Shivani DDPPL

VFS Global acquires Middle Eastern FMC partner, Al Etimad

VFS Global has agreed to take over 100 per cent of the Middle Eastern Facility Management Company (FMC) Al Etimad from TasHeel Group as per a binding agreement signed between both parties. Al Etimad operates as a FMC partner for VFS Global in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Tunisia. The Al Etimad visa operations in Pakistan are not included in the acquisition. To benefit from operational efficiencies and synergies with VFS Global, Al Etimad will be integrated in VFS Global’s operations after completion of the transaction. This will enable further development of services and solutions, and improve the overall service to the missions served and the visa applicants in the five countries. Zubin Karkaria, CEO, VFS Global Group, “We are very pleased to take over complete ownership of Al Etimad and Vega. It will enable us to accelerate further development of the business and improve overall performance through greater integration. I would like to thank the TasHeel Group for partnering us in successfully managing the visa services operations in these five countries.”

Read More »

Turkish Airlines closes Airbus and Boeing orders

Turkish Airlines has announced that, in order to insure the need for wide body aircraft, the Incorporation has decided to purchase 50 firm and 10 optional aircraft, a total of 60 wide body aircraft, of which six are to be delivered in 2019, 14 in 2020, 10 in 2021, 12 in 2022, 11 in 2023 and seven in 2024. According to this, a total of 30 B787-9 aircraft, of which 25 firm and five optional, will be purchased from Boeing and a total of 30 A350-900 aircraft, of which 25 firm and five optional will be purchased from Airbus. Commenting on the closed orders, M İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines said, “Today, we’re pleased to conclude this process which will bring a landmark benefit not only to Turkish Airlines, but also to Turkey’s aviation, by firmly ordering these aircrafts to be added to our ever-expanding fleet. This great step, which will further strengthen our ever-expanding fleet for 2023, our Republic’s 100th year, and bring our passenger’s satisfaction to a much higher level will bring a great acceleration to the steady rise of Turkish Airlines.”

Read More »

Bahrain launches its first Park Regis hotel

StayWell Holdings announced the expansion of its Park Regis brand into Bahrain with the opening of the country’s first Park Regis hotel in the city of Manama (Juffair). Centrally located in Bahrain’s capital of Manama, Park Regis Lotus Hotel has easy access to the diplomatic area and Bahrain Bay in Manama. The 19-storey hotel offers 164 luxuriously appointed guest rooms, an onsite fitness centre with 24-hour gymnasium and lap pool, and state-of-the-art business facilities. With entertainment front of mind, Park Regis Lotus Hotel boasts an array of premium onsite restaurant and bar options including buffet breakfast and casual dining, a patisserie and tearoom, and a roof top café. Simon Wan, President & Director, StayWell Holdings, said, “Alongside our parent company, Prince Hotels & Resorts, StayWell Holdings is in the midst of an exciting rapid development programme with plans to expand both brands internationally, with a current focus on the Middle East. Opening the Park Regis Lotus Hotel in Bahrain is an exciting achievement for StayWell to further cement its Park Regis brand in the region, with two Park Regis hotels already operating in Dubai and a further two under development for the Middle East”

Read More »

Royal Jordanian partners with Tanasuk to enhance website performance

The recent partnership between Royal Jordanian (RJ) and Tanasuk Technologies is based on producing an unprecedented performance-based enhancement on RJ’s site. Phase 1, which lasted for 10 weeks, saw a complete migration from Royal Jordanian’s previous content management system to the new and improved Sitecore Experience platform. RJ can now satisfy its customers with many flexible online touch-points. Additionally, it integrates extremely well with RJ’s marketing and digital tools, enabling customers to access an advanced website. So far, the Tanasuk team migrated over 200 pages across six different languages on RJ’s website. The next phase will consist of a complete data migration process, whereby all of RJ’s historical data from various sources and platforms will be consolidated and migrated using different Sitecore omnichannel experiences. Stefan Pichler, President/CEO, RJ said, “We are glad to work with Tanasuk Technologies which provides us with this highly customisable platform that helps RJ achieve its short- and long-term future plans to adopt a dynamic Content Management System, while integrating powerful tools, being in sync with IATA’s standards and systems.” leath Arensen, Founder, Tanasuk said, “As the first Jordanian entity to implement Sitecore, RJ is leading the way in digital transformation.Working closely with the RJ team just confirmed to us how committed they are to their customers—being one of them myself!.”

Read More »

Sharjah Tourism to showcase offerings at MITT 2018

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) is all set for its 19th participation at the Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (MITT) in a bid to promote Sharjah’s top tourist spots, attract more international visitors, and join the world’s leading tourism and hospitality events. Running from March 13 to 15, 2018, the 25th edition of MITT will provide SCTDA with a global platform to highlight the emirate’s promotional plans to enhance its position as a leading family tourist destination and attract 10 million tourists by 2021 based on the objective of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021. SCTDA’s presence in the exhibition signifies its full commitment to collaborate with industry pioneers and investors from Europe and 80 other top-notch international touristic destinations. H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, will lead the participating delegates. Commenting on the participation, Al Midfa said, “In 2017, local hotels welcomed a total of 266,086 Russian guests compared with 112,171 visitors received in 2016. The numbers represented an impressive growth rate of 137 per cent. Our 19th participation in MITT is another opportunity to enhance the emirate’s presence in Russia, one of Sharjah’s largest source markets.”

Read More »

Atlantis launches resort worth $1.6 billion in China

Atlantis Sanya, the flagship resort on Hainan Island, opened its doors in time for Chinese New Year and welcomed its first guests. Located on the Haitang Bay National Coast, Atlantis Sanya is the first Atlantis resort in China, joining the flagship Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai and Atlantis, Ko Olina in Hawaii, both currently in development. Serge Zaalof, Chief Operating Officer, Atlantis Resorts & Residences comments, “The Atlantis brand is known for unique, ocean-themed destinations offering a wide variety of entertainment experiences and Atlantis Sanya is no exception. The owner, Fosun International, is an incredible partner and together we have created a resort that offers unprecedented experiences to its guests.” “Following an intense development period by a team of approximately 3,000 colleagues, we are proud to introduce Atlantis Sanya to our guests. When you combine 1,314 guestrooms including 154 suites, five of which are underwater suites, impeccable design from talents like Jeffrey Beers International and Hirsch Bedner Associates Design, and an incredible water adventure at Aquaventure Waterpark, we know we are giving people unparalleled experiences to Hainan Island and China, that only Atlantis can deliver”, adds Heiko Schreiner, Managing Director, Atlantis Sanya.”

Read More »

Abu Dhabi hotel guest numbers climb to 7.4% in January

The number of hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi during January rose 7.4 per cent versus the same month a year ago, building on the success of a record-breaking 2017 when close to a total of five million people stayed in the emirate. In total 437,228 hotel guests stayed in the emirate’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments during January, up  more than 30,000 over the previous year, figures disclosed by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). All three regions recorded an increase in hotel guests, Abu Dhabi up 6.3%, Al Ain Region up 7% and Al Dhafra Region up 17.3%. Multiple countries provided double-digit year-on-year growth in January, notably China (10.7%), India (31.5%), UK (19.1%), Saudi Arabia (15.4%) and the United States (36.1%). The surge in Indian travellers to the emirate, which rose 11.5% in 2017 to total 359,000, continued in January with more than 34,000 Indian hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi, an increase of 31.5% on the year. DCT Abu Dhabi has focused on extensive marketing across India and held a number of roadshows in the country to attract more Indian travellers to experience the emirate.

Read More »

Riyadh Travel Fair 2018 to be held from April 10-13

Opening doors for the tenth consecutive year, Riyadh Travel Fair (RTF) 2018 is set to be held at the Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh from April 10-13, 2018. The four-day event will become the focus of business networking opportunities, seminar sessions, discussions and the recognition of the tourism industry’s achievements throughout the year. More than 270 exhibitors will be present representing more than 50 countries. Over 50 national and regional pavilions will also have a prominent presence. The show floor space has also increased by 10 per cent compared to the 2017 event. “Last year, RTF featured 270 exhibitors with visitor attendance at 27,329. That was an increase of 30  per cent compared to the 2016 edition. This year will continue our year-on-year growth as exhibitors hit over 270 and expected visitors numbers over 30,000,” said Bander’ Al Gryni, General Manager, ASAS Exhibitions (organiser of RTF). The Riyadh Travel Fair is open to both travel professionals and the general public looking for in-depth destination information and special deals. Visitors to the 2018 edition will be able to interact directly with various tourism authorities, hotels, airlines and travel agents from around the world.

Read More »

Rotana launches Al Bandar Rotana & Al Bandar Arjaan in Dubai Creek

Rotana once again strengthens its hub in Dubai by opening its latest five-star property and hotel apartments overlooking the Dubai Creek. Al Bandar Rotana consists of 190 rooms and suites in addition to Club Rotana rooms with additional benefits including an Executive Lounge and personalised services. Designed to suit the needs of long-stay visitors, Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana offers 90 fully-furnished studios and apartments with options ranging from spacious studios to three-bedroom apartments. The rooms, suites and apartments, which offer expansive views of the creek, are all equipped with modern technology and home comforts. In addition to a Business Centre, the properties offer six state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment to cater to a wide range of occasions. Mohammed Al Badie Bin Youan Al Dhaeri, Chairman, Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company, said, “With its solid business growth and strong portfolio, Rotana has established its name as the bellwether of the region’s hospitality industry.” “With its vibrant economy and thriving tourism sector, Dubai has always been a favourable market for the hospitality sector to flourish and it still promises a brighter future for the sector with occupied room nights forecasted to reach 35.5 million annually in 2019,” said Guy Hutchinson, Chief Operating Officer, Rotana.

Read More »

Cebu Pacific offers extra baggage for UAE passengers

Cebu Pacific (CEB) offers 25 kilograms of additional free baggage allowance to UAE residents travelling from Dubai to Manila. Starting March 1 until November 30, 2018, all passengers originating from Dubai travelling to Manila with pre-purchased baggage allowance of 40 kilograms will receive additional 25 kilograms baggage allowance, free-of-charge. The offer will be given upon check-in of the guest at the airport. A 40-kilogram baggage allowance on Cebu Pacific costs between AED 320 and AED 340. Passengers, even those with connecting flights to other Philippine domestic destinations operated by Cebu Pacific, will get the advantage of the additional 25 kilograms being carried over up to their next flight, as long as their flight itinerary is booked under one reference number only. This promotion is not valid on return flights from the Philippines to the Middle East, and on bookings with Cebgo connecting flights.

Read More »