Shivani DDPPL

Dubai launches first sustainable floating food truck

Aqua Pod - 3

Ever thought of savouring your food while enjoying the sea? UAE has launched Aqua Pod, the world’s first sustainable floating drive-through, set to float in Dubai’s lagoons, providing visitors with a first-of-its-kind experience while at sea. For the first time ever, sea-goers can satisfy their hunger while at sea and enjoy food and beverages as they would from a traditional food truck. This unique concept comes at the hands of award-winning architect Ahmed Youssef, founder of Aquatic Architects Design Studio (AADS) and creator of Aqua Pod. “Realising the value of the sea, we have set out to create an innovative platform which allows us to tap into the aquatic market, with sustainability at the core of every design decision to preserve the marine environment,” says Ahmed. “At AADS, we understand the value of the region’s shorelines and beyond, so we saw an untapped opportunity to bring an innovative concept to the UAE,” he said. The Aqua Pod boasts a revolutionary architectural design with sustainability features, matching the UAE government’s focus on green initiatives. Largely running on electrical power, the Aqua Pod’s operations enable the production of clean water from the sea excluding any negative discharge. The Dubai Maritime City Authority pledged its support to this project by creating a new license category for this unique floating facility.

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Arab Health 2018 opens with over 100,000 attendees from 150 countries

Arab health opening pix

The 2018 edition of Arab Health, the largest gathering of healthcare and trade professionals in the MENA region, welcomed more than 4,200 exhibiting companies and 103,000 attendees from 150+ countries. H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance, and President of the Dubai Health Authority, DHA, opened the event at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre held from January 29 to February 1. Accompanying the exhibition were 19 business, leadership and Continuing Medical Education (CME) conferences providing the very latest updates and insights into cutting edge procedures, techniques and skills. Exhibitors displayed the latest in “smart” healthcare technology that connects patients to physicians and hospitals/clinics.

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Emirates to fly to Chile via Sao Paulo from July 5

Emirates FLL Route Launch at Airport

Emirates has launched a new, five times a week, service from Dubai to Santiago International Airport (SCL), via the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, starting July 5, 2018. The new service will see Emirates fly an additional five times a week to Sao Paulo, complementing the airline’s existing daily A380 flight between Dubai and Sao Paulo. In total, Emirates will now fly 12 times a week to Sao Paulo. Emirates’ Santiago flight will be a linked service with Sao Paulo, meaning that customers in South America can now travel between the two cities in unprecedented style and comfort. Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates, said “The start of our operations to Chile underlines our commitment to South America with our fourth destination on the continent and another five flights to Sao Paulo. We are pleased to add a destination that has been in strong demand from our customers and look forward to working with stakeholders in Chile to provide our unique product and service to passengers there.” The new route will be operated with a two-class configured Boeing 777-200LR which offers 38 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 264 seats in Economy Class.

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Wego partners with Gulf Air

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Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the MENA region, announced their partnership with Gulf Air which will provide Wego users online access to the airline’s flight-related information and booking capabilities. “Our agreement with Gulf Air reinforces Wego’s leading position in the Middle East,” commented Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer, Wego. “Wego will distribute Gulf Air flights, pricing and schedule information across our extensive marketing channels, allowing travellers easy access to flights with an airline that is famous for its traditional Arabian hospitality and renowned for being family and business friendly,” Wicks continued. “Wego’s business is crucial to helping key industry providers extend into new markets in what’s become a fast paced and highly competitive business,” he added. As Gulf Air prepares to welcome 39 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft, greater network expansion is anticipated alongside significant product and service enhancements. In 2017, Wego introduced Progressive Web App (PWA) technology combined with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), to become the fastest loading mobile marketplace in the world.

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Sharjah Light Festival 2018 targets 1 million visitors

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During the official announcement of the 8th Sharjah Light Festival set to take place from February 7-17, 2018, H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) stated that this year’s edition is expected to witness one million visitors at 18 different locations in the emirate that would display an interspersed inspiration from science, beauty and knowledge. The official announcement site this year was the unique heritage area of Al Hisn fort located in the area known as the ‘Heart of Sharjah’. Midfa added, “The SCTDA has been implementing strong efforts to boost Sharjah’s position on the international tourism map by developing its potential and supporting all activities and initiatives that make Sharjah a rich, diverse and unique tourism destination.” The festival will include 23 shows covering 18 popular locations in Sharjah, curated by more than 24 artists from 10 countries. The festival is sponsored by Sharjah Municipality, Sharjah Police Headquarters, Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), Sharjah Civil Defense Department and Sharjah Government Media Bureau. Sahara Centre and Mega Mall are partners, while the Sharjah Media Corporation is the media sponsor.

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Jumeirah Group expands in Dubai with Zabeel House by Jumeirah

Zabeel House by Jumeirah - The Greens - Artists Impression

Jumeirah Group announced that it is set to operate a new hotel in Dubai under its Zabeel House by Jumeirah brand, having recently signed a management agreement with The Onyx for Development. The hotel, to be known as Zabeel House by Jumeirah–The Greens, is scheduled to open in Q4 2018 and will offer 210 guest rooms, two restaurants, terrace dining around the pool area, conference and business facilities, as well as a gym and spa treatment rooms. Designed to appeal to the curious traveller who wants to experience a city like a resident, guests to Zabeel House by Jumeirah can expect a four-star experience, brilliant basics and unexpected extras within an upscale, casual environment. Conveniently located to help guests experience Dubai, Zabeel House by Jumeirah–The Greens is well positioned at the heart of The Greens master development, and is part of a completed wider mixed-use development called ‘The Onyx’, which consists of residential, commercial and retail units.  The hotel has great connectivity with easy access to Sheikh Zayed Road and is within easy reach of some of Dubai’s best beaches, as well as public transport and the Dubai Metro.

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Dadabhai Travel eyes APAC and Middle East expansion with Sabre

Dadabhai and Sabre

Dadabhai Travel has renewed an exclusive agreement with Sabre Corporation to continue facilitating travel through its industry-leading platform. Dadabhai Travel has been using Sabre technology exclusively for more than ten years, which has helped expand its presence in the Middle East while delivering a superior service to its corporate customers. The travel management company now plans to broaden its offerings to customers across other markets in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. “Dadabhai has proven its position as a leading regional travel company,” said Roshan Mendis, Senior Vice President, EMEA and APAC, Sabre Travel Network. “By providing customers access to competitive travel products and services, it has successfully transformed from a Bahrain-based travel agency into a strong regional player. With Sabre’s substantial network in the region, we are best-placed to help the company scale and expand through the latest technology and consultancy. It’s an exciting collaboration and we look forward to a continuing partnership with Dadabhai to provide a seamless travel experience to customers across the continent.”  

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Gulf Air is the official airline of ‘Shop Bahrain’

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Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, is onboard once again, supporting ‘Shop Bahrain’ for the fourth consecutive year as official airline of the nationwide shopping festival. As a strategic partner of ‘Shop Bahrain’, Gulf Air is providing more than 6,000 airline tickets at discounted prices as raffle prizes. In addition, Gulf Air customers will receive 4 points for every 1BHD spent when purchasing flights throughout the festival period which runs until February 10, 2018. Captain Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alawi, Deputy CEO, Gulf Air, said, “We are delighted to partner with ‘Shop Bahrain’ once again. This strategic partnership is in line with Gulf Air’s ongoing commitment to support initiatives that help drive the growth of the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is fitting that we collaborate in this regard, further strengthening Bahrain’s positioning as an attractive destination regionally, while helping to showcase the Kingdom’s tourist attractions and encourage visitors to experience the trademark Arabian hospitality.” Yousef Al Khan, Director, ‘Shop Bahrain’, stated, “This year, we have been coordinating with Gulf Air and various hotels in the Kingdom to develop attractive tourist packages. We aim to offer visitors an unforgettable shopping experience packed with fun-filled events and promotions.”.

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Etihad Airways launches two weekly flights to Lagos, Nigeria

Etihad Airways Expands Services to Nigeria JPG

Reaffirming its commitment to Nigeria, Etihad Airways has announced two additional weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi–Lagos route, taking it to a daily service. The new Tuesday and Thursday services will start on May 1, 2018. The route will continue to be operated by a two-class Airbus A330, with 22 Business Class seats and 240 in Economy. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President Commercial, Etihad Airways, said: “Nigeria is an important market for Etihad and our home of Abu Dhabi. Since launching the Lagos route in July 2012, Etihad has carried almost 600,000 passengers between our hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport and the commercial heart of Nigeria. It is pleased to be able to support the high demand for our service by soon operating the route on a daily basis.” Guests travelling to Lagos on Etihad Airways will experience the airline’s award-winning service by multinational cabin crew and onboard nannies, extensive inflight entertainment selections and a choice of complimentary international meals and beverages. Depending on the class of travel, passengers can enjoy a generous baggage allowance of two bags of up to 23 kg each in Economy Class and up to 32 kg each in Business Class.

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Jumeirah launches Zabeel House for curious travellers

Young woman drinking coffee

Jumeirah Group has launched Zabeel House by Jumeirah in response to the growing travel trend for exploration through travel experiences. Zabeel House will have a strong appeal for this increasing segment of travellers from across a broad demographic, who want to connect meaningfully with their travel destinations. With five management agreements already signed in the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom, Jumeirah Group is creating an eclectic collection of hotels under the Zabeel House by Jumeirah brand, with a focus on locations at the heart of exciting neighbourhoods. Hotels under the new brand will offer brilliant basics and unexpected extras set in an upscale environment. The core target market for the brand will be both business and leisure travellers who want a lively base from which to explore. The core design ethos of the Zabeel House brand is centred on the uniqueness of each individual neighbourhood. Each hotel will offer an element of bespoke design, unique features and architectural details. Although positioned as an upscale hotel brand, there is no reference to a particular hospitality category.

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