Shivani DDPPL

Abu Dhabi tourism and Etihad organise 3D mapping promotions in Jeddah

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi are taking Jeddah residents on an immersive tour of Abu Dhabi across VOX Cinemas using 3D projection mapping. This is the first time this technology is being utilised to promote a destination in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the wider Middle East region.  This month, projection mapping will turn VOX cinemas into a theatrical stage to provide viewers with a simulated first person experience of what it’s like flying with Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi. Tim Burnell, Vice President Marketing, Etihad Airways, said, “Abu Dhabi is a dynamic capital with a wealth of exciting opportunities to offer to every type of traveller. We are delighted that today’s technology can showcase what our airline and capital has to offer, by bringing the experience to them, making them feel like they are actually here.” Viewers will board an Etihad aircraft and walk around the Business Cabin before being transported to world-famous leisure attractions including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and to Warner Bros. At World Abu Dhabi, famous cartoon and comic characters such as Bugs Bunny and Batman will interact with the audience. The journey continues to a mangrove forest, followed by miles of beautiful white sand beaches and a live cooking demonstration, before closing on Abu Dhabi’s rich skyline.

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Tripfez becomes Malaysia’s first Islamic Digital Economy compliant travel firm

Profile - Faeez

Tripfez, a provider of halal travel content to several major OTAs in the Middle East, has marked a major milestone as Malaysia’s first Islamic Digital Economy (IDE) compliant travel firm. The Online Travel Agency (OTA), Asia’s leading provider of Muslim-friendly travel packages, which recently merged with the Middle East’s award-winning holiday booking site, holidayme, is the only company in the travel industry to receive a verification and listing by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). This distinction follows MDEC’s recent introduction of Malaysia’s first IDE Mi’yar as it consolidates its position as the world’s leading Islamic economy and reinforces Tripfez’s reputation as a leading halal travel brand, regionally and in global growth markets including the Middle East. To be listed as IDE compliant, companies are required to comply with the Shariah Compliant Startup Mi’yar and Mi’yar for Technology Product & Services, which is validated through a screening process to scrutinise business activities in the digital space, as well as the operational end-to-end processes within the company — from product and services and financial management to capital structure. Shariah advisory firm, the Amanie Group, which specialises in Islamic financial services, conducts the screening process. “IDE compliancy sets Tripfez apart from the competition, providing a clear message to our customers and our investors that we are the leading Muslim travel brand in every respect, from the products and services we offer to the way in which we conduct our business,” said Tripfez Founder & CEO, Faeez Fadhlillah, Asia’s most widely-known and influential entrepreneur in the halal tourism arena. “A robust Islamic Digital Economy provides Malaysia with a distinct competitive advantage and Tripfez is proud to be leading the way in the field of …

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DTCM launches sponsorship scheme for leisure events

New events sponsorship scheme launched

Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) launched a new sponsorship scheme to drive continued innovation and sustainability across Dubai’s events industry. Reaffirming Dubai’s position as a global events hub, the scheme is designed to further empower leisure event organisers with additional incentivisation opportunities in the form of event sponsorship. The new process will build on the growth and competitiveness of the city’s event sector, which recorded an increase of over 100,000 ticket sales and 25 additional events in the first quarter of 2019 when compared to the same period last year. Continuing to effectively showcase Dubai’s proposition as a host city for international events from around the world, the scheme will target entertainment events and will be applicable for events that are ticketed and open to the public, with an eligible leisure event permit. With state-of-the-art venues across the city, Dubai is well placed to compete on the global stage to host international events, as it continues to grow its reputation as a world leading leisure and entertainment destination. The scheme will work in conjunction with the department’s ticketing and permits services to streamline management and coordination of event licensing activities and provide greater operational efficiency. His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said, “The sponsorship scheme forms part of our commitment to retain the city’s status as a leading global event destination and has been designed to build on this momentum and act as a catalyst for the local events industry.” The sponsorship scheme, which will directly support leisure event organisers, will take effect for events being held from May 1, 2019 through an online application process. Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, …

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DXB and DWC ready for 45-day runway closure

dubaiairports

Dubai Airports confirmed operations teams at both airports are ‘good to go’ for the commencement of the 45-day long refurbishment of the southern runway at Dubai International (DXB). The runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires a complete upgrade to accommodate future traffic growth. “Planning and preparations have been underway for almost two years in close coordination with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines, dnata, the regulator and a host of other service partners to make sure this massive project goes off without a hitch. We’re confident we are fully prepared and good to go for April 16. We are encouraging passengers to confirm their airport of departure before they set out to take their flights but otherwise they can expect smooth operations and great service ,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports. The main visible difference for passengers will be a potential change in airports, although scheduling experts have optimised DXB’s one runway operation to the point where there will be only a 29% reduction in the number of available seats. Thanks to the additional capacity provided by DWC, the number of flights across the Dubai Airport system will see a reduction of just 19% and a seat reduction of just 20%. Many customers will get to experience the speed and convenience of Dubai’s second airport Dubai World Central (DWC) for the first time during the closure as it takes on additional traffic from affected scheduled, charter, cargo and general aviation operations. DWC will handle an average of 145 passenger flights per day operated during the period by airlines including flydubai, Wizz Air, Aeroflot, Indigo, SpiceJet, Gulf Air, Ukraine International Airlines, Ural Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways …

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Emirates deploys fully-enclosed First Class private suites in the GCC

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

In a move to offer a range of experiences and greater choice for its customers travelling for business and leisure, Emirates will be operating its latest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft fitted with the ‘Game Changer’ First Class suites from Dubai to Riyadh starting from April 16, 2019 and Kuwait starting from June 1, 2019. Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Gulf, Middle East & Iran said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will be the first countries in the Middle East and GCC to be served by the latest Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft featuring fully-enclosed private suites inspired by luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz. Deploying the newest Boeing 777 to both Riyadh and Kuwait will cater to the significant premium demand we see on these routes, and is in line with our commitment to provide our customers across all classes with outstanding service and industry-leading onboard products for a better flying experience. The unique First Class suites onboard the Boeing 777 will offer our premium passengers unparalleled privacy, comfort and luxury, with experiences tailored to their individual needs.” Travellers to/from Saudi Arabia can experience the new Boeing 777 product on flight EK 819 departing Dubai at 06:55hrs, arriving in Riyadh at 07:50hrs. The return flight EK 820 leaves Riyadh at 09:35hrs, arriving in Dubai at 12:30hrs. The new Boeing 777 aircraft will begin operating the route five times a week, and from June 1, 2019 will begin flying on a daily basis. Emirates will be expanding its premium Boeing 777 experience to/from Kuwait on EK 855, which departs Dubai at 07:45hrs, arriving in Kuwait at 08:25hrs. The return flight EK 856 leaves Kuwait at 09:50hrs, arriving in Dubai at 12:40hrs. …

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Dubai ranks first in Middle East and ninth in world’s top maritime capitals in 2019

Dubai Maritime image 2

Dubai has moved up in the ranking of the world’s top 10 maritime capitals in 2019, the latest in its string of achievements that has made the emirate a globally competitive maritime hub. The emirate took the 9th spot this year, up from its 10th rank in 2017, according to a recent report issued by Menon Economics and DNV GL, the global organization that specializes in benchmarking top maritime capitals of the world. The report surveyed 200 experts and high-profile officials from leading maritime companies worldwide. Around 40 per cent of the experts were from Europe, 30 per cent from Asia, and 30 per cent from the US, Middle East, and Africa. H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World; Chairman of Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation and Chairman of DMCA, said, “We are delighted to achieve this new global achievement that demonstrates the progress of the maritime sector in Dubai led with a leadership vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, and his support to the industry and keen efforts to enable our teams to achieve better results in all areas related to the maritime sector. I would also like to thank the DMCA team for its work and dedication to ensure improved local maritime services at all levels.”    

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Marriott International opens its 7000th property

St.-Regis-Hong-Kong-Exterior-Evening

Marriott International celebrated the opening of its 7,000th property – The St. Regis Hong Kong. The stunning, 27-storey luxury hotel, which features butler service, and multiple restaurants, is emblematic of Marriott’s global expansion strategy which disproportionately focuses on the highest lodging tiers as well as fast-growing international markets such as Hong Kong. The company’s first property, the Twin Bridges Marriott, opened in 1957 and was a four-storey motor hotel in Arlington, Virginia. “It’s thrilling to open our 7,000th property, an incredible milestone for a company that began as a nine-stool root beer stand in 1927 and didn’t even open its first hotel until decades later,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. “I can’t think of a more fitting property to hold the honour than The St. Regis Hong Kong which underscores the benefits of our merger with Starwood, the importance of luxury and the tremendous opportunity in Asia.” Today, Marriott’s pipeline is growing with an increasing number of legacy-Starwood branded hotels with brands such as St. Regis, Luxury Collection and W. “Our newest luxury hotel – The St. Regis Hong Kong – is a testament to our well-defined global growth strategy,” said Tony Capuano, Marriott’s Executive Vice President and Global Chief Development Officer. “By leveraging our industry-leading luxury brands, including those we gained from the Starwood merger, our robust relationships with multi-unit owners and our expertise in identifying strategic opportunities in global gateway markets such as Hong Kong, we are well positioned to expand our global footprint by 25 per cent in the next three years.” The milestone follows Marriott’s announcement in March that it expects to add more than 1,700 additional hotels by the end …

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Dubai Pass adds 15 more attractions and 48 experiences

Dubai Pass gives more value for the whole family

The Dubai Pass, an all-inclusive, pre-paid pass, created by iVenture Card and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) is offering users access to 15 more attractions, with 48 experiences now available to choose from through the upgraded pass. With a competitive starting price of AED 425 (US$116) for adults and AED 405 (US$110) for children, the newly re-launched pass offers great value on entrance to a number of the city’s high-profile attractions, tours and experiences enabling visitors to enjoy the best of Dubai for less. With the ultimate attractions pass, visitors to the city can now choose from 48 of Dubai’s leading experiences. Combining the best of the emirate’s sightseeing, theme parks, cruises, adventure and cultural experiences into a pre-paid pass, users can save up to 60 per cent overall on Dubai’s leading leisure spots. Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said, “Dubai Pass has been enhanced to provide visitors with ease of access to a variety of the city’s tourist attractions through offering a range of experiences at great value for both families and independent travellers.” Dubai Pass offers three bespoke packages that allow users to discover Dubai’s diverse destination offering with special pricing packages for both adults and children. With options to purchase the Dubai Select, Dubai Flexi or Dubai Unlimited Pass, users are invited to explore the best of the city with more flexibility and at better value. Additionally, with the purchase of every Dubai Pass, visitors can also enjoy a 50% discount on tickets to one of the city’s leading shows, La Perle by Dragone, by simply presenting their Dubai Pass upon purchase of the tickets.

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IHG signs two franchise agreements for Holiday Inn hotels in Saudi Arabia

Kenneth Macpherson and Sami Al Hokair

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) signed two franchise agreements including Holiday Inn Madinah King Abdulaziz Road with Loulouat Al Madinah Hospitality and Holiday Inn Jeddah Al Hamra with Al Hokair Group. The agreements were signed and announced at Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) 2019 in Ras Al Khaimah. The signings consolidate IHG’s strategy to expand its footprint across the kingdom, with its midscale offerings. Holiday Inn Jeddah Al Hamra will feature 253 rooms and a host of facilities for business and leisure travellers including three food and beverage outlets, six meeting rooms, and a business centre. In addition, guests will be able to take advantage of recreational facilities such as the outdoor pool, a gymnasium and a spa. Due to open in 2020, Holiday Inn Madinah King Abdulaziz Road will be strategically located near Al Haramain Railway Train Station and other major transport hubs. The 180-key hotel will feature 2,000 sqm of banqueting space for events and conventions, a business centre as well as a gym and two dining options. Given its location in the Holy City and close proximity to Knowledge Economic City, it is expected to attract both pilgrims and corporate travellers. Commenting on the agreement, Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, said, “We are excited to leverage our experience of this market to bring more hospitality options to a broad range of travellers.” Omar Samara, CEO, Al Hokair Group, added, “IHG understands the market and has demonstrated its credentials to us as a strong partner. The tourism landscape in Saudi Arabia is changing, in line with Vision 2030, and offers unprecedented opportunities for the hospitality sector.” Sami Al Hokair, Managing Director, Loulouat Al Madinah Hospitality, said, …

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Second Citymax Hotel Al Barsha opens doors

Citymax Al Barsha Blue Room 02

Citymax Hotels officially opened their second Citymax Hotel Al Barsha, the latest property to join the group’s expanding portfolio and the first hotel to effortlessly combine business travel with the charm of a boutique style setting. The opening follows the successful launch of Citymax Hotel Ras Al Khaimah in November 2018, and bumps the Citymax portfolio up to five hotels in operation across the GCC, as well as a sixth Citymax Hotel in Aswan, Egypt. Known for its personality of vibrant simplicity and providing its guests with an unforgettable stay, Citymax Hotel Al Barsha will follow in the same steps, but with an added sense of appeal. This Citymax property is uniquely positioned to cater to business travellers looking for the comforts of a well-known brand, but the exclusivity and warmth of a boutique hotel. Citymax Hotel Al Barsha is set alongside its sister property, Citymax Hotel Al Barsha at The Mall, which is largely popular amongst families and leisure travellers. The hotel boasts 120 spacious rooms, including 24 twin rooms and 96 queen rooms. Each floor of the hotel has only 10 rooms, providing a sense of privacy in the heart of bustling ‘New Dubai’. Each room is larger than average and kitted out with a variety of in-room facilities that meet the specific needs of business travellers; workstations with universal sockets and a media hub with Bluetooth capability for wireless audio streaming to the TV. The property hosts a meeting room, with a capacity of 8-10 delegates. Featuring three unique dining venues, guests are sure to be spoilt for choice. The Stag will be the city’s newest gastro-pub, which is set to launch in the first week of …

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