In Brief


New telecom system for Abu Dhabi airport
ABU DHABI: THE Abu Dhabi Department of Civil Aviation has signed a contract with Gulf Business Machines (GBM) to import and install a modern telecommunications system.

The new system, Free Space Optic, will offer linking services between the fire department and the airport’s main building wirelessly via infrared technology and will provide quick communication reaching speeds of one gigabyte per kilometre with total security of information.

Bahrain travellers on the rise
MANAMA: The number of travellers who used Bahrain International Airport and sea ports during July rose 20 per cent from 243,981 in July last year to 292,180. Those who crossed King Fahad Causeway during last month topped 1million from 993,295 during July last year to 1,093,764 travellers with an average increase of 10 per cent, said a statistic from Nationality, Passports and Residence directorate. The directorate also issued 3,153 visiting visas, 1,787 visas for joining relatives and 7,656 visas for one week and 72 hours’ stay.

Dubai plans $2.6bn chess city
DUBAI: Plans are on to build an international chess city in the emirate with total investments of around Dh9.6 billion ($2.6 billion). A joint statement by Kalmykia’s President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and chief executive of Dubai Projects, Sulaiman Al Fahim, said the city would include 32 buildings shaped like chess pieces and cover an estimated area of 64,000 sq m. The city hopes to play host to 60 million amateur and professional chess followers from around the globe annually at a permanent venue that will host 24-hour championships around the year. The statement did not say when work would start on International Chess City, which would also include hotels.

High-speed internet at Grand Hyatt Amman
AMMAN: The Grand Hyatt Amman has chosen MagiNet to provide the hotel with high-speed internet services and in- room interactive services. MagiNet is the largest provider of laptop connect internet services in the Asia-Pacific Rim. The hotel will be online in October this year. General manager Joseph Kral said the introduction of the new e-hotel technology re-emphasises the position of Grand Hyatt Amman as the prime choice for business clients and guests who wish to remain connected to the world in the same way as they would from their homes or offices.

New limo service for Oman
MUSCAT: A young Omani entrepreneur, Hussam Ali Abdullah Al Bahrani, has launched the Sultanate’s first luxury limousine service. The service is available at attractive rentals for executive, tourist and private travel around key locations in the sultanate. It comes with numerous features, such as holiday packages, camping activities and the opportunity to watch movies. Al Bahrani is also tying up with hotels to provide the limousine service as part of the properties’ MICE-linked luxury packages.

Dubai hosts FVW workshop
DUBAI: A group of tour operators, travel agents and journalists from Germany was in Dubai for an annual destination workshop being sponsored by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) to offer them an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the Arabian hospitality and impressive infrastructure developments and recreational facilities that have made Dubai a top-class tourism destination. The four-day FVW Workshop Dubai was held late August at the Al Qasr in Madinat Jumeirah.

Seeb plans capacity increase
MUSCAT: Oman is finalising plans for the redevelopment of Muscat’s Seeb International Airport, which will help increase its passenger capacity from three million to 6.5 million per year, a senior official said. According to a report, Johan M Viljoen, head of marketing and public affairs of Oman Airports Management Co (OAMC) said a master plan is currently being finalised taking into account the latest technology and systems available worldwide. Once completed, it will be approved by the government for tendering. The redevelopment of the airport is estimated to cost $166 million and should be complete by 2008. The airport will feature electronic check-in counters, among other innovations.

Train, museum for Jordan
AMMAN: New tourism initiatives in Jordan include a tourist train  and the construction of the lowest museum on earth. The 80-passenger train will run between Aqaba and Wadi Rum and will create jobs for citizens in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone. The project will cost JD3.73 million. The new Lot’s Museum is currently under construction in the Jordan Valley and is a lavish two-storey structure being developed by the Ministry of Tourism at the cost of around JD1 million. It is located some 300 m from the cave where Lot and his family sought refuge from the devastation of Sodom and Gomorrah and is a new platform within the coastal area’s tourism development plan. It will cover some 2,150 sqm and include an exhibition hall, cafeteria, service facilities, bus and car parks as well as a tourist police office. It is estimated to be ready by April next year.