Shivani DDPPL

Emirates codeshares on 29 flydubai routes

Emirates & flydubai

Following the commencement of their partnership, Emirates and flydubai have announced that Emirates will expand its network to 29 flydubai destinations across three continents. Passengers can book from October 03 on Emirates.com, through the Emirates Contact Centres or the travel agents network with travel commencing from October 29, 2017. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Group and Chairman of flydubai, said, “This is an exciting first step in unlocking the benefits of the partnership for passengers who will have the opportunity to enjoy the unique advantages each airline offers as well as greater choice and flexibility when connecting via Dubai. This is just the start and as we expand the partner network in the coming months we will open up more opportunities for our passengers to explore the world.” When booked together, as part of the codeshare, Emirates passengers will receive complimentary meals and the Emirates checked baggage allowance on flights operated by flydubai in both Business and Economy Classes. Connecting in Dubai’s aviation hub offers a smooth transfer experience and under the new partnership passengers will benefit from a reduced minimum connection time (MCT) between Emirates’ home in Terminal 3 and flydubai’s in Terminal 2 of 120 minutes. Today’s announcement is an initial phase of the extensive agreement that will, in future phases, see the creation of additional city pair connections as the codeshare agreement is expanded and both airlines’ networks are optimised.

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Qasr Al Sultan Boutique Hotel opens in Dubai

Terrace

Dubai Gourmet, a Meraas company, announced the opening of its new boutique hotel at Qasr Al Sultan. The Qasr Al Sultan Boutique Hotel combines palatial luxury with a style of architecture and décor inspired by the region’s ancient monarchs, or Sultans. Each of the 12 100 sq.m. Royal Suites will have their own private jacuzzi and garden. Distinctive and traditional, the boutique hotel will be a short walk from the bakhoor-scented majlis, traditional souk, food bazaar, library, playground and the historical Dukan Zaman exhibition that have captivated visitors to Qasr Al Sultan since it opened in February, 2017. The boutique hotel is expected to have a similar impact, while showcasing the culture and heritage of the UAE. Abdin Nasralla, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Gourmet said: “Since we first launched Qasr Al Sultan in February, our guests have been captivated by the experiences we’ve created, ensuring that the destination has become a place full of novelty and intrigue for residents and visitors to the UAE. We’re delighted to be expanding Qasr Al Sultan through the Qasr Al Sultan Boutique Hotel, and the Royal Suites we’ve created will add another layer to our cultural offering, which is inspired by traditions that have not just shaped our customs but also our cuisine, art, attire, and lifestyle.” The Qasr Al Sultan Boutique Hotel features natural elements taken from the Dubai landscape, and an interior style designed to create a comfortable and relaxing ambiance. Privacy is at the forefront of the design, with suites boasting exclusive entrances, parking and a private garden for guests to bask in the sun. Guests will also be able to take advantage of room service and a personal butler that …

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Sharjah inaugurates new East Coast tourism information office in Khorfakkan

East Coast Office 1

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has inaugurated its new East Coast office and tourism information center in Khorfakkan, one of the emirate’s attractions for local, regional, and international visitors. The opening, which coincided with the global celebration of World Tourism Day on September 27, was held in the presence of Sheikh Saeed bin Saqr bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Chief of Emiri Court in Khorfakkan; His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, SCTDA Chairman, along with various representatives of government departments from the East Coast region, industry leaders and prominent figures. Al Midfa said: “The opening of this new tourism information office falls in line with the SCTDA’s policy to promote Sharjah and its local tourism sector, especially in the efforts to showcase the East Coast as a highly attractive tourist destination of the emirate. Sharjah is a member of the Cruise Arabia Alliance and has positioned itself as a world-class maritime tourism destination that has attracted around 63,000 tourists recorded by six marine transport lines during 2015 to 2016.” The SCTDA has attached great importance to the East Coast area, giving emphasis on its rich natural resources and considerable economic potentials. Part of SCTDA’s efforts is to conduct workshops and partner with important tourism organizations to develop the infrastructure within the area and improve all tourism-related services such as cruise tourism. With the inauguration of the new office coupled with robust public and private partnerships, H.E. Al Midfa is confident that all concerned entities will be able to produce the best solutions to promote the East Coast as one of the country’s most attractive tourism destinations.

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Tony Douglas appointed as CEO of Etihad Aviation Group

The Chairman of Etihad Aviation Group, His Excellency Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, confirmed the appointment of Tony Douglas as Group Chief Executive Officer, who will join the company in January 2018. Douglas joins Etihad from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, where he has served as CEO of the Defence Equipment and Support department, responsible for procuring and supporting all the equipment and services for the British Armed Forces. In the UK, he held senior positions with airport operator BAA, and as Chief Operating Officer and Group Chief Executive designate of Laing O’Rourke. His roles under airport operator BAA included Managing Director of the Heathrow Terminal 5 project, Group Supply Chain Director, Group Technical Director, and CEO of Heathrow Airport. Previously, Douglas held senior positions in the UAE, most notably as CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports Company and as CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports Company where he was responsible for the successful delivery of Khalifa Port. As Group CEO, Mr. Douglas will work with the Board and leadership team to expand and implement a range of strategic initiatives to position Etihad for sustained success in an increasingly competitive regional and global aviation market.   The divisional CEOs will report directly to Douglas, including Peter Baumgartner, CEO of Etihad Airways; Chris Youlten, Managing Director of Etihad Airport Services; Abdul Khaliq Saeed, CEO of Etihad Airways Engineering; Gavin Halliday, Managing Director of Hala Group; and Robin Kamark who joins as CEO, Airline Equity Partners in October 2017.

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Temporary suspension of RJ flights to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah

Royal Jordanian

Royal Jordanian will reportedly temporarily suspend its flights to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, in northern Iraq, starting from 6 pm (Amman local time) on September 29, 2017. The airline’s decision came after a request from the Iraqi authorities to all airlines flying to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah to stop operating to these two cities until further notice. Royal Jordanian operates 10 weekly flights to Erbil and three weekly flights to Sulaymaniyah. It runs 15 weekly flights to Baghdad and six to Basra.

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500 delegates attend Turkish Airlines Corporate Club Conference

Turkish Airlines Corporate Club Conference 3

The Turkish Airlines Corporate Club Conference, hosted by Turkish Airlines in partnership with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), took place in Istanbul from September 25-26 at the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel. The event welcomed over 500 international guests to network and enjoy true Turkish hospitality while learning about the latest offerings and key benefits of the Turkish Airlines Corporate Club. The conference presented global trends in the business travel segment, as well as highlighted the latest developments in the aviation industry. This year the theme was ‘Traveler Centricity’. Hundreds of decision makers and key players from the global business travel community are in Istanbul for a line-up of distinguished speakers as well as to learn how Turkish Airlines Corporate Club can add more value to their business. Attendees were welcomed by Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines, M. İlker Aycı and keynote speaker Ron Kaufman who kicked off the one-day event. Panel speakers included Arda Ermut, President of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency, Serra Akçaoğlu, CEO and Board Member of Citibank Turkey and Tankut Turnaoğlu, Vice President & General Manager of P&G Turkey & Caucasus. Commenting on the conference, Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines, M. İlker Aycı said, “We are thrilled to welcome hundreds of high-ranking professionals and business travel leaders from all over the world to Istanbul for this unique event. Turkish Airlines Corporate Club Conference provides a great opportunity to learn the numerous advantages our renewed corporate travel program that offers to its members the latest trends in the business travel industry.”

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94% increase in Russian guests staying at Sharjah hotels

Sharjah Light Festival 1

A total of 106,693 Russian guests stayed at hotels in Sharjah during the first six months of 2017 compared to 54,017 guests during the same period last year, according to a report by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). This is a welcome sign of recovery of one of the most important source markets for the emirate of Sharjah. The emirate’s tourism market was hard hit by the decline of Russia’s outbound tourism in 2014-2015, due to a steep drop in value of the Russian currency in 16 years. Global outbound tourism from Russia fell by 15 per cent in 2014, by almost 20 per cent in 2015 and by 8 per cent last year. Meanwhile, Sharjah, which received 400,000 Russian hotel guests during 2014, saw the numbers of Russian hotel guests drop to 54,000 in 2015. The results from the first half of this year now confirm Russia’s position as of Sharjah’s top two fasted growing inbound tourism markets. China has, so far, proved to be the emirate’s most consistent growth market increasing from nearly 31,000 in H1 2015 to 49,000 in H1 2016 and reaching 62,000 during the first half of this year. According to SCTDA statements, Sharjah’s hotels enjoyed a 70 percent occupancy rate from January to June this year and registered a total of 885,000 hotel guests during the period. China, India, Oman, Russia and Saudi Arabia were the biggest inbound tourism markets for Sharjah during the first half of 2017.

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Soon, self-flying taxis in Dubai

test flight

The Crown Prince of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, took the maiden ‘Autonomous Air Taxi’ on a test drive near the Jumeirah Beach Park. The two-seater AAT, capable of transporting people without human intervention or a pilot, will soon be made available by Dubai’s transport services department. The drone air taxi has been supplied by Volocopter, a Germany-based specialist manufacturer of autonomous air vehicles. “After the remarkable success of the first driverless metro in the region, we are glad to witness today the test flight of the Autonomous Air Taxi,” said HH Sheikh Hamdan. “This is another testament to our commitment to driving positive change. We are constantly exploring opportunities to serve the community and advance the prosperity and happiness of society.” He further said that adopting advanced innovative technologies and applications that help to enhance services for the community is key to topping global competitiveness rankings. “Encouraging innovation and adopting the latest technologies contribute not only to the country’s development but also build bridges into the future,” he added. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group; HE Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future; and HE Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority also attended the test flight.

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13% increase in Abu Dhabi hotel guests in August y-o-y

Abu_Dhabi_Skyline (640x480)

Abu Dhabi witnessed a double digit increase in the number of hotel guests during August compared to the same period in 2016, helping to drive the total number of guests staying in the emirate to more than 3.1 million for the first eight months of the year. Figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism, formerly known as Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, reveal that 426,912 hotel guests stayed at the emirate’s 166 hotels and hotel apartments in August, a rise of 13 per centover the same month last year. The total number of hotel guests so far in 2016 is up 7 per cent in comparison to the comparable time frame in 2016, with occupancy standing at 68 per cent. H.E. Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism, said: “We are encouraged by August’s figures and the increased growth, during a month which is traditionally a quieter time of the year for hotel guests. Our annual Abu Dhabi Summer Season, which ran from July 20th until August 20th, once again proved highly popular with domestic visitors and we saw key international markets all show notable growth during the month due to concentrated promotional and marketing campaigns locally, regionally and internationally. “As the year moves on, we expect to see further progress, not least due to the highly-anticipated opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi on November 11th which has rightly attracted huge interest from across the world. We still have some opportunities to increase length-of-stay at our hotels and maintain revenues, but we are actively addressing these things as we constantly strive to improve our destination’s appeal with concerted international marketing campaigns in tandem with our 11 overseas offices.”

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Podgorica on flydubai’s network from November 1

flydubai Boeing 737-800

flydubai is adding Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, to their network from November 1, 2017. With two flights a week, the flights include a stopover in Sarajevo, a popular destination on the flydubai network. Montenegro is fast becoming a much loved destination for the UAE nationals and expats. Podgorica joins the airlines network in Central and Eastern Europe, which includes Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Prague, Skopje, Sarajevo and Sofia. flydubai will become the only UAE-based carrier to offer direct air links to Podgorica. Commenting on the launch, Ghaith Al Ghaith Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said: “With the launch of our flights to Podgorica, we continue to offer passengers more ways to explore and discover Montenegro. The popularity of our summer flights to Tivat has shown a continuous demand for more access to this part of the world and we are delighted to be offering flights to Montenegro on a regular basis.” “With the launch of this new route, flydubai will become the first airline to offer regular services between Podgorica and Sarajevo,” said Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial (UAE, EU, ME, CIS) at flydubai. “We look forward to the new opportunities that this will provide along with the flows of trade and tourism that these flights can offer.”

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