Shivani DDPPL

Emaar unveils world’s highest lounge at Burj Khalifa

Emaar has opened doors for the public to the highest point in Burj Khalifa at levels 152, 153 and 154, towering at an imposing height of 575 meters, with the unveiling of The Lounge, Burj Khalifa. Billed to become a must-visit destination to unwind, The Lounge, Burj Khalifa spans the three floors that have been converted into a state-of-the-art lounge that serves a fascinating selection of beverages and canapes for the truly discerning. Featuring an outdoor terrace, there are several lifestyle experiences awaiting visitors including magnificent views of the city while indulging in high tea, sundowner time with cocktails and canapes and an evening cocktail setting when guests can celebrate with the finest selection of beverages and canapes. Taking the city’s night life to the next level, The Lounge, Burj Khalifa will feature live music daily with international artists and performers. To celebrate the opening month, the performer line-up includes live musicians, pianists, and DJs taking centre stage to regale the guests. The High Tea is priced AED 550 per person, inclusive of a lavish spread of fresh bakes, delicate desserts, finest teas and of a glass of house beverage. The Sundowner and Evening experience are AED 600 per person, inclusive of unlimited gourmet canapes and one house beverage. Level 152, 153 and 154 have distinctive settings – each assuring never-before-seen views of the city. While the former features majlis style coffee tables and lush couches, the latter will have only cocktail tables.

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453-room Millennium Place Marina to open this year

Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa has announced the addition of Millennium Place to its diversified portfolio of hospitality brands. A modern hotel concept that will cater to the new generation of business and leisure travellers, Millennium Place is slated to open in the first half of 2019 and will stand within the bustling district of Dubai Marina. The hotel features 453-rooms and suites that are designed to deliver a compelling guest experience offering views of the Dubai Marina and the Palm Islands. Its strategic location will allow guests walking access to The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence and nearby metro stations. “The Millennium Place Marina will focus on things that make a difference to our guests’ stay. It could be the in-room entertainment, the pillow, our hotel facilities, food and of course our excellent service. We want our guests to call their room a place of their own when staying at Millennium Place,” said Atef El Eskndarany, the newly appointed Director of Sales and Marketing of the property. Eskndarany will serve as an integral part of the pre-opening team and will be responsible for leading the sales and marketing efforts for the property. He brings almost nineteen years of sales and marketing experience in UAE, Oman and Egypt.  Prior to this role, Eskndarany was the Cluster Director of Sales and Marketing for Radisson Blu Dubai Marina and has participated in the pre-opening phase for six hotels of various international hotel brands such as InterContinental Hotel Group, Movenpick and Radisson Hotel Group.

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RwandAir and Amadeus extend partnership to boost continued growth in Africa and beyond

RwandAir has announced its expansion through partnership with Amadeus to adopt technology that will allow its customers to benefit from improved efficiency, better experience and increased convenience. This is in line with further boosting Rwanda as a travel destination. Last year Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali was ranked the third most popular destination in Africa to host international conferences. RwandAir was recently named the 10th most-improved airline in the world by Skytrax and has built a reputation for excellent on-time performance. Having previously provided RwandAir with distribution services, Amadeus will now roll out solutions across passenger systems, revenue management, loyalty management, payments, and data and analytics. The extended partnership intends to support RwandAir’s plans of expanding its network and fleet. Yvonne Manzi Makolo, CEO, RwandAir said, “RwandAir is committed to providing an impeccable customer experience that will fuel our continued expansion in the years to come. We look forward to an extended partnership with Amadeus that will provide us with the world-class passenger services solution with an upgrade of our reservations, ticketing, departure control, e-commerce, market intelligence and loyalty systems”. The benefits of using the Amadeus’s Passenger System (Altéa) also extend to Amadeus’ global travel seller network. Maher Koubaa, VP META, Amadeus, said, “Amadeus uses industry insights combined with smart technology to build the technology that empowers airlines, travel agents and their customers alike to streamline processes, boost convenience, build reputation and loyalty, and more. We’re proud that our partnership with RwandAir has grown so that we can continue to contribute to its growth story.”

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Radisson Hotel Group signs portfolio deal for six hotels in Egypt

Radisson Hotel Group has announced the signing of six hotels in Egypt as part of a portfolio deal across a number of its brands. The agreement was signed with existing business partner Zaghloul Holdings, a Cairo-based business conglomerate operating in real estate, contracting, tourism, commercial retail, entertainment and sports investment industries. The six hotels, namely, Radisson Collection Hotel Cairo Heliopolis, Radisson Blu Serviced Apartments Cairo Heliopolis, Radisson Blu Hotel Cairo Golf City, Radisson Hotel New Cairo, Radisson Hotel & Resort Ain Sokhna and Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Makadi Bay, Hurghada will mean Radisson Hotel Group becomes one of the largest international operators in the country. Elie Younes, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Radisson Hotel Group, said, “Egypt has historically been one of the most visited countries in North Africa and we strongly believe in its tourism industry in the long run. These hotels will make a great contribution to the local employment and we thank our partner Zaghloul Holdings for their continued trust and for their contribution towards promoting tourism in the country. We are further pleased to introduce two new brands to Egypt, Radisson Collection, positioned as the premium lifestyle and affordable luxury brand and Radisson as an upscale hotel brand.” Hazem Zaghloul, Owner, Zaghloul Holdings, said, “We have ambitious investment plans for the tourism sector in Egypt. We are confident in the future outlook for the sector with positive forecasts of increased visitor numbers and the significant investment in the tourism infrastructure of Egypt. We are also pleased to strengthen our relationship with Radisson Hotel Group and look forward to continuing our successful relationship.”

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Travelport partners with Qantas to offer NDC connections

Travelport strengthened its partnership with Qantas on a new agreement that includes a commitment to continued collaboration on the future of distribution. Following the recent announcement of the launch of Qantas Channel on August 1, 2019, which will allow agents to access content sourced from the NDC-enabled Qantas Distribution Platform, Travelport’s Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand, Scott Barber, said, “We are delighted to support Qantas as it develops its new channel and introduces the NDC standard. As the first GDS operator with an NDC booking solution available to a small group of customers, we have proven our capability to deliver this new standard. We are supporting our customers as they prepare for this new distribution era to ensure it provides seamless, integrated travel choice through access to the broadest range of content. I’d like to thank our customers for collaborating with us as we deliver the new Qantas Channel and NDC solutions which make the process of buying and managing travel better for everyone.” Commenting on the airline’s new distribution model, Vanessa Hudson, Chief Customer Officer, Qantas said the airline was pleased to be working with Travelport to make the Qantas Channel available to their agents globally. “The digital environment has changed the way we need to work with our trade partners, and our new technology paired with this new Qantas Channel agreement will support us on the journey to delivering our vision for our mutual customers. We’re excited to continue to innovate with our trade partners and share in the benefits of this new technology.” Travelport recently outlined its 2019 NDC roadmap after the successful onboarding of the first group of travel agencies to receive access to NDC content …

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Etihad Airways to deploy Airbus A380 on daily Abu Dhabi-Seoul route from July 1, 2019

Etihad Airways is set to operate Airbus A380 on its daily service linking Abu Dhabi and Seoul, effective July 1, 2019. The South Korean capital’s Incheon Airport now joins London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, New York JFK and Sydney as a destination served by the airline’s award-winning aircraft. Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Since the launch of our services to Seoul Incheon in December 2010, the route has proved tremendously successful and we have welcomed over 1.2 million guests on our flights to and from Korea since then. This reinforces the strong ties between the two countries and the importance Etihad continues to place on the Korean market. The introduction of Airbus A380 will provide guests with the most revolutionary in-flight experience. The Etihad A380 embodies our ‘Choose Well’ brand promise perfectly, offering every type of traveller a flying experience tailored to meet their requirements and to capture their imagination.” Etihad Airways’ 486-seat A380 will provide customers on the route with new in-flight experiences such as The Residence, a luxurious three-room cabin which can accommodate two guests in complete privacy and nine private First Apartments. The double-decker aircraft also boasts 70 Business Studios and 405 Economy Smart Seats. This includes 80 Economy Space seats with a seat pitch of up to 36 inches.

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Leva Hotel Apartments marks its debut in Dubai

Leva Hotels has launched a four-star property on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. The new hotel consists of 178 rooms with chic interiors, custom designs and fittings, luxurious bedding and fine furnishing. Tucked between Al Wasl Road and Sheikh Zayed Road, Leva Hotel Apartments occupies one of the most enviable addresses in Dubai. Located in Mazaya Centre, Leva stands in the midst of celebrated tourist attractions like City Walk and oversees Burj Khalifa as well as The Dubai Mall. Catering to the modern traveller who seeks comfort, service and value, Leva understands the needs and requirements of modern guests who look for unforgettable experiences tailor made for them and will rate experience over expense. J S Anand, Chief Executive Office, Leva Hotels said, “We are delighted to announce that Leva Hotel is ready to take its guests on a journey of unmatched hospitality. At Leva, we believe in offering our guests with experiences that stay with them. An excellent experience is what wins a guest over and creates value for them, and good value creates its own market.”

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Al Tayer briefs Singaporean delegation about RTA’s smart mobility projects

HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman—Board of Executive Directors, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), received a visiting delegation from Singapore headed by HE Lim Sim Seng, Chairman, Singapore Land Authority. The meeting discussed ways and means of boosting cooperation whilst exchanging expertise between RTA and Singapore Land Authority in the fields of smart mobility, smart services and artificial intelligence (AI) as well as the upcoming roads and infrastructure projects in Dubai. The meeting discussed projects related to smart mobility and Dubai’s Autonomous Transportation Strategy aimed at transforming 25 per cent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into driverless journeys by 2030. Al Tayer briefed the visiting delegation about RTA’s experience in applying AI to projects such as the Dubai Metro, and the Enterprise Command and Control Center; which handles big data besides simulating & forecasting transport & crowds’ movement. RTA also uses AI in the smart testing of drivers and vehicles using robots, and the smart scanning of parking. HE Seng was impressed with RTA’s projects and initiatives for migrating to the Smart City, rendering Dubai a smart technology model. He added that efforts were being made to boost the strategic partnership between RTA and Singaporean entities dealing in the smart mobility field. RTA is currently making trial runs of an electrically powered 10-seater autonomous vehicle featuring high safety standards. Trials are also underway for the Autonomous Air Taxi capable of carrying two persons, autonomous mobility pods, and the first autonomous taxi in the region.

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Wyndham Hotels & Resorts opens 100th property in the Middle East with Wyndham Garden Dammam

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has opened the company’s 100th hotel in region, Wyndham Garden Dammam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This milestone follows several other significant openings in 2018 across the region, including new hotels in the United Arab Emirates, India and three additional hotels in Saudi Arabia, further strengthening the diverse offering of brands and destinations. Ignace Bauwens, Regional Vice President—Middle East, Eurasia and Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are exceptionally proud to have reached the incredible milestone of 100 hotels in the Middle East, Eurasia and Africa region with our latest opening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With a wide footprint of hotels, significant diversity of brands and a robust pipeline in place, our mission is to make hotel travel possible for all. Reaching 100 hotels in the region marks another important step in our quest to  offer travellers unique and authentic experiences, wherever and however they want to travel. Growth will continue to be our focus in 2019 and beyond, as we expand our footprint further and continue to bring more hotel choice across the entire region.” Wyndham Garden Dammam opened its doors in December 2018. Marking the introduction of the Wyndham Garden brand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the opening further strengthened Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio in this key growth market, now including 15 operational hotels and over 2,300 rooms. Located in the heart of Dammam, Wyndham Garden Dammam offers a variety of rooms, suites and apartments and a fully-equipped female and male health club, as well as a restaurant, café and executive lounge.

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Etihad Airways inks codeshare agreement with Royal Jordanian to enhance guest experiences

Etihad Airways and Royal Jordanian have announced a new codeshare partnership to provide customers with greater access to key leisure and business destinations in North Africa, Europe, Canada, Asia and Australia. This is the first such partnership between the two airlines which offer multiple daily services between their respective hubs in Abu Dhabi and Amman. The partnership will see Etihad Airways place its ‘EY’ code on Royal Jordanian’s flights from Abu Dhabi via Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport to Larnaca and Berlin, while Algiers, Tunis, Vienna and Montreal will be added to the agreement soon. In turn, Royal Jordanian will initially place its ‘RJ’ code on Etihad Airways services from Amman to Abu Dhabi and vice versa, and then from the UAE capital to Brisbane and Seoul. Subject to government approval, RJ will also market Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calicut, Cochin, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Manila, Beijing and Shanghai. Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “This partnership reinforces the deep cultural, tourism and trade connections between the UAE and Jordan, and opens up a new world of opportunities for our customers. Both the airlines share the common values of genuine Arabian hospitality and service, combined with the next-generation fleets, enviable reputations for efficiency and reliability, and a combined network spanning the globe.” Stefan Pichler, President and CEO, Royal Jordanian, said, “We are delighted to have Etihad Airways beside our codeshare partners who help us grow in different markets. This move is bound to expand our presence in Asia and Australia, which are key destinations for many RJ customers. This commercial partnership offers convenient transiting in Amman and Abu Dhabi to their final …

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