Saturday, February 15, 2014

Third annual Abu Dhabi Air Expo in line to see record attendance

ABU DHABI, 15th February, 2014  Al Bateen Executive Airport today brought out the names of the prestigious sponsors for Abu Dhabi Air Expo 2014.

The Abu Dhabi Air Expo, which will be held from Feb 25 to 27, has cemented its position as a dedicated business platform for the aviation industry, bringing leading industry players and decision makers together under one roof.

Driven by its commitment to support events that play an important role in developing innovation-led, knowledge based economic sectors, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has signed up as Platinum sponsor for the third consecutive year.

The Department of Transport (DoT) reinforced its participation as official sponsor for the second time. DoT will provide high-quality shuttle services for guests attending the show.

Abu Dhabi Aviation, the largest commercial helicopter operator in the Middle East, has also confirmed its participation and support for the show as Diamond sponsor. Rotana Jet will sponsor lanyards that will be handed to the visitors attending the show.

This year, the show is set to welcome over 17,000 visitors with an exhibitor line-up of 170 suppliers showcasing the latest innovations and development in the aviation sector, relating to non-commercial aircrafts, jets, helicopters, equipment, manufacturers, services, pilot training schools, accessories, avionics, insurance and financing.

Over 100 aircraft representing a range of models from ultra-light to heavy business jets, including the VIP AirBus corporate jet and the TBM 850, will be on hand to be explored by aircraft enthusiasts and businesses searching for the best aircraft and aviation-related services.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Abu Dhabi cops organise women’s road race

ABU DHABI: The Police Schools Department at the Abu Dhabi Police secured first place at the Women’s Road Race, organised by the Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, represented by the Sports Activities Section at the Strategy and Performance Development Directorate General. 

The Government and Diplomatic Facilities Protection Department and The Forensic Evidence Department at the Directorate General of Security and Ports Affairs ranked second and third respectively.

It is worth mentioning that 110 participants from Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters’ various departments participated in the race, which was organised for the women staff members as part of the sports activities programme for the 2014 season. The race took place in Al Mushrif Park.

Major Mohammed Obaid Al Falahi, Chief of the Sports Activities Section at the Strategy and Performance Development Directorate General, said that participating in sport activities is not exclusive to their male counterparts.

“Female staff members at Abu Dhabi Police GHQ can also take part in sport activities, given their major and active role in police work, which requires developing their physical skills to perform well while carrying out the tasks assigned to them,” he stressed.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hard Rock Hotel in Abu Dhabi set to open in 2017

Dubai: Al Futtaim Carillion, Carillion’s joint venture in the UAE, has been awarded a £110 million contract by Aabar Properties to build a five-star Hard Rock Hotel in Abu Dhabi, according to a statement by Carillion on Wednesday.
Carillion is a support services company based in the UK. It has a joint venture with Al Futtaim Group, which owns Dubai Festival City. The mall features a Hard Rock Café, which is owned by Hard Rock Middle East, a group of private investors.
The 378 room hotel will feature restaurants, entertainment and meeting facilities, according to the statement. It will be the first Hard Rock hotel in the Middle East, the statement added.
Construction of the hotel, which will be located in the capital’s corniche, is set to start this month and will be completed by the first quarter of 2017, as per the statement.

“I expect demand [for the hotel] to come from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and international markets,” Peter Goddard, managing director of TRI Hospitality, said.

Longer stays
He pointed out that the Hard Rock Hotel could lead to longer stays in the emirate and improve occupancy levels during the weekend.
The hotel will diversify Abu Dhabi’s hospitality offering, according to Chiheb Ben Mahmoud, head of hotels and hospitality group for the Middle East and Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle.
“[It will] strengthen Abu Dhabi’s marketing strategy aiming at positioning Abu Dhabi as a ‘happening’ destination,” he said.
He added that the hotel’s “concept and brand fits well with Abu Dhabi leisure and entertainment scene, with its high profile sporting events, international music concerts [and] art shows.”
Construction of the hotel, which will be located in the capital’s Corniche, is set to start this month and will be completed by the first quarter of 2017, as per the statement.
Occupancy in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments reached 71 per cent last year, with over 2.8 million guests checking in, marking an 18 per cent increase over 2012, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA).
“The announcement of the contract award comes at a time where Abu Dhabi hospitality market showed signs of adjusted recovery,” Ben Mahmoud said.
Abu Dhabi had almost 8.8 million guest nights in 2013, up 26 per cent compared to 2012, and an 18 per cent rise in total revenue to reach Dh5.48 billion.
India is Abu Dhabi’s top international source market, with 175,929 guests in 2013, followed by the UK with 162,973 guests and Germany with 119,590 guests.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Masterchefs reveal culinary secrets at Gourmet Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: International masterchefs gathered on Friday to showcase their culinary creations and teach audiences the secrets to some of their favourite recipes at a special class held at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa.
The event, which comes as part of this year’s Gourmet Abu Dhabi, saw chefs such as UAE-based Danny Kattar, India’s Sanjeev Kapoor, Italy’s Massimo Bottura, South Korea’s Edward Kwon, and Australia’s Russell Blaikie, cook up a range of dishes from braised beef short ribs to apricot marmalade.
Kattar, who currently works as executive chef at the InterContinental Abu Dhabi, conducted the first session of the class, and said it was a nervous experience for him.
“I’m glad everything went well, because to kick off the cooking classes is not easy. You either make it or break it for the rest.
I came up with a couple of tricks actually. I decided to cook dishes that are creative but also, the audience can cook them at home because if you cook a tasty dish but they forget the recipe in five minutes, then that’s not practical,” Kattar told Gulf News.
His dishes were blue shrimp, crispy quinoa, beetroot meringue, and cucumber candy.
Kattar spoke fondly of his dishes saying that they take audiences 700 years back when people used to cook dessert out of cucumbers.
Having participated in Gourmet Abu Dhabi since its first year, Kattar said the event only seems to be growing every year and attracting more celebrity chefs and audiences.
“This is the best year around so far. The event is really becoming a highlight in Abu Dhabi,” he added.
The sessions were moderated by culinary personality, Amina El Shafei, who rose to fame as former contender on reality cooking series, Masterchef Australia.
Gourmet Abu Dhabi, now in its sixth year, will run till February 19. For programme details and upcoming restaurant promotions, visit

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Abu Dhabi ready for a low-cost carrier

Abu Dhabi: The infrastructure necessary to handle low-cost carriers is ready and waiting at Abu Dhabi International, the airport’s chief executive told Gulf News.
Tony Douglas of Abu Dhabi Airports Company said Terminal 2 “is pretty much set up for lower-cost offers,” adding that it would be suitable to services to the Indian subcontinent.
Abu Dhabi is the only major emirate currently without its own low-cost carrier. Whilst flydubai operate out of Dubai International and are said to play a supporting role to Emirates, Air Arabia has played a role in establishing Sharjah International. Publicly listed Air Arabia flies to 90 destinations and has hubs in Egypt, Morocco and will shortly launch in UAE emirate Ras Al Khaimah.
Douglas said that “it’s only a matter of time” that low-cost carriers are set up in Abu Dhabi.
“If you look at the evolution of most destinations that gain critical mass, it lends itself to present opportunities for different offers and different products, which lend itself to different airlines,” he said

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Etihad Airways' first Medina flight takes off

ABU DHABI, 4th February, 2014 Etihad Airways has launched the daily flights between Abu Dhabi and the holy city of Al Medina, in the western province of Saudi Arabia.

A senior Etihad Airways delegation visited Al Medina to celebrate the new service to the airline's fourth destination in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and one which attracts religious Hajj and Umrah travellers visiting the home of Prophet Mohammed's Mosque and burial site.

They were received by Saudi officials at Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport. The delegation then hosted a dinner in the city attended by government, airport officials and other dignitaries.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer Etihad Airways, said: "Medina Al Munawarra is an important strategic destination for us, and we are delighted to commence our operations to the second holiest city in Islam.

"Saudi Arabia has always been a key market for Etihad Airways and this new route links Medina through our Abu Dhabi home base with excellent connections to Europe, Asia, the Americas and the rest of our growing network." Flights between Abu Dhabi and Medina are operated by an A320 aircraft configured with 16 Pearl Business Class and 120 Coral Economy Class seats, offering a total 1,904 seats per week.

The new service to Al Medina will be Etihad Airways' ninth destination in the Arabian Peninsula, joining Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait, Bahrain, Doha, Muscat, and Sana'a

Monday, February 3, 2014

Abu Dhabi to host first Occupational Safety and Health Middle East exhibition in April

ABU DHABI, 3rd February, 2014 (WAM) -- The inaugural edition of the Occupational Safety and Health Middle East (OSH ME), a specialist exhibition and conference promoting an advanced occupational safety and health culture in work places, will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

The event, running from April 1st - 3rd on the sidelines of the International Exhibition for Security and National Resilience (ISNR 2014 Abu Dhabi), is organised in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi EHS Centre (OSHAD Abu Dhabi).

OSH ME will showcase the latest solutions and tools for identifying potential threats and highlight emerging technologies in the field. It will also include a number of expert-led workshops that address key challenges in occupational safety and health. 

Dr. Jaber Eidha Al Jabri, Director General of Abu Dhabi EHS Centre, said, "Our strategic partnership with ISNR 2014 to present Occupational Safety and Health Middle East is aligned to our strategic objective of creating a sustainable occupational safety and health culture in Abu Dhabi through the exchange of best practices and adoption of the latest technologies. We also seek to collaborate with international, regional and local organisations and institutions to ensure access to safe and healthy work places for all employees, which we believe will improve performance and productivity standards." Abu Dhabi EHS Centre is mandated to ensure the implementation of the Abu Dhabi Environment, Health and Safety Management System (AD EHSMS) by providing an integrated legislative framework to manage all issues related to occupational health and safety in the work place. 

The International Exhibition for Security and National Resilience (ISNR Abu Dhabi 2014) is organised by the Ministry of Interior in Abu Dhabi in association with Reed Exhibitions.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Etihad Airways and Alitalia have entered the final phase of a due diligence process

Abu Dhabi, 2nd Feb. 2014 (WAM) - Etihad Airways and Alitalia have entered the final phase of a due diligence process about a possible investment by Etihad Airways in Alitalia, James Hogan, President and Chief Executive of Etihad Airways, and Gabriele Del Torchio, Chief Executive of Alitalia, confirmed today.

During the next 30 days both companies and their advisors will determine how a common strategy can be developed which meets the objectives of both parties, according a to press statement from the UAE national carrier. 

Any issues that may prevent the establishment of an appropriate business plan will have to be resolved to ensure the plan can be implemented to move Alitalia to sustainable profitability.