Shivani DDPPL

Thuraya and IEC Telecom showcase maritime product portfolio

Nabil Ben Soussia, Managing Director at IEC TelecomME and Thuraya partners

Thuraya Telecommunications Company and its long-standing service partner, IEC Telecom have joined forces to showcase Thuraya’s maritime product portfolio and provide a preview of the latest Thuraya maritime VSAT service at this year’s international shipping exhibition, Posidonia 2018, in Greece. Visitors to the Greece Metropolitan Expo had the opportunity to engage with senior executives from Thuraya and IEC Telecom on Thuraya’s new VSAT service and terminal that are due to be launched later this year. Speaking at the Expo, Ricky D’Souza, Manager, Market Development Maritime, Thuraya, said, “The growing demand for data in the maritime sector coupled with other requirements such as crew retention, remote offices, remote monitoring and maintenance has pushed us to develop our VSAT service. We were pleased to meet our valued customers to give them a sneak peek of our new dedicated VSAT+ terminal that provides communication support for a wider range of applications.” Thuraya displayed a wide range of products from its maritime portfolio including the Thuraya Orion IP broadband terminal, the SF2500 voice satellite terminal and the newly launched Thuraya Atlas IP+. Easy to install, Thuraya Atlas IP+ offers managers and crew seamless access to the Internet, enhanced connectivity, and high-speed onboard efficiency with best-in-class data rates, as well as driving operational efficiency. The terminal features a single cable connection to the stabilised antenna, direct bulkhead mounting, and built-in Wi-Fi. Through its RJ11 port, it can be connected to any standard analog or cordless phone.”

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Amadeus first to receive level-3 certification on latest version of NDC standard

Amadeus new logo

Amadeus has said that it is the first to receive level-3 certification on the latest version (18.1) of  New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard. Since 2016, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has had a certification process in place for the NDC standard, for the different industry stakeholders to show their capability to support NDC messaging. Amadeus has now renewed its level 3 certification for Altéa NDC, which was released in March this year. The version 18.1 is generated based on the new aviation industry data model, which IATA has been working on with Amadeus and other industry partners. This new data model aims to provide a consistent industry repository and methodology to help define the use and structure of new and existing standards. “We’ve been working hand in hand with IATA and other industry partners to test and improve this latest version of the standard, which will help to drive industrialization and adoption. Version 18.1 and the new data model means that NDC messages between airlines and third parties – whether aggregators, travel sellers or corporations – now have a more defined structure. We’re pleased to be the first company to be certified on the 18.1 version, as proof of our ongoing partnership with IATA and our commitment to making NDC work for the industry,” said Gianni Pisanello, VP, NDC-X programme, Amadeus. This certification as an IT provider follows on from Amadeus’ previous level 3 certification as an IT provider and level 1 certification as an aggregator in 2016 and 2017. Amadeus is also on track to achieve level 3 certification as an aggregator later this year.

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Al Ghazal Golf Club to transform into a sports recreational hub

Al Ghazal Golf Club - Ola

Abu Dhabi Airports has announced the transformation plans for Al Ghazal Golf Club and Sports resort that will present a revamped new recreational offer to the residents and visitors of Abu Dhabi. The renovation and development plans will turn the emirate’s only sand golf course to a nationwide recreational sporting hub. The transformed golf destination expects to debut its enhanced look towards the mid of 2018. The property is currently undergoing cutting-edge refurbishments on five of its star facilities; 18-Hole golf course and training centre, sports recreational center, administration building, and its Food & Beverage Outlets. The finished facility will boast a prestigious sand golf course, an assortment of recreational activities for adventure seekers, locker room expansions, new gaming facilities, and improved continental dinning venues. Al Ghazal Golf Club and Sports enjoys a strategic location lying in close proximity to the Abu Dhabi International Airport and some of the most sought-after attractions of the Emirate that includes the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World, Yas Island. Commenting on this development, Saoud Al Shamsi, Acting Chief Commercial Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “Al Ghazal Golf Club and Sports will be the most luxurious and exciting resort for sport lovers and families seeking an adventurous escape, or to unwind after a long day of work. This renovation project has been designed to create a wider golf club membership that ultimately establishes a big and prominent Al Ghazal Community. In line with its vision and values, Al Ghazal Golf Club & Sports Resort will be a leader of innovation, hospitality and quality by the end of 2018”.

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Abu Dhabi cuts tourism & municipality fees to enhance emirate’s competitiveness

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has decided to cut tourism and municipality fees to boost tourism and spur investments in the hospitality sector. HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi said, “The Executive Council’s decision to adopt the proposal, put forward by the Department of Culture and Tourism- Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), to reduce tourism and municipality fees will enhance the Emirate’s international tourism competitiveness by strengthening Abu Dhabi’s value proposition, and by encouraging investments in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Abu Dhabi’s hotel establishments will be further able to record high occupancy rates compared to the regional and global tourism markets. “With this decision, hotels and hospitality establishments can achieve more growth and stay in line with the continuous development of the emirate’s infrastructure and its wide variety of cultural and leisure attractions. The adoption of the proposal will enhance Abu Dhabi’s attractiveness to investors and support the development of additional tourism projects and hotels. It will also strengthen the emirate’s position as a leading tourism destination for both business and leisure.” HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi said, “The adoption of the new tourism and municipality fees is driven by the leadership’s vision to support the hospitality and tourism sectors and encourage further economic diversification. This move will attract further investment to the capital and underpin Abu Dhabi’s aim to expand its tourism proposition and increase visitor numbers.”

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24 extra flights to Jeddah by Emirates for Umrah season

Emirates FLL Route Launch at Airport

Emirates will be operating 24 extra flights to Jeddah during the busy Umrah season, adding more than 10,000 additional seats between Dubai and Jeddah from June 12-24. The additional flights will be serviced by the Boeing 777-300ER. Emirates’ additional flights will help accommodate more convenient travel through Dubai during the Umrah season, which starts in Ramadan and concludes in July. These services will run in parallel with Emirates’ regularly scheduled services to Jeddah, which includes three daily flights. The additional services can be accessed by travellers holding a valid Umrah visa. Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations for Gulf, Middle East and Iran said, “Performing Umrah during the month of Ramadan is a significant experience for Muslims and Emirates is helping to make the journey more seamless through convenient connections for the thousands of pilgrims looking to travel during this time. We thank the Saudi Arabian government and authorities for their support to introduce these extra frequencies during Umrah season.” Onboard, Emirates’ award-winning ice system features special religious programming as well as popular regional entertainment options including new drama series. The airline’s diverse content available on board with up to 3,500 channels of entertainment includes 238 Arabic channels featuring movies, TV, music and audio. This year, top destinations where Emirates is expecting Umrah travellers to come from are Pakistan, North Africa, the United States, the UK and South Africa.

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Marriott strengthens portfolio in KSA with three major deals

Signing Ceremony - Al Murjan Group and Marriott International

As part of its ongoing commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Marriott International has announced three deal signings in Jeddah with the Al Murjan Group. The projects will add over 500 rooms in the country and feature the Middle East’s first Delta Hotel by Marriott along with Jeddah’s first Marriott Executive Apartments and Four Points by Sheraton. “We are delighted to work with the Al Murjan Group on three exciting new projects in Saudi Arabia. In doing so, we will be expanding our brand portfolio in the region with the debut of Delta Hotels by Marriott while further strengthening the presence of Four Points by Sheraton and Marriott Executive Apartments,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director -Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. The Delta Hotels by Marriott Jeddah Al Salam and Marriott Executive Apartments Jeddah, Al Salam will be located on King Abdulaziz Road and Al Salam Road at the Globe Roundabout in Jeddah. Developed by the Al Murjan Group, the mixed-use project will include commercial and retail space along with the two hotels. The hotels are scheduled to open by 2023. Delta Hotels by Marriott Jeddah Al Salam will feature 175 rooms including 25 suites, two dining outlets, recreational facilities and a 3,000 sqm grand ballroom with pre-function space including four meeting rooms. Marriott Executive Apartments Jeddah, Al Salam will operate 100 stylish apartments (one, two and three bedrooms) with fully equipped kitchens along with a dining outlet, a fitness centre and swimming pool. Four Points by Sheraton Jeddah, Corniche Obhur will be located on the South Obhur Corniche and will include 306 rooms – 196 studio rooms and 110 one bedroom suites, two F&B outlets, a fitness …

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dnata acquires DUBZ for home check-in service

Dnata image

Passengers flying out from Dubai can now enjoy the convenience of checking in their baggage and getting boarding passes from their home or hotel. dnata is launching these new services through baggage technology and logistics company, DUBZ, in which it recently acquired a majority stake. Available 24 hours a day, the service can be booked online at www.dubz.com. Since its launch, DUBZ has seen strong demand for its services from customers who want a hassle-free journey to and from the airport, especially when travelling in groups. dnata and DUBZ are starting the new home check-in service for passengers flying with flydubai and KSA carriers, Saudia and flynas. They have the capability to extend this to any carrier and are currently in discussions with other airlines to make it available to their passengers soon. In addition, passengers on any airline arriving at Terminals 1 and 2 at Dubai International Airport and Al-Maktoum International Airport can appoint DUBZ to collect their baggage at the carousels, clear customs on their behalf and deliver the bags straight to their home or hotel. The new luggage check-in services costs AED 110 each for the first and second bags or AED299 for the first three bags, and AED30 for every additional bag after that. For the baggage belt pick up service, it is AED 99 for the first bag and AED 40 for every additional bag.  

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Etihad to introduce Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on Cairo route from October 28

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Effective October 28, 2018, Etihad Airways will introduce a 299-seat next-generation Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its daily mid-morning EY653/EY654 schedule from Abu Dhabi to Cairo. Etihad Airways will operate four daily services to the Egyptian capital, offering greater choice and optimised timings to benefit business and leisure customers travelling point-to-point between the two cities. The convenient schedules also provide seamless East-bound connections through Abu Dhabi onto the airline’s network to the Gulf, Indian subcontinent, North and Southeast Asia and Australia. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President Commercial, Etihad Airways said, “Etihad Airways has been serving Cairo since 2004 and today it is one of the largest point-to-point markets on our global network, bolstered by the hugely important historic, economic, and cultural ties existing between the UAE and Egypt. The introduction of the state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner on the popular morning service from Abu Dhabi will provide guests with the latest innovation and technology, award-winning cabins, genuine hospitality and greater choice.” In April 2018, Etihad Airways and EGYPTAIR expanded their codeshare partnership from Abu Dhabi and Cairo to include several African destinations served by the Egyptian flag-carrier from its Cairo hub, including Ndjamena in Chad, Khartoum in Sudan, Entebbe in Uganda, and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and subject to government approvals, Abuja and Kano in Nigeria, and Asmara in Eritrea.

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Emirates launches flights to London Stansted with new Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates FLL Route Launch at Airport

Emirates celebrated the inaugural flight of its new daily service from Dubai (DXB) to London Stansted (STN). The aircraft deployed on the route is Emirates’ new three-class Boeing 777-300ER, featuring its state-of-the-art, fully-enclosed private suites in First Class, and refreshed Business and Economy Class cabins. The aircraft also sports newly-designed seats and upgraded in-flight entertainment systems in all cabins.  To celebrate the airline’s arrival to the airport, Emirates and Stansted airport held a launch event for local dignitaries and stakeholders, hosted by Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations – West and Richard Jewsbury, Divisional Vice President, UK, alongside Ken O’Toole, CEO, Stansted Airport. “We decided to add London Stansted to our network because we saw an opportunity to directly connect the local community with some of the world’s most popular leisure and business destinations. Previously, London’s north east and the wider 7.5 million people that live within Stansted’s catchment areas had to travel into the city to access airports with global reach. Now, this daily flight to Dubai connects passengers seamlessly to Emirates points across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australasia,” said Frach. The new gateway is the seventh UK airport that Emirates operates out of in the UK, with Edinburgh to follow in October.

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$500 million owner investment on Marriott’s Sheraton transformation

marriott-logo-e1426139459311

Marriott International has announced its transformation vision for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, the third largest brand in its portfolio. The company, which introduced its new Sheraton guestroom late last year, is showcasing its vision for Sheraton’s public spaces at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York, bringing to life for owners and investors the company’s brand strategy as well as its signature focus on guest experience, hotel operations and design philosophy. “From the moment we closed the Starwood merger in late 2016, the revitalization of Sheraton has been a top priority for our company,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International. “We knew that the way to restore this incredible brand was focus and collaboration with our hotel owners. We wanted to build on Sheraton’s rich legacy of sitting at the heart of communities across the globe, but also to create a differentiated positioning and compelling proposition for our owners. With our Sheraton transformation plan, we’ve put together all of the pieces of the equation to work cooperatively with our owners to set this iconic brand on a new, disciplined and successful path. We are ready, our vision is clear and the energy is robust for Sheraton.” Owners are already responding to the new vision with optimism and energy, committing an estimated half-a-billion dollars in renovations of hotels across the US. Globally, 25 per cent of Sheraton hotels have committed to renovations with some already underway.”

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