Egypt court agrees to give Red Sea islands control to Saudi Arabia

An Egyptian appeals court on Saturday upheld an agreement to give control of two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia, providing a boost for the government in a case that has prompted rare street protests.The territorial deal, announced in April, caused public uproar among many Egyptians who said the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir belonged to their country. The case has become a source of tension with Saudi Arabia, which has provided billions of dollars of aid to Egypt but recently halted fuel shipments amid deteriorating relations….

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UK expat in Kuwait wins MBE for services to dramatic arts

Alison Shan Price, the CEO and founder of the One World Actors Centre (OWAC) in Kuwait has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list. Having been involved in theatre since she was five, Price has been in Kuwait for years, running OWAC with her daughter Eleni Rebecca, the managing director and chief choreographer, alongside a large team of artists. The British Government said Price had been awarded here MBE for services to the dramatic arts in Kuwait and the Gulf region. According to its website, tne World…

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Top F&B brands sign up to new $136m mall in Dubai

First Avenue, the new mall and hotel project planned for Motor City in Dubai, has signed up a raft of high-profile food and beverage brands. Krispy Kreme, Costa Coffee, London Diary and Mikel Coffee are among those to have signed up and will join a total of 15 food and beverage outlets at the new motoring-themed mall, co-located with a four-star 150-room Park Inn by Radisson hotel, overlooking the race track at Dubai Autodrome. First Avenue is owned and operated by Saudi Arabia’s Al Tawfeeq for Development and Investment (ATDI)….

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Dubai's Damac unveils new villas in Akoya Oxygen project

Damac Properties has unveiled Akoya Play, a collection of 3-bedroom villas in an international golf community set around a one-of-a-kind water park in Dubai.  Located at Akoya Oxygen master development, Akoya Play went on sale in Dubai on Wednesday, the developer said. The new homes are priced at AED1,050,000 with a payment plan spanning three and a half years, Damac added in a statement. Niall McLoughlin, senior vice president, Damac Properties, said: “Sitting on a quiet enclave within the Akoya Oxygen community, Akoya Play offers a harmonious and enriching community…

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Review: Lincoln MKZ 2017

Cover Story 5 Sizing up Sharjah Often cast into the shadows of Dubai, the neighbouring emirate is pushing back with plans to develop industries as vast as healthcare, media, logistics and tourism. The CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, is honest about the drawbacks but persuasive in his argument that Sharjah is on the rise. Source: ARAB TOP

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Dubai's DEWA says 80% of phase 2 of giant solar park completed

Dubai’s state utility company has announced that more than 80 percent of the second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is complete. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer model (IPP). The second phase is the first and largest of its kind in the UAE and will eventually generate 200 megawatts (MW) of electricity by April 2017. To date, 75 percent of the 2.2 million photovoltaic panels have been installed,…

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Oil prices on track for biggest yearly gain since 2009

Oil prices were on track for their biggest annual gain since 2009 after the OPEC grouping and other major producers agreed to cut crude output to reduce a global supply overhang that has depressed prices for two years.US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 12 cents to $53.62 a barrel by 1400 GMT on Friday, while Brent front-month March crude futures were down 19 cents at $56.66. Brent has risen about 50 percent this year and WTI has climbed around 43 percent, the largest annual gains since 2009,…

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15 of the Best Journals by Our Reporters Around the World

Our foreign correspondents wrote about dozens of captivating people and places in 2016, from pirates in the Amazon to tourists in the nomad lands of Tibet to transgender goddesses in India. We hope their journals and dispatches — conversational and visual on-the-ground reports — gave you a welcome break from the news. Here are some of the year’s highlights. Desperate for Slumber in Delhi, Homeless Encounter a ‘Sleep Mafia’ By Ellen Barry A sprawling gray market has taken shape around Delhi’s vast unmet need for shelter, with private operators controlling…

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Oman's Salam Air said to revise launch plans to January 30

Oman’s first budget airline Salam Air has reportedly revised it launch plans with passenger flights now set to begin on January 30, 2017. The low-cost airline, which had previously announced it would start flights in mid-to-late December, said that its initial route will be Muscat-Salalah with international flights to Dubai International to follow on February 15, ch-aviation reported. In October it was reported that Salam Air would start operations with flights to Salalah, Dubai and Jeddah. It was also announced that François Bouteiller would be the airline’s launch CEO after…

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Syria ceasefire deal backed by Russia and Turkey takes effect

A nationwide ceasefire in Syria, brokered by Russia and Turkey, which back opposing sides in the conflict, came into force at midnight on Friday, local time, in the latest attempt to end nearly six years of bloodshed. Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, announced the ceasefire on Thursday after preparing the agreement with Turkey, a longtime backer of the opposition. A number of rebel groups have signed the agreement, Russia’s Defence Ministry said. Several rebel officials acknowledged the deal, and a spokesman for the…

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