Audi Middle East recently treated loyal fan Rashid Bin Ahmad to an experience of a lifetime.
Chosen to be #AudiSuperFan because of his extensive engagement with both Audi and his followers about all things related to the brand, Ahmad was treared to a full driving experience at the Dubai Autodrome behind the wheel of the brand new Audi TT.
Later, Ahmad was whisked off to take part in the official Middle East launch of the new Audi TT at SkyDive Dubai where he kicked off the spectacular event by jumping from the plane at 14,000 feet above Dubai.
Hollywood star Stephen Baldwin, who is currently shooting for “The Heart of Hope in Jordan”, was presented with a Royal Plus’ Platinum card by Royal Jordanian Acting president and CEO Captain Haitham Misto.
Baldwin, who had flown RJ many times, expressed admiration for the carrier’s level of luxury and its distinguished services.
The American actor highlighted the hospitality of the crew members and the warmth they show to travellers of different nationalities, in addition to the high level of comfort and luxury on the 787.
Captain Misto said that he was delighted with the appreciation the famous international actor, producer and director showed RJ, its services and personnel.
Merkel ‘most powerful woman’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel topped the Forbes list of the world's 100 most powerful women for the fifth consecutive year, edging past US presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, who came in second in the 2015 annual ranking.
Clinton moved up from sixth place on last year's list and was followed by Melinda Gates, the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, at No. 3.
US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen placed fourth while General Motors CEO Mary Barra rounded out the top five.
The list by Forbes features the most powerful women in eight categories - billionaires, business, celebrity, finance, media, philanthropy, intergovernmental organizations, politics and finance.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde captured sixth place, followed by Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg at No. 8, YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki and US First Lady Michelle Obama.
Oprah Winfrey was the top ranking billionaire at No. 12. Singer Beyonce was the leading entertainer at No. 21 and American Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour placed 28th, the highest ranking for a person from the media sector.
Pop star Taylor Swift came in at 64, while talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was No. 50 and "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara was No. 57. - Reuters
New flight service
Flag carrier Qatar Airways will begin flights from Doha to Amsterdam from June 16, the airline's chief executive Akbar Al Baker said at a press conference in The Netherlands .
Al Baker, along with Eric Didier, Qatar Airways country manager France and Benelux (left); and Jonathan Harding, Qatar Airways senior vice president North, South and Western Europe (right), revealed the full details of the airline's services to the region.
The airline will operate six times per week with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
A new human resource-centered initiative was launched this week at a conference held at the Head Office of Dubai Customs (DC).
'Shokran' aims at creating a positive work environment, focusing on the basic element i.e. the human resources, in order to to enhance productivity and efficiency.
In the same regard, Buti Abdullah Al Jumairi, executive director of Human Resources, Finance and Administration Division at DC honored a number of employees who supported the HR Department and contributed to the success of the projects and initiatives of the department.
Local presence to serve the Indian diaspora
Real estate and infrastructure development Mahindra Lifespace Developers has announced the opening of its first international office in Dubai, UAE.
Present at the launch were Anita Arjundas (L), MD & CEO– Mahindra Lifespace Developers president – real estate sector and Mahindra Group Member of the group executive board; and Smeeta Neogi (R), vice president marketing– Mahindra Lifespace Developers.
A pioneer in the 'Green Homes’ concept, the company's lastest foray into affordable housing is Happinest with two pilot projects in Chennai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Key industry players from the oil and gas sector gathered today in the UAE capital for the 3rd ISA Automation Conference & Exhibition, taking place at St Regis Saadiyat Island until May 27.
The exhibition was inaugurated by keynote speaker, Abdul Nasser Al Mughairbi, senior vice president, Habshan Complex Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (GASCO).
Officially supported by ADNOC, the conference offers a unique opportunity for automation professionals, equipment manufacturers and service providers to share and exchange experiences and explore the latest products and most recent innovations and technologies.
Aspire zone in collaboration with Qatar Extreme Sport organised a skateboarding and BMXing competition on May 23 between the Torch Doha and Khalifa Stadium in Doha.
Around 30 talented professionals performed their best skateboarding tricks and moves while 25 skateboarders and 15 BMXers competed against each other to demonstrate their skills in an intense, and adrenaline-filled celebration of the art and sport of skateboarding.
Gonzalez Guillermo won the skateboarding contest.
Dubai-based Emirates has launched the airline’s official cabin crew and pilot uniform for children in its Spring/Summer 2015 collection. Aspiring cabin crew and pilots aged 3 to 8 years can now play dress up as the exclusive collection is now available at the Emirates Official Stores and online (www.emiratesofficialstore.com).
Retailing at Dh210 ($57) for the uniform, young globalistas can complete the crew and pilot look (http://bit.ly/dressupuniform) with the iconic Emirates red hat and pilot hat which cost from Dh95 ($25).
New office for Shanghai Yaming Lighting
Shanghai Yaming Lighting Co, a lighting technology firm based in China, today opened its regional headquarters at Dubai Silicon Oasis. Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, vice chairman and CEO of DSOA, and Zhuang Shenan, chairman of Shanghai Yaming Lighting, led the ceremony.
At your service!
The second group of Etihad Airways Butlers has completed the intensive Savoy Butler Academy training programme in the UK.
The Abu Dhabi-based team of 12 men and women, who have all worked as food and beverage managers on board Etihad Airways’ long-haul fleet, graduated this week at a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The course was conducted by the London School of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of West London, in conjunction with the legendary Savoy Hotel.
Pretty in prints
Say hello to sunshine with Marks & Spencer’s perfectly edited trendy summer 2015 collection. From pretty prints to sleek functional modern designs, make this season the most stylish with Marks & Spencer’s guide to the hottest summer trends.
The new summer collection features bold feminine and whimsical prints offering daring and flirtatious edge for a striking finish. Celebrating the retro delights, floral art, and the magical worlds of exotic landscapes Marks & Spencer recreates silhouettes that epitome confidence and elegance.
The collection is now available in Marks & Spencer stores across GCC.
The taste of Boston comes to Fujairah
O’Learys, a Boston-inspired sporsbar brand in Sweden, plans to launch its first sports-themed restaurant in Fujairah, UAE.
Scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of the year in Fujairah Mall, the 275-sq m, 163-cover restaurant will also be linked to an indoor karting area and laser shooting gallery covering some 2,240-sq-m, making it a suitable venue for dining families as well as sports fans.
Wealth management by Takaud
Bahrain-based Takaud, the specialist savings, investment and pensions provider for the Mena region, has reached a major milestone for its business with the launch of a new Wealth Management Services. The launch event was recently held at the Crowne Plaza in Bahrain and was hosted by Samer Khanachet, chairman of Takaud and group chief operating officer of Kipco; and Luc Metivier, chief executive officer of Takaud.
TAKAUD’s new Wealth Management services were created specifically to provide discerning clients with customised mutual funds investment services and bespoke investment portfolios.
Above, officials and guests at the event.
City Mall, a popular shopping destination in Amman, Jordan, recently held the “Fashion Makeover” competition in in cooperation with UMEN magazine. Khaled Al Damen (pictured above) won the competition, which witnessed huge participation.
Al Damen received a one-of-a-kind opportunity to achieve a modern and professional new look with the help of UMEN magazine fashion experts.
City Mall collaborated with leading international fashion brands such as Daniel Hechter and Clarks, providing Khaled with a formal attire that reflects his lifestyle. While hair care experts chose a new haircut that best suits him. He will take part in the magazine’s fashion photo-shoot.
Honor is here...
The first Honor 6 Plus buyers received their phones from Chris Sun Baigoing, vice president of online sales, Huawei Consumer Group, as they became available in the Middle East yesterday. Over 5,000 units have been pre-ordered and will be distributed in the coming days.
The Honor 6 Plus is the first smartphone device to feature a bionic parallel and dual rear camera with super max aperture.
At retail price of Dh1,399, the phone can be pre-ordered exclusively on souq.com.
Dubai Duty Free Middle East's best travel retailer
Dubai Duty Free bagged the 'Middle East Travel Retailer of the Year' for the 15th time at the recent Duty Free News International (DFNI) Asia/Pacific Awards for Travel-Retail Excellence held in Singapore.
Sean Staunton, vice president for operations, and Saba Tahir, vice president for purchasing, received the award from DFNI publisher Amanda Felix along with Kapila Gohel, DFNI deputy editor.
The DFNI awards are a celebration of the very best in the duty free industry in the Asia/Pacific Region and are based on votes received from industry partners.
Moresque perfumes launched
Paris Gallery, a leading luxury retailer in the region, has announced the launch of Moresque, a brand that pays tribute to the legacy of Arabic perfumery, art and culture. The brand’s name and identity take inspiration from the splendor of Moorish civilization and architecture.
Moresque perfumes are available exclusively at Paris Gallery stores in Al Ain Mall (Al Ain), Marina Mall (Abu Dhabi) and Dubai Festival City, The Dubai Mall and City Centre Mirdif (Dubai).
Iittala in UAE
Iittala, a part of leading supplier of branded consumer products for the home garden and outdoors Fiskars Group, is set to enter the retail market in the UAE. It will open a shop-in-shop at the Jashanmal Department Store in the Dubai Mall, next month.
The Finnish design brand Iittala will bring Scandinavian lifestyle and design to the UAE for the first time.
Oman's events hub
Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC), the sultanate’s landmark business events hub, has revealed its latest 3D structures and aerial drone images in the lead up to its opening in 2016, at an event in Frankfurt, Germany.
The images were revealed at a press conference held in Imex Frankfurt 2015, the leading worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.
The centre will feature two tiered auditoriums to seat 3,200 and 450 people, while the five exhibition halls will feature 22,000 sq m of column-free exhibition space. Hall 1 will have a superior fit-out, specialised acoustic treatment, advanced lighting and rigging requirements to act as a multi-purpose space for plenary sessions, concerts, performances and gala dinners on a larger scale. Halls 1 and 2 combined will seat up to 10,000 in theatre-style.
The centre will also include an additional 13 meeting rooms for 80-300 delegates, two well-appointed ballrooms to seat up to 2,590, 10 hospitality suites, a VIP Pavilion, a spacious food-court and a multi-storey car park with a capacity for 4,000 vehicles.
UAE foreign minister visits Expo Milano 2015
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the UAE, was welcomed at the Etihad Airways and Alitalia joint pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 this week.
Al Nahyan was given a tour of the airlines’ two-storey pavilion by Abdul Qader Hussein Ahmed, Etihad’s vice president - government and international affairs, and members of the airline’s Emirati graduate management programme, who are part of the onsite team at Expo Milano 2015.
Highlights of the ground floor include a multimedia Social Hub and an Imagination Lounge whereas the first floor provides an exclusive lounge for selected guests to experience the airlines’ products.
Air Arabia launches new City Terminal Check-in
Low-cost carrier Air Arabia has expanded its popular City Terminal Check-in network with the opening of a new facility at the Al Ghurair Centre in Dubai, UAE.
The latest facility, located on the ground floor of the Al Ghurair Centre in Deira, was inaugurated by Adel A Ali, Group chief executive officer of Air Arabia.
The new centre will operate seven days a week, from 10 am to 10 pm. It is equipped to accept baggage from 24 up to three hours before departure, which is then transported straight to Sharjah International Airport.
Desso, a leading European carpet manufacturer, has launched Luminous Carpets, a practical application for high traffic sites such as airports. As a result of a collaborative partnership between Philips Lighting and Desso, the carpets integrate LED lighting and light transmissive carpets to provide a patented flooring solution for use in high-traffic environments where signage, images and messages are key for the safe and organised movement of people.
Wall of the town
Kens & Company, a provider of quality finishes and Studio E Hand Painted Wallpaper have partnered bring to the Gulf their collection of authentic Italian polished plaster and artisan metal-leaf as wallpaper.
Unlike costly, site-applied polished plaster finishes with problematic maintenance issues such as cracking and chipping, Studio E Venetian Plaster Collection Wallpaper will not crack or chip - even at corners.
A damaged strip can easily and quickly be replaced with a fresh one so the installation looks perfect again.
Molten Me in Dubai
Leading dessert brand Molten Me has opened its second outlet in the UAE after Abu Dhabi, in Dubai, in collaboration with Glee Hospitality Solutions. - TradeArabia News Service
Mahmoud Obaidi showcases The Imposter Project at the 56th Venice Biennale, an international art exhibition alongside eight notable artists from the Arab World. The exhibition takes place from May 9 to November 22 at the Giardini, the Arsenale and in various locations across the city of Venice.
Obaidi explores the subject of political propaganda through different modes of communication and imagery.
FM Expo opens
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and chairman of Dubai Municipality, led other high-level government officials in the inauguration of FM Expo 2015, the largest dedicated facilities management exhibition in the Middle East, today (May 18), at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The region’s longest-running FM event is being held alongside its three co-located events – Middle East Waste & Recycling, Commercial Cleaning & Hygiene, and Elevators & Access Control – which together will offer visitors a 360 degree view of these inter-connected community management industries. The three-day event will run until May 20.
The recently launched Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, UAE has announced that the biennial contest will offer prizes worth a total of $5 million.
The event is named after the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
The first MBZIRC will require competitors to develop aerial and ground vehicles capable of executing tasks in complex, dynamic environments. The challenge will be to create a vehicle that can complete tasks in a simulated disaster response scenario.
It will involve the collaboration of a group of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) in a changing environment that requires the robots to carry out a series of tasks using autonomous navigation and environmental interactions. The challenge will be judged by an independent panel made up of international robotics experts.
Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 launched
Bahrain's Al Haddad Motors has launched the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 at an event at its showroom in Tubli. Progressive in design, the GLA 250 is a trusted day-to-day motoring companion ready for any adventure, and with good off-road capability to match.
“The GLA 250 is highly manoeuvrable around the city, lively on the open roads, and dynamic and efficient on the busy streets and highways,” said General Manager of Al Haddad Motors, Graeme Newport. “The high-quality elements, and the flexible interior clearly position the GLA as a premium crossover with a young spirit- making it the most recent model in the new entry level segment that is widening the world of Mercedes-Benz for customers in this region” added Newport.
As a versatile day-to-day companion the GLA 250 has an extremely variable interior. The rear seat backrests can not only be folded down completely, but are also adjustable for angle if required (optional). The large luggage compartment (421 - 1235 litres) is well laid-out and can be loaded without difficulty thanks to the low loading sill and the wide tailgate, which opens and closes automatically as an option.
The GLA 250 exclusively with "Urban" line features a radiator grille with two silver-painted louvres and chrome inserts, 19-inch 5-spoke light-alloy wheels and also a twin-pipe exhaust system with chrome-plated tailpipe trim integrated into the bumper.
Herreras in Dubai
Internationally renowned designers, Carolina Herrera and Carolina Herrera de Baez visited Paris Gallery, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE, recently. The mother-daughter duo received a guided tour of Paris Gallery’s largest luxury store in the city by Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim, CEO of the Paris Gallery Group of Companies.
As an internationally renowned fashion designer and mother of four daughters, Carolina Herrera has built a rich heritage and legacy. Her daughter, Carolina Herrera de Baez joined the family business in 1997 as a creative director at Herrera’s House of Fragrances.
Prior to the store visit, at the Carolina Herrera podium at the Fashion Catwalk, located near to the Paris Gallery store, a crowd of shoppers gathered around to witness the duo launch Herrera Confidential, in the presence of Al Fahim. Herrera Confidential is the most exclusive collection of perfumes that blends the traditional with the contemporary. This unique collection is exclusively available at Paris Gallery and consists of six fragrances and four fragrant pure oils.