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Russia in deal to build nuclear plant in Egypt

Rosatom, the atomic energy corporation in Russia, said it has signed an agreement with Egyptian government to build a nuclear plant with four reactors each with a capacity of 1200 MW.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in comments on state television, announced the nuclear plant deal. However, he did not give any value or timeframe for the project but said it would involve the building of a third-generation power plant with four reactors with capacity of 1200 MW each on Egypt’s territory.

It is not clear in which part of the country it will be built or how it will be paid for, but Sisi talked of a loan that would be repaid over 35 years.

The agreement was signed by Mohamed Shaker, Egypt's Minister of Electricity and Energy and Sergey Kirienko, the director general of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation in the presence of Sisi.

"The country's balance sheet will not bear the cost of this loan, it will be covered by the production of electricity from the plant," he said. "The goal of the signing is a message of hope, work and peace for us in Egypt and for the world."

In addition to this, a MoU between the Russian Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision and the Egyptian regulatory body for nuclear and radiological safety was signed in order to facilitate further development of the nuclear infrastructure.

Documents specified questions of nuclear fuel supply for future NPP, obligations in operation, maintenance and repair of NPP power units.

IGA also regulates questions of SNF treatment, NPP personnel training, assistance to Egypt in the improvement of standards and regulations in the sphere of nuclear power industry and nuclear infrastructure.

On the deal, Kirienko said: "NPP project in Dabaa will become the largest joint project between Russia and Egypt since Aswan dam project; this is sincerely new page in history of Russian-Egyptian intergovernmental relations."

"First NPP will make Egypt regional technological leader and the region’s only country with NPP 3+ Gen technology," he added.-Reuters and TradeArabia News Service

Al-Sisi launches harbour project in Port Said

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi launched the East Port Said harbour development project in Port Said Saturday, giving the starting signal for digging to begin on a side channel to be used in the project.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi welcomed the president upon his arrival.

The implementation of the large sea port on the eastern side of the city is part of the overall Suez Canal Axis Development Project. The new port will include industrial, logistics, and residential zones as well as one dedicated to fish-farming.

A road tunnel will also be built under a channel to the south of the city.

During his speech, Al-Sisi announced the project’s features, along with the planned conclusion date. The Armed Forces Engineering Authority will lay out the various stages of implementation, along with details of development projects in the province.

Al-Sisi, during the celebration, interrupted General Kamel Al-Wazir, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority and the general supervisor of the new Suez Canal project, during his statements about the East Port Said development projects, when he said the project would end in three years. Al-Sisi said the project could be completed in two years instead.

Al-Sisi added that the government is working hard for future generations. He further confirmed that the project will include “the establishment of a coastal city”.

The president said there is an urgent plan to tackle drainage and irrigation problems within two years: “No one can ever prevent us from building our country,” he said.

“We spoke two years ago about the world’s sufferings due to not confronting terrorism,” he said. “But the whole world realised this recently and it will face the problem militarily, economically, and religiously. There is no way to eliminate terrorism unless it is with confrontation and we will fight this phenomenon that is hostile to humanity and religion.”

Al-Sisi confirmed that the government has succeeded in accomplishing energy and gas projects in Egypt. “We do not have any problems in these projects at all,” he said.

“I have some doubts and concerns about the businessmen, why are you sceptical about our intentions? I assure you this is not accurate. Work and build; why are you afraid?” Al-Sisi continued.

“I salute all of you. I appreciate and thank all those who contributed in any accomplishment, and we will meet in other projects. We must challenge ourselves before challenging the world.”

Scatec Solar to build $600m solar projects in Egypt

Scatec Solar, a leading solar energy provider, is planning to invest $600 million on solar projects over two years in Egypt.

As the sun is very stable from morning to evening, plenty of solar power can be generated in Egypt, said a statement.

These investments will create employment, with the provider in discussions with Egyptian companies in regards to training local workers and teaching them the skills during the construction of solar plants, it said.

Terje Osmundsen, Scatec Solar senior vice president for Business Development, who took part in the recently concluded Solar Projects Egypt conference, said that if Egypt moves according to its ambitious timeline, it can emerge as a leader in solar energy.

The conference showed that there is an emerging cluster of Egyptian companies that is preparing to play an active role in developing the solar market in Egypt.

India, South Africa and China are large countries and play an important role, but in the Mena region, Egypt can become the leading hub on solar development, and gradually even manufacturing, said Osmundsen.

Egypt is potentially a very attractive market because for every KW per hour of solar energy that can be produced. Importing fuel is expensive and a drain of precious foreign exchange reserves. Solar energy can replace imported oil, fuel and diesel to produce electricity.

From a global perspective, the Benban area is a huge area because it is linked to the infrastructure of the Aswan Dam – so it can combine hydro, wind and solar power. So this area is very suitable for building solar power farms, he said.

The company has started recruiting people to work on the three projects in Benban and two in Zaafarana and has also been co-ordinating with local companies.

The Benban projects are set to be launched in the first half of the next year, said Osmundsen.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) is ready to sign the contract of sub-stations and want to start next year, he said.

About 25 to 30 per cent equity amounts to $112 million to $146 million, and 70 to 75 per cent debt will represent $420 million to $450 million in loans from the banks. The firm is discussing with Norwegian and international funders, he added. - TradeArabia News Service

Foster + Partners wins big Cairo mixed-use project

Foster + Partners, a leading UK-based architectural firm, said it has secured a major contract to design the masterplan for the Maspero Triangle District, a mixed-use project featuring residential, commercial and retail developments, in downtown Cairo, Egypt.

The contract was awarded by Egyptian Ministry of State for Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements (Muris) after the British company won a competition for designing the masterplan for the project.

The neighbourhood, situated on the banks of the River Nile is characterised by its informal settlements and dense urban fabric.

The 35 hectare masterplan aims to introduce new residential, commercial and retail spaces, while rehousing the majority low income population in the same area and retaining its unique character and spatial attributes, said a senior official.

"We are delighted to have won the masterplan design competition for the Maspero Triangle district. We believe this is an exciting opportunity to transform the lives of the people that live in this neighbourhood – supporting the vibrant public realm by giving them greener community spaces, and a better place to live and work, while creating new spaces for offices, retail and residences," remarked Grant Brooker, a senior executive partner at Foster + Partners.

"On the banks of the River Nile, the future of Maspero burns bright, and we are sure our sustainable model of development will set the benchmark for urban regeneration throughout the country," he stated.

According to him, the project is envisaged as a combination of public initiative with private investment support to produce a viable urban regeneration scheme.

Based on estimated land values, the masterplan places commercial and residential spaces along the river edge and main street frontages, while mixed use buildings and open community spaces occupy the more private, central core of the scheme, explained Brooker.

"This allows the existing population of the district to maintain their overlapping spatial live-work relationships while new office and retail spaces on the edges of the site create employment opportunities for the entire city of Cairo," he added.

Following a flexible approach, the first phase will fill the empty spaces within the district with greenery to enhance the vibrant public realm in the community. This will improve the quality of life in the district and benefit the existing community immediately, said the British design major.

Subsequently, the parts of the residential and commercial areas will be built in tandem creating a sustainable model of development, it stated.

The design of the public realm is key to the project, and in addition to the green spaces throughout the settlement, a central open space has been created at the heart of the neighbourhood for community events and celebrations, said the statement from the company.

This space links directly to the food market, serving visitors and locals alike, which in turn leads to the retail spine and the hospital at the northern corner of the site, it stated.

The settlement prioritises pedestrian traffic with its narrow, shaded streets, it also connects across the river to the exclusive neighbourhood of Zamalek via a footbridge that boosts the connectivity of the area, said the top architectural firm.

At the foot of the bridge, there is the ‘Lagoon’, lined with a number of cafés, restaurants and shops that will make this a highly desirable leisure destination, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

Online-only UAE visas for GCC expats from Oct

GCC expats can now apply for e-visa for UAE

Expatriates with permanent residency permits for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries can now apply online for visas to enter the UAE.

The e-visa can also be applied by GCC nationals for individuals they sponsor, including house help, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai confirmed, adding that from October, only e-visas will be issued for GCC expats entering the UAE.

Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the GDRFA in Dubai, said the move to the new online service will help GCC expats avoid long queues for on-site visa applications and payment at the airport.

He further added the step aims at facilitating procedures for all visitors and residents to visit Dubai.

GCC expats will be able to apply and pay for their UAE visa online, beginning tomorrow, May 15, 2015.

Al Marri added that the department is encouraging everyone to submit entry permit through the online service to facilitate the measures for them.

Meanwhile, Lt. Colonel Talal Al Shanqeeti, Assistant Director-General for Ports, confirmed that that visa service will commence online and also upon arrival at the airport until the beginning of October.

Following this period, GCC resident visa holders will only be able to apply for a UAE visa online and there will not be a facility to obtain a visa at the airport upon arrival.

He added that the GDRFA Dubai will distribute fliers and brochures in both Arabic and English to help with the transition.

Steigenberger Hotel enters Dubai

Leading German hospitality company Steigenberger Hotel Group has expanded its portfolio to the Middle East with its first property in the UAE – the five-star, waterfront Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay in Dubai.

The flagship Steigenberger Dubai is right at the heart of the city close to the iconic Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest tower and the Dubai Mall in the cosmopolitan Downtown neighbourhood.

The hotel’s 367 rooms include 28 suites designed for business and city leisure travellers while its four restaurants, which offer a variety of cuisine, all have fabulous views over Business Bay.

There is also a banqueting and conference area – with a daylight ballroom for 450 people, four meeting room options, a board room, library and outdoor terraces.

Leisure facilities include a spa, fitness centre, and pool terrace – all with panoramic city views. Underground car parking is available.

The property is owned by Twenty14 Holdings, the hospitality investment arm of LuLu Group International, the Abu Dhabi-based retail giant. The company is focussed on acquisitions and management of assets worldwide.

Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels, said: “This new hotel at Business Bay re-affirms our commitment to international growth in general and the Middle East in particular.

“Dubai is now one of the world’s leading tourism and business hubs and the perfect springboard to this important region. The new hotel is symbolic of our growing international presence at strategically important locations made possible through teaming with like-minded and expansion-oriented partners.”

Adeeb Ahamed, managing director of Twenty14 Holding, said: “We are proud to be associated with the Steigenberger Hotel Group to bring its first five-property in the region.

“Our vision is to be the most preferred hospitality company with an exclusive portfolio of world-class properties, which are unique in design, service and functionality. We believe that the new hotel truly complements our vision and will encapsulate an absolutely remarkable experience that would make it the most sought after meeting point in Dubai.”

Further Steigenberger-managed properties currently in the pipeline include the InterCityHotel Culture Village in Dubai, and the Steigenberger Hotel Airport Road Doha. – TradeArabia News Service

Du unveils Smart Healthcare Programme in UAE

Leading telecommunications operator du has unveiled the Smart Healthcare Programme on UAE Innovation Week at its interactive stands displaying how innovation can help save lives.

The Smart Healthcare Programme will address global healthcare issues, including risk of incorrect emergency diagnosis and lack of patient history access, as well as position Dubai as a global E-Health hub, said a statement.

The aim of the programme is to use the current and future Smart City infrastructure to embed medical record profiles into every resident’s Emirates ID.

This profile will provide GPS applications for Smart Devices and Emirates ID-enabled chips for real-time access, speeding up the medical emergency response and intervention time to save lives.

The system will enable all medical entities in UAE to be connected to it. Moreover, all UAE entities will have a unified record system based on the E-ID which will save money, improve emergency response, and leverage access to healthcare in the UAE.

Having patients’ medical histories, including previously prescribed medication, allergies, surgery and other medical procedures in one place will lead to savings and better care, helps avoid repetition of prescribed tests and results in overall convenience, leading to increased satisfaction levels.

The benefits that this technology can offer are exponential: it has the potential to increase life expectancy by offering intelligent treatment in a timely manner and eliminating the cost of poor medical care quality and wrong medical prescriptions hazards. In addition, the technology will enable patients to be reached regardless of their position using GPS applications enabled on smart wearable devices.

Samer Geissah, vice president - Consumer, New bsuiness and Innovation, said: “We are addressing a global healthcare issue by identifying the root of the cause and offering a tangible and innovative future solution today. Our aim is to become the lifestyle partner of choice for the citizens of the UAE.

"Our business works in tandem with a variety of partners to ensure that the products and services we offer are of the best quality and really add value to life, and we are all set to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and all related authorities to execute the Smart Healthcare Programme, which supports our efforts to position the UAE as a global force across a number of industries and aid in its diversification to a knowledge based economy.

"The newly launched programme will not only position the Emirates as a global leader in the area of health, but also as a front runner in big data assimilation and segregation.”

The end to end Smart City Health Applications will be enabled by the world class technology and network infrastructure that the UAE boasts of. Furthermore, the technology will connect hospitals, clinics and pharmacies under one platform to reduce medical hazards from wrong diagnosis, said the statement.

Medical record updates will be continuous, updated by authorised doctors and hospitals whenever a patient is admitted to any hospital or clinic across the UAE.

The information that will be collected includes a full blood picture, heart condition, sugar condition, hypertension condition, liver and kidney functions, current medical treatment, allergies and geographic genetic mapping. - TradeArabia News Service

Kuwait expats to see 200% surge in health insurance fees

A Kuwait government plan to ban foreign workers getting access to public healthcare services will cause a series of consequences to the expatriate community, local media has reported.

Kuwaiti Economics Committee in the Supreme Council for Planning and Development recently proposed a two-layered alternative health plan for the three million of expats residing in Kuwait which would cause expatriates’ annual health insurance fees to triple to not less than KD150 ($493).

At the moment, expats in Kuwait pay an annual health insurance fee of KD50 and get partially subsidized charges for certain procedures, while the country provides free medical services to all citizens.

The council’s plan divides foreigners in Kuwait into two groups – around 2 million employees of the private sector and one million expatriates who work in the public sector.

The first group of foreigners will be treated in expat-only hospitals. In 2014, the government established a shareholding company to build three 700-bed hospitals and 15 polyclinics to provide integrated medical services to foreigners in Kuwait.

When the new hospitals are established, foreigners will have to purchase the health insurance policy from the same company in order to have access to medical services at the three hospitals, in addition to paying a costly health insurance fee.

The second class of foreigners will be treated in private medical facilities.

Dependents’ residency renewal limited to sponsor’s residency validity: Maarafi

KUWAIT: Director of the Interior Ministry’s Residency Affairs Department Major General Talal Maarafi stressed that starting from January 10, 2016, the renewal validity of expatriates dependents’ residency visa (article 22) would be tied to the validity of those of their own sponsors. “This means that if an expat’s residency is valid for one year, he can only renew those of his wife or kids for a single year,” he explained.

Responding to a question on whether expats’ residency or visit visa fees would increase, Maarafi stressed that a proposal in this regard was already submitted to the parliament for approval, adding that such fees will not be increased by a ministerial decision.

Legalizing status

Furthermore, Maarafi said that expats who are already in violation or residency laws, regardless of for how long, can apply to the residency affairs requesting legalizing their stay in Kuwait without being deported, provided they were not wanted for any other legal claims or security restrictions. “This applies for holders of articles 17, 18, 19, 20, 22 and 33 residency visas,” he underlined.

Moreover, Maarafi said that visiting Syrians who had been stuck in Kuwait after their visit visas expired would be granted two-month temporary residency visas provided they file applications in this regard to the office of the ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passports Affairs Major General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah. “This procedure will protect violating expats from being blacklisted.

In addition, Maarafi said that a study had been made and submitted to the ministry’s information technology department concerning renewing residency visas and issuing visit visas online through the ministry’s website. Finally, Maarafi highlighted that a domestic worker’s residency will not be transferrable to work as drivers before working for at least five years for the same sponsor. – Al-Anbaa

American Hospital in Doha prepares to reopen after QR15 million renovation

After abruptly closing its doors in October, one of Qatar’s oldest private hospitals said it is nearing the end of a months-long renovation and hopes to reopen within the next few weeks.

Speaking to Doha News, administrators at the American Hospital on C-Ring Road said the building will have an expanded radiology department and inpatient area that aim to help reduce wait times.

Renovations began in June to upgrade equipment and give parts of the dated facility a facelift. Work was initially restricted to the evenings and weekends, but then the hospital completely shut down last month following a visit from the Supreme Council of Health (SCH).

“Before, our setup was a bit old. But we still gave great service,” Dr. Khalil El-Sakhli, a general surgeon and the hospital’s medical director, told Doha News on a tour of the facility late last week. “Now, they will also get the best environment” for medical care, he added.

The hospital, which is located in Al Muntazah, opened in 1999 and sees approximately 4,500 patients a month.

It employs some 110 medical and support staff, including specialists in acupuncture, dermatology, gynecology, physiotherapy and other fields.

The project comes as Qatar’s rapidly growing population causes demand for healthcare services to increase.


Once the expansion work is complete, one of the most noticeable changes will be to the hospital’s radiology area, which is being completely rebuilt. Previously, two pieces of equipment were located inside a single room, meaning only one patient could be seen at a time.

That’s being changed so that a CT scanner, X-ray machine and mammography equipment are located in separate rooms, increasing the department’s capacity.

Similarly, the hospital’s in-patient area is being expanded by moving each of the hospital’s 20 beds into standalone rooms fitted out with medical equipment and a centralized oxygen supply.

Peter Kovessy

New beds at the American Hospital in Doha.

Meanwhile, the hospital is increasing the number of operating theaters, commonly used for hernia repairs, varicose vein treatments and other surgeries, from one to two.

New equipment including hospital beds have been purchased as part of the QR15 million project, which also includes upgrades to the facility’s air conditioning systems, ventilation ducts and security systems.

“We want our patients to know they are secure and surrounded by the latest medical equipment,” El-Sakhli said.


The decision to completely shut down the hospital followed a visit by SCH inspectors last month.

Peter Kovessy

Dr. Khalil El-Sakhli is a general surgeon and medical director of the American Hospital in Doha.

El-Sakhli said the authority expressed concern about the potential impact on patient care caused by the ongoing renovations.

He said the hospital and SCH reached a “mutual understanding” to close the facility to patients until work is complete.

The SCH did not respond to a request for comment.

However, the sudden closure appears to have caught some patients off-guard.

Resident Hisham Nadi told Doha News that he arrived at the hospital last week to renew a prescription, but was unable to reach the reception area because of the construction work.

Oman implements offset clause rule for foreign firms

Muscat -

Oman has started implementing the offset clause regulations for foreign firms under the partnership for development (PFD) scheme.

PFD is part of the offset concept, in which countries aim to maximise the local benefit of foreign investments.

The regulations cover all defence and security expenditures as well as key infrastructure projects in electricity, water, communication, ports, roads and oil and gas sectors, according to Dhafir al Shanfari, CEO of Omani Authority for Partnership For Development (OAPFD), which is implementing the programme.

It applies to purchases worth at least RO5mn by ministries as well as companies which are at least 50 per cent government-owned.

Thirty government entities are affected by the regulations. The regulations are targeted on purchases of ‘imported content’, said Shanfari.

“It’s the government money leaving the country - we are trying to bring something back,” he said. A percentage of each purchase as high as 50 per cent, but at least five per cent - must then be spent in targeted programmes which increase in-country value (ICV).

This includes enhancing local defence and security, technology, workforce training and economic diversification. Companies have a period of eight years after the purchase to comply with the regulations. This includes 20 per cent of the value by the second year and 60 per cent by the fifth year.

OAPFD published the current regulations in June, and on Monday held a meeting with key stakeholders.

“We believe PFD can contribute...to transfer technology, to develop capacities in areas we don't have capabilities in,” Shanfari said. PFD began in 2000 primarily for military purchases and was housed in the Ministry of Defence. It then moved to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 2008 before OAPFD was established in 2014.

Hyatt Dakar Top Open 2016 in Senegal

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced today that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a management agreement with Lacoste & Cie S.A. for a new Hyatt hotel in Senegal’s capital city, Dakar. Hyatt Dakar will become the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Senegal, joining the previously announced Park Hyatt Marrakech and Hyatt Place Taghazout in Morocco, as well as Park Hyatt Zanzibar and Hyatt Regency Arusha in Tanzania.

“We are delighted to work with Lacoste & Cie S.A. on Hyatt Dakar, our first hotel in Senegal. The company has a depth of expertise that matches Hyatt’s ambition to provide an exemplary guest experience,” said Peter Norman, senior vice president, real estate and development, for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. “Africa’s hotel market remains underdeveloped, despite a growing middle class and increased inward investment in recent years which has pushed up demand for hotels. This creates significant opportunities for us and has increased Hyatt’s development focus on the continent. We believe that the Hyatt brand and the hotel’s excellent location in Dakar – one of West Africa’s major business hubs – will have strong appeal to business and leisure travelers visiting the region.”

Expected to open in 2016, Hyatt Dakar will offer 140 guestrooms, and will feature two restaurants, a guest lounge and bar, as well as meeting space and a spa. The hotel will be located in the heart of the city’s business district, within walking distance of major international organizations in the city, such as UNICEF and UNESCO. Additionally, the hotel will border the popular Kermel market, which was originally built in 1860 and is known for its striking original architecture.“We appreciate Hyatt’s commitment to providing authentic hospitality to its guests, and we believe Hyatt Dakar’s excellent location in the city’s business district will deliver an exceptional hospitality experience to guests visiting the region,” said Dr. Mahmoud Aidibé, Lacoste & Cie S.A

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