From June 23, UK citizens can apply for one-year passport extensions at the British Embassy, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
An emergency travel document for children who have not previously held a passport can also be obtained. However, people are being advised to contact the embassy's consular section to make an appointment on 17574199.
The aim is to clear a backlog of about 30,000 passport applications that have clogged up the UK's Passport Office and threatened the travel plans of British holidaymakers and travelers around the globe, many of whom face having to cancel journeys because of delays.
"We have been waiting for our daughter's passport for almost two months now, like most people we are planning to travel soon, and worried it will not get back in time," Bushra Winter Powell posted on the British Embassy's "UK in Bahrain" Facebook page.
In another post Lindsay Mackay said she was waiting for over six weeks for her son's passport to be renewed, adding it could affect their travel plans.
Britons living abroad who want to renew their passports have to send their documents in the post and are told to allow up to six weeks for delivery.
Easy Taxi, a leading taxi booking app, which will allow customers to book taxis through their smart phones, is set to launch in Bahrain.
The award winning app, which is currently in its beta stage, has been rolled out in over 30 countries worldwide. The app recognizes the strength in Bahrain’s local taxi fleet and will enhance their position in the market, a statement said.
With over 155,000 registered drivers and seven million plus passengers using the service internationally, Easy Taxi has a proven track record for reliable services provided to customers and increased business for local taxi drivers.
The entrance into Bahrain will be Easy Taxi’s 31st in the world, following successful launches in the region which included Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with plans for more soon.
Easy Taxi customers will receive introductory beta stage discounted rates for their rides while the app goes through its testing period. More information can be found at easytaxi.com and the app can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play and iTunes.
Accor HotelServices Middle East, one of the leading hospitality groups, will operate the largest economy hotel in the Middle East at the Dubai World Trade Centre District, a new commercial development in the heart of Dubai’s business district.
This new hotel further strengthens Accor’s long-standing partnership with Dubai World Trade Centre, which has been home to the Ibis Dubai World Trade Centre hotel since 2003, said the company.
Strategically located next to the largest exhibition center in the Middle East, with easy access to both Sheikh Zayed Road and the World Trade Centre metro station, the Ibis hotel forms part of Dubai World Trade Centre District’s first phase of development.
With 588 rooms, the hotel will target a wide mix of international and regional business, leisure and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) travelers coming to the UAE. It will offer three meeting rooms, a bar and the Ibis WOK & Co. restaurant which offers well-balanced meals for travelers on the move.
Construction of the Ibis Dubai World Trade Centre District hotel is scheduled to begin in Q2 2014, with completion due in the final quarter of 2015, in line with the delivery of the first phase of the Dubai World Trade Centre District development.
The hotel is expected to open in Q1 2016. As the second Ibis hotel at Dubai World Trade Centre, and Accor’s third property near the site, the new Ibis hotel brings the number of Accor rooms in the district to 1,210, and further consolidates Accor’s leadership in the economy segment in the region.
“I am delighted that this new ibis hotel reinforces our successful partnership with Dubai World Trade Centre, strengthens the ibis brand in the region and confirms Accor as one of the fastest growing hospitality groups in the Middle East,” said Christophe Landais, chief operating officer for Accor HotelServices Middle East.
Accor Middle East’s current network of 65 hotels with more than 15,600 rooms in the Middle East includes 14 ibis hotels accounting for over 3,000 guest rooms, and 10 more ibis hotels comprising in excess of 2,500 rooms are currently under development across the region.
The Pearl-Qatar, United Development Company's flagship island development, has announced the official launch of the “Hilton Panorama Residence,” a 445-room serviced hotel apartments project.
First Qatar Real Estate Development Company, which will be investing up to $390 million in the project, said the construction is set to begin this month and is expected to complete by mid-2017.
The ribbon cutting was conducted in the presence of a number of senior officials, businessmen, investors, representatives from the tourism sector, and with a number of media representatives in attendance.
The apartment’s project will be located in the upscale and exclusive man-made island, The Pearl-Qatar, regarded as one of the most prestigious developments in Doha and the region.
The Hilton Pearl Residences will be ideally positioned at the Island’s entrance and surrounded by upscale and stylish coffee shops, retail boutiques and restaurants.
Speaking at the launch, Fahad Al-Ghunaim, the chairman & CEO of First Qatar Real Estate Development Company, elaborated on the strategic importance of Hilton Panorama Residence’s location at The Pearl-Qatar.
“Panorama Hilton Residence boasts an unparalleled location at the gateway of the Pearl Island,” stated Al Ghunaim.
“Designed by world-class architects, the Panorama tower will be the tallest building in Phase Three of the Island. The visibility, location and dramatic styling of the tower will all serve to establish the project's unique identity,” he added.
United Development Company acting CEO Badr Al-Meer said: “All these new schemes progressing simultaneously at The Pearl-Qatar work together by mobilizing significant resources and talents available at UDC, consequently sustaining service excellence and promoting The Pearl-Qatar as a leading mixed-use development of world-class standing.”
“We recognize that the importance of this facility and the caliber of work that will be done in it will also generate significant opportunities for further business investments at The Pearl-Qatar,” he added.
Hilton had last March announced its expansion plans in Qatar with the signing of a management agreement with First Qatar Real Estate Development Company to open Hilton Pearl Residences, Qatar.
The 41-storey apartment tower and the 51 surrounding townhouses boast a stunning view of the Doha skyline and overlook other vital districts of the Island.
UNESCO has named the abandoned historical coastal town Al Zubarah Archeological Site to the World Heritage List, the Qatar Museums Authority has announced.
Zubarah, which is some 100 km northwest of Doha and “one of the largest and best preserved examples of an 18th-19th century traditional pearl fishing and merchant town in the Gulf,” is the first site in Qatar to make the list. It is now perhaps best known by tourists for its famous fort of the same name.
Many of its archaeological finds, which were excavated in the 1950s, are now part of the National Museum of Qatar’s (NMoQ) permanent collection. Sheikh Hassan Bin Mohamed Bin Ali Al Thani, QMA’s Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, was present at the UNESCO event and said in a statement:
“It is very significant to include Al Zubarah in Qatar as part of the UNESCO World Heritage list as a historical site that must be protected.
This follows the enormous effort by Qatar in ensuring the preservation and conservation of this historical site, leading it to be internationally recognized for its human legacy, specially that Al Zubarah is significant to many of the Gulf nationals.”
The UNESCO designation as a World Heritage Site brings Zubarah more explicitly under the protection of the Law of War under the Geneva Convention. To be selected by UNESCO, cultural heritage sites must meet at least one of six criteria. Zubarah fulfilled three of them:
During UNESCO’s 37th session in Cambodia last month??, India’s Hill Forts of Rajasthan, Canada’s Red Bay Basque Whaling Station and Namibia’s Namib Sand Sea, among others, were also inscribed into the list.
The World Heritage List also includes more than 900 other natural and cultural sites, like the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt and Petra in Jordan.
Algeria is slowly becoming a more welcoming destination for expatriates. Both multinational and local businesses are investing in the capital, with large corporations such as PepsiCo, Lays and KPMG opening new branches. To make life of foreigners even more enjoyable, a large shopping center Bab ezzouarh as opened its doors for customers. The Mall has many boutiques, a hairdresser, bank and the first Hypermarket in Algeria.