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Tender awarded for Belgian pavilion for Expo 2020

The public tender for the design, construction, scenography, maintenance and decommission of the Belgian pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai has just been awarded.


The group Bemob-2020 won the competitive tender process and includes the Belgian contractor Besix and Vanhout, the design firms Assar Architects and Vincent Callebaut Architectures, and scenographers from Krafthaus.

The pavilion will showcase Belgian techniques, applications, products and materials throughout the interior and the exterior of the pavilion. It will not just be green on the outside, but has been designed to produce more energy than it consumes. The preservation of the environment is at the heart of its design and of our concerns, with natural light and ventilation, renewable energies and the smart use of water.

The pavilion will feature an exhibition trail, shops selling Belgian souvenirs, places to taste culinary specialties and a business centre, as well as a brasserie with a terrace. These will offer Belgian companies the opportunity to get involved and present themselves to the world.

The pavilion, in the heart of Expo 2020’s Mobility district, will present Belgium’s latest technological innovations for bringing people, goods and ideas together. It will offer all kinds of interactive discoveries where people can explore the ‘Belgium of the future’.

The pavilion is already popular with businesses and a number of them are already co-financing or contributing to its construction, with the structural work due to complete by the end of 2019. Contributions by other people and companies, from SMEs to multinationals, are still welcome, a statement said.

From 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, Expo 2020 Dubai will bring together 190 participating countries and millions of visitors at its vast 4.38-sq-km site. The aim of the Expo’s organisers is to encourage creativity, innovation and collaboration on a global scale. The principal theme of Expo 2020, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, will be underpinned by three subthemes: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. – TradeArabia News Service

Source: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/CONS_351797.html

UAE forecast to open most hotel rooms in 2019.

STR’s international pipeline data shows that the UAE is set to open 31,517 hotel rooms during 2019.

The UAE is forecast to open more new hotel rooms this year than any other country outside China, according to new data. STR’s international pipeline data shows that the UAE is set to open 31,517 hotel rooms during 2019, nearly 40 percent of the total forecast to open in the Middle East and Africa region.

In the MEA region, STR said Saudi Arabia has the second largest pipeline with 24,170 rooms while Oman plans to open nearly 3,000 rooms this year.

The UAE is seeking to add more hotel supply as tourism figures continue to increase. Visitors to Dubai totalled 11.58 million in the first nine months of 2018, according to figures by the emirate’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

India retained its position as Dubai’s leading source market, followed by Saudi Arabia and the UK. Russia, China and Germany followed suit, each recording double-digit growth compared to the same period in 2017. Globally, STR said Asia Pacific is planning the biggest expansion of hotel rooms with a total of 188,240, followed by Europe with 94,288, the Middle East and Africa (80,267) and the Americas, excluding the US, with 36,568.

 

Source: https://www.arabianbusiness.com/travel-hospitality/413040-uae-forecast-to-open-more-hotel-rooms-outside-china-in-2019

Bahrain retail sector posts solid growth in Q1

Bahrain continues to witness growth in development and investment in the retail sector, according to new data released by global real estate consultancy firm CBRE. 
Total retail stock in the regional and super -regional mall category in Bahrain stood at 860,700 sq m of gross leasable area (GLA) in the first quarter of 2019, it stated.
With six projects currently under construction and planned for completion in 2022, the delivery is set to increase supply by 34 per cent, further positioning the country as a regional retail destination, said the real estate expert.
The Bahrain Retail Q1 Snapshot report revealed these future projects will be consistently larger in scale than existing comparables.
In 2019, only four per cent of supply have a GLA of between 80,000 and 120,000 sq m, while 33 per cent of pipeline stock is expected to fall into this range, it stated.
James Lynn, the director of strategic advisory at CBRE Bahrain, said: “Retail remains one of Bahrain’s most dynamic sectors, and despite a relatively small population, the kingdom attracts a growing number of tourists.”
“The launch of the Bahrain Shopping Festival ‘Shop Bahrain’ five years ago demonstrated that the retail sector is an important sub-sector in the kingdom,” he noted.
According to him, the success of larger shopping malls, such as The Avenues, is testament to the demand for larger scale retail complexes with a leisure and entertainment focus.
The popularity of open retail plazas is also gaining traction, with 21 projects under this classification and another 17 in the planning and construction phase, he noted.
The report also shows that average rental rates for in-line units have been stable since 2015, achieving BD15.300 per sqm in 2019, down by one per cent year-on-year.
“Occupancy levels in Bahrain’s shopping malls currently stand at an average of 78 per cent across all properties,” said Lynn.
“The retail supply due to come online is anticipated to exert some downward pressure on rents over the next 12 to 18 months,” he stated.
“That said, the overall stable retail rents and positive government interventions have ignited developer confidence and incentivised investors to do business in the kingdom,” added Lynn.
Source: TradeArabia News Service 

120 countries take part in Gulfood

Scores of government delegations, trade ministers and tens of thousands of food industry professionals have descended in Dubai for the 24th edition of Gulfood, which opened at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) on Sunday (February 17).

Running until February 21, Gulfood 2019 comes as global consumer spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages climbed $600 billion to reach $7.2 trillion in 2018 – equating to 8.6 per cent of worldwide GDP – according to the Gulfood Global Industry Outlook Report 2019 produced by Euromonitor International, which will be released at the show.

And with the Outlook Report predicting Africa and the Middle East will drive global population growth from 7.6 billion in 2018 to 8.5 billion by 2030, the 24th edition of the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show will welcome the world as Dubai solidifies its strategic position as a trade gateway linking established Western markets with core growth markets of the East.

As a tailored platform for F&B specialists from all corners of the globe, Gulfood 2019 will cover more than 1 million sq ft of DWTC exhibition space as over 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors converge to launch thousands of new-to-market products and solutions to meet emerging trends and shifting consumer choices.

Delegations
During five days of frenetic trading and negotiating, top-level envoys from 120 countries will be showcasing the latest range of products across the key F&B market sectors, including three first-time country pavilions namely, the European Union, Bulgaria and New Zealand, highlighting Gulfood’s far-reaching appeal as the industry platform for trading.

“Gulfood is the largest annual food and beverage trade fair in the world,” said EU Commissioner Phil Hogan. “It is only natural for the EU – the world’s leading exporter and importer of agri-food products – to be so visible here thanks to the presence of its Member States and the EU pavilion. This event is a great opportunity for the business people from the UAE and all over the world to find out more about the EU’s excellence in producing authentic and safe food to the highest quality standards.”

Additionally, new individual country participants include Guatemala, Iraq, Luxembourg, Maldives, Nepal, Norway, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania.

Capitalising on Dubai’s strategic position as a re-export hub for the region and beyond, Gulfood 2019 has once again attracted high-calibre participation from North, South, East and West, from the Americas to Australia and further afield.

Innovation Summit
With a three-decade history of linking global food trade through Dubai, Gulfood 2019 will house a range of interactive features designed to reinforce the show’s enabling role in raising the international food industry forum bar.

Running alongside the main exhibition, the three-day Gulfood Innovation Summit will see some of the biggest names in the industry, leading thought leaders and major disruptors to examine the latest challenges and opportunities facing the industry in a diverse range of keynote sessions and panel discussions.

Tastes of the World meanwhile, will see Michelin-starred chefs and kitchen captains showing off their skills in a range of masterclasses and live cook-offs.

Renowned Jordanian TV chef, Manal Al Alem, will be amongst the regional talent shining a light on distinctive dishes and flavours from around the world.

“As chefs we thrive on sharing our love for food and demonstrating the versatility of the tools and ingredients we work with. Tastes of the World is a unique platform to demonstrate the diversity of cooking to a captive and engaged audience,” said Chef Manal, who is known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Kitchen’. “I’m really excited to be joining such an illustrious line-up of chefs bringing global tastes to Gulfood – it is an honour to put Arabian cuisine in the spotlight.”

Gulfood 2019 is a trade event open strictly to business and trade visitors. The show is open 11 am-7 pm from February 17 – 20 and 11 am -5 pm on February 21. –

 

Source: TradeArabia News Service

Gulfood is coming next week (17-21.02.2019) to Dubai

Celebrating its 24th Edition in 2019, Gulfood is the world’s largest annual food, beverage and hospitality exhibition which attracts F&B professionals from all over the world to Dubai – a hub for international trade and commerce.

Since its launch in 1987, the exhibition has grown to promote F&B trade between more than 180 countries annually.

The 2019 edition, spanning more than 1,000,000 square feet of F&B products and showcases, Gulfood will welcome over 98,000 attendees from 193 countries in Dubai World Trade Centre. 

The fully booked-out event will once again welcome more than 5,000 exhibitors – and 120 country pavilions – showcasing products across 8 primary market sectors.

International ministers, government officials, mega brands, new-to-show exhibitors and industry professionals have universally hailed Gulfood as a truly unique platform linking every aspect of the global food supply chain.

 

For all visitants this event is very important and unique. Please find below some opinions.

“Gulfood is unique. It attracts visitors from all over the world because they know the facilities, infrastructure and hotels match the business environment. Everything here is first-class.”

Redha Mansouri, CEO of Fresh Foods Company

 

“This was my first time at the show and it’s clear Gulfood is a worldwide event and a key vehicle to boost exports. The show is a gateway into new markets where we see growing consumer spending power.”

His Excellency Ludovic Pouille, France’s Ambassador to the UAE

 

 

Like in the previous years, we will visit Gulfood for our Clients, in order to check the potential for different food products in the GCC countries.

 

Source: https://www.gulfood.com/

Saudi signs $54.4bn of deals, offers manufacturing incentives

Saudi Arabia said on Monday it had signed agreements worth 204 billion riyals ($54.4 billion) and offered fresh incentives to attract capital as part of a 10-year programme that would help diversify the economy of the world’s top oil exporter, Reuters reports.

The kingdom is offering investment opportunities in mining, industry, logistics and energy through its National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP).

That is part of an economic plan launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2016 to end dependence on hydrocarbons and create jobs for young Saudis.

NIDLP aims to boost the contribution of these sectors to $320 billion by 2030 to GDP, stimulate investments worth more than $426 billion, and increase the volume of non-oil exports to over $260 billion within an unspecified time period.

It also wants to generate 1.6 million new jobs.

“The programme will be an outstanding achievement within the economic diversification process led by your royal highness,” Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said at a day-long event where Prince Mohammed made a brief appearance.

Among the announced deals, which included MOUs, was an agreement with French aerospace and defence company Thales and CMI of Belgium in military industry cooperation.

The Saudi Export Development Authority and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund reached a financing agreement worth $840 million for the construction of the Trans-Saudi Arabia plant in Jazan for basic and transformational industries, one of China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiatives.

Chemical companies Alrafiyah and Eastman Chemical of the United States agreed to set up a factory for hydrocarbon resins worth nearly $500 million.

The programme is also offering investment in projects such as plants that manufacture rubber, catalysts and vehicles.

The Saudi government will spend 100 billion riyals in 2019 and 2020 as part of its industrial development programme, according to NIDLP chief executive Aabed Abdullah al-Saadoun.

Transport minister Nabeel al-Amudi said the biggest challenge would be the execution of major infrastructure projects.

“How to ensure that the riyal that you’re spending on capex or opex is being spent wisely, efficiently,” he told Reuters on the sidelines. “That remains a challenge for sure: project execution.”

 

Source: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190129-saudi-signs-54-4-bln-of-deals-offers-manufacturing-incentives/

Saudi Arabia’s latest satellite launches into orbit from French Guiana

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia launched its 16th satellite into orbit on Tuesday in a successful mission celebrated in both Riyadh and at the launch site in South America.

The rocket carrying the Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 (SGS-1) blasted into the skies above its launch pad in French Guiana on schedule at 9 p.m. GMT.

The satellite will provide telecommunications capabilities, stronger internet connectivity, TV and secure communications in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

The launch was carried out by Arianespace using the Ariane 5 rocket, which also carried an Indian satellite into orbit.

Shortly after take off, the rocket disappeared into the clouds. The booster consumed 240 tonnes of fuel in just over two minutes and was the first section to be jetisoned, falling 500 kilometers from the coast into a protected area.

The SGS-1 satellite separated about half an hour after launch.

Arianespace cheif executive Stephane Israel confirmed the launch had been a success. the mission lasted just 42 minutes in total.

“I want to express my gratitude to our friends and partners in Riyadh where I am sure this success is being celebrated,” Israel said.

The Saudi satellite was developed by a team from King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in collaboration with Lockheed Martin. Along with the Saudi governent , it will also serve Hellas-Sat, a subsidiary of Arabsat – the satellite operator based in Riyadh.

“Today we celebrated the success of the launch of the Ariane 5 mission,” Dr. Badr Al-Suwaidan, SGS-1 program director from KACST, said. “KACST is honored to provide the satellite in the name of Saudi Arabia thanks to the support of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the overeeing of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

The SGS-1 was manufactured, tested and operated with the participation of Saudi engineers and scientists. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman oversaw manufacturing stages during his visit to Lockheed Martin’s San Francisco headquarters.

The Ariane 5 rocket used in the launch is designed for heavier, dual launches. The French Guiana Space Center is the world’s only dedicated commercial space base, with the launch located near water and away from population centers.

 

Source: http://www.arabnews.com/node/1447716/saudi-arabia

Kuwait spends $60bn on 2035 Vision, another $100bn to be invested

Kuwait’s Minister of Finance gives update on ambitious plans to transform economy away from oil dependence

Kuwait has executed projects worth more than $60 billion towards its Vision Kuwait 2035 strategy with a further $100 billion still to be invested, according to a senior official.

Minister of Finance, Nayef Al-Hajraf, in a speech at the inaugural session of the Kuwaiti-Sino Investment Forum, said in comments published by Kuwait News Agency that many more projects will be finished by 2023.

He said the country is witnessing rapid development in all sectors, including information technology, communications, energy, construction and housing.

Currently, Kuwait is building the largest port in the Middle East – Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port – constructing a new passenger terminal at Kuwait International Airport, a petrochemical complex, oil refineries and renewable energy complexes, said the minister at the forum.

“Our approach is clear; as set by the Vision of His Highness the Emir for a new Kuwait by 2035, where it is aspired to be in the lead of renewable and sustainable energy producers, developer of the infrastructure and the human capital,” he was quoted as saying.

He said Kuwait aspires to have a low dependence on oil, replacing it with human creativity and innovation, adding that more than $100 billion will be invested by 2035.

Source: https://www.arabianbusiness.com/politics-economics/408622-kuwait-spends-60bn-on-2035-vision-another-100bn-to-be-invested

Saudi Arabia Kicks Off $426 Billion Infrastructure Bonanza

Saudi Arabia Kicks Off $426 Billion Infrastructure Bonanza

 

Saudi Arabia unveiled a sweeping plan to develop infrastructure and industry across the world’s leading oil-exporting nation.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who’s embarked on the biggest overhaul of the Saudi economy in its modern history, on Monday presided over the signing of agreements in planned deals before an invite-only crowd in Riyadh. The program will net more than $426 billion in investments by 2030 and add 1.6 million new jobs, according to a government statement.
The Saudi target for investment by 2030 “is actually growing as we speak,” Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in an interview. As for the government’s outlays, “they’re significant,” and “over time there will be hundreds of billions of riyals that will be spent on both hard and soft infrastructure,” he said.

Saudi Arabia’s push for investment in railways, airports and industrial projects marks the latest effort by the biggest Arab economy to break its reliance on crude sales for government income. The Saudi government is ready to put its money into financing projects alongside international investors. Funding for projects including a new airport and rail links could require hundreds of billions of riyals in state spending.

On Monday, the kingdom sealed 37 deals worth $53 billion and announced 29 others valued at $960 million. Boeing Co. agreed to manufacture airplane parts in the kingdom and Thales SA will cooperate in defense. International Business Machines Corp. signed a deal for research into cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Saudi Arabia is getting a makeover under the crown prince, who assumed his de facto leadership in 2017 vowing to steer the economy from its near-total dependence on crude by masterminding reforms known as Vision 2030. The kingdom’s infrastructure — from roads to water supply — was ranked 40th among 140 nations in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report.

But while higher public spending is projected to drive non-oil economic growth to 2.6 percent in 2019, the pace remains below levels achieved before 2014, when crude prices collapsed, according to Bloomberg Economics. The share of the government’s oil income will grow to 68 percent of total revenue this year.

With Saudi Arabia finding it harder to continue pumping fiscal stimulus into the economy, the infrastructure push will test investor faith after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi sparked global outcry. Al-Falih has said the program is expected to contribute $320 billion to the Saudi economy by 2030, equivalent to almost half of the country’s gross domestic product last year, and create 11 new industries from aerospace to biomedicine.

The kingdom is planning to boost expenditure this year by 7 percent, basing this year’s budget on an oil price estimated by Bloomberg Economics at as high as $80 a barrel. International benchmark Brent crude closed below $62 in London on Friday.

“The room for fiscal spending is actually quite limited,” Jaap Meijer, head of research at Arqaam Capital Ltd., said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Although fiscal policy is loosening a little bit into the new year, the scope of it has to be fairly limited.”

The program will link energy, mining and infrastructure projects and will include new defense industry initiatives seeking to bring technology and manufacturing to Saudi Arabia, Al-Falih said Saturday in Riyadh. The kingdom plans to restructure its power industry by separating ownership of power plants from the high-voltage lines used for transmission across the country and from the connections to homes and offices.

Known as the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, the planned investment includes some projects that have already started and combines efforts across different industries. For example, the country has long planned to reform its electricity industry.

Some of Saudi Aramco projects will also come under the umbrella of the new program, including an industrial park on the Persian Gulf coast and a plan with Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to transform oil straight into chemicals, Al-Falih said.

 

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-26/saudi-crown-prince-to-launch-425-billion-infrastructure-plan

Bahrain to get ‘significant’ GDP boost from tourism.

The tourism sector could create a “potentially very significant” boost to Bahrain’s economy, according to Dr. Jarmo Kotilaine, the chief economic adviser of the Bahrain Economic Development Board.

In an interview with Arabian Business, Dr. Kotilaine said that tourism is an opportunity “on multiple levels” for Bahrain, which has traditionally been a weekend destination for travellers from other parts of the GCC, principally Saudi Arabia.

“One of the interesting questions there has been, and remains, how can we achieve more? How can we give people more reasons to come back, to do more things, to potentially stay for a little bit longer?” he said. “That is driving infrastructure development in that space.”

Dr. Kotilaine added that there has been a “growing emphasis on better articulating and defining the tourism identity of Bahrain” and highlighting its long history and variety of offerings.

“It’s almost a microcosm of the region. It has a sort of authenticity, and you can get glimpses of what this region was like decades ago,” he said. “You have the makings and elements of quite an interesting portfolio of offering…..there is still a lot of untapped opportunity.

Additionally, Dr. Kotilaine said that attracting tourist inflows from other markets – rather than the traditional GCC source markets – could “significantly” increase tourism’s contribution to GDP, as well as encourage entrepreneurship in Bahrain and create jobs.

Speaking at a recent event, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority CEO Sheikh Khalid bin Hamoud Al Khalifa said that Bahrain attracted 12 million visitors in 2018, a figure that is expected to rise to 14.6 million in 2022.

He added that tourism’s share in Bahrain’s economy was 6.5 percent, which he believes will rise to 8.3 percent by 2022.

In April 2018, Ali Ghunam Murtaza, the Economic Development Board’s director of real estate, tourism and leisure business development, told Arabian Business that the tourism and hospitality sector will contribute “double digits” to Bahrain’s GDP over the next several years.

 

Source: https://www.arabianbusiness.com/travel-hospitality/411904-bahrain-to-get-significant-gdp-boost-from-tourism-says-development-board-chief-economist