x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

America's base for oil barons

The Life: Dubai's Meydan racecourse will host the 10th Oil Barons Charity Ball, an annual fund-raiser for the oil and gas industry, on Friday. But it is Houston, in the other half of the world, where many of the oil barons headquarter their operations.

Head offices dot the Houston skyline. Jeremy Woodhouse / Getty Images
Head offices dot the Houston skyline. Jeremy Woodhouse / Getty Images

Dubai's Meydan racecourse will host the 10th Oil Barons Charity Ball, an annual fund-raiser for the oil and gas industry, on Friday. But it is Houston, in the other half of the world, where many of the oil barons headquarter their operations.

Key facts about Houston:

Airlines that connect with Houston: Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline connect Abu Dhabi and Dubai to the city.

Airport: Named after Bush the Elder, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Iata code: IAH) opened in 1969, although its original name was Houston Intercontinental Airport. It has five terminals, three of which handle international operations.

Airport hotel: Hyatt Place Bush Intercontinental Airport is about 5 kilometres from the Bush airport. Weekend room rates start at US $94, says the hotel's website.

Downtown hotel: Club Quarters is in the central district close to Houston Pavilions, which features office, retail and entertainment facilities. Weekend room rates start at $79, according to the hotel website.

Cost of cab from airport to city centre: About $52, according to World Taximeter.

A conference centre: The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, which opened in 1964, is 32km from George Bush Airport and has been expanded. It now has an exhibit space of 862,000 square feet and convention centre space of 3,400,000 sq ft.

A power restaurant: The Italian restaurant Tony's on Richmond Avenue made it onto Forbes' list of restaurants for power lunches last year. Entrees start at $14 for a chopped salad with salami.

Currency/conversion rate: US $1 = Dh3.67

Main businesses in town: Known for its oil and gas industry, Houston has the highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the US after New York City. Among these are Baker Hughes and ConocoPhillips. The law firm Baker Botts and the defence contractor KBR are also based in Houston.

 

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