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Jannah Burj Al Sarab launches fully furnished studios

Jannah Hotels and Resorts, a UAE-based hospitality group, has launched new studio apartments with five star services including hotel amenities in Abu Dhabi.

Residents looking for a home in the UAE capital can now rent a fully furnished studio in the city’s newest five-star hotel, Jannah Burj Al Sarab, located in the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi, for Dh85,000 a year.

Available for payment in monthly instalments, residents will also enjoy a range of amenities at no extra cost, including 50 pieces of laundry service, housekeeping, 50 per cent discount on food and beverage, as well as take advantage of the world’s fastest hotel internet connection at 1.2 Gb per second and many more.

“The recent launch of our studio product, which includes a wide range of hotel amenities, comes after an in-depth study of Abu Dhabi market and the needs of this category of home seekers,” said Nehme Imad Darwiche, chief executive officer of Jannah Hotels and Resorts. He added: “We cater to the essentials of successful yet ambitious global travellers and residents looking to balance work and play in their lifestyles.”

Featuring 38 sq m in size, these studios are furnished in soothing, natural colours with contemporary furniture, a King-sized signature Jannah Spa bed that conforms to the body for a better night’s rest, lined with 450-thread count bed linen, an executive-sized desk as well as a 48-inch flat-screen television with international and local channels.

“With all needs taken care of by our Karim (personal butler), Jannah Burj Al Sarab provides a flexible, hassle-free and safe environment for individuals living in Abu Dhabi,” added Nehme.

Facilities also include a rooftop swimming pool and boutique gym in addition to a shisha lounge with sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf, legendary Karim butler services for round-the-clock assistance as well as underground parking.

Located 30 minutes’ drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport or 2 hours from Dubai International Airport, Jannah Burj Al Sarab has easy access to the capitals’ finest retail and entertainment landmarks such as Abu Dhabi Mall, Galleria Mall and Saadiyat Island. – TradeArabia News Service

Dubai to have world’s largest wellness village

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), a health and wellness destination, today unveiled plans for the world’s largest wellness concept in its Phase 2 expansion in Al Jadaf Dubai.

Strategically located on the waterfront, the WorldCare Wellness Village will occupy an area equivalent to roughly the size of 16 football fields, and is estimated to be significantly larger in scale and offerings to current wellness properties in Europe and the US.

Tapping into the growing demand of people looking for evidence-based and holistic care, the wellness concept is driven by US-based WorldCare International and developed by the Dubai-based MAG Group. WorldCare is renowned for its online medical consultation service that digitally connects millions of members worldwide with over 20,000 specialists at world-class medical centers.

The Wellness Village concept contributes to the vision of Dubai Healthcare City to become an internationally recognised location of choice for quality healthcare and wellness services. With DHCC’s Phase 2 expansion, over land area of 22 million sq ft, the free zone will drive the global trend of preventative healthcare taking into account local and regional healthcare demands and demographic changes.

Increasing access to preventative care is important to improve wellbeing and lower healthcare expenditure in the long term, said Dr Raja Al Gurg, vice-chairperson and executive director of Dubai Healthcare City Authority.

“By enabling access to wellness services, we are strengthening the health system and bringing patient centred care to the forefront. We are confident that Phase 2 will drive wellness tourism together with medical tourism, boosting Dubai’s diversified economy. It will bring together unique wellness concepts and specialised services such as rehabilitation, counseling, sports medicine and elderly care for both residents and visitors.”

The WorldCare Wellness Village will be anchored by a 100,000 sq ft Wellness Center that will focus on prevention and management of diseases such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other physical conditions.

The Center will provide diagnosis and treatment plans, offering comprehensive two-to-six week medical programmes built around patient education and lifestyle change. More than 100 healthcare and allied professionals are expected to work at the Center.

Nasser Menhall, chief executive officer and co-founder of WorldCare International, said: “We are proud to bring to Dubai a diversified wellness capability that will aggregate leading technologies and best practices in wellness programs in an unprecedented manner. Benefiting from economies of scale and our broad medical network, we hope to deliver a unique package of services that will raise the bar and set high standards.”

The Wellness Village, occupying 810,000 sq ft of built up area (gross floor area /GFA) on a 900,000 sq ft plot, is also conceptualised to include customised living spaces such as residential villas and apartments, as well as rental units to support long-term stay for both for local and foreign patients.

The eco-friendly living spaces will be designed to serve wellness and rehabilitation needs through features such as therapy zero-gravity pools, personalized spas, and rigorous exercise and diet facilities.

Bader Saeed Hareb, chief executive officer (CEO), Investment Sector, Dubai Healthcare City, said, “We welcome our new wellness partner WorldCare who brings international systems and healthcare expertise that will strengthen what we already offer within the free zone. Unique concepts like WorldCare are a step in the right direction to ensure long-term sustainability and to develop a health and wellness destination that improves quality of life and sense of community.”

Hareb added, “As projects take shape, there will be a significant impact on the overall health of our communities, giving impetus to more opportunities to develop unique wellness concepts.”

Dubai real estate 'likely to recover despite low oil'

The real estate market in Dubai, UAE, is likely to trend upwards this year and enter the recovery phase of its third cycle, thanks to the government's expansive fiscal policy, said a report.

As oil prices and equity markets continue to fall further, the consensus on the current situation of being a redux of 2008 becomes stronger. However, a closer examination of the 2016 budget reveals a mismatch, according to Unitas Consultancy, a Dubai based real estate consulting firm.

In response to the oil price crash over the last 18 months, majority of GCC members have slashed their 2016 budget spend by more than seven per cent. Interestingly, Dubai has increased its budget by 12 per cent year over year, said the Dubai consulting firm in the report released by Reidin, a leading real estate information company focusing on emerging markets.

This highlights the government's role in expanding the money supply in order to encourage economic growth, stated the report.

It is this response by the government that is providing the fillip in the form of sustained fiscal stimulus in the face of global economic headwinds, and as economic history suggests, sustain and mitigate the impact of any downturn, it added.

According to experts, the relationship between the budget spend and real estate prices is intertwined, where the former is a leading indicator of the latter.

For example this relationship is witnessed in Dubai and Qatar over the last 6-8 years, where an increase is budget spending has coincided with an increase in real-estate asset prices with a lag, they pointed out.

As oil continues to float near the $30 range, concerns abound that the contractionary effect will lead to a reduction in economic activity, they added.

According to them, Dubai is the only exception within the GCC states that has a low dependency on oil (six per cent in 2016), as the emirate has diversified into other sectors such as tourism, retail, and logistics.

It is this diversification of revenues that has allowed the city to adopt an expansionary fiscal policy, they added.

"If both the government and private sector spending continues to increase Dubai will cope with the falling oil prices, supplementing the loss of jobs from the oil and gas sector with other booming industries such as tourism, construction, and healthcare," the experts stated.

Last year Dubai experienced a 5.1 per cent increase in population coupled with 3.4 per cent in GDP growth, said the Unitas report.

"The expansive fiscal policy adopted by the government is inline with the current infrastructure boom that is underway. If the momentum continues, Dubai real estate prices will begin to trend upwards, entering the recovery phase of its third cycle," it stated.

According to the report, even though foreign money flows will likely be impacted in the face of declining oil prices, the stimulus adopted by the government will cushion any deleterious impact.

This fiscal stance is expected to be sustained during the run up to the World Expo 2020, said the report.

Although it is likely that foreign inflows will subside in response to falling oil prices, the impact will likely be moderated as the city moves to recalibrate the housing market towards a more affordable option, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

Colas JV wins Algeria metro contracts

Colas, a UK-based provider of civil engineering, maintenance and construction services, said its joint venture with Kou GC has won two contracts for the extension of the metro project in Algeria.

The first contract is for the metro’s €117 million ($127 million) ‘Extension C’, which will take the existing subway line in capital Algiers 3.6km further south and will include three new stations, reported The Construction Index.

The second contract, worth €51 million ($55 million) called ‘Extension A’ involves extending the system by 1.7km to the north of the city. It includes two new stations in the heart of the old town, notably at the Place des Martyrs, it stated.

As per the deal, Colas will be responsible for a 51 per cent share of the overall work, which has a combined value of €168 million ($182 million) and will be carried out for Algiers Metro Company (EMA).

The scope of work for Colas Rail includes implementation of power supply, ventilation and smoke extraction besides railway work, low-voltage work and the ticketing system.

The contract also inlcudes project co-ordination and system integration, the report added.

Warehousing Solutions to develop new park at Sohar Freezone

Warehousing Solutions, a newly established company belonging to Saudi Arabian logistics provider Warehousing Projects and Logistics (WPL), has signed a new deal to develop and manage the new warehouse park at Sohar Freezone in Oman.

The contract marks the beginning of the construction of WPL’s planned 50,000-sq-m warehouse park, said the Oman Daily Observer report.

A further 50,000 sq m has been reserved for Phase Two, taking the total size of the land lease agreement up to 100,000 sq m, it said.

The firm will construct ready-built warehouses as well as bespoke warehousing for other Sohar tenants on-site in the freezone.

“We are delighted to have signed this lease agreement with WPL’s new Omani company, Warehousing Solutions. The logistics sector in Oman is projected to grow beyond the $12 billion mark by 2017, and we have set out to make 2016 our Year of Logistics, to attract more 2PL and 3PL providers to Sohar,” Jamal Aziz, chief executive officer, Sohar Freezone, was quoted as saying.

WPL Chief Executive Abdulaziz Mansoor al Subaie, summed up: “We’ve seen an active interest in warehousing and logistics development emerging in Oman, and our presence at Sohar expands our reach across the region to meet these demands," Abdulaziz Mansoor Al Subaie, WPL chief executive.

"With its strategic location as a logistics hub for the Gulf, Sohar Freezone will add to the value proposition we can offer to clients and logistics service providers,” he added.

Oman Rail seeks consultants for key project survey

Oman Rail has invited bids from consultancy firms to conduct a study on the acquisition of land for the Segment Two of the sultanate's ambitious multibillion-dollar project, said a report.

The Segment Two of the 2,135-km national rail network covers a roughly 240-km stretch that starts from Buraimi and connects with a proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Dhahirah Governorate, reported The Oman Observer.

The Oman Rail move comes in line with its efforts to lay the groundwork for the implementation of a national freight and passenger rail transportation system in the sultanate.

Implementation of this segment is envisioned in two sections: Section 2a extending from Hafeet in Dhahirah Governorate to Ibri (114 km), and Section 2b, extending from Ibri to the Dhahirah Special Economic Zone (116 km), said the report.

Last week, Oman Rail floated a tender for the appointment of a consultant to undertake a detailed inventory of properties and buildings that would need to be expropriated ahead of the execution of Segment Two, it added.

Morocco launches $742m infrastructure projects

Morocco has announced the start of several key infrastructure projects in its economic capital Casablanca including the construction of the second line of tramway and extension of the first line besides development of the city road network and building of a tunnel on the national highway RN1 in direction of Al jadida and two bypass roads, said a report.

King Mohammed VI launched these projects in the prefecture of Ain Sbaa-Hay Mohammadi districts in Casablanca as part of the 2015-2020 strategic development plan for the city, reported the allafrica.com.

The expansion of Casablanca tramway network, which is worth Moroccan dirham 4.28 billion ($426 million), aims to gradually reach 110 km-long network over the next six years.

The Casablanca road network, which is set to be developed at a cost of MAD3.17 billion ($316 million), is expected to be ready by 2020.

The bypass roads and the tunnel aim notably to find solutions to traffic jam at the south-eastern gate of Casablanca, guarantee the continuity of the Rabat Al Jadida and Casablanca-Mohammed V International Airport road, and establish direct access to the Casablanca Finance City from the airport, said the report.

All these projectsare designed to improve the living conditions of local population and accompany the demographic and urban development in Casablanca, it added.

Older vehicles ban may be implemented in Bahrain

Older vehicles could soon be banned from Bahrain’s roads. The decision was agreed during a meeting of MPs, municipal councillors and government representatives yesterday (January 28), said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

New plans to tackle traffic congestion in Bahrain

A raft of new measures are being planned to tackle traffic congestion and other motoring-related problems across Bahrain. Proposals include residents-only parking in certain neighbourhoods, park and ride schemes, a ban on vehicles over a certain age, new rules for motorcycles, special lanes for bicycles and restricting vehicle access to public transport in some places, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

Bahrain residential project on track

The work related to a government housing project in Hidd area of Bahrain is progressing well and a total of 487 families could soon receive keys to their new housing units, said a report citing a senior Housing Ministry official.

Eighty-five per cent of the construction and infrastructure work has been completed, said Under-Secretary for housing projects Sami Buhazza, reported the Bahrain News Agency.

the East Hidd housing project will see 500 residential units come up on a 232-hectare area, stated the report citing Buhazza.

To be completed in two phases, the project will pave way for establishing 487 housing units in the two villages B2 and B3 in the first phase.

A tender for building 398 housing units in village B1 has already been awarded, it stated.

According to Buhazza, the project boasts 4,548 housing units, 2827 villas and 1212 apartments.

He pointed out that the project was in line with the government's efforts to build 25,000 housing units over the next four years.

Saudi residential market 'resilient' despite oil slump

The residential property market in Saudi Arabia remained resilient despite pressure from lower oil prices and reduced government spending, said a report.

The kingdom's prime markets were doing fine with capital Riyadh maintaining steady performance, and Jeddah showing continued growth momentum, according to real estate expert JLL.

In Riyadh, approximately 17,000 units entered the market last year, the majority of which were standalone villas or small apartment buildings (with no projects exceeding 150 units), stated JLL in its annual review of the Saudi Arabia Real Estate Market for 2015.

Jamil Ghaznawi, the national director and country head of JLL (Saudi Arabia), said: "We have witnessed a shifting demand in the residential market in both Riyadh and Jeddah, as the trend moves towards property rentals from sales."

"Residential transactions declined by five per cent in the year-to-November 2015 compared to the same period in the previous year. We expect rental demand to continue in 2016 but at a slower rate in comparison to 2015, while little or no change is likely in the sales market in 2016," stated Ghaznawi.

"However, this situation may change once the regulations surrounding the ‘white land tax’ are released," he added.

Looking ahead at the upcoming supply, JLL said there are a number of large-scale projects including Green Oasis and the second phase of Manazil Qurdoba, which will deliver 930 and 700 residential units respectively.

While 28,000 units could potentially be completed in Riyadh during 2016, actual deliveries are likely to be significantly less.

Around 2,250 land plots were handed over to end users within the Eskan Airport project in Riyadh in 2015. Apart from this development, there are no other major planned or under-construction affordable housing projects in Riyadh, it stated.

Ghaznawi pointed out that lower oil prices have put pressure on economic growth, liquidity, government budgets, the stock market and asset prices.

"This scenario has led to cuts in subsidies and reduced government spending and has also impacted the financing of real estate projects. A more selective approach can be seen, with an increased focus on critical infrastructure and affordable housing projects," he stated.

On the other hand, there is reduced spending on less urgent projects, resulting in delays or scaling back of many projects, he added.

On the hospitality sector, JLL said with new hotels opening in Riyadh this year, there may be downward pressure on ADRs and occupancy rates due to increasing competition.

However, the Jeddah hotel market is likely to remain relatively stable in the near to medium term, the property expert said in the review.

Even though there is new supply of Jeddah hotels, there is strong demand to absorb any new supply, as result of religious tourism and higher occupancies during school and public holidays, it stated.

On the office market, JLL said Jeddah has witnessed a steady and healthy growth along with new supply of quality space. On the other hand, Riyadh rentals have remained relatively stable as occupiers exercised relative caution in terms of expansion as the economy slows down.

Looking into 2016 and beyond, Ghaznawi remarked: "We are entering a very challenging period as oil touches new lows and the government cuts spending and subsidies. It is encouraging to see that the government is taking steps to diversify the Saudi economy."

"Such structural initiatives will have long-term benefits and will contribute towards the positive development of the Saudi real estate market. Moreover, new laws allowing full foreign ownership of wholesale and retail business will attract foreign investment, which will ultimately benefit the real estate market. And finally, religious tourism will remain a growth sector in Jeddah and the Western region, and could support new hospitality supply," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

Qatar foundation partners with harvard graduate school of education to enhance teaching and learning in Qatar

New School Leadership Development Programme Set To Implement New Strategies and Structures in Qatar Foundation Academies Doha, Qatar, 31 January 2016

The Education Development Institute (EDI), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF) , has partnered with the prestigious Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) in Massachusetts to launch a custom-made leadership programme.

The project is entitled 'Implementing Strategies and Structures to Enhance Teaching and Learning in Qatar Foundation Academies (ETLQ)'. Falling under QF's wider, year-round commitment to developing Qatar's teaching professionals, the programme aims to promote continuous life-long learning and supports the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV2030).

The unique initiative, specially created by HGSE, was designed to explore multiple frameworks for organisational development and to develop skills in the practice of instructional leadership. Launched with a three-day interactive session in January, which was attended by representatives from QF's Pre-University Education Office and educators from various Qatar Foundation academies, the project will continue online until May.

"The Harvard programme on 'Implementing Strategies and Structures to Enhance Teaching and Learning in Qatar Foundation Academies (ETLQ)' will enrich our leaders' insights and skills across a number of areas. These include instructional leadership and understanding of the value of sharing experiences, working collaboratively, and reflecting on practices to implement strategies and structures that will enhance learning in schools," said Sheikha Noof Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, Director of Institutional Development, Pre-University Education Office.

"I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to Katherine Merseth, Faculty Chair for ETLQ and Senior Lecturer on Education, Faculty Director, Teacher Education at HGSE, as well as her team for the comprehensive three-day course. We truly look forward to a productive and professionally rewarding collaboration," Sheikha Noof concluded.

"The excitement of the participants is palpable. We have been warmly welcomed and look forward to continued learning together," said Katherine Merseth, Faculty Chair for ETLQ and Senior Lecturer on Education, Faculty Director, Teacher Education at HGSE.

Others on the ETLQ faculty team include Deborah Jewell-Sherman, Professor of Practice, and Tom Cassidy and Habeeb Qaudri, both regular contributors to professional education programmes at HGSE.

Qatar's real estate market adjusts to challenges: DTZ

DOHA: Qatar's real estate sector has enough room to adjust itself to the changing business cycles. The decline of QCB's real estate price index for the first time in eight months in December 2015 shows that the market is adjusting to short term-long term challenges, an expert panel noted yesterday.

At a media round table, leading real estate company DTZ's top experts said the number of real estate transactions in Qatar will continue to grow in 2016, but with a slight correction in terms of land prices and transaction value.

"Banks are reducing exposure to riskier markets. Land value will stablise overall with a reduction in some place in Qatar. We are also expecting a reduction in the speculate purchase," Richard Rayner, Senior Chartered Surveyor, DTZ said.

On the office market sector, Johny Archer, Associate Director, Consulting and Research, DTZ said approximately 300,000 sq m of new office accommodation is likely to complete in West Bay within the next 12.18 months, which will increase supply levels, however, over more than 200,000 sq m of this is at the QP District, which may not be available to the market. In the longer term, once developments complete in Lusail, the large supply pipeline may result in downward pressure on rental levels as landlords compete for new tenants.

"There has been a fall in demand for corporate lettings of entire residential blocks and compounds. Companies are increasingly look to provide a rental allowance rather than employee accommodation. This has resulted in a number of residential apartment blocks remaining vacant as some landlords prefer to secure corporate leases", said Mark Proudley, Director, Consultancy and Commercial Agency, DTZ.

On the Pearl-Qatar, DTZ estimates that new supply of apartments is likely to increase by between 30 percent and 40 percent in 2016 as up to thirteen new towers in Porto Arabia and Viva Bahriya near completion. This will have a significant impact on the prime residential market, and has potential to see rental levels reduce further if delivered as expected and demand remains stagnant.

In the hospitality sector, 1,900 hotel keys were added to Qatar's stock in 2015 although DTZ noted downward pressure on average daily rates (ADR's) with a drop of 12 percent compared to the same period in 2014. Pressure on performance metrics in the hospitality sector is likely to continue, as up to 80 new establishments are expected to increase supply by approximately 18,000 keys over the next 3 to 5 years, Mark said.

"In the final quarter of 2015, Qatar's real estate market started to show signs that the drop in hydro-carbon prices is really beginning to bite. We think this is likely to continue into 2016 and the sector needs to be ready for a few tough months. But the long-term trajectory for Qatar remains good with the government's significant infrastructure investment, valued at QR261bn," Mark added.

It really is the one to look out for in 2016! Iran set to build another 125 luxury hotels as it pushes on with plans to be this year's must-see destination

Iran aims to increase visitors to 20million by 2025, which it's hoped will add £20billion to the economy

Number of hotels built in past year more than the total built in last century - and huge developments are coming

Rotana, Accor, Melia and Jumeirah hotels have all signal their commitment and have unveiled some grand designs

With sanctions lifted over country's nuclear transparency officials hope tourism industry can be re-invigorated

Backing up its aim to be one of the must-visit destinations for 2016, Iran is set to construct 125 luxury hotels.

With the government's tourism arm aiming to increase visitors to the Middle Eastern country to 20 million by 2025, a 20 fold increase, hopes are that it can contribute £20billion to the economy.

Masoud Soltanifar, the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, confirmed that many of the hotels are near to completion, and the numbers built in the last year are more than the total produced in the last century.

FACTBOX-Companies rush to Iran as sanctions are lifted

Major international companies are rushing to establish a position in Iran as the Islamic Republic re-opens for business after the lifting of international sanctions.

So far, deals worth a total of at least $37 billion have been announced in sectors such as construction, aviation and car manufacturing. Companies include Europe's Airbus , French car maker Peugeot and Italian steel firm Danieli.

Dozens more have said that they are in talks or have signed provisional agreements with Iranian partners.

With a population of 80 million and annual output of some $400 billion, Iran is the biggest economy to rejoin the global trading system since the Soviet Union broke up over two decades ago.



Iran has agreed to buy 118 Airbus jets worth $27 billion at list prices, including a dozen A380 superjumbos. The planemaker said the deal was conditional on getting U.S. export licences because more than 10 percent of Airbus jetliner parts come from the United States.


Italian infrastructure company Condotte d'Acqua said on Monday it would sign agreements for projects with Iranian companies worth as much as 4 billion euros ($4.3 billion), a company spokesman said.


Italy's Danieli & C Officine Meccaniche signed a joint venture and agreed orders worth in total about 5.7 billion euros. The venture "Persian Metallics", with an estimated worth of 2 billion euros, involves a group of international and Iranian investors.

Other agreements relating to supply of machines and plants to produce steel and aluminium to be signed with Iranian companies are worth about 3.7 billion euros, the company said. 


Greece's biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum agreed on Friday to buy crude oil from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), the first European refiner to restart trade relations with Iran after the lifting of international sanctions. The company had been a major buyer of Iranian crude before sanctions were imposed.


China's Norinco International Cooperation Ltd said on Wednesday its consortium had signed an agreement for a railway project in Iran for 2.3 billion yuan ($350 million).


The French car maker and Iran Khodro have announced a 50/50 joint venture to build Peugeot cars in Iran. Peugeot says venture could invest 400 million euros in production, research and development in the next five years.


China's Sinosteel Engineering & Technology Co said one of its units has signed a contract worth 3.1 billion yuan ($471 million) with Iran's Bafgh Kasra.



Alstom has signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of mainline and urban transport in Iran, the company said on Friday.


The Volkswagen-owned German carmaker said its representatives had travelled to Iran for talks with possible importers, seeing growing potential for luxury car sales.


Swiss automotive supplier Autoneum is in talks with French carmakers Renault and about cooperating on potential business in Iran, the Swiss paper Handelszeitung quoted its chief executive as saying on Thursday.


Swiss machinery maker Bucher expects sizeable new orders from Iran within months, its chief executive said. Revenue from pent-up demand in Iran could potentially top the 20 million to 30 million Swiss francs ($20-30 million) his firm reaped there annually before sanctions, he said.


Commerzbank, Germany's number two lender, said it was considering the possibility of returning to Iran, less than a year after agreeing to pay $1.45 billion to U.S. authorities for violating sanctions.


Daimler said its trucks division had signed letters of intent with joint venture partners in Iran as part of the German company's re-entry into the country.


Herrenknecht, a German tunnelling company which helped build the Tehran metro in the 1990s, is ready to bid for projects in Iran, said the company's chairman. He plans to travel to Iran in the next two months to talk to former business partners.


British Airways, part of IAG, hopes to start flying to Tehran in the near future, said the airline group's chief executive on Monday.


Top management of Russia's oil major Lukoil visited Iran and reached an agreement on the firm's possible participation in several oil projects in the Islamic Republic, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky said on Friday.


India's state-run National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) is interested in setting up a $2 billion smelter complex in Iran, its chairman said, and will send a team of experts there to explore the opportunity.


An Omani sovereign wealth fund has signed an understanding with Iran Khodro to study a proposal for a $200 million auto plant in Oman, a fund official said on Wednesday.


South Korea's POSCO plans to sign a preliminary agreement with Iranian steelmaker PKP in March to buy a stake in a $1.6 billion steel mill project, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.


Italy's Saipem signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to cooperate on major oil and gas projects in Iran. Controlled by Eni and Italian state lender fund FSI, Saipem said the MoU had been signed with the Parsian Oil & Gas Development Co and involved the revamping and upgrading of the Pars Shiraz and Tabriz refineries.

It gave no financial details.


Ansaldo Energia, Fincantieri, and Itinera also signed deals with various Iranian companies in front of reporters on Monday. Not all the details were given.

The following day, the international arm of Telecom Italia Group, Ti Sparkle, said it had signed a MoU with an Iranian telecom firm.

Italian state railways said Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) will provide technical assistance for the construction of a high speed line and the electrification of another. No terms or conditions were revealed.


The world's biggest oilfield services company Schlumberger is in talks to buy back its former Iranianian unit, the managing director of ex-subsidiary Well Services of Iran was cited as saying in the Wall Street Journal.


Turkey's largest mobile operator Turkcell is looking for deals to enter the Iranian market and is in touch with the country's fixed line and mobile operators, its chief executive said.


Zurich Insurance said it would look into insurance cover for corporate customers doing business with Iran. (Compiled by Sarah Young and Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Catherine Evans)

© Reuters 2016

MP aims to ban female workers in male-only areas especially in cafes, health clubs etc

KUWAIT: Acting Director General of Manpower Public Authority (MPA), Ahmad Al-Mousa issued a decision banning the issuance of work permits for females who work in areas that serve men only, especially in cafes, health clubs, barbershops or hazardous industries. Meanwhile the decision bans men from working in women's only areas including beauty saloons, women health clubs as well as selling women's intimate clothes.

The number of parliament by-elections candidates for the third constituency reached 45, including a lone woman, bearing in mind is that today is the last day of registration. Candidate Abdelmonem Al-Fuzaie said competition must be fair to serve the country and its citizens, and lauded the government's performance and its decisions.

He said there are some issues that should be tacked and wondered about decisions of the housing authority as they distributed lands of 400 meters squared north of Kuwait and Mulaa area while lands in Jahra were of 500 meters squared, and considered that a contradiction. Al-Fuzai spoke of vehicles insurance and said the citizen is burdened by bureaucracy when and accident takes place and waits for so long before he receives his dues.

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