16 October 2007

Water Solutions For Dubai

Dubai’s electricity and water provider says it has started construction of the largest water-pumping station ever attempted in the UAE.

In a statement, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said today that the new facility on the Jebel Ali-Al Haba road will cost roughly Dh39 million.

Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, said the latest project will help meet the increasing demand for water by the addition of tens of thousands of new housing units in Dubai.

It should take about two years to complete, he said. “The new station will pump water from Jebel Ali station through a network to the new consumption areas in Dubai where demand for water is doubling due to rapid urban development.”

The station will house eight pumps, including two for emergency back-up, and will supply a total of 60 million gallons of waters per day.

The plant will bolster water demand in Dubai for 279,247 DEWA residential customers.

The authority provides water to 1,210 industrial customers as well as 52,527 commercial customers.

According to latest DEWA statistics, the authority required 72.6 million gallons in 2006 of which 71.7 million gallons were provided by desalination plants.

Total water consumption in 2006 was 64.9 million gallons with the largest consumer being residential at 38.5 million gallons followed closely by commercial with a demand of 16 million gallons. Industries consumed 3.3 million gallons last year.

Al Tayer said in a statement that the authority is meeting the challenge of the economic boom.

“As the emirate continues its vibrant progress in all spheres, DEWA meets the growing demand for water and electricity, by advanced planning, preparing the necessary groundwork and execution of its projects at the highest quality, safety and environmental standards,” he said.-(xpressme)

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Lebanon Time-Line

Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.