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Egypt to open Cairo's second international airport in July

Cairo is preparing to open its second international airport, Sphinx International, in mid-July, the Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry has said.

Work on the new airport, near the Giza pyramids, is almost finished, Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar told a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

"Ninety per cent of the work on the Sphinx International Airport development project has been completed," Mr Manar said.

The new airport, with the abbreviation SPX, is expected to take a great deal of pressure off Cairo International Airport, which celebrated its 59th anniversary on May 18.

SPX will operate domestic and international flights, and cargo flights, the ministry said.

It opened for a trial period in 2018 for mostly domestic flights, but received its first international flight in 2019, which arrived from Athens.

Although the airport did receive the odd international flight during its trial opening, it did not have the space for large aircrafts and received mostly small and medium-sized planes.

But in 2020, SPX underwent major works to turn it into an international airport, through which visitors to the nearby Giza plateau and coming Grand Egyptian Museum can have easier access to Cairo's most popular tourist sites.

The ministry said the airport's size was increased to 24,000 square metres and, when completed, will have a capacity of 900 passengers an hour.

Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said his Cabinet would give priority to the civil aviation sector in its coming agenda.

Mr Madbouly said Sphinx International Airport was particularly important because of its proximity to the Giza plateau, into which the government of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has poured millions to attract large numbers of tourists.

"Massive efforts are being exerted to develop the area ahead of the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum," he said.

Tourism is one of the government's top priorities, particularly in light of the hits the sector took after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which kept two of Egyptian tourism's most essential national groups from visiting.


Start-up launches pet taxi service in Dubai

Dubai start-up Chauf-fur has launched the first licensed pet taxi service in the UAE.

"There was no service for our four-legged babies before, now your pets can travel safely with trained professionals and if you'd like to go along for the ride, you're more than welcome," said Chauf-fur.

Bookings can be made in advance or instantly and are available 24/7. There are no exclusions as to the type or size of animal they take and bespoke packages are available for one way trips or for return, it said.

Since entering, the start-up has taken the pet market by storm, amassing a large following in only a couple of months, it said.

Bookings start from AED80, are instantly confirmed and are conveniently made over the phone or via WhatsApp. Trusted, trained pet loving handlers will take care of all the leg (or paw) work.

"We guarantee to treat your pets exactly as you would yourself and our aim is to make them actually enjoy the ride. We spend time introducing your fur-baby to the van and the driver and are happy for anything that makes them feel more comfortable to accompany them. We can drop-off and pick-up your pets whilst you are at work, whilst you're home or you can take the ride with them," the company says.

Co-founders Nader, Omar and Wael explain that the pet taxi idea came about after realising there was no option in the UAE to organise transportation for your pets in a safe and licensed setting.

"Not only are we fully licensed, our cars and vans are equipped with a variety of different sized harnesses, pet seatbelts and crates to make sure your pet is secure for the journey. Our vans are fully sanitised after each ride with hospital grade, pet safe disinfectants and the riders adhere to strict hygiene guidelines at all times."


Danube launches new 270-unit residential tower in Dubai

UAE-based Danube Properties has announced the launch of Gemz, a AED350 million ($95.2 million) luxurious residential project in a pyramid-shaped architecture, offering spacious homes and floor plans with unique convertible layouts - so much so that a one-bed apartment can be made into a two-bed unit and the same can be turned into a three-bedroom unit - loaded with 30 luxury amenities.

A 14-storey building, Gemz will host 270 apartments - 24 studios, 74 one-bed, 114 two-bed and 42 three-bed apartments as well as 16 duplex apartments within Al Furjan, a vibrant residential community located between Sheikh Zayed Road and Mohammed Bin Zayed Road.

Danube said that to make these homes, which are priced at AED550,000 ($149,727) onwards, more affordable, it is offering the group's flexible 1% monthly payment plan to the investors.

This plan facilitates the middle-income tenants and the end-users to easily fulfill their dreams of owning their choicest homes without any financial hardships, stated the Dubai developer at the launch event which also featured Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, its new brand ambassador.

Making the deal more lucrative for the homebuyers, Danube also unveiled a special offer at the event for homebuyers under which those who book on the opening day (May 28) will get a fully furnished apartment free.

It is the second project that Danube has launched within two months after the unveiling of the AED300 million Pearlz project within the same Al Furjan community in March.

Already a well-connected destination, Al Furjan is one of Dubai's most popular residential districts that hosts several convenient stores and retail facilities including pharmacies, grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, salons, bookshops, schools, hospitals, clinics and hotels, it added.

Strategically located, Gemz is just minutes away from Sheikh Zayed Road and also from a proposed metro line. as well as the Al Maktoum International Airport.

Speaking at the launch, Founder and Chairman Rizwan Sajan, said: "There is a renewed confidence of the end-users in Dubai's real estate market with domestic as well as the Indian homebuyers looking to own a second home in the city. And the latest reform in visa and residency rules now make it easier for investors and buyers to secure residence visas and we are seeing a large number of buyers looking for suitable properties."

"We will start processing for long-term residency and golden visas for investors who fulfill the respective criteria, such as AED2 million, AED5 million and the AED10 million ceilings - from September 2022, when the process begins," he added.

Sajan pointed out that with the introduction of intelligent furnishings, Gemz encompasses large homes and floor plans with convertible layouts.

"A one-bedroom apartment can be made into a 2-bedroom apartment and a 2-bedroom apartment into a 3-bedroom apartment. Spacious apartments at Gemz come with a swimming pool in the balcony - a luxury that's one of its kind," he stated.


Iman Developers launches 117-unit residential tower in Jumeirah

Iman Developers, a leading luxury residential developer based in Dubai, has announced the launch of its latest project within Jumeirah Village Circle - The Oxford Terraces - featuring a total of 117 apartments with a mix of 58 studios, 51 one-bedroom and 8 two-bedroom units.

Valued at approximately AED72 million ($17.6 million), the Oxford Terraces will be the sixth addition to Iman Developers' residential development project portfolio, stated the developer.

The firm has two other projects in the pipeline that are currently in the development stage, it added.

"The Oxford Terraces will offer residents our exclusive blend of luxury and lifestyle where every detail in every corner has been designed with the utmost care," remarked Ismail Marfani, Director, Iman Developers.

The studio apartments (in 400-500 sq ft range) have been priced at AED455,000 to 550,000, while one-bedroom units (680-950 sq ft) are priced at AED680,000 to 850,000 and two-bedroom units (1000-1800 sq ft range) in the AED1 million to AED1.4 million range.

According to Marfani, Oxford Terraces features various smart facilities, such as intuitive smart lighting for energy-saving and eco cooling systems to maximize energy efficiency as a part of the firm's focus on sustainability.

"Our focus with all our projects is to provide a smart environment for all our residents where they have all the amenities that they need at their fingertips. Real estate consumers today are more knowledgeable and know the highest standards that they should expect from a luxury development like the Oxford Terraces," he noted.

Oxford Terraces features various resident facilities to aid community living, such as a fully equipped gym, rooftop adult pools of different levels, landscaped indoor gardens, a cabana and a BBQ area


ATM 2022: Dubai's Emirates to launch premium economy bookings from June 1

Dubai carrier Emirates has unveiled its full premium economy offering and will open the cabin for sale from June 1, 2022, it announced at this year's Arabian Travel Market.

On a four-class Emirates A380, the premium economy cabin is located at the front of the main deck with 56 seats laid out in 2-4-2 configuration. Meanwhile, up to 24 premium economy seats will be installed in a dedicated cabin section between business and economy on the Emirates Boeing 777.

The new cabin class, which offers luxurious seats and more legroom, will be available to Emirates customers travelling on A380 routes to London, Paris, Sydney from August 1, and Christchurch from December.

Customers can also access a dedicated check-in area for premium economy at Dubai International airport, or utilise one of the self-service check in kiosks in the hall to avoid queues.

Onboard, the leather seats offer a pitch of up to 40 inches, is 19.5 inches wide, and reclines eight inches. It also offers calf rests and footrests as well as in-seat charging points and a side cocktail table.

Customers can use soft, sustainable blankets made from recycled plastic bottles. They can also refresh themselves with the complimentary amenity kits which come in reusable, sustainable bags. Passengers will receive a welcome drink onboard and during meal service, meals will be served on chinaware, accompanied by stainless steel cutlery.

Each seat has a 13.3? screen for passengers to enjoy upto 5,000 channels of music, movies, TV, news and other content.

Sir Tim Clark, president Emirates Airline said: "Since we first introduced our Premium Economy seats in January 2021, the positive response and demand has been tremendous. We currently have six A380s equipped with this cabin class, which limits our initial deployment, but our intention is to offer this experience to many more markets across our network.

"This November, we will begin our retrofit programme to install premium economy on 67 A380s and 53 Boeing 777s. At the end of the programme, Emirates will have 126 aircraft fitted out with premium economy cabins, as well as our latest interiors across other cabins. It is a major investment to ensure our customers continue to have the best experience in the sky."

Last month, Emirates launched Dubai Experience, a platform for customers to browse, create and book customised itineraries including flights, hotel stay, visits to key attractions, and other dining and leisure experiences in Dubai and the UAE.


Exhibition World Bahrain on track for 2022 opening

Exhibition World Bahrain, the Middle East's newest expo and convention centre, is on track to open later this year.

A mega facility, the Exhibition World Bahrain features 95,000 sq m of exhibition space, a grand hall with a 400 to 4,000 seating capacity, 95 meeting rooms, 14 organisers' offices, three majlis, supported by 25 restaurants, cafes and retail outlets, said a statement from Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority (BTEA).

The expo centre was unveiled at IMEX Frankfurt, a three-day global trade show for the incentive travel sector, which opened today (May 31) in the German city.

Once open, the Exhibition World Bahrain will be showcasing the kingdom's dynamic, progressive and collaborative culture and is set to become the catalyst for economic growth, socio-development and job creation, it stated

The newly-unveiled brand identity captures the essence of authentic Bahrani spirit and warm Arabic hospitality, accentuated by the use of the colours of the national flag, and reflects the essence of a space designed to connect, share ideas and create memorable experiences, said the BTEA in its statement.

The brand identity of the new Exhibition World Bahrain in Sakhir, which is set to become the largest exhibition & convention centre in the GCC region, is a key element in BTEA's work to promote it regionally and internationally," remarked its CEO Dr Nasser Qaedi.

"This exceptional achievement is planned to attract business tourism in the region and is considered a key pillar in implementing the ambitious objectives of Bahrain Tourism Strategy 2022-2026," noted Dr Qaedi.

Exhibition World Bahrain General Manager Dr Debbie Kristiansen said: "We are thrilled to unveil the new brand identity - The stunning logo design was inspired by the spirit, heritage and culture of the Bahraini people - warm, welcoming and truly authentic in every way."

"At ASM Global, we are all very proud to have been appointed to manage Exhibition World Bahrain by BTEA," she stated.

"We are committed to mentoring and developing an amazing team of talented, passionate Bahrainis, and our recent dedicated two-day recruitment drive, resulting in more than 500 Bahrainis applying for roles within Exhibition World Bahrain, is testament to that commitment," noted Dr Kristiansen.


Diyar Al Muharraq announces opening of major park in Bahrain

Diyar Al Muharraq, a leading real estate development company in Bahrain, has announced the opening of Hadiqat Al Diyar park, one of the most attractive destinations within its integrated residential city.

Spread over a 32,800-sq-m area, Hadiqat Al Diyar is located near the main entrance of Diyar Al Muharraq in close proximity to Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa Grand Mosque. It consists of landscaped gardens, over 200 parking spots, an area designated to food trucks, and Loop Cafe - a unique Bahraini concept caf for cyclists.

The park also includes a number of sport fields, namely for football, basketball, tennis, volleyball; alongside seven padel courts, a rubber floor running track, and a 400-sq-m children's play area.

The sports area includes dedicated facilities to accommodate people with special needs, fully geared with the suitable equipment recommended by rehabilitation professionals and physiotherapists. The space was created in order to encourage residents and visitors alike to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

In line with Diyar Al Muharraq's ethos of environmental sustainability, Hadiqat Al Diyar has implemented solar lights in key locations. In addition, the park provides e-bikes and electric scooters for rent, offering visitors an environmentally friendly means of transportation.

A family-friendly event, comprising various entertainment activities and games, was hosted by Diyar Al Muharraq to celebrate the launch in the presence of Chairman Abdulhakeem Yaqoob Al Khayyat.

Speaking at the event, Al Khayyat said: "We are pleased to announce the official opening of Hadiqat Al Diyar, which we have been looking forward to for a long time, especially in light of the circumstances the whole world has had to endure as a result of the pandemic, which led to an increased demand for outdoor spaces."

"We are proud to create an open space where people can explore sports activities and spend a day at the park safely, and are confident that this park is an improvement on the existing concept of parks in Bahrain, due to the high standards we have maintained during the development and construction of this project," he added.

Al Khayyat said Diyar Al Muharraq's framework was governed by its social responsibility that focuses on offering a sustainable future to the residents of the Diyar Al Muharraq City and Bahrain as a whole.

"Hadiqat Al Diyar runs in parallel with the sustainable development goals of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030. Designed with Bahraini culture in mind, its infrastructure has been developed to promote sustainable social growth by achieving Diyar's core vision of creating an integrated experience for both residents and visitors by providing a range of amenities specifically dedicated to families," he added.

Muharraq Municipality Director General Ibrahim Al Jowder said: "We commend Diyar Al Muharraq's efforts in creating a one-stop facility integrated with various recreational, entertainment and sports amenities for the visitors and residents of Diyar."


UK to waive visa requirement for Saudi, Bahraini nationals from June 1

Starting June 1, 2022, citizens of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain can apply to travel to the UK (for tourism, business, study or medical treatment) for up to six months with an electronic visa waiver.

The electronic visa wavier system is already available to nationals of other GCC member states including Kuwait, UAE and Qatar.

An electronic visa waiver allows the holder to travel to the UK without obtaining a visa provided they complete an online waiver for each visit.

There will be a nominal fee applicable when applying for the waiver online, though the entire process does away with the requirements to provide biometric information (photo and fingerprints), visit a visa application centre or even hand in of the passport prior to their travel.

"The electronic visa waiver is a quick, digital alternative to the regular visit visa and ensures all the necessary security checks are carried out in advance of travel," said UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.

In 2019, the UK saw 221,000 visitors from Saudi Arabia with those visitors spending GBP627m, according to figures shared by VisitBritain. Saudi Arabia is the UK's 13th most valuable market for visitor spending.

Visitors from Saudi Arabia are believed to be among the UK's highest spenders, spending on average GBP2,841 per visit in 2019, more than four times the all market average.

Visitors from Saudi Arabia also stay longer than other international visitors, an average of 16 nights compared to the all market average of seven.


Riyadh's apartment prices up 20pc in 12 months, says expert

House prices in Riyadh have risen at their fastest pace in at least 5 years, with apartments posting a growth of 20%, while villas have seen an 18.6% increase in sales prices, according to global real estate consultant, Knight Frank.

With Riyadh's re-positioning as the kingdom's economic heart, the city's workforce is being bolstered by a significant rise in younger Saudis relocating to Riyadh to take advantage of the high concentration of new jobs, stated Knight Frank in its latest review.

"The spectacular house price growth in the kingdom mirrors what we are seeing around the world. However, in Saudi Arabia, the government's programmes to boost home ownership have turbo-charged demand, development activity and house prices," explained Faisal Durrani, the Partner and Head of Middle East Research at Knight Frank.

"Riyadh is leading the charge, with apartment prices surging by 20% in the last 12 months, however this significant growth is not without its consequences," he stated.

"Demand is showing signs of being stymied as households find themselves needing to save for longer before being able to transition to home ownership. The resultant impact is a decline in deal numbers, which fell by 27% in the last 12 months," he added.

Knight Frank's analysis has revealed that transaction volumes across Saudi Arabia fell to 60,000 during Q1.

Total deal values have however only receded by 2% to SAR 40.4 billion, reflecting the stellar price growth being experienced in all segments of the residential sector, it added.

According to Durrani, Riyadh's new and semi-transient additions are however displaying a preference for apartments over villas and are also more focused on renting homes, rather than buying them.

"Despite the receding levels of demand, vendors are either holding firm on prices, or turning to the rental market instead further contributing to the dip in overall deal activity and indeed further exacerbating the shortage of homes available for sale, he added.

On Jeddah market, Knight Frank said mirroring Riyadh, house prices in the Saudi port city have seen rapid growth over the last 12 months.

Apartment prices increased by 4.9% in the year to Q1 2021, while villa prices rose by just 1.2% over the same period, it stated.

According to Knight Frank, the number of residential transactions in the Red Sea coastal city increased by 5% in the last 12 months, while the total value of residential sales increased by 46% over the same period. The greater rise in sales value over volume reflects the substantial growth in house prices in Jeddah.

Knight Frank points to anecdotal evidence of a return of Saudi nationals and expatriates to Jeddah, slowing the loss of talent to Riyadh.

Numerous government and private sector entities, like Roshn, Upton Jeddah, Al Ballad Development, and Jeddah Central, have established their offices in Jeddah, offering multiple employment opportunities for Jeddah's residents. As a result, Saudi nationals and expatriates are returning to Jeddah, underpinning demand for homes, it stated.

On the Dammam scenario, Knight Frank said like the rest of Saudi Arabia's major markets, the residential market in the Dammam Metropolitan Area has witnessed a profound price increase.

Average apartment prices in the DMA increased by 6.1% in the year to Q1 2022, while average villa prices increased by 2.5% over the same period, according to Knight Frank's research.

"Anecdotal evidence of increased rates of job creation fuelled by rising oil prices in the kingdom's oil producing heartland are underpinning rising demand for homes in the DMA, which is in turn helping to lift home values," noted Durrani.

"Still, just like the rest of Saudi Arabia, mounting affordability issues are driving demand away from villas, which has led to a drop in both demand and prices for stand-alone family homes. Apartments on the hand are experiencing a resurgence in demand," he added.

Mirroring Riyadh, the DMA's residential market experienced a 32% decline in the volume of deals over the last 12 months, while the total value of residential transactions decreased by 18% over the same period, said Knight Frank in its review.


Work starts on new arts complex at Riyadh's King Salman Park

Saudi-based King Salman Park Foundation has broken ground on Royal Arts Complex, a major development coming up on a 500,000-sq m-area in capital Riyadh featuring a museum, national theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre, academies, artist studios and cinema halls.

Providing visitors with one-of-a-kind experiences, the Royal Arts Complex will be the centre of Riyadh's art and culture scene, contributing to the creation of a rich and varied cultural legacy.

It was designed by the late Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, renowned for many iconic landmarks around Europe, Asia, and the US. Setting a striking balance between modern and traditional architectural values, it embraces Salmani architectural design, which honours the Saudi traditions.

The complex is set to offer immersive experiences catering to culture and art in all its forms, said the statement from King Salman Park Foundation.

The Royal Arts Complex comprises a museum, standing 106 m tall and representing the anchor asset of the complex, in addition to a library, dedicated artist studios, as well as an institute that includes three academies, with its own 600-seat capacity auditorium.

Artists will have the remarkable opportunity to showcase their talents in the Dome, which is an architectural marvel and an exhibit in itself, due to its pure and unique spheroid form.

Visual entertainment at the Royal Arts Complex will come in the forms of the National Theater, a multi-performance 2,300 seating capacity venue, as well as a medium theater with a 650-seating capacity, and three cinema halls, it added.

The Foundation said the park will deliver a holistic experience that provides a variety of environmental, cultural, sports, artistic, and entertainment options to improve the quality of life in the city, supporting the realization of Vision 2030, led by Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, to create a vibrant and healthy society and boost the global ranking of Riyadh amongst the "world's top liveable cities".


No need of worker's consent for change of 8 professions

RIYADH - The Qiwa platform, under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD), has canceled the condition of obtaining foreign worker's consent for changing profession in their iqama (residency permit).

This is applicable to eight professions that were recently included in the platform. These professions are doctor, expert, specialist, engineer, specialized expert, monitoring technician, worker, and ordinary worker.

The worker's approval is usually required when changing his profession in exchange for an amount of SR2,000 with the exception of the eight professions of which the change is considered as a 'correction' of professions. These professions will be allowed to be corrected only once without fees.

The platform stated that an accurate description of the professions to be recruited is required for any future recruitment. It will not be allowed to recruit any worker in the professions mentioned previously. The change of profession is limited to the Qiwa platform for the workers of establishments only while the platform is not concerned with individuals.

The company/establishment will be obliged to detail the specialization of doctor, specialist, engineer, specialized expert and monitoring technician. There will be 67 alternative professions for each of the worker and the ordinary worker professions.

These included the worker of gas station, food and beverage counter, personal care, concrete, vehicle paint, paint industries, cleaning roofs of buildings, cranes, leather crafts, printing and binding works, maintenance of electrical appliances, installation of communications and information technology lines, preserving fruits and vegetables, embroidery, pest control, mining, furniture assembly.

It also included the worker in plastic and metal products assembly, paperboard assembly, hotel management, cleaning offices and facilities, unique professions, car parking, laundry, ironing, washing carpets and rugs, cleaning vehicles, cleaning water tanks, sewage, farm animals, poultry and birds farm, mobile vehicle washing, street cleaning, garden cleaning, stables, egg hatching, agricultural and animal production farms.

Included in the list are workers of green spaces, nursery, forests, pastures, forest fire fighting, fish farm, fishing, mine, quarry, constructions, road maintenance, asphalting, digging, cemetery, building, concrete mix, demolition, packaging, labeling, manufacturing, product sorting, workshop, wheelbarrow work, bicycle transport, animal cart driving, loading and unloading, packing shelves, warehouse, cleaning kitchen utensils, and kitchen work.

It is noteworthy that in March last year, the MHRSD revealed that employment contracts for expatriate workers in the private sector can be accessed and updated through its Qiwa platform. Business owners are being encouraged to take advantage of the Qiwa service, which will streamline the process, help attract best talent and reduce labor disputes.

There are more than 85 services provided through Qiwa. One of its clear benefits is that it enables expatriate workers to move from one employer to another at the end of their current contract without their existing employer's approval.

Effective from May 12 this year, employee work contracts are being approved and documented on the Qiwa platform only, the ministry confirmed. MHRSD has so far transferred all the documented contracts of the employees to the Qiwa platform and that is in cooperation with the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI).


Oman cuts visa fees for expat workers

Oman's Labour Ministry has significantly cut visa fees for expatriate workers, following the directives of Sultan Haitham bin Tarik

Starting June 1, the visa fee to hire expatriate workers has been reduced by 85 per cent from the previous cost.

Expatriate recruitment fee was previously hiked ten-fold to encourage employers to recruit more Omanis.

Experts say that the hike in recruitment fees had a negative effect on the private sector economy.

The ministry later revised this decision and reduced the fees to give the private sector a boost.

"We welcome the government's decision to reverse the decision. The previous decision to put a steep hike in the employment of expatriates took away millions of rials from the retail market. About 300,000 expatriates left, because companies could not afford the hike when the pandemic was already taking an adverse effect on their businesses," Ahmed Al-Saifi, a retail business expert, told Times of Oman.


Unvaccinated passengers can enter Oman

Muscat - Visitors who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter Oman without any conditions, according to an official in the Ministry of Health.

The Supreme Committee tasked with tackling developments arising from the COVID-19 pandemic lifted all precautionary measures in all places and for all activities.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, the ministry official said, "Passengers who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter the sultanate without any conditions."

He also informed that vaccines against COVID-19 are available in government and some private hospitals for free. "The field hospital at the old Muscat Airport is still providing immunisation services against COVID-19."

Prior to its dissolution on Tuesday, the Supreme Committee called on citizens and residents to take the booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. It commended the constructive role of government, private and civil agencies in dealing with preventive measures and the contributions they made to limit the spread of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Oman Air, the national carrier, announced that arriving international travellers no longer need to register through the eMushrif portal or undergo a PCR test before or upon arrival, as previously required.

Authorities have also removed quarantine requirements and the need to download the Tarassud+ Track & Trace app prior to departing for Oman.


Expats can now own ITC properties in Musandam

Muscat - Expatriates can now purchase property in integrated tourism complexes (ITCs) in Musandam governorate following a decision issued by H E Dr Khalfan bin Saeed al Shuaily, Minister of Housing and Urban Planning.

The new decision enables foreign investors to own property in ITCs in Musandam for 99 years.

According to the decision, Omanis and non-Omanis can own property in built-up units or plots of land prepared for construction in ITCs.

The decision - No 109/2022 - was issued on May 18, 2022, and took effect a day after its publication in the Official Gazette.

In 2018, the government had prohibited non-Omanis from owning property in the governorates of Musandam, Buraimi, Dhahirah and Wusta, and other strategic areas.


Kuwait Assembly approves residency law changes

The National Assembly's interior and defence committee approved on Thursday key changes to the country's residency law, including allowing residents to obtain a maximum 5-year residency, property owners a 10-year residency and investors a 15-year residency, while allowing Kuwaiti women to sponsor their children for a 10-year residency.

The changes stipulate that a resident must leave the country if their residency expires and is not renewed, unless they obtain a new residency permit. According to the amendments, the interior minister has the right to deport expatriates with legal residence permits for security reasons or public interest, or if they don't have a legitimate source of income.


Kuwait launches online work visa service

New service was launched for issuing work visas online for the private sector by the Public Authority for Manpower and the Ministry of Interior which has become an alternative service of printing work visas.

Based on Cabinet instructions on governance procedures to use automated systems in a step towards e-government, Assel Al Mazeed the spokeswoman and director of the Public Relations and Media Department of Public Authority confirmed the new services.

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