Shivani DDPPL

Sabre to offer NDC-enabled solutions in 2018

Kathy Morgan

Sabre Corporation expects to achieve several critical milestones on its journey to offer NDC-enabled solutions by the end of the year. Intelligent retailing that leverages Sabre’s data, depth and industry leadership will bring value to airlines and agencies, and customers will have the ability to offer personalised shopping experiences similar to world-class retailers in other industries. “NDC standards introduce tremendous opportunity for Sabre’s business, our customers and the industry overall – to the ultimate benefit of travelers as we model a new and differentiated travel experience,” said Kathy Morgan, Sabre vice president of strategic initiatives. “To bring the promise of NDC to life, our capabilities will go beyond shopping and booking and will integrate with the retailing, distribution and fulfillment systems that support the travel ecosystem,”Morgan said. Morgan leads Sabre’s company-wide effort to invest Beyond NDC across its retailing, distribution and fulfillment solutions. Sabre is uniquely positioned to deliver technology that shapes a traveller’s end-to-end journey from offer creation through fulfillment. In 2018, Sabre plans to launch new service-enabled APIs and enhanced capabilities in the Sabre Red Workspace that will allow customers to shop and book NDC content alongside traditional content. To prepare for this functionality, the company is already working closely with customers including Flight Centre Travel Group, one of the world’s largest travel agency groups, and Sabre expects to begin a pilot program with additional agency and airline customers in the third quarter this year.

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Etihad to fly to Barcelona from November 21

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways has announced the introduction of a new scheduled service linking Abu Dhabi and Barcelona, Spain, effective from November 21, 2018. The route will initially be operated five times a week by a two-class Airbus A330-200 before becoming a daily operation from  March 31, 2019. Barcelona will become the second city in Spain served by Etihad Airways, complementing the airline’s existing daily service to the capital Madrid. The new route will provide business and leisure travellers with convenient timings to travel between Abu Dhabi and Barcelona, also providing seamless onward connections through Abu Dhabi to major cities in the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Korea and Australia. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer Etihad Airways, said,“As one of the largest unserved markets from our Abu Dhabi base, Barcelona – a hub of culture, commerce, tourism, education, fashion and science, has witnessed a significant increase in travel demand from the emirate, and from across our wider network. We are now delighted to announce the first direct link between these two important global hubs. We are confident it will prove very popular with UAE and Barcelona-based customers, allowing us to extend our acclaimed inflight service, hospitality and flair to this vibrant Mediterranean city, and to build on the flourishing cultural and commercial ties between the UAE and Spain.”

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Emirates to start A380 service to Osaka, Japan, from October 28

Emirates-Boeing-777-300ER-1 Cropped

Emirates airline will introduce regular scheduled commercial Airbus A380 services to Osaka at Kansai International Airport in Japan on October 28, 2018, serving two of three Japanese getaways. The deployment of the double-decker aircraft represents a capacity increase of 38 per cent and means that travellers will enjoy the comfort of an A380 to and from two Japanese gateways, as the flagship aircraft already operates daily from Narita International Airport. The A380 will replace the 777-300ER aircraft currently operating on the EK316/EK317 service to and from Osaka. The Emirates’ Airbus A380 aircraft serving the Dubai-Osaka route will offer a total of 489 seats in a three-class configuration, with 399 spacious seats in Economy Class, 76 fully flat-bed seats in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites. Emirates flights to and from Japan cater to the needs of Japanese travellers with Japanese-speaking cabin crew on board. Emirates award-winning entertainment system, ice, offers up to 3,500 channels of audio and visual entertainment, including live TV and more than 100 channels of Japanese content, movies, TV shows and music. Emirates customers can enjoy a generous baggage allowance, with 50kg for First Class, 40kg for Business Class and up to 35kg for Economy Class passengers. First Class customers on Emirates flights to and from Japan can experience traditional Kaiseki (multi-course meal) cuisine and Business Class customers have the option of a traditional bento box. Emirates is the first Middle Eastern airline to serve Kaiseki-inspired meals on board.

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First edition of Sharjah Summer Festival to kick off from July 11

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Following the success of the Sharjah Summer Campaign last year, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has announced the details of the first edition of the Sharjah Summer Festival. Set to kick-start on July 11, 2018, the festival will further boost SCTDA’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the tourism sector as part of the government’s bid to attract 10 million visitors to the emirate’s shores by 2021. Organised by SCTDA in cooperation with entities from the government and private sector, the festival will run a series of entertainment and cultural activities to promote local tourism and highlight the emirate’s cultural and tourist attractions and diversified recreational facilities during the summer season. In addition, the festival seeks to attract residents and visitors through its creative marketing campaigns and various promotions to boost Sharjah’s world-class status as one of the great destinations for family holidays. H E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA said, “The festival will promote Sharjah’s tourism, cultural and amusing events, revitalise several tourism campaigns; and diversify its leisure activities to attract international visitors. It is also part of our strategy to underline our attractions to the GCC market which remains one of our largest source markets.” According to Midfa, the event is going to play a major role in transforming Sharjah into an important center of culture, heritage and arts in the region.

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ADNEC to develop Hall 4 for enhanced event experience

Khalifa Al Qubaisi

The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) has revealed plans to develop its Hall 4, one of the spaces being offered for conferences and similar events. The move is aimed at addressing the growing demand for its award-winning venue, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, as a host for regional and global conferences and corporate events. The planned development will ensure a better experience for existing and potential conferences and meetings clients as well as the attending delegates. Hall 4, strategically located adjacent to the multi-purpose Atrium, will be divided into three fully equipped event spaces, each capable of hosting 1,000 delegates. Work on the project is expected to be completed this year, in time for 2019, when the centre will host strategic, global congresses that will boost Abu Dhabi’s position on the global map as a hub for regional and international conferences and events. Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Acting Chief Commercial Officer, ADNEC said, “The newly developed meeting rooms, with their strategic locations will enable our conference clients to configure all aspects of their events in a logical and convenient manner. The new rooms are also adjacent to ADNEC’s existing conference suites, the Innovation Lab and the recently refurbished 76 Restaurant, making it apt for expansion and customisation.”

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Explore Dubai and the UAE for less with ‘My Emirates Pass’

© Copyright Katarina Premfors 2017

Giving customers even more reasons to explore Dubai and the UAE, ‘My Emirates Pass’ turns the Emirates boarding pass into an exclusive membership card, giving travellers exclusive offers and discounts within the UAE. Emirates customers flying to or through Dubai between June 1 and August 31, 2018 can take advantage of a range of offers at some of Dubai’s best known hotspots by simply showing their boarding pass and a valid form of identification. The pass gives customers exclusive offers at over 250 locations including world-class restaurants. Special privileges are also available on a range of leisure activities including visits to thrilling theme parks or luxury spas across the city. For the first time, retail outlets have also been added to the mix giving special discounts at select fashion and fitness brands. “My Emirates Pass is the best way to explore Emirates’ hub Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai has a growing list of new attractions and world-class facilities, giving visitors something new to explore whether it’s their first time or a return trip,” says Mohammad Al Hashimi, Vice President, Commercial Products Dubai—Emirates. The destination offers year-round sunshine, world-class shopping and restaurants, stunning beaches and iconic buildings. Visitors to Dubai can use My Emirates Pass to enjoy world-class attractions.

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Dubai Summer Surprises to be held from June 22 to August 4

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Dubai’s annual citywide summer celebration, Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) is set to return to the city from June 22-August 4, 2018, offering a six-week extravaganza of sales, retail experiences and events. Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the 21st edition of the popular summer event will feature a line-up of spectacular sales, retail experiences, chances to win and weekly performances to keep the family entertained this summer. Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, DFRE said, “Dubai Summer Surprises is one of the most popular events on Dubai tourism’s retail calendar, and we are excited to announce this year’s dates. Together with our partners across the emirate, we are putting the final touches to a jam-packed, six-week schedule of sales, retail promotions and events that we know will make Dubai the ultimate summer destination.  We encourage residents to stick around for the summer and experience the full line-up of not-to-be-missed surprises we have in-store!” The highlights of this year’s DSS include a mega Opening Day 12 Hour Sale, a daily Deal of the Day (DOTD) offer, weekly Weekend Destination surprises and the Final Weekend Sale.

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Dnata expands partnership with EgyptAir in Dubai

dnata

Dnata has announced that it is expanding its partnership with EgyptAir in Dubai to provide the airline with premium cargo handling services from its best-in-class facility at Dubai World Central (DWC). EgyptAir will initially operate one cargo flight a week between Dubai and Cairo using an Airbus A300F aircraft. Dnata has been providing ground handling services to EgyptAir at Dubai International Airport since 2005. The expansion of the partnership underlines the attraction of Dubai as an air cargo hub and the demand for Dnata’s reliable and quality services and dedicated team. Including EgyptAir , Dnata’s cargo operations serve over 120 airlines at 43 airports handling over 3 million tonnes of cargo a year. Bernd Struck, Senior Vice President, UAE Cargo & DWC Airline Services for dnata, said, “Delivering service and operational excellence to our customers has been the core of our business for decades. DWC is designed to support logistics well into the future and we are excited to welcome EgyptAir to be part of this journey with us.”

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FORM Hotel Dubai opens doors to welcome its first guests

FORM-067

FORM Hotel Dubai has announced the opening of its flagship property, located in the heart of Dubai’s cultural village, in the Al Jadaf neighbourhood.  The 15-storey hotel also represents the latest addition to the prestigious Design Hotels™ collection; the first Dubai-based member to be selected. The property merges an emphasis on well being with a carefully curated design concept, offering technology-driven and customised travel experiences to business and leisure travelers alike. As such, FORM Hotel Dubai is proud to bring a unique and unchartered concept to the UAE hotel market. The property, with its 136-rooms, presents four room configurations including the cozy, ideal, plus+ and the mega with starting room rates at AED 349 per night inclusive of breakfast, exclusive of taxes and 5 per cent VAT. The special opening rate during the Eid period guests can avail starting night rates of AED 224 per night inclusive of breakfast, exclusive of taxes and 5 per cent VAT. Conveniently positioned close to the Dubai International Airport, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Design District (d3), and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), FORM Hotel Dubai is carved from an Architecture Studio-designed structure that relives the origins of Dubai’s heritage. Inside, art deco-inspired bespoke furniture — also by the Paris-based Architecture Studio — fills guestrooms alongside custom-crafted art and photography by Nina Dietzel, for an understated yet sharp interior that is at once timeless and contemporary.

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Emirates Skywards revamps family programme to allow 100% pooling of miles

Emirates image for pooling miles

Emirates Skywards has revamped its family, offering to provide a richer, more rewarding programme called ‘My Family’. Family members can now pool up to 100 per cent of Skywards miles earned on Emirates flights, allowing them to redeem rewards faster than before. Each member can pool up to 100 per cent of their miles earned on Emirates flights and the nominated contribution of miles from each member can be adjusted at any time. Emirates Skywards has a global membership of 20 million and all members are eligible to join ‘My Family’. Each account can have up to 8 family members including a nominated Family Head. “We’re always working to enhance our offerings to ensure our members are given greater value, choice and flexibility at every touchpoint across the Emirates Skywards programme. The new enriched ‘My Family’ programme will provide our members with a better, more intuitive customer experience, allowing them to consolidate up to 100 per cent of Skywards Miles earned on Emirates to reap faster rewards as well as tailor the proposition to meet their travel needs,” said Nejib Ben Khedher, Senior Vice President, Emirates Skywards. The new Emirates Skywards ‘My Family’ programme complements the airline’s exceptional family offering both on board and on the ground. In flight, young travellers can look forward to special toys, activity packs, child-friendly meals and dedicated kids’ content on ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system. On the ground, Emirates provides a dedicated family check-in area and complimentary strollers in Dubai and priority boarding for families across all airports.

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