Dubai Ruler visits world’s first facility dedicated to A380

Dubai Ruler visits world’s first facility dedicated to A380

Dec 27, 2012

DUBAI // Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, toured the new Emirates Airbus A380 Concourse 3 yesterday.

The facility – the world’s first dedicated to the super-jumbos – is at Dubai International Airport and is due to welcome its first flight in January, according to the state news agency, Wam.

Sheikh Mohammed was joined  by his son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai – among many other dignitaries, ministers and higher officials – during his inspection.

They were briefed by Khalifa Al Zafeen, chief executive officer of Dubai Aviation City.

Concourse 3 is 650 metres long and 90 metres wide with 11 storeys, four of them underground, according to Mr Al Zafeen.

There are automated passenger transport points for arrivals and departures.

During his one-hour visit, Sheikh Mohammed toured gates dedicated to lining up Airbus 380s, which were equipped with loading bridges for passengers to move between the planes and the terminal.

There are six additional gates for planes parked further away.

Concourse 3 has first and business-class lounges, four- and five-star hotels and a mall with 40 counters to follow flights and airlines. An internal metro carries passengers to and from Terminal 3, which is dedicated to Emirates Airlines flights.

It also connects to Terminal 2, which has a capacity for 19 million passengers annually. Overall, Concourses 2 and 3 will have a capacity for 43 million passengers annually.

Sheikh Mohammed wandered through the arrivals hall of Terminal 3 and inspected the counters.

At the end of his trip, he took the Metro to Burj Khalifa, describing the rail network as “the project of the century”.

Read more:
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

The world’s most attended New Year’s celebrations – Downtown Dubai

1.7m revellers ring in 2013 at Downtown Dubai

Number of visitors surpassed that of New York and Sydney’s New Year’s Eve revellers

    • By Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter
    • Published: 14:17 January 2, 2013

  • Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
  • People secure their vantage points for the fireworks at the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai: The Downtown Dubai New Year’s Eve Gala has achieved a new feat for being the world’s most attended New Year’s celebrations with a visitor turnout of 1.7 million revellers to ring in 2013.

The Burj Khalifa’s dazzling pyrotechnic display attracted 1.7 million visitors on December 31 according to official estimates, which is a big leap from the estimated “hundreds of thousands of revellers” that attended the event last year.

The emirate’s official New Year’s Eve Gala was also telecast live via satellite to more than 1,000 global television channels, and live streamed on and, reaching more than two billion people.

Downtown Dubai’s New Year visitors surpassed that of the reported one million revellers at New York’s Time Square, and the estimated 1.5 million people who reportedly poured in to watch the fireworks display at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In London, local media reported an estimated 250,000 revellers who descended on the capital to watch the pyrotechnic display that featured 12,500 fireworks.

“The event underlines the positive vision that Dubai upholds by serving as a beacon of hope for people and highlighting the happiness and robust outlook that the city brings,” said Mohammad Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties and Dubai Events Council, and organiser of the event.

Before the New Year countdown, revellers were treated to a water, fire and light show on the Burj Lake. This year’s pyrotechnic display that illuminated the Burj Khalifa was synchronised to a live performance of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, a first ever feat in the emirate.

The huge turnout made traffic on the main roads leading to Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall move at a snail’s pace. More than 500,000 commuters used the Dubai Metro which operated round-the-clock to help ease traffic congestion on New Year’s Eve.


UAE leads Middle East in manufacturing competitiveness

UAE leads Middle East in manufacturing competitiveness

Abdul Basit / 27 December 2012

The UAE ranked top among the most competitive manufacturing nations in the Middle East and the country is expected to continue the leading position in the next five years, according to Deloitte — a global consultancy and financial advisory firm.

In the region, three countries made the list of the most competitive manufacturing countries, including the UAE on top with 3.93 index score, followed by Saudi Arabia at 3.57 score, and Egypt scored 3.24 in the 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index report from Deloitte’s Manufacturing Industry group and the US Council on Competitiveness


Globally, the UAE ranked 30, Saudi Arabia at 34 and Egypt at 36 in the Deloitte index. The UAE will remain on top position in the next five year, according to Deloitte.

“UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are expected to move up in ranking five years from now,” said Bakr Abulkhair, chairman and managing partner at Deloitte & Touche Bakr Abulkhair & Company, Saudi Arabia.

“The identified key dividers between established and emerging manufacturing markets, in the Deloitte report, should provide insights to Middle East countries and manufacturers to assist them in bridging gaps with developed manufacturing markets and building capabilities and economic and political infrastructures to drive growth and job creation in our region,” he added.

The report indicated that over the next five years, 20th-century manufacturing advocates like the US, Germany and Japan will be challenged to maintain their competitive edge to emerging nations such as China, India and Brazil.

The study confirms that the landscape for competitive manufacturing is in the midst of a massive power shift — based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 550 chief executive officers (CEOs) and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world.

The data reveals several divisions in competitiveness between established manufacturing players and their emerging counterparts. It said traditional manufacturing stalwarts are perceived to have an advantage with respect to talent-driven innovation. Emerging manufacturing nations will likely struggle to be competitive in regards to their legal systems, according to the report.

Established manufacturing nations scored far better than emerging manufacturing nations when it came to local economic, trade, financial and tax systems.

The report further said that superior healthcare systems will likely give established manufacturing nations a distinct advantage over emerging players, thanks to their access to quality care and regulatory policies for public health.

When looking at labour costs and availability, stalwart manufacturing nations find themselves squarely on the defensive. The newest of the emerging superpowers have a long way to go when it comes to supplier networks. Newer manufacturing players face an uphill battle when it comes to physical infrastructure competitiveness.

“The emerging superpowers in manufacturing will focus on building the advanced manufacturing capabilities and economic and political infrastructures that drive rapid growth and high value jobs for their citizens, forcing 20th century manufacturing powerhouses to fend off the growing strength of more focused global competitors,” said Craig Giffi, vice-chairman, Deloitte United States (Deloitte LLP) and consumer and industrial products industry leader, who co-authored the report and led the research-team.

The report found that access to talented workers is the top indicator of a country’s competitiveness — followed by a country’s trade, financial and tax system, and then the cost of labor and materials.

“Nothing was more important to CEOs than the quality, availability and productivity of a nation’s workforce to help them drive their innovation agendas,” said Giffi. “Enhancing and growing an effective talent base remains core to competitiveness among the traditional manufacturing leaders — and increasingly among emerging market challengers as well,” Giffi added.

Gulf News Fun Drive gears up to create world record

Gulf News Fun Drive gears up to create world record

By Sharmila Dhal, Senior reporter, XPRESS
Published: Dec 27, 2012 3:41 AM

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
  • XXXXX: Participants enjoying during the Fun Drive 2012

Photo 1 of 1
Dubai: Here’s a chance to get into the Guinness World Records. All you have to do is join in the Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive on January 11 and 12 and throw your weight in a record attempt that could end up being the “largest convoy of off-road vehicles”.

The effort will be verified and certified by representatives of Guinness World Records who are being specially flown in for the event.

The Fun Drive, sponsored by Al Futtaim Motors – Toyota, will start on January 11 from The Sevens, where participants will check in beginning at 6am. The first car will leave at 7.30am for the eight-hour drive to reach the camp by 4pm. Once there, they will stay overnight and drive home the next day after breakfast.

In its 32nd edition since its launch in 1986, the Fun Drive has been designed to give residents a chance to experience the desert. From 75 four-wheel drives in its first year it grew to 750 cars when it became an overnight event.

This year’s route is uncharted with over 95 per cent of it being off-road.

Highlights include sighting of gazelles along the route.

The drive is being held with the support of the Emirates Motor Sports Federation. Around 60 marshals will be present to assist participants.

A team of 300 Gulf News personnel will also man checkpoints and take care of organisational details. The International Automobile Touring Club will be in charge of recovery.


Entry is open to all, but preference will be given to Gulf News subscribers. It is for four-wheel drive vehicles only with a maximum of four passengers plus driver. Registration can be done daily from 9am to 2pm at the Gulf News offices on Shaikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Abu Dhabi and Al Ain participants can register at the Gulf News offices between 9am and 2pm on working days only (Sunday-Thursday). The rates: Dh300 per adult and Dh175 per child.

Most expensive Car Plate in the world!


Another record breaking feat for the capital came in February 2008, with the sale of the most expensive car plate in the world. License plate No. 1 was bought at auction for a staggering Dh52.2 million by Abu Dhabi businessman Saeed Al Khouri, breaking the previous record of plate No. 5, which was sold to his cousin for Dh25.2 million.

Many world firsts at mega waterpark

Many world firsts at mega waterpark

Get set to start your new year with a splash, as the UAE’s first mega waterpark will finally open on January 24, giving water enthusiasts the ride of their lives.

Published: 19 Jan 2012  at 7:01 AM

This article was sent from the Khaleej Times app.

Get set to start your new year with a splash, as the UAE’s first mega waterpark will finally open on January 24, giving water enthusiasts the ride of their lives.
Spread over 15 hectares, the waterpark on Yas Island features 43 exciting rides, slides, attractions, themed restaurants, shops and activities. It showcases a mountain topped by a huge glittering pearl, bandit towers, an authentic wood-raftered souq and a giant falcon’s nest spilling over with slides.

“We are just a few weeks away from the grand opening of Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi. All the rides, slides and attractions are installed and the pre-opening testing stage has commenced to ensure that everything is in place in terms of safe and successful park operations. A few members of the public will be given access to the park in the coming days as part of Challenge Accepted Competition, then it will be all aboard for the public opening,” said Mike Oswald, park general manager.

He said: “The countdown’s begun and we are sure visitors will be wowed by what’s in store. The January opening will kick-start what we expect to be an extremely successful year for this all-year-round entertainment attraction.”

“Visitors to the park will be in for a fantastic experience that brings together high-thrill rides, interactive attractions and a number of world-firsts in terms of waterpark entertainment – it will take even the most enthusiastic water park fan by surprise,” he added.

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi pays tribute to the UAE’s pearl-diving heritage, and is themed around “The Lost Pearl”, an original story about Dana, a young Emirati girl on a quest for the legendary pearl that had once brought prosperity to her village.

Visitors can join the adventure on rides never before seen in water parks, including the first hydromagnetic six—person water-slide in the world and the largest sheet wave surf ride ever.

Dubai ranks third in the world for taxi service

Dubai ranks third in the world for taxi service

Dubai also ranked third best for shopping after New York and Bangkok

  • By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 17:09 December 18, 2012

Dubai: Dubai has been ranked third in the world for its taxi services behind Tokyo and Singapore, in a survey by a leading international travel website.

According to’s annual Cities Survey, which looks into how travellers and locals view 40 key tourist cities around the world, Dubai is also the third best for shopping after New York City and Bangkok.

The results were compiled based on more than 75,000 responses to a survey sent to those who have recently written tripadvisor reviews on the featured cities.

The splendid results for Dubai have obviously elated the city’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which governs taxi services.

“This is great news for the city and apt reward for all our hard work, I congratulate His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for this achievement,” said Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossary, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

He attributed RTA’s continuous success to the clear vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad to achieve the best in all aspects.

“There are four to five factors which have helped us forge ahead to this level so quickly. Number one is the clear vision of our leadership, number two is our willingness to help people, number three is our ability to deliver what we say and finally we start where people end in terms of technology,” added Al Dossary.

He said that whatever Dubai has achieved is special because the cities that “we are competing against are mostly European and American cities which were established a long time ago and, compared to them, we are fairly new, but still we have managed to be on a par with them when it comes to transport service.”

Al Dossary asserted that Dubai offers world-class transport services at affordable rates and that is the key to its success.

Around 8,000 taxis managed by eight franchises operate in Dubai and this year they have managed to clock 96 million trips.

Dubai World Central – the world’s first purpose-built

DWC, the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis

Smartworld unveils GPON for DWC

Smartworld, a next-generation ICT provider in the Middle East that has been entrusted with the responsibility to provision the ICT network in Dubai World Central, or DWC, has achieved a milestone with the implementation of a gigabit passive optical network, or GPON, network at DWC.

The launch will put DWC, the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis and strategic initiative of the Government of Dubai, into the league of prestigious gigabit capable precincts of the world and provide next-generation network capabilities to ICT users at DWC. “Following the success of this project, DWC will continue to work closely and take advantage of Smartworld’s specialised expertise,” said Rashed Bu Qara’a, chief operating officer of Dubai Aviation City Corporation.

“The next-generation network unlocks more exciting possibilities for business enterprises operating at DWC, giving them unprecedented networking and communication capabilities,” Smartworld chief executive officer Reyadh Ayesh added.

Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis Hotel is world’s tallest hotel

Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis Hotel is world’s tallest hotel

By Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter
Published: Dec 17, 2012 11:12 AM

Photo 1 of 2
Dubai: The city of superlatives has done it again with JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, claiming the world’s tallest hotel title, the latest addition to Dubai’s growing list of world records.

“We are excited and delighted to be officially recognised as the world’s tallest hotel. Dubai is a city of superlatives and the JW Marriott Marquis is an outstanding addition its iconic skyline,” said Rupprecht Queitsch, general manager of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Located in the heart of Business Bay, the 355-metre JW Marriott Marquis Hotel was recently officially recognised by the Guinness World Record as the world’s tallest hotel. The iconic five-star hotel boasts of a height that’s almost half or 43 per cent of the height of Burj Khalifa.

The world’s tallest hotel title was previously held by the 333-metre tall Rose Rayhaan by Rotana on Shaikh Zayed Road, which opened in January 2010.

Dubai holds a number of Guinness World Records including the tallest building — the Burj Khalifa; the tallest residential building — Princess Tower; the largest shopping centre The Dubai Mall; the largest indoor ski-resort — Ski Dubai; to name a few.

Currently, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel ranks 28th in the world’s top 200 tallest buildings, and the sixth tallest building in Dubai, according to Emporis, a global database for building and construction information.

The 77-floor twin towers opened its first tower to guests last month. The hotel’s grand opening is scheduled in February 2013. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in November ordered the implementation of the second phase of the project that is scheduled to be completed by 2014.

The hotel has 804 guest rooms with panoramic views in each tower, 14 restaurants, bars and lounges. It features more than 8,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor event space which includes two ballrooms.

“It’s sort of a small city within itself. Any business traveller can find everything he needs within the hotel itself,” Ashok Korgaonkar, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai’s leading architect, told Gulf News.

Korgaonkar said that when they designed the hotel in 2005, the primary goal was not just to come up with a good design but also to make it functional.

“We wanted the design to stand out in comparison to the surrounding buildings but we didn’t want purely aesthetics but also functionality. So the structure is basically the contemporary version of the trunk of the date palm tree which is part and parcel of the life in Arabian countries,” Korgaonkar said.

Eida receives certificate of record

Eida receives certificate of record

13 Dec 2012

The Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) has officially received from the World Record Academy a certificate proving its possession of the world’s largest database of civil integrated biometrics within the UAE population register system.
During an official ceremony held in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, a representative of the World Record Academy announced that the Emirates ID succeeded in gaining international recognition and achieving a record figure, the first of its kind in the world, with a total of over 103 million decimal and rolled fingerprints, prints of the palm and hand side in addition to over 15 million facial prints and digital signatures until mid of October 11.

Dr Ali Mohammed Al Khouri, Director-General of the Eida, presented this accomplishment achieved by the UAE to the prudent leadership under the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Al Khouri affirmed that this achievement of strategic dimensions to the UAE would not have been made possible without the support of General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Chairman of the Emirates Identity Authority, and without the close follow-up of Lieutenant-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Deputy Chairman of the Emirates Identity Authority.

The ceremony was attended by the directors of sectors, departmental directors and directors of organizational units at the Emirates ID. —