latest news in Aruba

Once a week, on Sundays I publish a recap of recent Aruba news updates. If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

Current Aruba News

This weeks news in Aruba is focused on the island’s development.

There’s a lot going on at the moment, especially around the infrastructure of the island.

New buildings are being created, roads are being reconstructed, new highways and parks are being built, the bushiri hotel is almost completely dismantled and so much more!

If you think Aruba is beautiful now, you will be amazed by how it’s going to look in 2018..

Aruba is making huge progress, and you should read what’s going on the island, so you know what to expect in the future.

Havenstraat is Open Again

Havenstraat, which is one of the roads in the main street was closed for construction since last week.

The pavers had to be replaced, now it’s open again for the public.

This street is an alternative to the LG smith boulevard, if you want to make your way through the downtown area during rush hour and when there’s a cruise ship docked at the ports.

During a press conference the new minister of infrastructure officially declared the Havenstraat open and also mentioned that night work for roadside construction will be possible from now on.   

According to the minister it’s not acceptable to have main roads such as Havenstraat closed during rush hour and high season. That’s why he introduced a new mandate to execute roadside construction during the night hours, when possible.

This will alleviate the obstruction during the daytime and gives the public workers better and safer working environment.

Green Corridor & Watty Vos Boulevard

As you may have seen while driving around Aruba – the island is under construction, especially the roads and highways. No other island in the Caribbean has made such progress in its infrastructure, so you have something to look forward to when visiting Aruba in the future.

Two of the largest projects at the moment are the green corridor and watty vos boulevard.

This week the director of the public works company explained more about the projects.

According to him, both the green corridor and watty vos boulevard should be completed within the first quarter of 2018.

So who’s really in charge of the projects and what’s the status of them at the moment?

The director said that both projects are public private partnership, between the government and international companies.

Green corridor is being constructed by ODINSA, a special purpose vehicle company created by Caribbean Infrastructure Company. Watty vos Boulevard is being developed by Mota Engil, a Portuguese group of civil construction and public works.

Both companies signed an agreement with the government to design, construct, finance and maintain the new highways for 2 decades.

The new infrastructure projects boosted the economy as 95% of workers from both these companies are locals.

Green corridor is almost finished. It’s a double two way road that starts from the airport, until the district of pos chiquito. You can also drive on a new bridge and roundabouts.

If you decide to visit baby beach, mangel halto, charlie’s bar, carubbian festival or any other place in the south part of the island, you’re going to have to drive on the new bridge.

Watty vos boulevard is still under construction, there’s still a lot to be done here.

The department of public works is finishing the roundabouts and roads on this beltway.

If you’re still looking to rent a car don’t hesitate to contact me for a free car rental quotation.

New Hospital Project

Aruba’s hospital got expanded with two buildings, called new bed towers and all patients were transferred to the new towers.

The rooms of the new bed towers are modern, feature new equipment and machinery and a new emergency department with more waiting rooms.

Now it’s time for the old building to be renovated.

The plan is to renovate the entire hospital, which includes building a new warehouse, replacing the electrical system, updating the equipment and making the building more modern.

At the moment the old building has a total of 275 rooms, which accommodates more than 2 people at the same time. However, after the renovations, the amount of rooms will be reduced by one, leaving 274 rooms. The new rooms can hold up to 2 people maximum.

Citgo’s Mancamp Almost Complete

A section of the mancamp that will house the workers helping to rehabilitate the refinery is complete.

“The hard work to construct the mancamp shows the commitment of Citgo Aruba to the local community to bring the refinery back to full operation” said the interim vice president and GM of Citgo Aruba refinery.

The dormitories are located near the refinery in San Nicolas.

Several buildings will be created that can house up to 400 workers each.

A total of 1500 workers are expected to help refurbish the refinery and every single one of them needs a place to sleep. The first facility is already getting beds and furnitures.

Once the refinery starts back again, even partially, it’s projected to give the economy a huge boost. The effect of the refinery’s rehabilitation can already be felt and seen, as over 150 residents got employed.  

The mancamp should be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

New Mandates By The Government

Since the new government was officially installed, some ministers took it upon their their selves to visit and talk to directors and GM’s of different companies and organizations.

They also implemented a few new mandates already!

For example…

Improving Waste Collection

The new minister of environment & nature (Otmar Oduber) visited the board of directors from the waste collection company (serlimar).

During the meeting they touched on the subject of waste collection near the area of parkietenbos, which has been a problem for residents in the area. Locals near the districts of parkietenbos have been complaining about the situation for over a decade now.

No other government has been able to fix the issue, but the new minister promised to find a permanent solution for the island’s waste disposal area.

Ending Permit Exemptions

The new minister of labor met with the department of labor and instructed the director to put an end to “permit exceptions” until they have enough data about the local job market.

Because the previous minister of labor accepted cash payments in return for work permits, the new government will keep an eye out for these illegal practices.

Work permits are being denied until the department of labor and the minister reach a decision.

Full Suite Hospitality App

Amsterdam Manor introduced a new app that lets you control your experience with the touch of a button.

The new app is called, Alice (named after the housekeeper on the popular TV show, the Brady bunch).

It’s a platform that keeps guests, staff and concierge connected to one another.

Now you don’t have to go to the front desk or call in to put in a request. You can order housekeeping amenities, make dinner reservations at passions on the beach restaurant, ask for a wake up call or ask any question through the new app!

The front desk can log in and see the status of any guests request in real time and cater to them instantly.

You can even communicate with the staff after your visit and share your thoughts on your stay.

Baby Dolphin Found Dead

This week the Aruba Marine Mammal Foundation received a notification that a baby dolphin was found near dos playa, which is one of the beaches on the north coast of the island.

When they arrived on the scene they found a newborn dolphin without any signs of life, right on the seashore.

The dorsal fin of a newborn dolphin gets in an erect state when it swims for 2 – 3 hours after being born, however, this dolphin’s dorsal fin wasn’t erect yet, signaling that it died a short moment after being born.

The dolphin was confiscated by the local authorities and they will conserve its skeleton to display in the museum..

Dolphins aren’t rare in Aruba, however, you’ll find them in the north coast of the island, far out in the deep blue, where it’s not allowed to swim or snorkel.

This is the 4th time a dolphin ends up on the island’s shores. The other recent cases happened near the lighthouse, baby beach, coast of Oranjestad and near the refinery in San Nicolas.

Aruba Art Fair

This weekend locals and visitors experienced the Aruba art fair 2017.

It’s a 3 day art fair with the purpose to exhibit and sell art made by local and international artist.

Not only did they display and sell arts, but there was dance, theater and music.

The highlight of the art fair are murals that were painted by local and international artist on the walls of buildings in the main streets of San Nicolas.

A photography contest was also organized aimed to feature Aruba’s nature and diverse population. The winning photographs will be exhibited in the City Hall of Doral, Florida!

This year school kids were invited to express their creativity on a 2×3 blank canvas. Aruba art fair handed paint supplies and canvases to different schools around the island and exhibited all completed canvasses during the fair.

During the art fair visitors got a chance to meet the local artists through a short 3 minute intro video that shares each artist’s unique story and art.

Upcoming Events in Aruba

Here’s some events worth visiting if you’re on the island…

Next week Aruba will be celebrating the annual short film festival.

What’s the Aruba Short Film Festival?

It’s a red carpet event dedicated to local filmmakers.

During the festival local filmmakers will be awarded and honored for their short films they created during 2017. Visitors will also get a chance to see different short films produced by locals on a big screen. Each film is minimum 3 minutes and maximum 15 minutes.

The grand event will take place on November 30, 2017 in the crystal theater located at Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. It starts at 7.00 PM until 10.00 PM.

Tickets are for sale at the door for $6.00 per person.

Aruba Fashion Week

Fashion week in Aruba is an exciting celebration that positions the island as an unique destination for fashion in the Caribbean.

It’s a 3 day event full of fashion & lifestyle shows, cocktail party and business meetings.

The event will take place during December 1-3, 2017 – Tickets start at $20.00 at the door.

Aruba will be the runway for the latest collection of brand names such as Prada, Hernan Zajar, local designer Gigliola Gomez and Elisa Lejuez among others.

The event starts with a fashion show at the Marriott Resort & Stellaris & Casino on December 1, 2017 at 6.00 PM. Followed by a shopping experience and press tour at Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino between 11.00 AM and 4.00 PM. The last day will be a fashion talk conference at the Ritz Carlton at 1.00 PM and a show at the Renaissance pier at 6.00 PM.

Visit Aruba fashion week and experience the trendiest looks designed by local artist.

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