Shivani DDPPL

Uber launches electric taxi service in Dubai

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Uber, in partnership with Dubai Taxi Corporation launched UberONE. Around 50 brand new premium electric cars will be added to the Uber app, giving riders across Dubai the chance to request the fully-electric, smart and sustainable transport option at the touch of a button. Starting from October 10, riders will be able to choose from a dedicated fleet of electric vehicles exclusively via the ‘UberONE’ option on the Uber app. The joint initiative comes as part of Dubai Taxi Corporation and Uber’s commitment to helping Dubai become the smartest city in the world in support of the Green Economy for Sustainable Development Initiative. Chris Free, General Manager for Uber, UAE said, “At Uber we are constantly innovating our offering and looking for ways to provide new and progressive experiences at the push of a button. We are tremendously excited to be the exclusive ride-hailing partner for the clean vehicle technology to deliver our driver-partners and riders with more efficient, less-polluting mobility. We will continue to work hand in hand with Dubai Taxi Corporation to bring innovative infrastructural solutions to Dubai and grow the city’s smart mobility ecosystem.”

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Over 230 customers attend Travelport MESA Conference in Oman

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Travelport hosted a two-day conference to provide insight into emerging new trends in the market and future of the sector with AI technology at Shangri-La, Oman. Over 230 customers from 14 countries attended the event. Kathryn Wallington, Country Manager, UAE Travelport welcomed the guests and explained the interactive opportunities at the conference. In his opening remarks, Matthew Powell, Managing Director, Middle East and South Asia, Travelport explained that Travelport had transformed from a regular GDS to a travel commerce and distribution platform to enable more opportunities in their portfolio. He reiterated how their platform enabled travel providers and their evolving technologies to deliver relevant content for travel buyers and consumers. He also spoke of how the platform provided new tools and solutions to customers and created a frictionless path to work with speed and accuracy, automated operations and the latest B2B travel payments. He reiterated that there was an expected opportunity of $8.6 billion in mobile travel sales in Middle East and India by 2022.

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MYSK Al Mouj to open doors this October

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MYSK Al Mouj, a flagship hotel of the MYSK by Shaza is to be launched in Muscat this month. With special focus on Arabian lifestyle and culture, MYSK by Shaza is part of Taameer Investment, a leading company in investment and real estate development in the Sultanate of Oman, and part of Golden Group Holding. H.E. Sheikh Salim Al Ghazali, Chairman of Golden Group Holding, commenced the event by stating, “With its strategic location at Al Mouj marina, Mysk by Shaza Hotel will be an added value to the hospitality sector in Oman and an important icon in our group’s portfolio. In terms of tourism developments and investments, our projects are advancing steadily with 3-4 and 5 star hotels in the pipeline.”

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‘At the Top’, Burj Khalifa gets a digital makeover

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At the Top, Burj Khalifa gets a digital facelift with a series of innovative technology experiences. As the guests set to start the Burj Khalifa journey, the ambience changes; white gradient glass walls provide an illusion of clouds, highlighting the heights they will scale soon and give a first glimpse of a 4-metre illuminated model of Burj Khalifa. Here, a giant video wall creates a ‘movement art’ of all visitors. Sensors gather the presence of every visitor, his location and turn them into real-time digital art. The replica of Burj Khalifa comes to life with digital projections in four different themes. The view of the Burj Khalifa model is hidden from the central reception area by ‘magic glass’ – a technological application enabling visitors on the outside to get just a glimpse of the model. Ahmad Al Falasi, Executive Director – Group Operations at Emaar Properties, said, “We have leveraged the latest advancements in digital technology to ensure that every visit, every time, by anyone will assure them delightful surprises. The spacious, aesthetic and digitally enhanced reception will significantly add to the convenience of our visitors from across the world.”

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World’s only VVIP Boeing 787 visits Jeddah

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Deer Jet has granted charter management of the world’s first and only VVIP outfitted Boeing 787, the ‘Dream Jet’ to UAS International Trip Support.  The Dream Jet will be based at the strategic hub of Dubai and UAS will be promoting the aircraft to its Middle Eastern, African and European customer base of UHNWI, and Royal and Presidential entourages. Another 787 Dream Jet display took place at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport from October 3-4, where potential customers were invited for private tours of the aircraft. Appealing to the world’s most discerning business and leisure travellers, the jet offers 7-star services along with advanced technology. Capable of flying non-stop over 16,000 kilometres for 18.5 hours straight, the aircraft is both efficient and luxurious. Along with the main lounge, dining area and guest cabin, it also has a master bedroom, dressing area and washroom.

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Free movies and TV shows at Dubai Airports

Dubai Airports recently partnered with ICFLIX, a content provider for travellers to enjoy free movies and TV shows. The initiative combines DXB’s free Wi-Fi experience, ‘WOW-Fi’, with ICFLIX’s video-on-demand service, allowing passengers to stream the latest Hollywood, Bollywood and Jazwood (Arabic) content to their smartphones and laptops. Content on ICFLIX is available in three languages- Arabic, English and French. “Dubai Airports is on a mission to engage more directly with our customers and transform the airport experience for millions of travellers each month. Thanks to our partnership with ICFLIX, travellers at DXB can now enjoy a wide range of streamed entertainment completely free of charge before and between flights,” said Eugene Barry, Executive Vice President of Dubai Airports’ Commercial and Communications Group.

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Gulf Air and Turkish Airlines enter codeshare

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Effective from November 1, 2017, Gulf Air and Turkish Airlines signed a codeshare agreement to expand travel opportunities for the passengers of both airlines with daily flights between Bahrain and Istanbul. The signing ceremony took place at Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul headquarters. Gulf Air’s Captain Waleed Abdul Hameed Al Alawi and Turkish Airlines’ Deputy Chairman and CEO, Bilal Ekşi signed the agreement together in the presence of senior officials from both airlines. This new agreement will be applied to the flights operated by both carriers to Manama and Istanbul, broadening the commercial partnership between the two companies and their respective countries while providing passengers with more travel options. Gulf Air and Turkish Airlines has one daily flight each between Bahrain and Istanbul.

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Abu Dhabi attracts Russian visitors by 49 per cent

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Russian guests jumped by 49 per cent from January to August as compared to the same period in 2016. A roadshow to Moscow and St Petersburg led by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism resulted in a surge in visitors into the emirate from Russia. Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director, Tourism Sector, Department of Culture and Tourism, said, “Since visa restrictions were lifted on our Russian visitors at the start of the year into the country visas now granted on arrival, we have witnessed an upsurge into the emirate, both from Russia and from counties within the Commonwealth of Independent States, with both markets together showing significant growth.” Leading Russian tour operators, travel agents and trade partners were representatives from key partners in Abu Dhabi. The delegation included Etihad Airways, Rotana Hotel Group, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Intercontinental Abu Dhabi, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Hilton Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace, St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Sheraton Abu Dhabi, Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, Yas Viceroy, City Season, Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi and Gromaxx Hotel Management.

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Etihad introduces additional flights to Medina for winter

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The Abu Dhabi-Medina Etihad Airways will introduce three additional weekly services during the peak winter period. Effective from February 1, 2018, the current overnight departure from Abu Dhabi will be replaced by a mid-morning flight offering an attractive schedule for travellers flying between the UAE’s capital city and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The schedule will improve connectivity to a number of destinations served by Etihad Airways across the Indian subcontinent. The airline will also increase frequency to 10 flights a week for two months between December 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018 to cater to increasing demands. The additional capacity will be operated with a two-class Airbus A320 featuring 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President Commercial, Etihad Airways, said, “The re-timing of our Medina flights to a daytime operation and introduction of additional services strengthen our business proposition and commitment to the Saudi Arabian market.”

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Amway India partners with Arabian Adventures

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Amway India selected Arabian Adventures, Meetings, Incentives and Events, the region’s leading destination management company, to plan, conceptualise and deliver the largest incentive group from the country to visit the UAE– in excess of 4,000 distributors, in December 2017. The event will comprise a one-day business conference with Amway’s top international management, new product launches and a series of multi-cuisine events, engagements and entertainment held at venues across the city. Aikta Tyagi, Associate Vice President – Special Events and Facilities for Amway India said, “Over the last six months, we’ve worked with Arabian Adventures, Meetings, Incentives and Events to design a unique and exciting itinerary for our distributors, with the MICE team bringing a freshness to the table. It’s been a wonderful journey and we are confident that our event in December will be a great success.” Justine Thomas-Butler, Head of Meetings, Incentives and Events for Arabian Adventures also said of the partnership, “Delivering an incentive on this scale takes a special set of skills. You need to give guests and their families a true insight into this special part of the world – its people, ancient culture and modern wonders, whilst still making it feel intimate, unique and exciting.”

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