Shivani DDPPL

Al-Futtaim Travel opens its new Travel Centre in Dubai


As part of its efforts to enhance customer experience, Al-Futtaim Travel, has opened its Travel Centre in Dubai. Located next to Al Ghurair Centre in Deira, the new Centre, which is now a multichannel operation, will cater to both corporate and leisure/retail customers and will see the Al-Futtaim company providing services including Corporate travel services, Holidays – Outbound and Inbound, Destination Management services and travel related value-add services under one roof. Commenting on the opening, Biju Antony, Deputy General Manager, Al-Futtaim Travel, said, “We are constantly looking at new and innovative ways to enhance our customer experience and the launch of the new Travel Centre is a big step forward in that direction. The new Centre will provide our corporate and leisure/retail customers with a one-stop-shop for all their travel needs and our expert travel team can develop and deliver globally benchmarked services to meet every requirement.” Alongside the opening of the Travel Centre, Al-Futtaim Travel also launched its enhanced website,, where customers can book special deals and holiday packages to thousands of destinations around the world at competitive rates. In addition, Al-Futtaim Travel will also soon launch an e-commerce facility where customers can book their holiday packages and varied travel related services from the comfort of their home.

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Campbell Gray Hotels to open The Merchant House in Manama in September

merchant house

Campbell Gray Hotels is set to open The Merchant House in Manama, Bahrain in September 2018. The Merchant House will be an all-suite boutique hotel with 47 suites in total, each featuring an open plan kitchen and dining area, as well as open plan sitting rooms which have been designed to be ideal for both business and leisure. As with all Campbell Gray Hotels, artwork will be a prominent feature of the interior design and Gordon Campbell Gray has, over the past year, been putting together an exciting art collection comprising of well-established Bahraini artists as well as new and upcoming young talent from both Bahrain and the region. The design is, as with all Campbell Gray Hotels, completely original and has been created specifically for The Merchant House and working within the framework of this unusual building. The design is very much of a garden – very unexpected and very green – and the feel is of a little magic kingdom on the roof; very easy and relaxed, as is the food. There is also a rooftop pool and a gym, as well as a small boardroom for meetings and private events. Every aspect of the hotel has been planned and designed to be fun and relaxed and perfect for the location, being near the Old Customs House and the financial district.

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Travelport renews partnership with Rehlat

travelport_logo NEW

Travelport has secured a new long-term technology partnership with, which includes use of the company’s cutting-edge data analytics tool, Travelport Competitor Insights. The agreement will make the first travel agency in the Middle East to benefit from the product. will use Travelport Competitor Insights to benchmark booking performance against the market and its peers. The company will also use the tool to understand current and upcoming travel trends, identify behavioral changes, and explore how these vary across geographies. In addition, under the new agreement, will continue to utilise Travelport’s open platform and Universal API technology to ensure it has access to the broadest and most current inventory of high-quality travel content and maintains its ability to deliver ‘on demand’ dynamic pricing and micro-segmentation of offers based on individual needs. With over 250 airlines signed up to use Travelport’s unique merchandising technology, the new agreement will also see benefit from being able to display, gain powerful information around, and sell branded fare families and ancillary products (such as paid seat assignments, baggage fees, priority boarding, etc.) from these airlines.

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Air Arabia launches direct flights from Alexandria to Milan

Adel Al Ali, CEO, Group Air Arabia during the press conference in Milan

Air Arabia Egypt launched direct flights between Egypt and Italy, serving Milan twice a week from its hub in Alexandria, Egypt. The inaugural flight E5103 landed in Milan Bergamo International Airport on May 4 and was received by an Air Arabia delegation, including the Group Chief Executive Officer Adel Al Ali along with Milan Bergamo International Airport Chief Executive Officer Emilio Bellingardi. The direct flights operate on Fridays and Sundays under two different timings. On Fridays, the flights depart from Alexandria International Airport at 16:10 hours, landing in Milan Bergamo International Airport at 19:45 hours local time. The return flights depart from Milan at 20:30, and arrive at Alexandria at 24:00 hours local time. On Sundays, the flights depart from Alexandria International Airport at 07:10 hours local time, landing in Milan Bergamo International Airport at 10:45 hours local time. The return flights from Milan at 11:30, landing in Alexandria at 15:00 hours local time. Al Ali, said, “Adding Milan to the network of our rapidly expanding Egypt Hub forms an important part of Air Arabia’s ongoing commitment to our passengers to access affordable and unique holiday destinations. Italy is an important market for Air Arabia and we are glad to serve Milan with direct flights from both our hubs in Morocco and Egypt. We strongly believe in the important role airlines play in connecting nations and cultures together.

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Smart gates to replace passport officials’ platforms by 2030

Major General Mohammed Al Marri addressing the audience at the Airport Security Middle East

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, General Directorate, Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA-D) has said that by 2030, the smart gates at Dubai airports will replace passport officials’ platforms with a view to reducing the human involvement factor in application of Dubai’s 10X initiative. Delivering the welcome address at the Airport Security Middle East conference on the second day of the 18th edition of Airports Show, Al Marri said, “We have created smart gates projects in an exclusive and modern way, and these amount now to about 122 smart gates. We have created a number of smart projects in Dubai international airports, the latest of which is “Next-Generation Departure” project, which will enable passengers complete their travel procedures in the least time possible.” Delivering the opening keynote address, Col Hamooda Belsuwaida Alameri, Assistant Director General Operations at General Department of Airport Security, Dubai Police said, “Dubai police has plans to coordinate its human resources and capabilities to ensure security at airports. The airport security challenges are land side security, cyber security and security check points. Airports, the police and the security agencies need to collaborate and exchange information as well as to do risk assessments to ensure security on all fronts.” Technologies have been put into strategies and plans to have security checkpoints of the future to make Dubai airports safe and secure for all our clients, he added.

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Silver jubilee for Jet Airways

jet airways

Jet Airways, India’s premier full service international airline has entered its 25 years of service. Credited with transforming the face of Indian aviation, Jet Airways first flight 9W321 took off on the 5th of May 1993 from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, marking its humble journey of ‘Connecting India to the World.’ From a modest beginning of a fleet of 4 aircraft serving 6 destinations in early 1993 – to its present day fleet of a 119, serving over 450 destinations globally along with its partner airlines; Jet Airways has been privileged to play a modest role in contributing to the growth of the Indian economy by enabling and facilitating passenger and freight businesses pan-India as well as internationally, and as significantly, fostering the growth of trade and tourism across India and the world. On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary, Naresh Goyal, Chairman, Jet Airways’ Group said, “This day represents an unforgettable milestone and is a mix of emotion and elation for us all. We are both humbled and honoured by the overwhelming trust, support and appreciation received from our Guests over the years, as we fondly recall the first steps we took on what has been a truly exciting journey in bringing the Joy of Flying to millions of our Guests. It gives me great pleasure to reaffirm our commitment to them and to our vision of connecting India to the world. Our partners also deserve a special mention for their consistent support that has surpassed our expectations.”

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Emirates to fly daily to Edinburgh from October 1

Emirates FLL Route Launch at Airport

Emirates has announced the year-round service from Edinburgh to Dubai from October 1, 2018. The new service will be operated by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER in a three class cabin configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 304 spacious seats in Economy Class. The Scottish capital, with its Old Town and New Town both being UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is the second most visited city in the UK by tourists. It is famed for its rich history, cultural and architectural attractions, gourmet food scene, as well as international festivals and cultural events. It was also the first city in the world to be designated a UNESCO City of Literature, while last year it was named by the European Union as the top city of its size in Europe for culture and creativity. “We’re increasing our capacity to Scotland to meet growing demand, and by introducing a daily flight to Edinburgh, it will complement our current double daily flights between Dubai and Glasgow. Edinburgh is a very popular leisure and business destination, and the new service will offer our customers from across our global network, particularly from key inbound markets such as Asia and Australia, a direct option to the city via our Dubai hub. It will also be a more convenient point for travellers from the greater Edinburgh area, and beyond, such as Aberdeen and Dundee, to travel with Emirates to Dubai and onward to destinations across our network,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West. Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, commented, “This is a fantastic announcement for Edinburgh Airport as we welcome another world …

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Emirates celebrates HH Sheikh Zayed’s birthday with 6 special ‘livery’ landings


Emirates recently landed six of its special ‘livery aircraft’ on six continents on the occassion of centennial birthday of the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, said, “Today, we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the birth of the UAE’s founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed, who dedicated his life to building a thriving and vibrant UAE. The principles and initiatives he set in motion have become the foundations for the UAE’s progress. We hope through our special liveries we honour his memory and legacy and help spread his inspirational messages around the world as our aircraft continue to circle the globe in 2018.” This tribute to the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was first unveiled in November 2017 on the fuselage of Emirates’ 100th A380 aircraft, commemorating the 100th year of HH Sheikh Zayed’s birth. A total of 10 Emirates aircraft carry the special livery for 2018. The ‘Year of Zayed’ Emirates aircraft have circled the globe to over 90 cities on over 1,800 flights.

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Retail therapy from DTCM this weekend


Aiming to strengthen the retail tourism sector, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) will offer many discounts for tourists and residents during the upcoming weekend. This citywide retail extravaganza will see participating outlets offer 25 – 90% off on a wide range of merchandise. Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai Tourism, over 300 brands will participate in the eagerly-anticipated sale where shoppers can bag bargains from over 1000 outlets featuring a range of retail segments – lifestyle, beauty, homeware, and much more. Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai Tourism, said, “Together with our retail partners, we are pleased to be able to offer huge savings to people across the city during this year’s 3 Day Super Sale this weekend. From top fashion items, to the finest interiors collections and state-of-the-art electronics, shoppers can enjoy hefty discounts of up to 90% off top brands, giving them the ultimate chance to bag a bargain. We encourage shoppers across the emirate to take advantage of this exciting event in the Retail Calendar and rush to the malls this week to get great savings on their favourite brands.”

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Dammam Airports Company signs 2 agreements with Vanderlande & Serco

Turki Abdullah Al-Jawini, CEO, Dammam Airports Company and David Greer, CEO, Serco Middle East during the signing of the agreement

Dammam Airports Company (DACO) has signed two strategic agreements with Vanderlande and Serco Middle East at the 18th Airport Show in Dubai. The agreements are  as part of DACO’s agreement with Vanderlande, the global market leader for value-added logistic process automation at airports. The two entities will work on introducing a state-of-the-art Baggage Handling System (BHS) at KFIA that will help make travel procedures smoother for airport personnel, passengers and airlines. “Guided by our vision to transform airports and redefine the travel experience, our efforts in the last 10 months have focussed on expanding the airport’s operational efficiency, as it witnesses a steady growth in passenger traffic and an increased demand for commercial services. We are pleased to partner with global leaders like Vanderlande and Serco Middle East to execute our long-term plans for the airport, and transform it into a major hub for air transportation within the region and beyond,” said Turki Abdullah Al-Jawini, Chief Executive Officer, Dammam Airports Company. The agreement with Serco Middle East, is to to install cutting-edge fire and rescue services at the airport. The contract, which makes KFIA the first Saudi airport to leverage an international service provider’s expertise in firefighting systems, will help raise the airport’s safety standards in line with its existing firefighting protocols.

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