Shivani DDPPL

Dubai-based Al Kasir Group launches three Crypto assets

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Al Kasir Group launched three Crypto assets backed by certified diamonds. Al Kasir Jewellery and Al Kasir portal, a joint venture under the private office of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Obaid Al Maktoum, announced the launch of the innovative diamond trading model using the blockchain technology for the first time in the world. Speaking at a press conference in Dubai, Dr Lakhanpal said, “Cryptocurrencies with their underlying Blockchain technology are increasingly popular amongst individuals, financial institutions and governments, however many of them view cryptocurrencies as objects of radical speculation and high volatility. Since they are subject to potentially huge price corrections, most cryptocurrencies are practivally a poor store of value and means of barter-like exchange. This gives rise to a need for a more secure alternative.For the first time ever, the world is about to experience a set of three crypto-assets backed by IGI certified real diamonds. Being backed by a real-world asset, these three crypto-assets, Al Mas, Al Haqeek and Al Falah are better capable to store and translate value due to a base measure or gauge around which their value revolves,” he added. “This is also the first time that crypto assets will be available for purchase across the counter as the company aims to open 1000 stores across the world for this in all major markets including South-East Asia, Europe, the UK and the Gulf region,” Dr Lakhanpal further added.  

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First Taj in Saudi Arabia by 2023 with 340 keys

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The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has announced its entry into Makkah, Saudi Arabia, with a partnership with Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company in the prestigious King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) project. Commenting on the signing of this agreement,  Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) said, “We are honoured to partner with Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company in bringing the first Taj hotel to Saudi Arabia. This signing is aligned to our strategy of a strong focus on global growth markets and to be present where our guests travel to. We are committed to expanding our presence in the MENA region.” This hotel will be IHCL’s fourth venture in the MENA region. The company manages Taj Dubai located in the Burj Khalifa downtown area. It will also open another two hotels in Dubai in the next twelve to eighteen months. The proposed hotel is conveniently situated within walking distance of the Grand Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram), the main attraction for over six million pilgrims who visit the city each year. It will also be in close proximity to commercial offices, retail stores and restaurants within KAAR project. The hotel, scheduled to open in January 2023, will have approximately 340 keys, banqueting facilities and several restaurants to serve all tastes.

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DTCM discusses sustainable tourism with stakeholders

DTCM officials and participants of stakeholder focus groups and worksho...

In a first, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has organised a series of workshops, inviting hotels, tourism agencies and environmental organisations to review the progress of the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative. Its aim is to explore ways how sustainability standards can be further enhanced to support effective resource management across various hotel classifications, and to contribute effectively to raising professional awareness towards the environment, the economy, and the use of natural resources. These focus groups are a tangible demonstration of Dubai Tourism’s continuing commitment to work closely with its tourism and hospitality stakeholders to promote sustainable tourism and achieve the goals set out in the Tourism Vision 2020. Connecting 40 leading hotel operators, owners and representatives from hotel establishments, as well as environmental organisations, the event offered an interactive platform to discuss knowledge-sharing to discuss the feasibility and implementation of timelines for 19 new industry sustainability standards developed by DST. Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director, Tourism Development & Investments, Dubai Tourism, said, “Working in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a sustainable environmental destination, the credible and feasible sustainability standards and certification schemes are key tools in the transformation of our tourism industry, working in line with the city’s overall clean energy and sustainable development targets”.

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Emaar launches ‘Address Al Marjan Island and Residences’ project in Ras Al Khaimah

Address Al Marjan Island

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties has announced the launch of Address Al Marjan Island, the company’s first hotel and residences project in Ras Al Khaimah. With panoramic views of the Arabian Sea, the hotel and residences is part of over 2 million square feet mixed-use developments by Emaar in Al Marjan Island. Address Al Marjan Island will be a resort-style development that draws on its exceptional natural location, directly by the Arabian Sea. The hotel will have 249 rooms, including suites, while Address Residences Al Marjan Island will comprise 234 high-end apartments. As part of Views, the largest of the four islands that make up Al Marjan Island, residents will be in close proximity to the ubran core of the master-planned community as well as the town centre. With direct access to over 600 metres of beachfront, residents and guests will have uninterrupted views of the sea in addition to a range of lifestyle amenities. Sheikh Khalid bin Saud Al Qasimi, Chairman, Al Marjan Island, said, “We are honoured to welcome Emaar and its prestigious Address hotel brand to Al Marjan Island, which will further strengthen the appeal of our master-planned development as a preferred hub for visitors and investors from around the world. Emaar’s proven strengths in mixed-use developments will add significant value to Al Marjan Island with the Address hotel to contribute to our emirate’s tourism sector.”

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315-room Pearl Rotana Capital Centre opens as MiCE destination

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Fortifying its pre-eminent position in Abu Dhabi’s thriving tourism and hospitality sector – Rotana inaugurated the Pearl Rotana Hotel at Capital Centre. The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of  Mohammed Bin Juan Al Badie Al Dhaeri, Al Badie Group; Nasser Al Nowais, Chairman, Rotana, top executives from both companies and honourable guests. Pearl Rotana is a modern-designed hotel located in the hub of the city, across from Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), 20 minutes from the airport and in close proximity to all the main attractions. Al Dhaeri, said, “With its solid business growth and strong portfolio, Rotana has established its name as the bellwether of the region’s hospitality industry and it gives us immense pleasure to partner with the company. This partnership will benefit our shareholders and the local economy and strengthen our position in the domestic and international markets. We look forward to further collaboration with Rotana in the future to achieve our shared vision of contributing to the sustainable growth of the UAE while thriving in our business.”

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Travelport reveals fastest-growing international destinations for KSA travellers

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Egypt, UAE and Turkey have seen the greatest growth in flight bookings from travellers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in the last 12 months, according to analysis conducted by Travelport. Fastest-growing international destinations for KSA travellers booked through global distribution systems. This data is derived from Travelport’s interpretation of relevant MIDT data. It reflects bookings made in the KSA through GDS only. Additional booking will have been made directly with airlines, which may or may not also have a GDS presence. From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, bookings made in the KSA through all global distribution systems (GDS) to Egypt increased by nearly 190,000, up 17% on the previous 12 months. Bookings to the UAE rose by over 70,000, up 13%, and to Turkey by just over 65,000, up 31%.  Global distribution systems (GDS) are vast hi-tech reservation networks that allow travel agents, travel management companies, and large corporations, among others, to search and book airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel-related items. Matthew Powell, Travelport’s Managing Director  for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, said, “Growth in flight bookings tends to be driven by increased airline capacity, rises in demand from leisure trave”llers, economic and political advances, which attract more interest in trade and investment, and major construction projects that require large international labour forces. The results we’re seeing here cut across all of these.”

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Over 40,000 attendees expected at 25th Arabian Travel Market in Dubai

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Celebrating its 25th year, the Arabian Travel Market press conference has kicked off amidst a crowd of local and international media at the Address Boulevard Dubai . Simon Press, Director Reed Exhibitions for ATM and WTM stated that this year they expect over 40,000 visitors and 2,500 exhibitors from over 100 countries at the event. Issam Kaim, CEO, DTCM reiterated their efforts to attract more travellers to the destination by various programmes implemented with their partners and stakeholders to enable 20 million visitors by 2020 and beyond. The latest news shared from DTCM and Emirates was the plan to introduce a transit visa package to those who travel to different destinations via Dubai. Olivier Harnisch, CEO, Emaar Hospitality Group shared the latest trends seen in the region and the introduction of a unique brand aimed at the millennials who would spend less time in the hotel room but more time on other activities of entertainment and leisure. This supports the overall vision of Dubai tourism to further go ahead with their 2020 strategy to attract the type of clientele they seek.

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Queen Elizabeth 2 opens as a floating hotel in Dubai

QE2_Couple balcony_High Res_preview Queen Elizabeth

The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) will open its doors to the public on April 18, 2018 following highly anticipated international interest. PCFC Hotels, part of the Dubai government’s Ports, Customs and Free Zones Corporation, has reinvented the legendary vessel as the latest tourism destination, in a city renowned for its world-class attractions. The world-famous cruise liner, which has a history spanning five decades, is now docked permanently at Mina Rashid, where her dining, accommodation and entertainment attractions will be unveiled. In this first phase, she will be welcoming passengers on board to experience a selection of beautifully restored rooms and suites in the adjacent QE2 Heritage Exhibition. Hamza Mustafa, CEO, PCFC Hotels commented, “To finally open the QE2 is a dream come true for my team. It is one of Dubai’s most highly anticipated projects and we know that a lot of people are going to be very excited to see her for the first time, or to step back on board the vessel that created so many wonderful memories during her 40 years at sea. We are thankful to our Chairman, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem whose vision and determination to give her a second life has come to fruition.” The 13-deck hotel has been thoughtfully restored to her former glory – maintaining her most loved interior design features – including her period furniture, renowned paintings and famous memorabilia.

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Sharjah tourism to attract Kazakh tourists through KITF 2018

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

In line with its efforts to promote Sharjah’s tourism and hospitality offerings among Kazakh tourists, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) will lead a high-level delegation from the emirate of Sharjah at the Kazakhstan International Tourism and Travel Fair (KITF 2018). The event is scheduled to be held in the Kazakh city of Almaty from April 18 to 20 at the Almaty International Exhibition Centre. SCTDA’s participation will thus facilitate the achievement of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, which aims to attract 10 million visitors to the emirate by 2021. HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, emphasised on the importance of the authority’s participation in the Kazakhstan International Tourism and Travel Fair, as it reflects the commitment of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to make the emirate the ideal family destination. He added that the participation coincides with the recent decision to exempt Kazakh tourists from pre-entry visa requirements to enter the UAE. Al Midfa commented, “SCTDA’s marketing plans are designed to meet the current and the future requirements of the emirate’s tourism and commercial sectors. Our participation in KITF 2018 highlights Sharjah’s unique tourist attractions that make it one of the best tourist destinations that cater to tourists seeking to explore heritage, science, culture and the arts.”

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Travelport technology to power Eihab Travels’ booking system

Eihab Travel Signing

Travelport has announced a new long-term technology partnership via its distributor in Oman, with Eihab Travels. Eihab Travels will use Travelport’s industry leading point of sale solution, Travelport Smartpoint, to provide corporate as well as leisure travel services to major multinational corporations, prominent Middle East firms and individuals. Aided by Travelport’s support, the company’s consultants will benefit from intelligent, fast and accurate search of high quality content from over 400 airlines, 650,000 hotel properties and 35,000 car rental locations. With over 250 airlines signed up to use Travelport’s unique merchandising technology, the company is able to display, gain powerful information around, and sell branded fare families and ancillary products (such as paid seat assignments, baggage fees, priority boarding, etc.) from these airlines. Having recently become the first global distribution system (GDS) to be certified by IATA as a “Level 3” Aggregator under its New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiative, Travelport will soon further benefit the company by creating NDC connections with airlines as they become available.

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