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United Arab emirates

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United Arab Emirates • InvestBank



• HH Sheikh Khalifa: A Leader for the New Century 4 • Committed Ruler Highlights Emirate’s Diversity



• Vast Infrastructure Projects with Investment

• Benchmark for Stability, Forward-Thinking Strategies 6 • Ministry of Foreign Trade Promoting Trade Liberalisation




• Dhabi Contracting


• Significant Increase in Construction




• Ministry of Economy Aims to Strengthen

• Kele Contracting


Ties with EU


• Dynamic Group Offers One-Stop

• Creating Even More Draws for Investors


Construction Solutions

• One-Stop Shop for Investors


• Visionary Leader Drawing More FDI to Ras



Al Khaimah


• Developing World-Class Healthcare





• International Healthcare Providers Welcome


• Chamber Raising Ras Al Khaimah’s

International Profile


• Franke Artemis Group


TOURISM • Unique Culture, Natural Beauty, Spectacular

FINANCE • Central Bank Celebrates 40 Years of Exemplary



• Auris Hotels




• Ras Al Khaimah’s Top 10 To See




• Hilton


• Abu Dhabi’s Top 10 To See


• Islamic Insurance and Bonds Growing



• City Seasons Group


• Union National Bank


• Sands Hotel


• Gulf Finance


• The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort


• Cristal Hotels and Resorts Group


• Al Manzel Hotel Apartments


• Financial System Solid Thanks to Crisis-Recovery Measures


The European Times is a trading name of United International Press Ltd This guide is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced, stored electronically or transmitted in any form, without the prior written permission of European Times. The European Times PO Box 685 66 - London EC1P 1XP - United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)208 371 2356 - Fax: +44 (0)208 371 2410 -

Every effort has been made to ensure information contained in this publication is correct and up-to-date. The authors and publisher accept no responsibility for any errors it may contain, or for any loss, financial or otherwise, sustained by any person using this publication.

Project Manager: Elliott Wood - International Business Analyst: Brian Franck, Carlos Gomez - Regional Manager: Aukje Oostendorp - Public Relations Coordinator: Joseph Cushing – Editorial: Emily Emerson-Le Moing – Production Coordinator: Stefanie Mentens – Head of Production: Vicky Kox – Design: Martine Vandervoort, Dirk Van Bun, Walter Vranken, Carine Thaens, Johny Verstegen


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united Arab emirates

HH Sheikh Khalifa: A Leader for the New Century His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, has been President of the UAE since 2004. HH Sheikh Khalifa has presided over major restructuring of both the federal government and the government of Abu Dhabi to implement the highest international standards.

The President has promoted a number of significant changes, including the creation of new ministries devoted to modernising government, a new focus on community development, and a political reform which allows half the officials of the Ministry of Federal National Council Affairs to be elected rather than appointed. In announcing this reform, he said in 2005, “We will embark on a march that culminates in more participation and interaction by all the citizens of the country. Today, we stand at a threshold of a new era, whose ultimate objective is to entrench the rule of law and due process, accountability, transparency and equal opportunity.”

Support for the private sector Another of HH Sheikh Khalifa’s priorities is to promote development throughout the UAE, including in the northern emirates. In Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Khalifa has pushed forward programmes which have greatly improved the efficiency of public services while lowering costs for the public. He has also supported the private sector with many initiatives, including public-private partnerships. He says, “During the early years of the UAE, it was appropriate for the government to play the leading role, but now, with a burgeoning private


His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi

sector and with a well-educated population, the time is right for the government, both local and federal, to step back and to concentrate on the core areas of government responsibility.” HH Sheikh Khalifa often urges the people of the UAE to play a larger role in the emirates’ development. He says, “It is high time for our political, religious, cultural, information, educational and civil institutions to take up their responsibilities to instil in our society a love of work, to make people understand that work means responsibility and reflects human, civil and religious values.” Concerning foreign policy, HH Sheikh Khalifa is a strong supporter of the Gulf Cooperation Council and of peace and stability throughout the Arab world and beyond. HH Sheikh Khalifa has stated that his key objective as President of the UAE is to continue on the path laid down by his father, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose legacy, he says, “Will continue to be the beacon guiding us into the future, a prosperous future where security and stability will reign.”

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Committed Ruler Highlights Emirate’s Diversity HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, wants international investors to know more about the emirate’s exceptional diversity, natural beauty, high quality of life and economic potential. He says, “We are making Ras Al Khaimah a better place for people to live, visit, and invest in. Ras Al Khaimah is competitive, efficient, investor-friendly, and only five or six hours from the EU.”

The emirate’s stunning mountain and waterfront vistas, along with its wealth of cultural, entertainment and sports options, make Ras Al Khaimah a natural for tourism. HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi points out that RAK TDA (the emirate’s Tourism and Development Authority) is implementing strategic plans for the tourism sector that offer all kinds of investment possibilities.

Open, investor-friendly economy Tourism is only one of many investment options in Ras Al Khaimah. HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi says, “Investors should take a look at our free zone and other projects which demonstrate our commitment to the industrial sector, as well as our strong GDP growth and our A-rating from Fitch. Ras Al Khaimah is a diverse, open, investor-friendly economy.” Ras Al Khaimah has made tremendous progress in recent years. HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi explains, “We are trying to give our investors the choices they need. Before, we didn’t have an industrial park on the water; now with the RAK MARITIME CITY and SAQR PORT, we do. Previously, we had no waterfront real estate available. Now we do. We have boosted the capacity of our ports by improving our loading capacity. Unloading a ship here is now ten times faster than before. We are also developing our mountains so that we will not

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah

only just enjoy their beauty from a distance.” One of Ras Al Khaimah’s competitive advantages, according to HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, is its ability to be flexible to adapt to changing markets; another is that the public and private sectors work together in harmony to ensure the emirate’s long-term prosperity. Ras Al Khaimah is currently streamlining the investment process and making it more transparent while continuing to improve quality of life. HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi concludes, “We aim for Ras Al Khaimah to be the kind of place where foreign talent would want to live, because in addition to business prospects they can count on safety, natural beauty, good education and healthcare, and world-class services. I want to create a better future for our people.”


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united Arab emirates

Benchmark for Stability, Forward-Thinking Strategies The United Arab Emirates – home of stunning developments from the world’s tallest tower (Dubai’s Burj Khalifa) to the world’s first carbon-neutral city – is the product of an impressive transformation. Following the discovery of oil in the region more than 30 years ago, dedicated, forward-thinking local leaders used their oil revenues to transform isolated, impoverished desert emirates into a unified, thriving, modern state with a very high standard of living.

Successful economic diversification Today’s UAE has an open economy, a sizeable trade surplus, and per capita income on par with that of leading Western-European nations. Furthermore, looking to the future, the UAE has successfully promoted economic diversification and reduced the oil and gas sector’s GDP contribution to 25%. The UAE serves as a benchmark for the Arab world in its stability, sound macroeconomic fundamentals, internationalism, and balance between traditional values and contemporary perspectives.

Jumeirah Emirates Tower


After the global crisis in 2008 and 2009, a combination of falling oil prices, collapsing real-estate values and the effects of the turmoil in international banking hit the UAE especially hard, particularly Dubai as it was heavily exposed to plummeting real-estate prices. To stimulate

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decisions. The UAE’s president and vice president are elected by the FSC for five-year terms (no term limits) from among the seven FSC members. In the September 2011 elections, voting was historically expanded in the UAE to include around 12% of the Emirati population, who voted on half of the seats on the Federal National Council, the UAE’s equivalent of a legislature. Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

the growth of the private sector as part of its recovery drive, the UAE government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up utilities to greater private-sector involvement. The UAE’s free-trade zones, offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes, along with many other incentives have brought in significant FDI. In 2011, the UAE government announced a multi-year, €1.3 billion(US$1.6 billion) infrastructure-investment plan for the poorer northern emirates. This project is designed not only to improve the standard of living in these areas but also to create new investment opportunities. The future is looking bright. In spite of a decline in oil prices, the UAE economy should grow by 4.5% this year, according to a recent report by Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Company. The UAE is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Four-fifths of the UAE is desert but with a great variety of landscapes, from the towering red dunes of the Liwa to the rich palm-filled oases of Al Ain, and from the precipitous Hajar Mountains to the more fertile stretches of the coastal plains.

Headed by HH Sheikh Khalifa since 2004 The UAE has been headed by President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayid Al Nahyan, who is also ruler of Abu Dhabi, since 2004, followed by Vice-President and Prime Minister HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (since January 2006) and Deputy Prime Ministers HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The UAE cabinet is the Council of Ministers, appointed by the president. The Federal Supreme Council (FSC), composed of the seven emirate rulers, is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE; it establishes general policies and sanctions federal legislation. The rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai have effective veto power in its

The UAE has demonstrated generosity with its oil revenues and a moderate foreign-policy stance, giving it the credibility to play a vital role in regional affairs, particularly in its position as a leading member of OPEC. On the international front, the UAE has proved a strong advocate of developing nations throughout the world, providing substantial economic and financial support, while steadily opening its economy to foreign investment and partnerships. The UAE serves as an example to other countries in its willingness to invest major portions of its state revenues in projects to improve the quality of life of its citizens.

Dubai city by night

Partnering with the EU The UAE has well-established trade and cultural ties with the EU and cooperates in a number of bilateral initiatives with the EU and with individual EU member countries. The Cooperation Agreement signed between the EU and the Gulf Coporation Council countries (including the UAE) in 1988 paved the way for a new level of relations between the two regions. A free-trade agreement is under discussion. To keep its development on track, the UAE continues to invest in its infrastructure, including housing, renewable energy, health and education facilities, telecom networks and transport systems. One measure of the UAE’s success is that this year it was ranked first regionally and 11th globally in the availability and quality of its transport infrastructure by the World Economic Forum’s Global Enabling Trade Report 2012. As a business base, high-potential investment target, and symbol of stability, the UAE will continue to lead the way.


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united Arab emirates

Ministry of Foreign Trade Promoting Trade Liberalisation The UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade aims to strengthen the UAE’s ties with its trade partners, help the UAE enter new markets, and attract more FDI. The UAE has already positioned itself as a leading global trade centre. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry, explains, “The UAE is ranked the fourth largest re-export hub in the world. If you look at the size of the UAE in terms of population and geography, it is small, but if you look at the UAE’s trade activities, in 2010 we were 19th in the world in terms of commodity exports, according to the World Trade Organisation.” As part of its mission, the Ministry of Foreign Trade is driving forward the UAE’s free trade negotiations with different countries. The UAE already has a customs union with the GCC block and has signed bilateral trade agreements with other countries and trade blocks. Through the GCC umbrella, the UAE now has free trade agreements with EFTA and Singapore. “The UAE believes in an open economy, trade liberalisation and trade facilitation,” the Undersecretary points out.

Free-trade agreements add to investment appeal The UAE’s open approach to foreign trade is drawing more FDI, and to keep investment flowing in, the UAE has upgraded the UAE’s business climate and regulatory environment. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh says, “Once you are committed to trade agreements with other countries, you have to update your standards of regulations. This is one of the main targets of this ministry. We look at free trade agreements as a vehicle for improving the UAE economy.” The Ministry of Foreign Trade is making international investors more aware of the UAE’s attractions as an investment target. Abdullah Ahmed Al


Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade

Saleh cites the UAE’s business friendly environment, international outlook, state-of-the-art infrastructure, high quality of life, strategic location and proven stability. A key goal for the Ministry of Foreign Trade is to conclude a free-trade agreement with the EU. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh says, “There are only one or two issues pending. I am very positive about the future of this negotiation, and both parties will benefit. The EU is the 2nd largest trade partner for the UAE, and will remain very important for us.” He concludes, “I invite EU investors to take a close look at the UAE, not just Abu Dhabi and Dubai but all the emirates.”

• Ministry of Economy Aims to Strengthen Ties with EU • Visionary Leader Drawing More FDI to Ras Al Khaimah • Chamber Raising Ras Al Khaimah’s International Profile

Business & Investment Opportunities

“We want to increase FDI flows to the UAE and fully capture the benefits of FDI by increasing the competitiveness of priority sectors.” H.E. Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shihhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy

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united Arab emirates

Ministry of Economy Aims to Strengthen Ties with EU The Ministry of Economy is driving forward the UAE’s economic development and instituting modern new policies which are dedicated to building up a diversified and competitive knowledge-based economy with investment appeal. H.E. Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shihhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, explains that attracting FDI is one of the ministry’s main goals. He says, “We want to increase FDI flows to the UAE and fully capture the benefits of FDI by increasing the competitiveness of priority sectors. We will do this through promoting high-quality production sectors with added value, enhancing access to technology and managerial know-how, supporting R&D and training activities, and encouraging the employment of locals as well as environmental protection.” One of the ministry’s recent accomplishments is the endorsement by the Cabinet of a widely-anticipated draft ‘Companies Law’ that is expected to be more favourable to investors by allowing 100% foreign ownership in specific sectors of the economy in line with the federal government’s economic diversification strategy. The Undersecretary adds, “We are also now in the home stretch of completing a comprehensive, investor-friendly new law on foreign investment.”

Attracting knowledge-based industries The Ministry of Economy aims for the industrial sector to account for 25% of the UAE’s GDP five years from now compared to the current 10%. The Undersecretary explains, “We want to focus on the promotion of knowledge-based industries.” The ministry is also promoting trade with the EU. The Undersecretary says, “We want to see the free-trade agreement between the EU and the GCC countries finalised. Meanwhile we have launched many projects with individual EU countries, particularly Germany, Italy and the UK.” The Undersecretary adds, “For a company looking for a base to serve markets in the


H.E. Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shihhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy

Middle East, North Africa, the CIS countries and South Asia – a combined market of €2 billion – the UAE is the perfect place.”

Ambitious regulatory reforms The Undersecretary explains that over the last five years, the ministry has reviewed the UAE’s entire legal framework regarding economic activities, defined strategies and goals, and drafted new laws, all with the participation of the private sector whose input in the process the ministry actively encourages. This comprehensive new framework is designed to ensure a high-quality regulatory environment which will promote efficiency, transparency and investor confidence. The Undersecretary says, “Once enacted and implemented, this framework will align the business environment with the UAE 2021 strategic vision. Such a participation-based approach underlines the ministry’s commitment to a public-private dialogue on reforming business practices.”

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Creating Even More Draws for Investors

Dubai Pearl

When the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) introduced its new Markets Law 2012 on June 7, the move highlighted the UAE’s commitment to enhancing its attractions for investors. The new law is designed to promote investor protection in a manner that better aligns the Dubai International Financial Centre to international standards, particularly EU requirements and OECD criteria. It gives investors yet another reason to target the UAE. The UAE also offers a strategic location connecting Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia; political stability; well-established free-trade and bilateral investment agreements, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Free-Trade Agreement and the Great Arab Free-Trade Agreement (GAFTA), which provide privileged access to regional and global markets; free transfer of profits, revenues and assets; a strong regulatory environment which protects investors’ interests; low customs tariffs of 0% to 5% for almost all goods; no income taxes; exceptional telecom and transport infrastructure; 100% freehold ownership in free zones; and high quality of life.

UAE Investment Map According to the UAE Investment Map, a web portal designed to provide up-to-date information on investment opportunities throughout the emirates, the UAE is ranked one of the world’s top 13 destinations for FDI. The UAE has not only successfully diversified its

economy and created a wide range of investment options, but it has also instituted the sound open-market principles, advanced infrastructure, world-class banking and financial services, high-quality education and training programmes, and well-funded research institutions which are necessary in building an economy with investment appeal. Each of the seven emirates possesses its own unique investment attractions and incentives. Leading sectors for investors in the UAE include the auto industry, energy and renewable energy, aluminium, pharmaceuticals, education and knowledge initiatives, biotechnology and life sciences, aviation, petrochemicals, ICT, financial services, electronics and engineering, and industrial technology. Local and federal investment authorities provide all kinds of services to assist foreign investors, and investorfriendly free zones have been established throughout the UAE. The Jebel Ali, Hamriyah (Sharjah), Ajman, Ahmed Bin Rashed Port and Free Zone (Umm Al-Qaiwain), Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah free zones all offer exceptional infrastructure and services. The UAE welcomes European investors, and in 2009 launched its first bilateral federal business organisation, the German-Emirati Joint Council for Industry and Commerce (AHK), in partnership with Germany’s Ministry of Technology and Economy. The new organisation signed up 300 member companies in its first year, one sign that the UAE is a very attractive destination for European investors.


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united Arab emirates

One-Stop Shop for Investors The Economic Department of Ras Al Khaimah serves as a one-stop shop for investors. Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, explains, “We have brought all the necessary operations under one roof so that an investor can come here and set up a business. It only takes about ten minutes to receive a license. We want to make life as easy as possible for investors.” The department recently reduced its fees to help support investors during the global crisis. The Economic Department has established branch offices, for example in malls which operate from 10 AM to 10 PM and on Saturday. “We decided to stay open these long hours so that we would be more available to investors,” Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim says. In another measure designed to streamline procedures, the Economic Department has trained its staff to be ‘comprehensive employees’, in that each person serving customers can handle all tasks without requiring the customer to see someone else.

GDP to top €3.5 billion this year Transparency is another priority for the Economic Department, which compiles its own database and statistics and publishes this information in © Patrik


Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, General Director RAK Economic Department

English every year. As Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim points out, “Investors need to know what the economic indicators are.” These economic indicators are very positive. Ras Al Khaimah is the second emirate in the UAE to receive a credit rating from

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Business & Investment Opportunities

Fitch ratings services, and it will achieve GDP of over €3.5 billion this year. “Ras Al Khaimah received an A rating from Fitch last year as well, even during the crisis, and we are aiming to earn AA and eventually AAA ratings,” Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim says. The department recently completed a new survey on the economy that will provide even more information for investors. Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim points out that all segments of Ras Al Khaimah’s economy are growing. Tourism now accounts for around 3% of GDP, while industry contributes 33%. “We believe our industrial sector’s contribution will rise to 40% next year,” Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim explains. Ras Al Khaimah’s GDP was growing by 20% annually before the global crisis and even during the crisis managed to achieve a 6% growth in 2010. Ras Al Khaimah welcomes foreign investors, including joint ventures in the rapidly developing education and health sectors. To potential investors in the EU, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim says,

© Ras Al Khaimah Tourism

“Ras Al Khaimah offers low costs of doing business, a safe environment, high quality of life, natural beauty, a very strategic location, abundant natural resources, and a strong regulatory environment that protects investors.”


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united Arab emirates

Visionary Leader Drawing More FDI to Ras Al Khaimah Dr. Khater Massaad is an example of the kind of innovative, creative, forward-thinking leadership that has made the UAE one of the world’s most attractive investment destinations. As CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) and of RAK Ceramics, the biggest ceramics company in the world, he has an in-depth understanding of the business environment and exceptional investment potential of the UAE and of Ras Al Khaimah.

labour market, UAE membership, a world-class free zone, exceptionally attractive costs for construction and land, and high-quality services from RAKIA. Defining the RAKIA difference, he says, “We try to be very friendly, very welcoming, and very efficient. We try to make it very easy for investors.”

Top Middle East investment destination

Dr. Khater Massaad, CEO Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority

Commenting on why international investors should target Ras Al Khaimah in particular, Dr. Khater Massaad says, “In every field there is an opportunity because the UAE’s and the Gulf’s populations are growing. Here, investors setting up industrial projects can export to a population of two billion within a three-hour flight from their plant. If we take the example of RAK Ceramics, our most successful industry, we can export to 150 countries from Ras Al Khaimah. Any other industry can be successful as well. Every industry that is long term and sustainable is welcome here.” Dr. Khater Massaad adds that Ras Al Khaimah offers an advantageous


Dr. Khater Massaad notes that RAKIA is working to attract investors in many industries. He says, “Ras Al Khaimah was recently rated one of the best and most creative investment destinations in the Middle East and among the top ten in the region. In our industrial parks, we have world-class infrastructure available. RAKIA is working on many projects to bring in diverse industries, including in the automotive sector, where we would like to attract US, European and Asian manufacturers to set up plants here.” Dr. Khater Massaad is a key reason so many foreign investors have chosen Ras Al Khaimah. One satisfied investor there is Dabur, the world’s largest Ayurvedic and natural healthcare, personal care and food-products company and the fourth-largest company in India. CEO Mohit Malhotra, explains, “We evaluated Ras Al Khaimah as a possible manufacturing destination and after just one meeting with Dr. Khater Massaad, it was clear to us at Dabur that RAK was the place for us. The costs were

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Business & Investment Opportunities

© Ras Al Khaimah Tourism

lower, the licensing and regulations were all much easier, and the support from RAKIA and the RAK government was at the highest level.”

plans to double our investments in the next two years. We have already taken the first step of purchasing additional land from RAKIA, which was helpful enough to provide space contiguous to our existing factory. These are some of the intangible benefits we receive which exemplifies the level of cooperation we get from the government in Ras Al Khaimah.” Dr. Khater Massaad’s vision for Ras Al Khaimah is that it will be the industrial hub of the UAE. The emirate is well on the way to reaching this goal, judging by Dabur’s success story. Mohit Malhotra says, “Dabur’s experience in Ras Al Khaimah has been extremely positive and encouraging due to the visionary leadership of HH Sheikh Saud and Dr. Khater Massaad. We are thankful and indebted to them for their support and contribution to Dabur’s success in the region. They have helped and facilitated us whenever needed and I would recommend all companies to come and invest here. Follow our footsteps and invest in Ras Al Khaimah.”

Dabur is the kind of company that Ras Al Khaimah particularly welcomes, since it has a very international outlook and is open to partnerships. Mohit Malhotra explains, “As part of our long-term growth strategy through a mix of organic and inorganic enablers, Dabur made its first international acquisitions in 2010 and 2011 by acquiring two companies, one in Turkey and one in the US. Strategic acquisitions are critical for gaining access to new markets and advanced technologies to leverage inter-company strengths and scale in both the front-end and back-end of the business value chain. We are open to evaluating such mutually beneficial partnerships in the future.” Dabur also focuses on corporate social responsibility, a top priority in Ras Al Khaimah. Mohit Malhotra points out, “Social responsibility is one of the key strategic intents of Dabur. We have a vision of dedicating ourselves to the health and well-being of every household. Dabur wants to be the preferred company to meet the health and personal grooming needs of our target consumers with safe, efficacious, natural solutions by synthesising our deep knowledge of herbs with modern science.”

Dabur set to reinvest Dabur has been so satisfied with its investment in Ras Al Khaimah that it plans to expand there. Mohit Malhotra says, “We currently have approximately 100,000 sq m in Ras Al Khaimah and have ambitious


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united Arab emirates


Brand Powerhouse in RAK The establishment of JBF RAK has provided India’s JBF Industries a springboard to pursue its ambition to access to the global market.

JBF Group, founded in 1982, has grown to become an industry leader in manufacturing polyester chips and is now ranked one of the top five players in India’s polyester market through its production of partially oriented yarns (POY). JBF’s backward-integrated projects in manufacturing polyester chips have helped the group increase its turnover by a factor of 250 since JBF became a publicly limited company in 1986. JBF chose Ras Al Khaimah as its base in the Middle East and began production there in 2007. Cheerag Arya, CEO of JBF RAK LLC, explains, “The company found that project costs in RAK are around 20% to 25% lower than in other Middle East countries, mainly on account of RAK’s better logistics, low overheads and lack of bureaucratic delays.”

All measures have been incorporated to ensure that all the emissions are kept to the standard of the strictest environmental regulations in the world. “We have around 800 employees striving to provide world-class quality products and services to our global accounts. We serve the leading converters and the brand owners in key markets like North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. We have been moving forward aggressively on many fronts, to capitalise on solid-growth opportunities, to improve our operating efficiency and expand our global presence to sharpen our business portfolio. We are actively engaged in creating long-term growth opportunities by developing customised products and solutions for the packaging industry,” says Cheerag Arya.

JBF RAK LLC is a state-of-the-art site dedicated to polyester packaging applications, namely SSP bottle grade resins and BOPET films. The company has built up expertise in providing industrial raw material for polyester packaging application mainly to the Food & Beverage industry. JBF RAK LLC produces 400,000 tons per annum (TPA) of bottle grade PET Resin and 100,000 TPA of BOPET Film, under the brand name ARYA PET. The state-of-the-art plant has been designed and built with the most modern technology from UOP SINCO, Italy and DORNIER, Germany.


PO Box 6574, Al Jazeera Al Hamra Ras Al Khaimah Tel: +971 72 44 7269 +971 72 04 7100

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Business & Investment Opportunities

Chamber Raising Ras Al Khaimah’s International Profile The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ras Al Khaimah is committed to supporting both the private and public sector. Yousef Obaid Al Neaimi, Chairman, explains, “Our primary mission is to invest in our people and in RAK’s business sector. We want to help small, medium and large companies achieve success here, and we aim to provide quality service to the community.”

One of the current goals for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is to strengthen ties between RAK and the EU. The UAE has already proved its competitive strengths in many sectors, including in the aviation industry, and many EU countries recognise the UAE’s investment potential. RAK’s particular advantages are less well known, however. Yousef Obaid Al Neaimi says, “Awareness of the UAE is high in Germany for Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but not for RAK. We want to change this.

Yousef Obaid Al Neaimi, Chairman Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry


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united Arab emirates

We believe RAK has strong investment opportunities for the EU, specifically Germany.”

“RAK’s tourism arrivals are expected to more than double over the next three years.” Tourism arrivals growing rapidly RAK’s fast growing tourism industry is a key reason international investors should explore opportunities there. Yousef Obaid Al Neaimi points out, “RAK’s tourism arrivals are expected to more than double over the next three years. In fact, tourism is the best industry to develop in RAK. We really need more international hotels. Ras Al Khaimah has a wonderful climate, mountains, sea, camping, the desert, diving, snorkelling, hot water springs, and an


expanding airport. RAK is still authentic as one can see and feel real, traditional culture here.” RAK’s top tourism markets are Germany and Russia, but the emirate aims to promote its tourism attractions worldwide. Tourism is not the only sector with growth potential in RAK. A range of industrial enterprises are also thriving there, boosted by RAK’s free zones and strategic location. There are several successful foreign investors, while RAK has also attracted FDI to its glass, cement, ceramics and pharmaceuticals industries. Current foreign investors in RAK are from all over the world, including China, Iran, the EU, the UK and India, and many more. The RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes the chance to form productive partnerships with foreign investors. Yousef Obaid Al Neaimi says, “We have many projects on the design table for our future. We want to further work with the private sector to build up all our high potential business activities and to ensure high quality of life for the people of RAK.”

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Business & Investment Opportunities

Franke Artemis Group

Extending the GCC Footprint Franke Artemis Group is a successful International Group from Switzerland. The Group includes 81 companies, is found in 40 countries and has close to 50 production sites spread across Europe, America, Africa and Asia. Franke retains the number one position in beer kegs, kitchen sinks and taps as well as in kitchens supplied to the quick service restaurant industry. The focus worldwide is on quality, reliability, innovation, industry knowledge and environmental sustainability.

Continual growth in tough times Franke Artemis Group is one of the world-leading providers of intelligent washroom solutions to both the public and semi-public sectors. Franke was established in Ras Al Khaimah in 2008 to manufacture washrooms and special fabricated products from its new manufacturing site. Alexander Pieper, Managing Director, says, “This site has given Franke a strong presence in the Middle East with penetration into markets such as Qatar, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and there are additional markets on the future horizon.” “Logistically RAK was a perfect location for the region, and has proven a quality investment as the company continues to grow on a monthly rate, with employees doubling in the last year, from 25 to 51 and expectations to continue at such a rate throughout 2012 and reach 80 employees by the end of the year,” Alexander Pieper explains. Franke plans to continually increase an already strong footprint inside the markets within the GCC. The group sees potential as monthly numbers increase. The first priority in Ras Al Khaimah is developing the sales team and to provide expedient solutions for logistics. This will be accomplished when further investment in a new logistics centre is complete.

Appreciation of investment environment Ras Al Khaimah is very flexible compared to other Emirates. The government of RAK is very close to its people and pays close attention to its investors like Franke.

Alexander Pieper, Managing Director

Alexander Pieper explains, “The costs overall are low, with no taxes, and low housing and labour costs.” Ras Al Khaimah is a perfect place to do business. Franke is grateful the RAK Government is very approachable and tentative to international investor’s needs. “They are happy to accommodate to a Swiss company and we appreciate the environment given to Franke here in RAK”, says Alexander Pieper.

Openness to partnerships for future growth Franke prides itself on being expert partners, dedicated to creating complete washroom systems that outshine the rest in functionality, design and durability. Franke in RAK is open for partnerships locally, specifically in plastic moulding. “We offer total solutions which is positively appreciated by architects,” says Alexander Pieper. One initiative in Ras Al Khaimah is challenging the architects to become greener. The environment is a priority and Franke wants to showcase itself as a green company. Alexander Pieper’s personal message to foreign investors and potential companies, “Come and experience Ras Al Khaimah as a quality destination for doing business. Franke is a free trade zone success model known for its quality, reliability and strong presence in the region.”


• Islamic Insurance and Bonds Growing Exponentially • Financial System Solid Thanks to Crisis-Recovery Measures


“The EU is very important to us. The financial flow from Europe to the UAE has been significant and we want to make sure that this flow continues to be strong.” H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor Central Bank

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Central Bank Celebrates 40 Years of Exemplary Service The Central Bank of the UAE celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, marking four decades of impressive accomplishments that have helped to build strong foundations for the UAE’s economic development. H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor, explains, “We have put new policies in place concerning implementing Basel Three criteria and boosting banks’ liquidity and the banking system’s reserves. We aim to increase value for shareholders.” The Central Bank’s mission is to formulate and implement banking, credit and monetary policies that will ensure sustainable, balanced growth for the UAE economy. The Central Bank is also working to maintain a fixed exchange rate of the dirham against the US dollar and to maintain the free convertibility of the national currency into foreign currencies. The Central Bank serves as the ‘Bank of Banks’ and the UAE government’s bank and financial adviser. The Central Bank is currently expanding personal banking services, including personal consumer loans; these efforts have resulted in a growth in deposits in 2011. The Central Bank is also working to upgrade corporate governance in UAE banks and to balance local and international markets.

H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor Central Bank

Strengthening the UAE’s ties to the EU is a key goal for the Central Bank. H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi points out, “The EU is very important to us. We rely on EU countries for trade and we depend on Europe for 20% of our imports, 26% counting the UK. The financial flow from Europe to the UAE has been significant and we want to make sure that this flow continues to be strong.”

Cutting-edge IT systems and services The Central Bank has been steadily upgrading its IT systems and services, and has created ICCS electronic banking using imaging of checks. H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi says, “We implemented

ICCS three years ago and it has been very successful. We worked with the Ministry of Labour concerning a wage protection system and now four million people are getting paid through our ICCS system.” One of the recent tasks of the Central Bank has been to help the UAE cope with the economic slowdown caused by the global financial crisis. As H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi points out, the slowdown has had some benefits for investors, including reducing the costs of doing business in the UAE. In the future, he adds, the Central Bank aims to ensure ‘stable resources’ for all UAE banks and to continue to serve as a bridge between other countries and the UAE.


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united Arab emirates


Multi-line Abu Dhabi-based investment firm leads the way of the Emirati financial services industry MENACORP is a diversified, multi-line investment institution, licensed and regulated by the Securities and Commodities Authority of the United Arab Emirates. With its headquarters in Abu Dhabi and a secondary office in Dubai, MENACORP’s activity is at the heart of the Emirati financial services industry. The company offers world-class expertise and execution in the fields of investment banking, stockbrokerage, asset management and financial research. MENACORP has come a long way in a very challenging market and has garnered a vast client base including government bodies, insurance companies, corporations, private offices and distinguished ultrahigh net worth individuals. While most of its UAE-based competitors were stopping their operations or reducing their exposure as a consequence of the international financial crisis, MENACORP recruited some of the most talented professionals in the UAE and substantially increased its market share positioning itself as a well-established market leader both in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Another example of MENACORP’s commitment toward its clients is that the company’s financial research department is now the number one in UAE in terms of listed companies covered offering


Fathi Ben Grira, CEO of MENACORP, receiving an award from the Minister of Economy His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori and from the CEO of the SCA, Abdullah Al Tarifi

investors an independent view on the most active stocks of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Dubai Financial Market. But what makes MENACORP really different is its unique mix of deep local roots – MENACORP’s professionals have a direct and privileged access to some of the wealthiest families in the region – and international sophistication, allowing the company to serve locally global institutional investors.

MENACORP is backed by one of the largest and most diversified Emirati conglomerate, the Bin Hamoodah Group – MENACORP’s main shareholder. “Since 1967, our Group’s reputation has been built on our capacity to successfully deliver each time we commit and we are proud that MENACORP shares the same DNA,” said Hamad Ghanim Bin Hamoodah, the company’s Chairman. “Our vision is clear, we are confident in the future and we are convinced that MENACORP will play a major role in the development of the financial services industry in the UAE. The local markets offer plenty of opportunities and the authorities are, step by step, implementing the right framework to increase our international visibility,” he added. The man in charge of implementing this vision is the company’s CEO, Fathi Ben Grira. A former corporate lawyer with the US law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and investment banker with Lazard, Fathi Ben Grira’s priority was to make sure that MENACORP complies with the highest standards in the financial world. “Our goal was to make sure that our local clients receive the same quality of service they are used to when dealing with major US or European financial institutions for their international investments. At the same time, we invested a lot of time and energy to be able to guarantee these major international

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Islamic Insurance and Bonds Growing Exponentially

institutions that we are the right people to deal with for their transactions on UAE markets or for their business development needs in the Middle East and North Africa region,” explained Fathi Ben Grira. “However, we will never lose our local touch and we will never compromise on what makes us unique in our market: the intimacy with our clients and the strong relationship we have with them,” he concluded. This personal relationship is at the heart of the strategy developed by MENACORP. On a day-to-day basis, the Sales, Brokerage and Business Development team, arguably the largest sales team of the country for a financial services firm, stays in touch with the company’s clients and brings them recommendations and investment ideas which may include transactions on listed equities but also M&A transactions or acquisitions of units in a foreign investment vehicle for example.

“We are confident in the future and we are convinced that MENACORP will play a major role in the development of the financial services industry in the UAE.”

Volatility in bond and equity markets along with the Eurozone crisis are drawing new investors to Islamic financial services, particularly Islamic insurance (Takaful) and Islamic bonds (sukuk). The UAE has positioned itself as one of the leading sources for these products.

Hamad Ghanem Bin Hamoodah, Chairman

Last year was a record year for the global sukuk market, with over €3.5 billion in issues between January and November 2011. This year is expected to be equally strong, especially since over the first half of 2012, sukuks have outperformed most conventional bonds. One factor behind sukuk growth is Dubai’s recovery from crisis. In 2009, many feared that sukuks issued in Dubai would not be repaid, but that fear has proved to be unfounded.

With the recent developments in the Emirati regulations governing the distribution of investment products in the UAE – requiring notably that foreign financial institutions either get the prior approval of the Securities and Commodities Authority or partner with a UAE-licensed entity in order to market their products locally – MENACORP is definitely well positioned to be the trusted Emirati business partner for international financial institutions targeting clients and investors based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The Takaful (Islamic insurance) industry has also seen exceptional growth in recent years and is expanding particularly rapidly in the GCC countries. Ernst and Young predicts that the international Takaful industry will reach a total value of €19.9 billion by the end of 2015, and Deutsche Bank forecasts that the Islamic-finance sector overall will almost double over the next four years to reach a total €14.4 trillion in assets worldwide. Sukuks and Takaful are two key factors driving that growth.


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united Arab emirates

Union National Bank

Leading Bank Reports another Year of Stellar Performance Union National Bank – consistently ranked one of the world’s best performing banks – achieved another stellar performance in fiscal year 2011, reporting a record consolidated profit of €309.9 million (AED1.5 billion) for an increase of 11.1% over 2010. Commenting on these impressive results, His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the bank’s Chairman, said, “The prudent approach adopted by Union National Bank is reflected in the consistent performance of the bank over many years, positioning it strongly as a leading customer focused bank.” In fact, every year from 1999, when it was restructured, to the present, Union National Bank has been ranked the top bank in Abu Dhabi in average annual dividends for its shareholders. CEO Mohammad Nasr Abdeen explains, “We have always grown and performed well and we continue to expand and increase our presence in the local banking industry. Our mission is to be the UAE’s leading bank, not in size but in quality. We are ranked number five in size but we are number one in quality!”

Maintaining A+ rating with stable outlook Union National Bank remained profitable even during the 2008 financial crisis and is still profitable today,


Mohammad Nasr Abdeen, CEO

maintaining an A+ rating with a stable outlook. “We are one of very few banks that have maintained this stable rating through this period, and we have the figures to prove it,” Mohammad Nasr Abdeen says proudly. One reason Union National Bank is prized by its customers is the bank’s rapid decision making. Mohammad Nasr Abdeen points out, “Our business is not at all bureaucratic. Our decision-making processes here are among the fastest in the world! We have a set turnaround time for each and every decision on every level, and

it is hard for even world leading banks and companies to meet these standards. We are very professional in this regard and this is one of the major reasons for high satisfaction among our customers.”

Supporting Abu Dhabi Union National Bank supports many corporate social responsibility projects, including rehabilitation centres, educational programmes, environmental initiatives and more. In its role as a provider of corporate financing, the bank has also played

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a significant role in spurring on the growth of the local private sector. The bank is committed to playing a key role in Abu Dhabi’s ongoing development. While it will continue to focus on Abu Dhabi and the UAE, Union National Bank is currently expanding to Qatar and Egypt. Over the past few years, the bank opened 22 more branches of its subsidiary company in Egypt and boosted its profits there by 25%, an impressive record in a troubled global economy. In its quest for excellence, UNB has adopted the Total Quality Management concepts and systems and

business excellence framework. In the process, it has received several prestigious accolades and third party validations. The Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award (SKEA) received in 2002 was followed by SKEA Gold in 2005 and again in 2009, thereby becoming the only organisation to have won the SKEA Gold twice. UNB is also a winner of the prestigious Dubai Quality Award in 2006 and 2009 as well as the MRM Business Award in 2009. In 2010 UNB received the Bank of the Year award at the 2010 Arabian Business Achievements award. In addition, the UNB CEO received the CEO of the Year Award at the CEO Middle East Awards 2010, Banking Category. UNB also received the Superbrand Status in the UAE for the year 2011 and 2012. In 2011 UNB became the first financial institution in the world to be certified by M/s Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) Ltd. to the Integrated Management System (IMS) comprising of three standards, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. In 2011 UNB won the coveted People’s Choice Stevie Award For Favourite Companies in the Financial Services category and was also recognised as a Distinguished Honouree in two categories of the International Business Awards, namely Company of the year Financial Services and UNB CEO Mohammad Nasr Abdeen as Executive of the Year Financial Services. In 2011 UNB also received the distinguished Golden Award for quality and excellence from the Arab Administrative Development Organisation member of the Arab League. In 2011 Union National Bank has also been ranked one of the ‘50 Safest Banks  in Emerging markets’ by Global Finance. UNB has also received an accolade at the Asian Leadership Awards 2011

by winning the ‘Dream Company to Work For’ Award. Being located in Abu Dhabi is a significant advantage for the bank, according to Mohammad Nasr Abdeen. He says, “The UAE is a haven for investment for anyone from anywhere in the world. The legal system is very fair, the decisionmaking process regarding investors is the fastest in the world, investors are safe and supported, the financial sector is very strong and stable, and we have the infrastructure and the geographical location to reach markets in many regions, including Asia, (India, Pakistan, China and others) as well as the Middle East.” He praises the government of Abu Dhabi, which has been quick to implement policies suggested by private-sector financial leaders and which has developed coherent development plans for the local economy in the coming decades. One of Union National Bank’s goals for 2012 is to remain the best service provider in the local banking sector, a challenging task given the competition. Mohammad Nasr Abdeen says, “Service is the key factor that differentiates one bank from another. We also aim to maintain high returns for our shareholders despite the economic problems around the world, and to continue to give our full support to the economy and to our country.”

Head Office - Abu Dhabi UNB Building, Salam Street Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 2 674 1600


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united Arab emirates

Gulf Finance

Pioneering SME Finance Steve Williams is Group Chief Executive Officer of the dynamic UAE-based finance company Gulf Finance. Gulf Finance is a proactive lender with a sole focus on small and medium-sized businesses.

Finance team is understandably proud of its record. Since inauguration, Gulf Finance has lent €665 million (AED3 billion) to local SMEs with write-offs comfortably at less than 1%.

The company first started 14 years ago where it engaged primarily in financing construction equipment. Steve Willimas was brought into the business in 2008 where he spearheaded a significant portfolio diversification, deleveraging its existing asset base and steering the company’s sector caps to no more than 20% in any one industry. Steve Williams says, “We got ourselves out of a sector that was dormant and high risk and are now into a very broad range of sectors. The large international banks gave the SME segment little recognition, but Gulf Finance literally jumped at the chance to focus here.”

The future of Gulf Finance has no boundaries as far as Group CEO Steve Williams is concerned. The business will begin expanding regionally in September 2012, opening its first office outside of the UAE in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “The appetite for our products in Saudi Arabia is phenomenal and we can only enter this market because of our base and strength here in the UAE,” states Steve Williams. The near future looks promising, he explains. “There is further opportunity for us to grow substantially in the UAE in the coming 3 years, and with a stronger foothold in KSA we will look to further target the outlying region.”

Strength in its people One of the things that make Gulf Finance so unique is its lending concept. The strength of the team gives Gulf Finance the ability to consider clients from all facets of the business and judge them on an individual basis, rather than the traditional approach of strict criteria and generalisation. “I have not compromised on quality,” states Steve Williams, who is proud to boast a team of international commercial and corporate bankers. “We have auditing skills, commercial due diligence and we apply best practices to make sure our clients get the right money and it’s secure for us. Everybody benefits.” The Gulf


Expansion on the horizon

Ambassador for the UAE Steve Williams places importance on promoting the United Arab Emirates as a business hub, with a firm belief that the UAE is one of the easiest and most efficient places to start a business in the world. His only caution to businesses in the UAE is to appropriately manage their growth. This, he believes, is the biggest challenge for SMEs in the region. “It is hugely important to promote the UAE and the businesses that operate here. As an expat myself, I emphasise this as an ambassadorial step,” says Steve Williams. With the flexible environment and open dialogue provided by the UAE Central Bank within the public sector, Steve Williams urges investors to take notice.

Steve Williams, Group Chief Executive Officer

“The UAE’s economy is fertile; if you plant seeds, water them, look after them, then you’ll be able to take a harvest. This will benefit the country, you as a business and everybody surrounding.”

Funding SME growth Gulf Finance is sending a message to SMEs looking to expand or start up in the region. Gulf Finance is here to lend serious money to serious businesses. Steve Williams urges, “When you get on the ground here, we can provide you with dedicated financial professionals who can work with you, make the introductions, and provide the financing.” Gulf Finance is the lender of choice for those companies that have little track record here in the UAE, yet are sophisticated businesses existing in other markets. Steve Williams concludes, “We understand how to lend to these businesses, manage the risk, and take the bigger picture into consideration. The UAE is calling for talented, driven and enthusiastic business owners. Once you bring your business here, you’ll want to start growing. Gulf Finance will help you do that.”

PO Box 35356, Dubai Tel: +971 4 501 0100

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Financial System Solid Thanks to Crisis-Recovery Measures Capital flow into the UAE surged by nearly 40% to more than €6.21 billion (US$7.6 billion) in 2011, a significant increase over the €4.49 billion (US$5.5 billion) in FDI reported in 2010, one key indicator that the UAE economy has recovered from the global crisis. The UAE’s successful FDI result is in sharp contrast to the decline in FDI in most other Arab countries last year.

These results are especially encouraging since the UAE economy was hit hard by the global financial crisis. The UAE registered 5.3% GDP growth in pre-crisis 2008; the following year, GDP was a negative 3.3%. By the second quarter of 2010, however, thanks to aggressive government measures, the UAE’s GDP began to rise and reached a positive 5% by the third quarter of 2011. At the same time, inflation had begun to dissipate, from a high of 12.3% in 2008 to 0.9% in 2011.

In fact, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reports that FDI to the Arab region slumped by nearly 35% in 2011, making the UAE’s results particularly impressive. UNCTAD also observed that the UAE was the third-largest capital exporter in the Arab world in 2011 after Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Bridging the budget gap While public debt remains a concern and the possibility of allowing public-debt bond issues at the federal level has been discussed, HE Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs, said in June this year, “We are not under pressure to issue any bonds. We are in no need to finance anything. We will be able to bridge the budget gap with our own resources.” A report by Standard Chartered Bank in January 2012 noted that although the UAE’s economy will probably grow at a slower pace in 2012 than in 2011, its outlook is more positive than those of struggling nations in the west. The bank predicts a two-speed global economy this year, with an ailing Europe and North America falling behind a more robust Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.

Financial sector rebounding The UAE’s financial sector, meanwhile, is clearly rebounding. According to SICO Investment Bank, the UAE’s banking sector will experience slower but more sustainable growth this year due to tough central bank regulations aimed at controlling excessive lending. SICO notes that Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the UAE’s third-biggest lender in market value, has kept its non-performing loans to a healthy level this year. The UAE continues to strengthen its position as a regional hub for financial services, partly because during the crisis the UAE federal government and Central Bank demonstrated a willingness to shore up the banking sector and provide unconditional support to maintain the integrity of the UAE financial system no


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matter what. Observers agree that the UAE’s financial sector remains an attractive FDI target.

Investing in financial sector Opportunities for investors include the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), an onshore financial free zone providing a secure and efficient platform for business and financial institutions to reach into and out of emerging markets in the region. The UAE is also home to numerous stock exchanges, including the successful Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Islamic banking services, in which the UAE is a global leader, present strong growth opportunities. The increasing demand for Shariah-compliant invest-

Soundness Indicators of UAE Banks 2005-2011 25 20 15 10



14 8.3

2.3 2006

Car Ratio




2.7 2005



5 0


2.6 2 2007

2.3 1.6 2008

% of Nonperforming loans

4.3 1.3 2009

5.6 1.4 2010

6.2 1.5 2011

Return on assets (ROA)

ments by both Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide has resulted in 20% annual growth in Islamic banking internationally over the past five years alone. Afaq Khan, CEO of Standard Chartered Saadiq, the Islamic-banking business of Standard Chartered Group, explains, “In the UAE, the Islamic-banking market accounted for 22% of banking activity in 2010. If the Islamic market continues to grow at historic rates, it will become a significant part of the financial system in this region.”

Dubai’s banking sector recovering Dubai, hub of the UAE’s financial sector, was particularly hurt by the global crisis, especially because of a steep drop in prices of properties in which local banks had a significant interest. The current upswing in the Dubai property market is very good news for Dubai’s banks. Dubai-based Emaar Properties reported strong demand for its €409.8 million, seven-year Islamic bond, or sukuk, offered on July 12 this year; orders worth €3.8 billion were placed for the sukuk from 185 individual investors, according to lead banks involved in the venture. The response to the bond is a significant sign of returning investor confidence in Dubai. International observers are generally bullish on the UAE. During an IMF mission to the UAE in March this year, Harald Finger, Senior Economist, IMF Middle East and Central Asia, commented, “The UAE banking sector remains resilient to shocks, thanks to substantial liquidity and capital buffers. Despite a considerable rise in non-performing loans since 2008, the banking system remains well capitalised.” He added, “The UAE’s economic recovery seems set to continue.”

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Local Bank with Global Reach InvestBank, founded 36 years ago, has positioned itself as a boutique bank offering tailor-made products and services to its customers. “We build long-term relationships with our clients and partners and aspire to be the bank of choice for all our customers,” explains General Manager Sami Rashed Farhat. InvestBank’s goals for 2012 are to continue to preserve its capital, achieve steady growth and further reinforce its risk mitigation and management. InvestBank provides a wide range of corporate and retail banking services but its focus is on project and trade financing geared to each individual client’s needs. The bank’s competitive edge comes from many factors, including its small size, which allows for more personalised services; its strong but flexible operating principles; and its very customer-focused, open-door approach. “Establishing mutual trust with our board, customers and staff is our mission. We are not a fair-weather friend; we are an all-weather friend,” Sami Rashed Farhat says.

Capital-adequacy ratio among UAE’s strongest InvestBank has a stellar track record, having grown from its initial capital of less than €2.44 million (US$3 million) to reach around €285.3 million (US$350 million) today, with around

€449.3 million (US$550 million) in shareholder funds. Sami Rashed Farhat says, “Our capital-adequacy ratios are among the best in the UAE’s banking sector, averaging 24.6% over the past four years with an average tier-one ratio of 20.6%. InvestBank has been a net lender in the market for over two decades with an average liquid-asset ratio of over 23% throughout the global liquidity crunch. In the same period, our average loan-to-deposit ratio was 97%.” With an average income-to-revenue ratio of 20.45% and an average return on assets of 2.25%, Invest Bank has delivered value to its shareholders. The bank’s average return on capital is 19.73% with an 11.43% return on total equity.

Proactive approach to crisis Unlike many other UAE banks, InvestBank’s rating remained unchanged throughout the global crisis and was recently upgraded. Sami Rashed Farhat praises the UAE’s federal and local governments, with which InvestBank enjoys excellent relations, as well as the central bank for their proactive approach and willingness to implement new regulations to cope with the crisis. In fact, the UAE was the first country in the region to offer deposit guarantees when the crisis began to develop. Sami Rashed Farhat explains, “Rules and regulations are being constantly reviewed and updated to meet future challenges. We have full confidence in the government’s fiscal-management abilities. The reform process is not a hurdle for InvestBank. We are content with our slow and steady

Sami Rashed Farhat, General Manager

progress.” He adds that InvestBank’s board of directors favours a ‘small is beautiful’ approach which avoids shortcuts and unwarranted risks. Sami Rashed Farhat advises potential investors to look into opportunities in the UAE, where they will find vast potential in all sectors. He says, “The UAE is the 2nd largest regional economy and the most stable country in the region, with visionary and progressive leadership. Having the largest number of free zones to cater to everyone’s needs is one of the reasons why global corporations have their regional bases here. It also has the best infrastructure in place to support any and all businesses. It has investor-friendly rules and regulations and is strategically located to serve as a gateway to Asia and the Arab world, and offers an excellent blend of tradition and progress.”

Al-Borj Avenue P.O. Box 1885, Sharjah


• Significant Increase in Construction • Dynamic Group Offers One-Stop Construction Solutions

Construction & Infrastructure

“The UAE is a haven for investors, with a very safe, stable investment environment.” H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Public Works

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Construction & Infrastructure

Vast Infrastructure Projects with Investment Potential H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Public Works, outlines his ministry’s current projects. European Times: What are your ministry’s priorities? H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuami: We are working with representatives of the EU to set up an infrastructure-development plan which meets EU criteria. We are similar to the EU in that the EU builds for different countries and we build for different emirates. We want to partner with infrastructure teams in the EU, because we believe this will be beneficial for both sides. We are proud to show the world what we have accomplished. The last five years we have seen a huge difference in the UAE, not only in infrastructure development but also in attitudes. Today, we are thinking internationally, not just locally. European Times: Can you describe some recent projects? H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuami: Through an international tender process, over the past three years we established world-class medical facilities that can be reached from anywhere in the UAE in only 30 minutes. We have made similar advances in education and civil defence. We have been able to continue to develop our infrastructure, including building our Dubai

H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Public Works

underground system, even during the global economic downturn. We have exceeded our own expectations. We are currently involved in building new housing developments and roads connecting the emirates, and we welcome foreign investment in these projects. Several foreign companies are already involved in building Abu Dhabi’s new international airport. European Times: What are some challenges you face? H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuami: I can think of two major challenges. One is to convince the EU and other countries to believe in us and see us as we are today, and the second is to reinforce our links with other countries so that devel-

opments in the UAE will be paralleled by developments throughout the region. European Times: What about the UAE’s investment climate? H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuami: The UAE is a haven for investors, with a very safe, stable investment environment, which is why we have many major investors who have been with us since before the crisis and are still here. In addition, the UAE offers exceptional growth potential. We continued our development programmes even during the crisis and are committed to further progress. The UAE has opened its doors to the world, to every industry, every brand and every market.


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Dhabi Contracting

Leading UAE Construction Firm Expanding Internationally Dhabi Contracting has developed a full range of international standard contracting services and has achieved LEED and ISO certification, to add value for its quality management system. The company, which employs 6,000 people, specialises in the turnkey construction of residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings and hospitality and leisure complexes throughout the UAE and abroad. Even during the global crisis, Dhabi Contracting continued to prosper and profits have been boosted by 23% in 2011. Dhabi Contracting received the prestigious Quality and Performance Award from the BID, Business Initiative Directions, in Geneva on March 11th 2012 as part of its commitment to world-class technologies and expertise and to fulfil the world’s changing needs. Dhabi Contracting has created an electro-mechanical division which allows the company to handle all the electrical and mechanical aspects of every project. Managing Director Samy Edward explains that Dhabi Contracting is very focused on environmental issues and its commitment to ‘green’ construction practices and trying to implement the ‘ESTIDAMA’ in its projects. Dhabi Contracting’s vision is to continue in its expansion into new markets and is currently looking at Eastern Europe. Samy Edward


points out, “Eastern Europe is a fresh market needing many things we can provide, and also offering many things the UAE needs, including land, food and water. We have already built several hotels for clients in Eastern Europe. Supporting the UAE is vital for us and we serve as an ambassador for our country when we have projects abroad.”

Seeking partnerships with European companies Dhabi Contracting would like to forge partnerships with European companies and has already opened offices in Amsterdam and London. Samy Edward says, “We already have projects in the UAE with a total value of €224.4 million (2.5 billion dirham)

and we would like to double that in the next three to four years. We are aiming for 50% growth for our company over the next three years.” Dhabi Contracting’s current highprofile projects include Saadiyat Beach Apartments, Abu Dhabi Police Projects Committee building, a five-star hotel for MBT, the Abu Dhabi National Bank building, new headquarters for the Ministry of Finance, the Dubai Metro, Oceana Movenpick Hotel, Palm Jumeirah Villas, and much more. Dhabi Contracting will continue to employ state-of-the-art technologies to complete projects of the highest quality in the UAE and beyond in order to be the leading provider of quality Construction and Engineering Services.

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Construction & Infrastructure

Significant Increase in Construction Projects UAE’s construction industry, hard hit by the global crisis, seems to be back on a growth track. Construction contracts worth a total of more than €11.9 billion are expected to be awarded in the UAE this year, an increase of 26.5% over the 2011 totals, according to a recent report by researchers Ventures Middle East. The report notes that the construction of buildings is expected to account for most new projects, followed by energy and infrastructure construction.

Kele Contracting Thriving Contractor Welcomes European Partners Kele Contracting is a major player in the rapidly growing regional construction industry. Founded in the UAE, Kele Contracting, a partnership between Enshaa PSC and Australian affiliate Kele International Holdings, offers a winning combination of in-depth local knowledge and international best practices. The firm specialises in construction management and contracting, value engineering, interior fit-out and design-and-build projects, and it counts various wellknown regional and international industry players among its clients. Kele is well placed to meet new construction-industry challenges and is confident that they will play a role in the continued growth, devel- Andrew Elias, CEO opment and prosperity of the UAE and the region. Kele’s high-profile projects in Dubai include numerous largescale residential, commercial high-rise, and infrastructure projects such as D1 Tower in Culture Village and Nakheel’s Dragon Mart Hotel and car park.

Sustainable projects are playing an increasingly prominent role in the Gulf region’s construction industry. Highlighting this trend, in April Abu Dhabi hosted WORLD ecoConstruct, a global conference on sustainable construction. Recent sustainable-development projects in the UAE include Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, a low-carbon, low-waste, clean-technology initiative which aims to become one of the world’s most sustainable urban areas. Tsitsi Lynn Makuni, Exhibition Director of WORLD ecoConstruct, commented at the event that the regional construction sector seems healthy again. She said, “The latest figures illustrate that the Middle East continues its aggressive development plans. The Abu Dhabi Executive Council has approved spending on a new billion-euro airport terminal, a metro system, two industrial zones, more than 20,000 new homes, 14 new hospitals and 24 new schools.”

Kele is strongly committed to the region and sponsors Synergos, a global philanthropic programme to support local entrepreneurs. The company is established throughout the UAE, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain with plans to expand across the region into Iraq, Oman, and Qatar. Kele CEO Andrew Elias says, “We are highly diversified, with a wide-ranging expertise, and have a strong track record for successful partnerships. We welcome joint ventures with European companies and can help forge strategic alliances to help them enter the Middle East market.”

Business Tower, Level 10 - Burjuman Business Tower PO Box 120780 - Dubai Tel: +971 43 51 8871 - -


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Dynamic Group Offers One-Stop Construction Solutions Al Nuaimi Group, founded in Ras Al Khaimah in 1974, has grown to become a major integrated construction enterprise with activities throughout the UAE and beyond. The group’s seven specialised divisions cover the full range of construction materials and services: Building Construction, Transport, Ready-Mixed Concrete Manufacturing, Road and Infrastructure, Foundations and Piling, Aluminium and Glass, and Application Engineering. Al Nuaimi Group’s completed projects include several cement factories and ports; Abjar Tower, RAKMALL Twin Tower with its Mall and Flex Tower; the offices of the Federal Electricity and Water Authority; Emirates Islamic Bank building; Mantled Athletic Hall for IAT; the RAK’s Arabian Automobiles showroom; and the RAK Chamber of Commerce building, among many other road and infrastructure projects within the UAE. Al Nuaimi Group is an ISO-certified company, which maintains international standards in its dealings and employs the latest technologies and equipments to deliver the projects and services on time. With years of experience and success, the Group entered into the markets of Oman, KSA and Qatar recently and has achieved commendable progress in its operations.  Al Nuaimi Group is doing the piling and foundation work in one of the largest Express-Highway projects in Oman, is participating in the development phase I of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, KSA as the ready-mix concrete supplier and is also in the negotiation stage for the 2022 projects in Qatar.  As you can see the Group plays a prominent role in the construction map of GCC countries.      Rashed Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive Officer and son of the group’s founder, explains, “We believe that multiplicity is the key to sustainable growth, which is why we established different divisions which are complementary and supplementary to each other. The success of our company can be attributed to our ability to continually identify and respond to changing demands across markets.” He adds that quality, on-time completion of projects, efficiency, a dedicated team, excellent relationship with local authorities and


Rashed Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive Officer Al Nuaimi Group

a commitment to continuous improvement are the key elements to the group’s success. In 2008, the UAE’s construction sector had many players, but today only the strongest continue to thrive, and Al Nuaimi Group is a leader among them. Defining the group’s competitive edge, Rashid Abdullah Al Nuaimi says, “What distinguishes us from our competitors is that we can offer one-stop construction solutions. We also have an excellent relationship with federal and local authorities, and our ready-mix concrete and piling activities add to our strengths.” He says that his goal is to expand the group’s reach throughout the GCC region and the Middle East as well as in Europe. Rashed Abdullah Al Nuaimi urges foreign investors to take a good look at all the exciting opportunities RAK offers, and to come to the Al Nuaimi Group for their construction needs. He says, “We can offer a complete construction solution that takes a project from the very beginning to its completion. The Group is able to provide any construction requirement in flexible terms. We approach the projects with Al Nuaimi spirit and our responsibility and accountability will never be delegated. Our strength is our quality, reputation and the satisfied customers and clients.”

• Developing World-Class Healthcare Services • International Healthcare Providers Welcome


“I want healthcare here in RAK to benchmark to the highest level of care in other countries.” Dr. Yasser Al Nuaimi, Director RAK Medical Zone

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Developing World-Class Healthcare Services Healthcare is a growth sector in RAK, and the RAK Medical Zone, overseen by the UAE Ministry of Health, is developing modern, world-class healthcare facilities and services. Dr. Yasser Al Nuaimi, Director, explains, “All our policies and regulations are set by the UAE Ministry of Health, but we handle certain issues locally.” The RAK Medical Zone includes four hospitals and 18 healthcare centres. Dr. Yasser Al Nuaimi says, “We have established primary healthcare centres dealing with special conditions like diabetes, hypertension and immunisations for children. We are all set with primary care, and now we are debating which hospitals should focus on primary care and which on secondary care. My goal is to create a well-established tertiary-care system as well, which is already happening with the new Sheikh Khalifa hospital. We are also focusing on promoting healthy lifestyles and on healthcare training at the university level.” The new 250-bed Sheikh Khalifa hospital specialises in oncology, neurosurgery, cardiology and other specific fields. “We are optimistic that this hospital will save a good number of patients, not only in RAK but also in neighbouring emirates. In fact, we chose the location of this new hospital to ensure that it would be easily accessible to people


Dr. Yasser Al Nuaimi, Director RAK Medical Zone

in RAK and beyond,” Dr. Yasser Al Nuaimi says. Other projects include renovating Sham Hospital near the Omani border and building a major new hospital to offer under one roof the care currently provided at Saqr and Obaidulla hospitals.

More patients choosing to be treated in RAK Thanks to recent improvements, more and more patients are choosing to be treated in RAK rather than travelling elsewhere. In fact, RAK’s number of repeat patients topped the one million mark last year. “We need to have more hospital beds to meet growing demand. Trust in our services has increased,” Dr. Yasser Al Nuaimi says proudly. One challenge for the ministry is that former government policies allowed for medical insurance in RAK’s private healthcare sector but not in public healthcare, which caused many medical professionals to choose to work in private facilities where salaries were higher. To address the problem, the government has now allowed medical insurance in the public healthcare sector as

well. RAK’s public health services have also been strongly supported by private industry, including by pharmaceuticals leader Julphar, RAK Ceramics, and a number of cement companies. Dr. Yasser Al Nuami explains, “Now that we are able to offer more competitive salaries, many doctors are coming back to RAK because they like the quality of life here.”

Medical and Health Sciences University The RAK Medical and Health Sciences University is playing a key role in upgrading healthcare in RAK and beyond. Vice Chancellor Dr. S. Gurumadhva Rao explains, “The RAK Medical and Health Sciences University has state-of-the-art facilities which meet international standards. The campus offers all the required facilities to support its programmes, including an

Al Zahrawi Hospital P. O. Box 5442 Oman Street Al Nakheel, Ras Al Khaimah

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RAK Medical and Health Sciences University

advanced library, laboratories, demonstration rooms, an auditorium, a gym and residence halls.”

“Now that we are able to offer more competitive salaries, many doctors are coming back to RAK because they like the quality of life here.” The RAK Medical and Health Sciences University has a very international atmosphere and welcomes the chance to partner with global educational institutions and healthcare organisations, particularly in Europe. Dr. S. Gurumadhva Rao explains, “Our university has students from 41 countries all over the globe and we are proud to make sure it is a priority for us that everyone feels comfortable no matter which corner of the world they come from. The RAK Medical and Health Sciences University is open to collaboration with international universities, especially in Europe. We encourage students and universities across Europe to partner with us and see our quality facilities, highly skilled staff, and the pleasant atmosphere we have created here in RAK.”

RAK ideal location for educational institutions Being located in RAK is a definite advantage for the RAK Medical and Health Sciences University, which benefits from the emirate’s easy access, very supportive leaders and high quality of life. As Dr. S. Gurumadhva Rao points out, “RAK provides students and their parents with a vital aspect when choosing education: safety in addition to quality. The location is close enough to large cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but has its own quiet atmosphere which is perfect for an educational environment.” RAK’s healthcare sector has significant growth potential, Dr. Yasser Al Nuaimi believes. He says, “Other emirates have successfully brought in big-name foreign hospitals and the same thing can happen here in RAK. There is sufficient growth and demand. I want healthcare here in RAK to benchmark to the highest level of care in other countries.”

RAK Medical and Health Sciences University P. O. Box 11172 Ras Al Khaimah Tel: +971 7 226 9000


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International Healthcare Providers Welcome The UAE has a strong record in healthcare, ranking first in life expectancy among the GCC countries, according to the World Health Organisation. The UAE government has developed an ambitious healthcare strategy which focuses on making the UAE a preferred destination for domestic patients and a hub for global medical tourists seeking high-quality, cost-effective procedures and treatments. The UAE’s healthcare spending is high – 24% of the federal budget in 2011 – and likely to remain so. In fact, the UAE’s total healthcare spending is projected to nearly double by 2014. The UAE has attracted significant foreign healthcare investment in spite of the global crisis, and now the UAE government is stepping up its efforts to encourage international private healthcare providers to open facilities in the emirates. The government welcomes public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the healthcare sector, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already taken major steps in this direction. In Abu Dhabi, the government has been developing PPPs in the healthcare sector since 2006, mainly management partnerships with such prestigious international hospitals as Vamed, the Cleveland Clinic, John Hopkins and Bumrungrad. Like many other nations all over the world, the UAE must cope with an aging population, rising healthcare costs, a growing need for qualified healthcare human


resources, and the creation of competitive advantages in the healthcare sector, including bringing in more cutting-edge medical equipment and technologies. One challenge for healthcare providers in the UAE is a lack of standardisation in healthcare regulations among the seven emirates, a problem the federal government is working to solve. The healthcare sector is currently overseen by the UAE Ministry of Health, the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Healthcare City.

World’s fastest population growth rate A 2011 study of the UAE’s healthcare sector by Deloitte determined that the UAE’s rapid population growth rate – the highest in the world – will continue to drive healthcare development as well as demand for world-class services. Trends include a growing need for treatment of chronic diseases among the UAE’s increasingly affluent, aging native population as well as the need for emergency and preventive care for younger members of the society, including blue-collar workers. The Deloitte study pinpoints five types of healthcare projects with particularly strong investment potential in the UAE. These are speciality-care centres, centres focussing on minor cosmetic surgery for medical tourists, long-term care centres, home-care centres, and partnerships with UAE healthcare providers.

• Unique Culture, Natural Beauty, Spectacular Resorts • Ras Al Khaimah’s Top 10 To See • Abu Dhabi’s Top 10 To See


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Unique Culture, Natural Beauty, Spectacular Resorts The UAE is transforming itself into one of the top tourism destinations on the planet. The UAE offers world-class hotels and resorts; fine restaurants featuring just about any cuisine; a clean, safe, family-friendly environment; cutting-edge infrastructure; many natural wonders and unique cultural attractions; a range of sports and adventure-travel options; and superlative shopping, from spectacular destination malls to traditional souks.

Abu Dhabi’s UNESCO World Heritage site Last year, UNESCO named Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain a World Heritage site, the first official World Heritage site in the emirates; this honour reflects growing international recognition of the UAE’s unique heritage and exceptional tourism appeal. Al Ain features the dome-shaped tombs of Hafeet, the man-made water system of falaj, and lush oases sought out by travellers for thousands of years.

Each emirate has unique attractions The National Council of Tourism and Antiquities is overseeing the UAE’s tourism programmes and is making sure the emirates develop a high-quality tourism sector while preserving their authentic local culture and traditions. Each emirate has its own special attractions.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi

tower; and Burj Al Arab, the world’s first seven-star hotel. Dubai Museum showcases the area’s seafaring past, while Shindagha Heritage Village celebrates traditional local culture and Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is a window on Dubai’s world. Shoppers delight in Dubai’s famous malls, including Burjuman, Emirates Towers Boulevard, Dubai Mall underneath Burj Khalifa, Mall of the Emirates and Ibn Battuta Mall. Visitors can bask on a beach, ski down the slopes at Ski Dubai, and check out The Palm, Dubai’s man-made island built in the shape of a palm tree. And that is just the beginning.

Cultural Capital of the Arab World

Abu Dhabi, the largest and most populous of the seven emirates, offers varied geography from pristine beaches to date-palm oases and many islands. The emirate is now the home of a wide choice of high-end hotels and resorts, and leading the list is Saadiyat Island, which offers five-star amenities and a focus on culture. The development is the home of Sheikh Zayed National Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Sharjah’s many tourism attractions include bustling Sharjah City, with its restored traditional buildings and many museums. Khor Khalid tidal creek running inland from Sharjah’s port houses an active dhow fleet, while within the Buhaira Corniche is a large lagoon with a 100-m-high fountain. The nearby Al Majaz Waterfront, with cafés, entertainment and cultural venues, has received a major upgrade in recent years.

Dubai has made headlines worldwide for its ambitious, one-of-a-kind development projects, including Jumeirah Beach with its host of up-market hotels and leisure facilities; Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest

Sharjah has several beautiful beaches, and the Sharjah Arts Area is filled with galleries and shops. Sharjah Heritage Area includes Al Hisn Fort Museum and many crafts and cultural centres, one reason UNESCO


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Burj Al Arab

named Sharjah the ‘Cultural Capital of the Arab World’ in 1998. Sharjah Desert Park outside the city is one of the emirate’s developments celebrating local natural beauty. Ajman, just northeast of Sharjah City, is the smallest of the seven emirates. It is known for its natural harbour on the Arabian Gulf, and fishing and dhow-building are still important activities. Visitors can relax on beautiful beaches, tour Ajman Museum in an 18th century fort, shop for designer brands at City Centre Mall or bargain for more traditional ware at the Iranian Souk. Small, quiet Umm al-Qaiwain, around 20 minutes by car north of Ajman, surrounds a large creek, Khor Umm al-Qaiwain, and is known for its mix of traditional and modern buildings. Umm al-Qaiwain has seven forts, an expansive beach and thriving traditional activities, from dhow-building to date-palm cultivation.

Unspoiled nature, traditional atmosphere Ras Al Khaimah, the most northerly emirate on the UAE’s west coast, lies on a fertile palm-filled plain with the rugged Hajar Mountains in the background. Ras Al Khaimah’s attractions for visitors include Ras Al Khaimah National Museum, housed in an ancient fort. Ras Al Khaimah is well known throughout the Arab world for its spectacular natural beauty and for its peaceful, traditional atmosphere. Now the emirate is developing high-end tourism facilities and services and aims to become a favoured destination for visitors from throughout the Gulf region and beyond. Fujairah is set on the UAE’s breathtaking east coast, which borders the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean. Fujairah offers stunning beaches and good diving locations along the coast along with many cultural and historic sites inland, including Al Hayl Palace, once the

ruling family’s summer retreat. Agriculture and fishing, two traditional mainstays of the economy, still flourish there. Thanks to attractions like these, the UAE is expected to welcome nine million visitors this year, a 9% increase over 2011. The UAE is ready to take its place among the world’s fastest-growing tourism destinations.

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PO Box 1946 Ras Al Khaimah Tel: +971 7 235 2233


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Experience Dubai’s hospitality with Auris Hotels Dubai has become one of the world’s top tourism destinations, thanks to its exceptional infrastructure and high-quality hotels along with its extensive shopping, entertainment, cultural and sports attractions.

Finally, our budget hotel, Auris Lodge, is unbeatable because of its location, room sizes and value for money.

On innovation and expansion We, at Auris Hotels, attach great importance to our digital reputation, online presence and booking system. That is why we continue to be innovative through our website and various online social platforms.

Auris Hotels is a Dubai-based hotel group that steps up the competition by redefining hospitality standards and committing to make our guests feel the warmth of Dubai’s hospitality. With six operational hotels and a total of 1,313 rooms and suites, as well as five new projects under development in Sharjah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Oman our hotels range from luxurious five-star hotels, to classy hotel apartments and suites and a three-star budget hotel.

Hatem Gasmi, General Manager

Wide choice of properties

We give our guests wide choices.

We also offer generously scaled and lavishly furnished hotel apartments ideal for families and long-staying guests, all of them centrally located.

All our properties feature spacious rooms, comfortable beds and showers, distinctive architecture, ideal locations, and personalised services at competitive prices.

Auris First Central and Auris Metro Central is located in the TECOM district, Auris Deira in the heart of the city and Auris Boutique next to the Mall of the Emirates.

Currently, we are looking to consolidate our expansion, specifically in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. To reach these goals, Auris Hotels welcomes productive partnerships. Auris Hotels is an ideal partner for investors in the Hotel industry. Being a Dubai-based company, we have a great exposure and big potential to grow in the region and worldwide.

Auris Hotels Tel: +971 44 55 4800

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Ras Al Khaimah’s Top 10 To See Beautiful Ras Al Khaimah, with its unspoiled coastline and rugged mountains, is positioning itself as an upscale travel destination with unique attractions. Here are 10 top things to do:

Take an adventure tour Whether you explore the desert, mountains or wadis, Ras Al Khaimah offers many opportunities for unforgettable adventures.

National Museum Housed in an ancient fort, the museum displays an intriguing collection of artefacts that will give you a sense of the emirate’s past as a centre for pearldiving, date-farming, fishing and trade.

Stroll along a beach Ras Al Khaimah has 65 km of coast lined with pristine beaches along the aquamarine Gulf.

Watch a camel race Visit Al Sawan Camel Track when races are scheduled to get a close-up look at this traditional sport.

Dive, water-ski or play a round of golf Sports-loving visitors have all kinds of options, including diving at the Emirates Maritime Sports and Diving Centre, water-skiing at Ras Al Khaimah Water Ski Club, or playing a round of golf at Tower Links Golf Course.

Go shopping Ras Al Khaimah’s Old Town is filled with traditional souks, and RAK Mall and Manar Mall offer all kinds of boutiques as well as a wealth of entertainment and dining options.

Dhayah Fort This reconstructed fort around 15 km from the city centre overlooks the village of Shimal, with its remarkable archaeological site.

Relax in hot springs Follow the locals to the hot springs of the lush Khatt oasis, in an agricultural area where roadside stalls sell local produce.

Hajar Mountains The Hajar Mountains slope into the sea and offer unforgettable vistas of one of the most picturesque areas in the Middle East.

City Hotel

Boutique Hotel Specialises in Five-Star Services City Hotel serves as the ideal base for visitors to RAK. General Manager Ahmed Soliman says, “This is a small hotel but we offer five-star services.” City Hotel is ideally located near RAK’s top business, entertainment, shopping and cultural attractions. The hotel contains a sushi and seafood restaurant, a massage centre, a ladies’ salon, bars and a nightclub. City Hotel is building its own beach facility and resort with two swimming pools, a restaurant, a nightclub and a bar. Ahmed Soliman says, “We mainly serve executive travellers now but we aim to attract more leisure travellers to City Hotel and to beautiful Ras Al Khaimah.”

Saqr Park Take the family to this popular getaway, where there are many rides and other facilities for children as well as boutiques and restaurants.

Muntaser Road, Ras Al Khaimah Tel: +971 7 227 4000 -


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Benchmark in RAK’s Tourism Sector Hilton Worldwide is helping to position Ras Al Khaimah as one of the Middle East’s leading travel destinations. In 2001, Hilton became the first international hotel group to enter RAK when it opened the 227-room Hilton Ras Al Khaimah in the city centre overlooking the creek. Now Hilton has six hotels in the emirate and has carved out a niche for itself as the emirate’s leading hotel group. Hilton’s current flagship property in RAK is the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, set on a spectacular 1.5-km private beach just five minutes from the city centre. With 324 rooms and suites and 151 beach villas, the resort offers visitors a wealth of luxurious amenities, including 13 restaurants and bars, six temperature-controlled swimming pools, a wide range of facilities for children, a Precor fitness centre, and a 2,000-sq-m spa with nine treatment rooms.

Waldorf Astoria opening in 2013 In the first quarter of 2013, the Hilton group will open a stunning new property that will set new standards in the UAE’s hotel sector: the iconic Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. The Waldorf Astoria brand is synonymous with timeless luxury and sophistication, and guests at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah can expect a truly memorable experience thanks to the highest level of service and comfort provided in spectacular and tranquil


Rob Palleschi, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton brand and Mohamed Ahmed Ali Hassan Ruqait Al Ali from Mohamed Ruquait Real Estate at the official signing of the new DoubleTree by Hilton Resort, Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah. The signing took place at the location on Marjan Island where the new hotel will be built.

surroundings. The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah will draw discerning visitors from throughout the UAE, including the sizeable local expatriate community, as well as top-level executives and leisure travellers from the Gulf region, Europe and beyond. Hilton also chose RAK as the location of its first DoubleTree property in the UAE. The DoubleTree Ras Al

Khaimah opened last year and has already earned a reputation as a top choice for families and long-stay guests. The hotel offers spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, some with kitchenettes, as well as a rooftop swimming pool next to the convivial TreeTop bar and a Fitness floor housing a 24-hour Precor Fitness Centre.

New DoubleTree on idyllic Marjan Island Hilton will also open a second DoubleTree by Hilton property on RAK’s idyllic Marjan Island, a 2.7-millionsq-m offshore development set to include luxury waterfront homes, floating villas, resorts, sports facilities and numerous beaches. In addition,

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by the end of 2012, Hilton will add the Al Hamra Fort Hotel and Beach Resort to its RAK properties after the resort has been completely upgraded to meet Hilton’s standards. RAK has long been a preferred destination for European travellers who choose the emirate for its natural beauty, tranquillity, beautiful whitesand beaches and unique cultural attractions. RAK’s number of visitors from Sweden, Denmark and Finland grew especially strongly last year, while Eastern Europe also emerged as an important source market in 2011. This year, Hilton hotels in RAK are reporting significant growth in visitors from Germany and Russia as well as a noticeable increase in weekend travellers from elsewhere in the UAE. Hilton Worldwide, with the most solidly established international hotel presence in RAK, has positioned itself as the preferred choice for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) travel segment, and now Hilton hotels and resorts

in Dubai and Abu Dhabi which can take advantage of the fact that their executives can drive to RAK instead of fly. More and more international companies from throughout the Gulf region, particularly in the pharmaceuticals sector, are choosing RAK as the location for their annual meetings, incentives, staff outings and more, and Hilton is the leader in serving this expanding travel segment. in RAK have expanded their facilities to handle larger groups. Each Hilton property in RAK has its own unique character and meeting facilities, and all can be booked through the website. Those who book such events can earn points through Hilton’s Honours Event Bonus programme.

RAK top choice for MICE visitors Thanks to its unique attractions, RAK is strengthening its reputation as a preferred destination for MICE travel in the UAE, particularly for companies

More choices for air connections New air connections to RAK are expected to boost tourism to the emirate even more. RAK Airways, the national airline, now offers flights between Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and Jeddah, Kozhikode, Bangladesh, Cairo, Doha and Bangkok, in addition to daily charter flights between RAK and Germany. RAK’s total visitor numbers are steadily increasing as the local hospitality industry and the government join forces to promote the emirate’s tourism attractions internationally. RAK has everything it takes to become a leading destination for family travel, adventure tourism, cultural visits, weekend breaks and the MICE travel segment, and Hilton is ready to offer visitors to RAK a winning combination of added value, luxury, unique charm and top-quality personalised service. Hilton is playing a key role in developing RAK’s highpotential tourism industry.

PO Box 12298 United Arab Emirates Tel:  +971 7 204 4109


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Abu Dhabi’s Top 10 To See Abu Dhabi’s diverse attractions are helping to put the UAE on the global tourism map. Here are 10 not-to-be missed sites:

The Corniche Stroll along the waterfront to get a sense of Abu Dhabi’s past and present. Skyscrapers border a well-maintained public beach along the aquamarine waters of the Gulf. The Corniche is lined with cafés and boutiques.

Abu Dhabi Heritage Village

Dhow cruise Take a sunset or dinner cruise on a traditional wooden dhow along Abu Dhabi’s picturesque coastline.

Go shopping Abu Dhabi has many malls filled with high-end boutiques, and the Madinat Zayed Gold Souk and Souk Al Mina (for carpets) are filled with temptations.

Experience the peace of the desert

Take a trip to the emirate’s past as a pearling centre where divers and boatmen tended their gardens in the local oasis.

Enjoy the remote tranquillity of the desert, taking a tour of the dunes by camel or four-wheel-drive and relaxing in lush oases. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, built to resemble an ancient fort, has ultra-luxurious amenities.

Ferrari World theme park and Yas Island

Explore an island

An ideal family destination, the Ferrari World theme park on Yas Island is filled with giant roller-coasters. Yas Island itself is one of the most ambitious tourism developments in the world, with all kinds of attractions from a water park to Abu Dhabi’s Formula One track, along with luxurious hotels, boutiques, restaurants and entertainment.

Abu Dhabi’s many islands offer a chance to snorkel, dive, kayak through mangroves, tour ancient architectural monuments, sail or just stroll along unspoiled beaches.

Saadiyat Island Stroll through the upscale development and visit an exhibit at Manarat Al Saadiyat, where you can sample delicious dishes in the restaurant and view the spectacular UAE Pavilion in the shape of a sand dune. Saadiyat Cultural District is the home of the Zayed National Museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi, a performing-arts centre and much more.

Al Ain, UNESCO World Heritage site The UAE’s first UNESCO site is a lush oasis with many ancient forts and archaeological sites. Visit the Al Ain National Museum for an insight into the history, both ancient and modern, of the UAE and see the artefacts in Hili Archaeological Gardens.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque The magnificent mosque surrounded by lush gardens honours HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ‘father of the nation’, and gives visitors a sense of his vision for Abu Dhabi.


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City Seasons Group

Ambitious Expansion Plans City Seasons Group operates a portfolio of luxury hotels in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain and Muscat, Oman. HE Sheikh Ahmad Bin Musalam Bin Ham, Vice-President City Seasons Group, says, “It all began with Bin Ham Group’s ambition to establish hotels that are relevant, cosy and stylish, in key destinations, with a focus on quality, luxury and value. This year marks a significant milestone in the history of the group. Our next hotel opening will be the five-star, 355-room Royal Rose, followed by two more new hotels in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.” The Royal Rose features 17th-century European design, baroque-inspired interior décor, individually crafted rooms and suites, a gourmet European restaurant, a Mediterranean-style restaurant featuring healthy specialities, a French brasserie, and a branded spa and health club with rooftop pools and a Jacuzzi. Other amenities include state-of-the-art board rooms, banquet and meeting facilities for up to 400 delegates, and fully automated underground parking. The Royal Rose is set to be one of Abu Dhabi landmarks, aligning the City Seasons Group with elite international hotel chains. City Seasons combines the legacy of Western architecture with traditional Arabian hospitality.

City Seasons Al Hamra Hotel Recently City Seasons celebrated the opening of the four-star City


Seasons Al Hamra Hotel Abu Dhabi. Located in the heart of the capital’s business and entertainment hub, the hotel has 310 rooms and suites, Club Floors with a private VIP lounge, conference facilities for up to 300 guests, a well-equipped fitness club, a sauna and steam room, massage service and facial treatments. The City Seasons Al Hamra’s dining options include New Season Restaurant, serving a daily buffet and à la carte dishes, and Keway-Mai, an authentic Thai restaurant. Keway-Mai inaugurated a unique cooking style in Abu Dhabi – traditional cooking on hot volcanic rocks – which has proved very popular. The hotel’s Thai chefs are passionate about high-quality, fresh, healthy and value-added food and beverage options. George Demitry, General Manager, says, “Our new facilities, services and amenities are a reflection of our true commitment to affordable luxury and value for money.” International travellers, mainly from Europe and Asia, make up around 60% of the City Seasons Al Hamra’s guests. George Demitry says, “As Abu Dhabi introduces new family-friendly facilities like Yas water park, we anticipate increased family travel from the GCC countries. To serve our visitors, the hotel provides a free shuttle to nearby beaches and entertainment attractions as well as access to sister hotels’ recreation facilities.” Mohamed Al Aamri, Managing Director City Seasons Group, believes Abu Dhabi has a very bright future as a tourism destination. He explains, “Abu Dhabi is very safe and family-oriented, and has a lot to offer in terms of pristine beaches and outdoor entertainment. It is also

a very business-friendly emirate. The City Seasons welcomes all visitors. Our slogan is ‘hospitality for all seasons,’ and providing value for money is our core focus.”

City Seasons Group PO Box 4706, Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 2 417 6500

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Sands Hotel

Service, Comfort and Style in the Heart of Abu Dhabi The four-star Sands Hotel offers best-in-class facilities and services in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s business and cultural district. Sands Hotel has 257 well-appointed rooms and suites, including non-smoking rooms and special units designed for long-term stay. Every room and suite is equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access, a minibar, satellite LCD TV, direct dial telephone, an in-room safe, and individuallycontrolled airconditioning. Sands Hotel is ideally located just a short drive from the international airport, Abu Dhabi Golf Club and the Marina Mall. Sands Hotel guests have access to public Beach Club facilities along with convenient free shuttle transfers to the public beach. Sands Hotel offers a selection of food and beverage outlets serving a wide variety of cuisines, and room service is available around the clock. Guests can choose La Piazza for international specialties; Chequers Bar & Restaurant for drinks, meals and live entertainment; the cosy Cappuccino Royale CafÊ; or the convivial new Harvesters Pub. Other amenities at Sands Hotel include a temperature-controlled rooftop swimming pool with spectacular views of the city, a fully-equipped health club and fitness centre with a sauna, a gift shop, complementary laundry and dry cleaning service, and a state-of-the-art business centre.

For business meetings and other special events, Sands Hotel has 139.3 sq m of event space including banquet facilities. Al Bateen Hall can seat 80 guests and is equipped with the latest audiovisual technologies, while adaptable smaller rooms are ideal for board meetings or other events for groups of 20 to 40. Sands Hotel: a successful blend of contemporary style and charm with traditional Arab hospitality. Sands Hotel is the ideal home away from home for leisure and business visitors in Abu Dhabi.

Focus on personalised service Sands Hotel prides itself on its multi-lingual staff that provides personalised service which makes every guest feel at home. The hotel offers airport pick up and drop off on request, valet parking, a morning shuttle bus to the public beach and to Marina Mall, an evening shuttle bus to Al Wahda Mall, and much more.

Sheikh Zayed I, Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 2 615 6666,


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The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

Iconic St. Regis Brings Exemplary Style and Service to Saadiyat The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, unveiled in December 2011, brings a new standard of exemplary luxury and bespoke services to Abu Dhabi. Part of the iconic St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, a Starwood Hotels brand group born in New York over a century ago, the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is the first St. Regis property in the Middle East. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is ideally located on Saadiyat, an unspoiled natural island 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi. While it is only a 20-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport and only minutes from the city’s downtown district, the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort offers a true escape to an island paradise. The resort is set on a pristine white sand beach with panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf and framed by the beautifully landscaped 18-hole Saadiyat Beach Golf Course. The resort’s architecture, main lobby, guestrooms, and indoor and outdoor dining options are Mediterranean in feel, while the signature restaurant 55&5th, The Grill is inspired by the iconic style of St. Regis New York. With 377 guestrooms and suites, seven distinctly different food and beverage venues, the region’s first Iridium spa, the Sandcastle Club for children, stylish boutiques, the Regal Ballroom – Abu Dhabi’s


largest events facility – and legendary service, the St. Regis Saadiyat Island is certain to exceed its guests’ expectations.

Butler Service takes service to the next level In fact, as General Manager John Pelling explains, “The St. Regis Butler Service takes service to a whole new level. We believe luxury is all about choices, and our team

of butlers is here to make whatever guests choose happen seamlessly and perfectly. Our resort celebrates a century-old legacy and vision. With our bespoke service, seductive venues, Arabian hospitality and our location on Saadiyat Island, a visionary destination, I am confident that guests will have memorable moments and experiences every time they visit us.”

Elegant rooms and suites with sea views The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort offers 377 guestrooms and suites, each with an individual terrace with views of the Arabian Gulf. Guests have a wide choice of accommodations, from 55-sq-m guestrooms to

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themed spa suites or the lavish 2,000sq-m Royal Suite with five bedrooms, a private pool and a spacious terrace. The resort’s 3,000-sq-m Regal Ballroom, which can host up to 1,600 guests, is ideal as a setting for elegant events of all kinds. Fitted with the latest technologies and including a boardroom, four meeting rooms, a majlis and an event’s office, the Regal Ballroom also features an outdoor terrace with seaside views, dedicated wedding facilities, and a well-equipped business centre.

Exceptional dining and beverage options Guests can enjoy a variety of cuisines in the resort’s restaurants. The 55&5th, The Grill features sophisticated New York style while Sontaya specialises in Southeast Asian dishes

served in a series of floating glass walled pavilions set amidst interconnected pools. Olea serves a sumptuous buffet and à la carte meals all day long while Turquoiz, which will open later this year, is the resort’s beach restaurant and will specialise in seafood and snacks. The Manhattan Lounge is another taste of New York while the Drawing Room in the lobby celebrates the signature St. Regis Tea Ritual and offers a unique selection of beverages and snacks. Sucré is the resort’s irresistible pastry shop. Like every St. Regis property around the world, the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort combines iconic St. Regis style with authentic local touches. John Pelling explains, “St. Regis has brand rituals you will find in all our hotels. My favourite is surrounding the Bloody Mary drink, originally called the ‘Red Snapper’

and created in the King Cole Bar of the original St. Regis New York. Every St. Regis hotel has its own version of the Bloody Mary; in Japan they incorporate wasabi and here we add a local herb, za’atar, which is a mixture of herbs including thyme. Our version of the Bloody Mary is called the Arabian Snapper.” The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is the gateway to the paradise of Saadiyat Island, with its protected dunes, turtles hatching on the beach from April to September, dolphins in the water, and beaches where motorised sports are not allowed. John Pelling invites international travellers to discover this magical island in the best possible way by pampering themselves at the St. Regis. He says, “Our resort offers the beauty of Saadiyat Island and many options of things to do and nearby places to visit, from the Ferrari World Theme Park to Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque. This is a destination of quality, and at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, our ambition is to wow every guest.”

Saadiyat Island PO Box 54345 Abu Dhabi Tel: +97 12 498 8888


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united Arab emirates

Cristal Hotels and Resorts Group

Premier Hotel and Resort Group Opens New Luxury Property The Cristal Hotels and Resorts Group serves as a benchmark for high standards in Abu Dhabi’s hotel sector. The group has two properties in Abu Dhabi: the four-star Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi, in the heart of the city’s business district, and the luxurious new Cristal Salam Hotel in Abu Dhabi’s banking district. Both hotels offer the ultimate in deluxe facilities, accommodations and services, including free Internet connections. Peter Blackburn, President and CEO of Cristal Hotels and Resorts, was recently named one of the top 50 hoteliers in the Middle East. He explains, “Our focus has always been on providing the best possible services to executive travellers, particularly European business travellers, a segment which is increasing in the UAE. Now with the Cristal Salam Hotel, we can offer additional guest rooms. Our management is very professional and always works to ensure that all properties bearing the Cristal Hotel brand not only meet but exceed international standards.” The Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi has 192 beautifully equipped rooms and suites, two food and beverage outlets, seven spacious meeting rooms, a business centre, an executive lounge, underground parking, a health club, an indoor swimming pool, a beauty salon, a treatment room, and sauna and steam rooms. The hotel is conveniently located near Abu Dhabi Mall and Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre.

Quality and sustainability The luxurious property is known for providing exceptional value for money and for its commitment to the environment: Cristal Hotels and Resorts was Abu Dhabi’s first hotel group to meet the criteria of the government’s ambitious “green” initiative. It is steadily upgrading its energy conservation measures and has developed a state-of-the-art recycling programme that recycles two tonnes of waste per month. Peter Blackburn says, “With the Cristal Salam, our second hotel in Abu Dhabi, we confirm our commitment to quality and sustainability.”


Peter Blackburn, President and CEO

The new Cristal Salam features 112 spacious rooms and suites that combine intimacy, comfort and exclusivity with the personalised service and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of Cristal Hotels and Resorts. Every room is equipped with a 32-inch LCD TV, complimentary high speed Internet access, convenient coffee and tea making facilities, IP interactive telephones, a mini bar and more. The Cristal Salam has four state-of-the-art meeting rooms and its food and beverage outlets include the 2.35 restaurant, which offers sumptuous international and fusion cuisines, and Blendz Lounge, featuring tempting snacks. Guests can unwind in the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool, keep in shape in the “Figure 8” health club, where personal trainers are available, or pamper themselves at the exclusive Cristal Spa, which has sauna, steam and massage rooms. The Cristal Salam also has a beauty salon. Having achieved success in the UAE, Cristal Hotels and Resorts will soon expand internationally. Peter

Blackburn says, “We are aiming to grow not only in the Gulf region, but also in Europe. We are currently looking for joint ventures to open new properties and extend the Cristal Group’s presence. Thanks to our constant push to maintain international standards, we are also thinking of positioning Cristal Hotels throughout the Middle East and Asia.” Cristal Hotels and Resorts is playing a key role in supporting the growth of Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector. Peter Blackburn points out, “Tourism development is crucial for Abu Dhabi and the Cristal group is doing everything it can to support all of the initiatives of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority. We view Abu Dhabi’s tourism leaders as important partners. Cristal Hotels and Resorts aim to be the premier business and leisure hotel operator in the MENA region.”

Feel at Home in Ras Al Khaimah’s Al Hamra Village

The Royal Breeze residence is conveniently located in the prestigious Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah away from the busy city life. The residence gives you the most outstanding views of open sea and unspoiled beaches and its design is a combination between a traditional Arabesque theme and modern luxury.

Short-term Rental l Very Large 2-bedroom apartment in the Royal Breeze

with 2.5 bathrooms, built-in wardrobe, modern and functional kitchen and a very large terrace.

l Studio in the Royal Breeze with 1 bathroom, built-in

wardrobe and modern and functional kitchen. l Tower

PO Box 72898, Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 2 652 0000

facilities include swimming pool, gymnasium and health club facilities. Interested? For more information & rental: Mrs. Christiane Vervaet Tel: +32 11 808 934

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united Arab emirates

Al Manzel Hotel Apartments

Prestigious Hotel Apartment Features Five-Star Luxury The five-star Al Manzel Hotel Apartments offers luxury accommodations in the heart of Abu Dhabi. With a wide choice of accommodations from studios to large suites, Al Manzel Hotel Apartments have exceptional facilities to fit any guest’s needs. All rooms and suites are spacious, elegantly decorated and equipped with fully fitted kitchens, satellite TV, air conditioning, a washing machine and high-speed internet connections.

speed internet connections and new facilities, as well as through providing personalised service. “Al Manzel Hotel Apartments are profitable and a perfect example of an investment maximising returns over a short period. Our philosophy is to continuously upgrade our facilities and add services while maintaining our current rates. We do not want to diminish our offerings just to be more competitive on prices,” Duco De Vries says.

The apartment hotel also features a rooftop pool, a sauna and Jacuzzi, a business centre, a fitness room, the convivial Multaqa Café with a terrace, and Al Iwan Restaurant, which serves a breakfast buffet and lunch and hosts themed evenings. Guests can count on 24-hour room service from a highly trained multilingual staff. Duco De Vries, General Manger, explains that around 92% of the hotel apartment’s customers are corporate clients who stay for around three to four days on average, although many opt for a longer stay and some clients choose to rent the apartments by the year. He says, “Our clients come from all

over the world as well as from the Gulf region. Our average occupancy rate is a high 85% and we aim to surpass that level by enhancing our services & offerings to delight guest experience and comfort.”

Focus on adding value Dedicated to maintaining and expanding its luxury status, Al Manzel Hotel Apartments stays ahead of the competition through continuing monitoring guests’ demands, and total quality management and to add value, including installing high


Al Manzel Hotel Apartments aim to support Abu Dhabi’s drive to position itself as an upscale tourism destination as well as a vibrant business centre. Duco De Vries explains, “We deliver a local, Arabian flair along with providing the kind of luxurious facilities and services discerning international travellers demand. Being a non-branded property does not affect us. We are professionals and implement our standards, stay competitive and respond to market trends. Al Manzel Hotel Apartments will remain a five-star all suite hotel which provides genuine service.”

Al Manzel Hotel Apartments Zayed the 1st Street, Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 2 644 8000

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