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SMCS completes designs of Egypt residential project

Egypt's Samcrete Engineers & Contractors (SMCS) has announced that it has completed the design work for the Pyramids Heights Residences project over a 600,000-sq-m area in west Cairo.

The Pyramids Heights project includes 600 housing units at 140 m above sea level, with investments worth 1.2 billion Egyptian pounds ($135.2 million) and expected revenues of 2 billion Egyptian pounds, reported Amwal Alghad.

It is an integrated project which consists of two parts - a business complex and residential. Spanning over 211,000 sq m, the project involves 10 buildings and 12 local as well as international firms operating. The business complex was already completed in 2000, stated Hisham El-Kheshen, CEO of SMCS.

The company is in talks with a number of distinct partners and international consultants in real estate and urban development to implement this project, he added.

Saudi's Savola says EBRD will invest $100m in Egypt unit

Saudi Arabia's largest food products company, Savola Group, said on Tuesday the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will invest $100 million in one of its indirect subsidiaries in Egypt.

The investment in United Sugar Company of Egypt (USCE) will include a fresh injection of $50 million, as well as the conversion of existing debt of $50 million to equity, it said in a statement.

The deal would bolster USCE's balance sheet and help it cope with Egypt's economic problems, the statement said.

A chronic shortage of foreign currency is hampering Egyptian businesses, leading the central bank to ration dollars through auctions with commercial banks, giving priority to imports of strategic goods.

Savola that under its deal the share capital of USCE will be increased and new shares will be issued to the EBRD. Afterwards, Savola's share in USCE will be reduced from 19.32 percent to 10.37 percent. The ownership of United Sugar Company, also an indirect Savola subsidiary, in USCE will be cut from 56.65 percent to 30.42 percent.

EBRD's ownership in USCE will be 46.32 percent, the statement said.

The EBRD lists developing Egypt's agribusiness sector on its website as one of its aims. It has so far invested in 33 projects, with a cumulative investment of 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion), the website said.

Emaar launches premium residential project in Dubai

Leading Dubai developer Emaar Properties has announced the launch of Park Point, a premium residential project featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and a duplex unit, at its ambitious 'green city' Dubai Hills Estate.

A joint venture between Emaar and Meraas Holding, Dubai Hills Estate is a mixed-use development with a series of unique neighbourhoods set around an 18-hole championship golf course.

Set on prime land, spanning over 11 million sq m, it is a new 'city within the city' development. Envisaged as a premium lifestyle community, Dubai Hills Estate's master plan features vast stretches of landscaped parks and gardens, winding walkways, and extensive open areas.

Park Point is a sanctuary of serene living in Dubai Hills Estate featuring elegant homes and fabulous facilities, within one of the most exclusive new projects taking shape in Dubai, said a statement from Emaar.

It will boast of a wide range of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments along with a duplex unit.

Launching the sales of the new units, Emaar said special offers are available for those looking to invest in Park Point.

Under its flexible payment plan, the buyers will first make a down payment of 10 per cent of the total value of the property, then a second intallment of 10 per cent on February 20, 2017 followed by a third on July 20 the same year.

The buyer then has to pay another 10 per cent on December 20, 2017 (when 20 per cent of the construction is completed) followed by another on April 20, 2018 (40 per cent work done) and then on August 20 (when 60 per cent work gets completed.

The final installment of 40 per cent will have to be paid on February 28, 2019 when the entire construction work gets completed, said the Dubai developer.

The residents of Park Point will get to experience healthy living in harmony with nature while enjoying an endless array of community facilities including sporting, entertainment and leisure facilities, it added.

Building on Emaar's credentials of developing integrated communities, Dubai Hills Estate will feature an iconic commercial centre, high-end retail centres, as well as low-rise and mid-rise residences, hotels and serviced hotel apartments, said a Emaar spokesman.

They will get access to an endless array of community facilities around Dubai Hills Estate - from a modern health club, golf club to nature trails, jogging tracks, children's play areas, and long-shaded pathways connecting parks and pools, he stated.

Adding to the convenience of residents, are educational institutions, healthcare facilities and mosques.

"One can stroll along a network of green corridors to community shopping centres or the neighbourhood mosque, while the kids bike safely to school on dedicated cycling tracks," said the spokesman.

Besides, a great selection of restaurants, cafés, hotels, medical clinics, spas and salons are all within easy reach of the residents, even as the allure of Downtown Dubai rises majestically on the nearby horizon, he added.- TradeArabia News Service

Dubai waterfront project on track for November launch

Dubai Properties (DP) has announced that the 12-km-long Marasi Business Bay Promenade is on schedule for launch in November, coinciding with the opening of the Dubai Water Canal being built by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA).

A leading Dubai-based real estate master developer and asset manager known for renowned destinations across the emirate, DP said more than 10 km of the iconic promenade and surrounding infrastructure, including paving of open areas has been completed to date.

Once launched, the Marasi Business Bay Promenade will be a journey of discovery with unlimited options for entertainment, leisure, retail and an active lifestyle with scattered seating offering the perfect place to enjoy picturesque views of the marina and surrounding canal, said a statement from the developer.

The dynamic and vibrant destination, home to a variety of public facilities, will become the location of choice for outdoor family time, entertainment and fun weekends presenting a world rich with wonders waiting to be discovered onshore and offshore.

Abdulla Lahej, the group chief executive of DP said: "The Business Bay landscape will be redefined with the opening of the Marasi Business Bay Promenade and the Dubai Water Canal. Visitors and residents in this area, which has been known more for its commercial activities, will now have a unique venue in the heart of the city where they can enjoy a new active, urban lifestyle at the city's next iconic fitness and leisure destination."

"The Dh1-billion ($272 million) Marasi Business Bay mixed-use destination, as it weaves its way into the fabric of the city, will become synonymous with what Dubai has to offer ahead of the World Expo 2020 and in line with the Dubai Plan 2021 to create a smart and sustainable city with happy people," stated Lahej.

The region's first-ever purpose-built yachting destination located along the Dubai Water Canal on the extension to the Dubai Creek is divided into three uniquely themed main areas - The Marina, The Park and The Pier.

It is on schedule to be completed by 2023, transforming the Business Bay and Marina as the city's next waterfront landmark. Phase One of the Marasi Business Bay destination, comprising The Marina and The Park, is on schedule for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Also as part of Phase One, the UAE's first-ever water-homes, which are being built on water with pedestrian and boat access and provide unparalleled direct water views, are under construction and have attracted high-levels of local and international interest enhancing Dubai's iconic status as a preferred place to live, work and visit.

The 50,000-sq-m Park area will include 16 parks with water features, play areas, and interactive furniture, as well as an events space with an amphitheatre, outdoor cinema and weekly markets, complementing the waterfront promenade area while the lush green surroundings encourage an active and healthy lifestyle for families looking for the ultimate leisure destination.

The Marina will feature five palm tree-lined marinas with 1250 berths, alongside more than 100 floating retail and food and beverage ( F&B) outlets, an assortment of onshore boutique shopping, leisure and entertainment facilities as well as a range of local and international businesses.

Marasi Business Bay has direct connectivity to the city's main transport arteries - Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road - and it is located within 550 m from Downtown Dubai.- TradeArabia News Service

Etihad Airways expands Madrid service to daily operation

Etihad Airways today announced that its Abu Dhabi to Madrid route will operate daily with the introduction of three new flights each week, effective 1st June, 2017.

The additional frequencies underscore the airline's commitment to offer guests greater choice and more travel options.

Continuing to operate with a two-class Airbus A330-200 offering 22 Business and 240 Economy Class seats, the daily service will strengthen the air bridge between the two capital cities and appeal more to corporate and leisure travellers.

The extra flights will provide connections to key markets across the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia. Popular connecting destinations via Abu Dhabi include Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Mumbai and Delhi.

From Madrid, travellers are able to connect to the network of Etihad Airways' codeshare partner Air Europa to seven cities in Spain: Barcelona, Bilbao, Gran Canaria, La Coruna, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife and Vigo. Guests can connect with Air Europa beyond Madrid to destinations in South America and the Caribbean, including Asuncion, Cancun, Lima and Santo Domingo. Etihad Airways also offers links with codeshare partner Avianca between Madrid and the Colombian capital, Bogota.

Free Wi-Fi in Abu Dhabi taxis from next month

ABU DHABI // Taxi passengers in the capital will be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi in their cabs from next month.

TransAD has announced the free Smart Wi-Fi service will be rolled out to taxis in November and is expected to be completed across its entire fleet by the middle of next year. The announcement was made at Gitex Technology Week in Dubai.

"TransAD is constantly striving to enhance the passenger experience it delivers in its taxis," said Mohammad Al Qamzi, General Manager of TransAD.

"We are pleased to partner with Telematics and BlueGreen to bring this world-class smart Wi-Fi service to our passengers, who can now avail of constant connectivity in our taxis for free. We are confident this service will enhance passenger satisfaction and happiness, and increase the use of our public taxi service in Abu Dhabi."

Jamal Saeed Al Nuaimi, General Manager of Etisalat- Abu Dhabi, said the UAE has always led the way in the region and globally to launch and implement smart technologies and services that impact the lives of residents.

"Etisalat is spearheading the UAE's smart city and digital transformation journey. We are proud to be associated with this project that is a global first. This is set to transform the digital experience of passengers in Abu Dhabi taxis, and I am sure will set the benchmark for Smart Taxi services across the UAE."

Qatari firm in deal to recycle construction waste

Qatari Primary Materials Company (QPMC) said it has signed a contract with Britain's TRL for the development of quality recycled aggregate for use in construction.

An independent company of engineers, consultants and technical specialists, TRL provides research, technology and software solutions.

With current construction projects in Qatar consuming large quantities of imported aggregate and generating huge quantities of construction waste, the duo have agreed to adopt innovative solutions to convert local construction waste into usable aggregate products that can be used for various construction applications including road construction, building and infrastructure development.

The new agreement aims to support Qatar's strategy of sustainable development and protecting the environment, at reduced costs, remarked Eisa Al Hammadi, the chief executive of QPMC after signing the deal with Dr Khaled Hassan, the country director and head of Middle East Infrastructure, TRL.

"At QPMC, we have placed the government strategy and economy at the centre of our operations. Working together with TRL will enable us to further extend our support to the government to promote sustainability throughout the development of local aggregate from construction waste," stated Al Hammadi.

"Our collaboration will also enable us to reduce reliance on imported aggregate and improve the quality of our local aggregate materials. This will have a positive effect on aggregate pricing, in addition to reducing pressure on our ports and developing new resources for our strategic reserve," he said.

In line with this agreement, both QPMC and TRL will work closely with government organisations and private industry to identify how various types of construction waste can be best produced to meet requirements of national and international specifications for use in construction, noted Al Hammadi.

"This will enable the development of a new source of aggregate stream and support the construction sector in Qatar," he added.

Dr Hassan said this was a significant milestone in improving the development of Qatar's sustainability, economy and environmental impact.

"We have a strong history of working with the relevant authorities in Qatar to improve sustainability and the development of recycled aggregate. Our cooperation with QPMC builds on this work and will open the doors for new aggregate products and business opportunities in the construction industry in Qatar," he observed.

According to him, both the companies will work jointly to implementing new codes of practice to improve the quality of recycled aggregates.

The aim is to improve the management of waste generated from constru