Political turmoil finds artistic outlet at Basel fair

17/06/2017 (Hurriyet – Turkey): Hundreds of glass bottles suspended in nets or hanging from chains hauntingly illustrate the horrors of the slave trade, while 40,000 golden bullets are poised menacingly above an egg-covered surface. The global political turmoil has left its mark on many of the works on display at this year’s Art Basel, the world’s biggest contemporary art fair.With allusions to mass-migration tragedies, political populism, violent extremism and protest movements, even the more historically focused pieces appear to speak directly to today’s angst-provoking realities. “This edition of Art Basel was chosen at a particularly political time,” the fair’s director, Marc Spiegler, said ahead of the public opening on June 15…



International opera festival curtain opens in Istanbul

09/06/2017 (Hurriyet – Turkey): The 8th International Istanbul Opera Festival will meet art lovers between June 13 and 23, kicking off with Mozart’s famous “Abduction from the Seraglio,” staged by Yekta Kara. The opera, conducted by Zdravko Lazarov, will be performed by the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet on June 13, 14 and 15 in the garden of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. Due to the 100th year of his birth, the founder of the Ankara and Istanbul Opera, state artist, director and opera artist Aydın Gün, who has made many contributions to the development of opera in Turkey, is being commemorated in the 2016-2017 season of the State Opera and Ballet with a concert series. He will also be commemorated in the festival program. The concert, which has been performed in the southern province of Mersin, Ankara and the northern province of Samsun, will also be performed in Istanbul by sopranos Zerrin Karslı, Deniz Yetim, mezzo soprano Aylin Ateş, tenor Emrah Sözer, bassist Şafak Güç, and baritone Caner Akgün under the baton of Selman Ada…



Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain most favoured attractions among tourists: Survey

03/06/2017 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain have been rated by international tourists as their favourite attractions in the UAE, according to the latest Arabian Falcon Holidays, AFH, survey of 1,212 respondents. Over 70 percent of international tourists said they were keen to stay longer and explore more in Dubai. This clearly reflects the emirate’s fast-growing popularity as an international tourist destination. The desire to stay longer is over and above their one to two-week bookings, according to the AFH survey that included only non-residents. Dubai’s shopping malls, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, The Palm, and the various restaurants are the other favourites among the surveyed international tourists. Al Mohannad Sharafuddin, Founder of AFH, an independent timeshare player in the Middle East, said, “The strong vision of Dubai’s leadership has led the emirate to outpace global growth in tourism.



Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque wins Traveller’s Choice Award for second year in a row

28/05/2017 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): Once again, the UAE adds another outstanding achievement to its vast array of exceptional accomplishments following the announcement of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque ranking as the world’s second favourite landmark, winning Trip Advisors Traveller’s Choice Award of 2017. Trip Advisor, the world’s largest travel site, bases the ranking of its Traveller’s Choice Award on the opinions, ratings and comments of millions of travellers and visitors of architectural, and historic sites around the world, and is regarded as one of the most prestigious awards in the world. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre’s administration attributed this achievement to several reasons, the most significant of which was the support of the nation’s wise leadership, which led to the mosque becoming one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the UAE. The magnificence of its architecture and the exquisiteness of its ornamentation further enhances its splendour, so does its religious, and tolerant role in consolidating the notions of coexistence and cross-cultural communication, making it one of the most preferred global destinations throughout the year…



Dubai Brings Strong Business Events Presence

20/05/2017 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau and a division of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), has been showcasing Dubai’s dynamic business events offering at IMEX, which has been taking place this week in Frankfurt. DBE has brought a total of 27 stakeholders and partners to the global events industry exhibition, which has been running 16-18 May, including Emirates, Dubai World Trade Centre and Jumeirah Hotels. Expo 2020 Dubai has been co-exhibiting with DBE for the first time, introducing planners to the mega-event and explaining the opportunities it will afford them. Along with its co-exhibitors, DBE has been showcasing significant developments in Dubai’s business events offerings, further reinforcing the city’s status as a major business events destination. Emphasis also remains on the growing role that business events are playing in transforming Dubai into a global knowledge hub, as well as the emirate’s state-of-the-art facilities, world-class infrastructure and renowned hospitality sector that support the industry…



Two-day Doha Forum to open on Sunday

13/05/2017 (GDN – Qatar): Doha: The 17th edition of the Doha Forum will open on Sunday (May14) under the theme “Development, Stability and Refugee Crisis”. The two-day symposium will be held under the auspices of the Amir of Qatar Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.“The focus will be on current international political developments,  economic challenges, investment, oil and gas issues and refugees”, said Organising Committee Chief Dr. Ibrahim bin Saleh Al-Nuaimi. Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani address the opening session, themed International Cooperation and the Importance of Political and Economic Stability.”..



Expo 2020 Dubai offering SMEs an opportunity to ‘Meet the Buyers’

Expo 2020 Dubai offering SMEs an opportunity to ‘Meet the Buyers’30/04/2017 (Emirates 24/7): Representatives of small and medium enterprises, SMEs, will get a chance to showcase their firms to procurement staff from Expo 2020 Dubai and some of its largest contractors at an event next week. The first in a series of Meet the Buyers events will take place on 10th May in Dubai, where SMEs can gain valuable insight into the process of awarding billions of dirhams worth of contracts and sub-contracts in their sector, then meet the people face to face who will be deciding on the deals. Expo 2020 Dubai is committed to supporting the SME sector across the region as part of its plans for a long-lasting economic legacy. Last year, it announced that 20 percent of direct and indirect spend for the Expo, representing Dh5 billion in contracts, would be awarded to SMEs. This year alone, more than Dh11 billion in construction contracts and a further Dh360 million in non-construction contracts will be awarded by Expo 2020 Dubai, more than Dh2 billion of which will be passed on to SMEs over the course of the deals…



Iraqi violinist plays in Mosul as troops battle ISIL

REUTERS photo22/04/2017 (Hurriyet – Turkey): Amid the bombed-out ruins of an ancient site revered by both Muslims and Christians in Mosul, Iraqi violinist Ameen Mukdad on April 19 held a small concert in the city he was forced to flee by Islamic State militants. As Mukdad played scores he had composed in secret while living under the militants’ austere rule, explosions and gunfire could be heard from Mosul’s western districts where U.S.-backed forces are still battling Islamic State for control. “This is a place for all, not just one sect. Daesh represents no religion but is an ideology that suppresses freedom,” Mukdad told Reuters, using a derogatory name for the militants. “Everything about Daesh is wrong.” Mukdad, 28, fled Mosul after Islamic State fighters stormed his house and confiscated his instruments, deeming his music a violation of their hardline interpretation of Sunni Islam…



Dubai Municipality completes first phase of ‘Hatta Hiking’ project

15/04/2017 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): Dubai Municipality has announced the completion of the first phase of the ‘Hatta Hiking’ project, which aims to boost tourism activity in the region as part of the Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan. The Municipality said that the first phase of the ‘Hatta Hiking’ project covers 9 km. The hiking trail, developed under the project, has been designed in an eco-friendly way to blend in with the unique natural environment of the area. The first phase named ‘City Hiking’ links a number of monuments and key tourist attractions such as the Hatta Biking track and Hatta Kayak. The first phase of the hiking trail also passes through tourist hotspots like the Hatta Heritage Village, the three dams, Al Tala Park, and family recreation and children’s playing areas, as well as a number of farms in the Al Sharia area, the fruit and vegetable market and the Hatta 360 project….



Mona Al Marri Inaugurates Middle East Film and Comic Con 2017 at DWTC

07/04/2017 (Emirates 24/7): The Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) officially opened its doors at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) today. Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) Mona Al Marri officially opened the event at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, in the presence of CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre and Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Helal Saeed Al Marri. Following the inauguration, Al Marri was given a tour of the main highlights of the event by Ben Caddy, CEO and Arafaat Ali Khan, Director of Communications of The Alliance, the organisers of the event. On the occasion of the inauguration, Al Marri said: “Middle East Film and Comic Con 2017 further reinforces Dubai’s profile as a hub for major events in the cultural and entertainment sector…