Shivani DDPPL

38% increase of Russian visitors to GCC by 2020

ATM 2017_023

The number of Russian tourists travelling to the GCC in 2020 is expected to be 38 per cent higher than the arrival figures recorded for 2016, according to data published recently by Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018, set to take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25, 2018. As the UAE has started granting visa on arrival earlier last year, there has been quite a rapid growth of Russian tourists to Dubai. Looking at the economic drivers, the value of the Russian rouble is stable and firming gradually, helped by Russia’s decision to join OPEC and cut oil production. Over the last 25 years, Russia has been well represented at ATM, with exhibitors including Moscow City Government, National Tourist Union and the city of St Petersburg. Russian visitors to the exhibition increased 17 per cent YOY between 2016 and 2017 and 9.4 per cent of total visitors last year were interested in doing business with Russia. Russia’s links with the GCC strengthened in 2017 with the introduction of additional airline routes, visas on arrival in the UAE for Russians, new generation of leisure attractions, retail destinations and a broad range of hotels and resorts across the GCC region.

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Turkish Airlines inks deal with Airbus for A350

Turkish Airlines talks with Airbus started1

Turkish Airlines and Airbus signed an MOU to acquire 20+5 optional A350-900 aircraft. The agreement was signed at the Élysée Palace, Paris, during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s official visit to France with French President Emmanuel Macron. “With Turkish Airlines serving more destinations than any other airline around the world, we will be delighted to rely on our new A350 XWB to further develop our major international routes from Turkey.” said M. İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines. Aycı went on to say, “This agreement is set to play a key role in our growing business in the years to come as the increased business volume for the local Turkish supplier industry by Airbus will be a great gain for the sector.” The A350 XWB is an all new family of mid-size wide-body long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. It features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient engines. These latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.

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Turkish Airlines introduces eco-friendly inflight toys for young travellers

Launch of New Turkish Airlines Toy Set 3

As the new year dawned, Turkish Airlines has introduced a brand new line-up of inflight toys for the young travellers onboard. As from January 2018, the airline will completely revamp its selection of inflight toys now made from natural materials. The stuffed toys are created from cotton and the wooden parts are manufactured according to the sustainability rules set by the Forest Stewardship Council. This is in line with the airline’s recognition of the harmful effects of plastic on both children and the environment. The airline is committed to ensuring that every aspect of its operation is consistent with its goal of sustainable development. The new toys provide children aged between 3 and 12 with additional inflight entertainment while simultaneously introducing them to the concept of endangered species. Through play, Turkish Airlines, in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund of Turkey, hopes to instill an appreciation of animal protection among children—those who will inherit the world and will be responsible for its care. The global carrier has worked with the toy industry to develop items that promote sustainability while simultaneously increasing wildlife awareness for its youngest guests.

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Emaar, Rove Hotels partner with EGBC for Green Key certification

Emaar and EmiratesGBC Green Key - Address Montgomerie

Emaar Hospitality Group and Rove Hotels have joined hands with Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by promoting green building practices, to secure the ‘Green Key’ certification for all its operational hotels and leisure assets in Dubai. The agreement was signed by Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Hospitality Group, and Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman, Emirates GBC. Harnisch said, “Across our hotels and leisure assets, we have an abiding commitment to uphold the highest standards of energy and water use efficiency as well as best environmental practices. These properties have already launched in-house green practices and have dedicated teams supporting the mission to ‘go green’ in line with the UAE Green Agenda and Dubai Plan 2021. The Green Key certification will be a crowning glory that will highlight our environmental stewardship and focus on sustainable development for a greener tourism industry.”

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Majid Al Futtaim launches first shopping mall in RAK

MCC Al Dhait-1

Majid Al Futtaim—a leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia—opened My City Centre Al Dhait to meet the retail needs of Ras Al Khaimah’s fastest-growing communities. Speaking at the opening, Ghaith Shocair, Chief Executive Officer – Shopping Malls, Majid Al Futtaim – Properties stated that after several surveys, the perfect location was selected and they were happy to deliver the completed project within a short span of two years. “Today we underscore Majid Al Futtaim’s commitment to delivering a unique retail experience to fast-growing communities around the region with the opening of My City Centre Al Dhait, our first shopping destination in Ras Al Khaimah and the latest addition to the growing My City Centre brand in the UAE. Among 30 retail units, seven are food and beverage focused. It is close to the beach and highway with great retail offers that can cater to tourist requirements.” The AED 68.5 million mall, which has a gross leasable area of 5,494 square metres, houses more than 30 regional and international lifestyle brands. My City Centre Al Dhait is a neighbourhood shopping and dining destination created specifically for nearby residential and commercial communities.

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Emirates and flydubai launch flights to Krakow and Catania

EK and FlyDubai

Emirates and flydubai announced their latest codeshare flights planned to Krakow in Poland from April 8 and Catania in Italy from June 13. The partnership initially began with codeshare flights to 29 cities, and this has quickly expanded to meet demand as customers realise the benefits of increased flight frequencies, expanded access to global destinations on a single ticket, and more. For bookings under the codeshare, Emirates passengers will receive complimentary meals and the Emirates checked baggage allowance on flights operated by flydubai in Business and Economy class. Under the partnership, passengers will benefit from a reduced minimum connection time of 120 minutes between Emirates’ home in Terminal 3 and flydubai’s in Terminal 2. Emirates Skywards members earn Skywards miles and Skywards Tier Miles on codeshare flights as per the existing Skywards programme. In addition to the Emirates free checked baggage allowance, Skywards Premium members can also enjoy their extra checked baggage allowances of 20 kg (Platinum members) 16 kg (Gold members) and 12 kg (Silver members) on codeshare flights operated by flydubai. Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members travelling on codeshare flights can access flydubai’s Business check-in counters and receive priority tags.

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Mysk by Shaza celebrates grand opening in Muscat

Opening image mysk Oman

Shaza Hotels recently announced the opening of their Mysk flagship hotel in Al Mouj Muscat, under the leadership of His Highness Shihab Bin Tariq Al Said, Advisor to His Majesty the Sultan and Chairman of the Research Council. The event was organised by Golden Group Holding, owners of the hotel. The flagship opening of Mysk by Shaza Hotels in Muscat comes in line with the rapid growth in tourism witnessed by the Sultanate over the past years and the building of many infrastructure projects and services. Situated in the bustling Al Mouj Muscat Marina and close to the Muscat International Airport, Mysk is an upscale hotel with 195 rooms and suites equipped with the latest technology. A contemporary brand that is inspired by Arabic culture and ancient Omani history, the hotel has four restaurants, a business centre, multi-use halls with modern amenities, a swimming pool overlooking the marina and a centre for recreation and fitness.

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Dubai Safari hosts UAE dignitaries and VIPs

UAE Dignitaries at Dubai Safari (1)

Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General, Dubai Municipality, along with other members of the Dubai Safari team welcomed the UAE dignitaries and VIPs at the opening recently. As part of the visit, Eng. Lootah hosted a tour of the 119-hectare park, including stops at the Arabian Village, African Village as well as the open Safari Village, in addition to the UAE’s largest walk-through aviary. “Dubai Safari would like to thank its guests for visiting the park today. It was our honour to host them and give them a tour of the various villages and activities that make Dubai Safari a must-visit experience for both UAE residents as well as visitors from around the world,” said Eng. Lootah. Dubai Safari is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm including all public holidays and is located at Al Warqaa 5 district across Dubai’s Dragon Mart off the Dubai-Hatta Highway. There are different tickets available to the public at Dubai Safari like the Safari Park ticket and Combo Ticket. Senior citizens and children under the age of three are allowed to enter Dubai Safari for free.

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Royal Jordanian expands code share with Turkish and Malaysia Airlines

From the top - City View

Royal Jordanian (RJ) expanded its codeshare agreements with Turkish Airlines and Malaysia Airlines, giving its guests the option to travel to more destinations with competitive fares and more convenience. The expansion of the codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines, which has been in place since 2015, added three new cities to RJ passengers’ list of potential destinations- Milan, Sofia and Sarajevo, which are sold in connection with RJ’s Amman-Istanbul flights. The codeshare expansion agreement with Malaysia Airlines, signed in 2010, gives RJ passengers access to four new destinations- Langkawi, Penang, Sydney and Melbourne, all sold in connection with RJ’s Kuala Lumpur flight. RJ has 15 codeshare agreements with global airlines, including with one world carriers and with international airlines. Stefan Pichler, President/CEO, Royal Jordanian said, “Codeshare agreements with global airlines are in line with RJ’s turnaround plan and endeavour to offer an improved passenger experience and enhance competitiveness at regional and global levels.” “Having flexible connections will no doubt increase traffic on RJ’s network,” he said, assuring that RJ will continue to partner with other airlines, through various commercial activities.

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Air Arabia to launch flights to Qabala from June 27

Air Arabia

Qabala will be the second destination in Azerbaijan to be served by Air Arabia from June 27, 2018. Air Arabia currently serves Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan with daily flights. The flight will operate three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, departing Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) at 13:00 hours and arriving at Qabala International Airport (GBB) at 16:10 hours local time. The return flight will depart Qabala at 17:15 hours, landing in Sharjah at 19:50 hours local time. Featuring a moderate climate and a mountainous landscape, Qabala is a destination of choice for travellers looking to spend their summer closer to nature. The city caters to all, offering everything from entertainment at amusement parks to guided walks, through the heart of its untouched forest lands.  Air Arabia currently operates flights to 133 routes across the globe from five hubs located in the Middle East and North Africa.

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