Shivani DDPPL

Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens 2018 to witness over 930 rugby and netball matches

Emirates Firebird2

The 2018 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens is underway at The Sevens Stadium. Now in its 49th year, the event is set to be the largest event on record with over 930 rugby and netball matches across three days and enhanced entertainment for everyone. During the Dubai Sevens, Emirates will be bringing the Rugby World Cup and will be displaying it at its hospitality for guests and fans. After six months of training, drills and preparation, the EK Firebirds, an all-women’s rugby club comprising Emirates Cabin Crew from 14 different nationalities, is ready to compete at the 2018 edition of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens invitational women’s tournament. The EK Firebirds squad met with the USA Women’s Eagles, the national sevens rugby team, for a mini-training camp ahead of the tournament, where they ran through practice scrums, along with kicking and tackling techniques and exercises. The EK Firebirds team members come from rugby loving nations including the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as other diverse nations like Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Namibia, the Philippines and Nigeria – reflecting the multicultural Cabin Crew team at the airline and the global make-up of Dubai. The team members have found time to practice and train during their busy travel rosters, and organise themselves to ensure that as many of them train together as possible, using the Sevens stadium, Zaabeel Park and other venues in Dubai as their training grounds.

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Over 50 industry leaders attend Middle East Yacht Conference 2018

His Excellency Mohammed H. Alshaali (left) and Dr Mohammed Al Barwani (right)

The relaxing of maritime laws and an ever-growing tourist offering have been instrumental in supporting the UAE in its growth as an international superyacht and charter market. That was the view of His Excellency Mohammed H Alshaali, Chairman, Gulf Craft, as he spoke at the region’s 12th Middle East Yacht Conference. Organised by Dubai International Boat Show, the conference gathered more than 50 leaders from across government, business and tourism to dissect how both the yachting industry and the GCC’s regulatory authorities are working together to reinvigorate the region as a global yachting hub. Four panels of distinguished speakers agreed that recent changes to maritime and tourist laws were changing the standing of the Middle East – Dubai in particular – as a chartering hotspot. But while he conceded that the superyacht market was turning in favour of the chartering industry, Alshaali insisted that work still needs to be done to solidify the region’s yachting reputation. He said, “The revising of regulations such as the recent extension of crew visas is very important. I am glad that a lot of things are being looked at in regards to the regulations of visiting yachts, superyachts, crew and captains. But still there are challenges to overcome. Other countries rely on this type of tourism, and we should do the same.” Asked about his business outlook on the industry, Alshaali said, “I have seen growth in the region’s industry in regards to people shifting from mid-sized to larger yachts. There are more people in the market for bigger yachts nowadays. I think the market in the region is stable. That allows us to look further towards the international market, where we are seeing …

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Zabeel House by Jumeirah opens doors at The Greens

Zabeel House by Jumeirah The Greens (1)

Zabeel House The Greens is the third hotel to open as part of Jumeirah Group’s upscale casual brand launched earlier this year. Opening in Tower 3 of the Onyx Towers, the hotel is high on design synonymous with other hotels within the Zabeel House by Jumeirah collection; but inspired by New York loft living, with contemporary and yet quirky art and design throughout the hotel, representing the spirit of the Zabeel House by Jumeirah brand perfectly. 200 rooms and 10 Apartments split across 10 floors, with each room complete with Zabeel House by Jumeirah brand rituals constant across all hotels – SMEG mini bar fridges, Espresso machines, Osme bathroom amenities, SuitePads, bikes, skateboards and rollerblades to explore The Greens’ neighbourhood, an exploratory map of The Greens, with a knowledgeable team of locals to guide through you. The Onyx is a stylish integrated community with three towers of residential, commercial and hospitality buildings, as well as a podium of 32 retail and F&B outlets located in the heart of Dubai. A hotel to appeal to the intrepid traveller, it is perfect for those looking to stay in a social destination in the heart of new-Dubai, but also able to enjoy the conveniences of a Jumeirah-endorsed hotel, all at a great price.

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Etihad Airways launches maiden flight to Barcelona

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways has launched its first-ever scheduled flights from Abu Dhabi to Barcelona. The inaugural flight recently departed Abu Dhabi with a special delegation including dignitaries, media representatives and senior members of the airline’s management team. Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “There could not have been a better time to arrive here than the month when Etihad celebrates its 15th anniversary. Commercial and cultural links between the UAE and the Catalonia region are flourishing and Etihad is honoured to play a pivotal role in facilitating and enhancing the growth of trade and the strong demand for tourism. This is a breathtakingly beautiful part of the world, with something to offer the most discerning of travellers, and now for the first time, Abu Dhabi is accessible from Barcelona with regular non-stop flights. On behalf of the Etihad Aviation Group, I extend our sincere thanks to the Barcelona Air Route Development Committee for their invaluable support with the new service.” The number of visitors from the UAE to Spain has been rising rapidly, thanks in part to a successful Schengen visa waiver programme introduced for UAE nationals in 2015. The new route will initially be operated five times a week by a two-class Airbus A330-200 before becoming a daily operation from March 31, 2019.

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RAK hosts AITO Annual Conference

ICONS of Rugby 2018

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) recently hosted the UK’s “Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)” annual conference. The conference welcomed 120 of the UK’s top specialist travel companies to the UAE’s northern Emirate and introduced them to the destination with its diverse and spectacular offering. The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) is an umbrella organisation that represents Britain’s best independent tour operators. Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “The United Kingdom has held its position as one of the top four key source markets for Ras Al Khaimah Tourism over the past few years and continues to show huge potential for further growth. In the first ten months of 2018, Ras al Khaimah saw visitors from the UK increase by 11 per cent over the previous year. RAKTDA aims to increase the number of the UK visitors in 2019 by 20 per cent through increased marketing and trade partnerships.” Derek Moore, Chairman, AITO, commented, “We’re thrilled to have been invited by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourist Development Authority (RAKTDA). It has been particularly exciting for AITO members to visit such a fascinating destination that is on the cusp of change in terms of tourism.” Gemma Antrobus, Chair – AITO Specialist Travel Agents, commented, “This is a destination with enormous potential for AITO Specialist Travel Agents, who are always on the lookout for somewhere a little different from the mainstream. It offers the perfect balance of beach, activity, history and culture, providing the variety that many of our discerning clients seek and that AITO agents enjoy selling!”

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Dubai Maritime City Authority attends Middle East Yacht Conference 2018

Dubai MArine image spokesperson_4X3

The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has joined the Middle East Yacht Conference 2018 to explore the future of luxury yachts alongside the requirements of the 21st century. The DMCA representatives, together with a group of decision makers, regional and international experts, and industry leaders, looked into key emerging trends and future prospects for the luxury yacht industry at the local and regional levels. Apart from highlighting trends over the past decade, the 12th edition gave the attendees a platform to discuss ways to enhance confidence in the Middle East’s luxury yacht industry through  relevant marketing strategies. Hamed Hassan, Director – Registration and Licensing, DMCA, said, “The luxury yacht sector has proved to be a key contributor to Dubai’s achievements as one of the five most competitive and attractive maritime clusters in the world, thereby boosting the growth of the local maritime sector. The local maritime segment currently hosts more than 7,400 companies and at least 13,000 maritime and investment activities, contributing to the creation of over 76,000 jobs. Expectations are high that the sector’s share in the emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP) will reach 25 per cent over the next few years. Overall, the total value of the maritime sector in the UAE is expected to hit the USD 66-billion target by the end of 2018 and the value of the leisure boat industry will range between USD 1.3 billion and USD  1.5 billion. The UAE ranked ninth worldwide in the number of luxury yachts manufactured so far this year, solidifying further its leading position in the leisure maritime sector. To date, we have locally implemented 14 new luxury yacht projects with a combined length of 611 meters.”

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Over 18% growth in travel from the UAE to the Czech Republic

Dubai_tourists

The Czech Tourist Authority- CzechTourism – along with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Abu Dhabi, said that the second highest number of travellers from the GCC after Saudi Arabia to the Central European country was from the UAE. A statement from the CzechTourism and the Embassy said travel from the UAE to the Czech Republic grew by over 18% in the first half of the year, faster than the previous corresponding period, and it is expected that 2018 will end with significant rise in the number of outbound travellers. Commenting on the increasing travel from the UAE, HE Alexandr Sporýš, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the UAE, said:,“For both expatriates and the citizens, the Czech Republic is an exquisite geographically close destination. The country offers a diversity of experience within a five-hour flight distance making it possible for even weekend sojourners to visit the Czech Republic.” The overall number of travellers from the UAE to the Czech Republic in the last three year stood at close to 100,000 with an average growth rate of over 28 per cent during the period. The average length of stay of the UAE travellers to the Czech Republic was in the range of 3.4 to 4.3 days. Monika Palatková, Managing director, Czech Tourist Authority – CzechTourism, said, “The Czech Republic is one of the closest European destinations to the UAE which is being increasingly favoured by family tourists as well. Our aim is to reach out to the potential UAE travellers and to present them the eclectic experiences the Czech Republic can offer across the spectrum of heritage to modernity complemented by the country’s diversity of natural landscape and culture.” She …

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Emirates Skywards rolls out fast track status

An Emirates Airbus A380

Members of Emirates Skywards, the loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai, can now achieve their next Emirates Skywards tier faster, with an exciting new offer to earn up to double Tier Miles on flights. The offer is valid for eligible tickets booked between November 26 and December 03, 2018 (both days inclusive) for travel on Emirates or flydubai flights between November 26, 2018 and March 31, 2019. To be eligible for the promotion, customers must be existing or new members of Emirates Skywards can register for the offer via the Emirates app or by logging into their account online at emirates.com or flydubai.com. Customers must also choose ‘Flex’ or ‘Flex Plus’ fares when flying on Emirates and ‘Free to Change’ or ‘Business Basic’ fares when travelling on flydubai to be eligible to earn bonus Tier Miles. Emirates Skywards offers four tiers of membership – Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum – each with unique incremental benefits for members including dedicated check-in, priority boarding, lounge access, complimentary advanced seat selection and special Wi-Fi privileges. Members build up their tier status by earning Tier Miles on flights flown with Emirates or flydubai. Dr Nejib Ben Khedher, Senior Vice President, Emirates Skywards, said, “We always strive to provide greater value to our customers and offer them access to a much wider range of benefits and rewards. Through our latest offer, a first of this scale and reach, Emirates Skywards members will be able to accrue bonus Tier Miles from flights and this means that they can reach their next Emirates Skywards tier faster.”

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RAK hotels head for strong National Day occupancy

RAK Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa

Ras Al Khaimah’s staycations are maintaining their popularity as the best way to celebrate the UAE National Day on December 2 – the nation’s 47th anniversary. According to Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority, focus on heritage and cultural activities is having strong appeal with visitors, saying they are expected to push occupancy rates at the emirate’s hotels and resorts for the long weekend to reach more than 90 per cent. He said, “We expect to continue seeing a rise in the occupancy rates of the emirate’s hotels during this long weekend, especially for those looking for exceptional value for money hotel stays and adrenaline-packed adventure activities. I encourage visitors to explore the unique tourist attractions in Ras Al Khaimah, its distinct hotels and get out and get closer to nature.” On December 1, the UAE’s top singers Hussein Al Jasmi and Aida Al Manhali will take to a giant stage in front of the signature Julphar Towers for a free-to-attend cultural musical performance, singing and enacting the history, heritage and culture of Emiratis. Attended by His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler, Ras Al Khaimah, the celebrations will start at 8pm and will be followed by a fireworks spectacular. Residents and visitors will also get the chance to witness a spectacular air show performed by Fursan Al Emarat, the aerobatics team of the UAE Air Force, on November 27, 2018 at the Old Corniche, Ras Al Khaimah.

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Nofa Resort opens in Riyadh

nofa 4x3

Radisson Collection has announced opening of Nofa Resort with 57 luxurious bungalows and villas overlooking Nofa Wildlife Park. Located 1.5 hours’ drive away from Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, the Nofa Resort Riyadh is nestled in golden sand dunes and majestic mountains. The leisure activities include an equestrian resort that features a show-jumping arena, a specialised race track, a polo field, am 18-hole course and an extensive stable complex. The hotel features three on-site restaurants- the Tswalu restaurant with its African-style interiors, serving international cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the Butcher’s Den provides an upscale culinary experience – featuring grilled specialties, outdoor terrace seating and stunning lake views and the Al Fresco restaurant serving Italian classics (including stone-fired pizzas) for a more relaxed and informal dining experience. Guests can also enjoy exotic vibes in the Hookah Lounge, a charming tea experience in the African Tea Room, or relax by the pool with fresh juice at Al Fresco Café.

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