Neha Rawat

World’s first dedicated airside hub for COVID-19 vaccine at DWC

Emirates SkyCargo is stepping up its readiness to handle the logistical complexities of distributing a potential COVID-19 vaccine globally by creating the world’s first dedicated airside cargo hub for the vaccine in Dubai. The air cargo carrier is taking a global leadership position by announcing that it will be re-opening its Emirates SkyCentral DWC cargo terminal in Dubai South to serve as a dedicated anchor hub for cold chain storage and distribution of the vaccine. The freight division of Emirates has also set up a dedicated rapid response team to coordinate requests from the various partners involved in the international vaccine distribution ecosystem and to streamline the carrier’s response to vaccine transportation requests. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive said, “We have the infrastructure and logistics connections, and a geographic location that puts markets representing more than two-thirds of the world’s population within an 8-hour flying radius. Over the years, through our continuous investment in capabilities and processes for the transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals, Emirates SkyCargo has managed to position Dubai amongst major global pharmaceutical customers as the year-round preferred point of transit for their valuable cargo. Setting up a dedicated airside hub for COVID-19 vaccines is a keystone project harnessing our network, reach and competencies to positively impact the lives of people around the world.”

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Sojern adds metasearch to multichannel digital marketing platform

Sojern announced the addition of metasearch to its multichannel digital marketing platform designed for hotels, attractions and destinations. Now travel marketers can access all major digital marketing channels from a single provider: metasearch, display, native, video, connected TV, search, and social. For more than a decade Sojern has built tools to help customers drive more direct bookings to their websites. Underpinned by proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Sojern’s Traveller Platform leverages travel data sourced from thousands of partners around the globe to provide unprecedented insight into the traveller path to purchase. This information is then used to optimise digital marketing campaigns in real time to reach travellers in the right channel at the right time. “Like everyone in travel, Sojern was significantly impacted by COVID-19. It hasn’t exactly been ‘down time’ for us, but we used the past few months to focus our business strategy and double-down on what’s working: building a robust suite of solutions to drive bookings for hotels, attractions and destinations,” said Kurt Weinsheimer, Chief Solutions Officer. “Putting it simply: We built the most intelligent multichannel digital marketing platform for travel in existence today.” “We believe travel will come back even stronger than before, so we’re investing now to make sure we can be the best partner to our customers worldwide long after the pandemic has ended,” said Goulden.

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Dubai emerges as a strong option to conduct business events

Dubai’s business events sector continues to lay the groundwork for a sustainable post-Covid recovery, with the city marking a number of major bid wins as meetings professionals around the world look to get their plans back on track. Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, has worked with stakeholders across Dubai to add a number of new events into the pipeline in recent months, including the following, all taking place in 2021: International DIP Symposium on Diabetes, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome and Pregnancy; World Independent Advertising Award Conference; and Omnilife Latin America Incentive. Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said, “Despite all the challenges faced by the global Covid-19 pandemic, Dubai’s ability to maintain a pipeline of business events over the coming years is a continued testament to both the response of the city’s leadership to tackle the situation and the resilience of our stakeholders, who continued to work together to elevate the city and sustain its appeal to a truly global audience. With international meetings already taking place again in Dubai, the city is primed to lead the business event sector’s resurgence, re-cementing the vital role they play in driving economic growth and providing a platform for networking, professional development and knowledge sharing.” Steen Jakobsen, Assistant Vice President, Dubai Business Events, said: “Just as the global calendar of business events has been disrupted over the past few months, so have bidding cycles and timelines for choosing destinations for future events. Nevertheless, we continue to see increasing interest from meetings professionals around the world and clear determination to get plans back on track. In a number of cases, where unfortunately other cities have not …

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Six Flags Qiddiya theme park in Saudi Arabia to be ready in 3 years

SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business has been awarded the lead design consultant services contract from Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) for the Six Flags Qiddiya theme park project – located within Qiddiya, south-west of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Under the three-year contract, Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, will provide integrated lead design consultant, construction supervision, and cost management services. The scope of work includes public realm and necessary infrastructure within the plot area along with validation of the pre-concept design, as well as the development of sustainability and environmental assessment methods, design criteria, and standards of the project. “This win is a testament to our proven track record for delivering flagship projects worldwide, and market-focused approach to a dynamic and sustainable business growth in the Middle East,” said Cris Dedigama, CEO of Atkins Middle East & Africa, Engineering, Design and Project Management, SNC-Lavalin. “We are proud to work with Qiddiya on this one-of-a-kind project that supports Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the acceleration of the country’s economic diversification agenda.” “With over 50 years’ presence in the Middle East, Atkins has delivered some of the region’s most iconic amusement parks,“ said Ian Redmayne, Managing Director of Atkins KSA, Engineering, Design and Project Management, SNC-Lavalin. “We are proud to support the Six Flags Qiddiya project that is set to redefine the entertainment industry not only in the region, but also globally. We look forward to delivering this project to the highest quality, safety and sustainability standards.”

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Connecting with industry partners at the Gulf Travel Show 2020

Countdown to the Gulf Travel Show has begun; buyers are eagerly waiting to reconnect with their partners and supplier are geared up with the latest safety measures. Tourism is raring to start and the first time ever Gulf Travel Show promises to stimulate travel on 23rd and 24th November 2020. National tourism boards have already started preparing for the event and the exciting hosted buyer programme promises quality meeting with the right partners. As the brand suggests, it’s time to resume, restart, reconnect, reimagine, rethink reengage and reignite travel with the perfect blend of personalised services and technology. Yamina Sofo, Director, Sales & Marketing German National Tourist Office, “ we have a special participation at the Gulf Travel Show which takes place from 23rd to 24th of November. We will be taking part in interesting panel discussions and you can watch our videos and receive many informative and valuable information about destination Germany.” Hyunsun Hong – Korea Tourism Organization – Regional Director, MENA stated, “Gulf Travel Show gives us an opportunity to remain connected with the travel trade amidst these unprecedented times. We are optimistic that business will return to normal. Despite these challenges KTO had continued to promote the destination and remain connected with our audience. We will distribute e brochures, trade presentations and educate the trade on RISKY AND RISK FREE DESTINATION post COVID. Korea is nowhere in the list of Top 75 infected countries.”

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Invest in people and resources; says industry experts

Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) kicked off its comprehensive and carefully curated 3-pillar programme. Organised by the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia and G20 Saudi Secretariat, as part of The International Conferences Programme, honouring the G20 Saudi presidency year 2020, and powered by Bench Digital – FHS’s opening day welcomed more than 6,000 attendees, who were able to effortlessly engage and interact with each other, make new connections, and attend sessions live from their homes or offices. Commenting on the future of hospitality and tourism, as well as Saudi Arabia’s ongoing initiatives to stimulate the growth of those sectors, H.E. Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, Saudi Arabia, said, “We want people to connect with each other. We want them to travel and visit other nations, to explore their history, heritage and cultures. In our meeting in the G20, we agreed that the further improvement of travel, safety and security was at the top of our agenda, along with emphasising the need to focus on people’s livelihoods and inclusive community development through the AlUla Framework.” Al Khateeb added, “We have the mountains in the south, snow in the north, and five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom – sites that were built by civilizations from thousands of years ago, and it is important that the world comes to Saudi Arabia to see, experience and learn from these sites. Our aim is to make Saudi Arabia one of the top five most visited destinations in the world by 2030.”

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Sabre and Google develop industry-first AI technology for travel

Sabre Corporation announced that Sabre and Google are developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven technology platform that is an industry first in travel. The technology, known as Sabre Travel AI TM, is infused with Google’s state-of-the-art AI technology and advanced machine-learning capabilities that will help customers to deliver highly relevant and personalised content more quickly, deliver personalised content that better meets the demands of today’s traveller, and create expanded revenue and margin growth opportunities. The Company is integrating Sabre Travel AI into certain products in its existing portfolio, with plans to bring those to market in early 2021. “Sabre Travel AI is a game-changer. We are proud to be working with Google to build technologies that will seek to re-define the way travel companies do business, and turn the insights derived from analyses into repeatable, scalable operations. The development of Sabre Travel AI marks a milestone in our technology transformation and a significant step toward achieving our 2025 vision of personalised retailing,” said Sundar Narasimhan, president of Sabre Labs. “With the creation of Sabre Travel AI, we are rebuilding our platform on cloud-native, data-driven technology that can be integrated into the existing and future products that Sabre offers. We are combining Google Cloud’s infrastructure, AI and machine-learning capabilities with Sabre’s deep travel domain knowledge to create, not next, but third-generation solutions that we believe are smarter, faster and more cost-effective – a first-of-its kind in travel.”

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Rove Hotels unveils the only on-site hotel at Expo 2020 Dubai

Rove Hotels announced that it will be the only hotel at Expo 2020 Dubai, which will be taking place from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Pavilions and Exhibitions Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “This is a significant step forward in the development of the Expo 2020 site. An on-site hotel is a great addition to the world-class facilties we are creating to welcome people from all around the world to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event.” “Rove Expo 2020 will remain as a permanent modern hospitality offering at District 2020, which will evolve into a smart human-centric community as the future of Expo 2020 Dubai. It will support District 2020’s aim to create a mixed-use development and an innovation-driven urban destination that caters to the needs of its future workers, residents and visitors through its diverse offering,” she added. “This exciting hotel will no doubt boost the already huge appeal of such a historical and major event for the UAE, and offer Expo 2020 visitors a new and innovative type of hospitality option at the heart of the Expo site,” said Ahmad Thani Rashed Al Matrooshi, Board Director of Rove Hotels LLC. Paul Bridger from Rove Hotels, added, “Rove Hotels is honoured to be playing such an important role in Expo 2020 – a truly monumental event for the region and an immensely important celebration of the unity and strength shown by people across the world during this global pandemic.” “As the only on-site hotel at Expo 2020 Dubai, Rove Expo 2020 will immerse Rovers (guests) in the heart of the event. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore without borders, safe in the knowledge that …

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Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights accredited by GBAC STAR

Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights is one of the first hotels to have achieved GBAC STAR accreditation this week. The Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance, and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address, and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. “GBAC STAR is the gold standard of safe facilities, providing third-party validation that ensures facilities implement strict protocols for biorisk situations. Accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers, and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to deliver clean and healthy environments that are safe for business.” says Patricia Olinger, Executive Director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council. GBAC STAR is performance based and developed by experts who have spent their careers focusing on creating protocols for facilities to reduce risk during outbreaks. Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights, being a prominent hotel that welcomes all guests for a safe and healthy stay has ensured their accreditation along with several other initiatives taken with internal as well as external stakeholders.The world has changed, our care has not. Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights proudly takes a step forward to put their guest’s safety and well-being first with this accreditation.

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STB partners Airbnb Experiences to support tourism recovery

Airbnb Experiences and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to co-promote and grow a range of unique, authentic Airbnb Experiences hosted by passionate locals on the Airbnb Experiences platform. This agreement comprises three strategic pillars: 1) Development of Singapore Experiences in the new tourism landscape; 2) Co-marketing of destination Singapore to stay top-of-mind amongst global audiences; and 3) Facilitating data and knowledge exchange to enable effective recovery. “Healthy travel is travel that keeps the economics local and is authentic to the culture of the destination. In the context of seeking to support such healthy travel, we are excited to be partnering with the Singapore Tourism Board to promote experiential travel in one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic communities. I have personally enjoyed Airbnb’s Singaporean cooking Experiences and know that such Experiences unlock new ways to discover Singapore through its greatest natural resource – its people. And it is through using the Airbnb platform to showcase the incredible people of Singapore to the world that, working in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board, we can help support the recovery of international tourism,” said Chris Lehane, Senior Vice President, Policy and Communications, Airbnb. Keith Tan, Chief Executive, STB said, “STB’s partnership with Airbnb Experiences is a timely one. As travel gradually resumes, we want to focus on strengthening Singapore’s brand image in the minds of audiences around the world, and ensure that our destination remains top-of-mind. This partnership will also give passionate Singapore hosts a world-leading platform to reach out to quality travellers globally, while helping them innovate and explore newbusiness models. We are excited about working with Airbnb, and look forward to breaking …

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