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Honeywell, Etisalat Misr enter Egypt Smart City partnership

Honeywell, a global technology leader, and Etisalat Misr (Etisalat Egypt) are teaming up to support Egypt's smart city vision and deliver world-class services for citizens at Egypt's New Administrative Capital, one of the world's largest smart city projects.

The two companies will sign an agreement today (January 19) at Intersec 2020 to provide advanced solutions for the new city being built 45 km east of Cairo, which will expand to cover more than 700 sq km once complete.

The event will run until January 21, at the Dubai Wold Trade Centre, in Dubai, UAE.

The collaboration will result in the establishment of a state-of-the-art City Operations Center (COC) that will integrate data from city management systems to efficiently support administrative functions and smart city services for citizens, as well as public and private sector entities in the new capital.

The new initiative with Etisalat Misr follows in the footsteps of Honeywell's agreement in February 2019 with the Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD) to deliver city-wide security and surveillance systems as part of the first phase of the project's development. - TradeArabia News Service


Egypt firm, Masdar set up renewable energy JV

Masdar, one of the world's leading renewable energy companies, and Infinity Energy, Egypt's leading renewable energy developer, have agreed to establish a joint venture company, Infinity Power, to develop utility-scale and distributed solar energy and wind power projects in Egypt and Africa.

The agreement was signed at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) by Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Infinity Energy managing director and co-founder Mohamed Elamin Ismail Mansour, and Infinity Energy CEO Nayer Fouad.

"Egypt has demonstrated its commitment to clean energy with the recent inauguration of the world's largest solar park at Benban and we are proud to support its government to continue to advance the country's renewable energy programme," said Al Ramahi. "The establishment of Infinity Power will bolster the progress Egypt has made in renewable energy and catalyse further development in the region. We look forward to working with Infinity Energy to unlock opportunities to further Egypt's renewable energy goals and extend energy access to those areas of Africa that are under-powered."

Egypt's 2035 Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy targets 20 per cent of the electricity mix coming from renewables by 2022 and 42 per cent by 2035. The country has the potential to supply 53 per cent of its electricity mix from renewables by 2030, according to analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

Infinity Energy is the leading renewable energy developer in Egypt, having completed the development and construction of Egypt's first large-scale solar power plant in February 2018, followed by another three plants in Benban Solar Park, which is considered the largest solar park in the world to date. Infinity Energy now operates its six solar plants with a total capacity of 235 MWp.

"We are pleased to bring together the experience and resources of Infinity Energy and Masdar to continue our fruitful efforts in the renewable energy sectors in Egypt and Africa," said Mansour of Infinity Energy.

"As Egypt is now envisaged to be a major energy hub in the region, Infinity Power stands at the forefront of developers to bring this vision into reality. Infinity Power will also extend its commitment to our home continent; Africa. We believe in Africa's large growth potential in the power sector and we look forward to implementing renewable energy generation projects where they are needed, and to seeing the positive impacts of these projects on the local communities where they are located."

Africa could meet almost a quarter of its energy needs from indigenous and clean renewable energy by 2030, according to Irena. The development of renewable energy projects under the JV aims to improve energy access, while boosting economic development, creating jobs and improving healthcare services, particularly in the most remote areas. Almost half the continent's population currently has no access to power.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development recently committed an investment in Infinity Energy of up to $60 million in the form of capital increase in the company to finance the development, construction and operation of renewable energy projects and associated ancillary business including electricity distribution and electric vehicle charging stations in Egypt and across Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries.

Infinity Energy also established Infinity-e in 2018 to provide charging solutions for electric vehicles. Infinity-e aims to have more than 100 charging stations operational by the end of 2020, of which 15 stations are already operational and cover all main highways and roads in Egypt.

Furthermore, Infinity Energy is a major shareholder in E-Power, a licensed distribution and selling electricity company, which was established in 2014. E-Power provides a variety of services including network maintenance, value-based engineering for electrical network and facility management. E-Power has secured over 15 contracts with the leading real-estate developers in the Egyptian market. - TradeArabia News Service


Expats asked to register on Absher

RIYADH - The Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) on Wednesday called on all expatriates in the Kingdom who do not have Absher account to register on the platform at the earliest.

The purpose of registering expatriates in Absher platform is to be informed of the services and procedures implemented for them by employers as well as to facilitate the procedures of special services, to save time and effort, for their families in order to ensure a quick implementation and quality of service, Saudi Press Agency said.

The expatriates will also benefit from the electronic services provided by the Jawazat without going to the various passport departments in person.


Ascott Corniche Al Khobar opens its doors in Saudi Arabia

The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has celebrated the launch of its sixth residence in Saudi Arabia, Ascott Corniche Al Khobar.

The new property comprises a total of 172 units and stands on Prince Turki Street, granting easy access to the Corniche via footpath. The hotel's surrounding neighbourhood boasts a variety of leisure options, including shopping malls and restaurants, while guests will also benefit from easy transport links to and from the residence. Meanwhile, the newly opened Dr. Suleiman Al Habib hospital is also within arm's reach.

Regional general manager - Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India, Ascott, Vincent Miccolis said: "Ascott Corniche Al Khobar is destined to appeal to a broad spectrum of short and long-term guests alike, who seek the comfort and privacy of an apartment with the added sophistication of international-standard hotel services. As we expand our Saudi Arabia property portfolio, we are setting new benchmarks for quality and contemporary accommodation in key destinations across the Kingdom."

Ascott Corniche Al Khobar is home to beautifully appointed apartments, including studio premier, one-bedroom executive, one-bedroom premier and two-bedroom premier options, as well as three-bedroom luxury penthouses. Facilities at the freshly launched property include a fully equipped business and events centre, a dining area, a lounge, a fitness centre, a swimming pool, a children's playroom, a guest lounge and a prayer room.

Meanwhile, the hotel's Al Mandaloun restaurant and lounge is currently in the design stage and is expected to reach completion in Q3, 2020.

Ascott has plans to add a further 779 keys across five other KSA properties by the end of 2020 and is on track to double its portfolio in the Middle East to 5,000 units in the next year.

Projects set to open in 2020 include: Citadines Al Ghubrah Muscat, Ascott Villas Riyadh, Somerset City Centre Atyrau, Kazakhstan, Citadines Maslak Istanbul as well as Citadines Culture Village in Dubai.


Etihad Airways and easyJet unite

Etihad Airways has entered into a new partnership with easyJet, under which customers can purchase through the easyJet worldwide website, thus connecting the two airlines' networks.

The new alliance follows easyJet's accelerated and successful roll-out programme with world-leading flight comparison search engine, Dohop, which powers the easyJet worldwide website, connecting its European network with long-haul flights. For Etihad Airways, this has been achieved using the New Distribution Capability (NDC) platform providing technical capability for new partnerships previously not possible. The partnership with easyJet and Dohop is the UAE national airline's first use of this technology and Etihad plans to add more airlines and travel partners to their NDC portfolio in 2020.

Vice president, alliances and partnerships, Etihad Airways, Ali Saleh spoke on the union: "This new collaboration between two great brands is a logical leap forward for both our companies. easyJet is a perfect launch partner for us in Europe, allowing us to reliably increase the breadth of our continental reach to and from Abu Dhabi, as we enhance ways of connecting directly with more airlines and travel partners around the world. "

Meanwhile, easyJet's head of commercial partnerships, Rachel Smith added: "We're excited to announce our partnership with Etihad Airways, which opens up Abu Dhabi as a destination to our passengers. Through smart self-connections and strategic partnerships, we continue to extend the reach of the worldwide by easyJet network offering more value and more routes to more customers."

Customers will for the first time be able to purchase tickets on the easyJet website from 68 cities on the airline's network in Europe to Abu Dhabi, connecting on to Etihad Airways flights from 10 European gateways in Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rome, Geneva, Madrid, Manchester, Milan Malpensa, and Zurich. Both airlines plan to expand the partnership to include more destinations in the future.


Oman opens new 191-km expressway

Oman has officially opened the new Al Sharqiya Expressway for traffic. The 191-km expressway starts from the Wilayat of Bidbid and ends in the Wilayat Al Kamil wa Al Wafi.

The expressway will be under a test period of three months when only light vehicles are allowed to use it during this period.

After the three-month period, heavy vehicles will be allowed to use the expressway, except those loaded with petrochemicals and dangerous materials, said an Oman News Agency report.

Designed in accordance with the highest international specifications and standards, the road includes two tunnels with a total length of 2.1 km. The first tunnel is located in the village of Nadab in Samayil with a length of 650 m, while the second tunnel is situated amidst the mountain ranges of Al-Aqq with a length of 1,450 m. The project also includes bridges over wadis at a height of 90 m, said an Oman Daily Observer report.

Meanwhile, the government plans to build a third and fourth lane of Rusayl-Nizwa dual carriageway project from Muscat Expressway Junction to Bidbid-Sur Junction, the report said.


Dubai's Careem announces plans to axe Oman service

Careem is set to pull out of Oman and will no longer be operating its service in the sultanate from February 3.

The news was shared on the company's social media pages on Wednesday.

It said: "Careem decided to discontinue operating in Oman due to the absence of the regulatory factors that provide us with a healthy investment environment.

A further posting said: "It's been a privilege to have served you together with our dedicated Captains. If you have any credits left, please use them before Sunday, February 2, 2020, otherwise we will refund the remaining credits to your registered credit card."

The Dubai-based ride hailing app was bought by Uber in a $3.1 billion deal completed two weeks ago.

Careem was originally launched in Muscat in May 2017 on its own, but stopped when it was asked by the Government of Oman to reconsider their operating model and focus first on working with licensed taxis.

The company resumed operations in Oman in September 2018, in partnership with local operator Marhaba Taxi.

Uber was told last year that it could operate in Oman "if they agree to operate under the regulations set by the [Minister of Transport and Communications] ministry", the minister Dr Ahmed Al Futaisi said at the time.

"Services such as Uber and Careem can be implemented in yellow taxis only after meters are installed in the vehicles," Dr Futaisi said.

"We are aware that this is a service that many travellers and tourists look for, but if they are to operate here, they must do so following the country's ways and not their own," he added.


Voico voice and video-calling app to be available on du soon, says CEO

A new app that will allow UAE residents to make unlimited voice and video calls on their mobiles and laptops is in the final stages of an approval process before being featured by du, according to local media reports.

The Voico app has already been available to Etisalat customers since October last year.

In a Gulf News story, Voico Inc. president and CEO Elie Saber was quoted as saying that "the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) are about to approve our license with du".

"This is what we have found out from du; that we are going to be featured with them this month," Saber added. "There was a process we had to go through with the TRA, and so the next step after that is for the app to be available to users on du."

According to Saber, the app already has 150,000 users without any advertising in the UAE, with an average of 5,000 to 10,000 new users on a daily basis.

"Even though we have been featured on Etisalat, we decided to not go with any advertising until we were finally approved by du," he added. "Once that's done, we will start our advertisements about the product."

Canada-headquartered Voico has millions of users around the world, Saber added.

"We believe that we have enough expertise to offer a similar product to residents in the UAE," he said.


SkyWay: UAE's driverless pods, cable car project takes shape

Driverless pods on cable cars could soon be the answer to the UAE"s traffic problems, as an innovative project in Sharjah begins to take shape.

The Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park's (SRTI Park) hanging track transport system - the SkyWay project, which is being developed by SkyWay Technologies - has completed 80 percent of Phase 1 and has begun Phase 2 of development, which will involve driverless pods, called "unicars", and transport passengers and cargo on cables suspended across elevated corridors.

Phase 1 of the SkyWay project witnessed the development of the 400m-long elevated string track and SkyWay stations to transport passengers.

Commenting on Phase 1 of the development, the head of Business Development at SkyWay Technologies, Svetlana Voloshyna told Construction Week: "In this initial stage, we saw the development of driverless pods - or unicars - designed for four people. However, each of these unicars can be designed for anywhere between two to 80 people."

Voloshyna added: "What makes this transport useful is also the fact that as the population of the smart city increases, we can correspondingly add more pods - or bigger pods - to the same network of elevated string transport, without the need of disrupting the flow and without any additional construction."

Phase 2 will witness the development of a 2.8km-long elevated track to transport cargo, including containers and bulk transport. This phase is expected to be completed within the next six months.

The project will undergo government tests and standardisation processes before it enters Phase 3, which will involve the development of a single elevated track that will be able to accommodate both cargo and passengers.

The urban transport concept and technology, which is being tested in Sharjah before being marketed on a global scale, aims to cover a 2.8km-stretch from the Sharjah Airport road to the University City road.

Commenting on the project's benefits, the senior vice president of the project division of SkyWay GreenTech, Raman Marwaha told Construction Week: "The project is more energy efficient, more cost effective, and a faster means of transport than what currently exists in the market. It has a capacity of running up to 150km."

Marwaha added: "Its requirement for land parcel as a right of way is extremely less because the columns on which this elevated corridor is built will be sleek - causing it not only to have lesser amount of material used in construction, but also makes it environment friendly."

Since the construction of the SkyWay project involves strings suspended across slender columns, it will also add to the visual lightness of a smart city rather than the "concrete jungles" created by other traditional transport, Marwaha explained.

The use of less material, such as concrete, also results in considerable cost savings in construction.

The unicars, which run on batteries and a "dynamo system", also have artificial intelligence capabilities that ensure the safety of passengers. The unicars are able to autonomously detect a problem, can "talk" to each other, and find solutions to rectify a problem.

"For instance, if one of the driverless pods stops midway on the elevated string, it has the capability of realising that it is stuck. It can then communicate with another pod, which will find the stuck pod, and couple with it so as to let the passengers move from one unicar into the other, and travel to safety," Marwaha explained.


Road tolls go live in Abu Dhabi, targeting rush hour traffic

Abu Dhabi's new road toll system went into operation on Thursday.

Motorists in the emirate will not have to pay road tolls during off-peak hours at the four gates, which are located at Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Sheikh Khalifa Bridge, Al Maqta Bridge and Mussaffah Bridge.

Motorists will be charged AED4 every time they pass through any of the bridges, with a daily cap of AED16 and a monthly cap of AED200.

However, charges will only apply during peak hours, from 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm, from Saturday through to Thursday.

It costs AED100 to register a vehicle, with AED50 credited back to the user's account.

Those exempt from the charges include, people of determination, senior Emirati citizens, low-income Emiratis and retired Emiratis. The fees will also not apply to taxis, public and school buses, towed vehicles, public buses with 26 seats or more, electric vehicles and motorbikes.

Fines range from AED100 for ignoring the charges on the first day; AED200 for a second day; AED300 for the third; and a AED10,000 fine for exceeding the maximum limit of four days.


Used cooking oil to be converted into biodiesel for vehicles in Abu Dhabi by the end of 2020

Abu Dhabi: Residents and restaurants will be able to sell their used cooking oils for conversion into biodiesels for vehicles by the end of 2020, a top official from Abu Dhabi's Centre of Waste Management (Tadweer) has said.

Dr Salim Khalfan Al Kaabi, General Manager of Tadweer, told Gulf News, "The plant for the converting used cooking oil into biodiesel will be opened by this year end.

"Restaurants, cafeterias, hotels and residents can sell their used oil and they will be paid for this. If a resident collects the used oil, they can sell it and will get money for this," he said, adding that they would be paid as per the market price.

Currently residents and commercial entities resort to draining the used cooking oil into the drain, which often results in clogging, said Dr Al Kaabi.

The government then spends a large amount of money cleaning these clogged drains in the emirate.

"A massive campaign will be launched soon to spread awareness among people about it," he added. "People will be educated about it through different kinds of mediums, pupils in schools and colleges.

"Once the biodiesel is ready, it will be sold in the local market, even Adnoc accepts it.

"This is a green diesel that can be used in trucks," he said.

Tadweer also aims to divert 85 per cent waste from its landfills into recycling plants by 2030 and it has been taking a series of initiatives to encourage residents to segregate waste at home to then discard in bins designated for separate materials like paper, plastic and glass.

Waste to energy

By 2023, Tadweer will start converting waste into energy and will strive to produce fuel for jets once local airlines like Etihad and Emirates get the technology for their carriers.

Dr Al Kaabi said, "By 2023, the centre would be able to start either waste to energy or waste to jet fuels.

"We are at the last stage of finalising things about the waste to energy with the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation who will buy the electricity from us. "Similarly we look for entities to buy the jet fuel as well, if we produce it and Etihad or Emirates agree. But if the market is not there, we wouldn't go for this project.

"Investors are there to invest in the waste to jet fuel project, but we are looking for a market," he said.

The first plant for converting waste into electricity will be opened in the US in the first quarter of this year, said Al Kaabi, who also urged people to only buy what they can consume to reduce waste production, and to collaborate to reduce waste generation and help the centre by segregating waste and dropping it into designated bins for the separate materials.

Al Kaabi added that people discarding litter in the desert was another issue, and that people should respect the environment.


Pay parking fee through RTA Dubai app to get loyalty points

Dubai: Motorists paying parking fee through the mobile app of Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) can now earn points on Nol Plus, RTA's loyalty programme.

The new initiative announced on Wednesday is available through the RTA Dubai app.

"Users can earn and utilize their loyalty points in the form of balance added to Nol cards or discounts on e-Vouchers usable at a variety of cafes, restaurants and other entertainment or shopping outlets to add more pleasure to Nol Plus users," the authority said in a press release.

Through this initiative, RTA said it seeks to encourage parking users to use their parking account to pay parking fees.

HMotorists can recharge their parking accounts through nol card, mPay or ePay.

The underlying objective of linking loyalty points with this smart payment of parking fees is to encourage the public to use the smart apps and benefit from features provided such as saving surcharges associated with other payment modes [For eg; SMS fee in mParking], detecting vacant parking slots, and obtaining a record of past transactions."

RTA said the new initiative is aimed to deliver better services to parking users and enhance the smart transformation of Dubai.

It reflects RTA's standing commitment to maximise the happiness of customers, be it residents, visitors or tourists descending on the city from all over the world.

The initiative will also boost the smart transformation of services by increasing the number of users of RTA apps and encouraging public transport riders to use Nol card to pay their bus or taxi fares. As such, it fits well with RTA and Dubai Government efforts in this regard, the authority stated.

RTA said it is keen to continue with the smart services offering to boost the happiness of people, especially mass transport users, and contribute to the efforts of raising the profile and the ranking of Dubai to become the smartest city in the world.


Masdar City to open new community park in Abu Dhabi

Masdar City, a planned city in Abu Dhabi, will inaugurate its new community amenity, Central Park, during The Festival, which is taking place in the city this weekend.

The new park is designed to achieve Abu Dhabi's first Exemplar rating under the Estidama Pearl Community Rating System (PCRS) and will host the three-day festival from January 16 to 18, reported state news agency Wam.

The fun-packed event is open to everyone, and members of the public will be able to learn more about sustainability and making more environmentally aware decisions.

"The Festival is the highlight community event of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and we are delighted to be able to host it in Central Park, our newest sustainability-focused amenity. Masdar City is focused on pedestrians and this vision continues with this new development, which aims to promote active living and healthy lifestyles while encouraging social interaction, engagement and walkability," said Yousef Baselaib, executive director, Sustainable Real Estate, Masdar.

"Central Park is a reflection of Masdar City's continued commitment to innovation, development and acceptance of all cultures, and it is fitting that we inaugurate the park as the country begins its preparations for our half centenary."

Central Park has been designed to reflect the four principles of the Estidama system - economic, environment, social and cultural - and is built to the highest sustainability standards to reduce energy and water consumption, construction and operational waste, and carbon emissions for materials used in the park.

Conservation measures include the collection of organic, green-cut and biodegradable waste material for onsite landscaping and the inclusion of native and adaptive drought- and salt-tolerant plants. The park has achieved 80 per cent shading for primary pathways and 100 per cent shading over playgrounds, improving the outdoor thermal comfort of the park. Energy for lighting comes from renewable sources such as photovoltaic panels.

Educational elements include a storytelling stage, along with urban farming areas - including edible maze areas, climbers and green walls that will grow herbs and vegetables.

The park's landmark feature is a fog harvesting tower, which will collect humidity to supplement the water-efficient irrigation system feeding the urban farming areas. Organic waste and landscape waste from the park will be converted to compost for use in the park's landscaping.

Public amenities at the park include food and beverage outlets, lawn areas, community gardens and small-scale allotments, flexible market spaces and unique bespoke playground areas.

During The Festival, Central Park will feature themed zones, each focused on raising awareness about sustainability through fun and educational workshops. A main stage will feature live performances, such as comedy and game shows, and educational talks about sustainability, while other zones will be dedicated to community engagement and interactive events, including science shows.

Workshops will increase awareness on sustainability, recycling and upcycling, while local producers will sell eco-friendly goods and handcrafted gifts. There will also be a special area focused on food sustainability, including how to grow your own produce, composting and food waste.

Visitors to Masdar City's Observation Deck will be able to see the world's largest mosaic made from recycled materials. Depicting the UAE's journey of development, the artwork was made from recycled materials collected from Masdar City and plastic waste, aluminium cans and cardboard donated by the community.

Masdar Park will welcome home Masdar's Eco-Bus following a tour of all seven emirates to raise awareness of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and educate local communities about sustainability and climate change. The Eco-Bus will be hosting interactive workshops for children throughout The Festival and will provide information on how to help mitigate climate change at home by recycling and using more energy-efficient appliances.

Masdar Park will also feature trampoline park Bounce and a planetarium dome, which will provide an immersive space and astronomy experience. The park is also home to food and beverage outlets housed in recycled shipping containers, a playground, basketball courts, football pitches and the 5.6 kilometre Al Mamsha running and walking trail.


Dubai RTA adds 5 new abras to marine network

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has deployed five traditional abras to enhance water transport network on Dubai Creek and Marina.

"The addition to the fleet of abras aims to respond to the growing demand from residents, visitors and tourists for marine transport services and enhance the network in the Emirate," said Mohammed Abu Bakr Al Hashmi, director of Marine Transport at RTA's Public Transport Agency.

"The new abras can accommodate 24 riders. Manufacturing of these abras commenced in September 2019 and three will be handed over in January this year, while the remaining two are planned for delivery in the following month."

"The new traditional abras are lighter in weight and compatible with the code required to accommodate people of determination. The design of these abras enables transforming them into electric abras in line with RTA's environmental sustainability plan," added Al Hashmi.

Marine transport is a key component of RTA's integrated public transport in Dubai. The opening of the Dubai Water Canal has heightened the importance of marine transport in the Emirate, especially in offering tourist services and integrating with other vital services in the city. Such a strategic shift in the role of marine transport highlights Dubai as a reputed global destination for trade, business, finance and tourism.

Comprising of abras, waterbus, water taxi and the ferry, RTA's marine transport has state-of-the-art facilities including stations dotting the entire Emirate, 9 of which are at Dubai Water Canal. - TradeArabia News Service


The Selfie Kingdom opens in Dubai

The Selfie Kingdom (TSK), Dubai's first-ever dedicated selfie museum, opens its doors for photo/selfie enthusiasts of all ages.

Close to the Expo 2020 site, TSK is an interactive space that aims to inspire creativity, art, design and promote digital content.

The hub currently features 15 pop-up rooms with vibrant and unique backdrops/props and proper lighting offering guests a highly-visual?and entertaining experience that are absolutely photo-worthy. The rooms would be remodelled every few months to provide a fresh immersive photo-friendly experience. In addition, it will feature interesting exhibits/installations from various artists, designers and innovators for visitors to enjoy.

"The Selfie Kingdom contributes to the spirit of the UAE," said Rania Naffa, chief happiness officer and founder. "TSK provides an interactive photo-friendly social space that promotes art, creativity and a place for our guests to express themselves freely and have fun while doing it. We want everyone to be part of this entertaining experience and create some amazing memories," added Naffa.

The hub also provides a creative space for people to co-work and a venue to host private parties/ events. - TradeArabia News Service


Doha Metro station wins top green certifications

Constructed by Greece-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), Msheireb Station is one of the world's biggest metro stations and a major interchange where all three Doha Metro lines (Red, Green and Gold) will connect.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building programme, developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) is the pre-eminent programme for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of high-performance green buildings. The Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) is the first performance-based system in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, developed for rating green buildings and infrastructures.

The dual Green Building certifications awarded to Msheireb Station: GSAS 5 Stars (in design and build under railways scheme) and LEED Gold (LEED 2009 for new construction) is a significant milestone as the subway station has achieved the highest GSAS rate for a non-residential building in Qatar and becomes the first LEED Gold underground metro station in the world.

Msheireb Station was awarded these sustainability certificates for implementing strategies in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, cultural and economic value and innovation in design.

The advanced Green Building targets, the jobsite's inner-city position, along with the project's complex structural design placed high demands on the execution of the construction work. CCC's project teams providing management, technical, and construction expertise ensured that the ambitious infrastructure project met CCC's high standards of excellence.

CCC is a global leader in the engineering and construction industry. Established in 1952 and operating worldwide, the company has provided more than 67 years of project management, engineering, procurement and construction services to the industry, is currently engaged in 45 ongoing projects globally, and employs around 140,000 people internationally. - TradeArabia News Service


Qatar Airways and Deutsche Bahn form alliance to benefit travellers to Germany

Qatar Airways and Deutsche Bahn (German railways) have announced an exciting new codeshare partnership, which will grant Qatar Airways travellers seamless connectivity to and from eight key destinations in Germany.

These destinations are inclusive of Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Hannover, Leipzig, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Munich, and Hamburg, all of which can be accessed via Qatar Airways' Frankfurt gateway in Germany.

The carrier currently offers 35 weekly flights between Doha and Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin (two daily flights from Frankfurt and Munich, and one daily flight from Berlin).

Chief executive, Qatar Airways Group, HE Akbar Al Baker enthused: "This codeshare agreement between Qatar Airways and Deutsche Bahn further strengthens the ties between Germany and Qatar. We have witnessed significant growing demand between Germany to Qatar and beyond. Our new codeshare destinations not only meet that demand, but provide a service for our valued passengers in Doha, and from dozens of destinations globally to new, exciting places to explore in Germany."

Meanwhile, member of the management board for passenger transport, Deutsche Bahn, Berthold Huber declared: "We are very pleased to further intensify our successful and long-standing Rail&Fly cooperation with Qatar Airways through our new codeshare agreement. The Qatar Airways and Deutsche Bahn codeshare offers our joint customers a seamless, easy and flexible journey to and from different German cities."


Bahrain mall plans to open 'first of its kind' entertainment hub

Dilmunia Mall Development Company has announced that a major new entertainment hub at Mall of Dilmunia in Bahrain is in its final stages of development.

Funscape World, the "first of its kind" in Bahrain, will offer a wide range of entertainment space which will include various zones, including Funscape Adventure, Funscape Play Zone, Funscape Ice and Funscape Sport, a statement said.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Duaij Al Khalifa, CEO of Mall of Dilmunia, said: "We are delighted to announce that Funscape World will be completed within the next few months. Funscape World aims to further diversify the existing realm of indoor entertainment and set a new standard for entertainment offerings within the Kingdom of Bahrain.

"We are extremely proud to be collaborating with leading international companies with the aim of developing this tourism attraction and including more comprehensive entertainment options for visitors of all ages," he added.

Once launched, Funscape Ice will be a major entertainment attraction in Bahrain, covering an area of 1,054 sq m on the first floor of the mall and will include an ice rink.

Funscape Play will cover a space of 2,122 sq m on the second floor of the mall, featuring a number of attractions including token redemption games, soft play area for toddlers, bumper cars, VR games, an indoor rollercoaster, carnival games and video games while Funscape Adventure, located on the ground floor, will include wall-climbing areas alongside a zipline.

Funscape Sport will cover 1,837 sq m on the third floor, and will also include two football pitches, robo-goalkeeper challenges, as well as indoor sporting facilities and a football training academy.


Kuwait's Talabat promises food delivery in 15 mins with new launch

Talabat, the largest food delivery service in the Middle East, is set to disrupt the grocery business model with the launch of the first dark store in the region.

Daily, the new online initiative by Kuwait-based Talabat, ensures grocery goods are delivered to the customers' doorsteps in just 15 minutes.

Daily by Talabat stands out for its lowest time to deliver goods and its affordable price point, the company said in a statement.

It added that Daily combines the convenience of a local shop with the price point and variety of a supermarket with deliveries within 15 minutes.

Customers can access Daily through the Talabat App, available on the Apple Store or Google Play.

The company said Daily has been launched to address customers' needs for a fast service that delivers everyday goods.

Tomaso Rodriguez, CEO of Talabat, said: "When online food delivery was unheard of in the region, Talabat brought a new way of food ordering that has now become the industry norm. Today, with Daily, we are once again revolutionising a business sector that holds tremendous potential.

"We couldn't think of a better place to launch the region's first dark store than Kuwait, our birthplace and one of the most dynamic markets in the region. Kuwait is a place where new ideas can come to life and thrive. This is why we want our Kuwaiti customers to be the first to experience Daily. We are looking to roll out Daily across all markets in the next several months.

"We've been listening to our customers and based on their feedback and to meet their lifestyle aspirations, we have launched this new service. With Daily by Talabat, customers can order grocery goods conveniently, at supermarket prices, and find more time to enjoy the moments that matter."

Announcing plans to expand the service across the GCC, Rodriguez added: "With Daily, we're delivering all our user's daily needs, from fruit to detergent to ice cream and more. We have a big offering that ranges from quick snacks to fresh produce to healthy foods - everything that a family needs."

Since launch, the most ordered goods on Daily include water, soft drinks, and ice cream, as well as non-food items such as tissues and laundry detergent. Customers order most during the night and over weekends.

Mobility Management Middle East

Middle East:
Saudi Arabia

Ivory Coast

Other Countries: