Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jumeirah Lakes Towers,JLT, Dubai

Sunday, March 28, 2010

La Martina welcomes 14 renowned polo players participating in Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge 2010

La Martina welcomes 14 renowned polo players participating in Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge 2010

Dubai, UAE, 28th March, 2010: La Martina, the renowned Argentinean brand behind a wide array of world class polo fashion products, welcomed 14 international polo players at its signature store at The Dubai Mall.

Ayman Hanbali, Marketing Manager, La Martina, said: "It was a pleasure and privilege to welcome polo players of world class caliber. The players shopped to their heart's content at our store and we were pleased to see that they were impressed by the ambience and polo spirit prevailing in the store".

"La Martina first established a name for itself as a designer of leather gods and uniforms for polo players, and over the years, the brand has diversified to add general fashion products for ladies, men and kids.
The La Martina products, though made with polo as the inspiration, are perfect for day-to-day use as well," Hanbali added.

The Dubai Mall store of La Martina is among the top La Martina outlets in the world and the only one of its kind in the region. Each La Martina product is meticulously designed, produced and tested to ensure highest quality standards to cater to the requirements of general customers as well as professional and amateur polo players.

La Martina is the official supplier for the Cartier Dubai international Polo Cup for the 5th year in a row.

La Martina has come closer to its region’s customers through the its outlet at The Dubai Mall which is spread over an area of 400 square meters and designed to reflect La Martina international standards with an Arabian touch.

La Martina’s retail store in Dubai’s biggest shopping mall is a beautiful and richly decorated venue where customers can browse and shop in an ideal living-room environment. The classic La Martina style has been tailored specifically to the Middle East market, to create a store with black and white marbled floor tiles, vintage chandeliers contemporized through the use of black lampshades and antique furniture shipped from Argentina.

Photo Caption: Left to right: Sunjay Kapur (Cartier team), Clive Reid (Desert Palm), Pete Webb (Desert Palm), Chris Hyde (Cartier), Simran Shergill (Cartier) and Richard Le Poer (Julius Baer).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

RTA inaugurates online taxi booking service

RTA inaugurates online taxi booking service

In a step to enhance Dubai e-government applications

Roads & Transport Authority – Nashwan Att’aee:
RTA's Public Transport Agency; which oversees taxi sector in Dubai Emirate, has recently launched Online Taxi Booking service, known as e-Taxi. RTA offers this service to the residents and visitors of Dubai as it is vitally important during events that warrant prior arrangements to be made by hotels, businesses and organizations in certain occasions such as Dubai Shopping Festival. Through this service, the customer can book the required taxicab well in advance to ensure timely arrival at the required destination.

Commenting on the new service, the CEO of Public Transport Agency Mr. Essa Abdul-Rahman Al Dosari said: “RTA is always seeking to implement Dubai e-Government electronic applications through capitalizing on the world’s top-notch technological solutions. The online taxi booking service is based on having the customer’s details and address saved in the Dispatch system at the Public Transport Agency; which makes it easy to process the booking in subsequent times. A taxi can be booked 24 / 7 through accessing the link (, and this service is currently available for hotels only.

“This service is based on two key elements; the customer and cabdriver. The customer books a taxi and sends the booking request to the Dispatch Section at the Public Transport Agency. The system electronically forwards the request to the nearest taxicab available in the area of the customer. The cabdriver who receives the request is held responsible for auctioning the request and ensuring arrival to the customer on time without delay,” continued Al Dosari.

“The Online taxi booking service would be fully available to the public and all segments of the community at the end of this year. This service is poised to bring about a remarkable cut in the number of telephone calls incoming to the Dispatch Section at the Public Transport Agency. This would in turn slash the number of working hours spent by the Dispatch Section staff for processing the incoming telephone call requests, as the electronic system of the e-Taxi service is automatically operated and is highly efficient in processing the requests. This in turn would contribute to uplifting the caliber of services provided by the RTA to taxi passengers in the Emirate of Dubai,” added the CEO of Public Transport Agency.
“The launch of this service was widely received, for the time being, by the hotels in Dubai Emirate, and is expected to boost the revenues of franchise companies operating under RTA's umbrella. With the number of internet users in the UAE accounting for a high proportion of the total number of population, we anticipate a rise in the e-Taxi service requests when the service becomes available to the public on due course,” concluded Al Dossari.

Monday, March 22, 2010

La Martina to launch new products at Dubai International Horse Fair 2010

La Martina to launch new products at Dubai International Horse Fair 2010

Dubai, UAE, 22nd March, 2010: La Martina, the renowned Argentinean fashion brand specialising in a wide array of world class polo fashion products, has displayed a new set of products at the recently concluded Dubai International Horse Fair (DIHF) 2010 which was held from 18 – 20 March at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Ayman Hanbali, Marketing Manager, La Martina said: “We are looking at leveraging at Dubai’s growing position as a leading equine hub, especially in relation to the opening of the world-class Meydan Racecourse, and interacting with visitors at the Dubai International Horse Fair (DIHF) 2010.”

Hanbali added: “Running alongside the $4m Arabian Horse Championships, DIHF show has been displaying best of breed equine products and we are happy to be part of that. La Martina products have earned loyalty and a wide appeal across the globe, including the Gulf region in general and the UAE in particular.”

On the first two days of the show, La Martina's range of professional polo products included the knee pads, which are especially designed to protect the knees and prevent the rider's leg from slipping. Also, La Martina has launched a new set of boots, which are manufactured from original animal leather to give an extraordinary feel and absorb shocks, as well as its top-class saddles that reduce the pressure on a horse's back.

La Martina made its Middle East debut by opening a signature store at The Dubai Mall in 2009. This outlet offers the complete range of La Martina fashion products, including the famous polo fashion line.

Hanbali added: “La Martina first established a name for itself as a designer of leather goods and uniforms for polo players. Over the years, spurred by demand, the brand has diversified to add general fashion products for ladies, men and kids. Each product at La Martina is meticulously designed, produced and tested to ensure highest quality standards.”

La Martina aims to come closer to the region’s customers through the new outlet at The Dubai Mall which is spread over an area of 400 square meters and designed to reflect the La Martina international standards with an Arabian touch.

Hanbali added: “La Martina built its reputation on the quality of its products. People familiar with the equestrian world will at once realize that the company uses best processes, high quality materials and top expertise to stay as a global leader among companies that specialize in catering to the needs of professional and amateur horse riders.”

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dubai School Children Unveil New Hamleys Store at Mirdif City Centre

Dubai School Children Unveil New Hamleys Store at Mirdif City Centre

Dubai, March 17th, 2010: Hamleys, the world-famous toy retailer, yesterday )March 16th, 2010) announced the opening of its second store in the UAE located at the Mirdif City Centre. Eight winners from a nationwide drawing competition to “draw your favourite toy”, were invited, along with their classmates to participate in the opening parade, with winners each receiving a AED 500 gift voucher to spend within the store as well as seeing their drawings enlarged and framed as a permanent feature within the store.

The official opening began with a parade of children led by the Hamleys bear and band towards the Hamleys store where they were greeted by live radio DJ and Hamleys staff giving out party bags. Within the new interactive store, a replica of a red double-decker London bus was unveiled, as children explored the 22,000 square foot store which features a chrome race track where kids can test the latest remote control cars, a Girls World Doll house and a Disney cinema, as well as all their favourite quality toys, synonymous with Hamleys Stores. The new store also features a Hamleys Party Room, which offers customized birthday parties complete with a play area featuring a bouncy castle and bicycle track.

Nabil Daud, Managing Director and CEO of Retail Arabia International, partner of Hamleys in the Middle East, said: "Retail Arabia International is thrilled to open a new Hamleys store at the Mirdif City Centre which will serve a large local and expatriate community. Building on the success of the inaugural store at Dubai Mall which has been enthusiastically received by children and parents alike, the second Hamleys store has been strategically located to allow us to expand our presence in areas and communities where the Hamleys brand and its extensive array of premium-quality toys are widely anticipated."

Nabil Daud went on to say,”Children are the focus of our business, we listen to and learn from their comments, for that reason, we have involved as many local and international schools as possible into the opening of Hamleys at Mirdif City Centre.”

Hamleys is an internationally-recognised toy retailer with ambitious plans to grow the brand further. The flagship store on Regent Street, with over seven floors packed full of toys and games, is considered to be one of London’s major tourist attractions and receives about 5 million visitors a year. The company has developed an international reputation for choice, quality, and innovation.

About Hamleys
Hamleys is the UK’s greatest toy retailer, famous for its magical atmosphere and huge range of toys, from much loved brands to more traditional and specialty treasures. It was established nearly 250 years ago by William Hamley and its flagship store on London’s Regent Street has become a global icon within the toy industry and is among the top 10 most visited tourist destinations in London. Hamleys at The Dubai Mall occupies an anchor location of 32,000 square feet, and showcase more than 100,000 toys, gifts and gadgets from traditional favourites to the most up-to-date toys on the market. All products bear the Hamleys stamp of creativity, fun, quality and safety as well as educational play value.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fire in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Rare snake and birds found in Dubai

Rare snake and birds found in Dubai

Few rare animals, including a thread snake, Asian desert warbler and Karwan, the Eurasian thick-knee were found in the Bab Al Shams desert area recently.

Dr. Mohammed Ali Reza Khan, specialist in the Dubai Zoo and his colleagues, who took a day-long field trip to the Bab Al Shams desert area found these animals.

"We had both cloudy and clear skies and temperature was also good for long distance walking. Among other things we found and encountered a few rare animals. One among these is the very rare thread snake, which was 40cm in length, with just the thickness of a lady's hairpin. It is non-poisonous and looks more like an earthworm than a snake. It was found under a stone inside the Dubai Municipality Departmental Conservation Area No. 8 in Bab Al Shams," he said.

The second animal found by the Municipality team was an Asian desert warbler, which is one of the smallest and rarest birds of the UAE desert.

"It is less than 10cm in length and has prominent yellow eyes and legs. This bird is fed only on insects, their larvae and spiders. It is no doubt a friend of our plants and gardens," said Dr. Khan, also found a rare bird called Karwan during his trip to Bab Al Shams desert.

"Karwan is the Arabic Name for the Eurasian thick-knee. During the last century it used to be hunted with falcons. As there is no more hunting in our areas I saw three of these birds among the bases of Acacia ehrenbergiana's scattered forests in Bab Al Ahams area," he said.

During a walk in the Safa Park Dr. Khan saw another rare bird, Ashy Drongo.

"As I entered the Safa Park through gate number 3 at 3.30pm and took a left turn towards the boating lake approach road I found an Ashy Drongo chasing a Hoopoe bird to snatch food- a cut worm- larva of a garden beetle from it," he said.

"I watched it several times up to 4.30pm but could not take a picture as it was moving too much. I left the park after a while but came back next morning at 7.15am. I followed the same road inside the park and found the Ashy Drongo beyond the BBQ area No. 18 on Albizzia lebbeck, Ficus religiosa trees. Up to 8am I could take a few pictures. The Drongo was terribly harassed by the house crows," said Dr. Khan.

He said that Ashy Drongo has earlier been seen once at the Sewage Treatment Plant at Al Warsan during last December and once in Safa Park during January this year.

"So, this sighting is the third record for Dubai and fifth for the UAE. Record shows that it was first found in Abu Dhabi and Ain Al Faydah as shown in the bird recorder's information," said Dr. Khan.

Photo: 1) Thread snake 2) Asian desert warbler 3) Karwan 4) Ashy Drongo

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Times Square Center sees significant increase in footfall during DSF 2010

Times Square Center sees significant increase in footfall during DSF 2010

March 10, 2010

Times Square Center’s (TSC) participation in the 15th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival culminated with the grand raffle draw, which saw Srinivas Munja from India winning a brand new Chevrolet Cruze. Throughout the duration of DSF 2010, Times Square Center gave away attractive raffle draw prizes including Toshiba LCD TVs, Sony Home Theatres, Dell Inspiron netbook computers and gift vouchers, among others. In addition, popular TSC tenants such as Toys R Us, Sharaf DG, YellowHat and Chillout offered major discounts and promotions.

“This edition of Dubai Shopping Festival was critically important for Dubai’s retail sector after the slowdown witnessed in the previous season, and the outcome of DSF 2010 has certainly been encouraging and positive. At Times Square Center we saw a marked increase in footfall during the festival and we believe this would have positively impacted sales as well. We are confident that this trend will continue in the months ahead,” said Anthony J O’Donnell, General Manager, Times Square Center.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Jotun to showcase protective and eco-friendly coating solutions for luxury yachts at ‘Dubai Boat Show 2010’

Jotun to showcase protective and eco-friendly coating solutions for luxury yachts at ‘Dubai Boat Show 2010’

‘Megayacht Professional’ addresses demand for increased fuel efficiency, vessel protection and reduced environmental impact within the maritime industry

March 08, 2010

Jotun Paints, one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of paints and coatings, is set to highlight ‘Megayacht Professional’, a new range of protective and eco-friendly coating solutions for luxury yachts at the ‘Dubai Boat Show 2010’. The unveiling of the new coating range is in line with the manufacturer’s aim to address the growing demand for increased fuel efficiency, vessel protection and reduced environmental impact within the maritime industry. The event, which is slated to run from March 9th to 13th, 2010 at the Dubai International Marine Club - Mina Seyahi, is expected to host more than 25 super yachts exceeding 21 metres, with more than 400 boats to be put on display in the water and onshore.

Developed through leading edge technology in paint and coating production, the ‘Megayacht Professional’ range is comprised of high performance top coats, antifoulings, primers, undercoats, fillers and sealers, which have been formulated to give luxurious water vessels a silky gloss finish while keeping their underwater hulls clean. The range also includes tributylin (TBT)-free antifoulings, which provide effective protection against algae and slime for vessels that are docked for long periods of time. As a true testament to the superb quality of Jotun’s products, local yacht builders like Gulf Craft, Riviera Boat, Dry Docks World, Al Shaali Marine and Abu Dhabi Marine will showcase Jotun-painted vessels at the event.

“Dubai and Abu Dhabi are transforming itself into a global tourist destination, and is witnessing a growing number of private superyachts in its most important marinas,” said Stein Kjolberg, Regional Marine Director, Jotun Paints. “By launching this range of products, we have an excellent opportunity to help the industry resolve some of its most pressing issues, especially those pertaining to vessel protection and environment-friendliness. Our goal is to provide solutions, which will answer these concerns amidst the still very promising potential of the superyacht industry despite the economic crisis, and solidify our current standing as a leader in luxury yacht coatings market.”

The ‘Megayacht Professional’ range include the following products: ‘Megagloss’, a high gloss two-component linear polyester-polyurethane topcoat that combines extremely high gloss with extremely high resistance to UV light, with outstanding abrasion resistance and to salt spray and water; and ‘Megayacht Imperial Antifouling’, which provide superyachts that are stationary or docked for extended periods of time long lasting protection and up to 60 months of foul free service, reduced fuel consumption and increased speed. Furthermore, the range also includes ‘Megafiller Multi’, a multi-purpose solvent-free, ultra lightweight epoxy fairing compound or filler with increased resinity, which gives added durability, particularly where resistance to mechanical impact and water ingress are concerned.

“The proven effectiveness of our yacht coating solutions continues to motivate us to develop our products using leading edge technology to provide extended features and long lasting protection. As the maritime industry continues to grow, we will be investing in our research to ensure that the market has access to the best coating solutions for the magnificent megayachts being produced. Our presence at the show is part of our commitment to the Middle East maritime industry, and we are continuously building our investments in research and development to provide a unique balance of performance and economy for our clients,” concluded Kjolberg.

About Jotun
Founded in 1926 in Norway, Jotun - one of the world's leading paint manufacturers established its presence in the Middle East in 1974, with Jotun UAE Ltd. Ever since, Jotun has expanded dramatically throughout the region and is the first paint manufacturer to be awarded the ISO 9001 certification. Jotun has consistently invested in state of the art factories including the recently opened plant in the Al Quoz area of Dubai, UAE - the biggest worldwide for Jotun and the Middle East.

Jotun has been at the forefront in terms of developing products specifically suited to local conditions. Three decades of experience in the Middle East region, has helped the company produce a variety of conventional and specialized coatings - each incorporating the latest technological developments while offering performance with economy - catering to the various product segments and demands of the different markets. Today, Jotun's diverse product range includes Decorative, Protective, Marine, Floor/Concrete Protection, Powder Coatings and Intumescent coatings, bearing a solid testament to the company's reputation of being truly a single source solution for clients, consultants and contractors alike.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

288m commuters use mass transport systems in Dubai in 2009

288m commuters use mass transport systems in Dubai in 2009

Dubai Metro is set to commute 35m passengers in 2010

Al Tayer: Dubai mass transit modes lift 842k travelers a day and the number set to rise

Roads & Transport Authority – Mohammed Al Munji:
H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), revealed that RTA mass transit modes (comprising Dubai Metro, public buses, marine transport modes and taxis) had lifted more than 288.777 million persons in 2009 and the daily ridership of public transport modes exceeded 842 thousand peoples. “This number is likely to grow with the successive opening of more metro stations on the Red Line starting from April 2010 and continuing over the remaining months of the year. Dubai Metro is expected to commute about 35 million passengers in 2010 and the number of metro users is to receive a big boost with the opening of the Green Line in August 2011” stated Al Tayer.

“In keeping with RTA Strategic Plan envisioning integrated mass transit systems; which is aligned with Dubai Strategic Plan (Infrastructure Sector) that seeks to have in place an integrated roads and transportation system characterized by smooth traffic flow and high safety levels to all users, RTA is strenuously seeking to upgrade mass transit modes with a view to making them the favourite means of transportation for the people of Dubai. This drive also meets one of RTA strategic objectives vis-à-vis minimizing the use of private vehicles and raising the share of mass transportation systems from 6% in 2009 to 30% by 2020” stated RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director.

“In 2009, public bus ridership hit 120 million persons with a daily ridership of 325 thousand passengers, and the ridership of marine transport systems (abras and the water bus) was about 17 million passengers. Daily ridership was in the order of 50 thousand persons in abras, and 1500 persons in the water bus.

“Since it was launched on 09/09/2009 till the end of February 2010, Dubai Metro has lifted about 11.29 million persons with an estimated daily ridership of 80 thousand commuters. This number is likely to rise with the operation of several key metro stations such as Airport Terminal 1 Station, Karama Station, Trade Center Station and Ibn Battuta Station among others, on 25 April 2010 such that the metro ridership in 2010 is anticipated to reach 35 million persons. This number will be substantially increased with the operation of the Green Line in August 2011 as it serves vital areas as well as commercial and government offices, and passes across a densely populated area.

“Taxicabs in Dubai Emirate make about 192 thousand trips every day, lifting about 385 thousand persons each day. In 2009 taxi trips exceeded 70 million trips serving around 140.45 million persons.

“The huge investments pumped by the Government of Dubai in developing the infrastructure of transport sector have proved successful and effective. The rising growth in the number of mass transport users illustrates the evolution of public transport culture among all segments of the community, particularly with the introduction of the metro service.

“Using mass transportation has multifarious benefits to users such as bringing psychological relief, minimizing crashes, slashing fuel & maintenance expenditure for private vehicles, and ridding the public of the inconvenience of finding a parking slot; which has become one of the challenges facing most modern cities across the globe. Moreover, using public transport effectively contributes to minimizing pollution resulting from the massive number of private vehicles, triggering many illnesses; particularly respiratory diseases.

“RTA is always seeking to improve its business process through introducing innovative solutions and strategic initiatives stemmed out of its vision of providing Safe & Smooth Transport for All. It is also upgrading the quality of services rendered to the public in a way befitting the regional and global profile of Dubai in the fields of commerce, business, service, finance, property, tourism and other vital sectors” said Al Tayer in a concluding remark.

Photo captions:
 Mattar Al Tayer
 Metro riders on the rise
 Public buses linking various areas of the emirate
 Marine transport linking the shores of Dubai Creek
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