Shivani DDPPL

Abu Dhabi Airports partners with Al Hilal Bank

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Abu Dhabi Airports and Al Hilal Bank entered a joint agreement to offer exclusive VIP terminal access to top ranking customers of Al Hilal Bank at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. Abdul Majeed Al Khoori, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, commented, “The VIP Terminal has been built and operated with one ambition; to extend a luxury service to all our customers and ensure they receive an exceptional travel experience that mirrors what Abu Dhabi has on offer. Therefore, partnerships like this are instrumental to achieve this ambition, and we look forward to the success it will deliver to Abu Dhabi Airports and all its partners.” Alex Coelho, CEO, Al Hilal Bank, commented, “At Al Hilal Bank, we always strive to go the extra mile when it comes to entering new partnerships. Our partnership with National Aviation Services is our latest client-centric endeavour; focusing on improving the lifestyle of our customers by making the travel experience more rewarding. Through this partnership, Al Hilal Bank customers can now enjoy complimentary access to the VIP Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport. We are happy to be part of this fruitful collaboration; offering our customers an easier and better travel experience, and we will continue to provide our customers with similar offerings that improve their quality of life.”

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Emaar unveils Address Harbour Point at Dubai Creek

Address Harbour Point

Emaar Hospitality Group has unveiled Address Harbour Point, a premium luxury hotel and serviced residences project in Dubai with views of the waterfront and Dubai Creek Tower. The 6 sq km mega-development is only 10 minutes from the Dubai International Airport. Featuring 202 rooms and suites, Address Harbour Point is part of a 1.4 million sq ft development that will also feature Address Residences Harbour Point – a collection of branded apartments, as well as a range of food & beverage outlets and retail choices. Address Dubai Creek Harbour comprises two towers, 65 and 53 storeys each, which are located next to Creek Heights, a collection of luxury waterfront homes. Address Residences Harbour Point will offer a choice of 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom homes and an exclusive ‘Sky Collection’ of 4- and 5-bedroom penthouses on the upper levels. A glass pedestrian bridge connecting the two towers also offers vantage viewing points of Dubai Creek Harbour and beyond. Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “Dubai Creek Harbour is a smart city of the future, and with Dubai Creek Tower, the iconic observation deck at its heart, the mega-development is billed to be a popular tourist and lifestyle destination. Address Harbour Point will be a remarkable addition to the mega-development and to Dubai’s hospitality sector, offering the premium luxury experience associated with the Address brand. The project stands out for its design, waterfront location, fascinating views and wide range of amenities that will add value to guests and residents.”

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Marriott launches hospitality training in Saudi Arabia

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Marriott International, in co-operation with Cornell University, launched ‘Tahseen’ programme, a training programme that focuses on fast-tracking next-generation Saudi leaders in hospitality. The launch event was held at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh. Introducing the programme, David Leman, Marriott International’s Chief HR Officer Middle East & Africa, said, “With hands-on training, expert guidance, and invaluable, full exposure to the business of running a hotel, the ‘Tahseen’ programme will set participants up for a bright future in the industry. We’re very excited to see the begin their onboarding programme following today’s inauguration.” Developed in conjunction with Cornell University and supported by key partner DUR Hospitality, ‘Tahseen’ was specifically launched for Saudi nationals and will run over a course of 12 to 18 months. The programme offers graduates six months of cross-exposure to all departments, as well as six to 12 months of departmental specialisation led by a team of professional leaders across Marriott’s participating hotels, as well as a managerial opportunity at the end of the course. It also provides graduates access to Marriott International’s world-renowned core management development programmes.

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Hilton, Tilal Properties plan 2nd Double Tree by Hilton in Sharjah

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Hilton and Tilal Properties have signed an agreement to come up with a new property adjacent to Tilal Mall by 2021. This will be the second Double Tree-branded property in Sharjah. DoubleTree by Hilton Sharjah Tilal Mall will offer 200 guest rooms, an outdoor pool and café, a restaurant, lobby lounge, fitness centre and business centre. Hilton announced the DoubleTree by Hilton Sharjah Waterfront Hotel & Suites in April 2017, which offers 254 suites and serviced apartments. Together with the new DoubleTree by Hilton Sharjah Tilal Mall and its existing Hilton Sharjah on Corniche Road, Hilton will operate three hotels in the emirate. According to Tilal Properties, the 2 million square meters (21.5 million sq. ft.) Tilal Mall will be Sharjah’s largest shopping mall and will open before the end of 2020. The mall is part of the AED 2.4 billion (US$ 653m) Tilal City mixed-use Tilal City community project and will offer a hypermarket, a fashion corner with exclusive brands, a family entertainment centre, a multi-screen cinema and Tilal Boulevard, a restaurant area featuring a selection of culinary outlets. A 65-hectare recreational park is being landscaped in the area next to the mall. Strategically located on the Emirates Road (E611), close to Al Dhaid interchange, Tilal City is just 10 kilometres away from Sharjah’s International Airport and within convenient commuting distance to nearby emirates, with Dubai only 2 kilometres away.

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Oman Air and Kenya Airways on code share

Kenya-Oman Air

Oman Air has implemented a code share agreement with Kenya Airways (KQ) covering services between Muscat and Nairobi. The new partnership will allow seamless connectivity to Kenya Airways customers in accessing Muscat directly from Nairobi. Oman Air launched its flights to Nairobi in March this year. On the Nairobi – Muscat route, KQ will place its code share flight numbers on the Oman Air flights operating on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Through this partnership, Kenya Airways extends its services to tourists as well as to those who are visiting friends and families, in Oman – through the cultural links that Oman shares with the coastal parts of East Africa – especially Kenya and Tanzania. Commenting on the new code share agreement, Paul Gregorowitsch, CEO, Oman Air, said, “Oman Air is very happy with the implementation of this code share agreement with Kenya Airways. Through this partnership, Oman Air extends its exemplary services to guests of Kenya Airways. Trade between Kenya and Oman has been growing steadily over the years and this latest agreement with Kenya Airways is a natural progression, following the launch of our new flight from Muscat to Nairobi in March this year.” Sebastian Mikosz, Managing Director and CEO, Kenya Airways Group, commented, “This new code share agreement represents an important element of our strategy to increase the choice, convenience and connectivity that Kenya Airways offers its customers. The code share partnerships and airline alliances continue to play an important role for Kenya Airways in improving the airlines competitive offering.”

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UAE visa on arrival for Indian passport holders with UK, EU residence visa

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Indian passport holders, with residence visa from either the UK or EU, can now avail visa on arrival for travel within the UAE. In a cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, it was announced that the government had approved the decision to grant visa to Indian passport holders with residence visa from either UK or EU. Earlier this year, UAE cabinet approved to grant visa on arrival to Indian passport holders with either a valid US visa or a Green Card. This will strengthen ties between the two countries attracting more visitors to the destination.

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Czech Republic forays into Middle East market

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Monika Palatková, Managing Director, Czech Tourism, has announced a partnership with VFS Global in order to enter the GCC market. She says, “We have been working closely with VFS Global in India since the end of 2016 and it has proven to be successful in establishing the Czech Republic as a tourist destination in India. I am pleased to announce the expansion of our cooperation into another strategic region, the Middle East. Today, we have entered into a contractual partnership, based on which VFS Global will implement several promotional activities focused on the leisure and MICE segments in the Middle East.” She added, “Prague, the beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic, is extremely popular with tourists but there is so much more this wonderful country has to offer the discerning Indian travellers. The central promotional theme of Czech Tourism in 2017 has been Baroque. The year 2018 will be a period of celebration for the Czech Republic because it marks 100 years from the establishment of the independent country; the main focus will be monuments, places and traditions related to this period.”

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Ezeego1 now in Dubai

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India-based online travel marketplace, Ezeego1.ae entered the Middle East market with an aim to expand its global footprint in the B2B travel space. Their newly-established office in Dubai Internet City will be the headquarters and global base for strengthening its presence across the markets in Africa and the Middle East. Neelu Singh, CEO and Director, Ezaago1, said, “We started off our B2B arm in 2009 and have been in the forefront concentrating on different offerings in the market. We have already mapped the requirements of the Middle East market and have confidence that we can cater to all those conditions, necessities and constraints. Dubai will be the headquarters catering to the Middle East and Africa region as we see a very good growth potential. We believe that our global reach and technological know-how combined well with the local expertise of the travel providers can address the growing demand of inbound and outbound travel in the region. Extension of our rich B2B presence to this region will support the need of the growing client base of travel partners by providing solutions in the area of marketing, inventory management and dynamic pricing to achieve sustainable profit margins.” Ezeego1 will enable and distribute comprehensive content of hotels, holidays, acticites, cruises, cars amd travel insurance through its B2B online travel portal agent.ezeego1.ae. Travel agents, tour operators, retail and wholesale agents and destination management companies partnering with Ezeego1 can access millions of travel products on the online booking tool, avail flexible payment and settlement options, multi-currency support, customised technology and 24×7 customer support across geographies to be able to provide their customers the best travel experience.

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Emirates’ 4th daily from Sydney-Dubai in March’18

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Emirates will commence a fourth daily service from Dubai to Sydney, Australia, on its iconic A380 aircraft from March 25, 2018. The new daily service will complement Emirate’s existing three daily A380 services and improve connections globally. The move will provide passengers travelling from Europe and North Africa greater connectivity to Australia. It also builds on Emirates’ partnership with Qantas, meeting continued demand for services to Dubai and complementing Qantas’ re-routing of its current Sydney to London service via Singapore (instead of Dubai). Emirates’ new service will offer passengers an afternoon departure from Sydney and a convenient arrival in main European cities the following morning. It also introduces a new option for passengers to depart London and main European cities in the morning with an afternoon arrival in Sydney the next day with a short connection in Dubai. Between March 25 -30, 2018, the inbound service EK416 will depart Dubai at 20:40 hours, arriving in Sydney at 17:20 hours, the following day. Due to daylight savings from March 31, 2018, the arrival time changes to 16:30 hours, the following day. Between March 26-31, 2018, the outbound service EK417 will depart Sydney at 17:05 hours, arriving in Dubai at 00:25 hours the following day. Due to daylight savings from April 1, the outbound service EK417 will depart Sydney 16:15 hours, arriving the same time the following day. All services will be operated by an A380 aircraft. The A380 aircraft offers 489 seats in a three-class cabin configuration with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy.

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Marhaba lounge opens in Australia

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Having recently completed 25 years of operations in Dubai, Marhaba, the provider of premium airport passenger services, launched its first airport lounge in Australia. In addition to its new facility in Australia, Marhaba also opened a new lounge at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport in July this year. Marhaba offers a meet and assist service and operates lounges in Dubai (DXB and DWC) and Bahrain. The spacious Melbourne lounge features seating for 200 guests, a quiet zone for relaxation, shower facilities and buffet cuisine from around the globe. Speaking at the official opening of the lounge, Gary Chapman, President, dnata, said, “Australia is a very important market for us and we continue to look for opportunities to bring more of our services to customers here.” “We already operate Australia’s leading in-flight catering company, Alpha Flight Services, and are delighted to add the Marhaba brand of airport hospitality to serve Melbourne and those passing through Melbourne Airport.” Melbourne Airport is the second busiest in Australia and one of the most important travel gateways in the country with more than 33 million passengers in 2016. International passenger traffic is expected to reach 64 million by 2033.

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