Saturday, June 22, 2013

UAE is Middle East’s Top Brand Building Country

UAE is Middle East’s Top Brand Building Country

• Study reveals more of MENA’s top 50 brands from UAE than anywhere else
• Emirates leads the group of 15 from UAE
• Total value of UAE brands is nearly $15 bn (37% of the MENA total)

Dubai, UAE, 22 June 2013: The UAE has 15 brands out of the top 50 brands in MENA in 2013, with a brand value touching US$ 14.48 billion according to a recent study published by Brand Finance, the world’s largest independent intangible assets and brand valuation consultancy.

According to the study, the value of the UAE brands constitutes 37 percent of the total value of US$ 39.33 billion of the top 50 MENA brands.

Emirates (brand value of US$ 4.1 billion) leads the list, followed by Etisalat (brand value of US$ 3.4 billion). Leading the airlines and telecoms industries in the MENA region, the UAE also dominated the MENA real estate sector with Emaar Properties (brand value of US$ 468 million) and the commercial services sector with DP World (brand value of US$ 681 million).

29 brands out of the 50 are from UAE and KSA, constituting 70% of the total brands’ value in The Middle East, a clear indication of the dominance of the two business power-houses of the Middle East; though KSA comes second with a marginal difference, with a total of 14 brands compared to UAE’s 15 brands, but KSA recorded the highest ever growth of 11% in total brand value.

Hany Mwafy, Managing Director, Brand Finance Middle East said: “With offices in more than 22 countries, Brand Finance publishes tables of the most valuable brands at both the global and regional level, providing crucial insights to brand managers and broader business community. Being the one and only brand valuation study to target the MENA region, the BrandFinance® MENA 50 serves as a benchmark of the Middle East’s top brands.”

According to the study, Etisalat is the most valuable telecom brand in the Middle East, followed by STC. Etisalat’s Saudi brand Mobily had the highest growth at 55%.

“The GCC is still in early stages of developing its own brands organically. However, the pace is accelerating, with Emirates, Etihad, Etisalat, Jumeirah and Al Jazeera leading the way by becoming truly global brands. The recent rebranding of Qtel to Ooreedoo demonstrates the growing self-confidence of GCC brands appealing globally to Arab audiences. Bold marketing actions and big marketing budgets are now driving the organic growth of GCC brands. In the coming year we expect to see further growth in the number of acquired western brands, together with significant organic growth of home grown brands,” Mwafy commented.

This year the Middle East Top 50 witnessed a growth of 5% compared to 2012 which is below the global level of 2013 brands’ value growth at 12%. However, the brand value to enterprise value of total Middle East brands is only 7% compared to the global level of 16%.

Though most of the banks in the Middle East witnessed a drop in their brand value, they still hold dominant positions in the top 50 List: 26 brands out of the top 50 are from the banking sector. QNB leads the way in the 7th place, a remarkable achievement for a brand that was ranked 39th in 2009. Kuwait Finance House saw the highest growth ratio at 67% and Arab Bank was the only brand carrying the Jordanian flag to be featured in the Top 50 Middle East list.

Mwafy added: “Businesses in the Middle East have successfully laid the foundations of strong tangible assets, whether in manufacturing, service or distribution. They must build on their existing successes focusing on the intangibles; emulating local champions such as Emirates, to capture market share, deliver for the global consumer and deliver superior financial performance.

The GCC has some of the wealthiest investors and sovereign wealth funds in the world. GCC has been investing in highly branded US and EU businesses. Shell, Barclays, AMEX, Citi, Harrods, Sainsbury’s, Paris St German and Manchester City are just some of the global brands at the receiving end of GCC investor interest.”

The Brand Finance study was published in the MENA region in collaboration with Virtue PR & Marketing Communications.

RTA to open internal roads in 3 districts this year

RTA to open internal roads in 3 districts this year

Neighbourhoods covered include Al Qouz 2 & 3, Al Qusais 3

The Roads & Transport Authority – Mohammed Al Munji:
The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) is set to open in the forthcoming months internal road projects in three residential districts namely; Al Qusais 3, Al Qouz 2 (Phase 1), and Al Qouz 3, at a combined cost of about 82 million dirham.

“The projects to be accomplished shortly are part of RTA 5-Year Plan for paving roads in several neighbourhoods across Dubai Emirate (2012 – 2016), endorsed by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, costing about one billion dirham,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.
“By the end of June 2013, the RTA will open the Internal Roads Project at Al Qusais 3, which spans an area of 225 hectares. The Project, which costs 23.21 million dirham, includes the pavement of roads stretching 6 km, roadside parking slots, car parks for the existing mosques, street lighting network comprising 597 lighting poles all over the district, revamping & linking rainwater drainage network, protecting the existing utility works in the project area, road markings, traffic signals and artificial humps to ensure the safety of road users in the neighbourhood,” explained Al Tayer.

He continued: “In mid of September 2013, the RTA will open the internal roads project at Al Qouz 3, costing 21.732 million dirham. The Project, which has hit a completion rate of more than 65%, comprises the pavement of 8 km-long roads covering collector roads of 7 meters in width, local roads of 6.5 meters in width, roadside parking slots measuring 2.5 meters in width, lighting works, rainwater drainage services, traffic signage and road markings.”

“Work is up and running in constructing road works at Al Qouz 2 (Phase 1) where the completion rate is nearing 30% and the project is slated for opening by the end of December 2013. The Project, which has a cost tag of about 37.392 million dirham, comprises the construction of roads extending 11 km including single carriageways and dual carriageways, roadside parking slots, storm-water drainage network, sewage system, lighting works, road marking, traffic signals and all traffic safety means for road users,” elaborated RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director.

“The 5-Year Plan for Constructing Internal Roads in Dubai Emirate (2012 – 2016) spans about 16 districts where urbanization rates range from 20 to 80%, and the initial Phase I, costing about Dhs150m, covered five districts namely: Hatta, Al Qusais 3, Al Qouz 2, 3 and 4. Phase II, which started in 2013 costing about 140 million dirham, covers three residential districts namely: Al Muhaisna 2 and Al Barsha South 1 and 2. Phase III, which will start in 2014, covers Al Mamzar, Al Nahda 1, and Oud Mateena 2 costing about 130 million dirham. Phase IV, which will be kicked off in 2015, covers the construction of roads in 3 districts costing about 140 million dirham at Nad El Sheba 4, Oud Mateena 1 and Al Khawaneej 2. In Phase V, which will start in 2016, road construction works to the tune of 250 million dirham will be undertaken in 3 districts namely: Jebel Ali Industrial, Al Qusais Industrial 3, 4 and 5 in addition to Al Awir 1.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Al Tayer watches test run of Al-Sufouh Tram in France

Al Tayer watches test run of Al-Sufouh Tram in France

The Roads & Transport Authority – Mohammed Al Munji:
H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has recently watched the technical test run of Al Sufouh Tram conducted on a 700 km-long test track in the facilities of Alstom Company in France. During the trial run, which was done at various speeds, tests were carried out covered the safety system, electric propulsion system of the tram coaches, braking system, sudden stop during emergency cases, ground power feed of the tram track, overhead power feed in the Depot, and doors operation mechanism.

The practice test was also watched by Adnan Al Hammadi, CEO of Rail Agency; Abdul Rida Abu Al Hassan, Director of Rail Planning & Development Projects; Dr. Khalid Hamdi; Projects Advisor of the Chairman of the Board & Executive Director; Dr. Kamal Adeer, Systems Manager at the Rail Agency; Mohammed Amiri, Manager of Rail Coaches Maintenance; Ali Lootah, Senior Engineer; and a host of executives from Alstom.

“This test run is a milestone in the implementation of Al Sufouh Tramway Project; which is being planned, designed and constructed in conformity with the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, calling for the provision of a sophisticated transit system to serve Jumeirah Beach Residence, Marina and Al Safouh neighborhoods,” said Al Tayer.

“The technical test run is intended to assess & verify the readiness of the tram and the functionality as well as the performance of all control systems at all conditions,” said Al Tayer adding that these test runs would continue till the tram is finally shipped. The validation of test results will cover a variety of aspects including the air-conditioning system, power feed & braking system, coupling of tram coaches, disconnection of power supply, rail surveillance & control system as well as the operational tests of the tram under normal and emergency conditions, he continued.
Al Tayer confirmed that the test was successful in every respect as the tram motion was smooth, and free from vibrations, noises or disturbance as it was fed by a ground power cable system stretching throughout the track. “Al Sufouh Tram system is considered the first of its kind outside Europe fed by ground power cables, with no catenary cables involved. Once the trams start arriving in Dubai next December, the RTA will commission other trial tests at the track site and these tests will roll on till the official launch of the tram service in November 2014,” remarked Al Tayer who was elated for the amount of work done culminating in the completion of the tram test.

Highlighting the Project, Al Tayer said: "Al Sufouh Tramway extends 14.6 km alongside Al Sufouh Road, and the initial Phase of the project envisages the construction of a 10.6 km-long track starting from the Dubai Marina and stretching up to the Tram Depot near the Dubai Police Academy. The Tram network comprises 17 passenger stations, 11 of which are covered under Phase I and spread across activity and population density areas along the tramway. The fleet comprises 11 trams in the initial phase, and 14 trams will be added in Phase II such that the total number of operating trams will be 25 trams. The tram is expected to lift about 27,000 riders per day at the start of operations in 2014, and the ridership is bound to pick up to hit 66,000 riders per day by 2020.

“Each tram measures 44 meters in length and has a capacity to accommodate about 300 riders. The Tram has a First Class (Gold Suite) and one cabin designated for ladies & children as well as a Silver Class cabin. The tram's carriages & stations will have deluxe interior finishing, and feature state-of-the-art technologies in the transmission and display of entertainment materials. In the stations, the passenger lounge will span 44 metres and is set to be equipped with Automatic Fare Collections systems.
“The tram track basically extends at-grade level along Al Sufouh Road but rises in an elevated section when passing across certain parts of the Dubai Marina for reasons dictated by urban structures of the locality. It links up with the Metro system at three stations along Sheikh Zayed Road via footbridges to ease the transit and transfer of passengers between the two modes. Al Sufouh Tram will also be linked with the Monorail of The Palm Jumeirah at the entrance of the Palm from Al Sufouh Road to facilitate passenger movement between districts served by both modes.

“Al Sufouh Tram is considered the world's first tramway project powered by a ground-based electric supply system extending along the track, thus obviating the need for catenary cables. It is also the world's first tramway that uses Platform Screen Doors in passenger stations fully aligned with the tram's doors opening and shutting mechanism, providing maximum convenience, safety and security for passengers, and at the same time protecting the quality of the air-conditioning in the interior of both stations and carriages from external climatic conditions,” said Al Tayer in a final comment.

Al Tayer during the test run of Al Sufouh Tram

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cayan Tower pictures, aka Infinity Tower, Dubai Marina , 14/June/2013

RTA puts final touches on Rashid Hospital Tunnels Project

RTA puts final touches on Rashid Hospital Tunnels Project

The project is set for opening by the end of June 2013

The Roads & Transport Authority – Mohammed Al Munji:
The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) announces that the company undertaking the construction of Rashid Hospital Tunnels Project has completed all construction works and is currently putting the final touches on the project which is slated for full opening on 30 June 2013.

“The implementation of Rashid Hospital Tunnels Project, which costs about 722 million dirham, is part of a master plan through which the RTA is seeking to alleviate the traffic congestion in the surroundings of Sheikh Rashid Hospital, and improve the traffic flow in the area. Accordingly, the intake of roads within the project realms is set to increase upon the project completion to as much as 6000 vehicles per hour,” said H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.

“The Project comprises the construction of several streets and two tunnels, each comprising two lanes, to serve the traffic coming from Tariq bin Ziyad & Umm Harir Streets and heading towards the intersection of Al Riyadh Street with the extension of the Floating Bridge. The first tunnel passes from Tariq bin Ziyad Street underneath Al Maktoum Bridge, and the other one; which is inbound from Umm Harir Street, passes across Oud Metha Park, and the two tunnels merge to form a 4-lane street heading towards Al Riyadh Street via Rashid Hospital. The Project also encompasses converting the intersection of Riyadh Street with the extension of the Floating Bridge into a 4-lane passageway, widening Tariq bin Ziyad Street, improving Oud Metha & Umm Harir Streets, and constructing a street to handle the traffic inbound from the Floating Bridge and heading towards Tariq bin Ziyad Street," elaborated Al Tayer.

It is note-worthy that the RTA has constructed several projects in Bur Dubai to eliminate tailbacks and enhance roads capacity to keep up with the mounting urbanization and traffic growth rates. In this regard the RTA constructed the Floating Bridge, just half a kilometer off Al Maktoum Bridge, which comprises six lanes stretching from the surface intersection near City Center and Dubai Golf Club in Deira and terminates at the intersection to be constructed on Al Riyadh Street. The Project included modifications to improve the efficiency of junctions in the vicinity of Al Riyadh Street where several R/As in the direction of the Creek Park have been converted into signalized junctions. The project also provided an additional lane between Khalid bin Al Waleed Street and Oud Metha on the one hand, and Al Ittihad Street and Deira on the other.

The RTA has also widened Al Maktoum Bridge from 9 to 11 lanes along with streets in the approaches of the Bridge from two to three lanes to handle the traffic inbound from Umm Harir Street; a step which has increased the vehicular capacity of the street and eased the congestion of traffic inbound from Sheikh Zayed Road in the direction of Deira. The RTA also improved the capacity of Khalid bin Al Waleed Street to ease the pressure on this vital corridor and ensure a seamless traffic flow in the direction of Deira. Improvements and widening of the Bridge works also included increasing the number of lanes in the direction from Deira to Bur Dubai from four to six lanes along the Bridge.

“The RTA is following up improvement works in several main roads in Dubai city as part of a series of vital projects underway aimed to improve roads and provide advanced services at residential districts to bring them in line with RTA's strategy and its ongoing endeavours to match the urbanization drive and serve the requirements of growth as well as the needs of the demographic expansion in the Emirate,” said Al Tayer in a concluding remark.

 Mattar Al Tayer
 Finishing works in Rashid Hospital Tunnels Project

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