Educational roadmap

Malaysia is known for developing its’ educational policies through developing its’ human resources, as the Malaysian higher education system focuses on training students to be ready for jobs that mainly depend on practice more than academic knowledge, while the student can gain the needed experience later.

 

On the other hand, Malaysian institutes offer different educational systems such as academic and professional education, leading the higher education focus toward developing the skillset and knowledge of each student to be able to improve their technology skills by themselves.

 

Higher education makes a very big chance for students to work on their professional side through the many MOUs and agreements between ministries to provide training opportunities for local and international university students, with more than 208 certified training institutes.

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Educational roadmap ...

 

 

Dr. Abdulrahim Abdulwahed

 

Malaysia is known for developing its’ educational policies through developing its’ human resources, as the Malaysian higher education system focuses on training students to be ready for jobs that mainly depend on practice more than academic knowledge, while the student can gain the needed experience later.

 

On the other hand, Malaysian institutes offer different educational systems such as academic and professional education, leading the higher education focus toward developing the skillset and knowledge of each student to be able to improve their technology skills by themselves.

 

Higher education makes a very big chance for students to work on their professional side through the many MOUs and agreements between ministries to provide training opportunities for local and international university students, with more than 208 certified training institutes.

 

The National Education and Development Plan for the Government and the Ministry of Education for 2015-2025 has several key points aimed at enhancing vocational training and skills as a parallel path to success in line with higher education, and to achieve the excellence and success that the student will get after graduating from these institutes loaded with various experiences and experiences.

 

Among the official efforts made by the Ministry in developing the education sector concerned is to allow industrial institutes and schools to design and approve curricula and work on the training section within them, simulate the practical reality and accompanying training programs, and coordination between training instructors Professional and technical.

 

However, with getting closer to completion of the major educational achievement by reaching the number of 200,000 foreign students in Malaysia by 2020, the difficult circumstances experienced by the country during the past years, especially before the return of Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to power, has significantly affected the higher education process planned before.

 

We believe that achieving this goal considering the reconstruction phase of state institutions and programs needs to reconsider the implementation of this specific educational strategy. All of this, despite the continued success of this sector in its public image, but it is difficult to achieve the goal set by the number of students within the plans of the government.

 

Statistics show that more than 127,583 international students were enrolled in Malaysia in March 2019. More than 70% of them are studying in private universities and higher education institutions in the private sector. Public universities have seen more than 30,000 foreign students in 2019, According to official statistics.

 

Malaysia will need more than 70,000 international students to join its universities in the year 2020 to achieve its strategic goal, which led the Secretary of the Malaysian Ministry of Education Mohammed Ghazali Abbas to invite public and private universities in the country to work together closely to achieve that goal.

 

The Secretary of the Ministry of Education said that next year will see a growth in the number of foreign students in the country, growth may reach the highest rates of between 20-30%, but those rates on the importance of it will not enable Malaysia to reach its goal of reaching 200 thousand foreign students Next year.

 

Reaching 200,000 foreign students mark, will generate significant revenues for the Malaysian treasury, while in the past years it has earned 7.2 billion ringgits annually from the cost of university study, living costs, and various services spent by foreign students during their study in Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

GCC expects 22 percent increase from UK Visitors by 2024

Arrivals from the UK to the GCC is expected to increase 22 percent over the period 2018 to 2024, driven by new and direct flight routes, competitive air fares and a growing number of leisure travellers, according to the latest data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 19 to 22, 2020.

 

According to a research by Colliers International on behalf of ATM, 2.8 million UK residents will travel to the GCC in 2024, an additional 500,000 travellers when compared to 2018 arrival figures.

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GCC expects 22 percent increase from UK Visitors by 2024

 

 

DUBAI – “ASWAQ”

 

Arrivals from the UK to the GCC is expected to increase 22 percent over the period 2018 to 2024, driven by new and direct flight routes, competitive air fares and a growing number of leisure travellers, according to the latest data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 19 to 22, 2020.

 

According to a research by Colliers International on behalf of ATM, 2.8 million UK residents will travel to the GCC in 2024, an additional 500,000 travellers when compared to 2018 arrival figures.

 

UK tourists travelling to the GCC are expected to generate an estimated USD 6.3 billion in travel and tourism revenue in 2024, an increase of 34 percent when compared with figures from 2018, according to the research data.

 

Last year, total tourism spend in the GCC, reached USD 70.2 billion, with the UK travellers average spend during trips to the region, 27 percent higher than the average spend of any other visitor. Figures from ATM 2019 show the number of delegates, exhibitors and attendees interested in doing business with the UK increased by 5 percent.

 

ATM’s exhibition director ME, Danielle Curtis said, “Historically, the UK and the GCC have enjoyed excellent travel and tourism links and this trend is set to continue over the next four years despite the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the bleak pound to dollar exchange rate, in which sterling has declined 18.9 percent since June 19, 2015.”

 

Curtis added, “However, the UAE is expected to continue to be the preferred GCC destination for UK tourists, welcoming a projected 2.23 million visitors by 2023. Saudi Arabia will follow with 251,000 visitors, while Oman will welcome 165,000, Bahrain 159,000 and Kuwait 5,000.”

 

A report by Orient Planet Research revealed that GCC countries have been continuously promoting attractive tourism elements in line with their ambitious drive to diversify the economy.

 

Orient Planet Group’s managing director, Nidal Abou Zaki said: “The regional tourism sector is witnessing rapid development to meet the growing demand of international travellers. Tourism entities have been developing a wide range of options that cater to various types of visitors. Some of these activities include health tourism, cultural events, entertainment, heritage, eco-tourism, music festivals which reflect the richness of the Arabian Gulf’s natural, historical and cultural heritage.”

 

GCC countries have embarked on strategic plans to diversify their touristic offerings and have initiated huge investments during the last 10 years to improve, expand and modernize their infrastructure, the report added.

 

The GCC is moving towards becoming a world-class global tourism hub, backed by competitive advantages that will attract international travellers looking for new experiences. The report highlighted that the region recorded 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals in 2018, a 6 percent increase from the previous year, confirming the successful efforts of the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman in establishing a greater presence on the regional and global tourism map. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are amongst the most attractive places to visit for tourists.

 

Over the past decade the region has transformed into a global hub for travel and tourism, attracting visitors from all over the world. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the region is poised to attract 195 million visitors by 2030, above the global average for any one region.

 

GCC states are making significant investments into the development of tourism and hospitality infrastructure including airport expansions to increase the handling capacity of projected visitor inflow, this is supported by regional air carriers offering appealing offers and discounts to boost tourism activities in the region. Relaxation of visa rules by the governments in the UAE and Qatar is expected to further boost tourist arrivals in these states. Improvement in the transport network system and quality of services offered to visitors will also give a boost to the Gulf states’ overall construction industry.

 

The GCC has several infrastructure and hotel projects scheduled to open through 2023 to accommodate the future tourist inflow. GCC leisure and hospitality construction market is projected to reach USD 642.3 billion in 2023 from an estimated USD466.9 billion in 2019, implying a 5-year CAGR of 8.6 percent compared to a 5-year CAGR of 5.7 percent (2013-2018), on the back of mega events such as the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, World Championships in Athletics in 2019, FIFA World Cup 2022 and the World Aquatics Championships in 2023 in Qatar.

 

 

Expo 2020 – The World Exhibition in Dubai

Expo 2020 will take place in Dubai from October 2020 to April 2021, with the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” focusing on the central themes of ‘mobility, sustainability and the opportunities of the future’.

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Expo 2020 – The World Exhibition in Dubai

 

 

DUBAI – “ASWAQ”

 

Expo 2020 will take place in Dubai from October 2020 to April 2021, with the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” focusing on the central themes of ‘mobility, sustainability and the opportunities of the future’.

 

The World Expo in Dubai in 2020 will be the first to be held in the MENA & SA (Middle East and North Africa & South Asia) region. On 27 November 2013, when Dubai won the right to host the expo 2020, fireworks erupted at the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa. A national holiday was declared the following day for all educational institutions across the country.

 

"In today’s highly interconnected world, a renewed vision of progress and development based on shared purpose and commitment is key. While a married human mind, an individual country, or a specific community is both unique and remarkable, it is by working collaboratively that we truly advance." Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in support of the bid.

 

The Dubai Ruler promised Dubai would "astonish the world," in 2020. The staging of the world fair and the preparations leading up to it are expected to result in 277,000 new jobs in the UAE, an injection of nearly US$40 billion into the economy, and an increase in visitors of at least 25 million and up to 100 million. In total, the Expo will cost Dubai more than 7 billion euros to build the 480-hectare exhibition site.

 

The master plan of World Expo 2020, designed by the American firm HOK, is organized around a central plaza, entitled Al Wasl, enclosed by three large Thematic districts. Each one is dedicated to one of the sub-themes of Expo 2020 – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

 

The Al Wasl Plaza building will be the center attraction for Dubai 2020 expo, as this building will represent the Dubai expo 2020 logo. A 65-meter dome will be placed around the top of the building with including involute steel worked trellis to introduce Dubai 2020 expo logo. That trellis surface will work as a giant screen for projection, which will be viewed by visitors from inside and outside of the building. This building will be made with three large thematic districts. These Dubai 2020 districts are dedicated to the subthemes of Dubai 2020 expo “Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.” The power service to this expo site will be solarized. And the site has the capacity to hold 10 thousand people at a time.

 

Dubai has made major investments in Real Estate recently, as well as introduced a world’s largest Solar Power Project which is all set to start by Expo 2020. Apart from pumping money, the nation is also keen on giving equal prominence to public relationships. The initiative, Dubai Happiness Agenda, has 16 programmes under four themes that sums up 82 projects to be set in the city with an aim to make the city the happiest by 2020. Dubai has also been emphasizing on investments in various sectors such as economic growth, real estate, environmental avenues and public affairs.

 

The emirate's tourism and hospitality sectors will face new opportunities and challenges in hosting the event. Najeeb Mohammad Saleh, head of the planning research at Dubai Municipality said: "We looked at three different scenarios - low, medium and rapid. We have adopted the medium-growth scenario, and expect the population by 2020 to be about 2.8 million. The upcoming Expo 2020 means that most premium hotels will be operating near full capacity through to 2021.

 

As it nears completion, Expo 2020 organisers have invited UAE residents to visit the Expo 2020 site. Visitors would board colorful Expo 2020 branded coaches at various pick up points across the UAE. The bus journey includes an introduction to the history of World Expos. At the site, the visitors would disembark at the Visitor Centre for snacks and activities, followed by a tour of the site and its iconic architecture. In order to raise awareness about smart recycling, Expo 2020 will organize nationwide bus tours with the waste partner Dulsco.

 

The Expo in Dubai will probably exceed all previous expectations, and that is because Dubai, the city that sets one world record after the other, wants to inspire its international audience. For example, Dubai is facing up to the topic of sustainability with the greatest responsibility. Even the sophisticated Expo building shows that Dubai is doing everything it can to create a sustainable event.

 

Normally, the elaborately designed Expo grounds are dismantled immediately after the event and the materials usually end up in the rubbish. The situation will be different at the next Expo in Dubai. The pavilions, which will be in the shape of petals, are to be dismantled and rented out after the Expo.

 

In 2021, the United Arab Emirates will also be celebrating its Golden Jubilee, another reason to visit Dubai for the Expo 2020.

 

FAQ about the Expo 2020 in Dubai

 

  • What is Expo 2020?

 

The Expo is a world exhibition that took place for the first time in 1851. The big Expo, called World Expo, takes place every 5 years.

 

World Expo 2020 is going to be the largest showcase for world trade in Dubai. Different countries are setting their different theme at Dubai expo site to introduce subtheme district with special pavilions world expo 2020.

 

  • When will Expo 2020 take place?

 

Expo 2020 will take place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021.

 

  • Where will Expo 2020 take place?

 

The 4.38 square kilometer site is located near Dubai's southern border with Abu Dhabi. It is in the immediate vicinity of the Dubai World Central Airport (Al Maktoum International Airport). The area will have its own metro station, and this means that the Expo can be reached from all over Dubai in a short time.

 

  • What is the theme of this year’s Expo?

 

The Expo will have a theme called "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future", with three subthemes: opportunity, mobility and sustainability, each with its own pavilion.

 

Opportunity

 

The Opportunity subtheme in Dubai 2020 means that we all have the power to shape the future, supporting solutions to social problems through this event world expo 2020. The countries participating in building opportunity pavilion are, Austria, Belarus, Japan, Monaco, Norway, Saudia Arabia, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Ukraine.

 

Mobility

 

The Mobility subtheme is looking for those areas where humans are getting better approach by digital connectivity in Dubai 2020.Some special mobility pavilions will be placed at the Dubai 2020 expo event.

 

Sustainability

 

The sustainability subtheme is needed to live in balance with the world expo 2020. Here in Dubai 2020 expo event alternative sources of water, food, and energy will be introduced in world expo 2020.

 

  • When will tickets be available for Expo 2020?

 

Ticket sales will start in early 2020. There will be 1-day tickets and 3-day tickets for the Expo. The normal 1-day tickets for the expo cost AED 120 (about 30 Euro), while the 3-day tickets are AED 260. There is a 50% discount on entry for students of any age and youth aged 6 to 17.

 

The Expo gives free access to kids up to 5 years and adults 65 years and above. Disabled persons are also allowed free entry and a caregiver can also visit with them at half the ticket price.

 

You can pay for your Expo tickets with all the usual payment methods (PayPal, credit card, on account, etc.).

 

The quickest way to find out all the latest news about Expo 2020 is to link to our Facebook page Dubai Experience or subscribe to our newsletter. There we will regularly inform you about construction projects, accompanying events and hotel deals for the Expo.

 

  • What can you expect at Expo 2020?

 

– The world's largest 360-degree projection screen on Al Wasl Plaza
– Over 200 different restaurants from all over the world, encountering old dishes to street food will be another experience for you in this Expo
– Rotating observation tower
– Various art exhibitions by local and global artists
– Entertainment and live shows and much more!

 

- Emergency care services. The on-site emergency centre includes an isolation room, emergency care room, ambulances and helicopter services. The equipment and preventive measures are in place to manage emergencies.

 

Directions to the Expo site

 

Arrival by Metro

 

An extra metro line is being built in Dubai for the Expo. It should take less than 15 minutes to get from the Dubai Marina to the Expo grounds. Up to 46,000 people will be transported per hour.

 

Arrival by Bus

 

There will be over 30,000 free parking spaces at all four entrances to the Dubai Expo 2020 site.

 

• Top hotels near World Expo 2020 site

 

1.Fortune Park hotel (3.9 km from Dubai Expo)

 

  1. Premier Inn Dubai Investment Park (4.2 km from Dubai Expo)
  2. Marriot Executive Apartments Green Community (4.1 km from Dubai Expo)
  3. Courtyard by Marriot Dubai Green Community (4.2 km from Dubai Expo)
  4. Maisan Hotel (4.3 km from Dubai Expo)
  5. Easy Hotel Dubai Jebel Ali (5.8 km from Dubai Expo)

.

 

 

Expo_2020_Dubai_Master_Plan-1

Dubai Expo 2020 the first site in the UAE to use 5G Mobile Network

Dubai Expo 2020 has been pegged as the first site in the UAE (as well as the Middle East, South Africa and South Asia) to feature a higher radio frequency, millimetre wave (mmWave) for 5G mobile network.

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Dubai Expo 2020 the first site in the UAE to use 5G Mobile Network

 

 

DUBAI – “ASWAQ”

 

Dubai Expo 2020 has been pegged as the first site in the UAE (as well as the Middle East, South Africa and South Asia) to feature a higher radio frequency, millimetre wave (mmWave) for 5G mobile network.

 

The super-fast mobile internet will be up to 20 times faster than the current 4G network. It is expected to handle more than 300,000 simultaneous users on peak days during the upcoming expo. Primarily designed to stream 4K and 360-degree video with little-to-no lag, it will allow seamless use of forward-looking technology such as virtual reality headsets and internet-connected drones.

 

The Dubai Expo 2020, which will run from October 20 this year and ends on April 10 next year, is  expected to welcome more than 25 million visitors and  will be the most technologically advanced so far.

 

At the sidelines of ‘The 5th Middle East and North Africa Spectrum Management Conference’, Tareq Al Awadi, executive director for spectrum management at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE, vice chairman of the WRC (World Radiocommunication Conference) and chairman of Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG), said that the strategy is part of UAE’s 5G strategy for the next five years.

 

Awadi said the expo organisers are setting up a reliable mobile network early. “While there currently aren’t any 5G-enable phones on the market able to take advantage of this new tech, we expect that by the time Expo 2020 rolls around your latest Samsung Galaxy and iPhone should be able to handle this kind of super-fast connectivity.”

 

Awadi added the target is to assign 26 GHz this year, mainly for Dubai Expo 2020, as the system is available. For mobile operators and other connectivity providers, low (below 1 GHz) and mid-bands (1 GHz to 6 GHz) have always formed the backbone of spectrum portfolios. The emergence of the mmWave frequencies (between 24 GHz and 86 GHz) can deliver high capacity coverage and very low latency required for 5G. The C-band (3.4 GHz to 3.8 GHz) and 2.6 GHz frequencies are widely used by the telecom operators in the Middle East, Africa and Europe for 5G networks.

 

According to Awadi, the C-band provides a good amount of spectrum for 5G when compared to 4G LTE “but when you look at specific scenarios in hotspots, such as stadiums and big events, where much higher throughput or uploads is needed in a limited coverage area, then mmWave will be much needed but the pitfall is that the coverage will be very limited and the waves do not pass through walls.”

 

Krishna Chinta, Program Manager for Telecoms and IoT at International Data Corporation (IDC), said the mmWave is emerging as a viable option for 5G connectivity.“It is being tested by a few international telecom operators and the initial test results are proving to be promising. The mmWave allows for high bandwidth data communication, supports low latency applications, however, it is known for experiencing signal loss when passing through foliage or buildings,” Chinta said. 

 

To overcome this challenge, he said that telecom operators are deploying closely spaced base stations called ‘small cells’. By combining this with the capabilities of massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology, he added that telecom operators are aiming to cover densely populated areas and support very high bandwidth and low latency applications.

 

However, Chinta said that the 5G technology is not fully evolved yet as 3GPP’s release 16 standards on carrier aggregation are not expected to be available before March 2020 and release 17 standards on common API framework will only be available in 2021.

 

In the UAE, both the telecom operators Etisalat and du are using the C-band for 5G, while in the US, 5G is beamed on mmWave. Saudi Arabia, the biggest 5G market in the region, is not yet ready for mmWave.

 

Mohammed Al Janoobi, Director for Frequency International Coordination at Communications and Information Technology Commission, Saudi Arabia, said that the Kingdom does not have use cases for mmWave yet.

 

Saeed Al Zarouni, Etisalat senior vice president said Etisalat has set a global benchmark that supports UAE’s Vision 2021, which identifies digital technology as one of the top seven primary national sectors.

 

 

Saudi Arabia to launch new franchising laws

A new Franchise Law issued in Saudi Arabia on 25 October 2019, is due to come into force in in April of 2020.

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Saudi Arabia to launch new franchising laws

 

 

DUBAI – “ASWAQ”

 

A new Franchise Law issued in Saudi Arabia on 25 October 2019, is due to come into force in in April of 2020.

 

The draft Franchise Law was initially issued by The Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MOCI) for public consultation in 2017, with the objectives of:

 

  • Encouraging the conclusion of franchise arrangements in Saudi Arabia, by having in place a clear legal framework governing the relationship between franchisors and franchisees;

 

  • Protecting franchisees, particularly in the event of the termination of the franchise arrangement or its non-renewal;

 

  • Assisting potential franchisees in making sound investment decisions, based on the information disclosed by the franchisors; and

 

  • Granting to the MOCI authority to publish educative material and proposed templates for contractual arrangements.

 

Saudi Arabia has, prior to this new law, treated franchise arrangements as commercial agency arrangements and are subject to Commercial Agency Law. This new Franchise Law aims to create a robust set of regulations, which apply specifically to franchise arrangements. Significantly, the new Franchise Law does not cover other agreements such as distribution or intellectual property licensing.

 

Some noteworthy changes which have been introduced to the new Franchise Law include changes to the eligibility requirements so that in order to have a valid franchise, the franchise concept must have been carried out by at least two companies (which can include the franchisor) in at least two separate locations for a period of at least one year. 

 

The franchisor is now responsible for registration, and also required to register:

 

  • the franchise agreement;
  • a disclosure document; and
  • the trademarks and licenced intellectual property.

 

All documents provided to the MOCI must be in Arabic (or translated by an in-Kingdom certified translator).

 

The most significant change introduced by the new Franchise Law is the obligation to produce, register and submit a disclosure document to MOCI before execution of the franchise agreement. The franchisor must send the disclosure form (FDD) to the franchisee at least four months prior to signing the franchise agreement. In the event that there is a "substantial change" during the franchise relationship, the franchisor is also obliged to update the disclosure document.

 

In general, the new Franchise Law provides a distinct set of regulations for franchise arrangements, which not only provides guidance for the relationship between the franchisor and franchisee but also creates a significantly more robust role for the MOCI.

 

The disclosure requirement aims to address the common imbalance of power between franchisors and franchisees, however, the Franchise Law does not specify the exact information to be disclosed and it is likely that in practice it will not be an overly burdensome obligation for fear of dissuading foreign franchisors in what is an increasingly attractive location for franchising opportunities.

 

The new law contains substantial, positive changes from the bill that was originally proposed in January 2017. The registration and disclosure requirements, including requirements for all documents to be prepared in Arabic and relationship restrictions, will affect franchisors’ cost of doing business. This is because the law apparently eliminates the application of the commercial agency law to franchises, with the ultimate financial impact of the regulation expected to be far less than was originally anticipated.

 

Administrative Penalties

 

Violators of the Law and Regulations are subject to fines of 500,000 SAR (approximately US$133,300 USD on October 11, 2019). The parties to a franchise agreement may agree to arbitration, mediation, conciliation or similar alternative dispute resolution approaches. The law does not specify whether the ADR must occur in the Kingdom. 

 

 

saudi-arabia-tourism-aswaq-interactive-magazine-malaysia

Short Leisure Breaks to drive 38 percent Increase in Visitors to Saudi Arabia by 2024

Saudi Arabia is predicted to have an increase in the number of tourist arrivals by 38 per cent from 15.5 million in 2019 to 21.3 million by 2024, according to a new research by Colliers International, commissioned by Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020.

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Short Leisure Breaks to drive 38 per cent Increase in Visitors to Saudi Arabia by 2024

 

 

DUBAI – “ASWAQ”

 

Saudi Arabia is predicted to have an increase in the number of tourist arrivals by 38 per cent from 15.5 million in 2019 to 21.3 million by 2024, according to a new research by Colliers International, commissioned by Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020.

 

This increase is foreseen to be driven by an increasing number of GCC residents wishing to visit the kingdom on short city or mini breaks. With the many sporting or cultural events in the pipeline, visitors will be attracted to explore the Kingdom’s expanding tourism offerings. This will be further bolstered by business travelers extending their work trips to attend one of the many upcoming events.

 

“As Saudi Arabia continues to reduce its reliance on oil, increasing tourism arrivals is becoming instrumental in the country’s economic diversification, and at ATM, we are witnessing this growth firsthand, with the total number of exhibitors from the kingdom increasing 45 per cent year-on-year between 2018 and 2019, ”said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market.


Curtis added: “With an ambition to increase inbound tourism to 100 million by 2030, Saudi Arabia no longer wants to be viewed as solely a religious destination for the world’s Muslim community, or a corporate destination as one of the richest countries in the world. It has an incredible landscape, with diverse regions and an array of tourism offerings for leisure travelers.”

 

In line with the increasing demand, a number of international and regional brands in the global hotel industry have shown renewed interest and are looking to expand their presence across the Kingdom.

 


STR’s latest data revealed that 79,864 hotel rooms are expected to be added to the kingdom's existing inventory by 2025, with the majority of rooms (34,270) in Makkah, followed by Jeddah and Riyadh with 14,525 and 11,632 new rooms, respectively.

 


In 2019, hotels in Riyadh witnessed a strong year with RevPAR growing 5.2 per cent following a 9.2 per cent increase in occupancy and 3.6 per cent decline in ADR. In Q4, Riyadh's RevPAR reached SAR529.33 (US$140.8), the highest since 2014.

 

Curtis said: “While, this new supply may place additional competitive pressure on hotels’ performance across the country, the projected growth in visitor numbers over the next four years is expected to continue to boost occupancy levels throughout 2020 and well beyond.”

 

Following the introduction of the new tourist visa, which allows visitors from 49 countries to apply for an e-visa or receive a visa on arrival , the Kingdom has developed a two-phase tourism strategy in line with Vision 2030.

 

Phase one – 2019-2022 – will focus on attracting first-time visitors to discover Saudi Arabia, especially its pristine beaches, deserts, mountains and heritage sites such as Dir’iyah as well as its packed calendar of sporting and cultural events. While, phase two – 2022-onwards – will focus on the full development of giga projects such as Neom and the Red Sea Project.



Saudi Arabia’s outbound tourism market is expected to reach over US$43 billion by 2025, according to the latest data from Renub Research. While family holidays currently dominate the market, a rising generation Z population who are heavily influenced by the image of a destination, be it gastronomy, adventure, culture or overall unique experiences, are expected to change this trend.

 

Saudi exhibitors at the ATM 2020 will highlight what the kingdom has to offer and the exciting developments in the pipeline, include Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Saudia and flynas, among others, with NEOM making its debut. The Saudi pavilion will be occupying about 2,300 sq.m. of stand space this year, an increase of 20 per cent compared to last year.

 

Curtis added: “As GCC travel and tourism companies and destinations look to attract a larger share of the Saudi Arabian market, ATM 2020 will introduce the Saudi Arabia Tourism Summit as part of the show’s new forum and networking series. The session will outline what destinations are doing to attract visitors from this key market while also providing an informal networking event for buyers from Saudi Arabia and exhibitors.”

 

ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 visitors with 150 participating countries in 2019. With over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever exhibition from Asia.

 

ATM 2020 takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 19 to 22 April 2020, with the official show theme ‘Adopting Events for Tourism Growth’. The event will build on the success of this year’s edition with a host of seminar sessions discussing the impact events have on tourism growth in the region while inspiring the travel and hospitality industry with the next generation of events.

 

 

Saudi Arabia’s First Red Sea International Film Festival

Mall of Oman is one of a major commercial development project currently under construction in the heart of Muscat down town, and is being developed by Majid Al Futtaim, a prominent UAE-based real estate developer.

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Saudi Arabia’s First Red Sea International Film Festival

 

 

DUBAI – “ASWAQ”

 

The Red Sea International Film Festival is Saudi Arabia’s first major film event which begins on March 12 to 21, 2020, in the historic district of Jeddah which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

 

The Festival, which takes place annually each March, has been set up by the Red Sea Film Festival Foundation, the first Saudi, independent, non-profit organization with an official mandate to promote film culture. The Foundation champions the Kingdom’s growing cinema and cultural scene by presenting programs for film lovers, supporting filmmakers, and strengthening the film industry through year-long grants, mentoring, and education programs for filmmakers via the Red Sea Lodge; and industry programs supporting and funding new works through the Red Sea Souk. The Foundation believes film connects the past and the future, bringing together inspiring and vital perspectives from across Saudi, the Arab region, and the world.

 

The Festival was established in 2018 by the Kingdom’s first Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Farhan Al Saud, under the leadership of director and producer Mahmoud Sabbagh, a pioneer of independent film in Saudi Arabia. The Festival team includes leading Saudi and international programmers, curators, directors, and thinkers.

 

The Red Sea Lodge is operated in tandem with Italy’s TorinoFilmLab and includes three workshops to be held in Jeddah, the first of which will take place in March. The program will support six projects from Saudi Arabia and six from the Arab world at large, excluding Qatar, with which Saudi Arabia is locked in a diplomatic standoff.

 

The six Saudi projects touch on potentially edgy topics, considering that cinema was banned in the kingdom for religion-related reasons for more than three decades, until December 2017. The selection provides a first indicator of the Red Sea festival’s overall programming criteria, which appear to be relatively unconstrained.

 

For example, they include an animated feature documentary, “Practicing Polygamy,” exploring the “daily reality of polygamy” in Saudi Arabia, written and directed by U.S.-trained Malak Quota, a graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Another selected feature film project is “A Trip to Disney,” by director Maha Alsaati, known for shorts that explore femininity and gender roles in Arab cultures. The new project is about a Saudi woman who, abandoned by her lover, travels from Saudi Arabia to Florida.

 

Female directors account for one-third of the 12 selected for the Red Sea Lodge, and more than a quarter of them have female producers, the festival said.

 

The non-Saudi projects selected for Red Sea Lodge support and guidance come from Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon. They include several titles already making the rounds of the region’s funding platforms, such as black comedy “Inshallah a Boy,” by Jordanian first-timer Amjad Al Rasheed, which first surfaced at last year’s Cairo Film Connection. It’s about a widow who, because of Islamic Sharia law, finds herself in dire need of a male child to stop her in-laws from taking possession of her home.

 

From Egypt, the Red Sea Lodge committee selected drama “A Journey of Bullets and Bread,” directed by Mohammad Hammad (“Withered Green”) and produced by prominent indie producer Mohamed Hefzy and Kholoud Saad; from Palestine, “Scheherazade Goes Silent,” the directorial debut of producer Amira Diab (“The Mountain Between Us”); from Lebanon, “The Basement Notes,” about a rock band during wartime, by Hadi Ghandour (“The Traveler”), and also female empowerment-themed “I Am Arza,” by first-timer Mira Shaiba. Rounding out the non-Saudi selection is first-time Iraqi director Ali Kareem’s “The Arabic Interpreter,” about a young Iraqi based in Berlin who takes a job at a refugee camp and is reminded of the wars he experienced in his home country.

 

In honour of the late Saudi photographer and cinematographer Safouh Naamani (1926-2016), one of the pioneers of color photography in the Kingdom, the festival also presents for the first time a cinematic panorama of the city of Jeddah, captured by Naamani between 1954 to 1968 on his 16mm camera. The rare collection of footage documents the history of urban transformation that the city went through during the 50s and 60s.

 

Sabbagh said: “We are expanding our history with new narratives of Jeddah’s metamorphoses through rare cinematic documentation captured by the late filmmaker Safouh Namaani. It’s as if Namaani knew his work would be vital for generations to come.”

 

Restoring the work of Naamani and presenting it to the Saudi audience is a key component of the Red Sea Foundation, which is tasked with reviving, preserving and highlighting the heritage of Saudi cinema.

 

 

GCC tourism spend in Egypt to reach USD2.36 billion in 2020

GCC tourists to Egypt will spend USD 2.36 billion in 2020, an increase of 11 percent from 2019, with visitors from Saudi Arabia driving this growth, according to new data published ahead of the Arabian Travel Market 2020, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre on April 19 to 22, 2020.

The conferences, organized by a Dubai-based medical conference and consumer events specialist, MCO, will focus on high-tech innovations in healthcare with the help of cutting-edge technology. 

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GCC tourism spend in Egypt to reach USD2.36 billion in 2020

 

 

 

DUBAI – “ASWAQ”

 

GCC tourists to Egypt will spend USD 2.36 billion in 2020, an increase of 11 percent from 2019, with visitors from Saudi Arabia driving this growth, according to new data published ahead of the Arabian Travel Market 2020, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre on April 19 to 22, 2020.

 

Saudi Arabia nationals made 1,410 trips to Egypt in 2019, with a forecast of 1.8 million tourists by 2024, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5 percent.  Saudi Arabian visitors spent USD 633 million in 2019 which is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 11 percent through to 2024, reaching USD 1.13 billion, according to Colliers International research, commissioned by the organizer of ATM, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

 

Arabian Travel Market’s exhibition director Middle East, Danielle Curtis said: “Total tourism receipts in Egypt which stood at USD 16.4 billion in 2019, will achieve an average 13 percent CAGR over the next 5 years to reach USD 29.7 billion. And Egypt also has a significant outbound market for the GCC. Some 1.84 million visitors arrived in 2019 and this is estimated to increase to 2.64 million by 2024.”

 

Egypt’s top source market is Germany with 2.48 million arrivals last year, a 46 percent increase compared to 2018, and a total spend of USD 1.22 billion in 2019. German arrivals are forecast to reach 2.9 million by 2024 with a total projected spend of USD 2.18 billion.

 

Following Germany, the second largest source market in 2019 was the Ukraine, with 1.49 million visitors, almost 50 percent growth over the previous year. This remarkable rise has been mainly driven by the availability of direct flights, which resumed, after a two-year suspension, in April 2018.

 

While arrivals from Europe are expected to be the largest contributor on a regional basis, increasing from 6.2 million in 2018 to 9.1 million tourists in 2022. GCC arrivals forecast at 11 percent will represent one of the highest growth rates.

 

Curtis said: “Over the last 12 months, Egypt’s tourism industry has witnessed remarkable growth, with arrivals up 57.5 percent from 11.3 million in 2018 to 17.8 million in 2019. Growth has been fueled by the cheaper Egyptian pound and government incentives for charter airlines operating international flights.”

 

Data and analytics specialist STR reported that Sharm El Sheikh led the recovery with RevPAR rebounding 315 percent for the November rolling 12 month period between 2016 and 2019. Hurghada followed closely with a 311 percent increase, whereas Cairo and Giza recorded a 138 percent growth.

 

“Underscoring those impressive numbers, we witnessed a 23 percent increase in the number of visitors interested in doing business with Egypt, up to almost 4,000,” added Curtis.

 

Taking advantage of this resurgence in tourists, Egypt will be back at ATM 2020 with some of the country’s most prominent tourism companies including the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board, Dana Tours and Orascom Development Egypt, representing a 29 percent increase in participation since 2018.

 

Egypt tourism capital investment, which was estimated to have reached USD 4.2billion in 2019, up 25 percent from 2018, was fully justified after a major announcement by the UK’s Department of Transport (DoT), was made on October 22, 2019. The DoE ended a ban on direct flights between the UK and the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh.

 

“This should lift UK visitor numbers significantly in 2020 and beyond,” she added, “Just days after the ban on UK flights to Sharm al-Sheikh was lifted, British Ambassador to Egypt Geoffrey Adams claimed that nearly half a million British citizens would visit Egypt before the end of 2020, a major boost for Egyptian tourism.

 

According to STR report, after the flight ban was imposed, hotel occupancy for the following year was a mere 33.6 percent as compared to last year it had already soared to 59.7 percent.

 

“Looking further than its current top source markets, the 2020 influx of UK visitors, the bulk of Russian visitors still to come back, as well as the Chinese market, the future looks promising for Egyptian tourism,” said Curtis.