latest news in Aruba

Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly 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!

Top News Headlines in Aruba

If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

The Details About Dredging Project in Palm Beach

Last week I mentioned that the beach between playa linda beach resort and moomba beach will be restored (dredging project).

The intention is to clean up the beach from debris, dead seaweed, and plastic during dredging. In the end, we all will have a cleaner beach, and more reasons to visit Aruba!

Here’s a notice letter from the company in charge of the dredging process.

“Dredging Notice Dear,

Valued Guest,

Here on the One happy island of Aruba, we always strive to enhance our guests’ experiences and do so by continuously improving our environment in order to make sure visitors and locals can enjoy our pristine beaches for years to come.

Therefore, we would like to inform you that a beach replenishment and revitalization project will begin on Monday, June 11, 2018. This project is beneficial to our beaches and our environment, as it will ensure that our beaches remain a preferred choice of many travelers.

In the interest of public safety, the dredge area will be divided in sections, as shown in picture below, during the project. The sections will be temporarily closed to the public during dredging operations. Guests will still be able to enjoy our wonderful beaches since the project will be carried out only one section at a time. The purpose of this project is to give our guests the utmost beach experience by maintaining its clean condition.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of progress.

Should you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at +(297) 594.5684.

Yours sincerely,

Varadero Aruba”

Here’s a map of the beach area that will be restored.

section near playa linda

section nar holiday inn.

You may be wondering, will the palapas in this area be removed during the dredging?

All palapas will remain in place (unless mentioned by Varadero or other stakeholder).

The mobilization of the equipment started June 11, 2018 and the actual dredging will start on June 19, 2018 with fase A1 and to other sections.

Here’s the dredging schedule.

  • Start date (mobilization): 11 – 18 Jun 2018
  • Playa Linda section A1 – 19 Jun – 9 Jul
  • Playa Linda section A2 – 10 Jul – 30 Jul
  • Moomba section A3 – 31 Jul – 27 Aug
  • Holiday Inn section A4  – 28 Aug – 18 Sep
  • Holiday Inn section A5  – 19 Sep – 9 Oct
  • Holiday Inn section A6  – 10 Oct – 30 Oct
  • Project completion (demobilization): 1 nov – 8 nov 2018

New Pier For Fishermen at Cura Cabai (including a relaxing beach)

The government inaugurated a new beach called Cura Cabai.

It’s a beach located on the coast of Zeewijk (Savaneta) and it’s dedicated to fishermen in this area who use the pier daily. To dock the boats (and safety during bad weather).

The pier was extended, and will become a center to buy fish caught by local fishermen.

Other renovations include: lights for illumination at night, reconstruct beach, new palapas, palm trees, on sitekiosk (including shower & bathroom for beach users), and asphalted parking lot free.

The project took 2 years to construct and cost almost 1,5 million dollars.

Here’s a few pictures of the new beach at Cura Cabai. 

fishermen pier

cura cabai beach view

Overwater Bungalow Project at Isla Di Oro Stopped

The government decided to stop the over water bungalow project at isla di oro.

According to the minister of infrastructure, the project did not receive the permits to continue construction, taking into consideration the environmental impact it would have on this area (including flora & fauna).

Drilling For Gas Or Oil in Aruba

Drill ships are currently exploring beneath the waters surface for gas or oil.

The drilling will take place on the north west coast of the island.

According to the minister who started the project, it’s going to be favorable for Aruba if they do find gas or oil.

International experts evaluated the Aruban waters with seismic research, surveys and other processes since 2010. Now it’s time to find out if there’s gas or oil.

If they strike gas or oil, it will be favorable for the island.

Here’s a view of the locations that will be explored by drill ships.

The first area drilled on is Bon Bini (here’s a map below).

drilling map

Wind Farm Definitely Discontinued in Urirama

The proposed wind farm project at Urirama (close to Alto Vista Chapel) will definitely not be continued at this location.

According to the government, the project is not friendly to the nearby residence area.

The plan is to put additional wind turbines at Vader Piet (located in San Nicolas, where a wind farm is already constructed).

Investigations are taking place to find out how much wind turbines will be added exactly, depending on the amount of electricity needed to be generated.

The government is also looking into other forms of renewable and sustainable energy such as sun and water (generated by waves).

Open Sky Policy Between Aruba & Colombia

The minister of transport recently agreed to an open sky policy with the transport minister from Colombia (Bogota).

With the new open sky policy, their will be no more restrictions to fly to Colombia or vice versa.

This opens up possibilities for new aviation partners that fly to Aruba (from Colombia), families who want to travel to meet loved ones, those in search of medical care in the exterior and more tourism.

Future of Agriculture in Aruba

The minister of agriculture recently met with the local farmers association to discuss the future of growing produce for the island and not depend on import.  

The topics discussed between the two parties were:

  • the agreement between WEB and local farmers to subminster water at a lower price rate
  • Available areas to use for agriculture by local farmers.

According to the minister, there’s a possibility that experts at the university of Wageningen will be invited on the island to exchange knowledge on the latest growing technologies.

And also design and construct greenhouses especially for Aruba’s weather (controlled temperature), which is a key factor to successfully grow certain type of fruits and vegetables on the island.

The minister also expressed his vision to add agriculture to the school curriculum in the future.

App To Rate The Family Doctor Soon Complete

Last month the government announced an app that allow patients to rate the service given by family doctors.

The app is in the final stages of development and should be rolled out within a few short weeks.

Not only will you be able to rate the quality of medical service given by the family doctor, but also their assistants and receptionists.

You Can Now Buy Lotto Online

From now on it’s possible to buy your lotto tickets in Aruba from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

All the games provided by lotto Aruba Will be available on the web.

To start playing online, go to the lotto Aruba website and follow the sign up instructions (create an account).

Take note – to play online you have to recharge your account with credit, which is only available at the reseller kiosk around (it’s not possible to load credit with debit/credit cards).

The Best Activities in Aruba

Looking for things to do on the island? Here’s some of the best Aruba has to offer.

Guided Mangel Halto and Baby Beach Snorkeling Tour from Aruba – $35.00
from: Viator

De Palm Island Passport to Paradise, Aruba – $99.00
from: Viator

Aruba Sunset Catamaran Cruise – $57.00
from: Viator

Aruba Atlantis Submarine Expedition – $105.00
from: Viator

Aruba Sightseeing Tour by ATV – $80.00
from: Viator

New Bank Fees You Should Know About

The government introduced a new tax increase that will be in effect as of July 1, 2018 (from 3,5% to 6%).

Banks in Aruba were exonerated since 2007 from paying taxes on the services that generate income (bank fees).

However, with introduction of the new taxes, the exoneration will be removed and banks are going to start to pay their fair share of taxes.

The bankers association confirmed that they will not be introducing new fees that charge 6% on every transaction.

However, they will be increasing the already existing bank fees to 6% (this includes swipe fee, credit card fee, late fee, transaction fee, service fee, international transfer fee).

Soon Real Time (instant) Payment Between Banks in Aruba

As of January 2019 it will be possible to process payments between banks on Aruba, in real time (Instant).

This was announced by the Central Bank of Aruba, after signing a 5 year partnership contract with equensWorldline to provide the payment system.

equensWorldline is the pan-European leader in payments and transaction services.

Changing Hurricane Season Predictions

Experts are changing their prognostication for the Atlantic hurricane season, from a active one to average.

They expect 6 low category hurricanes (two low category), 13 tropical storms.

The 2018 hurricane season, started June 1, 2018 and will end on November 31, 2018.

Aruba is known for its trade winds and cooling breeze, but the wind has picked up a bit due to the upcoming hurricane season.

The meteorological department warns beachgoers for strong winds, currents and waves.

Island Tips Use these handy beach towel clips to keep your towel from flying away.

Gasoline Price Goes Up

Minister of finances announced an increase of price for gasoline and diesel.

As of June 13, 2018 the price for gasoline augmented with 6,4 Aruban cents, now 208,9 cents per liter. And diesel increased with 7,7 cents, now costs 179,8 Aruban cents per liter. These prices include taxes.

The price for crude oil is increasing worldwide, and it’s also affecting the fuel rate on the island (not a decision or influenced by the government).

Take note of the prices of gasoline and diesel when renting a car.

How To Rent a Car in Aruba.

TUI Now Flies From Belgium To Aruba

TUI now flies from Belgium to Aruba.

This service starts as of June 15, 2018.

The flights will depart from Brussels, with a stop in Santo Domingo, and direction Aruba and return to Belgium.

Aircraft that will be used for the flight is the dream liner B737-800.

Flights will be once a week.

New Airport Charge Regulations

The airport tax will increase as of July 1, 2018.

This was announced by Aruba Airport Authority, after they released plans for their new “gateway 2030” project to renovate the entire airport.

The taxes that will change are…

  • Passenger facility tax
  • Security Surcharge
  • General Usage Charge
  • Special Facility Charge
  • Transfer

The new airport taxes varies for different countries.

The taxes are separated for: US travelers (including transit), flights to Bonaire, Curacao / St. Maarten and passengers to all other destinations.

Here’s a view of the new rates and charges.

new airport charges 2018

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