Shivani DDPPL

DXB launches high-tech system to monitor operations in real-time

Upping the ante on enhancing the customer experience at Dubai International (DXB), operator Dubai Airports has launched a high-tech system that monitors airport operations in real-time and visualises traffic flows to support consistently smooth operations at the world’s busiest airport. realtimeDXB, a bespoke cloud-based platform, gathers data generated by more than 50 operational systems, including those of Dubai Airports and its many service partners. It uses this information to keep all operational teams involved aware of not only the current scenarios but also developing situations anywhere from airfield to kerbside to anticipate challenges more accurately, facilitate greater collaboration between service partners, and quick decision-making. “As a system that makes key operational information visible in real-time to all service partners involved in the day-to-day running of the airport, realtimeDXB is a major step forward in our journey to develop common situational awareness. This system will be instrumental in the implementation of new concepts of airport operations such as Airport Collaborative Decision Making (ACDM) and Total Airport Management,” said Damian Ellacott, Vice President of the Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC), at Dubai Airports. “By increasing the flow of traffic, realtimeDXB system essentially adds capacity to a hub that’s located in the middle of the city and does not have the luxury to keep expanding its physical infrastructure,” said Lloyd Gozzett, Vice President of Customer Success at Dubai Airports. The use of real-time information and advanced smart gates is already helping enhance customer experience at DXB. In Q1 of 2019, the airport reduced customer wait-times by 30 per cent as a direct result of these systems.

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Fly Emirates to Dubai and enjoy exclusive hotel rates across the UAE

Emirates has partnered with world-renowned hotel providers to offer its passengers travelling to and through Dubai attractive summer rates in some of the UAE’s most prestigious hotels. Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket and travel from now until September 30, 2019 can enjoy exclusive summer hotel rates in any of the properties within Accor, Armani Hotel Dubai, Emaar Hospitality Group and Marriot during their stay in the UAE. Visitors can take advantage of up to 30 per cent off on best available rates provided by Accor. Armani Hotel Dubai is offering Emirates passengers up to 35 per cent off on best available rates. Marriott is offering Emirates passengers up to 25 per cent off on selected best available rates at any of its properties across the UAE. Emaar Hospitality Group – which is home to brands including the Address Hotels and Resorts, Vida Hotels and Resorts and Rove Hotels, is offering Emirates customers up to 35 per cent off on best available rates. Customers who book in Address Downtown, Address Boulevard, Address Dubai Mall or Palace Downtown can also have complimentary access to Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Zoo and VR Park.  

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IHG signs world’s largest voco with Maad International in Saudi Arabia

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is continuing to expand its footprint across Saudi Arabia with the signing of voco Makkah in partnership with Maad International, among the Kingdom’s largest hospitality real estate development companies. The property will be the largest voco in the world, when operational in early 2020, and it will cater to the growing number of religious tourists in KSA. The 4,200-room hotel will take IHG’s portfolio in the country to over 19,500 rooms, solidifying IHG’s position as one of the largest hospitality players in Saudi Arabia. voco Makkah will occupy a premium location within the greater Maad Hospitality Towers Development, a mega mixed-used development that includes restaurants, lounge areas, event halls and separate male and female prayer halls. Situated in one of the most sought-after locations in the Holy City, the new hotel is within walking distance of Masjid Al Haram, and it will provide an ideal base for pilgrims along with an exceptional guest experience including over 20,000 sqm of dining and meeting facilities. Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, said, “We are honoured to enter into this agreement with Maad International, which is one of the most renowned hospitality development companies in the Kingdom. We look forward to catering to the influx of pilgrims at voco Makkah, which will provide a welcoming, comfortable and a reliably different experience during the Hajj and Umrah seasons.”

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Dubai Business Events secures 118 bid wins in first half of 2019

Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, has recorded exceptional results during the first half of 2019, securing 118 successful bid wins for events to be hosted in Dubai over the coming years. These events won in H1 2019, including conferences, meetings and incentives, are set to attract 75,288 delegates from around the globe to Dubai over the coming years, representing growth of 17 per cent on the delegate impact of bid wins from the same period in 2018. Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said, ‘’Dubai continues to consolidate its position as a leading destination for global travel and business events, and the recent bid wins are a testimony to the strides we have made as a city to attract and host large scale business events.’’ During H1, Dubai won a variety of key business events across multiple sectors and industries, including: the Amway China Leadership Seminar 2020, which is expected to attract 8,000 delegates, Sun Hope International Incentive 2020, with 1,500 delegates, World Hospital Congress 2021, with 1,100 delegates, Geospatial Week 2021, with 750 delegates, and AIPPI World Intellectual Property Congress 2025, with 3,000 delegates. Dubai Business Events also built on its efforts to engage with meetings industry professionals, both in the city and around the world, through a busy calendar of trade shows, roadshows, study missions and other engagements.    

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Second Global Investment in Aviation Summit 2020 from January 27-29

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) announced the launch of the much awaited second edition of the Global Investment in Aviation Summit 2020, which will be held on 27-29 January under the theme “Enabling Global Aviation Growth through Fund Raising and Key Partnerships”. The mega event will bring together more than 200 investors and 1,200 delegates including the world’s top leaders in the aviation sector. It will also see participants from selected government officials, aviation organizations, finance & insurance companies, aviation asset owners, aircraft operators & logistic service providers and legal consultants. The summit presents the most crucial projects and investment opportunities in the international civil aviation sector, which are the perfect window for entrepreneurs and specialists to explore the main opportunities and investment strategies. The aviation sector within the UAE continues to achieve remarkable growth rates in passenger traffic, accompanied by development & growth in infrastructure, technical equipment and quality of services provided. HE Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said, “The aviation industry is one of the cornerstones of the country’s economic development. The national agenda for 2021 aims for UAE to be the world’s first in the quality of the air transport infrastructure, thus enhancing the position that the UAE occupies in this sector. It plays an important role in supporting and sustaining the national economy, and contributes to marketing investment opportunities and directing them towards the best possible way, as well as attracting the most important international companies to the local markets.”  

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Turkish Airlines to codeshare with Kuwait Airways from August 1, 2019

Turkish Airlines and Kuwait Airways announced a new strategic partnership, which saw Kuwait national carrier’s code added to Turkish Airlines flights, and Turkey’s national carrier’s code added to Kuwait Airways flights operated between Kuwait and Istanbul/Sabiha Gokcen Airports. The Bilateral Codeshare Partnership will commence from August 1, 2019. Turkish Airlines and Kuwait Airways’ cooperation is further strengthened by signing the renewed ‘Special Prorate Agreement’ in May 2019. The signing ceremony of this codeshare agreement took place on July 9, 2019 at Turkish Airlines Headquarters in Istanbul, and was attended by Bilal Ekşi, General Manager of Turkish Airlines, and Yousef Al-Jassem Al-Saqer, Chairman of Kuwait Airways, along with respective delegation from both airlines. Turkish Airlines General Manager, Bilal Ekşi, said he is pleased with the new codeshare agreement signed with Kuwait Airways and added that the agreement would not only contribute to the carrier’s existing commercial relations with Kuwait Airways but also offer alternative connections between Turkey and Kuwait for Turkish Airlines passengers. “Istanbul is the natural and historical connection point between Asia and Europe. With its brilliant performance over the last 16 years, Turkish Airlines holds the title of the airline that flies to the highest number of countries in the world with 124 countries. The opening of our new home base, Istanbul Airport will further contribute and create new opportunities for our airline and I firmly believe that this codeshare agreement will support promoting the cultural and commercial relations between Istanbul and Kuwait,” Ekşi added.  

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Air Arabia inaugurates direct flight from Sharjah to Kuala Lumpur

The Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), Air Arabia, inaugurated its direct flight between Kuala Lumpur and Sharjah. The seven-hour flight between the two cities is the first direct flight by a low-cost carrier connecting Malaysia with the UAE and GCC. The inaugural flight landed at KL International Airport at 08:50am local time. Flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays depart Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 03:35 hours local time arriving Sharjah International Airport at 06:50 hours local time. The return flights depart Sharjah International Airport at 14:55 hours local time arriving in Kuala Lumpur at 02:25 hours local time. Flights operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays depart KLIA at 09:55 hours local time arriving at Sharjah International Airport at 13:10 hours local time. The return flights depart Sharjah International Airport at 21:20 hours local time arriving in Kuala Lumpur at 08:50 hours local time. Commenting on the inaugural launch of the route, Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said, “We are delighted to be the first low cost airline to connect Kuala Lumpur with the UAE and GCC. We are confident this new service linking the two cities will further strengthen the trade and tourism ties between both nations.” According to YB Datuk Mohamadin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia, “This year, our target is to have 337,100 tourists from West Asia region, and I believe that the establishment of Air Arabia’s Sharjah-Kuala Lumpur route will certainly help with increasing tourist arrivals from this region. The flight couldn’t have come at a better time as we are also aggressively promoting Malaysia in the run-up to our Visit …

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Dubai’s dnata opens new lounge for unaccompanied minors

dnata has opened a new airport lounge at Dubai International (DXB) to enhance young flyers’ travel experience. The newest dnata facility has been designed and launched exclusively for unaccompanied minors, whose safety, security and comfort are ensured by dnata’s specially trained team at the airport. In 2018 the dnata team assisted 8,000 unaccompanied minors at Dubai International (DXB), 27 per cent more, than five years ago. Located at Terminal 1, the lounge is tastefully decorated in vibrant colours. It is equipped with games and entertainment screens to keep the young guests occupied throughout the day. The lounge is open 24 hours and manned by experienced, multilingual staff. dnata employs over 70 dedicated agents who work closely with airline representatives to ensure unaccompanied minors are in safe hands, reach departure gates on time and receive priority boarding. dnata has seen these services become increasingly popular in the UAE in recent years. Steve Allen, Divisional Senior Vice President, UAE Airport Operations, dnata, said, “We have earned the trust of thousands of parents with our safe and reliable services for unaccompanied minors over the past years. We are delighted to add more value to our offering and further enhance young passengers’ travel experience by opening our new lounge, which has been specifically designed to meet the needs and taste of children of all ages.”

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120-room second Citymax opens in Al Barsha Dubai

In keeping with the mid-market sector UAE’s homegrown brand Citymax launched its second hotel in the Al Barsha area and the fifth across the UAE on June 27, 2019. The opening follows the successful launch of Citymax Hotel Ras Al Khaimah in November 2018, and enhances 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. 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’.  The property hosts a meeting room, with a capacity of 8-10 delegates. One of the most unique features in this property is the special floor dedicated to women travellers who would require a little more privacy, hence the whole floor with 10 rooms are dedicated only for women, catered by women. “The introduction of Citymax Al Barsha is a milestone for both Citymax Hotels and the UAE hospitality sector, as we’re now in a position to offer a niche audience quality accommodation that perfectly suits their business needs, whilst at the same time amplifying the unique warmth of a boutique-style hotel,” says Joanne Williams, General Manager of Citymax Al Barsha.

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Hala China to promote Chinese weddings in UAE; sign MOUs

Building on the success of the first-ever UAE-hosted Chinese group wedding in March 2019, Hala China is collaborating with Shanghai Qianxilu Cultural Communication to bring more Chinese couples to Dubai this year and the year of Expo 2020. The themed tour, named Chinese Style, Chinese Red, Chinese Love Wedding Stepping into Expo 2020, will fly 2020 couples from across China out to Dubai for a similarly romantic knot-tying occasion at Meraas and Dubai Holding destinations. In addition, the two parties plan to jointly design Expo-themed tourist packages for 3,000 Chinese entrepreneurs, 3,000 Chinese families, and 3,000 Chinese children and teens coming to Dubai. Hala China celebrated its first anniversary with the signing of six collaboration agreements that will launch a host of unique activations in Dubai throughout 2019 and 2020. The first agreement seals the deal between Hala China and Shanghai Qianxilu Cultural Communication to jointly create Expo 2020-themed wedding and tourism packages. Next, Hala China is collaborating with the Miss Model of the World International Organisation to organise Dubai Fashion Days and the 32nd Miss Model of the World Grand Final Awarding Ceremony, also set to take place in Dubai. Further agreements with More Trip International Travel Service, Shanghai Qilin International Travel Service and ShenZhen JI-Tour International Travel Service aim to bring more Chinese tourists to Dubai. The sixth agreement was signed with Chengdu World Culture Communication and aims to strengthen the collaboration between Sichuan and Dubai in various sectors. Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Hala China, said, “The UAE-China relationship continues to develop apace. Today, more than ever, we share a bond that is multifaceted, always evolving, always open to new endeavours …

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