Elaf Group expands presence in the KSA with coming opening of new 5-star hotel in Jeddah

Elaf Group expands presence in the KSA with coming opening of new 5-star hotel in Jeddah
Launch of new hotel to help enhance Elaf’s leading role in Saudi Arabia’s booming tourism and hospitality segment

May 31, 2017 – The Elaf Group of Companies, a SEDCO Holding Group company and a leading provider of travel, tourism and hospitality services, has announced the coming opening of its latest five-star hotel in Jeddah. The latest addition to Elaf Group’s growing portfolio of hotels is part of its recent implementation of a strategic expansion initiative aimed at further reinforcing its leading presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s booming tourism and hospitality segment–in line with the goals and objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 to support the national economy and to promote tourism, particularly tourism for religious purposes, as a key contributor in the efforts to achieve a non-oil economy.

The opening of a new hotel in Jeddah proves to be both timely and strategic as a recent report released by TopHotelProjects entitled ‘The 2017 Saudi Arabia Hotel Construction Overview Report’ shows that the Kingdom’s capital is now in preparation to add 48 new properties. The report also mentions that Riyadh leads the hotel boom, followed by Jeddah. To date, there are 170 hotels and 60,395 rooms across various stages of development in Saudi Arabia.

Ziyad Bin Mahfouz, CEO, Elaf Group, said, “We are excited to announce the coming opening of our new five-star hotel in Jeddah, which is part of our ongoing move to strengthen our presence in the KSA and the rest of the region. The new hotel is being expected to help address the demand for more hotel rooms in Jeddah, which clearly demonstrates the country’s rapidly thriving tourism industry–ably reflected in its continuous Year-on-Year (YoY) growth. Rest assured, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide the highest quality of services to offer an unforgettable experience in our hotel and exemplary service to our guests.”


Irresistible Ramadan Offers atIrresistible Ramadan Offers atMillennium Airport Hotel Dubai 

Irresistible Ramadan Offers at Irresistible Ramadan Offers at Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai

Share the true spirit of Ramadan with your loved ones in the exquisite surroundings of Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai. Plan your gatherings in advance and take advantage of the Early Bird Offer. The hotel has created an array of value-added promotions offering an indulgent selection of authentic Arabic delicacies and sumptuous International flavours across its award-winning dining outlets.

Simon Moore, General Manager of Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai, said, “Ramadan is a very special time for families and the joy of sharing food with your loved ones during Iftar is an experience to be cherished. We are proud of the culinary excellence of our chefs lead by Executive Chef Winfried Helmetag who have made elaborate arrangements keeping in mind the diners’ preferences. We offer different venues perfect for Ramadan celebration. Ramadan 2017

International Iftar buffet at LoumiThis Ramadan, a sumptuous culinary feast awaits you with a wide selection of Arabic delicacies and International Iftar buffet at Loumi restaurant, daily from sunset to 8pm.
Get 30% off when booking before 15th May 2017

Group bookings for 10 people and above will get 1 diner free AED 149 net per person inclusive of soft beverages and Ramadan juicesAED 75 net for children aged 5-12 years old and those below 5 years old dine complimentary
Venue: LoumiDays: Ramadan period onlyTime: Sunset to 8pm (after 8pm, regular buffet packages starts)
For inquiry or reservations, call +971 4 702 8888 or email dining.mahd@millenniumhotels.com

Special private Ramadan event at Al Garhoud BallroomEarly Bird Offer: Start planning your Ramadan gathering and confirm your booking before 15th May 2017 and get 20% off on special event packages. Terms and conditions apply
Applicable for minimum of 35 guests For inquiry or reservations, call +971 4 702 8888 or +971 50 100 7704Email: sales.mahd@millenniumhotels.com

Italian Iftar set menu at Da Vinci’sExperience treasured and truly unique time during the Holy Month of Ramadan at the Italian Trattoria, Da Vinci’s. We will provide the ideal service and relaxed environment for families and groups as they break the fast and share quality time with each other. Savour the delicious Iftar set menu with a mix of Ramadan specialties and Italian flavours for the price of AED 120 net per person from sunset to 8pm daily.
Venue: Da Vinci’sDate: May 25th until June 25th 2017Time: from Sunset to 8pm
For inquiry or reservations, call +971 4 702 8888 or email dining.mahd@millenniumhotels.com

About Millennium Airport Hotel DubaiThe award-winning Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai is a contemporary lifestyle destination for those who desire to be at the centre of Dubai’s pulsating business and cultural scene. Named Middle East’s Leading Airport Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2016 for the fifth time since 2008, this exceptional hotel is conveniently located near the Dubai International Airport just five minutes’ drive away from Terminal 1 & 3, city’s major central business, historical districts, tourist spots, shopping centres and entertainment hub. Featuring 341 spacious guestrooms including Superior & Deluxe Rooms, Club Suites, and Executive Deluxe Suites, rooms are equipped with outstanding amenities. Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai caters to discerning global business and leisure travellers, and is known for its engaging service. On site are a distinctive choice of restaurants and bars, newly spacious Al Garhoud ballroom with 6,448 sq.ft. space, 8 meeting rooms with high-end meeting facilities and a range of leisure options including superb large outdoor swimming pool and fully-equipped fitness centre.
For more information about the hotel, visit http://www.millenniumhotels.com

 Gulf Educators connect with the 300 brightest teachers from around the world at E2 in Canada

Gulf Educators connect with the 300 brightest teachers from around the world at E2 in Canada

The event, brought together 300 of the most innovative educators from 85 counties in a collaborative forum, to further the evolution of classroom experiences using the latest technologies


31 May 2017 Kuwait City, Kuwait – As part of its ongoing global commitment to education, Microsoft hosted 6 education professionals from Gulf, during the company’s annual Educator Exchange (E2) conference held this year at the Fairmont Royal York, in Toronto, Canada.

E2 is an annual three-day event recognizing and celebrating the achievements of educators who combine content, pedagogy, and technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for success. This event brought together 300 of the most innovative educators from 85 countries in Toronto to share their expertise in integrating technology and pedagogy to transform education.

Microsoft at E2 reiterated its commitment to making learning more engaging by introducing its latest solution “Microsoft MakeCode” that is based on adopting an inclusive and fun approach to learning. The company also showcased a slew of next-generation tools such as Minecraft as a platform for educators to inspire students to leverage technology and unleash their potential to achieve more.

The one educator chosen from Kuwait to attend the event as Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert was Ayman Issa from Abdulla Al Ahmed AlSabah School, Ministry of Education, Kuwait. He is a stand-out education professional who has made clear, pioneering contributions in his field. Selection was done through a competition, on the basis of submitted portfolios and there were 6 teachers from Gulf who were selected.

The conference commenced with keynotes and sessions focused on empowering educators to engage in digital transformation, support personalized learning and accessibility, and implement STEM curriculum to prepare students for the 21st century. The agenda focused on providing attendees with opportunities to learn, collaborate, teach, and inspire. Attendees were shown some of Microsoft’s latest technologies and had the opportunity to share the ways in which they’re driving transformation in their own classrooms. They were also welcomed on Day 2 with an inspiring welcome message from Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

The event also featured an educator Group Challenge with this year’s topic “Make What’s Next”. Teachers were placed in groups and were asked to design a new feature, enhancement or an add-in to an existing Microsoft product, that will be augment and positively impact teaching and learning experience. Group collaboration spanned 2 days, with 4 Gulf Educators and their teams being selected for an award. Ayman Issa was declared winner of the group challenge for the category “delocalize”.

“I am very proud that I could be a part of the Microsoft conference, meet numerous talented educators whom I had the privilege of sharing my work and victory with. Upon the return to Kuwait, I am keen to transfer all what I have learned to my colleagues and students. I promise I will do the best to evangelize Microsoft products in the future” said Ayman.

Other highlights of the event included the “Learning Marketplace” where teachers showcased their learning activities on using Microsoft Technologies (Skype, Minecraft, OneNote). The hack STEM experience gave an opportunity for educators to build a bionic hand as part of Hacking STEM curriculum.

The event culminated on the 23rd of March, with Global Educator Challenge awards given out at the final Awards closing Ceremony to honour educators who have shown exceptional innovation in their fields and during the sessions held at E2. The awards are intended to further Microsoft’s commitment to the enhancement of education standards, by identifying true thought leaders who are transforming their learning environments.

“A systematic approach to learning, and effective fusion of technology and pedagogy have the potential to bring about a significant change in today’s world” said Ahmed Ameen Ashour, Education Lead, Microsoft Gulf. “MIE experts who attended the conference share our vision for smart learning in the classrooms, feeding into our goal of providing new technology for learning and training. E2 provides an excellent opportunity for us to get valuable feedback of educators, and share best practices to develop new and exciting tools for the modern classroom; building the best educational solutions for the next generation.”

DMCA’s achievements and Maritime Dubai initiative draw attention of international maritime leaders at Nor-shipping 2017

DMCA’s achievements and Maritime Dubai initiative draw attention of international maritime leaders at Nor-shipping 2017

Dubai creates significant impression as world’s 5th highest maritime city in terms of competitiveness & attractiveness


May 31, 2017
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Dubai Maritime City Authority’s (DMCA) participation at the Nor-Shipping 2017 – the leading maritime event week, taking place from May 30 to June 2, 2017 in Oslo and Lillestrøm, Norway, draws an unprecedented attention with its successive achievements building a maritime sector that supports sustainability and growth. The Authority’s presence at the event is well-timed as Dubai has recently been elected as the first Arab city to lead the region at par with top maritime leaders. Dubai ranked 5th among the world’s most competitive and attractive maritime clusters, and moved three places to be 10th internationally in the list of the world’s best maritime capitals in 2017.


Upon his visit to the DMCA stand at the exhibition, H.E. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Juwayed, UAE Ambassador to Norway, said: “The UAE plays a significant role across the global maritime sector, particularly as a leading maritime hub–the first in the Arab region that has left a positive impact on the international maritime industry. The participation in this global event will give the UAE the opportunity to showcase the benefits and advantages offered by the country’s maritime sector and to also highlight Dubai’s pioneering maritime position–which is currently ranked as fifth in the world in terms of competitiveness and attractiveness.”

DMCA stand attracts big interest from the international maritime industry as it highlights the competitive advantages of Maritime Dubai initiative of Dubai’s maritime sector. The authority also focuses on highlighting the efforts being made to strengthening port management, shipping, ship maintenance, and operational management. Visitors to Nor-shipping 2017 will get a deeper insight about the pivotal economic role of Dubai’s maritime sector, which contributes AED 26.9 billion or 7 per cent to the emirate’s GDP and generates more than 76,000 jobs.

Amer Ali, Executive Director of Dubai Maritime City Authority, said: “DMCA’s participation in the 2017 edition of Nor-shipping is strategically important as it reinforces our efforts to share Dubai’s leading experience globally. We are keen to share our knowledge, experiences and achievements that has positioned Dubai as one of the world’s top 5 maritime clusters in terms of competitiveness and attractiveness. We are excited to create a tremendous impression with our strategic initiatives because of which there are more than 5500 maritime companies operating in the local maritime cluster. DMCA also aims to enhance the number of local maritime activities which has increased to 13,000 in 2017 in line with the objectives of Dubai Plan 2021 with the objective of transforming Dubai to a key pillar of international economy.”

Ali added: “We are glad to be part again of Nor-Shipping Exhibition as it offers an ideal platform to us to showcase Dubai’s march towards leadership and its pioneering position on the maritime map. The local maritime sector’s attractive components, under the guidance of the wise leadership and DMCA’s continuing efforts, have become one of the top 5 sectors influencing Dubai’s economic development by achieving an unprecedented growth of over 25 per cent since 2011. We are confident that our presence in the event will enable us to interact with global maritime leaders as well as sign strategic partnerships, promoting shipping growth, ports, marine engineering, maritime training and support which provide solid foundation for establishing a sustainable and integrated marine sector.

Dubai Maritime Cluster Office, established by DMCA as part of DMCA’s innovative initiatives and continuous efforts to upgrade maritime and logistics services, is gaining big interest from international participants at Nor-Shipping 2017. It attracts significance as it contributes continuously in updating legislation, regulation and infrastructure as well as the improvement of the operational processes according to the highest standards of excellence, quality, innovation and maritime safety. During the exhibition, DMCA will be showcasing the progress achieved in terms of updating its infrastructure and legal system and providing diversified investment opportunities which are designed to strengthen the confidence of regional and international investors in the local maritime environment. All these activities are within the framework of the government’s ongoing support to make Dubai as one of the top maritime hubs globally by 2021 based on the pillars of innovation, excellence and creativity.

Visitors to the DMCA stand at Nor-shipping 2017 will be able to learn more about the initiatives and achievements of the past year, including Innovation Quay – a new and ambitious initiative designed to take advantage of technological innovation to promote development in all aspects of the maritime sector. Another initiative of DMCA is UAE Maritime Week, a world-class forum designed to provide a visionary concept on the future of maritime industry. Other initiatives are Dubai Maritime Training Centre operating under Maritime Creativity Lab, Dubai Maritime Virtual Cluster, and Dubai Maritime Summit, the sponsor of the ‘Dubai Maritime Innovation Award’ which aims to support the efforts to honor innovative initiatives and stimulate innovation within the maritime sector.

Expo Centre Sharjah Calls Upon Exhibitions Sector Stakeholders to Establish a Middle East League


Aiming at Enhancing Experience Sharing and Elevating the Sector
Expo Centre Sharjah Calls Upon Exhibitions Sector Stakeholders to Establish a Middle East League

UAE, May 30, 2017
Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Chief Executive Officer of Expo Centre Sharjah, President of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry in the Middle East and Africa, Chairman of UFI’s MEA Chapter, has called upon all stakeholders in the exhibitions industry in the region to establish a Middle East Exhibitions League, similar to counterparts in various regions in the world.
Al Midfa considered that the quick advances the world is seeing requires all stakeholders to develop new strategies for the coming years, based on advanced visions that take into consideration the latest economic transformations, both regionally and internationally. According to Al Midfa, these transformations will soon force a major change in dogma, from “think global and act local” to “think global and act global”.
Al Midfa’s remarks were part of his keynote speech at the Expo Network Forum Middle East held at the Fairmont Hotel Dubai lately, with major players and stakeholders in the exhibitions sector in the Middle East in presence. The forum was also attended by a number of Expo Centre Sharjah staff. The conferees discussed latest advances in the sector, and means for sharing experiences and best practices.
In his comments during the Panel discussion: “Inside the Exhibition Industry in ME” session, Al Midfa highlighted that the UAE has become a pioneering business hub, both regionally and globally, and the same applies to the exhibitions sector, in which Sharjah takes a leading role.
Al Midfa also warned against the threats of cybercrimes, which has become a major challenge to the exhibitions sector around the world. This, Al Midfa added, makes it imperial to study this new threat and mitigate its impact on the industry.

Expo Centre Sharjah
Al Midfa highlighted the importance of strategic planning in the industry, noting that Expo Centre Sharjah has long realized the importance of maintaining high profile events, such as the Middle East Watch and Jewellery Show, SteelFab, the International Education Show, and many more. This stems from the Expo’s belief in the role of well established events in attracting visitors and exhibitors alike.
Asked about managing exhibitors’ expectations, Al Midfa noted that Expo Centre Sharjah works on data collection via surveys and studies that probe exhibitors’ opinion and feedback. Further, the Centre organizes open discussions with elite exhibitors to get their feedback and comments.
On the Watch and Jewellery Show, Al Midfa noted that the biennial event is considered one of the largest of its kind the Middle East, and the only to target B2B and B2C together Al Midfa revealed that the show attracted around 11,000 visitors a day in its last edition, attributing this success to the UAE’s great support of this sector, and the state-of-the-art infrastructure it enjoys.
It is worth mentioning that Explori, the leading firm specialized in international exhibitions surveys and statistics, revealed that the UAE occupies the first ranking in exhibitions in the Middle East and Africa, with over 265 successful events in 2016, followed by South Africa with 209, and Turkey with 197. The company also revealed that exhibitions and events in the region (including the UAE) attracted 17 million visitors.