Shivani DDPPL

Louvre Abu Dhabi launches a special membership

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Club membership programme has been opened for registration. Members will receive a range of exclusive benefits and the chance to become part of a vibrant cultural community. Throughout the year, there will be special opportunities for members and their families to enjoy exclusive enhanced experiences, events and activities, including previews of the museum’s four temporary exhibitions each year. Art Club members can visit and revisit Louvre Abu Dhabi, discovering something new each time. Options include a Member+1 package, with unlimited free access for a member and one guest, or Member+5, which includes up to five named guests. Members and their guests can also enjoy free admission to Musée du Louvre in Paris and other partner museums. Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said, “The Art Club is a platform for meaningful enrichment, discovery and new experiences. It will be a meeting place where a unique global community comes together in an atmosphere of cultural understanding and inspiration. Membership offers unparalleled access to Louvre Abu Dhabi’s exceptional collections, exhibitions, events and special programmes.”

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flydubai launches flights to 4 Russian cities

Dubai-based flydubai marks the start of the winter travel season in Russia with four new destinations and increased frequencies on existing routes. The airline’s first flight to Makhachkala landed on October 31 and was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute. The carrier also inaugurated flights to Voronezh, resumed services to Ufa and announced the launch of flights to Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow from 29 November. Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial (UAE, EU, ME, CIS) at flydubai, said, “It has been seven years since flydubai entered the Russian market and we continue to expand our footprint in the country. With four additional routes and increased frequencies, we’re offering more options to explore Russia for travellers from Dubai and across our network.” These new routes, together with the increased frequencies from mid-December, will expand flydubai’s footprint in Russia to 11 points and 52 weekly flights. The carrier continues to explore new opportunities to service the market while continuing to operate direct airlinks to the remaining points in Russia including Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow (Vnukovo), Rostov-on-Don, Samara and Yekaterinburg. All flights to Russia offer the option of a more personalised travel experience with flydubai’s Business Class. The premium offering provides priority check-in, comfortable spacious seating, a range of inflight entertainment, delicious meals and a dedicated 24-hour Business Team to assist with bookings and enquiries throughout the journey. Passengers can relax before the flight at flydubai’s dedicated Business Lounge in Dubai and access business lounges in Voronezh and across the airline’s growing network.

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Abu Dhabi week’s first leg concludes in Mumbai

A tourism delegation promoting the best of Abu Dhabi ended its first leg of a two-city tour to India in Mumbai. Led by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, partners and stakeholders, the tour showcased the attractions, culture and heritage across all three regions of the emirate in a first of its kind ‘Abu Dhabi Week in India’. The three-day event at MMRDA Grounds – Bandra Kurla complex in Mumbai attracted thousands of visitors, trade officials, tour operators and media. Since the start of the year until the end of September, 256,418 Indians stayed in Abu Dhabi’s 163 hotels and hotel apartments, making India the second largest international source market for tourists. It is expected that the format of ‘Abu Dhabi Week in India’ will become an annual event with more cities added to the itinerary as the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi seeks to increase the number of annual inbound Indian hotel guests even further.

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Etihad to suspend Dallas/Fort Worth route in 2018

Etihad Airways announced the suspension of its Abu Dhabi – Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) route effective March 25, 2018, as it will become commercially unsustainable following American Airlines’ unilateral decision to terminate its codeshare agreement with the airline. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “The unfortunate decision by American Airlines to terminate a commercial relationship that benefited both carriers has left Etihad with no choice but to suspend flights between our Abu Dhabi home and Dallas/Fort Worth. We are open to American Airlines reversing its decision to cancel our codeshare agreement so that Etihad Airways can continue the route and together support global connectivity while driving commercial value for both airlines.” The route commenced with three flights a week and was upgraded to a daily service in February 2017, providing travellers in the US and across the airline’s network with access to more US cities through American Airlines’ primary hub. Almost half of Etihad Airways’ DFW customers connect on US codeshare flights operated by American Airlines.

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Cape Town gets first Holiday Inn

IHG announced the signing of Holiday Inn Cape Town in partnership with Leisure Hotel Holding (Pty) Ltd. Currently operating as Strand Tower Hotel, the property is expected to be rebranded as Holiday Inn by later this year, marking the brand’s debut in the city. With 242 rooms, the hotel will serve all day dining with buffet-style meals and a selection of award-winning estate wines from the nearby Cape Winelands. Holiday Inn Cape Town is also equipped with a gym, sauna and steam room. For business groups and travellers, the hotel offers two large conference rooms and four break-away rooms that are ideal for training and discussion groups. This signing is in line with IHG’s strategy to increase its brand’s visibility and franchise estate in South Africa. South Africa is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists from the Middle East, due to its favourable seasons and rich cultural experiences. According to recent research, the growth in visitors to South Africa from the Middle East represented a 36 per cent increase on the previous year.

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ACE of MICE exhibition in Turkey from Feb 21-23, 2018

With the launch of the fifth ACE of MICE exhibition by Turkish Airlines in Turkey, the third largest congress, meeting and events exhibition in the world from February 21-23, 2018, Istanbul will once again become the focus of the international MICE industry. The event will be held at Istanbul Congress Center with the motto of previous year ‘MICE industry convenes with all of its colours!’ Held every year by the Tourism Media Group organisation, the exhibition will see 746 hosted buyers from 39 countries flock to the city. Over 9,791 business to business (B2B) meetings have been arranged, along with 220 national and international exhibitors, 19 sessions, 35 speakers, 160 sponsors at the event. Over 15,000 domestic and foreign visitors are expected to witness the event. According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Turkey is among the top ten of the world’s meeting destinations. The country ranks 18th globally as a growing destination for MICE tourism. Turkey is exceptionally well positioned as a destination for the MICE industry, both in terms of trade and culture.

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Abu Dhabi tourism kicks off calendar of festivities

The Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi announced its calendar of events and activities for December across the capital, Al Ain city and Al Dhafra. The programme includes the inaugural of the annual ‘Dar Al Zain’ Festival in Al Ain, launch of the New Year’s Eve Countdown Village and the return of the annual Abu Dhabi Food Festival. This news was presented alongside other Q4 private sector events, including announcements from Miral and Sheikh Zayed Sports Stadium. Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi, said, “Abu Dhabi continues to attract a growing number of visitors annually as it develops a strong pipeline of unique event experiences. The capital, which boasts of an exceptional cultural and visitor attractions, has successfully transformed itself into an international tourism destination. In partnership with the private sector – events companies, hotels and tourist destinations, we are proud to announce an engaging series of recreational activities planned for December across the cities, activity that will further cement the capital’s standing as a destination of distinction.”

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‘Istanbul Bosphorus Experience’ by Turkish Airlines for Business Class passengers

Turkish Airlines introduced a new programme ‘Istanbul Bosphorus Experience’, especially designed for its Business Class passengers who have a transfer time of seven or more hours in Istanbul. The aim was to enable its transfer passengers to closely experience the beauty of Istanbul and the Bosphorus, before continuing their trip to their target destination. “We always strive to offer our passengers the best flight experience possible – on board and on the ground. With the addition of the Istanbul Bosphorus Experience, we continue to improve our wide range of activities and services including our worldwide known ‘Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul’, which earned the top spot in the category ‘World’s Best Business Class Lounge’ within the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2017, or our innovative Miniport service, etc. Passengers can now discover and enjoy the cultural facets of Istanbul at first hand. Besides further diversifying our unmatched offerings to passengers with this service, we can also indirectly contribute to the Turkish tourism economy,” said Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing Officer, Turkish Airlines.

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airBaltic’s inaugural flight lands in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Airports welcomed airBaltic’s first flight arriving from Riga, Latvia on October 30. The maiden flight marks the commencement of a direct service four times a week between Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and Riga International Airport (RIX) by airBaltic. On board the first flight arrived Hanan Al Aleeli, UAE Ambassador to Latvia accompanied by members of the embassy and representatives of the airline. The guests were hosted at VIP Terminal and greeted by Astra Kurme, Latvia Ambassador to the UAE and members of the embassy in the UAE, in addition to representatives from Abu Dhabi Airports, Etihad Airways and Air Baltic. Flights will arrive from RIX at 7:25am and depart from AUH at 9:45am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Hanan Al Aleeli, UAE Ambassador to Latvia, commented, “Our two governments witnessed the maturity of our bilateral relations into full capacity this year, with the operation of two fully fledged embassies in both countries, which was translated to many achievements and milestones.”

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Daily service to Algiers by Emirates from December 13

Emirates is set to add an extra daily flight to its service between Dubai and Algiers from December 13. The new flight will depart Dubai as EK757 at 8:10hrs and arrive in Algiers at 12:40hrs. The return flight EK758 will depart Algiers at 15:10hrs and arrive in Dubai at 00:40hrs on the following day. The launch of the additional flight will complement Emirates’ current six flights a week, and further boost inbound and outbound passenger traffic and cargo flows between Algeria and Dubai. The new service will operate every Wednesday with an Emirates Boeing 777-300, in a three-class configuration offering eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 310 in Economy Class. “We are pleased to introduce an additional service to Algiers which will offer our customers even more choice and convenience to connect to Dubai and onward destinations particularly in the Middle East, Far East, West Asia, Indian Ocean and Australia,” said Orhan Abbas, Emirates Senior Vice-President Commercial Operations for Africa.

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