Shivani DDPPL

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.

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

Emirates offers 3 more flights to Stockholm for winter


Emirates will deploy three additional flights per week to the Swedish capital Stockholm from December 8, 2017. The new scheduled flights will be added to meet the growing demand for travel on the route, particularly during the winter season. The introduction of the three additional flights on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday is in response to the increased demand. The new Emirates flight EK155 will depart Dubai at 1500 hours, arriving in Stockholm Arlanda Airport at 1845 hours. The return flight EK156 will depart ARN at 2110 arriving at Dubai International Airport at 0630 the following day. The timing of the three additional flights provides easier connections between Stockholm and a number of popular East Asian and African destinations. Travellers can now seamlessly connect, with a short transit through Emirates’ Dubai hub, with popular destinations such as Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Manila in the Philippines and Cape Town and Durban in South Africa. Passengers can now also connect to Emirates’ direct flight to Auckland in New Zealand with travel times to Indian Ocean destinations including Mauritius, the Maldives (Male) and the Seychelles (Mahé) also benefitting from the improved flight connectivity. The timing of the new flights also makes Dubai itself an even more favourable option for a long weekend or short break, the early morning arrival time allowing travellers from Sweden the whole day to kick start a holiday or short break in the U.A.E.

Read More »

6.6% increase in DXB passenger traffic in Aug y-o-y

Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport reached 8,233,311 in August 2017 compared to 7,727,105 recorded in the same month last year, an increase of 6.6 per cent. As per the monthly traffic report of Dubai Airports, the year-to-date traffic totalled 59,353,368 passengers up 6.3 per cent compared to 55,851,148* recorded during the first eight months of 2016. During August, in terms of passenger volumes, India remained the top destination country with 1,044,730 passengers in August, followed by the UK (611,254 passengers) and Saudi Arabia (610,434 passengers). South America (27.4%) was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth followed by Asia (21.9%), and Eastern Europe (18.8%). London was the top destination city with 377,130 passengers followed closely by Kuwait (284,151 passengers) and Mumbai (211,564 passengers). The average number of passengers per flight during the month remained high at 246, up 7.2% compared to 229 recorded in August 2016. Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, said, “We are very pleased with the way things are shaping up this year, not only in terms of growth, which has been robust with passenger numbers exceeding the 8-million mark three times – in January, July and August, but also with our success in significantly enhancing the airport experience with initiatives such as the launch of the world’s fastest free airport Wi-Fi, streaming entertainment service ICFlix, quicker passport control and shorter wait times in queues thanks to cutting edge technology.”

Read More »

InterGlobe Air and Sonhando seal a deal


InterGlobe Air Transport (IGAT), through its parent company – The Navigator Tourism and Travel LLC, has been appointed as the exclusive representation partner in the UAE for Sonhando, a Portuguese Destination Management Company (DMC) with effect from October 1, 2017.  The Navigator shall be responsible for developing and promoting outbound tourism to Portugal from the UAE through B2B, B2C and B2E channels. Sonhando, a part of the renowned Pestana Group, is a leading DMC and offers comprehensive tourism options – both packages and customised tailor-made itineraries across Portugal.  The company specializes in multiple theme based holiday options such as family, honeymoon, golf vacations, adventure tourism and beach specials to name a few. InterGlobe Air Transport, is a leading airline management company headquartered in India and assists world’s leading airlines and tourism/leisure companies in setting up of operations and successful execution. The Navigator Tourism and Travel LLC, is its group company in the UAE and specializes in airline, tourism & destination promotion. Navneet Jaggi, Vice-President Middle East, InterGlobe Air Transport, said, “We believe that destinations aren’t about geography, they’re about psychology, they’re about a feeling. The well-travelled clients from this region yearn for newer destinations and ‘wow’ experiences and we feel that Portugal as a destination has all the ingredients of being the next big outbound leisure and MICE destination from UAE.  In Sonhando, we believe, we have just the right partner to help us deliver the same level of customer service that InterGlobe has always been known for. We’re extremely excited about this partnership.” José Manuel Antunes, Director General of Sonhando said- “Together with Pestana Group and Euro Atlantic Airways as a part of our group, we have, over the …

Read More »

Visit Indonesia roadshows in ME from Sept 26-Oct 19

Nour image

To  promote destinations like Bali, Lombok, Jakarta, Bandung, Sumatra, south Sulawesi, Visit Indonesia Tourism Office is conducting workshops and roadshows in the Middle East. According to Nour Aridi, Country Manager, Visit Indonesia Tourism Office (VITO). The roadshow will begin in Bahrain on September 26 at Sofitel Manama, then move on to Sheraton Muscat on October 3, and reach UAE on October 18 in Dubai and October 19 in Abu Dhabi.  

Read More »

Al Bait, Sharjah to see the light of day by 2018


Scheduled to open in the beginning of 2018, Al Bait Hotel will be preserving the majority of the traditional houses in the area which were exclusively chosen to build and shape the hotel. Managed by GHM hotels, the this AED 100 million Al Bait Hotel has been designed to provide guests with a unique and unrivalled experience of the best Sharjah has to offer. These houses will keep the names of its original owners and rooms so as to highlight the environment and lifestyle of the Emiratis who lived in these houses in the past. Located in the heart of Sharjah, the hotel brings to light Sharjah’s legacy and thoughtful vision to revive the heritage in the region by the protection and restoration of the historic fabric within the city and the Emirate at large. This will allow guests to experience the atmosphere of the past through elements that are in harmony with culture, society, history and civilisation as well as the hospitality and etiquette of the United Arab of Emirates.    

Read More »

Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, set to open on Oct 15

Neal Jones, Marriott

With an aim to attract high-end travellers, Marriott will open doors of its 300-room Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, on October 15, offering a clear view of the iconic Burj Khalifa. This will be followed by the debut of The Bulgari Resort & Residences Dubai slated for December, 2017. W Palm is scheduled to open early next year and the second W in Amman Jordan by Q1 next year. The St. Regis Cairo is the next big property to open by December and the sophisticated Edition Hotel Abu Dhabi will see the light of day next year, reveals Neal Jones, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. In terms of mid-scale brands, two Aloft properties will come up one next to Deira city center and the other at the Palm.

Read More »

Emirates to increase frequency to Tunis from Oct 30


Emirates is increasing its flight frequency between Dubai and Tunis from six to seven times a week starting October 30, 2017. The additional Dubai-Tunis flight, an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, will operate every Monday. The aircraft offers eight luxurious private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 seats in Economy Class. The added flight will give passengers in Tunis greater access to Emirates’ global route network, particularly destinations in the Middle East, GCC, West Asia, Asia Pacific region and the US, with just one stop in Dubai. The added frequency will also offer importers and exporters an additional 23 tonnes of cargo capacity in each direction.

Read More »