In Brief


Ski Dubai calls on students to unlock creativity
As summer approaches the weather may be heating up in Dubai but for 100 lucky finalists in the Ski Dubai Freestyle creativity contest, snow is here to stay.

Currently under way, the two-part competition has already seen hundreds of designs entered for the first round which consisted of a preliminary design competition inviting participants to develop creative designs which represent what it means to them to have a snow experience come to Dubai. In the second round, contestants have been asked to create their own snowboard design, with winning designs to be displayed in Deira City Centre and three lucky winners to receive their unique design on their own snowboard.

Advisory Board appointed for EIBTM
EIBTM 2005, which will take place this year in Barcelona from the November 29 to December 1, has established an Advisory Board and announced logistical and infrastructure improvements to build on the success of the first event at its new location last year. The 12-strong Advisory Board, chaired by Paul Kennedy MBE, EIBTM exhibition director was created to include senior personnel from various sectors of the industry such as destinations, associations, hotels, global events agencies and venue consultants. At the same time it has been confirmed that together with Barcelona Convention Bureau and the venue of EIBTM, Fira Gran Via, several logistical improvements will be made for EIBTM 2005.

Al Geziry consultancy launches training division
Created by Mohamed Al Geziry Consultancy, ‘Options Training’ is focused on serving the rapidly growing hospitality, tourism and leisure industries in Dubai, UAE and the rest of Middle East. Mohamed Al Geziry Consultancy itself provides expert advice, precise information and direction to government and private clients involved in the development and operation of regional and international hospitality, leisure and tourism activities.

Fast Rent A Car invests in Qatar expansion
Fast Rent A Car, announced that it is investing Dh5 million in expanding operations to Qatar to take advantage of the growing opportunities presented by Qatar’s rapidly expanding economy. The investment will go towards expanding Fast Rent A car’s fleet in Qatar, recruitment of staff and setting up of Fast Rent A Car service locations in Doha. Several factors have prompted the move to Qatar including the massive opportunity that the 2006 Doha Asian Games represents for business and tourism in general, and transport operators in particular.

Mauritius to become duty-free haven for shoppers
Tourists shopping in Mauritius are set to make huge savings as the destination has announced plans to become one of the world's first duty-free islands. In the last budget the abolition of an 80-percent tax on 1,850 different types of goods, including fabrics, clothing, electronics and jewellery was announced. Along with the removal of taxes, the plans include incentives for local and international investors to build massive retail centres. A shopping mall scheme is to be established to facilitate the development of modern integrated business, shopping and leisure centres.

Build contract signed for dinosaur theme park
The Restless Planet dinosaur theme park has taken another giant step forward in its development. At a signing ceremony in Dubai, Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group (IMGG), developers of City of Arabia at Dubailand, officially appointed Jack Rouse Associates of Cincinnati to manage the design and build contract for the 500,000 square foot park, which will contain life-like dinosaurs and exhibits of real fossil discoveries.The Natural History Museum of London will be responsible for the overall concept of the Restless Planet, a signature development of the 20 million sq ft City of Arabia project. It will also manage the scientific accuracy of the dinosaur and fossil displays, and the educational content of the park. Occupying a site measuring 20 million sq ft City of Arabia project will feature arguably the world’s largest shopping, Mall of Arabia; apartments for more than 35,000 residents and office workers; and a waterway lined with shops, cafes and restaurants in a development called Wadi Walk.