Dubai received 7.12m international overnight visitors in H1 2022

Dubai received 7.12m international overnight visitors in H1 2022
The number of tourists recorded in the first half of the year was close to pre pandemic numbers. (File/Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 08 August 2022

Dubai received 7.12m international overnight visitors in H1 2022

Dubai received 7.12m international overnight visitors in H1 2022
  • Western Europe accounted for 22 percent share

DUBAI: Dubai attracted 7.12 million international overnight visitors between January and June 2022, an increase of more than 183 percent compared to the same period in 2021, according to the latest data from its Department of Economy and Tourism.

The figure puts the city on track to meet its tourism targets for 2022.

“The vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the city of the future and the world’s best place to live, work and invest in has resulted in a resurgence of Dubai’s tourism sector,” said Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. “The growth in tourists reflects the resilience and dynamism of the emirate’s economy. His Highness’s vision has helped Dubai create a strong and stable economic foundation and a dynamic business ecosystem, enabling it to become a leading global hub for diverse sectors.

“The rapid rise in international tourist arrivals puts Dubai on track to achieve its ambitious target of becoming the world’s most visited destination. In the years ahead, Dubai will continue to develop itself further as a destination that offers compelling value to international travelers.”

The number of tourists recorded in the first half of the year was close to that achieved in the first six months of 2019, which saw 8.36 million tourists arriving in Dubai.

Western Europe accounted for 22 percent of the total international visitors in the first six months of 2022. Visitors from the MENA region and Gulf Cooperation Council accounted for 34 percent, followed by South Asia with a 16 percent share.

The geographic spread reflects Dubai's strategy of attracting visitors from a diverse range of countries and visitor segments, mitigating the risks associated with over-reliance on any one region.

Between January and June 2022, the average hotel occupancy rate was 74 percent, one of the highest in the world.

The hotel industry outperformed pre-pandemic levels in all key metrics, including occupied room nights, average daily rate, and revenue per available room.

The Dubai government said the highly encouraging industry performance was primarily due to its hugely successful six-month-long Expo 2020 Dubai, which had attracted 24 million visitors by the time it ended on March 31.

It also attributed the industry performance to the many events the city had hosted, including the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Food Festival, the World Government Summit, Finance Blockchain Week, and the Dubai International Boat Show.


ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy, decarbonization

ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy,  decarbonization
Updated 16 sec ago

ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy, decarbonization

ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy,  decarbonization

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., known as TAQA, have finalized a deal for the construction of a $3.8-billion strategic project to power and decarbonize ADNOC’s offshore production operations.

According to a statement, a consortium comprising Korea Electric Power,  Kyushu Electric Power Co., and Électricité de France will build, own, operate and transfer its high-voltage direct current sub-sea transmission network in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The statement noted that the KEPCO-led consortium holds a 40 percent stake in the project under a build, own, operate and transfer basis, while ADNOC and TAQA own stakes amounting to 30 percent each. 

According to the statement, the full project will be returned to ADNOC after 35 years of operation. 

The transmission system will have a total installed capacity of 3.2 GW and will comprise two independent subsea HVDC links and converter stations, the statement added. 

The construction of this project is expected to start this year, and commercial operation is expected to commence in 2025. 

“ADNOC has once again demonstrated its ability to successfully structure and close a bold and progressive transaction that will help secure our low-carbon future as we intensify our efforts to decarbonize our operations,” said Sultan Al-Jaber, UAE minister of industry and advanced technology and managing director and group CEO of ADNOC. 

He added: “As the responsible provider of reliable and low-carbon energy, ADNOC will continue to work with our partners to advance practical and commercially viable solutions as the energy transition partner of choice.” 

According to the statement, the development is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of ADNOC’s offshore operations by more than 30 percent. 

The project will replace ADNOC’s existing offshore gas turbine generators with more sustainable power sources available on the Abu Dhabi onshore power network, operated by TAQA’s wholly owned subsidiary, Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Co. 

Mohamed Alsuwaidi, chairman of Taqa, said: “Reaching financial close is an important milestone for this distinctive project, which will see TAQA providing ADNOC offshore facilities with low-carbon energy securely and efficiently through TRANSCO’s power network system.” 

“TAQA continues to showcase how its expertise can be utilized to decarbonize industry through strategic partnerships and bringing value to its stakeholders,” he added. 


Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia

Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia
Updated 20 min 15 sec ago

Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia

Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday after a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he wants to deepen the energy partnership between the two countries.

Speaking to reporters, Scholz said that the partnership should go beyond fossil fuels to include hydrogen and renewable energies.

Germany, until recently heavily dependent on Russia for gas, has been seeking to diversify its energy supply since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Scholz, on a two-day trip to the Gulf, said he also addressed issues involving human and civil rights in talks with the prince.

 


Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement

Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement
Updated 25 September 2022

Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement

Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement

RIYADH: Qassim Cement Co. has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Hail Cement Co. regarding a securities exchange transaction, in which the former will acquire all of Hail’s issued shares.

Both parties will therefore proceed with due diligence in connection with the proposed transaction, according to a bourse filing.

Upon completion of the relevant financial evaluation and after consideration of the due diligence, Qassim and Hail will begin discussions on a non-binding exchange ratio.

Hail’s shareholders will receive 0.1933 newly issued shares in Qassim for each share they own in Hail.


TotalEnergies signs $1.5bn deal with QatarEnergy to increase LNG production 

TotalEnergies signs $1.5bn deal with QatarEnergy to increase LNG production 
Updated 54 min 22 sec ago

TotalEnergies signs $1.5bn deal with QatarEnergy to increase LNG production 

TotalEnergies signs $1.5bn deal with QatarEnergy to increase LNG production 

RIYADH: France’s TotalEnergies on Saturday signed a new $1.5 billion deal with QatarEnergy to help expand the country’s natural gas production as Europe scrambles to find new energy sources to replace Russian supplies. 

The partnership deal was signed by QatarEnergy CEO and the country’s Minister of Energy Saad Al-Kaabi and Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies. 

Al-Kabbi said that TotalEnergies would have a 9.375 percent stake out of a 25 percent stake in the North Field South project dedicated to international partners. 

QatarEnergy will hold 75 percent of NFS.

“We are not overexposed to Qatar. We are happy to invest in new licenses here. Because we cannot invest in Russia, there is logic to continue investing in Qatar,” said Pouyanné. 

He added: “If Qatar had offered more investment, then we would have invested more in Qatar.” 

The new deal comes at a time when European nations are diversifying their energy imports away from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. 

The North Field expansion projects comprise two parts; the North Field East or NFE project and the North Field South project. 

The NFE project is expected to increase Qatar’s liquified natural gas production capacity from 77 to 110 million tons per annum, while the NFS project will elevate the country’s LNG production capacity from 110 to 126 million tons per annum. 

Earlier, in June and July, QatarEnergy and TotalEnergies signed five separate partnership agreements in the NFE project worth around $29 billion. 

Britain’s Shell, Italy’s ENI and US giants ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil have already signed up to be part of the North Field East project.

“We are in active discussions with the majority of buyers around the world and some are advancing more than others,” added Al-Kabbi. 

Qatar is one of the world’s top LNG exporters, alongside the US and Australia, and the country is aiming to increase its gas production by more than 60 percent by 2027. 

QatarEnergy estimates that the North Field holds about 10 percent of the world’s known natural gas reserves. LNG from the North Field is expected to start coming online in 2026. 

(With input from Reuters and AFP) 


Saudi Arabia launches 5 renewable projects to produce 3,300 MW energy

Saudi Arabia launches 5 renewable projects to produce 3,300 MW energy
Updated 26 min 48 sec ago

Saudi Arabia launches 5 renewable projects to produce 3,300 MW energy

Saudi Arabia launches 5 renewable projects to produce 3,300 MW energy

RIYADH: Saudi Power Procurement Co. has launched five projects to produce electricity using renewable energy, with a total capacity of 3,300 megawatts, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

The launch includes three wind energy projects and two solar projects. The wind energy projects, located in Yanbu, Al-Ghat and Waad Al Shamal have a total production capacity of 1800 MW, with 700 MW, 600MW and 500 MW distributed respectively.

The total capacity of production from the two solar energy projects amounts to 1500 MW. The projects are based in Al Hinakiyah and Tabarjal and have capacities of 1100 MW and 400 MW respectively.

The launch of the projects is part of the fourth phase of the Ministry of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Program. 

In line with Saudi Vision 2030, the program is part of the Kingdom’s aims to reach the optimal energy mix for electricity production from renewable energy sources.

In August, Saudi Arabia’s Ministries of Finance and Energy fully nationalized the Saudi Power Procurement Co. after buying up shares in one of the firm's subsidiaries.

The ministries announced the government had acquired the Saudi Electricity Company meaning Saudi Power Procurement Co. is wholly owned by the state.

This acquisition is part of the Kingdom’s plans to restructure the electricity sector and introduce financial and organizational reforms, the Ministry of Energy said in a statement. 

The Saudi Power Procurement Co. is responsible for planning and putting forward projects to generate the country’s required electric power.

It is also responsible for concluding electric power purchase and wholesale agreements, developing energy trading markets and purchasing fuel for the company, the statement added. 

Also, in August, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry signed a power purchase agreement for the 80 MW solar photovoltaic independent power producer project, according to MEED.