Shivani DDPPL

Over 59 mn passengers flew Emirates since Jan 2017

2017 year in review Emirates

Emirates has carried over 59 million passengers since January 2017 to over 159 destination around the globe. The airline served over 63 million meals onboard with over 35 million pieces of baggage. Reflecting on the year, Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, said, “Despite the ups and downs of 2017, Emirates delivered steady growth and we have come out stronger and even more resilient. Throughout the year, we challenged convention and acted nimbly to mitigate challenges and maximise opportunities. We implemented initiatives to boost revenues, trim costs, and used emerging technologies to make our business and operations more agile, without compromising on quality or service. We enter 2018 with optimism, and an unflagging drive to keep raising the bar in terms of customer experience and business performance.” They further registered over 3,600 passenger flights on average per week, or over 191,000 flights in 2017, travelling more than 886 million kilometres around the globe, which is equivalent to over 16,000 trips to Mars. Emirates grew its fleet by 21 new aircraft in 2017, with 9 A380 and 12 Boeing 777-300ER deliveries, rounding off the year with 269 aircraft, and 243 aircraft pending delivery. The airline also retired 11 aircraft over the course of the year. The airline marked 9 years of A380 operations and also celebrated its 100th A380 delivery milestone in November, strengthening Emirates’ position as the world’s largest operator of the iconic double-decker aircraft. Powering its fleet expansion and future growth, Emirates made global headlines at the Dubai Airshow when it placed a US $15.1 billion for 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The order will enable the airline to maintain a young and efficient fleet, complementing its Boeing 777 and …

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Dubai Fountain to premiere with Korean pop song on Jan 16


The Dubai Fountain is set to add the Korean pop song, ‘Power’ from the popular Korean boy band EXO to its list of melodies. The song’s inauguration will take place on January 16, 2018. In addition to key media representatives from UAE, GCC, China and South Korea, influencers and fans as well as EXO members and organisers are expected to watch the premiere of the song played at the fountain. “We are thrilled that visitors to The Dubai Fountain will be entertained with EXO’s latest song. Dubai is at the crossroads of the world and it’s only fitting that a major Asian group’s music should become an integral part of one of the most visited attractions in the city.” said Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Tourism. Ahmad Al Falasi, Executive Director – Group Operations, Emaar Properties, said, “Our goal with The Dubai Fountain is to engage every visitor and offer them a memorable time through spectacular performances set to world-famous songs.  The rhythmic swaying of the fountain to the beats of Power will be a delight for all, especially for fans of K-Pop.”  

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Qayyem launches website for consumers in Kuwait

Qayyem logo new jpg

UAE-based business review directory and website, Qayyem Limited has launched a new website for consumers in Kuwait. Users in Kuwait can access, while in the United Arab Emirates, consumers can visit Qayyem aims to bring together the experiences of shoppers, diners, and travellers to help build a wealth of information that other users can access to inform their own buying decisions. The websites crowdsource reviews for business in all sectors including retail, travel, restaurants and more. Qayyem uses an AI spam detector as well as human review when necessary in order to ensure the legitimacy and accuracy of reviews. There are 130,000 business already registered in UAE and 10,000 businesses registered in Kuwait.

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Amadeus connects Gulf travel agents with industry players

Amadeus new logo

Amadeus Gulf has launched the Amadeus Champions Club, a first platform of its kind in the region dedicated to connecting travel agents and industry players to discuss industry policies, share best practices, access market intelligence and more. Members offered a space in the club are recognised for their exceptional knowledge of history within the Gulf’s travel industry. In addition to gaining access to exclusive networking events, the programme will offer participants unique skills development opportunities, engaging with global leaders in their respective fields. Cristian Sucu, Director Operations – Amadeus Gulf, said, “Innovation is at the heart of Amadeus, driving us to create new solutions that bring our customers together for the benefit of travellers everywhere. The Amadeus Champions Club establishes a platform that has never before been available for representatives of the Gulf’s travel sector, enabling them to expand upon their knowledge and create new synergies within the travel market.” The establishment of the club within UAE reflects a shift in global economic and travel trends that has placed the Middle East at the heart of many of the world’s fastest growing markets.

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Dubai Shopping Festival kicks off on December 26


The retail calendar once again started its annual course as the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) kicked off on December 26, 2017. This year, DSF, Dubai’s citywide shopping extravaganza, has teamed up with five homeware stores over the next five weeks to give shoppers a chance to give their dining room, living room or bedroom a stylish new makeover. Starting with one of the largest retailers in the world, IKEA, from December 26 until January 1, for every purchase of AED 1,000 in the Dubai store, shoppers will automatically be entered into a draw to win a concept room, created specifically for DSF. The lucky winner will be announced on January 2, 2018. Another new feature this year from December 26, 2017 to February 20, 2018 is the Dubai Shopping Festival Pass which offers amazing discounts on Dubai’s top attractions and dining offers during DSF. Tourists can enjoy discounts on 61 of Dubai’s top attractions and dining outlets, including Atlantis’ Aquaventure Waterpark, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Parks and Resorts, La Perle, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Desert Safari Tours and more. Each pass comes with adult and child options for maximum savings.

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Customised deals at Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort draw GCC visitors

Mazagan Shores

Attracting a wide segment of tourist population from GCC countries, Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort has weaved several offers for GCC guests including ‘Your Holidays in Ocean View’, which starts at MAD 2650 per night; ‘Unlimited Golf Offer’ at MAD 2300 per night; ‘30 Days Advance Purchase’, which offers visitors a special 15 per cent off, ‘Family Holidays in Mazagan’ starting at MAD 1800 per night and ‘Emirates Skywards Special Offer’, which allows visitors to enjoy exclusive benefits and earn 1Miles for every $1 spent on accommodation when booked via this website or reservations call numbers. Additionally, the resort has also crafted deals for its GCC tourists including ‘Etihad Guest Members Offer’ and ‘Exclusive AlFursan members offer’. “Of the guests that visited the resort, 12 per cent were GCC visitors, who look for real, authentic experiences. At Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort, we have crafted some special offers which not only serve as an attraction for the GCC visitors, but also align with their idea of ‘memorable holiday experiences’,” said Khadija El Idrissi, Director of Communication and Public Relations, Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort.

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Sustainable festive celebrations at JA Hatta Fort Hotel

Green and sustainable festive celebrations at JA Hatta Fort Hotel (2)

JA Hatta Fort Hotel celebrated the festive season in the greenest way to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment. Around 275 recycled car tires have been used to build a unique Christmas tree. The tree was made up of recycled car parts, recycled timbers, LED fairy lights and a GI chain. Deborah Thomson, General Manager, JA Hatta Fort Hotel, commented, “As we continue with our holiday celebrations and enjoy the festive period, it’s important that we remember the environment around us. Our ‘very green’ tree is a small reminder to keep recycling and contributing to sustainable initiatives. It’s a fun and different way to celebrate Christmas and we look forward to welcoming all our guests to JA Hatta Fort Hotel over this joyful period.”

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Abu Dhabi witnesses 16% surge in hotel guests during November

Louvre Abu Dhabi - Photography Vartan Kelechian - 2

The opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island and the hosting of Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix contributed to a dramatic surge in hotel guests staying in the emirate during November. The month saw a 16 per cent rise in guests in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments compared to the same period in 2016, according to figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. With 4.3 million hotel guests staying in accommodation across Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain Region and Al Dhafra Region in the first 11 months of the year, the emirate has witnessed 9 per cent year-on-year growth and is on target to reach a record 4.9 million guests by the end of December. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, “While November and Q4 is traditionally a strong period for us, particularly with visitors from Europe, we are encouraged by the sector’s performance during the month and the increase in hotel guests across all three regions. The opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi was a monumental event, not only for Abu Dhabi but also for the whole of the country and indeed the region, contributing enormously to our appeal as a ‘must visit’ destination.”  

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Cebu Pacific invests 4.4 million AED on high-tech airline services


Launching new customer service innovations for the holiday season, Cebu Pacific (CEB) has invested over AED 4.4 million per year over the next five years by implementing customer-facing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions. These solutions are set to improve airport operations and make online booking services more convenient for passengers. Cebu’s new service called Max Airport is a digital platform that allows the airline’s Philippine airport personnel to remotely check-in passengers, assign seats, facilitate payment for baggage and other ancillary services, and even print boarding passes. The MAX Airport suite, which is installed on iPads, is now being used by CEB ground staff at the NAIA Terminals 3 and 4, in time for the expected surge of passengers during the yuletide season.

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Rwanda announces visa on arrival

Yas, Rwanda

In a move to encourage tourists to visit the destination, Rwanda has announced that any person living anywhere in the world is entitled to receive a 30 days visa on arrival for a nominal charge of US$30. “We are happy to announce that from January 1, 2018, any person living anywhere in the world is entitled to receive a 30 days for $30 on arrival visa in Rwanda. Most people don’t travel due to hassle of obtaining visa to enter a country. In terms of tourism, ease of visa actually can contribute to the revenue of the country,” stated Yasmin Amri Sued, Chargee d Affaires – Consulate of the Republic of Rwanda.

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