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DUBAI AIRSHOW: $114B ORDERS FLY IN FIVE DAYS

The region’s largest aviation showcase, Dubai Airshow 2017, ended an action-filled five-day run by recording total aircraft deals and orders close to $114 billion, besides several billions in defence deals.

The bustling exhibition venue at the Dubai World Central, where the latest aircraft designs, innovative technologies and solutions in aviation were on active display, saw the world’s two leading aircraft makers, Boeing and Airbus vying for orders in a neck and neck battle.

While Airbus widened its lead over its rival on the final day by selling two A330neos to Air Sénégal, raising its order tally to $62.5 billion, Boeing ended its innings at the show with $50.67 billion in orders for 302 aircraft, including the two landmark deals with Emirates airline and low-cost carrier flydubai.

On Thursday, the US aircraft maker and Kazakhstan-based SCAT Airlines announced an order for six 737 Max 8s valued at $674 million at current list prices on the final day of the 2017 Dubai Airshow. Boeing’s order book includes a $15.1 billion Emirates order for 40 Boeing 787-10 and low-cost carrier flydubai’s commitment to a $27 billion order for 225 Boeing 737 Max aircraft, hailed by the US plane maker as the “largest-ever single-aisle jet order” from a Middle East carrier.

Airbus, on the other hand, secured the biggest-ever single order in its history for 430 A320neos, besides firming up orders for 90 aircraft of the same family. The deal inked with US investor Bill Franke, valued at $50 billion, was for the supply of medium-range A320 family of aircraft to US investment firm Indigo Partners.

The European plane-maker’s second deal was with Dublin based CDB Aviation Lease Finance DAC for 90 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but is estimated to be well above $10 billion if the average unit price range of $116 million of the first deal is taken as a yardstick.

In a separate deal on Wednesday involving 15 Airbus 320neo, AerCap Holdings and Egyptair announced at the air show that they had reached agreement on the long-term operating lease of 15 Airbus A320neo aircraft. These aircraft are from AerCap’s order book with Airbus and are scheduled to deliver in 2020. The value of the deal, although was not disclosed officially, is estimated to be above $2 billion.

Airbus marked the end of a successful show harvest by signing Memorandum of Understanding with Air Senegal for two of the wide-body aircraft, which is the new re-engined version of the best-selling A330 airliner for an estimated value of over $500 million.

WHY ELECTRIC VEHICLES ARE HERE TO STAY

Electric vehicles (EVs) are here to stay, and they are here to grow, says Fadi Ghosn, chief marketing officer at Nissan Motors Middle East.

Speaking at the live talks at the Dubai International Motor Show 2017, Ghosn noted that when it comes to electric vehicles in the region, there is one thing that needs to be focused on, and that is “what’s working now and putting strategies in place about what is to come”.

“An EV doesn’t need to be boring. Today, you have sports cars that are electric, but at the same time you have [EVs] that look like every other ordinary car that you would find on the road. The challenge right now is creating legislation and providing incentives for people to use them on the roads,” he said.

The shift towards electric cars is going to be increasingly important in the coming years as cities continue to grow. “We know that as cities grow, there is going to be a lot of pressure on the air, so EV will provide a good platform for relief due to their zero emissions. There is already a lot of work that is being done towards this end in terms of investments globally – in 2016, around $250 billion was spent on renewable energy – and it is clear that the shift will be towards EVs,” he said.

Shehab Gargash, CEO and managing director of Gargash Group, however, said that there is still a lot more to be done in the eco-friendly car segment.

“The big question is not if, but when the move to electric is going to take place. You hear everything from 10-40 years; my guess is that 20 years from now, you’re going to see electric vehicles being a significant part of the automotive world. And, we are seeing various approaches to it.”

DUBAI HOSPITALITY SECTOR TO SEE ADDITION OF 29,200 KEYS

Dubai will see a major supply of hotel keys in coming years the emirate has the highest number of rooms under contract at the end of October followed by the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia in the Middle East and Africa region.

According to STR’s data for October, there were 29,226 rooms in the pipeline across 95 hotels in Dubai, accounting for 30.3 per cent of the existing supply of 96,340 keys. Makkah has 18 projects in the pipeline which will add 23,791 rooms, taking its tally to 31,149 keys.

Under contract projects include those in the construction and planning stages but does not include projects in the unconfirmed stage.

Dubai Tourism figures released earlier this month showed that the number of hotel rooms in the emirate stood at 106,167 spread across 678 establishments in September 2017, an aggregated 6 per cent increase as compared to September-end 2016.

Luxury five-star hotels made up 33 per cent of the emirate’s total inventory, with four-star hotels commanding a 23 per cent share and properties in the one- to three-star categories a share of 21 per cent. According to STR, the other three cities that made into the top five ranking are the regional capitals of Doha, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

EMAAR PROPERTIES TO RAISE $1.3 BLN IN DEVELOPMENT UNIT’S IPO

Emaar Development , a unit of Dubai property firm Emaar Properties, priced its initial public offer of shares below the mid-point of an indicative price range, valuing the deal at 4.82 billion dirhams ($1.31 billion) in Dubai’s first major IPO in three years.

Emaar Development priced the IPO at 6.03 dirhams, according to a company statement on Thursday, against an indicative range of 5.7-6.9 dirhams per share set earlier this month.

Emaar Properties is selling a 20 percent stake or 800 million shares in its local development unit in the first major listing in Dubai since late 2014, when Emaar Malls raised about $1.6 billion.

EMIRATES USES 3D PRINTING TO MANUFACTURE COMPONENTS

Emirates has announced that it has used cutting-edge 3D printing technology to manufacture components for its aircraft cabins.

The airline has reached a significant milestone in innovation by using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), a new and innovative 3D printing technique to produce video monitor shrouds. One of the other recent achievements has been the 3D printing, certification and installation of aircraft cabin air vent grills for onboard trials.

Emirates has worked with 3D Systems, a US based 3D printing equipment and material manufacturer and services provider, and with UUDS, a European aviation Engineering and Certification Office and Services Provider based in France, to successfully print the first batch of 3D printed video monitor shrouds using 3D Systems’ Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology platform. This technology uses lasers to bind together powdered plastic into the required shape defined by a 3D model and is different from the Fusion Deposition Modelling (FDM) technique normally used for printing aircraft 3D parts. The material used to print Emirates’ Video Monitor Shrouds is a new thermoplastic developed by 3D Systems – Duraform ProX FR1200 – with excellent flammability resistance properties and surface quality suitable for commercial aerospace business applications.

One of the major advantages of using the SLS technique is the reduced weight of printed components combined with optimisation of the strength of the parts produced. Video monitor shrouds that are 3D printed using the SLS technique can weigh between 9 and 13 per cent lighter than components manufactured traditionally or through the FDM technique. This has the potential to lead to significant reductions in fuel emissions and costs when consolidated over the entire fleet of Emirates aircraft.

WASL LAUNCHES 3RD TOWER FOR SALE AT PARK GATE RESIDENCES

After successfully selling out the first two towers of its flagship wasl1 project in under a month, wasl Asset Management Group, one of the largest real estate management and development companies in Dubai, has released the third tower of Park Gate Residences for sale onto Dubai’s freehold property market.

The three towers are part of Park Gate Residences, phase 1 of the wasl1 project, which is the company’s iconic parkside freehold master development in the heart of Dubai and is strategically located directly overlooking Zabeel Park and near the Dubai Metro. It is also the first freehold project to be developed in the Zabeel area.

Zainab Mohammed, chief property management and marketing officer at wasl properties, commented: “Our unmatched success in selling Towers C and D at Park Gate Residences demonstrates the accuracy of our expectations for this project and highlights the excellent features it offers residents. The most attractive among these are its spacious and contemporary units, and exceptional facilities, which are enhanced by its unique location and tranquil setting in the heart of the city. We expect the third tower, Tower A, to attract even higher demand, especially among buyers who missed out on units at the first two towers.”

REED ROARS TO LEAD IN DUBAI

Brushing aside a bad back, Patrick Reed set an early pace, carding bogey-free 65 on the first day of the season-ending the Race to Dubai golf tournament on a day when fresh greens at The Earth course played well for most golfers.

The Race to Dubai title contender, Justin Rose ended the day with a birdie after a perfect third stroke on the 18th to stay just a shot behind the leader. Australian Scott Hend, on the other hand, bogeyed the last hole to finish with six under, sharing the second shot with the English golfer.

Rose’s closest challenger Tommy Fleetwood will have a lot of catching up to do after a rather forgetful day with a score of one over that included four bogeys, three birdies and an eagle. Sergio Garcia, who has an outside chance of winning the Harry Vardon Trophy, carded 70 with four birdies as he steadied his game after starting the day on the wrong foot with two successive bogeys.

And, unlike Garcia, leader Reed had a bright start to the day with two birdies and ended the round with two more birdies for seven birdies.

Talking about his strengths, the highest ranked American at the DP World Tour Championship said that he felt like his ball-striking was where it needed to be.

The way he played the first round, Reed’s first win of the year could come in Dubai and he confessed that the first win of the year at the end of the season was important. But, he added: “Really the biggest thing for me is just improving my golf swing, improve around the greens and improve in all areas. Hit the ball well, putt well,” said the American golfer, who is searching for his first win of the year.

He attributed his fine start to the tournament to the hard work he put in with his coach right after México. “”Really (hard work) paid off coming to this week,” he pointed out.

“I felt like yesterday (Wednesday) I put in a lot of good work. I felt like the swing was right where it needed to be, and you know, I woke up this morning, had this really awful pain in my back, close to my shoulder,” he revealed about his problem before he teed off.

After birdies on the first two holes, Reed looked contended as he patiently played par shots on the rest of seven holes before hitting five birdies on the back nine. “I don’t know if it was much patience was I didn’t hit it as close. You had a couple tucked pins through that kind of stretch and misjudged the wind on three, which normally is a gettable hole. I had no fairway and only 165 yards and ended up plugging it in the bunker and getting it up-and-down,” he explained reasons for string of pars.

And, he missed the green on four and got that up-and-down. “I really don’t know if it was as much patience as I got kind of out of the rut early on and was able to get back on track making some putts.”

Rose must be happy at the situation for the European Tour title with Fleetwood struggling with his game on the opening day. “Delighted with the way I played,” he said after ending the day with a flourish .

“I don’t think I missed a green,” the Englishman said, adding that on 17 he was just off the edge but gave himself chances all day. “You know, it got a little bit windier and trickier towards the end. I was really happy the way it turned out,” he confessed.

“There are two things to think about this week:, winning the golf tournament and winning The Race to Dubai. I know that if I do one of those, the first one, then the second one happens,” he concluded with a smile.

Reed must take heed of that statement and keep tab on how Rose is stitching up his scores, just ahead of him as the American pairs with Hend for the last pair to tee off on Friday afternoon.

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