Shivani DDPPL

Cleartrip enables Apple Pay in UAE

Cleartrip

As part of its efforts to make travel simple for its customers, Cleartrip, a leading online travel company in the Middle East, announced the integration of Apple Pay on its mobile application. With the launch of Apple’s digital wallet in the UAE, Cleartrip customers can now look forward to a quicker and safer way to check out on the Cleartrip mobile app. Apple Pay supports all devices running iOS 11 and works with iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and later and Apple Watch. “As the preferred travel partner of consumers in the UAE as well as the wider region, we are dedicated to building industry-leading travel solutions. Addressing our customers’ needs, like easy payment options, is at the heart of why we launched Apple Pay on the Cleartrip app,” said Stuart Crighton, Founder & CEO of Cleartrip. Customers using Apple Pay to purchase on the Cleartrip iOS app will benefit from an instant discount of AED 100 on flights. Apple rolled out Apple Pay in the UAE from October 24, 2017 in a move that is expected to revolutionise the country’s digital economy.

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Emirates A380 one-off to Bahrain on Dec 15

Emirates-Airbus-A380 (1)

In a bid to celebrate Bahrain’s 46th National Day, a special one-off A380 service by Emirates will be operated on December 15, 2017- EK 835 and EK 836, departing from Dubai at 12:55hrs and arriving in Bahrain at 1:10hrs. The flight will then depart from Bahrain at 3:50hrs and arriving in Dubai at 6:05hrs. The Emirates A380 flying to Bahrain will be set in a two-class configuration, featuring 58 flatbed seats in Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats on the upper deck with another 437 seats in Economy Class on the lower deck. Premium class passengers travelling on the A380 can experience Emirates’ Onboard Lounge where they can socialise, network and enjoy complimentary beverages, canapés and other special delicacies. Emirates has been flying to Bahrain since 2000, developing its operations by increasing its services based on growing demand, and today operates four daily flights to the Kingdom, connecting Bahraini travellers to over 150 global destinations, including key commercial and leisure centres in Europe, the US and Far East.

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DXB tops with 7.2m passenger traffic in September

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According to traffic report issued by Dubai Airports, passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) reached 7.2 million in September. The airport for international passenger traffic welcomed 7,215,182 passengers in September as compared to 7,094,738 recorded in the corresponding month last year, symbolising an increase of 1.7 per cent. The softening of the growth was mainly due to the splitting of seasonal rush of travellers during Eid holidays which started in August and ended in September. The year to date traffic continued a strong upward trend with 66,568,550 passengers, a growth of 5.8 per cent compared to 62,945,886 recorded during the first nine months of 2016. Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said, “DXB’s growth throughout the first nine months of 2017 has been very satisfying and we are now well set for a great finish to the year; thanks to the internationally popular entertainment and sports events lined up for the upcoming winter season here in Dubai.”

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UAE passport remains most powerful in Middle East

uaepassport

The UAE passport remains the most powerful in the Middle East, with Chad in Africa as the latest country to grant citizens visa-free travel. According to Arton Capital’s latest ranking, the UAE passport is ranked 26th globally with a visa-free score of 126. The list comes as the Republic of Chad announced on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York that UAE nationals will now be exempt from pre-visa entry requirement. Emiratis can enter Chad without a visa for up to 90 days per visit. In the Gulf region, Kuwait was ranked the second most powerful passport to have with a visa-free score of 85, followed by Qatar (80), Bahrain (75), Oman (71) and Saudi Arabia (69). Globally, Arton said that Paraguay’s recent removal of visa requirements for Singaporeans propelled Singapore’s passport to the top of its Passport Index with a visa-free score of 159. Conversely, the US passport was said to have fallen down since President Trump took office.

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Europe and India increase cruise tourism to Dubai

Dubai Cruise Tourism officials with other members of the Cruise Arabia delegation at Seatrade Europe

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) undertook efforts to enhance the emirate’s position as the ‘cruise hub of the region’. Dubai Tourism exhibited at Seatrade Europe, held in Hamburg last month, under the Cruise Arabia banner, brought together the tourism authorities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain with the goal of promoting the region as a whole.  Dubai Tourism’s latest promotional drive was aimed at attracting more cruise tourists, specifically from Europe and India. The Dubai delegation at Seatrade Europe was headed by Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism, and joined by several other relevant Dubai government entities and private sector stakeholders. Commenting on Dubai Tourism’s latest cruise activities, Jamal Humaid Al Falasi said, “Our participation at Seatrade Europe came at a time when cruise lines traditionally hold their discussions with destinations and service providers to plan for the subsequent seasons. We are pleased to have participated in the event under the Cruise Arabia banner, as it underlines the members’ commitment to further develop cruise tourism business in the region.”

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Swiss-Belhotel expands in Saudi Arabia

Signing- Swiss-Belhotel and Suites Jazan

Continuing its expansion in Saudi Arabia, Swiss-Belhotel International (SBI) signed Swiss-Belhotel and Suites Jazan. The announcement was made by Laurent A Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International. The upscale property is owned by Cardamom International Property Management LLC and is located in the port city of Jazan with direct access to the beach. Swiss-Belhotel and Suites Jazan enjoys close proximity to Red Sea coast at merely 20 minutes’ drive from Jazan regional airport. Boasting of 210 keys including 140 well-appointed rooms and 70 studios plus apartments, the hotel is being designed to cater to a diverse mix of travellers. Included in its extensive facilities will be an array of business and lifestyle features, making it the ideal address for both corporate and leisure guests. On site are four dining outlets, a ballroom and three meeting rooms, a health club and a swimming pool. A key highlight is the beautiful marina and restaurant on the beach exclusively dedicated for the hotel guests.

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GCAA participates in ‘One Million Signatures of Loyalty to the Nation 2017’

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The National Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in Abu Dhabi and Dubai participated in ‘One Million Signatures of Loyalty to the Nation’, a national initiative launched by the Al Dhaid Cultural and Sports Club in cooperation with the Emirates Vision Media Network and the Happiness Ambassadors Volunteers. The aim of the initiative is to gather one million signatures on pieces of material distributed to government agencies and public and private sector institutions over the next three months. The initiative was welcomed by officials, employees and clients of the GCAA. Both Emiratis and residents alike decorated the piece of material with messages of love and support for the UAE. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of UAE, GCAA said, “Our loyalty to our beloved country and its values has no limits, the values of giving are firmly rooted in the hearts and minds of its residents.” He also believed that such initiatives served to “strengthen ties to the homeland and allow them to express their loyalty to the UAE under the leadership of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.”

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Abu Dhabi tourism strengthens leisure events

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi Strengthens Events Calendar with Launch of Leisure Events Fund

The Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi will launch an incentive scheme to develop content and programme collaboration with the private sector to drive inbound tourism growth. Already home to more than 800 events including spectacles such as the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Food Festival, Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the Abu Dhabi Classics international concert season, the tourism body is now incentivising international, regional and local companies to build on this success and further enhance the programme. Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi, said, “Throughout the year, we host a wide range of flagship events as part of our ongoing commitment to creating rich, engaging and vibrant cultural experiences for our residents and visitors. We intend to expand our events calendar in partnership with the private sector while adding value to our established events programme.” The Advantage Events Abu Dhabi initiative is being introduced to boost the emirate’s appeal as a thriving tourism destination by funding leisure and entertainment events driven by the private sector.

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ITB Asia 2017 kicks off in Singapore

ITBASIA

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, ITB Asia 2017, Asia’s leading travel trade show kicked off at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Over 940 exhibitors from 951 buyers from MICE, corporate, leisure and other sectors with over 11,000 delegates will attend the event. The programme will feature its strongest line-up of exhibitors and speakers, as well as many firsts for the travel trade show. While African and Russian markets make a strong showing at this year’s show, North Asia features prominently with a strong showing by Japan and South Korea. Running parallel with the exhibition, the conference programme will look to ‘The Future of Travel’. The three-day conference presents an extensive programme of presentations and discussions. A two-day keynote line-up features IBM Asia Pacific and Google on the latest trends in Artificial Intelligence, Ctrip on its global strategy as well as a panel with leading online travel agents.

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Apple Pay on Etihad

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Etihad Airways is now providing its customers Apple Pay, transforming mobile payments with a fast, secure and convenient way to pay for flights and travel. Available on the Etihad Airways mobile app, Apple Pay allows customers, for the first time in the UAE, to pay securely with just a touch of a finger. Etihad Airways’ customers can now buy flights and other products such as ‘Extra Legroom Seats’, ‘Preferred Seats’ and excess baggage with their iPhone or iPad by simply touching a button. Each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code. Justin Warby, Vice President Digital Strategy and Innovation, Etihad Airways, said, “We are proud to partner with Apple Pay to bring the latest mobile payment and technology innovations to our guests in the UAE and around the world. We were able to quickly adjust the release cycle of our mobile app to ensure we coincided our launch with Apple in the UAE.” Apple Pay is easy to set up and users will continue to receive all of the rewards and benefits offered by credit and debit cards.

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