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Recap Aruba News
Keep on reading to find out what’s been happening on the island…
Opening Coney Island Pushed Back
Last week the promoters of Coney Island announced that the park would open on January 2, 2018.
But the park is still closed.
Local authorities didn’t inspect the park on time for it to open, because a giant ferris wheel wasn’t assembled yet.
The final inspection will take place after the ferris wheel is installed and functioning.
The opening date has yet to be announced.
In the meantime everyone’s excited for the doors to open.
A New Vision For Tourism
The minister of tourism recently announced new projects that will take place in the next 4 to 8 years.
One of his short term goals is to repair the strip on the high rise hotel area and focus on improving the downtown area.
He also mentioned that San Nicolas will also see developments with new projects that will infuse the district with more visitors.
One of the many projects in the sunrise city is building two new all inclusive hotels.
However the construction of these resorts are dependant on the rehabilitation of the refinery.
Refinery Rehabilitation On Hold
The rehabilitation of the refinery is practically on hold, after top management of CITGO Venezuela were arrested a few weeks ago.
The reason it’s on hold is because of low funds.
After the top officials of CITGO were arrested, the money to fund the rehabilitation has yet to be transferred on the bank account of RDA (Refineria Di Aruba) which supervises the entire operation.
The government will revise the contract between CITGO for possible breaches. They will also create new agreements, deadlines or sanctions if necessary.
“If CITGO doesn’t complete the rehabilitation of the refinery, we will have to look for other investors who are willing to take over, or think of an Aruba that will progress without a refinery” said the prime minister during a press conference.
The prime minister has still to release further information about the situation.
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Venezuela Closes Frontiers For ABC Islands
The president of Venezuela closed all commercial communications (by air and sea) with Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao after threatening to do so last week.
He implemented a ban for 72 hours as a part of the “Plan Centinela de la Soberanía Y Contra el Contrabando”.
The president instructed the armed forces to take over every cruise port and airport where contrabands are usually smuggled with the intention to stop merchandise and minerals from being taken from the border of Venezuela.
He urged the leaders from the ABC islands to combat the smuggling from contrabands to and from Venezuela.
The ban doesn’t count for travelers.
Prime minister of Aruba is worried about the current situation, because the ban can have a negative impact on the commercial, family and culture relationship with Venezuela. And this can also have a negative effect on the other islands in the Caribbean.
The Aruban government is in contact with the department of foreign affairs in the Netherlands and Venezuela to rectify the situation.
New Owner General Aviation Terminal
Aruba Airport Authority finalized the concession agreement between the new owners (W Aviation) of private general aviation terminal.
W aviation officially took over the operations at the private terminal as of January 1, 2018.
They offer different aviation services, like plane fueling, ancillary services, customer service, concierge, aircraft parkings, customs supports and ground handling.
Over $1.8 million dollars will be invested this year into refurbishing the interior of the private aviation terminal and improving the exterior of the property.
The private terminal will have a new state of the art passenger lobby, new customer service area, bistro bar, luxurious VIP passenger lounges, executive conference rooms, pilot lounge and flight planning room.
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Increasing Security in Aruba
The minister of justice recently announced that he will be implementing new measures to increase security on the island.
He explained that the police will be equipped with drones for surveillance near the hotel area, beach and cruise port. A helicopter will be reintroduced for rapid response cases and other emergencies.
Panic buttons and cameras will be installed at all lotto reseller points.
The minister also wants to increase the participation of the community in solving crimes with golden tips and a new board of advisory.
Expect 200 extra police on the force in the near future. This means more officers circulating the tourist area’s and more safety for everyone.
The official date when these implementations will take place hasn’t been announced yet by the minister. However, he did mention everything will be in place in a short matter of time.
Government Protects Wetland From Development
The new minister of nature and infrastructure denies the petition to give a wetland property to De Veer Chain Theatres (DVCT).
DVCT is owned by a local businessman who wants to create another cinema on the island, but the only issue is the property is located on a protected wetland near palm beach.
The previous minister of infrastructure approved the petition despite receiving advice from different government agencies not to proceed with developments in this area.
After the recent government elections the new minister of nature and infrastructure reviewed the petition by DVCT and disapproved it, because it doesn’t fit into the space development plan by the government.
Sunny Weather Report
The meteorological department of Aruba prognosticates sunny weather for the rest of the week.
Maximum temperature will be around 30 degrees and lowest around 25 degrees.
There will be some clouds hovering above the island, but most likely a dry and sunny weather will prosper – perfect for those beach days!
Pope Francis Blesses Aruba
Minister plenipotentiary of Aruba was in Rome as guest of COTAL (confederation of organization tourism in latin america) and was invited to meet the Pope.
During the ministers visit, the pope blessed the Aruban flag and the entire island.
He also received a painting of Alto Vista Chapel, which is one of the most religious places in Aruba.
The blessed flag will receive a special place in Aruba’s parliament.
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