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Crystal Lagoons opens new regional office in Egypt

Crystal Lagoons, a leading international water innovation company, has opened its new regional office in Cairo, highlighting the company’s commitment to Egypt.

Patented in 190 countries worldwide, Crystal Lagoons is now involved in projects worth over $5 billion in Egypt, with a total of 13 contracts signed, and a further 10 at various stages of negotiation in Cairo, the north coast, Ain Sokhna and Hurghada. Egypt is Crystal Lagoons’ top market in the Middle East and North Africa, and will open new headquarters in the country later this month.

Existing and potential clients in the country will have greater access to Crystal Lagoons executives, allowing them immediate response time, regular face-to-face consultancy, quick time design discussions, as well as on-the-ground implementation services making the entire project process much easier.

Carlos Salas, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) regional director for Crystal Lagoons, who will be responsible for heading up the office, said: “Egypt is a key market for us and as such we have opened our new headquarters in Cairo to facilitate the huge number of projects and deals we are currently working on with Egypt’s most prominent developers. North Africa has been a prime location for crystal-clear lagoon development in recent years and our new office will have an integral role in supporting our valued partners.”

“The unique worldwide patented technology used by Crystal Lagoons underscores the company’s ability to construct and develop mass bodies of water anywhere in the world, and therefore bring waterfront living to even the most arid locations, the next one in Egypt will open on the north coast later in 2017,” he added.

Supporting Crystal Lagoons in its new Egypt venture, multinational law firm Dentons has been appointed to safeguard the company’s patented technology in the Mena region.

Dentons will be responsible for monitoring markets across the region to spot potential infringements of Crystal Lagoons' intellectual property including patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights and domain names.

Projects currently under development include the north-coast Bo Island development by Maxim Real Estate. This will be the company’s biggest project to date in Egypt, with the $1.8 billion, 10 million-sq-m development set to offer lagoons covering a total of 32 hectares within the mixed-use community. The lagoons will be complemented by an impressive 17.5 km of powder-white sand beachfront and will be home to a host of unique water-based activities. The initial phase, which is equal to 10 per cent of the total area, will cost an estimated $455 million and is expected to be completed in Q1 2018.

Other companies utilising Crystal Lagoons’ technology to create traditional beachside living include Hassan Allam properties, one of Egypt’s leading luxury residential developers, with the construction of the $200-million Swanlake North Coast project; and the Porto Group-developed Porto Lagoons, a new phase that is part of the $345-million, 150-hectare mixed-use Porto Golf Marina community.

Demand to create an idyllic oasis setting in the desert has been highlighted with three Red Sea projects including the two-hectare El Gouna community development. Other projects include the world’s current Guinness World Record holder for the world’s largest manmade lagoon, the 12.2-hectare, $500-million Citystars Sharm El Sheikh development and a second Sharm project, the 2.7-hectare Radamis Lagoon, which will be at the heart of a 2,500-room, three-hotel mixed-use development.

Further underscoring Crystal Lagoons popularity in the region is the $250-million development in the country’s Sokhna mountain range. The development will bring six stunning lagoons spanning a total area of four hectares plus 3 km of sandy beaches.

Most recently, Crystal Lagoons signed a second contract with Egyptian real estate developer Tatweer Misr to bring idyllic beachfront living to the $117-million Fouka Bay development in Ras Al Hekmah. This is the second contract Crystal Lagoons has signed with Tatweer Misir; the first was for the ground-breaking project in its flagship project Il Monte Galala in Sokhna, which will see the development of the first mountain lagoon in the world.

“In our experience, developers are able to charge a premium on properties overlooking our projects and thus can attain a strong ROI (return on investment). Not only that, our lagoons are very sympathetic to the local environment, our manmade lagoons use up to 100 times less chemicals than a traditional filtration system and 98 per cent less energy required by conventional water treatment systems, meaning our technology provides a viable, sustainable solution, despite challenges such as water and energy supply. We can use any kind of water including brackish from underground aquifers, eliminating the need to consume valuable fresh water resources,” said Salas.

Crystal Lagoons currently boasts over 600 projects in different development and negotiation stages in 60 countries worldwide. - TradeArabia News Service


Nakheel opens new monorail station on Palm Jumeirah

Dubai-based master developer Nakheel has opened a new monorail station on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah as the annual passenger figures surge to more than one million.

Located at the heart of The Palm’s Al Ittihad Park, the station is a stone’s throw from The Golden Mile and within easy reach of The Shoreline Apartments, said the top developer in a statement.

Passengers using The Palm Monorail in Dubai can now board and alight at the newly-opened Al Ittihad Park Station for easy access to Palm Jumeirah’s central park, thousands of residences and the Golden Mile Galleria mall, it added.

Around a million people already use The Palm Monorail each year, with the figure set to rise dramatically as more attractions open on the island. Upcoming developments include Nakheel Mall and The Pointe, both of which will have their own monorail stop.

The Palm Monorail, which opened in 2009, currently runs from Gateway Station to Atlantis Aquaventure, stopping at the new Al Ittihad Park Station in between. Trains run every 11 minutes, from 9am until 10.30pm daily.

According to Nakheel, the number of Palm Monorail users has risen by 70 per cent in the last four years."There is no doubt that the region, and wider world, still faces a challenging economic climate, as businesses and governments continue to recover from the economic shock of 2008 as well as the current oil price environment, as illustrated by the investment flows outlined in this year's World Investment Report," Al Rumaihi said.

In 2013 there were 590,000 passengers, with 685,000 in 2014, almost 878,000 in 2015 and a million in 2016. With around 3,000 people now taking trips each day, the number of passengers in 2017 is expected to exceed 1.1 million, it stated.

Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said: "The monorail is one of Palm Jumeirah’s biggest success stories. The opening of Al Ittihad Park Station is a massive boost for the island’s investors, residents, visitors and retailers, and further cements our commitment to providing new services and attractions at this world-famous community."

"More people than ever can now enjoy the growing number of facilities on Palm Jumeirah – without using a car to reach them," added Lootah.- TradeArabia News Service


DEWA urges customers to regularly examine internal water connections

As part of its efforts to adopt the best international standards in environmental and sustainability practices, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), promotes a culture of conservation in society, and supports implementing best practices among individuals and organisations.

DEWA urges all its customers to carry out periodic examinations for the efficiency of internal electricity and water connections in houses, buildings and facilities, and fix any faults in the connections and even replace old connections if necessary.

However, DEWA is responsible for maintenance of the connections only up to the electricity and water meters; internal connections are the customers’ responsibility. These include residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

DEWA provides its customers with a service to check efficiency of electricity and water use in their private buildings.

This is done by checking the lighting and air conditioning systems, and water connections. This enables customers to improve and rationalise their energy use and contribute to preserving natural resources, and reducing waste.

“DEWA uses the latest and most efficient technologies to produce water according to the highest international standards. DEWA’s current installed capacity is 10,200MW of electricity, and 470 million imperial gallons of desalinated water per day. DEWA’s Smart Grid is the first network in the world to cover all operations from generation, to transmission and distribution systems. DEWA uses the latest SCADA systems, smart monitoring and control automation systems to provide electricity and water services to the highest standards of availability, efficiency and reliability. DEWA is also installing smart meters, which will increase efficiency and help consumers rationalise their use by monitoring their consumption instantly, and at any time. DEWA plans to install over 1,200,000 smart meters in Dubai by 2020,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA.

DEWA’s efforts in promoting rational water and electricity consumption have contributed to savings of 1.5 TWh in electricity, and 6.1 billion gallons of water, in the last eight years.

DEWA urges customers to conduct periodic inspections of their internal electricity and water connections, to ensure safety, promote conservation and best practices.


RTA starts trial run of new bus compatible with Euro 6 standards

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, has launched the test run of a VDL bus the first bus to join the RTA fleet that is compatible with the European Emissions Standards (Euro 6) characterised by its light weight and low-fuel consumption.

"The RTA attaches high priority to conserving the environment and optimising power consumption as safety and environmental sustainability is part and parcel of the RTA’s strategic goals.

This drive is in line with the national initiative launched in 2012 by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, calling for building a green economy in the UAE under the theme ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Development. "The move conforms to the Dubai government’s energy and carbon-control strategy seeking to make Dubai a model to be emulated in power efficiency and low emissions.

The trial operation of the new VDL bus signals the RTA’s keenness to revamp its public bus fleet to keep pace with the top practices worldwide and offer top of the range services to public transport riders in Dubai," Al Tayer said.

"The RTA will put the new bus on a trial operation for six months to assess the economic feasibility and environmental benefits of its operation. It would also examine the reduction in carbon emission rate, engine efficiency, and maintenance cost among other parameters," he added.

Al Tayer inspected the new VDL bus and attended a briefing about its technical specifications. It weighs about 9,650 kg, which is remarkably lower than the weight of the older model of the VDL bus, which was 11,200 kg. The new bus has a seating capacity of 45 riders, whereas the older version has seats for 34 riders.

The new bus also has an improved fuel efficiency at a rate ranging from 10 to 15 percent and a lower carbon emission rate, which brings its carbon footprint to the barest minimum to match the highest European standards.

It has a low-floor entry to facilitate the movement of people of determination. It also has high-class finishing standards with wide seats offering complete convenience to riders.


Dubai to partially shut metro line for Expo 2020 work

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is set to introduce constructional changes on the route of the Dubai Metro Red Line to move ahead with the plan for linking up with Route 2020 project.

The plan envisages the extension of the Red Line to the site of World Expo that will kick off in Dubai in 2020, said a statement from RTA’s Rail Agency.

"The constructional changes require a partial closure of the rail track of the Metro Red Line between Jumeirah Lakes Towers Station and Ibn Battuta Station during weekends (Fridays and Saturdays only) over 10 weeks starting from July 28 to October 14," stated Mohammed Yousef Al Mudharreb, the director of rail operation, RTA’s Rail Agency.

" An alternative operational plan would be in place as metro riders would be offered free shuttle bus service between the two stations," he noted.

Al Mudharreb said the alternative plan for the said metro partial closure encompasses the deployment of shuttle bus service to commute riders between JLT Metro Station and Ibn Battuta Metro Station.

RTA, he stated, had conducted intensive field studies, in collaboration with the contractor, to ensure that the alternative plan would be highly efficient in commuting riders between the two stations, given the intensive traffic movement over the weekends.

As per the plan, the contractor would upgrade the automatic operation system and add switches point to enable trains switch rail tracks and return at JLT and Ibn Battuta metro stations," observed Al Mudharreb.

"Metro commuters heading towards the UAE Exchange Station need to get off at JLT Station, take a free bus ride to Ibn Battuta Station and then continue their journey by metro in the direction of the UAE Exchange Station," he explained.

"Metro riders travelling in the direction of Al Rashidiya Station need to get off the metro at Ibn Battuta Station, take free bus rides to JLT Metro Station and then continue their journey on the metro in the direction of Al Rashidiya Station," he added.-TradeArabia News Service


Morocco to build world's largest seawater desalination plant

Morocco will soon be home to the world’s largest renewable energy-run desalination plant for drinking water and irrigation, following the signing of Phase One of the €309-million ($352.9 million) project.

The project will be developed by Abengoa, an international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, in the Agadir region in partnership with the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) and BMCE Bank.

The project involves the construction of a plant with a 275,000-cu-m total production capacity of desalinated water per day which will be the largest plant designed for drinking water and irrigation. The contract also provides for the possible capacity expansion to up to 450,000 cu n per day.

The desalination plant, which also provides for the option of being operated on wind power, meets the demand of water for domestic use in addition to irrigation water needs in the area of Agadir. At the same time, it will contribute to the development of the main economic drivers, the agricultural and tourism sectors, and the conservation of the aquifers in the area, therefore preventing their over-exploitation.

Under the contract, Abengoa will continue to undertake the engineering, construction and operation and maintenance for a period of 27 years. Abengoa and the Moroccan company InfraMaroc will be investment partners and responsible for the project financing.

Abengoa has been present in Morocco since 1977 and has offices in Rabat and Casablanca. It has carried out major large-scale projects in the country, such as the world’s first ISCC (integrated solar combined cycle) plant located in Ain Beni Mathar. - TradeArabia News Service


Work starts on major Bahrain highway

Work has started on the expansion of Wali Al Ahad Highway, a key link for the Riffa area to Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway and Hamad Town in Bahrain.

Wali Al Ahad Highway is vital road as it contains a number of important facilities and institutions on both sides, such as the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital, the Military Consumer Association, the Southern Governorate Security Police Department, the Supreme Council for Women, Wadi Al Sail Mall, Wadi Al Sail School, Wadi Al Sail Housing Project and other important establishments, said a statement from Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning.

The aim is to boost the capacity of the highway and alleviate traffic congestions, especially after the opening of Wadi Al Sail Mall. The highway witnesses a traffic volume of around 73,000 vehicles daily, it stated.

The first phase of the BD1.96-million ($5.2 million) project includes expansion of the highway to three lanes in each direction and revamping all intersections along the highway, in addition to re-constructing the highway infrastructure, construction of brick pavements, implementing a storm water drainage network, lighting, signage and protecting the existing services, said the ministry in a statement. The project was earlier awarded by the Tender Board.

The expansion work is aimed at providing a smoother traffic movement along Wali Al Ahad Highway, being the main road linking Riffa to Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway and Hamad Town, explained Essam bin Abdulla Khalaf, the Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning.

The work will be implemented based on the available capabilities and resources related to the present ground services, he added.- TradeArabia News Service


Kuwait to build new city for expat workers

Kuwait will soon invite bids for a project to build a new city in the northern Al Jahra governorate of the country that can accommodate nearly 20,000 expatriate workers, said a report.

The "Southwest Al Jahra labour city" would be the first such project to be offered as a joint partnership with the private sector, reported Arabic language daily Al Nahar, citing a senior minister.

"We are preparing documents for the project so it will be offered to the private sector on a PPP (public-private partnership) basis," stated Kuwait's Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Mohammed Al Jabri.

The government is planning such similar projects with private partnership," he stated.

The project would be completed in 2021, he added.


US shoe retailer opens warehouse in Muscat

US-based DSW, a leading branded footwear and accessories retailer, has opened its first warehouse in Oman, marking the first expansion of DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse outside North America.

Located at the Muscat Grand Mall, the warehouse offers an assortment of sandals, dress, casual, athletic footwear and accessories for the entire family, from brands like Nike, Adidas, Aldo, Birkenstock, TOMs, and Franco Sarto.

DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse offers a convenient, self-service environment, powered by an industry-leading, digital platform that provides customers access to thousands of choices across entire network, a statement said.

Simon Nankervis, chief commercial officer for DSW said: "We are excited to create the largest footwear retail destination in the region. We are extremely pleased with the initial customer reaction to our first store in the region. We look forward to working together with Apparel Group, our franchise partner in the region, to introduce our brand to new customers and additional markets over the next five years." – TradeArabia News Service


Aramco signs up Savage for industrial rail switching ops

Savage Saudi Arabia is a joint venture between US-based Savage Companies, a supply chain solutions and industrial services firm, and Ahmad Nasser Albinali Holding Company based in the Saudi city of Dammam.

On the deal, Saudi Aramco said the rail operations will support its Wasit and Berri natural gas plants, located near the Jubail area in the Eastern Province of the kingdom.

"We are excited to bring our unique capabilities and expertise to provide world-class service for our customer, Saudi Aramco, at one of the first industrial rail switching operations in the kingdom,” said Kirk Aubry, Savage president and chief executive officer.

“Our commitment to ensure safe and efficient operations at this critical link in our Customer’s supply chain will provide significant long-term value for this part of their business,” he added.

As per the agreement, Savage will perform rail switching services at the two Saudi Aramco natural gas plants using rail car movers and three Tier 3-compliant, low-emissions locomotives. The company will also provide track maintenance and track signaling system operations and maintenance.

Savage Saudi Arabia will own, operate and maintain the locomotives for Saudi Aramco, and will interface with the mainline rail carrier on behalf of the two plants.

These services will help facilitate the transportation of molten sulphur by rail from Saudi Aramco’s Wasit and Berri plants to Ma’aden Wa’ad Al Shamal Phosphate Company’s (MWSPC) new mining and processing plants in Wa’ad Al Shammal Mineral Industrial City and Ras Al Khair Mineral Industrial City.

“Our experience in safely providing refinery services in Saudi Arabia since 2012 has opened doors to new opportunities to move and manage critical materials and provide industrial services for Customers in the region,” remarked Aubry.

“We’re pleased to participate in the growth and development taking place in Saudi Arabia and look forward to working with Saudi Aramco to help meet the world’s growing energy needs,” he added.- TradeArabia News Service


Doha Metro to begin testing its first trains by year-end

Qatar Rail will begin testing its first Doha Metro trains by December, officials have announced.

More than 52,000 people are working to ensure the public transport systems opens to passenger traffic in two years time.

Also by year-end, Qatar Rail aims to complete three of the 37 metro stations being built for the first phase of the project.

These “pilot” stations are Al Qassar, part of Red Line North underground; Al Doha Al Jadeda, which is part of Red Line South underground; and the Economic Zone, one of the elevated stations on the Red Line South.

The goal is to ensure Civil Defense readiness and keep things progressing on time, Qatar Rail said in a statement this week.

And work is now underway to set up the stations across three lines (Red, Gold and Green).

According to CEO and managing director Abdulla Al-Subaie, more than 60 percent of Phase 1 is now complete.

Officials previously said that they aim to finish 70 percent of the project by the end of this year. This entails:

Speaking at a recent workshop, Al-Subaie said:

When it opens, the metro will also connect to two other separate rail projects.

They are the Lusail light-rail line, which contractors say will be operational by 2020; and a long-distance passenger and freight service linking to the GCC rail, whose timetable remains unknown.


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