ArabianChain, Curiositas to create ‘Wethaq’

ArabianChain Founder and CEO Mohammed Alsehli
Updated 10 July 2018
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ArabianChain, Curiositas to create ‘Wethaq’

ArabianChain Technology, a Middle Eastern innovator in the blockchain industry, has signed a joint venture with Dubai-and-London-based innovation firm Curiositas to create Wethaq — the world’s first platform for Islamic capital markets using smart contracts and legal automation.

Wethaq will play the role of a platform-as-a-service for financial institutions, fundraisers and investors to use in the pre-sale, issuance, management and secondary trading of sukuk products.

Curiositas is an innovation firm that develops new technologies that shape finance, law and the digital economy. The objective of the joint venture is to combine Curiositas’ legal automation and financial engineering expertise with ArabianChain’s Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) protocol and smart contracts.

Dimitrios Vourakis, managing director of Curiositas, said: “Our platform matters as there is an urgent need for automation and standardization in Islamic capital markets. Financial institutions, fundraisers and investors incur substantial operational costs and third-party charges in Islamic capital markets and face more complexity and intermediaries than those encountered in conventional markets. Wethaq separates the essential structuring services provided by financial institutions from additional services such as custodianship, and payments, and offers the latter on its automated platform.”

For a competitively priced success fee, clients will be able to use Wethaq’s comprehensive and standardized platform for the entire lifecycle of their sukuk product. The platform’s target customers include financial institutions, investment banks, lawyers, auditors, ratings agencies, accredited investors and fundraisers. 

ArabianChain Founder and CEO Mohammed Alsehli said: “This is the first ever global venture using frontier technology in Islamic capital markets and we believe that the Islamic finance ecosystem will benefit from this transparent, efficient and competitively priced platform. Due to its rigorous compliance and increased transparency, we expect both international investors and more conservative Islamic investors will consider investing in sukuk products through Wethaq. 

“We expect the Islamic capital markets to embrace Wethaq across the globe and we have already received great interest from Islamic financial institutions in the region who would be keen to use our platform once launched.”


Emaar reopens historic Al-Alamein Hotel

Updated 17 July 2018
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Emaar reopens historic Al-Alamein Hotel

The historic Al-Alamein Hotel has officially reopened after a major facelift by Emaar Hospitality Group that makes it among the finest resorts along the Mediterranean.

The opening event was attended by Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, VIP guests, top media figures, as well as other public figures.

Situated in the picturesque setting of Sidi Abdel Rahman Bay, the hotel’s glamorous design ethos and refurbished retro-modern interiors hark back to the glory days of the 1960s, when the resort first opened.

The remodelled designs blend vintage charm with contemporary style, evoking a sense of nostalgia to the golden age of Egyptian music and cinema. “The refurbishment of Al-Alamein Hotel provides an example of our determination to offer a hotel that is on a par with, or rather superior to, world-class resorts,” said Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar. 

“We strive for nothing less than the highest global standards for our customers and our developments in Egypt including Al-Alamein Hotel, of which renovation costs totaled EGP 1.5 billion ($84 million),” Alabbar added.

While the building stays true to its rich heritage, visitors can expect modern comfort and style everywhere, from the bar and restaurants to the corridors and rooms.

There is something remarkable around every corner of the resort. An impressive assortment of black and white photographs of Egypt’s most celebrated classical actors and singers festooning columns at the lobby offer visitors much to marvel at once they walk into the building.

The hotel is also home to the renowned Umbrellas sculpture by Greek artist George Zongolopoulos, a poetic structure of steel umbrellas that stretches 13 meters into the sky, offering a dramatic reinterpretation of Abdel Halim Hafez’ classic oldie “Dokko Elshamasy” or “Fix the Umbrellas on the Beach.” One of the most photographed modern sculptures worldwide, the piece was first displayed at the Venice Biennale in 1995, where it drew international attention, and will now delight visitors to this Egyptian vacation spot.

The hotel also boasts a magnificent collection of art works and sculptures by a large number of local and global artists, including an iconic mosaic mural of late legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum and another one featuring colorful ancient boats.

Al-Alamein Hotel is part of a thriving residential and tourist community Emaar is developing in Marassi, the company’s flagship Mediterranean landmark in Egypt. These include several hotels already launched such as Vida Marassi Marina, Address Marassi Beach Resort and Address Marassi Golf Resort + Spa. Marassi will be home to seven luxury hotels with up to 3,000 rooms.