A Tuesday Tourism Talk with Samih Sawiris, 19 November at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat

HALBAN As part of the regular ‘Tuesday Tourism Talks’ organized by the Faculty of Economics and Business of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), the faculty will host Samih Sawiris during an evening event held at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat on 19 November, 7 pm. Samih Sawiris is one of Oman’s leading tourism investors and a leading international figure in the field of tourism and investment. “We are honored to announce this special conversation with Samih Sawiris next week. As the founder and Chairman of Orascom Development Holding (ODH.SW) he has established along with Omran two major integrated tourism projects in Oman, Jabel Sifah located in Muscat and in Hawana Salalah in Dhofar. During the upcoming talk Samih Sawiris will reflect and share insights of his extensive experience as an investor in the tourism industry worldwide, creating destinations through ‘place making’,” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business at GUtech.

Sawiris is the founder and Chairman of Orascom Development Holding (ODH.SW), a Swiss-incorporated company listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX). Orascom Development is a leading developer of fully integrated destinations that include hotels, private villas and apartments, leisure facilities such as golf courses, marinas and supporting infrastructure. Through a partnership between the internationally builder of fully-integrated towns, ODH and Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN), the leading government arm for tourism development in the Sultanate of Oman, Muriya has invested $650 million in the past ten years in Oman. ODH, 70% shareholders in Muriya, bring with them more than 25 years of experience in developing destinations and towns in the Middle East and in Europe

Orascom Development’s diversified portfolio of destinations is spread over nine jurisdictions (Switzerland, Egypt, Montenegro, Oman, UAE, Jordan and Morocco). The Group currently owns 35 hotels, with 8,135 guestrooms and over 1,000 rooms under development in the different countries. ODH operates eight destinations; Andermatt in Switzerland, Four in Egypt: El Gouna, Taba Heights, Haram City and Makadi in Egypt; The Cove in United Arab Emirates, Jebel Sifah and Salalah Beach in Oman, Andermatt in Switzerland and Lustica Bay in Montenegro.

Samih Sawiris is also a major shareholder of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI N.V.), a Dutch based global producer of natural gas-based chemicals and engineering and construction contractor with projects and investments across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. He is also a significant stakeholder in Lafarage (LG.FP); a world leader in building material and major player in the cement, aggregates and concrete industries, operating in 64 countries and listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

In addition, Samih Sawiris is part of the Sawiris Foundation, a prominent institution of economic and social aid in Egypt that provides job opportunities, trainings and placement of qualified Egyptians in the job market as well as scholarships in various colleges and universities.


Architecture students from Nagpur (India) visited GUtech

HALBAN A group of architecture students and their professors from the Institute of Design Education and Architectural Studies (IDEAS) in Nagpur (Maharashtra/ India), has visited GUtech’s Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) recently.

The students and professors exchanged ideas about urban planning and architecture in the region. The group was also introduced to the ongoing work and research projects of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design including the GUtech EcoHaus.

Geosteering makes Geosciences faster and more efficient

HALBAN To connect the university with the industry and to present how to overcome challenges faced in the oil industry with a unique Geosteering IT software, Dr. Vlad Karen Payrazyan gave an ‘Industry Talk’ at the Department of Applied Geosciences of GUtech. “Through geosteering, many more jobs will be created in the region in future,” said Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Applied Geosciences Department.

“A modern  Geosteering software makes geosciences related to horizontal drilling  faster and more efficient,” said Dr. Vlad Payrazyan, CEO of ROGII, StarSteer Premier Geosteerinig Software, while adding that the software can increase in particular the precision for horizontal drilling which is increasingly applied worldwide. Through multi-well real time geosteering, data integration and cloud collaborative technologies more  oil rigs can be monitored at the same time delivering excellent well placement results. Dr. Vlad Payrazyan and his team are currently visiting the GCC; he has been visiting Oman for the first time. Previously Dr. Vlad Payrazyan has been working on various projects in Russia, Venezuela, Brazil and in United States. “The geosciences industry has to adapt to changes and increasing challenges,” said Dr. Vlad Payrazyan. The world is moving from an easy drilling environment to difficult environmental challenges including tight shale resources, horizontal wells, big volumes of data, cost reduction and automatization. In addition, during the planning and drilling phase of the oil well geoscientists face various uncertainties, where a special geosteering software, such as StarSteer can support their work, through the analysis and integration of data from different sources (offset wells, seismic, chemostratigraphy, MWD/LWD, image logs, etc. real time geosteering and other cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning, predictive analytics and cloud virtual collaboration.

Dr. Vlad Payrazyan and his team are planning to support GUtech students with a special IT software and to train the students on the application. “I enjoy working with universities around the world while sharing my day to day experiences and challenges faced in the oil and gas industry,” said Dr. Vlad Karen Payrazyan. Five years ago together with two other partners he started the company that now employs more than 60 people in 9 international locations with over 200 clients among oil and gas operating and service companies around the world.

Dr. Vlad Karen Payrazyan received his PhD in Geosciences at Nancy Polytechnical University and an Executive MBA at INSEAD in France. For over 20 years he has worked for in the oil and gas industry, with Chevron (USA), Yukos (Russia), British Petroleum (UK) etc. He has also served on Management Boards and Board of Directors of major joint venture companies in Russia, Venezuela and Brazil.

© GUtech/Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

German Parliamentary State Secretary visited GUtech

HALBAN The German Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, H.E. Steffen Bilger, visited the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) on Thursday morning. He was accompanied by H.E. Thomas Schneider, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Sultanate and a small delegation including the Private Secretary to the Parliamentary State Secretary, Dr. Joachim Eichhorn as well as Susanne Symalla, Counsellor for Transport and Digital Infrastructure in the GCC at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Abu Dhabi. The Parliamentary State Secretary is currently on a two-day visit in Muscat.

At GUtech the delegation was welcomed by the Rectorate of the university, Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Dr. Hussain Al Salmi and Dr. Armin Eberlein as well as academic and administrative staff. The visit focused on the academic development of GUtech, the first German university on the Arabian Peninsula since its establishment in 2007 as well as on its study-programmes in Logistics and in Computer Sciences. Both fields are related to transport and the digitalization of everyday life. Currently, more than 250 students study logistics at GUtech. The delegation also visited the GUtech EcoHaus, that was introduced to them by Amal Al Balushi, a GUtech alumni of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design. In 2013 the GUtech EcoHaus was awarded for its outstanding design and energy efficiency during a student competition of The Research Council (TRC). The EcoHaus currently serves as a continuous research project for students to collect data related to its architectural design and its environmental efficiency.


(c) GUtech/ Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: Fatma Al Balushi


Tree planting initiative at GUtech

HALBAN Under the auspices of Hilal bin Said al Hajri, Governor of Southern Al Batinah ten date trees were planted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries on the GUtech campus last week. The initiative is part of a larger move of the Ministry to plant fruit trees and date palms in all governorates throughout the Sultanate. Most date palms are found in Northern and Southern Al Batinah. Trees are part of human life and are considered as the lungs of an urban environment. Trees are like corals, they are conserving biodiversity and they are essential to filter CO2 emissions.