Ruchi Jaiswal

Sharjah Airport sees 2.7 million passengers in Q1

sharjah-airport

Sharjah International Airport handled 2.741 million passengers during the first quarter of 2017, registering 2 percent growth compared to the first three months of last year. The airport has experienced continuous growth during the past five years, handling 11 million passengers during 2016. Sharjah handled 969,633 passengers in January, 827,369 February and 944,038 in March 2017, peaking at 4 percent growth in January (compared to 2016 levels). Aircraft movements at the airport increased by 3 percent to 18,569 scheduled and non-scheduled movements in Q1 2017 compared with 18,054 in Q1 2016. Several airlines have added new Sharjah flights this year. Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia launched a new services to Baku in March, operating four weekly flights from the Azarbajiani capital. The airline also launched a schedule of seasonal flights between Iran’s Kermanshah airport and Sharjah on the occasion of ‘Nowruz’, the new Iranian year. Later in the year, Air Arabia plans to operate a new seasonal non-stop service to the historic Turkish port city of Trabzon starting on June 23. Meanwhile, IndiGo, India’s largest budget-carrier, introduced a daily non-stop service from Kozhikode (CCJ) to Sharjah on 20 March and from Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) to Sharjah during April. Another Indian budget carrier, SpiceJet, plans to launch new flights to Sharjah by the end of 2017. Sharjah International Airport’s growth has been driven by its strategic location, the success of the emirate’s in-bound tourism industry and the expansion of Sharjah-headquartered Airquarter of 2017, registering 2 percent growth compared to the first three months of last year. The airport has experienced continuous growth during the past five years, handling 11 million passengers during 2016.

Read More »

Japan offers visa free entry for UAE nationals

tokyo

As part of its strategy to proactively reach out and welcome travellers from the Middle East region, Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) in collaboration with Cathy Pacific has launched “Journey to Japan” packages. These packages come just in time as part of the new visa waiver programme which allows UAE Nationals to have visa free entry to Japan. Curated exclusively to highlight country’s unique heritage, modern pop culture, luxury experiences, tax free shopping and Japan’s traditional ‘washoku’ cuisine, “Journey to Japan” packages allows travellers to enjoy the nature and culture the country has to offer. In three years since 2013, the number of international visitors to Japan has more than doubled, resulting in over 24 million visitors travelling to Japan in 2016 compared to the 10.3 million experienced in 2013. 2016 also marks first time Japan has welcomed more than 20 million visitors in one year. Having achieved this milestone result, the target of welcoming 40 million visitors before the country hosts the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 seems an ever more realisable goal for the Japanese tourism industry. Ms. Akiko Yoshida, Executive Vice President of JNTO, says, “Japan offers plethora of unique cultural experiences in a cosmopolitan setting. Unique not only to region but also by seasons, there is always something new to be discovered in Japan. The “Journey to Japan” packages are crafted in such a manner to make the best of Japan’s many offering.”

Read More »

UAE, KSA remain top destinations for UK travellers

tourists

The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are the top destinations in the GCC preferred by business and leisure travellers from the United Kingdom, according to a recent survey. A review conducted by HotelsCombined of the top 10 countries travelling to GCC in 2016 revealed that more than 10 percent of the total visitors to UAE and KSA are from the UK, followed by Australia and the United States. Other travellers are from South Korea, India, Sweden, Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany. The UAE and Saudi Arabia’s proximity to the UK makes it a convenient destination for travellers seeking warm weather and world-class experience including an extensive range of shopping malls, finest restaurants, luxurious and comfortable accommodation and leisure attractions. The study also revealed that 43 percent of those who booked their accommodation were between the 25 to 34 years old, followed by those aged 35 to 44, which comprised 30 percent of the total numbers. Statistics from Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) showed that in 2016, Western Europe is the second highest demand driver for travel to Dubai, accounting 21 percent of the total tourism volume, with more than 3.1 million tourists. The UK retained its position as Dubai’s number three market bringing in nearly 1.25 million visitors, while Germany stayed within the top 10 list with 460,000 visitors. HotelsCombined also highlighted that travellers to UAE and KSA are comprised mainly of families, couples and businesses. When searching for accommodation, these travellers look for luxury hotels, food and dining options, as well as sport and leisure attractions, spa and relaxation and other activities for family, businesses and couples.

Read More »

Dubai launches first-ever Dubai Association Conference

dubai-1

The Dubai Association Centre (DAC), a joint initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), in collaboration with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), has announced the launch of the first-ever Dubai Association Conference which will be held 11-12 December 2017, at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event, a first of its kind in the region, reinforces the crucial role associations play in Dubai’s socio-economic development and its transition to a knowledge-based economy. The announcement was made at the prestigious Associations World Congress that is currently underway in Vienna, Austria. The Dubai Association Conference will welcome association executives from regional and international associations, government representatives, university faculties and students as well as other professionals with an interest in developing associations. The inaugural Conference, under the theme of ‘Building a Community’, is designed to cater to an increasing number of associations that are looking to expand within the Middle East, and the growing industries across disciplines from technology and healthcare to education and finance. It will also provide a platform to gain insights from international and regional experts on the latest trends in areas such as membership, online communities, restructuring education, volunteerism and governance, among others.

Read More »

Emirates to fly only A380s on Spain route

Emirates (640x427)

Emirates announced that all of its flights to Spain will be operated by the iconic A380. In addition to the existing double daily A380 service to Barcelona, the airline will operate a double daily A380 service to Madrid, significantly boosting seat capacity from Dubai to Spain. Commencing on September 1, 2017, Emirates flights EK143/144 will be operated by an Airbus A380 aircraft in a 3-class configuration with 14 Private Suites in First Class, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 399 comfortable seats in Economy Class. Passengers in all classes will enjoy access to Wi-Fi and over 2,500 channels of films, TV shows, music and games, with an impressive selection in Spanish, through ice Digital Widescreen, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system. This change enables more A380 to A380 connections to and from key business and leisure destinations such as Australia, China, South Korea and South East Asia with just one stop in Dubai. The fliers will also experience the famed hospitality of the airline’s multi-cultural cabin crew, with Spanish speakers on all flights to and from Spain, as well as fine wines and regionally inspired cuisine prepared using the finest ingredients. What’s more, First and Business Class passengers can travel to and from the airport in style with Emirates complimentary Chauffeur-drive service as well as enjoy Emirates exclusive lounges at select airports around the world. Once on board, passengers in premium class seating receive a luxurious amenity kit featuring Italian-made Bulgari products and can enjoy the Emirates Onboard Lounge; First Class passengers can also take advantage of the Emirates Shower Spa to freshen up. Emirates’ flight EK143 departs from Dubai International Airport at 14:30hrs and arrives in Madrid at 20:20hrs. …

Read More »

Terminal Fee exemption for Filipino expats flying Cebu

cebu-2

Filipino expats flying with Cebu Pacific to their job site do not need to pay Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal Fee, which is worth around AED 40.  The Philippines’ largest airline, Cebu Pacific (CEB), works hand-in-hand with the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to exempt Filipino expats from paying the International Passenger Service Charge (IPSC), or the Terminal Fee, at the (NAIA). Passengers who booked through CEB’s ticketing offices or travel agencies have to present valid documents at the time of purchase. For bookings made through the Cebu Pacific Reservation Hotlines or via the website, valid documents must be presented at the Airport Bag Drop Counter upon check-in. Valid documents include the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC); and those included under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s Balik Manggagawa program such as a valid employment contract, recent pay slip, or Company ID. Bookings made through the Cebu Pacific mobile app and GetGo (points) redemption will allow exemptions soon. “After months of working with the MIAA on the details, Cebu Pacific is very proud to be the first carrier to make available such a benefit for our Filipino expats. We are pleased to offer our kababayans working abroad the convenience of not having to go through a process of reimbursement for fees they are already exempted from under the Migrant Workers Act,” said Atty. JR Mantaring, CEB Vice President for Corporate Affairs. Aside from Filipino expats, pilgrims with authorization from the Philippine Sports Commission, and guests who have been issued a MIAA exemption certificate (MEC) are also exempted from paying the IPSC, provided valid documents are presented. Recently, Cebu Pacific passengers have been given the option to pay for the travel on international …

Read More »

Second Mandarin Oriental in Dubai by 2020

Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced that it will manage a second luxury hotel and branded residences in Dubai which is targeted to open in late 2020. The hotel, located in downtown Dubai, will complement Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Beach, Dubai, the group’s previously announced urban resort which is currently under construction on the beachfront and due to open in the fourth quarter of 2018. Both hotels are owned and developed by wasl Asset Management Group. The hotel will be the anchor of a 63-storey, mixed-use building, to be known as wasl Tower, located on Sheikh Zayed Road. The property will have direct access to the area’s business and leisure attractions, including Dubai Opera, Burj Park and Dubai Mall. The downtown Mandarin Oriental hotel will feature 257 spacious and contemporary guestrooms, suites and serviced apartments, which will be located on floors 16 to 38 of the tower, providing outstanding views over downtown Dubai and the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The accommodation will be designed to reflect local culture, with features inspired by Mandarin Oriental’s Asian heritage. The Group will also manage 144 Residences at Mandarin Oriental, located on the tower’s upper floors, which will provide some of the most luxurious private homes in the city. The Residences will have their own private access, with dedicated facilities including a Resident’s Lounge, while also benefiting from Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service and direct access to the hotel.

Read More »

Dubai Airport welcomes Himalayan Airlines

Himalayan Airlines

Himalayan Airlines’ inaugural flight from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu landed at Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai’s second airport. The airline will operate three weekly flights from Tribhuvan International Airport to DWC, using an Airbus A320-214 aircraft with 150 economy class seats and eight business class seats. Himalayan Airlines’ arrival at DWC increases the number of passenger carriers serving the airport to 19 and the average number of weekly flights to 106.

Read More »

Gloria Hotels launches online check-in

gloria-hotel_Logo

Gloria Hotel Dubai has introduced online check-in facilities and several other tablet delivered services. Guests at Gloria hotels can now check in online prior to the arrival via the links they receive in the booking confirmation email and it will also be available in the Gloria Mobile App which will be launched this month (May). The guests can arrive at the hotel and simply collect their room key from a priority check in desk exclusively reserved for online check- ins similar to that in airlines. The new mobile App to be launched have used technology to push the business boundaries to ensure innovation and efficiency across the hotel and meeting the evolving needs of the guests.  This will further enable the guests the ability to make choices and instantly book available rooms at great prices to ease the booking process and further boost reservations. Area Manager Freddy Farid stated, “we are hoping to showcase Gloria hotels and Resorts in a multitude of different ways and lead the different markets to experience comfort living – a Gloria concept of stay in all properties. The use of digital marketing to expand our brand communication and it has become an effective tool over time. Today’s travellers are constantly connected but they have time constraints. They want information instantly and they value services that save time, we have introduced a number of ways that allow our guests to use smart devices to speed up the decision making and booking process as well as cutting down on administrative tasks related to registration and payments thus ensuring their overall experience.”  

Read More »

Emirates’ all-A380 service to Melbourne

Emirates-A380 image

Emirates will provide an all-A380 service from Melbourne when it upgrades its third daily flight from the Australian city, EK408 and EK409, from a Boeing 777-300ER to an A380 operation. The move will add 945 seats per week to the Australian city from March 25, 2018, representing a 10 per cent increase in capacity. Emirates customers can enjoy a seamless “A380 to A380” connections via its hub in Dubai to 18 points in the UK and Europe. The additional weekly seats on the route will support more business and leisure travel between Dubai and Melbourne and together with Qantas’ new Melbourne, via Perth, London B789 Dreamliner service beginning on the 24th March 2018, offers customers more options to London and Europe under the joint partnership. The popular Emirates A380 offers 489 seats in a three-class cabin configuration with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy. Passengers in all classes can enjoy over 2,500 channels of the latest films, TV shows, music, and games on Emirates’ ice Digital Widescreen, which has been named World’s Best Inflight Entertainment at the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards for a record 12 years running. First and Business Class passengers on the Emirates A380 can spend time during their flight socialising in the iconic Onboard Lounge on the upper deck of the aircraft, and First Class passengers can enjoy the exclusive use of the on-board shower spas to refresh during flights. Premium customers are also offered complimentary chauffeur drive to and from Melbourne airport, lounge access and priority check-in.

Read More »