Shivani DDPPL

Seven Tides appoints Barceló Hotel Group to manage DUKES Dubai

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Luxury residential and hospitality property developer Seven Tides has confirmed Barceló Hotel Group as the new operator of its five-star DUKES Dubai, located on the west trunk of Palm Jumeirah. The hotel will be rebranded as DUKES Dubai – A Royal Hideaway Hotel and will become the first property in the region under the Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts brand which features unique destination hotels connected with art and culture as well as authenticity, detail and discretion. The Spanish hospitality group assumed operations of the Palm Jumeirah hotel following the signing of a management agreement recently in Dubai between Abdulla bin Sulayem, CEO, Seven Tides and Jaime Buxó, Chief Development Officer, Barceló Hotel Group. Commenting on the new agreement, Sulayem said, “Barceló Hotel Group has been appointed to manage DUKES Dubai because it is a dynamic and flexible hospitality company, operating 249 hotels across 22 countries, with a wealth of experience, running luxury international resorts and most importantly, fulfilling guest expectations. The group also has its own wholesale and retail travel division incorporating 700 travel agencies on four continents, so we are also confident that they will be able to develop new niche markets for DUKES Dubai, as well as optimising our position in the key international markets.” Barceló Hotel Group currently operates 54,000 rooms in 22 countries worldwide. Jaime Buxó, Chief Development Officer, Barceló Hotel Group, said, “Our partnership with Seven Tides further reinforces our growth strategy to expand our footprint across the UAE and indeed the Middle East over the next five years. The hotel is a stunning addition to Barceló’s growing luxury portfolio. Guests will experience first-class service coupled with exceptional facilities and vibrant surroundings on the …

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Denmark partners with VFS Global to launch visa application centre in Kuwait

H.E. Mr. Ole Emil Moesby, Ambassador of Denmark to the State of Kuwait along with Lars Balth Joensen, Consul at the Royal Danish Embassy, Riyadh, inaugurated the centre

Denmark, in partnership with VFS Global, has announced the opening of its Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Kuwait. With the launch of the new centre, applicants will no longer need to visit the Embassy of Denmark. Instead, they can conveniently submit their visa applications with ease at VFS centre in Kuwait. During the official inauguration of the VAC in Kuwait, H E Ole Emil Moesby, Ambassador of Denmark to the State of Kuwait, said, “The VAC in Kuwait will facilitate much easier visa application procedures for anyone living in Kuwait who needs a Schengen visa to visit Denmark. Previously, applicants had to travel to Danish missions elsewhere in the region to apply for a visa, which made travel to Denmark somewhat cumbersome and expensive. More recently, we’ve noticed that it is not just Denmark that tourists are looking to explore. There has also been a steady increase in tourists interested in visiting Iceland, which is another great travel destination within easy reach of Denmark.” Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO – Middle East, South Asia & China, VFS Global, said, “As a hub for global trade and tourism, Denmark has many drawcards for tourists and business travellers alike and we are pleased to add this great location to our ever-growing list of destinations in the State of Kuwait. As a preferred outsourced visa-processing provider to governments across the world, we are proud to build on this legacy and will continue to provide convenient services, which open up more of the world to our valued customers.”

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Emirates inks codeshare with China Southern Airlines to expand network in China

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Emirates and China Southern Airlines have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to progress on a comprehensive reciprocal codeshare agreement, which is set to open up new destinations for passengers travelling between China, Middle East and Africa. The partnership with the Guangzhou-based carrier also allows Emirates’ passengers to enjoy seamless connectivity on domestic flights within China, adding eight new destinations to its global network. The Chinese cities covered by the codeshare agreement include Fuzhou, Chongqing, Kunming, Qingdao, Xiamen, Chengdu, Nanjing and Xi ‘an during the initial phase of the partnership, subject to necessary government approvals. Passengers travelling from China will have more choice and travel seamlessly with minimum connection times when flying to destinations in Emirates’ Middle East network such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Muscat, Kuwait and Cairo. The codeshare agreement also includes flights to African destinations such as Seychelles and Lagos, operated by Emirates. With the UAE’s visa-free policy for Chinese visitors, passengers can also enjoy hassle-free stopovers in Dubai and experience what the city has to offer before flying to their final destinations. The codeshare partnership will provide customers with the simplicity of purchasing connecting flights using one reservation and a smooth ticketing, check-in, boarding and baggage check experience during the entire journey. “We’re pleased to establish a partnership with China Southern Airlines, allowing Emirates’ customers to benefit from increased choice, flexibility and ease of connection to different cities across China’s provinces, by connecting in Guangzhou. The addition of the eight domestic routes in the initial stage expands our reach in China, beyond the three Chinese hub cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou,” said Adnan Kazim, Divisional Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimisation & Aeropolitical Affairs, …

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Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA launches Emiratisation programme

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Millennium Hotels & Resorts has launched the ‘TooMooH’ Internship Development tier as part of the ‘TooMooH’ programme, – a concerted programme to accelerate Emiratisation and promote regional talent and leadership development in the hospitality sector. This programme aims to integrate UAE nationals into the booming hospitality sector and boost their presence in the job market. According to Alpen Capital’s latest report on GCC Hospitality Industry 2018, the UAE hospitality market is expected to reach $7.6 billion by 2022 at a five-year CAGR of 8.5 per cent (2017-2022) and international tourist visits are expected to grow at a five-year CAGR of 4.3 per cent to 25.5 million while the hotel supply is expected to grow at a five-year CAGR of 6 per cent to 183,718 hotel rooms. These additional hotels will require a large hospitality professional talent pool. However, without the engagement and employment of local talent, hoteliers would find it difficult to manage such a large industry with just foreign professionals. The TooMooH Internship Development Programme (TIDP), part of the recently launched TooMooH initiative by Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA, is aimed at increasing local employment in the hospitality industry and the overall private sector and designed for UAE national undergraduate students to gain work exposure. The duration of TIDP could range from three to six months. As part of the initiative, Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA will partner with local colleges and universities to provide UAE national students with a comprehensive programme to support their enhancement of knowledge and skills, thus contributing positively to the hospitality industry and the country. “The Arabs are globally known for their warm hospitality tradition. However, the hospitality industry in the Arab world is …

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Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City to welcome guests from March 2019

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AccorHotels has announced the soon-to-be-opened Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City. As the first and only premium accommodation in Media City, within the upcoming Innovation Hub and in close proximity to Internet City, the hotel will appeal to professionals in search of connectivity and convenience, as well as the lifestyle requirements of leisure guests with opportunities to explore the vibrant urban city. Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City features 235 guestrooms and suites starting in size from 46 square metres upwards to 94 square metres. The hotel also boasts a fully equipped convention centre, completely unprecedented for the area, with a resplendent ballroom that can cater upwards to 800 guests. Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City is in close proximity to Sheikh Zayed Road, the longest road in the United Arab Emirates as well as Nakheel and Internet City metro stations, and business hubs such as Media City and Jebel Ali Free Zone. Guests will also enjoy the convenience of being close to the heart of the city’s commercial activity as well as renowned attractions such as the Mall of the Emirates and the Palm Jumeirah located just a short drive away. The property’s General Manager, Alfio Bernardini shares, “We are delighted to soon unveil the latest addition to the Mövenpick portfolio. Grand Plaza’s unique positioning, central location and exemplary facilities will serve to provide the best experiences for both business and leisure travellers. Every element of the property has been designed in line with our brand promise – ‘we make moments’.”

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Ras Al Khaimah to drive visitor growth from Central and Eastern Europe

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In line with its new Destination Strategy 2019-21 and long-term objectives of strengthening the emirate’s presence in key international markets, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced the opening of its first international representative office in Prague, Czech Republic to manage and oversee the authority’s activities in Central and Eastern Europe. The new office will play a vital role in promoting the destination and driving further growth in the number of visitors travelling to Ras Al Khaimah. In 2018, visitor numbers from the Czech Republic and Hungary were up by 18.4 per cent and 11.4 per cent respectively compared to the previous year. Announcing the opening of the new office, Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “Our Destination Strategy 2019-21 aims to attract 1.5 million visitors to the emirate by 2021. We believe that by providing a compelling proposition and establishing dedicated presence in our key international target markets, we will be able to promote the destination and its diverse offering driving growth in visitor numbers. Central and Eastern European countries are amongst the fastest growing markets for us and frequently rank in our top ten source markets for visitors. The new representative office in Prague will support our promotional activities, trade partnerships and help us develop the region’s high potential outbound market.” Adding to RAKTDA international representation offices in UK, Germany, Russia and Nordics, the Prague office will support RAKTDA’s initiatives to drive further awareness of the emirate as a multi-faceted leisure destination to Central and East European travellers.

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347-key Millennium Atria Business Bay to open doors on February 14

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During a recent media tour, Christian Palacin, General Manager, Millennium Atria Business Bay announced that the hotel is set to welcome guests from February 14, 2019. Several members of the media had a sneak peek of the 347-room hotel apartments at the tour and were given a preview of the rooms, dining outlets and facilities including the infinity pool and gym located on the 25th floor. Millennium Atria Business Bay will offer studio, one-, two- and three-bedrooms, and duplex apartments that are designed by internationally-acclaimed interior design company YOO Studio. The 30-storey property is the first hospitality venture of Deyaar Development PJSC, a leading property development and real estate services company in the UAE. The opening will come in phases with the first six floors to open on February 14 and the rest in the next three months. Each apartment is fully furnished with views of the iconic Burj Khalifa, Dubai Stables or Dubai Water Canal. “We look forward to the opening of this property which is a nice addition to the Millennium brand in the UAE. The Millennium Atria Business Bay is an interesting product with an excellent location, good size of the apartment, unique design, top-class furnishing. We have been rated as a deluxe hotel apartment classification by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing,” noted Palacin.

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Reed Travel Exhibitions adds Arabian Travel Week to ATM 2019

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Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, has announced the launch of Arabian Travel Week – an umbrella brand comprising four co-located shows – ATM 2019; CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa; ILTM Arabia and ATM Holiday Shopper. ATM is set to be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 27–May 1, 2019. Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director–ME, Arabian Travel Market, said, “The success of both ATM and ILTM Arabia has provided us with the platform to not only introduce two new events for 2019 but also create a travel week which encompasses the Middle East’s inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism and luxury travel as well as providing a dedicated networking forum for the region’s top airline specialists, aviation authorities, tourism boards, airports and tour operators.” ATM, the annual global event for the Middle East inbound and outbound travel industry, will showcase over 2,800 products and destinations from around the world to over 28,000 buyers and travel trade visitors. This year’s show will place a spotlight on cutting-edge technology and innovation, integrating the theme across all show verticals, planned activities and seminars. Set to be held on April 30 and May 1, CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa will bring together airports, airlines and aviation suppliers in a format that offers formal one-to-one pre-arranged meetings, engaging industry seminars as well as social opportunities to cement relationships with existing clients and engage with new ones. Also new for 2019, ATM Holiday Shopper to be held on April 27, will showcase over 30 travel and hospitality exhibitors from regional and international destinations who will be offering the very best travel and tourism discounts and deals exclusively …

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Ethiopian Airlines inaugurates new terminal and hotel at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

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Ethiopian Airlines has recently inaugurated a state-of-the-art passenger terminal and its Skylight Hotel in the presence of FDRE Prime Minister H E Dr Abiy Ahmed, African Union Chairperson H E Moussa Faki, ministers, high level government officials, Ethiopian Airlines’ Board Members, Ethiopian Airlines’ Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam, Executive Management Members and invited guests. After presiding over the ribbon-cutting event at the new Skylight Hotel, the largest in Ethiopia, Dr Ahmed, accompanied by AU Chairperson and other dignitaries, toured the hotel’s facilities including the spacious executive suites. At the passenger terminal inaugural event that ensued, Ahmed remarked, “Ethiopian Airlines is our national pride and a special icon among our companies as it carries our common name Ethiopia and our national flag. We would like all employees of the airline here and elsewhere to know that we speak of you with pride. The new hotel will enable us to attract tourists, and the airline’s offer for employees to own shares of the hotel is important as it boosts sense of ownership among staff, and will serve as a model for other companies to emulate.” Addressing the gathering at the inauguration ceremony, GebreMariam said, “This grand terminal building is further evidence of the development of Bole Airport as one of the largest and most convenient global aviation hubs. Ethiopian Skylight Hotel will enable the airline to offer packaged tour and travel programmes. Moreover, the hotel will enable Ethiopian Airlines to attract around a third of tourists out of the 6 million passengers transiting through Bole Airport to visit Ethiopia.” The new passenger terminal features the latest technology security systems, self-check-in machines, self-boarding system, comfortable lounges, duty free shops and other amenities. Ethiopian Skylight Hotel has 373 …

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Now fly to Istanbul from Sharjah on Turkish Airlines from April 5, 2019

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Turkish Airlines has announced the launch of direct flights between Sharjah and Istanbul. With existing services from Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport, Turkish Airlines’ new Sharjah route marks its fourth destination into the UAE. Flights from Sharjah International Airport will be operated seven times a week in both directions with the inaugural flight departing on April 5, 2019. Customers can book a ticket from Sharjah to Istanbul for a price as low as 999 AED for Economy and 5,999 AED for Business Class, flights from Sharjah to Europe for prices starting from 1,500 AED, or to the Americas for prices starting from 2,600 AED if the booking is made before March 31, for trips until July 3. All passengers booking a flight from Sharjah International Airport in February with departure in April will earn 1,000 miles for each ticket. The new route bolsters Turkish Airlines’ status as the airline that flies to the most destinations in the world, strengthening its identity as a leading global airline with one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the world. “Our aim with this new route is to meet the rising demand for greater international travel options into and out of Sharjah,” commented Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing Officer, Turkish Airlines. “The UAE is known for being a travel-hungry part of the world, and now, more customers can capitalise on Turkish Airlines’ unparalleled network of destinations as we continue to explore even more new routes..”

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