Ruchi Jaiswal

Turkish launches baggage transportation service — Mini Port

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Mini Port is a daily passenger baggage transportation service between Taksim and Atatürk Airport . The passenger comes to the Mini Port Service Point and submits their flight information to the officials, the Miniport Service Officer welcomes the passengers and receives their baggage, The Mini Port officials comply with the transport procedures of baggage arriving by the vehicle of the transportation company. This occurs at scheduled times, three times a day to the Mini Port Office in AHL International Lines metro floor from Taksim Mini Port Office. The passenger who is travelling from Istanbul and receives his baggage from AHL Mini Port Office, delivers his baggage to the counters in check-in area as complying with normal flight check-in procedures and the service is offered from Airport to Taksim and from Taksim to Airport. The scope of services was expanded and within the cooperation with the contracted hotels in Taksim region, passenger baggages will be transported from these hotels to Atatürk Airport. Recently, Turkish Airlines presented new features including Denon Headphones to be added to its on-board entertainment services. Due to this recent in-flight innovation, Turkish Airlines’ business class travellers on extended route flights will have the possibility to experience a renewed audio experience without any cost. This brand new app has been created in accordance with the Off-Airport concept which is now very much preferred by modern airlines. Now passengers who have to check out early from their hotels would spend their day comfortably without carrying their baggages. The Mini Port Office in Istanbul Atatürk Airport is located on the metro floor. Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing Officer, Turkish Airlines, said: “Turkish Airlines has been confirmed as one of the companies …

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Dubai most expensive city on New Year’s Eve 2016

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Dubai has again been ranked the most expensive place to celebrate New Year at Dh2,240 per person in an annual survey of seven popular global cities, with Edinburgh, Scotland, rated the best value for the second year in a row at Dh725, a difference of Dh1,515. In its annual research the company measured the average cost across selected establishments, with results reflecting expected costs for a partygoer buying food, entertainment and refreshments. Sydney offers an affordable option for UAE residents wanting to get abroad for the holiday and Paris is cheaper than New York by Dh700 to ring in 2017. The full listing (from cheapest to priciest) is as follows: Edinburgh (Dh725) Sydney (Dh950) Amsterdam (Dh955) Paris (Dh1,170) London (Dh1,435) New York (Dh1,870) Dubai (Dh2,240) Errol Fonseca, head of retail at Travelex, explained New Year is a busy time for Travelex, with customers flying off for city breaks to enjoy the festivities. “We always see an increase in orders of foreign currency in the run up to the new year, so it’s our pleasure to put these figures together for our customers. Exchange rates can also play a big part in decision-making and up to date figures can be found our website,” he said.

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Hotels.com revamps Middle East site

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Hotels.com has recently refurbished and improved the functionality of its Middle Eastern websites, in both English and Arabic, to improve both usability and performance. Hotels.com already serves millions of customers globally through 89 localised websites in 39 languages, and is continuously building its portfolio of properties with the latest hotel deals for popular destinations like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. Hotels.com offers an unsurpassed hotel booking experience and unbeatable Secret Prices to Hotels.com™ Rewards members, making it ideally positioned to cater to the hotel booking needs of the regional market. “We know that speed is important to our customers and we want to provide fastest booking experience possible in all languages on desktop and mobile. In fact, one in every three bookings on Hotels.com globally is now made on mobile. Speed and convenience are crucial to delivering unsurpassed experiences for our customers,” commented Michael Korkia, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA for the Hotels.com brand.

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Turkish adds Havana and Caracas to its network

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Turkish Airlines has just added flights to Havana and Caracas as its 16th and 17th destinations in the Americas. Its existing services are Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Panama, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Miami and Atlanta . The inaugural flight from Istanbul got water cannon salutes in both airports with a ceremony graced by  Mehmet Büyükekşi, Member of the Board of Turkish Airlines and the senior bureaucrats both from Republic of Cuba and Republic of Venezuela, in the presence of diplomatic, protocol and media representatives as well as Turkish Airlines’ officials. Beginning from December 20, Havana and Caracas flights will be operated 3 times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays in both directions.  Introductory round trip fares are available from Istanbul to Havana – the capital and largest city of Cuba – and to the Caracas -the capital and largest city of Venezuela. Additionally, for the first 6 months of operation to these new destinations, there is a special offer for Miles&Smiles members, with a 25% reduction in the miles needed to redeem either award tickets or upgrades.* Also launching with the new destinations, the “Bridging Youth” project, a corporate responsibility initiative by Turkish Airlines, kicked off with a fast start, as four university students from Turkey from varying backgrounds were given free tickets to Havana for a series of cultural activities including guided tours of the city with their Cuban hosts. The visiting youths will share their memorable moments and photographs of their trip on Turkish Airlines’ social media accounts.

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UAE’s 1st Wyndham Garden to open in 2017

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R Hotels and Wyndham Hotel Group have announced an agreement to open the first Wyndham Garden in United Arab Emirates. The Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche is expected to open by Q4 2017.  The 17-storey, four-star hotel will feature 179 guest rooms, including 138 standard rooms and 41 suites, as well as an executive lounge on the top floor with panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf. Additional facilities will include two restaurants, an outdoor swimming pool, gym and spa, separate health clubs for men and women, and a kids’ play area. Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche, with a total investment of AED200 million ($54.5 million), will be the fifth collaboration between R Hotels and Wyndham Hotel Group in the United Arab Emirates, and the third in Ajman. R Hotels presently owns two Wyndham-branded hotels in the emirate: Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman and Ramada Beach Hotel Ajman. Sumair Tariq, R Hotels’ Managing Director, commented: “The group is fully on track of its development and expansion plan, with the opening of our seventh property. The country’s hospitality sector continues to grow and our group set sights on capitalising on these developments and increasing our portfolio. The franchise deal cements our long-standing partnership with Wyndham Hotel Group and R Hotels is honoured to pioneer and set the standards for the Wyndham Garden brand in the UAE.”

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Oman hosts 19th Arab Ministerial Tourism Council

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The Arab Ministerial Tourism Council met from the December 13-15, 2016, at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat. Attendees included Ministers from the Arab countries, members of World Tourism Organisation as well as representatives from the Arab Center for Tourist Media. The council met to discuss ways to develop the tourism industry in the Arab World. This meeting was preceded by the Executive Office Meeting for the Arab Ministerial Tourism Council, which is entrusted to follow up and study the recommendations made by the Council. In his opening statement, His Excellency Ahmed Bin Nasser Al Mahrizi said, “This meeting will foster cooperation between the countries of the Arab world, and help boost the growth of the tourism sector. We are proud that the Sultanate of Oman is hosting such an important and impactful meeting.”His Excellency also added that the meeting coincides with the 46th National Day celebrations of the Sultanate, marking the achievements that the people of this country and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos continue to make. Dr Dina Hussain Dhaher, Director of the department of Transport and Tourism at the General Secretariat of the Arab League of States thanked the Sultanate for its efforts in ensuring the success of the 19th edition of the Arab Ministerial Tourism Council, and that she looks forward to seeing the results of the meeting. Among the many issues, the Council addressed the development and implementation of the Arab Tourism Strategy as well as the tourism activities that drive the youth, as this is one of the most important tourism segments in the region. The Council also discussed initiatives that will generate tourism-related statistics from different hotels and feed the development of future …

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RAK Airport sees 68% y-o-y growth in 2016

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Ras Al Khaimah International Airport has enjoyed a highly successful 2016, according to its Chairman Engr. H.E. Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi. In terms of passenger numbers Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism industry has also contributed to figures that show 68 per cent growth over 2015 on a like-for-like basis. That marker alone makes 2016 one of the most successful years for the airport in its recent history, but cargo tonnage climbed an even more impressive 98 per cent and aircraft movements increased by a handsome 37 per cent. Sheikh Salem believes that this shall be the airport’s most positive year, with a host of landmarks passed and records broken during its course. Sheikh Salem explained, “A lot of hard work has been put in over recent years and we have now started to reap some of the rewards. In February, Qatar Airways inaugurated their flights from Doha to Ras Al Khaimah, connecting RAK to long haul routes in Europe, China and beyond. In April Air India Express gave us an Indian connection that goes some way to satisfying the still under-served Indian sector from RAK. In May Sun MRO started their setup at RAK to establish a narrow body repair and maintenance centre and in September we had the inauguration of Egypt Air Cargo flights, the first flag carrier freighter operating to RAK. The beginning of October saw an early start of winter tourism season with ten charters coming from various parts of Europe, CIS and Russia. The latter was a result of joint efforts by RAK Airport and RAK Tourism Development Authority.” Mohammed Qazi, the airport’s CEO, also noted that in addition to these key moments Ras Al …

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Fairmont Fujairah to open in January 2017

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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a luxury brand within the AccorHotels portfolio looks forward to welcoming its newest entrant in the United Arab Emirates – Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort scheduled to open in January 2017. The property’s inauguration ceremony held on December 15, was attended by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; advisor to H.H The President of the UAE. and H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi; member of the supreme council and ruler of the Emirate of Al Fujairah. Enveloped by panoramic vistas of the marina and the Gulf of Oman, this luxurious 180 room property will be the region’s first art inspired hotel highlighted by spacious and light filled spaces. Upon opening, it will join a distinctive collection in the United Arab Emirates which includes Fairmont Dubai, the brand’s original flagship hotel in the Middle East, Fairmont The Palm on the largest manmade island in the world, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi and Fairmont Ajman, located in the emirate of perennial sunshine. An approximate 90-minute drive from the hyper-charged metropolis of Dubai and set against the majestic backdrop of the Al Hajar Mountains and deep blue of the wide Indian Ocean, the luxurious retreat will serve as an idyllic getaway for local UAE residents and international guests.

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Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach opens in Abu Dhabi

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Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, Abu Dhabi Ports officially opened Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, offering cruise ship passengers a new beach destination with unmatched tourism experiences. The Beach was officially inaugurated by His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), alongside a number of high-profile officials and strategic partners to celebrate yet another strategic partnership between Abu Dhabi’s leading entities in the cruise tourism sector including Abu Dhabi Ports, TCA Abu Dhabi, and Etihad Airways. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, said: “The development of new economic and tourism projects across the Western Region is a key priority for Abu Dhabi’s visionary government led by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Under the vision and mandate of our wise leadership, we have redoubled efforts towards the completion of infrastructure projects and vital facilities, as part of our ambitious plans to fulfil the development needs of our nation now and into the future. This has been enabled by the coordination and collaboration between various government entities who are all working towards the goals of Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030.”

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Autograph Collection’s La Ville at City Walk Dubai

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Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott International’s exclusive portfolio, has added La Ville Hotel & Suites to its collection. Comprising 77 rooms, 11 suites and 68 apartments, guest rooms are spacious and celebrate relaxed urban luxury through décor led by sophisticated neutral furnishings, combined with contemporary artistic twists. Bathrooms are complete with luxurious marble counter tops, a free-standing bath tub and a walk-in shower, providing the ultimate space for unwinding or grooming in style. A jewel in the crown is the bright and airy Penthouse Suite complete with 180 sqm2 of living space, a private dining area ideal for entertaining and a terrace that boasts spectacular views of Dubai’s magical skyline. This will be Autograph Collection’s second hotel to open in Dubai, joining Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa. Dining is a key highlight at La Ville Hotel & Suites with three restaurants, a lobby café and rooftop bar which include cosmopolitan and social experiences, tailored to individual preferences and moods. Each outlet apart from LookUp has their own entrance and access to the courtyard which provides a lush oasis and outdoor area ideal for al fresco dining in Dubai. The hotel’s restaurants are headed by Chef Pedro Joaquín Arceyut Araya who has carefully crafted each menu to reflect the individuality of each outlet while South African native, Juan Jacques van Huyssteen oversees La Ville’s bar concepts as Director of Beverages.

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