Shivani DDPPL

DTCM announces Sustainable Tourism Awards winners

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) announced the winners of the inaugural Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards at a ceremony held at The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City. Comprising 17 different categories, the Awards celebrate the role of Dubai’s hotels and tourism companies in advancing sustainability within the emirate’s tourism industry. The event was attended by His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism; His Excellency Ahmad Butti Al Muhairbi, Secretary General, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Development & Investments, Dubai Tourism and over 600 players within Dubai’s hospitality and travel sectors. The Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards received 151 entries from tourism and hotel establishments ranging from five-star hotels and resorts to guest houses and desert camps. In addition to the 17 winners, Dubai Tourism also honoured the Awards’ three Strategic Partners – Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. The special ‘Sustainability Champion’ award was won by Abdul Quddus Sheikh of Armani Hotel for its sustainability leadership.

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DXB passenger traffic soars 6.9% in October

Dubai International (DXB) welcomed 6.9 million passengers in October, as per a monthly traffic report issued by Dubai Airports. Passenger traffic at DXB reached 6,865,296 in October compared to 6,420,208 recorded in the corresponding month last year, an increase of 6.9 per cent. Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports said, “The third quarter has begun on a very positive note for DXB and with the hub on track to achieve our forecast of 89 million passengers for the year, our focus will be on continuing to maintain customer service quality and overall airport experience.” During the month under review, London was the top destination city out of Dubai with 327,400 passengers followed by Mumbai (219,512 passengers) and New Delhi (184,754 passengers). Flight movements in October totalled 33,257 compared to 35,314 flights operated at DXB during the same month last year, a contraction of 5.8 per cent.

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Ghaya Grand Dubai participates in Clean Up the World campaign

A group of volunteers from the Ghaya Grand Dubai Hotel participated in ‘Clean Up the World campaign 2017’ in support with Dubai Municipality.  Olwin Desouza, General Manager of Ghaya Grand Dubai, said, “As part of our CSR policy, we are committed to support any such initiatives that help create a better world for all of us as well as our future generations. Together we can make a positive impact by creating awareness about environmental issues. Starting from 2018, we will be focusing on social responsibility and environmental friendly initiatives.”

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The Rooftop Lounge returns for Season 5

The award-winning Rooftop Lounge and Dining located at Royal Ascot Hotel in Bur Dubai opens for the fifth season as the ultimate venue to relax with spectacular views of Dubai’s skyline. A favourite spot of the city’s socialite, the Rooftop Lounge is a chic roof terrace with an ultra-cool ambiance with the latest English, Arabic and Bollywood songs. The Lounge offers something new everyday along with Man’s Night on every Mondays and Ladies’ Night on Tuesdays. The extensive menu features a selection of Indian, Arabic, Italian and Chinese dishes prepared by the culinary team of Executive Chef Muhamad. Suneel Bhambhani, CEO, said, “We’d like to invite our loyal patrons and visitors to enjoy the winter season with great food, drinks and music. We guarantee a great time while you are here.”

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Abu Dhabi International Airport gets a new Visa on Arrival counter

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, jointly with Abu Dhabi Airports, Etihad Airways and General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi, has launched a new visa counter to facilitate the visa application process and grant both transit and arriving passengers visas to Abu Dhabi within 15 to 30 minutes. The new service, located at the Terminal 3 transit area at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), includes activation of the new four-day, or 96-hour, transit visa for all nationalities travelling through Abu Dhabi International Airport. The launch of the new visa counter is part of the Life in Abu Dhabi initiative, in support of the Enriching Tourist Experience. Established in May 2017 as part of the Government Services Office at Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Life in Abu Dhabi is an annual gathering aimed at developing a number of public sector services for the government of Abu Dhabi. The new counter will issue several types of mission and tourist visas available to travellers who do not fall under the current visa upon arrival scheme. Passengers can now approach the visa counter in T3 to apply for, and obtain the relevant visa within a maximum 30 minutes. In addition, the visa counter is now issuing the new 96 hour transit visa, which is a key part of Abu Dhabi’s ongoing efforts to attract more visitors to the capital. This project is being jointly implemented by several parties including Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Abu Dhabi Airports, General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways and Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi. The AED 300-visa can be used by passengers with planned trips from AUH, …

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Thumbay Group supports Dubai’s goal of 500,000 health tourists by 2020

The Thumbay Group has vowed to support the goal of securing 500,000 health/medical tourists to Dubai by 2020. This was revealed at the recently-concluded 4th Annual Health & Medical Tourism Conference held at Hotel Hyatt Regency – Dubai Creek Heights and organised by Thumbay Medical Tourism in association with Thumbay Hospital. The conference brought together industry experts from healthcare, travel, medical tourism and medical education sectors. The half-day event highlighted the latest trends and developments in medical tourism and explored ways to boost health tourism the UAE. Speaking at the conference, Dr. Layla Mohamed AlMarzouqi, Director Dubai Health Tourism Council, said that Dubai is well-positioned to achieve its goal of welcoming half a million international patients by 2020, thanks to the support of key players in the private sector like the Thumbay Group, which announced its plans to attract 1,000 tourist per day to its facilities across the UAE. Dubai currently ranks number 1 in the Arab world and 16th globally, based on the 2016 Medical Tourism Index. In 2016, the number of health tourists visiting Dubai reached 326,649, an increase of 9.5 per cent compared to 298,359 the previous year. Top medical and health treatments sought by visitors to the emirate were orthopedics, dermatology, dental, fertility, health and wellness, ophthalmology and aesthetics. Akbar Moideen Thumbay, Vice President of the Healthcare Division of Thumbay Group, reiterated the conglomerate’s commitment to Dubai’s plans of becoming an international hub for health tourism, by adding three new hospitals, five clinics, 15 pharmacies and five diagnostic labs to its existing network.

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79-room Citymax Hotel Aswan, Egypt, celebrates soft opening

The first Citymax Hotel in the Egyptian city of Aswan, featuring 79 rooms equipped with modern comforts and amenities, celebrated its soft opening recently. Owned by Egypt Holland for Touristic Investments, this 4-star hotel is located in Kornish Al Nile in close proximity to Aswan’s key tourist attractions. The hotel boasts of leisure facilities including an outdoor swimming pool and cafe, sauna, jacuzzi and an all-day-dining restaurant. Decorated in contemporary style, some rooms offer beautiful views of River Nile while others overlook the city landscape.

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VFS Global launches Italy visa center in Kuwait

In a move to ease the visa issuance process for the residents of Kuwait, the Embassy of Italy in collaboration with VFS Global launched a new visa application center, located at Level 54 of Arraya Tower at Al Shuhada Street. The centre was recently inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Giuseppe Scognamiglio, Ambassador of the Embassy of Italy to the State of Kuwait. Among the many services provided for greater convenience to applicants, is the option to submit their applications in the comfort of a Premium Lounge for a more personalised experience. In addition to efficient visa application processing services, applicants will also have access to a dedicated tourism space, which will offer tourism information on a range of hand-picked tours in Italy. Kuwait is the fifth country in the Middle East from where VFS Global will serve the Embassy of Italy. Worldwide, VFS Global has served the Government of Italy since 2004, and currently manages visa processing operations for the client government in 28 countries from 66 visa application centres.

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Trade celebrates Air Canada’s 80th anniversary with fanfare

Over 150 industry experts, trade partners, and delegates from leading travel agencies, from across the UAE joined Air Canada in celebrating the airline’s 80th anniversary at Palace Downtown Dubai. While the airline’s Country Manager for UAE /GCC Deepu Cyriac welcomed all the invitees at the event, Air Canada’s Director Sales EMEAI Margret Skinner thanked the attendees for their support and also revealed some new products available on board. His Excellency Emmanuel Kamarianakis, Consul General – Consulate General of Canada to Dubai and Northern Emirates, addressed the gathering and stated the many interesting facts about different parts of Canada and the reason to visit them. Ten agencies which were recognised as top players at the event were: Dnata, Orient travels, Nirvana Travels, Kanoo Travels, Al Naboodah Travels, SNTTA, Akbar Travels, Omeir travel agency, ATPI, and Al Rostamani Travel and Holidays.

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Czech tourism strengthens activities for ME

Czech tourism authority in collaboration with VFS Global commenced a roadshow in Kuwait and UAE to showcase various tourist attractions and products to trade, tourism and business partners in the Middle East. The roadshow campaign was titled ‘Czech Republic – Land of Stories’. UAE is the number one tourism source market for the Czech Republic in the Middle East, followed by Saudi Arabia. H.E. Alexandr Sporýš, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United Arab Emirates, together with Monika Palatková, Managing Director of the Czech Tourist Authority interacted with the media at the event held in Dubai. “I’m pleased that Czech Tourism regularly promotes the Czech Republic as a tourism destination in the UAE and in other countries in the Middle East market. VFS Global is a reliable partner in the visa area and I am convinced that the partnership of Czech Tourism with this company will lead to a further increase of interest about the Czech Republic”, commented H.E. Alexandr Sporýš, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United Arab Emirates.

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