Shivani DDPPL

Two openings in pipeline for MEA by Kempinski

kempinski

Kempinski is set to come up with two openings along with additional projects in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Africa. Kempinski Hotel, Muscat is slated to open in Q1 2018 with 310 rooms amongst 40 suites and two presidential suites, each with a private swimming pool. Emerald Palace Kempinski Palm Jumeirah, Dubai is scheduled to open by Q2 2018. The palace hotel will feature 389 rooms and suites. Rooms start at a size of 67 square metres and are thus the largest rooms in this category on the Palm. “Our hotels in the Middle East and Africa feature some of the most iconic luxury properties in the Kempinski portfolio and our upcoming openings, including Emerald Palace Kempinski Palm Jumeirah Dubai Hotel and Kempinski Hotel Muscat, are sure to fulfill this brand promise,” said Henk Meyknecht, COO Middle East and Africa.

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Over 200 top sellers from Russia hosted in Dubai

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Leading Russian tour operator Natalie Tours held its 12th Annual Congress at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. The event brought together over 200 CEOs and owners of Russian travel agencies with the best sales performance in UAE during the past year. The meet was hosted under the patronage of Gocha Buachidze, Consul General of Russian Federation in Dubai; Ahmed Khalifa Al Falasi, CEO of Support Services, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing; Vladimir Vorobiev – President, Natalie tours; among other dignitaries. The event awarded the best sellers, discussed further cooperation with top managers of retail companies, motivated its partners to promote the travel direction and increase sales of Natalie Tours’ services in the UAE. The top players of the Russian tourist market expressed confidence that the plans had every chance to be implemented. According to the tour operator, the major factor driving up the demand for UAE tours is the abolition of entry visas for Russian citizens that came into effect last February.

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DTCM’s sustainability initiative with Jumeirah

Participants from Jumeirah Group hotels at Hospitality Sustainability Board Game

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) introduced its innovative Hospitality Sustainability Board Game to all hotels under the Jumeirah Group. Around 40 professionals from hotels under the Jumeirah Group and students of Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management participated in the event held on October 4. The Board Game is an important awareness tool of the Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative launched by Dubai Tourism that aims to encourage hotels in the emirate to focus more on eco-friendly practices and efficiently manage their resources. More than 400 participants from over 150 establishments in Dubai played the game so far during events and roadshows organised by Dubai Tourism. The latest game was hosted by Peter Stubbs, Director of Compliance & HSE, Group & Corporate, Jumeirah Group while Solaiman Al Rifai, Senior Project Manager, Tourism Development and Investments, Dubai Tourism made a presentation on DST and explained the mechanics of the game. The Board Game was developed jointly with Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF, one of four key partners of DST initiative.

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Airbnb revenues up 421% in Dubai, reaches $3.3 million

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A special report by Chestertons MENA focussing on Airbnb highlighted the growth and popularity of the online platform with investors and holiday makers in Dubai since 2015. Revenues for properties listed on the online hospitality platform during August 2015 and August 2017 increased by 421% to top US$3.3million, with listings nearly tripling to 3,249, as released by a special market report by Chestertons MENA, a leading international property agency. Chestertons research has revealed, rather than competing with Dubai’s hospitality sector, the Airbnb concept is complementing the hotel offering within the emirate by providing an alternative travel experience, with average occupancy levels topping 57% during Dubai’s peak season. “In April 2016, a new Executive Resolution No. (1/2016) concerning the second edition of ‘Dubai Holiday Home Rental Regulations’ was introduced, resulting in the relaxation of the rules surrounding holiday home rentals. This has, in turn, increased the number of listings and created alternative accommodation options to achieve the emirate’s 2020 objectives,” said Ivana Gazivoda Vucinic, Head of Advisory and Research, Chestertons MENA.

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New Holiday Inn at Business Bay in 2021

Holiday Inn Logo

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) signed a management agreement with Kingston Holdings International Limited to develop a new Holiday Inn & Suites at Dubai Business Bay set to open in 2021. The signing complements IHG’s hotel pipeline in the area and includes a Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza and an InterContinental Residences. Holiday Inn & Suites Dubai Business Bay will be centrally located in Dubai’s commercial and lifestyle hub and in close proximity to major attractions such as Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. With 350 rooms, the hotel will offer guests two restaurants and a ballroom as well as one floor of dedicated meeting rooms to cater to business travellers. Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG said, “We are delighted to partner with Kingston Holdings International Limited to further expand our presence in Dubai, a city that continues to offer excellent growth opportunities for our hotels. Business Bay is the fastest growing district in Dubai and this agreement is in line with our strategy to grow the popular Holiday Inn brand in emerging epicentres.

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Etihad to fly to Azerbaijan from March 2018

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways will launch flights to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku from March 2, 2018. The new route is being introduced to capitalise on the growing demand for flights between the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan. The service will be operated thrice a week using a 136-seat Airbus A320, configured with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy. Azerbaijan introduced a visa waiver programme for UAE nationals in November 2015 and expanded it to other GCC nations in early 2016. This prompted a surge in travel from across the GCC to the emerging tourist destination located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, offering visitors access to vast areas of unspoiled nature and centuries-old culture. Baku, which sits on the Caspian Sea, is the country’s primary gateway and commercial centre. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “The creation of the first ever air corridor linking the two capital cities demonstrates the importance of strengthening business, tourism and cultural ties between the UAE and Azerbaijan.

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Emirates and Qantas extend partnership until 2023

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In a bid to provide customers year-round frequency and increase services between Australia and New Zealand, the partnership between Emirates and Qantas was extended with additional network changes. From March 2018, Emirates will focus on its non-stop Auckland-Dubai service and retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney. The airline is also evaluating potential new direct services between New Zealand and Dubai. At the same time, to provide greater choice across the Tasman, Qantas will increase the frequency of its services between the two countries, adding seven new return flights per week between Melbourne and Auckland and an extra two return services per week between Brisbane and Auckland. The changes also enable Emirates to reschedule its Australia flights to create better departure times throughout the day. These latest changes are included in the airlines’ application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and New Zealand Minister of Transport for the airlines’ joint business for another five years.

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Coral Dubai Al Barsha to operate under HMH

Coral Dubai Al Barsha Hotel - 01

Expanding its presence in the UAE, Hospitality Management Holding (HMH) signed the management agreement to operate the Coral Dubai Al Barsha Hotel. The five-star property (formerly the Auris Plaza Hotel) is located in the heart of Al Barsha within walking distance from the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai and features 337 well-appointed rooms equipped with world-class facilities. Brett Schafer, Chief Executive Officer of Faisal Holding, the owning company of HMH together with Manafa, stated, “We are delighted to welcome the Coral Dubai Al Barsha Hotel to our portfolio of hotels and truly grateful to the owners of the hotel for having given us this fantastic opportunity. The UAE is a strategic market for us and this new development will reinforce our position as a market leader in the dry segment while offering greater choice to our guests.”

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Golden Sands revamps its website

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Golden Sands Hotel Apartments, part of A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises launched its redesigned website www.goldensandsdubai.com. Featuring an upgraded design, innovative booking engine, with vibrant photos of the property and its facilities, the new look and feel of the website gives a true reflection of what awaits visitors. Mohammed Khoori, General Manager of Golden Sands Hotel Apartments said, “We are proud to launch our newly redesigned website, a result of extensive research conducted on the latest trends in the travel and hospitality industry. The site offers an easy and user-friendly online booking system for both leisure and business travellers. We invite you to visit the site to get a feel of your “home away from home” destination.” The fresh platform allows users to book rooms by individual unit or by category and checks availability with just a few clicks. Viewers can see special promotions, book and receive immediate confirmation. The website can be accessed using your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

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UAE and Bahrain civil aviation ink deal for air transportation

HE Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of UAE GCAA

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) signed an agreement to regulate air transport services between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Bahrain. In light of the Bahrain Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ objective to upgrade all its services, especially in the air transport sector with close cooperation between the UAE and its sister, the GCAA witnessed an MOU signing ceremony between the two countries after a successful round of negotiations. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of UAE, GCAA expressed his appreciation to the Kingdom of Bahrain for hosting important negotiations and raising the development of air transport services between the two countries. Mohammed Thamer Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation Affairs said, “The draft agreement signed with the UAE represents a qualitative leap in the organisation and development of air transport services between the two countries for providing legal frameworks that meet the highest aviation security and safety requirements.”

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