Shivani DDPPL

RAK hosts 67th annual German travel association convention

DRV Jahrestagung 2017 Foto copyright DRV

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) hosted the 67th Annual Convention of the German Travel Association (DRV) at Rixos Bab Al Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah. The three-day convention welcomed 630 German travel trade professionals. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, highlighted the importance of hosting the event in Ras Al Khaimah and RAKTDA’s efforts in showcasing the destination to the emirate’s emerging markets. CEOs and senior executives from tour operators, travel agencies and service providers of all sizes, as well as representatives from airlines, cruise lines and insurance companies attended RAKTDA-organised tours, destination workshops and events highlighting the emirate’s latest tourism developments, future plans and unique attractions. A discussion panel during the opening ceremony of DRV focused on Ras Al Khaimah as an emerging tourism destination. The panel was moderated by Dr. Carl Naughton and led by key executives from the travel and airline industries including Volker Greiner, Vice President – North & Central Europe, Emirates; Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA; Ralph Schiller, Group Managing Director, FTI Group; Thomas Bosl, Managing Director, RTK and Stefanie Berk, Managing Director – Central and Eastern Europe, Thomas Cook.

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Dubai to receive 1 million cruise passengers by 2020

Izzam Kassim Cruise tourism

In a keynote address at the opening session of Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum, Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) confirmed that Dubai remains on track to receive one million cruise passengers by 2020. Addressing delegates, he also referred to DCTCM’s plan to ensure that cruise passengers felt the ‘soul’ of Dubai and there would be an extra concentration on excursions showing the heritage of the city and its older parts. Around 17 cruise line executives from 14 of the world’s leading cruise lines attended the annual two-day event held at Lapita, located within Dubai Parks and Resorts, Dubai. The programme focused on a number of key discussion points, including extending seasonality, opportunities for niche cruising, port and destination development, link with India, the Suez Canal and Red Sea, shore excursion offerings, supporting the needs of the crew and exploiting the potential for inbound Chinese tourism. The event’s return to Dubai reflects the regional significance for the future of cruising in the Arabian Gulf.

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Etihad to launch Dreamliner on Casablanca route from May 2018

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Etihad Airways is set to operate 787 Dreamliner on the Abu Dhabi-Casablanca route, making it the first North African destination to be served by the aircraft. The three-class aircraft, featuring eight First Suites, 28 Business Studios and 199 Economy Smart Seats, will replace the Airbus A330s currently operating daily on the route, and will offer additional cargo capacity. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “We are delighted to deploy our flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner on yet another route that will give even more guests the opportunity to experience our next generation aircraft. In addition to maintaining attractive timings for guests travelling between Abu Dhabi and Casablanca, we will create further suitable connections in many markets to benefit more travellers.” Etihad Airways will maintain an early morning arrival into Casablanca and operate a revised mid-morning return service that will improve connectivity to a wider network of destinations across Asia and Australia. The airline has a fleet of 18 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners operating from Abu Dhabi to 17 destinations worldwide.

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Sharjah World Championship Week by SCTDA is back

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Sharjah Grand Prix, the annual international championships for water sports, returns for the next two weekends. The event will be organised under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Royal Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, during Sharjah World Championship Week. The emirate will play host to the UIM Formula1 Power Boat Championship and Sharjah Aquabike World Championship from December 15-21, 2017 at the Khalid Lagoon, in partnership with Sharjah International Marine Sports Club and Union International Motonautique, Sharjah Tourism and Commerce Development Authority (SCTDA) revealed. H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said, “Hosting the F1 Powerboat Championship further consolidates Sharjah’s position as an ideal sporting destination in the UAE and the region, as well as enables the emirate to showcase its authentic Arabian culture and heritage. Aiming to continue building such venues in Sharjah, we look forward to another exciting and successful race in this edition.” The key partners of the event include the Department of Seaports & Customs-Government of Sharjah, Sharjah Police Headquarters, SEWA, Sharjah City Municipality, Air Arabia, Sharjah Road and Transport Authority, Civil Defense Department- Sharjah, Sahara Centre and Mega Mall.

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First Stella Di Mare Hotel in Dubai by Q1 2018

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The newest addition to the Dubai Marina is the new five-star Stella Di Mare Hotel to be completed by Q1 in 2018. The property will comprise 252 king rooms, 72 twin rooms and 45 suites. All rooms will be fully air-conditioned, with high-speed Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, personal safe, mini-bar and 24-hour room service. It will feature three restaurants offering a range of dining experiences including Italian, Mediterranean and international buffet. Three bars in the hotel would include a lobby lounge Orphic Bar providing snacks and Italian coffee, the pool bar providing daily refreshments and the signature rooftop bar Skyland, located on the 31st floor of the property with spectacular views of Dubai Marina. The 550 sq m spa will offer a variety of treatments, including massages, facials and beauty therapies. There will be separate male and female saunas, steam room, indoor jacuzzi and swimming pool. The health and wellness options will also include an indoor gymnasium with a range of high quality equipment, plus a salon offering hair, nail and other beauty treatments.

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Dubai Safari set to open doors soon

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In its move to becoming an edutainment destination, Dubai municipality unveiled a sneak peak at the upcoming Dubai Safari set to be launched soon. Over 2500 animals will represent more than 250 species with interesting visitor engaging activities for all ages. The park is set on 119 hectares covering Middle East, Africa and Asia as regions with a special Safari village where a group of 15 to 20 visitors at a time will be able to have a first-hand experience of being close to wild animals. During an exclusive first-look media event hosted by Dubai Municipality at Dubai Safari, Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General, Dubai Municipality for Communications and Community Sector, said, “Dubai Safari is more than just a wildlife park. Our vision for this project is to offer a highly engaging edutainment experience that fosters education on animal welfare, inspires a sense of learning about wildlife diversity and raises awareness on what makes wildlife protection a top priority.” A diverse array of activities like feeding, listening to animal stories, etc, promises to make the park an exciting destination for hands-on learning and endless fun.

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Dubai Airports welcomes Nigerian airline Med-View to DXB

Med-View Airlines arrives at DXB

In a ceremonial event, Dubai Airports welcomed Nigerian airline Med-View from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) via Abuja (ABV) to Dubai International (DXB) with a traditional water salute. The airline, which operates into DXB’s Concourse D, offers travellers three weekly flights on Boeing B777 and B767 aircraft from Lagos via Abuja to Dubai. A cake cutting ceremony was attended by Muneer A. Bankole, CEO, Med-View; Khalil Lamrabet, Director Aviation Business Development, Dubai Airports and Saood Kankazar, Executive Director, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.

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Dubai launches first-ever Dubai Association Conference at WTC

2. HE Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Direct...

The inaugural Dubai Association Conference opened on December 11 at Dubai World Trade Centre under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council. Industry leaders from around the globe attended the two-day event. The leaders of the Dubai Association Centre expressed optimism about the future for associations in the emirate. The Dubai Association Conference is being hosted by the Dubai Association Centre (DAC), a joint initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). In the opening session, His Excellency Helal Al Marri, Director General, DTCM and DWTC, and His Excellency Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, discussed their vision for growing the association market community in Dubai and the wider Middle East region. The programme will focus on building the association community, skill development for association executives and sharing best practices from around the world.

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IHG expands presence in Oman with second Crowne Plaza

Crowne Plaza Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre Muscat

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN) announced the opening of Crowne Plaza Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat. The newly opened hotel will be the second Crowne Plaza in the capital and the fifth in Oman, demonstrating the increasing popularity of the brand in the Sultanate. The 296-room hotel is located 10 minutes from the New Muscat International Airport and is a part of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) project. OCEC is Muscat’s state-of-the-art commercial hub for business and international events. This precinct is one of many innovative communities currently being developed that are designed to world-class standards in support of the Sultanate’s growing tourism sector. While guests will benefit from the centre’s 22,000m² of exhibition space, they will also enjoy overlooking a natural waterway and the surrounding parklands, a wadi, and a nature reserve. Crowne Plaza Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre also offers great facilities for a broad range of visitors including two pools, a children’s playground, a large fitness zone, three large meeting rooms and an independent function centre.

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China’s Ningxia woos Dubai visitors

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An introduction conference ‘Beautiful China Amazing Ningxia’ held at JW Marriott Marquise in Dubai was organised by Tourism Development Commission of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and prepared by China Travel Service of Ningxia, representatives from Dubai Tourism Bureau, Chinese and foreign travel agencies along with news media attended the event. Qiu Weining, Senior Executive, International Operation Department, Dubai Tourism Bureau began the conference with a welcome speech. “Dubai creates as world travel destination at all times and welcomes other tourism bureaus from all over the world to promote themselves with inclusive attitude. Ningxia is a very beautiful place and worth to pay visit”, he said. Hu Ling, Vice President, Chia Association of Travel Services, Chairman of Ningxia Travel Agency Association, then delivered a speech. She said, “Ningxia with its abundant scenic spots and traditional Hui folk culture, is one of the world’s 46 best places to visit, according to The New York Times.”

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