Ruchi Jaiswal

Emirates A380 to ply on Nice route

Emirates (640x427)

Emirates announced the launch of a daily A380 service to Nice, gateway to the French Riviera and Provence. The daily A380 service will start on July 1, 2017, just in time for the beginning of the summer holiday season. After Paris, Nice becomes Emirates’ second destination in France to welcome the iconic double decker, further stimulating demand for travel to the region. As of July 1, EK77 will be operated by an A380, leaving Dubai at 0845hrs and arriving in Nice at 1340hrs, while EK78 will depart Nice at 1540hrs and arrive in Dubai at 0010hrs the next day (local times). Passengers travelling to or from the following cities will enjoy optimal A380 to A380 connections in Dubai: Auckland, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, and more. Nice is currently served with a daily flight operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. The deployment of an A380 represents a capacity increase of 44 per cent on the route. With 3633 weekly seats in each direction, Emirates will offer more seats to the Middle East and beyond than any other international airline, highlighting Nice’s importance as part of the airline‘s global network. Enabling an increase in passenger numbers will also result in additional tourism revenues for Nice and the wider region, which in turn will mean boosting the local economy and job creation.

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The Retreat Palm Dubai to open by summer

The Retreat Palm Dubai, MGallery by Sofitel

AccorHotels has signed a new agreement with R Hotels for one of the first MGallery hotels in the Middle East. The 255-room The Retreat Palm Dubai, MGallery by Sofitel is part of AccorHotels’ distinctive collection of contemporary and thought-provoking boutique hotels. Scheduled for soft opening in summer 2017, The Retreat Palm Dubai is situated along the iconic coastline of Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s East Crescent, offering beachfront access and skyline views. The resort will feature a world-class holistic wellness center, designed to answer to the demands of the today’s burgeoning wellness tourism market. Sami Nasser, Chief Operating Officer, Luxury Brands, AccorHotels Middle East, said: “Today’s announcement in collaboration with our trusted partner – R Hotels, signals the much anticipated launch of our flagship MGallery in the United Arab Emirates. The hotel will soon bring a truly unique wellness hospitality experience to Dubai, building on the Emirate’s unique ability to expand its offering to attract visitors from around the globe.” Sumair Tariq, Managing Director, R Hotels, commented: “Our group is excited to introduce the first of its kind holistic health and wellness resort in the UAE, located at the iconic Palm Jumeirah. We are happy to again collaborate with AccorHotels in bringing in a new luxury brand into the region. Catering to the growing demand for wellness tourism, we are confident that its distinctive concept will stand out within the region’s competitive hospitality scene.” The 255-room upscale resort will offer a range of guestrooms and suites, as well as an array of wellness facilities including a gym, yoga room, tennis court and swimming pool. Guests will also enjoy access to world-class wellness consultants and wellbeing treatments, in addition to bespoke nutritional programs …

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Deal done for Hilton DoubleTree in Sharjah

double tree Jpg

Hilton has signed a management agreement with Sharjah’s Al Marwan Group to open the emirate’s debut DoubleTree by Hilton property opposite Al Majaz Waterfront in the centre of the city. The $43 million (AED 158m) development will be called the DoubleTree by Hilton Sharjah Waterfront Hotel & Suites and will offer 254 suites and serviced apartments. The new hotel, which is expected to open in 2020, will be Hilton’s second property in the emirate after the Hilton Sharjah on the nearby Corniche Road. Sharjah offers visitors more than 100 hotels and hotel apartment properties and occupancy rates recently beat regional averages, growing by 5.5 percent during January compared to the same month in 2016 (according to global analyst STR). Some of the leading hotel groups in the world operate properties in Sharjah, including Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, GHM, Louvre Hotels Group, Premier Inn Hotels, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, and Wyndham Worldwide Sharjah currently has a variety of new hotel and resort developments under development, including the construction of a new $100 million (AED 367m) art and culture themed 5-star luxury beachfront hotel and resort; a 4-star, 200-room Novotel located adjacent to Sharjah Expo; a 4-star Sheraton Four Points hotel; and an Aloft boutique hotel. In addition, Al Bait Hotel, a new 5-star hotel being built by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in the Heart of Sharjah, is expected to open later in 2017.

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9.3% growth at DXB Airport

dubai-airport

Passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) continued to grow steadily in February rising 8.8 per cent to 6,948,157, according to the monthly traffic report issued by Dubai Airports. The operator said this brings the total year to date passenger traffic at DXB to 14,985,165, a robust growth of 9.3 per cent compared to 13,711,181 recorded during the first two months of 2016. Eastern Europe was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth (39.1 per cent), followed by Asia (23.8 per cent) and South America (11.6 per cent). India remained the top destination country in February with a total of 937,962 passengers, followed by the UK (516,611 passengers), Saudi Arabia (499,797) and Pakistan (351,477). London topped the list of destination cities with 309,768 passengers, followed by Doha (246,767 passengers), Bangkok (203,432) and Mumbai (194,108).Flight movements at DXB totalled 32,483 during the month under review, a contraction of 2.7 per cent from 33,398 movements recorded in February 2016. Year to date flight movements totaled 69,075, a marginal drop of 0.2 per cent compared to 69,239 during the first two months last year.The average number of passengers per movement during February reached 223 compared to 201 during the corresponding month in 2016, an increase of 11.1 per cent.  DXB recorded 192,704 tonnes of freight in February 2017, down 1.9 per cent from 196,460* tonnes recorded in February 2016. Year to date freight volumes totalled 400,976, a growth of 0.8 per cent compared to 397,942 handled during the corresponding period in 2016. Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said, “This robust growth in passenger numbers in February follows the record 8 million passengers in January, and with the seasonal rush of passengers …

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Nakheel to develop second hotel at Dubai’s Dragon City

Nakheel Dragonmart

Real estate developer Nakheel’s signed a construction contract worth Dh136 million ($37 million) with Al Ghurair Contracting and Engineering Works for its second hotel at Dubai’s Dragon City. With a total project value of Dh176 million ($48 million), the 304-room Premier Inn is one of 16 hotels in Nakheel’s Dh3 billion hospitality portfolio and part of a huge new master plan that is transforming Dragon City into a giant retail, residential and recreational complex of more than 11 million sq ft, said a statement. Set for delivery in 2019, Premier Inn Dragon City will have a restaurant, Costa Coffee shop and gym. The hotel will span 178,000 sq ft in built-up area, over eight floors. Premier Inn Dragon City is one of two Nakheel hotels managed by the UK’s Premier Inn. The first, a 372-room hotel at Ibn Battuta Mall, opened last October. Nakheel’s expanding Dragon City mixed-use community comprises four million sq ft of retail space, a twin-tower residential complex with 1,120 apartments and two hotels with 516 rooms between them. It is currently best known for Dragon Mart – the world’s largest Chinese trading hub outside China – featuring the globally-renowned Dragon Mart 1 and its sister mall, Dragon Mart 2, which opened in February last year. The two malls welcome 40 million visitors a year. Dragon City’s retail expansion includes a 375,000 sq ft showroom complex, currently under construction. Nakheel’s expansion into the hospitality industry is bringing 16 new hotels and serviced apartment complexes, with over 5,300 rooms between them, to Dubai.  Two are open and operational and last month the company awarded a construction contract for a second hotel at Ibn Battuta Mall. Others are at …

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Etihad 787-9 Dreamliner daily to Amman

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Etihad Airways has started operating Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Abu Dhabi-Amman route, as part of its daily schedule between the two capitals. The new two-class Dreamliner features the airline’s next-generation Business and Economy Class cabins, featuring 299 seats — 28 in Business Class and 271 in Economy Class, representing a 65 per cent capacity increase on the route. Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Since launching flights between Abu Dhabi and Amman thirteen years ago, we have experienced huge growth and have enjoyed strong demand from both business and leisure travellers. The decision to upgrade to the Boeing 787 reflects the importance of the Jordanian market to Etihad Airways, and the sustained development of economic relations between the two countries. The UAE enjoys historic ties with Jordan and there are broader and brighter prospects for economic relations between these two Arab states, particularly through business partnerships and tourism.” Recent local reports show that the trade exchange between the two countries witnessed remarkable growth to just over Dhs3 billion, while the volume of UAE investments in Jordan rose to more than $15 billion. The Business Studios in Business Class offer direct aisle access, a fully-flat bed of up to 80.5 inches in length, and an increase of 20 per cent in personal space. Upholstered in fine Poltrona Frau leather, the Business Studio is equipped with an in-seat massage and pneumatic cushion control system which enables guests to adjust the firmness and comfort of their seat.

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Emirates’ double daily to Bali

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates will introduce a second daily service to the island of Bali in Indonesia, on July 2, 2017. The new service will be added to meet the growing demand for travel to and from Bali, offering travellers more convenience and connectivity options. Operated by Emirates’ popular Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a two-class configuration with 42 seats in Business Class and 386 seats in Economy Class. The outbound flight EK360 will depart from Dubai at 0125hrs and arrive in I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport at 1430hrs. This service will connect seamlessly with a number of destinations across Europe, including Amsterdam, Moscow, Paris and London. It will also enable passengers to connect domestically to the nearby cities of Surabaya, Makassar and Lombok. The return flight, EK361, will depart at 1630hrs and arrive in Dubai International Airport at 2130hrs. Both inbound and outbound services also accommodate connections to and from Dili in East Timor. A leading holiday and tourism destination, Bali welcomed nearly five million foreign tourist arrivals in 2016, a million more than in 2015. There were notable increases in tourism numbers from the United Kingdom (+32.1% year-on-year), France (+25.7% y.o.y.), Germany (+27.9% y.o.y.) and Russia (+29.2% y.o.y.) in 2016, according to Bali Government Tourism Office statistics. Passengers in all classes can enjoy gourmet cuisine, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment, ice, with more than 2,500 channels and Wi-Fi, which is available on select Boeing 777 aircraft and all Emirates A380 aircraft. Families with young children are also well catered for with special services and products to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable flight, from free toys to kids’ meals, entertainment and priority boarding. Passengers on all Emirates flights also have the added bonus …

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Saudi Arabia inks deal to boost tourism vision 2030

Saudi Arabia (640x427)

Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage represented by the Tourism Routes Program, signed a media cooperation agreement with Eye of Riyadh with the aim of marketing the program, raising national awareness about it and contributing to support the tourism sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in accordance with the vision of 2030 aiming at upgrading this sector to the highest levels of what contribute supporting the economic development of the country. Commenting on the agreement, Abdullah Mataen, the General Supervisor of Tourism Routes Project in the commission, clarified that one of the most important objectives of the program is to discover Saudi Arabia in its real image, through identifying the most beautiful diverse and dazzling places and by motivating the citizens and the residents to see them through several amazing tourist routes. He confirms saying: “Our agreement today with Eye of Riyadh is to move forward to expand the circle of tourism knowledge, so that every citizen and resident in the Kingdom should have the sufficient knowledge that in Saudi Arabia he can go to the desert, climb mountains, catch fish, dive into the surprises, coexist with the history and civilizations of various eras, taste the best food, and learn the most beautiful folk arts and dances.” “Our confidence in Eye of Riyadh is what motivated us to choose them to be our media partners in our next phase, by using their expertise in marketing, media and advertising alike” Mataen added. Abdullah Al Harbi, CEO, Eye of Riyadh, stressed the idea of exploiting the features of Saudi Arabia in promoting all types of tourism available in it, whether it is recreational, sports or shopping, and even the events …

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TRYP by Wyndham Dubai to open in summer

WHG Company Logo (Full Color)-JPG

TRYP by Wyndham Dubai is set to open this summer with 650 hotel rooms including 25 of the brand’s signature fitness rooms, with exercise equipment for private workouts. The hotel will also offer an inviting, social lobby known as Plaza Central where guests can eat and drink, work, relax, or meet. Other facilities include a swimming pool, fitness centre, and meeting space. Wyndham Dubai Marina and TRYP by Wyndham Dubai are owned by subsidiaries of leading Dubai based property developers The First Group and are managed by Wyndham Hotel Group. Wyndham Dubai Marina and TRYP by Wyndham Dubai participate in Wyndham Rewards, the simple-to-use, revolutionary loyalty programme from Wyndham Hotel Group, offering members generous points earning structure along with a flat, free-night redemption rate in 75 countries across the world – the first of its kind for a major hotel rewards programme.

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Sabre revamps GetThere to aid business travellers

Sabre-Logo

Sabre Corporation is launching a fast, design-led mobile experience to provide business travellers a simple way to book and manage in-policy travel on the go. The GetThere user experience gives them more self-service options and delivers an optimal search, shop and book experience whether on mobile or desktop. The GetThere team conducted hundreds of qualitative usability research sessions to evaluate what travellers and travel managers truly want and need out of an online booking tool. The newly redesigned GetThere applied the results to create a new modernized travel experience that empowers travelers to make smarter in-policy booking decisions. Other new GetThere features include: A simplified and responsive design, fully optimized for a mobile road-warrior An intuitive booking workflow powered by Sabre’s technology that is accessible and consistent on any device – desktop, tablet, and smartphone Sabre’s air merchandising capabilities to support airlines’ branded fares with existing travel policy “Today’s business traveler wants the convenience of self-service solutions. Our new traveler-centric design in GetThere puts the user first with new mobile capabilities and relevant content that’s essential for a smarter travel program,” said Wade Jones, interim president of Sabre Travel Network. “Travel managers and travelers will also have access to more content and the ability to differentiate various fare offerings from airlines including branded fares – helping business travelers get the exact services and features that they need to be productive.” With more airlines tailoring products for business traveler needs, corporations require an enriched marketplace of negotiated fares, amenities for a mobile workplace, and customization within the managed travel program. With the new GetThere, travel managers have more options to use fare rules to identify Out-of-Policy fares and control whether certain …

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