Shivani DDPPL

Oaks by Minor Hotels to debut in Lebanon

The 110-key Oaks Beirut is scheduled to be launched by the middle of this year and will be located in Sodeco, a commercial area of Beirut, approximately five minutes’ drive from the central downtown area and 15 minutes from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport. Minor Hotels signed a management agreement with Allied Investment Group to operate Oaks Beirut. “We are very excited to announce the forthcoming debut of our Oaks brand in Lebanon later this year, commented Dillip Rajakarier, CEO, Minor Hotels. “For Minor Hotels adding Lebanon to our footprint has considerable strategic value and we are pleased to launch our first hotel in the country. Beirut is a dynamic city with so much to offer and is widely regarded as one of the most influential trendsetters in the region.” The property will provide modern accommodation with a selection of guest rooms and suites, including an all-day dining restaurant, lounge bar & café, rooftop pool and bar, plus dedicated conference facilities. Providing the luxury of space, Oaks Hotels & Resorts offers a range of contemporary accommodation, from hotel and resort rooms and suites, to furnished serviced apartments, in central city locations and resort destinations.  

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Explore Ajman aboard a seaplane

Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman, Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD), launched the latest tourist attraction with an inaugural seaplane ride landing in Al Zorah Marina 1 in Ajman. The launch was attended by HE Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General, ATDD; HE Eng. Omar Ahmed Bin Omair Al Muhairi, Director General, Public Transport Corporation, Ajman; Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Director of Media Office, Rulers Court; Imad Dana, CEO, Al Zorah Development Company and and Stuart Wheeler, CEO, Seawings. Ajman will now offer regular flights on the Cessna 208 Caravan Seaplanes over Ajman on a per person basis, taking in the iconic sights of the emirate in the process. Al Nuaimi said, “Ajman is increasingly offering exciting visitor attractions for our growing market of local, regional and international tourists. With the launch of the seaplane, residents and tourists can now get a unique, bird’s eye view of the emirate and travel to Dubai Creek in style.” Flights will take off on a pre-booked basis from Al Zorah Marina 1 in Ajman, landing at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, and can take up to nine passengers. It is able to swoop low over the natural mangroves of Al Zorah as well as other Ajman landmark

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HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launches ecotourism project in Dubai

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai has launched Marmoom Reserve Project, the first unfenced desert conservation reserve in the country. Spanning 10 per cent of Dubai’s total area, the reserve will introduce more than 20 environmental, cultural and sports-related initiatives, sponsored by nine Dubai’s government agencies. Enjoying over 40 hectares of shrubland and fertile area, the reserve is home to several species of native and migratory birds. The new project will include 10 animal and bird observation platforms, star and sunset observations decks, areas for yoga, an outdoor theatre that can host 350-person events, and will be powered by a 5,000 megawatt solar power complex. Al Maktoum said, “The Marmoom Reserve is an environmental, touristic and sporting addition to life in the UAE.” He continued, “The desert provides a peaceful shelter to plants, birds and people. Our goal is to provide a fertile and robust environment for plants, natural reserve for animals and an important destination for tourists.” His Highness concluded, “When nine government agencies work as a team, the result will be exceptional, as reflected in the Marmoom Reserve.”  

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Royal Jordanian implements new security measures for US-bound flights

Royal Jordanian (RJ) is set to implement additional security measures for US-bound flights from January 18. The measures- which include security interviews with every passenger at check-in or boarding gates- are applicable on all international airlines operating direct flights to the US, and include all nationalities flying to the US, with no exception. While they were required in October 26, 2017, the US authorities granted all airlines the option of delaying the implementation process for a limited period of time. RJ passengers are still required to be at the airport three hours prior to their scheduled US-bound flights, to avoid delays and allow more time for the implementation of new security procedures. RJ currently operates 11 weekly flights to the US, namely, five to Chicago, four to New York and two to Detroit, with a connection in Montreal.

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Turkish Airlines ends 2017 on a successful note

Turkish Airlines has performed well beyond expectations in 2017. The number of passengers in 2017 compared to previous year was increased by 9.3 per cent and the flag carrier carried 68.6 millions passengers. Compared to the previous year, the load factor reached 79.1 per cent by increasing 4.7 points. The carrier has reached the highest December load factor rate with 79.5 per cent in December 2017. M. İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines, had given the first signal of the carrier’s proven success at the end of 2017 in January 2017. He said, “We believe that 2017 will be much better year than 2016. We made our plans and savings accordingly. We are analysing the conditions of our home country, our region, our industry, the developments and trends in aviation and tourism sector. I believe Turkish Airlines will complete the year with increased power, brand value and market share once again’’. In December, cargo/mail volume increased by 18.4 per cent, compared to December 2016. In December, Load Factor increased for all regions. Middle East, North America and Africa showed visible growth among other regions with 7,1 points, 6.8 points and 5.6 points increase, respectively. During January-December, increase in demand and total number of passengers were 7.9 per cent and 9.3 per cent, respectively, over the same period of last year.

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Ghaya Grand Hotel receives Guest Review award

Celebrating hospitality businesses that have earned great traveller reviews, Ghaya Grand Hotel has received a Booking.com Guest Review Award. Commenting on the accreditation, Olwin Desouza, General Manager, Ghaya Grand Hotel, said “With our wide variety of restaurant offerings, plus further competition from new restaurants opening up in Dubai, we have had to strive to be at the top of our game,” he said. “Winning the 2017 Guest Review Award demonstrates we are providing service with a smile for our guests as well as a product that delivers everything they require, whether visiting Dubai on business or leisure.” “With more than 110 million guest reviews on our platform, we not only guide travellers to find their perfect stays, but empower our accommodation partners to stay up-to-date with evolving customer expectations, including what travellers appreciate most about their property, as well as what can potentially be improved,” said Remco van Zanten, Global Director—Partner Services, Booking.com. “With our guest review awards, we congratulate, thank and honour the incredible dedication of our partners to create great guest experiences for our customers, time and time again,” he added.

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Shaza Hotels signs first Mysk deal in Kuwait

Shaza Hotels has announced the signing of its first Mysk Hotel in Kuwait. Situated opposite the Messilah beach district on the south coast of Kuwait City, the new property is already under construction and is set to welcome guests at the beginning of 2020. The hotel stays true to the Mysk promise by designing a trendy destination combining urbanity with traditional Arabian hospitality. “Al-Yousifi group is thrilled to be an active player shaping the new face of the Kuwait hospitality market. We are very confident that Mysk Hotel in Kuwait will set itself apart from the crowd by emphasising on bold design, innovative marketing, social influence and world-class hospitality,” said Dr. Adel Al-Yousifi, owner of the hotel. The launch of Mysk Hotel in Kuwait will coincide with a social media campaign to attract locals and visitors wanting to experience a new, stylish and cheerful venue in the city. Located at a distance of 15 minutes away from the airport and boasting magnificent sea views, the 200-room hotel also hosts meetings, conferences, exhibitions and weddings.

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Majid Al Futtaim expands City Centre Ajman to boost retail tourism

City Centre Ajman has been transformed into a regional mall with an investment of AED 643 million, which is part of Majid Al Futtaim’s announcement made in June 2016 to increase its total investment in the UAE by AED 30 billion by 2026, taking its total investment in the country to AED 48 billion. With a gross leasable area of 34,000 sqm, the mall brings 14 brands to Ajman for the first time. Fuad Mansoor Sharaf, Managing Director, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Shopping Malls (UAE, Bahrain & Oman) stated, “We work very closely with the government authorities. This recent extension of this shopping centre was a plan working closely with the government with the numbers, market requirements, trends and future. With these new features, Ajman is making way for the development of tourism to the emirate. We have a dedicated taxi drop off and pick points and are working very closely with all the hotels in Ajman to ensure that their guests visit the city centre for a memorable retail tourism experience.” As Ajman tourism is focusing on luring more tourists to the emirate, Majid Al Futtaim is supporting the government’s initiative to ensure that tourists leave the emirate with unforgettable experiences.

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Emirates to resume flights to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Emirates is set to resume its flights between Dubai and Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport, starting June 8, 2018. The resumption of services on the route will allow customers two destination options when travelling to Istanbul. The flight will be operated five times a week by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER in a three-class cabin configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class. Together with Emirates’ other service to Istanbul, the airline will offer 16 flights, catering to both tourism and business traffic. The aircraft allows for an increase in cargo capacity to Istanbul, with a weekly total of 100 tonnes, making Emirates the only airline operating a scheduled service with a wide-body aircraft at Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Emirates flight EK119 will depart Dubai at 10:00hrs and arrive in Istanbul at 13:45hrs. The return flight EK120 will leave Istanbul at 15:35 hrs and arrive in Dubai at 21:00 hrs. The new timing allows customers from Istanbul to seamlessly connect to Emirates’ flights at Dubai International Airport to popular destinations like Bangkok, Shanghai, Seoul, and cities across Australia.

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Bahrain Shopping Festival 2018 opens doors

‘Shop Bahrain’, one of the largest shopping festivals in the Kingdom of Bahrain, is set to be held from January 11 to February 10. The festival will create an exciting range of in-mall activities. More than 80,000 prizes in raffle draws held during the 30-day event include cars, travel tickets and much more. The event, organised by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) in cooperation with partners from the public and private sectors such as Tamkeen, YK Al Moayyed, VIVA Bahrain and Gulf Air. “We are delighted to announce the calendar of events for the fourth edition of the Bahrain Shopping Festival. Shop Bahrain aims to further drive the growth of three main sectors- tourism, retail and culinary by providing events and activities suitable for the entire family,” said Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, Chief Executive, BTEA. “Shop Bahrain aims to attract visitors from Bahrain and abroad by hosting a wide range of exciting family-oriented events throughout the duration of the festival. We also ensured to host events that suits the interest of all age-groups,” he added. The organisers of ‘Shop Bahrain’ also held a GCC roadshow in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to promote the festival and increase the number of tourists coming to Bahrain.

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