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Ishraq, Capital Elite to launch two new hotels In Egypt

shraq Hospitality, the asset management and hospitality division of Mohamed & Obaid AlMulla Group, and Capital Elite Development, an Egypt-based real estate company, have signed a deal to launch two new hotels in the New Capital, Cairo, Egypt.

The properties will jointly add around 600 keys to the Egyptian hospitality market when they open to guests in 2025.

The hotels will be developed by Capital Elite Development, a leading real-estate development company in Egypt, born through the development of the New Administrative Capital. The developer is part of the Mustafa Mansour Group and has earned a reputation for its commitment to delivering state-of-the-art projects for its clients.

Ishraq Hospitality will work closely with Capital Elite Development to bring the project to fruition, following which, the group will manage operations at both properties, with the goal of adding to its well-earned reputation for highly successful third-party hospitality management.

"The signing of the MoU between Ishraq Hospitality and Capital Elite Development brings together two companies that are well regarded leaders in their respective fields. The partnership will see the combining of world-class project development and hospitality management experience, which will result in the delivery and operation of two properties that are sure to dramatically enrich the burgeoning Egyptian hospitality sector," said Sherif Beshara, Group CEO at Mohamed & Obaid Almulla Group.

"We are very excited to embark on this journey with Capital Elite Development to expand into one of the most culturally significant tourism destinations in the world."

In May 2022, a report by Egypt Today said that the country's Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) said that the occupancy rates in Cairo hotels increased by 106% in the first quarter of 2022, while the rates in Sharm El Sheikh hotels rose by 46% and Hurghada by 84%. The report attributed the increase in occupancy rates to several reasons, primarily the easing of restrictions on travel, and the return of recreational tourism, in addition to the strong political relations between Egypt and important tourism markets in Mena and Europe.

"Ishraq Hospitality is proud to join hands with Capital Elite Development to support their expansion into Egypt with the development of two benchmark setting properties. We look forward to delivering these properties to the highest standards of quality by leveraging our proven expertise in Hospitality and Asset Management," added Sherif Beshara.

"The Egyptian hospitality sector has been recovering steadily since 2021 thanks to multiple influences, and once complete, we are confident that the two properties will contribute to the growth and performance of the hospitality sector in Egypt," said Mustafa Mansour, Chairman of Capital Elite Development.

Egypt's hospitality sector began recuperating in 2021 according to the 'Real Estate: On Solid Ground - April 2022' report published by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt. It highlighted the hospitality sector's renewed vigour, stating that the sector is shaking off the many impacts of Covid-19.

According to data from hoteliers, bookings soared 400% from the UK, Turkey and other top markets during H2 2021, compared to the first half of the year. The report also said that improved fundamentals, state-backed support, the launch of new tourism attractions and other drivers have all contributed to the rebound of the hospitality market.


Rotana to open new luxury five-star Luxor hotel on Egypt's Nile River

Egypt's ancient city is set to welcome a new Rotana hotel.

The Abu Dhabi-run hotel operator will launch the Luxor Rotana at the end of 2023.

Located near many of Luxor's historic monuments and landmarks, the city's newest hotel will be well placed for tourists keen to explore what was the ancient city of Thebes.

Rooms come with views over the Nile and easy access to some of the city's most popular tourist attractions including archaeological sites, giant temples, the Avenue of Sphinxes and the Valley of the Kings.

With its location on the edge of one of the world's longest rivers, the property is surrounded by more than 18,000 square metres of landscaped gardens and the resort's design fuses the old and new - combining modern architecture with authentic design.

Guests can book one of 48 suites while travellers seeking a stay fit for an Egyptian king can try the presidential suite, which is at the top of the hotel with unobstructed views over the grounds and beyond towards the city's ancient monuments, tombs and temples.

Guests checking in to Luxor Rotana will have plenty to discover with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and a fully-equipped gym. Little ones will enjoy access to their own kids club. A luxury spa with dedicated treatment rooms will offer a wide range of services.

There's also four restaurants to choose from, including an all-day dining venue where guests will be surrounded by replica hieroglyphics and an upscale bar. Kamoon restaurant replicates the eatery of the same name in Abu Dhabi's Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, and in Luxor, it comes with spectacular views of the Nile.

Egypt is a key market for us with significant potential and we look forward to further building our brand presence in the country. Adding to our luxury portfolio, we look forward to delivering an unparalleled experience by providing our guests with Treasured Time in this timeless city of Luxor," said Guy Hutchinson, president and chief executive of Rotana.

With more than 100 Rotana properties across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Turkey, the five-star resort is the latest addition to Rotana's hotel offerings, bringing the hospitality group's total number of rooms in the region to 18,565.

Luxor Rotana is one of six new hotels set to open in Egypt, with properties also bound for New Cairo and the North Coast. It's also one of 42 new hotels in the pipeline for Rotana across the Middle East and Africa over the next four years.


Aman New York set to open on August 2

Aman, a leading global hospitality brand, said that the highly anticipated Aman New York will welcome its first guests on August 2, 2022.

The culmination of a monumental transformation of the iconic Crown Building in Manhattan, the 83-suite hotel and its 22 branded residences bring the peace promised by Aman's Sanskrit-derived name to the heart of New York, ushering in a new era for hospitality in one of the world's greatest cities.

The hotel is the second in a new, pioneering generation of Aman properties in urban settings, following in the footsteps of Aman Tokyo and taking the brand to 34 properties worldwide.

Resting on the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, the storied Crown Building was built in 1921. Designed by Warren & Wetmore, architects of some of New York's most influential buildings - including Grand Central Station and the Helmsley Building - the building has undergone a significant restoration, marking its next chapter as an urban Aman sanctuary.


UAE partners with startup Deel to expedite foreign worker visas

The United Arab Emirates is forging a partnership with startup Deel to speed up the visa process for foreign workers, offering a new tool in the country's push to attract international talent and become a regional technology hub.

Payroll and onboarding company Deel will be able to offer its customers, which include the likes of Coinbase Global and Shopify, faster access to visas through a strategic partnership with the UAE's Office for AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, according to a statement shared with Bloomberg.

"I expect this to be a big growth generator for Deel and hopefully a big magnet for talent to the UAE," chief executive officer Alex Bouaziz said. Customers will be able to access two kinds of visas - ten years of self-sponsored residence or a more flexible one for shorter durations.

The UAE government has been seeking to make the country a more attractive destination for global technology companies, as part of a plan to diversify away from oil. Bouaziz said that Deel has already begun onboarding workers in recent weeks under the agreement and it could eventually expand to cover tens of thousands of employees.

Founded in 2019, San Francisco-based Deel was last valued at $5.5bn in October and has received backing from investors including Coatue and and Altimeter Capital. Deel entered a public offer last week to acquire Australian payroll company PayGroup, and Bouaziz said the company is working on other acquisitions.

This is the first time the firm has partnered with a government, but the pact could serve as a model for future agreements, Deel said.


Abu Dhabi to open nine charter schools with 12,000 places in September

Abu Dhabi will open nine new charter schools with 12,000 places in September, the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.

The rapidly expanding programme, which was launched in the 2018-2019 school year with the opening of the 2,700-place Al Rayana School, will offer 46,500 places in 31 schools when the new school year starts.

The new schools will offer kindergarten, Cycle 1, Cycle 2, and Cycle 3 and give employment to 139 Emiratis, who will work as administrative and teaching trainees after a dedicated recruitment drive.

Charter schools work on the public-private model, under which the government builds the infrastructure and then allows a private partner to manage the school.

When it was launched, the management of a dozen government schools in the emirate was taken over by private sector operators.

Charter schools are free for their exclusively Emirati pupils, who live in the neighbourhood where the school is located.

At present there are 15 charter schools in Abu Dhabi city and seven in Al Ain offering the American curriculum to 30,198 Emirati children in primary school. The location of the new schools was not revealed in the announcement on Wednesday.

The curriculum covers core subjects such as English, maths and science, as well as Arabic, Islamic and social studies that follow the UAE Ministry of Education curriculum, plus extracurricular activities including physical education and swimming.

Abu Dhabi announced plans in May to build three new charter schools in Zayed City, which will be ready to welcome pupils in September 2024. They are expected to accommodate 5,360 pupils.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, met senior Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) officials and reviewed progress updates on the nine new charter schools.

He commended the success of Adek's innovative public-private partnership model, which has created 34,500 school places since launch and led to 93 per cent of pupils progressing significantly academically since enrolment.

"Charter schools focus on sustainability, enabling the ongoing provision of quality education and heightened student performance," said Sara Musallam, chairman of Adek.

"What fills us with great appreciation for what has been achieved is the progress students have demonstrated overall and the number of Emiratis who are now employed in these schools and have embarked on careers within the education sector."


UAE Golden Visa for university students: What you need to know

Question: My son is looking to pursue his higher studies in Dubai. Can you detail the visa process and duration for students in the UAE when they come on their own? How do I find out if he is eligible for the Golden Visa?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that your son intends to enrol in one of the universities in Dubai. It is also assumed that currently, you and your son are residing outside the UAE. The documents to obtain a student visa in the UAE may include the official admission letter from the university, passport, medical fitness test report, Emirates ID application, biometrics and health insurance.

Based on the admission letter, you may contact the university where he intends to pursue his higher studies. The university will make the necessary arrangements to obtain residency visa for your son. However, the residency visa is issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai (the 'GDRFA - Dubai') subject to the student clearing the medical fitness test and the relevant security clearances. Generally, student visas sponsored by the university in the UAE are valid for one year and is renewed based on the documents provided by the university for continuation of education.

Alternatively, if your son is willing to join a university in the UAE for higher studies based on his previous excellence in academics, then he may apply for a Golden Visa which is valid for 10 years. In this case, he is self-sponsored to reside in the UAE. The requirements and terms include submission of a recommendation letter from the university or an accredited graduation certificate or academic record stating that your son's cumulative grade point average is not less than 3.8.

If the Golden Visa is granted, your son may also sponsor his parents' 10-year visas. For further clarifications on this matter, you may contact the university where your son intends to pursue his higher education and the GDRFA - Dubai.


UAE: New app to let residents drive a new car every year

Motorists in the UAE will now be able to drive a new car every year under a new programme introduced by a local smart mobile app.

Selfdrive.ae, which provides vehicle rentals, subscriptions, and leasing services, has launched a new service called 'Neos' that would offer an alternative to car ownership.

Under the Neos programme, the customer can select a car for a one-year tenure and pay a monthly fee; a brand-new car will then be delivered on the date and time requested. After a year, the car is sent back to the dealer, and a new one is registered for the customer. Local dealers will then send the vehicle to their used car division.

The predetermined monthly amount for subscribing to the vehicle under the programme includes insurance, service and maintenance, replacement vehicle and roadside assistance at zero additional cost. With zero maintenance or no overhead cost and no 20 per cent down payment, the latest offering aims to provide car ownership with zero liability.

The new programme will allow customers to exchange their cars every year for brand-new cars. Rates start from Dh3,199 for a BMW, Dh2,799 for a Volkswagen and Dh2,249 for a Chevrolet. However, it varies depending on different car models.

"This will be a game changer for the customers who are looking to drive a brand new car every year to experience the new edge car technology and innovative features getting launched year after year. We are moving towards creating an alternate ecosystem for vehicle ownership via on-demand digital leasing and subscription at zero cost of ownership as millennials are shifting towards a subscription economy that helps them to maintain their finances," said Soham Shah, founder and CEO, Selfdrive.ae.

The company has partnered with automobile manufacturers and car dealers in the UAE to offer this programme across over 50 different car models from Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Cadillac, BMW, GMC, Audi, Mercedes and more brands in line with its platform.

It manages a fleet of over 3,500 cars and aims to add 5,000 more cars to its offering in the next 12 months.


UAE: Residents must notify the ICP of any changes made to Emirates ID within 30 days

The UAE digital government has clarified that residents and citizens must notify the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) of any changes made to the data contained in the Emirates Identity Card within a period of 30 days from the date of the change.

The move is to allow the FAIC to update the data in the ID card and the Population Registration System, the UAE digital government said on its website. This applies to Emirates ID cards issued to nationals and expatriate residents.

A valid Emirates ID card is mandatory for all citizens and residents of the UAE, any delay in obtaining or renewing an ID card will incur a fine.

According to authorities, residents and citizens can apply to change or update any details related to an existing and valid ID card through the ICP website or its smart application.

There are no documents required for making changes, and the service fee is Dh50.

The ICP said the ID data must be updated in the case of marriage and there are changes in the wife's last name (adopting a maiden name) for some nationalities. But if there is no change, the data in the ID card and the population registry must be updated.

Cancelling Emirates ID

According to authorities, residents who intend to cancel their UAE residence visa for the purpose of leaving the country for good or for the purpose of changing jobs, are required to hand over their ID cards to the respective General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

The respective General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs will hand over the returned ID card to Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, which had issued the card.


Flynas to launch direct route between Cairo and AlUla

Saudi Arabia's flynas will launch a new direct route between Cairo and the ancient city of AlUla from October 6.

The flights will be operated by the low-cost airline twice weekly, on Saturdays and Thursdays.

AlUla in north-west Saudi Arabia has been undergoing large-scale developments over the past few years. It is home to, among other things, the ancient city Hegra, which was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2008.

The archaeological site is a necropolis containing more than 100 well-preserved tombs cut into the rocks dating back to the first century BC, during the rule of the Nabatean Kingdom.


E-Kafalah enables individuals to submit sponsorship via Absher

RIYADH - The General Directorate of Traffic (Muroor) has confirmed that electronic Kafalah service enables the individuals to submit the Kafalah (sponsorship) through Absher platform without the need for the paper transactions.

The Muroor's confirmation came through an infographic published on its official account on the Twitter platform, noting that the e-Kafalah service enables individuals to submit Kafalah to the concerned authorities until the completion of their legal procedures via Absher platform.

It is noteworthy that the e-Kafalah service contributes to several things, such as automating traffic procedures, facilitating the Kafalah procedures in traffic accidents, in addition to reducing checking and visiting the traffic departments and divisions.

The Muroor had revealed earlier the steps for implementing the e-Kafalah service, as it said in the beginning it is required to enter the beneficiary's account on the Absher platform, then click on the icon of "My Services - Services", then enter public services, and click on the Kafalah service.

It stated that after the process of entering the Kafalah service, the individual must choose a new Kafalah, or check the applications, then enter the data of the sponsored and then click on the payment icon.

The individual must verify the total amount and enter the bankcard data, and then print the reference number.


Traveler must inform competent authorities if he carries more than SR60,000 upon arriving, departing KSA

RIYADH - The Public Prosecution stated on Wednesday that every traveler coming to or leaving Saudi Arabia and carrying more than SR60,000 must submit a declaration to competent authorities in this regard.

The Public Prosecution clarified that the decision to require travelers to disclose to the competent authority at the border crossings of Saudi Arabia not only includes the financial amounts, but everything that amounts to SR60,000 or more, whether the traveler arranges to transport them outside or inside the Kingdom by any means.

The items that may have a value of more than SR60,000 include: Coins, bearer negotiable instruments, gold bars, precious metals, precious stones, or wrought jewelry.

Every person must submit a declaration to the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) if he is going to transport these items inside or outside Saudi Arabia through a shipping, transport, postal service or any other means, the Public Prosecution said.

It noted that even the items that are equivalent to or exceeds SR60,000 in foreign currencies need to be declared.

ZATCA has the right to request from the person holding the equivalent of this amount additional information about the source of the items, or the purpose of its use.

The Public Prosecution has also added that ZATCA has the right to seize the amount of currency from the traveler, bearer negotiable instruments, gold bars, precious metals, precious stones or the jewels for a period of 72 hours if it is suspected that they are proceeds or are related to a money laundering crime or a predicate crime.

In addition, the seizures that ZATCA is entitled to confiscate, includes the cases of amounts that do not reach the SR60,000 limit, as well as cases of non-declaration or false declaration in accordance with Article (23/1.2) of the Anti-Money Laundering Law in the Kingdom.


Saudi: Majid Al Futtaim inaugurates latest Carrefour store

Majid Al Futtaim, the leading company in developing and managing shopping malls, integrated cities, retail institutions and entertainment facilities in the Middle East, Africa and Asia has announced the opening of its new branch in Al Noor district in Dammam beginning of this month.

The official opening ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries, entrepreneurs, and the senior management of Majid Al Futtaim.

Mohammed Al-Assaf, CEO of Carrefour Saudi Arabia at Majid Al Futtaim Retail, stated: "We are excited to be opening the newest Carrefour store in Dammam as we regard it as an important step in our expansion in the Kingdom. This comes as part of the brand's mission to elevate and transcend the retail sector in the Saudi Arabian market, supporting the growth of the economy by adding jobs for Saudi youth and contributing to Vision 2030's National Transformation Program."

"The new Carrefour store adds exceptional value to our customers through an unparalleled shopping experience based on the latest technologies in the industry", Al-Assaf concluded. "We will continue to expand our physical footprint whilst accelerating our e-commerce offering to provide a seamless, omnichannel experience across the Kingdom."

Carrefour offers free online delivery within 60 minutes of its latest location. The all-new store stands at very close proximity to densely populated areas, providing surrounding communities with daily necessities such as vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and baked goods (available in the Arabic Oven) . A range of organic products is also available including, but not limited to, gluten & sugar free items and dishes from different nationalities. The brand also boasts a variety of consumer products such as home appliances, electronics, cosmetics, sporting goods and toys - all of which are high-quality and competitively priced.

In celebration of this occasion, Carrefour presented a series of special offers and discounts on various products. Members of the retailer's loyalty program "MyCLUB" had the opportunity to redeem their points, receiving additional discounts on certain brands and products.


Diyar Al Muharraq completes key phase of Bahrain residential project

Diyar Al Muharraq, a leading real estate development company in Bahrain, has announced the completion of all infrastructure works within Phase Four of its freehold residential project, Al Bareh.

Work on the key phase began in November last year and was completed in May in accordance with the set schedule, said a statement from Diyar Al Muharraq.

The scope of work included power and water connection and telecommunications systems installation in addition to irrigation systems, drainage and sewage systems, as well as road paving and lighting.

The leading consultant on the project, Aecom, oversaw the project planning and supervised it alongside Jahecon.

On the project progress, CEO Engineer Ahmed Ali Al Ammadi said: "We are pleased to announce the successful and timely completion of the fourth and final phase of Al Bareh. We have finalised all infrastructure works while maintaining the highest standards."

"Diyar Al Muharraq strives to introduce more residential projects that the meet the needs of citizens and residents in the kingdom," he noted.

Al Bareh is known for its spacious area located in the northwest of Diyar Al Muharraq overlooking spectacular views of the Gulf and the City's main water canal.

In addition to unparalleled features including its inner road network connected to key locations and destinations across the City. Al Bareh also offers exceptional residential opportunities available on a freehold basis for all nationalities.


Bahrain: Multiple-entry eVisa to now cost BD60

Obtaining an eVisa allowing multiple entries to Bahrain for training and other qualification purposes will now cost BD60.

This is according to a decision by General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the Minister of Interior.

The eVisa thus issued will allow its holder to stay in the Kingdom for six months. The eVisa is also eligible to receive a six-month extension.

Multiple entry visa determines the number of visits one may make.

Most visas are single entry, but multiple entry visas exist for certain nationality groups.


Muriya unveils luxury waterfront residential project in Oman

Leading Oman developer Muriya has announced the launch of Fanar Views, a new first-of-its-kind free-hold residential project primely located in Hawana Salalah at the heart of the Governorate of Dhofar.

The project boasts a limited selection of townhouses, twin- and standalone villas, fully serviced and furnished, with private pools overlooking the lagoons.

According to the Omani developer, the properties in Fanar Views are available with one-, two- and three bedrooms, offering resort-style living in a developed community.

Buyers of all nationalities can also enjoy lifetime family residency, complimentary use of the Fanar Hotel & Residences' swimming pool, beaches, sports facilities, gym, business centre and exclusive discounts at the hotel's restaurants, it stated.

Just a five-minute walk to the Fanar Hotel & Residences beach, the marina and the destination's top amenities, Fanar Views offers luxurious waterfront living and a unique investment opportunity with high potential returns within a lucrative year-round rental market, said a top official.

"With the Governorate of Dhofar continuing to gain standing as a sought-after tourist destination and growing real estate market, Fanar Views is a great choice for living as well as a robust investment opportunity," said Seif Elkhouly, Chief Development Officer, Muriya.

Muriya, the developer of Hawana Salalah, is a joint venture between Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) and globally-acclaimed developer of fully-integrated towns, Orascom Development Holding (ODH).

"As the first such development in the area, Fanar Views offers an ideal base from which to experience the beauty of the governorate, complete with access to all of what Hawana Salalah as well as the key offerings that Fanar Hotel & Residences have to offer," remarked Elkhouly.

"As our latest prestigious neighbourhood, Fanar Views is designed with luxury living in mind, and whether for couples, families, or as a lucrative rental with high return on investment potential in Oman's rapidly-expanding subtropical city, the new neighbourhood unlocks the exceptional," he added.


Jumeirah Muscat Bay: Dubai hotel group opens first luxury resort in Oman

man's newest hotel is now open for business as Jumeirah Muscat Bay is welcoming guests through its doors.

The first property in Oman for Jumeirah Group, the hospitality company behind the world-famous Burj Al Arab in Dubai, sits between the Hajar Mountains and the Gulf of Oman, nestled in the Bandar Jissah cove.

It is part of Muscat Bay, a resort village located around 15 minutes from the capital and home to a host of shops, restaurants, pools, parks and landscaped gardens.

Inspired by its setting, the five-star hotel offers guests a host of outdoor adventures including hiking and biking trails, plus underwater activities.

Jumeirah Muscat Bay has 206 rooms and suites, all of which come with guaranteed ocean views. The family-friendly resort gives guests the option of booking interconnecting rooms, or two and four-bedroom summerhouses that are ideal for larger groups.

The ultimate retreat awaits at the Sanctuary Villa, where there's a sprawling private pool, a dedicated butler service and access to a pristine shoreline from which you can soak in the sounds of the ocean.

Designed in a modern Arabesque style coupled with traditional Omani artisanship, the hotel also brings five new restaurants to Muscat. These include oceanside all-day dining at Peridot, afternoon tea at Tarini Lounge and poolside bites at Zuka. As evening falls, Anzo Bar & Terrace is the place to go for Asian-style bites and amazing sunset views across the bay.

In September, the resort's signature Italian restaurant Brezza will open its doors under the watch of Cristiano Goattin, an Italian-born chef with a background working in Michelin-starred restaurants.

Jumeirah Muscat Bay brings five new restaurants to Oman.

"Oman is a popular destination for those looking to combine nature and wellness with cultural interest. At Jumeirah Muscat Bay, we have focused on taking cues from the natural landscape and its restorative energy and have brought this to life through design and architecture," said Jose Silva, chief executive of Jumeirah Group.

The first Talise Spa in Oman has also opened at Jumeirah Muscat Bay. Spread across two levels, this peaceful sanctuary has a hammam, sauna, steam room and multiple treatment rooms where guests can enjoy a host of therapeutic treatments, which make use of local and sustainable products.

Travellers keen to explore the bay's craggy surrounds can head off on hiking, biking and running trails. There's also plenty of scope to get to grips with Oman's cultural side, with old seaports, souks and the Royal Opera House Muscat located nearby.

Sunset strolls on a private shoreline await at Jumeirah Muscat Bay in Oman.

And, with one of the best marine landscapes in the region, the underwater world is open for exploring via the hotel's on-site PADI-certified diving centre. There are also plenty of watersports on offer such as sailing and snorkeling.

Yoga, tennis courts and a fitness centre mean there's something for everyone while youngsters will be entertained with a host of ever-changing activities at the children's club.

To celebrate the launch, Jumeirah Muscat Bay is offering 20 per cent of rooms plus $100 resort credit for stays of four nights or more booked before the end of September. One child can also stay free when accompanied by two adults.


Urgent decree unlikely to pass expat residency law

KUWAIT: It is unlikely that the residency law to regulate the expatriate population in the country would be approved by a decree of emergency nature. It is primarily out of fear that the decree may be struck down by the constitution which has made it legal for the government to issue urgent decrees and gave itself the authority to strike them down if there was a legal justification, official sources said.

It said the urgent decree must be for laws issued in the absence of a parliament in session - either by dissolution or on holiday - and on a matter that is of emergency nature and any postponement of the decree may constitute a danger to the interests of the country.

The government was previously allowed to issue urgent decrees in the absence of parliament and when it reconvenes the decrees will be voted on and if passed, it will become official. If not, it will become null and void, and all decisions, procedures and implications based on the decree will also be null and void. But now, every citizen has the right to contest any such urgent decree. The parliament can discuss it and can strike it down if it finds it does not have any emergency nature.

The government feels that it needs to settle the issue of expat residency law that was prepared previously, sent it to the National Assembly and was also discussed by the interior and defense committees. Certain comments were made on the law in the presence of the government, but the government believes that its approval with an urgent decree means it will start implementing it. Then there is a fear that the constitutional court may strike down the decree, opening the doors for lawsuits by expatriates for damages for depriving them of residency and other matters mentioned in the law.

The sources said that the government prefers postponement of the law for the new National Assembly that will be formed following early parliamentary elections before the end of the year. It will ask for urgent consideration of the law by the National Assembly and its approval so that it becomes effective next year.

They said the law is an indispensable part of the government efforts to rectify the population imbalance that exists in the country and an effective measure to curb marginal labor and stamp out residency violators. In addition, it will encourage specialized labor in such a way that it serves the local market, bolster economic reform and boost foreign direct investments into the country.

The government also proposes to introduce a 15-year residency permit to attract high net-worth investors into the country. The sources said limiting the residency of the non-investing expatriates or children and spouses of Kuwaiti women is something linked to the need and the wish of who brought them to stay or not.


No increase in fees at private schools this year

Private international schools in Kuwait have announced that the 2022-2023 academic year would begin in a phased manner from Sunday 28 August to Tuesday 30 August. They added that despite the hike in prices of everything, the tuition fees for the next academic year will not be increased.

Announcing this, President of the Private Schools Union, Noura Al-Ghanim, said that the shortage of teaching and non-teaching personnel in some Arab and foreign schools continues unabated. In this regard she urged the concerned authorities to take measures to allow workers in the educational and health sectors to bring in their families, thereby facilitating the process of recruiting new foreign workers.

She explained that many foreign teachers refuse to return to Kuwait without their families, and that prevailing government decisions do not allow entry of the families of teachers, except in some exceptional cases. Al-Ghanim added that educational institutions are not about a teacher and director only, but need other workers, as they need security guards, cleaners, bus drivers, maintenance staff and other workers. However, the cost of labor currently available in Kuwait "is very high, and many are not qualified to work in schools."

Al-Ghanim praised the great response of the Ministry of Interior and the Public Authority of Manpower during the COVID-19 crisis, hoping that this flexibility will remain in the recruitment of foreign workers to work in private schools, and that the foreign teacher and his wife, if they work in Kuwait, be allowed to bring in their children over the age of 14, stressing that it is not possible for the teacher and his wife to come and leave their 15 and 16-year-old children alone.

On the subject of tuition fees not being increased, it is interesting to note that foreign schools have to abide by Ministerial Resolution No. 52/2021 which was approved by the Ministry of Education in 2021. The resolution also warns of penalties being applied in case schools violate the tuition-fee structure approved by the resolution.

According to Resolution No 52/2021, each student of the school should be provided with a list specifying the tuition fees owed by the guardian, the system for payment, their value and due dates. Private schools are entitled to charge registration fees for the academic year 2022-2023 that are deducted from the tuition fees owed by the student for the academic year, which is KD50 per student in Arab schools and foreign schools with the Pakistani, Indian and Filipino curriculum, and KD100 per student in other foreign schools.


Morocco's E-Visas: All Your Questions Answered

Rabat - Morocco has announced that it would be using an e-visa platform for visitors from select countries, starting Sunday July 10. There remain a lot of questions concerning the details of the initiative however.

Here are some of the more common questions we have seen floating about regarding Morocco's e-visa program.

Which countries does it apply to?

The program will apply to 49 countries, at first at least. The countries will be divided into three categories.

The first category will include nationals of certain countries, with Israel and Thailand being selected "as a first step," according to Morocco's Foreign Affairs Ministry. More countries may be added to this category later.

The second category includes foreign nationals holding a residence or stay permit in one of the approved countries. The permit must be valid for at least 180 days when applying for the e-visa. The permit must be from one of the EU countries, the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, or Switzerland.

The third category concerns foreign nationals who hold non-electronic visas to the Schengen area, the USA, Australia, Canada, the UK, Ireland, or New Zealand. These applicants' visas must be valid for at least 90 days and have multiple entries on the day of submitting for Morocco's e-visa.

Obtaining the e-visa and its validity

The e-visa is a one-time authorization for a single person, and is valid for a maximum of 180 days from the day it is issued. It allows entry into Moroccan territories for up to 30 days.

Applications can be made through the Access Maroc site starting Sunday, with applications for tourist and business visas.

Applicants will be able to choose the "express" visa option which takes 24 business hours to be processed, or the "standard" option, taking 72 business hours to process.

What if I did not need a visa before?

The e-visa will only apply to nationals of countries that previously required a non-electronic visa to enter Morocco.

Nationals from the EU, the US, Canada, or other countries that had visa-free access to Morocco before can still enter the country just like before, without applying for an e-visa.

Will requirements change for Moroccans traveling abroad?

The e-visa only concerns foreign nationals coming into Morocco. For Moroccans, traveling to any of the countries listed above will still continue to require the same procedures, which differ from state to state.

Mobility Management Middle East

Middle East:
Saudi Arabia

Ivory Coast

Other Countries: