Nakheel and AccorHotels sign management deal for ibis hotel

Updated 12 January 2018
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Nakheel and AccorHotels sign management deal for ibis hotel

Nakheel and AccorHotels have signed a management agreement for ibis Dubai Jumeirah Village Circle, further strengthening their strategic partnership for Dubai hospitality projects.
Ali Rashid Lootah, the chairman of Nakheel, and Olivier Granet, managing director and chief operating officer for AccorHotels Middle East & Africa, signed the deal, which is the third collaboration between the two companies.
A month ago, Raffles was announced as the brand for the luxury hotel and residences at PALM360 on Palm Jumeirah, and Nakheel’s 251-room hotel at Dragon Mart, which opened in 2016, is also managed by AccorHotels, under the ibis Styles brand.
Located inside the eastern edge of the sprawling Jumeirah Village Circle community, the 252-room ibis hotel will provide an economy hospitality offering, with an all-day restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, cafe, fitness center, meeting room and car park. The hotel is expected to open in 2021.
Lootah said: “Our hospitality business continues to go from strength to strength, as we design and deliver a diverse range of hotels, resorts and serviced residences at key locations across Dubai, and partner with world-leading hotel brands to bring new hospitality concepts to the emirate. I am delighted to further reinforce our partnership with AccorHotels for the ibis hotel at Jumeirah Village Circle.”
Granet said: “We are thrilled with the collaboration. Following the recent announcement of the Raffles brand on the iconic Palm Jumeirah with PALM360, as well as our operation of ibis Styles Dragon Mart, we value this successful relationship and recognize Nakheel’s far-reaching vision of further enhancing Dubai as a world-class destination.
“ibis is by far the leading economy hotel brand in the region with 39 hotels and this project is a true testament to the strength of this offering in the Middle East.”


KAUST honors 243 students at graduation ceremony

Updated 17 December 2018
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KAUST honors 243 students at graduation ceremony

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) awarded 243 master’s degree and Ph.D. candidates with their diplomas during its ninth commencement ceremony on the KAUST campus on Friday. 

The ceremony was presided over by members of the KAUST Board of Trustees, including Board Chairman Khalid A. Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources and chairman of Saudi Aramco, and attended by senior KAUST leadership and faculty members. 

Commencement 2018 highlights included the official inauguration of KAUST’s third president, Dr. Tony Chan, and conferral of the university’s first honorary doctoral degree to Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, former chairman of the KAUST board of trustees, former minister of petroleum and mineral resources and commencement 2018 speaker. The event also included remarks by 2018 student speaker and KAUST Ph.D. graduate Nada Aljassim, the first KAUST Gifted Student Program participant to receive her Ph.D. from the university. 

In his chairman’s address, Al-Falih said the event was “an occasion … to mark a number of milestones and celebrations … In the past year alone, KAUST has … achieved important advances in research, education, innovation and talent, all while making an impact … in Saudi Arabia and globally.” 

“KAUST has taken its place on the world’s scientific and academic landscape,” Al-Naimi said. “Ideas and innovations (from KAUST) … make a difference when they soar above our nation and around the world.” 

“As a university, we are looking forward to our next decade,” said President Chan, a member of the university’s Board of Trustees for seven years. “In my new position, I am really looking forward to the opportunity and challenge and becoming engaged with Saudi society in general.” 

President Chan noted one aim of his presidency is “to align KAUST’s mission with the Kingdom’s priorities — and in particular Vision 2030. The Kingdom is moving to diversifying the economy and toward innovation and technology, which align with KAUST.” 

Chan said: “We have formed a NEOM Center of Excellence at KAUST with the express purpose of working together with NEOM. One of our senior faculty members, Professor Carlos Duarte, is on the advisory board for the Red Sea Project. We have a KAUST Red Sea Research Center and we are located next to the Red Sea, which is a treasure for the Kingdom. We consider it one of our missions to support the projects going on in the Kingdom.” 

“KAUST is still very young, but we see ourselves as contributing to the innovation and economic development of the country and the development of human talent,” he added.