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Honeywell, Etisalat team up to develop smart buildings in Egypt

Global technology major Honeywell has signed an agreement with Etisalat Misr, a subsidiary of the UAE telecom group Etisalat, to develop advanced solutions for smart buildings, communities and cities in Egypt.

The MoU between Honeywell and Etisalat Misr outlines the intent to co-develop IoT-based offerings that leverage artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), connecting and hosting technologies that can be applied to various vertical segments such as manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, education, real estate and transportation.

As per the deal, the duo will collaborate to build a cloud-based IoT platform to help further the advancement of both greenfield and brownfield projects across Egypt.

Honeywell said it will provide expertise for the IoT-platform solution development including hardware and software support, and Etisalat Misr will leverage its capabilities in connectivity, hosting services, software and operations.

The collaboration supports Egypt Vision 2030 by helping to enable digital transformation of key industry sectors across the country and creating a more sustainable environment through the deployment of smart solutions to conserve energy and water consumption and manage waste.

"This effort builds on the established track record of Honeywell and Etisalat Misr to collaborate and deliver successful smart city projects. It will help further demonstrate the country's ability to deliver cutting-edge, digital-first solutions to the citizens, companies and visitors of Egypt," said Khaled Hashem, President, Honeywell, Egypt and North Africa.

"By combining our IoT-based solutions and Etisalat Misr's capabilities in connectivity, we aim to enhance the safety, security and quality of life of citizens while building more sustainable communities across the country," stated Hashem.

Khaled Hegazy, Chief Business Officer, Etisalat Misr, said: "We are pleased to extend our relationship with Honeywell in our joint efforts to support the Egypt 2030 strategic vision for a more diversified economy."

"With our combined expertise and capabilities, we can further drive digital transformation for key verticals in the region," he added.- TradeArabia News Serv


Sunset Hospitality makes Egypt foray in JV with Dex

Sunset Hospitality Group (SHG), renowned for curating contemporary hospitality experiences, and Dex Squared Hospitality, a hospitality management company, have signed a joint venture to bring SHG's portfolio of brands to Egypt.

The announcement coincides with the Group's strategic expansion plans for 2022. It will see SHG's hospitality and lifestyle concepts entering Egypt, the Arab world's third-largest economy, and set to become a destination of choice for lifestyle experiences.

Antonio Gonzalez, CEO, Sunset Hospitality Group, said: "As we enter a promising 2022, we are glad to announce our joint venture with Dex Squared Hospitality to enter Egypt. Egypt offers a rich business environment. Being close to many European markets and a gateway to Africa, the country attracts tourists and investors alike. With its magnificent climate, sandy beaches, popular attractions like its historical monuments, and vibrant social life, our hospitality concepts will add value to the many experiences this country has to offer."

The partnership will see Sunset DexEgypt use its knowledge and experience of the Egyptian market to operate healthy business investments that meet the specific objectives of Sunset Hospitality Group. This means Egypt will be home to brands like Azure Beach, Ammos, Black Tap, and Isola Ristorante Italiano, to name a few.

Dex Squared is a hospitality management firm led by a highly experienced team with decades of engagement in developing hotel and restaurant brands and managing the portfolio of international hotel chains in MEA. Dex Squared Hospitality uses its diversified expertise to provide bespoke and relevant solutions ranging from franchised third party operated and stand-alone hotels, asset managed hotels and the development of innovative hotel and restaurant-related software.

Kevork Deldelian, CEO & Founder, Dex Squared Hospitality, said: "We have witnessed Sunset Hospitality Group's steady growth in the last decade. Their expertise in introducing great hospitality concepts to Dubai's dining scene and their successful partnerships with world-acclaimed brands confirm their strong business foundation.

"We believe that the successful track records and extensive experience of both Dex Squared Hospitality and Sunset Hospitality Group will be the catalyst that this new company will capitalize on; introducing Sunset's brands to Egypt will further strengthen the growth of both companies and confirm their reputation to be the leading hospitality and management companies in the region and beyond." - TradeArabia News Serv



The President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, issued the Federal Decree-Law no. 33 of 2021 to regulate the labour laws in the private sector.

This new legislation took effect on 2nd February 2022. The post-COVID-19 workplace regulations include the following:

According to the Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratisation (MOHRE), the UAE Labour Laws 2021 will pave the way for the future growth and prosperity of the ever-evolving workforce in the country. Besides attracting new talent, the new laws put emphasis on gender equality at work.



Article 74 of the new decree prohibits employers from all forms of coercion in the workplace. An employer may not threaten the worker with a penalty or force them to provide a service against their will.

In addition, the employers cannot force employees to work overtime exceeding two hours per day. In case the nature of the job requires additional hours, the employer must compensate with an hourly pay which is 125% of the employee's regular hourly income.


Under the new law, all forms of workplace harassment against an employee is strictly prohibited. That includes sexual harassment, bullying and any form of verbal, physical or psychological violence against a worker by the employer, their superiors or colleagues.


The legislation outlaws all types of discrimination based on gender, religion, national origin, socioeconomic status, handicap, colour or race that may limit equal opportunities or obstruct deliverance of equal rights.

The law also prohibits the termination of female employees on the basis of her pregnancy or maternity leave.


In addition, the amendments in the new UAE Labour law accentuates the equal pay provision for men and women as defined under the old law. The recent changes stress that all provisions governing the employment of workers shall apply to working women in the UAE, without any discrimination or violation of the prescribed rights of working women.

The new UAE labour law also grants women the same wage as men if they are doing the same work or work of equal value, as established by the Council of Members.


The new labour law divides the employment market into six different work models that include:

Under the regulations of the Decree, terms related to annual leaves and severance pay are to be decided based on the employment model to ensure the protection of rights of the employer and the employee.


Under the new law, each of the work models are described as follows:


It's also essential to note that the maximum work hours are 48 hours per week and 8 hours per day, (9 hours including lunch break) under Article 17 (1) of the Federal Decree-Law No (33) of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (the "New Employment Law").

The rule for work also comes under Article 7 clause 1 of the Federal Decree-Law No (47) of 2021 On the Standard General Rules of Work in the United Arab Emirates (the "New Employment Rules").

However, Article 7(2) of the New Employment Law also suggests that the Cabinet may increase or decrease the daily work hours for certain economic sectors or categories or workers with the proposal of the minister and in coordination with the concerned company.


The new order stipulates that a fixed-term contract (limited) should not last longer than three years. If both parties agree, the contract can be renewed or extended for a similar or shorter amount of time.

The provisions of the decree-law apply to employment contracts of indefinite duration concluded under Federal Law No (8) of 1980.

Unlimited employment contracts are to be converted into fixed-term employment contracts according to the amendments. Within one year of the existing agreement's effective date, these contracts must comply with the restrictions, controls and processes outlined in the new decree by law. They may be extended for longer durations by the Council of Ministers if necessary in the public interest.


The new labour law implements the following rulings on probation:




According to the new UAE Labour Law 2021, an employer has the right to add a non-compete clause in the employment contract. Notably, the provision only applies if the work entrusted to the worker allows them to gain sensitive information about the employer's clients or trade secrets.

Unless a condition as such is specified in terms of time, place and type of work to the extent necessary to protect legitimate business interests, the period of non-competition shall not exceed two years from the date of contract expiry.


The MoHRE will now issue 12 different types of work permits, depending on the nature of work and work model an employee is recruited for. These work permits include:


Worker welfare sits at the core of the new amendments to the UAE Labour Law. The new decree includes clauses associated with worker welfare. It also ensures health and safety measures for all workers in the private sector. Here are some of the provisions related to employee welfare.


According to the new labour laws and regulations, all employees are entitled to the following leaves:






There were no changes made to the sick leaves law in the UAE in the new employment laws.


The law deems it illegal and prohibits employers from withholding employees' official documents such as passports, subsequently forcing workers to leave the country at the end of an employment contract.

The law also allows the worker to have the right to obtain their wages on the due date in accordance with the regulations approved by the Ministry and according to the procedures and conditions issued by the Executive Regulations of the Federal Decree-Law no. 33 of 2021.

In addition, the employees are now allowed to stay in the country for 180 days after termination of employment without incurring overstay fines on their visa. This period was previously limited to 30 days.


According to the new UAE Labour Law 2021, the workers' right to receive end of service benefits, including gratuity has been further secured with the following changes:

The calculation of gratuity in the UAE remains unchanged, to be calculated in accordance with legislation that regulates pensions and social security. However, payments for end of service benefits in the UAE can now be paid in any currency chosen by the employee, as long as it is mutually agreed in the employment contract.


Based on the new law, any labour cases or petitions filed against the employer by the employee and/or their legal heirs are exempt from judicial fees in all stages of litigation and execution and requests, as long as the the value of the claim does not exceed AED 100,000.



The new UAE Labour Laws 2021 became effective from 2nd February 2022.


The labour law stipulates that the minimum legal age for working in Dubai for full-time employment is 18-years and above. Students in Dubai between the ages of 15 to 18 may get a temporary work permit known as a Juvenile Work Permit, which can only be valid for a maximum time of one year.


The UAE is set to levy corporate tax: Here's what analysts say

The UAE plans to introduce a 9 per cent federal tax on corporate earnings for the first time next year.

"The implementation comes as the UAE aligns itself with the new global standards, in particular the transition to a global minimum tax, as well as the government's intentions to prepare for a life beyond oil."

"In terms of its impact on attracting investment, I don't think it will much affect UAE's ability to attract investments. First, companies in freezones will continue to enjoy their tax benefits, hence are shielded from the decision. Second, most other Gulf countries already impose a corporate income tax on multinational operating in the economy, including 20 per cent in Saudi, 15 per cent in Oman and 10 per cent in Qatar."

"The tax will hit some sectors harder than others."

"Telecoms and companies in the services industry already pay fees, some as high at 20 per cent as in the case of hotels. For some firms, a 9 per cent tax will take them from profitability to loss, reducing investor appetite and lowering the share price. Many will be looking to see whether the royalties or fees might get changed too."

David Daly, a partner at Gulf Tax Accounting Group:

"This was the logical next step although it came much earlier than many of us had expected."

"There is quite a bit of detail that needs to come out still but for large companies operating in the UAE, corporate taxes were expected and now they know the rate."

"The issue I see is implementation for SMEs. Usually many of those businesses are controlled by few shareholders."

Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer at Dubai-based consultancy Century Financial:

"While the news was a surprise, there is little evidence to suggest that corporate tax rates have any type of meaningful impact on equity markets. Counterintuitive to conventional expectations, a study suggests that the S&P 500 Index had higher average returns on every occasion of an increase in corporate taxes in the US."

"Foreign taxes paid will be credited against any payable UAE corporate tax meaning there will be no double taxation. Moreover, since the implications only commence from June 2023, companies do have some time to readjust to the new tax regime."

Izzat Dajani, chief executive at Dubai-based IMCapital Partners and a former senior banker at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup:

"It was just a matter of time before the UAE imposed corporate tax in line with some other GCC countries."

"The levels announced of 9 per cent base are quite reasonable in international standards."

"I'm glad to see that SMEs and small business will most likely be exempt from the corporate tax burden."

"Business and financial institutions will have to start accounting for a corporate tax that will touch their net earnings. Hence, a leaner workforce alongside more efficient operations may come into place to compensate for the tax impact on profitability."

"The challenge for the UAE is to remain competitive, regionally and globally, despite the new corporate tax regime."

Aafreen Shah, chief executive officer at Dubai-based corporate advisory Revive:

"The UAE as a country is attractive for investors because of the favourable tax regime."

"The upcoming regulatory changes might cause concern for businesses operating here. Even so, with huge investment in infrastructure and changes in immigration policy, this is a natural progression for the growth of the country in line with best practices globally."


Dubai opens new dedicated 16-km long cycling track

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has opened a dedicated cycling track extending 16 km alongside Jumeirah Beach.

It connects with the existing cycling track at Jumeirah Street near Dubai Water Canal, with the track at King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street near Dubai Internet City.

It also links the current cycling network that extends 520km from Etihad Museum to Dubai Marina and passes through several Dubai localities up to Al Qudra area.

"The cycling track at Jumeirah Beach is a quality addition to the projects portfolio undertaken by the Dubai Government to encourage sports and recreational activities, which will raise the standard of living in the emirate," said Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority.

"It helps the accessibility between development projects and attractions, especially medium journeys as well as first and last-mile journeys," he stated.

"The new 4-m-wide cycling track stretches 16 km alongside Jumeirah Beach in parallel to the existing jogging and walking tracks that extend from Dubai Water Canal up to Umm Suqeim Park. The second sector of the track runs alongside Jumeirah Street and King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street up to Dubai Internet City," explained Al Tayer.

"The track serves several hotspots alongside Jumeirah Beach such as Sunset Mall, Open Beach, Dubai Sailing Club, Kite Beach, Umm Suqeim Park and Burj Al Arab. The public can use the track in practising cycling alongside the beach which has various service facilities. They can also benefit from the shared bike services available at Sunset Mall, Al Manara Mosque and Umm Suqeim Park. The speed limit set for this track is 20 km/h, and it is classified as part of the mobility, sports and entertainment tracks," he added.

According to him, the cycling track at Jumeirah Beach is part of The Master Plan 2026 for building cycling tracks to link all key areas of the emirate.

"The Master Plan for Cycling Tracks 2026 aims to construct additional cycling tracks extending 276km, which will bring the total length of cycling tracks in the emirate to 739km. The plan aims to link the tracks at the coastal areas, such as Jumeirah, Al Sufouh and Al Marina with the external tracks at Al Qudra, and Saih Al Salam via Al Barsha, Dubai Hills and Nad Al Sheba," Al Tayer added.

"The design, construction and setting of speed limits for cycling tracks align with top international standards and technical manuals. It is also customised to the nature of the locality and the classification of the tracks. These tracks encourage residents and visitors to practice cycling such that it will develop into an alternative and sustainable mobility means that serves the first and last-mile strategy," he added.

RTA said till now 520-km long dedicated cycling tracks have been constructed. It now intends to push the total length of cycling tracks to 739km by 2026 to link vital areas in Dubai with various public transit means, it added.


RTA signs key pacts to boost Dubai public transport solutions

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) today (February 9) signed three agreements to boost public transport solutions and services on the sidelines of the Mena Transport Congress and Exhibition 2022.

The first one was signed with Nakheel to provide payment services via nol card at the Palm Monorail train stations in the Palm Jumeirah.

The deal was signed by Mohammed Al Mudharreb, CEO of Corporate Technology Support Services Sector, RTA, and Omar Khoory, Nakheel Chief Hospitality and Assets Officer.

The agreement enables the use of the nol card at the Palm Monorail train stations and availing the monorail service at the Palm Jumeirah.

"The signing of the agreement with Nakheel signals our keenness to enhance the customer experience in using various means of transportation, by providing diverse and smart options for them in paying fares," said Al Mudharreb.

Khoory said Palm Monorail, the first and only mobility service of its kind in the Middle East, confirms Nakheel's commitment to enhancing mobility between major destinations on the Palm Jumeirah, besides providing convenient solutions to its customers.

"The Palm Monorail's trip from The Palm Gateway to Al Ittihad Park, Nakheel Mall, Atlantis and The Pointe offers visitors an experience to savour the stunning views of the Palm Jumeirah and its scenic landscape," he added.

The second was inked with Dubai Investments Park to enhance the operation, maintenance and development work within the protected zone of Route 2020 of Dubai Metro.

"This agreement ushers a new era of cooperation between our company and RTA to streamline and operate the protected zone of Route 2020 of the Dubai Metro to bring it in line with the top international standards," remarked Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younes, CEO of Rail Agency, RTA, after signing the deal with Omar Al Mesmar, General Manager at Dubai Investments Park.

"The signing of the agreement stems from a solid strategy of the Dubai Investments Park to pursue a futuristic vision that contributes to advancing Dubai's profile as a global destination," added Al Mesmar.

The third was signed remotely with CRRC Zhuzhou in China, to study the feasibility of developing a technological system for the Dubai Tram.


Dubai to start driverless taxi service by 2023

Dubai is to start a driverless taxi service by 2023, it was announced on Sunday.

The emirate's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said trials of the service were expected to start by the end of the year before an official launch in 2023.

The RTA is working with America company Cruise to offer the service and it is hoped that at least 4,000 of the vehicles will be in use by 2030.

"Human errors are responsible for more than 90 per cent of accidents," said Mattar Al Tayer, Director General of the RTA. "Autonomous vehicles are environmentally-friendly electric vehicles and can serve considerable numbers of customers, particularly senior citizens, residents and people of determination."

Details about routes and firm dates for the launch of driverless taxis were not released but Cruise officials have visited Dubai to assess which locations are most suitable for the service. It was also not revealed how much the service will cost. Mr Al Tayer said a "limited number" of the vehicles will be used next year.

Cruise is backed by General Motors and this month opened a limited driverless taxi service to the public in San Francisco, but there are many caveats. It only operates at night and in certain areas, for example, and the service remains free for now.

Abu Dhabi also recently trialled a driverless service on Yas Island. Future operations include increasing passenger operations in different areas around Abu Dhabi. The fleet is composed entirely of electric and hybrid cars.


Sharjah announces paid parking on all days of the week in some neighbourhoods

Sharjah Municipality took to Instagram to share the information about the new tariff and said parking spaces in Al Mamzar Corniche Street and Al Khan areas will be paid effective February 14.

Moreover, these parking spaces will be subject to fees on all days of the week, including Fridays and holidays.

The cost for public parking space in Sharjah remains at Dh2 for an hour, Dh5 for two hours and Dh8 for three hours.

Ali Ahmed Abu Ghazien, Director of the Public Parking Department, Sharjah Municipality, informed that the move will curb the exploitation of parking spaces. Many people leave their vehicles behind for long periods and neglect them. This, he said, distorts the appearance of the emirate.

The move is also part of the annual plans by the authorities to add public parking spaces in all areas of the city and subject them to fees. This in turn will help residents and visitors find parking spaces without trouble.

He said the municipality worked created paid parking spaces in the Al Mamzar area as it is one of the vital tourist destinations in the emirate.

The municipality has also installed blue instruction signboards to alert motorists about the parking charges during the week and on holidays.

Abu Ghazien explained that parking fees can be paid through the Sharjah digital app, text messaging or seasonal subscriptions.

He added that inspection teams have been deployed in the areas to distribute awareness brochures to inform motorist about parking fees.


UAE travel: List of countries vaccinated residents can enter without a negative PCR test

As different countries around the globe ease restrictions surrounding Covid-19, vaccinated UAE residents can fly to more than half a dozen countries without carrying a negative PCR test.

Some Gulf and East and Western European countries have withdrawn the conditions for travellers from the UAE to carry negative Covid-19 PCR test prior to their departure, thanks to the massive vaccination campaign the government has carried out over the past year.

The UAE is the world's most vaccinated nation, with 96 per cent of the population fully vaccinated. In November 2021, the UAE had reached a landmark with 100 per cent of its eligible population receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.

In addition, all the UAE airlines have also listed detailed country-by-country guidelines for residents and foreign travellers related to Covid-19 certificates and vaccinations.

Most of the UAE airlines follow the guidelines issued by the relevant authorities in those countries, however, the national carrier Etihad Airways has mandated that all travellers carry a negative Covid-19 PCR certificate irrespective of the requirements of the destination country of the passenger.

"You must take a PCR test to travel with Etihad Airways even if the country you are travelling to does not require one," Abu Dhabi-based UAE national carrier Etihad Airways said in a statement on its website.

A flydubai's spokesperson said the budget carrier follows the guidelines issued by the relevant authorities. "We continue to update flydubai.com with the latest travel restrictions, and we encourage our passengers to keep up to date with the latest regulations on the Iata Travel Centre so that they are prepared and ready to travel for their whole journey," said the spokesperson.

According to Dubai's flagship carrier Emirates' website, the UAE's vaccinated residents and citizens can travel to eight countries without taking a negative Covid-19 test. These include Bahrain, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Lebanon, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

Below are the guidelines of each country related to the Covid-19 vaccine certificate and negative PCR test published on the Emirates airline website for UAE residents, citizens and other travellers:

Bahrain: All passengers, regardless of vaccination and recovery status, are not required to present a negative PCR test certificate before departure. Passengers must take a Covid 19 PCR test on arrival and pay the BHD 12 testing fee. Recovered passengers can be exempted from the pre-departure Covid 19 RT PCR test but need to take the Covid 19 RT PCR test upon arrival in Bahrain.

Passengers must also either present the recovery certificate issued by a competent health authority if they've recovered from Covid 19 within 8 months before their date of arrival in Bahrain, or present the positive Covid 19 RT PCR certificate with a QR code and date of infection for those who've recovered and travelling after 14 days and until 30 days from the date of infection.

Denmark: All arriving passengers who are not vaccinated or who have not previously contracted Covid 19 must present a negative Covid 19 PCR test certificate prior to boarding the aircraft to Denmark. The Covid 19 PCR test must be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival or a quick antigen test must be taken no more than 48 hours before arrival. Passengers arriving without a valid negative Covid 19 test may be fined up to 3,500 DKK. General exemptions to the pre departure for Covid 19 test are for those who are vaccinated, children aged 15 years or younger, aircrew members and others.

Switzerland: Passengers travelling from the UAE who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid 19 are not required to present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test certificate before entering Switzerland. Non vaccinated and non recovered passengers must present a negative Covid 19 PCR test certificate for a test taken not more than 72 hours before departure or a rapid antigen test performed not more than 24 hours before departure. Children below 16 years old are exempted from the Covid 19 PCR test and vaccination requirements.

Turkey: All UAE citizens and residents of the UAE must present a vaccination certificate. Passengers must have completed their Covid 19 vaccination at least 14 days before arrival. A Covid 19 PCR test is not required for vaccinated passengers. Non vaccinated passengers need to submit a negative Covid 19 PCR test result taken not more than 72 hours before arrival in Turkey, or a Rapid Antigen test with a negative result taken within the last 48 hours before they arrive in Turkey, or proof of recovery from Covid 19 within the last 6 months. Children below 12 years old are exempted from the Covid 19 PCR test requirements and are not required to provide a vaccination certificate.

Germany: All UAE residents and citizens aged 12 years and above must present a completed vaccination certificate administered at least 14 days before travel. Passengers below 12 years old who have not yet been vaccinated will be accepted for travel if they are accompanied by at least one fully vaccinated parent. Unvaccinated passengers from the age of 6 11 are required to present a negative Covid 19 test. Vaccinated passengers are not required to present a Covid 19 PCR test certificate.

Greece: Travel is allowed without a Covid 19 test certificate for all holders of a valid Covid 19 vaccination certificate from more than a dozen countries including the UAE. The certificate is valid up to nine months from the last dose of a completed vaccination programme. This does not apply to any traveller who has completed a booster dose.

Norway: Pre-departure negative Covid-19 PCR test is not required for the fully vaccinated passengers from the UAE. Non vaccinated people must present a valid negative Covid 19 test (either PCR or antigenic) taken within 24 hours of departure, and self-quarantine until tested negative at least 72 hours after the arrival. No testing and self-quarantine are required for passengers below 18.

Lebanon: Fully vaccinated passengers may be exempt from the pre departure testing requirement. If the passenger has received a second or third dose of any Covid 19 vaccine or one dose of a single dose vaccine not more than six months before arrival, he/she will be considered fully vaccinated. Travellers must upload their vaccination certificates and other official documents on MOPH PASS. However, passengers will still be required to take the PCR test on arrival in Lebanon.


UAE lifts restrictions on flights from 12 African countries

Officials from the UAE have confirmed the resumption of all inbound flights for national and international carriers from 12 African countries.

The 12 countries from where transit passengers too will be allowed into the UAE, include: Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In addition, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) added that starting 2.30pm on Saturday, January 29, it has also updated the entry measures for travellers coming in from three other African countries: Uganda, Ghana and Rwanda.

Passengers arriving from these three countries to the UAE must to have a negative Covid-19 test obtained within 48 hours of departure from the approved labs in their respective countries.

Furthermore, they are required to undergo a Rapid PCR test at the airports of departure. On arrival in the UAE, they will be subjected to another PCR test.

UAE airlines such as Emirates had previously suspended flights to several African destinations as a result of the directive. As per a previous directive from the airline, effective December 28, it said that customers originating from the Tanzania and Ethiopia would not be accepted for travel to or through Dubai. It had also altogether cancelled flights from Republic of Kenya, Lusaka, Harare, Lagos, Abuja and Casablanca.

In the neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi, authorities had earlier this month revised its green list removing countries such as UK, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, Russia and Lebanon from it. Simultaneously, Algeria, Morocco, Seychelles and Tunisia were added to that list. All travellers arriving from the green list destinations are exempt from mandatory quarantine measures after landing in Abu Dhabi.


UAE cinemas to return to full capacity this week

The Media Regulatory Office of the Ministry of Culture and Youth has announced that cinemas in the UAE will be operating at maximum capacity from February 15.

The decision was issued by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA). However, the NCEMA further stipulated that each emirate can modify cinema capacity, easing or tightening procedures as they deem fit.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic the UAE has handled the crisis very professionally. The decision to raise capacity in cinemas follows the success of the efforts of the UAE government agencies in combating the spread of COVID-19," Dr. Rashid Khalfan Al Nuaimi, Executive Director of the Media Regulatory Office said in a statement.

"The strict precautionary measures imposed by the agencies and the community's adherence to those have reduced the spread of the virus and ensured the health and safety for all," he further added.

Al Nuaimi also stressed the need to fully adhere to the preventive measures adopted to check the spread of the pandemic such as mandatory masks, restriction on large gatherings and sterilisation drives throughout the country while vaccinations and supportive doses helped the spread greatly.

Al Nuaimi added that NCEMA will ensure that the precautionary procedures are fully adhered to for the health and safety of the community.

various events and activities in the country. It will be lifting curbs on tourism, recreational facilities, shopping malls and public transport by mid-February, allowing them to operate to full capacity. This will ensure stability and sustainability of economic activities in the country.


You can use Dubai Metro nol card to ride Palm Jumeirah Monorail soon

Dubai: Dubai Metro's nol card can soon be used to take a ride on Palm Jumeirah Monorail, following the signing of an agreement between the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Nakheel.

The signing of the agreement between the RTA and Nakheel was done on the sidelines of the recently concluded MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition 2022 in Dubai, where the RTA signed two more agreements - one with Dubai Investments Park and another with China-owned CRRC Zhuzhou - aimed at enhancing public transport services in Dubai.

"The Palm Monorail's trip from The Palm Gateway to Al Ittihad Park, Nakheel Mall, Atlantis and The Pointe offers visitors an experience to savour the stunning views of the Palm Jumeirah and its scenic landscape," noted Omar Khoory, Chief Hospitality and Assets Officer, Nakheel.

"We are excited to expand the world-class services of The Palm Monorail and are thrilled that it has joined the nol card, which is so popular across the UAE. From The Palm Gateway to Al Ittihad Park, Nakheel Mall, Atlantis, and soon The Pointe, the monorail offers a scenic journey that allows visitors to experience breathtaking views of Palm Jumeirah and its iconic landmarks. We look forward to welcoming tourists and residents from around the UAE via The Palm Monorail", he added.

According to Palm Jumeirah Monorail website, a single trip from Palm Gateway station to Atlantis Aquaventure is Dh20; while a round trip ticket is Dh30.

Enhancing Route 2020

The second agreement signed RTA was with Dubai Investments Park aimed at enhancing the operation, maintenance and development work within the protected zone of Dubai Metro's Route 2020

Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younes, CEO of RTA's Rail Agency, said: "We always seeks to enter into agreements that serve its projects, especially those serving public transport riders. Teaming up with the Dubai Investments Park contributes to streamlining the operation, maintenance, protection, improvements, and periodic inspections of the protected zone of Route 2020 of the Dubai Metro.

Omar Al Mesmar, general manager at Dubai Investments Park, added: "The signing of the agreement stems from a solid strategy of the Dubai Investments Park to pursue a futuristic vision that contributes to advancing Dubai's profile as a global destination."

Trackless tram system

RTA's third agreement is with China's CRRC Zhuzhou to study the feasibility of rolling out a trackless tram system in Dubai manufactured by the Chinese company. The trackless tram system is a modern flexible system that offers cost and energy saving solutions for public transport means, noted Younes.


Kuwaiti firms to set up leisure hubs, mall in Saudi Arabia

Kuwaiti investors have signed two investment contracts with the Eastern Province Municipality in Saudi Arabia to set up entertainment centres and a commercial mall, with a value of SR340 million ($90.6 million), said a report.

These projects aim to support the Eastern Province's tourism, entertainment, culture, education, health, sports, environment, and privatization sectors, reported Asharq Al Awsat.

They also seek to enhance spending efficiency and diversify non-oil revenues, it stated.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Eastern Province Governor Prince Saud bin Nayef said: "Attracting investors from outside the kingdom indicates that the Eastern Province possesses an attractive infrastructure for establishing investments that contribute to advancing development and creating job opportunities for the sons and daughters of the country in line with (Kingdom's Vision 2030)."

Eastern Province Mayor Fahad Al Jubeir signed the contracts on the Saudi side.

"These projects will contribute to a qualitative shift in the level of recreational and tourism elements and economic activities, and the participation of Gulf investors confirms the attractiveness of municipal investment and the confidence of investors in the Kingdom's economy," stated Al Jubeir.

A set of qualitative, exemplary, and pioneering investment projects in partnership with a number of ministries, authorities and sports federations had been launched for the Eastern Province, he added.


Kuwait Airways launches 17 new summer destinations

KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways Company announced yesterday the launch of 17 new tourist destinations as part of its preparations for the summer season, which is expected witness a remarkable recovery in travel traffic with more options for travelers.

In a press release, the company's CEO Maen Razouqi said that the total number of destinations offered by the company has become 57, pointing out that the new destinations will start from the beginning of next May. The operation of the new destinations and flights will include Malacca, Moscow, Sarajevo, Nice, Salalah, Sharm El Sheikh, Sohag, Alexandria, Mykanos, Bodrum, Trabzon, Vienna, Madrid, Casablanca, Manchester, Kathmandu and Kuala Lumpur, Razouqi explained.

"In choosing the new destinations, Kuwait Airways had put into consideration the most wanted and preferred destinations with high demands from all social segments, whether for business, tourism, or education", he noted. Rozouqi stressed the company's keenness to reach best levels of excellence through the services it provides to its passengers, in addition to improve all services to keep pace with the latest developments in the aviation sector. The launching of the new travel destinations comes as part of Kuwait Airways strategy and to meet the growing demand for these new markets, which are important for travelers. - KUNA


French builder Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh

Leading French construction and design firm Clestra Hauserman has announced the opening of its regional headquarters in Riyadh in partnership with Saudi holding company Zuhair Al Habib. The group already has offices in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.

The French group had also inaugurated its new showroom in the Saudi capital last month in the presence of Estrade Laurent, Head of the Economic Department at the French Embassy of KSA and other senior officials.

Known internationally for its eco-friendly partitions, Clestra Hauserman's decision to open a regional office in the capital city comes one year after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the Riyadh Strategy 2030 plan.

Clestra Hauserman will soon be introducing its strategic concepts such as monoblock and prefabricated workspace solutions in addition to the Fizz Box acoustic pods, it stated.

On the launch, Farid Habbas, Middle East Director of Clestra Hauserman, said: "Saudi Arabia is our biggest market and as of this year I can say that 80 percent of our business comes from here."

"It was a natural move for the firm that we were happy and ready for. Our firm will now have direct access to the local economy, which will help us gain financial and geographic opportunity," he added.


BSV to launch region's first blockchain academy in Saudi Arabia

Switzerland-based BSV blockchain association has signed an agreement with the Saudi Digital Academy (SDA) for the launch of a BSV Blockchain Academy in capital Riyadh. This is the first full-scale blockchain academy in the Middle East region.

The SDA is a key national initiative by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) of Saudi Arabia, which aims to develop human capital and the digital capabilities of Saudi youth.

It builds a national academy with international standards to educate Saudi talent in emerging technologies, and prepare them for careers in the communications and IT sector that advance the Kingdom's digital transformation and 'Saudi Vision 2030'.

Through the new blockchain academy in Riyadh, the BSV association and SDA will collaborate to provide blockchain learning and development resources for a variety of audiences - including developers, students, start-up entrepreneurs, business executives and government agency representatives.

The academy will focus on the BSV blockchain, an enterprise-grade network that can support big business and government-scale data applications with high volumes of transactions at minimal cost; BSV median transaction fees are often a small fraction of a U.S. cent.

The BSV Blockchain Academy is the latest in a series of sector-specific educational programs launched by the SDA.

Engineer Faris AlSaqabi, Deputy Minister for Future Jobs & Capabilities at MCIT, said: "Because the Fourth Industrial Revolution involves many emerging technologies, the SDA seeks to attract multiple digital academies in order to provide training across all fields that will be vital to Saudi Arabia's digital transformation."

"Since the initial academies announced at our launch event in October 2021, we continually look to add new fields of learning. Given the high interest in blockchain technology, we are proud to work with BSV's team to bring world-class blockchain training to Saudi Arabia in this landmark initiative for the Middle East," noted Al Saqabi.

The BSV blockchain's association and SDA announced their educational partnership during a signing ceremony on the final day of LEAP 2022 - the global technology conference in Riyadh which took place on 1-3 February 2022. LEAP 2022 was the biggest ever technology event debut, attracting over 100,000 people.

Commenting on the deal, CEO Mohammed Alsuhaim said: "At SDA we are pleased to partner with the BSV Blockchain Association to create in Riyadh the Middle East region's first full scale blockchain academy. This initiative will teach students, developers, business executives and government representatives across Saudi Arabia the blockchain knowledge necessary to navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

"The BSV team shares our vision for building true blockchain utility at big scale to power data for a digital Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we anticipate this is the first step in other areas of collaboration with the BSV Blockchain Association," he added.

Also commenting, Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of the BSV blockchain's association said: "Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of emerging technologies such as Internet of Things, robotics, smart cities, and artificial intelligence. These fields are all driven by data, and only the BSV blockchain has the scaling capacity to act as their distributed data infrastructure."

"We are very excited to educate Saudi youth and professionals about the power of BSV to drive digital transformation and build a better world. We look forward to this educational partnership with the MCIT and the Saudi Digital Academy, and bringing useful blockchain adoption to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," he added.- http://www.tradearabia.com/news/IT_392727.html


Saudi Arabia approves work from home in government sector

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) has approved the introduction of work from home in the government sector.

The ministry has introduced amendments and additions to the executive regulations of the Labor Law pertaining to employment in the civil service.

The ministry's approval of telework as a new method of work in the government sector is part of achieving diversification and ensuring continuity of jobs in various work environments.

A MHRSD committee will consider everything related to remote working in a government entity. Employees will be allowed to perform their duties and responsibilities outside a workplace using electronic and smart systems and information technology means that are normally used in remote work.

The ministry will accord approval for jobs that can be managed online on the basis of recommendations from the telework committee. Additionally, the government entities can propose specific jobs that can be managed remotely and submit the proposals to the telework committee.

MHRSD's teleworking initiatives prioritize women's participation in the labor market, in addition to creating opportunities for Saudis in rural areas and qualified persons with special needs.

The amendments also cover scholarship students.

According to the amendment, a scholarship student must work for the entity that sponsored him or her for study for a period equivalent to the duration of scholarship at the end of their studies. If a student refrains from doing so or does not complete the required work period, they must pay back the entire costs for the entity during the scholarship period.

The competent minister may give the student exemption from working for a government entity for the aforementioned period if they worked for another government entity financed from the general budget of the state. However, the exemption period will not exceed half of that period if the government entity is not covered by the state's general budget.

The government entity to which the scholarship student is affiliated shall bear the tuition fees. It is permissible for the student to bear the fees if he or she desires so after including formal consent in the dispatch decision.

The employee's age shall be specified at the time of appointment and that shall be based on the Gregorian calendar regarding the day, month and year, as shown in the person's official document. If this is not available on the official document, the Gregorian date would be determined on the basis of the first day of the Hijri month of Rajab.


Award-winning Peruvian restaurant COYA opens its doors in Riyadh

JEDDAH: After positive reactions to the recent COYA Saudi Arabia pop-ups, Peruvian cultural connoisseurs are thrilled that the brand is setting up in the Kingdom permanently with the opening of COYA Riyadh.

The restaurant in Riyadh's Sulaimaniya district will be one of COYA's biggest and most beautiful restaurants yet.

The first branch opened in Mayfair, London in 2012, and the chain has won multiple awards for its venues in Paris, Monte Carlo, Mykonos, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and now Riyadh.

General Manager Marco Di Pietro will lead the restaurant in Riyadh. He previously led the pop-ups in Jeddah and Riyadh and was restaurant manager for Myazu Jeddah and Riyadh.

"We are extremely excited to bring the taste of COYA to Saudi Arabia through our new permanent location.

Focusing on a family-focused, diverse atmosphere, COYA Riyadh will be a glitzy addition to Saudi Arabia's fine dining scene. I look forward to welcoming guests," he said.

Stefano Pizzini, Middle East operations manager of COYA, said: "Following highly acclaimed pop-ups in Riyadh and Jeddah, we felt a need in the Saudi Arabia dining scene for an authentic experience that focuses on Peruvian cuisine. COYA Riyadh was a result of the overwhelming response we received from our customers to open a venue in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

The venue offers incredible views surrounding the Sulaimaniya district and provides guests a luxurious experience. It will include a live, open ceviche counter and an indoor terrace with a DJ corner, in addition to the main dining area and outdoor garden terrace.

The venue will feature signature COYA dishes, with a menu that showcases their aperitivos, ceviches and grilled skewers. COYA's DNA dishes will also be served, such as arroz nikkei (Chilean sea bass with rice), pollo a la parilla (corn fed baby chicken with aji panca) and escabeche peruano (chargrilled whole sea bream in banana leaf).

it will also present their famous desserts such as bandeja de postres (a selection of five signature desserts, fresh fruit, ice cream and sorbet), churros de naranja (orange and lime churros with milk chocolate) and paleta de pina colada (pina colada popsicle, mango and coconut ice cream).


Saudi Arabia reintroduces PCR test requirement for fully vaccinated arrivals

RIYADH - Those coming from outside Saudi Arabia, including citizens, are required to submit an approved negative PCR test or negative antigen test 48 hours before their departure, regardless of their immunization status, The Ministry of Interior Spokesman Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub confirmed on Sunday.

The Interior Ministry spokesman, at the press conference here on Sunday, reiterated the security updates related to COVID-19 pandemic. As the Ministry of Interior has stated earlier that all Saudi citizens must take the booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine to travel outside the Kingdom, starting from Feb. 9 (Rajab 8).

He stated that the "immune" status is mandatory for anyone wanting to attend any social, economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, entertainment or sporting event, boarding planes and public transportation in the country.

Al-Shalhoub revealed that a total of 24,319 protocol violations were detected during the past week in all regions of the Kingdom.

On his side, the Ministry of Health official spokesman Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdel Ali said the world is close to recording 400 million of the confirmed cases of COVID-19.

While he confirmed, the Coronavirus curve in Saudi Arabia is heading downward, as it has been expected after its high peak in the last two weeks.

The spokesman said that the rate of corona tests in the Kingdom has increased from 5 to 7 times previous years, reaching about 150,000 tests per day.

New COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia continued to slide below the 4,000-mark on Sunday with 3,260 new infections recorded over the past 24 hours.

Saudi Arabia has administered more than 58 million doses of the vaccines till date since the start of vaccination


Bahrain's Golden residency offer 'to attract best of global talents'

Bahrain's 10-year golden residency visa scheme will create an attractive and encouraging environment for talented people and contribute to attracting exceptional minds and talents to be permanent partners in the kingdom's development process, said Nawaf Al Jishi, Chairman of the Bahrain Society of Private Training Institutes (BSPTI).

It will allow national cadres to interact with the region's and world's most brilliant minds, who are expected to flock to Bahrain because of this offer, it stated.

He said that shutting the door on oneself was not the right thing to do and "that the only way forward was to increase our competitiveness and efficiency in the age of the Internet and open marketplaces."

Al Jishi pointed out that the kingdom aspired to strengthen partnerships, build capacities and provide an incubating and stimulating environment that enables minds and talents to transform their creative ideas into tangible reality and projects and initiatives.

"This will have a qualitative addition and a positive impact, in a manner that contributes to promoting the development process aimed at improving the lives of community members, and achieving leadership in various fields," he explained.

Al Jishi pointed out that golden residency offer will further lead to the revitalization of the real estate, tourism, retail, and other sectors, which contributes to creating more job opportunities and also development of the national economy.

"Attracting talents specifically from around the world contributes to their involvement in the process of building Bahrain's digital economy and the creation of an infrastructure that stimulates creativity and innovation capable of keeping pace with rapid changes in various vital sectors," he stated.

"Encouraging the best international skills and talents in various fields provides distinguished services and a supportive environment that inspire them to work and innovate in Bahrain, and launch companies and projects specialized in qualitative fields that mainly support the economic recovery plan and Bahrain Vision 2030," added Al Jishi.- TradeArabia News Service


Flight fairs soar ahead of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Since the first ticket sales of the World Cup kicked off, airlines have exponentially spiked their flight prices to Qatar during the tournament dates.

The sharp increase in prices echoes worries from fans who may now have to pay ten times more the usual price of a ticket, atop of their match tickets, in order to see their favourite teams play.

Ticket applications for the grand tournament launched on January 19, 2022, revealing affordable prices within the several categories for all football fans to enjoy.

Within 24 hours, more than 1.2 million tickets were registered, with over 80,000 tickets requested for the opening match, which will take place on 21 November..

140,000 tickets have been requested for the final match, which falls on 18 December at Lusail Stadium, which will see the crowning of the World Cup Qatar 2022 champions.

The organising committee is expecting over 1.2 million visitors from across the world during the tournament, which is set to take place between 21 November and 18 December.

The countries which have requested the most tickets applications to date, include the host nation Qatar as well as Argentina, Mexico, USA, UAE, England, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and France.

Fare expectations

Flight fares at a regional level have dramatically risen, for example, a one-way ticket from Dubai to Doha on 20 November has reached 4000-6,000 QAR, compared to its usual average of 600-500 QAR on a normal day. Return tickets on the same dates fare at 8,500 QAR.

One-way flights from Muscat on the same date have spiked up to more than 3,000 QAR. Fares to Riyadh have also reached an approximate 3,000 QAR for the tournament, and the prices are steadily increasing.

Price expectations of a round-ticket from the other GCC states to Qatar are presently set between 7,000 - 10,000 QAR for economy class, depending on both country and date.

International fans on the other hand might need to start saving up from now.

Fares from Argentina to Doha on 20 November have exceeded 17,000 QAR for a one-way ticket on Qatar Airways, whilst tickets from England have spiked to 5,000 QAR.

For Brazil, eager fans may also have to pay over 12,596 QAR for a one-way ticket and almost double for an economy round-trip.

Qatar's anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup will kick off on 21 November 2022 in Al Khor.

Thus far, 15 out of the 32 countries have qualified for the grand tournament; qualification matches will continue this year until the intercontinental playoffs.

The second ticket sale is expected to kick off later this year, prior to the final draw in April.


PHCC launches new plan for services to return to normal

The Primary Health Care Corporation [PHCC] has kicked off a three-phased implementation plan between February and April 2022, to lift all Covid-19 restrictions and return to normalcy, the health bureau has announced.

The first plan came into effect on February 1, 2022, and included allowing face-to-face consultations at a 50% capacity across all services, including Family Medicine Model (FMM), Dental General, Dental Speciality and all speciality services.

Virtual consultations will still be provided regularly for those who prefer online services, the corporation added.

As for Covid-19, Rawdat Al Khail Health Center will continue to receive infected patients, whilst drive-through testing services will still be provided at PHCC Health Centers until further notice.

SMART clinics and dental services will also function at 50% capacity as part of the first phase, with urgent consultations offered through the Community Call Center, as usual.

The latest 'Back to Normal Plan' comes in line with the nationwide push to gradually lift Covid-19 restrictions as cases steadily decrease - indicating that the country's third wave might soon come to an end.

On Tuesday, health authorities reported 1,236 new Covid-19 cases, recording almost a 50% dip from 12 January, when 4,206 new cases were recorded.

Total active cases have also gone down to 20,944, compared to the 42,343 on January 19.

The hopeful numbers possibly indicate a steady recovery from the peak of the latest wave, and a gradual easing of restrictions to ultimately restore normal service.

To date, over 842,943 people have received the three doses of the vaccine, according to recent statistics by the ministry of health. Meanwhile, an estimated 87% of the total population have received both jabs, taking the total number of doses administered to 5,850,221.

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