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Rockwell Automation opens first training centre in Egypt

Rockwell Automation, a leading company dedicated to industrial automation and information technology, has announced the opening of its first ever training centre in Egypt.

Dedicated to supporting the country's high industrial demand, the new learning centre for system integrators and OEM will enable the full capabilities of Rockwell Automation for its customers and partners in Egypt.

Home to a wide variety of industries, including mining, oil and gas, automotive and consumer goods, Egypt has become an increasingly important base of operations for Rockwell Automation.

KMT for Industrial Services, a specialist in the region for supply and installation of electrical equipment, already serves as Rockwell Automation's distribution partner in Egypt.

On this announcement, Safwat Hakam, Country Sales Director, said: "The industrial skills gap is putting pressure on the manufacturing workforce like never before. Our learning centres are designed to ensure that every customer has the necessary training and knowledge to maximize long-term efficiencies from their investment."

"Egypt is becoming a powerful industrial force with a strong foundation to continue its impressive growth, but its full potential will be realised by embracing digitalisation with the right training in place," he stated.

Established in 2014, KMT for Industrial Services is an independent company that has shown continued strength and success, providing control and electrical power engineering solutions to a number of major clients across a variety of industry sectors in Egypt and the Middle East.

Hamdy El Bishbishy, General Manager and CEO, at ?KMT for Industrial Services, said: "The opening of Rockwell Automation's dedicated training centre in Cairo, Maddi Area is a milestone step towards unlocking digitalisation in Egypt."

"As Rockwell Automation's distribution partner in the region, we look forward to providing our customers with a new array of opportunities to learn, train and grow," stated El Bishbishy.

"Combined with Rockwell Automation's remarkable training facilities, our experienced team is committed to providing even greater value to our customers as employees and employers alike adjust to the new roles and responsibilities of a digitalised environment," he added.- TradeArabia News Service


EgyptAir operates first flight to Dusseldorf on Friday

On Friday morning, the first EgyptAir flight to Dusseldorf Airport took off from Cairo International Airport.

Flight number MS733 left for the German city with passengers aboard EgyptAir's latest A320 NEO aircraft, which has a capacity of 142 seats, an EgyptAir statement said.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of EgyptAir Airlines, Amr Nabil, said that this flight will connect Cairo Airport with a number of the airline's stops in the Middle East and Africa, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Asmara, Nairobi, Entebbe, Riyadh, Beirut, Amman and other important points.

EgyptAir was keen to receive the flight passengers and take souvenir photos with them, and the company upgraded the first passenger at the counter to business class.

It also offered a 10 percent discount at duty-free shops on many of its products for the flight passengers.

EgyptAir operates flights to Germany through three major points: Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt. Dusseldorf is the fourth, and the airline scheduled to operate three flights per week between it and Cairo.


Iconic Tower: Tallest skyscraper in Africa rises from the desert in Egypt's New Administrative Capital

Three years in the making, Africa's tallest skyscraper has risen in the desert, 45 kilometres east of the Nile and the centre of Cairo.

The concrete structure of the 385-metre Iconic Tower was completed in June, and the steel structure is expected to be finished in August. The completed building is scheduled to be ready in the first quarter of 2022.

It will be the centrepiece among the 20 towers of the Central Business District (CBD) in the New Administrative Capital, a megaproject launched by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in 2015.

"This is a new era for Egypt - to enter into skyscrapers and super-tall buildings," says Ahmed Al Banna, project manager for the CBD from Dar Al-Handasah, the designer and supervision consultant.

"The Iconic Tower itself will be the symbol and trademark for the new capital. It will show the seriousness of the government and the president to have a new capital with all the facilities."

What is in the New Administrative Capital?

The new administrative capital - roughly the size of Singapore - is being designed as a high-tech, environmentally friendly city that includes a presidential compound, government ministries, offices, hotels, retail outlets, residential areas, sports facilities, schools and universities, a monorail, a giant park and the 35-kilometre Green River.

A main goal of the $45 billion project is to relieve congestion in Cairo, which is one of the world's most crowded cities with a population of about 20 million, as well as create jobs and boost the economy.

The relocation of civil servants will begin in July and an official opening is planned for the end of this year, even though the first of three phases is not yet complete.

What is in the Central Business District?

The Central Business District is being built by China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) with a $3.5 billion loan from China.

"The goal is for this to be a business hub for all of Egypt," Khaled El Husseiny, spokesman for the New Administrative Capital, tells The National.

The budget for the 81-hectare district has now reached $3.85bn, according to Al Banna.

The Green River will flow through the Capital Park at the centre of the district. There will also be two crescent-shaped buildings that will include branded apartments and retail outlets.

"The CBD itself will be a complete city," Al Banna says.

In addition to Iconic Tower, the 20 towers being built include 12 office buildings, five residential buildings and two hotels.

Concrete work on the office towers is complete and the facade work is about 70 per cent done, while skeletal work on the residential buildings and hotels is still in progress.

"Starting from the beginning of 2022, we will hand over some office towers two by two," Al Banna says.

The residential buildings will also be handed over in 2022, but the Iconic Tower and two hotels will only be completely ready by the first quarter of 2023.

"The finished works will be very sophisticated," Al Banna says. "The structure will be finished, but we have a lot of internal work until we hand over."

What will the Iconic Tower be like?

Dar Al-Handasah, an architectural firm founded in Beirut in 1956 with a principal design centre in Cairo, began work on the Iconic Tower in May 2018, with construction starting in 2019.

The project is being jointly implemented by the Egyptian Ministry of Housing, Utilities & Urban Communities and CSCEC, one of the world's largest contracting companies with about 1.62 trillion yuan ($250bn) revenue in 2020.

Built on an area of 65,000 square metres, the Iconic Tower - about half the height of the Burj Khalifa - will have 78 floors and two basement levels.

The first 40 floors will be offices, 10 will be branded apartments and 30 will be part of a five-star hotel.

There will be an observation deck on the 74th floor, where visitors can see the new capital at least 360 metres from the ground.

In comparison, the Cairo Tower - formerly the tallest building in Egypt and North Africa - is 187 metres. Elsewhere, the previous holder of the tallest building in Africa title is the 234-metre The Leonardo, a 55-floor, mixed-use property development in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Egypt allows 74 nationalities to obtain tourist visa electronically

As part of efforts made by the Egyptian state to revitalize tourism, 28 new nationalities have been allowed to obtain tourist visas electronically - thus bringing the total nationalities that can obtain an electronic tourist visa to 74, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ghada Shalaby said that this step comes in conjunction with the passage of a year since Egypt resumed the incoming tourism movement on July 1, 2020.

She added the update will contribute to encouraging many tourists of different nationalities to visit Egypt.

The portal allocated for obtaining an e-tourist visa is supported in eight languages.

It also answers the various inquiries of tourists, she explained, adding that a secure e- payment feature to pay for the visa, which is US$25 for one trip or $ 60 for multiple trips, has been provided.

Shalaby said the visa is issued in a maximum of seven days.


ABB to power Qatar's largest e- bus infrastructure project

ABB has won a contract from Qatar to design, supply, test and commission a new high-power charging infrastructure for one of the world's largest fleet of electric buses.

The project will see ABB provide high power charging infrastructure for the fleet, which is expected to have 1,000 electric buses operating across the country and with a capacity to transport 50,000 passengers a day.

This comes in line with Qatar's aim to have 25% of its public bus network operating on electric by 2022, rising to 100% by 2030.

As part of this plan, the state will create one of the largest e-bus networks in the world, in a single installation.

Partnering with Mannai Trading Company, Qatar's public works authority Ashghal and fleet operator Mowasalat, ABB will design and deploy heavy vehicle charging equipment across multiple locations in Qatar, including four bus depots, eight bus stations and 12 metro stations.

The project scope also includes a three-year service level agreement.

ABB President (E-mobility) Frank Muehlon said: "As part of ABB's 2030 sustainability strategy, we are focused on helping fleets to unlock the potential of e-mobility with state of the art and intelligent charging solutions."

"As the world moves towards green bus fleets, our solutions are at the leading edge to help cities and regions around the world discover the value of electrification and how it can help us all transition to cleaner and greener transport solutions," he noted.

For the project, ABB will supply over 125 MW of charging capacity, 1,300 connectors for destination charging and 89 opportunity chargers, four of which will be mobile.

Muehlon pointed out that with this charging solution, the complete Mowasalat electric bus fleet could be charged overnight at the depots and while in use without impacting regular operations, ensuring a fast and convenient charging experience for operators and passengers.

As per the deal, ABB will also provide the data connection and interfaces to connect and integrate the charging infrastructure operation into the Mowasalat Fleet Management System for 24/7 fleet optimisation.

Besides integration with the Fleet Management System, chargers will also be connected to the ABB Ability cloud to remotely monitor and diagnose the infrastructure by using more than 400 parameters. This complete solution maximises uptime and efficiency and ensures reliable infrastructure for the public.

Ashghal President Dr Saad Ahmed Ibrahim Al Mohannadi said: "Qatar has taken impactful steps to combat climate change and promote sustainability. This includes a variety of local programmes and initiatives, including the introduction of green public transport solutions."

"In Qatar, we have set ambitious goals to reduce CO2 emissions and make a valuable global contribution to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The installation of e-mobility infrastructure in Qatar supports these global efforts. ABB was selected as a partner because it shares our vision for a greener future and has the expertise to support Qatar's environmental and public transport targets. We look forward to the collaboration," he noted.

ABB is a world leader in electric vehicle infrastructure, offering the full range of charging and electrification solutions for electric cars, electric and hybrid buses, and ships and railways.

ABB entered the e-mobility market back in 2010, and today has sold more than 400,000 electric vehicle chargers across more than 85 markets; over 20,000 DC fast chargers and 380,000 AC chargers, including those sold through Chargedot.

ABB high-power chargers have already been deployed in e-bus depots and cities around the world. They have been used to power Germany's first electric bus fleet from Hamburger Hochbahn AG and more recently for a pilot at the San Donato depot of the Milan public Transport service company.- TradeArabia News Service


Qatar Airways to resume flights to Sharjah

Qatar Airways will resume services to Sharjah starting July 1, 2021 with a daily flight.

Flight QR1036 will depart from Hamad International Airport at 2.35pm, arriving in Sharjah at 4.45pm. The flight from Sharjah -- QR1037 -- will depart at 5.55pm, and arrive in Doha at 6.05pm.

With this, the airline will be operating more than 1,200 weekly flights to over 140 destinations by the end of July.

The flight to Sharjah will be an alternative gateway for passengers to and from the other cities, especially Dubai.

Dubai's DHA clarifies list of approved vaccines for UAE residents travelling from India

Dubai announced on Saturday that only UAE residents in India who have received two doses of a 'UAE-approved vaccine' will be allowed to travel to the emirate from Wednesday, June 23.

The list of approved vaccines in the UAE include Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Sputnik V.

However, there has been some confusion among Indian travellers about whether Covishield would also be accepted in Dubai. Covishield and the locally produced Covaxin are the only two vaccines currently available in India.

Taking to Twitter, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) clarified that Covishield was also accepted for travel.

"Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine and COVISHIELD are the same vaccine," it said.

The UAE stopped all passenger flights from India on April 24 due to the deadly second wave of Covid-19 in the country.

India has started to see a decline in the number of new coronavirus cases in the past week, amidst rising vaccination numbers.

India's recorded 42,667 new cases on Monday - the lowest daily tally in three months. The country also administered a record 8.5 million vaccine doses on Monday, the first day vaccines were available free to all adults. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the numbers were "gladdening" but the nation's inoculation drive has a long way to go - about 283 million doses have been given in India, enough to cover only about 10 per cent of its population.


Abu Dhabi extends Covid-19 home quarantine rules for close contact

Abu Dhabi has extended home quarantine rules for people in contact with those who tested Covid-19 positive.

Authorities on Tuesday said anyone vaccinated must quarantine for seven days and take a PCR test on day six. If the PCR test result is negative, they can remove the tracker device on day seven.

Unvaccinated people must quarantine for 12 days and take a PCR test on day 11. They can remove the device on day 12 once the test is negative.

Previously, home quarantine was five days, with a PCR test required to be taken on day four.

The move was announced by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre.

Electronic wristbands can be removed at centres including Mina Zayed, Mafraq Hospital and Adnec in Abu Dhabi; Al Ain Convention Centre; Madinat Zayed in Al Dhafra; and all Abu Dhabi Health Services hospitals in Al Dhafra.

The announcement follows Sunday's announcement that vaccinated travellers flying into the emirate from countries not on its green list will have to quarantine for seven days, instead of five.

Unvaccinated passengers from countries not on the green list will have to quarantine for 12 days, instead of 10.

People arriving from countries on the green list do not need to quarantine. The move came into effect on July 5.

Parents travelling with unvaccinated children who are returning to Abu Dhabi after the summer holidays must plan for a quarantine period before they return to school.

Under recent rules, all school staff and pupils aged 16 and over must have had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine by the start of the new school term.

Private schools in Abu Dhabi are currently waiting for updates from the authorities on testing policies and protocols for children and staff who have travelled outside the Emirates during the summer holidays.

Authorities have used mass testing, strict guidelines and one of the world's fastest vaccination programmes to curb the pandemic.

More than 64 per cent of the UAE population is fully vaccinated, while at least three in four have received one dose.


Abu Dhabi: Only vaccinated individuals will be allowed to enter most public places

Officials in Abu Dhabi said on Monday, June 28, that plans have been drawn up to bar entry to most public spaces for unvaccinated individuals.

Starting Friday, August 20, 2021, entry to a number of places in the emirate will be permitted only to those who have received their Covid-19 vaccine, stated the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee.

In the first phase of the directive, it will include restricted access to shopping centres, restaurants, cafes, and all other retail outlets, including those not within a shopping centre, with the exception of supermarkets and pharmacies.

Also, within the first phase, unvaccinated individuals will not be permitted to enter gyms, recreational facilities and sporting activities, health clubs, resorts, museums, cultural centres and theme parks, as well as universities, institutes, public and private schools and children's nurseries in the emirate.

The committee added that the directive does not apply to unvaccinated individuals who have a vaccination exemption certificate received through the approved process and registered on Alhosn app, nor is it applicable to children aged 15 and under.

Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi had said that starting June 15th, the Alhosn green pass would be mandatory for access to shopping malls, large supermarkets, gyms, hotels, public parks and beaches, private beaches and swimming pools, entertainment centres, cinemas, museums, restaurants and cafs. However, following a technical issue, it later suspended that directive.

Over 93 per cent of the target group in Abu Dhabi have already been vaccinated, according to a statement by the Abu Dhabi Media Office.

The committee emphasised that the decision is part of proactive measures put in place by the emirate which also includes pre-emptive testing campaigns in industrial areas and densely populated areas.

Abu Dhabi has approved the use of EDE scanners to detect Covid-19 infections, and will roll them out across several areas within the emirate. The scanners can detect a possible Covid-19 infection by measuring electromagnetic waves, which change when the RNA particles of the virus are present in the person's body, therefore providing an immediate result.

The committee said that it will continue to evaluate all measures as the situation evolves and stressed the importance of committing to precautionary measures as well as choosing to vaccine. The Alpha, Beta and Delta strains are currently the most prevalent Covid-19 mutations in the country, together accounting for 84.4 per cent of all infections.

The total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered as of June 28 stands at 15,111,234 with a vaccine distribution rate of 152.79 doses per 100 people. Health officials said earlier this week that of the total number of individuals who have been infected, 16 per cent were vaccinated, while 84 per cent were unvaccinated. Among those who required hospitalisation, 11 per cent were vaccinated while 89 per cent were unvaccinated.


Abu Dhabi adds five new European countries to its 'green list'

Abu Dhabi has updated its 'green list' of destinations to include 31 countries in total - up from 28 in the previous update, effective from Thursday, June 24.

While Austria, Denmark, Italy, Norway and Sweden have been added to the list, Cuba and Kyrgyzstan have been removed, according to the update issued by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT) on Wednesday.

The UK, which was removed in the previous update, has not yet been added back to the list.

Passengers arriving from the 'green list' destinations are exempt from mandatory quarantine measures after landing in Abu Dhabi and will only be required to undergo PCR testing upon arrival at Abu Dhabi airport.

The list also only applies to countries passengers are arriving from rather than citizenship.

Travellers from outside the 'green' list can still travel into Abu Dhabi, but are required to quarantine.

Last month, senior DCT Abu Dhabi officials had revealed plans to lift all quarantine measure for international travellers arriving in the emirate from July 1.

Media reports indicated the quarantine restrictions will be lifted for passengers from all countries, except India, by July 1.

Updated 'green list' as of June 24

Travel corridors

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated travellers (final dose received at least 28 days before travel) will also not be required to quarantine when travelling between Abu Dhabi and the following countries:

Countries, regions, and territories included within the 'green list' will be regularly updated based on international development, DCT said. Inclusion in the list is subject to "strict criteria of health and safety".

DCT Abu Dhabi will also continue to issue updates on the list and overall travel status in the coming months.


Abu Dhabi gears up for opening of world's first Warner Bros. hotel

Miral, Abu Dhabi's leading curator of magnetic experiences, in collaboration with Warner Bros Themed Entertainment, today (July 4) announced that more than 90 per cent of the work had been completed on The WB Abu Dhabi hotel and was on track to open later this year.

With a design and concept inspired by the world-famous Warner Bros brand, the hotel, developed with a total investment of $112 million, will complement the company's commitment to diversifying Yas Island's offerings and delivering holistic unforgettable experiences for its visitors.

Located next door to the Warner Bros World theme park, the new hotel will feature 257 rooms over eight levels, with modern dcor that celebrates Warner Bros.' extensive film and television library.

The property's contemporary design will also include signature WB themed restaurants, a premier spa and fitness club, and a shaded rooftop pool where guests can take in Yas Island's distinctive skyline.

The hotel will provide families with a range of leisure amenities, including a child-friendly pool as well as indoor and outdoor Kid's Club options. The WB Abu Dhabi will incorporate a broad range of facilities for business and leisure guests alike, including a large ballroom, a range of high quality and adaptable meeting rooms, and a fully equipped eforea spa and health club.

It is the world's first Warner Bros themed hotel, operated and managed by Hilton under its upper-upscale Curio Collection by Hilton brand.

To date, the first guestroom floors, branding and theming, as well as the ballroom, core spaces, and the building faade within Miral's newest hospitality development, have been substantially completed.

On the upcoming project, CEO Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi said: "Miral is proud of its long-term partnership with Warner Bros. that has resulted in two world-firsts here on Yas Island. The WB Abu Dhabi represents a great addition to Yas Island's hospitality offerings and attractions, strengthening our commitment to position the Island as a top global destination for leisure, entertainment, and business."

"We look forward to celebrating the hotel's opening later this year and welcoming guests to experience a truly unique hotel," he noted.

Peter van Roden, SVP Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment, said: "We are thrilled to be so close to completion on the world's first Warner Bros. branded hotel. The WB Abu Dhabi will be an amazing complement to the adjacent Warner Bros. World theme park."

"The hotel will be a first-rate family destination inspired by the iconic WB library of film and television shows. Guests will be able to participate in all the thrills and excitement of the theme park then step inside the hotel for an experience fit for a Hollywood star," noted van Roden.

Matthew Mullan, Cluster General Manager, Hilton Yas Island, said: "We are excited to be working together to bring this unique, 'world first' offering to this already exciting multi-purpose entertainment destination, Yas Island, perfect for leisure and entertainment travellers."

The WB Abu Dhabi is within walking distance from Yas Waterworld and are in close proximity to Yas Island's other attraction and experiences, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, CLYMB Abu Dhabi, and numerous world-class F&B outlets on the Island.- TradeArabia News Service


Dubai's RTA opens new model bus station at Oud Metha

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has opened Oud Metha Bus Station, the newest addition to bus stations featuring a ultra-modern design rendering it a model station.

It is integrated with the metro and taxi services as it is just 300 m off Oud Metha Metro Station.

The station offers a new concept in public transport services through integrated facilities such as car parks, bike racks, office spaces, customer service areas, trading outlets and self-service kiosks.

"The construction of the stations for passengers complement the efforts of the RTA to upgrade public transport infrastructure and encourage people to use public transit means for their daily commute. The new station boasts of a state-of-the-art design that caters to the needs of sustainability and people of determination, yet coherent with the identity and shape of the RTA's stations," he noted.

"The role of the new stations goes beyond the prevailing concept of commuting passengers to encompass the offering of integrated services to passengers such as car parks, bike racks and the integration with the metro and taxi services," said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA.

Oud Metha Bus Station spans an area of 9,640 sq m. The station is situated in a densely populated area neighbouring Oud Metha Metro Station, schools, community clubs and business centres.

The station comprises a ground floor, three identical floors and rooftop parking. Its design is integrated with the public transport means in the area as it has designated spaces for bus stops, taxi stands and private vehicles parking.

According to RTA, the average number of passengers using the station is expected to reach 10,000 per day in future.

The bus station has abundant facilities that include nine operational parking slots for buses, 11 for out-of-service buses, 350 parking slots for vehicles, 23 bicycle racks, passenger pick-up and drop-off points, it stated.

It also includes parking for waiting and emergency buses, parking spaces for taxis, staff and visitors, furnished rest areas for the public, caf and rest area for drivers, prayer rooms for males and females, staff offices, and public toilets.

The station has retail outlets and investment areas, designated for Emirati start-ups in coordination with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development.

It also has space for self-service kiosks and e-pay, nol card machines, bus information display screens, customers happiness' index, ATMs, refreshments and snacks vending machines.

The station serves eight bus routes of which seven serve public transport routes and the one is a metro link.

Forty buses are deployed on these routes, which link key places and areas in the city such as Dubai Mall, Al Qusais, Burjuman, Dubai Museum, International City, Wafi City, Al Seef, Business Bay, Al Nahda, Al Safa and Al Satwa.

The RTA has opened four public bus stations namely Al Ghubaiba, Al Jaliyah, Etisalat and the Union Bus Stations. Al Ghubaiba Bus Station comprises six buildings and covers an area of 2,452 sq m and can serve 15,000 passengers per day.

This bus station consists of a bus terminal and a building with a ground floor, two floors and rooftop parking. The station has a total built area of 19,000 sq m and can serve 7,000 passengers per day, said the RTA in its statement.

The Union Bus Station at Deira consists of three buildings. The station spans an area of 2,180sq.m and can serve 7,500 passengers per day.

Etisalat Bus Station, which is connected to Etisalat Metro Station, comprises a ground floor and a mezzanine floor. The station covers an area of 708 sq m and can serve up to 4,500 passengers per day.


Emirates re-opens dedicated First Class lounge at DXB

Emirates has re-opened its dedicated First Class Lounge at Dubai International (DXB's) Concourse B to serve the growing volume of premium customers travelling from and through Emirates' hub.

Emirates will also continue to operate its Business Class Lounge in Concourse B which has been opened since July 2020 for First and Business Class travellers as well as eligible Skywards members.

With comprehensive bio-safety protocols in place, customers can enjoy a full complement of trademark services located within the Emirates First Class Lounge, such as: a complimentary facial treatment at the Timeless Spa, complimentary services at Shoeshine by Mr Cobbler, four fine champagne vintages at the dedicated Moet and Chandon bar, special offers at luxury wine and spirits retailer Le Clos, and limited-edition tea blends with Dilmah Tea.

The re-opened Emirates First Class Lounge also features refreshed and spacious seating in the dining, rest, and social areas. In addition to a generous selection of fine wines, spirits, and cocktails, Emirates First Class customers can enjoy an entirely new menu with over 55 individual dishes painstakingly created by chefs at Emirates Flight Catering.

Reflecting the latest food trends and customer feedback, Emirates' latest First Class Lounge menu offers a dedicated selection of delicious vegan, gluten-free and other healthy options, in addition to culinary highlights such as: char-grilled wagyu burger, 72-hour braised beef short ribs, foie gras terrine, Black Angus tenderloin, and a traditional Emirati breakfast.

Catering to customers flying in from different time zones, the Lounge offers all-day breakfast and lunch options, round the clock. A generous selection of refreshing ice creams and mocktails are also on the menu.

The re-opening of Emirates' First Class Lounge in Concourse B is the latest in a phased programme where the airline has steadily and safely restarted its exclusive ground services for premium customers over the past year. This includes complimentary Chauffeur Drive in 70 cities, and Emirates Lounge operations in Dubai, Cairo, New York JFK, Manchester, Boston, Milan, and Los Angeles.- TradeArabia News Service


UAE to grant outstanding students 'Golden Residency' visa

The UAE government has announced granting a ten-year long-term residence visa to excellent high school graduates and their families from various countries.

This "golden residency" visa comes out of the state's appreciation for the efforts made by outstanding students and their families and as part of the UAE's plans to create an attractive and encouraging environment for talented individuals.

The applications for golden residency are submitted through the Emirates Foundation.

The visa is granted to students who have obtained an excellent grade or an average of at least 95 percent in the general secondary certificate or its equivalent, from public or private schools, as well as university students from inside or outside the country who have a cumulative average of no less than 3.75 or its equivalent, in specific scientific disciplines.

In 2019, the UAE implemented a long-term residence visa system, for five or ten years that is automatically renewed, when the same conditions are met, for certain categories that include investors, entrepreneurs and specialized talents.

The new system allows residents of the UAE, foreign expatriates and their families wishing to come to work, live and study in the country and enjoy long-term residency without the need for an Emirati 'Kafeel' sponsor.

It allows them also to own 100 percent of their projects, contrary to the custom that requires the presence of a local partner with a share of not less than 51 percent in business and investment projects in the UAE.

Many Egyptian artists have recently obtained the Golden Residency including actress Mays Hamdan, singer Mai Selim, director Mohamed Samy, actress Mai Omar, actress Nelly Karim and Pousy Shalaby, director Enas al-Degheidy and others.


UAE Golden Visa: New Abu Dhabi entity to offer smart services

A new entity in Abu Dhabi will provide smart services for Golden Visa applications and enquiries

The Abu Dhabi Residents Office will also offer information and guides on moving to and living in the UAE Capital.

Abu Dhabi is home to more than 2.2 million expatriates of over 200 nationalities.

Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said: "We are humbled and grateful for the essential and impactful role expatriates play in our society. We recognise the significant contribution they have made and continue to make for the sustainable development of the Emirate. The Abu Dhabi Residents Office bolsters our commitment in making Abu Dhabi a place to settle for all residents. The office will drive initiatives that support the life-long ambitions of the Emirate's international community, allowing them to reimagine and fulfil their personal and professional potential.

"The Abu Dhabi Residents Office is part of the Abu Dhabi Government's vision to foster a welcoming and inclusive society for all. The office will ensure residents of all nationalities have access to support and services that contribute to the high-quality standard of living that Abu Dhabi is renowned for."

Abu Dhabi has been ranked as the world's safest city for five consecutive years, according to Numbeo's Quality of Life index. It is also the world's leading city for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Deep Knowledge Group.

The Emirate also has been named the best Middle East city for expatriates and ranked the 10th most popular city for expatriates globally. It particularly performed well on the Getting Settled Index and Finance & Housing Index, according to the 2020 InterNations Expat City Ranking of 66 cities.

The Emirate was also ranked the 5th most preferred place of work for foreign nationals globally in 2021, by the Boston Consulting Group and The Network.

The Abu Dhabi Residents Office aims to boost Abu Dhabi's reputation as an attractive global hub for talent, and economic diversity and sustainable development by offering a range of services that will be implemented over the coming months.

Sameh Al Qubaisi, executive director - Executive Affairs Office at ADDED, said: "Our mission at the Abu Dhabi Residents Office is to continually enhance all aspects of living and working in the Emirate and to ensure that Abu Dhabi is a place where everyone can realise their dreams and ambitions within an inclusive and welcoming society that is rich in culture and opportunities.

"We will be focusing on greater access to information, processing Golden Visas and other long-term residency options, and most importantly, understanding the needs of our residents so that we can work across Abu Dhabi to ensure that together we are always growing and enabling the population here to thrive.


Kuwait to resume direct flights to 12 destinations, opens land and sea borders for vaccinated citizens

Kuwait will allow the resumption of direct flights to several additional destinations starting on Thursday, July 1, the Kuwaiti Cabinet announced on Monday.

Direct flights will now be available to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the UK, Spain, the US, Holland, Italy, Austria, France, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Greece and Switzerland.

The decision will be effective as of July 1 (Thursday), the Government Communication Center said on Twitter. It also confirmed that "any rule that contradicts with this decision is no longer valid."

Kuwait had announced earlier this month that it would be restarting direct commercial flights to the UK following suspension of the route on January 6 due to concerns about the spread of a new strain of Covid-19.

Meanwhile the Kuwaiti cabinet also announced on Monday that vaccinated citizens will be able to travel through its land and sea borders starting from Tuesday, June 29.

Citizens, their first-degree relatives and domestic helpers who have received at least one dose of a Kuwaiti-recognised Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to cross through the land and maritime ports, the Government Communication Center said on Twitter.

The vaccines recognised by Kuwait include Pfizer-BionTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

It also announced that Kuwait will reopen its land and sea borders to fully vaccinated individuals (from the approved list) from August 1.

Kuwait has been gradually opening up its borders in recent months.

Earlier this month, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) confirmed that non-Kuwaitis will be allowed to fly into the country from August 1, provided that they receive two doses of the vaccine approved by Kuwait, and hold a negative PCR test result conducted not more than 72 hours before arrival.

It also said that citizens who are not fully vaccinated are not allowed to travel outside the country.


Kuwait enforces restrictions on unvaccinated people

KUWAIT: Kuwait began yesterday enforcing a Cabinet decision limiting entrance to malls, restaurants, cafes, gyms, salons, parks, museums and cultural facilities to people vaccinated against COVID-19. To enter, a person will have to show their vaccination status on the Immune or Kuwait Mobile ID apps.

People whose status shows in green (fully vaccinated) or orange (one dose or less than two weeks after their second dose) can enter, while people whose status appears in red (unvaccinated) will be denied entry. People who cannot be vaccinated must show a certificate from the health ministry, while pregnant women can choose either to vaccinate or produce a similar certificate from the ministry. Children under the age of 16 can enter without restrictions. - Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat, Fouad Al-Sheikh and KUNA


Kuwait announces plans to build 71 new schools

Kuwait plans to build 71 schools for all educational levels for both boys and girls - with 23 new ones in Al Ahmadi Educational Area, 22 in Hawalli and three in Jahra region - for the next academic year, said a report.

The sites for the construction of these schools are expected to be handed over by the Kuwait Municipality, reported Arab Times citing a report prepared by the Educational Facilities Sector at the Ministry of Education.

The report revealed the preparation of a five-year construction plan from 2020/2021 - 2024/ 2025", which determines the need for schools in each educational district.

While the report stressed that the renovation of government schools is subject to the availability of budgets, the sector in coordination with the Public Education Sector is prioritizing the construction of new school buildings as well as school buildings that need to be renovated.

The report, prepared by the sector's assistant undersecretary, Yassin Al Yassin, unveiled the work plan for the construction of new schools, demolition and renovation and maintenance of schools.

According to the report, 13 government schools were closed three years ago upon instructions of the MPW in various educational regions, including 4 in Al Ahmadi Educational Area, 4 in Hawalli, a religious institute in Farwaniya and 4 in the Capital.

He pointed out that in the Capital Educational Area 3 new schools - two primary and a kindergarten schools will be built in the suburb of Granada - for the first time that schools will be established in this region, it added.


Alsayah Square announces launch of new Mega Mart outlet

Alsayah Square, a unique, medical and commercial complex built over a 100,000-sq-ft area in the heart of Busaiteen in Bahrain, has announced the opening of its new Mega Mart.

A renowned supermarket, Mega Mart is also the official distributor of British-owned Tesco products. The outlet at Alsayah Square is the largest supermarket in Busaiteen and Mega Mart's 15th store in Bahrain

Located in Busaiteen near King Hamad Hospital, the Alsayah Square will provide the residents of Muharraq governorate with a conveniently located community mall offering a unique family-friendly environment inclusive of a medical complex.

It is built over three floors and aims to further add to residents' convenience with a leading supermarket, coffee shops, restaurants, banking outlets and much more, said ths statement from Alsayah Square.

The mezzanine and ground floor will include retail outlets while the top-most floor will consist of medical units, providing healthcare services to visitors.

Leasing is still under way for the remaining units and is managed by CBRE, a leading and integrated real estate services company.

Commenting on the occasion, a senior representative at Alsayah Square said: "The opening of Mega Mart has been met with a tremendous amount of excitement. The presence of the largest supermarket in Busaiteen will expand on our promise to provide residents and visitors with a family-friendly shopping environment."

Adding to customers' convenience, Alsayah Square provides visitors not only easy access to the supermarket but also an ample parking space, delivering an easy, pleasant and satisfying shopping experience, he stated.

Alsayah Square, designed as a mixed-use development, with the opening of Mega Mart has delivered on a longstanding requirement of the area.

The supermarket boasts of an extensive range of ready - meals, deli and bakery products, handpicked and customized to cater to the needs of the residents that make-up the community.

"We at Alsayah Square are committed to our promise and are actively working towards expanding our selection of retail and dine-in stores with the intent to successfully integrate an atmosphere that will enable visitors to enjoy their every visit," he added.

As a full-service supermarket, Mega Mart covers a total area of 1,700 sq m split generously between two floors giving residents of Busaiteen access to a plethora of well-curated quality produce, local and imported foods along with essential household products, remarked Anil Nawani, General Manager at Mega Mart.

"It's our pleasure and honour to tie up with Alsayah Square located in Busaiteen, the heart of Muharraq, to serve the local community," he stated.

"Mega Mart is a very well-known name in Bahrain, reputed for its great range and pocket-friendly offers along with good-quality meat, poultry, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables. We have recently upgraded our to go menu with all kinds of sandwiches and ready to eat food," stated Nawani.

"Our endeavour is to create and ensure a safe and convenient family shopping," he added.


No new work permits for expats from 'red list' countries, says Bahrain

Bahrain's Labour Market Regulatory Authority on Sunday announced that the kingdom will stop issuing new work permits for expats from 'red list' countries.

Starting May 24, Bahrain had suspended the entry of travellers coming from the countries on the red list: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Vietnam was added to the red list on June 1, 2021.

The directive is only applicable to those outside the kingdom, the authority said on its website, adding that the directive aims to strengthen the kingdom's efforts to overcome the pandemic.


UAE's Majid Al Futtaim to open Mall of Oman in September 2021

UAE's Majid Al Futtaim has confirmed that it will open its Mall of Oman in September 2021.

It will be its fifth and largest shopping centre in the sultanate, with 140,000sqm of retail space. The retail and entertainment centre is expected to add 3,500 new jobs.

It will feature over 350 retail outlets, including 55 dining options. Its entertainment offerings include Oman's largest VOX Cinemas with 15 screens which includes the first Gold experience in the country, a 3D cinema, Kids and IMAX experiences too.

The Mall of Oman will also include largest indoor snow park in the sultanate spanning over 14,000sqm as well as the largest Magic Planet in the country.

The retailers which will be a part of the mall include Max Fashion and Centrepoint from the Landmark group; Hollister from Majid Al Futtaim; Marks & Spencer from Al Futtaim Group; LC Waikiki, R&B, and SMYK from the Apparel group; brands by the Al Shamsi group; Homes R Us; Matalan; Sharaf DG; a 12,200sqm Carrefour Hypermarket; and exclusive concepts such as Dior Boutique, Under Armour, Decathlon, 2XL Furniture, Lefties, L'Occitane en Provence, and New Yorker, among others.

"Through the launch of Mall of Oman, customers will be immersed in engaging shopping and entertainment experiences. And for the first time ever, the largest indoor snow park, VOX Cinemas and Magic Planet will all be found in one location, bringing everyone closer to creating lasting memories. We also look forward to pairing our incredible Tamheen graduates with our latest retail partners in time for the grand opening, providing new job opportunities to many," said Husam Al Mandhari, director of shopping malls in Oman at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, during a virtual event this week with a few of the retailers ahead of the official opening.

Majid Al Futtaim will support with the upskilling of Omani nationals by preparing them for a potential career in the retail industry through the "Tamheen" initiative in collaboration with The Retail Academy. The academy will provide opportunities such as screenings and recruitment events, tailor-made training programmes, counseling, and mentorship for new Omani hires.

Earlier this year, Majid Al Futtaim opened the sales for several high-end villas in Al Mouj Muscat, a property being jointly developed by Majid Al Futtaim Properties, the Oman Tourism Development Company and the Oman National Investment Development Company. These villas included Dhs28.6m Golf Beach Residences mansions, Dhs12.4m Beach Park Villas, and Dhs6.6m Beach Boulevard Villas.


Movement ban in Oman set to begin soon

Muscat: A movement ban in the Sultanate is set to begin from 5 PM on Friday based on a decision by the Supreme Committee.

The Supreme Committee to deal with COVID-19 announced the extension of the movement ban set to start at 5 pm on Friday, July 16 and will continue till 4 am daily till July 31.


Oman extends lockdown for Eid Al Adha holiday

Oman will extend its coronavirus lockdown by three hours each evening for two weeks to prevent people gathering in large numbers. The Eid Al Adha holiday will see a complete movement ban.

The Supreme Committee Responsible for Covid-19 issued a statement on Tuesday ordering lockdown to begin at 5pm and run until 4am between July 16 and July 31. The current lockdown, which began on June 2, runs between 8pm and 4am, and prohibits people from leaving their homes. No shops are allowed to open during lockdown hours.

The Supreme Committee also imposed a 24-hour ban on individual and vehicle movements and closure of commercial activities on the first three days of the Eid Al Adha holidays, except for emergencies.

Oman is battling a protracted second wave of the coronavirus, which has killed 3,339 people in the sultanate. At the peak of the crisis, in April 2021, the country was registering more than 3,000 cases a day, but lockdown measures have reduced the spread of the disease. On Monday, authorities registered 1,570 new cases.

The committee did not give a reason for the extended lockdown but an official close to the ruling said it was to restrict people from celebrating Eid Al Adha, which is expected to start on either July 19 or July 20, depending on the sighting of the Moon.

"This is in anticipation that people will gather in large crowds during the evenings of the Eid Al Adha holidays," the official told The National.

The Supreme Committee decided to remove Egypt from the list of countries from which arrivals are banned. It also decided to add to the list the following countries: Singapore, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Libya, Argentina, Colombia and Brunei.


Iran reimposes virus restrictions as delta variant spreads

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran announced Sunday it was reimposing coronavirus restrictions on major cities, as the spread of the highly contagious delta variant spurs fears of another devastating surge in the nation.

After over a year battling the worst virus outbreak in the Middle East, Iran ordered the closures of non-essential businesses in 275 cities, including the capital of Tehran.

The shutdown of all public parks, restaurants, dessert shops, beauty salons, malls and bookstores applies to the country's "red" and "orange" zones, or municipalities ranked as having an elevated risk of COVID-19.

The government said it was also imposing a travel ban between cities with high infection rates.

Iran's new restrictions are designed to slow the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant first detected in India, which on Saturday President Hassan Rouhani warned was driving a potential "fifth wave" of infections in the country. Reports of new cases have risen steadily in recent weeks, nearly doubling from from mid-June to early July.

The country has reported a total of 3.2 million infections and 84,627 deaths - the highest toll in the region.

The spike comes as Iran's vaccine rollout lags, with less than 2% of the population of 84 million fully vaccinated, according to online scientific publication Our World in Data. Iran says it has administered some 6.3 million doses so far. Those shots have mainly come from abroad, including from COVAX, an international initiative meant to distribute vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. Iran also has imported Chinese state-backed Sinopharm vaccines and Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

With foreign vaccines still in short supply, the country has accelerated efforts to develop its own shots. Last month, authorities granted emergency use authorization to the domestically produced COVIran Barekat shot, without publishing data on its safety or efficacy. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who previously warned against the import of American and British vaccines amid deep-rooted distrust of the West, received the homemade vaccine on state TV and encouraged the public to follow suit.


Saudi Arabia to localize real estate and five other major sectors

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday the decision to Saudize six major sectors that aimed to create 40,000 new jobs for Saudis. Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Eng. Ahmed Al-Rajhi said that these professions and activities include legal consultancy; lawyer's offices; customs clearance; real estate activities; cinema sector; driving schools, and technical and engineering professions.

According to the minister, the ministry's plan for this year aims to make available more than 203,000 jobs. He said that the issuance of the new ministerial decisions comes as a continuation of the ministry's strategy to enable Saudi cadres to secure very good jobs, as well as to provide an attractive and stimulating work environment that are instrumental in attracting more sons and daughters of the country to work in the private sector, and eventually increase their participation in the labor market, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Al-Rajhi referred to the partners in various entities that worked with the ministry in complete harmony, and with fruitful cooperation to organize and develop the labor market, as well as to enhance its efficiency, and increase productivity.

It is noteworthy that since the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) had issued several decisions with regard to Saudization of more sectors, and that included Saudization of malls, restaurants and cafes, central catering markets, and educational professions in the private sector.

The ministry issued Saudization decisions to support establishments and jobseekers in line with the organized mechanisms and a specific period of time, and target specific professions in vital sectors, such as dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, and accounting.

It includes specific jobs, leadership and supervisory jobs, sustainable jobs with growth and development, and jobs for which high level technical skills are required.

These decisions contribute to increasing the participation of national cadres in the Saudi labor market and opening more qualitative and stable job opportunities for young Saudi men and women.


Riyadh Public Transport will start operation on Sept. 1

RIYADH - The Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC) has set Sept. 1 as the date for starting the actual operation of the King Abdulaziz Public Bus Transport Network in the capital city.

The Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) announced that it had received on Wednesday a notification from the Public Transport Company (PTC) in this regard.

SAPTCO said that it is difficult at this stage to determine the costs associated with the launch of the project as the company is coordinating with other related authorities about studying the necessary work plans following which such costs will be specified and announced at an appropriate time.

It is noteworthy that SAPTCO had signed in 2014 a contract with French-based RATP Dev Company to establish PTC with a capital of SR10 million to operate its Riyadh Buses project. SAPTCO owns 80 percent of PTC while the French company owns the remaining 20 percent stake.

The King Abdulaziz Public Transport is one of the largest transportation projects in the region, and it includes the bus transport project and the Riyadh Metro, which will cover most of the densely populated areas, public facilities as well as governmental, educational, commercial and medical institutions in the city.


Saudi Arabia plans new national airline as it diversifies from oil

CAIRO, June 29 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced plans on Tuesday to launch a second national airline as part of a broader strategy to turn the kingdom into a global logistics hub as it seeks to diversify from oil.

The creation of another flag carrier would catapult Saudi Arabia into the 5th rank globally in terms of air transit traffic, official state media reported, without giving details on when and how the airline would be created.

Prince Mohammad has been spearheading a push for Saudi Arabia, the biggest Arab economy and the largest country in the Gulf geographically, to boost non-oil revenues to about 45 billion riyals ($12.00 billion) by 2030.

Making the kingdom a global logistics hub, which includes the development of ports, rail and road networks, would increase the transport and logistics sector's contribution to gross domestic product to 10% from 6%, state news agency SPA said.

"The comprehensive strategy aims to position Saudi Arabia as a global logistics hub connecting the three continents," Prince Mohammed was quoted as saying in the SPA report.

"This will help other sectors like tourism, haj and umrah to achieve their national targets."

The addition of another airline would increase the number of international destinations from Saudi Arabia to more than 250 and double air cargo capacity to more than 4.5 million tonnes, the SPA report said.

With current flag bearer Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), the kingdom has one of the smallest airline networks in the region relative to its size. Saudia has struggled with losses for years and like global peers, has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Local media reported earlier this year that the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, (PIF), planned to build a new airport in Riyadh as part of the new airline launch, without giving further details.

The fund is the main vehicle for boosting Saudi Arabian investments at home and abroad as the young prince, known in the West as MbS, seeks to diversify the kingdom's oil-heavy economy through his Vision 2030 strategy.

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