tbn dubey

39% increase in shoppers at Dubai Festival City Summer Surprises

DFC Confetti Dome 3

Dubai Festival City celebrated its most successful Dubai Summer Surprises this year as it saw the number of shoppers that took part in its spend-and-win activity almost doubling as compared to the last year, and nearly 39% increase in footfall year-on-year. More than 90,000 people entered its Shop.Pop.Win virtual reality activity, where Festival City gave away 30,000 instant prizes from the mall’s retailers worth AED 1 million in value. Over 150,000 shoppers also visited Confetti Dome, the largest ever in the region. Steven Cleaver, Director Shopping Malls, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate, commented on the unprecedented popularity of its six-week campaign, “We continue to push boundaries and look for new and innovative ways in which to engage our visitors. Because of this, DSS 2017 has proved to be our most successful to date. Throughout the six-week campaign, we created more than 24 on-ground experiences, including hosting the region’s largest ever Confetti Dome and our hugely popular Shop.Pop.Win virtual reality game.” Commenting on the retailer partnerships, Cleaver said, “For Dubai Summer Surprises, the feedback from our partners has been incredibly positive as the activity we hosted gave them a platform to engage with their customers and has driven an uplift in footfall during the sales period.”

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‘Fantastic Fridays’ by Jazeera Airways

J9 Bargain Friday English final

Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways has announced an exclusive weekly offer to reward its online customers, named ‘Fantastic Fridays’, starting August 25, 2017. A first for Jazeera Airways and for all those travelling from Kuwait, the special offer is valid every Friday, providing opportunities to book discounted tickets to select popular destinations through Jazeera’s newly redesigned website. The offer would remain valid from 12:01 am until 11:59 pm. The new Jazeera website has been designed to the highest e-commerce standards, providing a more personalized experience with every click, easy navigation options, a simple four-step booking process, enhanced browsing, online check-in services and several add-ons.

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Turkey receives over 1.2 million travellers from Middle East in Q1 2017

Salih_Ozer (002)

According to new data released by the Turkish Consulate General Cultural and Information Office in Dubai, 1,226,665 Middle East travellers landed in Turkey between January and June 2017, which means that tourist traffic to Turkey from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries continues to show strength, rising by 26.29%, or an estimated 360 thousand travellers, in H1 2017 in comparison to the same period in 2016. The number of United Arab Emirates nationals travelling to Turkish destinations increased by 9.86%, while Kuwaiti traveller numbers increased by 41.04% and travellers from Bahrain increased by 31.86%. The UAE figures are particularly striking. The first six months of 2016 saw a decrease of 20.99% in traveller traffic from the UAE to Turkey, and this year, it recovered to increase by almost 10%, or over 18 thousand travellers. Ramadan played a big part where UAE travel into Turkey increased by 330.33%. Travellers from Saudi Arabia led the way, with over 205,000 holidaymakers visiting Turkey in H1, followed by Kuwait and Bahrain with 94,000 and 23,000 travellers respectively.

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Travelport and MakeMyTrip join hands

Travelport & MMT

MakeMyTrip and InterGlobe Technology Quotient, the official distributor of Travelport in India, have forged a strategic alliance that will allow the OTA access into Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform. Under the agreement, MakeMyTrip can expand the use of Travelport’s technology from the Ibibo Group to their other primary distribution channels starting in the second half of calendar year 2017. Gordon Wilson, Travelport’s President and CEO, commented, “India is a market with enormous growth potential where Travelport, working with our distributor ITQ, has grown in air booking terms by 14 per cent in the first half of 2017 when the GDS air market has grown by 11 per cent. Securing a partnership with the leading online travel agency in the market, with a high growth profile and tremendous track record, gives even further impetus to our plans in the country.” Deep Kalra, Founder, Chairman and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip, added, “This is an exciting time for MakeMyTrip and we are delighted to partner with Travelport and ITQ as part of our growth strategy in the service of the travelling Indian consumer.” Travelport currently boasts a portfolio of approximately 400 airlines, including the merchandised content of over half of these carriers such as fares families and ancillary products (paid seat assignments, baggage fees, priority boarding, etc). MakeMyTrip, along with its other entities, Goibibo and redBus, receives over 33 million visits via its desktop and mobile-web platforms and serves over 40 million mobile app active users each month.

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Dubai College of Tourism set to launch its first course next month

Essa Bin Hadher

This year, Dubai Tourism has provided alternate higher education options for high school leavers, who dont wish to take the traditional academic route to university. The newly inaugurated Dubai College of Tourism, a government-backed institution that will specialise in vocational training for the Emirate’s thriving tourism and hospitality sectors, is now accepting applications for its September 2017 ‘Introduction to the Tourism Industry’ course. The vocational courses offered by DCT have been designed to provide a middle ground between on-the-job training and a purely theoretical degree. Students will learn practical and marketable skills that have a direct application in real life, and the training will open new doors, allowing students to explore a myriad of exciting and rewarding career opportunities. DCT’s courses are focused around five core faculties – Tourism, Events, Hospitality, Retail and Culinary Arts – and aims to help young people learn various trade and soft skills from established professionals in the industry. The college aims to educate and empower the future leaders, entrepreneurs and employees of Dubai’s expanding tourism industry, ensuring a steady pipeline of highly trained hospitality professionals for the city. Until now, there have been very limited options for this type of vocational training within Dubai. According to a 2014 Deloitte study, only one to three percent of Dubai’s students enrol in vocational education after high school, something which could lead to labour shortages within key industries in the future. With Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sectors set to employ a workforce of more than half a million by 2020, the dedicated industry-focused vocational training offered by DCT, has never been more important.

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Nominations open for Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards

Issam Kazim

Hotels and desert camps in Dubai have just one more month to enter the 2017 Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards. Part of the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative, the awards will recognise hotels and individuals who are adopting tangible measures to contribute to enhanced sustainability within the Emirate’s tourism sector. Establishments can enter the awards via the Dubai Sustainable Tourism website; nominations will close on September 14 and winners will be announced at a ceremony in mid-November. Inaugurated this year, the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards feature 20 categories; 13 main awards targeted towards different types of hospitality establishment, and seven special awards that recognise individuals who are true champions of sustainability. Winners of the seven special awards will be leaders and teams who truly embody the sustainability principles of DST, and who have inspired remarkable changes within their organisations. The awards criteria have been designed to meet the challenges outlined in Dubai’s Carbon Abatement Strategy; issued by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, this commits to reducing carbon emissions by 16 per cent by 2021. The awards also support the UAE’s Green Growth Strategy that aims to build an economic system that has sustainability at its core. These initiatives in turn, are in line with Dubai Plan 2021 and Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. The deadline for hotels to enter the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards is September 14. This will be followed by an evaluation process and approval by the final DST committee to select the winners. Adjudication of the awards will cover both strategic and operational initiatives, which will be benchmarked against standards set by highly qualified subject matter experts representing various entities. This process will be supervised by a …

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Dhofar Global signs agreement with AccorHotels

Chandan Singh, Dhofar Group

Leading supplier of hygiene products in the Middle East, Dhofar Global has recently announced that it has signed an agreement with AccorHotels, to supply world-class cleaning and hygiene products for its hotels. The deal supports Dhofar Global’s ongoing expansion into new markets, while adding to its increasing list of clients in the hospitality field. The Group operates in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and the Seychelles. Chandan Singh, CEO, Dhofar Global, said, “The new agreement signed with AccorHotels reflects Dhofar Global’s efforts to continuously broaden its horizons and infiltrate new markets all over the world. This is an opportunity for us to expand our dynamic international portfolio of hospitality clients, while reiterating our commitment to supplying our customers with only the highest quality cleaning and hygiene products. We are pleased to be working alongside AccorHotels to ensure the highest level of hygiene in its hotels across the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and the Seychelles.”

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Emaar Hospitality introduces service culture programme for employees

Emaar Hospitality Group to enhance guest experience

Emaar Hospitality Group has launched an innovative service culture programme that aims to transform every touch point of the guest journey in its hotels (Address Hotels + Resorts, Vida Hotels and Resorts and Rove Hotels) into a genuine lifestyle experience. It focuses on employees and includes a series of workshops and training sessions to further enhance their ‘service mindset’. Developed by Performance Solutions and based on the ‘Reverse Thinking’ approach, the programme focuses on the desired guest experience for determining optimal staff behaviour, working climate and leadership. On the business level, the programme is expected to not only build guest loyalty but also drive long-term value creation. Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Hospitality Group, said, “Service excellence is what sets apart hotel brands, and we are taking the whole ‘guest experience’ to the next level through our ‘service culture’ programme. At the heart of this innovative initiative are our employees, every one of them being a brand ambassador, who will bring add-on value to the guest experience at every touch point. As Emaar Hospitality Group expands its geographic footprint globally and focuses on digital transformation, lending an enhanced human touch is vital in ensuring that we deliver genuine value to our guests.”

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IHG reaches Dubai with two new hotels

Signing ceremony between IHG and API Hotels & Resorts for Crowne PlazaR Dubai Business Bay and InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Business Bay

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has recently announced that it will open two new properties in Dubai: Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay and InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Business Bay. Both properties are in partnership with API Hotels & Resorts, and have prime locations, in Dubai’s Business Bay area, the planned business capital of the region. Expected to open in 2019, Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay will be situated on the Business Bay Canal, near Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall and other developing commercial and residential communities. With 290 rooms and suites, the hotel will offer its guests all-day dining options, as well as a gym and an outdoor infinity pool. It will also include a ballroom as well as several meeting rooms to host conferences and events. The InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Business Bay will be situated on the Business Bay canal extension of the Dubai Creek, across from the Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay. This waterfront property will serve as an ideal residence for those seeking a home in the heart of Dubai’s luxury lifestyle hub, in close proximity to business areas such as Dubai International Financial Centre and Business Bay’s commercial centres. It will offer 30 studios and 60 one-bedroom, 60 two-bedroom and 10 three-bedroom suites. Jassim Al Ali, CEO of API Hotels & Resorts, added, “In order to maximize further growth opportunities in the Middle East, we believe that we need to add a global operator with an internationally recognized brand to our portfolio and IHG, as a market leader with over 5,000 hotels worldwide fits this profile perfectly.

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Dubai Business Events reports strong H1 results

DTCM-DBE H1 Results infographic-EN JPG

Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, has reported strong results for the first half of 2017, with 97 bids submitted to host business events being successfully awarded to the city. There are 97 more that have been submitted and the city is awaiting verdict on them. Key wins include: Baby Care Annual Incentive (2018), World Conference on Desalination and Water Re-Use (2019) and Congress of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (2022). DBE has also ramped up efforts to highlight the city’s business events offering to international audiences. DBE representatives have attended over 50 trade events in the first half of the year, interacting with over 4500 business event buyers and planners. The bureau has also facilitated a total of 16 site inspections with 38 clients and hosted 144 buyers from around the world as part of four in-depth Dubai study missions. Steen Jakobsen, Director, DBE, said, “We’ve had a stellar start to the year, and are well on our way to achieving our targets set for 2017. As we continue to work towards further strengthening Dubai’s reputation of being a premier host destination for business events, we have a steady pipeline of initiatives planned for the year ahead. We are also focusing on expanding our network and reach globally, enabling businesses, event buyers and planners to benefit from our expertise.”

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