Egypt, Sudan airlines sign MoU to boost ties

Egypt, Sudan airlines sign MoU to boost ties
An Egypt Air Boeing 737 aircraft on the tarmac at Cairo International Airport. (AFP)
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Updated 17 April 2021

Egypt, Sudan airlines sign MoU to boost ties

Egypt, Sudan airlines sign MoU to boost ties
  • The partnership aims to transfer Egyptian expertise in the aviation sector to Sudan

CAIRO: Egypt’s national carrier EgyptAir has launched a strategic partnership with Sudan Airways to strengthen aviation ties between the two countries.

Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar and Khaled Al-Sheikh, deputy Sudanese ambassador to Egypt, attended the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony.

Amr Abu El-Enein, EgyptAir chairman and CEO, and Sudan Airways Director General Yasir Timo signed the MoU.

The Egyptian minister highlighted the importance of the strategic partnership between the airlines and their role in enhancing trade exchange between the two countries. He said the MoU is part of Cairo’s strategy to strengthen bilateral ties in a range of fields, including aviation.The partnership aims to transfer Egyptian expertise in the aviation sector to Sudan.

Manar said the MoU includes training of employees with the Sudanese flag carrier, and helping the country modernize its aircraft fleet by managing network planning, developing maintenance operations, and providing advisory services in quality control and technical approvals. Under the agreement, Egyptian experts will train Sudanese officials in aviation security, ground services and other technical aspects.

The MoU also seeks to increase air traffic between the two countries, leading to increased economic opportunities for both.

A joint working group will have regular meetings to follow up on projects and contracts.

Timo also expressed his happiness at signing the MoU with EgyptAir, due to its expertise, human cadres and technical capabilities.


Saudi Arabia to reopen to foreign tourists soon, official says

Saudi Arabia to reopen to foreign tourists soon, official says
Updated 17 May 2021

Saudi Arabia to reopen to foreign tourists soon, official says

Saudi Arabia to reopen to foreign tourists soon, official says
  • Saudi Arabia is targeting 100 million annual visits by 2030

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia plans to soon reopen to foreign tourists, a senior tourism official said on Monday after the Kingdom announced the lifting of quarantine restrictions for certain foreign arrivals.
The Kingdom announced late on Sunday that non-citizens arriving from certain countries and who were fully vaccinated against or recently recovered from COVID-19 would no longer be required to quarantine in designated government hotels.
Those new measures, however, only apply to residents, government and business travelers or those visiting friends and family but not foreign tourists, according to the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA).
STA Chief Executive Fahd Hamidaddin told Reuters the Kingdom would reopen to foreign tourists this year with an announcement expected to be made “very soon.”
He declined to say exactly when.
Saudi Arabia liberalized its tourism industry in 2019, making it easier for foreigners to apply for tourist visas to the Kingdom that had been relatively closed off for decades.
Hamidaddin said Saudi Arabia was still targeting 100 million annual visits by 2030, up from about 40 million a year before the pandemic. It was also still targeting for tourism to account for 10 percent of GDP, up from 3 percent, by 2030, he said.

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Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC said to be in early talks with investors ahead of drilling unit IPO

Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC said to be in early talks with investors ahead of drilling unit IPO
Updated 17 May 2021

Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC said to be in early talks with investors ahead of drilling unit IPO

Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC said to be in early talks with investors ahead of drilling unit IPO
  • ADNOC Drilling owns and operates a large fleet of rigs
  • ADNOC is also planning to float Fertiglobe unit

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has started virtual meetings with potential investors ahead of the planned initial public offering of its drilling unit, two sources told Reuters.
Banks working on ADNOC Drilling are scheduling calls with local, regional and international institutional investors to sound out appetite for the potential sale, said the sources, declining to be named as the matter is not public.
The meetings are described as an early look engagement, one of the sources said, where the company that is set for a public share sale is introduced and feedback is sourced from investors.
ADNOC, which supplies nearly 3 percent of global oil demand, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Monday.
It is planning to take the unit public in the third quarter, one of the sources said previously. The company could raise at least $1 billion from the share sale, the source said.
ADNOC Drilling owns and operates a large fleet of rigs, including 75 onshore rigs, 20 offshore jackup rigs, and 11 well water rigs, according to its website.
The drilling business is critical for ADNOC’s upstream operations, helping the oil company reach its production targets.
ADNOC has invited a handful of international and local banks to take part in the process of the public share sale of ADNOC Drilling, which is due later this month.
ADNOC Chief Executive Sultan Al-Jaber has been the main architect of the transformation strategy the company embarked on more than four years ago, building an investment team to monetise assets and raise funds from international private equity groups.
The group is also planning to float Fertiglobe, a fertilizer joint venture with Dutch-listed chemical producer OCI later this year.


Dubai allows full hotel capacity and concerts, sports events

Dubai allows full hotel capacity and concerts, sports events
Updated 17 May 2021

Dubai allows full hotel capacity and concerts, sports events

Dubai allows full hotel capacity and concerts, sports events
  • The emirate will also allow live entertainment and activities

DUBAI: Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management on Monday has updated precautionary measures for events and activities.
The revised protocols allow entertainment facilities and venues to have an increased capacity of 70 percent, while hotels can raise their occupancy ceiling to 100 percent.
The emirate will also allow live entertainment and activities in restaurants, cafes and shopping malls for a trial period of one month.
It noted that the latest precautionary measures must be observed, and performers and entertainers should be vaccinated against COVID-19. These updates are effective immediately.
The committee stressed that it remains mandatory for people attending events and activities to put on their face masks and apply physical distancing of two meters.

Dubai has pushed to keep its economy, which relies on international trade and business, open through the pandemic after an initial lockdown.

The emirate is due to host the Expo 2020 world fair from October, hoping to attract millions of overseas visitors.

The UAE has in recent weeks banned entry from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka to guard against the spread of the highly contagious Indian variant.

– with Reuters


Seera and Klook sign deal to promote Saudi tourism

Seera and Klook sign deal to promote Saudi tourism
Updated 17 May 2021

Seera and Klook sign deal to promote Saudi tourism

Seera and Klook sign deal to promote Saudi tourism
  • The platform will feature tours and activities operated by Discover Saudi, Seera’s destination management company

DUBAI: Regional travel services company Seera Group has partnered with Klook to help international tour operators promote tourism in the Kingdom.
Under the deal, the pair will create a one-stop digital platform with relevant travel content and inventory management solutions for tourism providers in the Kingdom.
These providers will be able to connect with global marketplaces and international tour distributors to promote Saudi tourism.
The platform will feature tours and activities operated by Discover Saudi, Seera’s destination management company.
“For our partners across the Saudi tourism ecosystem, finding smart ways to connect with travelers enhances their ability to offer unique Arabian experiences to everyone eager to explore the destination,” Fahd Hamidaddin, chief executive of the Saudi Tourism Authority, said in a statement.
The deal, announced at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, combines Seera’s local knowledge of the tourism sector and Klook’s technological capacity.
It comes as the Kingdom plans to increase inbound tourism in line with its ambitious Vision 2030.


Honeywell deploys tech to combat use of fake COVID-19 respirators in UAE

Honeywell deploys tech to combat use of fake COVID-19 respirators in UAE
Updated 17 May 2021

Honeywell deploys tech to combat use of fake COVID-19 respirators in UAE

Honeywell deploys tech to combat use of fake COVID-19 respirators in UAE
  • Nearly 20 factories selling substandard face masks, disinfectants and hand sanitizers have been uncovered in the UAE

DUBAI: Honeywell said it using digital authentication technology in a bid to tackle the use of fake respirators and masks in the UAE and wider region.
It said that surging demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) has triggered an increase in counterfeiting across the region.
Nearly 20 factories selling substandard face masks, disinfectants and hand sanitizers have been uncovered in the UAE since the outbreak of the virus, it said.
“In response to the growing number of counterfeit PPE products in the Middle East and Africa, we’ve chosen the UAE to be the testing ground for digital authentication technology for our PPE distributed across the region,” said Greg Norton, general manager, fine chemicals and authentication technologies. “This software will not only confirm the authentication of our N95 respirators made in the UAE, it will also help detect counterfeit PPE products to help authorities reduce illicit trade during the pandemic.”
To authenticate the product, the end user scans a digital code embedded in the packaging with their smartphone camera after downloading the Honeywell application for iOS or Android. The software validates the product’s authenticity through a database, letting the end user know it is safe to use and gathers market intelligence data.
Honeywell-branded N95 respirators are produced in the UAE by Strata Manufacturing.