Friday, December 14, 2018

People & Places

Dubai Miracle Garden, the world’s largest natural flower garden, returned for its seventh season on November 1 with a host of new floral arrangements. An 18-metre Mickey Mouse will be joined by his friends, a Floral Castle that will accommodate a garden dining experience, and a world-first - an eye-catching flower display in 3D mapping on a floral screen.

The German Embassy announced the opening of a new visa application centre in Kuwait, to provide greater efficiency in visa application processing services and enhanced customer experience to the residents of Kuwait. The centre operated by VFS Global, will also provide biometric enrolment facilities to residents of Kuwait applying for Schengen visas.

The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) launched a government-backed campaign called “E-Sayyara,” e-car in Arabic, at the World Green Economy Summit. This initiative is meant to increase the number of e-vehicles driven by the private sector. It is meant to encourage residents of Dubai to join the ‘Drive Clean’ initiative. The DSCE is exploring partnerships with car dealers, vehicle manufacturers and banks to offer additional incentives through green auto loans and other means.

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi hosted two masterclasses for children and adults, in collaboration with Master Patisserie Eric Lanlard, as part of a series of exquisite afternoon tea masterclasses across the Middle East and Africa. The ‘Tiny Tea Masterclass’ saw children combine creativity and fun in a class about lemon curd cupcake, while the ‘Afternoon Tea Masterclass’ provided guests with a unique take on sweet and savoury afternoon tea treats.

The 168-key Sankara Nairobi, owned by Westlands Hotels Limited, will be rebranded in early 2019 to become part of Marriot International’s Autograph Collection Hotels. Sankara Nairobi would be Autograph Collections’ debut into Kenya. 

Emirates Park Zoo & Resort is launching its newest animal encounter session, offering visitors to experience the feeding of crocodiles firsthand. The guests will witness the feeding from an elevated enclosed private area to ensure their utmost safety. Zoo keepers will answer questions and share information about the creatures’ habitats, natural behaviors and the dangers they face in the wildlife.

Emirates Nature-WWF, in collaboration with several government and municipal bodies, unveiled the first coastal habitat map in the Northern Emirates at the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13). The map is an outcome of the combination of various data sources and ground truthing surveys. Habitat types identified included coral reefs, mangroves, salt marshes, among many others.

Hamad International Airport won the ‘Best Customer Experience’ Initiative Award at the Future Travel Experience Asia Awards 2018, which took place in Singapore, awarding the leading hub for transforming its terminal and bringing the FIFA World Cup experience to its travellers. The award distinguishes the most customer-centric ‘on the ground’ initiatives over the last 12 months.

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