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Where do People Travel for Business?

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Where do People Travel for Business?

When it comes to global business, the right transportation is essential. Getting talent from one side of the globe to another matters as much as ever it has – and perhaps even more so. But which cities are the most attractive for modern business? This is a question whose answers have remained more or less the same over the last four or five years, despite the fact that global business flights have more than doubled.

New York

The Big Apple leads the pack when it comes to inbound business flight, and it has done since 2014. This is largely thanks to its status as a centre of global finance, but it’s also because New York is among the most business-friendly states in the US, with a range of tax incentives offered to startups. Buzzfeed and WebMD originated here. Whether you’re taking a private jet or a commercial airliner, New York remains the world’s premier destination for business travellers.

London

London has consistently run a close second, despite the uncertainty still lingering over Brexit. Among the biggest draws of the capital is the English language, which remains the second most widely-spoken language in the world (and probably claims the top spot when we count only the customers of international airports). London contains around 15 businesses per hundred residents; the figure for the rest of the UK is around 10.

Paris

Paris is something of a fast-climber, experiencing around twenty-per cent growth over the two-year spell from 2016-2018. It’s easy to see why a business might locate here; Paris has an enormous amount of culture and history to offer, and thus it’s easy to persuade would-be staff to settle here. While France might have something of a reputation for overbearing bureaucracy (the word, is, after all, derived from a French one), the business environment is competitive enough to tempt many international businesses and skilled employees looking to sample life on the continent.

Shanghai

With China having established itself as a global power, it’s probably no surprise that its busiest airport is so attractive to international business customers. While the city isn’t quite as attractive to western travellers as the other entries to this list, it’s a location that no globalised business can afford to neglect – and this is reflected in its rapid rise as a centre of international air traffic. 

Among the more interesting trends in global air traffic generally has been an increased spread between different continents, with five of the seven listed in the top twenty destinations. There is perhaps no better example of this than that of Shanghai.

Toronto

Toronto outranks many US cities, including San Francisco, Houston and LA. As with New York, there is a range of incentives to businesses looking to grow here. The combined rate of corporate and income tax sits at around 26.5%, which is lower than the US average by around thirteen percentage points.

Singapore

Like Dubai, Singapore claims a great deal of air travel thanks to its popularity as a stop-off for long-haul flights between Europe and Australia. But there’s more to Singapore than that. The country is widely regarded as an ideal place from which to tap into Asia’s emerging markets. The location is strategically attractive, the workforce is competitive and the economic policy is explicitly favourable to business. It’s also emerging as serious competition for Hong Kong’s financial centres. For the world’s business travellers, there’s no shortage of reasons to pay this part of the world a visit.

Dubai Customs Reports Export & Non-Oil Foreign Trade Growth for Q1

Non-oil trade volumes, exports, and re-exports were all reported with robust growth percentages during Q1 for Dubai, according to information released this week from Dubai Customs. Exports led the growth patterns by increasing 30 percent and accumulating AED 42 billion. Additionally, Dubai’s non-oil trade volumes were reported at 28 million tons, up from 21 million tons for Q1 in 2018. Overall, the report highlighted 7 percent year-on-year growth for non-oil foreign trade.

“This robust performance and marked growth of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is an indication that we are on the right path of revenue diversification in alignment with the values and standards outlined in the 50-Year Charter.,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai. “The Dubai Silk Road Strategy supports decades of successful investment in developing the emirate’s infrastructure. In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we are committed to developing our government services so that we can become a world-class model for future governments based on knowledge, innovation and advanced AI applications.”

Credit: Dubai Customs

Breaking down the numbers even further, gold, diamonds, and jewelry traded through Dubai saw values increased by nine percent and totaling AED 90 billion. Leading the way in growth contributions, phones were reported at AED 42 billion while petroleum oils increased by more than twice as much from last year.

Credit: Dubai Customs

Among several AI-based initiatives, Dubai Customs boasts the first of its kind ‘Virtual Stock Guarantee’ initiative providing support for re-exports from free zones to external markets. Other disruptive strategies implemented consist of the Smart Vessel Berthing System and the ‘Productivity Engine.’ All three serve a unique purpose from enhanced productivity to cost reduction, all while helping Dubai remain a leader in the market.

“We are pleased to report that trade in Dubai has rebounded in the first quarter of 2019 with non-oil trade growing 7.3% year-on-year to reach AED 339 billion,” added Sultan Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation. “This strong growth has been delivered despite the challenging macro and geopolitical environment, which further highlights the strength and resilience of the Dubai economy. Importantly, we have seen significant growth in both exports (+30%) and re-exports (+7%) which reinforces Dubai’s profile as the key hub for the region. Overall, despite geopolitical headwinds, we remain excited about the outlook for Dubai, particularly with the lead up to EXPO 2020.”

Source: Dubai Customs

LOUNGES ARE IN THE CARDS: BEST AIRPORT BUSINESS CLUBS (AND ASSOCIATED CREDIT CARDS)

Business takes us to people and places that were previously unimaginable. Perhaps some were imaginable–trips to London, New York, Tokyo or Berlin. But Dubai, Sydney, Kuala Lumper or Lima? As a business traveler, the world is your client and airports do a fabulous job not only facilitating your comings and goings, but also offering premier options to relax, eat, work or a combination of all three.

Airport business lounges have rapidly evolved over the years. Initially offering simply a seat with an internet connection and perhaps a glass of wine and shrimp cocktail, lounges are now mini-hotels, replete with executive chefs, showers and buffets with more options than you could possibly desire and unparalleled ambiance.

Gaining access to an airport lounge can come in a variety of ways. If you are traveling in business or first class, you will typically receive free access to most lounges. If you’re in economy, you will likely need to pay. Either way, the plethora of lounges these days is extensive, but we’re going to dive into some of the best.

In no particular order, first up is the Plaza Premium Lounge, Terminal 2, at Rio de Janeiro Galeao International Airport. At a very affordable $32.72 per passenger, this lounge ranked an impressive 5 out of 5 from Netflights.com. Private relaxation rooms, showers, an ambiance that is nearly spa-esque but professional enough to get some work done, the Plaza Premium Lounge is a must access when flying through Rio. Made-to-order sandwiches get rave reviews online, as do the chocolate smoothies.

The 1903 Lounge, Terminal 3 at Manchester Airport is an “adults only” lounge, so if you’re towing along your 5-year-old to experience Manchester while you’re at work, you’ll need to pass on this option. At a buffet offering fit for none other than a king, you can expect nothing short of spectacular from the English with 1833 vintage reserve cheddar and real dairy ice cream from Cheshire Farm. The drinks menu will make you dizzy, but in a good way.

Another lounge that will keep the head spinning is Lounge @ B, Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport. For $38.67 a pop, you can plop into a massage chair that rivals a real masseuse and also putting you in a relaxed mood are an array of pastries, Champagne and amazing customer service that rivals any lounge’s on the planet.

Ever had a craving for lamb pie? Or perhaps rice pudding? According to several users on Yelp, the Strata Lounge, International Terminal at Auckland Airport boasts perhaps the best lamb pies and rice pudding on the planet! This is a business lounge, through and through, but the food is where it truly stands out. Sleek, sliding glass doors and a range of New Zealand wine and beers will keep you satiated, but perhaps not in tip-top shape to work on that investor presentation.

While the lounges themselves are fabulous, a post on the best airport business lounges would need be complete without a mention to the credit cards that can gain you access to said lounges.   

The Platinum Card from American Express

Before jumping into the card offers here, we should touch on Centurion Lounges, which can be found worldwide in the most premier, often-traveled airports, including San Francisco, Sydney, Sao Paulo, Houston, Miami, New York, Mumbai, Mexico City, Las Vegas, Dallas and Buenos Aires. Each location features a healthy square footage and an even healthier offerings of food, drink and amenities. In Dallas, for example, spa treatments await as does a menu designed by Dean Fearing, a James Beard Award-winning chef. Need a shower after a long flight? Hit San Francisco, shower to your heart’s content, and then ramble on over to their wine tasting station.

We could keep detailing city by city but the point here is the Platinum Card from American Express gives you access to Centurion Lounges. This card will also gain you access into Delta Sky Clubs if you’re flying that airline.

Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

A bit of a mouthful, this advantageous card from Mastercard brings with it Admirals Club membership coupled with access for immediate family members or two guests traveling with you. Admirals Club is a network of lounges operated by American Airlines. Originally started in 1936 to provide perks to loyal airline passengers, members of the club were referred to as admirals and greeted as such.

While you’ll likely be traveling with other adults while on business, having this membership is an added perk when you find yourself on vacation with the kiddies. The lounge has a great space for kids to unwind and play, which is music to any parent’s ears.

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

This card is Delta-specific as the name suggests. You will receive access when flying Delta to its Sky Clubs, but a knock on this card is it previously allowed for complimentary guest access, which is now been rescinded.

As a card holder, you will also receive a free checked bag, 20 percent inflight savings as well as priority boarding. With the business version of this card, you are privy to some interesting perks that make that annual fee much more palatable.

Business lounges are in most major airports and if taken advantage of intelligently, they will allow the savvy traveler to rest up, eat up and even get some work done in between massages. Happy traveling and see you at the lounge!

Warehouse Tech Middle East 2019

Warehouse Tech Middle East 2019 brings together the leading logistics, technology solution providers, warehousing leaders and startups to discuss and learn about warehouse technology advancements.

Taking place in beautiful Dubai, this exciting program covers various trends, advancements and solutions including drones, Digital Warehousing, Industry 4.0 effect, Internet of Things, AI & Robotics, Automation, Cloud Computing in WMS and Data Analytics.

If your company is looking for competitive and robust education and insight into the advancements found with warehousing technology, this conference is for you. Take a proactive approach to education and join industry leaders from around the world for a day packed with game-changing information, discussions, and networking opportunities.

The one-day program will take place on June 25 with an impressive list of speakers and exhibitors. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about the digital warehousing market and register your spot today.

Dubai Customs Reports Free Zone Trade Growth

The latest reports released by Dubai Customs reveals an impressive 23 percent growth in free zone trade for 2018, reaching a total of AED532 billion. Total non-oil trade for 2018 was reported at AED1.3 trillion, confirming the strong position Dubai is steadily maintaining as an international and regional trade hub leader.

“The current growth of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is an indication that we are on the right path of revenue diversification in alignment with the values and standards outlined in the 50-Year Charter. The Dubai Silk Road Strategy supports decades of successful investment in developing the emirate’s infrastructure,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council.

“In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we are committed to develop our government services so that we can become a world-class model for future governments based on knowledge, innovation and advanced AI applications. We are currently developing a virtual commercial zone, the first of its kind in the region, which will allow investors to open bank accounts and grant e-residencies according to the highest standards of international laws and regulations,” he added.

Additionally, airborne trade saw an increase of 3.2 percent, sea trade was reported with a 3.4 percent increase, and land trade was reported at AED205 billion. Advanced communication technologies, such as phones were reported as the top commodity in Dubai, and China and India remained the region’s largest trading partners.

Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade is flexible and agile enough to overcome different global economic crunches. Despite a number of challenges that world trade has been through in the last decade, Dubai’s trade grew 72% from 2009 and 2018, and the volume of goods in this period grew 44%. This again reflects Dubai’s ability to attract global trade and investments and to keep up with changes, especially the rise of Asia and China as a global export hub. Dubai is a very important link in this global activity. Our international network of ports and free zones in different countries coupled with Dubai’s leading airline network have helped the emirate in its journey towards more success and progress,” concluded Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

Dubai Customs Thwarts 922 Smuggling Attempts in 9 Months

Director of Dubai Customs, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih revealed they have thwarted 922 smuggling attempts including 355 drug contrabands (38.5%) from January to the end of September 2018.

“We facilitate trade and traffic of passengers without compromising security of borders and entry points, and with the growing number of passengers and air shipping size in the last years we continue to have full control on all our checkpoints” Musabih explained.

“There are challenges facing customs authorities in countries that have strategic locations. Dubai is not an exception. It’s strategically located between east and west and has spent billions of dirhams to develop its infrastructure, ports and airports. The emirate has also provided an unprecedented host of services and products including the ideclare application which significantly reduces passengers’ time needed to declare different belongings. These advanced services will facilitate passengers’ entry into the country, especially for visitors of EXPO 2020” he added.

                  25KG marijuana  

Inspection customs officers at Dubai International Airport thwarted an attempt to smuggle 25.5 kg of marijuana which were concealed carefully inside loud speakers in the passenger’s suitcase

Lyrica pills

Inspection officers’ vigilance and effective training has also led to thwarting a smuggling of 6720 Lyrica pills which were skillfully concealed in bags of nuts.

275 cases of customs duties evasion

Ibrahim Al Kamali, Director of Passenger Operations at Dubai Customs revealed they checked around 30.2 million suitcases between January and the end of September.

“Dubai International Airport deals with large number of passengers annually. Around 74.5 million passengers used the airport in the first ten months of 2018, which means 248,000 passengers a day. These passengers hail from different backgrounds and they all deserve a good and warm welcome” he said.

During the first 9 months of 2018, 3 counterfeiting and 275 customs duties evasion cases were recorded.

“Thanks to our inspectors’ vigilance we are closely in full control of all checkpoints. Our inspection officers receive best training on body language and different types of drugs, and how to distinguish fake brands from genuine ones” Al Kamali added.

 

 

City of Dubai Reports Strong Import/Export Numbers for 2018

For the first half of 2018, chocolate, nuts and milk are among the items that contributed to impressive AED figures recently reported by Dubai Customs in conjunction with Gulfood Manufacturing exhibit this week.  The largest partner was identified as India in regards to foodstuff trade.

“Promoting external trade in support of national economy is a priority for us at Dubai Customs following the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai,” said Nassim Al Mehairi, Manager of Statistics Section at Dubai Customs “We facilitate the business by introducing the latest and best services in clearing cargo to help a better trade flow of food products from and into the country. Dubai has become an essential trade corridor for foodstuffs in the region, owing to its advanced infrastructure and efficient customs services.”

According to the report, “Imports made AED 27.68b, exports touched AED 7.71, and re-exports recorded AED 8.84b” (Dubai Customs).

From most significant to least in specifics, the leader in share was rice at AED 2.43b, milk at AED 2.13b, sugar at AED 2.02b, nuts and chocolate closely next to each other, slightly under AED 1.75b.

The United States came in second to last in front of Oman as Dubai’s sized foodstuff trade partner. Between the combined imports, exports and re-exports, the city of Dubai boasts AED over 44.20b for the first half of 2018.

As reports are finalized for the second half of 2018, industry experts look forward to the results and ending numbers for fiscal year 2018 for Dubai and the next steps taken to leverage this momentum.

Source: Dubai Customs

 

Dubai Improves Global Trade Status

The roles of technology and government policies in the trade industry are becoming of increased importance for the Dubai trade mission after a release  highlighted the increased growth statistics this week.

According to the release, “Trade through free zones increased 22% to AED by 394.3 billion during the first nine months of 2018,” (Dubai Customs, 2018). ”

This along with several additional impressive numbers of growth solidify the focus and preparation for Expo 2020, scheduled for October 20, 2020 and is mentioned to hone in on the sustaining of “public happiness, welfare and prosperity and turn Dubai into a world class model,” by the Dubai Government Departments (Dubai Customs, 2018).

”We have an integrated strategy in place to develop the external trade performance further following the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and along with the guidelines of Dubai Plan 2021 and the UAE Centennial 2071. We are watching closely the changes taking place in the international trade and we will turn challenges into opportunities by entering new markets and expand our existing ones,”  Director of Dubai Customs, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih stated in the release.

In addition to a 4.1% increase in seaborne trade and a 2.3% increase in airborne trade,  China maintained the leading position as the largest trading partner with India closely following. India’s trade increased by 16% during this time as well.

As Dubai focuses on finishing the year strong, the city aims to “move ten years ahead of other city’s in fulfillment of the emirate’s vision” while increasing statistics and breaking new grounds through technology  and government implemented initiatives.

 

Source: Government of Dubai