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Grand Egyptian Museum at 100% completion, ticket prices announced

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquates has completed work at the Grand Egyptian Museum at 100 percent, with the remaining work only left for areas surrounding it.

Ticket prices for the GEM are as follows:

For Egyptians LE60.
For Egyptian students LE30.
For foreign tourists LE200.
For foreign students LE100.

Chief archaeologist at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Magdy Shaker, assured that the opening ceremony of the GEM will be "legendary".

World leaders will be invited, he said, followed by a popular celebration with the event covered by global media.

During a phone-in with the state TV, Shaker added that the GEM's inauguration concert is expected to take place during this year.

He also said that this museum will be the only one of its kind in the world that is environmentally friendly.

A grand new museum

The GEM is located in the Remaya Square area, on an area estimated at 117 acres, or approximately 300,000 square meters, to be one of the largest museums in the Middle East and the world.

The museum includes huge exhibition halls, and is distinguished by its proximity to the Giza pyramids area and the New Administrative Capital, which makes it a gateway to Egypt's past, present and future.

It is expected to attract about five million tourists.


World's first Forbes Tower planned in Egypt's New Administrative Capital

The world's first Forbes Tower is set to be built in the New Administrative Capital following the signing of a memorandum of understanding, announced the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Administrative Capital Company Khaled Abbas.

In a Saturday telephone conversation with TV presenter Lubna Asal on the Al-Hayat channel, Abbas added that this Forbes Tower will also be the first environmentally friendly tower built at the highest standards in the world.

Abbas said that the project was designed by international engineer Adrian Smith, the designer of Burj Khalifa, who designed some of the tallest towers in the world, including the Jeddah Tower and Trump Tower in New York City.

The importance of the tower is that it showcases how the New Administrative Capital has become an attraction for major international companies, Abbas said.

Abbas explained that the Forbes Tower requires certain specifications in infrastructure and smart architecture, and choosing the capital for this project is a great success.

He pointed out that the tower has Saudi-Egyptian investments at a cost of approximately US$670 million.


UAE's First NH Collection Hotel to Open on Palm Jumeirah in February.

UAE-headquartered upscale real estate developer, Seven Tides, has confirmed that the Emirates' first NH Collection hotel will open its doors to the public in February 2023.

Abdulla Bin Sulayem, CEO of Seven Tides

NH Collection Dubai The Palm is a 533-key property located on Seven Tides' Seven Palm development - a two-tower complex that overlooks the lagoon of Dubai's world-famous Palm Jumeirah.

Operated by Minor Hotels and adjacent to Seven Palm Residences, the tower housing NH Collection Dubai The Palm will offer a diverse range of high-end accommodation, amenities and food and beverage venues to guests, residents and visitors.

Abdulla Bin Sulayem, CEO of Seven Tides, said, "This project will deliver exceptional guest experiences, including spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai skyline, as well as access to landmarks and attractions across our emirate and beyond. We are confident this complex will add significant value to Dubai's thriving real estate landscape."

"NH Collection Dubai The Palm will feature an extensive range of premium facilities, including our 45-metre rooftop infinity pool, a fully-equipped fitness centre, a kids' club, an NH Collection Spa and much more", added Bin Sulayem.

The hotel includes 227 guest rooms and suites as well as 306 studios and apartments. Guests will be able to choose from 11 room categories, and those who opt for the destination's top-end accommodation will also gain exclusive access to the NH Collection Premium Lounge.

All rooms will feature NH Collection 'Sleep Better' mattresses, complete tea and coffee sets, rain-effect showers and LED TVs. The property's location offers direct access to the beach, downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina. Dubai International Airport is also located 30 minutes away, with private transfers available to attendees.

NH Collection Dubai The Palm includes five dining venues, serving up everything from haute cuisine to healthy, post-gym bites. Maiora will offer an extensive range of dishes served all day. Te-Lounge will provide light refreshments and healthy snacks. Seven Sports Bar will be a more informal setting, offering classic snacks and drinks. Revo Cafe will serve creative and healthy dishes, and SEEN will be a modern rooftop venue.

For those looking to introduce a little luxury to their events, the hotel also includes five airy spaces replete with the latest technology and equipped to cater to gatherings of up to 45 people, making it the perfect venue for business meetings, conferences, celebrations and more.

Bin Sulayem commented, "The best way for people to learn about NH Collection Dubai The Palm is to experience it first-hand. With our dedicated team ready and waiting to exceed the expectations of our guests and visitors, we cannot wait to start welcoming people through our doors from February onwards."


7 changes you need to know about residency visas

Ever since the UAE's largest entry and residency visa reforms went into force in October 2022, several changes have come into effect. These reforms have streamlined procedures, expanded the long-term Golden Visa scheme; and introduced a new five-year residency called Green Visas.

Many other changes have been implemented recently, including an increase in fees for visa services and extended grace periods to exit the country after visa expiry. Here, we round up seven residency-related changes you need to know:

Rules to sponsor children eased: This move came as a huge relief for families. Applicable to all residency types, residents can sponsor sons till they turn 25 - up from 18 years. There is no age limit to sponsor unmarried daughters.

Golden Visa holders can sponsor parents on 10-year visa: If you are a Golden Visa holder, you can sponsor your parents on 10-year visas, too. Previously, the long-term residency scheme beneficiaries could sponsor parents for one year, as is the case with regular residency holders.

Visa fees increase: The fees to avail of all services offered by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) have gone up by Dh100. The additional smart services fee applies to Emirates ID and residency visas as well.

Validity of freezone visas decreased: The validity of freezone visas issued in the UAE has been reduced from three years to two.

Longer grace periods to exit UAE after visa expiry: The grace period to exit the UAE after residency visa cancellation has been increased to between 60 and 180 days in most cases. This is up from the previous 30 days.

Emirates ID replaces visa stamps on passports: The UAE has done away with the practice of stamping residency visa stickers on passports. Instead, residents' Emirates IDs officially serve as their residency documents.

Re-entry permit for residents staying abroad for over 6 months: Staying outside the UAE previously cancelled residency. However, now such residents can apply for a reentry permit by specifying a reason for the same. When the application is approved, the applicant must enter the country within 30 days starting from the approval date.


Abu Dhabi raises Golden Visa validity to 10 years for all categories

The golden visa period in Abu Dhabi is updated to a period of 10 years for all categories, instead of 5 years, according to Mark Dorzi, Director of Operations at the Abu Dhabi Residents Office.

Holders of this visa can sponsor spouses, children and parents regardless of age, with the addition of new main categories and sub-categories based on recommendations from the relevant offices such as the Abu Dhabi Office for Residents, Dorzi added.

The Abu Dhabi Residents Office indicated that the golden visa is now valid for ten years and offers a wide range of residency options for professionals and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge such as doctors, specialists, scientists and inventors.

The UAE government previously launched the Golden Residency Programme, with the aim of providing long-term residency permits which give holder the opportunity to reside in the country without the need for a guarantor.

It is allegedly issued for a period of 5 or 10 years, depending on the category.

the golden visa holder enjoys exclusive benefits including: a multiple-entry visa for a period of 6 months to complete the golden visa procedures, and a renewable residence visa for a period of 5 or 10 years.

The golden visa holder can also stay outside the UAE for longer than 6 months, and he is entitled to obtain residence permits for family members including the husband and children

The maximum number of support service labourers who can be brought to the UAE canceled, and family members can stay in the country for the duration of their residency validity, even in the event of the death of the sponsor who held the golden visa.


Ultra-luxury resort Atlantis The Royal opens in Dubai

Dubai's newest icon, Atlantis The Royal, the world's most ultra-luxury resort, opened yesterday (January 22) featuring an unforgettable performance by the world's most celebrated performer, the global icon Beyoncé.

Over 1,000 celebrities and special guests gathered beneath the resort's iconic façade to witness the event.

Beyoncé's 60- minute performance - her first live show since 2018 - opened with a stunning rendition of the Etta James' classic, "At Last," before she treated the star-studded audience to some of her biggest career-spanning hits, including "Halo" and "Crazy in love."

With powerful vocals, high-energy choreography, and an awe-inspiring production, the global superstar was accompanied by Firdaus, a 48-person all-female orchestra, mentored by Academy Award-winning composer, A.R. Rahman. America's Got Talent winners, The Mayyas, an all-female precision dance group from Lebanon, were also featured on stage, with stunning choreography by Emmy-nominated Fatima Robinson.

Inspired to work with leading entrepreneurial females in the region, Parkwood Entertainment, the entertainment firm, founded by Beyoncé, partnered with IAM Entertainment, founded by CEO Sonal Vara-Parmar, who worked closely with Managing Director at Atlantis The Royal, Tim Kelly, to deliver this once in a lifetime iconic moment.

In a breathtaking finale moment, set against the stunning backdrop of Atlantis The Royal, GRAMMY's most nominated artist (tied with her husband JAY-Z) was raised sixteen feet into the air amidst one of the world's unique performance fountains, Skyblaze. Surrounded by a field of water and fire, a powerful rendition of "Drunk in Love" closed the magnificent and awe-inspiring show.

With a wardrobe designed by Atelier Zuhra from Dubai, Nicolas Jebran of Lebanon, Frolov from Ukraine and Dolce and Gabbana , Beyoncé was joined by her parents, and family, including husband JAY-Z, as well as special guests from across the globe, including British Vogue Editor Edward Enninful, model Kendall Jenner, actress Rebel Wilson, singers Chloe x Halle, actress Letitia Wright, actor Winston Dukes. Favourite UK couples such as Millie Mackintosh & Hugo Taylor, Rochelle & Marvin Humes, Mark Wright & Michelle Keegan all gathered to watch the star perform, whilst Israeli model Bar Refaeli, actress Ellen Pompeo and socialite Jonathan Cheban also attended.

The epic performance was followed by a fireworks and drone extravaganza, lighting up Dubai's newest icon, in an echo of the 2008 display that launched Atlantis The Palm to the world. As the fireworks settled, Swedish House Mafia took to the stage to perform hits, including "One" and "Don't You Worry Child," as guests celebrated until the early hours.

The Saturday spectacular is the pinnacle of the resort's Grand Reveal weekend, which has seen guests dine from the kitchens of the world's finest chefs including Nobu, Jose Andres and Heston Blumenthal. The weekend also features the star-studded Grand Opening events of Nobu and Ling and the launch of Kendall Jenner's 818 Tequila on the resort's sky pool, Cloud 22.

Tim Kelly, Managing Director of Atlantis Dubai said: "This is it. Our moment to unveil Atlantis The Royal as the world's most ultra-luxury entertainment resort has arrived. We're delighted that global superstar Beyoncé was here to launch this extraordinary resort in an unforgettable way - a true icon, launching an icon. We are excited to begin welcoming guests in February and treat them to an experience that will completely redefine their perspective of luxury."

Eight years in the making, Atlantis The Royal has been specifically designed to challenge the boundaries of imagination and reshape what ultra-luxury travel means. The Grand Reveal Weekend is set to cement Atlantis The Royal as an instant icon in Dubai and around the world.


Saudi Arabia announces new $266m entertainment destination

The destination will feature an e-karting and a 10-lane futuristic bowling experience, a 12-hole indoor adventure golf course, and a 10-screen cinema

Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN) has announced the beginning of construction of its entertainment destination in the city of Tabuk.

The new project, which has a development value of more than SAR1bn ($266m), will "transform the entertainment landscape in the region with a wide range of attractions and experiences," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

SEVEN is a wholly owned subsidiary of the country's sovereign wealth fund - Public Investment Fund.

The new destination spans over 72,500 square metres of built-up area, and will house attractions including a 4,000 square metre family entertainment centre, a second junior family entertainment centre for young guests, as well as a discovery adventures centre.

Additional features include an e-karting experience under Mattel's Hot Wheels brand, a 12-hole indoor adventure golf course, a 10-lane futuristic bowling experience and a 10-screen cinema.

The destination will also be home to a multi-purpose event space hosting events and several local and international retail, food and beverage outlets.

SEVEN awarded the development contract to build the project to Saudi-owned Al Bawani. Meanwhile architecture firm Gensler will design it.

"We are excited to be bringing our exciting new entertainment experiences to the people of Tabuk. We have appreciated the city's rich culture and heritage in the development of our entertainment destination, infusing it with Tabuk's unique features and ensuring that our destination will cater to the needs of all in Tabuk," said Abdullah AlDawood, chairman of SEVEN.

"Our entertainment destination gates will support the local economy, create job opportunities for the city's people, and enrich the lives of those living in and visiting Tabuk."

SEVEN is investing more than SAR50bn to build 21 entertainment hotspots. It recently announced the location of upcoming projects in 14 cities across the country.


Employers to pay fees for changing profession of expat workers

MHRSD also said that the employers are responsible to pay the fees of several matters for non-Saudi workers, such as: the fees of residency (Iqama), work license including their renewal, and the fines resulting from delay

RIYADH - The Ministry of Human Resources and Social development (MHRSD) has confirmed that the employer is responsible for paying the fees of changing profession for non-Saudi workers.

MHRSD also said that the employers are responsible to pay the fees of several matters for non-Saudi workers, such as: the fees of residency (Iqama), work license including their renewal, and the fines resulting from delay.

Moreover, exit and return fees, in addition to the non-Saudi worker ticket to their home country after the end of contract between the two parties.

MHRSD said that the employee deserves to obtain an experience certificate after the end of the work contract without any charges, as it must clarify the date of joining/ending in the work, as well as his last wage.


New bylaw allows Saudis to rent out housing units to tourists

RIYADH - Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb approved the new bylaw of private tourism hospitality, which allows Saudi citizens to rent out their residential units to tourists for a fee.

The bylaw specified the following regulations for issuing the permit in this regard. According to the regulations, a private tourist hospitality facility shall be part of a property designated either for residential or for agricultural use, and the total number of permits issued to a person in one property shall not exceed three.

The minister or whoever he delegates may, by his decision and for considerations deemed by the ministry, suspend the issuance of permits for a specified period in any geographical area.

The bylaw also stipulates a number of conditions to be met while applying for the permit. Only Saudi citizens can apply. The conditions also include the submission of an electronic title deed or an electronic lease contract that proves the right of ownership or use of the property pertaining to the permit; and updated official data of the applicant and the private tourism hospitality facility. As per the bylaw, the applicant must fill out an application form.

The bylaw stressed that the applicant shall comply with the terms and conditions for the issuance of the permit. The licensee shall provide the services in accordance with the permit issued to him, and not allow others to use the permit. He shall facilitate the inspector to perform his duties, cooperate with him and provide him with the required facilities.

The licensee is not allowed to use the name or logo of the ministry in any advertisement or marketing activity, except after obtaining its approval. He shall respond to the ministry through the representative of the private tourist hospitality facility around the clock.

It is mandatory for the licensee to ensure the quality of the service provided by fulfilling a number of conditions. These include showing the basic data specified in the permit clearly to the tourist inside the private tourist hospitality facility. The licensee shall not use an expired permit. He shall use only data that matches the permit, and pictures that correspond to the actual reality of the hospitality facility when it is published or advertised.

The general guidelines for using the facility by the travel and tourism service provider shall be displayed on a visible place inside the facility. These instructions shall include details such as the use of parking lots, disposal of waste, prohibited behaviors, dealing with lost items, customer service number, tourist and emergency phone numbers, and so on.

The regulations also include the application of public health rules and requirements at the facility and all its services as well as for its employees, taking into account public hygiene and preserving the environment in all equipment and related facilities such as adequate ventilation, cleanliness and safety of furniture and equipment, safety of ceilings and walls.

The facility shall complete its cleanliness and maintenance preparations before the tourist's entry. Use of Arabic or English languages, the Hijri and Gregorian calendars, is allowed in all dealings and official publications as appropriate with the desire of the tourist. The facility should not refrain from providing the services without any legally acceptable reasons for the tourist who has a confirmed reservation.

According to the bylaw, marketing and advertising of the private tourism hospitality facility shall be made only through the providers of travel and tourism services, and continuous updating of the information of the facility and its data will be made with the travel and tourism service provider. The advertising shall include details about the capacity of the facility when marketing it.

The bylaw emphasized that customers must adhere to the rules and regulations. The licensee shall comply with the truthfulness of information and data submitted to the ministry, and this includes the provision of any information or data required by the ministry through any means it deems appropriate and within the period the ministry specifies and updating the facility's data in the ministry's electronic system.

A list of prices for services shall be displayed in Arabic and English to the tourists, and that will be advertised through the travel and tourism service provider in line with the regulations set by the ministry, including statutory fees and taxes. Apart from maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of information related to tourists, they shall not share or use such information for any purpose without obtaining the tourist's approval.

The instructions of the competent authorities regarding security, health, and environmental aspects, safety means, ambulance, and evacuation shall be observed.

According to the regulations, a tourist should not be forced to vacate the residential unit after he checked in unless through the intervention of the competent authorities, and in accordance with the relevant statutory provisions.

It is also not allowed to open the residential facility occupied by the tourist without his permission, irrespective of whether he is inside the facility or not. This is permissible only after coordination with the competent authorities and ensuring the safety of the tourist from dangers. The facility shall report immediately and directly to the competent authorities about any incident related to the security or safety of the tourist, or the facility, or its workers.


Saudi Arabia launches 96-hour free stopover visa

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has announced the launch of a new Stopover Visa, open to a wider number of countries than the historic tourism eVisa and is the kingdom's latest move to make the destination more accessible.

The free-of-charge Stopover Visa has been launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism (MT), Ministry of Interior (MOI), the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah (MOHU), Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), Saudia and flynas.

The Stopover Visa will allow passengers to stay in the country for up to 96 hours, enabling more visitors than ever to explore Saudi Arabia's historical, cultural, and spiritual sites.

Travellers will also be able to use the Stopover Visa to perform the spiritual Umrah ritual. Pilgrims can book flights through Saudia and flynas, but must also register for Umrah through the Nusuk platform.

Even more exciting for visitors, Stopover Visa holders will be eligible for a complimentary one-night hotel stay during the stopover when booking through Saudia.

To help visitors make the most of their stopover, custom 24, 48, 72 and 96-hour itineraries have been developed to inspire visitors to stroll through Jeddah's Al-Balad, or visit the Al-Turaif district in Diriyah, one of Saudi's six Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Visitors can also use the Stopover Visa to break up long-haul flights or book a bonus trip to experience Saudi's burgeoning entertainment and seasonal events calendar or even extend a business trip on the way to their final destination, it said.

The Stopover Visa application will be automatically available through the airline booking platforms for all passengers traveling to their final destination on Saudia or flynas airlines. A stopover can be made through any airport in Saudi Arabia. For many, the application process can be completed in under three minutes and can be applied for up to 90 days before travel, it said.

The Stopover Visa will contribute to Saudi's vision of reaching 100 million visits annually by 2030.

Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Tourism Authority, said: "The new Stopover Visa is yet another proof point in Saudi's commitment to developing and encouraging growth in the tourism sector. It is open for travelers passing through Saudi on our national carriers whether for leisure, business or Umrah. We will continue to work together across government and the tourism ecosystem as Saudi transforms into a leading global tourism destination."

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Member of the Board at Saudi Tourism Authority, said: "Today's announcement of Saudi's inaugural Stopover Visa is a landmark example of integrated public and private sector cooperation. Four of the Top Ten global routes were in or out of Saudi airports in 2022, a testament to the appeal of destination Saudi.

"Saudi is committed to a seamless visitor experience. In partnership with our national air carriers, SAUDIA and Flynas, we are using digital platforms to provide an instant Stopover Visa, which only enhances Saudi's accessibility and our world-class destination offering."

?Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of SAUDIA, said: "The launch of this innovative and seamless Stopover Visa is the first of its kind in the aviation industry and a significant milestone in our digital transformation program. It is a testament to Saudia's commitment to support the Kingdom's strategic goal of reaching 100 million visits by 2030 and we are confident it will positively impact the growing number of transit passengers while enhancing our position as a hub that connects East and West. The new service will also encourage passengers to perform Umrah, visit key destinations and attend events and Saudi seasons."


Futuristic Yotel hotel first to open at Neom's Oxagon in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's Neom is unfolding at rapid pace, with what seems like a new announcement every few weeks on developments, news and projects unfolding at the world's first cognitive, smart city.

And at the city's Oxagon - Neom's Research and Innovation district - the first hotel has been announced.

Yotel at Neom Oxagon will welcome guests for a futuristic stay in 2025.

On the kingdom's Red Sea coast, the capsule-style hotel will be the largest from the global hospitality brand with 300 cabins. Each will feature innovative SmartBeds, space-saving gliding devices that convert from flat beds to a sofa at the touch of a button.

Known for its vivid purple branding, Yotel properties have automated digital receptions, allowing contactless check-in in less than one minute.

Yotel Neom will also be home to at least one Yobot - the company's robotic concierge.

Yobot debuted at Yotel New York, where it took the form of a robotic arm serving as a luggage porter. Sibling Yobot droids in other Yotel properties can deliver room service or restock housekeeping items in guest rooms.

In a move away from Saudi Arabia's penchant for luxury hotels, rooms at Neom's Yotel are likely to be more affordable as the UK brand is known for its pocket-friendly stays.

Komyuniti will be the hotel's communal dining space. It will also be set up for co-working and have nearby meeting rooms - making it a good choice for digital nomads. There are also plans for a grab-and-go style cafe, targeting busy travellers on the move.

A 24-hour fitness centre will help people keep their workout plans while on the go.

"Oxagon's ambition to house hospitality assets where innovative design, sustainability and technologies converge, echoes our core values at Yotel," said Hubert Viriot, chief executive of Yotel.

"We understand that the non-stop traveller craves destinations that won't slow them down, and Oxagon promises to be a unique destination where new tech-enabled hospitality experiences can be live-tested."

?Surrounded by a pedestrianised area, travellers staying at Yotel Oxagon will be able to commute easily to nearby communities in the tourist hub via a host of transport options, including self-driving vehicles.

?Oxagon is one of several cities and destinations being developed in Saudi's Neom. The entire region will be powered by renewable energy sources, part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 strategy to sustainably diversify its economy.


Expats can carry digital copy of Iqama, printed copy not needed

The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) clarified that if the residency permit (Iqama) of expatriates is renewed, then there is no need to carry a printed copy of it.

The Jawazat said that the expatriates, or their dependents, and foreign workers will be able to use their digital Iqama on their smartphone instead of carrying its hard copy if they renewed their Iqama and there is no need to visit the Jawazat office to take a print-out of it.

The validity of the Muqeem ID (Resident Identity) is 5 years from the date of its issuance, and its renewal must be done every year electronically through the employer's Absher platform.

Fines will be imposed in the event of a failure in the renewal of the Iqama of expatriates, three days after the expiry date. The penalty is an SR500 fine the first time, and SR1,000 in the event of repetition of the delay.

Earlier, the Jawazat allowed issuing of the Iqamas linked to the work permit and renewing it every three months, as a minimum, by the employer.

This is also applicable to the dependents of expatriates after paying the required fees to complete the renewal procedure. Domestic workers and the like are excluded from this procedure.

The Jawazat has allowed split payment of the fee for the work permit, the residency permit, the employee's levy, the dependent's fee, and other fees to get issued Iqama.

?Oxagon is one of several cities and destinations being developed in Saudi's Neom. The entire region will be powered by renewable energy sources, part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 strategy to sustainably diversify its economy.


Four Seasons to launch new luxury hotel in Moroccan capital

Global hospitality major Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Atlantic Coast Hospitality, a unit of Abu Dhabi-based real estate development firm Q Holding, will be opening a luxury hotel - Four Seasons Hotel Rabat at Kasr Al Bahr - later this year, following its extensive renovation.

Kasr Al Bahr, meaning "castle of the sea," was built as a sprawling royal summer palace in the 19th century overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, which later became a military hospital prior to closing in 1999, said a statement from Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

Rabat, Morocco's capital city, is located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and effortlessly blends the treasures of its past with dynamic offerings for the modern luxury traveller.

The city holds a Unesco World Heritage Site designation and is often known for its historic landmarks reflecting its past French and longstanding Islamic influences such as the Hassan Tower and the Kasbah of the Oudayas.

Visitors will also enjoy the city's coastal setting with beautiful beaches, bustling music festivals, and more than 500 acres of green space comprised of tranquil parks.

Following extensive renovations of the 12-acre cliffside retreat, the Rabat property will usher in a new era for the historic property with 204 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, it stated.

"As Four Seasons continues to grow its presence in Morocco, we are proud to build upon the success of our existing properties in Marrakech and Casablanca while introducing a complementary experience, this time in the nation's capital city," remarked Bart Carnahan, President, Global Business Development and Portfolio Management, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

"We are honoured that our partners at Atlantic Coast Hospitality have chosen Four Seasons as the stewards of Kasr Al Bahr, and we look forward to introducing guests to this dynamic destination through a new luxury hospitality experience marked by our renowned personalized service and quality excellence," he added.

The hotel will feature seven restaurants and lounges; a spa with treatment rooms and an indoor pool; several outdoor resort-style pools; as well as expansive conference and event space.

The hotel's thoughtful restoration has been led by Moroccan-based architect Karim Chakor of META Atelier d'Architecture, while Roger Nazarian and Associates have been selected to lead the property's interior design, landscaping and more.

The new Rabat property will be led by Gregory Viaud, an industry veteran with more than 19 years of experience across a broad collection of Four Seasons properties globally, as General Manager.

He will manage the hotel's pre-opening operations, the second in his career following his assignment at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center.

Most recently, he was the Resort Manager at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.

Gregory and his team in Rabat have already begun preparing to welcome guests with the genuine heart and passion for excellence for which Four Seasons is renowned worldwide, said the statement.

Q Holding's Director Malik Awan said: "As we transform Kasr Al Bahr for the future, we are proud to showcase Rabat's history and culture while creating a world-class hospitality experience for all who visit."


New hi-tech multi-speciality hospital opens in Bahrain

On behalf of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, today (January 26) inaugurated the King Hamad American Mission Hospital (KHAMH), a premium healthare institution in Bahrain, located on a 25,000-sq-m area in A' Ali.

Speaking at the launch, HRH Prince Salman highlighted HM the King's unwavering support for development projects that enhance the kingdom's economic competitiveness and benefit citizens and residents, reported BNA.

The new 125-bed multi-speciality, purpose-built, state-of-the-art hospital will bring the latest in healthcare to Bahrain and the region.

The hospital design was done by Leo A Daly, an internationally known consultant. Project consultants were Aref Sadeq Design Consultants, Kooheji Engineering Consultancy, Elevate Studio (auditorium) and STAT. The main contractor is Smart Skyline and the interior design was undertaken by IDA.

The ground-plus-five floors building offers total built-up space of 72,000 sqm with 512 parking lots in the basement and ground level. The new hospital will start receiving patients from March.

Emphasising the importance of the healthcare sector and its key role in the kingdom's overall development, HRH Prince Salman said KHAMH was an extension of the longstanding Bahrain-US partnership, and stressed upon the American Mission Hospital's (AMH) 120-year-long legacy as one of the first hospitals in the region, since its opening in Bahrain.

He highlighted the importance of quality and efficiency in achieving development plans that benefit citizens.

HRH Prince Salman said investing in sustainable healthcare services continues to be a top priority for the government.

HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister emphasised the role of strategic partnerships with the private sector, particularly in advancing the Kingdom's national development.

In this regard, His Royal Highness noted how these partnerships have expedited the implementation of various priorities within the Economic Recovery Plan, greatly improving the quality of services presented to Bahraini citizens.

To mark the hospital opening, HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad unveiled a commemorative plaque and toured various departments, where he was briefed on the medical services provided by the hospital, said the BNA report.


MOI provides guidelines to prevent visa cancellation for expats

The Director General of the General Department of Public Relations and Security Media at the Ministry of Interior, Major General Tawheed Al-Kandari, said that the residence affairs sector in the ministry receives, through the residence departments in the six governorates, requests for leave of absence for expatriates, provided that an acceptable and documented excuse is presented according to each case.

Al-Kandari added, in a statement to Al-Jarida, that "immigrant students who complete their studies outside the country and who hold Article 22 residence permit can apply through their guardian for permission to stay outside the country for more than six months provided they submit a proof from the university in which they are registered and the same has to be attested by the Kuwaiti embassy in the respective country, reports Al-Jarida daily.

He pointed out that "the same applies to humanitarian cases and patients, provided that proof of their health condition is presented, also certified by the Embassy of the State of Kuwait in the same country."

In the event that their stay outside the country exceeds more than 6 months the residence permit will be automatically cancelled.

Al-Kandari stated that the Public Relations and Security Media Department of the Ministry of Interior announced about 3 months ago that the Nationality and Residence Affairs Sector will begin the electronic cancellation of the residencies of those who fall under Article 17 (government sector), Article 19 (partner in the private sector), Article 22 (dependent), Article 23, (study) and Article 24 self sponsor and Article 18 (private sector employment) if they remain outside the country for more than six months.

He explained this went into effect on Aug 1, 2022 and ends at the end of Jan 31, 2023. The cancellation will be done as per Article (12), Paragraph (3) of the Foreigners Residence Law.

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