Shivani DDPPL

Priority Pass exceeds 1,200 milestone


Priority Pass has announced that members can now access more than 1200 lounges, dining and spa experiences globally. The expansion of its offering follows another strong year of growth which has led to Priority Pass now being welcomed at locations in over 500 cities and 143 countries. Priority Pass has added 141 new lounges from June 2017 to June 2018, to cater to increased demand from travelers for a premium experience at airports. Alongside the additions to the traditional lounge portfolio, Priority Pass has introduced 34 new dining, spa and relaxation experiences that can be accessed in the same way as lounges, broadening the choice for Members while at the airport. Priyanka Lakhani, Commercial Director, Middle East, Africa and India at Collinson, the operator of Priority Pass, said: “In the last year we’ve added some exciting choices to the Priority Pass portfolio, increasing the global footprint of the program to more than 1200 experiences around the world. New and exclusive partnerships with lounge, dining and spa providers demonstrate our commitment to providing our Members with more options that cater for their individual needs at airports while also broadening our airport coverage. As the needs of travelers continue to evolve, we’re constantly striving to further improve and develop the Priority Pass offering, providing our Members with access to the very best possible experiences each time they travel.” Priority Pass has seen significant growth around the world with forty-eight new lounges added across Europe, the Middle East and Africa..

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Abu Dhabi Airport to enrich tourist experience through various offers

Abu Dhabi International Airport_3

With its offering of transit visas on arrival, flight updates via social media, efficient and innovative passenger processing systems and an upgraded, stronger Wi-Fi service to ensure great connectivity, Enriching Tourist Experience is at the heart of all initiatives at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) this summer. “Abu Dhabi Airports prioritises passenger safety above all else. We have worked hard to add the element of utmost convenience to this, to ensure that all passengers passing through Abu Dhabi International Airport have a truly world class experience,” said Abdul Majeed Al Khoori, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports.  “We are indebted to the support of all our stakeholders and partners in making this possible and for contributing to our collective success,” he added. In collaboration with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways and the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi, a new transit visa counter has been set up inside AUH to grant both transit and arriving passengers visas to Abu Dhabi within 30 minutes. The new service is located at the Terminal 3 transit area at AUH and facilitates activation of the new four-day or 96-hour transit visa for all nationalities travelling through the airport, and inclusive of all of other types of transit visas available. This is in support of Abu Dhabi’s ongoing efforts to attract more visitors to the capital. With the introduction of the new BizTweet service, incoming and outgoing passengers to AUH can receive real time flight updates to their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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ADNEC, SEHA partner for Abu Dhabi International Boat Show

Adnec image

The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) has announced its partnership with SEHA as Official Healthcare Provider for the inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show (ADIBS) 2018, which will be held from October  17-20 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. SEHA will be present at the show with a fully equipped mobile clinic and a team of medical experts, to provide healthcare for participants and visitors. The four-day event is fully supported by the Abu Dhabi Government, the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism and Abu Dhabi Ports and will contribute to the marine market in the UAE, which is currently worth over USD 61 billion. Alex Nicholl, Show Director of ADIBS said, “It gives us great pleasure to partner with SEHA, in order to provide the healthcare and medical services for both exhibitors and visitors attending the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show in 2018. ADIBS will be “Uniquely Abu Dhabi” – we are creating an environment which uniquely blends luxury yachts and international leisure marine alongside the rich maritime history of the Emirates. Visitors and exhibitors attending the launch Show will be left with no doubt where and why they visited; ADIBS provides an outstanding platform on which to advertise Abu Dhabi to an international audience.” Marwan Al Kaabi, Group Readiness & Business Continuity Director of SEHA said: “We are very pleased to be supporting ADIBS as the Official Healthcare Provider, we place great focus on best health care practices and quality services.”

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Digital transformation key differentiator for modern hoteliers: Sabre report


The digital transformation of the hotel guest experience will be a major competitive advantage for hoteliers in 2018, according to a new report from Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) in cooperation with Altimeter, a leading research firm. The Sabre Hospitality Solutions report found that digital transformation can be challenging for hoteliers and outlines how brands can use it to improve the guest experience. The Digital Transformation of the Hotel Guest Experience goes behind the scenes of the digital transformation initiatives and priorities of top hospitality brands with exclusive executive interviews. Key findings from the new report include, Guest experience transformation is a priority, Digital Darwinism means constant evolution, The Modern Guest Experience Blueprint. The report explores a wide range of areas where hoteliers can improve their digital guest experience strategies and offers data-driven insights and suggestions on how brands can lead the charge in continuing to innovate and meet customer needs. To learn more, download the full report – The Digital Transformation of the Hotel Guest Experience. “Our customers who embrace modernization are having great success, resulting in much higher guest satisfaction,” said Clinton Anderson, president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions. “In order to meet the expectations of today’s tech-savvy consumers, hoteliers must adopt flexible solutions that allow them to further personalize both the guest’s digital and physical experience. This report not only outlines trends we’ve seen in the space, but it also provides step-by-step guidelines for hotels to enhance their technology plans.” “For digital transformation to excel, it must have a purpose. And among the most progressive hoteliers and hospitality brands, that purpose is centered on guest experience,” said Brian Solis, principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, a Prophet company. “Modern …

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Al Masaood Travel optimise business through Amadeus

Al Masaood Travel

Al Masaood Travel has signed a three-year technology partnership with Amadeus Gulf to retain its competitive edge in the Gulf’s travel industry by enhancing the agency’s operational efficiencies and productivity. The agency’s renewed agreement with Amadeus includes a number of digital solutions to create even higher value for its customers. The strategic partnership includes the implementation of Amadeus Ticket Changer, a robust suite of products to apply reissue and refund policies, Amadeus Fare Optimizer for detecting the best available travel fares at any given time, and Amadeus Web Services, allowing the agency to integrate travel-related functionalities into any digital application from a single point of access. Akram Sharaf, General Manager of Al Masaood Travel, said, “Identifying and maximizing opportunities for our customers is our priority. The extension of our partnership with Amadeus reflects this commitment, and will support us as we focus on unsurpassed customer care while expanding into new market segments.” Graham Nichols, Managing Director of Amadeus Gulf, said, “Both travel agencies and their customers want access to simple, easy to use platforms in a digital age. We are pleased to support Al Masaood Travel in delivering on these expectations and creating even more personalized and fulfilling travel experiences in the years ahead.” The agreement comes at a time when Abu Dhabi continues to advance as a regional travel and tourism hub. According to Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, the UAE’s capital has generated over AED 5 billion of revenue generated from hosting 4.8 million visitors in 2017 .

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Turkish Airlines, ZTO Express and PAL Air to launch logistics services company

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Turkish Airlines’ Turkish Cargo has inked a partnership agreement with ZTO and Pal Air . According to the agreement, a new joint venture will be established in Hong Kong which will provide a range of logistic services. The partnership was sealed and signed by Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M İlker Aycı, ZTO Express Chairman Mei Song LAI and PAL Air Ltd. Vice-Chairman Vivian Lau. “Today, I feel privileged to welcome you all for the signing ceremony of a great partnership agreement between the biggest brands of China and Turkey. As Turkish Airlines, ZTO Express and PAL Air Ltd., we are announcing the signing of MoU to build a Joint Venture company to operate as a Global Express/ Courier company mainly focusing on Global E-commerce market with full door to door services. We are now delighted to make this strategic move into Global Express business together with the strong partnership of ZTO, the best and largest Express company from China and our long term cross border forwarding partner PAL Air Ltd. from Hong Kong. The Joint Venture, after reaching quickly to fully functional and operational levels, is expected to take place within the world’s largest integrators. In 5 years’ time it will generate over 2 billion USD of revenue,” said Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines.

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Emirates special flight to Muscat on July 1 to celebrate its 25 years of service to Oman

Emirates FLL Route Launch at Airport

In order to celebrate Emirates airline’s 25 years of service to Oman, the airline will deploy a one off A 380 flight to Muscat on July 1. This special flight re-affirms the newly opened airport infrastructure to handle A380 operations. The new passenger terminal at Oman International Airport recently opened its doors in March 2018. The Emirates A380 service will operate as EK 862 and EK 863, departing Dubai at 0825hrs and arriving in Muscat at 0935hrs. The flight will depart Muscat at 1205hrs arriving in Dubai at 1310hrs on the same day. Khalid Bel Jaflah, Divisional Vice President Commercial Operations UAE and Oman, Emirates said, “We are proud to fly the first scheduled A380 service to Muscat as Emirates marks a significant milestone of 25 years of service to the Sultanate of Oman. It is a very important destination for us in the region and we maintain our strong commitment to the country. We look forward to showcasing our innovative products and stylish amenities on-board this iconic aircraft to our trade partners and travel industry stakeholders in Oman.” David Wilson, Chief Operations Officer, Oman Airports said, “On behalf of Muscat International Airport, we thank Emirates Airline and express our appreciation for the upcoming historic arrival of a scheduled A380 service to the Sultanate of Oman. The arrival of the aircraft will be a valuable initiative which will highlight our new international airport terminal and we look forward to celebrating our long standing commitment with Emirates Airline.”

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IHG opens new hotel in Vietnam

1000th hotel

IHG has opened its 1000th hotel in the EMEAA region with the opening of InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, in Vietnam. This comes as IHG continues its ambitious growth strategy across its newest and most geographically diverse region. The 1000th opening adds to an already strong portfolio in EMEAA, with hotels across eight brands, working in partnership with more than 500 hotel owners. IHG has an extensive development pipeline in EMEAA with 321 hotels (63,500 plus rooms) set to open in the next 3-5 years. InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is located on the pristine Phu Quoc island, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve off the coast of Vietnam. The resort combines InterContinental’s signature luxury with the island’s unique natural beauty and features 459 luxurious rooms, suites and villas, an exclusive beachfront, six restaurants and bars, and state-of-the-art meeting facilities. IHG’s EMEAA region is playing a key role in the company’s ambitions to grow at pace in key global markets. The rollout of voco™, IHG’s newest brand in the $40 billion upscale market, will begin in EMEAA, with a first signing already announced in Australia. IHG plans to open more than 200 voco hotels globally over the next 10 years. EMEAA is also a key focus as IHG builds out its luxury capabilities. IHG recently unveiled plans to expand its luxury and upscale estate in the UK through a conditional agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions).

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Cleartrip acquires Saudi travel aggregator Flyin


Cleartrip has agreed to buy Saudi Arabia-based Flyin to strengthen its control in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which is home to a large population of tech-savvy consumers. Together, the combined company will have over 60 per cent market share throughout the Middle East. This transaction, the largest in the travel space in MENA, will offer Cleartrip a wider outreach and a larger client base in a key market, providing economies of scale as well as enhanced competencies and regional knowledge. Cleartrip has recorded rapid growth year-on-year since the company launched its regional operations in 2012 to become the largest OTA in Middle East. Stuart Crighton, Founder and CEO of Cleartrip, said, “We are pushing ahead with our ambitious expansion plans in the MENA region, and together with Flyin, we have reached a major milestone in our journey. The deal represents the culmination of our search for a strategic partner that has outstanding market association in Saudi Arabia and shares our business ethos and principles. Building on Saudi Arabia’s evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem, Flyin has firmly established itself as the leading player in the Kingdom’s online travel market. With its strong customer base and rich travel offerings, Flyin is the natural partner for us in the region. We will leverage each other’s strengths to enhance product development and customer experience.”

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Abu Dhabi to promote MiCE in ‘The Meetings Show” in London


A delegation led by the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau (ADCB) will attend The Meetings Show – the  event for the inbound and outbound meetings and event industry in the UK – in London on 27th and 28th June 2018, to raise awareness of the emirate as a world-class events, incentive and exhibition hub. The delegation will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with more than 2,300 key buyers on the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau stand over the course of the two days, with the show expected to welcome over 4,800 meetings and events professionals. The UK is the leading European source market and the third largest overseas market for Abu Dhabi, having seen a rise of 13 per cent in UK visitors during 2017, where numbers reached 270,000. Figures for 2018 are looking healthy, with the first four months of the year registering a 13.7 per cent increase compared to 2017. This visit will be the fifth time the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau has participated in The Meetings Show, which each year generates countless event enquiries and exhibition leads for Abu Dhabi. “Each year we see great results from attending The Meetings Show in London, so we are very pleased to bring our 14 stakeholders to the show this year,’ said Sara Abdullah Al Aslai, the Conferences & Exhibitions Unit Head. “The UK market is an incredibly important one for us, with many leading British companies holding events and incentives in Abu Dhabi. However, we continue to strive to attract further interest from meeting and event professionals, and attending events like The Meetings Show in London enhances our presence within the industry.”

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