Air Djibouti takes delivery of first aircraft for new commercial operations

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Bruce Dickinson, chairman of Cardiff Aviation, which provides Air Djibouti with operational management.
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The plane will officially go into service on Aug. 16, flying to regional destinations initially.
Updated 11 August 2016
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Air Djibouti takes delivery of first aircraft for new commercial operations

LONDON: Air Djibouti has taken delivery of the first Boeing 737-400 aircraft in Djibouti in preparation for the launch of Air Djibouti’s new commercial operations.
Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of Djibouti, Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of Air Djibouti, along with other dignitaries, met the plane and crew at Djibouti’s International Airport in a ceremony welcoming this important step in Djibouti’s development as a global transport hub.
Bruce Dickinson, chairman of Cardiff Aviation, which provides Air Djibouti with operational management, delivered the Boeing 737-400 personally.
The plane traveled from Cardiff, stopping in Malta for re-fueling.
The plane will officially go into service on Aug. 16, flying to regional destinations initially.
Air Djibouti plans to introduce two BA146-300 aircraft by mid-September and mid-October, and a Boeing 767-200 in December this year, initially operating between Djibouti and London.
Other international destinations are expected to follow soon after, as well as regional freight services.
UK-based aircraft services and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, Cardiff Aviation, is providing technical assistance and management, and secured the European-level Air Operator’s Certificate for Air Djibouti.
The launch of Air Djibouti’s commercial operations is a crucial element of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority’ (DPFZA) strategy for establishing Djibouti as a major logistics center for the region.
With two new airports under construction that are expected to be operational by 2019, the country is building its air transport links to complement its already well established road, rail and maritime transport network.
Bruce Dickinson said: “The arrival of the first aircraft comes at a particularly exciting time for the region as Djibouti leads in spearheading the growth of aviation in East Africa.”
Djibouti is strategically located on the second busiest shipping lane in the world. It is a natural meeting point for the East and West’s global business development.
The DPFZA is working to replicate its success in port logistics in the aviation sector.
Air Djibouti’s commercial operations will further develop the country’s international connections and accessibility.
Djibouti’s current transport and logistics infrastructure program exceeds $15 billion.
Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of Air Djibouti and Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority, said: “Today’s flight shows how Djibouti is opening up to become a major global trade and investment hub.”
The chairman said: “With investment in our port facilities, free trade zones, the upcoming completion of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway and the launch of sea/air cargo transportation, Djibouti is completing the multimodal transport missing link. In doing so, the nation confirms its position as a trade and transport hub. The establishment of a flag carrier is an integral part of the DPFZA’s drive to achieve excellence in logistics.”


GITEX Tech showcases Saudi Arabia’s regional innovation drive

Updated 15 October 2018
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GITEX Tech showcases Saudi Arabia’s regional innovation drive

DUBAI: Dubai’s GITEX Technology week showcased the region’s ability to take the lead in innovation technology, with Saudi Arabia on its way to take the driver’s seat, according to consulting firm Accenture’s country managing director in Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia will be a leader in supporting innovation and the development of new technology in the region,” Khaled Al-Dhaher told Arab News.
“I think we (Arab countries) can always complement each other in the region to make sure we have the best innovation that is relevant for us and focused on the needs of our markets,” he added.
Among the main drivers behind the Kingdom’s surge into innovation and incubation is the Center of Initiatives at Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk), which is an exclusive partner at GITEX Future Stars 2018.
Misk Innovation showcased 20 Saudi-based start-ups and incubators, ranging from 3D printing technology (SHAKL) to e-commerce (Zid) to online grocery shopping (ZADFresh).
Another prominent player from the Kingdom was the Badir Program, which helps to sustain and develop pioneering environments within the Kingdom and stays in line with following the crown prince’s Vision 2030 plan.
The plan, unveiled in 2016, is a comprehensive blueprint for the future, laying out a strategy and clear targets to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.
“We see a big support toward start-ups in terms of seed funding, arranging funding rounds, investment funding rounds, which actually is very important to accelerate the growth of these start-ups,” Badir Program’s CEO Nawaf Al-Sahhaf told Arab News, adding: “They (start-ups) created more than 2,000 jobs in the last two years.”
The 38th annual exhibition, which kicked off on Sunday, centered around the rise of smart cities. Dubai’s government featured high-tech stands promoting the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision of a totally smart Dubai.
While Dubai is ahead of Saudi Arabia in this respect, the latter is not far behind.
“Saudi Arabia is building new cities now, and one of them is NEOM. Smart cities needs smart solutions and smart products, so Saudi Arabia is a big supporter of entrepreneurs and the private sector in order to come up with these smart solutions,” Al-Sahhaf said.
“Saudi Arabia is moving in this [Smart] direction and we are in good hands,” he added.
The Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company, Taqania, was also featured at the exhibition. Owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, Taqania is one of Saudi Arabia’s main proponents in a non-oil dependent Kingdom aligned with Vision 2030, and invests in technology that contributes to the country’s economic diversification.
The exhibition is split among several categories including Gulf Comms & Mobility, Global Solution Providers, Smart Workplace & Smart Homes, Value-Added Distributors, Printing & Automation, Consumer Tech, Enterprise Software, Network & Security, Future Tech and IOT Big Cloud Data.
GITEX Technology week runs from Oct. 14 to 18, with GITEX Future Stars taking place from Oct. 14 to 17.