Shivani DDPPL

Marriott International & ATG sign agreement to establish direct connectivity

Al Tayyar Marriott's

Marriott International has signed a distribution co-operation agreement with Al Tayyar Travel Group (ATG), which will establish direct connectivity between the two companies and allow ATG to pull inventory and rates in real time from Marriott International’s reservations systems. The agreement is mutually beneficial to both companies as Marriott International will have access to ATG’s wide reaching network within KSA and beyond. Neal Jones, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Middle East & Africa, Marriott International said, “We are delighted to consolidate our partnership with this exciting new connectivity announcement. Al Tayyar Travel Group has invested significantly in technology and payment platforms, and Marriott International is extremely proud to be able to dynamically connect our reservation systems to the mutual benefit of our companies. This will ultimately provide better service and availability of inventory to the travel trade and consumers in the MENA region.” “Our partnership with Marriott International provides customers with seamless access to a globally renowned hospitality company, and its wide-ranging offer of brands and properties, as well as the best available rates,” said Abdullah Aldawood, CEO, Al Tayyar Travel Group. “This agreement will further accelerate the growth of our company. We are delivering on our transformation strategy of being a leading online travel agency and holiday advisor in MENA, offering Omni-channel travel services,” Aldawood said.

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Dubai Maritime City partners with Dubai Tourism to boost maritime traffic

Maritime

The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) supported by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism)  has organised a workshop for key government entities, yacht operators and manufacturers as part of wider efforts to develop Dubai’s maritime industry. The workshop was held following the announcement of the economic stimulus by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai to reinforce Dubai’s economy. This important sector has significant potential to grow by expanding into the lucrative luxury yachts sector plus ensuring leisure maritime pursuits are easier to enjoy with the overall aim to further broaden Dubai’s tourism offering. With the global yacht industry expected to reach $74.7 billion by 20221, driven by luxury cruising among high net worth individuals, Dubai aims to be well-placed to ensure maritime regulations and infrastructure match the demanding expectations of this significant sector. Already the world’s fourth most visited city2, Dubai’s existing tourism proposition is hugely attractive for global visitors and is perfectly positioned to capture an increasing share of the high-end superyacht market. The leisure maritime sector is also expected to continue on an upward curve due to an easing of regulations encouraging recreational boating activities. Local stakeholders have highlighted a number of challenges that are being addressed to facilitate easier access and drive increased visitation from maritime enthusiasts who seek sea based experiences.

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Dusit International expands with second property in Bahrain

Dusit Bahrain Hotel Shot 2

Dusit International has signed a management agreement with Dar Al-Huda Hotel Apartments SPC to operate Dusit Resort and Spa Lagoona Beach in Al Budaiya in Bahrain. The hotel comprises 174 spacious, well-appointed seafront apartments, each with sea views. Alongside a health and fitness centre with gender segregated spas and swimming pools, resort amenities include water sports, zip-lines, private islands, meeting facilities, a kids’ club and an all-day-dining restaurant. A luxury villa complex with water park is also being planned. Dusit Resort and Spa Lagoona Beach will be the second Dusit-branded property in Bahrain. It follows last year’s signing of Dusit D2 City Centre Bahrain, which is slated to open by the end of the year. In line with Dusit International’s strategy for sustainable and profitable growth, which includes balancing its portfolio to include half of its operations outside of Thailand by 2022, the company’s current tally of 27 properties is set to top 70 within the next four years. “Our aim is to have at least 25 hotels in operation in the region by 2020, representing 5,700 keys,” said Lim Boon Kwee, Chief Operating Officer, Dusit International. “The best way to achieve this, of course, is by ensuring we always go the extra mile to delight our guests and customers with our unique brand of gracious hospitality. We are delighted Dar Al-Huda Hotel Apartments SPC has given us that opportunity at Dusit Resort and Spa Lagoona Beach. This is an excellent property in a prime location, and we look forward to making it a huge success,”Kwee said.

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Central Hotels debuts in Turkey with ‘Valley Central Suites’

Mr Ahmad Al Abdulla - Chairman - Central Hotels

Central Hotels will debut in Turkey with the signing of a strategic agreement with Green Valley Real Estate to operate the company’s hotels in the country under a new brand ‘Valley Central Suites’. The first two hotels to be managed by Central Hotels in Turkey are The Valley Central Suites Bursa and Valley Central Suites Trabzon followed by other projects in Yaluva and Sapanca. This special agreement between the two parties will subsequently extend to Green Valley Real Estate’s hotels in Morocco, Georgia and Bosnia. Ali Al Salami, Group Director General, Green Valley Real Estate, stated, “We are delighted to collaborate with Central Hotels to manage our hotels in Turkey. This agreement fulfils our commitment to our valued customers who have bought their units in Turkey.” Established in 2004, the Green Valley Real Estate Group owns a total of 42 real estate development projects worldwide. Ahmad Al Abdulla, Chairman, Central Hotels, said, “We are very excited to expand our footprint with a strong and prominent partner such as Green Valley Real Estate. This presents us an excellent opportunity to accelerate the growth of our brand outside the UAE.” Located near the port of Bursa and the Mudanya Corniche, Valley Central Suites in Bursa boasts of 111 fully furnished suites consisting of one and two-bedroom apartments as well as duplex apartments offering either three or four rooms. Included in its fabulous facilities are integrated residential complex services, private swimming pool, children’s garden and play area and dedicated parking for owners.

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Travelport announces new leadership in Americas and EMEA

Travelmart

Travelport has announced two new leadership for its Agency Commerce teams in the Americas and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). In the Americas, Simon Ferguson will become Managing Director, Agency Commerce for the region which spans the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Ferguson takes over from Bret Kidd who will be taking an alternative role within Travelport. Simon will relocate from London, where he currently oversees Travelport’s Northern Europe region and will be based in Atlanta from July 1. Ferguson is a graduate of Sheffield University whose earlier career included leadership positions in travel technology and media before joining Travelport in 2011. In 2017, Travelport’s revenue in the Americas was over $700m. In EMEA, Damian Hickey will take on the role of Managing Director, Agency Commerce following the departure of Rabih Saab earlier this year.  Hickey will take up the role from June 1 and will relocate to Travelport’s Langley, UK base from Singapore, where he currently oversees Travelport’s Air Commerce business in the Asia-Pacific region. Hickey has been at Travelport since 2012 in a number of leadership roles. He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and has worked in the travel technology sector for over twenty years. In 2017, Travelport’s revenue in the region exceeded $1bn.

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Shurooq and Emaar partner to operate ‘Vida Al Qasba Sharjah’ in Al Qasba

Shurooq and Emmar

The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has signed a management agreement with Emaar Hospitality Group to operate a lifestyle boutique hotel – Vida Al Qasba Sharjah in Al Qasba. The hotel featuring 100 rooms and suites is uniquely positioned to meet the increasing demand for spacious and quality hotel rooms in Sharjah. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO, Shurooq and Olivier Harnisch, CEO, Emaar Hospitality Group, signed the management agreement in the presence of senior officials of both entities. Commenting on the agreement, Al Sarkal said, “Sharjah’s tourism sector has recorded consistent growth with the number of hotel guests set to increase from 2.07 million in 2017 to over 3.16 million in the next two years. To meet the demand, it is important to strengthen the supply of quality hotels that meet the lifestyle aspirations of the visitors. We chose Emaar Hospitality Group’s Vida Hotels and Resorts to operate our boutique hotel in Al Qasba, led by its credentials in creating a refreshingly different experience for the new generation of travellers.” Harnisch said, “Vida Hotels and Resorts has brought a fresh identity to the hospitality sector of the region with our focus on two defining features that meet the aspirations of the new generation of travellers – design-led spaces and connectivity. Sharjah has tremendous potential of growth for its hospitality and tourism sectors. Vida Al Qasba Sharjah addresses a distinctive white space in the market through its positioning as a lively and vibrant hub where inspiring minds meet and connect.”

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Amadeus releases ‘Middle East Consumer Travel Report 2018’ at ATM

Consumer Travel Report Middle East 2018 (1)

 Unveiled at the Arabian Travel Market, the ‘Middle East Consumer Travel Report 2018’ by Amadeus explores searching and planning habits of the region’s travellers in a digital era. The study suggests that the search for value plays a decisive role in how today’s travellers research, compare and book their journeys in this part of the world. The report acknowledges that the Middle East travel market is incredibly diverse when it comes to travel patterns. Cost is cited most often by travellers (50%) as the first consideration when selecting their accommodation — more important than hotel location, classification, or rating. Similarly, almost half of travellers (46%) cite budget as a main factor when choosing flights, more so than airline reputation and even the itinerary. As a result, one in three (33%) travellers today “actively search” for discounts online during the shopping process. While value is a key driver in travel decisions, consumers in the Middle East are open to being influenced when searching for their destination. However, the expectations from traditional travel advisors are changing, most travellers now visit a travel site or agency when they are ready to book, not when they are still planning their trip.

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Dubai Tourism launches ‘Dubai Pass’ for tourists

Dubai Stand at ATM

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has launched Dubai Pass for visitors to enjoy the city’s range of attractions, experiences and tours. It is an all-inclusive pre-paid card, grants cash-free access to 33 key events and venues across Dubai, making it the perfect way for tourists to explore the city’s world-class destination proposition. It will be available to redeem from May 16, 2018. Starting at AED399, the pass offers ‘Select’ and ‘Unlimited’ packages, with a specially-curated list of popular attractions and experiences. These include Burj Khalifa, Dubai Parks and Resorts, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Wild Wadi Waterpark, Ski Dubai, Desert Safari Tours, and many more. With every purchase, visitors will also receive a 50% discount on tickets to La Perle – the city’s one-of-a-kind live entertainment show with acrobatics and aerial stunts – by simply presenting their Dubai Pass when buying a ticket to the show. The ‘Select’ package is priced at AED399. It allows card users to enjoy a range of attractions – one from each of the three-tiered attraction pools. The pass is valid over seven consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use. Meanwhile, the unlimited package is available for AED899. Users can choose unlimited events and activities, and the pass is valid for three days. The year-round Dubai Pass has been introduced following the success of previous seasonal DSS and DSF passes. It will provide a streamlined way for people to experience Dubai, save money and make the most of their trip with family and friends.

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Sharjah records 70% hotel occupancy rate in 2017

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development (SCTDA) has revealed at the Arabian Travel Market 2018 that Sharjah hotels recorded an occupancy growth rate of 70 per cent in 2017, indicating an exponentially rising number of regional and global travellers visiting the emirate. Commenting on the results, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said, “Last year’s positive developments were the results of the initiatives to transform the emirate into one of the world’s leading family destinations in line with the directives of HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and in support of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, which seeks to attract over 10 million visitors to Sharjah shores by 2021. Our intensive tourism campaigns hit its targets in 2017, further boosting the local tourism sector and enhancing its reputation at the local, regional, and global levels.” He added, “Our strong performance last year helped catapult Sharjah into the ranks of the most innovative and competitive cities in the world. Our continuing achievements and successes are proof of the emirate’s capability to provide an exceptional travel experience as well as high potential to attract tourists from around the world. Furthermore, Sharjah is famous among travellers who want to explore ancient monuments, with visitors from Russia, China, and different parts of the globe descending on the emirate to experience its beauty and rich traditions. All of these are helping drive our economic, social, cultural, and environmental growth.”

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Emirates signs MoU with Mauritius to renew support

Emirates image

An MoU was signed at the Arabian Travel Market between Emirates and Mauritius to strengthen their partnership in future. It was signed by Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President – Commercial Operations for Africa, Emirates’ and Devi Seewooruthun, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, in the presence of Anil Gayan, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Mauritius, . “Mauritius has always been an important destination on the Emirates network, and we are pleased to be continuing our long standing commitment with them. We will look to develop a series of joint activities together with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, to highlight the destination and its appeal throughout our network”, said Abbas. “The partnership between Mauritius and Emirates has stood the test of time. The signing of this fresh MoU is a strong signal to strengthening that partnership even more in the years to come”, said Gayan. The agreement will see marketing activities such as attendance of tourism trade shows and fairs, trade familiarisation trips, product presentations and workshops, amongst others, be undertaken jointly by Emirates and the Tourism Board. In 2017, Mauritius welcomed 1,341,860 tourists. The destinations’ main markets are France, UK, Germany, South Africa, India, Italy, China, the Russian Federation and Reunion Island.

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