Iraq

    Rotana to Open its Third Property in Iraq 

    Rotana has chosen Erbil as the destination to launch its first-ever Arjaan hotel brand in the Kurdistan region, Iraq, introducing modern and stylish hotel apartments to the city. Following the company’s ongoing success in Iraq, Erbil Arjaan by Rotana will be their third hotel in the country, joining the company’s five-star Erbil Rotana and Karbala Rayhaan by Rotana. With construction on the project kicking off in 2014, final preparations are well underway toward the grand opening of Erbil Arjaan in Q2 2017. Malia Group is the major shareholder of the Erbil Arjaan by Rotana, which is among the investments developed by the Group within the Hospitality sector. “On behalf of Malia Group, we are very proud to be part of this project,” said Jacques Jean Sarraf, Chairman of Malia Group. “We believe that this is the right time to invest in the region, especially in regards to the durable security situation. We look forward to many more projects in the future,” he added. 

    Oman

    Experts Discuss Oman’s Food Safety Practices 

    Food safety and quality have become essential components for the protection of public health, economic development. The Sultanate has taken effective and efficient measures to safeguard public health and strengthen consumer safety. Senior food safety experts were part of the advisory committee meeting organized by Omanexpo at the National Hospitality Institute in Wadi Kabir. Seeking to implement a rigorous food safety culture among the wide spectrum of food industry professionals in the Sultanate, an advisory committee was formed to discuss the challenges and issues faced by the food safety professionals in the country. The advisory board serves an important role in shaping Oman’s food safety culture; whereas the purpose of the advisory committee is to aid and recommend steps towards the continuous improvement of the food safety environment in the Sultanate. “The advisory committee is dedicated to improving the food safety environment in the country,” said Robert McLean, Principal, National Hospitality Institute.

    Qatar

    Sheraton Receives Food Safety Recognition 

    Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, Qatar’s iconic social landmark, announced its recent award for exceptional food quality and safety in FSSC 22000. FSSC 22000 is the Global Certification Scheme for Food Safety Management Systems recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is based on existing ISO standards. The hotel was awarded accreditation by Bureau Veritas INTL Doha LLC and received the company’s first certified organization worldwide for FSSC 22000 Version 4 Catering scheme. This is of special significance as Bureau Veritas is a world well-known testing Inspection and certification company, with headquarters in Paris, and operates in more than 140 countries across the globe. Speaking of their new global certification, Belal Al-Kadry, Hotel Manager at Sheraton Grand Doha, said: “The award demonstrates the hotel’s robust Food Safety Management System which ensures the team delivers guaranteed customer satisfaction.”

    Saudi Arabia

    Clifford Chance Advises On Saudi Investment

    International law firm Clifford Chance has advised Cosumar, one of few players with expertise in the processing and refining of beet sugar and sugar cane in Morocco, to invest in Durrah Advanced Development Company, a sugar refining company in Saudi Arabia. Durrah Advanced Development Company is a 2.500 ton per day greenfield sugar refinery in the industrial port of Yanbu in the Saudi Arabia’s red sea coast. Following the launch of the National Transformation Plan in 2016, this transaction is another example of increased foreign investment into Saudi Arabia. Commenting on the deal, Lead Partner, Riyadh-based Omar Rashid said: "Congratulations to Cosumar on the successful closing of this deal. Our Riyadh-based team is delighted to have assisted another key international player on this game-changing transaction in Saudi Arabia. Once again Clifford Chance has demonstrated its strength and capability in complex and time-sensitive cross-border M&A deals in the Kingdom and in particular in the industrial sector."

    Syria

    FAO Urges to Kick-Start Agriculture 

    Fighting in Syria has caused huge damage and losses to agricultural production, but the sector can and should be kick-started now, dramatically reducing the need for humanitarian aid and migration, according to a new FAO report. In addition to the severe human suffering, the conflict has caused more than USD16 billion of lost crop and livestock production and destroyed farming assets. The initial cost of rebuilding the agriculture sector over a three-year period is estimated at between USD10.7 and USD17.1 billion in total, depending on whether there is no change in the conflict, a partial return to peace or a full return to peace. Basic supplies such as fertilizer, seeds and veterinary medicine for livestock are urgently needed.  After those needs have been met, emphasis should shift to credit, processing and marketing support, and repairing critical assets such as irrigation infrastructure. The report states that if productive farming areas continue to be neglected, more people will be forced to leave rural areas and Syria will be in danger of emerging from the conflict as a country with its commercial food production and agricultural base on the verge of collapse.

    UAE

    ATTD Welcomes Oberoi to the Emirate

    The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah received the first five-star resort classification from Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATTD) ahead of its official opening as Al Zorah’s first waterfront hospitality project opens its doors to the world, making it the fifth five-star hotel in the Emirate. Operated by Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, designed by famous Italian architect Pierro Lissoni, is a luxury eco-destination set on white-sand beaches, and in close proximity to azure lagoons and lush mangroves. The resort is located beside one million square meters of rich ecological wetland around which Al Zorah is centered and offers a 18-hole Nicklaus Design championship golf course, motorized and non-motorized watersports which include among others jet skiing, banana boat rides, boat and fishing trips, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing; amongst several other amenities.  Commenting on the announcement, Faisal Al Nuaimi, General Manager of the Ajman Tourism Development Department, said: “…Our goal is to develop a tourism sector in line with the aim of making the Emirate the destination of choice for all types of tourists… We are confident that this development will help increase the attractiveness of the Emirate of Ajman, assisting with our efforts and strategic objectives of promoting it as a unique tourism destination, both locally and internationally.”