Al-Burhan Group has taken over the management of Baghdad International Airport Hotel in a joint partnership with the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA).

The hotel consists of 100 rooms, a fitness centre with sauna and steam room, the hotel also benefits from having a conference Centre, meeting rooms, exhibition space, large landscaped gardens and ample parking. The hotel has been operating for over a decade.

The hotel is in need of major refurbishment works both externally and internally, as well as to its structure. Al-Burhan Group started these works immediately on its managerial takeover on the 13th of October.

Al-Burhan Group plans to make the Baghdad International Airport Hotel a leading hotel within the airport in conjunction with its current facility the Al-Burhan Centre, located just a few minutes away the hotel will primarily house transit passengers, guests of government visiting Baghdad, and we hope in the near future, tourists. The airport will also be used for airlines at positioning overnight crews in Baghdad for their onward flights.

Speaking at a directors meeting, the Managing Director of ABG Mr. Imad Burhan expressed his pleasure in undertaking this new venture and of being given the opportunity to be able to make a positive change to the surroundings of Baghdad International Airport, thus confirming its position as a reliable leader in the hospitality sector.

(Source: Al-Burhan Group)

By John Lee.

Authorities in Baghdad are implementing a series of measures to improve passenger access to Baghdad International Airport (BIAP).

The measures include the widening of the main road to the airport, the removal of a number of security barriers and allowing vehicles to reach the departure terminals to drop off passengers.

These measures coincide with the the resumption of flights by major carries to Iraqi airports, and the expansion of Iraqi Airways route network.

The easing of access to Iraq’s main international gateway comes just a few weeks after the Iraqi authorities oversaw the opening of the so called ‘Green Zone’ in central Baghdad to traffic, fulfilling an undertaking by Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi and the Iraqi government.

Soon after the defeat of Daesh in Iraq, the Iraqi government began to remove concrete barriers, blast walls and checkpoints, which have been in place for well over a decade,
from other parts of Baghdad and cities across Iraq.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has reportedly approved plans for a British company to develop a 4,000 acre site near Baghdad International Airport (BIAP).

According to Thomson Reuters, the NIC is negotiating with Iraqi companies to develop the remaining 16,000 acres of the land that cabinet approved for development in May.

More here.

(Source: Thomson Reuters)

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Cabinet held its regular meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi.

The Cabinet discussed and reviewed a number of infrastructure projects, and approved a scheme to develop land close to Baghdad International Airport.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

In May of this year, we reported claims that Iraq’s anti-corruption bodies were investigating the contract to operate the duty-free shops at Baghdad and Basra airports, following reports of corruption from Al-Ahad TV.

According to a new report from Al-Ahad TV, and to documents recently received by Iraq Business News (see below), the Iraqi Parliament has recently written to the Minister of Transport asking him to appear in parliament to answer questions in relation to a varitety of matters, including apparent irregularities in the extention of the contracts with Iraq Duty Free, which is owned by Financial Links.

The report alleges that the provision of 5 busses, 200 passenger trollies and other items to the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) amounts to bribery and corruption, contrary to Iraqi Law.

The Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Bureau has also written to the Inspector General for the Ministry of Transport asking him to investigate the contract.

Iraq Duty Free denies any wrongdoing.

We’ll report more details as the story unfolds.

Additional information:

New report from Al-Ahad TV (in Arabic):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeoCezS5QNc

Original article:

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2018/05/15/were-duty-free-contracts-illegally-granted/

 

 

Iraq Duty Free has responded to allegations regarding the renewal of its contract to run the duty free concessions at Baghdad and Basra airports in Iraq.

According to the statement from its CEO, Ahmed Kamal, the owner of company has not been convicted of “any crime of punishment that deprives the freedom in Iraq.”

His response is carried in full below:

Iraq Duty Free strongly refutes all such allegations regarding the contract renewal which have been aired on Al Ahad channel. The contract between Iraq Duty Free and Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority has passed through a number of legal and regulatory authorities before concluding it. It was approved by Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority and then further endorsed by Ministery of Transportation. So all allegations by Al Ahad channel regarding the contract renewal are baseless and these allegations are aimed to tarnish our reputation and business goodwill. What was published about us in Al Ahad Channel is flagrantly untrue, and we have requested the channel to show evidence and documents of what it has stated; or else the right of reply is assured for us by law.

As for what your website has reported about the Al Ahad Channel and what was published about our company, we would like to indicate to you and all observers that businesses in Iraq have been encountering many challenges and every day false accusations are being published here and there and the last of which is what was aired about us in Al Ahad Channel which is baseless and defamatory act targeted on a business which has employed hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqis and is one of the major employers in Iraq. We not only bring a pleasant shopping experience to Iraq but also we bring world best brands for Iraqi travelers. As a responsible corporate citizen, Iraq Duty Free is regularly contributing its resources for the welfare of Iraqi people.

We inform you that our company has a contract of leasing Iraqi duty free shops, which was entered into with relevant parties under the supervision of the Ministry of Transportation, and our company has not lagged behind in implementing the provisions prescribed in the contract, as it is an investment contract and cost us millions of dollars in order to develop and modernize the free duty shops, showrooms and some works related to Baghdad International Airport in terms of modernization, reconstruction and development, and there is no legal impediment to prevent renewing the contract even before its expiry; rather both contracted parties are entitled by law to do that with mutual consent.

Regarding what is said on website about the owner of company, we would like to tell you that the owner of company is an Iraqi National and not convicted of any crime of punishment that deprives the freedom in Iraq; furthermore, there is no text or law that prevents him from contracting inside Iraq, requesting your esteemed website kindly to investigate the facts before publication, as the bad information could commercially affect the company’s reputation, especially that our company is of the leading companies in Iraq.

We would request Iraq Business News to not pick the defamatory news spread by Al Ahad channel. If Al Ahad Channel has any evidence or legal documents that confirm what is published about us, we request them to announce it before slandering it on media.

(Picture: Duty free, from asiandelight/Shutterstock)

Iraq Business News has learned of claims that Iraq’s anti-corruption bodies are investigating the contract to operate the duty-free shops at Baghdad and Basra airports.

Early last year we reported that the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) and the Ministry of Transport had extended Iraq Duty Free‘s exclusive contract at the airports by ten years to 4th March 2029; the company has been running the stores since 2004.

According to a report from Al-Ahad TV, the total duration of the contract, and fact that it was extended two years before it was due to expire, are in breach of Iraqi law.

It goes on to state that Iraq Duty Free’s parent company, Financial Links, is owned by UK-citizen Ahmed Sarchil Kazzaz, who has a conviction for fraud in the United States in relation to the payment of bribes to help win contracts in Iraq.

IBN reported that Kazzaz and his business, Leadstay, were charged in 2012; he subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 months in prison and a substantial fine. This conviction would normally preclude contracting with any Iraqi government entity.

Iraq Duty Free has not yet responded to IBN’s request to comment.

(Picture: Duty free, from asiandelight/Shutterstock)

Iraq Business News has learned of claims that Iraq’s anti-corruption bodies are investigating the contract to operate the duty-free shops at Baghdad and Basra airports.

Early last year we reported that the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) and the Ministry of Transport had extended Iraq Duty Free‘s exclusive contract at the airports by ten years to 4th March 2029; the company has been running the stores since 2004.

According to a report from Al-Ahad TV, the total duration of the contract, and fact that it was extended two years before it was due to expire, are in breach of Iraqi law.

It goes on to state that Iraq Duty Free’s parent company, Financial Links, is owned by UK-citizen Ahmed Sarchil Kazzaz, who has a conviction for fraud in the United States in relation to the payment of bribes to help win contracts in Iraq.

IBN reported that Kazzaz and his business, Leadstay, were charged in 2012; he subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 months in prison and a substantial fine. This conviction would normally preclude contracting with any Iraqi government entity.

Iraq Duty Free has not yet responded to IBN’s request to comment.

(Picture: Duty free, from asiandelight/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reduced its flight restrictions in Iraqi airspace, though some restrictions will remain in place.

It had previously prohibited all US civilian flight operations over the country due to risks relating to the armed conflict with the Islamic State group.

Rudaw quotes a statement from Baghdad International Airport as saying that the announcement “means that global airlines can go over Iraqi airspace wherever they want.

The FAA statement can be viewed here.

(Sources: Govdelivery, Rudaw)

By John Lee.

Al-Burhan Airways has opened a new helipad at Al-Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad.

A spokesman for the company told Iraq Business News that it’s planning to use the new facility to serve the sponsors of Frontier Exchange‘s Iraq Banking & Investment Summit, being held on 2nd and 3rd of December, by providing a helicopter shuttle between the hotel and Al-Burhan’s Centre for Business & Accommodation at Baghdad International Airport.

(Source: Al-Burhan Group)