ORANJESTAD (March 17, 2019) – Every week I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my newsletter.
This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.
Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!
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Flag Day in Aruba & Events Schedule
March 18 is National Anthem and Flag Day in Aruba and there’s a bunch of activities around the island you should attend.
The main flag day ceremony will be held on Plaza Libertador Betico Croes (close to surf-side beach). On this day various scouting groups, foundations and companies will march in front of the Government, and a ceremony will be held also. There’s going to be singing festivals, cultural dances, kid activities, authentic food, traditional drinks available.
Here’s a list of activities on the island you should visit if you’re in Aruba during flag day.
- Historical Museum (Fort Zoutman)
- Museum Industry (Water Tower in San Nicolas)Nicolaas Store)
- Community Museum (Nicolaas Store)
All three museums will be displaying their historical artifacts, and present folkloric dances & songs. Authentic Aruban food (cuminda criollo), kids face painting, dj’s and local bands will also be available.
Museums will be open from 1:00 PM until 6:00 PM – feel free to visit and learn more about the Aruban history (entrance is 2.50 Aruban florins – less than $1.50)
More events on the island during flag day:
- Aruba Aloe Company (dollars to florins on all products and live entertainment 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Carnival Euphoria Expedition- 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM at San Nicolas (Bernhardstraat 25)
- Climb the lighthouse for special price $3.00 – open from 9:00 AM until 7:00 PM
- Charity Bazaar at Red Cross Aruba – 10:00 Am until 3:00 PM
This is only a list a several, but no all festivities on the island. Feel free to join locals with different festivities around Aruba and celebrate flag day with us.
Hilton Expands With New Embassy Suites on Eagle
Hilton recently announced expansion of their brand new resort “Embassy Suites” on Eagle beach.
The new 8 floor and 330 room suite oceanfront property will be constructed close to Eagle beach and will likely opens its door in 2021.
It will be the second Hilton-branded hotel on the island, along with the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino on Palm beach.
Located on a 9000 square feet space, the resort will feature a pool, gym, casino and 3 restaurants.
The restaurants will feature three new dining concepts: exclusive restaurant, grab & go for quick bites, and after hours food, drinks and snack delivery.
“We are focused on continued growth in the Caribbean region and bringing our industry leading brands to top destinations like Aruba. said Juan Corvinos, vice president, development, Caribbean and Latin America,Hilton.
Besides the news about Embassy Suites in Eagle, Hilton also announced plans last month to debut its first Canopy by Hilton at the end of this year in Cancun La Isla.
Aren’t we trying to establish a moratorium on resorts, condos and apartments?
Despite the ongoing discussion about moratorium on the island, this new hotel project was already approved by the previous Government.
According to the new tourism minister, this hotel project was approved almost 4 years ago, and is already 2 years into construction.
New Beach Policy As of July 2019
After months of preparation, a new beach policy will be introduced in July 2019.
The new beach policy is based on reports and suggestions made by the parliament regarding the regulation of activities on the beach.
According to infrastructure minister, the new beach policy will enforce stricter controls on beach activities on water sport companies. Beach activities by hotels will also receive stricter controls by local authorities.
This means all palapas wrongfully placed on the beach and bars will be relocated.
Aruba’s new beach policy is collaborative effort between the department of infrastructure and planning, tourism minister, public works department, and beach police.
The new policy will bring stricter control and sanctions against water sport companies and hotels. Also increasing the safety for beach-goers.
Paid Parking Situation in Downtown Area
As of April 2019 the parking situation in Aruba will know new changes.
According to transport minister, the pay for parking system will be reinstated and several yellow marked parking spot, reserved for permit holders will become free parking spots. And a new area for free parking will be assigned.
The government will launch an awareness campaign to inform drivers about the new parking system in the downtown, before the new parking rules take effect.
The Largest Volunteer Event in Aruba
The biggest volunteer event was held last Friday & Saturday.
It’s called Aruba Doet and it’s a yearly event that brings locals and visitors together to renovate, build, clean, organize and do garden work.
Rolling up sleeves, contributing with time and effort, benefits different schools, foundations and sport organizations around the island.
Aruba Doet is organized by OranjeFonds and started first back in 2013.
The Netherlands and five Caribbean islands highlight these volunteer initiatives to help out the people in need.
Here’s a list of all participating countries – NLdoet (The Netherlands), ARUBA DOET (Aruba), CURA DOET (Curaçao), BON DOET (Bonaire), STATIA DOET (Sint Eustatius) and SXM DOET (Sint Maarten)
Over 4,000 volunteers were active during last years event completing over 207 jobs!
This year the numbers came in higher than expected and broke records.
US Grants CITGO To Continue Refinery Project in Aruba
The US Government approves CITGO to continue with refinery project after sanction were imposed on the company last month, which stopped all construction in and around the refinery.
After the prime minister of Aruba negotiated with the US Government, sanctions were lifted, and the funds put on hold to finance the refinery project are going to be released.
This means the refinery project will continue in Aruba, to transform the refinery into a upgrader center to process crude oil from Venezuela.
Gasoline Price Update in Aruba
Finance minister announced new gasoline prices as of March 13, 2019.
The new gasoline prices are based on the US Marketscan during the month of February and out of control of the Aruban government.
Here are the new prices for gasoline as of March 13, 2019 (including tax).
- Gasoline unleaded : 1,98Aruban florins per liter (+ 8,3 cents)
- Diesel LS: 1,78 Aruban florins per liter (+ 7,1 cents)
Take note of the new gasoline prices, if you are planning to rent a car on the island and budget accordingly for gasoline.
Don’t have a car yet in Aruba? Ask for a price quotation for free here.
Boeing 737 Max 8 & 9 Not Allowed in Aruba Airspace
The Civil Aviation department in Aruba announced last week that all Boeing 737 Max 8 models are not allowed to fly over the airspace in Aruba. Or any planes associated within that line.
This happened after an Ethiopian airplane crashed during a commercial passenger trip to Nairobi Kenia. The accident led to a nearly worldwide grounding of these type of planes.
The decision is precautionary, pending further investigation of the Boeing’s black box. All future flights to Aruba planned in a Boeing 737 Max 8 have to be switched to other aircraft.
Aruba is not the only island banning Boeing’s 737 Max 8 from its airspace, Curacao is also on board, and other countries like Great Britain, Germany, France also suspended these large airplanes.
Boeings are allowed again after further notice by the Civil Aviation department.
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