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Showing posts with label Dubai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dubai. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Khalifa Fund and Ajman’s Municipality & Planning Department organize ‘Entrepreneurs Forum’

Khalifa Fund and Ajman’s Municipality & Planning Department organize ‘Entrepreneurs Forum’

Khalifa Fund and Ajman’s Municipality & Planning Department organize ‘Entrepreneurs Forum’



AJMAN: The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), in cooperation with the Ajman Municipality and Planning Department, recently hosted the special ‘Entrepreneurs Forum’ at the Fairmont Ajman hotel for Emirati-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and KFED members. The event was held to help the attendees reinforce and enhance their communication ties with local government and semi-government entities, the private sector, local partners and stakeholders. The forum also served as a strategic opportunity for young Emirati entrepreneurs in the move to explore investment opportunities in Ajman.

Mouza Al Nasri, Acting Chief Executive Officer, KFED, said, “This is the first time that we are holding an event of this kind in Ajman. The Entrepreneurs Forum has been designed and developed to provide a key link between Emirati entrepreneurs, SMEs and various government and semi-government entities, as well as representatives from the private sector, which in turn, can help enhance communication, coordination and a smooth exchange of experiences and knowledge.”

Mouza expressed the KFED’s readiness in providing world class services and strategic support aimed towards enabling them in achieving their goals and help play a key role in the promotion of the UAE’s continuing economic and social development.

“Today’s forum demonstrates the KFED’s steadfast commitment to promote a culture of entrepreneurship, encouraging local Emiratis to invest in SMEs and contribute to the competitiveness of the national economy and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This event will help enable local Emirati youth to implement their innovative projects and take advantage of the incubating environment that Ajman is building by the continuous efforts to support entrepreneurs and instill a culture of self-employment in them,” Al Nasri added. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Emirates Islamic bank signs new scheme for Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

Emirates Islamic bank signs new scheme for Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

Emirates Islamic bank signs new scheme for SMEs


Emirates Islamic has become the first Islamic bank to sign an agreement with Emirates Development Bank (EDB) to be part of EDB's 'Credit Gua...

Emirates Islamic has become the first Islamic bank to sign an agreement with Emirates Development Bank (EDB) to be part of EDB's 'Credit Guarantee Scheme', reflecting both the banks' shared commitment to support the growth of Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE.

EDB's Dh100 million Credit Guarantee Scheme supports the goals of the National Agenda under UAE Vision 2021, focused on boosting the GDP contribution of SMEs to 70 per cent by 2021 and is aligned with the UAE's push towards economic diversification and building a post-oil economy. The initiative offers financing of up to Dh2 million to startups through EDB's partner banks, wherein EDB guarantees up to 85 per cent of the finance amount. The scheme also offers up to Dh5 million financing to existing SMEs, with EDB guaranteeing up to 70 per cent of the finance amount.

The new partnership builds on Emirates Islamic's commitment towards supporting the SME sector, which represents more than 94 per cent of the total number of companies operating in the UAE and employs over 86 per cent of the private sector workforce, according to the Ministry of Economy. SMEs are a key driver of Emirates Islamic's growth strategy, and the bank offers a wide range of business banking products and services tailored to meet the needs of companies of various sizes and backgrounds.

Salah Amin, CEO of Emirates Islamic, said: "Emirates Islamic is proud to sign this agreement with EDB, which will greatly boost access to financing and improve the business environment for SMEs. At Emirates Islamic, supporting the SME sector is a top priority, and we will continue to offer them the best in banking solutions, supported by best in class customer service."

Faisal Al Bastaki, chief executive officer of EDB, said: "We designed our latest scheme based on the needs of SMEs, and it is aligned with EDB's commitment to create and offer an integrated portfolio of innovative financing products and solutions, which enhance SMEs' access to capital. The SME sector is a major driver to the growth of the national economy and will boost the UAE's global competitiveness. As part of our ongoing strategy, we are committed to developing banking solutions that will enable SMEs to effectively contribute to increasing the non-oil GDP and advancing economic diversification."




Thursday, May 9, 2019

Emirates Group Announces 2018-19 results - Group records 31st consecutive year of profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$ 631 million)

Emirates Group Announces 2018-19 results - Group records 31st consecutive year of profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$ 631 million)

Emirates Group Announces 2018-19 results - Group records 31st consecutive year of profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$ 631 million)



• Strong business growth leading to a record revenue of more than AED 109 billion (US$ 29.8 billion)
• Solid cash balance of AED 22.2 billion (US$ 6.0 billion)
• Declares a dividend of AED 500 million (US$ 136 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai. 

Emirates reports a profit of AED 871 million (US$ 237 million), 69% down from the previous year
• Revenue increases by 6% to AED 97.9 billion (US$ 26.7 billion), supported by steady passenger and cargo performance
• Airline capacity crosses 63 billion ATKM with a net addition of 2 new aircraft to the fleet

dnata makes record profit of AED 1.4 billion (US$ 394 million), which includes AED 321 million (US$ 88 million) gain from one-time sale of HRG stake
• Revenue increases by 10% to AED 14.4 billion (US$ 3.9 billion), reflecting further business expansion with international business now accounting for 70% of revenue 
• Expands global footprint with acquisition of Qantas catering in Australia and 121 Inflight catering business in the Americas, adds new facilities and service capabilities across its airport operations, catering, and travel services divisions

Karachi / Dubai, May 09 2019 - The Emirates Group today announced its 31st consecutive year of profit and steady business expansion.

Released today in its 2018-19 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted a profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$ 631 million) for the financial year ended 31 March 2019, down 44% from last year. The Group’s revenue reached AED 109.3 billion (US$ 29.8 billion), an increase of 7% over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance was AED 22.2 billion (US$ 6.0 billion), down 13% from last year mainly due to large investments into the business, including significant acquisitions and payment of last year’s AED 2 billion (US$ 545 million) dividend. 

In line with the overall profit, the Group declared a dividend of AED 500 million (US$ 136 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai for 2018-19.

His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “2018-19 has been tough, and our performance was not as strong as we would have liked. Higher oil prices and the strengthened US dollar eroded our earnings, even as competition intensified in our key markets. The uptick in global airfreight demand from the previous year appears to have gone into reverse gear, and we also saw travel demand weaken, particularly in our region, impacting both dnata and Emirates.

“Every business cycle is different, and we continue to work smart and hard to tackle the challenges and take advantage of opportunities. Our goal has always been to build a profitable, sustainable, and responsible business based in Dubai, and these principles continue to guide our decisions and investments. In 2018-19, Emirates and dnata delivered our 31st consecutive year of profit, recorded growth across the business, and invested in initiatives and infrastructure that will secure our future success.”

In 2018-19, the Group collectively invested AED 14.6 billion (US$ 3.9 billion) in new aircraft and equipment, the acquisition of companies, modern facilities, the latest technologies, and staff initiatives, a significant increase over last year’s investment spend of AED 9.0 billion (US$ 2.5 billion).

In February, Emirates announced a commitment for 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s worth US$ 21.4 billion at list prices in an agreement signed with Airbus, to be delivered from 2021 and 2024 respectively. The airline will also receive 14 more A380 deliveries from 2019 until the end of 2021, taking its total A380 order book to 123 units.

dnata’s key investments during the year included: the acquisitions of Q Catering and Snap Fresh in Australia, and 121 Inflight Catering in the US; the buy-out of shares to become the owner of Dubai Express, Freightworks LLC; and a 51% majority stakeholder of Bolloré Logistics LLC, UAE; the build of new cargo and pharma handling facilities in Belgium, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore and Pakistan; the acquisition of German tour operator Tropo, and a majority stake in BD4travel, a company providing artificial intelligence driven IT solutions in the travel sector.

Across its more than 120 subsidiaries, the Group’s total workforce increased by 2% to 105,286, representing over 160 different nationalities, mainly influenced by dnata’s new acquisitions and its international business expansion.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “In 2018-19, we were steadfast with our cost discipline while expanding our business and growing revenues. By slowing the recruitment of non-operational roles, and implementing new technology systems and new work structures, we’ve improved productivity and retarded manpower cost increases.”

He concluded: “It’s hard to predict the year ahead, but both Emirates and dnata are well positioned to navigate speed bumps, as well as to compete and succeed in the global marketplace. We must continually up our game, that’s why we invest in our people, technology, and infrastructure to help us maintain our competitive edge. As a responsible business, we also invest resources towards supporting communities, conservation and environmental initiatives, as well as incubating talent and innovation that will propel our industry in the future.”

Emirates performance

Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity crossed the 63 billion mark, to 63.3 billion ATKMs at the end of 2018-19, cementing its position as the world’s largest international carrier. The airline moderately increased capacity during the year over 2017-18 by 3%, with a focus on yield improvement. 

Emirates received 13 new aircraft during the financial year, comprising of seven A380s and six Boeing 777-300ERs, including the last 777-300ER on its order book. The next 777 delivery is planned for 2020, when Emirates receives its first 777X aircraft.

During 2018-19, Emirates phased out 11 older aircraft, bringing its total fleet count to 270 at the end of March. This fleet roll-over involving 24 aircraft was again one of the largest managed in a year, keeping Emirates’ average fleet age at a youthful 6.1 years. 

It reinforces Emirates’ strategy to operate a young and modern fleet, and live up to its “Fly Better” brand promise as modern aircraft are better for the environment, better for operations, and better for customers.

During the year, Emirates launched three new passenger destinations: London Stansted (UK), Santiago (Chile) and Edinburgh (Scotland), and reinstated services to Sabiha Gokcen (Turkey). It also added flight capacity to 14 existing destinations and upgraded capacity to six cities, offering customers more choice of flight timings and onward connections.

Supplementing its organic network growth, Emirates expanded its global connectivity and customer proposition through new codeshare agreements signed with Jetstar Pacific and China Southern Airlines. It also enhanced its commercial strategic partnership with South African Airways.

The Emirates-flydubai partnership continued to develop, with Emirates customers now able to access 67 more destinations served by flydubai, and enjoy greater connectivity with 11 flydubai flights operating from Emirates Terminal 3. The partnership alignment also saw Emirates Skywards become the loyalty programme for both Emirates and flydubai.

Despite stiff competition across its key markets, Emirates increased its revenue by 6% to AED 97.9 billion (US$ 26.7 billion). The relative strengthening of the US dollar against currencies in many of Emirates’ key markets had an AED 572 million (US$ 156 million) negative impact to the airline’s bottom line, a stark contrast to the previous year’s positive currency impact of AED 661 million (US$ 180 million).

Total operating costs increased by 8% over the 2017-18 financial year. The average price of jet fuel climbed by a further 22% during the financial year after last year’s 15% increase. Including a 3% higher uplift in line with capacity increase, the airline’s fuel bill increased substantially by 25% over last year to AED 30.8 billion (US$ 8.4 billion). This is the biggest-ever fuel bill for the airline, accounting for 32% of operating costs, compared to 28% in 2017-18. Fuel remained the biggest cost component for the airline.

Against a backdrop of high fuel prices, strong competitive pressure, and unfavourable currency impact, the airline reported a profit of AED 871 million (US$ 237 million), a decline of 69% over last year’s results, and a profit margin of 0.9%. 

Overall passenger traffic remained steady, as Emirates carried 58.6 million passengers (up 0.2%). With seat capacity increasing by 4%, the airline achieved a Passenger Seat Factor of 76.8%. The slight decline in passenger seat factor compared to last year’s 77.5%, reflects the impact of slowing regional economies on travel demand, and strong competition in many markets.

An increase in market fares and a favourable class mix helped support a passenger yield increase of more than 3% to 26.2 fils (7.1 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM), although the full impact was partly offset by the strengthening of the US dollar against most currencies.

During the year, Emirates raised AED 14.2 billion (US$ 3.9 billion) to fund its fleet growth, using a combination of term loans, finance and operating leases.

Testament to the increasing depth of the Japanese structured financing market for Emirates, all six 777-300ER aircraft delivered were financed via a Japanese Operating Lease with a Call Option (JOLCO) raising funding of more than US$ 1 billion. Emirates has now raised over AED 28 billion (US$ 7.6 billion) from the Japanese structured financing market since 2014.

A US$ 600 million corporate Sukuk issued in March 2018 financed 2 A380 deliveries; and the remaining 5 A380 aircraft were taken on a mix of operating lease, Export Credit Agency (ECA) backed finance leases, and finance leases arranged from institutional investors and bank base from Korea, Germany, UK and Middle East.

These deals demonstrate Emirates’ ability to unlock diverse financing sources through access to global liquidity, underscoring its sound financials and the strong investor confidence in the airline’s business model.

Emirates closed the financial year with a healthy level of AED 17.0 billion (US$ 4.6 billion) of cash assets. 

Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30% of overall revenues. Europe was the highest revenue contributing region with AED 28.3 billion (US$ 7.7 billion), up 6% from 2017-18. East Asia and Australasia follows closely with AED 26.6 billion (US$ 7.2 billion), up 5%. The Americas region recorded revenue growth at AED 14.5 billion (US$ 3.9 billion), up 8%. Africa revenue increased by 9% to AED 10.2 billion (US$ 2.8 billion), whereas Gulf and Middle East revenue decreased by 3% to AED 8.3 billion (US$ 2.3 billion). West Asia and Indian Ocean revenue increased by 6% to AED 8.1 billion (US$ 2.2 billion).

Through the year, Emirates introduced product and service improvements on board, on the ground, and online.

Highlights include: the completion of a US$ 150 million programme to refurbish its entire Boeing 777-200LR fleet with new, wider Business Class seats and a fully refreshed Economy Class cabin; the launch of the Emirates Vintage Collection featuring fine wines that have been stored for 15 years; and new luxury products in First and Business Class developed in collaboration with brands like Bowers & Wilkins, Bulgari and BYREDO.

On the ground, Emirates introduced a new service so customers in Dubai can check-in for their flights from their homes, hotel or office, and have their luggage transported prior to their flight; it added a new dedicated lounge in Cairo and refurbished the existing Emirates Lounges in New York and Rome; and launched pilot trials for the world’s first ‘biometric path’ at Dubai airport utilising the latest biometric technology to ease Emirates passengers through check-in, immigration formalities, and boarding.

Online, Emirates became the first airline to launch 3D seat models using web-based virtual reality technology, allowing customers to preview its onboard product and select seats. It also launched a new feature on its mobile app, so customers can browse the thousands of movies, music and shows on offer, create personal playlists before they fly, and then sync from their devices to their personal seatback screens when they board. 

Emirates SkyCargo continued to deliver a strong performance in a highly competitive market with dampening demand, contributing to 14% of the airline’s total transport revenue.

In an airfreight market facing unrelenting downward pressure on yields and slowing demand, Emirates’ cargo division reported a revenue of AED 13.1 billion (US$ 3.6 billion), an increase of 5% over last year, while tonnage carried slightly increased by 1% to reach 2.7 million tonnes.

Freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM) for the 2nd consecutive year increased by a further 3%, demonstrating Emirates SkyCargo’s ability to retain and win customers on value despite fuel price increases, and a weakened demand in many markets.

Emirates’ SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet stood at 12 Boeing 777Fs. In addition to belly-hold capacity to Emirates’ new passenger destinations, Emirates SkyCargo launched a new freighter service to Bogota (Columbia), and resumed freighter services to Erbil (Iraq).

Emirates SkyCargo continued to develop innovative, bespoke products tailored to key industry sectors. In April, it launched Emirates AOG, a new airfreight product designed to transport aircraft parts quickly across the globe. This was followed in August by the launch of Emirates Pets and Emirates Pets Plus, which are new and enhanced air transportation products to ensure the safety and comfort of pets with services such as veterinary checks, document clearances, door-to-door transport, and the booking of return flights for pets.

Emirates’ hotels recorded revenue of AED 669 million (US$ 182 million), a decline of 10% over last year with competition further on the rise in the UAE market impacting average room rates and occupancy levels. 



dnata performance

For 2018-19, dnata recorded its most profitable year with AED 1.4 billion (US$ 394 million) profit. This includes gains from a one-time transaction where dnata divested its 22% stake in the travel management company Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), during HRG’s acquisition by Amex Travel Business Group. Without this one-time transaction, dnata profits will be down 15% compared to the same period last year.

dnata's total revenue grew to AED 14.4 billion (US$ 3.9 billion), up 10%. This reflects its continued business growth across its four business divisions - both organic through customer retention and new contract wins; as well as via its new acquisitions. dnata’s international business now accounts for 70% of its revenue. 

Laying the foundations for its future growth, dnata invested close to AED 1.1 billion (US$ 314 million) in acquisitions, new facilities and equipment, leading-edge technologies and people development during the year.

In 2018-19, dnata’s operating costs increased by 11% to AED 13.1 billion (US$ 3.6 billion), in line with organic growth across its business divisions, coupled with integrating the newly acquired companies mainly across its catering division and international airport operations. 

dnata’s cash balance was AED 5.1 billion (US$ 1.4 billion), an increase of 4%. The business delivered an AED 1.4 billion (US$ 386 million) cash flow from operating activities in 2018-19, which is in line with its enhanced cash balance and puts the business in a solid position to finance its investments.

Revenue from dnata’s UAE Airport Operations, including ground and cargo handling increased by 2% to reach AED 3.2 billion (US$ 878 million).

The number of aircraft movements handled by dnata in the UAE remained flat at 211,000. This reflects the impact of the region’s challenging aviation environment on many of dnata’s airline customers. dnata’s Cargo handling slightly declined by 1% to 727,000 tonnes, impacted by lower demand in the overall air cargo market. 

In 2018-19, dnata strengthened its position in the freight forwarding industry with the acquisition of more shares to become the sole owner of Dubai Express and Freightworks LLC; and a 51% majority stakeholder of Bolloré Logistics LLC, UAE that operates in 106 countries. 

dnata also acquired a majority stake in DUBZ, a company that emerged from Dubai’s incubator programme Intelak, providing baggage delivery services to passengers arriving in Dubai, and for passengers departing Dubai to check-in their baggage and get boarding passes from anywhere in the city.

It continued to invest in technology to improve operations and customer satisfaction. Highlights include the launch of: a new cutting-edge resource management system that supports AI, autonomous vehicles, and advanced analytics to optimise staff operations at both DXB and DWC; and a new one cargo tool, a first for ground handlers, to digitise the booking process and service, ensuring a seamless experience at cargo delivery bays, and a unified engagement for customers between freight forwarders and dnata.

dnata’s International Airport Operations division grew revenue by 5% to AED 4.0 billion (US$ 1.1 billion), on account of increasing business volumes, opening of new locations and winning new contracts. International airport operations continue to represent the largest business segment in dnata by revenue contribution. The number of aircraft handled by the division further increased substantially by 9% to 488,000, and Cargo noted a growth of 1% to 2.4 million tonnes of handled goods. 

During the year, dnata won over 100 new contracts in key markets, including the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and Italy, and coupled it with solid customer retention.

dnata significantly enhanced its cargo capabilities in 2018-19. It debuted operations in Belgium with a new 14,000 m² cargo centre at Brussels Airport, built tailor-made cargo solutions across new facilities in Dallas, London Heathrow, Adelaide and Karachi, and refurbished existing facilities in Singapore and Amsterdam. In response to customer growth, dnata invested to expand at Gatwick and Manchester, and opened new cargo facilities in Islamabad and Multan airports including Pakistan’s first automated storage and retrieval system.

dnata also invested in its pharma facilities, offering more handling capability than any other company in the UK, the Netherlands, Australia and Singapore. Its ability to provide safe and reliable pharma handling services globally was recognised with IATA’s CIEV Pharma certification in Dubai and Toronto, and GDP certification in London and Zurich.

In Italy, dnata increased its share in Airport Handling SpA, a Milan-based ground handler, to 70%. At Zurich Airport, dnata was re-awarded the ground and cargo handling licence till 2025, enabling it to serve customers without interruptions. In North America, dnata launched ground and cargo handling at Los Angeles and began passenger services at New York’s JFK.

dnata’s Catering business accounted for AED 2.6 billion (US$ 717 million) of dnata’s revenue, significantly up by 23%. The inflight catering business uplifted more than 70 million meals to airline customers, an increase of 27%.

This result includes the impact of two major acquisitions - Qantas’ catering businesses, Q Catering and Snap Fresh in Australia, and 121 Inflight Catering in the US – as well as new and expanded customer partnerships, particularly in the UAE, Romania, Czech Republic and Italy.

During the year, dnata inaugurated a 2,000 m² state-of-the-art catering facility in Canberra with the capacity to produce more than 60,000 meals a month. In North America, dnata launched operations in New York, Nashville and Orlando through the acquisition of 121 Inflight Catering, and will commence operations in purpose-built facilities in Boston, Houston and Vancouver in the first quarter of the new financial year, with further facilities in the build across the U.S. 

Revenue from dnata’s Travel Services division has increased by 9% to AED 3.7 billion (US$ 1.0 billion). The underlying total transaction value (TTV) of travel services sold grew by 2% to AED 11.5 billion (US$ 3.1 billion).

This performance reflects dnata’s ability to tap into, and serve a broad and diverse array of travel segments, partially offsetting the slowing demand for corporate and consumer travel in the UK and in the UAE – its two biggest markets.

In 2018-19, dnata entered the German market and expanded its travel network in Europe with its acquisition of Tropo, a tour operator selling through online travel agents and independent travel agencies. It also acquired a majority stake in BD4travel (Big Data for Travel), an award-winning tech company which provides artificial intelligence driven IT solutions in the travel sector.

dnata also significantly grew its contact centre operations with the completion of its second facility in Clark, Philippines, and the purchase of a facility in Belgrade taking its operations to 14 locations in the UAE, Serbia, the Philippines, India and the UK. With added capability and capacity, dnata successfully expanded its service contracts with key customers including a new five-year agreement with Etihad Airways to run its contact centre operations globally.

The full 2018-19 Annual Report of the Emirates Group – comprising Emirates, dnata and their subsidiaries – is available at:https://www.emirates.com/ae/english/about-us/business-model/financial-transparency.aspx 



Monday, April 29, 2019

Bon appétit! Expo 2020 Dubai’s 200-plus F&B outlets to serve up innovative culinary experiences and a world of flavours

Bon appétit! Expo 2020 Dubai’s 200-plus F&B outlets to serve up innovative culinary experiences and a world of flavours

Bon appétit! Expo 2020 Dubai’s 200-plus F&B outlets to serve up innovative culinary experiences and a world of flavours


• An F&B destination in its own right, Expo will cater to the diverse tastes of millions
• Discover the future of food via cutting-edge tech like robotics and virtual reality
• Enjoy Emirati hospitality, join a culinary tour and sample newly-created dishes 

Karachi / DUBAI, 29 April 2019 – A good meal can unite people of all nationalities, cultures, ages and backgrounds. And Expo 2020 Dubai is set to bring millions of visitors together to discover global cuisines, innovative culinary experiences, future-shaping food tech, old classics, new favourites, street bites and gourmet delights across more than 200 food and beverage (F&B) outlets.

Expo 2020 will be a foodie’s paradise, with options to suit every palate and budget. There will be 50-plus cuisines to try across an area equal in size to seven football pitches, with almost 300,000 meals served per day – enough to feed every person in Barbados. Visitors can also book a culinary tour for a delicious, deep-dive experience spanning cultures and continents. 

World-famous chefs will further stir up the excitement, while visitors will also gain a glimpse of the culinary experiences of tomorrow, with Expo looking to incorporate robotics, augmented reality and virtual reality into its F&B offering. 

Darren Tse, Director – F&B, Programming at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “As a global celebration welcoming millions from around the world, it’s only fitting that Expo 2020 Dubai is a world-class dining destination featuring a wealth of flavours and innovative concepts from every corner of the planet. There will be something to suit everyone’s taste and budget, whether you are a foodie seeking a new gastronomic experience, an innovator keen to see how technology will change how you order food, or simply looking to feed your family without breaking the bank.”

Emirati hospitality will be on show, as will Dubai’s diverse and innovative F&B scene. Much-loved local restaurants and talented up-and-comers will be introduced to an international audience, while UAE-inspired cuisine and traditional dishes from the wider Arab world will be enjoyed in a food hall setting. 

Visitors can also discover the creative merging of flavours and cuisines, such as Arabic tacos or Levantine fusion, epitomising the nation’s multicultural society. UAE-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will comprise 20 per cent of F&B outlets, bringing to life Expo 2020’s commitment to support SMEs. 

A variety of healthy and affordable food, and options that meet various dietary requirements, will also form part of Expo 2020’s world-class visitor experience, which is underpinned by quality, inclusivity and diversity. Crucially, Expo will ensure fair pricing structures for F&B, rather than charging premium event prices.

In line with Expo 2020’s subtheme of Sustainability, the F&B programme will showcase the latest in sustainable dining trends and practices. Every contracted F&B outlet at Expo 2020 has signed up to the ‘Food Ethos’, a set of values designed to push forward sustainability and wellness across the broader industry. These values include environmentally-conscious and organic F&B, the use of ethically- and locally-sourced products, and actions designed to minimise energy use and food and packaging waste.

Darren Tse said: “We want to inspire visitors to try new flavours at Expo 2020, whether it’s a cuisine they know nothing about or a clever twist on a popular dish. The F&B programme supports Expo’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. Food connects people with culture, and what better way to enjoy the company of others than by sharing delicious cuisine and fresh experiences together?”

Expo 2020 is set to be an unmissable global celebration that will bring together millions of visitors to enjoy a world of discovery, innovation and entertainment. A jam-packed calendar of events that will change each of the 173 days of Expo will ensure there is something for everyone – and visitors will want to come more than once. 

Expo 2020 Dubai runs from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. It is expected to record 25 million visits, with 70 per cent of visitors to come from outside the UAE – the highest proportion of international visitors in the 168-year history of World Expos. 



Friday, March 29, 2019

Dominique Russo Appointed CEO of Dhabi Group of Companies

Dominique Russo Appointed CEO of Dhabi Group of Companies

Dominique Russo Appointed CEO of Dhabi Group of Companies


Karachi: The Dhabi Group of Companies is pleased to announce the appointment of Dominique L. Russo as its Chief Executive Officer.

Ms. Russo brings two decades of investment management, corporate structuring, and nation-level advisory experience to the group, having commenced her investment management career at Merrill Lynch’s New York headquarters as a FINRA Series 7/63 registered representative and later moving to the GCC with the Financial Services practice of strategy firm Booz Allen Hamilton / Booz & Company. Since her arrival to the GCC a decade ago, Ms. Russo has advised various GCC governments and semi-governmental entities on economic development strategy, investment affairs, and related policy development.

Ms. Russo is a graduate of Columbia, MIT, and Harvard Universities, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics-Philosophy (Columbia), a Master of Business Administration (MIT), and a Master in Public Administration (Harvard).



Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Uber is buying its Middle East rival Careem for $3.1 billion - CNN

Uber is buying its Middle East rival Careem for $3.1 billion - CNN

Dubai (CNN Business)Uber is buying the biggest ride-hailing app in the Middle East.


In the biggest tech deal the region has ever seen, Uber is paying $3.1 billion for Careem with a mixture of cash and securities that will convert into Uber shares when the company goes public.

Careem, based in Dubai, was founded in 2012 and has since become the regional market leader with 30 million users across 90 cities in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. It was valued at more than $2 billion in a funding round in October.

Careem will operate under its own brand as a subsidiary of Uber and continue to be led by CEO Mudassir Sheikha, the companies said in a statement Tuesday.

In an email to Uber staff members seen by CNN Business, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said keeping the Careem brand and operations "has the advantage of letting us build new products and try new ideas across not one, but two, strong brands."

Uber is gearing up for an initial public offering that's expected to take place later this year. It's reportedly seeking a valuation of as much as $120 billion. Combining with Careem will give Uber dominance over the Middle East region and could help the US company trim its losses.

Uber has a mixed track record in international markets. Since 2016, it has retreated from China, Russia and eight Southeast Asian countries. But it has been playing up its global ambitions as it prepares to go public.

Uber CFO Nelson Chai said in November that the company had invested in "high-potential markets in India and the Middle East where we continue to solidify our leadership position."

In India, Uber competes with homegrown startup Ola, which operates in more Indian cities than its US rival.

Careem has used home field advantage and local knowledge to make life difficult for Uber since the American company entered the Middle East market in 2013.

Careem's biggest investors include Rakuten (RKUNF), Didi Chuxing, Daimler (DDAIF) and the Saudi government, which has also poured billions into Uber.

This is the second takeover of a Dubai unicorn after Amazon (AMZN) bought e-commerce startup Souq in 2017. The United Arab Emirates is pushing to become a regional tech hub but is yet to produce a third unicorn after Souq and Careem.

High license costs and a lack of funding have often deterred entrepreneurs. Abu Dhabi is trying change that and this week launched a new tech hub with incentives such as free housing and health care.

The acquisition of Careem is pending regulatory approval and is expected to conclude in the first quarter of 2020.



Monday, March 11, 2019

Etihad Credit Insuranceand RAKBANK Sign Agreement To Support International Expansion Of UAE SMEs

Etihad Credit Insuranceand RAKBANK Sign Agreement To Support International Expansion Of UAE SMEs

Etihad Credit Insuranceand RAKBANK Sign Agreement To Support International Expansion Of UAE SMEs



Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE Federal export credit company, has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK),the UAE’s leading SME bank

Dubai (11th March, 2019) Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE Federal export credit company, has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK),the UAE’s leading SME bank. Theagreement will assistlocal SMEsin accessing international marketsvia a number of financial services and educational tools. Under the agreement,UAE-based businesses will gain access to a portfolio of financial services and solutions such as trade credit insurance (both conventional and Murabaha), credit risk management solutions, SME funding, export financing, corporate financing and letters of credit confirmation.

According to the Ministry of Economy, the SME sector comprises 94% of the total number of companies in the UAE and provides employment for over 86% of the private sector workforce. The UAE government is committed to boosting the contribution and performance of local SMEs and has taken a leading role in establishing strategic initiatives to support funding forthe sector. Thepartnership is aligned with the UAE’s drive to enhance non-oil industries, thereby promoting diverse and sustainable growth for the UAE economy.

Local SMEswill also benefit from access to market intelligenceand a series of seminars that will advise business owners on the importance of trade protection solutions whenexpanding into new markets. Massimo Falcioni, CEO, ECI, said: "SMEs play a crucial role in the development of the UAE economy. From job creation to innovation and growth, their contribution to the country’s economy is substantial. We are pleased to partnerwith RAKBANK, a dynamic financialinstitution in the UAE, that is not only known for its extensive range of conventional and Shariah-compliant banking services but for its solutions for supportingthe advancement of the SME sector.

The MoU with RAKBANK provides a direction towards supporting the UAE’s diversification strategy andachieving ECI’s objectives in line with UAE Vision 2021. This agreement willassist the expansion of the SME sector by offering market intelligence and easier access to financial solutions, encouraginglocalbusinessesto contribute directly to the sustainable development of the UAE economy while tapping into new geographies.” Peter England, CEO of RAKBANK, said:“This partnership is in line with one of our core strategic pillars – to diversify our offer for business customers beyond regular lending.

We are pleased to be working with ECI to provide business owners with the set of tools needed to ease the access to new markets and grow their businesses, which in turn will stimulate the UAE economy’s growth. Our approach is to offer customers a complete suite of financial products and advisory services to help them grow and achieve their business objectives.” The MoU was signed by Massimo Falcioni, Chief Executive Officer at ECI, and Peter England, Chief Executive Officer at RAKBANK, in the presence of other senior officials from the respective institutions.




Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Govt staff takes dead man's allowance in UAE for 7 years

Govt staff takes dead man's allowance in UAE for 7 years

Govt staff takes dead man's allowance in UAE for 7 years

The original beneficiary has been dead since 2011.

A government official in Al Ain has been arrested for receiving the monthly stipend of a man who has been dead for seven years. The suspect, who is from a Gulf country, was caught with items believed to have been used for practising witchcraft.

Colonel Matar Medad Al Muheiri, director of the anti-corruption department at the Abu Dhabi Police's command affairs sector, said three Asians involved in the case have been arrested.

The police investigated the case after a federal government body complained about financial and administrative corruption at its branch in Al Ain. The body said that it had been paying a monthly stipend to someone, who, as it emerged later, had died in 2011.

Investigations revealed that the main suspect did not close the beneficiary's employment file despite being aware about his death.

Police investigations also revealed that the suspect intended to keep the matter a secret. He allegedly replaced the deceased's passport copy with another person's, whose names were similar. 

The police found bank cards that belonged to other beneficiaries at the government body.

On searching the suspect's bag, the police found three dead birds, talismans and tools used in practising black magic and sorcery. The police also found other bank cards, talismans, tufts, amulets and books from his house.

A female suspect is believed to have aided and abetted in the crime. Two female domestic helpers helped the prime suspect withdraw the deceased's monthly stipend from ATM machines on the latter's instructions.

The suspects, the case file, and the seized items have been referred to the public prosecution in Al Ain for further investigations.






Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Pakistanis nationals own assets worth $150 billion in Dubai - Supreme Court  told

Pakistanis nationals own assets worth $150 billion in Dubai - Supreme Court told

Pakistanis nationals own assets worth $150 billion in Dubai - Supreme Court  told

ISLAMABAD (Online) The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) was told on Monday that overseas Pakistanis own about $110 billion worth of properties in Dubai alone.  

The revelation came in a report submitted in the top court by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).  The report was submitted in the apex court in connection with a Supreme Court case on Pakistani nationals’ properties and bank accounts abroad.

The report discloses that the $110 billion properties were owned by 2,750 Pakistanis living in Dubai. The report, however, adds that overseas Pakistanis across the world own Rs150 billion properties and assets.

According to the report, FIA needs record from the Land Department of Dubai. It is pertinent to mention here that the investigation agency is taking action against overseas Pakistanis who made properties through illegal means. The department has written 54 criminal cases so far.

However, due to missing details from the Land Department Dubai, investigation could not be started yet. The report states that the FIA got information through first sources about 662 Pakistanis who own properties in Dubai whereas about 1,468 Pakistanis through cyber intelligence.

Moreover, the United Kingdom government has included Pakistan among three top money laundering countries. Russia and Naigeria are two others.

In the report, it has been requested to Governor State Bank to expand investigation jurisdiction up to foreign countries so that the looted money can be brought back to the national exchequer.

Meanwhile, the FIA also submitted a written reply in the foreign currency accounts case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.





Zameen.com’s Pakistan Property Show set to return to Dubai

Zameen.com’s Pakistan Property Show set to return to Dubai

Pakistan’s top property portal Zameen.com is set to take the country’s real estate market
international again with the latest edition of its highly successful Pakistan Property Show in Dubai.

Zameen.com has successfully organized 14 property expos across Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Dubai to date. The latest event is scheduled to be held at Za’abeel Hall 5 of the renowned Dubai World Trade Centre on September 14 and 15, and marks the second time Zameen.com will organise the show at this prestigious venue.



Last year’s event saw over 14,000 overseas Pakistanis flock to the Dubai World Trade Centre to interact with over 50 exhibitors from across Pakistan showcasing their projects and services at the event – which has firmly established itself as the largest exclusively Pakistani property event to be held internationally.

The 2017 show was inaugurated by Dubai Land Department Director General H.E. Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, while Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UAE H.E. Moazzam Ahmad Khan and His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Jamal Al Qasimi of the Ruling Family of Sharjah also visited the event.
 
This year, the event is set to be held at an even larger scale, with more than 60 exhibitors from all over Pakistan. The show will feature projects and exhibitors from Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Gwadar, among others, so overseas Pakistanis from all regions of the country will be able to find something that interests them.

The event’s top sponsors include Eighteen and Green Earth Real Estate, both of which are renowned names in the real estate market of Pakistan. Also present at the event will be Pakistan’s top developers and real estate agents, bringing some of the most lucrative property options from around the country, catering to a large range of budgets. This is an opportunity for overseas Pakistanis to get a feel of the domestic property market and expand their investment portfolios in the most thriving real estate market of the region.

“The upcoming second edition of the Pakistan Property Show is a source of great pride for
Zameen.com as a quintessentially Pakistani organization. The Dubai World Trade Centre is one of region’s most prestigious venues. It opens its doors to only the best of the best from around the world, and we’re proud to be the flagbearers of Pakistan when it comes to property exhibitions there,” said Zameen.com CEO Zeeshan Ali Khan.

“Overseas Pakistanis around the world in general, and in the GCC in particular, are some of our oldest and most consistent users. With the Pakistan Property Show, we have given them an opportunity to engage with the Pakistani realty market in person at their convenience,” he added.




Monday, June 11, 2018

My Emirates Pass is back for the summer giving travellers more reasons to explore the UAE

My Emirates Pass is back for the summer giving travellers more reasons to explore the UAE

Karachi / DUBAI:  Emirates is giving customers even more reasons to explore Dubai and the United Arab Emirates with the return of its signature pass this summer. ‘My Emirates Pass’ turns the Emirates boarding pass into an exclusive membership card, giving travellers exclusive offers and discounts within the UAE.



Emirates customers flying to or through Dubai between 1 June and 31 August 2018 can take advantage of a range of offers at some of Dubai's best known hotspots by simply showing their boarding pass* and a valid form of identification.

My Emirates Pass gives customers exclusive offers at over 250 locations including world class restaurants. Special privileges are also available on a range of leisure activities including visits to thrilling theme parks or luxury spas across the city. For the first time, retail outlets have also been added to the mix giving special discounts at select fashion and fitness brands. To see all My Emirates Pass offers, please click here.

“My Emirates Pass is the best way to explore Emirates' hub Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is one of the world’s most vibrant cities, with a diverse array of experiences to suit every taste. The city has a growing list of new attractions and world-class facilities, giving visitors something new to explore whether it’s their first time or a return trip,” says Mohammad Al Hashimi, Vice President, Commercial Products Dubai, Emirates airline.

The family-friendly destination offers year-round sunshine, world-class shopping and restaurants, stunning beaches and iconic buildings. Visitors to Dubai can use My Emirates Pass to enjoy world-class attractions including Dubai Parks and Resorts which features three theme parks: Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, as well as the region’s first LEGOLAND® Park and LEGOLAND® Water Park.

Emirates’ hub in Dubai provides direct connections to over 150 cities across its six-continent network including upcoming destinations to be launched this summer – Santiago, Chile and London Stansted. The airline offers excellent onboard service from an international cabin crew who come from 135 nationalities and speak over 60 languages. Emirates provides quality products and value for money with lie-flat beds in Business Class, the largest in-seat screens in the world in Economy class at 13.3 inches and up to 3,500 channels of on-demand entertainment on ice, its award-winning inflight entertainment system.

Those travelling with children can take advantage of Emirates’ extensive family offering from priority boarding at all airports to special kid’s meals, dedicated children’s entertainment on ice and exclusive toys and Lonely Planet Kids activity bags on board. Emirates Skywards, the airline’s award-winning loyalty programme, has also recently introduced an enriched offering called ‘My Family’ which allows family members to pool up to 100% of Skywards Miles earned on Emirates flights, and redeem rewards faster than before.




Thursday, May 17, 2018

Emirates provides special #Ramadan service for customers observing the holy month

Emirates provides special #Ramadan service for customers observing the holy month



The airline will mark Eid Al Fitr celebrations on board with sweets for customers

Karachi / Dubai:  Emirates will commence its signature Ramadan service for customers during the holy month, expected to begin on May 18th in Pakistan. Emirates’ Ramadan service consists of specially crafted iftar meals on board, relevant programming on its ice inflight entertainment system, and the distribution of dates and water on the ground for those breaking their fast.

Emirates provides iftar boxes with a nutritional meal for customers breaking their fast on board. The boxes have been redesigned this year by local homeware specialists Silsal Design House. The designs are inspired by the Middle East, its people, places and culture. Silsal has also created bespoke Emirates Arabic Coffee Cups available at the Emirates Official Stores.

The iftar boxes provide a nutritious meal for customers to break their fast and includes couscous salad & grilled chicken or moudardara & roasted chicken, sandwiches, spinach fatayer or tomato and onion fatayer, assorted sweets, dates, laban and water. The boxes have been designed for customers to take away if they wish. The menus will be refreshed mid-Ramadan.

These special meals will be available to passengers across all cabin classes on select Emirates flights that coincide with iftar times. This includes flights to and from the Gulf region as well as flights catering to Umrah groups travelling to Jeddah and Medina during the month of Ramadan. During the holy month, cold meals will be served in lieu of a hot one on all flights to Jeddah and Medina, including Umrah day flights.

Emirates utilises a unique tool to calculate the correct timings for imsak (the time to commence fasting) and iftar while in-flight. It calculates the exact Ramadan timings using the aircraft’s longitude, latitude and altitude; ensuring the greatest level of accuracy possible while on board. When the sun sets, passengers will be informed of the iftar time by the captain. This tool was developed to supplement the Ramadan timetable, available on every flight.

Date boxes, symbolic of Ramadan, and water will also be provided at boarding gates allowing customers to break their fast prior to boarding, or while boarding at Emirates’ hub in Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 and other selected Emirates destinations. Emirates lounges in the airport provide dedicated prayer rooms and will also be serving Arabic coffee, dates and sweets.

Emirates’ award-winning ice system features special religious programming including A’aelat Ramadan Kareem, Fa Esalo ahil il thekir and Al Baqeyat Al Salehat, as well as Ramadan entertainment such as Bou Tbei, As-hab Al Hemam and Hayat Thaneya. The special Ramadan programmes are part of the diverse content available on board with up to 3,500 channels of on demand entertainment including 238 Arabic channels featuring movies, TV, music and audio.

Eid festivities kick off on board
For the first time, Emirates is extending its special service to celebrate Eid with customers on board. Those looking to do some shopping in time for Eid can enjoy a 20% discount for onboard duty free purchases over US $95 from 11 to 15 June.

From 14 to 17 June, customers can look forward to sweet treats on select flights. In Economy Class, customers will be served Eid cookies, while in First and Business Class, customers will receive a box of chocolates. In addition, First Class customers can enjoy a special Eid edition of the Lakrids candy. Lakrids Crispy Rose flavoured liquorice will be offered on all regions during Ramadan and Eid.

As a global airline, Emirates has been delighting customers’ palates with regionally-inspired cuisine, and special seasonal menus for widely celebrated events like Chinese New Year, Christmas, Diwali, and Ramadan. Its signature Ramadan service with special iftar meals has been a mainstay for over 20 years and illustrates the airline’s commitment to providing customers a comfortable journey throughout the holy month. 



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Emirates Group Announces 2017-18 ٖfinancial results  earned AED 4.1 billion profit, Emirates airline reports AED 2.8 billion profit

Emirates Group Announces 2017-18 ٖfinancial results earned AED 4.1 billion profit, Emirates airline reports AED 2.8 billion profit

Group records 30th consecutive year of profit of AED 4.1 billion (US$ 1.1 billion)

The Emirates Group today announced its 30th consecutive year of profit and steady business expansion.

Released today in its 2017-18 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted a profit of AED 4.1 billion (US$ 1.1 billion) for the financial year ended 31 March 2018, up 67% from last year. The Group’s revenue reached AED 102.4 billion (US$ 27.9.billion), an increase of 8% over last year’s results, and the Group’s cash balance increased by 33% to AED 25.4 billion (US$ 6.9 billion) supported by the bond issued in March and strong sales due to the early Easter holidays at the end of March.

In line with the overall profit, the Group declared a dividend of AED 2.0 billion (US$ 545 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai.



His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “Business conditions in 2017-18, while improved, remained tough. We saw ongoing political instability, currency volatility and devaluations in Africa, rising oil prices which drove our costs up, and downward pressure on margins from relentless competition. On the positive side, we benefitted from a healthy recovery in the global air cargo industry, as well as the relative strengthening of key currencies against the US dollar.

“We’ve always responded to the challenges of each business cycle with agility, while never losing sight of the future, and this year was no exception. In 2017-18, Emirates and dnata delivered our 30th consecutive year of profit, recorded growth across the business, and continued to invest in initiatives and infrastructure that will secure our future success.”

In 2017-18, the Group collectively invested AED 9.0 billion (US$ 2.5 billion) in new aircraft and equipment, the acquisition of companies, modern facilities, the latest technologies, and staff initiatives.

Emirates announced two significant commitments for new aircraft during the year: a US$ 15.1 billion agreement for 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners which will be delivered from 2022, and a US$ 16 billion agreement for 36 additional A380 aircraft, including 16 options.

dnata’s key investments during the year included: acquisition of AirLogistix USA, marking its entry in the US cargo market; expansion of cargo handling capabilities with new warehouses and equipment at London Gatwick, Amsterdam-Schiphol, and Adelaide; new catering facilities in Dublin and Melbourne; and new marhaba lounges in Karachi and Melbourne.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “While expanding our business and growing revenues, we also tightened our cost discipline. Across the Group, we progressed various initiatives to rebuild and streamline our back office operations with new technology, systems and processes. In 2017-18, our reduced recruitment activity, coupled with restructured ways of working gave us gains in productivity, and a slowdown in manpower cost increases.”

Across its more than 80 subsidiaries, the Group’s total workforce declined by 2% to 103,363, representing over 160 different nationalities, as part of the overall productivity improvement initiatives in Emirates and dnata.

Sheikh Ahmed concluded: “Looking ahead, Emirates and dnata remain focussed on delivering safe, efficient and high quality services consistently to our customers. Our ongoing investments in our people, technology, and infrastructure will help us maintain our competitive edge, and ensure that we are ready to meet the opportunities and stay on course for sustainable and profitable growth.”

Emirates performance

Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity crossed the 61 billion mark, to 61.4 billion ATKMs at the end of 2017-18, cementing its position as the world’s largest international carrier. The airline moderately increased capacity during the year over 2016-17 by 2%, with a focus on yield improvement. 

Emirates received 17 new aircraft, after last year’s record number during a financial year, comprising of eight A380s and nine Boeing 777-300ERs. At the same time, eight older aircraft were phased out, bringing its total fleet count to 268 at the end of March. This fleet roll-over involving 25 aircraft was again one of the largest managed in a year, keeping Emirates’ average fleet age at a youthful 5.7 years. 

It underscores Emirates’ strategy to operate a young and modern fleet which is better for the environment, better for operations, and better for customers. The airline remains the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777 and A380 – both aircraft being amongst the most modern and efficient wide-bodied jets in the sky today.

During the year, Emirates launched two new passenger destinations: Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Zagreb (Croatia). It also added flight capacity to 15 existing destinations, offering customers more choice of flight timings and onward connections.

Emirates also grew its global connectivity and customer proposition through strategic partnerships. During 2017-18, Emirates entered into significant partnerships with flydubai and Cargolux, expanding the choice of air services on offer to passenger and cargo customers respectively. Emirates also received authorisation to extend its partnership with Qantas until 2023.

In spite of political challenges impacting traveller demand and fare adjustments due to a highly competitive business environment, Emirates managed to increase its revenue to AED 92.3 billion (US$ 25.2 billion). The decline of the US dollar against currencies in most of Emirates’ key markets for the first time in a number of years had an AED 661 million (US$ 180 million) positive impact to the airline’s bottom line.

Total operating costs increased by 7% over the 2016-17 financial year. The average price of jet fuel increased sharply by 15% during the financial year. Including a 3% higher uplift in line with capacity increase, the airline’s fuel bill increased substantially by 18% over last year to AED 24.7 billion (US$ 6.7 billion). Fuel is now 28% of operating costs, compared to 25% in 2016-17, and it remained the biggest cost component for the airline.

The airline successfully managed strong competitive pressure across all markets and increased its profit to AED 2.8 billion (US$ 762 million), an increase of 124% over last year’s results, and a profit margin of 3.0%. 

Overall passenger traffic growth continues to demonstrate the consumer desire to fly on Emirates’ state-of-the-art aircraft, and via efficient routings through its Dubai hub.

Emirates carried a record 58.5 million passengers (up 4%), and achieved a Passenger Seat Factor of 77.5%. The increase in passenger seat factor compared to last year’s 75.1%, is a result of successful capacity management in response to political uncertainty and strong competition in many markets despite a moderate 2% increase in seat capacity. 

Supported by the weakening of the USD against most currencies, passenger yield increased to 25.3 fils (6.9 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM).

To fund its fleet growth during the year with high ongoing new aircraft deliveries, Emirates raised AED 17.9 billion (US$ 4.9 billion), using a variety of financing structures, including the successful execution of a US$ 600 million sukuk in March to fund the acquisition of two A380 aircraft to be delivered in 2018.

Emirates continues to tap the Japanese structured finance market in conjunction with debt from a wide-ranging group of institutions in China, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan. The company raised in excess of AED 3.7 billion (US$ 1 billion) during the year from this source. Emirates has also refinanced a commercial bridge facility (due to non-availability of ECA cover) of AED 3.8 billion (US$ 1.0 billion) via an innovative finance lease structure for five A380-800 aircraft, accessing an institutional investor and bank market base from Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Middle East. 

These deals align with Emirates’ financing strategy and demonstrates its ability to unlock diverse financing sources through access to global liquidity. It also underscores its sound financials and the strong investor confidence in the airline’s business model.

Emirates closed the financial year with a healthy and increased level of AED 20.4 billion (US$ 5.6 billion) of cash assets. 

Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30% of overall revenues. Europe was the highest revenue contributing region with AED 26.7 billion (US$ 7.3 billion), up 12% from 2016-17. East Asia and Australasia follows closely with AED 25.4 billion (US$ 6.9 billion), up 12%. The Americas region recorded revenue growth at AED 13.4 billion (US$ 3.7 billion), up 7%. Gulf and Middle East revenue decreased by 2% to AED 8.5 billion (US$ 2.3 billion) whereas revenue for Africa increased by 8% to AED 9.4 billion (US$ 2.6 billion). West Asia and Indian Ocean revenue increased by 5% to AED 7.8 billion (US$ 2.1 billion).

Through the year, Emirates introduced product and service improvements on board and on the ground.

Key highlights include: the launch of fully-enclosed suites in First Class together with refreshed Business Class and Economy Class cabins on the 777-300ER aircraft; new, wider Business Class seats arranged in a 2-2-2 layout on the 777-200LR aircraft; and a refreshed version of the popular Onboard Lounge on the Emirates A380.

On the ground, Emirates added a new dedicated lounge in Boston for its premium passengers and frequent flyers; refurbished existing lounges in Singapore and Bangkok, and completed a US$ 11 million makeover of its lounges in Dubai airport Concourse B.

Emirates also invested in new channels and technology to offer even better and more personalised customer experiences online, on mobile, as well as via its retail and contact centres.

For 2018-19, Emirates has announced new routes to London Stansted in the UK, Santiago in Chile, Edinburgh in Scotland, and an additional flight between Dubai and Auckland via Bali, aside from capacity upgrades to existing destinations.

Emirates SkyCargo recorded a strong performance in a resurgent market, and continues to play an integral role in the company’s expanding operations, contributing 14% of the airline’s total transport revenue.

In an airfreight market with fast-changing demand patterns, Emirates’ cargo division reported a revenue of AED 12.4 billion (US$ 3.4 billion), an impressive increase of 17% over last year, while tonnage carried slightly increased by 2% to reach 2.6 million tonnes.

This year, freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM) increased by 14%, reflecting a very positive market environment for the industry, and the weakening of the USD against major currencies.

Emirates’ SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet stood at 13 Boeing 777Fs. In addition to belly-hold capacity to Emirates’ new passenger destinations, Emirates SkyCargo launched new freighter services to Maastricht (Netherlands), Luxembourg, and Aguadilla (Puerto Rico).

Emirates SkyCargo continued to develop innovative, bespoke products tailored to key industry sectors. In November, it signed an MoU with Dubai CommerCity to develop new solutions for the e-commerce sector using Dubai as a hub.

During the year, Emirates SkyCargo launched Emirates Fresh for perishable commodities such as fresh cut flowers, fruits and vegetables. For temperature-sensitive Pharma products, Emirates SkyCargo rolled out a pharma corridors programme to offer enhanced origin-to-destination protection, and it also partnered with DuPont to introduce White Cover Xtreme, a next generation thermal blanket to protect sensitive cargo.

Emirates’ hotels recorded revenue of AED 746 million (US$ 203 million), a moderate increase of 1% over last year in a highly competitive market mainly in the UAE.

dnata performance

In its 59 years of operation, 2017-18 has been dnata’s most profitable year, crossing AED 1.3 billion (US$ 359 million) profit for the first time. Building on its strong results in the previous year, dnata's revenue grew to AED 13.1 billion (US$ 3.6 billion), up 7%. dnata’s international business now accounts for 68% of its revenue. 

The strong performance was achieved through organic growth with key contract wins coupled with solid customer retention across its four business divisions, as well as the impact of acquisitions from previous year.

dnata continued to lay the foundations for future growth by investing AED 600 million in new facilities and equipment, acquisitions, leading-edge technologies and people development.

One of its key initiatives in 2017-18 was to embark on the journey to implement a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that will transform its business support functions, and provide real time information to enable better decision making, governance, efficiency and scalability for continued growth and expansion. 

In 2017-18, dnata’s operating costs increased accordingly by 8% to AED 11.9 billion (US$ 3.2 billion), reflecting the impact of organic growth across all lines of business coupled with integrating the newly acquired companies mainly across its international airport operations. 

dnata’s cash balance reached AED 4.9 billion (US$ 1.3 billion), a new record high. The business delivered an AED 1.9 billion (US$ 506 million) cash flow from operating activities in 2017-18, which is also a new record in line with the enhanced cash balance.

Revenue from dnata’s UAE Airport Operations, including ground and cargo handling increased by 4% to reach AED 3.2 billion (US$ 859 million).

The number of aircraft movements handled by dnata in the UAE declined by 2% to 211,000 impacted by the geopolitical situation in the region, whereas Cargo handling increased by 2% to 731,000 tonnes, supported by the strong overall air cargo market. 

In addition to the steady delivery of initiatives started in 2014 to optimise its operations, covering facility improvements, process changes, infrastructure upgrades and IT development, dnata also successfully tested the use of blockchain technology to further streamline and simplify its cargo delivery processes from origin to final destination.

dnata’s International Airport Operations division grew revenue by 14% to AED 3.8 billion (US$ 1.0 billion), on account of increasing business volumes, opening of new locations and winning new contracts.

International airport operations continue to represent the largest business segment in dnata by revenue contribution. The number of aircraft handled by the division further increased substantially by 10% to 449,000, and Cargo noted a substantial growth of 10% to 2.4 million tonnes of handled goods. 

dnata continued to win over customers with its high quality standards, inking over 90 contracts with new and existing customers during the year.

During the year, dnata made significant investments which expanded its capability and global presence. In May, dnata entered the US cargo market with its acquisition of AirLogistix USA. The investment includes state-of-the-art cargo handling facilities in Houston and Dallas Fort-Worth. dnata also expanded its cargo handling capabilities at Gatwick, opened an additional cargo warehouse in Schiphol, and a new airside cargo facility in Adelaide.

In the US, it received a new licence to provide ground handling services at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) Terminal 4; and it commenced operations at JFK’s Terminal 8. In Singapore, dnata began operations at Singapore Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4; and opened a new maintenance base for ground service equipment.

dnata’s Catering business accounted for AED 2.1 billion (US$ 585 million) of its total revenue, up 7%. The inflight catering business uplifted more than 55 million meals to airline customers.

During the year, dnata opened a state-of-the-art catering hub at Melbourne airport, the largest such facility in the southern hemisphere, and a second catering facility in Ireland at Dublin airport. It also entered the Canadian market when it was awarded a licence to provide flight catering services to airlines departing Vancouver International Airport, and has commenced plans to build a dedicated catering facility there.

dnata strengthened its presence in the North American market with the acquisition of 121 in-flight catering, a New York-based in-flight and VIP caterer in March. This is pending approval from the Committee of Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS). In April 2018, dnata announced the acquisition of Qantas’ catering business, subject to the approval of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Revenue from dnata’s Travel Services division has seen a turnaround after last year’s decline with an increase of 8% to AED 3.4 billion (US$ 922 million). The underlying total transaction value (TTV) of travel services sold increased by 6% to AED 11.3 billion (US$ 3.1 billion).

This solid performance was supported by dnata’s ability to tap on the upswing in both inbound and outbound tourism demand in the Middle East, and a healthy increase in long-haul travel and cruise bookings in Europe and Australia.

In 2017-18, dnata completed its acquisition of a stake in Destination Asia, a leading destination management company with operations across 11 Asian countries, making its entry into South East Asia’s inbound travel market. Its UK-based Imagine Cruising business, completed a successful first year of trading in Australia, and acquired Holiday Planet, a leading travel company in Perth to boost growth in this market.

During the year, dnata invested in technology to provide enhanced functionality and a better service experience for its partners and customers. This included the creation of two travel reservation systems for Emirates Holidays and dnata Travel’s B2B business, to replace existing ones.

The full 2017-18 Annual Report of the Emirates Group – comprising Emirates, dnata and their subsidiaries – is available at: www.theemiratesgroup.com/annualreport





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