You Can Join Hands Across the Sea in Helping Dominica

My wife Ruth and I recently had the pleasure of meeting Tom ?TL? and Harriet Linskey, co-founders of Hands Across the Sea.

They?d been referred to us by our dear friend of 24 years who is now Principal at the Savanne Paille Primary School and were in Calibishie to learn how they could assist our village?s Primary School.

I?m going to repeat: is a web site you should visit. The organization helps with what is most fundamental to educational achievement. It fosters children?s reading programs in a number of English-speaking Eastern Caribbean nations.

In Dominica in the past three years they have shipped over 10,000 books to fill school libraries and classroom libraries.You can check out their accomplishments at the following link:

Hand across the Sea in Dominica

Hands Across the Sea is seeking donations from Americans who?d like to help get more books into the hands of children in Dominica and also benefit from a tax deduction.

They are also looking for volunteers in the New England area who might want to help buy books at Friends of the Library book sales this summer. They sort, pack and ship from a warehouse 30 minutes south of Boston and benefit from free shipping to Dominica. Please contact the organization via its website for more details.

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How Emirates can silence its jealous rivals

One of the joys on writing a big feature on Emirates Airline is that it?s actually quite easy to do, as my colleague Shane McGinley, who interviewed the company?s president Tim Clark this week, found out.

There are certain buzz words that you use, and just fill in the gaps between them; record profits; record capacity; record routes; record growth; record orders.

Every time I look at the numbers, which I have done for nearly seven years now, I never cease to be amazed. This is the 23rd straight year of profit. Profits are the highest ever, at $1.5bn. They have risen by their largest ever amount, 52 percent in one year. Emirates recorded a 14.5 percent rise in passenger numbers to 31.4 million and its seat capacity rose to its highest level ever of 80 percent.

All this (if  you include the Q1 of 2011) against a background of  volcanic ash clouds, winter snow chaos in Europe, earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and regional unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. Nor should we forget rising fuel prices that now make up 43 percent of the airline?s cost base (compared to twelve percent a decade ago). As I get older, I am often being accused of being too soft on the people and companies we write about. But come on now; is there a single thing ? just one thing ? you can fault about the figures?  And more importantly, why is it that Tim Clark and his boss HH Sheikh Ahmed are not held in the same regard as the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates?

I?ll tell you why in one word: jealousy. There is an easy weapon to always fire at Emirates, which is the completely unproven and totally rejected argument that the company receives some kind of subsidy from the Dubai government to help it boost profits. This has been going on for 23 years, yet nobody ? not even the world?s finest forensic accountants ? have ever found one shred of evidence of this. As Clark tells us this week: ?Don?t even talk to me about subsidies or asking people for help. We do it ourselves.?

What is all the more ludicrous about the subsidies argument is that even if it were true, how does that explain 31.4 million people deciding to fly Emirates in the last year ? nearly fifteen percent more than the year before? The ticket prices are similar to its competitors. I rather doubt a single one of these 31.4 million passengers thought ?Ah, yes, Emirates gets government subsidies, I should fly with them??

The reason is a combination of a great product and even greater marketing. Deals such as the sponsorship of the Emirates Stadium in London, and being the carrier with the biggest fleet of A380s, have made Emirates Airline a household name from Dubai to Dakar. It is probably the most trusted Arab brand anywhere on earth. And, while I am sure everyone can find a story about a flight they would rather forget, for the most part its service from start to finish is second to none. It is time the rivals just gave up on the subsidies sniping and accept the fact Emirates Airline gets no help, never has and never will.

During the results presentation last week, HH Sheikh Ahmed was asked whether the company would consider an IPO, something that has been on the back burner for a good five years. He didn?t rule it out, though suggested it is still some time away.

He is right about that, as at the present time the company doesn?t need the funds.

But I hope that Emirates does one day take a trip to the stock market. Not only so the rest of us can benefit from its success, but because opening up its books to the city is probably the only way the critics will ever be silenced.

Courtesy Arabianbusiness

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Connecting Talents to Opportunities in the Middle East

Fire and Rescue Middle East 2011 to Debut in Abu Dhabi

A New Regional and International Exhibition and Conference Dealing with Man-Made and Natural Fire and Rescue Emergencies
Dubai-UAE: 15 May 2011 ? Fire and Rescue Middle East 2011, the region?s first dedicated exhibition and conference for fire, rescue, and emergency response, will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in Abu Dhabi from October 31 to November 2, 2011.

The event will provide exhibitors with a unique opportunity to showcase the latest firefighting, rescue and emergency equipment to industry leaders and influencers.

Neil Wallington, former senior British Chief Fire Officer, Past International President of the Institution of Fire Engineers and Founding Editor of Fire Middle East Magazine, said: ?The Fire and Rescue event is the first of its kind in the region. It will showcase a whole spectrum of building fire protection technology, both active and passive, along with the latest fire fighting and technical rescue vehicles, and a host of equipment, strategies and training. It will provide detailed information to professionals attending both the exhibition and the conference on all that is critical to the Middle East in protecting against fire and dealing with a range of emergency incidents.?

A recent report by Deloitte Middle East titled GCC Powers of Construction 2010 states that the UAE has US$958 billion of total construction projects in the region, which is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6 per cent between 2010 and 2014. In addition, Saudi Arabia has US$624 billion worth of projects planned.

?In recent years many major developments across the Middle East have provided some spectacular examples of innovative building design. High-rise towers go ever higher, and airport terminals, shopping malls and residential complexes grow ever bigger. The protection of life and property assets and all that it entails has become a primary focus for the Middle East region,? said Wallington.

The Fire and Rescue conference will welcome a plethora of high-profile regional and global speakers with extensive knowledge and experience in managing disasters and major incidents. Topics to be covered include: identifying modern-day threats to life and property; fire safety in major projects and developments; the challenges of firefighting and rescue in tall towers; the development of technical rescue equipment and strategies; crisis management of a major disaster; resilience and recovery; and the effects on financial markets business, commerce and manufacturing.

Christopher Hudson, Managing Director, Clarion Events Middle East, said: ?The Middle East has invested a significant amount of capital in the construction industry. Governments and construction companies take vast measures to ensure the safety of people residing in or visiting developments across the region. Fire and Rescue Middle East is the ideal event for professionals in the fire, rescue and emergency response sectors to acquaint themselves with the various latest equipment and strategies to combat man-made and natural emergencies and disasters that can threaten life and property.?

Exhibitors to Fire and Rescue Middle East will display vehicles and vehicle equipment, fire brigade technology, environmental protection measures, rescue techniques, emergency, first-aid and medical equipment, personal protective equipment and identification, measuring and detection apparatus, control-station technology, equipment for fire stations and workshops, structural engineering, structural and technical fire and building protection.

Attendees to the event will include Civil Defense forces, Government Agencies, Police, National Infrastructure Authorities, Airport Authorities, Oil and Gas Industries, architects and fire engineers.

Organized by Clarion Events Middle East, Fire and Rescue Middle East 2011 is co-located with Counter Terror Expo Arabia 2011.


Clarion Events Middle East
Clarion Events Middle East, a Clarion Events company, has grown into a highly successful business with offices in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In 2009, over 800,000 targeted people visited their 200 exhibitions, conferences and seated events across Britain, Europe, North and South America, Africa, Middle East and Asia.

The business-to-business and business-to-consumer, serve 15 different market sectors that include; Defence, Energy, Construction, Retail, Leisure, Entertainment, Finance and Life Sciences.

Clarion Events employs over 400 people in twelve offices: UK (London Earls Court Exhibition Centre, and Birmingham NEC); Germany (Bielefeld); The Netherlands (Maarsen); South Africa (Cape Town); USA (Connecticut and Reno): Brazil (Sao Paulo); United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai); Singapore and Turkey.

More information on  

Fire Rescue Middle East 

For more information please visit

For media inquiries, please contact:
Clarion Events Middle East
Christopher Hudson
Managing Director
Tel: + 971 43356533

The Public Relations Company
Kay Braganza
Tel: +971 50 7681684

© Press Release 2011

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New airline routes for China, Bermuda, and Liberia

Here is an overview of the latest routes as announced by different airline companies:

Air China

In case you are in Milan, Italy and need a quick ride to Beijing in China, there is no need to worry. Starting mid June Air China will be fielding their Airbus A330s to fly between Milan and Beijing. The move is on queue to bring more tourists from Europe to Asia as summer season approaches. The new route will have the Air China Airbus binging passengers three times a week on Satudays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. The flight will be non-stop so you can expect to have a higher ticket price since they are the only airlines doing it between the two continents.

Air Canada

Air Canada has officially returned to the City Airport of Toronto over the weekend. The flights will bring travellers between Toronto and Montreal. This flight aims to lure business people who are looking for a quick flight.

Air France

Air France gives you more options if you are heading to West Africa. The company started flying to Freetown, Sierra Leone and Monrovia in Liberia recently. They are also scheduled to fly to Conakrry which is the center of Guinea. We are of course talking Paris as the starting point of your travel. They will be using their Airbus A330s for these new travel destinations.

Air Tran

If you are planning for some R&R this summer, we want to remind you that Air Tran will be flying to Bermuda via the Baltimore-Washington Thurgood International Airport. They will also have these flights if you are coming from Atlanta but you need to wait until the last week of May.


The airline company announced that they will be flying non-stop to Venice, Copenhage, and Prague from Atlanta starting this June 1. By June 3, you can add Athens to this list. If you are from the United States, you can pretty much go to Atlanta from anywhere and will have these great options to fly to the said destinations from Atlanta.


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Taking care of Abu Dhabi?s parking needs

Abu Dhabi: Residents of Khalidiya and sector E8 on Hamdan Street as well as other sectors around Najda Street have been complaining of a severe shortage of parking spaces.

Venting their frustration at the parking system in Abu Dhabi and its teething problems, they are asking why the pay-to-park system is being enforced straight from 8am to 9pm without a mid-day break like that in Dubai.

Some say they do not understand why the parking permit is sector-specific: why do permit holders have to park in a specific zone when nearby zones may be vacant or less crowded?

Others complain about lapses by the parking officers and say the department takes the easy way of just agreeing with the inspectors, without proper investigation of complaints.

Gulf News talked to Najeeb Al Zarouni, general manager of parking at the Department of Transport (DoT) in Abu Dhabi:

Gulf News: Why is the pay-to-park system being enforced straight from 8am to 9pm without a mid-day break like that in Dubai?

Engineer Najeeb Al Zarouni: The parking strategy has taken into account a detailed study that included the fluctuations and a massive needs assessment associated with the usage trends and various other factors to arrive at the current enforcement. Since these factors are different from emirate to emirate, different strategies are needed to address the different factors and needs. 

Why is the parking permit sector-specific? Why does a permit holder have to park in a specific sector when nearby sectors may be free or less occupied?

One of our main objectives is to help residents find a convenient parking space. Allowing resident permit holders to park in any sector will not serve this purpose, as residents of a specific sector will then not be able to find parking space. In rare cases where we know that a specific sector is overcrowded and a nearby sector has some empty spaces, we may allow the residents to use these spaces and we amend their permits accordingly.

How long does it take the DoT to address a grievance?

We have announced before that most of the grievances which we have addressed were genuine, were found to be of a humane nature or involved a technical fault.

The Higher Committee for Complaints and Suggestions meets twice every week to review the cases. So any grievance will be addressed within 15 days. 

Why does the DoT require people to submit cancellation requests for unjustified tickets caused by system breakdown? As the permit holders, in such a case, did not commit any mistake, shouldn?t the DoT track the breakdown, correct the mistakes and issue letters of apology?

Actually we do that in cases where the technical fault is detected. A report is generated and forwarded to the Complaints Committee so that the parking violation tickets are cancelled. But we still recommend customers fill this form to be on the safe side in case the technical fault is not detected. 

Why does DoT take the easy way of accepting the viewpoints of inspectors, without proper investigation of complaints, and why does the department take so long to correct a mistake?

DoT takes all complaints seriously and always investigates them. DoT does not accept the viewpoint of the inspectors without evidence. Each parking violation ticket is documented with two supporting pictures which are referred to in case of a complaint for a thorough investigation. 

Parking permit holders find it difficult to park their cars at night. When do you think this problem will be solved?

DoT has the Dedicated Resident Parking Only areas in some sectors, and others are to follow. This will allow residents with a valid resident permit to park daily from 9pm to 8am in these areas, including weekends. Those who park without a permit will be fined Dh500 and their vehicle could also be towed away. 

Visitors also complain about not finding parking space.

Visitors in regulated sectors can now find parking, especially in the premium parking areas meant to serve this purpose.

Committed to customers

The Department of Transport (DoT) said it received 23,708 calls via various channels since the launch of the programme in October 2009 to October 2010. Of these, 3,740 were complaints, 19,444 were enquiries, and 524 were suggestions.

The DoT added that the total number of times ?Mawaqif? services were used during the period was 6,655,000, with an average of six complaints per 10,000 uses, which is low compared to international standards.

Furthermore, the DoT stated that among the complaints it received were objections to ?Mawaqif? fines which amounted to an average of 4 per cent annually, and this had decreased to 2 per cent in the last three months, faring higher than international standards.

Najeeb Al Zarouni, general manager of parking at the Department of Transport said: ?Customer queries and concerns are considered of utmost importance to us, and are dealt with diligently and honestly. We have a committee responsible for reviewing complaints and suggestions, which meet regularly to decide the best courses of action to guarantee the rights of customers.?

By the end of this year, the department plans to have 71,000 paid parking spaces, compared to more than 30,000 spaces at present.


The Department of Transport announced Mawaqif complaints for 2009 to 2010

  • 23,708 calls
  • 3,740 complaints
  • 19,444 enquiries
  • 524 suggestions

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UAE rents continue to fall

DUBAI ? The average rents will continue to fall in Dubai and Abu Dhabi across the residential and commercial sectors this year, a senior official of Jones Lang LaSalle said.

?The recovery of real estate in Dubai will vary by sector with the hotel and retail sectors recovering first in Dubai; however, even for these sectors, it could take time for average prices to recover,? Jesse Downs, Director of Management Consulting of Jones Lang LaSalle MENA, told Khaleej Times in an interview.

She said properties cycles are typically five to seven years or longer and, due to various factors, Dubai?s cycle could run on longer end of this range. Excerpts from the interview:

How do you see 2011 for real estate sector in the UAE?

In 2011, the main trends for UAE real estate are really about adjusting capital values to meet investor expectations, gradually restoring confidence, and recognition of the absolutely critical factor of quality property management. In other words, it will be marked by shifting real estate perspectives from development to operation. For more than five years, real estate in the UAE has been about development and construction of property. While this is a determining and costly stage in the property cycle, the cost of operating a building over its lifetime far exceeds the development costs. Moreover, proper management is critical for minimising depreciation and protecting asset values.

Do you think rents will continue to fall in Dubai and Abu Dhabi this year?

On average, rents will continue to fall in Dubai and Abu Dhabi across the residential and commercial sectors                    this year.


What are the prospects for the office segment in the two emirates? Would rates would stable as more office space is expected to  come online?

Considering the anticipated supply pipeline, it is highly unlikely that average office rents in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai will stabilise and recover any time soon. However, the rate of decline will vary by area, with higher variance across free zones.

When is the property sector expected to see an upward trend? When will Dubai?s real estate industry see its 2006 peak again?

The recovery of real estate in Dubai will vary by sector with the hotel and retail sectors recovering first in Dubai; however, even for these sectors, it could take time for average prices to recover. Within each sector, monitoring and projecting average prices do illustrate full market potential. For example, although the hotel sector may experience some additional declines, established beach hotels appear to be reaching the bottom. In the residential market, prices also vary significantly by property profile. On average villas in established communities and select apartment developments in specific locations appear to be approaching the bottom as well. Although some assets show early signs of bottoming out, it is unlikely that average residential prices will bottom out within the next 18 months. Properties cycles are typically five to seven years or longer and, due to various factors, Dubai?s cycle could run on longer end of this range. Inevitably, we will eventually see average prices return to those observed in 2006, and even at the peak in 2008, but it?s a question of time frame. Based on the current situation, this is unlikely to happen in the next few years. The commercial sector is more challenging given the massive supply pipeline, but this also varies by location, especially given the presence of free zones, which are effectively semi-autonomous markets with distinct demand and supply dynamics. On the whole, however, declining office rents bode well for the economy as they lower the cost of doing business in city and can incentivize new market entrants and expansion of existing businesses.

Do you think the unrest in the region will help the real estate sector recovery in Dubai as more companies are relocating their corporate offices here?

There are companies consolidating and relocating staff to Dubai. However, often these companies have existing office space to accommodate short-term demand. Since the anticipate supply is massive, the increased demand is unlikely to significant impact absorption in the short term. However, the general polarisation of investment attitudes to the MENA region around economies operating within a relatively more stable political context, will impact trends in the medium to long term. Falling prices and rents will increase the appeal of relocating businesses to Dubai.

Investors? trust on Dubai real estate projects is fast restoring due to the unrest in the region?

Regional unrest is not restoring confidence in the Dubai market, rather investors considering the MENA region will gravitate towards those markets ? like Dubai ? offering greater stability. Many of the causes of reduced investor confidence over the past two years still prevail, as do many of the positive aspects of the local real estate market.

Global economies are fast emerging from recession. Do you think it will help improving property sector in the UAE?

A stronger global economy could potentially help the property market in the UAE. One way is through increased investment; however, we have not seen this yet largely because capital values have not adjusted enough to entice investment.

A lot of infrastructure spending is being made in the region?s property sector especially in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Do you think it will not impact real estate projects in the UAE?

Infrastructure has a direct and significant impact on the real estate markets. Greater cooperation between cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai can enhance the overall appeal and competitive advantage of the UAE. Similarly, the development of comparable hubs around the region can augment the appeal of the GCC. There is an element of competition, of course, but it seems each country is carving out its own complementary niche.

How will infrastructure projects impact the property sector, housing demand and supply situation, and rents in the emirate?

Infrastructure is a critical factor determining the value of real estate and this applies anywhere in the world. The old adage is that property is about location, location and location. Infrastructure is one critical component of a ?good location.? From a macro-perspective, infrastructure can enhance the value and attractiveness of the city as a whole, attracting businesses and residents.

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Top travel destinations in Kenya

Kenya is a famous travel destination for those who want to go nature tripping, encounter wildlife, and see contrasts in life. Anyone will be fascinated with Kenya with its alpine snow and hot deserts, cityscape and its beautiful tribes. If you are planning a Kenya holiday, make sure you visit the following best destinations in Kenya:

Lake Nakuru

You can find this algae rich lake covered mostly by flamingos. These birds flock to the shallow waters by the millions. It is among the most spectacular sites you will see if you are a bird lover. Lately though, the number of birds have been dropping due to worsening pollution and changes in the environment.


Masai Mara

This natural reserve is considered the most popular park in Kenya. Every year, tourist flock to this game park to see the migration of herds and herds of wildebeests and zebras. This is where The Great Migration takes place between July and October. Millions of zebras and wildebeests pounce their way from the Serengeti to the side of Tanzania.


Nairobi National Park

The Nairobi National Park is just a few hops from the city center of Nairobi. The wildlife is only barricaded by the fence of the park to keep the animals off the heart of the metro. The park is relatively small but it boasts of a good variety of wildlife. During the dry months, wildebeest in migration and zebras stop by the national park. It is also considered as one of the best sanctuaries for the big rhinoceros.


Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa and the tallest mountain in Kenya. The mountainscape is picture perfect with the slopes covered by lush forest while the peaks are capped by snow. The summit of this mountain at 5,199 meters is never an easy climbed because of the high technical skills required to climbed it but there are lower peaks which can be reached by a well trained trekker.


Tsavo National Park

Tsavo National Park is the biggest reserve in Kenya. It is divided into its East side and West side. The eastern portion offers open savannah for your exploration while the west boasts of scenic volcanic landscapes. Tsavo is a great place to go to if you want some solitude and also if you want to discover how it is like in the wilderness.


Samburu National Reserve

The Samburu National Reserve is in the northern portion of Kenya. It is a very tranquil region and animals frequent the place because of the grassland, forest, and the Uaso Nyiro River that runs through it. If you want to see big cats, this is the place to go. You will be able to spot leopards, cheetahs, and even lions. You can also see buffalos, hippos, and elephants. The river is also home to crocodiles.


Lamu Island

This island is part of the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya. Good thing about it is that it remains unspoiled even with the boom of tourism in Kenya. The town of Lamu remains to be charming. You cannot find any paved roads on the island but there are foot paths and alleyways. There are no cars of course and the people move by boat, by foot or by riding donkeys.



Kenya boasts of beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Malindi Marine National Park is a good starting point if you want to know about the marine diversity in Kenya. You can also go surfing, fishing, snorkeling, and engage in water sports. Malindi has a domestic airport and you can also go there via the highway between Lamu and Mombasa.


Hell?s Gate

This is a small national park named after the narrow passes in between cliffs. This narrow breaks used to be a lake in the prehistoric times where humans thrived. It will be a nice African adventure since you will be able to bike r walk around the park without any tour guide. The wildlife though is quite low in numbers but you may still get to see lions and other big cats.


Amboseli National Park

Amboseli is near the border of Tanzania just by the foot of the Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. It is the place to visit if you want to come close some African elephants. The view of Mount Kilimanjaro is picture perfect. You will also have a chance to meet the locals or the Maasai people.




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Virgin Galactic plans Spaceport America luxury hotel

Everyone is still awaiting for the details with regard to the Virgin Hotels but the division of the company pushing for space tourism, Virgin Galactic, is planning to enter into the hotel scene. Virgin is looking into the area near Spaceport America just outside Las Cruces in New Mexico.

The company is looking into setting up a luxury hotel near the station where they will be putting their rockets into flight since the small hotels may not be able to live up to the standards of the space tourism patrons who are shelling out more than $200K to go to space. This target segment will need a place to rest before and after their journey in space.

Virgin though will not build their own brand of luxury accomodation, instead they opted to partner with other businesses which are already into luxury hotels.

Not much information have been released about the hotel. It may still take a while though since the operation of Virgin Galactic will kick off by 2013.


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Forget Dubai, Abu Dhabi?s the future of luxury. Or is it?

So the Chalhoub Group is going to open more than 40 stores in Abu Dhabi over the next two years, according a report in The National.

The company name may not be so familiar to you but Kipp is sure you know these names: Chanel, Fendi, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lacoste, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors. That?s right. Chalhoub Group is the company responsible for bringing these brands to Dubai.

Premium brands like these have made Dubai a unique must-visit destination for any upmarket shopper?from the Chinese, Russian and European tourists down to the Arab and Asian expatriates and in particular the UAE nationals that drive into town to get their latest luxury fix.

But it may just be that what Chalhoub Group giveth to Dubai, Chalhoub Group taketh away.

It seems that the favoured customers right now are those living in Abu Dhabi, with the company citing that in some of their brands a significant portion of sales come from Abu Dhabi residents travelling to Dubai. Brands like Carolina Herrera, for example, see more than 30 per cent of its sales from Abu Dhabi residents.

?There is a most noticeable difference between the consumer of Abu Dhabi and the consumer of Dubai,? Mansour Hajjar, MD of Allied Enterprises, Chalhoub?s trading name in the UAE, was quoted in the article. ?We see in Abu Dhabi today a young generation with high aspirations for luxury products and a higher purchasing power than Dubai.?

In the same breath, Hajjar also says that while Dubai is deemed ?saturated?, there is still a surge of tourism that sustains the high end retail sector.


And with that a few things come to mind. First, there is also the matter of cannibalising sales from its Dubai stores. Could their shops in Dubai stand to lose this portion of sales? Are the fluctuating streams of tourists and the more cautious Dubai shoppers enough to sustain these stores?

Forget about closing the stores in Dubai. This, we deduce, is out of the question, at least for now, since tourism in the UAE is largely funneled through Dubai and shopping tourists generate for more retail revenue for these brands then resident purchases.

The second point is that in the years that Kipp has been in the UAE, it?s evident that residents and families?local and expats alike?from Abu Dhabi and most other emirates, tend to drive routinely to Dubai anyway to spend their weekends and to shop. It?s a long standing routine, that Kipp supposes, the Chalhoub Group is hoping to help break.

A third thing to consider is the current trend (or so Kipp thought) of retail space reduction in Abu Dhabi. Back in March, we talked about the Yas Mall announcing the reduction of its retail space. By our calculations it was close to half of the originally planned size.

Back then, Kipp was readily welcoming what seemed like to coming of the age of posterity to the Emirates?finally. It was a fresh angle, away from the magnanimous adjectives that we have come to associate with the UAE.

Maybe the Chalhoub Group missed that memo? (A little out of the loop, Mr, Chalhoub? I guess you ought to start reading Kipp then.)

Even if there is enough retail space, is there really enough customer base in the capital to justify spreading out your sales revenue and more than doubling your costs in terms of store leasing, staff and marketing costs?

The Chalhoub Group must be expecting a massive surge in local and expatriate population growth in Abu Dhabi for it to consider long-term retail commitments in the capital, enough to sustain the 50 stores it plans to open throughout the emirate in the next two years.


It just seems to Kipp that there are more innovative ways for bring your product closer to a small but loyal and, let?s not forget, wealthy set of customers without the costs of replicating stores. Correct us if we?re wrong but it seems like merely bringing stores two hours closer to customers is not as much value to customers who are going to continue to do the drive anyway. How about better CRM? Exclusive events? Product sneak previews?

We?re just wondering if the costs of opening a massive amount of stores is worth not having to think about daring to offer something different to high net worth customers who are always seeking the next big experience, anyway.


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Capital Diary

ABU DHABI: An exhibition of 96 practical and ground-breaking innovations designed by Abu Dhabi?s most gifted high school students will be on display at the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy?s second UAE Science Fair next week.

A total of 200 high school students from 30 schools across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region will display their scientific projects at the Abu Dhabi Officer?s Club on May 16 and 17.

The UAE Science Fair 2011 is being organised by the Foundation?s Science, Technology and Environment Programme in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) and the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA).

It is arranged in two stages, with schools holding internal competitions. The winners from these competitions will compete on a regional level at the UAE School Science Fair 2011 next week, where six prizes, including a special award for the exceptional participating student, will be awarded by a panel of representatives from the EF, UAE University, ADEC and ADWEA. The winning names will be announced on May 17.

Asthma Campaign 

Bani Yas Primary Health Clinic, which is operated by Mafraq Hospital, launched an awareness campaign to mark World Asthma Day with an open day at the clinic. The aim of the campaign is to educate parents and children about asthma including its causes, how to prevent asthma and how to help asthma patients during a crisis.

John Nickens, CEO Mafraq Hospital said that their goal is to continue to educate the community on the importance of preserving life and to increase awareness of chronic diseases, such as asthma. ?Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the region.?

Members of the community spent several hours at Bani Yas Clinic, receiving information and advice on controlling asthma.

Beit Aloud Alarabi

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) is organising two concerts on May 18 to celebrate the distinguished student players of oud and qanon of Beit Aloud Alarabi that will be hosted in the Beit Aloud Alarabi headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

Beit Aloud is one of ADACH?s projects and it is devoted to highlight the importance of the Arabic music instruments which are indispensable part of the Arab heritage.

The second concert on May 25 will combine the individual and the collective playing of oud by Beit Aloud students. The concert will demonstrate the oud as an instrument with deep impact, both artistically and on Arab musical heritage.


Dr Sulaiman Al Jassim, vice president of Zayed University (ZU) presented the scholarship awards to ZU students who enrolled in Masters programmes and honoured the sponsor and sponsors? companies in an award ceremony recently.

The scholarships that were amounting to about one million dirham were distributed to 33 students enrolled in different programmes.

These scholarships aim to encourage students with impressive academic credentials and demonstrated leadership abilities outside the classroom. The university with the introduction of merit-based scholarships, is able to continue to attract high-caliber students who can contribute to shape the future of the region and support the economic and social advancement of the UAE.

Courtesy Google

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