Blog : news

The gift of love. The gift of peace. The gift of happiness. May all these be yours at Christmas.

The gift of love. The gift of peace. The gift of happiness. May all these be yours at Christmas.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the yearIt’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of allThere’ll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There’ll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of
Christmases long, long agoIt’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be much mistltoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When loved ones are near
It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Paphos remains the most popular destination for the foreign property buyers

Paphos remains the most popular destination for the foreign property buyers

Property sales in May

Property sales stats demonstrate continuing economy growth. According to the statistical data of the Department of Lands and Surveys, total number of deposited sales contracts in May increased by 10% comparing to May 2017.  A total of 828 contracts were deposited, 392 of which (47.3%) were for properties sold to the foreign buyers.

Total sales this year

A total of 3612 contracts were deposited at the Land Registry offices from January to May this year, which is 31% higher than the same period last year. Paphos remained the most popular district with the overseas market with the total number of property sold to the foreigners reaching 724 out of 1802 island-wide. Limassol recorded 534, Larnaca 256, Famagusta 192, Nicosia 96.

Paphos maintains its position as the most popular destination for overseas buyers with 2018 sale contracts reaching 724, followed by Limassol with 534, Larnaca with 256, Famagusta with 192 and Nicosia with 96.

Total Property Sale Contracts – 2017/2018 Comparison

District Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Nicosia 2017 72 73 79 80 118 162 124 76 87 117 170 306
  2018 146 96 126 117 153
Famagusta 2017 21 19 40 29 38 46 59 47 57 51 52 169
  2018 48 52 40 52 79
Larnaca 2017 102 100 113 69 119 96 103 88 107 111 151 181
  2018 112 99 116 83 113
Limassol 2017 132 177 232 192 298 304 269 201 203 306 321 532
  2018 225 256 314 246 282
Paphos 2017 96 87 162 136 183 235 184 160 148 183 212 349
  2018 164 163 172 157 201
Totals 2017 423 456 626 506 756 843 739 572 602 768 906 1537
  2018 695 666 768 655 828
Happy Chinese New Year 2018 from Emme Studio Developers Paphos

Happy Chinese New Year 2018 from Emme Studio Developers Paphos

There are multiple blessings and greetings for Chinese New Year. But there are variations even for the most basic “Happy New Year!”

The simplest is, of course, Happy New Year: 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè)

China also contains many dialects, such as Cantonese, Shanghainese and the Beijing dialect. And those dialects don’t include the languages of China’s 55 ethnic minorities.

A European scholar once said that if every dialect regions became a separate country, this area would have more countries than Europe. Northerners and Southerners can rarely understand each other, even though the same written language is used.

Other than Mandarin (standardized Chinese), the most well-known Chinese language is probably Cantonese. It’s more difficult for foreigners to learn. English isn’t a tonal language. Mandarin has 4 tones. And Cantonese has 9.

But if you wish to learn, “Happy New Year” in Cantonese is pronounced: san1 nin4 faai3 lok6!

春节快乐 (chūn jiē kuài lè)
Happy Spring Festival in Mandarin.
ceon1 zit3 faai3 lok6!
Happy Spring Festival in Cantonese.
You can also say春节愉快 (chūn jiē yú kuài), which uses a more formal way to say “happy.” In Cantonese, it’s: ceon1 zit3 jyu4 faai3

In Cantonese-speaking regions, it’s more popular to say恭喜发财(gung1 hei2 faat3 coi4). This is a blessing for wealth and prosperity. The phrase is also used in other regions (Mandarin: gong xǐ fā cái). But the Cantonese like to say this in place of the usual “Happy New Year.”

Some more poetic and “advanced” variations of “Happy New Year”:

恭贺新禧 (gōng hè xīn xǐ)
Literal translation: respectful congratulations on the New Year.
新春志禧 (xīn chūn zhì xǐ)
Literal translation: to record the happiness from the new spring.


Ryanair First flight to Jordan from Paphos

Ryanair First flight to Jordan from Paphos

Ryanair, Europe’s favourite airline, today (4 Feb) launched its first flights to Jordan with 14 routes in total to Amman and Aqaba airports, which will deliver almost 500,000 customers p.a., as Ryanair expands its operation in the Middle East.

Starting with a route to Paphos (Cyprus) in March, Ryanair’s Amman operation will grow to 10 routes from October, as part of its Winter 2018 schedule. Flights to Aqaba will commence in October with 4 routes, and will operate for the winter season.

Ryanair’s Amman year-round schedule includes:

1 new route to Paphos (Cyprus) from March (4 weekly)
10 new routes from October: Bologna (2 weekly), Brussels Zaventem (2), Bucharest (2), Budapest (2), Krakow (2), Milan Bergamo (3), Paphos (2), Prague (2), Vilnius (2) & Warsaw Modlin (2)
430,000 customers p.a.
Over 300 on-site* jobs

Ryanair’s Aqaba Winter 2018 schedule includes:

4 new routes: Athens (2 weekly), Cologne (2), Rome Ciampino (2) & Sofia (2)
Over 55,000 customers p.a.
40 on-site* jobs

In Jordan, Ryanair’s David O’Brien said:

“Ryanair is pleased to announce our entry into the Jordanian market from March 2018, initially with one route from Paphos in Cyprus to Amman commencing in March, and growing to 10 from October, as part of our Winter 2018 schedule. Flights to Aqaba will commence in October with 4 routes, which will deliver almost 500,000 Ryanair customers p.a. at Amman and Aqaba airports.

These routes will introduce new business and leisure travellers from eleven European countries to one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world, and to celebrate we are releasing seats for sale from Paphos to Amman from €19.99 for travel in April and May, which are available for booking until midnight Wednesday (7 Feb). Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto and avoid missing out.”

H.E. Minister of Tourism & Antiquities and Chairwoman of the Jordan Tourism Board, Ms Lina Mazhar Annab said:

“We are delighted to see Ryanair launch 14 new routes from Europe to Jordan. This is a significant development in Jordan’s travel industry that will offer travellers greater choice and value for money.

Enhancing air connectivity is one of the key areas Jordan is focusing on given its impact on unlocking economic growth through attracting business investment as well as spurring tourism, two factors that are vital to Jordan’s economic prosperity.

Ryanair’s decision to fly to Jordan sends a loud and clear message about the diversity and the untapped potential of Jordan’s tourism product. It also shows confidence in the tourism industry in Jordan, which has witnessed double-digit growth in the past year. The timing of the launch of these new flights is ideal given the increased global interest in Jordan and its recent listing as one of the best destinations to visit in 2018 by numerous world-renowned travel and tourism publications.

To coincide with these new flights, we will be launching different marketing campaigns in the new source markets targeting specific types of tourists such as religious, adventure and business travellers.”

Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board, Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat said:

“Opening up new routes to the Kingdom from several crucial markets is key in bringing tourists for extended stays in Jordan. This is a culmination of efforts that reflects our steadfast demand driven approach. We are now able to make the Kingdom more accessible to a broader segment of potential tourists and whose impact on the local economy will be substantial on every level of the tourism sector supply-chain. We are excited for this endeavour to grow and flourish over the next few years, and to witness its impact on the tourism sector.”



Decision on Paphos marina

Decision on Paphos marina

The community leader of Kissonerga village in Paphos is urging the government to proceed as quickly as possible to reach a decision over the long-awaited new marina due to be built in the area.

George Stylianou told the Cyprus Mail that the lead up to last Sunday’s presidential elections had furthered delayed the procedure to be followed after the supreme court upheld an appeal by Poseidon consortium, whose bid was rejected, that the committee responsible for overseeing the Paphos marina tender process is unlawful.

“We are urging the relevant authorities to speed up their decision, as we have been waiting for over a decade and this is also having a negative impact on some of our planned projects,” he told the Cyprus Mail.

These include the upgrading of the area’s beachfront, as well as the construction of breakwaters.

“This will give us one of the longest and most beautiful beaches in Cyprus measuring around one and a half kilometres in length,” he said.

A decision made by the marina management committee in 2017 saw the consortium lose out to Pafilia developers after the body found that evidence supplied to secure financing for the multi-million euro project was ‘not satisfactory’.

The recourse brought by Poseidon consortium argued that the committee’s move to dismiss their tender, and move on to request Pafialia – the developer next on the list – to commence negotiations was wrongful.

At the end of December, the supreme court upheld the complaint of the consortium and said that the establishment and functioning of the marina management committee was unlawful and therefore its decisions void.

Stylianou said that the simplest and quickest way forward is to allow for the current ‘legally permitted’ members of the committee to evaluate Poseidon’s offer and decide if the contract should be awarded to them or to Pafilia.

“This sort of thing happens everywhere and would be a much faster result for us, as we are at the final stage; there is a way to make it happen,” he said.

However, he also said that, “if all fails and as a last resort”, a new committee might have to be formed, the entire process cancelled and a new tender offered.

Poseidon’s €215 million bid was rejected in April 2017, which meant that tender runner up Pafilia, with a different design and a cost of around €175 million, could submit their paperwork.

That decision was the latest in a long-running tussle between various developers dating back to 2007. In 2008 the tender was initially awarded to the Cybarco-Pandora consortium, which includes the Leptos Group.

However, the other two bidding consortiums, Pafilia and Poseidon – a joint venture in which Aristo Developers is a major stakeholder – challenged the award at various stages.

The project was then frozen after litigation began in 2008.

In December 2015, the supreme court finally voted in favour of Poseidon but they still had to provide proof of funds. Last April, the marina management committee decided that Poseidon was unable to meet the financial criteria. The project was then passed on to Pafilia, the biggest developer in Cyprus.

“The marina will provide a substantial income for us which is good news for our community, but we just need the marina to finally get started,” he said.


Cyprus election: Anastasiades wins presidential race

Cyprus election: Anastasiades wins presidential race

Nicos Anastasiades has won a second five-year term as president of the Republic of Cyprus, official results have shown.

With all the votes counted, the incumbent conservative secured 56 percent on Sunday, comfortably ahead of his rival, Stavros Malas, a leftist-backed independent, at 44 percent.

Anastasiades, 71, is now expected to pick up the pieces of a suspended peace process on the ethnically split island, as well as oversee the economic recovery of a country still bouncing back from a crippling financial crisis.

“My dear friends, I want to thank you from the depths of my heart for the trust and the clear mandate,” Anastasiades told hundreds of supporters who had gathered outside his election campaign headquarters in the centre of the capital, Nicosia.

“A new era begins tomorrow,” he said from the building’s balcony. “People demand cooperation and unity because this is the only way to solve the problems we’re facing.”

Earlier on Sunday, Malas, 50, had called Anastasiades to congratulate him for his re-election.

“The people have spoken, and we respect their decision,” he said in a speech at his election campaign headquarters.

The result was in line with exit polls, which had put support for Anastasiades at an average of 57 percent, within a range of 54.5 percent to 59.5 percent.

Abstention stood at 26 percent.

Cyprus elections

Backed by the right-wing Democratic Rally party, Anastasiades is a prominent figure in the Greek Cypriot political old guard.

His victory sparked scenes of celebration at his campaign headquarters, where jubilant supporters chanted slogans, blared horns and waved Cypriot, Greek and party flags.

“The result is a cause for optimism for the future,” Ioannis Hasikos, a 35-year-old lawyer, said.

“Over the past five years, the country achieved stability and people have decided to continue on the same path.”

Anastasiades ran a campaign emphasising the recovery of Cyprus’ economy from the state of near collapse it was in during the first days of his presidency, after taking over from the communist party AKEL in 2013.

In 2016, the country successfully exited a three-year international programme that saw it implementing tough economic measures in exchange for a multibillion-dollar bailout.

Under the terms of its contentious rescue programme, Nicosia agreed to shut down the island’s second-largest lender, Laiki, while Bank of Cyprus depositors were forced to forfeit nearly 50 percent of their savings that were over 100,000 euro ($124,000).

For his part, AKEL-backed Malas focused his campaign on the need for a new economic policy that would guarantee labour and social rights.


Island’s first casino resort to open its doors in 2021

Island’s first casino resort to open its doors in 2021

By 2021, Cyprus’ first integrated casino resort will open its doors to the public, in an investment totaling €550m, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Presenting the finalised plan to a packed conference hall at the presidential palace, representatives from the Melco-CNS consortium showcased the multi-million project, dubbed City of Dreams – Mediterranean, set to attract 300,000 tourists per year and creating around 11,000 jobs.

Set to be built in Zakaki, west of Limassol, the resort will include a gaming area with 136 tables and 1,200 gaming machines and 9,600 square metres of MICE facilities (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions).

The resort will also feature a five-star hotel with luxury villas and 500 hotel rooms, 11 restaurants and cafeterias, a retail area, wellness centre and sports centre.

A temporary casino in Limassol and four satellite casinos in Nicosia, Larnaca, the Famagusta area and Paphos will begin operations in the first half of 2018.

President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday hailed the investment, saying it was an impressive and ambitious project that the government had made efforts to attract shortly after the financial crisis in March 2013 “after we concluded that the benefits for the country certainly outnumber any negative consequences.”

It will be the top integrated casino resort in Europe and one of the best in the world, he added.

According to an economic impact study prepared by PwC, the impact to Cyprus’ economy after the second year of the casino’s operation will reach approximately €700m per year, around four per cent of the country’s annual GDP.

The casino will tackle seasonal tourism making the industry stronger all year round, Anastasiades said which alone will impact Cyprus’ economy with €276m annually two years after the casino’s operations which will in turn create 2,100 jobs.

The project will also increase the duration of tourists’ visit and attract foreign investment to the island.

Chairman and Melco CEO Lawrence Ho said “I am proud that the Cypriot government has entrusted Melco and CNS to build Cyprus’ first integrated resort which will place Cyprus on the world tourism map and attract visitors not just from the surrounding region but also from the whole of Europe and around the world.”

He added this was the first time the brand was working outside of Asia and “growing tourism in Cyprus is our number one priority.”

“We really do live and die by our efforts to be different,” Ho told the packed conference hall.

The designs of every casino resort Melco undertakes are uniquely catered to each jurisdiction and in the case of Cyprus, the City of Dreams Mediterranean has been styled based on the old town Nicosia area resembling a village feel.

Surrounded by greenery and large trees, interior designers are creating a luxurious interior with extravagant but a calm serene feeling surrounding the complex with people waking up feeling they are on a village overlooking the hills, the promoters said.

The integrated casino resorts Cyprus consortium is comprised of Melco Resorts & Entertainment and the Cyprus Phassouri Zakaki Limited, member of the CNS Group.

Their project was shortlisted from a total of eight bids and the masterplan was submitted on December 22.

Safeguards have been put in place such as the minimum age requirement of 21, Anastasiades said while several training courses are running on the island to prepare for the job openings that will follow.

The complex will feature an extensive pool area with river woods and surf pools, a high-end retail area, an outdoor amphitheatre and three ballrooms as well as a convention expo centre.


Saipem drillship arrives for exploration in block 6

Saipem drillship arrives for exploration in block 6

THE Saipem 12000 deepwater drillship has arrived at the target in block 6 where later this week it is scheduled to commence drilling an exploratory gas well.

Energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis tweeted on Wednesday: “Saipem 12K, welcome to #Cyprus #EEZ. Calypso awaits… Best of success @ENI and @TOTAL.”

The drillship has been leased by the consortium of ENI and Total which have the licence for block 6.

It arrived at the target site, dubbed ‘Calypso’, around 11pm on Tuesday, slightly ahead of schedule. Reports said that during its final stretch, the vessel approached block 6 from the south, heading northward into Cypriot waters from Egypt’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The final approach route may have been a tactical manoeuvre to avoid complications with the Turkish navy patrolling the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey, which does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, claims that block 6 partially falls within the outer limits of its continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean.

According to daily Phileleftheros, after the Saipem 12000 had entered the Republic’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Area of Responsibility, a Turkish warship was spotted at a considerable distance. The Turkish vessel made no contact or attempt to intercept the drillship.

The operations in block 6 are expected to wrap up by early February 2018, after which the drillship will almost immediately head to block 3 – also licensed to ENI – for another exploratory drill. The target in block 3 is codenamed ‘Soupia’ (cuttlefish).

Also on Tuesday, the Turkish research vessel Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa set a course for the Cypriot EEZ.

The Marine Traffic website does not report a precise destination for the Barbaros.

Meanwhile, a drillship leased by Turkey was on Wednesday making its way through the Mediterranean.

At the time of writing, the DeepSea Metro II was just clearing the southern coast of Sicily. The vessel’s destination is Istanbul, with an estimated time of arrival there of December 31.

Turkish government officials have repeatedly made noises about plans to drill for gas in the eastern Mediterranean – without specifying where.

ENI have previously carried out two unsuccessful drills in their block 9 Cyprus concession, in late 2014 and early 2015.

In the summer of 2017, an exploratory well drilled in block 11 (ENI and Total) came up with approximately half a trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, deemed not commercially viable.

To date, the Aphrodite field in block 12 is the only commercially exploitable play with an estimated 4.5 tcf of natural gas.

In the summer of 2018, the consortium comprising ExxonMobil and Qatar will be drilling two exploratory wells in their block 10 license.


Energy sector developments brewing in Cyprus

Energy sector developments brewing in Cyprus

This autumn will be full of developments in Cyprus’ energy sector, with the results of the West Capella drilling in block 11 set to be announced in September.

At the same time, the Eastmed pipeline, aspired to connect Israel, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy, will be discussed at a four-member ministerial meeting on December 5 in Nicosia. Informed sources expect that a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed at the meeting.

Italian energy company ENI is still considering its options for drilling, having blocks 3, 6, and 8 to choose from. The most important factor in the company’s decision will be the results of three-dimensional surveys which were conducted recently and are currently being processed.

In addition, on September 6 an Exxon Mobil press conference will take place at the Famagusta Gate in Nicosia. The company, which is licensed for exploration in block 10, will present its international energy prospects and the energy programme of the company in the Cyprus EEZ.