Shivani DDPPL

Protea Hotels by Marriott signs new hotel in Zambia

Protea Bonanza Estate Lusaka

Protea Hotels by Marriott, in partnership with Zambian business giant, Union Gold Zambia Limited, has signed Protea Hotel by Marriott Bonanza Estate, Lusaka. With 241 rooms, the hotel will be the largest operating hotel under the brand in the country. Strategically located within the new upmarket lifestyle hub, the hotel will be within easy reach from the international airport and major city landmarks. “Protea Hotel by Marriott Bonanza Estate, Lusaka will be a significant addition to our fast growing portfolio,” says Volker Heiden, Vice President, Protea Hotels by Marriott, Marriott International, Middle East and Africa. “The hotel’s planned facilities are geared to provide for a range of much-needed amenities in the city – additional conferencing venues, high-end food and beverage services and a spa. Most exciting is the amphitheatre which will attract mega events into the city.” According to Mark O’Donnell, Chairman, Union Gold Zambia, “We have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with Protea Hotels for the past 17 years, and look forward to the expansion of our association through the development of this new property. Our new venture will meet the rising demand for quality lodging in the country.”

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DXH SmartCare for a seamless health tourism journey

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The Health Bank in partnership with Dubai Health Experience (DXH) has announced the launch of DXH SmartCare to provide health tourists with a single point of contact for seamless healthcare coordination, second medical opinion, flight bookings, visas, accommodation, airport transfers, leisure activities and post treatment support. Conceived by Dubai Health Authority, the DXH brand aims to strengthen the position of Dubai on the medical tourism world map. Dubai offers unparalleled access to the best in health and wellness experiences combined with world-class hospitality and integrated services along with many tourist attractions. The Health Bank provides high quality end-to-end services with excellence in customer care, through an impressive and extensive partner portfolio. Health tourists can have their medical, dental, aesthetic or wellness journey mapped out even before they travel. DXH SmartCare, which can be accessed on www.dxh.ae, offers three-tiers- Blue as the essential package offering research and referrals on treatment options, and Silver and Gold memberships providing journey planning services along with dedicated account manager, concierge and comprehensive care coordination.

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Emirates A380 to resume services to Houston from June 1

Emirates A380

Emirates will once again begin operations with its flagship A380 service between Houston (IAH) and Dubai (DXB) from June 1, 2018. Houston will join more than 40 destinations on Emirates’ extensive global network served by its popular A380 aircraft, including Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Kuwait. Emirates will deploy its three-class A380 on the Houston route, offering a total of  516 seats with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flatbed seats in Business Class seats and 426 spacious seats in Economy Class, increasing capacity per flight by more than 160 passengers compared to the current Boeing 777-300ER. Services to Houston were upgraded to an A380 in December 2014, but as part of Emirates’ fleet optimisation, the decision was made in July 2016 to operate the route with a Boeing 777-300ER. Flight EK211 will depart Dubai at 09:35 and arrive in Houston at 16:50 daily. Return flight EK212 will depart Houston at 20:00 and arrive in Dubai at 20:00 the next day. Passengers from Houston can enjoy convenient connections in Dubai when travelling to destinations in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore or South Africa.

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Al Ain to host region’s first PATA adventure tourism conference

Successful Start to the Pacific Asia Travel Association Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2018 in Abu Dhabi 2

For the first time, Al Ain Region hosted the Pacific Asia Travel Association Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2018 (PATA ATRTCM), organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism–Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). A number of workshops and plenary sessions was hosted by industry experts and visionaries from across the globe. Key speakers including HE Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director, Tourism Sector, DCT Abu Dhabi; Dr. Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer, PATA, Thailand; Norie Quintos, Editor at Large, National Geographic Travel and Independent Communications Consultant, USA, explored the trends and dynamics of one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors. Themed on ‘Adventure in a New Era’, the event offered delegations from across the Asia Pacific region a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and unlock the potential of the adventure tourism sector in the digital era. The conference was followed by a travel mart, in which participants interacted with adventure product buyers and sellers from across the world.

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Smartotels’ ‘Form Hotel Dubai’ to open doors this March

FORM hotel

Smartotels Hospitality is set to open its flagship property, Form Hotel Dubai- a technology-driven upscale design concept hotel in the upcoming neighbourhood of Al Jadaf and Culture Village. Form Hotel Dubai presents a timelessly-designed environment built around brand obsessions and curated add-ons to deliver all that guests value. With a strong visual art and design narrative, and emphasis on wellbeing, Form Hotel Dubai is conceptualised as a sanctuary from the city, in the city, whilst being conveniently located near to major cultural and commercial hubs. The Dubai project has been delivered with the collaboration of Dubai Contracting Company and firm Architecture Studio. Tarek M. Daouk, Founder, Smartotels, comments, “We announced our intention to bring a technology-driven design hotel concept to the UAE precisely one year ago. Today, we’re delighted to be able to confirm that we will be delivering this landmark project to guests both on time and under budget. We believe Dubai’s maturing hotel market is now prepared to welcome a creative hotel offering like ours, and that it is the ideal time to deliver Form, a novel and design-focused boutique hotel aimed at forward-thinking travellers.”

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Dnata Catering awarded licence to operate in Canada

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dnata has been awarded a licence to provide flight catering services to airlines departing Vancouver International Airport. This marks dnata Catering’s entry into Canada. With this licence, dnata will now commence planning, approvals, build and fit-out of a dedicated catering facility at Vancouver, at an investment of more than CAD $7 million dnata, commencing operations in Q4 2018. This will be dnata’s 64th catering location and 130th global air services location, with its recent opening of a new catering facility at Dublin Airport, Ireland. The facility will have an initial capacity of up to 8,000 meals a day. dnata expects to employ more than 150 staff once operating at that level. Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President—Catering, dnata, “Canada has always been an exciting opportunity for us as a caterer. To turn that opportunity into reality at Vancouver International Airport is particularly exciting, given the solid passenger growth and recognition the airport has received in recent years. We are proud of our ability to deliver globally authentic and diverse cuisine across the world, and we’re more than ready to bring that to airlines and their passengers departing Vancouver.”

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Etihad to launch second daily services to Rome from March 25

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways has added a second daily direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Rome, effective March 25, 2018. The new service will take the total number of Etihad Airways’ flights on the route to 14 a week. The additional frequencies will be introduced in phases, beginning March 25, with five extra weekly flights, rising to a twice-a-day service from May 1. The new early morning departure from Abu Dhabi and midday return service from Rome will offer links to popular cities across Australia, China, Japan and Korea. With the additional service, Etihad Airways’ frequency between Abu Dhabi and its two Italian gateways of Rome and Milan will increase to three flights a day. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways said, “Ensuring our guests have greater flexibility and more travel options is a focus for Etihad Airways. Since we launched the Abu Dhabi-Rome route in 2014, it has become one of our most popular services for business and leisure travellers. We are therefore delighted to further develop the route with additional services.” Etihad Airways’ codeshare partner Alitalia has announced that it will discontinue the operation of its daily flight between Rome and Abu Dhabi from March 25.

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Emirates A380 one-off to Beirut on March 29

Emirates A380

For the first time in Rafic Al Hariri International Airport’s history, Emirates will operate a special one-off A380 service to Beirut on March 29. The airline’s flagship double-decker will become the first-ever scheduled A380 service to Beirut. Emirates A380 will depart Dubai at 07:25hrs and arrive in Beirut at 10:30hrs. The flight will depart Beirut at 14:15hrs and arrive in Dubai at 19:05hrs on the same day. Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President—Commercial Operations, Centre at Emirates, said, “We are proud to fly our A380 for a one-off test service to Beirut. Bringing this popular aircraft to Lebanon represents a significant milestone in our operations to Beirut after 27 years of serving the country. This year also marks the Emirates A380’s 10th anniversary since joining our fleet, and the iconic aircraft has brought flying to the next level for over 90 million customers. We would like to thank the Lebanese government and in particular the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Lebanese Civil Aviation Authorities, who have made it possible for us to bring our flagship A380 to this city.”

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Dubai International Health Tourism Forum kicks off

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The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has launched the Dubai International Health Tourism Forum in association with Global Healthcare Travel Forum and World Health Travel Congress at the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. The two-day conference from February 20-21 is in line with the vision and the strategic goal of transforming Dubai into a global destination for health tourism. It comprises interactive conference, exhibition and hosted buyer programme for hospital groups, medical travel organisations and health services companies to increase their international presence and patient network, while gaining market share in this ever-growing industry. The hosted buyer programme is organised by the World Health Tourism Congress (WHTC), an exclusive congress targeted at top level senior executives from corporate buyers and government institutions from all over the world. The event attracted 80 best qualified corporate buyers mainly from the GCC area, Africa, Europe, Asia, Russian speaking countries, and North America. The hosted buyer sessions will be dedicated to pre-arranged one-on-one meeting between global corporate buyers and solution providers.

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Chinese Consul announces Chinese New Year celebrations in Dubai

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In partnership with Meraas and Dubai Police, H.E. Li Lingbing, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai kick-started the 2018 Dubai Spring Festival Grand Parade celebrations. Lingbing said, “The Spring Festival is of great significance to the Chinese and is the most important traditional festival in our calendar, akin to the importance of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha in the region. The city witnessed celebrations at various locations including Dubai Parks and Resorts, Al Seef, La Mer, Dubai Airport, Boxpark, The Outlet Village, Dubai Design District, The Beach and Dubai Mall.” The Spring Festival Grand Parade witnessed around 30 parading groups, consisting of over 1,000 visiting Chinese, expatriates and international friends, along with the Dubai Police band. Showcasing the arts, traditions and culture of 56 ethnic groups from 34 provinces in China, the grand parade included ethnic costumes and traditional art forms, such as Tai Chi, Peking opera, acrobatics and fairy tales. “The tremendous business potential offered by these activities has drawn worldwide attention, with a large number of Chinese people travelling abroad during the festival, bringing significant economic benefits to host cities. Last year, China witnessed 130 million people travelling abroad, an increase of 7 per cent over the previous year, of which several million travelled in the seven-day Spring Festival holiday,” said Lingbing.

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