Shivani DDPPL

Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City to welcome guests from March 2019

AccorHotels has announced the soon-to-be-opened Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City. As the first and only premium accommodation in Media City, within the upcoming Innovation Hub and in close proximity to Internet City, the hotel will appeal to professionals in search of connectivity and convenience, as well as the lifestyle requirements of leisure guests with opportunities to explore the vibrant urban city. Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City features 235 guestrooms and suites starting in size from 46 square metres upwards to 94 square metres. The hotel also boasts a fully equipped convention centre, completely unprecedented for the area, with a resplendent ballroom that can cater upwards to 800 guests. Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City is in close proximity to Sheikh Zayed Road, the longest road in the United Arab Emirates as well as Nakheel and Internet City metro stations, and business hubs such as Media City and Jebel Ali Free Zone. Guests will also enjoy the convenience of being close to the heart of the city’s commercial activity as well as renowned attractions such as the Mall of the Emirates and the Palm Jumeirah located just a short drive away. The property’s General Manager, Alfio Bernardini shares, “We are delighted to soon unveil the latest addition to the Mövenpick portfolio. Grand Plaza’s unique positioning, central location and exemplary facilities will serve to provide the best experiences for both business and leisure travellers. Every element of the property has been designed in line with our brand promise – ‘we make moments’.”

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Ras Al Khaimah to drive visitor growth from Central and Eastern Europe

In line with its new Destination Strategy 2019-21 and long-term objectives of strengthening the emirate’s presence in key international markets, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced the opening of its first international representative office in Prague, Czech Republic to manage and oversee the authority’s activities in Central and Eastern Europe. The new office will play a vital role in promoting the destination and driving further growth in the number of visitors travelling to Ras Al Khaimah. In 2018, visitor numbers from the Czech Republic and Hungary were up by 18.4 per cent and 11.4 per cent respectively compared to the previous year. Announcing the opening of the new office, Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “Our Destination Strategy 2019-21 aims to attract 1.5 million visitors to the emirate by 2021. We believe that by providing a compelling proposition and establishing dedicated presence in our key international target markets, we will be able to promote the destination and its diverse offering driving growth in visitor numbers. Central and Eastern European countries are amongst the fastest growing markets for us and frequently rank in our top ten source markets for visitors. The new representative office in Prague will support our promotional activities, trade partnerships and help us develop the region’s high potential outbound market.” Adding to RAKTDA international representation offices in UK, Germany, Russia and Nordics, the Prague office will support RAKTDA’s initiatives to drive further awareness of the emirate as a multi-faceted leisure destination to Central and East European travellers.

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347-key Millennium Atria Business Bay to open doors on February 14

During a recent media tour, Christian Palacin, General Manager, Millennium Atria Business Bay announced that the hotel is set to welcome guests from February 14, 2019. Several members of the media had a sneak peek of the 347-room hotel apartments at the tour and were given a preview of the rooms, dining outlets and facilities including the infinity pool and gym located on the 25th floor. Millennium Atria Business Bay will offer studio, one-, two- and three-bedrooms, and duplex apartments that are designed by internationally-acclaimed interior design company YOO Studio. The 30-storey property is the first hospitality venture of Deyaar Development PJSC, a leading property development and real estate services company in the UAE. The opening will come in phases with the first six floors to open on February 14 and the rest in the next three months. Each apartment is fully furnished with views of the iconic Burj Khalifa, Dubai Stables or Dubai Water Canal. “We look forward to the opening of this property which is a nice addition to the Millennium brand in the UAE. The Millennium Atria Business Bay is an interesting product with an excellent location, good size of the apartment, unique design, top-class furnishing. We have been rated as a deluxe hotel apartment classification by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing,” noted Palacin.

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Reed Travel Exhibitions adds Arabian Travel Week to ATM 2019

Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, has announced the launch of Arabian Travel Week – an umbrella brand comprising four co-located shows – ATM 2019; CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa; ILTM Arabia and ATM Holiday Shopper. ATM is set to be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 27–May 1, 2019. Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director–ME, Arabian Travel Market, said, “The success of both ATM and ILTM Arabia has provided us with the platform to not only introduce two new events for 2019 but also create a travel week which encompasses the Middle East’s inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism and luxury travel as well as providing a dedicated networking forum for the region’s top airline specialists, aviation authorities, tourism boards, airports and tour operators.” ATM, the annual global event for the Middle East inbound and outbound travel industry, will showcase over 2,800 products and destinations from around the world to over 28,000 buyers and travel trade visitors. This year’s show will place a spotlight on cutting-edge technology and innovation, integrating the theme across all show verticals, planned activities and seminars. Set to be held on April 30 and May 1, CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa will bring together airports, airlines and aviation suppliers in a format that offers formal one-to-one pre-arranged meetings, engaging industry seminars as well as social opportunities to cement relationships with existing clients and engage with new ones. Also new for 2019, ATM Holiday Shopper to be held on April 27, will showcase over 30 travel and hospitality exhibitors from regional and international destinations who will be offering the very best travel and tourism discounts and deals exclusively …

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Ethiopian Airlines inaugurates new terminal and hotel at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

Ethiopian Airlines has recently inaugurated a state-of-the-art passenger terminal and its Skylight Hotel in the presence of FDRE Prime Minister H E Dr Abiy Ahmed, African Union Chairperson H E Moussa Faki, ministers, high level government officials, Ethiopian Airlines’ Board Members, Ethiopian Airlines’ Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam, Executive Management Members and invited guests. After presiding over the ribbon-cutting event at the new Skylight Hotel, the largest in Ethiopia, Dr Ahmed, accompanied by AU Chairperson and other dignitaries, toured the hotel’s facilities including the spacious executive suites. At the passenger terminal inaugural event that ensued, Ahmed remarked, “Ethiopian Airlines is our national pride and a special icon among our companies as it carries our common name Ethiopia and our national flag. We would like all employees of the airline here and elsewhere to know that we speak of you with pride. The new hotel will enable us to attract tourists, and the airline’s offer for employees to own shares of the hotel is important as it boosts sense of ownership among staff, and will serve as a model for other companies to emulate.” Addressing the gathering at the inauguration ceremony, GebreMariam said, “This grand terminal building is further evidence of the development of Bole Airport as one of the largest and most convenient global aviation hubs. Ethiopian Skylight Hotel will enable the airline to offer packaged tour and travel programmes. Moreover, the hotel will enable Ethiopian Airlines to attract around a third of tourists out of the 6 million passengers transiting through Bole Airport to visit Ethiopia.” The new passenger terminal features the latest technology security systems, self-check-in machines, self-boarding system, comfortable lounges, duty free shops and other amenities. Ethiopian Skylight Hotel has 373 …

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Now fly to Istanbul from Sharjah on Turkish Airlines from April 5, 2019

Turkish Airlines has announced the launch of direct flights between Sharjah and Istanbul. With existing services from Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport, Turkish Airlines’ new Sharjah route marks its fourth destination into the UAE. Flights from Sharjah International Airport will be operated seven times a week in both directions with the inaugural flight departing on April 5, 2019. Customers can book a ticket from Sharjah to Istanbul for a price as low as 999 AED for Economy and 5,999 AED for Business Class, flights from Sharjah to Europe for prices starting from 1,500 AED, or to the Americas for prices starting from 2,600 AED if the booking is made before March 31, for trips until July 3. All passengers booking a flight from Sharjah International Airport in February with departure in April will earn 1,000 miles for each ticket. The new route bolsters Turkish Airlines’ status as the airline that flies to the most destinations in the world, strengthening its identity as a leading global airline with one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the world. “Our aim with this new route is to meet the rising demand for greater international travel options into and out of Sharjah,” commented Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing Officer, Turkish Airlines. “The UAE is known for being a travel-hungry part of the world, and now, more customers can capitalise on Turkish Airlines’ unparalleled network of destinations as we continue to explore even more new routes..”

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flydubai to launch direct flights to Tashkent, Uzbekistan from March 11, 2019

flydubai is set to start flights to Tashkent from March 11, 2019. The five-times weekly service between Dubai and Tashkent will become a daily operation from May 31, 2019. Business Class return fares from Dubai to Tashkent start at AED 7,500 (USD 1,785) and are inclusive of all taxes with 40 kg checked baggage, meals and in-flight entertainment. Economy Class return fares from Dubai to Tashkent start at AED 1,545 (USD 420) including 20 kg checked baggage and a meal. The carrier will operate the new route with one of its brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from Terminal 3 of Dubai International (DXB). The new cabin features a flat-bed in Business Class and in addition to the extra space and privacy, passengers can sleep comfortably during their flight. Economy Class offers new RECARO seats designed to optimise space and comfort so that passengers can sit back, relax and enjoy their flight. Commenting on the launch of flights to Tashkent, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai, said, “we are pleased to become the first UAE national carrier to offer direct flights to Tashkent, strengthening ties between the UAE and Uzbekistan via these new direct air links. This creates opportunities for further development of tourism and trade flows and is in line with our commitment to opening up previously underserved markets and offering more travel options to fly to Dubai and beyond.” Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President—Commercial Operations and E-commerce, flydubai, said, “We hope the new route will be a popular choice for passengers travelling from Dubai and the GCC looking for new hidden gems within a short flying distance from our hub in Dubai.”

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Fly from Sharjah to Surat on Air India Express from February 16, 2019

Air India Express has announced that it will launch flights from Sharjah to Surat from February 16, 2019. Initially, the airline will provide a twice weekly service connecting the two destinations. Shyam Sundar, CEO, Air India Express stated that this service will be the 47th non-stop direct connection of the airline between India and the Gulf Region. Flight IX–172 will depart from Sharjah at 7:35 pm and arrive in Surat at 11:45 pm on Mondays and Saturdays. Flight IX–171 from Surat to Sahrjah will depart from Surat at 12:30 am (half past midnight) with arrival into Sharjah at 02:15 am on Tuesdays and Sundays. He further reiterated that the service will be upgraded to four flights a week in the summer schedule. The Sharjah-Surat service will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and in return directions, the service will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

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Over 600 participants from 50 countries attend Global Investment in Aviation Summit in Dubai

H E Eng Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, and Chairman, General Civil Aviation Authority, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Dubai Airports; President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group and H E Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General, General Civil Aviation Authority inaugurated the Global Investment in Aviation Summit (GIAS) on January 28. The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the ceremony to develop and expand cooperation for the establishment of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Global Aviation Award (SMBRGAA). The MoU will serve to stablish and implement joint efforts to promote the development of international civil aviation in a safe and orderly manner. The opening ceremony of the summit included a series of keynote speeches and panel discussions for the senior policy-makers and business leaders to share their knowledge and expertise, and to extrapolate the current economic situation and opportunities. In his welcome speech, Al Mansouri said, “I am honoured to welcome you all on behalf of the United Arab Emirates government at the Global Investment in Aviation Summit, under the theme ‘Linking Developed and Emerging Markets through Attractive Aviation Investment Opportunities’. This global marketplace aims to promote investment and enhance international air navigation by encouraging discussions and agreements between governments and decision-makers and investors.” He also stressed that by the year 2034, civil aviation will witness double increase in number of passengers compared to previous years. This will lead to the emergence of the need to implement modernisation and expansion of high-quality airport infrastructure, requiring more investment to match the …

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Dubai Tourism waives off 1000 AED fee for PRO card for tourism companies and hotels

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has waived a mandatory requirement for hotel establishments, tourism companies and event organisers to obtain a Public Relations Officer (PRO) card prior to conducting industry transactions such as requests for permits and approvals for a range of tourism and travel-related activities and services. Following this deregulation measure, hotels and tourism companies including travel agents, tour operators and event management businesses can now submit requests and applications online via the Dubai Tourism portal, saving time and reducing operating costs. Previously, based on an Executive Council of Dubai Resolution of 2012, companies in the tourism industry were required to register their official representatives with Dubai Tourism and obtain a Public Relations Officer (PRO) card for all transactions. Tourism and travel service providers were charged AED 1,000 per PRO card which was subject to an annual renewal fee, with penalties imposed on companies that violated the provision. Commenting on the regulatory exemption, Khalid Bin Touq, Executive Director—Tourism Activities and Classifications Sector, Dubai Tourism, said, “The cancellation of this precondition for conducting official transactions is to transform Dubai into a fully-fledged smart city and the ‘Dubai Paperless Strategy’ launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. The latest deregulation steps taken by Dubai Tourism form part of the ongoing efforts to eliminate barriers to entry and growth for SMEs and start-ups, and reflects our commitment to bringing relief to small businesses and entrepreneurs by minimising red tape and introducing hassle-free processes. The enhancements will also help create stronger synergies with our network of stakeholders by providing them with yet …

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