Indian cos in fray for Madinah airport project

Dubai: Indian companies are among the contenders for a multi-billion dollar project for expansion of the Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, which has seen active interest from as many as eight multinational consortiums, reports PTI.

The companies bidding for the contract include multinationals from the US, Canada, France, Spain, Malaysia, India, Korea and Turkey, in addition to Arab companies from the UAE and Lebanon, a newspaper report said.

The expansion project will increase the airport's capacity to 25 million passengers annually.

According to the Arab News report, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has organised a meeting with the eight consortiums that have been prequalified to submit competitive bids to develop, finance and operate the airport under a long-term public-private sector partnership.

Without naming the companies involved, Ala Samman, the supervisor of the project, said the meeting was organised to answer the queries of companies bidding for the contract before they present their financial and technical offers.

GACA has appointed the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank as the project's financial consultant.

Khaled Al-Khaibari, the spokesman of the authority, said the Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz Airport will be the first international airport in the Kingdom to be owned by the private sector.


India tops list of Dubai direct trade partners this year

Dubai: India was Dubai's biggest direct trade partner in the first seven months of 2010, with bilateral transactions between the two countries amounting to over 85 billion dirhams ($23.14 billion) during the period, reports PTI quoting statistics issued by the Dubai Customs department.

India's share of Dubai's overall trade with the outside world was 26%, the data shows. Not only was the maximum share of Dubai's imports from India, the Middle East nation also was India as its biggest export market.

While Dubai's imports from India amounted to 39.7 billion dirhams ($10.80 billion) during the period, exports to India were estimated at around 16.8 billion dirhams ($4.57 billion).

Furthermore, the value of goods and products re-exported by Dubai to India stood at over 28.5 billion dirhams ($7.75 billion).

China and the US stood at second and third place in the list of countries exporting goods to Dubai.

Dubai's imports from China amounted to 25 billion dirhams ($6.80 billion) during the seven-month period, while imports from the US stood at 16.6 billion dirhams ($4.51 billion). Germany stood fourth in the list, with exports of around 10 billion dirhams ($2.72 billion) to Dubai.

In terms of the top export destinations for Dubai, Switzerland was at second place with shipments worth 6.2 billion dirhams ($1.68 billion), followed by Saudi Arabia with 1.4 billion dirhams ($381.16 million) and Pakistan with 1.1 billion dirhams ($299.49 million).


Kerala Tourism: God’s own ad

The commercial appeals to the spiritual senses, and it works like magic — bringing out Kerala’s charm and appeal like no other ad has done

We have watched quite a few tourism ads from India over the years.

Those produced by the Centre for the whole nation, and those produced by the tourism boards of the various state governments. For the national and international markets. And except for a very few, most have failed to capture the nation/state in the way that they should.

The task gets even more difficult when one has to address international audiences, especially developed nations, whose citizens have preconceived notions about the country. And after the CWG fiasco, these notions are bound be those of fear, loathing and terror.

In that discouraging scenario, in comes a superb ad film from ‘God’s own country’, Kerala. I have been to that state many times, and have always returned feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, happy and most importantly, at peace. Kerala is that unique region in India which has that effect on the traveller. But so far, the communication has always failed to capture that mood, that imagination. But the new advert has changed that.

‘Your moment is waiting’ is the core message. The film has been executed more as a spiritual journey of a young female tourist rather than as a hard sell on the state. And within that mystical journey get reflected the cultural symbols we usually associate with Kerala. The greenery, the folk music, the elephants, the Ayurveda therapies, the Kathakali performers, the backwaters, the boats, etc. But no symbol, no image, appears forced. Every single frame flows seamlessly, naturally, like a sublime river. The commercial appeals to the spiritual senses alone, and it works like magic. The surreal imagery, the hymn-like background track, the sensual art direction… all stays with you long after the ad is done. Without saying the words, the ad tells you that you will discover inner peace and tranquillity in Kerala.

Now if a local, middle class, Kalmadi-ravaged desi like me wants to do Kerala immediately after a single exposure to the ad, imagine the effect it will have on the nirvana seeking, solitude craving, exotica lusting, richie-rich Europeans and Americans. It will work like a Mallu Pied Piper on the firangs.

Outstanding tourism advertising. Raises the bar for Indian advertising in general. Wish more Indian states put in the effort to dig deep within their regions, and find such magical ways to tell their stories. We need such soulful tourism communications now more than ever. After the Commonwealth Games sent Brand India, Destination India, for a toss.




7 years ago

Outstanding!! indeed...

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