In Brief

Dubai International Airport

New tax levy at Dubai Airport
DUBAI: Passengers flying out of Dubai International Airport must now pay a total of Dh280 ($75) in taxes following the introduction today of an added tax of Dh30.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) is reportedly expected to earn about Dh300 million a year from the new Passenger Service Charge. Departing passengers already pay a Dh130 fuel surcharge, a distribution tax of Dh100 and an insurance surcharge of Dh20. Passenger traffic at the airport rose by 27 per cent in the first half of this year to 10.41 million people.

Shipping industry to boom
DUBAI: Salalah Port, which is predicting a boom in the region’s shipping industry over the next decade, will be promoting its services and those of its Aqaba operation to the region’s shipping industry at Seatrade Middle East Maritime, which runs from December 6 to 8 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Seatrade has attracted exhibitors from 19 countries so far and growth in the Middle East shipping industry has created increased demand for the region’s leading maritime industry event. Chris Hayman, MD, Seatrade, said: “All the major regional ports are benefiting from the upturn in business and last year saw an increase in tonnage over 2002 despite the disruption to the industry caused by the Iraqi conflict. Every aspect of the region’s maritime industry from ports, to suppliers and insurance, are seeing growth and that has increased support for Seatrade Middle East Maritime 2004 which will be three times the size of last year.”

Sharjah airport traffic up
SHARJAH: Sharjah International Airport has reported a 32-percent surge in passenger traffic to 979,921 in the first seven months of 2004, said a report. The launch of Air Arabia with 223,358 passenger movements made a major contributed to the increase. Cargo movements grew by 30 per cent to 18,319 tonnes over the same period.

New tourist body for Abu Dhabi
ABU DHABI: The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has been created by a decree this September. Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan has been appointed chairman. The creation of the new body is the latest in a series of moves to promote travel and tourism in the emirate, which recently launched its own airline and has several landmark hotels being constructed.

Ticket chance from Skywards
DUBAI: Members of Skywards, the frequent-flyer programme of Emirates and SriLankan Airlines, now have the chance to receive a free Economy Class ticket when flying First or Business Class on Emirates between Dubai and New York. Until October 31, members travelling in Business Class between the two cities will earn double Skywards Miles, enough for a free Economy Class return ticket from Dubai to Amman, Beirut, Cairo or Larnaca. The double Skywards Miles earned in First Class will be enough for a free Economy Class return ticket from Dubai to destinations such as Maldives or Colombo.

Dnata stake in Changi firm
DUBAI: Dnata has signed an agreement to buy a 78.4 per cent stake in Changi International Airport Services (CIAS) from Temasek Holdings, an Asian investment company headquartered in Singapore. The new move is in tandem with Dnata’s steady expansion of its operations overseas, with the company already exporting its ground handling expertise to airports in Qatar, Pakistan, Iran and the Philippines. CIAS is one of the two ground handling service providers currently operating at Singapore’s Changi Airport.