Palm hotel plots nearly sold outDUBAI: The developer of The Palm Jumeirah has said that 40 of the 49 plots earmarked for hotel developers have been already booked. Talks are on with top chains for the rest, The Palm said. The Palm Jumeirah, the first of two man-made islands coming up offshore Dubai, will offer more than 10,000 hotel rooms. The developer plans to soon begin marketing hotel plots on the second island, The Palm Jebel Ali. Jumeirah Islands on course DUBAI: Work has started on an upscale residential development, coming up on a cluster of 50 "islands" over a 300 hectare stretch of land just off Sheikh Zayed Road between Interchanges 5 and 6. Residents are expected to begin moving into 'Jumeirah Islands' by April 2004. The 50 islands will be clustered among spacious, landscaped canals, and each cluster will be bounded on three sides by water. A total of 16 villas with private swimming pools will be located on 46 of the islands. RAK revises visa rules RAS AL KHAIMAH: Ras Al Khaimah Naturalisation and Residency Department has made it mandatory for Indians and Egyptians holding Ras Al Khaimah visas (employment, visit or transit) to enter through the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. Under the new rule, visas issued for Egyptian and Indian nationals coming to Ras Al Khaimah for employment, visit or transit, are now being transferred directly to the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. Travel and Tour group formed DUBAI: The Travel and Tour Agents Group was recently formed under the guidance of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI). A general assembly is planned for March 16 to elect the group's representative committee. The Emirate's total annual hotel revenues stood at nearly Dh3 billion, showed a TTAG report. The number of guests staying at Dubai hotels rose from 2,480,000 to 3,065,000 between 1999 and 2001. Inbound passenger volumes expanded from 4,886,000 in 1999 to more than 6 million in 2001. New beach for Bahrain MANAMA: The residents of Bahrain's Muharraq island will soon have their own beach. The Hidd beach is being developed by Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard with the support of the Rotary Club of Manama. Work on developing the beach will begin in three weeks and should be completed in three months, said Asry chief executive Mohammed Al Khateeb. Indian carriers on alert NEW DELHI: India's state-run airlines are on alert to evacuate some of the three million Indian workers in the Gulf if war breaks out in Iraq, aviation minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said. "We are fully prepared for an evacuation," he said. "Both Air India and Indian Airlines planes will be drafted."