Shivani DDPPL

ATM Holiday Shopper on April 27 at the Dubai World Trade Centre

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Looking for a weekend staycation, long-haul getaway or the perfect Eid break on a budget? Visit the first-ever ATM Holiday Shopper where hundreds of exclusive travel and tourism deals will be on offer for one day only. “Taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on April 27 – the day before the official opening of Arabian Travel Market – travel agencies, hotels and far-flung destinations will be offering a wide range of incredible deals to consumers attending the show,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market. With itineraries for thousands of hotels and resorts across the world, Middle Eastern holiday website HolidayMe will be providing 20 per cent off package holidays to the first 100 visitors to its stand. While Holiday Factory, a leading tour operator in the UAE market, will be offering 10 per cent off package holidays to 25 destinations across the Indian Ocean, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. If you’re looking for a relaxing family break over Eid, visit Ras Al Khaimah’s stand and receive up to 20 per cent off on hotel stays or a complimentary room upgrade at various properties across the emirate as well as up to 20 per cent off on spa treatments and food and beverage during your stay. Attendees can immerse themselves in faraway cultures with the world’s first Virtual Reality (VR) Travel experience. Ride through the streets or soar over the sights of some of the world’s most famous cities including Rome, Tokyo, the Swiss Alps, Masai Mara Kenyan Safari, Dubai, Paris and Washington DC. Enjoy a range of family-friendly attractions throughout the day such as cultural displays, calligraphy, henna and falconry amongst many other activities. …

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ITB China joins HSMAI for 2019 edition

ITB China

For the second time in a row the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and ITB China, set to take place from May 15 to 17, 2019 in Shanghai, have joined together to promote education and professional development in the hospitality industry. HSMAI is a 90-year-old, global, non-profit association with more than 7,000 members committed to growing business for hotels and their partners. It has recently recruited Asia’s top hotel revenue managers to join forces to produce a training programme that underpins a new online industry education platform. Appropriately, on May 17 the dedicated ‘Education & Job Day’ is being held for the second time at the ITB China Conference 2019. It is focusing on the exchange of educational knowledge and the promotion of career opportunities of current and future talents of the Chinese travel industry. HSMAI will be conducting a session in the presentation hub on May 17, 2019 starting at 10 am covering the topics of Revenue Management, Data Intelligence and Hotel Sales Distributions. These topics form part of HSMAI’s Certificate in Revenue Management (Hospitality) launched in 2017 and created by the senior leaders of revenue management in hotels around the world. “HSMAI have been busy updating our current courses and developing new education and courses to assist hotel professionals to grow their careers. In 2019, we’ll be developing new programmes for hoteliers to continue their learning in digital marketing, distribution and managing commercial functions”, says Jackie Douglas, President HSMAI Asia Pacific. Huilian Duan, President of the HSMAI Greater China Chapter Board, urged her industry colleagues to get behind the education, “All Sales, Revenue and Digital Directors should be certified in their respective fields.  Only HSMAI can …

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IHG signs agreement with Valor Hospitality Partners Africa to roll out franchise hotels

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has signed a Master Development Agreement with Valor Hospitality Partners Africa to roll out multiple franchise hotels over the next 10 years, across IHG’s portfolio of brands in mid-scale, upscale and luxury segments. The agreement will see IHG expand its presence in Sub-Saharan Africa, including key countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Zambia and Kenya. The development adds to IHG’s growing pipeline in the Middle East and Africa and cements its position as one of the leading operators in the region. Valor Hospitality Partners Africa is a subsidiary of Valor Hospitality Partners Global that manages projects across America, the UK, Middle East, South Africa and South East Asia. IHG currently operates hotels with Valor Hospitality Partners in America and the UK. Speaking on the announcement, Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG, said, “Valor has been our long-term partner in America and the UK for many years and we are pleased to be building our network with an experienced existing operating partner in new markets. This signing is in line with our growth ambition in the region and will add approximately 1,000 rooms to our portfolio in the African continent, primarily in the mid-scale segment and select hotels in upscale and luxury segments. We currently have 26 operating hotels across eight countries in Africa, and we are looking at expanding our presence further by close to 40 per cent, in three to five years.” Graham Wood, Managing Director of Valor Hospitality Partners Africa, added, “We have consistently benefitted from IHG’s global distribution system in the Americas and the UK, best-in-class revenue management tools, …

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Emirates inks deal with Africa World Airlines

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates and Africa World Airlines (AWA), the Ghanaian airline, announced a one-way interline agreement whereby Emirates customers can connect onto selected routes of Africa World Airlines’ network, opening up new African destinations for Emirates customers from May 2019. “The agreement between Emirates and Africa World Airlines underpins our commitment to provide greater connectivity across West Africa. This partnership will allow us to further extend West Africa via the selected domestic and regional routes of Africa World Airlines,” said Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa, Emirates. “Africa World Airlines is proud to partner with Emirates in order to connect passengers through our hub at the new Terminal 3 in Accra. Customers will enjoy seamless connections at the premier gateway to the West African region as a result of this new agreement,” said Sean Mendis, Chief Operations Officer for Africa World Airlines. Passengers on Emirates’ network can now benefit from greater connectivity to West Africa, especially those travelling from popular inbound markets such as Dubai, China, India and Australia who can now connect from Accra onto AWA flights to Kumasi, Tamale and Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana; and regional destinations Monrovia in Liberia and Freetown in Sierra Leone. Emirates passengers can choose from seven weekly flights from Dubai to Accra until June 2, 2019, when Emirates will increase services on the route to 11 weekly flights. The agreement with AWA will further extend Emirates’ connectivity from Accra with up to ten flights daily to Kumasi, four flights daily each to Tamale and Takoradi and six weekly flights to Monrovia and Freetown.

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Abu Dhabi tourism and Etihad organise 3D mapping promotions in Jeddah

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi are taking Jeddah residents on an immersive tour of Abu Dhabi across VOX Cinemas using 3D projection mapping. This is the first time this technology is being utilised to promote a destination in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the wider Middle East region.  This month, projection mapping will turn VOX cinemas into a theatrical stage to provide viewers with a simulated first person experience of what it’s like flying with Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi. Tim Burnell, Vice President Marketing, Etihad Airways, said, “Abu Dhabi is a dynamic capital with a wealth of exciting opportunities to offer to every type of traveller. We are delighted that today’s technology can showcase what our airline and capital has to offer, by bringing the experience to them, making them feel like they are actually here.” Viewers will board an Etihad aircraft and walk around the Business Cabin before being transported to world-famous leisure attractions including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and to Warner Bros. At World Abu Dhabi, famous cartoon and comic characters such as Bugs Bunny and Batman will interact with the audience. The journey continues to a mangrove forest, followed by miles of beautiful white sand beaches and a live cooking demonstration, before closing on Abu Dhabi’s rich skyline.

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Tripfez becomes Malaysia’s first Islamic Digital Economy compliant travel firm

Profile - Faeez

Tripfez, a provider of halal travel content to several major OTAs in the Middle East, has marked a major milestone as Malaysia’s first Islamic Digital Economy (IDE) compliant travel firm. The Online Travel Agency (OTA), Asia’s leading provider of Muslim-friendly travel packages, which recently merged with the Middle East’s award-winning holiday booking site, holidayme, is the only company in the travel industry to receive a verification and listing by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). This distinction follows MDEC’s recent introduction of Malaysia’s first IDE Mi’yar as it consolidates its position as the world’s leading Islamic economy and reinforces Tripfez’s reputation as a leading halal travel brand, regionally and in global growth markets including the Middle East. To be listed as IDE compliant, companies are required to comply with the Shariah Compliant Startup Mi’yar and Mi’yar for Technology Product & Services, which is validated through a screening process to scrutinise business activities in the digital space, as well as the operational end-to-end processes within the company — from product and services and financial management to capital structure. Shariah advisory firm, the Amanie Group, which specialises in Islamic financial services, conducts the screening process. “IDE compliancy sets Tripfez apart from the competition, providing a clear message to our customers and our investors that we are the leading Muslim travel brand in every respect, from the products and services we offer to the way in which we conduct our business,” said Tripfez Founder & CEO, Faeez Fadhlillah, Asia’s most widely-known and influential entrepreneur in the halal tourism arena. “A robust Islamic Digital Economy provides Malaysia with a distinct competitive advantage and Tripfez is proud to be leading the way in the field of …

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DTCM launches sponsorship scheme for leisure events

New events sponsorship scheme launched

Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) launched a new sponsorship scheme to drive continued innovation and sustainability across Dubai’s events industry. Reaffirming Dubai’s position as a global events hub, the scheme is designed to further empower leisure event organisers with additional incentivisation opportunities in the form of event sponsorship. The new process will build on the growth and competitiveness of the city’s event sector, which recorded an increase of over 100,000 ticket sales and 25 additional events in the first quarter of 2019 when compared to the same period last year. Continuing to effectively showcase Dubai’s proposition as a host city for international events from around the world, the scheme will target entertainment events and will be applicable for events that are ticketed and open to the public, with an eligible leisure event permit. With state-of-the-art venues across the city, Dubai is well placed to compete on the global stage to host international events, as it continues to grow its reputation as a world leading leisure and entertainment destination. The scheme will work in conjunction with the department’s ticketing and permits services to streamline management and coordination of event licensing activities and provide greater operational efficiency. His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said, “The sponsorship scheme forms part of our commitment to retain the city’s status as a leading global event destination and has been designed to build on this momentum and act as a catalyst for the local events industry.” The sponsorship scheme, which will directly support leisure event organisers, will take effect for events being held from May 1, 2019 through an online application process. Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, …

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DXB and DWC ready for 45-day runway closure

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Dubai Airports confirmed operations teams at both airports are ‘good to go’ for the commencement of the 45-day long refurbishment of the southern runway at Dubai International (DXB). The runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires a complete upgrade to accommodate future traffic growth. “Planning and preparations have been underway for almost two years in close coordination with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines, dnata, the regulator and a host of other service partners to make sure this massive project goes off without a hitch. We’re confident we are fully prepared and good to go for April 16. We are encouraging passengers to confirm their airport of departure before they set out to take their flights but otherwise they can expect smooth operations and great service ,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports. The main visible difference for passengers will be a potential change in airports, although scheduling experts have optimised DXB’s one runway operation to the point where there will be only a 29% reduction in the number of available seats. Thanks to the additional capacity provided by DWC, the number of flights across the Dubai Airport system will see a reduction of just 19% and a seat reduction of just 20%. Many customers will get to experience the speed and convenience of Dubai’s second airport Dubai World Central (DWC) for the first time during the closure as it takes on additional traffic from affected scheduled, charter, cargo and general aviation operations. DWC will handle an average of 145 passenger flights per day operated during the period by airlines including flydubai, Wizz Air, Aeroflot, Indigo, SpiceJet, Gulf Air, Ukraine International Airlines, Ural Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways …

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Emirates deploys fully-enclosed First Class private suites in the GCC

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

In a move to offer a range of experiences and greater choice for its customers travelling for business and leisure, Emirates will be operating its latest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft fitted with the ‘Game Changer’ First Class suites from Dubai to Riyadh starting from April 16, 2019 and Kuwait starting from June 1, 2019. Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Gulf, Middle East & Iran said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will be the first countries in the Middle East and GCC to be served by the latest Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft featuring fully-enclosed private suites inspired by luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz. Deploying the newest Boeing 777 to both Riyadh and Kuwait will cater to the significant premium demand we see on these routes, and is in line with our commitment to provide our customers across all classes with outstanding service and industry-leading onboard products for a better flying experience. The unique First Class suites onboard the Boeing 777 will offer our premium passengers unparalleled privacy, comfort and luxury, with experiences tailored to their individual needs.” Travellers to/from Saudi Arabia can experience the new Boeing 777 product on flight EK 819 departing Dubai at 06:55hrs, arriving in Riyadh at 07:50hrs. The return flight EK 820 leaves Riyadh at 09:35hrs, arriving in Dubai at 12:30hrs. The new Boeing 777 aircraft will begin operating the route five times a week, and from June 1, 2019 will begin flying on a daily basis. Emirates will be expanding its premium Boeing 777 experience to/from Kuwait on EK 855, which departs Dubai at 07:45hrs, arriving in Kuwait at 08:25hrs. The return flight EK 856 leaves Kuwait at 09:50hrs, arriving in Dubai at 12:40hrs. …

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Dubai ranks first in Middle East and ninth in world’s top maritime capitals in 2019

Dubai Maritime image 2

Dubai has moved up in the ranking of the world’s top 10 maritime capitals in 2019, the latest in its string of achievements that has made the emirate a globally competitive maritime hub. The emirate took the 9th spot this year, up from its 10th rank in 2017, according to a recent report issued by Menon Economics and DNV GL, the global organization that specializes in benchmarking top maritime capitals of the world. The report surveyed 200 experts and high-profile officials from leading maritime companies worldwide. Around 40 per cent of the experts were from Europe, 30 per cent from Asia, and 30 per cent from the US, Middle East, and Africa. H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World; Chairman of Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation and Chairman of DMCA, said, “We are delighted to achieve this new global achievement that demonstrates the progress of the maritime sector in Dubai led with a leadership vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, and his support to the industry and keen efforts to enable our teams to achieve better results in all areas related to the maritime sector. I would also like to thank the DMCA team for its work and dedication to ensure improved local maritime services at all levels.”    

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