Shivani DDPPL

Hala China’s Big C Forum sees Meraas sign MOU with Samanea Group for AED1 billion mall

Hala China image 2

The inaugural Big C Forum witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Dubai-based holding company Meraas and Singapore-based Chinese company Samanea Group that will see the launch of an AED1 billion mall by Q2 2021 near Dubai International City. Six key Chinese manufacturers and businesses also signed the letter of intent. Samanea Group is to develop the 570,000 sq. ft. retail outlet, which will focus on home appliances and furniture from small, medium and big Chinese businesses seeking a foothold in the GCC market. The mall will also hold space for 1,800 parking spaces. The event was attended by His Highness Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, Director General of Dubai Information Department – the special Guest of Honour, who witnessed the hive of bilateral business activity initiated by Hala China. At the event, Her Excellency Tan Li, Acting Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai, said, “In recent years, both China-UAE and China-Dubai relations have developed very fast. Among the Middle East countries, the UAE has conducted the most in-depth and fruitful cooperation with China.  In 2018, China was Dubai’s largest trade partner for the fifth consecutive year, with bilateral trade reaching US$37.9 billion. The ‘Hala China’ programme launched last year, built a platform for the cooperation between China and Dubai in economy, trade, investment, tourism and culture.” The forum provided Chinese companies with a deeper understanding of Dubai’s forward-looking trade policies and infrastructure. Headquartered in Singapore, Samanea Group supports small businesses through hosting them in professional trade centres in key markets that offer marketing, logistics, financial and networking opportunities. The forum gathered more than 600 Chinese investors and entrepreneurs in Dubai, …

Read More »

HotelTonight and Airbnb finalise acquisition

chestertons-airbnb

HotelTonight and Airbnb announced that the acquisition bringing the two companies together has closed. In the first quarter of 2019, the number of room nights booked via HotelTonight increased more than 41 per cent, year-over-year. Airbnb is working to reimagine travel by building an end-to-end travel platform that combines where you stay, what you do, and how you get there, all in one place. HotelTonight is a hotel-booking service focused on making last-minute trips easy and fun, offering travelers seamless, on-demand booking for boutique and independent hotels. Together, HotelTonight and Airbnb will offer guests more choices and make it easier for the world’s best boutique and independent hotels to connect with Airbnb’s global network of guests. The HotelTonight app and website will continue to operate as they do today. Sam Shank, co-founder and CEO, HotelTonight, will lead the boutique hotel category at Airbnb. “When we founded HotelTonight, we sought to reimagine the hotel booking experience to be more simple, fast and fun, and to better connect travellers with the world’s best boutique and independent hotels,” said Shank. “We are delighted to take this vision to new heights as part of Airbnb.” “We want Airbnb to be the place where travellers plan all of their trips, whether they are booking one year or one day in advance,” said Greg Greeley, President of Homes, Airbnb. “The HotelTonight team has a tremendous passion for helping guests and rich industry expertise. We are more than thrilled to have them on board.” The HotelTonight app was designed to delight customers with a truly unique booking experience. The app recently added Daily Drop, a personalised daily deal offering that has been loved by guests and will …

Read More »

IHG inks deal with Bin Faqeeh for Staybridge Suites Manama Al Seef

Pascal Gauvin with Bin Fakih team after the signing

IHG announced the signing of Staybridge Suites Manama Al Seef, marking the debut of the brand in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Expected to open in January 2020, the 128-room extended stay hotel will operate under a management agreement with major developer, Bin Faqeeh Real Estate Investment Company S.P.C. The signing was held with the attendance of H.E. Sheikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, CEO of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) in the headquarters of the Bin Faqeeh Real Estate Investment Company S.P.C. Located in the heart of the capital, Staybridge Suites Manama Al Seef will benefit from proximity to the popular shopping and commercial destination, the Seef District. Guests can also enjoy home-like surroundings and amenities throughout the hotel with a feeling of community including a fully equipped kitchen, spacious suites, large workspaces, complimentary WiFi, a business centre and a fitness centre. Commenting on the signing, H.E. Sheikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, stated, “The development of Staybridge Suites comes in line with BTEA’s strategy which focuses on four pillars, ‘awareness, attraction, access, and accommodation’ in order to attract regional and international visitors, further increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to the national economy.” In a statement on the signing, Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, said, “The tourism industry in Bahrain is gaining momentum with an increase in leisure and business travellers, especially from the GCC countries, that is resulting in a rising demand for long stay accommodation.” Faisal Faqeeh, Chairman of Bin Faqeeh Real Estate Investment Company S.P.C., added, “The fantastic location combined with the unique offering of Staybridge Suites Manama Al Seef, make it the ideal choice for travellers looking for a home …

Read More »

Jannah Dubai Creek and Jannah Ras Al Khor to be unveiled at Arabian Travel Market 2019

Jannah Ras Al Khor

In the run up to Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019, Jannah Hotels & Resorts, the UAE’s leading luxury halal hotel brand, has announced that it is expanding its footprint in the UAE by adding two new properties to its current portfolio. Jannah Dubai Creek, a new four-star upscale hotel in Dubai is scheduled to open its doors to the public in September 2019. The 138-room hotel will feature five food and beverage outlets, a private swimming pool, gym and spa as well as a multitude of innovative features, including a seamless check-in experience, highlighting Jannah’s continued focus on technology. The popular hotel chain is also opening a 57-storey property in Sharjah in 2022.  Located in one of the most exciting areas of the city, world-class amenities at Jannah Ras Al Khor will include a private swimming pool, state-of-the-art health club, children’s play area, cafes and restaurants. These strategic and exciting developments will be showcased at the Jannah stand at ATM 2019, according to Richard Haddad, CEO of Jannah Burj Al Sarab Hotel. “Strategic locations, coupled with Jannah’s unparalleled Arabian hospitality and some very symbiotic partnerships, have helped the brand register phenomenal growth in the past few years. At ATM 2019, we look forward to the opportunity to network with colleagues near and far to build new relationships whilst showcasing the niche hospitality services that have stood us in good stead,” Haddad said. “Be it Sharjah’s growing reputation as a cultural, tourism and leisure centre or the phenomenal growth we have seen in the Dubai Creek area, we are certain that our new properties will be just as successful in attracting discerning business and leisure travellers looking for five-star services, and …

Read More »

Six Indian cities served by SpiceJet will join the Emirates network

Emirates Spice Jet JPG

Emirates and SpiceJet have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter into a reciprocal codeshare agreement, which is set to open new routes and destinations for passengers travelling between India and popular destinations across Africa, America, Europe and the Middle East. Subject to necessary government approvals, the partnership will enable Emirates’ passengers to enjoy seamless connectivity on flights to India, leveraging SpiceJet’s strong domestic presence and adding six new destinations: Amritsar, Jaipur, Pune, Mangalore, Madurai and Calicut — to the nine existing cities in India served by Emirates. This will bolster Emirates’ already-extensive network adding a total of 67 weekly connections between Emirates’ hub in Dubai to these six fast growing destinations in India. This includes increased domestic connectivity from Emirates’ nine Indian gateways to points such as Goa, Hubli, Guwahati, Vishakhapatnam and Tuticorin which would allow for a greater variety of travel options between both Emirates and SpiceJet flights. “Our journey in India has been defined by progressive investment, partnership and growth. We constantly try to improve and provide our customers with greater flexibility and travel choices,” said Adnan Kazim, Divisional Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimisation and Aeropolitical Affairs at Emirates. Passengers travelling from India will have more choice to travel seamlessly with minimum connection times, when flying to destinations in Emirates’ Europe network such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester and Amsterdam. The codeshare agreement will also open up flights for Indian travellers to North and South American destinations such as New York, Washington, Toronto, and Sao Paulo as well as Middle Eastern destinations such as Jeddah, Kuwait and Amman, operated by Emirates.

Read More »

Aldar Properties generates over AED 400 million in sales at Cityscape Abu Dhabi

0206_CanalEdge_6k

Aldar Properties PJSC’s (Aldar’s) latest development, Lea located on the northern shores of Yas Island has sold out during Cityscape Abu Dhabi generating over AED 400 million in sales. Offering land plots starting at AED 990,000 and sizes ranging from 405 sqm – 1,800 sqm, and available for purchase by all nationalities, Lea features 238 residential plots in a prime location adjacent to Aldar’s flagship Yas Acres project. Lea boasts parks, promenades, and waterside walkways. In addition to this, residents benefit from all of the amenities within Yas Acres – parks, swimming pools, play areas,  picnic areas, schools, mosques and the Yas Acres full length nine hole golf course. This most recent sell out follows the successful launch of Alreeman, a land plot masterplan located close to Abu Dhabi Airport, which generated AED 1.6 billion in sales. Commenting, Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Properties, said, “Selling over AED 400 million of real estate is a ringing endorsement of what we do best – understanding what our customers need and then creating the right product to fulfill their requirements. We are off to a flying start this year, and we are seeing really strong demand for land opportunities within well thought out, master planned communities. Generating over AED 2 billion from our two most recent developments – Al Reeman and Lea, shows how market sentiment is moving in a positive direction.” Maan Al Awlaqi, Executive Director – Commercial, Aldar Properties, said, “We are delighted with the response we received for Lea from both investors and homeowners of various nationalities. This is further evidence of the strong demand for land plots, following our launch of Alreeman. This is also our …

Read More »

Over AED 400 million in sales by Aldar at Cityscape Abu Dhabi

Aldar Properties PJSC’s (‘Aldar’s) latest development, Lea located on the northern shores of Yas Island has sold out during Cityscape Abu Dhabi generating over AED 400 million in sales. Offering land plots starting at AED 990,000 and sizes ranging from 405 sqm – 1,800 sqm, and available for purchase by all nationalities, Lea features 238 residential plots in a prime location adjacent to Aldar’s flagship Yas Acres project. Lea boasts parks, promenades, and waterside walkways. In addition to this, residents benefit from all of the amenities within Yas Acres – parks, swimming pools, play areas, picnic areas, schools, mosques and the Yas Acres full length nine hole golf course. This most recent sell out follows the successful launch of Alreeman, a land plot masterplan located close to Abu Dhabi Airport, which generated AED 1.6 billion in sales. Commenting, Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Properties, said, “Selling over AED 400 million of real estate is a ringing endorsement of what we do best – understanding what our customers need and then creating the right product to fulfill their requirements. We are off to a flying start this year, and we are seeing really strong demand for land opportunities within well thought out, master planned communities. Generating over AED 2 billion from our two most recent developments – Al Reeman and Lea, shows how market sentiment is moving in a positive direction.” Maan Al Awlaqi, Executive Director – Commercial, Aldar Properties, said, “We are delighted with the response we received for Lea from both investors and homeowners of various nationalities. This is further evidence of the strong demand for land plots, following our launch of Alreeman. This is also our …

Read More »

Africa’s growing aviation sector sees more potential for new routes to GCC

IATA LOGO

Africa’s vast aviation potential as the continent continues to increase airline frequency to the GCC will be explored at the Inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – co-located with Arabian Travel Market 2019 and taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre on April 30 and May 1. With up to 300 delegates, the forum will include a packed conference programme, panel discussion and airline and industry briefings as well as unlimited one-to-one meetings pre-scheduled for airlines, airports and suppliers – all combined with endless informal opportunities for networking throughout the two days. The potential for the aviation sector in Africa is immense. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects that the African continent will become one of the fastest growing aviation regions within the next 20 years, with an average annual expansion rate of almost 5 per cent. Currently, there are 731 airports and 419 airlines on the African continent, with the aviation sector supporting around 7 million jobs and generating $80 billion in economic activity. In terms of passenger numbers, 47 million passengers departed from Africa’s top five airports, which included Cairo, Addis Ababa and Marrakesh in 2018, according to the latest ANKER report. “Emirates and Saudia were only responsible for 8 million of those passengers, highlighting the potential for new routes throughout the continent and between the Middle East and Africa. Furthermore, IATA reckons if just 12 key Africa countries opened their markets and increased connectivity, an extra 155,000 jobs and US$1.3 billion in annual GDP would be created in those countries,” said Nick Pilbeam, Divisional Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions. The international aviation industry has been monitoring developments in Africa closely, especially since the Single African Air …

Read More »

Turkish Airlines adds Marrakech to its flight network

d9b13098-c366-44ec-9e67-932e43b302b8

Successfully completing its “Great Move” process and transferring all of its passenger operations to its new hub, Istanbul Airport, Turkish Airlines now adds Marrakech, the tourist city of Morocco, to its flight network. As the national flag carrier’s first inaugural flight from its new home, Marrakech became Turkish Airlines’ second destination in Morocco while becoming its 308th destination globally. Started from April 15, Istanbul – Marrakech – Istanbul direct flights will be commenced five days of a week as Turkish Airlines reinforces its title of flying to more international destinations than any other airline. The inaugural flight from Istanbul Airport, landed in Marrakech Menara Airport, was welcomed by the customary water cannon salute in a formal ceremony, and was attended by the executives both from the global carrier and Marrakech Menara Airport, and press members as well. Commenting on this inaugural flight, Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing Officer, Turkish Airlines, stated, “With Istanbul Airport, a new era has begun in global aviation. Our new operation centre offers an important opportunity for us to develop our globally unparalleled flight network performance even further. Thus, we are working on new strategies to capitalise on this opportunity. Marrakech will always hold a special place for us as it is the first destination we added from our new home. We are happy to carry our passengers to this crimson city with our privileged travel experience.” Passengers travelling to Marrakech with the privileged travel experience of Turkish Airlines, will be able to visit various significant locations for cultural tourism while experiencing different activities such as nature and wildlife tours. Istanbul – Marrakech – Istanbul scheduled flight times beginning from April 15, 2019 will include Monday, Wednesday, …

Read More »

Dubai College of Tourism initiates Open Days from April to August 2019

Essa Bin Hadher JPG

The Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), an institution established by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), is holding its annual series of Open Days to raise awareness of its vocational and specialised courses for prospective students. The next DCT Open Day will be held on April 22 at DCT’s new campus located at One Central, in the Dubai World Trade Centre area. The first Open Day of 2019 was held on March 23, kicking off the programme which will offer six further Open Days on Saturdays during the summer months. Dates include April 27, June 22, July 6, July 20, August 3 and August 24, 2019.  Open to both prospective students and their parents, the Open Days will be held between 2-6 pm, giving first-hand insight into the world-class vocational education programme that is offered at DCT across five core disciplines: Retail, Tourism, Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Events. Essa Bin Hadher, General Manager of Dubai College of Tourism, said, “The Open Days at DCT provide an opportunity for prospective students to tour our brand-new campus, learn about the various programmes available, meet the instructors and also talk to current students to get a better understanding of the specialised courses on offer. We are committed to providing the highest quality training packages, delivered within a friendly environment that will also help pave the way for students to find suitable job placements through our network of stakeholders. We hope our Open Days will encourage applications from prospective students who are interested in joining us for the September 2019 intake to continue their education as they pursue a range of qualifications including Certificates, Diplomas and Applied Bachelors Programmes.”

Read More »