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Issued by the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai

www.manafezdubai.com

Issue 15

July 2015

Secure and efficient borders, a top priority

UAE’s F&B market to grow to $13.2 billion by 2018

Social media, a critical tool in effective customer service

New Technology: Beacons show the way UAE leads MENA’s Internet economies

Robotics lead the way to ability

Dubai to focus on midmarket hotel growth


Smart choice for a smart living GDRFAD’s mobile application enables: Individuals:

• On arrival visa extension. • Dashboard with all entry permits and residency

applications that are in progress, active, expiring soon or have expired. • Generate barcode to enter smart gate at Dubai Airports. • New and renew sponsored residencies (citizens). • New and renew residency (wife & children). • Attaching required documents. New update: • New entry permit for assistant categories (citizens) • Family passport renewal bouquet (citizens). • Renew passport (citizens only). • MYID

Establishments: • • • •

Extending entry permits (tourist visas). Work entry permit renewal. Before arrival – entry permit cancellation. Printing of Ministry of Labor’s permits. New update: • Dashboard with all entry permits & residences overstays and the ones expiring within 30 days.

Other features:

• • • • • •

Payment gateway. Visa inquiry. News and activities. Amer Car services. User guide. Branches with location maps and contact details. • Multimedia section. • Contact Director General

Mobile application is available on all app stores. Search for: GDRFA Dubai or simply scan the QR code

• Toll free: 8005111


Welcome Message

Smart Transition

T he announcement by His Highness Sheikh

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, about the success of UAE’s government bodies in making a smart transition to m-government and m-services for 96 per cent of the services, presents before us a fresh challenge to attain higher excellence. His Highness has asked the government bodies to increase the number of customers who use smart services to 80 per cent by 2018. This is a part of the UAE’s Strategy to introduce smart environment, increase the level of happiness and satisfaction of the customers who deal with the government.

If we look to the volume of change that has been implemented in the UAE within the last few years, we will discover how much we have transformed from a small part of a desert to a highly developed country that is competing with the largest economies in the world in various areas.

I feel proud to say that we, in the UAE, are the happiest people in the world because we are living in a time where we are led by a visionary leader Sheikh Mohammed who has made the country achieve tremendous progress.

Encouraged by the success in transforming to m-government and m- services, the GDRFA in Dubai has started to implement a strategy to maximize our strengths and take right steps in areas where we can further improve so as to ensure that we provide the best of services.

Because of the vision of Sheikh Mohammed, within a short time the bureaucratic mindset has changed and we have witnessed the transformation from electronic to smart government. Sheikh Mohammed has taught us to change according to the times, to make best and innovative use of new technologies and to offer the best services.

I am confident we can achieve this as we have the support of His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Interior, in attaining UAE’s vision 2021 in term of smart services. I believe that will be able to secure our place among the top 5 smart countries in the world when we celebrate half a decade of the formation of UAE federation in 2021.

His Highness has taught us that making people happy should be the main target for all those working in government and also in the private sector. His Highness has also taught us to imbibe positivity in our lives, start our day with a positive frame of mind and carry forward this energy in our interaction with customers and our work.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 1


GDRFA Message

GDRFA

in History

t

October 1971 Pursuant to an order promulgated by the then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, two departments were established: Central Immigration Department and Ports and Borders Department

t

October 1972 The two departments were merged with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior and Federal Law No. 17 concerning the naturalization and passports was promulgated.

t

1973 Federal Law No. (6) concerning Immigration and Residency was promulgated as the first law regulating the entry and residency of expatriates in United Arab Emirates.

t

1977 The two departments were merged and the new Department shifted to a building in the ministries complex

t

1982 The Administration shifted to the present building during the tenure of Colonel Mohammad Al-Ghaith

t

2003 The building was completely refurbished during the tenure of Brigadier General Saeed Bin Belaila

t

1999 Naturalization and Residency Administration, Dubai, established a branch at Hatta Fort

t

1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |

Our Vision: To have the UAE as one of the most secure and safest countries in the world.

Our Mission (MOI):

To work efficiently and effectively towards enhancing the quality of life in the UAE community by providing security, traffic, reform, residency services and ensuring safety of lives and properties.

Our Mission (GDRFA):

For the happiness of the people, we offer excellent and fast naturalization, residence and ports services.

Our Values:       

Justice Team-Work Excellence courtesy Integrity Loyalty Social responsibility

Strategic objectives:  Promote safety and security.  Promote public confidence in the effectiveness of services provided.  Optimal use of intelligence.  Ensure all administrative services are provided based on quality, efficiency and transparency standards.

To communicate with GDRFA: Location: Aljaffilya - Bur Dubai PO Box : UAE – Dubai 4333 Email: amer@dnrd.ae Toll Free Number: 04 3139999 - 8005111 Working Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM GDRFA-Dubai http:// www.dnrd.ae Dubai Airport Freezone http://www.dafz.ae Dubai Public Prosecution http://www.dxbpp.gov.ae Dubai Municipality https://www.dm.gov.ae

Department of Economic Development http://www.dubaided.gov.ae Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing http://www.dubaitourism.ae Land and Property Department http://www.dubailand.gov.ae


Contents

GDRFA News GDRFA Photographes by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan

UAE News

Positivity can enhance employee productivity

P7

United Arab Emirates: Major retail development continues

Dubai Airports advise travellers to arrive early

P 24

P 22

Middle East News UAE retail market to touch $70.9 billion

P 27

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai

Saudis are second biggest foreign spenders in UAE

Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri Director General

General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor Deputy Director General

General Coordinator Captain Khalid Al Rahma Editorial Consultant Ghassan Suleiman Creative Manager Mohammed Al Jarouf Executive Editor Shveta Pathak

P 26

Social media, a critical tool in effective customer service

Strategic Technology Partner of GDRFA-Dubai Advertise with us Content, Production, Marketing & Advertising Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management Phone: + 9714 2566707 Fax: + 9714 2566704 Website

www.naddalshiba.com

Email

info@naddalshiba.com

P 42 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 3


GDRFA News

GDRFA organizes lecture on ‘Transparency and Accountability’ T he General Directorate of Residen-

cy and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai organised a lecture on “Transparency and Accountability”, as a part of the ‘Governance Keys for Working Women’ initiative series by the Internal Auditing and Risks Department with the aim to empower women leaders, and emphasize the role of women in work and management. Kholoud Bin Jouan Al Zahiri, Judge in Al Ain Courts, who delivered the lecture, said that Islam contributed to enhancing integrity and transparency values and to combatting all types of corruption. She argued that transparency is one of the most important principles of governance. This stems from the fact that each balanced work environment, that maintains rights and duties and ensures members’ rights, should contribute to the creation of supportive and engaging societal culture that is capable of facing challenges.

It is, hence, considered an effective monitoring and guidance institutional system that that defines responsibilities, duties and relations amongst all parties in question. It also sets up the right rules and procedures relevant to work related rational decision-making. Hence, the institutional justice, transparency and accountability system is simultaneously equivalent to upgrading trust and credibility in the work environment.

Judge Al Zahiri noted that “the concepts of governance and the importance of applying these concepts hold new practices to the policies adopted by the public sector. Their effect is the key goal to building credibility and ensuring transparency within institutions, in addition to maintaining active channels for the disclosure of information, leading to better institutional performance.” She stressed that the commitment to develop and apply governance in the managing and responding to potential risks implies quick and high quality response to the needs and demands of dealers. This shall ensure their satisfaction and achieve a culture of accountability and transparency through a system and work instructions that ensure the efficiency of procedures and systems, and the allocation of responsibilities, duties, authorities and relations within a clear workmethodology framework. 

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GDRFA News

GDRFA, Al Rostamani to promote Challenge Race 2015 T he General Directorate of Residen-

cy and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai signed an agreement with Al Rostamani Holdings Co. (LLC) to promote the cultural and awareness-raising quiz programme ‘Challenge Race-2015’, organised annually during the holy month of Ramadan. The agreement was signed at the GDRFA-Dubai office by H.E. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA in Dubai and Mr. Khaled Abdul Wahid Rostamani, Vice Chairman of Al Rostamani Holdings Co. (LLC). GDRFA-Dubai also signed a partnership and official sponsorship agreement for the Challenge Race2015 with Zajel Courier Services. Khawla Abdul Hamid Kabanji, CEO of Zajel, signed the agreement on behalf of Zajel.

With the aim to sponsor Challenge Race-2015, GDRFA-Dubai signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Partnership with Al Ittihad Cooperative Society, which is represented by its General Director Mr. Khaled Hamid Zebian Al Falasi. Major General Al Marri welcomed this agreement as a step in the right direction towards contributing to the support of the national identity and fulfilment of social and cultural belonging amongst individuals. This can be achieved by providing individuals with the opportunity to benefit from maintaining the intellectual framework through opening up scientific research horizons and activating its domains to those interested. He added that upgrading and consecrating national identity values stems from the principles established by GDRFA-Dubai within the frame-

work of the efforts aimed at enhancing communication channels with dealers, and building an interactive cultural link with society members. These strategic partnerships aim at actively supporting and upgrading the conceptions of cooperation and societal partnership that exist between GDRFA-Dubai and other bodies. The aim is to unify the efforts targeting the service of all social classes with regard to upgrading the level of cultural and social awareness, enhancing practices and innovations, and enriching civilizational communication to serve the development of the society. Broadcasted during Ramadan on Noor Dubai FM, the Challenge Race-2015 is a cultural quiz programme. Winners receive financial and in-kind prizes. Four cars will be awarded to the top four winners. 

|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 5


GDRFA News

Starting October, visa application processes for GCC Expats to be done online or through smart applications

Application process for GCC expats to go smart T he application process for a visa to the UAE for GCC expatriates will go smart soon.

As part of its efforts to simplify the visa application process, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has announced  that GCC expatriates will be able to use smart applications to apply for a visa to enter the UAE, according to a WAM report. Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director of the GDRFA-Dubai, said the decision allows GCC expatriates to enter the UAE through any of its borders through a simple process. Al Marri said that a total of  2,628 online visas were applied for by GCC residents in one month —

2,512 for expatriate residents and 116 for domestic helpers. He said the online visa service, which started in April, has fasttracked transactions at the airport. Al Marri said the online visa service comes as part of the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VicePresident and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to work on providing government services round the clock via mobile phones and smart devices for the public. Lieutenant-Colonel Talal Shanqeeti, Assistant Director-General for Ports Affairs at the GDRFADubai, said that the GDRFA is encouraging the public to use the online visa portal.

He said that from October, all visa application processes for expatriates, who have valid residence visas in any Gulf country irrespective of their nationalities, must be done online or via smart apps where they can register, fill in the form and pay the fees. He said that applicants receive immediate notification on their mobile phones when the visa is ready. Major Abdullah Omar Al Bannai, head of services section, said expatriate residents of any Gulf country can come on a 30-day visit visa, which can be renewed for another 30 days. The cost of the visa is Dh220 and the same is applied to family members, while the visa for domestic helpers accompanying GCC citizens is valid for 60 days and can be renewed twice for another 60 days. Amna Abdullah Ali, Head of Relations and Protocol Department at GDRFA-Dubai at Dubai Airport, said that passport control officers are distributing brochures in Arabic and English to all visitors to Dubai from any of the GCC countries in order to raise awareness on how to use the new service. 

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GDRFA News

Positivity can enhance employee productivity

T he

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDFRA-Dubai) recently conducted a seminar “So that you Change your Thinking” by Ahmad Bin Ali, Director of Institutional Communication and Strategic Planning, Sharjah Civil Aviation Department.

The seminar was attended by H.E. Major-General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director-General of GDRFA-Dubai, and divisions directors and employees of the DRFA. The seminar falls within Bahjet Al Maerfa initiative series organized by the Positive Energy Division with aim to support the positivity and excellence framework of staff in accordance with the work environment of the institutional management. “The positive participation process relies on changing thinking. It is an integrated system common to all the institutions of the society,” said Bin Ali. He stressed that the circle in which man lives with all his/her beliefs, emotions and actions reflects its negative or positive results. During his lecture, Bin Ali highlighted positive energy, self-programming and the role an employee plays in meeting challenges and overcoming obstacles, by making them steps leading to objectives

and ambitions. He explained how seniors within an institution could support their employees’ positive energy through disseminating key innovative ideas to enable them climb the ladder to success positively and optimistically. The lecturer pointed out the importance of contributing to the dissemination of positive energy in all institutions. He emphasized that self-confidence and high morale are essential to achieve excellence, and are deadly tools that eradicate negative energy and lead us to victory and success. Bin Ali concluded his lecture by affirming that man should be positive within their family, work and the society at large, and stressed that this has strong impact within one’s self and his/her relation with others, in addition to the advantage this may have on increasing the capacity to give, create and achieve personal targets and ambitions.  |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 7


GDRFA News

GDRFA Dubai honours Manafez supporters T he General Directorate of Residen-

cy and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, honoured the supporters and sponsors of Manafez Dubai, it’s the monthly bilingual publication, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the magazine. Addressing the premier gathering at the honouring ceremony, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA Dubai, said Manafez Dubai has been launched with an aim to develop more channels of communication between the administration and general public and inform people about the efforts made by the administration to provide them with the best services, as well as reach officers, thousands of GDR-

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FA’s employees and staff and experts in passport, borders and ports, airports and other departments in the aviation sector and border industry worldwide, who can access the magazine online. “The magazine’s editorial team works hard to include topics of interest including technologies related to travel, simplification of procedures on the border crossing points at airports, applications of biometrics, smartphone apps for check-in and information, as well as latest and indepth news on important sectors of the economy such tourism, information technology, functional excellence, passports and customer service, to authorities officials and readers

from various sectors,” added Al Marri. The sponsoring companies that were honoured were emaratech, Emirates NBD Bank, Alpha Destination Management, AW Rostamani Arabian Automobiles, Al Qabdah Global Contracting and Sadaf Sarv Travel. Major General Al Marri also met with the representatives of the sponsoring companies. Expressing high appreciation for the companies that supported the magazine in the first year of its publication, Al Marri pointed out to the positive role played by these companies as a strategic partner in the success of Manafez Dubai, which is a first of its kind magazine in the world. 


GDRFA News

|Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||July July 2015 | 9


GDRFA News

PCLA launches campaign on summer mid-day break T he Permanent Committee for Labour

Affairs in Dubai, PCLA-Dubai, has launched an awareness campaign to ensure that Dubai workers and companies adhere to the summer midday break rules throughout the emirate. An estimated half million construction workers in Dubai will benefit from the Ministry of Labour’s three-month mandatory midday break regulation this year and the labour committee will follow up on its enforcement. Major-General Obaid Mohair bin Surour, Deputy Director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, GDRFADubai, and PCLA Chairman, said that the committee will follow up closely on the implementation of the preventive measures in order to protect outdoor workers from the summer heat. Major-General bin Surour said that a team has been allocated by the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai, in cooperation with the local and federal departments,

in order to enforce the midday break rules throughout the emirate. He added that the PCLA inspection team will not only catch violations, but will also offer guidance and educate workers and companies on how to avoid them. Bin Surour said that the PCLA is keen to educate workers on the dangers of working under direct sunlight and on how to protect themselves during the hot summer.

Ministry of labour implements summer middday for 3 months

He said that a team from PCLA started distributing booklets this week in several languages, in order to raise awareness about the advantages of implementing the midday break. The annual ban prevents labourers from carrying out any work under direct sunlight between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. throughout the three-month period. Abdul Momen Al Medawi, Coordinator of the PCLA, said that field visits will be conducted on a daily basis, and that workers and members of the public can contact the toll free numbers, 8005111 and 04-70705005, or e-mail dlc@dnrd.ae to report violations, adding that companies found violating the rules will face hefty fines. ď‚…

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Our

Message

Smart travel culture T he world of travel is moving fast to become

smarter with ‘smart technologies’ being applied in every sphere whether it is bookings, holidays, visa payment, ticketing, passport and even facilities like smart gates at the airport and boarding passes using smartphones. This change in travel was expected. But it has been quite dramatic compared to the conventional way of travel we witnessed in the previous few decades. The ‘smart’ change necessitates that passengers too adapt to the new technologies and start following the new systems particularly as an exponential rise is expected in number of travelers to 12 billion by 2031, according to the Airports Council International (ACI). The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government’s plan to transform to a smart country, smart government and smart people has shown remarkable results within a very short span of time. The change we have all witnessed is quite dramatic if you compare it from the time that the UAE launched the federation till now when the UAE has emerged highly competitive on an international level. What makes me happy is that all UAE residents, both locals and expatriates, are adapting to this transformation fast and are gaining from smart technology, which is making their lives easier and even more comfortable. This has been proved by a few international reports on travel and tourism, which have confirmed that the UAE is on top in the Arab World and number 5 worldwide in term of using smart culture of travel.

As a part of this policy toward smart initiatives, the UAE’s Ministry of Interior recently launched online visa for the expats who live in the GCC countries and also their dependents. The online visa facility has already started and is making journey of hundreds of passengers to the UAE easier and practical, allowing them to get the visa electronically instead of getting into queues to collect it. The Minister of Interior wanted to make the experience of travelling to the UAE a pleasant one for our guests toward which the Ministry has announced that October 1 will be the last day that they will accept paper visas. I have asked all the travel agencies across the UAE and GCC countries to work closely with us to implement this smart initiative so as to finish their procedures with ease and in less time making the journey of passengers a memorable one that they can cherish for a long time to come. I wish everyone a good summer vacation.

Major General Obaid Moheir bin Suroor Deputy Director General GDRFA-Dubai

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Cover Story

Decision makers, industry leaders debate on challenges, opportunities with rising air traffic

Secure and efficient borders, a top priority

S

ITA, the global provider of border security and IT solutions to governments, airlines and airports, has formed SITA Border Automation User Group.  

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Cover Story

The inaugural meeting, hosted by Orlando International Airport, explored how to drive greater efficiency and passenger satisfaction as the demand for automation grows.

Automated border crossings are already widely used in trusted, or registered, traveler programs

The most recent SITA Passenger Trends Survey found that U.S. air travelers rank time-consuming security procedures among the top two areas for improvement. This frustration is likely to worsen, as international travel to the U.S. is projected to grow by up to 6 percent each year over the 2014-2019 timeframe.

“The right play off between border management and facilitation remains a difficult balancing act,” says Dan Ebbinghaus, VP Border Security, SITA. “We want borders to be as open as possible for legitimate visitors, but firmly closed to those deemed undesirable.

Paul Houghton, SITA President, Americas, said: “SITA is committed to working together with our customers and early adopters of border automation technology to deliver the best passenger experience. Our automated passport control (APC) Kiosks, which are already widely used in the US, and our Automated Border Control Gates, are part of an end-to-end suite of solutions designed to facilitate and provide a more secure passenger journey throughout the airport and across borders.” SITA brought together airlines, airports and government representatives from across the US, along with experts in border technology, to explore ways to improve the passenger experience while maintaining security.

Border Automation

Advances in biometrics and more use of e-passports make a compelling case for automated borders. So why not let low-risk passengers process themselves, freeing border agencies to focus on those posing a greater risk, said SITA, highlighting the need for border automation

“We’re happy to welcome tourists and those coming on business, but equally aware of the need to deal effectively with security concerns. At the same time, as passenger numbers and political pressures keep growing, budgets remain under stress.”

Daunting

No wonder keeping people moving through the airport and national borders has become such a daunting task. Existing systems frequently struggle to cope – while future increases threaten to stress already overloaded processes and systems to breaking point. It’s not only an issue for border agencies but also for airports and airlines. As their own resources are increasingly stretched, they too feel the pressure to improve passenger services. It matters little to passengers if baggage delivery is the best in the world if they have to spend two hours in immigration getting through border control.

Automate the frontline

So, how to be smarter at the border? Poised to usher in a new era |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 13


Cover Story

at border lines around the world, automated border control gates and kiosks are shining a light on the way forward. The magic of automated border control gates and kiosks is their ability to automate the frontline, removing the need for a border guard to manually check the travel document and identity for each and every traveler. So says a new paper from SITA, ‘Smarter Borders: Using Automation to Increase Security and Efficiency’. Qualified border agents can then be redeployed to focus their attention on potential high-risk travelers, improving security yet enhancing efficiency for the benefit of passengers.

Travel programs

Automated border control relies on a number of prerequisites. They include the use of e-passports and biometric verification, such as face, iris or fingerprint, combined with a risk assessment of the traveler. Automated border crossings are already widely used in trusted, or registered, traveler programs. Passengers register, physically enroll their biometric data and voluntarily submit themselves to a background check in order to use the automated border control system. Often targeted at frequent travelers or migrant workers, these programs can be transnational.

Critical mass

Developments over the last few years have made the business case for border entry automation increasingly compelling. Technology has matured to minimize error rates in detection, standardization has helped countries adopt a common 14 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |

Poised to usher in a new era at border lines around the world, automated border control gates and kiosks are shining a light on the way forward

approach, the use of e-passports is widespread, and travelers are enthusiastic about using self-service technology. “But perhaps most importantly, e-passports have reached critical mass, helped by adoption of the ICAO standard,” says Ebbinghaus. According to analyst firm IHS Technology, 113 million e-passports were in circulation in 2013, a figure due to rise to 175 million by 2019. Over 100 countries have implemented e-passports. That represented around 60% of all passports in circulation in 2012. “There’s also the important massive advance made in biometric matching – particularly in face recognition,” he adds. Results from a recent trial of SITA e-gates, which use class-leading biometric technology, show that 92% of eligible travelers were processed successfully with no operator intervention. That includes both the document and biometric checks.

E-gates

For those taking the automation route, the two main options to consider are e-gates and kiosks, though both can be used in different combinations, according to the SITA Paper. E-gates have been widely adopted in Europe as a direct replacement for the manual border counter. Travelers

queue up for the e-gate, then enter a secure and private enclosure with barriers either side of them. Once the document and biometric checks are completed successfully, the front door opens to let the passenger through. Typically, one border guard supervises a bank of several e-gates and deals with those passengers that need further processing.

Kiosks

Kiosks are more appropriate where the goal is to automate most of the process but the traveler still has to speak to a border control officer for a final check. Kiosks can automate the travel document checks, identity verification and customs declaration as well as integrating with back-end systems that perform a risk assessment.


Cover Story

Once that’s done, a printed receipt shows the traveler’s details, including face image and a status indicator. In most implementations the traveler then takes the receipt to a border control officer stationed at the exit of the immigration hall who performs the final vetting.

The ‘soft side’

It’s not just about technology choice. Softer factors also come into play – such as queue management, signage and passenger education – and they’re critical to the successful deployment of automated border control. “Getting travelers to the right area and using the technology correctly requires planning and preparation,” concludes Ebbinghaus.

It’s not just about technology choice. Softer factors such as queue management, signage and passenger education are critical to the successful deployment of automated border control

”But the benefits of getting it right can make a significant impact on the continuing battle to smooth the endto-end journey for passengers while providing a secure environment for travel and for host countries.” The magic of automated border control gates and kiosks is their ability to automate the frontline, removing the need for a border guard to manually check the travel document and

identity for each and every traveler. It’s not just about technology choice. Softer factors also come into play – such as queue management, signage and passenger education.

‘Big area of dissatisfaction’

Most passengers (78%) are generally satisfied with their travel experience, according to the 2014 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey by SITA and Air Transport World. But after complaints about baggage, the second biggest area of dissatisfaction is the security and border control procedure. A quarter of passengers said that it needs significant improvement, with a further 44% saying it needs some improvement. 

|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 15


In Focus

Robotics lead the way to ability In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, to make Dubai the world’s best city for individuals with special needs by 2020, Dubai will host AccessAbilities 2016, Middle East’s largest expo for individuals with disabilities and special needs. GDRFA Dubai is the main sponsor for this expo, which will focus on smart technologies, products, services and expert insights to improve quality of life for the disabled. Manafez Dubai will bring a series, for it's readers, highlighting the latest in technology, services and issues concerning the lives of 750 million people with disabilities, over 50 million of whom are in the Middle East. 1616|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |July |July 2015 2015 ||


H

enry Evans was living his version of an American dream life until August 2002 when at the age of 40, he suffered a tragic stroke, rendering him speechless (mute) and quadriplegic. Unlike what most of us would be inclined to think, Evans did not give in to live a life without hope. Rather, he used technology to his advantage and today, through robotic technology, Henry continues to find ways to explore and interact with the world. He uses a robot called the Beam, a big computer monitor with a webcam attached to a small base

In Focus

Rehabilitation Robotics is a special branch of robotics which focuses on machines that can be used to help people recover from severe physical trauma or assist them in activities of daily living

by two poles that helps him interact with others, has used a humanoid robot (PR2) to assist in daily tasks and has worked on everything from a laser pointer head switch that can turn the lights on and off, to a bed that he can move up and down, to drones that he can fly around his backyard, inspecting his solar panels or the grapes he and his wife are growing behind the house. Robotic technology is playing an increasing role in assisting people

with disabilities. With constant advancements in technology, disabilities would no longer mean confinement or dependence. Manafez Dubai brings a few latest technological advancements set to create a definitive positive impact in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

Robotic exoskeleton:

The wearable robotic exoskeletons essentially do the walking for the user. Rapid technological advancements are being witnessed in development of exoskeletons too. The exoskeletons that have been developed or are being introduced could be leg-only devises, there are others which also work with arms and torso as well as full body. Henry used robot PR2 to shave himself, give Halloween candy to children through the robot at a local mall. He also demonstrated, according to a media report, navigating the robot through his home to deliver him objects such as a tower from a drawer in the kitchen and small food items in the fridge.

|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 17


In Focus

Bionic’s suits by Ekso were eventually repurposed to help victims of stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury get back up on their feet. Now the company’s electronic exoskeletons help patients with lower extremity weakness relearn how to walk. Rewalk’s wearable robotic exoskeleton provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to stand upright, walk, turn, and climb and descend stairs.

How it works?

The ReWalker controls movement using subtle changes in his/ her center of gravity. A forward tilt of the upper body is sensed by the system, which initiates the first step. Repeated body shifting generates a sequence of steps which mimics a functional natural gait of the legs with walking speeds as high as .71 m/s (1.6 mph/ 2.6 km/h), according to its website. Indego recently demonstrated its exoskeleton that fuses robot-

Sophie-Morgan - robot legs helped her walk after 10 years in wheelchair

18 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |

Robear is designed to lift patients out of beds and into wheelchairs, as well as helping those who need assistance to stand up

ics and app software is allowing patients normally confined to wheelchairs to walk. HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb), a full exoskeleton body suit, is being developed by a Japanese company named Cyberdyne in collaboration with Tsukuba University. This exoskeleton is able to read bioelectric signals sent from the brain to the muscles and interprets them, recognizing what type of movement the user wants, in order to perform a specific action. This mechanism does not only read the signals from the brain but also feeds back the motion of walking to the brain allowing for the user to gradually learn to emit the signals required to perform a wide range of actions.

With the help of the battery-powered device, the wearer is able to lift himself out of the wheelchair, step out and walk. The device is attached to a patient’s waist, and braces are affixed to his or her legs. “Being able to stand up and look people in the eyes and forget about the wheelchair is by far the greatest things about it,” said Ryan Reddick, paralyzed from waist down, during the demonstration. The device works in conjunction with a mobile app that tracks posture and senses vibration. The device is now undergoing clinical trials and will soon be submitted to the FDA for approval.Indego hopes to launch the exoskeleton commercially by next year in the U.S.

Nursing robot to help patients

Robear, an experimental nursingcare robot developed by the RIKEN-SRK Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research and Sumitomo Riko Company, is designed to lift patients out of beds and into wheelchairs, as well as helping those who need assistance to stand up. Robear weighs in at 140kg, and is the successor to heavier robots RIBA and RIBA-II, reported The Guardian. “We really hope that this robot will lead to advances in nursing care, relieving the burden on caregivers today,” said Toshiharu Mukai, leader of the project’s robot sensor systems research team.”


In Focus

Developed by Japanese research institute Riken, the exquisitely named ‘Robear’ is the third prototype in six years, with each new version lighter and more functional. The robot’s clunky design has apparently been shaped by the tasks required of it. At 140 kg, Robear is strong and agile enough to gently lift a patient from a bed to a wheelchair, or help them get from a sitting position to a standing one. The technology driving the robot allows it to “exert force in a gentle way,” Riken explains on its website. It can also move quickly and precisely, with on-board sensors ensuring it doesn’t inadvertently take down any elderly patients as it moves about its space. When retracted, the base is small enough to allow it to maneuver through tight spaces such as doorways. As for its cute bear face, research leader Toshiharu Mukai says, “The polar cub-like look is aimed at radiating an atmosphere of strength, geniality and cleanliness at the same time.” Mukai says he hopes Robear will “lead to advances in nursing care, relieving the burden on care-givers today. We intend to continue with research toward more practical robots capable of providing powerful yet gentle care to elderly people.”

The wearable robotic exoskeletons essentially do the walking for the user

Technological advancements bring in immense hope. However, making them affordable and within the reach of people who need them is something that is still being worked on.  |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||July July 2015 | 19


UAE News

Hangout at DXB campaign launched

Dubai Airports advise travellers to arrive early D ubai Airports has advised travellers

to arrive early to Dubai International airport as the average passenger numbers are expected to double with the arrival of the peak season and the summer vacation. A nationwide campaign, ‘Hang out at DXB’, has been launched to encourage travellers to arrive earlier to Dubai International and enjoy a full range of airport products and services, while ensuring that all customers depart on time. With many schools across the UAE closing in the coming week, the average number of departing passengers is expected to double, Dubai Airports said.

“On the busiest days, June 25 and 26, more than 75,000 passengers will be departing from the airport. “With this in mind, the airport operator is encouraging passengers to complete as many processes as possible before they get to the airport including online check-in and registering for flight updates on the airport’s website,” the airport said in a statement. Dubai International is the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic. Dubai Airports, which owns and manages the operations of both of Dubai International and Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central, last week announced that 6.5 million passengers

passed through the airport in April 2015 as compared to 6.16 million in the same month last year, an increase of 5.7 per cent. Dubai Airports’ operations teams are also gearing up for the summer peak by adding support staff and ‘May I Help You’ volunteers at key touchpoints such as immigration and security during the busiest periods. “With many passengers leaving Dubai on vacation at this time, we want to ensure that everyone’s experience is as stress-free as possible,” stated Eugene Barry, EVP Commercial Group at Dubai Airports. “By arriving to the airport early, utilising the online check in facility offered by airlines, or using our website to track their flight, we would like to get passengers through their travel formalities and to the departure areas as smoothly as possible, where they can enjoy our wide range of international food & beverage, world-class retail, lounges, and spa services, and be in a great mood to begin their journey,” noted Barry. To be eligible for prizes that include free Costa coffee for a year, free entries into the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise draw, as well as a family weekend away at Atlantis The Palm, passengers must register for flight updates on the airport website, he added. 

20 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |


UAE News

UAE’s leisure and entertainment market potential to rise to 45 million visitors A new report by international audit

firm PwC said the UAE’s leisure and entertainment market potential is expected to nearly double to 45 million visitors by 2021. “The L&E potential market will consist of three main visitor categories; international tourists staying in hotels, international VFR (visitors to friends and relatives) and UAE residents who are income qualified and willing to drive. With inbound tourists forecast to reach over 30 million by 2021, and a growing UAE population, we expect the L&E potential market to reach 45 million by this time,” according to the report. Most of the visitors (30 million) are likely to be international tourists, while residents, their relatives and friends will account for 15 million. Also, by 2021, the country’s theme parks are forecast to attract 18 million visits, according to the “UAE’s transformation into a world-class leisure & entertainment destination” report. The UAE landscape is set to expand further with the addition of at least 5 full-scale theme parks in the next 3 years, the report said. A holistic approach in exploiting its geographical location, alongwith infrastructure investment and qu ality attractions will help the UAE solidify its position as a global destination, it said.

“The key to a consistently successful destination is enabling visitors to enjoy multiple attractions. Offering multi-park tickets, all inclusive packages and coordinated visitor management from booking through inbound and local transportation, hotels and attractions will be crucial. For example, Dubai Parks & Resorts (DPR) is creating a three park destination, with space for a further four, plus adjacent hotel, restaurants and waterpark which provides an excellent foundation to deliver this visitor promise. We forecast that the UAE attractions can achieve 18 million theme park visits by 2021, in comparison to Singapore’s at 6.7 million and Hong Kong’s at 15 million today,” it added. “The key to a consistently successful destination is enabling visitors to enjoy multiple attractions. Offering multi-park tickets, all inclusive

packages and coordinated visitor management from booking through inbound and local transportation, hotels and attractions will be crucial,” Philip Shepherd, partner at PwC Middle East Hospitality & Leisure Leader, said in a statement. Also, to holistically manage the UAE as a destination, there needs to be coordination between the stakeholders, including government departments responsible for infrastructure, tourism authorities, hospitality owners and operators and destination management companies, PwC said in the report. “The other enablers are further investment in hotel rooms, airport capacity, airline routes, growth of the restaurant and retail sectors. We are also seeing the development of destination management entities who will drive the internal partnering and marketing and sales of the theme parks to visitors,” Shepherd said.  |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 21


UAE News

DIFC to triple size by 2024

Aims to increase workforce to 50,000

T he

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has unveiled plans to triple in size over the next decade by attracting firms from the fast expanding markets of China, India and Africa, according to a report in Arabian Business. The financial free zone, which was established in 2004, wants to increase the number of domiciled financial firms from 362 in 2014 to 1,000 in 2024, said the report. It plans to grow assets under management at DIFC from $17.4 billion to $250 billion in the next ten years, and firms to triple their cumulative balance sheet from $65 billion to $400 billion.

It wants to double the amount of leased space at the free zone from 2.5 million sq ft in 2014 to 5.5 million sq ft in 2024.And it is targeting a trebling of the workforce from

17,860 people to 50,000 over the period.In March, the DIFC reported double digit growth for 2014. Its workforce swelled 14 percent to almost 18,000, it said. 

UAE investors world’s second most confident, says survey A survey by Franklin Templeton has

shows that UAE is the world’s second most confident country with investor sentiment in the UAE is running high as 94 percent investors

expect to meet their targets in 2015, reported Arabian Business. The Franklin Tempm Global Investor Sentiment Survey, which polled

over 11,500 investors in 23 countries, showed that the UAE was the second most confident country behind India. UAE investors listed buying a new home (25 percent), starting or investing in a new business venture (21 percent) and retirement (13 percent) as their top three goals. Despite such priorities being typically long-term in nature, UAE investors overwhelmingly look at a short timeframe when evaluating investment success, with the majority (73 percent) looking at a period over the next two years, the survey said. 

22 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |


|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 23


UAE News

United Arab Emirates: Major retail development continues A ccording to the report, the UAE’s re-

tail market continues to grow steadily with retail space growing by 7 percent in 2014 to reach 1.6 million square meters and sales growing 6 percent to $70.9 billion. Dubai continues to cement its position as the Middle East’s retail hub. The city’s grandiose retail development has an increasing focus on the luxury segment. Dubai Holding has announced plans to build the Mall of the World over the next 10 years. What will be the world’s largest mall—and first temperature-controlled city—will span an impressive 4.5 million square meters. Retail formats are diversifying. MAF launched a new convenience Boxpark Dubai, an18,500square-metre development that incorporates shipping containers is coming up on Jumeirah’s Al Wasl Road. It is being built by Meraas Holdings, the company behind City Walk.

24 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |

store format under the brand Carrefour City, catering to smaller neighborhoods across Dubai. There is also an increasing focus on more creative entertainment offerings. In early 2015, Landmark Group launched Fun Works, a 5,500-square-meter family entertainment center, in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall. Major retail groups are introducing new brands and branches across multiple segments. Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s plan to open outlets in Abu Dhabi’s Galleria mall by 2018—Macy’s first store outside the United States and Bloomingdale’s second in the UAE. France’s Géant entered Abu Dhabi in December 2014 with a new hypermarket at Yas Mall.

IKEA will open the Middle East’s largest distribution center in Dubai in 2015, and Landmark launched an affordable furnishings brand Home Box while reinforcing its food and beverage offering with Jamba Juice, Pie-Face, and Poparazzi. Meanwhile Dairy Queen is set to return to the UAE in 2015 with as many as 20 outlets, five years after exiting the market. Circle K plans to expand in the UAE with 28 new convenience stores in 2015. In e-commerce, Landmark Group ventured in with Landmarkshops. com, while top UAE-based luxury retailer and distributor Chalhoub Group is piloting an online beauty retail concept in the second half of 2015. 


|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 25


Middle East News

Saudis are second biggest foreign spenders in UAE C ard spending in the UAE was 10.2

percent higher in January-May 2015, relative to the same period last year, according to data compiled by Network International . The value of card transactions over the period reached AED 34.3 billion. Network International covers about 60 percent of the UAE market for e-commerce and point of sale (POS) transactions, according to a report in Saudi Gazzette. Most of the growth in spending in the first five months of this year was on cards issued by UAE banks (mainly residents), which rose 14.9 percent y/y and accounted for over 70 percent of total POS transactions. The value of foreign spending (i.e. on cards issued by non-UAE banks)

26 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |

“Saudis are the second biggest foreign spenders in the UAE, accounting for 12.7 percent of total nonUAE POS transactions

was unchanged year-on-year in January-May 2015, at AED 9.8 billion. “We assume that the country in which a credit card is issued reflects the spender’s nationality. While there will be exceptions where people use credit cards of countries in which they are not citizens and/or residents, as well as cases of dual citizenship, we believe this is a reasonable assumption.

“Saudis are the second biggest foreign spenders in the UAE, accounting for 12.7 percent of total nonUAE POS transactions. Growth in spending on Saudi-issued cards was up 24.9 percent y/y since January. The British are a close third, accounting for 9.2 percent of foreign sales year-to-May, but growth in spending was just 1.4 percent y/y, likely reflecting the relative weakness of GBP relative to USD and dollar pegged currencies year-todate, compared with the same period in 2014,” said the report. “Qatari spending in the UAE rose 14.0 percent y/y, ranking 5th overall, followed by Kuwait. 


Middle East News

UAE retail market to touch $70.9 billion U AE’s retail market continues to grow

steadily with retail space growing by 7 percent in 2014 to reach 1.6 million square meters and sales growing 6 percent to $70.9 billion, according to a new index produced by AT Kearney. The latest Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), placed a total of six Middle Eastern countries in the top 30 most attractive markets for development opportunities in retail. Following a year that saw oil prices drop, AT Kearney said the region has remained an attractive destination for retailers. “Retail sales growth in the region is expected to continue. Indeed, the retail space pipeline remains strong, with several major projects underway in the region. The trend of regional expansion by local champions continues as several UAE and Saudi players, including Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), Landmark Group, and Panda, build strong capabilities and retail networks across the

region. Additionally, the Middle East continues to welcome international brands such as Macy’s (in the UAE) and expansion from existing retailers.

Saudi Arabia: Still largely untapped The retail sector in Saudi Arabia (17th) is still growing fast: retail space grew 5.6 percent to 2.1 million square meters in 2014, and sales increased 6.4 percent. Traditional markets (bakalas) still own much of the market, so there remains plenty of room for modern retail to grow, according to the report. New entries and expansion announcements demonstrate Saudi Arabia’s market attractiveness. MAF plans to open several Juicy Couture stores in 2015 as part of its Middle East expansion plan. IKEA is planning a fourth Saudi store for the upcoming Al Diriyah Festival City.

Alhokair Fashion Retail plans to grow the Marks & Spencer store portfolio in Saudi Arabia with 10 new store openings. UAE-based supermarket chain Al Madina Group entered KSA with a first hypermarket in Riyadh, to be followed by a second opening in Jeddah in 2015, while fast food chain Kcal and Lals Group’s home furnishings chain Homes R Us plan to enter soon. Regulatory developments in the past year could positively impact the Saudi retail sector. A proposed law limiting working hours is in its final stages; if approved, would encourage job growth and improve working conditions. Additionally, the government has given the green light to foreign companies to trade up to 10 percent of companies listed on the Saudi stock exchange, which could stimulate FDI in the retail sector. Still, the regulatory environment remains quite complex. 

|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 27


Middle East News

UAE leads MENA’s Internet economies

A

new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy, reveals that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has retained its position as a leader in the Middle East’s Internet Economy. 2828|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |July |July 2015 2015 ||


Middle East News

The new study, titled 'Which The nations that are Wheels to Grease? Reducing still lagging behind, Friction in the Internet Econohowever, both in the my', identified 55 indicators of GCC and in the rest e-friction that inhibit online acof the world, need to tivity by consumers, businesses, imminently address their and governments. sources of e-friction The BCG e-Friction Index – introduced in last year’s study – then used those indicators to rank 65 economies according to four types of e-friction: infrastructure-related frictions that limit basic access; industry and individual frictions that affect the ability of companies and consumers to engage in online transactions; and information frictions that involve availability of, and access to, online content. The 2015 BCG e-Friction Index highlights that the UAE and Qatar are two leaders in the MENA region with advanced and productive Internet economies. “The Internet has created an unprecedented environment for businesses to grow and flourish, thanks to its permission-less innovation, which makes it possible for everyone to explore the untapped opportunities of today’s digital economy,” said Baher Esmat, Vice President Stakeholder Engagement, Middle East of the Internet Corporation for

Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which commissioned the 2014 report and the update. “Countries in the Middle East have the potential to grow their digital economy, and this report by BCG demonstrates how the UAE and Qatar are tapping into this potential and leading the way for growth.” “In the UAE, consumers and businesses face few restrictions or constraints on digital activity – what we refer to as ‘e-friction,” said Hermann Riedl, Partner and Managing Director at BCG Middle East. “The nations that are still lagging behind, however, both in the GCC and in the rest of the world, need to imminently address their sources of e-friction; after all, doing so could have a strong impact on national competitiveness as well as on social and economic development.” 

|Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||July July 2015 | 29


International News

Australia to target ‘fake’ marriages

F

AKE couples who have orchestrated “contrived marriages” to gain Australian visas and then claim separate welfare cheques will be stripped of entitlements as part of a nationwide crackdown to be announced by the Federal Government, according to media reports. Thousands of people have potentially declared sponsorship of a partner for immigration purposes but are then claiming single welfare payments because they are not together, said the report. The Daily Telegraph said taxpayers shelled out $132.7 million last year in welfare payments that were fraudulent. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Human Services Minister Marise Payne will today announce a new data matching system which will find couples who claim to be either married or in a de facto relationship but are providing separate departments with different information, it added. Legitimate couples, who are happily married, but claim to have split so they can earn more money from separate payments will also be targeted. “People who deliberately take advantage of Australia’s welfare and migration system will be caught.’’ Australia’s welfare bill is expected to balloon by close to $40 billion over the forward estimates, from $150 billion to almost $190 billion, said the report.Mr Dutton confirmed “contrived marriages” were on the rise. 30 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |

Crackdown on ‘couples’ who gain visas then claim welfare separately

“Last year, my department identified an increase in the number of allegations relating to the facilitating of contrived marriages,” the report quoted Dutton as saying. “This data-matching program is part of a whole-of-government approach to fraud detection and prevention. People who deliberately take advantage of Australia’s welfare and migration system will be caught.’’ Those found to have defrauded the system face losing their visa, being forced to pay back the money and criminal charges. Mr Dutton said visas obtained through fraudulent relationships cost taxpayers significant amounts of money and blocked genuine people from being granted a spot in Australia. According to the report, Senator Payne said some legitimate couples had worked out they are financially better off to pretend they have split, yet remain a couple.

Peter Dutton

Thousands alleged to be defrauding taxpayers of $133m

“People who receive a Centrelink payment and deliberately fail to declare their correct relationship status to the Department of Human Services are breaking the law,’’ she said. “The Government is committed to protecting taxpayers’ money and the integrity of Australia’s social security system by ensuring people receive the right payment at the right time.’’ 


International News

Immigrants don’t take but actually create jobs, says a study

Hungary:

A working paper ‹are Immigrants a Shot in the Arm for the Local Economy?’ for the NBER, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works, Gihoon Hong (Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics Indiana University South Bend) and John McLaren (Department of Economics University of Virginia) by two researchers for, found that overall local workers benefit from the arrival of more immigrants, according to  report in an online Hungarian financial journal www. Portfolio.hu. The researchers noted that most economic research on the effects of immigration focuses on the effects of immigrants as adding to the supply of labor.  Hong and McLaren argue, however, that in general equilibrium immigrants will affect not only labor supply, but also labor demand. 

“Many accounts by journalists and other non-economists emphasize the point that immigrants do not serve only as additional workers, but also as additional consumers, and as a result can provide a boost for the local labor market by increasing demand for barbers, retail store workers, auto mechanics, school teachers, and the like.”

In their paper the researchers studied the effects of immigrants on local labor demand, due to the increase in consumer demand for local services created by immigrants.

Taking these propositions to US Census data from 1980 to 2000, the researchers found that:

“We show how in a simple general equilibrium model this demand effect can provide two benefits to local native-born workers: It can soften the effect of the increase of labor supply on wages, by shifting the demand for labor to the right just as the supply is also shifting to the right; and it can lead to an increase in the

diversity of local services, conferring an indirect benefit on native-born consumers. Taken together, these effects mean that local real wages can rise as a result of immigration, even in a model where nativeborn and immigrant labor are perfect substitutes.”

each immigrant on average generates 1.2 local jobs for local workers;

most of them going to nativeborn workers, and 62% of them in the non-tradables sector;

immigrants raise wages in the local non-traded sector;

immigrants attract native-born domestic migrants from elsewhere in the country.  |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 31


Special Study

Travel facilitation in OIC

Restrictive Than The Rest

A

study by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) revealed that its 57 member-states tend to be more restrictive than the rest of the world regarding visa policy liberalization.

A latest study by Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (www.comcec.org) revealed that 57 OIC member-states last year required, on an average, 64 per cent of the world´s population to obtain a visa before initiating an international journey. Another three per cent were allowed to apply for an eVisa while 26 per cent were able to apply for a visa on arrival. Titled Travel Facilitation for Enhancing Mobility in the OIC Member Countries, the analytical study was prepared for the 5th Meeting of the COMCEC Tourism Working Group. Established in 1969 and headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the UN with members hailing from various geographical regions, including Middle East, Africa, Mediterranean, South East Asia, Indian Subcontinent and CIS. 32 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |

Air travel development is an increasingly vital aspect of international travel facilitation

All the six GCC states - Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Oman along with Yemen are OIC members. Syria was suspended from the OIC in August 2012.Based on eight case studies, the research report looked at the trends and challenges in facilitating travel, the current state of travel facilitation among the OIC memberstates, opportunities for improvement, potential impacts of travel facilitation and recommendations for facilitating travel to destinations within the OIC member-states. The study highlighted three primary methods of facilitating travel to a destination -visa policy facilitation, aviation development and destination marketing.

Visa policy liberalization has been proven as one of the most powerful levers in travel facilitation. However, in 2014, destinations around the world request, on average, that travellers from 54 per cent of countries obtain a visa before entering their borders. Citizens of another three per cent of countries are allowed to apply for an electronic visa (eVisa), while 16 per cent can apply for a visa on arrival. And those from 27 per cent of countries do not require a visa when travelling for tourism purposes. Regarding visa policy liberalization, the OIC member-states tend to be more restrictive than the rest of the world, despite their increasing openness in recent years. In 2014, OIC member-states required, on average, 64 per cent of the world´s population to obtain a visa before initiating an international journey. Another three was allowed to apply for an eVisa


Special

while 26 per cent was able to apply for a visa on arrival. Only seven per cent of the world´s population is not required to obtain a visa at all when travelling for tourism purposes. It noted that visa exemptions are used by most of the OIC member-states but tend to affect the population of few countries. Compared to other regional and economic blocs around the world, OIC members have relatively few (10 per cent) reciprocally open visa The analytical study was prepared for the 5th Meeting of the COMCEC Tourism Working Group

policies. Instead, they often opt to unilaterally implement facilitation measures or maintain traditional visa requirements. Visas serve several functions. The survey made for the OIC member- states stated that maintaining security and controlling a nation’s labour force are among the most important motivations for imposing a visa requirement on inbound travellers. Significant increases in tourist arrivals tend to follow the implementation of facilitative visa policies and processes.

By adopting facilitative visa policies, enhancing cooperation regarding intra-OIC travel, and effectively communicating this new openness to travellers, growth in arrivals from global markets currently requiring a traditional visa could rise significantly above current forecast over the next five years across member-countries. The study said OIC member-countries, as a whole, would potentially gain 38 million international tourist arrivals by 2020 from improved travel facilitation, representing a 14.6 per cent premium above baseline expectation from 2015. The increase in international tourist arrivals to the OIC would generate up to $37 billion in additional international tourism receipts by 2020, for a gain of 14 per cent above baseline expectation from 2015. Destination marketing is a powerful agent of travel facilitation, driving travel demand by raising interest in global traveller markets. Destination marketing serves a fragmented tourism industry with larger scale marketing campaigns that present the brand and experience of a place to potential travellers.

Study

Visa processing capacity may be increased online and at ports of entry

Air travel development is an increasingly vital aspect of international travel facilitation. Expanding the capacity for air travel by improving aviation infrastructure and creating new air routes between destinations plays a key role in the development of the global tourism market and is an important part of a holistic travel facilitation strategy. Between 1995 and 2013, the total impact (including indirect and induced effects) of growth in the Travel and Tourism (T&T) sectors of all OIC member-states was around 14 million jobs. That is, growth in T&T sectors lead to a cumulative 64 per cent increase in total employment across OIC member-countries. By 2023, the total impact of forecast growth in T&T among OIC member-countries is expected to generate 10 million new jobs for a cumulative gain of 41 per cent. ď‚…

Case studies demonstrate that several OIC member-states have successfully facilitated visas through both unilateral and bilateral policy reforms in recent years. There is still room for improvement. The proportion of international tourists requiring a traditional visa prior to visiting an OIC destination is expected to rise slightly to 56 per cent, on average, between 2015 and 2020 under current visa policies. |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 33


Special Study

MPI experts forecast trend to continue

China, India outnumber Mexican migration flows to the US

I

n a historic shift, new migration flows from Mexico to the US have been outnumbered by those from China and India.

This trend will continue, according to experts from Migration Policy Institute (MPI), who forecast that in near future immigration from India will grow even faster than China. Indian immigrants have already outnumbered those from China and basic demographic factors such as a larger family size and a higher per centage of population below 25 years further reinforce India’s advantage. The new prominence of Asian migration may herald a significant and longterm transition in the demographics of future U.S. immigration, observed Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI’s

There has been a 66 per cent decline in number of recent immigrants from Mexico in the last eight years.

office at New York University School of Law; and Faye Hipsman Associate Policy Analyst with MPI’s U.S. Immigration Policy Program. It is for the first time in several decades that Mexico is no longer the top source of recent immigrants to the United States.

The historic shift occurred in 2013, and was documented in a recent U.S. Census Bureau study, reflecting an acceleration of Chinese and Indian immigration over the last decade, and is the latest sign that large-scale Mexican migration to the United States— once taken for granted—appears to be winding down. Statistics show that of the 1.2 million recent immigrants counted in 2013, China was the leading country of origin, with 147,000, followed by India with 129,000, and Mexico with 125,000. In recent years, the margins among the three countries have narrowed in recent years. In 2012, Mexico was the source of 125,000 recent immigrants, China 124,000, and India 113,000. It was only less than a decade ago that recent immigrants from Mexico outnumbered those from China and India, each by sixfold. This shift in top migration source countries is remarkable as it happened so rapidly. The current composition of U.S. immigrants, however, shows that Mexicans continue to remain the largest group by far with 11.6 million of the 41.3 million foreign born in the United States.

34 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |


Special

It was only less than a decade ago that recent immigrants from Mexico outnumbered those from China and India, each by sixfold.

There are 2 million immigrants from India and 1.8 million from China. Notably, flows from Mexico have declined quite swiftly in comparison to Chinese and Indian migration which has risen steadily, said the MPI experts.Mexican flows have declined much more swiftly (see Figure 1).

What Has Contributed to the Rise in Asian Immigration?

MPI experts noted that migration from Asian countries has been steadily rising, with China and India leading the trend. In the last decade alone, the number of recent Chinese immigrants has nearly tripled, while Indian immigration has more than doubled.

sponsorship, they become potent new seed immigrants for further future immigration by sponsoring their families to join them in the United States. In the current fiscal year, China and India are the top countries of origin for all international students in the country, with China alone accounting for onethird and are also the most common beneficiaries of the two main nonimmigrant work visas: the H-1B visa for specialty occupations (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers), and L-1 visas for intracompany managers, executives, and employees with specialized knowledge. Immigration to the United States has also been spurred by a series of push factors in Asia. China and India are the world’s most populous countries, and are becoming increasingly integrated into the global economy. As their national economies have grown, per capita incomes have risen—along with access to global travel and means to pay for education abroad.

Equally important, the United States has significantly strengthened the immigration enforcement system in the past decade, making it more risky and costly to cross the border, and by deporting unauthorized immigrants quickly and in record numbers,” observed the experts Chishti and Hipsman. In addition, demographic and economic changes in Mexico such as declining birthrates, resulting in shrinking pool of potential migrants, strengthening of Mexican economy creating new job opportunities within the country and expansion of its educational system, have also altered migration dynamics. India and China is likely to further outpace new Mexican inflows, as they continue to dominate employment-based channels, which in turn lays the ground for new familybased immigration.

The upswing is driven by myriad push and pull factors such as the transition of the US from a manufacturing economy to an increasingly service-based one with strong growth in IT sector, resulting in demand for high-skilled labor.

Why Is Mexican Immigration Declining?

China and India have dominated many student and employment-based visa categories, both permanent and temporary in recent years.

“A coincidental alignment of economic and demographic factors in both countries has spurred the decline in illegal immigration from Mexico.

According to MPI experts, over the coming decades, immigration from India and China is likely to further outpace new Mexican inflows, as the two largest Asian countries continue to dominate employmentbased channels, which in turn lays the ground for new family-based immigration.

In the United States, the Great Recession significantly weakened the economy, and in particular depressed demand for low-wage workers, in construction and also in agriculture and other sectors that traditionally employ Mexican unauthorized workers.

They noted that immigration from India is likely to grow even faster than China. Indian immigrants already outnumber those from China and therefore have slightly more potential to increase their numbers through family-based channels. 

Foreign students with U.S. qualifications become natural recruits for high-skilled temporary worker programs, which, in turn, are important sources of employer-sponsored legal permanent immigration. Since employment-based immigrants do not rely on U.S. family ties for their

MPI exports pointed out that there has been a 66 per cent decline in number of recent immigrants from Mexico in the last eight years, as per the Census Bureau Study.

Study

Future Immigration Patterns

|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 35


New Technology

Al Dhaheri: My goal is to contribute to UAE’s Smart City vision

S

martworld, an Etisalat and Dubai World Central joint venture company, is all set to attain greater heights of growth with the appointment of its new Chairman Saeed Al Dhaheri. Al Dhaheri, a former IT Advisor to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also former Director General of Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA), said UAE’s Smart Cities initiatives have opened a sea of opportunities especially in the ICT sector and his prime focus will be on strategic expansion by tapping into these new opportunities across the UAE and GCC region, and contributing to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in making Dubai the smartest city in the world. Al Dhaheri said: “I feel honoured to lead Smartworld particularly in wake of an array of new opportunities arising in the UAE.  We are fortunate to have a visionary leader in His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose vision of mak36 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |

Saeed Al Dhaheri is new Chairman of Smartworld

ing Dubai the smartest city in the world has opened wide range of opportunities for growth across all sectors, particularly the Information & Communication Technology sector. Along with focusing on strategic expansion across the UAE and GCC region, my goal is to lead Smartworld to contribute toward achieving this great vision.” Dubai joins a growing global Smart City movement, with Frost & Sullivan estimating a global smart city market potential of $3.3 trillion by 2025, and Smartworld wants to be a leader in UAE and GCC region in architecting and providing smart city solutions. A PhD in Bio-Engineering, Al Dhaheri has been an achiever par excellence with numerous credits to his kitty one of which is his key role in the launch of Emirates ID. He was the first Emirati from the UAE to be selected in International Space Programme (ISU-88) in the US, which was sponsored by NASA in 1988, and also taught in the UAE University’s Electrical Engineering Department for over a decade, dur-

ing which he used his academic experience to provide valuable advice to industry. Al Dhaheri, who brings with him a wealth of more than 25 years in academics, leadership and advisory roles, said he welcomes industry competition as he believes it fosters holistic growth. “The UAE provides a global platform to companies and we have many large IT companies operating here, in a healthy competitive environment, which our visionary leadership has always encouraged. The UAE ranks highly on the World Economic Forum’s s Global Competitiveness Report, we are No. 1 in the world in terms of importance of ITC to government vision,” he said. “If we look specifically at developing smart cities, no single vendor can deliver total solutions. I believe the best approach to tackle this huge transformational programme is through phased approach and public private partnerships; in this regard will go a long way to ensuring success and each one has the opportunity to contribute their expertise. ” 


www.alphatoursdubai.com

+971 4 701 9111

|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 37


New Technology

Beacons show the way

Airports, airlines explore beacon technology to enhance passenger experience

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assenger experience worldwide is about to undergo a fundamental change as airports and airlines being to explore the potential of beacons emitting a Bluetooth signal.

Eight airports across the UK will be installing around 200 Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) beacons following an agreement between mobile payment technologies developer Proxama and Eye Airports. These beacons, which will be installed initially at the Stansted, Bristol, Southampton, Inverness, Newcastle, Gatwick and East Midlands airports, will be used to deliver timely and targeted advertisements to passengers while they are waiting at the airports.

SITA’s common use beacon registry provides industry with a single point of contact for common use beacons deployed at airports across the world

“Location based marketing offers a direct way of engaging with consumers in high footfall areas, such as UK airports. As the consumer chooses to receive these messages, they feel more involved in the communication process and, most importantly, can specify who they want to receive offers from,” Sarah Parkes, Managing Director, Eye Airports.

to experiment with beacons over the next three years. Apart from airports such as Copenhagen, Shanghai Hongqiao and Miami, airlines have also been trialling beacon technology. Low-cost airline EasyJet trialled beacon technology at its three busiest airports – London Luton, London Gatwick and Paris Charles de Gaulle last year. EasyJet’s trial involved sending alerts to iPhone users who had downloaded the EasyJet app, reminding the more disorganised passengers to have their passport and boarding pass ready when approaching security checks.

Majority of the 50 busiest airports in the world are planning

“Based on our experience we have already seen a 24% click through

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rate from our beacon deployments, which is higher than traditional forms of mobile marketing and much more targeted than email and geo-fencing,” said Jon Worley, CEO of Proxama marketing division. According to a SITA whitepaper on beacons, the massive interest in the beacon technology in the retail arena will accelerate adoption across the air transport industry with customer service-driven travel providers eager to provide the right information to the right passengers at the right time.

About beacon technology Simply put, beacon technology is a way of providing proximity and context information to mobile devices. According to the SITA whitepaper, the beacon devices are an indoor proximity system available in various shapes and sizes but can be as small as a USB stick or larger and


New Technology

Proxama and Eye Airports partner to install Bluetooth low energy beacons across 8 UK airports

more visible. They transmit a signal using Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE for short – the signal contains a unique identifier for that beacon. When a BLE-enabled device, such as a smartphone, moves within range of the beacon’s signal it can trigger an action, such as displaying a contextually relevant message on the phone. Beacons make possible a new range of user interactions. It effectively implies that as you enter a specific zone such as an airport lounge or a cafe or a shop, the beacon triggers an app on your smartphone sending you notifications or promotional coupons, or even directing you to areas of interest and provide additional information on specific items, making

museums and art galleries another potential user of the technology. A host of useful characteristics that make beacons easier to work with than other communication technologies, such as Wi-Fi, text or push-notifications, and the much talked about Near Field Communication (NFC), says SITA. What makes BLE-based beacons even more attractive are characteristics such as low cost, energy efficiency and distance sensitivity. Beacon manufacturer, Estimote, is currently offering three beacons for US$99, which can send a signal to any BLE-enabled device up to 70 meters away by specifying a broadcast range. “This can make covering a large floor space a much cheaper proposition than other connectivity solutions, such as Wi-Fi or using a multitude of NFC tags,” according to SITA.In addition, the BLE tech-

A host of useful characteristics, low cost, energy efficiency make beacons easier to work with compared to other communication technologies, such as Wi-Fi, text or push-notifications, and Near Field Communication nology in beacons requires only a miniscule amount of energy to work implying that these can run off a coin-battery for long periods of time. Distance sensitivity: When a smartphone detects a beacon, it can determine the distance to the beacon down to the nearest meter, if deployed correctly. GPS is also accurate to within a short distance, but it does not work well indoors. 

|Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||July July 2015 | 39


Special Report

Dubai is world’s 4th most visited tourist destination

Leads the world in international visitor spending

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ubai is world’s 4th most popular international travel destination according to the latest MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index, which projects it will receive 14.26 million overnight visitors in 2015.

The global payments giant predicted that the emirate will welcome almost 14.3 million international visitors in 2015, a ratio of 5.7 international overnight visitors per city resident. The index shows that Dubai also leads in terms of international visitor spending per city resident, estimated at US$4,668 in 2015. It is almost double the second-ranked Barcelona at US$2,793. Singapore, London and Kuala Lumpur are in third, fourth and fifth ranks with international visitor spending per city resident estimated at US$2,639, US$2,480, and 40 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |

The index ranked London as the top destination followed by Bangkok, Paris and Dubai

visited cities around the world. More than just a travel tracker, the Index delivers deeper understanding of how people move around the world and speaks to the importance and prominence of the world’s cities as homes, destinations and engines of growth.

US$1,933 respectively.Dubai’s continuous efforts to position itself as a favourite destination have resulted in a significant increase in its ranking and a rise number of tourists.

The index ranked London as the top destination followed by Bangkok, Paris and Dubai. According to the study, Dubai is projected to receive 14.26 million international visitors in 2015.

The Global Destinations Cities Index provides a ranking of the 132 most

Dubai also improved its connectivity score by an impressive 20.4 points


Special

since 2009, according to the Index. “A prerequisite for any destination city that aspires to attract more international visitors is to increase the capacity of its airport(s) and frequency of flight connections between the airport and the rest of the world. A “connectivity score” is constructed to assess the destination cities in this regard,” according to the MasterCard report. “MasterCard understands the importance of cities around the world both for travelers and those who live there,” said Ann Cairns, president of International Markets, MasterCard. “This year’s study helps us understand just how interconnected the world’s cities are the significant role they play in connecting and empowering greater numbers of people than ever before.” Intellectual Insights: Understanding What Drives Global Cities According to the study, nearly 383 million overnight trips will be made by international visitors between the Index’s 132 cities in 2015, representing a massive demand for goods, services and experiences as they spend at total of US$360 billion during their visits.

Report

Destination Cities: Spotting the Trends It pointed out to a few key trends across the globe: Asia/Pacific – The region is home to three of the top four fastest-growing destination cities between 2009 and 2015 – Colombo, Chengdu and Osaka. Europe – Istanbul is the most diversified destination, with 50 percent of its international overnight visitors coming from 33 feeder cites. Latin America – Lima is both the top destination and the fastest growing city in the region, featuring almost 50 percent more international overnight visitors than second-ranked Mexico City. Middle East and Africa – Dubai continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the global top ten while Abu Dhabi is the third fastest growing destination city overall between 2009 and 2015. North America – Houston is the fastest growing in North America since 2009 and is the only destination city in North America with double-digit.

Citing a UN report on World Urbanization Prospects, which said two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, MasterCard said that by forecasting the number of international overnight travelers, the Global Destination Cities Index shows the infrastructure needed to meet the expectations of both locals and visitors.Businesses and governments can use the insights from the

study to identify those areas – from transit to cultural experiences to infrastructure – in which investment is needed for continued growth, innovation and sustainability. “This index is just the beginning. Through a powerful combination of insights, innovation and experiences, MasterCard is partnering to help build the smart cities of the future,” said Cairns. 

|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 41


Customer Service

42% customers expect a response within 60 minutes on social media

Social media, a critical tool in effective customer service

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latest study from The Northridge Group says 26 per cent of customers choose social media for customer service when they are unable to reach a representative through another channel. The number is rapidly growing and points to the fact that ignoring social media could actually jeopardize an organsation’s image. “Earlier, companies were able to hide most of their customer complaints and frustrations and could limit any real damage to their brands.

These days, customers are openly discussing and, in a way controlling, your brand image and conversation around customer service. Social media has given an equal control to customers now,” Najam Ahmed, Digital & Inbound Marketing Consultant of Dubai-based SEO International, a Google partner and Hubspot Inbound

Experts recommend responding to customer complaints in less than 40 minutes!

certified company, told Manafez Dubai. Failure to resolve customer complaints could result in negative remarks or reviews- which can be highly damaging for any business. But it is not only about resolving the complaints. Customer expectations, infact have gone far beyond complaint resolution or simple information about company’s products or services. Among respondents to The Social Habit who have ever attempted to

42 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |


Customer

Whether you’re listening or not; consumers are talking about you, your brand, your products, and your industry, on social media.

contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support, 32% expect a response within 30 minutes. According to Jay Baer from a digital marketing advisory Convince & Convert, 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. There is, hence, little point in participating in social media if you fail to meet customer expectations well in time. “Whether you’re listening or not; consumers are talking about you, your brands, your products, and your industry using social media. You must know the needs of the customer and in case of complaints be quick enough to resolve and gain their trust. A positive feedback goes a long way in winning more customers and creating a lasting impression,” says Najam.

be attentive and supportive and follow up to ensure the satisfactory redressed of their complaint or query.” Monitor the web using Google Alerts, TweetDeck and other social media monitoring tools to find out what they’re saying about your brand, company, products will give you a clearer picture of the expectations of your clients. And it is not just the complaints. Acknowledging happy customers who give a positive feedback is equally important, asserts Najam. To ensure timely redressal of complaints, you need to prepare your sales staff, call center and other employees about the common questions your clients could ask about your brand or product. Create content answering those questions and post them on your blog and spread them on your social media networks. Once you identify the wants and needs of your clients and prospects, you are better equipped to deliver a superior customer service.

Service

Tips to use Social Media to keep your customers happy: • Share information about your products brand • Seek feedback on products, services • Engage the customers, do not shy from personal interaction, information and updates about your team would strengthen your connection with the customers • Respond to complaints at the earliest, ideally, less than 40 minutes! • Resolve the complaint and seek feedback on experience • Be honest and transparent in resolving issues • Acknowledge customers who give you a positive feedback “Customers must be prioritized and an honest approach to issues concerning them is a must. It doesn’t take too much for the clients to understand if you are trying to avoid their complaint or ignore them. It can be a big blunder,” he adds. 

Using social media to improve customer service is an area organisations that needs to be prioritized for an organisations irrespective of its size and nature of business, the experts advice. Sharing some tips on effectively using social media toward a better customer service, Najam says visibility on popular social media networks is just the beginning. “You need to keep your customers engaged- post updates, answer frequently asked questions and connect with them in real time. You should |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||July July 2015 | 43


Retail

& Hospitality

UAE’s F&B market to grow to $13.2 billion by 2018

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he UAE’s food and beverage (F&B) sector is expected to grow by around 4 per cent annually to $13.2 billion in 2018 as new outlets open and tourist numbers grow, according to a new report by KPMG, a global audit firm. The market, valued at $11.3 billion in 2014, is forecast to grow to $11.7 billion in the current year, KPMG said in its UAE Food and Beverage Survey, citing data from research firm Euromonitor International. “Outlet growth has been driven by a mix of expansion of existing chains as well as new brands and concepts entering the UAE market. The expansion has been further fuelled by the continued investment in a number of new and large retail destinations. Economic 44 |Manafez Dubai |July 2015 |

revival has also led to increased disposable income and resulted in higher propensity to spend on socialising and eating out among UAE nationals as well as expatriates,” KPMG said in the report. The survey showed that 66 per cent of respondents eat dinner out at least once during the week. Casual dining restaurants, quick service restaurants and food courts are the most popular F&B choices for UAE residents. The average spend on eating out per person in the UAE is AED 120, as per the report.Takeaway and home delivery is a relatively small part of the F&B market, but it is growing, partly driven by the growth of online ordering platforms, KPMG said without stating how much it is growing. “Brands now really need to pay attention to their online presence and have a clear strategy.

AED 120: Average spend per person on eating out in the UAE The operators who are getting this right are really benefiting, as they are not only raising their profile but are also enabling their customers to be advocates for their brand,” stated Anurag Bajpai, partner at KPMG. He noted that the UAE F&B sector is becoming increasingly challenging for individual players. “There is no lack of eating out options across the UAE and the increase in supply, in some segments of the market, continues to exceed the increase in demand. While the outlook for the sector as a whole has probably never been better, for individual players, the market has become increasingly competitive and thus challenging,” Bajpai said. 


Retail

& Hospitality

Dubai to focus on mid-market hotel growth

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ith a number of additions to the midmarket segment opening during the year, further additions to the portfolio of three and four star hotels are expected to open in the coming years as a result of incentives launched by the Government of Dubai, said the emirate’s tourism agency, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). However, as the Dubai Government looks to meet its Tourism Vision of welcoming 20 million visitors a year by the year 2020 and be able to declare itself the ‘number one family destination in the world’, it’s widely recognised that the city needs to further broaden its appeal beyond the luxury traveller for which it has

gained its primary foothold and upon which its luxury reputation is based. Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said: “While Dubai is well known for its impressive array of luxury properties, we are keen that the city also caters to those on a more restrictive budget by offering high-quality mid-market accommodation. As we work towards meeting our Tourism Vision for 2020 of attracting 20 million people a year to the city by 2020, we want to ensure that our accommodation caters to all categories of visitor.” Directives issued by the Dubai Government in September 2013 included an incentive to encourage speed of delivery and increase competitiveness in the mid-market sector. Investors and developers of three and fourstar hotels were offered an incentive

to waive the 10% municipality fee, that is levied on the room rate for each night of occupancy for a specific timeframe. Additional incentives announced in January 2014, focused on reducing the construction approval process to two months; setting up a one-stop shop for all sector approvals; standardising all approvals through Dubai Municipality; and allocating government land to develop 3 and 4 stars. “Affordable does not equate to low quality,” said Kazim. “Dubai’s reputation is based on high standards and this goes for our mid-market hotel sector too.” Currently, Dubai has 93,030 hotel keys (January 2015), and that figure is forecast to rise to 140,000 – 160,000keys by 2020. The additional keys will comprise different asset classes, including hotel apartments, with around 20,000-35,000 keys being from the mid-market hotel sector. 

|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 45


opinion column

We will make illegal working a criminal offense U ncontrolled immigration can damage our labour market.

The British people are fed up with a system that allows those who are not meant to be in our country to remain here. Over the past 5 years, we’ve been working towards that.

David Cameron, Prime Minister, UK

(Excerpts from David Cameron’s discussion on plans to control immigration ahead of the Queen’s Speech) 46 46 46|Manafez |Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai Dubai |September |July |July2015 2015|٢٠١٤ | |

We shut down bogus colleges , stopped paying the rent and dole of jobless migrants, revoked licenses of illegal immigrants driving on our roads and are now charging those from outside Europe using the NHS for free. We clamped down on the fake brides and grooms entering into sham marriages.

We will make illegal working a criminal offence in its own right. Wages paid to illegal migrants will be seized as proceeds of crime. We’ll also crack down on the unscrupulous landlords who cram houses full of illegal migrants. We will ensure banks take action against existing accounts held by illegal immigrants. We will extend the “deport first; appeal later” rule for foreign criminals claiming a so-called right to family life to all immigration appeals, except asylum cases. We will reform our immigration and labour market rules.

We also recognised that we needed to reduce the demand for migrant labour by making our own people able and willing to do the jobs this country needs.

But it’s not only our skills gaps that act as a pull factor for migrants; it’s the businesses who exploit cheap labour from overseas.

Under us, the majority of the rise in employment – a record 1,000 jobs for every day we’ve been in office – has gone to Brits.

That’s why, we quadrupled the penalties for those not paying the Minimum Wage, and why – for the first time – we’re naming and shaming those businesses.

The a new Immigration Bill included in the Queen’s Speech will focus on 3 big things:

We will also focus on reducing the incentives for people coming here from within the EU.

1. Dealing with those who shouldn’t be here, by rooting out illegal immigrants and boosting deportations.

Britain is one of the most successful multiracial democracies in the world. But to sustain that success, immigration needs to be controlled.

2. Reforming our immigration and labour market rules and

With this Immigration Bill, we will do just that.

3. Addressing the spike in EU migration by renegotiating in Europe.

Our approach will be tougher, fairer and faster. 


opinion column

Remove bilateral restrictions year, the civil aviation achieved L ast a global accident rate of just 3.0

accidents per million departures, the second-lowest ever recorded. The total number of fatal accidents also decreased to just seven – the fewest we’ve seen since 2008. Much of this success is due to increased cooperation and data sharing. ICAO has been working since 2010 with ACI, IATA and ten other national, regional and international organizations to reduce runway incursions and excursions. We have seen yearly runway accidents decrease by 25 per cent as of 2014. ICAO will be maintaining its focus on challenges that can impact the longterm sustainability of international airports. We are implementing systems and procedures to deal with increased airspace and airport congestion. We are also making good progress with our government and industry partners in striking a balance between stringent security measures at airports, and speedier and more effective passenger and cargo procedures. Airports play a unique and critical role as gateways to countries, cities and communities. Their strategic importance to the competitiveness of a wide range of industry sectors is undeniable. ATM coordination advances must move forward hand-in-hand with airport development to achieve optimum network expansion results.

ICAO is continuing to progress its work on Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) and other Capacity/Efficiency priorities.Air traffic volumes globally will double by 2030, but related projections point to a doubling of Middle East Regional traffic much sooner than this – perhaps as early as 2020. This makes all of these issues urgent concerns for the region’s states. The quality and availability of services at an airport often dictates whether there will be repeat business. Commercialization, privatization and public-private partnerships furthermore make it easier to integrate proven business and management models to ensure that airports remain competitive with one another.

Raymond Benjamin Secretary General International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

ICAO encourages all Middle Eastern States to sign and ratify the 2004 Damascus Convention. Currently, the vast majority of arrangements concerning routes are locked into bilateral Air Services Agreements. The key is to remove those bilateral restrictions that limit the availability of services for the end-user. ICAO supports that airports should be considered when bilateral and multilateral air services agreements are discussed. Cyber security coordination and response is one of our more critical emerging issues, and an important one for today’s increasingly-automated airports. 

Edited excerpts from the keynote address at the Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF-2015)

|Manafez Dubai |July 2015 | 47

Manafez Dubai | July 2015  

15th Issue of the Monthly Newsletter issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai

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