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Dubai’s economy continues to experience sustained growth from the contribution of business tourism, thereby driving the nation’s economic diversification agenda prioritised in the UAE Centennial 2071 strategy.

As such, the Dubai World Trade Centre’s, DWTC, latest Economic Impact Assessment report for 2018 saw a record AED13.1 billion, equivalent to 3.3 percent of the emirate’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, added in incremental retained economic value by the DWTC. The total corresponding gross output was estimated at AED23 billion, resulting in a high 57 percent locally retained impact, marking a three percent increase over 2017.

Analysing the factors underlying the DWTC’s growing contribution to the city’s GDP acceleration agenda, the report highlighted the success of the venue’s 97 large-scale exhibitions, trade events, conventions and conferences hosted through 2018.

“Our role as a leading global platform for business events across the EMEASA region has us ably support Dubai and the UAE in the diversification and sustainable growth agenda. The 2018 Economic Impact Assessment white paper sheds light on the DWTC’s approach and proven ability to unlock ecosystem-wide economic value, creating even more critical wider socio-economic impact, ultimately spurring business expansion investment and leadership for Dubai as the world’s number one hub for international businesses,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

The study attributed the record AED13.1 billion in retained economic value for Dubai’s largely import-based economy to the performance of the DWTC’s large-scale events, estimating that for every AED1 spent at these events, a further 4.4 times in sales value was generated for ancillary sectors and Dubai’s wider economy.

Europe accounted for the highest number of international business event visitors at 25 percent, followed by the GCC (21 percent), and the MENA region (17 percent). Five key industry sectors dominated in 2018, including Food, Hotel and Catering; Healthcare, Medical and Science; Information Technology, Business and Finance; Energy and Environment; and Industrial Manufacturing, accounting for 66 percent (AED8.6 billion) of the Gross Value Added to Dubai’s economy. The report estimates that these five sectors attracted 62 percent (1.6 million) of all attendees to the DWTC’s 97 large-scale events in 2018.

According to the Economic Impact report, a total of 87,861 jobs were attributable to the DWTC’s business events sector in 2018, and generated an aggregate AED4.2 billion in disposable household income.

The data from the Economic Impact Report confirms that international business traffic to events has continuously proven to be significant in driving economic development. The impact goes far beyond the economy, extending to residents, trade professionals and businesses alike.

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Following the success of the first ever City-Experience Mini Program launched by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) in collaboration with WeChat, the programme has been further enhanced with the launch of 10 new digital audio tours which are available for visitors to use while exploring the city. Inviting the users of China’s most popular social networking site to easily access Dubai’s tourist attractions during their stay, the newly re-branded ‘Dubai Mini Assistant’ elevates the existing program to a more advanced digital maturity, now offering sophisticated chatbot capabilities, powered by Tencent’s AI technology, to provide seamless experiences and services to Chinese travellers.

With robust growth in overnight visitors from China in the first quarter of 2019, the new audio tours further add to the ease of accessibility for these tourists when visiting Dubai, allowing them to discover the city’s many historic sites and cultural landmarks through their mobile phones. Reconfirming its continued commitment to one of the emirate’s top source markets, Dubai Mini Assistant forms part of the Department’s city-wide ‘China Readiness’ strategy, focused on designing an enriching and memorable experience for Chinese travellers.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) said: “China is quickly emerging as one of the fastest growing source markets for Dubai’s tourism industry, with the city welcoming more than 433,000 visitors in the first five months of the year (representing an eight per cent increase when compared to the same period in 2018). Underpinned by this sustained growth, the launch of the new audio tours on our new Mini Program ‘Dubai Mini Assistant’ further supports our ongoing ‘China Readiness’ strategy which aims to enhance the holistic experiences of Chinese travellers across the emirate – particularly those who are increasingly seeking personalised itineraries and independent travel solutions. As such, these apps will not only promote the city as a ‘must visit’ and easily accessible holiday destination but will also provide visitors with an enhanced understanding of Dubai’s history and culture through smart and convenient platforms. Additionally, the audio tours work in line with Dubai’s ‘Smart City’ initiative, which aims to streamline and enhance the visitor experience through the provision of innovative digital services.”

Supported by GPS technology, the tours use audio narrations to guide visitors through Dubai, automatically progressing from one point of interest to the next in real-time, depending on the user’s location. The pre-recorded audios will be available in Mandarin, while each tour will also be available in text form and accompanied by a map to help with navigation.

Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Development & Investments, Dubai Tourism, said: “The launch of the digital audio tours on ‘Dubai Mini Assistant’ further supports our ongoing strategy to ensure that Chinese travellers are well equipped to make the most of their stay in Dubai. We have curated a selection of immersive tours that allow them to explore the city independently and our partnership with Tencent enables us to assist them with navigation through accurate content and engagement with local tradition. From historical architecture to Dubai’s remarkable gastronomy and iconic desert landscape, we encourage our Chinese visitors to embark on an adventure of their own to enhance their understanding of the emirate’s history and culture., the audio tours allow easy accessibility to many of the city’s hidden gems across a variety of locations, all via the integrated social platform, WeChat.”

Chinese visitors can choose from 10 tours covering several districts across Dubai, including Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai and Deira. Each of the self-guided tours are focused on a dedicated theme, primarily highlighting Dubai’s culture, art and heritage through a unique perspective.

The tours include the Deira Food Tour, inviting travellers to embark on a gastronomic journey to discover the diverse cultures in Dubai. Such a tour has already been created for Deira district, as it embraces the different cultures that have contributed to shaping Dubai as an international city.

The Dubai Desert Tour offers a taste of the city’s unique desert culture with historical facts along the way as users are invited to explore picturesque landscapes set amidst the city’s sand dunes. This includes an introduction to Dubai’s history; insights into how the desert is an integral part of Emirati and Bedouin life; a discussion about the traditional practices, folklore and activities held in the desert; an overview of the desert’s nature; highlights into the significance of camels (in providing food, transportation, shelter, and camel racing); and a list of various activities that they can enjoy while camping in the desert.

The Dubai Architecture Tour focuses on panoramic views of Dubai’s iconic skyline, with a focus on the landmarks of Downtown Dubai and how the city’s history led to this incredibly modern landscape.

The Follow Your Nose sensory tour examines the relationship between the UAE and the art of perfumery, exploring the historic neighbourhood of Deira and its surrounding souks, to the new Perfume House in Shindagha. This tour heavily relies on the sights and smells to highlight the intrinsic cultural element.

Metro Moments 1 and 2 will enable tourists to explore the emirate’s history as they travel on the Dubai Metro, passing through districts that were once covered by sand. These tours cover the metro route from DXB Terminal 3 to the DMCC Metro Station.

The Tales of the Past walking tour, from Bur Dubai to Dubai Gold Souk, helps users explore Deira as a neighbourhood that once stood as the hub of the city’s pearl trade and played a key role in advancing the local culture and economy.

The Al Fahidi Architecture Tour takes visitors through the old neighbourhood of Al Fahidi, helping them explore Dubai’s culture and heritage as well as the Emirati traditional architecture embodied through the collection of sikkas and wind-towers. The walking tour also delves into the city’s maritime past when taking visitors through Dubai Creek.

The Dubai Canal Tour enables tourists to discover beautiful views of the city’s skyline from the Dubai Water Canal and around the coastal landmarks. Part 1 of this tour will travel from Al Jaddaf to Downtown Burj Khalifa areas, themed around both the local history and culture as well as the city’s urban development and architecture.

Finally, the On the Road to Etihad tour is designed to help users understand what Dubai’s modern history means for its communities. This includes an exploration of how the local history and traditions are reflected in various aspects across the city through its wide range of shops, food, and art.

In addition to being highly informative, the audio nature of the guides is also designed to assist visually impaired travellers with making the most of their time in the city, forming part of Dubai Tourism’s commitment to the UAE’s ‘People of Determination Initiative’.

All digital audio tours are now available via Dubai WeChat Mini Program; ‘Dubai Mini Assistant’.

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In a sign of continuing investor confidence in Dubai and new opportunities arising across diverse economic sectors, the Department of Economic Development (DED) in the emirate issued 2,394 new licenses for various professional, commercial, industrial and tourism activities in June 2019. According to the Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) sector in DED 58.5% of the new licences were professional, 38.9% commercial, 1.9% related to tourism and 0.7% industry, and together, they created 7,598 jobs in the labour market.

The ‘Business Map’ digital platform of DED, which seeks to reflect the economic realities in Dubai by providing vital data on each license category including their numbers and distribution on a monthly basis, saw 22,759 business registration and licensing transactions being completed during June 2019. The outsourced service centres of DED accounted for 19,912 transactions – 87% of the total – thus demonstrating their vital role in delivering value-added services to the public in Dubai.

The report showed that License Renewal accounted for 10,417 transactions in June 2019, including 5,335 (51.2%) transactions related to Auto Renewal via text messages.

The June 2019 transactions also showed that Trade Name Reservation accounted for 3,593 transactions, while the number of Initial Approvals reached 2,905. The total number of Commercial Permits reached 906 in June 2019.

BRL also issued 250 instant licenses, which is processed in a single step without the need for either the Memorandum of Association or an existing location for the first year, while the number of DED Trader licenses, which allows to conduct business activities on social media, reached 219 in June 2019.

The report also showed that the top nationalities who secured licenses in June 2019 were: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Britain, China, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, The Philippines and Lebanon in that order.

The Bur Dubai area accounted for for the largest share (1,399) of licences issued in June 2019, followed by Deira (993), and Hatta (2). The top sub-regions, which accounted for 64.8% of all the transactions, were: Al Garhoud (13.4%), Al Barsha 1 (12.2%), Burj Khalifa (10.3%), Al Fahidi (10.1%), Port Saeed (5.3%), Dubai World Trade Centre 1 (3.0%), Oud Metha (3.0%), Umm Al Ramoul (2.8%), Al Marar (2.8%), and Naif (1.9%).

Real estate, leasing & business services accounted for 38.8% of the new licenses issued in June 2019 according to the distribution of economic activities, followed by Trade & repair services (27.1%), Community & personal services (12.6%), Building & Construction (8.3%), Transport, storage & communications (4.5%), Hotels group (3.4%), Manufacturing (2.4%), Financial brokerage (1.5%), Health & labour (0.6%), Education (0.5%), and Agriculture (0.3%).

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New banking and licensing solutions tailored to the needs of startups, an uptick in the number of fintech startups specialising in SME banking and increased cooperation between UAE banks and the country’s startup ecosystem are among the key achievements outlined by the Dubai Chamber-led working group on SME banking.

The working group, in cooperation with Smart Dubai, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec) and a leading UAE bank, has developed a new one-stop shop solution powered by blockchain technology which enables startups and SMEs to apply for a business license and open a bank account.

Following the establishment of the working group and the release of a whitepaper on SME banking challenges published by Dubai Chamber in September 2018, two of its members – RAK Bank and Mashreq Bank –  have begun offering new digital solutions and additional services designed specifically for startups. Meanwhile, an uptick has been observed in the number of fintech startups in Dubai addressing SME banking challenges, signalling stronger awareness about such matters.

Collaboration between UAE banks and the country’s startup ecosystem has increased considerably over the last nine months. For example, Noor Bank assisted 20 startups from Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec) in opening bank accounts during the same period, marking a year-over-year increase of 35%. Enhanced communication about application documentation on the part of the bank reduced processing time and simplified the customer experience by providing startup customers with transparency and clarity up front.

In addition, the working group noted an increase in the number of partnerships and between UAE banks, incubators and accelerators which is seen as a positive sign that industry stakeholders are stepping up their efforts to meet the evolving demands of tech startups in the country and develop practical and tangible solutions that can benefit this community.  

H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy said: “The Ministry of Economy works very closely with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and all strategic partners in UAE to enhance the competitiveness of the SME, entrepreneurship and startups sector for the UAE nationals and foreign investors in order to achieve the economic strategy and UAE Vision 2021.”

H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, lauded the achievements of the working group and noted that Dubai Chamber continues to examine key challenges faced by startups in Dubai through research and analysis which yields valuable market insights, paving the way for the implementation of new solutions that create value for businesses in the emirate.

“The proactive and collaborative approach taken by the working group in addressing existing challenges faced by SMEs is the result of close cooperation between public and private sector players. Dubai Chamber plays an active role in fostering such collaboration with the aim of improving ease of doing business and enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs in Dubai,” said H.E. Buamim.

Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai, said: “Smart Dubai is committed to joining all efforts to empower startups in the UAE. SMEs lead the way in terms of creativity and we consider them to be an essential partner for us on our mission to spearhead Dubai’s transformation into a full-fledged smart city of the future – a mission that makes it indispensable for us to promote innovation and embrace emerging technologies as a means to transform services across the city.”

“Smart Dubai is open to collaborating with government and private entities across the emirate to transform Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world, as directed by our wise leadership,” H.E. Dr Aisha added. “We are delighted to be working together with the Dubai Chamber to engage the SME sector in Dubai’s future plans.”

The working group on SME banking group was among the key recommendations outlined by a recent study conducted by Dubai Chamber in coordination with the UAE Ministry of Economy and the UAE’s Council of SMEs and global consultancy firm Roland Berger which featured insights on various issues impacting SMEs in the UAE, including access to finance and banking services, regulatory requirements, and the need for digital solutions.

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The Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) Sector in Dubai Economy is adopting a new technology based on artificial intelligence (AI) to fight counterfeiting in Dubai. Developed by the US company ‘Entrupy,’ the new technology will help detect counterfeit goods sold across shops in Dubai. The new technology is being adopted in line with the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to integrate artificial intelligence in the pursuit of excellence across government services and as part of the strategic objective of Dubai Economy to enhance competitiveness and sustainability through protecting the rights of consumers and trademark owners.

Entrupy’s AI-based device is linked to a vast database comprising thousands of microscopic images of branded goods, particularly leather products, watches and accessories as well as clothing. The company will add more branded products to its interface in co-ordination with Dubai Economy by the last quarter of 2019.

Mohammed Ali Rashid Lootah, CEO of CCCP, said Dubai Economy will be the first government entity in the UAE and the region to adopt AI solutions to fight counterfeiting. “The new technology helps to increase the accuracy in confiscations and save time and effort during field inspections, thereby enhancing happiness and productivity among our employees.”

Lootah added that the new solution is a qualitative addition to the AI technology adopted in 2018 to protect and empower consumers Dubai to the satisfaction of businesses and consumers.

With the new device the inspector can detect counterfeit goods with high speed and accuracy thereby eliminating time-consuming communication and verification with trademark representatives. With the vast number of consumer goods being sold in Dubai, CCCP inspectors had to be trained periodically in association with trademark owners on identifying counterfeit goods. In some cases, the confiscated goods had to go to the regional or global offices of the trademark owners for laboratory tests for verification.  Sometimes the test may show that the product is original but the while process would have taken a fortnight or up to two months.

“We seek to regulate the relationship between the merchant and consumer as it is important to Dubai’s reputation as a business hub,” said Lootah. “The new technology will make brand owners more confident of their rights being protected in Dubai and provide them with a fast and simple alternative in case they had registered their products here by conventional means. They can now use the tech solution to feed data and images relating to their product electronically.”

Lootah stressed that Dubai Economy will not tolerate any kind of commercial fraud and called on consumers to report any such activity that may come to their attention by calling 600 54 5555 or on the Dubai Consumer app available on Android and iOS.

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Emirates, the title sponsor of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, has revealed a brand new livery dedicated to the milestone 50th staging of Dubai’s flagship sporting event, and one of the key tournaments on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series.The new livery serves as a symbol of the airline’s commitment to the long-standing Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens and features a large scale version of male and female rugby players in action against a red backdrop. As a nod to the multi-cultural makeup of rugby-loving nations that compete in the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, the airline called on its own cabin crew rugby teams, the Flying Muppets and EK Firebirds, to welcome the new livery. The two squads ran through drills and scrums around the aircraft as it was being pushed out of the Emirates Engineering hangar. The Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens themed A380 livery took flight to Glasgow on 20th July, and is scheduled to visit rugby loving nations over the course of the next few months.

Gary Chapman, President of Emirates Group Services & dnata said: “This livery is one of the many ways we are celebrating the milestone 50th anniversary of the Emirates Airline Rugby Sevens. For the rest of the year it will fly across the world, inspiring both new and diehard rugby fans everywhere to share in the excitement. With three days of exhilarating rugby action, fantastic family activities and incredible entertainment from pop icon Kylie Minogue, it’s going to be the perfect celebration of Dubai’s favourite sporting event.”

As the longest running sports event in the Middle East, the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, taking place from 5-7 December, has grown to become one of the world’s premier rugby events, hosting the first leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the second leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. It also plays host to an ever-popular and growing international Invitation Tournament, featuring rugby and netball teams from all over the world, with over 300 teams participating across all age groups. This year, over 100,000 fans and spectators will pass through the Sevens gates across the three days. The 50th edition of Dubai’s largest sporting and social event will also see international pop star Kylie Minogue headlining a concert on Friday 6th December.

Emirates connection to the game of rugby goes back to 1987, when the airline became the Dubai Rugby Sevens event’s Official Sponsor. Emirates has focused its efforts on supporting rugby as a valuable way of engaging with customers and fans of the sport.

In 2019, Emirates will be celebrating another highlight on the rugby calendar, as the official worldwide partner and official airline of the Rugby World Cup, being staged in Japan.  Emirates currently sponsors the IRB’s Referee’s and Match Officials in addition to our partnership with the UAE Rugby Association.

Rula TadrosEmirates Public Relations

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Members of Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai, can use travel and shopping spends from their summer holiday this year to earn more Skywards Miles that can get them closer to their next dream getaway.

Miles earned through Emirates Skywards special offers can be redeemed for flights on Emirates, flydubai and other partner airlines or can be used to access a variety of retail and lifestyle rewards.

New partnership with The Bicester Village Shopping Collection

Emirates Skywards members will now be able to earn Miles when shopping for their favourite fashion and lifestyle brands at more than 1,300 boutiques across The Bicester Village Shopping Collection located in Europe and China. Members will earn 1 Skywards Mile for every EUR 1, GBP 1 or RMB 10 spent at any of the Villages.

Miles can be credited to the member’s Skywards account by presenting the shopping receipt and Skywards membership number at any of the Bicester Villages’ Tourist Information Centres. Set at 11 destinations across Europe and China, the Villages offer guests the opportunity to shop leading fashion and lifestyle brands while enjoying savings of up to 60% on the recommended retail price in Europe and up to 80% in China.

Skywards Platinum and Gold members will also enjoy access to exclusive by-appointment VIP lounges at select Villages. More information on the partnership and on The Bicester Village Shopping Collection can be found here.

Offers on hotel accommodation

Your World Rewards: Emirates Skywards’ joint initiative with Marriott Bonvoy allows dual earning on both brands’ loyalty programmes when flying Emirates and staying at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy globally. Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members who have registered for the Your World Rewards programme will earn 1 Skywards Mile per 1 USD or its foreign equivalent spent on eligible hotel stays with Marriott (in addition to Marriott Bonvoy points ). Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum members enjoy additional benefits such as 4pm late checkout, access to Elite check-in line and enhanced in-room internet access. Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members will earn 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per 1 USD or its foreign equivalent spent on all eligible Emirates flights (in addition to Skywards Miles). Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite also enjoy in-airport benefits, including priority check-in and priority boarding.  Find out more here.

Rocketmiles: Emirates Skywards members can earn up to 10,000 Skywards Miles per night when booking their hotel stays through Emirates. Until 15 September 2019, members can also earn 5,000 bonus Miles when making their first hotel booking with Rocketmiles and complete their stays by 31 December 2019. Find out more here.

Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts: Skywards members booking a minimum of two nights with Shangri-La Hotels before 31 August 2019 for stays until 31 March 2020 can earn double Skywards Miles for their stay. Members need to enrol for Shangri-La’s Golden Circle rewards programme and must choose Flexible Rate when booking their rooms. More information including Terms & Conditions can be found here.

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas: In addition to earning triple Skywards Miles, members can also get discounts on accommodation, dining and spa treatments with Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, AVANI Hotels & Resorts and Tivoli Hotels & Resorts. Eligible stays would have to be booked and completed by 29 February 2020. For further information visit the Emirates Skywards website.

Offers on ground transportation

Cabforce: Airport and city transfers got more rewarding with the Emirates Skywards Cabforce app. All bookings on the app will earn double Skywards Miles until 15 September 2019. Members can book taxis in over 40 countries with the Emirates Skywards Cabforce app. Details on how to download the Emirates Skywards Cabforce app can be found here.

Hertz: Emirates Skywards members renting a car on their holiday from Hertz can earn up to 10.5 Skywards Miles per 1 USD spent and based on their tier. The offer is valid for bookings made until 15 August 2019 and for trips completed by 30 September 2019. More information available here.

Avis: When renting cars with Avis this summer, Emirates Skywards members can earn triple Miles for rentals of three days or more. The offer is valid for up to three rentals which are booked until 31 July 2019 and completed by 30 September 2019. More information available here.

Other Offers to earn Emirates Skywards Miles

The Dubai Mall: For all purchases at The Dubai Mall over AED 100, Skywards members can earn up to 1 Skywards Mile for every US$1 spent. Members have to download The Dubai Mall app, register for the Emaar Malls Rewards Programme, link their Emirates Skywards account to the app and then scan their purchase receipts for the Miles to be credited to their account. Instructions on how to earn miles can be found here.

Co-branded cards and other financial partnerships: Emirates Skywards members can use their Skywards co-branded cards on any of the above offers to earn even more miles per offer. Alternatively members can also transfer loyalty points from select credit card schemes to their Emirates Skywards account. More details on Emirates Skywards’ financial partners can be found on the website.

Sukanya RamanujanEmirates Public Relations, Emirates Group
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Fang, the leading real estate internet platform in China, has marked its launch in the UAE with a special LED show on Burj Khalifa, the global icon. A part of Fang Holdings, Fang leads the online real estate market in China in terms of number of page views and visitors to its websites that provide marketing, listing, financial and value-added services.

For the UAE, Fang has announced the launch of uae.fang.com, a dedicated portal that will exclusively feature property listings in the UAE, covering the country’s leading developers as well as brokerages in China.

Dubai and the UAE are the latest addition to Fang’s extensive portfolio that covers property listing in 658 cities across 24 countries. Fang records 150 million unique views per month and has 120 million registered users. The Fang app has been downloaded over 200 million times and is used for 4.04 million hours on average per month, highlighting its popularity.

With its focus on digital marketing, e-commerce and listings, uae.fang.com aims to further strengthen investment by Chinese investors in Dubai’s real estate market, which has recorded consistent growth in recent years, especially following the visa on arrival status granted to the Chinese by the UAE. Other services provided by uae.fang.com include sales and leasing of residential and commercial real estate, property management and valuations, with all customer services provided by Chinese speakers.

According to reports by the Dubai Land Department, investors from China accounted for nearly AED 1.7 billion of property investments in the first nine months of 2018.  With the UAE announcing long-term visas for property investors, there is increased interest among Chinese investors.

Jian Liu, CEO of Fang, said: “With the launch of uae.fang.com, we are offering the opportunity for real estate developers in Dubai to connect with Chinese customers, who are seeking to invest abroad. Dubai is today one of the most popular destinations for Chinese investors, given the central location of the city, the strong UAE-China bilateral relations, and the positive economic growth environment. Dubai meets all the key considerations of Chinese property investors including higher yields and return, and easy access to high-end retail destinations such as The Dubai Mall, as well as world-class hospitals and universities.

“With Expo 2020 Dubai upcoming, there is increased interest by Chinese investors in Dubai. Through uae.fang.com, customers in China can learn more about investing in the UAE and offers instant access to all the leading residential launches. The Mandarin language site will be updated regularly to showcase all the promising investment choices in the UAE, particularly, Dubai,’ added Jian Liu.

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HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), launched today the Smart Response Service for electricity and water technical notifications, in line with DEWA’s strategy of continuously developing its operations and services through innovation. The Smart Response Service includes several features that empowers customers, such as early self-diagnosis of technical interruption within homes, reducing the necessary steps to deal with complaints and follow-ups, while resolving issues through DEWA’s smart app and website; thereby contributing to enhancing customer experience and efficiency of services. Abdullah Obaidullah, Executive Vice President – Water & Civil, Rashid Bin Humaidan, Executive Vice President – Distribution Power, Dr. Yousef Al Akraf, Executive Vice President – Business Support & Human Resources, Khawla Al Mehairi, Executive Vice President – Corporate Strategy & Government Communication, and Innovation team along with DEWA senior staff attended the launch.

“We launched the Smart Response Service for Technical Notifications today as we consider innovation to be a key pillar at DEWA, and we are keen to integrate it into various strategies and initiatives. In line with DEWA’s vision of becoming a globally leading sustainable innovative corporation, our operations and services are continually developing. We adopt the culture of innovation as a corporate value that contributes to the efficiency and performance of government work. We also strive to provide all the enablers to enhance and develop the knowledge and creative abilities of employees within the work environment to stimulate innovation and creativity. Additionally, we seek to identify the ideas, opinions, and observations of all those concerned to reach innovative initiatives and creative ideas that contribute to the happiness of customers and exceed their expectations. The launch of this service is part of our ongoing efforts to develop value-added services for our clients, supporting the vision and directives of our wise leadership and the Dubai Plan 2021 which aims to make Dubai the most preferred place to live, work, and visit,” said Al Tayer.

“We are working on developing our services by raising their efficiency and effectiveness through innovation, in collaboration with several government organisations to implement improvements within the framework of unified government services. We are also working with the private sector to develop initiatives to respond to electricity and water technical notifications according to the highest global standards, enriching the customer experience, saving their time and effort, and achieving their happiness.”

“We are keen to identify initiatives that will achieve customer happiness by relying on innovative tools to understand and analyse their needs and expectations by engaging them in questionnaires and focus groups. We will study response reports as well as access global best practices and lessons learned from innovation camps and experience surveys, in line with the standards of ‘Dubai The Model (DTM) Centre’ for Service Improvement.”

“We are developing qualitative innovations and initiatives and studying strategic improvement initiatives for services as well as analysing results related to customer experience, and service efficiency. We are preparing current and future journey maps for customer service and identifying necessary initiatives that enhance the customer’s journey and contribute to developing the efficiency and effectiveness of services and the overall customer experience. We rely on a number of mechanisms to develop initiatives, including customer experience questionnaires, brainstorming sessions with stakeholders, in addition to the Services Hackathon to study and gather the opinions and feedback of customers, to strengthen DEWA’s role as an organisation that contributes to promoting a happier lifestyle in Dubai,” concluded Al Tayer.

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Swedish Furniture giant IKEA today announced details of its new store that will open in December 2019, becoming the biggest IKEA in the UAE. Spread across 35,000 square metres including a 5,000 square metres training area for IKEA employees, the store will embrace digital integration to allow for a more intuitive shopping experience for its customers.

Based in Al-Futtaim’s Festival Plaza in Dubai South, bringing to life a new and exciting growth corridor, the project will appeal mainly to the nearby communities including Jebel Ali, Dubai Marina, Barsha, Sufouh, Sports city, JLT, JVC, DIP, and all the new areas in the up and coming Dubai South.

The new store will implement several solutions designed to provide an easy and convenient shopping experience to customers. Home planning wall projectors allow customers to be able to easily visualize products in their home and make decisions around elements including rug sizes and mattress selection. Throughout the main showroom, digital signage and projector solutions will provide customers with information about the range of products available as well as serving as a guide through the store. Customers can use a self-service kiosk in the restaurant driveway or a self-ordering terminal at a table to access the restaurant menu and order a meal.

Vinod Jayan, Managing Director – IKEA UAE, Egypt and Oman, said, “At IKEA we are committed to creating a positive impact on people, society and the planet by making sustainable living affordable, attractive and accessible. For many people in the UAE, building a home is one of the key factors to building their life here so our commitment with our new store is to make that an enjoyable experience for all and more accessible in the significant area of Dubai South.”

“Celebrating 28 years in Dubai, we consider the UAE home to many of our success stories and have so much to offer in our area of expertise to our customers. The opening of the new store is another key milestone on our journey here and we look forward to welcoming you all”, he concluded.

IKEA always looks for innovative solutions to enable people to live more sustainably at home and help them reduce waste, save energy and conserve natural resources. Bringing this to life, the new store will include a number of sustainability innovations. Solar panels will enable the store to receive 20% of its power from solar energy, while efficient AC units and lights with motion-based control will help save energy that could power more than 400 homes yearly. IKEA also recycles 90% of its dry operational waste annually. IKEA’s target is to use only renewable or recycled materials for its products by 2030.

With a multitude of retail, dining and entertainment options, Festival Plaza will serve as a convenient and family lifestyle mall easily accessible from Sheikh Zayed Road, fifteen minutes from Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah and a few minutes away from RTA Energy Metro Station.

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