Neha Rawat

Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel welcomes new visa initiatives with stay packages

Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel launches a stay package to support the recent government initiative of a Remote Work Visa and Multiple Entry Tourist Visa. With an attractive monthly rate starting from AED 4,350++ per month, employees and tourists can stay in one of the hotel’s 384 rooms with complimentary high-speed internet and avail complimentary use of a small meeting room facility once a month, 30% discount on Food and Beverage, 20% off on Laundry and Dry Cleaning, a Dubai Parks and Resorts 30% discount voucher, and access to the hotel’s gym and rooftop pool. Those looking to stay longer and moving to Dubai through the Remote Work Visa program can obtain a one-time cashback of their USD287 (AED1,100) visa cost when staying for a minimum of three months which can be used as hotel credit for any incremental charges applicable to dining, laundry, and other services utilized during the stay. “We laud the government’s recent initiatives that allow employees and other nationalities to stay in the UAE and enjoy the country’s safe and attractive business and leisure environment. Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel is ready to welcome entrepreneurs and talents who would like to call the UAE home without the need for employment. Our facilities and our convenient location will boost their productivity while they experience a positive quality of life that the UAE offers,” said Colin A. Baker, Regional Director, Middle East, StayWell Hospitality Group.

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IHG signs agreement for voco Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers Dubai

IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed a franchise agreement with Bonnington Hospitality JLT for voco Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers Dubai. Currently operating as Bonnington Hotel, home to the world-renowned McGettigan’s Pub & Restaurant group, the hotel will feature 208 keys and is expected to be rebranded to voco by Q3 2021. After the first voco opening in the Middle East in 2019, this latest development marks the tenth voco hotel in the Middle East and Africa region and adds to the growing brand portfolio with operating hotels in Dubai, Riyadh and Al Khobar and a strong pipeline across key cities such as Jeddah, Doha and Johannesburg. Commenting on the signing, Matthew Tripolone, VP Development, Middle East and Africa, IHG said, “We are excited to be adding voco Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers Dubai to our UAE portfolio, in partnership with Bonnington Hospitality JLT. Since launching globally in 2018, voco has enjoyed rapid growth with multiple signings across the Middle East, and we are proud to introduce our second voco to Dubai, which is a priority market for us in the region. He added, “The brand offers a simplified conversion process, making it quick and easy for owners of high-quality independent hotels to become part of IHG’s system and drive higher returns thereafter. The brand also allows guests to enjoy an upscale experience with the freshness of a unique, independent hotel under a brand name they can trust.” Dennis McGettigan, Chief Executive Officer, Bonnington Hospitality and McGettigan Group, added, “We are delighted to announce our partnership with IHG and the voco brand. As a unique family-owned and operated hotel in Dubai, Bonnington Hotel meticulously provides each guest with the highest levels of …

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Yas Island launches campaign to attract Israeli holidaymakers

Yas Island Abu Dhabi has launched a new online brand campaign entitled ‘Experience it to Believe it’, designed to entice Israel-based holidaymakers to visit Yas Island, the destination ‘like nowhere else’.  The advertising campaign represents one of the first destination marketing campaigns targeting Israeli holidaymakers, encouraging them to visit one of Abu Dhabi’s leading vacation hotspots. The 150,000 USD online campaign, features a 45 second brand campaign introducing the destination in English and Hebrew, will run from 6 April 2021 until 8 May 2021, on platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube among others. The promotional push builds upon the inauguration of the historic Etihad Airways twice-weekly flight between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv which took place on 6 April 2021, with analysts and industry executives expecting around 1.25 million tourists travelling between the two cities for tourism and business and 500,000 Israelis expected to travel for tourism and leisure during the initial stages.* Liam Findlay, GM of Experience Hub said, ‘We are delighted to launch the ‘Experience it to Believe it’ campaign which showcases the very best of Yas Island, from award-winning theme parks, record-breaking attractions, outstanding motorsports, golf and watersports to Israeli holidaymakers.  We look forward to welcoming visitors from Israel to Yas Island and cannot wait to share our world-class hospitality and introduce holidaymakers to a host of exceptional experiences at the destination like nowhere else.”

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Emirates reaffirms care for its customers with latest policy updates

Emirates has announced the latest updates to its already generous booking policies, offering customers even more confidence and flexibility to make their travel plans. Customers holding tickets issued before 30 September 2020 for travel before 31 December 2021, can now rebook to travel anytime within 36 months, an extension of 12 months from the previous policy. Those holding tickets issued after 01 October 2020 for travel before 31 December 2021, can utilise their tickets anytime within 24 months. Fees for reissuing any ticket will be waived, and vouchers or unused portions of Emirates tickets may be refunded without penalty. Customers who hold tickets issued directly by Emirates, whether via emirates.com or the airline’s retail and contact centres, do not have to contact Emirates as the tickets are automatically extended. Customers who purchased their tickets via a travel agent will need to contact their agent before the expiry date to reissue their tickets.

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Dubai Holding launches Hatta Dome Park

Dubai Holding launched Hatta Dome Park, an exciting new glamping experience situated next to Hatta Wadi Hub, one of the UAE’s most popular eco-friendly adventure destinations. The resort has opened its doors to visitors.  This latest addition to Hatta’s glamping experience entails 15 dome-shaped, permanent luxury tents designed with panoramic windows offering majestic views of the Hatta mountain range. Hatta Dome Park is the perfect weekend getaway for families and groups of friends alike. The rooms come with the full range of amenities and are designed to accommodate two adults and two children. Each dome tent is equipped with its own private BBQ and fire pit within a large terrace space that allows for comfortable gathering. Located just a short walk from Hatta Wadi Hub, guests at HattaDome Park can enjoy an assortment of exciting activities, from mountain bike coaching and rentals to downhill mountain carting and trampoline jumping; as well as recently introduced activities by Dubai Holding, which include Zip Line, Climbing Wall, Slingshot, and Paragliding. In addition, guests can choose from a variety of F&B options to suit every taste, from the onsite coffee shop to the mixed-cuisine food trucks; and in turn, help support Hatta’s vibrant UAE National entrepreneur community. Joel Russo, Chief Hospitality Asset Management Officer at Dubai Holding commented, “Dubai Holding has been playing a key role in building Hatta’s tourism and investment potential, showcasing the beautiful mountain destination and its dynamic offering to the world. Hatta Dome Park is an excellent addition to Hatta Resorts, including Hatta Damani Lodges and Hatta SedrTrailers, and Wadi Hub, which have been running for three consecutive seasons since they first opened to the public in 2018, having welcomed …

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Dubai Tourism to showcase itself as a top family destination this summer

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) hosted a virtual town hall meeting for industry stakeholders, providing an overview of the tourism sector and global travel updates and trends, as well as insights into source markets, initiatives, campaigns and events designed to highlight Dubai’s position as the destination of choice for families in the summer. The Summer 2021 Virtual Town Hall, presided by Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), is part of the regular top-level industry engagements initiated by Dubai Tourism to ensure the entire industry is seamlessly aligned with the marketing communications and campaigns dedicated to tourism growth. The meeting, attended by over 600 key executives from the hospitality, travel and attractions sectors, reviewed the progress made by the industry since the reopening of the city to domestic tourism in May 2020 and international tourists in July 2020. It also reviewed the strong measures in place to safeguard the health and well-being of residents and visitors. During the meeting, it was noted that the wide ranging steps taken by Dubai to successfully manage the pandemic resulted in the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) awarding the emirate the ‘Safe Travels’ stamp. Dubai also launched its own compliance programme, the DUBAI ASSURED stamp to certify and recognise establishments across the tourism ecosystem that have complied with all safety protocols. An ongoing countrywide vaccination campaign has also placed the UAE among the top five nations globally in terms of overall vaccine rollout. The Town Hall provided an insight into Dubai Tourism’s direction and plans for Summer 2021, to enable stakeholders to leverage and benefit from the various marketing initiatives and ensure the …

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Saudi Ministry of Tourism convenes UNWTO to discuss restart of tourism

His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism, co-hosted a virtual meeting of the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Committee with the organization’s Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The meeting’s participants, which include UNWTO Member States and representatives from global industry organizations, discussed the importance of multilateral cooperation and tangible action to facilitate the safe and seamless resumption of international travel. These efforts will support the sector’s recovery by building confidence among travelers and tourism businesses. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb asserted the Kingdom’s leadership in coordinating and shaping recovery strategies: “As the global community continues to navigate the effects of the pandemic, we must find new and innovative solutions to bring our countries into the new normal, while paving the way to recovery, and ensuring that no country is left behind. This should be based on collective, coordinated and tangible action to ensure that as we build back, we emerge stronger and more resilient.”

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UAE records world’s 2nd highest hotel occupancy rate in 2020

The UAE tourism sector performed outstandingly in 2020 despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, revealed by the Ministry of Economy, noting that the sector was among the least affected and fastest to recover around the world. The UAE recorded a 54.7% hotel occupancy rate in 2020 – the second highest in the world behind only China – while the global rate dropped to 37% under the weight of the pandemic, and hotels in the Middle East region recorded just 43% occupancy. This is in parallel to the significant decline in tourist activity, which fell by 74% around the world and 76% in the region. “The global tourism industry bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic,” noted H.E. Al Falasi. “Guided by the directives of its wise leadership, the UAE was able to quickly contain the outbreak’s impact on the local tourism sector, relying on innovation and agility in its efforts to provide incentives, launch initiatives, and create opportunities to accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector and boost its contribution to GDP.” “Despite the tremendous challenges it brought onto the industry, the pandemic also created new opportunities for domestic tourism, with a surge in demand recorded over the past year, especially during the holidays and vacation season, and some establishments even reporting full occupancy. This reflects the high quality of the services the sector provides, which rank among the best in the world,” H.E. explained. “Strengthening domestic tourism is essential for ensuring the tourism sector’s full recovery and driving faster economic recuperation. The UAE can benefit from its advanced infrastructure, modern facilities, and wide range of services and activities to promote itself as a tourist destination with a lot …

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96% UAE travellers confident with digital health passports

The latest study, commissioned by Amadeus and delivered by Censuswide, provides encouraging news for the industry, with 51% of travellers from the UAE keen to book international travel within six weeks of restrictions lifting. The study also demonstrates the importance of understanding traveller concerns around privacy, ease of use and security. As governments and the travel industry explore the benefits of digital health passports, the message from travellers is clear: digital health passports can be a vital tool in opening up travel. An Amadeus commissioned study has found that that just over 9 in 10 (91%) travellers surveyed globally would be comfortable using a digital health passport for future trips. This encouraging research provides an incentive to accelerate plans for digital health passports that will help to address traveller concerns. The study provided further good news for the industry as just over half of UAE travellers (51%) said they would book international travel within six weeks of restrictions lifting, demonstrating that the appetite to travel remains high. The survey of 9,055 travellers in France, Spain, Germany, India, UAE, Russia, Singapore, UK and US also contained a note of caution for the industry with over 9 in 10 (93%) travellers having some concerns around storing their health data for travel. The survey also explored what solutions might alleviate concerns around digital health data and travel in the future and results showed: Almost 3 in 5 (58%) of UAE travellers would be comfortable using a digital passport if it was accepted by most countries and was regulated by international standards, while 47% would be comfortable if only COVID-19-specific data was included in any health passport.  Just under 8 in 10 (78%) would …

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Wizz Air Abu Dhabi to start Tel Aviv flights from April 18th

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi announced its first flight to Tel Aviv on April 18, 2021, following the announcement that Israel has been added to the green list (a list of ‘green’ countries, regions and territories that you can travel from if planning a trip to Abu Dhabi), meaning travellers will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. Tickets are already on sale on wizzair.com and the airline’s mobile app, which is also available in Arabic, with fares starting as low as AED 99*. The flights from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv will be available three times per week in April, moving to daily flights in May. Kees Van Schaick, Managing Director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, said, “In light of the recently eased restrictions, I’m delighted to announce the date of the first WIZZ flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv later this month. The connection between the two cities is a historic moment – the link between the UAE and Israel will further contribute to the tourism sector and help to diversify the local economy, while bringing new low-fare business and leisure opportunities for travellers.”  

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