Shivani DDPPL

Bali issues statement with regard to recent earthquake; ensures safety of the region

Bali-Temple

Bali Government Tourism office issued a statement with regard to the earthquake which recently triggered with a magnitude of 6.0 struck at the depth of 12 km underground causing tremors that were felt throughout East Java, Bali and Lombok.  It stated that the incident took place in Situbondo, over 120 km away from Bali and tourists are safe in the area and that there was no tsunami threat as an aftermath. A A Gede Yuniartha Putra, SH, MH – Head of Bali tourism office and Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana, Chairman of Bali tourism board issued this joint statement but informed tourists that they can access weather forecast on www.bmkg.go.id or contact BPBD (Regional Disaster Management Agency) on landline +62361251177.

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Italian Embassy opens visa application centre in Bahrain

bahrainpic VFS Italy visa center

The Italian Embassy in Bahrain has opened a new visa application centre in Manama in partnership with VFS Global. In a joint statement, VFS Global and the Embassy said the new centre will provide greater seamlessness to visa application processing and resident visa applicants in Bahrain need not submit their Schengen visa applications at the Embassy. The visa application centre run by well-trained professionals will provide secure processing of entry permit requirements in a friendly ambience. Applicants can also opt for the comfort and privacy of a premium lounge. Inaugurating the visa application centre, HE Domenico Bellato, Ambassador of Italy to the Kingdom of Bahrain, said, “We are pleased to start a new chapter of cooperation with VFS Global, providing a state-of-the-art service in collecting applications for short-stay visas for travel to Italy and Malta as their main destinations in the Schengen area. We are confident that the new visa application centre will further increase the number of Bahraini citizens and residents in choosing Italy as their destination for tourism and business.” Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO – Middle East, South Asia & China, VFS Global, said, “The Italian mandate to VFS Global follows a 14-year old relationship with the client government and it is our commitment to provide efficient, secure and convenient visa application services to the residents of Bahrain travelling to Italy and/or Malta as their main destinations in the Schengen area.”

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Noor Bank and Jumeirah Group sign strategic partnership deal

John Iossifidis, CEO Noor Bank, and Joe Silva, COO of Jumeriah Group

Noor Bank and Jumeirah Group have announced partnership to launch a suite of premium rewards available to Noor Bank customers. As part of the roll-out, select retail banking clients will receive complimentary Jumeirah Sirius memberships that allow them to enjoy a range of exclusive experiences and privileges across Jumeirah’s extensive portfolio of luxury hotels, residences, resorts and restaurants around the world. The collaboration reinforces the bank’s commitment to introducing unique and innovative propositions, and providing its customers access to a wealth of value-added lifestyle privileges with leading loyalty reward partners. John Iossifidis, Chief Executive Officer, Noor Bank, said, “In line with our efforts to implement value-added services to enhance customer experiences, we are delighted to partner with Jumeirah Group to present this offer to our customers. The collaboration brings tangible benefits to Noor Bank clients as well as Jumeirah outlets across the globe, and will go a long way in establishing Noor Bank as the bank of choice.” Jose Silva, Chief Operating Officer, Jumeirah Group, said, “Partnering with Noor Bank enables Jumeirah to reach a new audience, which is an important step in achieving our Jumeirah Sirius growth goals and is of strategic importance. It represents more than just driving guest behaviour through incentives. It is a way for Jumeirah to build relationships and connect more meaningfully with our loyal guests, and is an opportunity to thank Noor Bank customers for choosing Jumeirah.”

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Majid Al Futtaim opens movie-themed hotel suites in Dubai

VOX Cinema Outdoor Day

Majid Al Futtaim celebrated the opening of Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai, at an event attended by VIPs, media and influencers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The opening of the event took place in the presence of Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, and Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International. Operated by Marriott International, Aloft City Centre Deira is the first hotel in the region to offer movie-themed suites, alongside a VOX Cinemas’ outdoor screen and the Aloft brand’s signature programming. The urban hotel is a lifestyle destination catering to both leisure and business travellers. Aloft City Centre Deira delivers a fresh approach from the traditional hotel landscape with its emphasis on a lively, in-hotel social scene, modern design, innovative music programming and thoughtful technology incorporated to enhance the guest experience. Jalil Mekouar, Chief Executive Officer – Hotels, Majid Al Futtaim – Properties, said, “I’m delighted to announce the official opening of Aloft City Centre Deira, our 13th hotel in the region, to the public. Majid Al Futtaim strives to create and deliver compelling experiences through our unique destinations, and together with Marriott International, we have launched a concept that is an integrated lifestyle development aimed at establishing a new benchmark for experiential travel in Dubai’s hospitality sector, offering more authentic and personalised experiences within one destination.”

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Travelport wins tender for sole distribution supplier to Air India

travelport_logo NEW

Travelport has won a competitive tender process undertaken by Air India for the sole provision of distribution of its domestic flight content. The contract will begin to come into effect from November 2018 and be fully implemented by the end of 2019. The agreement confirms Air India’s continued deployment of Travelport Rich Content and Branding, now used by over 270 airlines. This displays airlines’ graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products. Travelport has seen a rapid expansion in India in recent years following the acquisition of business from the largest online travel agencies like MakeMyTrip, Ibibo, Yatra, EaseMyTrip and ClearTrip as well as working with corporate travel agencies and new entrants to the travel sector such as Paytm. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, said, “Air India is pleased to award this important contract to Travelport. In written submissions and in discussion with their team, the company demonstrated a clear understanding of our needs and displayed impressive technological and financial capability. As we make the switch to Travelport, we hope to be able to deliver even better value for money and a superior distribution to our customers in India and abroad.” Gordon Wilson, President and CEO, Travelport, commented, “Travelport is delighted to have been selected by Air India to provide these services. It is another welcome endorsement of our technology and our services in India. We look forward to implementing the agreement and delivering a world-class service to the airline.”

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RAK to host PATA Annual Summit 2020

Mario-Hardy1

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has announced hosting the PATA Annual Summit from May 15-18, 2020, organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). The four-day event will bring together international thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decision-makers who are professionally engaged with the Asia Pacific region. The summit embraces a global forum for enhancing the sustainable growth, value and quality of tourism and includes a one-day conference, the PATA Annual General Meeting and the PATA Youth Symposium that allows students and young tourism professionals an opportunity to engage with senior industry leaders. As part of the event programme, PATA in partnership with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will also once again organise the UNWTO/PATA Leaders Debate which brings together senior executives from both the public and private sector to address thought-provoking issues currently affecting the industry. Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “Ras Al Khaimah has committed to supporting cultural, natural heritage and environmental preservation across the Emirate, activities which are aligned with PATA’s mission in acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. That is why we are honoured to be working with RAKTDA in bringing together our public and private sector members and partners to discuss the challenges and issues faced by our industry.” Commenting on the announcement, Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “We look forward to hosting the PATA Annual Summit 2020 in Ras Al Khaimah and introducing the destination to key international industry leaders and delegates from the travel and hospitality sector in the Asia Pacific region. Strengthening the Emirate’s MiCE offer by showcasing our world class …

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Abu Dhabi Airports celebrated Customer Service Week

Bryan Thompson Abu Dhabi Airports

Abu Dhabi Airports recently celebrated Customer Service Week from October 1 to 5, in recognition of the crucial role played by its customer services agents in ensuring the highest standards of excellence and customer happiness across Abu Dhabi Airports’ facilities and terminals. Marking the occasion with a number of activities and events, every day of the week, a senior member of Abu Dhabi Airports’ leadership team took on the role of a customer service agent at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), serving passengers and airport visitors alongside fellow employees at the Capital’s airport. The participating executives included the company’s CEO, DCEO, and CCO. The week-long celebration is the result of Abu Dhabi Airports’ commitment to enhancing employee engagement and the National Programme for Happiness and Positivity. In addition to the participation of the senior executive team, all customer service agents across Abu Dhabi Airports’ facilities and terminals received personalised letters of appreciation for their hard work and continued service and dedication to bringing positivity and happiness to travellers across Abu Dhabi. Bryan Thompson, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “At Abu Dhabi Airports we seek to embody the renowned Arabian hospitality, and our focus on customer service this week comes in recognition of the fact that our customer service agents are the face of our business. From the moment travellers arrive, to the moment they depart, our customer service agents work hard to ensure everyone’s needs are met with positivity and happiness.”

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57th ICCA Congress to be held from November 11-14 in Dubai

Issam Kazim

The 57th ICCA Congress is set to take place from Nov 11-14, 2018 at Dubai World Trade Centre under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince, Dubai and Chairman, Executive Council of Dubai. The event will be familiarising delegates with the ICCA “Outside The Box Sessions” by introducing them to curated tours and site visits, showcasing the city’s cultural offerings, ground-breaking innovation and talent development. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said, “The 2018 ICCA Congress is a key event for the global business events community and provides Dubai a platform to showcase itself as a business and knowledge hub. We hope these experiences, which involve some of our key stakeholders and partners across the city, will inspire delegates and allow them to consider future opportunities in the Dubai. They will also complement the strong core educational programme that ICCA has put together for delegates, as well as the networking and social events throughout the congress.” To help delegates build a more cohesive picture of Dubai, delegates can expect to explore the Expo 2020 Dubai site and see first-hand the scale of the global event and how it is set to provide opportunities for meeting industry professionals. The “Outside The Box Sessions” will also see delegates take a tour of the Emirates airline crew training academy and experience the development of skills as well as the importance of aviation to the city’s development. During the tour, delegates will have a first-hand look at the Emirates airline’s safety and emergency evacuation simulators, service training simulators, as well as the A380 cabin service simulator, among many others.

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Abu Dhabi to host World Medical Tourism Congress in 2019

Abu Dhabi tourism image 4x3

DCT Abu Dhabi has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) to host the MTA’s annual World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress for the first time in Abu Dhabi . The event brings together experts and organisations from over 100 countries and attracts more than 10,000 visitors, approximately 200 exhibitors and sponsors and up to 100 hosted VIP buyers. The MoU agreement, signed by HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi and Jonathan Edelheit, CEO, Medical Tourism Association and Chairman & Co-Founder, Global Healthcare Resources, opens a pathway for the two entities to further build a medical tourism proposition for consumer markets in key areas, including Russia, China, India and across the GCC. The agreement also includes the opening of a new MTA office in Abu Dhabi as well as the production of a new Abu Dhabi Destination Guide, which will be used to further promote the destination for the targeted regions. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “This agreement is in line with our mandate to promote Abu Dhabi on the world stage and to support Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030, designed to guide our emirate’s growth and development. The experience and knowledge shared under this MoU will greatly enhance the emirate’s ability to appeal to our intended markets as we look to increase the contribution of medical tourism to the UAE’s economy.” Jonathan Edelheit, Chairman & CEO, Medical Tourism Association, said, “The partnership between the MTA and DCT Abu Dhabi will boost the medical travel industry. It is our goal to establish Abu Dhabi as the most trusted medical tourism destination, initiating joint trade missions into the GCC, China and …

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Falconcity Hotels & Resorts inks deal with Oakwood Worldwide

Falconcity

Falconcity Hotels and Resorts has announced the signing of an agreement with Oakwood Worldwide to operate the hotel and serviced apartments in the SAM Polaris and SAM Vega Pyramids. The signing was announced at the Cityscape Global exhibition in Dubai. The project is Oakwood Worldwide’s first undertaking in the UAE, which reflects Falconcity of Wonders (FCW’s) potential to attract leading players in the global hospitality industry to the UAE. The transaction was advised by Moon Hotel Management and Beaufort Global. The pyramid SAM Vega and the pyramid SAM Polaris form two out of three pyramids in the Pyramids Park and a part of the iconic Wonders of the World project within the magnificent Falconcity of Wonders and feature 1,500 and 290 units respectively. Both pyramids will have branded and furnished hotel and serviced apartments with associated leisure, F&B and retails offerings. Height of SAM Polaris is 94 metres with a total of 1,527 parking slots, while the 57 metres tall SAM Vega offers 490 parking slots. HE Salem Almoosa, Chairman and General Manager, Falconcity of Wonders LLC, said, “Our latest cooperation with Oakwood Worldwide to operate the hotel and serviced apartments in the SAM Polaris and SAM Vega Pyramids forms part of our continuing efforts to sustain global interest in Dubai’s real estate landscape. It also reflects the confidence of international hospitality players in Falconcity of Wonders’ potential to become a major landmark in Dubai and the region as a whole, presenting an extraordinary investment opportunity for investors looking to own remarkable properties in one of the world’s most popular real estate destinations.”

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