Shivani DDPPL

Golden Sands witnesses 10% increase in Indian visitors

Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, part of A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises, witnessed an increase of 10 per cent in visitor arrivals from India in 2017 and is expecting to double the growth this year. The property hopes to continue to attract and get a bigger share of this market through an aggressive marketing campaign and participation in trade shows such as SATTE, South Asia’s leading travel show set to be held in New Delhi, India from January 31 to February 2, 2018. India is the number one source market for Dubai’s inbound tourism, with 1,478,000 Indian tourists arriving in the city between January and September 2017, a 20 per cent increase over the same period in 2016. Recent reports indicated that around nine million Indians are expected to travel to the GCC by 2021, with the UAE expected to see a 10.8 per cent increase. “Golden Sands is known in the India market for the quality of service, high standard facilities and convenient location. With over 20,000 attendees this year, we’d like to take every opportunity to connect, grow and learn from our partners and meet with potential clients to discuss possible collaboration to increase our share of this attractive market,” said Mohammed Khoori, General Manager, Golden Sands Hotel Apartments.

Read More »

flydubai adds Aqaba and Thessaloniki to its network

The latest destinations added to flydubai’s network are Thessaloniki in Greece and Aqaba in Jordan, starting June 2018. Flights to Thessaloniki will operate thrice a week starting from June 15, while flights to Aqaba will operate four times a week from June 16. Commenting on the launch, Ghaith Al Ghaith Chief Executive Officer, flydubai, said, “With the addition of Aqaba and Thessaloniki to our network, we increase the number of underserved markets served by flydubai with direct flights from the UAE to 71 destinations. We are committed to create free flows of trade and tourism, and strengthen direct air links with the UAE.” flydubai earlier announced the launch of several new routes for 2018 including Tivat, Krakow, Dubrovnik, Catania, Kutaisi, Qabala and Batumi from March onwards. This brings the number of destinations served by the carrier in Eastern and Southern Europe to 27, Caucasus and Central Asia to 11 and GCC and Middle East to 30.

Read More »

Aloft Hotels debuts in Dubai at Palm Jumeirah

Marriott International announced the opening of Aloft Palm Jumeirah, the first Aloft to open in Dubai. Located on the Eastern crescent of the Palm Jumeirah, the hotel offers 206 loft-inspired guestrooms with airy 9-foot-high ceilings and excellent views over the Arabian Gulf. All rooms feature the brand’s signature offerings, such as an ultra-comfortable plush bed, walk-in shower, Wi-Fi, 49-inch LCD TVs linked to a Plug & Play connectivity panel. Rooms are also equipped with SPG Keyless, the industry’s first truly mobile check-in system where guests can utilise their mobile phones as room keys. “We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of our first Aloft in Dubai, situated on one of the world’s most sought-after destinations – the Palm Jumeirah,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “We see a strong demand for Aloft properties in the region as the brand continues to redefine the traditional hotel experience with its vision and innovation.  In the UAE alone, the brand will double its portfolio in the next three years with five new openings,” he added.  

Read More »

RAK targets Nordic tourists at MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) increased its focus on the Nordic markets with its first appearance at the MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki held from January 18-21. Featuring more than 80 countries and 900 exhibitors, the fair gave RAKTDA the opportunity to introduce the diversity of the destination to the attending trade and public in the region. Ras Al Khaimah was the only Middle East destination to be featured in the show and the exhibit brought to life the authentic and nature-based Arabian experience on offer for Nordic holidaymakers. Four co-exhibitors joined the Ras Al Khaimah stand, namely, Knight Tours, Royal Gulf Tourism, Hilton Hotels Ras Al Khaimah, and Dubai Parks and Resorts to showcase experiences and accommodation options. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “The Nordics is a very important region for us and we have seen significant growth in visitor numbers from the region over the last couple of years. We believe our unique combination of authentic Arabian hospitality, pristine beaches and outdoor adventure pursuits has great appeal to holidaymakers in the Nordics and the MATKA Travel Fair is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the diversity Ras Al Khaimah has to offer.”

Read More »

Royal Jordanian to fly to Copenhagen from June 3

Royal Jordanian (RJ) is set to launch a new direct service to Copenhagen as of June 3, 2018. The three weekly flights will give RJ a strong presence in the Scandinavian market. This addition is in line with RJ’s turnaround plan that includes continuous assessment of the route network to enhance traffic to Jordan and improve connectivity via the base, Amman. The new route will attract more tourists to Jordan, facilitate travel for businessmen, and enhance trade between Jordan and the Scandinavian market. Royal Jordanian will operate three weekly flights with Airbus 320 family planes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The plane departs Queen Alia International Airport, Amman at 10:45, and arrives at Copenhagen International Airport at 14:30. Return flights depart Copenhagen Airport at 15:25 and arrive at QAIA at 21:00. Stefan Pichler, President/CEO, RJ said, “RJ will continue to review its network and look for new markets to enhance traffic and connect Jordan to the world, in line with our vision to become the airline of choice in the Middle East and the Levant.”  

Read More »

Air Arabia to launch flights to Izmir, Turkey from June 27

Air Arabia will add two flights per week to Izmir making it the fifth destination in Turkey from June 27, 2018. It will become the first airline to connect UAE and Izmir with a direct flight. Izmir joins Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum and Trabzon as the carrier’s fifth destination in the country. The flight will operate twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) at 21:05 hours, and arriving the next day at Izmir’s Adnan Menderes International Airport (ADB) at 00:50 hours local time. The return flight will depart Izmir at 01:30 hours, landing in Sharjah at 06:50 hours local time. Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia said, “Turkey is a country with a true epitome of a cultural crossroad, and holds history that is as tangible and accessible as any of its modern-day attractions. We are pleased to announce Izmir as our fifth destination in Turkey. This new flight to Izmir is an exciting destination for residents in the UAE and GCC to visit just in time for the summer holidays.”

Read More »

Noor Bank, UB QFPay launch innovative mobile payment solutions

Noor Bank has collaborated with UB QFPay, the joint venture between Dubai-based United Brands (UBPAY) and China-based QFPay, to bring a new and innovative mobile payment solution to the UAE. The solution, a first-of-its-kind in the region, will enable tourists as well as overseas visitors to make payments at retail outlets in the UAE using multiple international mobile wallets from various markets. As part of its collaboration, Noor Bank will handle all transaction settlements for the solution while UB QFPay will allow retail outlets within the UAE to accept secure payments from tourists who wish to pay from their preferred mobile wallets for their purchases. John Iossifidis, CEO, Noor Bank said, “I am proud of the collaborative efforts between UB QFPay and our Global Transaction Services (GTS) team to introduce a new payment solution in the market. The solution will allow overseas visitors to use international mobile wallets for the purchase of goods and services in UAE, for the first time. This partnership is well aligned to the strategic focus of the bank on delivering an enhanced customer experience through digital transformation.” Ahmed Alrafi, Managing Director, UB QFPay said, “Chinese tourists are a huge segment for retailers in the UAE, who have focused on attracting more Chinese shoppers to their stores and UB QFPay makes them ‘China Ready’ by allowing Chinese tourists to pay with their preferred mode of payment.”

Read More »

Bahrain’s Festival City attracts 21,000+ visitors

More than 21,000 people visited the ‘Festival City’ located at Bahrain Bay and one of the main events held during the fourth edition of the Bahrain Festival ‘Shop Bahrain’. The Festival City was launched last week by H.E. Zayed Bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, in the presence of H.E. Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA). ‘Shop Bahrain’ aims to offer a fun-filled schedule of entertaining activities and a chance to win valuable prizes. The 30-day celebration will run until February 10, 2018. “We are delighted to witness the success of Shop Bahrain during the first few days of its launch and we look forward to welcoming more visitors to attend events held throughout the Kingdom. The Festival City, a key event held during Shop Bahrain, aims to create a fun-filled environment for the entire family to enjoy,” said Shaikh Khaled. “The Festival City is also in line with BTEA’s strategy which aims to further develop the tourism industry in line with Economic Vision 2030,” he said. The Festival City includes a number of family-oriented activities, live performances, carnival games, valuable prizes, outdoor market, delicious food and live performances.

Read More »

flyadeal adds Abha to its growing network

flyadeal is set to add Abha to its growing network route, starting February 1. Abha will be the airline’s fifth destination from Jeddah and third from Riyadh, after having launched flights to Dammam, Qassim and Jazan in its first three months of commencing operations. The new destination is made possible with the arrival of the fifth brand new A320 aircraft, Al-Kawkab (The Star). The airline will connect Abha to both Jeddah and Riyadh, with two daily flights between the cities, offering convenient schedules in both morning and evening. His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Chairman, flyadeal, said, “With the opening of the Abha route, we connect travellers point to point within the Kingdom with a new low fare service, and in the months ahead, we look forward to even further expansion both domestically and internationally.” Abha, a mountainous region with year-round pleasant weather, is a popular holiday destination. By connecting the heart of the Asir Province with the Kingdom’s two largest cities, flyadeal’s new routes will allow customers to explore the national heritage and wonderful scenery in Abha.  

Read More »

Emirates inks deal for 36 A380s worth $16 billion

Emirates announced a US$ 16 billion (AED 58.7 billion) deal for 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft, with 20 firm orders and 16 options. Emirates’ A380 fleet operates both GE and Rolls-Royce engines, and the airline is evaluating engine options for its latest A380 order. The additional Airbus A380s will be delivered to Emirates from 2020 onwards. Together with the airline’s 101-strong A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, this new order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 programme to 178 aircraft, worth over US$ 60 billion. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, said, “This deal reflects Emirates’ confidence in shaping the future and its commitment to advancing Dubai’s vision to grow further as a world-class destination and aviation hub.” His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group signed the MOU with John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai.

Read More »