Shivani DDPPL

IATI to power international expansion with Travelport

Travelport

Travelport announced the signing of a new, extended agreement with IATI Travel, based in Turkey. Travelport will support its operations while extending the geographical reach of the partnership to cover Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The company’s high performance is powered by Travelport Universal API (uAPI) technology. This aggregates the most comprehensive content from multiple sources, including national and low-cost carriers, branded fares and ancillary services, as well as unique hotel properties, rail and car rental. Levent Aydın, Chairman of the Board, IATI, said, “We are impressed by Travelport’s customer-driven solution which provides highly efficient tools for our agents. We are pleased to have Travelport as our preferred technology partner and have great confidence in its extensive reach and expertise.” Rabih Saab, President and Managing Director, Europe, Africa, Middle East and South Asia, Travelport added: “We are delighted to support the fastest growing OTA in Turkey as it continues its global expansion. Our partnership with IATI has flourished since 2012 and we are looking to further power its success and expansion across new territories.”

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Abu Dhabi tourism to strengthen cruise tourism season

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi hosts Committee Meeting for Cruise Sector

Led by The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, a Cruise Sector Committee meeting was convened in the past week to tackle the challenges faced by the industry and plans for the future of the sector in the emirate. Held at the headquarters of the Department and led by its chairman, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, the meeting hosted many high level management figures from partners and industry stakeholders including Brigadier General Mansour Al Dhaheri from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi, Captain Mohammed Al Shamsi from Abu Dhabi Ports, Mohammed Al Bulooki from Etihad Airways, Engineer Jamal Al Hosani from the Department of Municipal Affairs, Mohammed Al Qemzi from the Integrated Transport Center and Sufian Al Marzooqi from the Tourism Development & Investment Company. For the upcoming 2017-18 season, the Department estimates growth of 5 per cent in the number of passengers from the previous year’s figure of 346,000, after a series of initiatives were launched to develop Abu Dhabi’s cruise sector as a primary niche product.

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Mantis to manage Sharjah Collection

Sharjah Collection image

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has revealed that Mantis Collection, the owner of some of the world’s finest boutique hotels and eco escapes, will be managing all hospitality facilities under its ‘Sharjah Collection’ brand. The joint venture was officiated and announced at the World Travel Market (WTM) London held from November 6-8. The partnership reflected the commitment between the two institutions that are equally dedicated to the spirit of conservation and preservation of local culture and heritage. Mantis’ excellence in the field has been continuously recognised by leading international hospitality awards such as the ‘2017 LUX Best Global Luxury Hotel Group and Excellence Award for Eco-Tourism’; the World’s Leading Luxury Boutique Hotels Collection 2016 and ‘Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel Brand 2017’  by the World Travel Awards; among several others. Mantis was selected by Shurooq because of its expertise and experience in delivering and managing boutique sustainable hospitality facilities worldwide. The authority believes that the quality of hospitality and stay options in Sharjah will take a quantum leap forward with the Sharjah Collection.

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Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts opens in Chiang Mai

M+_venpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai, Guestroom, Swimming Pool

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts released its latest property, Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai on November 7. The 266-room hotel marked another milestone in the hospitality company’s Asian expansion strategy. Located in one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, the hotel overlooks the sprawling Night Bazaar district and is located at a short walking distance to many cultural attractions such as Chiang Mai Old City Wall and Tha Pae Gate. Guests can choose from seven different room categories including Classic, Superior, Deluxe, Premier, Junior Suite, Suites and Family Suites. For diners, the hotel serves Thai and international cuisines at its all-day dining venue which is designed with wooden elements to emulate the style of a local food market. Le Bistrot is a themed Italian-Thai fusion eatery, featuring a terrace with views of the bustling Night Bazaar. For a refreshing drink, the hotel’s Lobby Bar and Rooftop Pool Bar both offer tempting selections, whilst the Sweet House serves freshly brewed coffee and home-made bakery items.

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Emirates new first-class Boeing 777 to debut in Europe

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates’ first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft fitted with its first-class product will operate from Dubai to the airline’s Belgian and Swiss destinations from December 1. The new cabin will feature six private suites laid out in a 1-1-1 layout, compared to the eight private suites in a 1-2-1 layout on its existing 777 fleet. Prior to entering commercial service, the first Emirates aircraft to feature the new private suites will be on display at the Dubai Airshow from November 12-16, following a product reveal on the first day of the show. Operating as one of the two daily flights from Dubai to Geneva, travellers can enjoy the new product on flight EK083 departing Dubai at 14:50hrs, arriving in Geneva at 18:55hrs. The return flight leaves Geneva at 20:40hrs, arriving at Dubai International Airport at 06:05hrs on the following day. For travellers heading to or from Belgium, the new product will be available on flight EK183 which leaves Dubai at 08:20hrs, arriving in Brussels at 12:45hrs. The return flight leaves Brussels at 14:35hrs, arriving at Emirates Terminal Three in Dubai at 00:15hrs on the following day.

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Dubai hits another record year with 7.5% tourist arrivals in Q3

Dubai offers memorable experiences to visitors

Maintaining its stance as the strongest market in the region, Dubai once again recorded a 7.5 per cent increase in tourist arrivals in Q3 2017, according to the latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). A total of 11.58 million international overnight visitors arrived in Dubai during the first nine months of 2017, reflecting a 7.5 per cent increase over the same period last year. India retained the top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with 1,478,000 Indian tourists arriving in the city between January and September, registering a significant 20 per cent rise over the same period in 2016. This increase affirmed the effectiveness of various innovative promotional activities driven by Dubai Tourism in the market, including collaborations with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Almost all the top 10 markets – with the exception of Oman and Kuwait, which saw declines of 23 and 3 per cent respectively – posted healthy increases in tourist traffic.

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16 new codeshare destinations on Emirates and flydubai

Image for emirates flydubai

The partnership between Emirates and flydubai announced 16 additional destinations to which Emirates’ passengers can travel on a single ticket. The new, expanded network includes destinations such as Zanzibar, Kathmandu and Kilimanjaro. Travellers can book on Emirates.com, through Emirates’ contact centres or via travel agents, commencing from November 8. Emirates President Tim Clark said, “We are thrilled with the positive response from travellers. Nearly 14,000 sectors have been ticketed during the first week of operation. We have witnessed strong demand for travel from Europe and the United States to South Asian destinations.” The new codeshare destinations include Bratislava (Slovakia), Chittagong (Bangladesh), Djibouti, (Djibouti), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), Hargeisa (Somalia), Istanbul – Sabiha Gokcen (Turkey), Kathmandu (Nepal), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mattala Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), Makhachkala (Russia), Podgorica (Montenegro), Sylhet (Bangladesh), Ufa (Russia), Voronezh (Russia), Yerevan (Armenia) and Zanzibar (Tanzania). Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai, said, “Today’s announcement will allow keen travellers to discover another 16 destinations as well as enjoy the unique personality of each airline.”

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WTM closes on a festive note

World Travel Market 2017, ExCeL London - Busy first morning

The final day of WTM London 2017 concluded with WTM Festivals, allowing visitors to experience the culture, hospitality and cuisine of the Caribbean, Tokyo, Indonesia, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Ghana, Senegal and Brazil. Pertinent issues such as Brexit, overtourism and development were debated among the tourism ministers’ agenda. The annual UNWTO and WTM Ministers Summit debated strategies to cope with overtourism, which is threatening the tourism trade in destinations such as Barcelona, Venice and Amsterdam. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO, said there have been many protests against overtourism in 2017, with slogans such as “tourists go home” and “tourists are terrorists.” He warned, “We cannot continue to build five-star hotels in three-star communities. We need to diversify visitors’ activities, reduce seasonality and raise awareness of less busy destinations.” WTM brought together the leadership of the International Hotel Investment Forum and WTM London’s expertise to create an exclusive platform for ministers and investors in travel destination development. Keith Evans, Vice President Hotels, Starwood Capital, highlighted Greece’s potential, “There’s a good strong fundamental tour infrastructure; Greece is setting itself up as a market that has an interesting few years ahead.”

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TIME Hotels launches Saudi resort at WTM

time-beach-villa-resort

TIME Hotels unveiled its first resort at WTM London with the launch of TIME Beach Villas Resort in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Opening its doors in December 2017, the resort will comprise 61 units with detailed Arabic architecture encompassing a full reflection of authentic Gulf design. Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels, said, “This resort has been built with both corporate and leisure visitors in mind. It is perfect for long staying corporate guests as well as short stay family getaways. We, at TIME Hotels, have an in-depth understanding of these market segments, how to add value and drive in business.” Located close to the beach and at a 20 minutes’ drive from Jeddah International Airport and city centre, the midrange resort will offer fitness and leisure facilities, high-speed WiFi, LED televisions in all rooms along with concierge and business services.

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Louvre Abu Dhabi opens doors from November 11

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi, an architectural masterpiece, is set to officially open its doors to the public on November 11. Designed by Jean Nouvel, it is located on the waterfront in Abu Dhabi’s cultural district on Saadiyat Island. The inaugural installation, in its spacious collection of galleries, will present 600 works of art, half from its own rich holdings, and half consisting of stellar works visiting from its 13 partner museums in France. The museum will also begin an ongoing programme of special exhibitions in December. A programme of multicultural music, arts and dance performances, workshops, light show and firework display by world-renowned Groupe F will be held on the inaugural day. Set to run from November 11-14, the opening week programme was curated by Louvre Abu Dhabi in collaboration with Agence France-Muséums and Arwad Esber, Artistic and Programming Advisor. Special ticketed headline acts during the opening week include a sold-out show by French singer and rock guitarist Matthieu Chedid, Malian performer Fatoumata Diawara, Lebanese jazz and world musician Ibrahim Maalouf and singer and dancer Totó La Momposina. To purchase tickets, please visit www.louvreabudhabi.ae.

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