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Etihad Airways opens new First Class lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport

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Etihad Airways has officially opened its new flagship First Class Lounge & Spa at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3. The spectacular new space showcases the airline’s commitment to providing unparalleled and aspirational hospitality experiences.

Etihad lounge

Inspired by the world’s most prestigious hotels, private members’ clubs and fine dining establishments, the lounge is an ultra-exclusive lifestyle environment which tells the airline’s acclaimed guest experience and hospitality story with unrivalled design, style and comfort, world class dining, and bespoke beauty and relaxation services.

The lounge features 16 unique zones designed to ensure that guests can relax, re-energise and be entertained in total luxury before boarding their flight. An à la carte restaurant, showcase bar, fitness room, cigar lounge, Six Senses Spa, Style & Shave barbers, nail bar, TV room, secluded relaxation room, prayer room and children’s play room ensure that all guests receive a highly personalised experience and intuitive service.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our new First Class Lounge & Spa is the jewel in the crown of our new lounge offerings worldwide and represents the best of our home city of Abu Dhabi. It is a showcase of intelligent product design, innovation, ‎and superlative hospitality and service. This is not just a lounge but the ultimate airline hospitality experience and one which perfectly mirrors Etihad Airways’ evolution into the best airline in the world.

“Continuing our journey of innovation, this new dedicated First Class environment demonstrates our on-going commitment to developing world-class products as we continue to reimagine travel.”

Etihad Airways opens new First Class lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport

Measuring just under 1,700 m², and boasting expansive views of the airport, the new facility is open round-the- clock for the exclusive use of guests of The Residence, Etihad First Class, Etihad Guest Exclusive, Etihad Guest Platinum members (plus one guest), Etihad Airways Partner (EAP) airline First Class guests, EAP ‘Invitation only’ members (plus two guests) and EAP equivalent Platinum members (plus one guest).

Shane O’Hare, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President Marketing, said: “We are reimagining service and hospitality. Whilst this physical environment is truly remarkable, we have placed special emphasis on creating an aspirational luxury lifestyle space in line with our legendary inflight service offering. The result is the finest airline lounge and spa experience in the world.”

Guests of The Residence enjoy the exclusivity of their own private space discreetly located adjacent to the main lounge entrance. The secluded area boasts a dedicated Savoy-trained Butler, custom-made Poltrona Frau Italian leather armchairs and sofas, its own shower room stocked with a range of Acqua di Parma products, a prayer room, and private dining.

Guests of the First Class Lounge & Spa will be attended to by a number of expertly trained staff – all of whom have undergone a rigorous selection process. The lounge features a General Manager, Concierge, Maître d’Hotel, Savoy-trained Butlers, chefs and mixologists among its highly trained lounge team.

Etihad Airways opens new First Class lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport

The Executive Chef brings with him immense experience from a long career with leading hotel brands including Ritz Carlton, Shangri-La, and Intercontinental. His team of skilled Sous Chefs, Demi Chefs, and Chef de Partie create superior haute cuisine dining served at an à la carte dining area. Menus are changed frequently and feature a choice of Arabian, Indian and international cuisine made to order at any time of day. The kitchen prepares all dining in-house using the freshest, locally sourced, seasonal produce. Guests will also be able to experience a unique five-course Emirati tasting menu, developed by chefs from Mezlai at the prestigious Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. A casual dining and bar snack menu is also provided.

The sculptural showcase bar, which is now a striking feature of Etihad Airways’ new collection of global lounges including the recently opened New York and Melbourne facilities, is stocked with 75 premium spirits, champagne and aperitifs.

A bespoke cocktail menu has been specially developed in partnership with leading London-based beverage consultancy Fluid Movement. The signature mocktail drink is the Abu Dhabi, which uses Middle-Eastern flavours such as aromatic cold brew coffee infused with cardamom and sprayed with delicate rose water. All mocktails and cocktails featured on the menu are one-of-a- kind and have been named after Etihad’s leading destinations including New York, Melbourne, Shanghai, Paris, Mumbai, Sydney and London. Using ingredients inspired by these cities, cocktails and mocktails are all hand-created by specially trained mixologists, using syrups and garnishes such as candy floss and dehydrated rhubarb. The bar also offers a selection of ‘modern classics’, such as the Mach 10 Mojito. Negroni lovers will be delighted to know their favourite aperitif is mixed, barrelled and aged behind the bar.

The cigar lounge provides a choice of nine carefully selected brands including Hoyo de Monterray, Cohiba, Bolivar, Montecristo, Arturo Fuente and Romeo Y Julieta from its own humidor. Each has been expertly matched with a number of whiskies and cognacs.

The Six Senses Spa comprises three treatment rooms with shower facilities. First Class guests can enjoy a complimentary treatment, while guests in The Residence are offered two complimentary treatments.

In keeping with a focus on health and wellbeing, the Relax & Recline area features a large video wall made up of 27 individual screens, soothing sound and lighting, and is furnished with six Poltona Frau leather recliners. The fitness room is equipped with state-of- the-art Technogym treadmills and cross trainers, and male and female washrooms and showers.

The Style & Shave area is staffed by talented barbers offering a series of hair and shave services, including one complimentary express treatment and a shoe shine service. The nail art provides hair and nail services, including nail art, and one complimentary express treatment.

H.E. Eng. Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We are delighted to support Etihad Airways with the launch of their First Class Lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport. This new facility will offer guests a truly exclusive and premium experience, and is a reflection of the continued commitment by the airline and the airport to offer the best possible services to passengers flying through the UAE capital.”

From an interior design perspective, the principles of style, space and serenity are complemented by Etihad Airways’ distinctive ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ branding. With its geometric patterns and colour palette inspired by the UAE landscape, it is the ultimate expression of 21 st century Arabian modernism.

The new facility adds to the airline’s expanding collection of 14 Premium Lounges including those recently launched in New York and Melbourne in addition to Premium Lounges in Abu Dhabi (Terminals 1 and 3), Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Dublin, Paris, Washington DC., and Sydney. At Abu Dhabi Airport, Etihad Airways also operates a dedicated Premium Lounge within the unique US Preclearance facility, and a Premium Arrivals Lounge. A new First and Business Class Lounge at Los Angeles LAX airport will follow in the coming months.

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Local Business

Letshego Uganda offering repayment holiday to customers in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

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Giles Aijukwe, the CEO Letshego Uganda

Giles Aijukwe, the CEO Letshego Uganda

By Our Reporter

Letshego Uganda has rolled out a Repayment Holiday facility to its borrowers in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the world.

The repayment holiday involves giving customers a 3 month moratorium- meaning he/she/they (the borrowers) will not be required to pay their installments during that duration.

Different Heads of States, in their response to the pandemic, have implored the business community to augment government’ initiatives to offer financial relief to their customers and specifically lenders to offer repayment holidays and loan restructuring to their customers. It is in this regard that Letshego Uganda; a subsidiary of Letshego Holdings, a premier financial services company based in Botswana and with a footprint in 11 African countries has heeded to the call.

“The Repayment Holiday allows you to take some time out from the financial burden of repayments. It is important however, to note that this holiday mainly targets those customers whose businesses have been affected by Government Intervention measures during the current COVID-19 through business lockdown and closure for example those in sectors like- Education, Tourism, Transport, Leisure and Hospitality,” Aijukwe Giles, the CEO of Letshego elaborated.

The employees/clients that belong to these employers/industry sector will apply for the holiday and be approved based on the case presented. The biggest positive about a repayment holiday is that it relieves some pressure for a while. For a period of time, you have one less thing to worry about when considering outgoings.

“In line with their operational mandate, Letshego practices responsible lending and acts in a customer’s best interests, ensuring affordability, transparency of terms and conditions as well as supporting the borrower if they experience repayment difficulties. This means that by the time they have approved your loan application, they’ve made the effort to determine whether you can repay without substantial hardship,” Aijukwe affirmed.

Letshego has designed a simple application form to be signed by the customer; that will then be scanned and sent to the branch. Customers are also encouraged to use their digital and online platforms (WhatsApp and web application forms) to apply for these holidays. Furthermore, the Repayment Holiday is not only being extended to those in Kampala only but countrywide, across where we have a presence.

Aijukwe added, “A list of qualifying customers has been generated across our 45 branches countrywide and our branch teams are reaching out to them. Customers who are not yet contacted are encouraged to contact their respective branch managers and relationship officers to confirm if they qualify for the Repayment Holiday.”

Microfinance institutions were developed with the common purpose of contributing in the socio-economic changes of communities. As evidenced on numerous occasions, microfinances have exponentially uplifted the economic status of people by providing credit to individuals and skill based groups so that they are able to better their family and community stand.

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Entertainment News

StarTimes GO connects first customer

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By Reporter

With the launch of the integrated e-shopping platform StarTimes GO, the company is excited to have connected with the first customer, Sula, last weekend. After watching the TV programme StarTimes GO, Sula decided to buy a solar kit alongside with a 24″ Digital LED TV. She made a call to StarTimes to order the products and was quite pleased with the door to door delivery and installation. While receiving her order, Sula said, “I like that StarTimes can easily be accessed in terms of customer care services unlike some service providers. I was interested in buying the solar kit which helps during power blackout situations. It will also help us enjoy our family TV-watching time without worrying about unstable power supply. I was relieved to know that we can pay for the solar kit in instalments. This reduces on the financial burden. With StarTimes GO giving a special offer on plenty of products, we got a FREE two-year TV program bouquet for our solar kit!”

The captain of the car fleet for delivery, Charles, escorted the products to the customer’s home which is about 40km away from the city centre of Kampala. He said, “It is not quite convenient for a family living far away from the city centre to carry these products home. We hope that the customers can enjoy their shopping with StarTimes GO from the beginning to the end.”

Together with Charles, the whole team of delivery and installation are quite honoured to complete the mission for serving the first customer of StarTimes GO, among other customers who followed, especially when they see the smile of satisfaction on their faces.

Mr. Franklin Wang, the StarTimes CEO in Uganda remarked, “We have been thinking of the considerate services which make the digital life available to more people hence the e-shopping platform StarTimes GO. We appreciate the support and trust given by the customers; and thanks to our staff in call centre, delivery car fleet and installation team, the StarTimes GO is operating as we expected and will keep providing products of quality to the public.”

StarTimes GO has made it easier to shop digitally for the product you need. Book via StarTimes GO and enjoy great discounts be it on a decoder, TV or solar system. Order with StarTimes interactive e-shopping platform StarTimes GO at ugmall.startimestv.com or call 0701152863/ 0781962712 and your package will be delivered to you.

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CoronaVirus Uganda

Jibu Uganda donates 10,000 litres of drinking water to COVID-19 National Taskforce

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By Our Reporter

Jibu Uganda has made a donation of 10,000 litres of drinking water to the COVID-19 National Taskforce. The donation comes in the form of 2,000 bottles of 5L packaged drinking water.

According to Daniel Komunda, the Country Director of Jibu Uganda, the donation will go a long way in providing safe drinking water for vulnerable communities and the front line health workers.

“We are proud to support our government in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, and are humbled to provide safe drinking water for distribution to vulnerable communities and essential workers who are at highest risk during this crisis.” Daniel Komunda said.

Jibu Uganda manages a network of 30 locally-owned drinking water franchises in Kampala, and in 11 other major towns across the regions of Uganda.

Komunda also noted that all Jibu shops across the country have increased their delivery capabilities during the lockdown, and have been offering free delivery and other support services to help customers remain safe at home.

Established in 2014, Jibu Uganda is a social enterprise that capitalizes, equips and trains local entrepreneurs to operate successful franchises designed to serve local communities with radically affordable, high-quality necessities.

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Local Business

MTN Uganda hands over Ramadan food packages to Uganda Police and Muslim teachers

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By Our Reporter

In a Ramadan drive that underscores the long standing relationship between MTN Uganda and the Muslim community spanning, the telecom giant has delivered food items among other alms to the Muslims in the Uganda police force and the Uganda Muslim teachers’ association.

The items were handed over at the Nsambya police barracks and the Kibuli Muslim Teachers’ College respectively on Thursday.

Ibrahim Kagolola, the RCC Mankindye on behalf of the COVID task force, received the donation and later handed over to Omoding David Deputy director counter terrorism police who was representing the IGP.

“I thank MTN for remembering the police during Ramadan. We don’t take this generosity for granted,” said Omoding David while receiving the food packages on behalf of Uganda Police.

While handing over to the police, Ismail Hamwada Manager work force planning MTN said MTN in partnership with Salaam Foundation has always donated to Muslim communities during Ramadhan.

“This time round we are happy to be giving back to the police. As we fast and seek Allah, we hope that this donation will go a long way when breaking fast,” Hamwada said.

This year’s handovers started this week on Wednesday with Old Kampala mosque and Kibuli mosque and will go in for the entire fasting period, with the guidance of the National task force against COVID19 due to the situation presented by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The food items/alms that include sugar, rice, posho, cooking oil, beans, bar soap for hand washing and wheat flour will be distributed to the vulnerable communities especially in the areas of Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono district. MTN will be working with Salaam Foundation to reach out to the different communities during the fasting period.

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