniently." du's end-to-end, fully managed Wi-Fi solutions will empower Dubai residents and visitors through seamless connectivity, du's end-to-end, fully managed Wi-Fi solutions will empower Global Village visitors and employees through seamless connectivity, with one login and one portal, at all these locations.
To enjoy Wi-Fi U.A.E., networked by du, customers can connect when the service is available from their Wi-Fi -enabled device and choose from three usage options: free high speed for government services, complimentary basic service, or premium high speed service. Full details of each option will be available through a landing page that is automatically opened upon connection.
Ahmad Hussain Bin Essa, COO, Global Village, said: "The initiative of du to provide Wi-Fi at Global Village will enhance the customer service experience for over 5 million guests, as well as exhibitors and investors. The Wi-Fi offering will be accompanied by the launch of our brand new website and mobile application, as well as self-purchasing ticket kiosks at the main gates; all of which are in tandem with the Smart City vision of Dubai. The app will benefit the customer directly as it will provide smart solutions at Global Village including a real-time location map, car park pinning in order to locate ones car easily, live feeds of cultural shows, and much more. We look forward to the broadband facilities being provided by du to complement the Global Village experience for its customers." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Soaring sculptures of flora and falcons to be displayed at soon-to-open Yas Mall
posted on 15/10/2014

The artist behind the monument that honours the former South African president Nelson Mandela at the site in South Africa where he was arrested in 1962 is making his mark on Abu Dhabi.
Marco Cianfanelli of Johannesburg is in the final stages of installing three sculptures he designed in the capital's newest retail giant – the 2.5 million-square-foot Yas Mall on Yas Island, due to open next month.
Release, the famous sculpture in South Africa, depicts Mandela through 50 contoured steel columns. The Yas Mall sculpture – commissioned by Aldar Properties and as yet unnamed – has been created in a similar fashion.
When the mall opens, the first thing visitors will see at the main entrance is a giant sculpture of six falcons made of 132 painted steel columns standing 18 metres tall on an undulating base that is 50 metres in length.
"The landscape at the base represents dunes,” explains Cianfanelli. "The columns are arranged almost like the patterns the wind makes in the sand that creates the vertical form. The idea is that, as you move around the sculpture, starting when you drive into the mall and when you are inside, you see different falcons from different angles.
"The multiple views and the scale is what makes this sculpture exciting for me,” continues the artist. "From any position, you will see one falcon and the others will break apart, becoming an expression of rhythm, movement or flight. I enjoy these sculptures not just at that precise moment when the image becomes clear, but also when it is losing its clarity.”
The artist began work on the project last summer in collaboration with Jeremy Rose, the same architect he worked with on the Mandela project and other key monuments in South Africa.
The pair first visited the site in Abu Dhabi in June and worked on the initial design stages until September. The production process began in January in South Africa. In May, the 140 tonnes of steel that make up the sculptures were ready for shipping to the U.A.E.. Installation began last month.
"We have never done a sculpture on this scale, where so many things happen from so many angles. I am pleased to say it is coming together really nicely,” says Cianfanelli.
As well as the huge landmark that sits at the entrance, mall visitors – expected to number as many as 20 million per year – will also see two more of Cianfanelli's works inside.
Situated in the East and West Cultural Courts, the 12-metre-tall steel trees are based on the idea of the local ghaf tree, but are more stylised and, instead of leaves, they have parts of the Arabic alphabet carved into the branches.
"The idea for the trees evolved over time,” he says. "They look a bit like rugged trees of the desert and the leaves are not representative of words – rather, the beginnings of language. The two trees are different, but are variations of each other.”
Heavily inspired by the local environment and wanting to design something that appealed to the many different nationalities who live and work in the U.A.E., Cianfanelli says that the most important aspect for him is that he leaves behind a piece of art that has a strong relationship with its environment.
"The falcons are a wonderful way to represent the local identity in a way that is uplifting,” he says. "I hope people also find the work inspiring and beautiful.”
• The sculptures will be unveiled at the inauguration of Yas Mall in November. Visit – The National -


Retailers post footfall and sales rise on Eid festivities
posted on 06/10/2014

With the ‘Eid in Dubai – Eid Al Adha' celebrations in full swing, shoppers have been eagerly picking up the amazing offers and discounts on offer across the fashion, electronic, luxury and jewellery retail sectors.
Retailers have also been benefiting from the extended duration of the ‘Eid in Dubai' celebrations that is organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, or DFRE, an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) with an influx of more visitors this season. ‘Eid in Dubai' was launched on September 25 and will conclude on October 11.
The sectors that have seen the biggest growth include electronics, jewellery, watches and fashion — with electronics receiving a boost from Gitex Shopper — which coincides with the celebrations. Nadeem Khanzadah, head, OmniChannel Retail, Jumbo Electronics, said: "The ‘Eid in Dubai – Eid Al Adha' celebrations is a fantastic initiative by DFRE, and at Jumbo Electronics we have seen overall sales jump by more than 25 per cent over last year already during the Eid period, which also coincided with Gitex Shopper. In addition to U.A.E. residents shopping in huge numbers, the celebration this year has also encouraged GCC tourists to spend more time in the city and we have seen this reflected in the increased customer traffic into our stores and the corresponding surge in our sales numbers.
"The best numbers have come in the smartphones category, fuelled by the new launches of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the Sony Xperia Z3, and new brands such as Obi Mobiles, Oppo and Xolo, which target young and trendy consumers with feature-rich devices at aggressive price points. The smartphone category has grown 40 per cent over the same Eid and Gitex period last year.”
Commenting on the impact made by ‘Eid in Dubai' on the luxury retail segment, Abraham Koshy, COO – Watch Division, Rivoli Group, said: "As a leading luxury lifestyle retailer, the Rivoli Group has continued to trade well during the festive period and we anticipate achieving record business for Eid. During the gifting season people tend to shop for luxury watches and accessories amongst other things.
"DFRE has created a successful model event with ‘Eid in Dubai', and extending the length of this year's celebrations has worked as a catalyst to maximise our sales. This season we have achieved double digit growth rate over last year and believe it is due to the prolonged activities being offered during this ‘Eid in Dubai'”
With jewellery sales especially high during the gifting season of Eid, Chandu Siroya, managing director, Siroya Jewellers, said: "Eid is a special time for all to buy gifts for both family and friends and what better gift than a piece of jewellery. Generally, sales of jewellery during the week of Eid Al Adha are very good. This year gold prices are also very favourable to the customers, and this is encouraging them to invest more in jewellery gifting. Sales during this year are about 10 to 15 per cent higher than last year during the same period. I find that all types of jewellery are in good demand but the sale of bangles is at its highest this year.”
Raed Baker, chairman of Liali Jewellery, added: "We are very upbeat about Eid and expect at least 20 per cent sales growth as we are located in all major shopping malls from residents and GCC tourists and have also increased our advertising spend around this period to achieve the same. With gold prices being so low, this is an opportunity not to be missed! For diamond lovers, we have introduced new pieces in three of our collections that are very affordable.” – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Global Village gears up for November 6 opening
posted on 02/10/2014

The management of Global Village is finalising details for its November 6 opening, including beefing up safety and security and adding new attractions to the theme park.
Senior management at Global Village recently briefed senior government officials in the emirate on the broad range of new developments and initiatives that are set to entice visitors to the largest outdoor family entertainment attraction in November.
Now in its 19th season, the management met representatives from Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the Roads and Transport Authority, and the Department of Economic Development to update them on the progress of the park's latest developments.
They promised a "bigger and better than ever” season this year that will run until April 11, 2015.
Brigadier General Abdullah Ali Abdullah Hassan Gaithi, Director of the General Administration of Security Bodies, Enterprises, and Emergency – Head of Events Security Committee, lauded the new developments that aim to enhance visitor experience, without giving specific details.
"The whole season is gearing up to be a hugely successful six months and we are delighted to be working once again in such close partnership with our colleagues at Global Village,” he said.
Ahmad Hussain, Chief Operating Officer at Global Village, said part of the park's objectives is to partner with government authorities to ensure the success of operations at the park and ensure the safety and security of everyone.
"One of our primary concerns is the safety of the five million visitors we attract every year which is why we work so closely with the Events Security Team to ensure that everything is up to the highest international standards in Global Village.” – Gulf News -

20-day Zayed heritage festival in Abu Dhabi from Nov 20
The fifth edition of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014 starts on November 20 and will run for 20 days.
Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Advisor to the U.A.E. President, President of the Camel Race Association and Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014, has officially adopted the key elements and activities of the festival. Visitors will be captivated by live interactions and innovative entertainment that brings to life the U.A.E.'s rich heritage.
"This festival is a reflection of our Emirati heritage, and a voyage through time that encompasses our past, present and future. It reminds us all that our nation's prosperity is not a mere coincidence, but built on the strong foundations of past achievements,” said Sheikh Sultan.
From November 20, the festival's fifth edition will enthral visitors for 20 days of non-stop enlightenment with attractions that have been enriched and enhanced year after year. In addition to U.A.E. citizens and residents, this showcase of heritage par excellence is expected to attract visitors from all over the world.
Mohammed Haji Khouri, Director-General of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Humanitarian Foundation, said, "This festival carries special significance for every person in the U.A.E.. Therefore, we are proud to contribute to its success by buying products from 150 outlets and distributing them for free to visitors at the festival.”
Last year, a large numbers of visitors enjoyed multiple attractions in Al Wathba area. The exhibitions included "Memories of a Nation”, which displayed ancient artefacts and historical treasures dating back to 500 years ago from the desert, oasis, mountains and sea. A fifth element — the city and the state — symbolised the U.A.E.'s modern unity under the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The festival also featured glorious performances to celebrate National Day, including a parade of over 5,000 Emiratis marching to honour the founding father and using their movements to showcase historical scenes. Khaleej Times§ion=nationgeneral


U.A.E. retail sector surges with 33% growth forecast for 2015
posted on 18/09/2014

The United Arab Emirates retail sector is expected to grow over 33 percent by 2015, according to a September 2014 report by Ventures Middle East released in conjunction with The Big 5 building and construction exhibition.
That growth is attracting investment into other countries in the GCC, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman, and to a smaller extent Qatar and Bahrain, the report said.
Dubai is the region's leading retail destination, with the second largest number of global brands after London, according to the report. The Dubai Mall and the Dubai Shopping Festival alone attract close to 35 million visitors per year.
New developments on the horizon include Dubai's recently announced ‘Mall of the World' entertainment and hotel district, which will include the world's largest mall, spread across eight million square metres, at an estimated cost of US$ 6.8 billion.
George Kostas is the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim - Properties, a leading shopping mall, retail and leisure developer the Middle East and North Africa, which owns and operates 17 shopping malls across the region.
He says the U.A.E. has earned a reputation as successful global and luxury retail brands destination since it attracts wealthy visitors from around the world.
"We expect an even greater investment in the retail and tourism sector in the lead-up to the Expo 2020,” said Kostas, whose company will expand and refurbish its Mall of the Emirates – including two new hotels - build a new shopping mall in the International Media Production Zone and a new luxury hotel at City Centre Deira.
"A rise in consumer purchasing power and a growing young and brand savvy population have made Dubai one of the world's most attractive hubs for retailers. To meet these future demands, Majid Al Futtaim has committed to over Dh 3bn (US$ 817m) of new investment across our Dubai portfolio.”
Leading shopping projects across the region include the Vendome Mall at Lusail in Qatar, which is under construction at an estimated value of US$ 1.37 billion, the planned Al Diriyah Festival City in Saudi Arabia, which has a value of US$ 1.6 billion, and the planned Muscat Festival City Mall in Oman.
"Leading retailers from around the world are all clamouring to enter a GCC market which has huge potential,, and that's only good news for developers in the region,” said Andy White, Group Event Director of The Big 5.
"We are seeing increased activity across the entire GCC as countries continue to position themselves as destinations for major tourism events. Increasingly, visitors to The Big 5 are sourcing products for retail projects and we continue to develop our event to help professionals take advantage of this exciting opportunity.”
The Big 5 runs from 17 – 20 November at the Dubai World Trade Centre and is open from 11:00am to 7:00pm daily. – Emirates 24│7 -


DFRE launches pioneering step to enhance retail experience
posted on 11/09/2014

The Premiere Retail Events (PRE) initiative involves the establishment of a multi-million dirham fund to provide support to both global and home-grown brands to innovate new outstanding experiences that enhances the existing retail and tourism offering of the emirate.
The first set of grants will be provided to companies who devise ideas for the landmark 20th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival and will grow to become a longer-term initiative to support retail innovation during festival periods all year round. The grant will be the basis of a co-venture between DFRE and the awarded company.
Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: "Dubai is a centre for world-class creativity and thinking and DFRE will partner with global brands and major home-grown businesses to bring amazing and innovative event ideas to life.”
"Dubai has the perfect retail environment and flexible infrastructure to stimulate unique commercial concepts that could range from major live events to "pop-up” stores, experiences or citywide showcases, all of which will add to the emirate's existing world-class offer. Each grant will be made to companies that set new global benchmarks for ideas, impact and inspiration,” she added.
The initiative is encouraging global brands and well established home grown business owners to think about events that would have a game changing impact on the consumer experience in Dubai.
To succeed and be awarded a grant and co-venture status by DFRE, the concept behind the proposed experience needs to be either a first in the world or at least a first in the region. The ideas that are submitted will go through a rigorous evaluation process and DFRE intends to focus its partnership to a select number of concepts – ensuring each can get the maximum support required and have a real impact on the public through its individual creativity, size and innovative approach.
Laila Mohammed Suhail, added: "We view the launch of this initiative part of the evolution of the festivals and retail sector development in Dubai. The Premiere Retail Events initiative will leverage DFRE's accumulated experience to drive the next level of growth in these two sectors.” – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Dubai to start work on world’s largest mall by Q1 2015
posted on 09/09/2014

The Mall of the World, which will become the world's largest shopping mall, will see construction starting from first quarter 2015, according to Dubai Holding.
"Dubai Holding is currently appointing specialised consultants and expects to commence work on the first phase of the project during the first quarter of 2015,” the company said in a statement.
The 48-million square feet, climate-controlled development was announced in the second half of 2014 and will be located within Mohammad bin Rashid City.
The project will house a shopping mall with an area of 8 million square feet, the world's largest theme park, which will be covered by a glass dome that will be open during the winter months, a wellness dedicated zone, a cultural celebration district and a wide range of hospitality options comprising 20,000 hotel rooms.
Once completed, the development is projected to become a year-round destination, welcoming around 180 million visitors annually, Dubai Holding said.
In June, Dubai Holding will need Dh25 billion to build an entertainment district over a period of 10 years, CEO Ahmad bin Byat had told Reuters.
Dubai will be hosting Expo 2020 from October 2020 to April 2021 and in the run-up to the event nearly 277,000 new jobs will be created.
Construction projects are estimated to reach a total of Dh1.1 trillion (US$315 billion) in the U.A.E. this year, according to UK-based EC Harris.
Projects worth US$212 billion are under construction when the report surveyed the market in May with the construction industry is expected to reach full capacity as social infrastructure spending increases and mega projects presently being planned are brought forward.
Major projects under construction are Bluewaters Island, Dubai Water Canal, MBR District One, Dubai Adventure Studios, The Lagoons etc.
The latest development to restart work was Limitless' Downtown Jebel Ali, its 200-hectare mixed-use community. On Sunday, the master developer awarded a contract worth Dh19.5 million for infrastructure design and supervision services for Zone 2, 3 and 4. – Emirates 24/7 -



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