Shivani DDPPL

Dubai Airports launches brand ‘DXB’ to transform airport experience

DXB Brand Launch 3

Dubai Airports has unveiled a new brand for Dubai International (DXB) that signifies Dubai Airports’ transition from airport operator to a consumer-led company to elevate the airport customer experience. The brand launch event was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports; Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Airports, as well as VVIPs of Dubai’s aviation industry, senior management of DXB, key industry stakeholders and global media. The new brand embodies the unique values of Dubai, demonstrating unmatched hospitality, a culture of imagination, openness to new ideas and a mesmerising mosaic of exciting and inspiring experiences. It will transform DXB into a destination in itself by creating exciting, immersive virtual experiences that bring iconic Dubai landmarks into the airport as well as an array of music, art, dance and even fashion exhibitions that showcase local culture and celebrate diversity. DXB will also feature zones throughout the airport’s concourses that cluster together retail, F&B and themed attractions to cater to DXB’s diverse customer base. Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Airports, said, “We are proud to launch the new DXB brand to reflect the fresh direction and truly transform DXB into the airport of the future, one that is led by a more customer-centric approach, that incorporates the hospitality, excitement, warmth and true spirit of Dubai. The new brand represents the ways in which we connect the world, not only by physically facilitating access to over 220 destinations around the world but also by transporting our customers through their experience of different cultures, food, music …

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Ras Al Khaimah attracts over one million tourists in 2018

Haitham(2)

Exceeding its target of attracting 1 million visitors by 2018, Ras Al Khaimah reported 1,072,066 visitors from domestic and key international markets during the year. Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) reported a 10 per cent growth in visitors compared to 2017, led by the UAE domestic market which continues to generate 38 per cent of overall visitors. Germany continues to be the leading international source market with 83,605 visitors, followed by Russia, with 83,531 visitors – up by a significant 17 per cent on 2017. The third largest source market was the UK, with 63,054 visitors, up 11.5 per cent; India was fourth with 62,325 visitors, up 22 per cent; rounding out the top five was Kazakhstan with 27,168 visitors, a growth of 28 per cent. One of Ras Al Khaimah’s key milestones in 2018 was the launch of Jebel Jais Flight – the world’s longest zipline, which has welcomed over 25,000 flyers since opening 12 months ago. This put Ras Al Khaimah on the map, breaking the world record and strengthening the emirate’s credentials as the fastest growing adventure tourism destination in the region. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “2018 has been another remarkable year for the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in terms of achievements and milestones accomplished, primarily exceeding our target of 1 million visitors. With the current robust visitor demand, solid regional and international partnerships in place and iconic product launches over the past few years, Ras Al Khaimah is on a mission to further assert its position as the fastest growing tourism destination in the region, whilst promoting our emirate’s breadth of offerings to regional and international target markets”. Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority …

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Amadeus launches new distributor in Bahrain

Antoine Medawar, SVP Retail Middle East and Africa

Amadeus has announced that it will be repositioning its offerings in Bahrain by transitioning its local customers to a new distributor entity under the name of Amadeus Bahrain. The new company will be the exclusive distributor of Amadeus solutions throughout the Kingdom, providing local airlines, airports, hotels, travel agencies, and other travel players with access to the full breadth of Amadeus technology. Travel companies in Bahrain had previously worked directly with Amadeus Gulf, a regional joint venture that continues overseeing the company’s operations in the UAE and Oman. The new Amadeus Bahrain entity will be headed by longtime industry veteran and Bahrain resident Daniel Naoumovitch, who joins in the capacity of Managing Director. Additional Amadeus support staff will transfer to the new entity, with all Amadeus contracts in Bahrain remaining unchanged and assigned to the new entity, ensuring a seamless transition of operations. Antoine Medawar, Senior Vice President—Retail, Middle East and Africa said, “We are fully committed to the high standards of service and support that Amadeus is known for, and believe this move will enable us to enhance those offerings in the future.” Bahrain’s tourism industry is booming as the Kingdom expects to welcome 15 million annual visitors by 2020 – equivalent to roughly nine times the Kingdom’s population. The sector also accounts for approximately 9.7 per cent of the country’s GDP, with tourism revenues projected to top $1 billion by 2020, according to recent figures from the Bahrain Economic Development Board. Daniel Naoumovitch, Managing Director, Amadeus Bahrain added, “I am thrilled to be part of the Amadeus family and the new organisation being established in Bahrain. We look forward to energising Bahrain’s rapidly expanding travel industry by capitalising on …

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Emirates connects Phnom Penh and Bangkok on Dubai daily service from June 1

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Emirates will link Phnom Penh and Bangkok with its new daily service set to launch on June 1, 2019. The service from Dubai to Phnom Penh, via Bangkok, will provide passengers travelling between the capital cities of Cambodia and Thailand with more flight options. The new service will be operated with an Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft. Flights to Phnom Penh will depart daily from Dubai International Airport at 08:45 hrs local time and arrive in Bangkok at 18:15 hrs. The same flight will then depart Bangkok at 20:00 hrs and arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport at 21: 25 hrs. On the return segment, flight EK371 will depart Phnom Penh at 23:20 hrs and will arrive in Bangkok at 00:40 hrs on the following day. It will then set off to Dubai‎ at 02:25 hrs, arriving at 05:35 hrs. All times are local. Emirates has been serving Cambodia with its flights to Phnom Penh since July 2017, carrying over 100,000 passengers on the route to date. “We are pleased to enhance our services to these popular Southeast Asian destinations and offer more choices for travellers in Cambodia and Thailand. Passengers will not only be linked directly through our daily service but will also have access to a host of domestic and regional routes from the two countries via Emirates’ codeshare partners Bangkok Airways, Jetstar Pacific and Jetstar Asia,” said Adnan Kazim, Divisional Senior Vice President—Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimisation & Aeropolitical Affairs, Emirates. “Emirates has been proudly connecting the UAE to Cambodia since 2017, and we look forward to building on the success of this route with our new link through Bangkok. The service will provide travellers from Cambodia with easy access …

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Emaar unveils world’s highest lounge at Burj Khalifa

The Lounge, Burj Khalifa 3

Emaar has opened doors for the public to the highest point in Burj Khalifa at levels 152, 153 and 154, towering at an imposing height of 575 meters, with the unveiling of The Lounge, Burj Khalifa. Billed to become a must-visit destination to unwind, The Lounge, Burj Khalifa spans the three floors that have been converted into a state-of-the-art lounge that serves a fascinating selection of beverages and canapes for the truly discerning. Featuring an outdoor terrace, there are several lifestyle experiences awaiting visitors including magnificent views of the city while indulging in high tea, sundowner time with cocktails and canapes and an evening cocktail setting when guests can celebrate with the finest selection of beverages and canapes. Taking the city’s night life to the next level, The Lounge, Burj Khalifa will feature live music daily with international artists and performers. To celebrate the opening month, the performer line-up includes live musicians, pianists, and DJs taking centre stage to regale the guests. The High Tea is priced AED 550 per person, inclusive of a lavish spread of fresh bakes, delicate desserts, finest teas and of a glass of house beverage. The Sundowner and Evening experience are AED 600 per person, inclusive of unlimited gourmet canapes and one house beverage. Level 152, 153 and 154 have distinctive settings – each assuring never-before-seen views of the city. While the former features majlis style coffee tables and lush couches, the latter will have only cocktail tables.

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453-room Millennium Place Marina to open this year

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Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa has announced the addition of Millennium Place to its diversified portfolio of hospitality brands. A modern hotel concept that will cater to the new generation of business and leisure travellers, Millennium Place is slated to open in the first half of 2019 and will stand within the bustling district of Dubai Marina. The hotel features 453-rooms and suites that are designed to deliver a compelling guest experience offering views of the Dubai Marina and the Palm Islands. Its strategic location will allow guests walking access to The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence and nearby metro stations. “The Millennium Place Marina will focus on things that make a difference to our guests’ stay. It could be the in-room entertainment, the pillow, our hotel facilities, food and of course our excellent service. We want our guests to call their room a place of their own when staying at Millennium Place,” said Atef El Eskndarany, the newly appointed Director of Sales and Marketing of the property. Eskndarany will serve as an integral part of the pre-opening team and will be responsible for leading the sales and marketing efforts for the property. He brings almost nineteen years of sales and marketing experience in UAE, Oman and Egypt.  Prior to this role, Eskndarany was the Cluster Director of Sales and Marketing for Radisson Blu Dubai Marina and has participated in the pre-opening phase for six hotels of various international hotel brands such as InterContinental Hotel Group, Movenpick and Radisson Hotel Group.

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RwandAir and Amadeus extend partnership to boost continued growth in Africa and beyond

RWAND AIR AND AMADEUS

RwandAir has announced its expansion through partnership with Amadeus to adopt technology that will allow its customers to benefit from improved efficiency, better experience and increased convenience. This is in line with further boosting Rwanda as a travel destination. Last year Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali was ranked the third most popular destination in Africa to host international conferences. RwandAir was recently named the 10th most-improved airline in the world by Skytrax and has built a reputation for excellent on-time performance. Having previously provided RwandAir with distribution services, Amadeus will now roll out solutions across passenger systems, revenue management, loyalty management, payments, and data and analytics. The extended partnership intends to support RwandAir’s plans of expanding its network and fleet. Yvonne Manzi Makolo, CEO, RwandAir said, “RwandAir is committed to providing an impeccable customer experience that will fuel our continued expansion in the years to come. We look forward to an extended partnership with Amadeus that will provide us with the world-class passenger services solution with an upgrade of our reservations, ticketing, departure control, e-commerce, market intelligence and loyalty systems”. The benefits of using the Amadeus’s Passenger System (Altéa) also extend to Amadeus’ global travel seller network. Maher Koubaa, VP META, Amadeus, said, “Amadeus uses industry insights combined with smart technology to build the technology that empowers airlines, travel agents and their customers alike to streamline processes, boost convenience, build reputation and loyalty, and more. We’re proud that our partnership with RwandAir has grown so that we can continue to contribute to its growth story.”

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Radisson Hotel Group signs portfolio deal for six hotels in Egypt

CAIRO

Radisson Hotel Group has announced the signing of six hotels in Egypt as part of a portfolio deal across a number of its brands. The agreement was signed with existing business partner Zaghloul Holdings, a Cairo-based business conglomerate operating in real estate, contracting, tourism, commercial retail, entertainment and sports investment industries. The six hotels, namely, Radisson Collection Hotel Cairo Heliopolis, Radisson Blu Serviced Apartments Cairo Heliopolis, Radisson Blu Hotel Cairo Golf City, Radisson Hotel New Cairo, Radisson Hotel & Resort Ain Sokhna and Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Makadi Bay, Hurghada will mean Radisson Hotel Group becomes one of the largest international operators in the country. Elie Younes, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Radisson Hotel Group, said, “Egypt has historically been one of the most visited countries in North Africa and we strongly believe in its tourism industry in the long run. These hotels will make a great contribution to the local employment and we thank our partner Zaghloul Holdings for their continued trust and for their contribution towards promoting tourism in the country. We are further pleased to introduce two new brands to Egypt, Radisson Collection, positioned as the premium lifestyle and affordable luxury brand and Radisson as an upscale hotel brand.” Hazem Zaghloul, Owner, Zaghloul Holdings, said, “We have ambitious investment plans for the tourism sector in Egypt. We are confident in the future outlook for the sector with positive forecasts of increased visitor numbers and the significant investment in the tourism infrastructure of Egypt. We are also pleased to strengthen our relationship with Radisson Hotel Group and look forward to continuing our successful relationship.”

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Travelport partners with Qantas to offer NDC connections

travelport and qantas logo

Travelport strengthened its partnership with Qantas on a new agreement that includes a commitment to continued collaboration on the future of distribution. Following the recent announcement of the launch of Qantas Channel on August 1, 2019, which will allow agents to access content sourced from the NDC-enabled Qantas Distribution Platform, Travelport’s Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand, Scott Barber, said, “We are delighted to support Qantas as it develops its new channel and introduces the NDC standard. As the first GDS operator with an NDC booking solution available to a small group of customers, we have proven our capability to deliver this new standard. We are supporting our customers as they prepare for this new distribution era to ensure it provides seamless, integrated travel choice through access to the broadest range of content. I’d like to thank our customers for collaborating with us as we deliver the new Qantas Channel and NDC solutions which make the process of buying and managing travel better for everyone.” Commenting on the airline’s new distribution model, Vanessa Hudson, Chief Customer Officer, Qantas said the airline was pleased to be working with Travelport to make the Qantas Channel available to their agents globally. “The digital environment has changed the way we need to work with our trade partners, and our new technology paired with this new Qantas Channel agreement will support us on the journey to delivering our vision for our mutual customers. We’re excited to continue to innovate with our trade partners and share in the benefits of this new technology.” Travelport recently outlined its 2019 NDC roadmap after the successful onboarding of the first group of travel agencies to receive access to NDC content …

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Etihad Airways to deploy Airbus A380 on daily Abu Dhabi-Seoul route from July 1, 2019

ETIHAD AIRWAYS A380 LOUVRE ABU DHABI FLY-BY LOW RES

Etihad Airways is set to operate Airbus A380 on its daily service linking Abu Dhabi and Seoul, effective July 1, 2019. The South Korean capital’s Incheon Airport now joins London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, New York JFK and Sydney as a destination served by the airline’s award-winning aircraft. Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Since the launch of our services to Seoul Incheon in December 2010, the route has proved tremendously successful and we have welcomed over 1.2 million guests on our flights to and from Korea since then. This reinforces the strong ties between the two countries and the importance Etihad continues to place on the Korean market. The introduction of Airbus A380 will provide guests with the most revolutionary in-flight experience. The Etihad A380 embodies our ‘Choose Well’ brand promise perfectly, offering every type of traveller a flying experience tailored to meet their requirements and to capture their imagination.” Etihad Airways’ 486-seat A380 will provide customers on the route with new in-flight experiences such as The Residence, a luxurious three-room cabin which can accommodate two guests in complete privacy and nine private First Apartments. The double-decker aircraft also boasts 70 Business Studios and 405 Economy Smart Seats. This includes 80 Economy Space seats with a seat pitch of up to 36 inches.

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