Neha Rawat

DTCM and GDRFA signs partnership agreement

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA–Dubai) and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) have signed a strategic partnership agreement to enhance cooperation and promote online services and platforms designed to facilitate processes for the issuance of residency permits for various investor programmes and special visas.  These include the Distinguished Guests and the Virtual Working programmes, ‘Golden Visas’ for investors and retirement visa for retirees. H.E. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA – Dubai, said “We are committed to strengthen and consolidate cooperation between various government and private sectors in the UAE in general and Dubai in particular, as well as exchange experiences in order to facilitate procedures for residency permits for different categories of people. This agreement further enhances the existing strategic relations between GDRFA – Dubai and Dubai Tourism and our efforts to support Dubai’s role regionally and internationally and enhance its image as the preferred tourism and global investment destination.” H.E. Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), commented, “Our agreement with GDRFA-Dubai will boost recently launched development strategies inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to position Dubai as the preferred destination for global travellers and foreigners seeking residency. With a modern lifestyle, world class infrastructure and healthcare system, and a diversity of tourism experiences, Dubai offers the perfect residency option for entrepreneurs, investors and professionals. “As we continuously strive to innovate in showcasing the city as a must-visit destination, spurred on by new trends in global travel and the significant shift …

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Singapore looks ahead to the future of travel with SingapoReimagine

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced a new initiative to reimagine travel for Singapore and the rest of the world, by sparking conversations, stories and ideas to collectively shape the future of our sector.Called SingapoReimagine, this platform will kick off with ‘Reimagine Travel – Global Conversations’, a series of forums around the world to catalyse discussions on how to reshape global travel. For a start, STB will share our learnings on how the public and private sectors have come together to create new possibilities for our visitors. As part of the forums, global partners will be invited to share knowledge and exchange ideas, with the first one in Singapore this year before being hosted in other parts of the world. Closer to home, STB will also roll out “Reimagine Travel in Singapore”, a series of engagements with passionate members of the local community and tourism partners to co-create ideas and spur the renewal of Singapore tourism. This complements the SingapoRediscovers domestic campaign , which encourages locals to rediscover and reconnect with Singapore’s hidden gems and experiences. Keith Tan, Chief Executive, STB said, “COVID-19 is the biggest crisis we have ever faced in travel and tourism. But it also offers us an opportunity to reset and revive our industries in ways that we never imagined was possible a year ago. The journey to reimagine travel has already started in Singapore, and we want to continue this journey with those whose voices matter – our community in Singapore, and our partners here and around the world. We look forward to co-creating ideas and strategies with all of them, to make travel better.”

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Lufthansa and Sabre sign new distribution agreement

Lufthansa Group airlines and Sabre Corporation announced a new, mutually flexible distribution agreement that enables modern airline retailing as well as technology innovation. Under the agreement, which covers the carriers Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS, Air Dolomiti and Brussels Airlines, Sabre will continue to distribute Lufthansa Group airlines’ content through traditional connectivity to hundreds of thousands of travel agents and thousands of corporations through its global distribution system (GDS). In addition, the agreement enables the distribution of Lufthansa Group airlines’ content via the New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard in the Sabre travel marketplace. “Our agreement with Sabre is a landmark deal for airline distribution. I am very excited to shape our joint path towards modern airline retailing and innovate by introducing a diversified NDC program with associated commercial models, – enabling agencies to agree bilaterally on NDC with Lufthansa Group airlines”, says Tamur Goudarzi Pour, Senior Vice President Revenue Management and Distribution Lufthansa Group Network Airlines and Chief Commercial Officer SWISS. “Sabre and Lufthansa Group airlines share an ambition to innovate at the forefront of our industry. Through this new level of flexibility, we jointly enable a diverse distribution ecosystem, extend the reach of NDC and allow for differentiated commercial models. With this customer-oriented agreement, Sabre and the Lufthansa Group airlines team up to put the interests of our travel agency partners and our joint clients at center stage.” “Today maybe more than ever, we are looking to engage creatively with our airline and agency partners to deliver outcomes that provide added value to all players in the travel ecosystem,” says Dave Shirk, President, Sabre Travel Solutions. “Sabre is committed to finding flexible, sustainable solutions that address traveler expectations, deliver against …

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Qatar Airways resumes flights to Riyadh

Qatar Airways resumed flights to Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a daily service. QR1164 from Hamad International Airport to King Khalid International Airport took off in Doha at 13:45 local time and landed safely at its destination at 15:10. The flight was operated by Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350-1000. Later this week, Qatar Airways will resume flights to Jeddah on Friday January 15 (QR1188 departing DOH at 18:50) and to Dammam on Saturday January 16 (QR 1150 departing Doha at 17:10). Passengers from KSA can once again enjoy the award-winning Qsuite, featuring sliding privacy doors and the option to use a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator. The Qsuite seat layout is a 1-2-1 configuration, providing passengers with one of the most spacious, fully private, comfortable, and socially distanced products in the sky. The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 110 destinations with plans to increase to over 125 by the end of March 2021. A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.

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Oman Air to add more destinations with Doha, Dubai and London

Oman Air is adding flights connecting Muscat with 25 cities including Doha, Dubai and London. Flights are added starting early January 2021. Flights connecting Muscat and Doha will also increase from 2 to 4 per week. Flights connecting Muscat and Dubai will increase from 3 to 5 flights per week. Flights connecting Muscat and London will increase from 2 to 3 flights per week. Additionally, flights will be added to and from Muscat to Mumbai, Cairo, Kochi, Delhi, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Lahore and Chennai. Oman Air will continue to maintain its comprehensive safety program throughout all elements of the travel journey to ensure that guests fly confidently. Masks are required when guests are on board the aircraft and in Oman’s airports. Distancing is maintained while guests board and exit the aircraft, which are carefully cleaned after each flight and at the end of every day. Cabin crew all wear a full set of personal protective equipment, meal service has been modified to further ensure safety and a number of other steps have been taken to ensure that the airline’s guests and crew are safe at all times.

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Pegasus commences flights to Muscat three times a week

Pegasus Airlines announced commencement of Muscat (MCT) – Istanbul Sabiha (SAW) v.v., to thrice a week operations effective Monday January 18, 2021. One way fare starts from AED520/-including all taxes and 20kg check-in baggage + 01 piece hand luggage allowance.Round trip fares start from AED1000/- including all taxes and 20kg check-in baggage + 01 piece hand luggage allowance.

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Vistara to fly from Sharjah to Delhi from January 20

Vistara Airlines will begin daily flights from the Sharjah International Airport to Delhi from January 20, 2021. Special fares are available for Economy, Premium Economy and Business class with special free baggage allowances from 30kg to 40kg check-in baggage and from 7kg to 12kg for hand baggage. Travellers can book in now and fly between January 20 and March 27, 2021. Bookings can be made via all GDS, travel agents or the Vistara website.

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Farnek wins hospitality contracts in Dubai worth AED 7.56 mn

Farnek secured six hospitality contracts recently, varying in length from one to three years, valued at AED 7.56 million. Farnek was awarded four hotel/apartment contracts, namely the five-star Fairmont Dubai hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, the three-star 230 room Revier Hotel, situated in Business Bay, the four-star, S Hotel in Al Barsha and the deluxe Sonder – JBR Suites, on the Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence.In addition, Farnek also secured two restaurant contracts, The Mood Rooftop Lounge in The Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba and the Cloud Lounge in the Studio One Hotel in Dubai Media City.In total, over 65 staff have been mobilised to manage a range of services from cleaning, housekeeping, security as well as Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing (MEP) maintenance. Khaldun Aburok, Director of Business Development, Farnek said, “To secure these contracts, some of which are for three years, we not only offered a broad-based proposition, which was commercially competitive. We also demonstrated a high degree of technical training, development and professionalism, offering a well-trained and cost-effective, tech-savvy workforce.” “To maintain those standards training is essential and the Farnek training centre comes complete with a fully fitted elevator, bathroom, kitchen, lobby, and a staircase. The walls and the floor are partially covered in a variety of materials such as carpet, rubber, linoleum, slate, marble, wood and ceramic tiles, enabling our staff to be fully trained on every surface they could potentially come into contact with,” added Aburok.

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Emirates to resume flights to three destinations in the US

Emirates announced it will resume non-stop services to Seattle (from 1st February), Dallas and San Francisco (from 2nd March), offering its customers seamless connectivity via Dubai to and from popular destinations in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.The addition of these three destinations will take Emirates’ North American network to 10 destinations following the resumption of services to Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Toronto and Washington DC. Flights to/from San Francisco will operate four times weekly on Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER while flights to/from Seattle (operating four times weekly) and Dallas (three times weekly) will be operated with the two-class Boeing 777-200LR, offering 38 lie-flat seats in Business and 264 ergonomically designed seats in Economy class. The airline will also be providing its customers more options and choice with additional flights to New York , Los Angeles and São Paulo. Effective 1st February, Emirates will be operating double daily flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and a daily flight to Los Angeles (LAX). Emirates customers also have seamless access to other US cities via the airline’s codeshare agreements with Jetblue and Alaskan Airlines. In South America, Emirates will be introducing a fifth weekly flight to São Paulo (from February 5th), offering customers in Brazil even more travel options with greater access to its expanding network. Beyond São Paulo, Emirates customers can enjoy seamless connectivity and access to 24 other cities in Brazil via the airline’s codeshare partnership with GOL and its interline agreements with Azul and LATAM.

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Saudi Causeway reopening to add ‘billions’ to Bahrain economy

Reopening of the King Fahd Causeway will add billions of dollars to Bahrain’s economy as visitor levels return to pre-pandemic levels, according to an expert. Dr. Ali Al-Moulani, President of the Bahrain Economists Society, hailed the Kingdom’s ‘longstanding tourism and trade ties’ with Saudi Arabia following news that the country’s travel restrictions will soon be lifted. Saudi citizens will be permitted to travel via air, land and sea from March 31 2021 following a drop in the number of COVID cases. A suspension on international flights will be lifted on the same date, according to the country’s Ministry of the Interior. After the travel restrictions are removed, thousands of visitors are expected to cross the King Fahd Causeway linking Saudi Arabia to Bahrain – leading to an anticipated rebound for the Kingdom’s tourism and hospitality sector. Dr. Ali Al-Moulani, President of the Bahrain Economists Society, commented, “Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have had longstanding tourism and trade ties, with trade between our two countries growing 43% during the third quarter of 2020. The recent announcement made about permanently opening the King Fahad Causeway will strengthen these ties even further. Prior to the pandemic, Bahrain welcomed around 11 million tourists with over 88% coming through the Causeway. The number of visitors from Saudi Arabia is set to gradually go back to normal levels following this announcement and expected to add around US $2.9 billion to Bahrain’s economy this year based on average tourist spending in 2019.”

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