Shivani DDPPL

RAKTDA partners with Bear Grylls Survival Academy

RAKTDA x Bear Grylls Surival Academy_Signing Photo_1

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) entered into an agreement with Bear Grylls Survival Academy (BGSA) to establish and operate Ras Al Khaimah’s own Bear Grylls Survival Academy on Jebel Jais, as part of its ongoing drive to attract more adventure seekers from around the world. Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority announced the latest addition to the Emirate’s varied portfolio of adventure tourism products recently. A brainchild of Bear Grylls, the most recognised face of survival and outdoor adventure, the Bear Grylls Survival Academy offers thrill seekers an opportunity to learn extreme survival techniques at 20 locations around the world. The Bear Grylls Survival Academy on Jebel Jais, which is scheduled to open in Q1 2020, will offer participants a wide selection of courses suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. The courses include half-day (5 to 6 hours), 24 and 48-hour courses designed for families and adults; team building activities for corporates; and instructor courses for outdoor enthusiasts, where participants will be exposed to practical and extreme survival techniques necessary to survive some of the toughest terrain in the wilderness. The courses will comprise of a combination of survival and adventure tasks that will conclude in a wilderness expedition designed to put the participants’ new-found skills to the ultimate test. Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “This partnership to establish our upcoming adventure product recognises a sector of our tourism proposition that is fundamental to the growth of Ras Al Khaimah as a global destination.” Paul Gardiner, Managing Director of Bear Grylls Survival Academy, said, “As the UAE’s highest mountain with its …

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Emirates to deploy double daily A380 flights to and from Muscat

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Emirates is gearing up for a big summer in Muscat with the deployment of double daily A380 flights from July 1. The airline will operate the A380 on EK 862/863 and EK864/865 to and from Muscat International Airport (MCT). Muscat will become Emirates’ shortest scheduled A380 flight, flying a distance of 340 kilometres each way. The new A380 services to Muscat demonstrate the airline’s agile approach to fleet deployment and its commitment to providing an enhanced onboard experience for its passengers. Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Centre, said, “The introduction of the A380 services to Muscat means more of our customers will have the opportunity to experience our industry-leading products onboard, and will also enhance choice and travel preferences as they plan their journeys. Oman is an important destination for Emirates, and we will continue to look at ways to grow our operations in the market to best serve our customers. We thank Muscat International Airport and the government authorities for their support in making the A380 double daily operations happen.” Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni, CEO, Oman Airports, said, “From its side, Muscat International Airport has demonstrated its readiness for this extraordinary event, and the arrival of these scheduled flights for this giant aircraft is a gain to prove the large airport capacity to accommodate an aircraft of this size.” The launch of the A380 flights will come exactly one year after the first deployment of a scheduled one-off A380 service that marked 25 years of operations to Oman, and reaffirmed the airport’s infrastructure readiness to handle double-decker operations. The twice daily A380 services will replace EK 862/863 and EK 864/865.

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Emirates headed for busy travel weekend ahead of Eid break

Peak Travel jpg Emirates

Emirates anticipates a busy weekend ahead of the Eid holiday with heavy traveller volumes to and from Dubai. The busiest time for departures in Terminal 3 will be on May 31 with over 80,000 passengers travelling abroad. Customers are reminded to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departure to avoid any delays. Peak travel is expected to continue until June 3, 2019 with over 309,000 Emirates passengers travelling from Dubai during this period of time. With expected traffic congestion around Terminal 3, and road works continuing to cause traffic delays around main airport highways and roads during this time – Emirates urges customers to build in extra time for their journeys to avoid potential delays. Passengers can physically check in at the airport as early as 24 hours before flight departure, and are requested to check in no later than two hours prior to departure, regardless of class of travel. Customers who check in less than 60 minutes prior to their scheduled flight departure will not be accepted for travel. Customers can also check in online on both their desktops and mobile devices from 48 hours to 90 minutes before flight departure. In addition to online check-in services, Emirates also offers convenient car park check-in facilities. Customers can use these to check in and drop off their luggage. Alternatively, customers heading to Emirates Terminal 3 can choose to drop their luggage at one of the 46 dedicated bag drop counters in Economy Class or separate counters in First Class and Business Class from six hours to 90 minutes prior to departure. Families travelling with small children can use dedicated Family counters in Check in Zone …

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Concorde El Salam Cairo launches ballroom for corporate events and weddings


Leading five-star hotel, Concorde El Salam Hotel Cairo which recently participated at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, added a new, classic ballroom to its portfolio in May 2019 for corporate events, weddings and social soirées. The ballroom features the main grand hall, Daleela board room, business centre with high speed internet and two Royal suites, Lina and Eden complete with butler service and reception area. The new Adam Ballroom, which combines traditional Georgian architectural styles with a modern elegance designed by international designer, Tony Dalton, will feature an 11-metre dome complete with an impressive crystal chandelier. Opened this month, the ballroom includes a 620 sq. m. main function room, Daleela board room for executive meetings, a business centre and two landscaped designed outside terraces perfect to unwind and enjoy the lavish coffee breaks on offer. Additionally, Adam Ballroom complex has two luxurious private guest suites and reception area on the first floor. Moteia Ismail, Chairman of Concorde Hotels and Resorts in Egypt, said, “With the capacity to accommodate up to 620 people in a theatre-style layout and 520 people for banquets and receptions, the Adam Ballroom is the perfect venue for everything from executive board meetings to lavish conventions and luxurious weddings.” Boasting 325 guest rooms including suites with free Wi-Fi internet in all rooms and outlets, the hotel features an ‘Executive Floor’ with executive rooms and a private executive lounge which has been specially designed to meet the demands of business travellers, while leisure guests can take advantage of the hotel’s cabana pool side rooms. The hotel offers guests a well-equipped fitness centre offering massage with Thai masseuse, an outdoor heated swimming pool, glass squash court, an equestrian training …

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Ras Al Khaimah hosts Belgian Travel Summit

RAKTDA Belgian Travel Summit - Image 1

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) inaugurated the first edition of the Belgian Travel Summit (BTS) taking place until June 1 in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The four-day summit is the first joint Congress of the Belgian trade unions of travel agencies at a national Belgium level and witnessed the attendance of the Association of Flemish Travel Agencies (VVR) and the French speaking Union Professionnelle des Agences de Voyages (UPAV). The summit is hosting a series of plenary sessions led by industry experts and visionaries focused on four key themes: Sustainability, Education, Digitalisation, and Business Development. Key speakers include Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; Murielle Machiels, Academic Director at Solvay Brussels School; Thierry Geerts, Country Director of Google Belgium and Luxembourg; and Pieter Van Leugenhagen, co-founder of a successful Belgian start-up and International Business Development Lead at Yondr. As part of his keynote speech, Mattar said, “We are delighted to host the first edition of the Belgian Travel Summit as we get to showcase Ras Al Khaimah’s mesmerising coastline, scenic mountains, terracotta deserts, historic forts, and some of the most diverse and enchanting landscapes in the region to key members of the Belgian travel trade industry. Our incredible experiences such as Jebel Jais Flight: The World’s Longest Zipline have already helped put Ras Al Khaimah on the world map. As we look towards our goal of 1.5 million visitors by 2021 and 3 million by 2025, it is essential to personally connect with travel professionals from our source markets to further develop our partnerships with generalist and specialised tour operators and to give travel advisors at travel agencies a real …

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Royal Jordanian offers in-flight entertainment system on Airbus A319 and A320 fleet

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Royal Jordanian (RJ) launched a new, state-of-the-art technology, offering passengers wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system on board the airline’s four Airbus A319 and six A320 aircraft. The new IFE service, which is provided by Bluebox Aviation Systems, is deployed on the Bluebox Wow portable wireless IFE system; this solution provides wireless content streamed to passengers’ personal devices on both Crown and Economy classes. To be able to view a wide range of films, TV programmes, games, airline info and audio, passengers need to download the ‘Sky Connect’ app on their personal devices from Apple Store or Google Play prior to their flight departure. This will enable them to stream IFE content provided by RJ for free on their personal devices (smartphones, laptops and tablets). Also RJ launched a campaign through all its communication channels to encourage customers to download the app and inform them about the requirements needed to enjoy using the new technology. Stefan Pichler, President & CEO, Royal Jordanian, said, “We’re continually enhancing our passenger services across all touch points, and Bluebox Wow enables us to do that by delivering wireless IFE to passengers’ own devices. It is both a cost-effective and a quick way of modernizing the IFE on part of our medium- and short-haul fleet, and with Bluebox’s commitment to continually invest in new capabilities, we know that as the technology advances, so will our ability to deliver even more to our passengers.” “We are delighted that Royal Jordanian has chosen Bluebox Wow,” said Kevin Clark, CEO of Bluebox. “Both the technological innovation and the deployment model of Bluebox Wow make Royal Jordanian and its fleet of A319s and A320s a natural fit for Bluebox Wow, a solution that …

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Dubai College of Tourism announces industry focused training initiatives

Essa Bin Hadher JPG

Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), a vocational education institution established as part of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has underlined its commitment to building a network of world-class tourism professionals with the launch of a series of new training initiatives available for enrolment at the industry focused learning facility. Building on its extensive range of vocational courses, the college has introduced a Summer Tourism Camp that aims to provide children between the ages of 10-13 years old with hands-on experience of working in the industry. With an emphasis on practical learning, the camp will cover a broad range of activities from cooking classes to day trips in Dubai, giving students an opportunity to learn more about the industry and Dubai’s diverse tourism proposition including hospitality, retail, events and the culinary arts. DCT Summer Camp is now open for registration for attendance starting from July 7 to July 18, 2019. Additionally, DCT has announced a series of Summer Short Courses, to be conducted by seasoned industry professionals. These range from the ‘Principles’ series for beginners, with courses in retail, marketing, event management and travel agency operations; to intermediate courses hosted under the ‘Master Classes’ series, which include courses in Digital Marketing, Branding and Experiential Marketing. Adding to the roster of vocational courses available through the college, DCT will also offer students a 30-hour ‘English for Hospitality’ programme, developed to help them learn specialised communication skills needed when dealing with customers or colleagues. Commenting on the new additions to DCT’s vocational training courses, Essa Bin Hadher, General Manager of Dubai College of Tourism, said, “The launch of the new training courses further cements our position as the primary enabler …

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Al Ain International Airport welcomes daily flights to Jeddah during Ramadan

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Abu Dhabi Airports has welcomed new daily flights from Al Ain International Airport (AAN) to King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, designed to facilitate travel to Saudi Arabia for the performance of the Islamic pilgrimage, Umrah, during the holy month of Ramadan. The flights, operated by Etihad Airways, will take place during the last ten days of Ramadan, commencing on May 26 and continuing through to June 4, in line with the most popular time period for performing Umrah. Ahmed Al Shamisi, Acting Chief Operations Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “Ramadan is a blessed time of the year, and we are delighted to be able to support our customer’s performance of Umrah by adding a daily flight to Jeddah from Al Ain International Airport during the last ten days of Ramadan. We are continually working to enhance our services and offerings, and together with Etihad Airways we look forward to sharing the spirit of Ramadan with those travelling for Umrah.” Etihad Airways will operate its daily flights using its Airbus A330. Flights are scheduled to depart from Al Ain International Airport at 13:30 Local Time (LT) and arrive at King Abdulaziz International Airport at 15:20 LT. Returning flights will depart from King Abdulaziz International Airport at 16:20 LT and arrive at Al Ain International Airport at 20:05 LT.

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Middle East carriers’ passenger demand fell 3 per cent in March: IATA


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the global passenger traffic results for March 2019 showing that Middle East carriers’ passenger demand fell 3 per cent in March marking a second consecutive month of declining traffic. This reflects the broader structural changes in the industry which have been taking place in the region. Capacity increased 2.3 per cent, and load factor plunged 4.0 percentage points to 73.8 per cent. According to IATA, the overall global passenger traffic results for March 2019 showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 3.1 per cent, compared to the same month a year ago, which was the slowest pace for any month in nine years. “While traffic growth slowed considerably in March, we do not see the month as a bellwether for the rest of 2019. Nevertheless, the economic backdrop has become somewhat less favourable, with the IMF having recently revised its GDP outlook downward for a fourth time in the past year,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA.

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Amadeus partners with to boost its accommodation content by over 30%

Amadeus new logo

Amadeus signed a landmark hospitality distribution agreement with to integrate its accommodation content into the Amadeus Travel Platform for the first time. Amadeus’ extensive travel seller network will make’s content available to even more travellers worldwide. Every day more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved across 228 countries and territories worldwide via the platform. Thanks to a new partnership between Amadeus and, travel sellers will now be able to access the vast and rich content of the company’s extensive listings. This includes everything from hotels, motels and resorts to homes, apartments and many other unique places to stay provided by through the Amadeus Travel Platform. As a result of this partnership, travel sellers will directly benefit from an increase of 30% in the accommodation options made available by Amadeus. They will be able to access the new content in the coming months through multiple points of sale including Amadeus Selling Platform Connect and, for corporate bookers, through Amadeus Cytric Travel & Expense. Ripsy Bandourian, VP of Partnerships at, said, “We’re constantly on the lookout for strategic collaborations that can enable us to reach even more people around the globe, empowering them to easily discover and book their ideal travel experiences via” Jorge Elliott, EVP of Travel Content Sourcing, Travel Channels, Amadeus, said, “We’re confident that the partnership between Amadeus and will bring a number of benefits to our travel seller community. Amadeus’ technology combined with’s content means that travel sellers can search, book and integrate’s content seamlessly, ensuring the booking process is simple, and trips can easily be customised for travellers.” Peter Waters, EVP, Hotels, Mobility & Insurance, Amadeus, …

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