Shivani DDPPL

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

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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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Zabeel House by Jumeirah, Al Seef to open this week

Zabeel House Al Seef - Popular Room (1)

The second hotel in the Zabeel House by Jumeirah collection will open this week, bringing a loft-style vibe to the south banks of Dubai Creek, next door to the earlier opened Zabeel House MINI by Jumeirah. Zabeel House by Jumeirah, Al Seef promises to be the stylish older sibling of its next door neighbour, while still delivering on the collection’s ‘Upscale Casual’ promise of sharp design and smart service, with an informal approach and a moderate price point. With 200 rooms in 3 different sizes for solo travellers, couples or families; a welcoming vast lobby filled with a collection of contrasting art and design pieces and bookcases made for browsing; a destination restaurant that stretches out over the waters of Dubai Creek, and a rooftop bar and pool with views across both old and new Dubai, Zabeel House by Jumeirah, Al Seef provides a completely new experience in this part of the city. Add ample creative spaces to work from as well as five meeting rooms for the corporates, and a design style that is perfectly groomed and stylishly accessorized with enough sophisticated quirks to keep snap-happy guests busy, and you have a hotel that is the perfect hangout for curious travelers with an intrepid spirit, whether they want to stay always on, or go off the grid.

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ADNEC celebrates Global Exhibitions day

abudhabi exhibitions

Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) has revealed that it participated in the worldwide celebrations of Global Exhibitions Day (GED)  recently, highlighting the strategic importance of the MICE industry to the growth of world economies. The GED initiative, which began in 2016, has seen an ever-growing number of participants and is actively supported by 40 exhibition industry associations and coordinated by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. As with previous GED events, industry professionals and students from around the world have been very active in online campaigns this year, while many global organizations hosted and organized events marking the day’s significance. Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO of ADNEC said, “These are truly exciting times for the global MICE industry as analysts are predicting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5 per cent in the next five years and reaching USD 1.24 billion in 2023. Rapid globalisation along with the expansion of service industries and the continuing emergence of newer technologies have become key drivers in this industry’s continuous growth. In line with this, ADNEC is confident that it will be a key player in the growth–remaining steadfast in our commitment to provide world class services and facilities to the region. We join the whole world as it celebrates GED on June 6, which aims to highlight the importance of the MICE industry for world economies. With over 260 million visitors and 4.4 million exhibitors generating EUR 98 billion (AED 422 billion) in revenues every year, the MICE industry contributes significantly to the GDP of every country in the world.”

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Minor acquires 25% stake in NH Hotel group

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Minor International (MINT)  has announced that it has reached an agreement with HNA Group to purchase an equity stake of 25.2 per cent (on a fully-diluted basis) in NH Hotel Group in a two-tranche transaction valued at EUR 619 million. The purchase follows MINT’s earlier purchase of a 9.5 per cent shareholding (on a fully-diluted basis) in NH Hotel Group. MINT also confirms that it will follow Spanish regulations as applicable to launch an all-cash public tender offer to acquire NH Hotel Group’s remaining shares. Such offer would be at a price not lower than MINT’s highest acquisition price in the last 12 month-period, currently EUR 6.40 per share (subject to fair price adjustments). MINT targets its shareholding in NH Hotel Group at around 51%-55% and intends to keep NH Hotel Group as a publicly-listed company on the Madrid Stock Exchange with strong corporate governance. Based on the target ownership level, the acquisition will be funded through debt instruments, while 2019E interest-bearing-debt to equity ratio is expected to be maintained at a comfortable level of 1.3x. “Today we are embarking on a new era, driving investment strategy to further cement our footprint in the European hospitality industry”, said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotels. “We will be able to create a network of over 540 hotels with a reach across Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, all of which are important hospitality regions around the world. The business network will allow the two companies to capitalize on our leadership positions in key growth areas, highly complementary asset and brand portfolio, technology platform and talented employees.”

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Marriott relaunches Arabic website

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Marriott International has announced the re-launch of its Arabic website to enhance the online customer journey of the Arab traveller. With nearly 400 million Arabic speakers in 22 countries, the company is now providing an end-to-end solution for a seamless Arabic booking experience. The relaunch follows the recent announcement detailing the company’s ambitious growth plans for the Middle East and Africa region where it will expand its current portfolio by 50 per cent, and as a result add 30,000 jobs. With such an emphasis placed on the region, the relaunch of its Arabic website is the next step in an exciting growth story. To mark the occasion this Ramadan, Marriott International hosted a Majlis panel joined by Aida Al Busaidy, Director, C2C Marketing & Campaigns at DTCM, Talal Al Rashed, Co-founder Contourage and Hospitality Consultant and Vladimir Dabbah, Vice President, Global Sales MEA at Marriott International. The esteemed panel discussed the importance of catering to the Arab Traveler, who often have a fierce sense of pride and remaining true to their identity. Arab travellers generate more than double room revenue per stay compared to other travellers, and annual revenue per Arab customer is 38 per cent higher than other travelers. In order to cater to the traditional customs of the Arab travelers, symbols of Arab culture should be demonstrated in both communication and on hotel properties.

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