The Landmark skyscraper, center, stands on the city skyline beside a waterway in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, May 30, 2016. Abu Dhabi, which sits on six percent of global oil reserves, cut spending by a fifth in 2015 and plans a further 17 percent reduction this year, according to the governments bond prospectus. Photographer: Alex Atack/Bloomberg
The Abu Dhabi residents cancelled their visas this week. Photo: Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi to cut tourism and municipality fees at hotels and restaurants


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Abu Dhabi's Executive Council has announced plans to encourage investment in the emirate by reducing the fees applied to hotel stays and dining at food and beverage outlets attached to hotels.

Under the instruction of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the 6 per cent tourism fee currently applied to hotel rooms and outlets has been reduced to 3.5 per cent, the municipality fee has been reduced from 4 per cent to 2, and the per room, per night hotel fee has gone down from Dh15 to Dh10.

The move was based on a proposal by Mohammed Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture, which was the product of discussions with private investors. The fee adjustments are expected to encourage tourism and investment in tourism in the emirate.

Additionally, it was announced that further investments will be made in tourism infrastructure, and investors will be encouraged to develop recreational facilities and events that will contribute to positioning the UAE as a leading tourist destination.

Tourism is one of Abu Dhabi's fastest growing sectors, and the capital has recently opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros World and Al Hudayriat Island.

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Read more:

Abu Dhabi's Dh50bn stimulus will boost economic growth, property market

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On Monday, Dubai announced plans to cut the municipality fee on sales at hotels and hotel restaurants in the emirate from 10 per cent down to seven.

The emirate's plans are also aimed at enhancing Dubai’s status as a major international tourist destination, with the fee reduction expected to have a direct impact on food and beverage sales ahead of the busy Eid Al Fitr weekend.

Abu Dhabi expects six million hotel guests in 2018 as the emirate ramps up efforts to promote tourism. The emirate received a record 4.4 million tourists in 2016, according to official statistics, whereas Dubai welcomed almost 16 million visitors last year.

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

The specs

Engine: 2.3-litre, turbo four-cylinder

Transmission: 10-speed auto

Power: 300hp

Torque: 420Nm

Price: Dh189,900

On sale: now

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

The five stages of early child’s play

From Dubai-based clinical psychologist Daniella Salazar:

1. Solitary Play: This is where Infants and toddlers start to play on their own without seeming to notice the people around them. This is the beginning of play.

2. Onlooker play: This occurs where the toddler enjoys watching other people play. There doesn’t necessarily need to be any effort to begin play. They are learning how to imitate behaviours from others. This type of play may also appear in children who are more shy and introverted.

3. Parallel Play: This generally starts when children begin playing side-by-side without any interaction. Even though they aren’t physically interacting they are paying attention to each other. This is the beginning of the desire to be with other children.

4. Associative Play: At around age four or five, children become more interested in each other than in toys and begin to interact more. In this stage children start asking questions and talking about the different activities they are engaging in. They realise they have similar goals in play such as building a tower or playing with cars.

5. Social Play: In this stage children are starting to socialise more. They begin to share ideas and follow certain rules in a game. They slowly learn the definition of teamwork. They get to engage in basic social skills and interests begin to lead social interactions.

Other ways to buy used products in the UAE

UAE insurance firm Al Wathba National Insurance Company (AWNIC) last year launched an e-commerce website with a facility enabling users to buy car wrecks.

Bidders and potential buyers register on the online salvage car auction portal to view vehicles, review condition reports, or arrange physical surveys, and then start bidding for motors they plan to restore or harvest for parts.

Physical salvage car auctions are a common method for insurers around the world to move on heavily damaged vehicles, but AWNIC is one of the few UAE insurers to offer such services online.

For cars and less sizeable items such as bicycles and furniture, Dubizzle is arguably the best-known marketplace for pre-loved.

Founded in 2005, in recent years it has been joined by a plethora of Facebook community pages for shifting used goods, including Abu Dhabi Marketplace, Flea Market UAE and Arabian Ranches Souq Market while sites such as The Luxury Closet and Riot deal largely in second-hand fashion.

At the high-end of the pre-used spectrum, resellers such as Timepiece360.ae, WatchBox Middle East and Watches Market Dubai deal in authenticated second-hand luxury timepieces from brands such as Rolex, Hublot and Tag Heuer, with a warranty.

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Profile of VoucherSkout

Date of launch: November 2016

Founder: David Tobias

Based: Jumeirah Lake Towers

Sector: Technology

Size: 18 employees

Stage: Embarking on a Series A round to raise $5 million in the first quarter of 2019 with a 20 per cent stake

Investors: Seed round was self-funded with “millions of dollars” 

Milestones on the road to union

1970

October 26: Bahrain withdraws from a proposal to create a federation of nine with the seven Trucial States and Qatar. 

December: Ahmed Al Suwaidi visits New York to discuss potential UN membership.

1971

March 1:  Alex Douglas Hume, Conservative foreign secretary confirms that Britain will leave the Gulf and “strongly supports” the creation of a Union of Arab Emirates.

July 12: Historic meeting at which Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid make a binding agreement to create what will become the UAE.

July 18: It is announced that the UAE will be formed from six emirates, with a proposed constitution signed. RAK is not yet part of the agreement.

August 6:  The fifth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed becoming Ruler of Abu Dhabi, with official celebrations deferred until later in the year.

August 15: Bahrain becomes independent.

September 3: Qatar becomes independent.

November 23-25: Meeting with Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and senior British officials to fix December 2 as date of creation of the UAE.

November 29:  At 5.30pm Iranian forces seize the Greater and Lesser Tunbs by force.

November 30: Despite  a power sharing agreement, Tehran takes full control of Abu Musa. 

November 31: UK officials visit all six participating Emirates to formally end the Trucial States treaties

December 2: 11am, Dubai. New Supreme Council formally elects Sheikh Zayed as President. Treaty of Friendship signed with the UK. 11.30am. Flag raising ceremony at Union House and Al Manhal Palace in Abu Dhabi witnessed by Sheikh Khalifa, then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

December 6: Arab League formally admits the UAE. The first British Ambassador presents his credentials to Sheikh Zayed.

December 9: UAE joins the United Nations.

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre flat 6-cylinder
Transmission: 7-speed PDK
Power: 500hp
Torque: 450Nm
Price: Dh530,300 as tested
On sale: Now

RIVER SPIRIT

Author: Leila Aboulela 

Publisher: Saqi Books

Pages: 320

Available: Now

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Traits of Chinese zodiac animals

Tiger:independent, successful, volatile
Rat:witty, creative, charming
Ox:diligent, perseverent, conservative
Rabbit:gracious, considerate, sensitive
Dragon:prosperous, brave, rash
Snake:calm, thoughtful, stubborn
Horse:faithful, energetic, carefree
Sheep:easy-going, peacemaker, curious
Monkey:family-orientated, clever, playful
Rooster:honest, confident, pompous
Dog:loyal, kind, perfectionist
Boar:loving, tolerant, indulgent  

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

UAE v West Indies

First ODI - Sunday, June 4
Second ODI - Tuesday, June 6
Third ODI - Friday, June 9

Matches at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. All games start at 4.30pm

UAE squad
Muhammad Waseem (captain), Aayan Khan, Adithya Shetty, Ali Naseer, Ansh Tandon, Aryansh Sharma, Asif Khan, Basil Hameed, Ethan D’Souza, Fahad Nawaz, Jonathan Figy, Junaid Siddique, Karthik Meiyappan, Lovepreet Singh, Matiullah, Mohammed Faraazuddin, Muhammad Jawadullah, Rameez Shahzad, Rohan Mustafa, Sanchit Sharma, Vriitya Aravind, Zahoor Khan

Turning waste into fuel

Average amount of biofuel produced at DIC factory every month: Approximately 106,000 litres

Amount of biofuel produced from 1 litre of used cooking oil: 920ml (92%)

Time required for one full cycle of production from used cooking oil to biofuel: One day

Energy requirements for one cycle of production from 1,000 litres of used cooking oil:
▪ Electricity - 1.1904 units
▪ Water- 31 litres
▪ Diesel – 26.275 litres

Company profile

Company name: Hayvn
Started: 2018
Founders: Christopher Flinos, Ahmed Ismail
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Sector: financial
Initial investment: undisclosed
Size: 44 employees
Investment stage: series B in the second half of 2023
Investors: Hilbert Capital, Red Acre Ventures

The biog

Favourite films: Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia

Favourite books: Start with Why by Simon Sinek and Good to be Great by Jim Collins

Favourite dish: Grilled fish

Inspiration: Sheikh Zayed's visionary leadership taught me to embrace new challenges.

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

THE BIO

Favourite author - Paulo Coelho 

Favourite holiday destination - Cuba 

New York Times or Jordan Times? NYT is a school and JT was my practice field

Role model - My Grandfather 

Dream interviewee - Che Guevara

The Breadwinner

Director: Nora Twomey

Starring: Saara Chaudry,  Soma Chhaya,  Laara Sadiq 

Three stars


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