Shivani DDPPL

Abu Dhabi tourism to launch children’s library and theatre in September

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi  has announced that the much-anticipated opening of the Abu Dhabi Children’s Library and a new theatre at the Cultural Foundation, will take place on September 4, 2019. The launch of these two assets follows an extensive investment in rehabilitating the Cultural Foundation, as part of the development of the Al Hosn cultural site in downtown Abu Dhabi. Al Hosn cultural site is home to the Cultural Foundation, a cherished historical and cultural landmark which embodies Sheikh Zayed’s vision to nurture cultural consciousness and the identity of a modern nation. With the addition of the Children’s Library, the Foundation fosters its position and legacy as the UAE’s first and most accessible cultural centre dedicated to learning and creativity which encompasses a theatre, a library, and a visual arts centre. H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “Al Hosn is a key part of our mission to support the younger generations and engage them with the UAE’s rich national heritage and with all aspects of global culture, enhancing Abu Dhabi’s position as a cultural capital for the Middle East.” The Abu Dhabi Children’s Library is spread over three floors, with the 5,250 square metre facility divided into several age-appropriate, social spaces. Designed with inspiration from pop-up books in mind, the library boasts several three-dimensional learning and play spaces in which children can physically immerse themselves to become part of a story. Meanwhile, the Cultural Foundation’s renovated 900-seat theatre will showcase world-class contemporary, popular and home-grown performing arts, including music, dance, and theatre, in the heart of the city.  

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408-room Millennium Al Barsha opens its doors

Millennium Al Barsha, a four-star hotel located in Al Barsha area in close proximity to Mall of the Emirates, is now open for business and leisure travellers. The hotel is developed and owned by Deyaar Development PJSC, one of the UAE’s leading property development and real estate services companies and managed by Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa, one of the fastest growing hotel management companies in the region. Christian Palacin, General Manager of Millennium Al Barsha, said, “The hotel’s perfect location in the bustling area of Al Barsha, near Mall of the Emirates and at a short distance from all business and leisure areas make it the ideal choice for business and leisure travellers alike.” Millennium Al Barsha includes 299 well-appointed rooms and suites and 109 serviced apartments featuring all modern amenities and the latest technology. The hotel’s facilities include House of Colours, an all-day dining restaurant serving international cuisine showcasing playfulness with its open kitchen concept, Moroccan Kitchen serves an authentic Moroccan cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. Pool Deck is the rooftop lounge serving light snacks and beverages, while the Lobby lounge epitomises relaxed ambience with a selection of coffee, tea and fresh juices. The hotel also features a spa, two rooftop swimming pools, a state-of-the-art gym, sauna and steam room, and a fully equipped Kids Club as well as a playground with fun games and activities for children from one up to 12 years of age. Millennium Al Barsha also provides a range of impressive conference and five meeting rooms, designed to host small social occasions as well as large corporate meetings and events.

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Etihad to fly Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Jakarta and Male

Etihad Airways will introduce the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on its flights from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta, Indonesia, and will upgrade its daily morning service to Male, Maldives, to the wide-body aircraft on a seasonal basis. The airline’s two daily scheduled services from Abu Dhabi to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, will be operated on a year-round basis by a two-class Boeing 787-9. Effective October 27, the overnight service will transition to a Dreamliner operation and the aircraft will be introduced on the daytime service from December 14, 2019. The airline will also operate the next-generation aircraft on its daily morning service from Abu Dhabi to Male from October 27, 2019 to April 30, 2020. This morning service will continue to be supplemented by a second overnight departure. Etihad Airways is one of the world’s largest operators of the Boeing 787 and is introducing the aircraft to these destinations to benefit its point-to-point customers travelling to and from Abu Dhabi, as well as those connecting to and from the Etihad global network.

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Emirates gears up for peak travel during Eid break

  Emirates gears up for a busy travel period this weekend for the Eid holiday. The busiest time for departures in Terminal 3 will be on August 9, with close to 100,000 passengers travelling through Terminal 3 at DXB. Customers are reminded to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departure to avoid any delays. Peak travel is expected to start on August 8 in the evening and continue until August 10 with over 372,000 Emirates passengers travelling from Dubai. Passengers can physically check in at the airport as early as 24 hours before flight departure, and are requested to check in no later than two hours prior to departure, regardless of class of travel. Customers who present themselves less than 60 minutes prior to their scheduled flight departure will not be accepted for travel. Customers can check in online on both their desktops and mobile devices from 48 hours to 90 minutes before flight departure. Passengers can also enjoy Emirates’ Home Check-in service which allows customers to check-in for their flights from anywhere in Dubai. In addition to online check-in services, Emirates also offers convenient car park check-in facilities. Customers can use these to check-in and drop off their luggage. Alternatively, customers heading to Emirates Terminal 3 can choose to drop their luggage at one of the 46 dedicated bag drop counters in Economy Class or separate counters in First Class and Business Class from six hours to 90 minutes prior to departure.

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Luxury hotel and resort brand Aman to come up with 3 properties in AlUla

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has announced a partnership with the world’s leading hotel and resort brand, Aman, who will develop their first three properties in AlUla. The partnership agreement was signed by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture, the Governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla, His Highness Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Farhan Al Saud, and Chairman and CEO of Aman, Vladislav Doronin, marking the brand’s first entry to Saudi Arabia and the region. Under the terms of a Technical Services Agreement, Aman will develop three distinct luxury resorts of architectural excellence including a tented camp, a resort near AlUla’s spectacular heritage areas and a third development as a desert ranch-style resort. Detailed design work on all three properties is scheduled to commence in the coming months with a development timeline that will welcome the first guests in 2023. Commenting on the agreement, His Highness Prince Badr, said, “The decision by Aman to open its first resorts in the Middle East in AlUla shows the promise and progress of the vision for AlUla to become a worldwide destination for those seeking unique experiences.” RCU and Aman have also signed a partnership to design, manage and brand the destinations as Aman, offering the refined Aman guest experience that goes beyond any expectation. Doronin welcomed the new partnership and said, “Many of our existing Aman destinations are located in areas of outstanding natural beauty and rich history. With the addition of spectacular AlUla, this takes us to ten properties situated near or in UNESCO heritage sites, making it a fitting location for our first destination in the Middle East.”

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Etihad introduces Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to Lagos

A state-of-the-art Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner touched down in Lagos on August 1, 2019 after its inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways flight EY673 took off from Abu Dhabi at 2.35 am and arrived on schedule at 7.10 am local time. The return flight EY674 departed Lagos at 8.30 am and touched down back in the capital at 7.10 pm on August 2. The two-class B787-9 Dreamliner features Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy cabins configured with 299 seats — 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “We are delighted to upgrade to the Dreamliner aircraft on the Lagos route to further enhance the guest experience and to meet the needs of the growing numbers of business and leisure passengers travelling to and from Nigeria’s largest city. Today’s modern traveller is constantly searching for comfort, innovation and convenience, and we aim to provide the highest standard of hospitality and technological advancements to make any journey a memorable one.” Etihad Airways’ service to Lagos was inaugurated in July 2012.  The route has proved very successful for the airline, recording consistently strong demand to and from both cities.

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Royal Jordanian inks deal with Royal Air Maroc

Royal Jordanian and Royal Air Maroc concluded a free sale codeshare agreement whereby Royal Jordanian will market Royal Air Maroc flights, putting Royal Jordanian’s carrier code on these flights between Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport and Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport. Royal Jordanian does not operate flights to Morocco. The codeshare three weekly flights will be sold as of August 5, which will be also the first date of travel. The agreement with Royal Air Maroc is bound to enhance cooperation between the two flag carriers and improve passenger traffic by providing Royal Jordanian customers convenient options to fly to/from Amman; they can also plan their trips to reach further destinations on Royal Jordanian’s global route network. Royal Air Maroc operates its flights between Casablanca and Amman with a B737 aircraft; the plane departs from Mohammed V International Airport at 23:10 and arrives at QAIA at 6:50 the following day. Return flights depart from Amman at 7:50 and arrive in Casablanca at 12:05. Stefan Pichler, President/CEO, Royal Jordanian, said, “We are delighted to be working with Royal Air Maroc, a leading carrier in the Maghreb region. This agreement is a further step in the strategic and historical partnership between Jordan and Morocco, and an added value towards higher air traffic between our companies.” Abdelhamid Addou, CEO, Royal Air Maroc, said, “We are very pleased to start this codeshare with Royal Jordanian which will pave the way for our traffic and frequencies development in this market and will allow both carriers to access each other’s networks via the Special Prorate Agreement established for routes beyond Casablanca and Amman.”

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Travelport announces Next-Gen-Storefront with multiple airlines and industry partners

Travelport announced that it is actively working with multiple airlines and industry partners to offer Next Generation Storefront (NGS) capability. Industry partners working with Travelport to pioneer NGS development are WhereTo, an online booking tool, and Travel Technology & Solutions (TTS), a global player in the development of innovative solutions for the travel and tourism industry. NGS is an industry initiative to enable travel agencies to display airfares just like airlines show their branded fares on their own websites. Developed by industry body ATPCO, it aims to deliver a richer and more informed shopping experience for travellers. The storefront allows users to compare and choose between multiple branded fare offers and across different airlines’ flights — all on one screen. As the ATPCO standards continue to evolve, Travelport will facilitate exact comparisons across airlines’ full range of products, whether for online agencies, corporate booking tools or Travelport’s own travel agency desktop solution, Smartpoint. Jeff Lobl, Managing Director Global Distribution Strategy at Delta Air Lines, said, “GDSs have a critical role to play in the retail transformation of our industry, and Next Generation Storefront is central to that effort. We applaud Travelport’s commitment to elevating the shopping experience for our customers.” Stephen Shurrock, Chief Commercial Officer, Travelport, commented, “Whether through Rich Content and Branding, NDC or NGS, Travelport is committed to providing the broadest range of content and will continue to lead change. NGS will be key in driving a shift from ‘cheapest fare’ to ‘best value’”  

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Turkish Airlines adds Republic of Congo’s Pointe-Noire to its flight network

Adding more countries to its portfolio, Turkish Airlines latest destination is the addition of the Republic of Congo’s second biggest city, Pointe-Noire to its flight network as its 58th destination in Africa. The national flag carrier will operate three weekly flights to Pointe-Noire with a connection in Libreville. With Pointe Noire, the port city next to Atlantic Ocean, Turkish Airlines expanded its flight network to 125 countries and 313 destinations. During the press conference held for the opening of Pointe-Noire frequency, Kerem Sarp, Turkish Airlines Senior Vice President for Sales (2nd Region), said, “With this inaugural Pointe-Noire flight, we increased our destinations to 58 in the continent of Africa. As the flag carrier of Turkey, we cement our position as the airline that flies to more destinations in Africa than any other airline in line with our growth strategy in this continent. Our new flights will offer new opportunities for us to increase our existing cultural connections in the Republic of Congo. We will continue to spread the Turkish hospitality and the continuous travel experience to a wider area in the future.”

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Etihad Guest signs agreement with Booking.com for frequent flyer programme

Etihad Guest, the loyalty programme of Etihad Airways, has signed a frequent flyer programme agreement with Booking.com, one of the world’s major digital travel platforms. This agreement will enable Etihad Guest customers to earn Etihad Guest Miles when booking accommodation through Booking.com on a special co-branded version of the website. Depending on the accommodation booked, customers will earn between three and six Etihad Guest Miles for every USD 1 spent, starting August 1, 2019. Yasser Al Yousuf, Etihad Airways Vice President Commercial Partnerships, said, “We are always looking for new ways to add value to our loyalty programme and now through this partnership with Booking.com, we are delighted to give travellers the ability to earn Etihad Guest Miles not only when booking flights, but their accommodation as well.” “We are constantly exploring new collaborations that enable us to help connect even more travellers with their ideal stay, whether that’s a 5-star resort, a cosy B&B or chic city apartment,” said Ripsy Bandourian, Vice President of Partnerships at Booking.com. “We’re delighted to be partnering with Etihad Guest and providing additional value to our mutual customers that truly enhances their overall shopping and trip experience.” Etihad Guest Miles will automatically be awarded 8 to 12 weeks after the guests complete their stay and can be redeemed for flights and upgrades with Etihad Airways, over 20 airline partners globally, as well as electronics, fashion items and gifts from a range of over 3,000 leading brands available at Etihad Guest’s Reward Shop.

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