Shivani DDPPL

W Hotels debuts in Oman with the opening of W Muscat

W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., announced the opening of W Muscat, the brand’s newest beachfront W Escape and the second to open in the Middle East this year. Set against the stunning backdrop of the rugged Al Hajar Mountains, which form a stark contrast to the historic capital city’s lively waterfront, W Muscat sits at the intersection of the bustling Shatti Al Qurum area. The new hotel opens in an ideal locale to bring the W brand’s signature take on playful luxury to the serene waterfront of Oman. “Muscat is a fascinating and exciting city. Its cultural DNA honors millennia of tradition while looking to what’s new and next — an ideal match for the W brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The arrival of W in Muscat marks a new chapter for both the brand and this buzzing metropolis. The hotel reinterprets Omani design and cultural traditions to create a modern, energetic and stylish escape unlike anything the Sultanate has seen before.” “We are excited to bring the W brand to Oman with the highly anticipated opening of W Muscat,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “This W Escape will be a significant addition to our portfolio and redefine the hospitality scene in Oman. With its evocative design and fresh and vibrant energy, I am confident it will soon emerge as a preferred getaway for both locals and global jet-setters alike.” “The opening of W Muscat reflects our strategic role to create sustainable tourism assets, lifestyle communities and destinations that play a major role in the national economic diversification of Oman,” commented Peter Walichnowski, CEO …

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Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London unveils two penthouse suites

The brand new suites introduced at the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park is the perfect getaway for the GCC travellers who wish to indulge in a bleisure stay where they can work while having the family around in the most comfortable suites. Having completed the most extensive restoration in its 117-year history, the hotel now unveils all new guest rooms and suites, including two newly created expansive Penthouse Suites. Most accommodation offers exceptional views of leafy Hyde Park and the London skyline. “Mandarin Oriental is enormously proud of the heritage of this historic hotel. The intricacy of this momentous renovation is fashioned to ensure, that this iconic London establishment is recognised as one of the finest hotels in the world. We look forward to welcoming our guests with kind and intuitive service that is truly British but reflective of our Oriental heritage,” said Amanda Hyndman, General Manager and Area Vice President of Operations.  

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Andaz Dubai The Palm to open in December

This winter will welcome a game changer, with the introduction of Dubai’s first Andaz branded hotel, Andaz Dubai The Palm. Located in the heart of The Palm Jumeirah, the luxury boutique lifestyle hotel and residences will be rooted in Dubai’s rich culture, whilst reflecting the city’s eclectic style through all elements of design, interaction and experience. Set to open on December 1, 2019, Andaz Dubai The Palm rests on a 300 metres private beach, within walking distance of the upcoming Nakheel Shopping Mall. Located on the right trunk of the shoreline, the two 15-story towers will house 217 bespoke guest rooms and 116 individually imagined designer residences. Boasting a mix of fresh and contemporary sized spaces and floor to ceiling windows with 360-degree views of Dubai’s ever-evolving skyline, each room promises a unique experience centred around contemporary Arabic arts and crafts. The Andaz Lounge provides an ‘anti office’ for guests and residents, with a design that evokes the cosiest of dens with plush seating, large tables and a library of books allowing guests to catch up, swap stories and debate their favourite literary classics. Then there will be Knox, an underground urban speakeasy bar appealing to bon vivants and city socialites. Taking an unconventional approach to MiCE, Andaz Dubai The Palm is set up to host a variety of events, boasting approximately 590 square metres of functional space consisting of a unique show-kitchen, meeting rooms, living room and a spacious terrace overlooking the beach. Complemented by advanced audio-visual technology, Andaz Salons are versatile spaces, accommodating everything from corporate meetings with a twist to social parties with the city’s elite.

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Digital Venture partners with Amadeus

Digital Venture has signed an agreement with Amadeus to become the exclusive distributor for its innovative and unique media solutions inventory for Amadeus travel itinerary documents and CheckMyTrip for all advertising demands in the GCC, Levant, Egypt & Italy regions. Digital Venture will work directly with advertisers and agencies in the regions. Through these Amadeus media solutions products, Digital Venture will provide its clients with direct access to engage with global confirmed passengers before, during and after their trip experience, with points of sale in the exclusive regions. Amadeus’ media solutions advertising products are travel documents issued by travel agencies and CheckMyTrip mobile app, which help brands with specialised targeting criteria to deliver personalised offers to booked travelers. These criteria include language, booking class, business category, origin, destination, connection, connection duration, trip duration, booking dates, class of service, trip elements booked, trip companion, affluence, gender, trip purpose and many more. Commenting on this strategic alliance, Sami Hamade, CEO, Digital Venture, said, “Travellers are attentive and receptive to their trip context. Interaction at these key stages increases brand recall. The aim is to offer relevant content at the time and place when the audience demands it.” Sol Freixa, Global Director for Travel Advertising Sales & Marketing, Travel Channels, Amadeus, said, “With one of the fastest growing online travel sectors in the world, it is no surprise that the region is deeply committed to digital transformation. Travel advertising plays a key role in this as it allows retailers to reach travellers in new, interactive ways, at the right moment.”

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Sabre appoints Aditya Varma as Regional Director for strategic markets

Sabre Corporation has appointed Aditya Varma as Regional Director for Sabre Travel Network Middle East (STNME) based in the region’s headquarters in Bahrain. Varma will lead the sales operations and customer relationships for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, key growth countries for Sabre in the Middle East. He is tasked with managing customer relationships, as well as identifying and executing commercial and new sales opportunities to help accelerate growth in the region. “Varma has extensive sales and customer management experience across multiple regions which makes him a great addition to our leadership team,” said Abdul-Razzaq Iyer, Vice President, STNME. “As we continue our mission to reimagine the business of travel, his role will be essential in supporting our strategy and sales operations while we continue to identify innovative technology and solutions to drive our customers’ and the travel business forward.” Varma brings more than 20 years of experience in the aviation and travel industry. He has worked across multiple geographies including the Middle East, Africa, India sub-continent and Russia managing multinational teams and growing his sales excellence expertise. Varma joins Sabre from Travelport where he was the Regional Manager for distributor markets in Middle East & South Asia. Prior to this, he held senior commercial positions with KLM and Air Arabia; the first low cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East. He holds an MBA from the University of Leicester.  

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Mubadala and Nirvana Travel and Tourism collaborate for medical tourism

Mubadala Investment Company, through its healthcare arm, signed a memorandum of understanding with Nirvana Travel and Tourism to formalise their intention to collaborate on projects that will support a key Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 objective of establishing the emirate as a leading medical tourism destination. The areas of collaboration will focus on potential visitors from the GCC, MENA, Russia, China and India, and will include aspects such as creating attractive and all-inclusive medical tourism packages, as well as exploring joint marketing and business opportunities. Commenting on the collaboration, Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Head of Mubadala Healthcare, said, “By working together, Mubadala and Nirvana can ensure that patients will experience only the highest standards across the full spectrum of treatment and travel, thus helping cement Abu Dhabi’s reputation as the destination of choice for healthcare.” Alaa Al Ali, CEO, Nirvana, said, “Abu Dhabi’s huge investments into medical tourism have significantly boosted the sector and created numerous opportunities for us to enhance it. Cooperation between government agencies and partnership with the private sector contribute to making the capital a viable international medical hub. Nirvana and Mubadala will work together to meet the needs of patients drawn from abroad thus complementing Mubadala’s efforts to enhance the local healthcare sector utilizing existing healthcare expertise and the advanced infrastructure found here.” Al Ali added, “Abu Dhabi attracts patients from more than 80 countries, which demonstrates the exceptional growth in the capital. We are optimistic and eager to make Abu Dhabi a key strategic market player worldwide, by keeping track of medical trends and factors that fuel the development of the medical tourism sector.”    

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Oman Air Holidays announce bespoke Golf packages

Oman Air Holidays has unveiled its bespoke golf package product that combines the inbound tour operating expertise with local golfing knowledge provided by Arabian Greens Tours. This new service provides everything a golf enthusiast needs to get the best out of their visit. Packaging Oman Air flights, the best hotels and transport options, with all the courses around Muscat and Sifah, visitors can get a fabulous sporting holiday in Oman. The new product caters for golfers of all ages and levels; from novices, all the way through to professionals looking for some warm weather practice. Richard Bodin, Senior Vice President of Oman Air Holidays, said, “Announcing a dedicated golf product, in partnership with the experts at Arabian Greens Tours, will help us drive more visitors to Oman and its wonderful hotels and courses.” Salim Al Harthy, CEO of Arabian Greens Tours confirmed his company’s commitment to the product: “Golf represents huge growth potential for tourism Oman. Hosting recent events such as the Oman Open, which is a part of the highly prestigious European Tour, has resulted in a wave of interest in Muscat as a golfing destination.” Golf tourism caters for over 40 million tourists and is worth in excess of $22 Billion around the world; it is therefore important that Oman attracts some of this traffic to the country. As proud sponsors of the 2019 Oman Open Championship, amongst many other sporting events throughout the calendar, Oman Air is playing its part in promoting the country as a strong, activity-led destination and the launch of the Oman Air Holidays golf specific product is another step forward in achieving that objective.

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25th edition of Leisure Moscow from Sept 10-12

Leisure Moscow will celebrate the 25th edition from September 10-12 at Expocentre Fairgrounds. One of the key programmes this year is the international forum for tourism industry professionals and experts. The theme will be new destinations and territory marketing. The new generation of tourists and digital technologies inspire changes in the travel industry that require a flexible approach. There will be emerging of new niches and increasing competition between routes and regions. What is the next step in the industry development, and how to predict trends? What destinations will be relevant? What prospects have been opened by the event tourism over the past 5 years (on the example of Sochi 2014, 2018 FIFA World Cup)? How the cultural tourism develops? These and other topics will be discussed by experts and professionals during all three forum days. Last year, the exhibition attracted 870 exhibitors from 41 countries and 44 Russian regions with 38,303 visits in 15 000 sqm exhibition area with 287 media attendees and 80 media partners.

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WTTC MENA forum in RAK in October

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) will host their inaugural Middle East & North Africa Leaders’ Forum in Ras Al Khaimah on October 2nd. The one-day forum will engage 150-200 leaders in keynotes and panel discussions focusing on key themes, including: challenges and investment opportunities; job creation and skill development; climate and environment action and digital disruption. This will bring together government agencies, industry associations, CEOs and senior leaders of the top travel and tourism companies, experts, and media from across the region. The WTTC Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum will delve into contemporary issues facing the sector and discuss growth opportunities to advance the regional agenda.

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Turkish Airlines enhances its cabin uniforms

Turkish Airlines’ cabin crew will now greet passengers with ‘welcome onboard’ dressed in new uniforms on long haul flights of the national flag carrier. The new cabin crew uniforms of Turkish Airlines, flying to the most countries in the world, were designed with the aim of celebrating the airline’s 85th anniversary and will be visible on the entire cabin crew on the long haul flights of the flag carrier. The new uniforms in flag-red and anthracite gray colours, which were rigorously tested on long-range flights in different climates, have been tailored to 25,000 employees in order for cabin crews to serve passengers comfortably. İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines, said; “I believe that our brand’s presence in the skies will be much more impressive when the new cabin uniforms, which bear elements of our culture, are combined with the elegance of our cabin crews.” Italian haute couturier Ettore Bilotta designed the new cabin uniforms, which were specially sewn by Vakko, and the main fabrics were produced by Altınyıldız, based on the compliance of Turkish Airlines with flight standards.

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