Dubai to conduct US$ 136 mn quality initiatives and projects

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Editor

Officials have announced plans to conduct $136m (AED500m) of quality initiatives and projects designed to establish Dubai as the world’s best city for air quality.


Dubai Municipality’s (DM) Air Quality Strategy for the Emirate of Dubai for 2017-2021 took approximately one year to prepare, and was drafted in conjunction with the General Secretariat of the Executive Council.

The strategy comprises three focusses, namely: ‘City with World-Class Air Purity Standards’, ‘Sectors Grow with Sustainable Vision and Patterns’, and ‘An Environmentally Educated and Responsible Community’.

Its objectives are in keeping with those of the Dubai 2021 plan, which aims to make Dubai a “smart, sustainable city and a better place to live and work”, according to DM.

Eng Hussain Nasser Lootah, DM’s director general, commented: “[The strategy includes] quality initiatives and exceptional projects to make the surrounding air in the emirate comply with global specifications and standards, which is a qualitative shift in the environmental and health fields, because these pollutants adversely affect public health.”

Eng Alia Al Harmoudi, director of DM’s environment department, revealed that the plan’s preliminary stage would include several technical reviews of international best practice, technical analysis of current and future air quality in Dubai, and the creation of accurate digital simulation models for air pollutants, according to Constructionweekonline news report.

DM and its partners will also launch smart air quality stations to monitor air quality in the emirate.

PDO signs three contracts worth US$ 35 mn with Omani firms

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Editor

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has signed three contracts, with a combined value of $35m (OMR13.5m), with Omani firms.

Pic courtesy: ONA
Pic courtesy: ONA

The agreements cover the supply and servicing of compressors. They also reflect the company’s commitment to keeping more of the oil and gas industry’s wealth in the sultanate and developing local supply chains, in support of the country’s In-Country Value (ICV) initiative, according to PDO.

Two of the contracts were signed with Bin Salim Enterprises LLC for the supply of instrument air compressor packages, and for the maintenance and repair of installed units.

The third contract is a service agreement signed with PipeLine Supply Company LLC for an existing compressor fleet, according to Constructionweekonline news report.

Raoul Restucci, managing director of PDO, said: “We are delighted to sign these contracts, which once again show our commitment to investing in Omani businesses and people. The deals will enable both the local manufacture of vital equipment for our operations and the development of Omani service engineers and repair facilities.”

“We are working all the time to ensure that Omani companies play a greater role in the oil and gas sector and beyond, so that we can develop competitive, capable, professional, and efficient local supply chains.”

He added: “It is also pleasing that more of our contractors are now realising their ICV commitments. That includes not only meeting but exceeding their set ICV targets, and reporting their performance through our online system, so we can monitor accurately the progress we are making.”

The ICV strategy blueprint for Oman’s oil and gas operators was launched in 2013 to boost local business participation in the hydrocarbon exploration and production sector.

A document compiled by Accenture has identified 53 ICV opportunities, with PDO leading the implementation of 38 of them, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.

The company has reportedly localised the supply and manufacture of goods and services in a number of key areas, including scaffolding, carbon steel pipes, well engineering equipment, and the provision of polymer for enhanced oil recovery.

Approximately 38% of its overall contracts are now placed with local businesses, and as much as 53% of its well engineering contracts have been awarded to local contractors.

Compressors are used throughout PDO’s operations to increase well production, maintain reservoir pressure, and improve hydrocarbon flow through pipelines.

Al Enmaa sets up US$ 1 bn fund to build Darb Al Haramain complex in Jeddah

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Editor

Saudi-based Al Enmaa Investment Company said it has set up a new real estate development fund to build a residential and commercial complex near the Al Haramain train station in the port city of Jeddah at an investment of SR4 billion ($1.06 billion).

Pic courtesy: Saudigazette
Pic courtesy: Saudigazette

The Darb Al Haramain complex will come up on a 1.38 million sq m area on the intersection of King Abdullah Road and Al Haramain Train Station in the old airport area of Jeddah city, said the company in a statement.

The work began on the project last December and the marketing and selling of units is likely to start early next year, it stated.

The complex has a modern unique structure that was designed by architecture group Hossam Al Abdulkarim in alliance with global industry giants US-based Cal Thorpe, Kranekel, and Canadian company WPS.

Al Enmaa has signed up Saqefat Al-Safa Real Estate Development and Management Company to undertake the implementation and marketing of the project, it stated.

On the new project, CEO Saleh Al Hanaki, said: “The complex, regarded as the most important residential and commercial complex for Al Haramain Train Station visitors, is expected to be completed in 2018.”

“The complex design stands to be the first-of-its-kind when compared to other similar projects in Jeddah, as it is structured with seven floors (services + 5 identical residences + an appurtenance) with the minimum number of 60 floors for the residential buildings within the complex, and located directly on King Abdullah Road,” revealed Al Hanaki.

In addition, the main road named “Al-Hijaz Road” was constructed to divide the complex from the west to the east, with buildings along the sides ranging from 20 to 60 floors each, he stated.

“The complex also includes a large central park and medium-size gardens that obtain all the sports and entertainment activities, as well as services amenities for the residences of the complex,” he added.

The supervision and implementation of the project has been assigned to The Arab Center for Engineering Consultancy, a specialist in the field of engineering consultancy in Saudi Arabia for nearly 30 years with several major projects to its credit across the kingdom.

Darb Al Haramian complex will be a major facility catering to the Al Haramian station visitors. It will have access to high-level road networks as well as Jeddah metro stations, allowing major commercial and touristic interchange in the area.

According to Al Hanaki, the Sulaymaniyah main station in Jeddah is the most important railway station of the five connecting Al Haramain train station, as it links the departure and arrival of a huge number of users, which calls for an urgent demand of houses, hotels and various commercial projects.

Darb Al Haramian complex will be a major facility catering to the Al Haramian station visitors. It will have access to high-level road networks as well as Jeddah metro stations, allowing major commercial and touristic interchange in the area.

According to Al Hanaki, the Sulaymaniyah main station in Jeddah is the most important railway station of the five connecting Al Haramain train station, as it links the departure and arrival of a huge number of users, which calls for an urgent demand of houses, hotels and various commercial projects.

The residents of Darb Al-Haramain will able to travel in these high-speed trains completing the Al Haramain-Makkah journey within a record 21 minutes, and to Madinah in 90 minutes.

“This means they will enjoy the possibility of visiting the Holy Mosques on daily basis and at ease,” remarked Al Hanaki.

He pointed out that owing to the surge in visitor numbers, there will be a need of 17,000 hotel rooms during the first five years of the train’s launch and its commercial services or activities, according to Tradearabia news report.

“A total of 1.5 million visitors and pilgrims are expected to travel through Darb Al Haramain residential, accommodation, or commercial projects, benefiting from all the surrounding facilities, especially Al Haramain Train Station, King Abdulaziz University, its hospital, and all the vast commercial centers that are surrounding the location,” he added.

Saudi Electricity Company finalises projects worth US$ 1.46 bn

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Editor

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has finalised implementation and operation of a number of electric transmission and interconnection projects in the northern regions of the kingdom at a total cost of SR5.5 billion ($1.46 billion).

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

They included six plants for transmitting electric energy, five overhead lines for electric interconnection between a number of northern cities and regions, including operation of the aerial interconnection (voltage 380 kV) between Tabarjal plant and Tabuk plant. It is the longest overhead line of 790 km long.

Khalid Al-Rashid, the CEO of the Saudi Electricity Company For Projects Development (SECPD), a subsidiary of Saudi Electricity Company, said that the electric projects operated recently are considered as one of the largest projects in the northern regions of the Kingdom and which will contribute to linking the northern regions of the Kingdom with the main grid (voltage 380kv) and supporting industrial and urban development in the regions of Jouf, Tabuk and northern border.

The projects will also contribute to ensuring stable supply of electric energy to these cities and regions and reducing costs of electric energy production either by depending on the highly efficient generation plants or reducing fuel consumption, particularly since the project will save about 11.5 million barrel of diesel annually, as part of the company’s policy and the Kingdom Vision 2030 about reducing dependence on oil in future projects.

Al-Rashid pointed out that the projects awarded in April and May of the year 2014 included construction of six main plants (voltage 380kv), namely Waad Al_shamal Plant, Al Qurayyat Plant, Tabarjal Plant, AL-Jouf Plant 2, Arar Plant and Tabuk Plant, as well as constructing five aerial lines projects (voltage 380kv), with a total length of 2,214 circular km for linking these plants with the main grid.

They include a line linking Al Qurayyat Plant with Waad Al_shamal Plant, a line linking Tabarjal Plant with Waad Al_shamal Plant, a line linking Al- Jouf 2 Plant with Arar Plant and a line linking Tabarjal Plant with Tabuk Plant, in addition to establishment of dynamic compensators at Al- Jouf 2 and Hail 2 plants.

He went on saying that the projects have added 2,214 circular km of aerial lines (380 kv) to the national grid and the fiber optic cables have been increased at the same volume throughout the electric grid, a matter which will facilitate linking the plants’ systems with the control centers. The total capacities of the transformers installed at the new added plants to the grid amounted to 7.319 mva, and the total length of the external insulated rods (voltage 380kv) which were installed at the six plants, amounted to 31 km of which 12.4 km at Tabuk Plant only.

“The projects will set a base for future electric link with Green Duba Generation Plant, in addition to the link with Al- Madinah region through East of Al- Madinah Plant, as well as interconnection with the national grid of the brotherly Arab Republic of Egypt. The King Abdullah Project for development of Waad Al-Shamal city is considered as one of the most important development projects in the region, which is being supplied with electric power from these projects,” he said.

The CEO of the SECPD pointed out to the national cadres and engineers and experts of the National Grid SA are capable of challenging many difficult conditions and obstacles and completing the projects in accordance with specified timetables in spite of the rough geographical nature and wide distances between a project and another and the long distance between the site of these projects and paved roads and main cities which make it difficult to transport heavy equipment using such roughed roads, according to Tradearabia news report.

Also the vast area of Tabarjal Plant, 250,000 sq m, has increased the size of civil works and the costs at the site, in addition to mountainous topography of the land occupied by Tabuk Plant and its vast area estimated at 230,000 sq m, where projects for levelling and cutting around 300,000 cu m of rocks have been carried out during a period of five months.

Abu Dhabi launches US$ 870 mn independent solar power plant project

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Editor

Abu Dhabi has launched a Dh3.2 billion ($870 million) project to build the world’s largest independent solar power plant, which will position the emirate as the global capital for best economic, environmental and technological practices.


A ceremony was held on Wednesday to launch the solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which will be built in Suweihan, Abu Dhabi, reported WAM, the official Emirates news agency.

The ceremony was attended Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, members of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, senior government officials and energy specialists, according to Tradearabia news report.

“This project translates the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to provide efficient alternatives for energy and to diversify the UAE economy away from dependence on oil as the main source of income,” Sheikh Hazza..

The contract to build and operate the 1,177 MW plant was signed today by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea) and the consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corp and China’s JinkoSolar Holding.

DC PRO Engineering lands top award from Dubai SME

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Editor

Forward-thinking sustainability leaders awarded A+ rating for business performance, Innovation and CSR


UAE-based DC Pro Engineering, a global leader in district cooling, co-generation, tri-generation and sustainability in Green Building MEP designs, has been awarded an A+ grade in The SME Rate Framework program by Dubai SME, the division set up by the Dubai Department of Economic Development to help grow Small to Medium Enterprises in the emirate.

The award is based on five key pillars, including Business Performance (Operational Analysis and Financial Analysis), Corporate Governance and Excellence, Innovation, International Expansion, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The SME Rate Framework, the first rating system of its kind in the UAE, was designed and implemented to stimulate the growth of the SME sector and highlight the key role it plays in the UAE economy.

George Berbari, CEO of DC Pro Engineering, said: “The UAE’s diversification is vital for the growth as the country is shifting its economy towards non-oil sources and focusing on renewables. We are proud to receive this prestigious award. Having started the company more than a decade ago we feel we have a responsibility to be a key player in the SME sector.”

“Our key message in DC PRO Engineering is to push towards renewable technologies and sustainability, in line with the Dubai 2021 Vision. SMEs are vital for the success of the 2021 Vision and we are happy to be contributor in the plan.”

Seven companies received the A+ grade in The SME Rate Framework programme, including three firms that are fully owned by UAE nationals. DC Pro Engineering was one of four companies founded by non-nationals to receive the top rating.

The Dubai 2021 Vision sets out a plan to increase the SMEs contribution to GDP. SMEs represent almost 94 per cent of the total number of operational companies in the UAE with 400,000 SMEs contributing 60 per cent to the nation’s GDP, a figure that is expected to increase to 70 per cent by 2021.

Mama Shelter announces newest hotel in Dubai

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Editor

New Property Marks the Eighth Location for the Mama Shelter Brand

Photo Credit: Franklin Azzi Architecture
Photo Credit: Franklin Azzi Architecture

Mama Shelter, the global collection of authentic hotels, has announced plans to open a new location in Dubai. The property will be located in Dubai’s downtown Business Bay and is expected to open in 2020.

“We knew Dubai was the perfect destination for our eighth Mama Shelter property because the city embodies the MAMA spirit with its bustling excitement and international appeal,” said Mama Shelter Founder, Serge Trigano. “Mama Shelter Dubai will not just be a place for business meetings and flythroughs, but a place to live, work, laugh, debate, celebrate, and at the end of the night, come home to MAMA.”

Bader Mohamed Yousuf Bukhamas, Chairman of Khamas Group of Investment Companies, said, “We are delighted to partner with an international operator such as AccorHotels for the launch of its iconic lifestyle brand Mama Shelter in the Middle East.”

Designed by Franklin Azzi Architecture, Mama Shelter Dubai will have 201 rooms and 80 residences. The architect explains, “Mama will offer a unique tower to Dubai. A pure glass coat covering a wooden skin made by each rooms’ shutters.” The rooms are sanctuaries with the comforts of home coupled with all the needs of digital modernity, with spacious king size beds and high speed Wi-Fi. With 300 square meters of space set aside for collaboration, travelers will have room to gather, create or simply hang out.

The property will feature a mix of modern hotel rooms, with one bedroom and two bedroom residences offering cutting-edge design elements specially crafted by famed interior designer Thierry Gaugain. Guests will be able to unwind at an all-day dining restaurant, trendy rooftop bar, lobby bar, café, volleyball court, basketball court and swimming pool.

Mama Shelter will also benefit from its proximity to landmarks such as the Downtown Dubai area, the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. Alongside the concentration of lifestyle hospitality projects across Business Bay, Mama Shelter will be positioned as an iconic destination with the presence of an additional five-star hotel within the same tower.

Pawan Kachroo, Managing Director of Khamas Hospitality said, “This project is reflective of a shared vision to bring desired diversity and delight in the regional hospitality industry with fresh innovation. Through the Mama Shelter Dubai Business Bay, we intend to energize the industry with competitive experience driven offerings.”

The Trigano Family, co-founders of Club Med, created Mama Shelter eight years ago with an inaugural location in Paris. Since then the family has expanded Mama Shelter all over the world in Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro. In February, the company announced plans to open Mama Shelter Prague in early 2018.

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Marafiq to develop 300 mn power project in SEZ at Duqm

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Editor

Marafiq, a joint venture firm set up by Takamul Investment Company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oman Oil Company), and Singapore-based Sembcorp Utilities, is set to develop a 300 MW power project in the special economic zone (SEZ) at Duqm in the sultanate.


Duqm is presently served by a 66 MW diesel-fired power plant owned and operated by the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Raeco), part of Nama Group, reported Oman Observer.

The facility is designed to primarily meet the energy requirements of a new refinery and petrochemical complex under development at the SEZ, stated the report, citing Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP).

The 230,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) greenfield refinery is being jointly developed by Oman Oil Company and Kuwait Petroleum International at a cost of around $7 billion, according to Tradearabia news report.

Significantly, OPWP along with the Public Authority for Electricity & Water (PAEW) are currently weighing a possible role for Marafiq in the supply of both electricity and water to address part of Duqm’s projected requirements as well, said the report.

Demand is projected at 650 MW in the first phase of the growth of the SEZ, although this is subject to a number of factors, including the current economic and investment environment, it added.

TDIC opens new sales centre at Saadiyat Lagoons district

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Editor

The Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, announced today the opening of a new sales centre at Saadiyat Lagoons district, located at the site of the budding community.

Pic courtesy: Tradearabia
Pic courtesy: Tradearabia

The sales centre’s convenient location next to New York University Abu Dhabi offers visitors an immersive experience with interactive previews of TDIC’s communities, their surroundings and the numerous facilities close to their new home, according to Tradearabia news report.

The unveiling of the new centre is in response to the growth in sales of available units across Saadiyat Island communities Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Jawaher Saadiyat and the Saadiyat Lagoons District. Visitors to the Lagoons Sales Centre will be able to view the various unit types, sizes and locations, accompanying price ranges, and discuss the unique and differentiating features across all of TDIC’s meticulously planned communities with the center’s highly trained staff.

TDIC has partnered with various banks to offer potential homeowners a range of attractive financial offers.

Emaar Malls acquire 51% stake in Namshi for US$ 151 mn

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Editor

Leading developer Emaar Properties said its retail business unit has signed a strategic partnership deal with emerging markets’ leading fashion e-commerce platform Global Fashion Group (GFG) to further the growth of Namshi, a leading online fashion retailer in the Middle East.


Under the partnership, Emaar Malls will acquire a 51 per cent stake in Namshi for $151 million, which includes investment in the company for its future growth, and GFG retaining the remaining 49 per cent stake.

This partnership will accelerate Namshi’s development in the region and allow it to continue to flourish as the region’s pre-eminent fashion e-commerce destination.

Led by co-founders Hosam Arab, Faraz Khalid and Hisham Zarka, Namshi offers a wide range of over 50,000 products across more than 600 international and local fashion brands and its own private labels.

The company already serves over 750,000 customers across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. For the full year 2016, the company had recorded a net revenue of Dh555 million and achieved its first full-year of profitability and positive cashflow.

Emaar Malls will also support the company to access additional fashion brands, further develop its logistics infrastructure and expand its geographical footprint in adjacent countries.

Under this deal, Namshi will continue to benefit from GFG’s network, expertise in fashion e-commerce and shared resources, such as global brand acquisition and global IT development and innovation.

On the strategic deal, Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Malls and Emaar Properties, said: “The acquisition of a majority stake in Namshi underlines our digital-driven strategy to leverage the growing e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa region.”

“Namshi offers a perfect fit for Emaar Malls in accelerating its focus on multi-channel retailing, and creating long-term value for its stakeholders,” he stated, according to Tradearabia news report.

Hosam Arab, the managing director of Namshi, said: “We are very excited to welcome Emaar Malls as our majority shareholder. We are confident that this partnership will unlock further opportunities and help accelerate the development of Namshi for the benefit of our customers.”

Romain Voog, the chief executive of GFG, said: “We are proud of how Namshi contributes to the growth and vibrancy of e-commerce in the Middle East since its inception in 2012 and I would like to congratulate the management team for their great accomplishment.”

“With the complementary strengths of Emaar Malls and GFG, Namshi is now more than ever uniquely positioned to be the best long term partner for fashion brands and customers in the region. GFG’s partnership with Emaar Malls follows the Group’s strong performance in 2016 and is another step in our journey to create sustainable, profitable fashion e-commerce leaders in each of our regions,” he added.