Shivani DDPPL

Orient Travel partners with Rail Europe on rail journey products in UAE

orient travel logo JPG

Orient Travel, one of the leading travel agencies in the UAE, has teamed up with Rail Europe to create an association to meet the experiential needs of the UAE travellers. The partnership aims to provide unparalleled access to a comprehensive array of rail products complementing the itineraries of vacationers from the UAE. It comes at a time when many travel companies are struggling amid fierce competition, sedentary travel losing appeal and cookie cutter package tourism. Analysts, however, say that in the long run, there is room for growth if agencies recognise that people are searching for unique and original travel combinations that will give them unforgettable experiences. Speaking about the association, Asim Arshad, CEO, Orient Travel, said, “This partnership delights us. We are happy it came through as it gives us the opportunity to surf the wave of experiential travel and meet the needs of our clients. We understand that travel in this age is no longer so much about where the client goes, but more about how they want to feel. By introducing Rail Europe as part of our products, we give our customers flexibility and personalisation across a variety of authentic experiences. Now, we can construct each holiday around a client’s needs and preferences; and end up with an imaginative personalised itinerary centered on individual interests.” By partnering with one of the leading global providers of rail products, Orient Travel has positioned itself as a one-stop shop for planning and booking European train travel and sightseeing products. Now, the UAE travellers can book both point-to-point journeys in Europe, and get Eurail, Swiss, Japan, and Korea passes. The company also said it will guarantee easy access to human support, after-sale …

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IHG signs world’s largest Crowne Plaza in Makkah

Crowne Plaza Signing Makkah

IHG has signed a management agreement with Bougary Holding to develop Crowne Plaza® Makkah Beban. Scheduled to open in December 2019, the new hotel comprising 1200 rooms will be world’s largest Crowne Plaza and a landmark hotel for IHG. Located in close proximity to the Holy Mosque, the hotel will join the existing InterContinental® and Holiday Inn® in the city and cater to the influx of pilgrim visits expected as part of Vision 2030. IHG is the largest international hotel group in Saudi Arabia, both by number of hotels and number of rooms, and the latest signing is aligned with the company’s strategy to expand its footprint in the kingdom. Crowne Plaza® Makkah Beban boasts a host of facilities including two restaurants and a coffee shop, a business centre and three meeting rooms (3323 sqm in total) to cater to a range of meetings and events. Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG said, “Saudi Arabia offers great opportunities both in terms of domestic and inbound tourism and is central to our expansion strategy in the Middle East. We have a strong legacy in the Kingdom and are proud to collaborate with Bougary Holding, represented by Mr Loay Bougary, CEO, Bougary Holding, to bring the world’s largest Crowne Plaza to the country. This is a milestone signing for us in the Middle East and is testament to our commitment to the market. Crowne Plaza® brand is loved by travellers across the globe and is known to offer world-class amenities and excellent service to the guest; we are confident Crowne Plaza® Makkah Beban will be a popular choice amongst travellers visiting the holy city.” Loay Bougary, CEO, Bougary …

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Silver Club Tournament at Dubai Polo Club

Dubai Golf Club

Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series announces the 2019 Silver Cup Tournament Fixture at a Live Draw at the Habtoor Palace Hotel. UAE Polo (Patron: Her Highness Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum) and Ghantoot Polo (Patron: HH Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan) among the participating teams.The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series (Dubai Open), an 18-goal handicap competition celebrating its 10th year anniversary under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler, Dubai, launched its 2019 season on January 21, 2019 where the organising committee conducted a live draw for the Silver Cup 2019 fixture at the Habtoor Ballroom, Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts. Five tournaments fall under the umbrella of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series: the Silver Cup (18 goal handicap), which will run from January 25 to February 8; the Polo Masters Cup (10 goal handicap) from February 10 to 15 ; the Julius Baer Gold Cup (18 goal handicap) from February 18 to March 8; the Dubai Challenge Cup (18 goal handicap) from March 15 to 30 and the Dubai Cup (6-8 goal handicap) from April 2 to 12, 2019. The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series held in the UAE, is one of only five tournaments in the world played in the WPT Championship Cup category, on a par with world-class events held in Argentina, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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Burj Khalifa lights up with enigmatic and enthralling light show for Sharjah Light Festival 2019

Sharjah light festival 2019 JPG

Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa lit the sky up with an enigmatic and enthralling light show focusing the spotlight on the upcoming edition of the Sharjah Light Festival 2019, from Friday January 18, 2019). The exciting display of lights and images is a show of support to the efforts of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) and an opportunity to promote the coming Festival—drawing visitors to this year’s edition of Sharjah’s popular and awe-inspiring event, which uses light to showcase the artistic, cultural, heritage and aesthetics unique to the architectural landmark buildings of the emirate, reflecting the splendour of Arab and Islamic civilisation. The Sharjah Light Festival 2019 will be held for the 9th consecutive year, from February 6 to 16, within a unique family and cultural atmosphere. The famous Sharjah Light Festival puts Sharjah’s landmark buildings in the spotlight, with spectacular images projected onto their façades using innovative light technology and accompanied by specially composed music. During its 11-day run, the Festival will attract over a million visitors including families to more than a dozen locations across the emirate, reaching as far as the east coast. Free shows are held from 6 pm to 11 pm and go on until midnight on weekends. In addition, a water carnival along the Khalid Lagoon takes place around 9 pm every evening, to delight visitors and residents.

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Gulf Air partners with ‘Shop Bahrain’ to boost tourism initiatives

Gulf air 1

Gulf Air has announced partnership with the fifth edition of ‘Shop Bahrain’. The partnership comes in line with Gulf Air’s efforts to support the Kingdom’s initiatives that contribute to boost the tourism sector. ‘Shop Bahrain’ is a 30-day event aimed at celebrating the Kingdom’s hospitality and tourism offering, reinforcing Bahrain’s position as a tourist destination – in particularly visitors coming from neighbouring GCC countries – due to its close proximity. The festival being held from January 1 to February 2, 2019 will offer a unique shopping experience with fun-filled family entertainment and valuable prizes. Commenting on this strategic partnership, Sheikh Khalid bin Humood Al Khalifa, CEO, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, said, “We thank Gulf Air for their ongoing support and efforts to promote the fifth edition of ‘Shop Bahrain’ through its different marketing channels. This will increase the Kingdom’s exposure on a regional and global level and encourage travellers to join the festival in the Kingdom. We are honoured by this partnership that supports BTEA’s strategy “Bahrain. Ours. Yours.” and strengthens relations between the public and private sectors to achieve the Economic Vision 2030.” Captain Waleed Al Alawi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Air, said, “We are delighted to be amongst the festival’s partners from the very first edition. This partnership comes in line with our efforts to support events and initiatives that revitalise the Kingdom’s economy, such as Formula 1, the Bahrain International Airshow, Ironman and more.” Through its strategic partnership Gulf Air is offering 5000 discounted airline tickets for Business and Economy Class Return tickets, among the 73,000 instant prizes given to the Festival’s winners.

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Over 1000 tour operators at MATKA 2019

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Nordic Travel Fair (MATKA) held from January 16 to 20, 2019 in Messukeskus, Helsinki in Finland this year marked 30 years as the biggest travel industry events in Northern Europe with 940 exhibitors, 86 destinations under the theme ‘hidden treasures.’ The first two days were only for travel industry professionals with workshops and presentations and the last three were dedicated to consumers looking for travel deals and inspiration. MATKA targets travel industry professionals from all around the world. Buyers and suppliers, especially from Finland and Nordic countries find the event valuable. They focused on workshops and networking to boost sales, and on presentations relevant to industry professionals. Sustainable travel and modern sales are highlighted in MATKA 2019. As Nordic destinations is growing among Middle Eastern travellers, MATKA provided a good platform to take a look at these destinations and the travel experiences that are offered for visitors. 2019 had a strong focus on responsible and sustainable travel as well as food tourism with over 70,000 visitors. A number of exhibitors from Middle East has grown in the recent years and in 2019 destinations such as Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah from the United Arab Emirates.

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DTCM inks deal with Al Ansari for tourism services

Ahmed Khalifa Alfalasi, CEO of Corporate Services and Investments, Dubai...

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) and Al Ansari Exchange, a UAE-based foreign exchange and worldwide money transfer firm, have signed an agreement to facilitate payments for a range of tourism and travel-related services. Under the agreement, partners of Dubai Tourism including hotels, event organisers, tour operators and tourism companies will be able to make payments for services through 183 branches of Al Ansari Exchange across the UAE. The agreement was signed by Ahmed Khalifa Alfalasi, CEO, Corporate Services and Investments, Dubai Tourism and Rashed Ali Al Ansari, General Manager, Al Ansari Exchange. Commenting on the agreement, Alfalasi said, “Dubai Tourism is pleased to enter into a strategic partnership with Al Ansari Exchange, a renowned and respected name in the UAE’s money transfer sector, which will take our payment system to the next level of reliability and convenience. This is also a reflection of the strong spirit of collaboration that exists between the government and private sectors in Dubai for the provision of world-class services to both our residents and visitors, guided by the directives of the visionary leadership. As we continuously invest in upgrading our systems and processes to ensure a seamless and satisfying experience for all our customers, this agreement means that our partners no longer need to visit Dubai Tourism offices to make payments. The new method will supplement our online payment channels that were established as part of our contribution to the Smart Government initiative.” Al Ansari said, “We are pleased to collaborate with Dubai Tourism to enable their customers to pay the travel and tourism services fees through our wide branch network across the UAE and take advantage of its convenient and …

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Sri Lanka to participate in Arab Health, will promote itself as wellness tourism destination

Sri Lanka tourism logo 1

Well-known for its wellness treatment, especially in the European and Asian markets, six of Sri Lanka’s health and wellness resorts will participate at the upcoming Arab Health exhibition and conference at the World Trade Center from January 28 to 31, 2019. Some of the alternative medicine and wellness tourism companies that will attend this event are Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, Hettigoda Industries (Siddhalepa Ayurveda Resort), Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort, Vingnana at Reefs (Kaya Resort and Spa), Sen Wellness Sanctuary and Hotel Tree of Life. The objective of participation at this year’s Arab Health is to establish business links with prospective business partners in promoting Sri Lanka as a prominent wellness tourism destination in the region.

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275 room Waldorf Astoria DIFC to open in Spring 2019

Waldrof Astrolia DFIC

Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a 275-room property nestled in the heart of Sharjah’s financial district will be opening in Spring 2019. The first Waldorf Astoria city hotel to open in the UAE comprises 201 guest rooms, 46 suites and 28 residential apartments, and offers breathtaking scenes across Dubai’s skyline, facilitated by floor-to-ceiling windows in every room. Besides, elevated culinary experiences can be found within Waldorf Astoria DIFC, where three distinct dining options and bars are available. Bull and Bear restaurant is the hotel’s signature restaurant, while the rooftop lounge, St Trop and the brand’s iconic Peacock Alley Lounge and Bar will serve as meeting points for different occasions. Boasting a retreat through its state-of-the-art spa and fitness centre facilities, the hotel offers re-imagined meeting spaces, connected at lobby level for guest convenience. Featuring a dedicated Business Centre, Ballroom and Library among 3 other flexible meeting spaces, Waldorf Astoria DIFC provides an all-encompassing experience for the discerning business or leisure traveller. Waldorf Astoria DIFC combines an iconic environment and a bespoke anticipatory ‘True Waldorf Service’, supporting the guests’ desire to live in the moment and ‘Live Unforgettable’. Waldorf Astoria DIFC is located at Burj Daman on Happiness Street, just a stone’s throw from Dubai’s most iconic attractions, The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, and 12 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

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Etihad flies world’s maiden flight using bioenergy

Ethihad biofuel flight

The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), a non-profit entity established by Masdar Institute that is part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, has flown the world’s first commercial flight using locally produced sustainable fuel on an Etihad Airways Boeing 787 powered by GE’s GEnx-1B engines.  The flight from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam marked a major milestone in the development of a clean, alternative aviation fuel to reduce carbon emissions. The initiative also addresses food security in the UAE through the farming of seafood as a core element in the process. The SBRC partners have been working together to prove the concept of a comprehensive value chain that is centered around the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS). This is a synergistic industrial platform that supports the aviation sector, the oil and gas industry, food production and the creation of a new agricultural alternative in the UAE. His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister, Climate Change and Environment, said, “The UAE’s visionary leadership is strongly committed to positioning the country as a global hub for innovation and sustainability. In this context, productive cross-disciplinary public-private partnerships are crucial to fuelling research and development efforts and creating game-changing innovations that enable a more sustainable future. Deep decarbonisation of energy-intensive industries has a ripple effect on food security and climate action. Clean, alternative aviation fuels are an innovative and sustainable solution to significantly reducing harmful carbon emissions. The UAE is proud to be a pioneer in this domain.” Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, said, “This proof of concept is a ground-breaking development that addresses the challenges of energy, water and food …

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