Shivani DDPPL

GALF 2019 to focus on blockchain, AI and remote ATC towers

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions

The 7th edition of the Global Airport Leaders’ Forum (GALF) is set to take place in Dubai this year. One of the world’s most influential knowledge-sharing platforms for the airports industry, agenda for GALF 2019 taking place from April 29 to May 1 alongside the 19th edition of Airport Show reflects the changing aviation landscape and future technologies. Airport Show and its co-located events will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman, Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group. The knowledge-enhancement initiative is themed ‘Leading Collaborative Sustainable Aviation Growth’, reflecting the future growth path of the industry which supports US$2.7 trillion of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and carries over four billion passengers and 62 million tonnes of freight a year. At GALF, industry leaders and experts from around the world will gather to discuss common challenges, partnership opportunities and chart the way forward for the region’s aviation growth. The three-day event will feature pressing topics including smart airports and sustainability, airport privatisation models,  building non- aeronautical revenue systems and the future of blockchain in aviation, amongst other topics. Dubai has ambitious plans to be the world’s first city fully powered by blockchain by 2020 and the emirate is making persistent efforts to be a global leader in blockchain adoption. Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, organisers of Airport Show said, “The agenda for GALF 2019 undoubtedly reflects the direction the industry is going in and we are looking forward to seeing what interesting discussions take place to ensure our industry is at the forefront of digital transformation.”

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First Abu Dhabi bank grants AED 1.6bn to Abu Dhabi National Hotels

ADNH and FAB signing image

Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH) and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) have signed an AED 1.6bn loan facility agreement, which will provide ADNH with the financing capability to acquire Dubai-based hotels. The agreement was signed by Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed Sultan Suroor Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman, ADNH and André Sayegh, Deputy Group CEO and Group Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, FAB. Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed Sultan Suroor Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman, ADNH, said, “This landmark agreement reflects our ambition to ensure sustainable growth through strategic acquisitions in our core markets. Our continued expansion across the UAE allows us to contribute to economic prosperity throughout the country, which is an important aspect of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.” André Sayegh, Deputy Group CEO and Group Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, FAB, said: “Supporting the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and contributing to growth throughout the UAE are key pillars of FAB’s lending model. This agreement supports this mandate and highlights our reputation as the bank of choice for large corporates in the UAE and beyond. We are delighted to have concluded this loan facility with ADNH (being a prime UAE Corporate Institution) and to support the development of the hospitality sector.”

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ITB China to be held from May 15 to 17

ITB China

ITB China — the largest exclusive B2B marketplace for the Chinese travel industry and will take place from May 15 to 17, 2019 in Shanghai. Recently, ITB China Buyers Circle launched its first offline event on customised and personalised outdoor activities designed for island trips in Wanning, on Hainan Island. The show also announced that it will launch the ITB China Buyers Circle in 2019, followed by the first of a series of offline events focusing on different key topics. Island trips is also one of the key topics of ITB China’s focus on “Customised and Themed Tours”. The event attracted more than 50 top buyers from the ITB China Buyers Circle to share their knowledge.

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Rixos the Palm Dubai renamed as Rixos The Palm Hotel and Suites

Rixos (1) JPG

To mark the launch of its new Luxury Suite Collection, Rixos The Palm Dubai has received a new name, Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel and Suites. The rebranded Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel and Suites will expand its offering on February 25 to launch an exquisite selection of suites, bringing the total number of rooms and suites in property to 316. The expansion builds on its renowned success in the region as the UAE’s first luxury multi-concept resort by further diversifying its offering. The Luxury Suite Collection will comprise 82 suites, providing the ultimate luxury lifestyle experience by combining the homely comforts of a private residence, alongside the unparalleled service and amenities that Rixos The Palm Dubai is known for. Conveniently located in a dedicated building adjacent to the existing hotel, guests looking for exclusivity and privacy can choose from a collection of two, three, four and five bedroom family suites. Luxury features include spacious living and dining areas, private balconies offering sea views and Dubai skyline vistas, exquisite marble bathrooms with deep-soak tubs, separate butler or maid’s rooms and sumptuous décor that reflects the look and feel of luxury residences. Furthermore, generous outdoor areas range from large private balconies and verandas, to garden areas complete with BBQ areas, sun loungers and playgrounds. The Luxury Suite Collection also extends exclusive benefits to its guests including private check-in, special spa treatments, VIP amenities on arrival, in-suite breakfast, complimentary afternoon tea, a private BBQ dinner experience, a complimentary local tour and two-hour use of non-motorised watersports, plus much more. In addition to dedicated amenities, which include private pools, a dedicated beach bar and an authentic Turkish all-day dining restaurant, guests staying in …

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Hilton and AW Rostamani Group to develop 458-room hotel in Bur Dubai

Hilton and AW Rostamani Group to develop 458 room hotel in historic Bur Dubai (1)

Hilton has signed an agreement with AW Rostamani Group to develop an upscale DoubleTree by Hilton property in Bur Dubai. DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai Al Mankhool will join 11 hotels operating currently, or in the pipeline for the brand in the UAE. The construction for the property is already underway on the mixed-use development, which will house the property. Nestled within the portion of Dubai commonly referred to as the city’s ‘Old Town’, guests will be ideally located to enjoy attractions such as Dubai Museum, Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai Creek and the range of lively souqs which characterise the area’s heritage. The hotel itself will contain 327 guestrooms with 131 serviced apartments. It will include five food and beverage outlets and two outdoor pools, and fitness and business centers situated on Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Street, within close proximity to two metro stations and Burjuman Shopping Mall. Carlos Khneisser, Vice President of Development — Middle East & North Africa, Hilton, said, “Since we introduced DoubleTree by Hilton to the UAE four years ago, the brand has been a real success story, and is now one of the fastest growing in the market. It offers the versatility to create a hospitality experience that fits an owner’s personal vision, supported by the established standards and global reach of an established brand. We look forward to working with AW Rostamani Group to bring about a new and unique offering for travellers looking to experience staying in the heart of Dubai’s traditional, cultural district.” Khalid Abdul Wahid Al Rostamani, Chairman, AW Rostamani Group, said, “DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai Al Mankhool represents the expansion of the AWR Properties portfolio, whilst also supporting the leadership’s Dubai Plan 2021 …

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RTA commences exclusive Dubai Ferry route for Emaar visitors

RTA Emaar Ferry service press conference (2)

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has commenced the operation of an exclusive Dubai Ferry route for Emaar’s visitors and residents, linking The Dubai Mall and Dubai Marina Mall. Inaugurated in the presence of senior officials of RTA and Emaar, the new service links two of the most popular lifestyle destinations in the city through an environment-friendly urban transport service. It also builds on an earlier agreement signed between RTA and Emaar’s At the Top, Burj Khalifa to promote the sale of Dubai Ferry tickets to the popular tourist attraction in the iconic tower. The ferry service, for a duration of about 1 hour 20 minutes one-way, will offer majestic views of the cityscape – from The Palm Islands to the skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road and the Dubai Canal. It will ply between the Dubai Marina ferry station, located behind the Dubai Marina Mall, and Al Wajeha Al Maeyah station, from where a complimentary shuttle service will take guests to reach The Dubai Mall and back. Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO, Public Transport Agency, said, “The marine transport network of Dubai is gaining considerable interest among visitors and residents, especially following the ongoing promotion of the Dubai Ferry service by At the Top, Burj Khalifa. The new service will add to the delight of users, who can cover two of the most popular malls effortlessly while enjoying scenic vistas of the city.” Ahmed Al Falasi, Executive Director — Group Operations, Emaar Properties, said, “The new ferry service is a remarkable addition that will add to the touristic attractions in the city. Following the promotion of Dubai Ferry to visitors and tourist groups touring At the Top, Burj Khalifa, we had seen a …

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Nakheel starts work on Palm Tower rooftop infinity pool

Palm Tower JPG

Master developer Nakheel has started constructing the rooftop infinity swimming pool at The Palm Tower, its 52-storey, luxury hotel and residential complex at the heart of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. Perched 210 metres above the ground and covering 775 square metres, the infinity pool – one of the highest in the world – borders all four sides of the building, boasting unrivalled, panoramic views across Palm Jumeirah, the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai skyline. The pool – which will hold 930,000 litres of water – is on the 50th floor of The Palm Tower. Above the pool will be a podium housing a 51st level speciality restaurant and a 52nd storey public viewing deck, 240 metres high. Construction of the rooftop dining viewing deck complex will begin soon. Located at the heart of the world-famous, award winning Palm Jumeirah, The Palm Tower comprises a 289-room St Regis hotel, 432 luxury residences and an array of dining and leisure facilities. The hotel occupies the first 18 floors, with fully-furnished studios and one, two and three bedroom apartments on the upper floors. The Palm Tower is directly connected to the under-construction Nakheel Mall – the access point for the public viewing deck – and its 350 shops, restaurants and attractions.

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Four Points by Sheraton debuts in Sharjah

Four Points by Sheraton Sharjah JPG

Four Points by Sheraton is all set to open its doors for guests in Sharjah during mid-January. With 225 contemporary guest rooms, the hotel offers views of the traditional Blue Souq and Water Lagoon from higher floors. With a sizeable inventory of inter-connecting and twin rooms to accommodate families and large groups, this will be the brand’s first hotel in the Emirate complementing the existing sister brand, the Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa. Ideally located in the centre of Sharjah on King Faisal Street close to Al Ittihad Square, the newest city hotel will have easy access for leisure with Al Majaz Waterfront in the south and for business in the north with the Bank Street. The Four Points hotel is directly connected with one of the most prestigious business towers in Sharjah and an upmarket shopping mall within the same premises. Furthermore, the hotel stands at the end of the famous Sharjah Buhairah Corniche offering many options for dining and family entertainment. The hotel presents a range of Food and Beverage options with the Mediterranean styled all-day dining restaurant – Yasmina and casual dining with Cheeky Chan offering Asian-fusion favourites. Signature Coffee brews with savoury snacks at the Library Café and a pool-side Tea Garden caters to the in-between needs of the guests. Six modern and well-designed meeting spaces in the hotel are enhanced with natural daylight and latest technology to facilitate business discussions, team building activities and social gatherings. Recreational services at the hotel includes an open-air swimming pool and a kid’s pool on the 8th floor with a stunning view of the sunset over Sharjah. The Four Points by Sheraton will be the second hotel by …

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Emirates appoints 10 UAE nationals to key commercial positions in the Middle East, GCC and Africa

Thierry Antinor JPG

Emirates has announced a number of appointments to its commercial operations team across the Middle East, GCC and Africa with effect from January 6, 2019. The appointments bring Emirati talent into key leadership positions, either being promoted from within the organisation or through portfolio rotations, underpinning the airline’s commitment to career development and progression of its UAE Nationals. Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates said, “As we continue to develop our operations in the Middle East, GCC and Africa, the unique backgrounds, experience and skills of each newly-appointed member of our commercial team will further strengthen our commercial and business operations and drive our strategic initiatives in a new year of growth. Their experience will also be instrumental as we focus on executing many of our commercial initiatives to pursue revenue opportunities, improve margin performance, as well as capture new consumer segments.” Mohammad Lootah will be taking on the role of Manager Jordan. Lootah joined Emirates in 2016 and has held commercial support management roles in Riyadh and Kuwait. Tariq Al Mutawa has been appointed as Manager Kuwait. Al Mutawa has been with Emirates for eight years, holding roles in India, Bahrain and Qatar. Hamad Al Ali, has been appointed to lead the airline’s commercial activities as Manager Bahrain. Al Ali joined Emirates in 2013 as a Commercial Support Manager and was posted in South Africa and Ethiopia. After that, he was assigned as Manager Zambia where he executed and delivered Emirates’s commercial activities in that market. Omar Al Bushlaibi, will become Manager Oman. He joined Emirates in 2014 as part of the UAE National Commercial Management Programme, training in the UAE Sales Department, Istanbul, as well as …

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14 airlines to take part in CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa forum in Dubai

nick-pilbeam-divisional-director-reed-travel-exhibitions

Set to be held from April 30 to May 1, CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa 2019 is expected to bring together airline specialists, aviation authorities, tourism boards, airports and tour operators, as well as other travel-related industry professionals. Fourteen airlines have already confirmed their participation at CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa – co-located with Arabian Travel Market 2019 and taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre. Senior network planning teams from Emirates, Etihad, flydubai, Air Arabia, Air Asia, EgyptAir, flyadeal, Ethiopian Airlines, Global Airways, Atlas Global, Germania, Mahan Air, Royal Air Maroc and Titan Airways will attend the inaugural route development forum. Throughout 2018, GCC airlines have added 58 new flight routes – focusing on areas of consistent and substantial growth – according to research from Colliers International – based on a sample of 10 airlines including Emirates, Etihad, flydubai, Salaam Air, Oman Air, Gulf Air, Saudia, flyadeal, Air Arabia and IndiGo airlines. Karin Butot, CEO, The Airport Agency, said, “2018 has been an exciting year for new flight routes both to and from the GCC, underscoring Dubai as the ideal location to bring together professionals from the aviation and tourism industry for the inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa forum. With up to 400 delegates, CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa 2019 will include unlimited one-to-one pre-scheduled appointments, a conference programme, panel discussions and airline and  industry briefings as well as an exhibition area dedicated to airports and suppliers.” Nick Pilbeam, Divisional Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, said, “It is an ideal base for exploring some of the world’s most interesting and previously inaccessible corners of the world. And the GCC’s airlines are making it even easier with the …

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