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Standard International debuts The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives

Standard International, the parent company of The Standard is delighted to announce the opening of The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives and to present the earliest guests with an enticing opening package. With 115 stunning private pool villas, the resort marks the brand’s first property in Asia. The resort is a short seaplane ride away from Male, nestled between the Raa and Baa Atolls, on a naturally protected island. While the Maldives has traditionally been a couple’s destination, as always, The Standard has approached the development with a fresh set of eyes. The resort offers an unmatched combination of relaxation, dynamic social life and vibrant cultural programming that also welcomes groups of friends or singles looking to meet others or just reset and recharge in paradise. The Standard’s newest property is providing a special promotional offer giving extra enticement to those who book early. The special opening rates start from US$ 395 per night, which includes overnight accommodation in one of the private villas along with buffet breakfast in their all-day dining restaurant which includes overnight accommodations in one of the private villas along with buffet breakfast in Kula, the all-day dining restaurant. Each of the 115 villas features its own private lounge deck and plunge pool, and guests can choose from one of six unique culinary offerings. The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives presents culinary options that are inspired by the bounty and beauty of the Indian Ocean and guided by the brand’s commitment to authenticity. Whether you’re looking for adventure or to learn something new, at the heart of every Standard are unique cultural programming and curated experiences and all are island-inspired.

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Record turnout at SIBF 2019

The 38th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) concluded after a record turnout of 2.52 million visitors through the 11-day event, organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA). The event witnessed the participation of Nobel laureates, Booker Prize and Oscar winners, along with 2,000 publishers from 81 countries. On November 7, 2019, SIBF set a Guinness World Record for successfully hosting the world’s largest simultaneous book signing ceremony in one location with 1,502 authors from the UAE and beyond signing their own books. To further expand the reach of books in the Middle East and African continents, SBA partnered with Big Bad Wolf Ventures Sdn. Bhd. (BBW) to set-up a regional branch at Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone. Under this new agreement, 1 billion books will be circulated across MEA countries over the next five years to widely introduce the literary products of individual nations to promote cultural exchange and appreciation. Sharjah Ruler allocates AED 4.5 million for purchase of books at SIBF 2019; His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah allocated AED 4.5 million for the acquisition of a selection of titles, brought in by publishers participating in SIBF 2019, to continuously update the emirate’s libraries with valuable reading materials and resources in history, literature, politics, arts, science, technology in Arabic and international languages. HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, said, “SIBF has grown to become one of the top three book fairs in the world, an event that publishers, authors, book lovers, and children wait a whole year to participate in. This 11-day cultural celebration is born out of the vision of HE Sheikh Dr. …

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DTCM & partners aim to achieve goals of tourism vision 2022-25

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has provided an outlook of the industry to stakeholders and partners, highlighting the positive year-to-date international visitation, sharing destination insights and drawing attention to the innovative marketing initiatives that have been launched to further boost visitor numbers. Dubai Tourism also discussed ways of increasing collaboration with its partners, and emphasised the importance of aligning with, and leveraging all efforts including the hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai to achieve the goals of Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2022-25. The strategic meetings were held recently between HE Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism and key executives from leading entities in the travel and hospitality sectors including Emirates, flydubai, Jumeirah, Marriot International, IHG, Al Habtoor Group, Atlantis, The Palm, and Emaar Hospitality Group. HE Helal Saeed Almarri, said, “Such strategic meetings serve as a platform to highlight various marketing campaigns and initiatives launched by Dubai Tourism to attract more visitors to the city. We would also like our partners to be aligned with the various developments in the industry and to take advantage of the diverse campaigns and all efforts that are being made to realise the goals of Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2022-25.” Neal Jones, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer – MEA, Marriott International, said, “We strongly believe in the future of Dubai and under the vision of its leaders, Dubai Tourism does a remarkable job of positioning and evolving Dubai as an international business and leisure hub.” Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG, said, “We have a deep understanding of the country’s unique culture and business environment and an exceptional partnership with Dubai Tourism, who have been extremely focused on …

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Russian tourist spend in UAE to touch $1.15 bn by 2023: Colliers International

Russian tourists travelling to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are expected to generate an estimated US$1.22 billion in travel and tourism revenue by 2023, an increase of 19% when compared with figures from 2018. The latest Colliers research commissioned by Reed Travel Exhibitions predicts the UAE will witness the highest growth, with total tourism spend by Russian visitors projected to reach US$1.153 billion by 2023 and tourism spend per trip increasing 5% from US$1,600 to US$1,750. Looking at Russian outbound tourism figures, the country continues to be one of the top 10 source markets for the UAE, with 578,000 Russian visitors entering the UAE in 2018 and this number is predicted to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.2% to 688,300 by 2023, according to Colliers International. Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said, “With the oil price recovery, stabling of the financial markets and increased disposable incomes, Russia, once again, represents a significant growth area for travel and tourism revenue across the GCC.” Building on this, Saudi Arabia is expected to witness the second-largest increase closely followed by Oman, with total Russian tourism spend estimated to reach US$28,659,600 and US$21,788,000 respectively, by 2023. “Saudi Arabia’s Giga Projects are aimed to cater to the luxury segment of the tourism market targeting high-net-worth individuals and Russia is currently ranked fourth in the world in terms of the number of billionaires residing in the country, with 303 Russians representing a total billionaire wealth of USD$355 billion. Higher Russian visitor numbers will help support investment opportunities and economic diversification, in line with the kingdom’s plans to target 30 million visitors annually by 2030,” Curtis concluded.

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Emirates opens first remote check-in terminal for cruise passengers

Emirates’ first remote check-in terminal was opened to provide seamless connections for cruise passengers. The Emirates check-in counters, located at Port Rashid, will allow passengers who are disembarking from their cruise ships to check-in for their onward Emirates flight at the same facility. The new service will further enhance Dubai’s position as a premier international cruise destination and provides greater convenience for Emirates customers. With complimentary flight check-in facilities located at the same location as their cruise disembarkation point, customers will have the convenience of exploring Dubai without their luggage before heading directly to the airport for their flight. The Emirates check-in facility at Port Rashid will have eight counters where Emirates staff will check-in customers’ luggage and issue boarding passes up to 4 hours before flight departure. The facility will be open during the sailing period from October to April. In the next 6 months, 198 cruise ships are expected to dock at Port Rashid where approximately 280,000 passengers will have onward Emirates flights. Mohammed Mattar, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates Airport Services said, “We are committed to providing a seamless and hassle-free travel journey for our customers. With the increasing popularity of Dubai as a cruise tourism destination, we have ensured that every touchpoint in our customer journey for this important traveller segment is thoughtfully served. Our first remote check-in facility at Port Rashid will allow cruise passengers with onward flights the freedom to explore Dubai during their short transit.”

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Al Ahli Travel & Tourist Agency rebrands as Al Zora Travel & Holidays

Al Ahli Travel and Tourist Agency rebranded itself as Al Zora Travel and Holidays. It is one of the most prominent travel agencies in Dubai for the past 42 years. Chief Guest for the event was HE Sultan Al Nuaimi Chairman Al Nuaimi Group. Speaking at the opening General Manager Joy Thomas stated that for the past 42 years they have been engaged in retail and corporate business providing specialised tailor-made packages for elite clientele on inbound and outbound holidays. Now, with the new branding, they hope to venture into holidays as Expo 2020, will provide the opportunity to further boost its business.

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Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup tournament arrives in Antalya

Turkish Airlines brought in the much-anticipated Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup tournament for the seventh time on November 4–5, 2019 to Antalya. They offered corporate teams exceptional networking opportunities, tournament entrants receive first-class Turkish Airlines hospitality and golf at the finest golf courses around the world. Over eight thousand players from around the world, all VIPs invited by Turkish Airlines, have competed in more than 100 tournaments across the globe with the winners securing places in the Grand Finals in Antalya. This year the competition has been played out in 101 destinations across 70 countries. M. İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines said, “The Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup is an event that we are very proud of and it continues to grow and improve year on year. We are delighted to have held this event, which has already become a key date in all golfers’ diaries, in Antalya.” This year Turkish Airlines moved to its new home at Istanbul Airport, a state-of-the-art structure from which the global carrier will continue on its path of expansion. The Star Alliance member airline currently operates to 316 destinations across 126 countries, and from its hub at the center of global aviation, Turkish Airlines allows its valued guests to explore more of the world, as well as Turkey’s impressive golf courses.

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Ramada Hotel & Suites Dubai JBR bags Best Family-Friendly Hotel award

Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Dubai JBR was named as the Best Family-Friendly Hotel at Arabian Travel Awards 2019. It is the property’s first accolade since its launch in September this year. Located at one of Dubai’s most popular tourist destinations, the hotel features 188 spacious rooms and apartments which are ideal for families who are on holidays or staycation. Binu Varghese, Hotel Manager, Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Dubai JBR, commented, “Our team is honoured to receive its first award and we thank the organiser, DDP, for picking us amongst the other family-friendly hotels in the UAE. We will continue to create reasonably-priced packages for families, and deliver top-notch standards of services to ensure that our guests, especially the ones travelling with children, will have a convenient and comfortable stay.”

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Abu Dhabi shines as a premium tourism destination at WTM 2019

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has unveiled the exhibit that showcases Abu Dhabi’s best offerings to visitors at World Travel Market (WTM) participation in London. The show saw a hive of activity that took place on the DCT Abu Dhabi stand, including a visit from His Excellency Mansoor Abulhoul, UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, as well as numerous stakeholder meetings occurring throughout the day. In the evening, DCT Abu Dhabi representatives and a number of stakeholders attended the inaugural UAE Ambassadors dinner at the Bulgari Hotel London, to forge closer relationship amongst the emirates. The annual DCT Abu Dhabi on-stand breakfast was also held on Tuesday morning, with many trade and media representatives in attendance. The exhibition involves 36 of DCT Abu Dhabi’s key partners, such as Etihad Airways and Experience Hub, showcasing the diverse portfolio of attractions the city has to offer across the culture, entertainment and luxury sectors. Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at DCT Abu Dhabi said, “WTM is a great opportunity for us to promote Abu Dhabi as a premium tourism destination to travel trade stakeholders across the globe.” Abu Dhabi stakeholders participating in the event includes Etihad Airways, Experience Hub, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Qasr Al Watan, Qasr Al Hosn, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Park Hyatt, The Ritz Carlton, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, The Westin Abu Dhabi and Yas Marina Circuit.

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Saudi travellers desire digitally-savvy travel experience: Travelport

Saudi Arabian travellers are leading the global demand for high-tech travel according to the findings of Travelport’s 2019 Global Digital Traveller Research, which surveyed 23,000 people from 20 countries with the following findings; 74% of Saudi Arabian travellers require concierge services such as local maps and restaurants on their smartphones (60% globally); 71% prefer in-room technology such as smart TVs and Bluetooth speakers from accommodation (60% globally); Nearly 74% of Saudi travellers consider it important whether an airline offers a good digital experience when booking a flight; Like global peers, 76% of Saudi Arabian travellers prioritise value over cost (86% globally); Customer service was however highlighted as the top priority to travellers in Saudi Arabia (78%) Technology, however, is not always the answer with two fifths (40%) of Saudi Arabian travellers saying they find, not being able to speak to a human frustrating. This is similar to the feedback from 42% of global respondents. Commenting on the findings of the research, David Gomes, Head of the Middle East and Africa, Air Travel Partners, said, “Saudi Arabian travellers want a digitally-savvy travel experience which is as engaging as the experience provided by best retailers. At Travelport, we will continue to accelerate developments in all these areas, to help the industry keep pace with the rapidly evolving needs of the modern traveller.”

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