Ruchi Jaiswal

2550 hotel apartments by Schon and Al Hamad at Expo venue in Dubai

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Schon Properties and Al Hamad Group announced a joint venture to develop iSuites, a massive Dh3.2 billion ($870 million) home-grown hospitality portfolio that will see the development of 2,550 hotel apartments at a single site within Dubai Investment Park – close to the World Expo 2020 venue. The entire complex includes 21 buildings – comprising 2,550 hotel suites, 52 restaurants and outdoor cafes, 125,000 square feet shopping mall, all surrounded by a manmade beach and a lagoon spread over 5 acres– all to be delivered before the historic Expo 2020 begins in the fourth quarter of 2020. Al Hamad Group is investing equity to finance the construction of the project and acquire a substantial stake in the 2,550 unit development while Schon Properties will retain a substantial number of units for recurring income, while some inventory is offered to select investors for sale. Al Hamad Group will be responsible for construction via their contracting arm, Dubai Civil Engineering. iSuites is being jointly developed by both companies and will be managed by Schon Properties. The branded hotel apartments will be managed by international hotel operators to offer greater comfort to visitors. Part of the iSuites inventories will be offered to investors that offers a high return on investment. Sales of the iSuites are currently on as investors and buyers could now purchase a hotel suite or a service apartment that will be managed by international branded chain hotel operators and offers buyers a higher income of 12-15 per cent per cent.

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Bahrain hosts 1st restaurant and hospitality forum

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Under the patronage of H.H Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA), Bahrain hosted the first Bahrain Restaurant and Hospitality Forum (BRHF) organised by Culinaire & Beyond at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Center. This unique forum is strategically supported by the BTEA and Tamkeen, which seek to stimulate the launch of new projects and expand the scope of small and medium-sized businesses in the restaurant and hospitality sector, both locally and internationally. “The BTEA is committed to supporting initiatives aimed at boosting investments in Bahrain’s tourism sector. Restaurants and hospitality facilities are the most important aspects that help to enhance the experience offered to visitors. We therefore encourage this forum, which is in line with the Authority’s long-term strategy to make the Kingdom a leading regional center offering a diverse and distinct variety of restaurants and hospitality facilities,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the BTEA, H.E Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Al Khalifa.

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Emirates A380 services to Beijing and Shanghai from July 2017

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Effective from July 1 2017, Emirates will provide an all-A380 service on its Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai (PVG) services when it upgrades the second daily flights, EK308/EK309 on its PEK route and EK304/305 on its PVG route, replacing the current Boeing 777-300ER operations. The move will increase capacity to both Beijing and Shanghai, offering Emirates passengers even more seamless A380-to-A380 connections between the two Chinese cities and over 30 international points, including 18 points in the UK and Europe, via its hub in Dubai. This upgrade strengthens Emirates’ overall mainland China offering, which also includes services to Guangzhou, Yinchuan and Zhengzhou. The additional seats on the routes will support more business and leisure travel departing from and arriving in China, while offering passengers an exceptional global travel experience. The popular Emirates A380, which offers up to 519 seats in a three class configuration on Chinese routes, now flies to seven North Asian cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul in South Korea and Narita, Japan.

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225-key AVANI Resort Al Marjan Island to open doors in 2019

AVANI Al Marjan Island Ras Al Khaimah Resort - Crowngate Groundbreaking... (640x427)

Global real estate developer Crowngate International makes a foray into the hospitality business with its highly anticipated $50 million project, the 225-key AVANI Resort on Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah. Set to be fully operational in Q3 2019, the AVANI managed resort will address the rapidly increasing demand for hotels in the affordable luxury category and is the first 4-star project on aspiring tourist haven Al Marjan Island. The launch ceremony was on held on location on May 21, 2017, and was attended by Abdullah Rashed Al Abdooli, Managing Director of Al Marjan Island LLC, and Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. The resort will rise from an impressive beach-front plot on View Island – seen as the heart of the man-made Al Marjan Island, an archipelago which extends 4.5 kilometres into the sea and is a key area of growth. With white sandy beaches as well as spectacular views of the neighboring islands and the Ras Al Khaimah coastline, the resort is set to appeal to local, regional and international leisure travelers. In addition to premium facilities such as two pools, spa, gym, and kids’ club, the resort will host upscale all day dining and poolside restaurants, and offer meeting and event spaces with a 200-people capacity. Recently, Crowngate International also announced that MINOR Hotels will manage the property under their luxury AVANI brand.

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Sabre and Al Rajhi Aviation offer seamless travel experience

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Al Rajhi Aviation Company, a leading travel company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has signed an agreement with leading technology provider to global travel and tourism industry, Sabre Corporation, to expand its operation, deliver seamless travel experience and deploy their corporate travel strategy. Under this agreement, Al Rajhi Aviation gains access to Sabre’s broad portfolio of technology solutions, including its industry-leading Sabre Red Workspace agency solution; Sabre Red App Centre, the world’s first B2B online travel app marketplace, and the latest mobile, data analytics, personalisation and automation capabilities in addition to Sabre’s franchise solutions and the leading corporate travel solution- GetThere. Using these technology, Al Rajhi Aviation Company will be able to achieve their vision to delivering world class travel services to their customers. “The Saudi traveller is a high adopter of latest technology and expect an uncompromised level of service that is customized specially for him and can be accessed through the devices he uses,” said Daniel Naoumovitch, CEO, Sabre Travel Network Middle East. “Al Rajhi Aviation Company realizes the importance of deploying advanced technology to delivering personalized experience to the tech-savvy travelers and achieve travel excellence. We are proud to work with Al Rajhi Aviation Company to deploy new online, mobile, franchise and personalization solutions that will attain high level of satisfaction and customer’s loyalty. We are committed to support their expansion strategy and growth with latest technology and talented team to deliver products and solutions that meet their diverse customer needs and support their business goals.”

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Centara debuts in Muscat, Oman

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Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand-based hotel operator continues to expand internationally with the opening of a four-star, 152-room hotel in Muscat, its fifth hotel outside Thailand and first of three planned for the Middle East. The Centara Muscat Hotel is ideally located in the Omani capital’s bustling Ghala Heights business district, close to the convention centre, Royal Opera House, and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It is conveniently midway between the airport and historical district, about 15 minutes from each. The hotel is a modern new building featuring three restaurants, a spa, and a rooftop pool and terrace with views out over the Gulf of Oman. Its premium lounge, banquet and meeting facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi, plus proximity to Muscat’s shopping and historical sites, are designed to serve both business and leisure travellers. Centara is known for combining appealing Thai qualities, such as graceful service and pampering spa treatments, with expertly-prepared Thai and international cuisine. The new Muscat hotel follows this blueprint. Akdeniz, an authentic Turkish restaurant, features fine coffees, Middle Eastern snacks and mezzes, plus meats and fresh fish seared on a traditional Ocakbasi grill. Tip-tara restaurant serves Thai dishes and international choices, while The Roof offers a relaxed venue for barbeques and private events. Centara’s signature SPA Cenvaree offers a variety of therapies and treatments, plus Thai herbal spa products.  The rooftop pool is complemented by a children’s pool and fitness centre.  The hotel’s 237-square-metre banquet hall is large enough to accommodate cocktail receptions of 280 people. Three smaller venues include a boardroom which can be adjusted to fit a range of  uses. Another conference room, along with the pleasant rooftop terrace, can accommodate up to 80 people – …

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Travelport inks new hotel content deal with Treebo Hotels

Treebo & Travelport

Travelport and Indian hotel chain Treebo Hotels have announced a partnership, the inaugural GDS deal for the hotel chain. Headquartered in Bangalore, Treebo Hotels operate across over 34 Indian cities. Under the debut agreement, Treebo Hotels will join over 650,000 unique hotel properties available through Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform and its distributor in India, ITQ. Enabling Indian and International corporate travelers and travel agencies in over 180 countries, to have real-time access to the chain’s full property inventory. Travelport-connected agencies across the globe will now be able to take advantage of Travelport Smartpoint to search, view and make booking decisions based on travel choice information beyond just rate and availability. Sidharth Gupta, Co-Founder of Treebo Hotels said, “We are delighted for striking our inaugural GDS partnership with Travelport and its recognized distributor in India, ITQ. We are confident that this collaboration will empower Travelport-connected agents to choose quality accommodation from across Treebo properties in India during their business visits across major cities and will significantly support our business expand its presence across the globe.” Niklas Andreen, Vice President and Managing Director, Global Hospitality Commerce at Travelport commented: “We are excited to partner with Treebo Hotels, one of India’s key hotel suppliers and our collaboration with Treebo Hotels will help further establish their position within India’s budget accommodation space. Their wide variety of destinations, accommodation types and price ranges greatly enriches Travelport’s unrivalled choice of global travel content; providing agents and partner companies with countless opportunities to check availability of inventory and make bookings.”

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Dubai’s 3-day Super Sale from May 18-20

It's time for a shopping spree at 3-Day Super Sale

This year has been carefully planned out by the Dubai Tourism authority to enhance the retail tourism sector with super sales that run for short periods of time attracting the GCC tourists and residents alike. Retail therapy starts early this summer in Dubai with the 3-day Super Sale, a new citywide retail initiative that will offer shoppers the opportunity to pick up amazing deals across a range of merchandise at participating outlets from May 18-20. Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the 3-day Super Sale will offer shoppers incredible discounts of between 30 – 90 % on selected items at retailers across the city.  Saeed Mohammad Measam Al Falasi, Executive Director, Retail and Strategic Alliances, DFRE, said: “The 3-Day Super Sale initiative is part of our robust strategy revolving around the Retail Calendar to further boost the emirate’s retail sector with regular promotional periods that benefit both retailers and shoppers. Running promotions that offer retailers numerous options to boost sales during this time of the year will further enhance the emirate’s appeal as a year-round shopping hub, and helps us build on Dubai’s strong position as only the second city after London to host the most number of retail brands. The timing is perfect for shoppers, coming early in the summer and just a few days before the start of the month of Ramadan, followed by the Eid holiday period. We expect to re-energise the retail sector at this event, as large number of shoppers are bound to avail themselves of three days of huge savings.” According to a report by the Dubai Chamber of …

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Amadeus inks new deal with Al Tayyar Travel Group

Antoine Medawar (640x564)

Al Tayyar Travel Group and Amadeus have signed a new partnership agreement. The extended deal significantly boosts the strategic co-operation between the two parties and reaffirms Al Tayyar Travel Group’s commitment to expand their online business. To achieve this, Al Tayyar Travel Group will take advantage of Amadeus cutting-edge technology and cost customized solutions such as the Premium Online Support, 24/7 contact with Amadeus experts, ATC Shopper Online, Booking and offline quality control check, etc. The agreement extension up to 2020 will expand the two parties’ collaboration from the local to the MENA level. Commenting on the agreement, Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Dawood, Managing Director and CEO, Al Tayyar Travel Group, said: “Al Tayyar Travel Group has been leading the travel and tourism industry in the region by offering quality services. We are excited to perform the new online strategy with one of the pioneering entity in the field: Amadeus. This strategy aimed at enhancing our business and providing travelers with enjoyable lifetime experiences.” Antoine Medawar, Vice President, Amadeus MENA, said: “We are happy to extend our contract with Al Tayyar Travel Group as it further enriches our firm partnership.  Al Tayyar Travel Group is a thriving company that is committed to service excellence. As Amadeus takes its strategic partnership with Al Tayyar to the regional level, the corporate travel sector in the MENA region will benefit from the expertise of two leading players in the travel domain. Amadeus works with Al Tayyar to explore new ways to fulfill the customer needs and offer them exciting new opportunities.”

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Saudia partners with Expedia to launch Saudia Holidays

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Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), the national carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is entering into an agreement with Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) in the launch of Saudia Holidays to offer tailored, world-class travel packages to the airline’s passengers. Saudia, which carried more than 29 million passengers last year, and has a network of 86 domestic and international destinations, is launching Saudia Holidays to provide exceptional value and choice across the Kingdom and internationally. Through its agreement with EAN, Saudia Holidays will offer travellers access to more than 260,000 quality hotel accommodations in over 29,000 destinations, including Makkah, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dubai, London, Paris and New York. It will access EAN’s full range of preferential rates and deals, creating competitive pricing for Saudia Holidays’ customers.  EAN was selected because of its worldwide accommodation portfolio, its dynamic packaging strengths and the flexibility of its technology, which includes the ability for travelers to pay for a hotel reservation at the time of booking or upon arrival. Also key was EAN’s ability to offer a fully outsourced, turnkey solution in collaboration with Bahrain-based travel technology and services specialist TCIG. Together, the businesses’ responsibilities include building and maintaining the Saudia Holidays ecommerce website; the fulfilment of air, hotel and vehicle reservations; the operation of customer call centres; and the delivery of outstanding service to all Saudia Holidays customers.f

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